Islamic marriages to be officially recognized in South Africa

Although the Muslims slaves brought from Malia islands 300 years ago have achieved social integration to larger population, they have always encountered problems in practicing their religion in social life.

Islamic marriages to be officially recognized in South Africa

IBRAHIM TIGLI / KUZEY NEWS AGENCY

The South African government has taken a historic step and provided the Islamic marriage opportunity to the country's Muslim population most of which came from Malia islands and have faced enormous difficulties nearly 300 years. A hundred Imams, Islamic equivalent to priest were assigned in Cape Town to solemnize Islamic marriage.

Although the Muslims slaves brought from Malia islands 300 years ago have achieved social integration to larger population, they have always encountered problems in practicing their religion in social life. One of the biggest problem was related to marriage. Their marriages were never recognized officially by the colonialist regime which continued to remain in Apartheid period. While those who marry in churches have no obstacles in official recognition, Muslims were unable to convince South African government which claims this kind of marriage contradicts secularism.

The lack of official recognition created serious problems for Muslims in social and economic life. Explaining these problems the head of Cape Town Muslim Scholar Association Sheikh Rifad Fatir said "The National Bureau of Population did not add Muslims' marriages to its system which creates a lot of problems. For instance, an old Muslim died and the officials say he had never married. This was not acceptable for his grandsons."

After all those 3 centuries, Muslim marriage has began to be officially accepted. A hundred Imams are assigned officially to perform Islamic marriage ceremony. Imams go on negotiations with the government to renew former unrecognized marriages to official ones. Muslims' marriage ceremonies in Cape Town organized in mosques or wedding ceremony hall. The crucial part is vocally expressing approval of the marriage by both sides. Imam confirms the marriage and Quran is read aloud.

Last Mod: 12 Temmuz 2014, 17:29
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