Reforms to Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act necessary – Jezima Ismail
Posted on July 28th, 2019

Yoshitha Perera Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Muslim women’s rights organisations around the country yesterday urged the government to implement necessary reforms to Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA).

Veteran Human Rights Activist Deshabandu Jezima Ismail addressing the media conference said that MMDA has been widely discussed for a long period with the current act permitting child marriages in the country.

She recollected that there were many incidents in the past which women who had visited her for counselling because of oppressed situations in their lives due to the present act.

It is not only the laws. It is the legal system that has also broken down in the country,” she said.

She said that this issue has been running in the country for a long period of time and they had established the Muslim Research and Action Forum.

As it’s a man-made law, amendments are compulsory where there is a necessity,” Counsel Ermiza Tegal said at the conference.

She said that the act does not need a change in ‘bits and pieces’ which make no difference to Muslim women’s lives.

They also highlighted that Muslim lawmakers had agreed to a 14 points proposal to amend the MMDA in July but certain groups had protested on behalf of the reforms.

In their press release, the groups had pointed out several issues which needed reforms in the Act. They are:

Minimum age of marriage for all Muslims must be 18 without any exceptions.

Women should be eligible to be appointed as Quazis (a Muslim court judge), members of the Board of Quazis, marriage registrars, jurors, and registrars.

MMDA must apply to all Muslims irrespective of their sect.

Signature of both the bride and bridegroom is mandatory in an official marriage.

Mandatory registration required for the legal validity of a marriage.

Polygamy to be permissible only under exceptional circumstances, with just cause, under specific conditions including financial capacity, consent of all parties, and with court authorisation.

Procedures for divorce initiated by husband and wife must be the same.

Expand dowry to include immovable assets and make recoverable at the time of divorce. Granting and obtaining dowry without recording during marriage registration to be illegal and be subjected to a penalty.

Introduce, recognise, and facilitate the concept of the marriage contract to be entered into by a Muslim couple prior to marriage.

Upgrade the quality of the quazi court system as effective family-friendly courts by improving the qualifications of quazis to ensure efficient access to justice for women and men, and a robust monitoring mechanism.  (

One Response to “Reforms to Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act necessary – Jezima Ismail”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Different law for mussies? Why? They aren’t humans? There should be one law for everyone regardless of what
    their religion, race, etc. etc. As long as they are two legged, living in a country, they should obey the law of the
    land or pack up and go to where they came from.

    People used to worship trees, mountains, rivers, gods in the olden days in the absence of science. Today, religions
    have to pass the science test to be accepted as true. The test involves, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, NASA’
    missions, penal codes in every country on earth etc etc. We all know how the two legged creatures, including millions of other species came to be being after Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Today, all honest people accetp the
    Theory to be 100% true. Then NASA showed the world, that the earth’s size is a grain of sand in the vast vast
    vast universe where distances are measured in light years. Einstein, Arthur C Clark etc. brilliant minds accepted what The Buddha preached are all true. The Buddha could see through birth, life, death and the universe after attaining enlightenment while others didn’t have a clue about those. Obviously man made things didn’t have a
    clue. What’s more, Buddhism’s Five Precepts are the basis for penal code in every country under the sun. Science
    also explained how the universe was formed why the planets orbit, why they are round etc. There are no mystery
    about all those in this scientific era.

    Mussies turned old Buddhist iran, afganisthan, pakesthan, bangladesh, malaysia, indonesia within a few hundred
    years of their arrivals in those countries with their baby machines and after multiplying, multiplying
    outnumbered/murdered the Buddhists. Buddhism isn’t a religion of convenience which regards sins as sins. Buddhism disappeared from India since it didn’t fit the society with caste system, animal sacrifice etc and people quickly reverted back to religions of conveniences. Then invading mussies killed all the Buddhist monks there and got rid of the only true religion in the world from its birth place for good. This is what the mussies planning in
    Sri Lanka. After multiplying and multiplying now they want total control. That’s why these mussie marriage laws (start baby production early), halal, burka etc. etc. Sinhalese are divided thanks to traitor anti Buddhist, anti Sinhalese, anti Sri Lanka, minority worshiping, Mother Lanka dismembering traitor UNPatriotic_rats aided and abetted by jaathidhrohee vermins’ party and mussies are taking full advantage of divided, helpless, voiceless Sinhalese. Until Sinhalese unite and get rid of traitor UNPatriotic_rats along with its henchmen jaathidhrohee vermins’ party aka jvp mussies will keep demanding these things and get them.

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