Home Family and Marriage The Pakistani Parliament ratifies a law that prevents forced marriage

The Pakistani Parliament ratifies a law that prevents forced marriage

The Pakistani Television broadcasted that the Lower House of the Parliament unanimously endorsed a draft law that prevents marriages forced by families.

The law sentences whoever forces the woman into marriage to pay a six thousand dollars fine and to a three year imprisonment, in addition to other punishments against the perpetrators of other crimes against the Pakistani women.

The Pakistani television also reported that the law bans forcing the woman into marriage as a means to solve conflicts between the families and stipulates a seven-year imprisonment sentence if the women were prevented from getting their share of the inheritance.

It must be noted that by virtue of the Pakistani legislation, neither the Higher House of the Parliament nor the President can prevent passing any draft law that is ratified by the Lower House…

Actually, this new Pakistani law is considered as one of the tightest legislative rules, throughout Asia, that protect the rights of women, and it becomes effective when the Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, signs it…

Moreover, previously in 2010, the Pakistani Government adopted a law that protects the Pakistani women from all kinds of harassments in workplaces.

This is an advanced legislative step to protect women and their rights, one of which is the natural right of choosing a partner in life, which alleviates the social problems and crises including that of forcing the woman into marriage against her own freewill and conviction. Moreover, inheritance is the woman’s lawful and natural right, which all Divine Messages had adopted, for the woman is equal to the man in both rights and obligations.

In the view of Islam, does the woman enjoy the right to choose her partner in life or does the father have an authority over her in that?

His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra), answers: Allah, the Most High the Most Exalted, did not give the father any authority over his children, be they males or females; thus, a father cannot wed his adult and mature daughter or son without her/his consent…

Allah did not stipulate that the orders of the father should be obeyed. But rather, He commanded the children to treat their parents kindly, by looking after them, protecting them, being kind to them and tolerating any harm they might inflict upon them… etc. Thus, the form of obedience in question here has to do with caring for one’s parents and not with obeying their orders.

[Extracted from the book “The World of the Youth”, p: 183]

As for the issue of disinheriting the woman, His Eminence (ra) says: This is an ignorant pre-Islamic tradition, in the first place, and if depriving the woman of her right comes after the father's death who leaves behind no will, then depriving her of her right is considered an act of stealing.

However, if the father gave all his money and property to his sons only before he died, this act is permissible, in principle, for the man, be he a father or any other person, is in charge of his money in his life and he is entitled to give this money to whomever he likes; however, this act is deemed immoral.

[Extracted from the book “The World of the Youth”, p: 114]