Age limit for marriage – 08 Mar 2023

It has long been globally established that the age of maturity in the contemporary era equates to 18 years

Diverting from past tradition, the Federal Sharia Court has made a landmark judgment that fixing an age limit for marriage by the state is not against the injections of Islam. Instead, it is permissible under the Quran and the Sunnah, so that an individual achieves physical as well as mental maturity. It must also be considered that the nikkah is a social contract with the state.

It has long been globally established that the age of maturity in the contemporary era equates to 18 years. Only a patriarchal and conservative approach to religion will dismiss claims of age restriction. Deliberate misinterpretations and misinformation regarding the matter have led to the menace of child marriage and forced marriage wherein middle-aged men often seek to marry underage females from rural areas in exchange for money. Clerics that are either in connivance with them or lack fundamental knowledge often go ahead with the nikkah, not knowing the cruel repercussions that females face. Trafficking has also remained rampant because of this and these young girls are often forced into prostitution. These are not one-off cases and trends including a plethora of cases are well-documented in various reports. Another aspect worth noting is that in the social media era, young immature children often fall into love traps and instead of focusing on strengthening their life they run away to get married. Setting the precedence of a minimum age will help mitigate all these issues and give individuals a chance to at least receive basic education.

The state setting this precedence, which is then backed up by religious institutions, will legally give strength to the cause and even work to protect females who are often exploited in this situation. Unfortunately, not all provinces are on the same page yet. A consensus needs to be reached and a single uniform legal age must be set across the board.

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