Bulukumba Religious Court Decision No. 1 of 2015: Underage Marriage Dispensation

The applicant sought dispensation to enable her 15 year old daughter (DOB: 9 July 1999) to marry her boyfriend. The applicant claimed that all relevant requirements to conduct an Islamic marriage had been met, other than that her daughter was four months shy of being 16 years of age (the required age at law). The applicant emphasised the urgency of the matter given that her daughter and her boyfriend had already displayed signs that they intended to become physically intimate, something prohibited under Islam if out of wedlock. While the Office of Religious Affairs had dismissed her application to register their proposed marriage, the applicant submitted that there were no legitimate reasons that they should not be married.

The court acceded to the application, stating that the two had already agreed they wished to marry one another, that they loved each other, that their engagement had been assented to by both their parents, that the Office of Religious Affairs had dismissed their application to register their marriage, and that they would conduct themselves contrary to the law if they were permitted to marry. Accordingly, the court granted dispensation to marry, pursuant to art 7(1) and (2) of Law No. 1 of 1974, and art 15(2) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws.

The court granted dispensation for the child applicant to marry, while ordering marriage registration officials to initiate, register and supervise the marriage.

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