19 November, 2017

MMDA Reforms: Ulema Insists Women Must Play Second Fiddle 

All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema (ACJU) in its latest submission to the Muslim Personal Law Reforms Committee Chaired by Former Justice Saleem Marsoof, rejected any key changes to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951 (MMDA) instead bringing in strong theological support to the first report which came into severe criticism from the Muslim intelligentsia.

The new 37 page document, outlines the position of the ACJU with regard to the proposed changes, all of which have been rejected on the grounds of non-conformity with Sharia. 

Rizwe Mufthi

The ACJU is an unelected body with its head Mufthi Rizwe holding the post of chairman for over a decade. The submission by the ACJU renounces all theological and interpretational advances made in Islamic jurisprudence and instead used pre medieval comprehension to assert its view, again.

Rizwe in repeated Jumma sermons had insisted that females should wear the Nikab and has been a strong opponent of any reform to the MMDA Insisting on ideals such as marriage at the age of 6 being permissible.

Rejecting the need to introduce females as Quazi’s (judges) into the Quazi Court System, the ACJU is of the view that as per all major Islamic schools of thought “it is not permissible for a woman to be appointed as a judge, and if she is appointed, the one who appointed her is sinning, and her appointment is invalid, and her judgements carry no weight, no matter what ruling she passes.

They further quote the hadith “No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of their affairs,” which according to the ACJU is general in meaning and applies to all positions of public authority. So it is not permissible to appoint a woman, because the word ‘affairs’ is general in meaning and includes all the public affairs of the Muslims.”

Rejecting the appointment of females to be appointed as marriage registrars, the ACJU expresses that the appointment of a woman would lead to compromise on important “shari’ah concerns” since marriages are recommended to be held at Mosques and are conducted in the presence of males. The document does not specify the “Shariah aspects”. The document further notes that in the case of a marriage happening outside a mosque “the traveling of women alone, the mingling of women with non-mahram men and processing the registration will no doubt have practical and Shari’ah concerns.” Mahram male is one who falls within the prohibited degrees of marriage for a woman as per Islam

Further, according to these submissions, for a valid marriage to happen, Islam requires four people, none of which includes the bride herself. The four accordingly are the guardian of the bride referred to as the wali (usually father, uncle, or brother of the bride)the bridegroom, and two Muslim male witnesses who are familiar with the two contracting parties.

Unlike the rest of the country where the bride herself signs her marriage form signifying consent, the MMDA requires the guardian of the bride to sign for and on behalf of her. Women’s groups have been demanding for the right to be given to the bride herself, however, the ACJU in its document recommends the brides signature in addition to her guardians signature stating “in no circumstance it should indicate that without the consent of Wali, a bride on her own free will, can proceed with her marriage.

 The requirement is in line with pre medieval practices in which women were betrothed by men who believed they were chattel of men.

The ACJU further notes “the father is generally the Wali of the bride, and he may marry her off without her consent, if she is a virgin, provided certain conditions are met. It is, however, Mustahab (recommended) to acquire the consent of the bride prior to marriage.

The MMDA unlike the General Marriage Law of the Country does not recognize 18 as the minimum age of marriage. Under the MMDA a girl below 12 years can be wedded off with the authorization of the Quazi. This practice has been criticized at various forums for not being in line with international standards. The ACJU in their submissions recommends the minimum age to be raised to 18, however lays out that approval should be obtained from a Quazi for marriages between age 16-18. It further states that marriage below 16 if occurred, should not be invalidated under the MMDA. Thereby stating that the status quo of child marriage should remain intact. 

Rejecting that limitations should be placed on entering into polygamous marriages the ACJU opines that a proper reading of the Quranic verses on polygamy permits the practice without exceptions of circumstance. The ACJU sees no reason to place restrictions on such practice “due to few unfortunate situations that arise in polygamous marriages”. Some Muslim countries have banned this practice as outdated and women’s groups have been lobbying for the same in Sri Lanka. 

