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Jakarta Post

NU rules in favor of underage marriages

  • Muhammad Nafik and Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

Makassar   /   Sat, March 27 2010   /  10:54 am

The minimum age of 16 years to marry under the prevailing 1974 marriage law is not a sharia-binding regulation for Muslims, according to Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) jurists.The panel of sharia experts announced there was no age limitation for marriage under Islamic law. They did not cite gender; but the law  states that women must be at least 16 to marry,  while the minimum age for men to marry is 18. The experts said Muslim parents can marry off their underage children, but strongly appealed for marriages to only be carried out after the child has reached puberty.The jurists underlined that couples in which both are underage must abstain from sexual intercourse until they are deemed physically and mentally capable of doing so.The edict was reached at a meeting of jurists at the national leadership conference of NU, the country‚Äôs largest Muslim organization, in Makassar, South Sulaw...