The participation of a guardian in the marriage contract is due to the saying of the Prophet ﷺ “There is no marriage without a guardian and two just witnesses” narrated by ibn Hiban in his Sahih. The people of the sunan have also narrated “There is no marriage except with a guardian” as it was narrated in the hadith “A woman may not give a woman in marriage, nor may she give herself in marriage, for the adulteress is the one who gives herself in marriage.”
From this we can conclude that the validity of marriage requires the presence of a male guardian on behalf of the woman, for it is not permissible for a woman to give herself in marriage as one of the parties in the contract, or for another woman to give her on her behalf. The warning on going against this is the description of a woman who does so as one who has committed adultery. The meaning behind it is to make it disliked and to prevent people from doing it. This is because the one who gives herself in marriage without the permission of her parents, or their supervision, may be under the control of her emotions, which may stop her from thinking reasonably. There is no doubt that there should be a guardian to bring balance and sees what is best for everyone. In reality this prevents danger from building families, and it is a work of utmost importance because it is the building blocks that build the community.
Imam An-Nawawi summarized in his explanation of Sahih Muslim, (volume 9 Page 205) – the ruling on marriage which is done without a guardian. He said: The scholars have differed in opinion on the conditions on which a guardian must be present to validate the marriage contract. Al Malik and Al Shafi’ have said it is a compulsory and the marriage contract is not valid without a guardian. Abu Hanifa said: It is not compulsory for a virgin or a widow, rather she has the right to give herself in marriage without the permission of her guardian, and Abu Thawr said: It is permissible for her to give herself in marriage with the permission of her guardian, but it is not permissible for her to do so without his permission. Dawoud said: There must be a guardian when giving a virgin in marriage, and when giving a widow and it is not compulsory for there to be a guardian.
The majority opinion is that having a guardian is essential either in the actual marriage contract or in permission, and this opinion is worthier to be followed, especially in these times where freedom is widespread and self independence of a woman is promoted. The misuse of that freedom has been proven to be a failure, after one overcomes the emotions of youth and begins to think, and he realizes that marriage is not a union between two people, rather it is a relationship between two families. This reality is only understood by those who think from the men and look out for the well being and benefit of their daughters and families. For they are understanding when you complain, and they are the hope when you are in need.