Reading the Complete Stranger Marriages post and subsequent comments stirred up a question in my mind, just how does a convert find a good wali?
Some say the local imam, in my experience this is not a good idea. Many imams while they may be knowledgeable in the religion, are extremely busy, and may only be able to be a good wali for their own daughters. What good is a wali that you don’t know and they don’t know you, you can’t get in touch with, that may decide to make hijrah somewhere or their visa is not renewed?
Some say your friend’s husband, father, brother, etc. Again, as in the situation with the imam, what good is a stranger who doesn’t have any connection to you nor you to them. I tend not to eyeball people male or female so except for two or three sisters who husbands accompanied us on some sort of outing, I would not be able to pick a friend’s husband out of a lineup.
And for me to trust someone to be my wali, I feel like I would have to know something about their character and religious committment. I want to know that I can speak to them without their wife getting upset or jealous about issues I may have with any potential spouse and how they would react. I want to know that if there was a dispute between my husband and I that my wali would not be disinterested, could listen objectively, offer constructive advice, and beat the guy up if necessary. I don’t know any of the husbands of my friends well enough to say even half of that about them.
Then there’s the no wali option but that’s a bit questionable Islamically although there are valid differences of opinion.
Perhaps, I should put an ad in the Muslim Link newspaper: Convert sister looking for a good wali.