The Islamic Ministry’s Fiqh Academy has declared that women are not allowed to perform marriages or lead a marriage ceremony according to Islam, and therefore cannot be a judge when performing marriages.
The declaration was announced by the President of Fiqh Academy and Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, together with eight other scholars of the academy.
The Fiqh Academy explained that the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) had ruled that woman could not perform a marriage ceremony herself, and nor could she perform the marriage of another woman.
The wife of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), Ummulmu’mineen Aisha, Ali and Abu Hurairath had also said that women could not perform marriages, the Academy explained, adding that all the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) also agreed that woman could not perform marriages.
Furthermore, the Fiqh Academy said that as marriages were in the hands of judges, it was contrary to Islamic Sharia for a woman to be in such a position.
Despite the fact that some religious scholars disagreed as to whether women could perform marriages,the Academy said it was inclined to side with the majority of scholars who had ruled this was inappropriate.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recently appointed judges to the High Court, including Dr Azmiraldha Zahir, the first woman to be appointed to such a position. Member of the commission Sheikh Shuaib Abdurahman voted against her appointment on the grounds of her gender, arguing that females were not permitted to deal with many of the issues required of a judge under Islam.