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Minimum Legal Age for Marriage in Islam

Minimum Legal Age for Marriage in Islam

Minimum Legal Age for Marriage in Islam

The minimum age for marriage in Islam is puberty, but the minimum legal age for marriage in Pakistan is16 years for a female and 18 for a male. 

Minimum age for marriage in Pakistan

Minimum legal age for marriage of a girl in Pakistan is not certain but confusing. According to the Constitution of Pakistan and the Muslim Family Law, every citizen has the right to choose a life partner and to get married according to his/her choice. Under the Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA) 1929, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) decided in October 2021 that the minimum age limit for a girl’s marriage is 16 years. A News article published in Dawn with the title of: “Setting a minimum age for marriage is not against Islam” said the Federal Shariat Court (FSC)’. A three-judge FSC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Noor Meskan­zai, had taken up the petition moved by Farooq Omar Bhoja challenging Sections 4, 5, 6 of the CMRA.

In the 10-page verdict, the FSC held that the sections in which the minimum age limit as prescribed by the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 for both girls and boys for marriage was not against Islamic”. 

CHILD MARRIAGE RESTRAINT ACT, 1929

Minimum age for marriage in Islam: Minimum age for marriage in Islam is bot defined particularly, but it is puberty. As per the law, a 16 years old girl or above and an 18 years old boy is able to contract marriage as per their own will. In Pakistan, when a male is 18 and a female is 16 years old, both can enter into a married relationship of their own free will and consent. The law of Pakistan guarantees such marriages full liberty and protection. According to Pakistani laws, court marriage is legal and valid, and it is accepted and recognized worldwide.  

Still, in contradiction with the Superior Court’s verdicts, the Government institutions, because of some questionable legislation under the pressure of Human Right organizations and international treaties/charters, do not accept a 16-year female as sui juris and NADRA does not issue computerized National Identity Cards for the citizen under 18 and the Union Councils also do not issue Nadra computerized marriage certificates if the bride is under 18.

Proof of Age

Male and female applicants for marriage need to provide copies of their national identification cards, B-form, passports, or other documents as proof that they have reached the required age for marriage (18 years for boys and 16 years for girls). For those who lack documentary proof of their age, they must swear an affidavit that they have attained the age of majority/puberty.

If a girl wants to marry through the process of court-marriage, she must declare that she is sui juris and intends to marry a man of her own choice by submitting an affidavit of “Free Will” to the judicial officer or oath commissioner.

After a review of the required documentation, the Nikah/Marriage will be performed. The Nikah Khawan/Registrar will prepare and issue Nikah Nama, and then we would submit the same along-with other required documents to the Secretary of Union Council, who will issue a Computerized Marriage Certificate after scrutiny the documents. All the procedure of court marriage is carried out by our responsible lawyers.

For the protection of the life and family of any man or woman harassed before or after court marriage in Karachi and Islamabad or wherever in the whole Pakistan, they can file a writ petition in the court of law. A person who is registered with any false FIR against a male or female can file a writ petition in the High Court to have those FIRs quashed.

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