LUCKNOW: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has urged the central government to refrain from fixing the age of marriage and termed it as interference in personal liberty.
It said the government should do away with making such “useless and harmful laws”.
The Union Cabinet last week approved a proposal to raise the minimum legal age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21 years.
“Marriage is a very important requirement for human life but no age of marriage can be fixed as it is also an issue related to the protection of the moral values,” Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, general secretary of the board, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
It is the reason why no age has been fixed for marriage in many religions, including Islam, he added.
“It completely depends on the discretion of the parents. If the guardians of a girl feel that their daughter is fit for marriage before the age of 21 and she can fulfill all her responsibilities after marriage, then preventing her from marriage is cruel and also interferes with the personal liberty of an adult. Due to this, there is also a possibility of an increase in crime in the society,” Rahmani said.
He said, “Raising the minimum age of marriage of girls from 18 to 21 years and declaring marriage before the prescribed age as illegal is neither in the interest of the girls nor the society. Rather it can cause serious damage to moral values.”
The practice of marrying girls at an early age is slowly disappearing but sometimes a situation arises when marrying off a girl before the prescribed age is in her interest, said Rahmai in the statement, shared by the official handle of the board on Twitter.