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.

 

Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

3,800 Syrian civilians killed by Russian strikes in one year

World leaders attend Shimon Peres’ funeral

UN warns 100,000 people trapped in South Sudan town

Bulgaria approves full-face Islamic veil ban

Jordanians rally against gas deal with Israel

Israel pays Turkey $20 million compensation for Gaza flotilla raid

Egypt MP suggests university virginity tests

Morocco to speed repatriation of citizens in Germany illegally

Turkey opposition leader condemns Erdogan’s ‘coup against democracy’

French jets set off to join action as battle for Mosul looms

Moroccan left hopes to offer 'third way' at polls

Renault signs Iran auto venture

Saudi border guard killed, 3 civilians hurt by shelling from Yemen

Turkey issues warrants for judicial, prison staff

MSF warns Syria, Russia to stop ‘bloodbath’ in Aleppo

Russia waiting to see OPEC freeze deal details

Police raid Casablanca market after rumours of sex dolls

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump