Laws prohibiting underage marriage un-Islamic: Pakistan panel

Islamabad, March 11: A prominent Islamic panel, responsible for giving legal advice on Islam to the Pakistan government, Tuesday ruled that laws prohibiting marriage of underage children are un-Islamic.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Tuesday said, at the end of its two-day session, that there was no minimum age of marriage according to Islam, the Dawn online reported.

However, the Rukhsati or consummation of marriage is only allowed after both husband and wife have reached puberty, it said.

The CII’s ruling came a day after its chairman Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani said second marriage of a man in the presence of a first wife was against religious principles.

The existing laws require a man to have written approval from his wife or wives for another marriage.

Sheerani urged the government to formulate Sharia-compliant laws related to nikah, divorce, adulthood and “will”.

The CII is a constitutional body that advises parliament in the law-making process, but cannot enact laws on its own.

The minimum age for marriage in Pakistan is 18 years for a male and 16 years for a female.