SHARIA LAW AND MARRIAGE
The concept of marriage is present in almost every society in today’s world. Also every religion has the basic concept of marriage in one form or another. So it’s quite obvious that marriage plays an important part in lying down of a stable and civilized society.
Criticism of Marriage in Sharia Law
Islam lays great emphasis on marriage. It strictly prohibits any form of adultery or infidelity. There have been quite a few misunderstandings associated with marriage and the role Sharia plays in a Muslim marriage.
- It is believed that Sharia Law allows forced marriage amongst Muslim men and women. This is not true. Islam does not support forced marriages. In fact, Islam allows free will and free consent in matter of marriage. Muslim man and Muslim woman are free to refuse marrying someone they do not consider as suitable match to them. Many people confuse arranged marriages as being forced marriages. This is not the case. Arranged marriages are initiated by parents of both bride and groom. However, this is more of a cultural arrangement rather than a religious one. South Asian countries have arranged marriages embedded in their cultures. Even other religious communities prefer to have arranged marriages within their families.
- Another misconception is that Sharia Law does not allow women the right to get divorce from their spouses. This is again baseless. Sharia Law allows Muslim women to get divorce if they feel they are being treated in an unjust and wrongful manner. The reasons for divorce are not much different from the ones that are used by women of other faith. Islam does not encourage divorce but this applies to both men and women.
- There is also this never ending debate about Muslim men allowed to having more than one wife. Sharia Law does make a provision for polygamy but it comes with strict restriction. A man is supposed to be just and fair to all his wives equally. A man is to take permission from women he is already married to before bringing another woman into his wedlock. Also, this provision allows for a man to be married to widows etc.
Again, the basic understanding of Sharia Law is required to fully grasp the concept of marriage in Islam and how it serves to protect the rights of both men and women. It also plays an important role in making the bond stronger and keep this basic tool of society functional and intact.