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Forced marriage in the British Sunnī Muslim community from an Islamic law perspective: a critical study

Adheidah, Taher (2015) Forced marriage in the British Sunnī Muslim community from an Islamic law perspective: a critical study. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Forced marriage affects a number of communities within the UK, including British Muslims. In some cases, Islam is used to justify this practice and the media has highlighted cases where young Muslims have been coerced into marriage. This thesis attempts to address this issue from a normative perspective, using Islamic legal sources to assess whether Islamic law (sharīca) allows forced marriage and will determine what can be done about it from within this context. It provides a much needed comparative and contrastive account of key discussions and debates of Muslim jurists (fuqahā’) from the four Sunni schools of law regarding elements of the marriage contract which are pertinent to this discussion, specifically: wilāya (guardianship), ikrāh (coercion) and maqāṣid alsharīca (the aims and objectives of Islamic law). The Introduction sets out the main themes and structure of the thesis determining the motivation for the research, the research problems, its rationale, its significance and contribution to academic literature, the research questions, the methodology and the overall structure of the thesis. The issue will be approached from three perspectives: the nature of Marriage in Islamic jurisprudence, the role of guardianship in concluding marriage contract, and the ruling of marriages contracted under the effect of coercion. Chapter 2 defines forced marriage whilst looking at the distinction between it and arranged marriage, contextualising the issue in terms of UK and human rights law. It also introduces the problem of forced marriage within the Muslim community, and asks whether or not it is sanctioned by Islamic law. Chapter 3 looks in depth at the meaning and significance of marriage in Islam, and some elements of marriage; khiṭba (engagement/betrothal), the maqāṣid (legal objectives), the arkān (cornerstones), the ṣīgha (marriage formula), the shuhūd (witnesses), kafā’a (suitability or social equity of the spouses) and the mahr/ṣadaq (dowry). Wilāya (guardianship) ahliyya (legal capacity), and wilāyat al-ijbār (compelling guardianship) will be discussed in detail in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 focuses on the pivotal issues of ikrāh (coercion) and riḍā (consent). The Conclusion will gather together all the pertinent information and arrive at a definitive judgement with regard to forced marriage in Islamic law: forced marriage is not compatible with the objectives of the Sharīcah and has no reliable basis in its sources; the function of the walī (guardian) is to protect the interests of the ward and not to exercise his authority over her; the woman with legal capacity has the right to choose her spouse; the marriage contract conducted under coercion is invalid. This chapter will also include suggestions for further research and recommendations for addressing the issue of forced marriage.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.666630
Depositing User: Dr. Taher Adheidah
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 08:58
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063

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