Muslim Marriage Law to be amended – Justice Minister

Mohamed Ali Sabry

Necessary steps have already been taken to amend the Muslim Marriage Law, Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC stated in Parliament yesterday (12).

Minister Sabry made this observation responding to a question raised by MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera under Standing Order 2/27 in Parliament.

Minister Sabry said that the time has come to introduce adjustments to the Muslim marriage rules and regulations and that steps are being taken to that end.

Minister Sabry pointed out that proposals have been submitted suggesting that the minimum age of marriage should be 18 and that women should be allowed to act as Khati and that Muslim women should also sign at the time of marriage. Accordingly, a special advisory committee has been appointed to amend the Constitution based on the said proposals, Minister Sabry added.

Minister Sabry also pointed out that the statement made regarding the involuntary marriage of young children under Muslim law was incorrect and that it is not done in practice. He furthered that following discussions, it could be amended if necessary.

However, Minister Sabry pointed out that this should not be turned into a slogan and should not be used to attack religious leaders. He noted that the law should be enforced equally for all the citizens.

Minister Sabry also said that a number of rules and regulations pertaining to personal law are being implemented and that they are being implemented in foreign countries as well. He said that Muslim law alone should not be abolished.

“Even in Saudi Arabia today, the age of marriage has been amended to 18. Thus these laws should go through timely amendments,” Sabry noted.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe, Camelia Nathaniel and Amali Mallawaarachchi)