The ACJU further states that the equal treatment of wives as prescribed in the Quran is limited to what is  under mans control and that “love and the tilt of the heart are something out of man’s controlProgressive interpretations of Quranic verses has accepted that the stringent requirement of treating women equally in effect was a move towards restricting polygamous marriages and setting the standards for monogamous unions.

The document further states that according to Islamic Jurisprudence there is no requirement that Talaq should be only pronounced in the presence of the Quazi and if pronounced in the absence of the Quazi, the Talaq is invalid. Talaq is the divorce option of divorce a man is entitled, which is a unilateral form of divorce, which does not require the statement of reasons and is recognized under the MMDA. 

The MPL Reform committee was appointed in 2009 by the then Justice Ministry and includes two members from the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul UlamaAsh Sheikh Rizwe Mufthi, Chairman and Ash Sheikh M.M. Mubarak, Secretary. The ACJU has strong political backing and resources and is the main barrier to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act.  

Related Posts:

Justice Marsoof Commission Finalizing Recommendations For MMDA Amendment

Sri Lankan Muslim Clerics Say Women Are Not Equal To Men, Defend Marriage Before Puberty

Sri Lankan Muslim Clerics Revert Stance On MMDA Reform; But No Mention Of Child Marriage

Muslim Clerics Acting In Bad Faith: Using All Resources To Hamper Progress On MMDA Reforms

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Latest comments

  • 16
    5

    What a shame 2 humanity, let women behave as they want, don’t bully them. whether they go naked or wrap up must be decided by them. Better 2 have untied bad than hand tied good. Ulemas are fools they must be prosecuted 4 harassing women, they are extremists, they must be banished.

    • 1
      5

      “whether they go naked or wrap up must be decided by them” says Real Revolutionist. Why don’t you join the MP and some groups who want to give licence to brothel house. They are dreaming they can make millions by opening multi-storied brothel houses like in Bombay.

      • 3
        1

        Low IQ man. Do you not see anything between wrapping up and being naked? Do you see any lankan women go naked in public? Dont they have any clithes other than being wrapped? Dont be fool you Muhammed.this is sri Lanka. Not Saudi.

        • 1
          7

          High IQ man gamya don’t see anything if being wrapped up or naked. Indeed you have high IQ or is it Western culture IQ you have. Revolutionist says going wrapped up or naked is their choice, that mean a woman lifting to any man she likes, selling her body to earn and doing all the other devilish things are her choice. Only a man pimping will approve this. That is why I told him to support those who seeking licence to open multi storied brothel house. We don’t see any Lankan women going naked. In the past all Lankan women wrap up nicely showing only head and arms. Now all the young women prefer tight (shape exposing) Jeans. Also now you can see only foreigners and some local apes wearing short showing the full thigh. Time to come they might walk naked in nude camps like in the west. We hate not only Muslim women if follows these but non-Muslim women too. I think you high IQ man prefer these.

    • 2
      0

      Sri Lankan Muslim girl forced to marry at 15 by parents, courtesy of MMDA

      http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-40127006/muslim-girl-forced-to-marry-at-15-in-sri-lanka-tells-of-abuse

  • 11
    1

    Muslims are expected to follow the Quran and the prophet Muhammad. not Sharia law. It’s silly to even ask silly ACJU opinion, they should simply ban child marriage. is’t not Islamic or humane.

    • 2
      0

      Explain more

  • 9
    1

    Is this really happening in.our country.I cannot belive this.These inhuman medival barbarics should be punished using.same medival tactics.Time for moderste muslim.men to rise for the rights of their sistets and daughters.I am.sure the entire country will join hands with you.This totally unacceptable in a 21st century democratic country with liberal values.

  • 2
    1

    Justice Marsoof Commission has fallen asleep at the wheel. This is what happens when incompetent political hacks are given “jobs” by their political masters. The foot dragging has been going on since 2009 and the rape of young voiceless innocent muslim girls continues.
    The “mufti” seems to have influenced the commission.

    • 0
      5

      Sarrij Donkey, prove how many young Muslim Girls (below 15) are given in marriage and how many voiceless Muslims girls are raped instead of writing Muslim bashing comments here. Actually these are freely taking place in non-Muslim communities.

