As in most civilized countries, the legal age a young girl can marry in India is 18. Any younger and the child is just not mature enough. Personally I think there would be far fewer divorces if the age limit were higher, but 18 is common everywhere. There’s a reason most nations have that particular law. But the Muslim religion states it’s okay for underage girls to marry as long as they have reached puberty; so religion is often pitted against the rule of “common” law.
That’s the case with a young 15 year-old-Muslim girl in Ghatkopar, India whose parents want their daughter married off, and the police are having none of it. In response, the local Mufti issued a fatwa stating that as long as the parents consented,15-year-old girls should be allowed to marry, regardless of the law of the land.
Mumbai Mirror had reported on the matter in its December 12 edition. The fatwa was issued by Mufti Hidayatullah Shaukat Kasmi associated with the Dayar-ul-ista Safa Welfare Society, Chirag Nagar, Ghatkopar (W) and while speaking to Mumbai Mirror he maintained that this was a matter of their religion and the government should not interfere with their personal laws. “The nation is independent and we are free to practice our religion.
Yes, one is free to practice one’s religion but not when it runs counter to “common” law. The law is the law, and if you live in a secular nation you need to follow those laws, if not, there would be chaos with people following whatever religious dictates they decide are appropriate at the time.
So for the time being the wedding has been postponed until she is 18, and the girl is being cared for by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Mumbai Suburbs
which ordered that she be sent to a welfare home in Andheri and took an undertaking from the parents of the couple that she will not be married until she is 18 years old.
The parent’s don’t seem to understand why they have to adhere to the rule of law rather than Shariah law. A judge thinks differently,
a senior judge from the Bombay HC clarified that common law applies to all citizens in a uniform way and there can be no exception to that.