CII did not declare first wife’s permission unnecessary for second marriage
The 2020 law is still in place
Claim: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has declared it unneccessary for a husband to get permission from his first wife before remarrying.
Fact: The CII has not passed any such law recently, in fact, this is an old recommendation.
In 2020, the Supreme Court of Pakistan made it obligatory for a man to seek his first wife’s permission for a second marriage.
According to the order, if a man fails to obtain consent from his first wife for a second marriage, he must promptly pay her the full amount of haq mehr (dower) agreed upon during their initial nikkah ceremony, regardless of the payment schedule.
Fact or Fiction?
On 4 September 2023, Facebook user, Neelam Shahzadi claimed that the Council of Islamic Ideology of Pakistan declared the first wife’s permission for a second marriage unnecessary.
Soch Fact Check found the claim to be misleading. Dr Qibla Ayaz, CII’s Chairman, confirmed that this was an “old recommendation”. However, he did not specify how old the recommendation was and if it was made before or after the 2020 Supreme Court decision.
However, we found an Express Tribune report from 1 October 2023 which mentions that the CII chief gave recommendations to the law ministry on “family laws as well including a second marriage”. It is unclear exactly what these recommendations are.
The CII in Pakistan is a constitutional body responsible for providing recommendations to the government on matters related to Islamic law and principles. However, it does not have the authority to pass laws. Its recommendations are not automatically enacted into law but can serve as guidance for lawmakers and policymakers.
The actual process of turning CII’s recommendations into law depends on the Pakistani Parliament, which may choose to consider and act upon those recommendations through the legislative process. In the case of the Supreme Court’s ruling on second marriages, Parliament would have to act upon the CII’s recommendation and pass legislation to overrule what the Court decided.
However, in this case, the recommendation did not become law and thus the current law maintains that a husband must seek permission from his first wife before a second marriage.
Moreover, Soch Fact Check could not find any media outlets reporting on any relevant changes to the laws around second marriages.
Conclusion: The CII has not declared it unneccessary for a husband to get permission from his first wife before remarrying; it merely recommended it. However, a CII recommendation does not affect the law unless Parliament chooses to act on it. Thus the law passed in 2020 which requires a man to seek his first wife’s permission still stands.
Background image in cover photo: Hamid Roshaan
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