      • 1
        0

        Ralli Ameen

        Ralli Ameen, Wahhab-Salafi Devil, Satan , Iblis following idiot. Beware, those who follow Satan, will end up in Hell-Fire along with Satan, as per Islamic Theology. See Hadith of Najd- Bukhari.

        “Sarrij Donkey, prove how many young Muslim Girls (below 15) are given in marriage ,,”

        Sri Lankan Muslim girl forced to marry at 15 by parents, courtesy of MMDA.

        On the throne in the evening. Legally raped at midnight.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-40127006/muslim-girl-forced-to-marry-at-15-in-sri-lanka-tells-of-abuse

  • 6
    1

    “Ulema Insists Women Must Play Second Fiddle “
    How many Muslim women would you like to play with your fiddle

  • 8
    1

    Islam has given more preferences to women than men. nowhere in the religion has it mentioned that women should play second fiddle to men. It clearly mentions that women are generally considered to be more sensitive than men, and thus it clearly states that men need to understand the needs of women and attend to it before putting themselves ahead of anything. Being a Muslim, i condemn this fellow’s comment. Please don’t share such things on social platforms because these fellows don’t represent Islam

    • 1
      1

      Shajeeth,

      “Please don’t share such things on social platforms because these fellows don’t represent Islam”

      Whom do they represent? Wahhabi-Salafis and their clones, who follow the Devil, Satan., Iblis per Hadith of Najd?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZOA3Ho9AUk

      Al Azhar Scholar: ‘Wahhabism/Salafism is a Satanic Faith, the Horns of Satan’

  • 3
    0

    From the cavemen who pretend that they are scholars, and experts in interpreting the Quran. Send the mysoginists to live with the Taliban. Their heads are still in the 18th century, stuck there, unable to accept that women have rights, and little girls must be protected. We are Sri Lankan’s, and our women must be safeguarded.
    We do not follow the backward laws of ultra conservative Muslim nations.

    • 2
      3

      Yes Chitra, your head is still in your Western Masters laws. What they see bad you also see bad. See the comments here, most follow their Western Master criticism and all what they feed through their medias and these idiots follows it. Now answer me a question. If your husband catch you read handed sleeping with another man, then is it your right and the husband has ignore this?

  • 3
    0

    R A & Shajeeth
    It’s not Muslim bashing. It’s to put a stop to innocent young Muslim girls being abused without their consent into marriage.
    What is happening in SL is not Islamic but pagan, tribal “Mufti” advocated system of marriage;where the father has complete control. This is unIslamic. Unfortunately a large number of Muslims in SL have difficulty accepting their ignorance.

    • 1
      3

      Sarrij, if you wants to point out some errors in MMDA law you are welcomed to do it but writing, “rape of young voiceless innocent muslim girls continues” is definitely Muslim Bashing. Beforehand making such statement you must be able to prove such things happening among Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Islamic law is not Mufti’s law and Mufti too has to follow it. If you think Islamic law is pagan then the Roman law you are following is also pagan law because these were from olden Roman and Greek law. The problem is our Mufti is not bringing changes although according to Islamic law such changes are possible and not anti-Islamic.

      • 1
        0

        R A.
        “Beforehand making such statement you must be able to prove such things happening among Muslim community in Sri Lanka”
        Can you prove that this is not happening? Obviously you don’t read the newspaper
        Sharia Law is being bandied about in support of MMDA. Can anyone show me a book on Sharia Law. It is non existant.
        Period.

        • 0
          2

          Sarrij, it is you who must prove, “rape of young voiceless innocent muslim girls continues”.
          I do not know whether you are a Muslim but if you are a Muslim you are lying here because you are basing your argument on Mufti’s paper report. Keeping MMDA law on one side you must go for the facts whether all those that were written here by anti-Muslim forces were really taking place in Sri Lanka. You can do your own research too.

