T’ganu maintains minimum age for marriage
The minimum marriage age for Muslims in Terengganu remains at 18 years for men and 16 for women, as stipulated under Section 8 of the Family Law (Terengganu) Enactment 2017.
Terengganu Syariah Court Chief Judge Wan Mohd Zakri Wan Mohd, however, said the court will not easily allow applications for underage marriages unless the woman had delivered a child, was pregnant, or the couple had sex before marriage.
He said between 2013 and 2018, the court had received only 444 applications for underage marriages, and of these, 397 were approved.
“Approval will only be given based on these three factors because they have an effect on the child in terms of inheritance, wali (the person give away the bride in a Muslim marriage) and faraid (Islamic law on wealth distribution). Other than that, we will not accept their reasons even if the wedding invitation cards have been sent out,” he said.
Wan Mohd Zakri was speaking to reporters after the second donation presentation ceremony for this year held by the Terengganu Syariah Court Department launched by the State Syariah Implementation, Education And Higher Studies Committee deputy chairman Maliaman Kassim in Kuala Terengganu today.
According to the records of the Terengganu Syariah Court Department, the 444 applications for underage marriages involved 522 children, of whom 155 were 17 years old, 40 (16 years), 277 (15 years), 40 (14 years) and 10 (13 years).
Wan Mohd Zakri said among the reasons commonly given for these underage marriages were mutual attraction, desire to get married, reducing the burden of the families, and avoiding adultery.
"Of the 444 applications, 405 involved one underage party (usually the woman), while in 39 other cases, both parties were underaged.
“In Terengganu, the number of applications for underage marriages have dropped each year and is not worrying. It is better that they marry at the correct age except in cases which involve the three factors,” he said.