MINGORA: The religious scholars and ulema here on Saturday termed the forced and swara marriages against Sharia and asked the authorities concerned to ban such practices once and for all.

They were speaking at a seminar about ‘early and forced marriages’ organised by the Awakening, an organisation working for the women’s rights, and for social and cultural development. Iftikhar Hussain, a representative of Awakening, said that owning to frequent forced and early marriages it was deemed necessary to tell the society that such practices were against Sharia.

“Taking opinion of ulema and religious scholars about the early and forced marriages is an important factor in our campaign. The common people understand the ulema well. The religious scholars can easily motivate the communities to shun the practice of swara,” he said.

Religious scholar Mufti Abdul Wahab said that swara or forceful marriage of a girl to resolve conflicts between two rival families was an anti-Islamic act. He said that Islam gave freedom to a girl and boy for marriage and the Islamic state was responsible to ensure, food, security, shelter, education, health and even Nikah in a proper way to a person. He said that swara or forced marriage was also against Pakhtun traditions.

Mufti Khalid Khan said that under Islamic values the parents were bound to seek the consent of a girl and boy before their marriage. He said that swara was an honor-related issue in which one family, for taking revenge and restoring its honour in society, demanded for marriage in the rival family and then inflicted violence on the girl.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2015

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