CAIRO – 4 October 2017: In response to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s bid to crackdown on child marriage, Al-Azhar announced the launch of awareness-raising campaigns against the practice.
Sheikh Abbas Shoman, the deputy sheikh of Egypt’s al-Azhar institute, said Friday’s sermons will primarily address child marriages and its impacts, particularly in rural areas where it is prominent.
Ahmad al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar said that there are no sacred texts in Islam allowing child marriages, adding that Islam doesn’t set a specific age at which people can get married.
He added that Islam explicitly prohibits any practices that could lead to health complications or unavoidable physiological harm, which can apply to child marriages.
Recently, in one of the villages of Al-Mahallah al-Kubra, in the middle of the Nile Delta, an imam approved 27 cases of customary marriages for girls below 18 years of age.
Because of a law drafted in 2008 as part of Egypt’s Child Law to raise the age of marriage to 18 prohibiting child marriages, this imam convinced the families in the village that couples could have customary marriages until girls reach the eligible age, after which the bond would be made legal.