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Saudi fatwa rules women can solemnize marriages

A picture taken on February 4, 2013 in Riyadh shows a Saudi woman using a tablet computer to visit a website offering services to find a partner for people who want to get married. (AFP)

JEDDAH: Women can solemnize marriages, according to a fatwa by Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manea, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars.
He told Okaz daily that the job is basically the documentation of marriage contracts, and “if the Ministry of Justice approves that, then there is no legal obstacle.”
To qualify for a license, among other things, the applicant should have good conduct and no criminal record, bring two recommendations from Islamic scholars, and should not be under 25.
This is not the first fatwa issued by Al-Manea in favor of women. Last September, he said women are their own guardians and have the lawful right to manage all their affairs except during marriage.
Attorney Nojoud Qasim told Arab News there is no legal obstacle to women solemnizing marriages.
There will be a demand for the profession among Saudi women “if they are given the opportunity,” said Qasim.

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