Takalar Religious Court Determination No. 36 of 2011: Marriage Ratification

The applicant had married her husband on 16 August 1942, in accordance with Islam, before having 11 children. While they were second cousins, their relationship was not forbidden under Islam or current laws as they had not shared a wet-nurse, nor were there any objections to their marriage at the time of the ceremony. The applicant's husband had passed away due to illness on 5 April 2011, and in order to gain access to his pension, as well as her entitlements as a widow, the applicant required a marriage certificate. As they had married prior to the promulgation of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage, however, one had never been issued. The applicant, accordingly, sought from the court the ratification of her marriage.

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, the applicant and her husband could be deemed husband and wife at law, and, pursuant to art 7(1), (2) and (3)(d) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, their marriage was deemed lawful on the grounds that it had taken place prior to the promulgation of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage.

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