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Ban on underage marriage un-Islamic: CII

12 March, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Tuesday ruled that Pakistani laws prohibiting marriage of underage children are un-Islamic.

At the end of its two-day session on Tuesday, the CII said that according to Islam there is no minimum age of marriage. Islam does not forbid marriage of young children, the council said. However, the rukhsati (consummation of marriage) is allowed only in the case that both husband and wife have reached puberty.

The CII's ruling comes a day after its chairman, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani said laws regarding second marriage of a man in the presence of the first wife were against religious principles.

"Sharia allows men to have more than one wife and we demand that the government should amend the law," he told reporters after a CII meeting.

The laws require a man to have written approval from his existing wife or wives for another marriage. Sheerani urged the government to formulate sharia-compliant laws related to nikah, divorce, adulthood and "will". According to the constitution, the CII is a recommendatory body that advises parliament in the law-making process, but cannot enact laws on its own.

On Monday a meeting of the CII held under the chair of Maulana Sheerani discussed exhaustively the Islamic Family Laws 1961. The CII declared one section of the law un-Islamic under which a man is bound to seek explicit approval from his first wife for second marriage. "Under shariah a man is not bound to seek approval for second marriage from the first wife," declared Maulana Sherani.

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