Part-time marriage stirs controversy after okayed by Al Azhar University scholar

By: News Desk      Published: 03:06 PM, 24 Aug, 2021
Part-time marriage stirs controversy after okayed by Al Azhar University scholar
Representational image.

Dr Ahmed Karima, Professor of Comparative Jurisprudence at Al Azhar University, was trending on social media in Egypt after approving ‘part-time marriage’.

Karima told an Egyptian TV talk show the conditions for marriage in Sharia are the consent between the two partners, witnesses and the dowry. “Once these conditions are met, the marriage becomes legitimate, and entails rights, including shared inheritance, cohabitation and enjoyment in a legitimate way,” he said.

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Karima stressed, “One cannot prohibit or criminalise part-time marriage, as long as the marriage contract fulfils the conditions. Unlike temporary marriage, which is limited to a period of one or two months or more, which is void in Islam, part-time marriage is legitimate.”

The idea of part-time marriage was suggested by lawyer Ahmed Mahran, who said in a post on his Facebook page, this marriage would “reduce divorce and marital problems as Egypt has more than 2.5 million divorcees.”

Egyptians reacted to the idea of part-time marriage strongly on social media. Many considered it is forbidden by Sharia and said it must be buried.

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Sherine Hilal asked, “Are these people (who suggest part-time marriage) humans?”

Others considered that Ahmed Mahran was seeking the demolition of family values, spreading immorality and facilitating adultery.

Some social media users said they thought if part-time marriage was legalised, the woman would be a cheap and humiliating commodity, and every day she would marry part-time, and men would take advantage of this loophole, calling on Al Azhar, the top religious authority in Egypt, to give a definitive opinion on the legitimacy of this marriage.

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About 200,000 married couples get divorced every year, and according to President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi, research suggests that 40 percent of marriages end within the first five years.

In similar vein, Deputy Minister of Health and the General Supervisor of the Councils of Population, and Childhood and Motherhood, Maysa Shawky, said as of 2017, the divorce rates in Egyptian cities skyrocketed to 60.7 percent, while some villages reported 39.3 percent.