Muslim clerics oppose Yogi govt’s decision to make marriage registration compulsory

On Tuesday, the Yogi government’s cabinet announced that marriage registration would be compulsory for couples regardless of their religion.

This legislation of the Yogi government came in line with the Supreme Court’s 2006 order, which had asked Centre and state governments to make such registrations compulsory for people regardless of their religion or caste. Till date all the states apart from Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland had complied with the order.

According to the report, previous UP governments had not passed this order because of apprehensions within the Muslim community, which had objected to the move as the “nikahnama” should not contain the photograph of the couple. The government rejected the objection on the grounds that various documents like Aadhar and Passport too had photographs and there was no opposition to them.

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According to this order, if someone fails to get their marriage registered, they would be liable to pay a token fine of Rs 10, which would increase to Rs 50 per year till they comply.

Now some Muslim clerics and organisations aren’t too happy about this order.

According to reports, Abul Qasim Naumani the Mufti of Islamic school Darul Uloom Deoband, has termed this decision “unnecessary”, and has claimed that such a compulsion is against religious freedom. He further said that the Nikahnama (without the pics) is a registration in itself. He also stated that it was okay if someone wanted to voluntarily register, but any sort of compulsion shouldn’t be there.

Another such cleric named Ahmad Khijar Shah Masoodi of Darul Uloom Wakf opposed the fines to be paid in case of non-compliance. One senior Mufti named Arif Kasami claimed that Islam had made the marriage process very easy and such registrations might make things difficult for the less educated.

The Muslim personal law body AIMPLB too was a bit grumpy about this decision. Its member Zafaryab Jilani stated that they had no problems about the registration, but that there shouldn’t be any provision which would imply that no registration means no marriage.

However, there were a few Muslim groups that welcomed this move by the Yogi government.

According to the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB)’s President Shaista Amber, this was a step in the right direction and claimed that such a registration would be a proof of marriage. AIMWPLB General Secretary Rabia Sandal stated that it would go a long way in ensuring social security for women. Even the Shia personal law board welcomed the move.

It is worth mentioning that the groups that have welcomed this decision had also advocated for other reforms, which includes their opposition to [1][2] the practice of triple talaq.

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