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Fake marriages


I LIVE in Suriname and four years ago I started a fight against fake marriages, that is, Nikâhs (Muslim marriages) that sometimes are not registered in the Register of Marriages.

These Nikâhs are conducted by unauthorized persons as well as by appointed marriage officers. Women, and of course also children, become victims of this reckless act. They are deprived of their legal rights and dignity.

The reasons for not registering the Nikâh are mainly based on materialistic purposes and distrust towards women.

I wrote several articles in Suriname newspapers explaining the topic from different viewpoints, and refuting those who try to justify non-registered Nikâhs with fallacies.

Because a Nikâh is not a secret affair and involves mutual rights and duties, it must be registered. An oral agreement is not valid.

For example, Dr. H. Abdalati writes in his book “Islam in Focus” on page 180: “Every marriage, in order to be legal, must be witnessed by two adults and registered in official documents.”

A non-registered Nikâh is a flagrant violation of women’s rights; grave injustice; oppression; forbidden sexual relation; exploitation; fraud; criminal act; deception and hypocrisy.

I am fully convinced that this problem also exists in other non-Muslim countries. Recently in England, the ulama (religious scholars) raised their voices against this outrageous practice.

It is a pity that not a single Muslim woman dares to come to the fore to claim or defend her legal rights.

A number of campaigns are now being carried out to make the people more aware about this serious matter.

The  above  letter to the Editor was published in the Guyanese newspaper “Guyana Chronicle” of June 8, 2006.

Look for www.guyanachronicle [archives June 08.2006


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