New Delhi: The Delhi High Court's recent ruling that a Muslim girl can marry at the age of 15 has sparked off a debate in the community. Young Muslims feel that the law of the land should prevail when it comes to the age of marriage. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has, however, welcomed the judgment.
"At 17 you complete school, at 18 you get voting rights. In case of marriage, irrespective of the religion, the law of the land should prevail. A minor is a minor at 15," says 26-year-old Islamic Studies student Sadia Khan.
The recent Delhi High Court ruling that allowed a 16-year-old to remain married, despite opposition from her parents, has sparked off a furious debate in the community. Islamic Scholars have quoted the Hadees to point out the importance of the consent of parents saying the court should have nullified the marriage on those grounds.
"Hadees says Muslim girls need consent of their parents. That's a precondition. If that's not there then the married is invalid," says Maulana Wahiduddin.
Calling the verdict regressive, several Muslims feel the Muslim law board should appeal against it. But though the AIMPLB has welcomed the court's verdict, it is playing down the need for the Uniform Civil Code.
"We welcome the verdict," says Kamal Faruki of AIMPLB. "We want our personal laws to be upheld," adds Sadia Dehelvi of AIMPLB.
As the community debates civil rights, caught between the law and its interpretations are the young Muslims who are doing the tightrope walking trying to balance the demands of the changing times with that of their religion Islam.