First Published: 2005-04-12

 
Practice of forced marriage banned in Saudi
 

Saudi grand mufti bans forcing women to marry against their will, calls for imprisonment of violators.

 

Middle East Online

Saudi women getting more rights in a male-dominated society

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's grand mufti has banned the practice of forcing women to marry against their will, calling for the imprisonment of violators, the official SPA news agency reported Tuesday.

"Forcing a woman to marry someone she does not want and preventing her from wedding that whom she chooses ... is not permissible" under Islamic law, said Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, who heads the Council of Senior Ulema (scholars), the kingdom's highest religious authority.

"Anyone who insists on forcing a woman ... to marry against her will is disobeying God and His prophet (Mohammed)," he said.

The top Muslim cleric said anyone who does not give up this pre-Islamic practice "should be punished by imprisonment and should not be released until he drops his demand, which contravenes the provisions of sharia," or Islamic law.

Violators should be kept behind bars until they commit to "refrain from aggressing the woman, her legal tutor and the man she marries, and until the chief of their tribe or another influential member of the tribe guarantees that they will comply with this and refrain from aggression," Sheikh added.

Saudi women are required to cover from head to toe in public in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, where they are also banned from driving.

 

Egypt renews calls for creation of joint military force at Arab summit

Torturous Iran talks move into top gear in battle of wills

Qaeda seizes 'majority' of Syria northwestern city of Idlib

Saudi ambassador to return to Sweden after diplomatic spat

Oil prices fall after Yemen-inspired gains

Libya forces ‘withdraw’ from frontline bases near oil ports

UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place

Saudi-led airstrikes target arms depots in Yemen capital

Death toll from hotel attack rises as fighting continues in Somalia

Turkish parliament passes security bill after long debate

Turkey army chief of staff visits historic tomb inside Syria

Saudi-led coalition keeps up raids against Yemen rebels

Assad says open to dialogue with US

US backs Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

Heavy Saudi raids force Sanaa residents to flee

Israeli Arab MP walks for Bedouins

Gulf stocks regain ground after early losses over Yemen

Kerry presses Iran on nuclear deal before deadline

Somali pirates seize Iranian fishing vessel

Borse Dubai sells big stake in London Stock Exchange

Can Arabs form joint military force?

Libya rivals discuss UN-backed peace proposals

French President to join 'anti-terror' march in Tunis

Sisi underscores Egypt’s rights to tap Nile water

US-led coalition aircraft bomb Tikrit

Saudi warplanes strike Yemen rebels in Sanaa

Netanyahu to form Israel new government after shock victory

Turkey military responds to Kurdish attacks in southeast

Leaders see horror of air crash as investigators step up probe

Fistfight in Iraqi Kurdish parliament

Syria rebels seize ancient town of Busra Sham

UN reveals plethora of abuses against activists in Libya

IS attack kills 5 militia fighters in Libya city of Sirte

Yemen President ‘in safety’ as rebel forces advance

US considering launching air strikes on Tikrit

Yemen Huthis seizes key airbase near Aden

'Feminist' policy costing dear to Sweden

Obama says row with Netanyahu ‘substantive’

Tunisia honours victims of deadly attack on national museum

Roadside bomb kills two Egypt soldiers in restive Sinai

‘Islamic State’ woos Syria children with money: More than 400 recruited in 2015 alone

Huthi-led militia push on southern Yemen

US envoy to Libya leaves Twitter after barrage of online abuse

US provides 'eye in the sky' to support Iraq Tikrit operation

Turkey prosecutors launch probe as ruling party rift grows