Takalar Religious Court Determination No. 44 of 2011: Second Cousin Marriage Ratified

In 1955, the applicants were married in accordance with Islamic law at the second applicant's parents' home. The second applicant's father served as her marriage guardian (wali nikah), two witnesses were present, and the dowry was a water buffalo purchased with cash. The applicants were second cousins, however, this did not preclude them from marrying according to Islam or current laws. Moreover, the applicants had never shared a wet-nurse, nor did anyone object to their marriage at the time of the ceremony. The applicants, who had had three children, had never received an official marriage certificate because their marriage had taken place in 1960, prior to the promulgation of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage. The applicants, accordingly, sought from the court the ratification of their marriage in order to access state subsidies such as the pension.

Acceding to the applicant's request, the court noted that the marriage had met the requirements that there be two witnesses present, that there be a marriage guardian present, and that there be a dowry. Therefore, for the purposes of art 2(1) of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage, and arts 4(1) and 14 of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, the applicants' marriage could be declared lawful.

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