The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Tuesday ruled that Pakistani laws prohibiting marriage of underage children are un-Islamic.
At the end of its two-day session on Tuesday, the CII said there is no minimum age of marriage according to Islam.
Islam does not forbid marriage of young children, the council said. However, the Rukhsati (consummation of marriage) is only allowed in the case that both husband and wife have reached puberty.
The CII’s ruling comes a day after its chairman Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani said laws regarding second marriage of a man in the presence of a first wife were against religious principles.
“Sharia allows men to have more than one wife and we demanded that the government should amend the law,” he told reporters after a CII meeting.
The laws require a man to have written approval from his existing wife or wives for another marriage.
Sheerani urged the government to formulate Sharia-compliant laws related to nikah, divorce, adulthood and ‘will’.
The CII is a constitutional recommendatory body that advises parliament in the law-making process, but cannot enact laws on its own.
According to Pakistani laws, the minimum age for marriage is 18 years for a male and 16 years for a female.