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The Difference Between Guardianship (Wilaya) and Custodianship (Wasaya)


Guardianship (Wilaya)


Guardianship refers to the care and supervision of a minor, as well as their protection, upbringing, education, guidance, and preparation for a righteous life. It also includes giving consent for their marriage. Guardianship over the minor's property belongs first to the father, then to any appointed guardian (if there is one), then to the paternal grandfather (if he is eligible), then to any appointed guardian (if there is one), and finally to the judge. None of them can relinquish their guardianship without the permission of the court.


The guardian is not allowed to dispose of the minor's property or create any rights on it without court permission, except for cases of necessity or clear benefit, as determined by the court. Guardianship applies to the minor, who has not reached the age of maturity, whether they are distinguished or not. It is divided into two types: guardianship over the person and guardianship over the property. Both types initially belong to the father. If the father is absent, it goes to the paternal grandfather. If neither the father nor the paternal grandfather is available, guardianship over the person separates from guardianship over the property, and the latter becomes custodianship. Guardianship over the person then goes to the closest relatives according to their inheritance order from the minor.


Custodianship (Wasaya)


Custodianship is a type of legal representation that takes over the management of a minor's affairs when the legal guardian is no longer available, in order to protect the minor's interests. Custodianship primarily deals with the financial matters of the minor, not their personal affairs. Custodianship of the minor's property belongs to the person appointed as a custodian by the father or paternal grandfather before their death. This person is called the chosen custodian. The court must confirm this custodianship after their death. If there is no appointed custodian, the Sharia court will appoint one.