Marriage by proxy
A woman was engaged to a person working overseas. When he wanted to conduct the marriage, he requested the name of one of her relatives and sent him an official power of attorney so that he would conduct the contract on his behalf. The marriage was conducted after the bride commissioned her maternal uncle to enact her marriage contract. When the marriage official went to register the contract, the court refused to notarize it because it was conducted by means of a general power of attorney, which is not valid for conducting a marriage contract. The marriage official asked the grantor to send a limited power of attorney specific to conducting a marriage contract or to come in person to conduct the marriage contract. The groom, however, refused to execute a limited power of attorney with the excuse that he does not have the time, and said he will return to effect the marriage himself. When he did return during his vacation, he did not go to the marriage official and kept postponing performing the contract in person and furnishing the marital house. Moreover, he went so far as to ask for his rights as a husband. When the bride requested that they separate amicably, he replied that he would leave her without a divorce, and then traveled.
Is she a wife to this man, or is the marriage not even valid—especially since she does not have a legal marriage document or anything else to prove that she is his wife?
This marriage contract is invalid because it does not include a power of attorney specific to conducting a marriage. The type of power of attorney used in the above scenario is a general one for handling financial transactions and their like. It is established in Islamic law that a power of attorney has four integrals: the commissioner, the commissioned, the authorized actions, and the verbal phrase (the offer to act as a proxy and its acceptance). A power of attorney specific to conducting a marriage contract must mention the subject of the proxy which is conducting the marriage contract. Islamic law protects honor and good reputation more than it does anything else.
This contract is invalid and therefore does not accrue any of the effects of a marriage contract. You are not his wife, as he claims, and he has no power over you.