Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has expressed support for the controversial underage marriage law currently generating furore in the polity.
According to him, “The conditions of marriage in Islam are four: Proposal and acceptance (al-Ijaab wa alqubuul), approval by both parents (ridaa alwaalidayn), payment of a dowry by the groom (al-mihr) and the presence of at least two male witnesses at the ceremony (shaahidayn ‘aadilayn).
“Age is therefore not part of the conditions which must be met before marriage can be solemnised in Islam. Where the bride is a ‘minor’, Islam prescribes protective solemnisation of marriage without consummation.
“This means that the girl who is deemed to be of tender age is left untouched by the man until she attains puberty. Another major condition for child marriage is that the girl herself has the right to repudiate the marriage when she attains maturity if she does not like her ‘spouse’.”
“Islam is a complete way of life and its institutions (including that of marriage) are based on divinely ordained and well documented rules. Whoever wishes to legislate constructively or comment objectively on any aspect of Islam must therefore arm himself with the divine and documentary evidence. Anything short of this will earn lawmakers and commentators disrespect and contempt of Islamdom,” he quipped.