Pakistani laws prohibiting underage marriage un-Islamic

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We are concerned about the following ruling passed by The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII)  that the laws related to minimum age of marriage were un-Islamic and that children of any age could get married if they attain puberty (News item below from Dawn). 

There are two approaches to the above, one is condemnation and the other is education.

EDUCATION:  I hope we can find enough information to counter their understanding, right from Quran and the Ahadith. Most of them would be amenable to references from these two sources. 

First, Prophet Muhammad was clear on the necessity of consent – rather consenting adults to marriage, which also required a signature, which required education. 

Second, the Prophet prevented and abolished female infanticide; a daughter is not a burden to the family, so the daughter should not be “unloaded” to any one without her consent. There is a physical adulthood that comes with puberty, but then during the prophet’s time, they did not define the mental adulthood, that the civil societies, based on studies have determined to be 18. Likewise they did not tighten the definition of transportation to riding on camels, it is merely a mode, and so we can fly or drive.

CONDEMNATION:  Evil exists because; we the good people do nothing about it. The least we can do is speak out and share our disapproval. I urge all the writers, particularly Muslim writers to write a note about it and get it published one place or the other… or at least in the comment section of the article(s) related to this. Those guys rightfully think that the Muslim world is approving their ‘decision’, are we?

Thank you.

Mike GhouseWorld Muslim Congress

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Our work is geared towards building a cohesive society where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. World Muslim congress is a think tank established in 2002 to bring Muslims of all denominations together, one small step at a time. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each others’ uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge

Pakistani laws prohibiting underage marriage un-Islamic: CII

Undated file photo shows a meeting of the Council of Islamic Ideology.—File Photo

Updated 2014-03-11 23:45:56

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) concluded its 191th meeting, here Tuesday with the ruling that the laws related to minimum age of marriage were un-Islamic and that children of any age could get married if they attain puberty.

At the conclusion of two day meeting, Chairman CII Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani noted that the laws related to marriage too were unfair and there cannot be any age of marriage.

However, he explained that there were two segments of marriage – nikah and ruksati, while nikah could be performed at any age.

“Even the minors can have nikah but that has to be executed by the guardians,” chairman CII said adding, “But ruksti could be executed only after attaining the age of puberty.”

He said that the age of puberty varies from individuals to individuals and it was the responsibility of guardians to have ruksati soon the child attains the age of puberty.

“The laws limiting the age for both the segments of marriage are unIslamic and needed to be rectified,” he added.

Officials told Dawn that the council members discussed various historic references related to marriage and concluded that each girl has different age of reaching puberty.

The officials were asked if the international conventions signed by Pakistan related to child marriage would be violated after this ruling by CII.

Responding to the query the official said that the international conventions cannot be in contradiction to the constitution of the country or Islam and if they were, those particular clauses would not apply on Pakistan.

The CII meeting also suggested to the government that ‘nikah’ registrars should have a certain level of qualification.

“Not everyone should be allowed to become a Nikah Registrar,” Maulana Sheerani demanded the government, “While the fee for registration of Nikahnama should also be abolished.”

The CII had on earlier day suggested the government to change Muslim marriage laws as it required Muslim male to seek permission from the previous wife or wives for another marriage.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) human rights cell has expressed concern over the CII rulings.

“Why is Council concerned with men’s four marriages and why have they done nothing to ensure that women get their property as enshrined in Islamic Law? Or why have they failed to stop practices such as vani, swara and karo kari? Or stop rape, and acid crimes against women?” asked Dr Nafisa Shah, coordinator PPP’s human rights cell.

“Unfortunately Islam has been misinterpreted over a period of time by a mindset and a particular school of thought. Islam and modernism are compatible provided progressive scholars interpret the religion,” she added.

The PPP human rights cell has called upon the government to include progressive Islamic scholars in the council so that women’s rights and the rights of all are protected.

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