Pakistan: Federal Shariat Court declares swara as being un-Islamic

Insight Online News

Islamabad, Oct 26 : The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) on Monday declared the custom of swara as being un-Islamic, the Dawn reported on Tuesday.

Heading a three-judge bench FSC Chief Justice Noor Mohammad Meskenzai, observed that the tradition of giving away a minor girl to settle disputes was against the injunctions of Islam.

Swara is a custom where girls, often minors, are given in marriage or servitude to an aggrieved family as compensation to end disputes, often murder. It is a form of arranged or forced child marriage and the result of punishment decided by a council of tribal elders called jirga.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Sakeen Bibi, wherein she argued that jirga or panchayat misconstrued the concept ‘badl-i-sulah’ — compensation to settle a dispute by offering a young girl to the aggrieved family. She requested the court to declare this custom as illegal and the bench held that Ulema had developed a consensus that vani, or swara, went against the teachings of Islam.


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