The Syrian regime’s Ministry of Endowments has prohibited “trial marriages,” according to a fatwa (ruling on a point of Islamic law) it issued on Tuesday.
According to what the ministry published on its Facebook page, “trial marriage is forbidden and void, and cannot be considered a [legitimate] marriage. Trial marriages destroy families and corrupt society.”
According to the ministry’s fatwa, trial marriage makes the woman “a plaything for the man to use at his whims. Trial marriage also violates the man’s dignity and stature and is inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of Sharia law as it inherently disrespects the woman, and fails to safeguard her dignity and the dignity of her family.”
The ministry also considered that trial marriage affects custody issues, destroys values and morals within the family, and has serious social consequences, for which it is forbidden and in violation of the personal status law currently in force in Syria.
What is a trial marriage?
At the end of last year, Egyptian lawyer Ahmed Mahran created a new initiative he called ”trial marriage,” which he considered to be the “most appropriate model for [that] stage.”
According to Mahran, trial marriage aims to limit the spread of divorce in the Arab community through preserving the family entity and the exclusion of divorce as a solution to the problems spouses face in the early years of marriage.
Trial marriage puts a time limit on the marriage contract in order to test whether the spouses will remain on good terms or not. Separation cannot take place before the end of the time limit.
In a statement to the BBC, Mahran said that he was inspired by the list of movables, which is one of the well-known pre-marriage customs in Egypt. The list specifies who owns which piece of furniture, electrical appliances or the like. The husband signs the list of movables and pledges to return the appliances to his spouse should he be requested to do so. In the same line of thought, Mahran proposed the idea of attaching a legal contract to the marriage, including immaterial conditions that the couple agrees upon before getting married. The contract acts as legal protection in the event that one of the parties does not comply with the conditions.
The lawyer’s idea sparked a wide debate in Arab societies, namely with regards to its compatibility with Islamic law.
According to the Al Azhar International Center for Electronic Fatwa, “marriage is a monumental covenant that cannot be tampered with, and the requirement that there be no separation between the two spouses for a period of five years, or less or more, in the so-called trial marriage is an unprincipled condition that has no significance, and is thus forbidden. ”
Al Azhar said that “trial marriage is incompatible with the foundations of the marriage system in Islam, and clashes with its provisions and purposes, in addition to the fact that it abuses women and does not safeguard their dignity or that of their families. This marriage destroys values and morals in society.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.