The Cabinet approved amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act raising the age of marriage to 18 for men and women, the Daily Mirror learns. However, there are exceptions for those below 18 and above 16 with the approval of Qazi.
It will be an offence if a marriage is solemnised without the permission of the Qazi or below 16 years if the new amendments passed into law by parliament. Registration and Nikah are mandatory to be taken place at the same time. Non-registration will be a punishable offence. Besides, children born out of unregistered marriages should be considered legitimate and all their rights ensured by law. Every Sri Lankan Muslim is presumed to be following Shafi Mazhab, which is a school of Islamic law for the purposes of this Act unless anyone declares to be otherwise.
However, the parties to a Muslim marriage belonging to two different sects could mutually agree to be governed by a particular sect in the declarations made by them prior to marriage. (Kelum Bandara)