Child marriage /early age marriage in Pakistan
(The legal truth of the Dua Zahra Kazmi and Zaheer Ahmad Karachi incident)
Marriage is a contract and a legal obligation in which sex is become legal and children become legitimate. It is a contract between two adult partners male and female. Two kinds of marriage exist. Family nikah is the first, and judicial marriage is the second. In this article we will discuss about child marriage and early age marriage and also discuss about child marriage act in Pakistan. Early marriage is common today. It has some positive effects as well as some negative effects. To elaborate briefly we will discuss a trending case in today’s times.
Early marriage advantages and positive effects:
If some asks that what are advantages of early marriage then answer will be that, Sex becomes legal after early marriage, and illicit sexual relations cease. Couples avoid becoming involved in big sins and avoid Zinna. When parents allow their children to choose their mate, they gain confidence and are less likely to engage in unlawful acts like fleeing and marrying. Elopement will be halted.
Disadvantages/negative effects of early marriage because it is illegal:
Early marriage has many more disadvantages than benefits, which is why it is outlawed. It has numerous major health problems. Children are not born in good health. It causes numerous problems during labor and delivery. Sometimes partners fail to maintain a healthy sexual relationship. Many countries have severe laws requiring adult marriage and establishing an appropriate age restriction for marriage to avoid health hazards, as well as prohibiting newly adult children from engaging in this type of activity of their own free will and preventing elopement.
Legal age for marriage in Pakistan according to Muslim law:
The minimum age of girl for marriage and minimum age of boy for marriage is not clearly stated in the Quran. It is only stated that boys and girls marry when they become adults. So there exists a difference in the age of puberty and every human, some become early and some become late. There is also a difference between male and female puberty age. As girls become adults early. According to many verses of the Quran , someone easily concludes that the actual age limit for a girl and boy is when they become adult and mature. At this point there is some difference in Sunni and Shia school of law.
The traditional Islamic marriage age:
The Shafi’i and Hanbali schools set the legal age of marriage for both sexes at fifteen years, while the Maliki school sets the age at seventeen years. According to the Jafari school, the age of majority is fifteen years for boys and nine years for girls. . As per the Hanafi school, girls do not develop puberty until they are nine years old, while boys do not achieve puberty until they are twelve.
Minimum age for marriage in Pakistan constitution:
The Pakistani constitution and a recent bill enacted in the Senate set the marriage age for male and females at 18 years.
Legal age for marriage in other Islamic countries:
In addition to Pakistan, other Islamic countries have a marriage age limit for boys and girls and also have laws against child marriage.
Turkey’s constitution stipulates an age limit of 18 years for both males and girls.
The age limit for Muslim males and females in Indonesia is similarly 18 years.
Saudi Arabia has likewise set an age limit of 18 years for children. This age limit is typically observed in Islamic nations.
The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929:
The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929 prohibits child marriage in Pakistan to some extent (No XIX). The Act stipulated that a male must be 18 years old and a female must be 16 years old to marry.
Someone will punish with fine up to 1000 and imprisonment up to one month if he involves in one of these;
- An adult male (up to 18 years) who contract marriage with a (Section 4 of child restraint act 1929)
- A person who performs the solemnization of a child marriage. (Section 5)
- A parent or guardian who does not intervene and participate in such behavior (Section 6).
Child marriage restraint (amendment) act 2015:
- Any person marrying a girl under the age of 16, as well as the person conducting the marriage, including the Nikah Solemnizer and Nikah Registrar, faces a six-month prison sentence and a fine of Rs. 50,000.
- A person who forcibly marries a girl against her will faces a sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison and a fine of Rs. 500,000/- [section.498-B PAKISTAN PENAL CODE]
- Underage marriage complaints can be filed with the police, the Union Council, or the Judicial Magistrate.
Child marriage restraint (amendment) act 2018:
In 2018, the Pakistani Senate passed a bill sponsored by Pakistani senator Sherry Rehman to raise the minimum age of marriage for women to one year. The bill attempted to make child marriage illegal in Pakistan. The measure was passed with a landslide victory. Some religious political parties in Pakistan, such as Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), are opposed to the law. The bill, according to the parties, is anti-Islam. Senator Sherry Rehman, on the other hand, stated that Muslim nations such as Oman, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates have already established 18 as the minimum age for marriage.
Legal truth in the Dua Zahra and Zaheer Ahmad case:
The case of Dua Zahra’s disappearance is now trending. Dua Zahra went missing in Karachi on April 16 and ended up in Lahore. Her father reported her missing to the police station in AL FALAH. Dua Zahra sent her marriage certificate to her father via WhatsApp on April 17th.
Dua Zahra met Zaheer on social networking and decided to leave her home. She travels to Lahore to marry Zaheer in a judicial ceremony. Her father, however, argues that because we are Shia and she is under the age of 18, she is unable to marry without Wali from their school of law. He goes on to say that the marriage is invalid. Dua, on the other hand, appeared in court and stated that she came with Zaheer of her own volition and that she wants to remain with her husband. She also stated that she is an adult.
PPC says she can’t marry until she turns 18 and becomes an adult, whereas Shia law says she can marry before she turns 18 but only with the consent of her Wali or guardian. The case is now being resolved by an honorable court based on genuine facts and findings.
Conclusion and recommendations:
Child marriage is illegal in Pakistan, as evidenced by the discussion above. Anyone who gets involved in this will face significant consequences. Although distinct traditions and practices exist, the legal age for marriage in Pakistan is 18 years old for both males and girls. Because anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a national identity card, Nikahkhawan should prefer that the partner for marriage has a NIC or other legal proof of adulthood at the time of Nikah.