Letter to the Attorney General

The following is the text of correspondence sent to the Attorney General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the issue of the proposed changes to the Muslim marriage and divorce ordinance (45:02) which in part tabled changes to the minimum age of marriage in special cases.

 

Date: 23rd August 2016

 

The Honorable Faris Al-Rawi M.P.

Attorney General  and Minister of Legal Affairs

Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs,

Cabildo Chambers

23-27 St. Vincent Street

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago

 

RE: THE AGE OF MARRIAGE AND CHANGES TO THE MUSLIM MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE ORDINANCE

 

Dear Attorney General,

The Majlis ul Ulamaa wishes to place on record its support for the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Ordinance Ch 45:02 as it relates to marriage in Trinidad and Tobago.

It notes that there are two phases in a Muslim marriage, viz.:

  1. The Nikah (marriage contract)
  2. Consummation of the marriage

While nikah can be done at any time even during infancy, the marriage can only be consummated after the individual has attained puberty.

The Majlis is aware of the etiquettes connected with the marriage of minors and urges the Muslim leadership and organisations to initiate some form of guidance and counselling to minors and their parents or guardians so that they can help young individuals to fulfil their aims and objectives in life even though they are married at a young age.

The Majlis is of the opinion that the Authorities should concentrate on finding ways and means for preventing the youths from indulging in illicit sexual activities, and the negative impact this is having on the lives of young individuals.

In conclusion the Majlis supports the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Ordinance 45:02 without any changes to the minimum age of marriage.

It urges all those in authority to help youths to refrain from such activities that are morally and spiritually damaging.

Allah knows best


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