After a six month court battle, a judge in Saudi Arabia has ruled that a woman must divorce her husband in accordance with her family’s wishes, says The Independent.
It was claimed that Mrs al-Tamimi, who now has a young child, did not seek her father’s permission to marry, in accordance with the laws of Islam.
Islamic law states that in order to marry, a woman must have the permission of her male guardian and the groom must also meet with the guardian to discuss the dowry, prior to the wedding ceremony. It is the guardian and groom who must sign the marriage contract, as opposed to the bride and groom.
The male guardian would normally be the bride’s father but if he were absent, then the role could fall to another male family member such as the paternal grandfather or brother.
Importantly, the law of Islam also states that the guardian does not have the right to prevent a woman from marrying, unless it is on the basis that the marriage would contravene the law.
Any marriage which is said to have taken place without a guardian’s permission could be considered invalid.
Mrs al-Tamimi’s uncles are alleged to have claimed in court that she married against her father’s wishes. The woman argued that her father now lives with his second wife rather than her family, her older brother had given his permission in his father’s absence and that the real reason the case had come to court was because her uncles felt that she had “superior origins” to her husband.
Mrs al-Tamimi appealed the decision which was originally made in April, when she was heavily pregnant. However, a judge in the court of Al-Ayina, in Riyadh, upheld the initial ruling.
It is now being reported that the woman has, despite the ruling, refused to leave her husband and return to her family.
The case has subsequently been referred to the Saudi Court of Cessation for a final decision on whether or not the divorce must proceed on the grounds of “incompatible family origins”.