Marriage without 'iddat' can't be punished as sex out of wedlock - Lahore High Court

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Lahore, Punjab; In a landmark but debatable decision, High Court of Lahore has declared marriage without completion of iddat or as pronounced in Arabic iddah (mandatory waiting period for divorced or widowed wives commanded by Islam) a lawful act. The verdict was announced at the eventual conclusion of zina (unIslamic sexual relation) case lodged by a husband Amir Bakhsh, against his former wife Amina and her new husband Mohammad Ismail.

Amir Bakhsh, the applicant, had sought criminal penalisation for newlyweds after his ex, Amina, espoused Ismail the very next day of finalising divorce from Amir through court order, petitioner wanted the marital binding be rendered annulled and couple be handed sentence for fornication, which is imprisonment extending up to five years and a fine worth not more than 10,000 PKR.

In Islam, 3-month-long waiting period is compulsory for non-pregnant divorced women


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LHC senior judge, Justice Ali Zia Bajwa rejected the petition citing a woman’s marriage despite iddat (three months) non-observance isn’t invalid, thus marrying individuals can’t be prosecuted for non-marital sexual intercourse, but it’s worth noting he did add that it would be deemed “irregular” and “corrupt” to tie knot in such prohibited fashion.

It is deeply interesting seeing the way this case verdict’s camel has sat, as per Muslims scholars’ consensus from all esteemed schools of thought, a marriage in case of uncompleted or undone iddat is not recognised, and is classified null and void Islamically, only a socially acceptable and dignified expression of marrying intentions is permitted. The input of ulema in regards to this ruling would be instrumental in clearing the smoke bordering it. Petitioner meanwhile, yet has options of filing for a review or challenging verdict altogether.

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Lahore High Court

Right or wrong? Disputable or acceptable? What’s your educated take on the High Court’s arguable take?

Just asked my qari sb. This verdict is not Islamic, without idat there is no marriage.

Sex is one’s personal business, people need to keep their noses outta it