Hamid clarifies minimum age for marriage
Published on: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: A shariah lawyer has clarified his earlier statement over lowering the minimum age limit for Muslim girls to marry in Sabah following criticism on social media.Hamid Ismail said the minimum age to marry for a Muslim girl should be maintained at 16 years old.

However, if a marriage is allowed for someone younger, the girl should be at least 15 years old.

"That is the amendment to the age limit I'm proposing to be made to Section 8 of the Islamic Family Enactment 2004 in Sabah because presently there is no age limit at all," he told FMT today.

"My point is there must be an age limit for girls under 16 to marry, just like in the civil law.

And permission from a shariah judge is required. Hence, girls below 15 cannot be married, this is what I meant by 15 as the minimum age limit."

Hamid was heavily criticised on social media yesterday when he said the age limit for Muslim women to marry in the state should be amended and fixed at 15.

He said in civil law, the minimum age limit for a man and woman to get married was 18, and a woman aged below 18 but not lower than 16 could be married, provided she had written consent from the chief minister.

However, for Muslim men under 18 and women under 16, they were required to obtain the Shariah Court's permission before they could marry, he said.

He stood by his earlier call for a strict guideline to be followed by the shariah judge in assessing the application for a girl under 16 but above 15 to get married.

"To marry a girl under 16 but above 15, written guidelines must be strictly followed by shariah judges.

"The guidelines would assess or evaluate whether the girl is fit to marry.

For example, whether that girl understands the effect and consequences of a marriage and responsibilities of a wife," he said.


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