13 April 2005
Women welcome Grand Mufti’s Ruling on Forced Marriages
Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh
Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh,
who heads the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars, has come
out strongly against the practice of forcing women to marry
against their will while calling for the imprisonment of
violators, the Saudi Press Agency reported yesterday.
mufti’s call evoked positive reaction among
women in the Kingdom, who greatly welcomed the move, saying
it was a “wake-up” call. They also hoped that
a mechanism would be set up to monitor and help those who
come out against such practices.
“Forcing a woman to marry someone she does not want
and preventing her from wedding someone she chooses ... is
not permissible,” the grand mufti said. “Anyone
who insists on forcing a woman ... to marry against her will
is disobeying God and His Prophet (Muhammad),” he said.
Abdul Aziz said anyone who does not give up this pre-Islamic
be punished by imprisonment and should not be released
until he drops his demand, which
contravenes the provisions of Shariah.”
should be kept behind bars until they commit to “refrain
from aggressing the woman, her legal tutor and the man she
marries, and until the chief of their tribe or another influential
member of the tribe guarantees that they will comply with
this and refrain from aggression,” he added.