  • 4
    0

    Few months back demands for review of Muslim Marriage and Divorse Act 1051 (MMDA)came from some young Muslim activists. The Chairman of All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema (ACJU) Mufthi Rizwe just said “No need for reforms. MMDA is good as is”. His stand was very heavily criticised by Muslims and non-Muslims. One felt that he will listen.
    The topic has resurfaced and the man still insists for example on ideals such as marriage at the age of 6 being permissible.
    This man is thicker than earlier thought. He must be removed. Come on Muslim activists.

  • 1
    2

    I am sick of reading endless stories about the problems and rights of Muslim and Tamil minorities. If we had the same attitude that the Muslim world has for its minorities, they would be grateful for living in this country with its ‘Singala Buddhist Mahavamsa mindset’.

    • 1
      0

      Tarak

      “I am sick of reading endless stories about the problems and rights of Muslim and Tamil minorities.”

      Discrimination of Sri Lankan Muslim women by Sri Lankan Muslim men using MMDA approved by the Sri Lankan constitution is an INTRA-MUSLIM, issue, but it conflicts with the constitution and ethics of the country.

      Similarly, discrimination of Sri Lankan “low-cast” Tamils by Sri Lankan “high-caste” Tamils, due to Hindu practices, not approved by the Sri Lankan constitution is an INTRA-TAMIL, issue, but it conflicts with the constitution and ethics of the country.

      If you are still sick, please help fix this problem so that we all won’t be sick of these issues. Then our serotonin levels will go up.

  • 2
    0

    There should be one Law for all the citizens of the country. If some community cannot adhere to those laws, should go to a country where they can live. This is 21st century. Women are treated with respect and dignity in the educated world.

  • 0
    4

    IF QURAN says it mean it WE HAVE TO FOLLOW THE QURAN IT IS ALLAH WORDS

    • 4
      0

      But if the Mufthi Rizvie says that the Quran says it, do you follow it blindly???????????

      • 3
        0

        Che G.
        The Quran does not say that and this “mufti” is a farce and a politician of a kind.
        Shari law is also being bandied about ; there is no book on Sharia law. Perid!

  • 0
    1

    Women are treated with respect & dignity in Islam. That’s why we protect them very much.
    There is always black sheep in any community. Please don’t judge Islam by looking at some wrong doers.

    • 1
      0

      Hazari.

      “There is always black sheep in any community. Please don’t judge Islam by looking at some wrong doers.”

      There are lots of them. They were funded by the Saudi-Wahhab-Salafis and their clones or inspired by them. They follow the Satan, Devi, Iblis as per Hadith of Najd, see Salih Bukhari. Ii is called the Devil Satan in the Wahhabi-Salafies and their clones. They rebrand Muslims, call them apostates and kill the, a characteristic of Satan. Just check up on what Islamic Theology says about Satan, the Day of Judgement and Hell-Fire. That is what Saudi Arabia is doing in Yemen, and what the Saudi funded ISIS has been doing.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZOA3Ho9AUk

      Al Azhar Scholar: ‘Wahhabism/Salafism is a Satanic Faith, the Horns of Satan’

  • 1
    0

    Hazari.
    Agree that women are supposed to be treated with respect & dignity in Islam.
    The debate is about the MMDA which is outdated, and the self appointed ‘Muftis” and their henchman in the ACJU who want the status quo maintained. The ACJU is a relic of the past. The dignity of women has to be restored in law in the MMDA and there is no place for misogeny in the modern world
    Sharia law is often mentioned by ACJU supporters. There is no book on Sharia law supporting the defunct ACJU concept.

  • 1
    1

    What is the source of this report. There is not even the name name of a writer. Is it CT just creating an issue without any base.

  • 0
    1

    How would you really know if these are pre medieval practices? Maybe those days the laws were more reformed and real than now

    • 1
      0

      Shohorab.
      “maybe” is a hogwash; trying to display your total ignorance?
      Get real ,man.

  • 1
    1

    It seems a lot of people are speaking if the Quran and this self proclaimed scholar.

    Quote me one instance where he has used the Quran for his whatever document.

    It’s a challenge. You would not find one.

    Shows the hypocrisy

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