Misyar now ‘a widespread reality’

Updated 13 October 2014

Misyar now ‘a widespread reality’

Misyar marriage has become a social reality and, as such, a solution to some problems and a cause of others, said a professor at King Saud University in Riyadh.
“Misyar is widespread because many need to keep their marriages a secret, either due to the objection of the first wife or other family pressures,” Ali Al-Bakr, faculty member at KSU, told a local daily.
Getting married in the Kingdom is no longer easy, according to one report, thanks to countless social and economic obstacles, including extortionate dowries, costly wedding extravaganzas and lack of housing.
In a misyar marriage the woman waives some of the rights she would enjoy in a normal marriage. Most misyar brides don’t change their residences but pursue marriage on a visitation basis. Some marriage officials say seven of 10 marriage contracts they conduct are misyar, and in some cases are asked to recommend prospective misyar partners.
Some people believe that these factors have led to the widespread practice of misyar, which has flexible conditions compared with traditional marriages, as a last resort. “It remains an option, albeit a temporary one, which is, nevertheless, seen as unfair to women in many cases,” said a national.
Saeed Al-Omari, a Saudi lawyer, said that such marriages have been legally recognized since conditions, including the presence of guardians and witnesses, are in place within their framework.
He said the Misyar practice is in line with Ministry of Justice regulations requiring the husband to sign contract documents that have to be ratified by local courts in accordance with Article 22 of the Saudi Marriage Act.
Despite there being consensus among a large segment of religious scholars about the legality of the Misyar model or marriage, not least because it stops youth from having illicit relations outside of wedlock, the practice is still considered taboo among many communities.
“The practice has been exploited by many, leading to negative stereotypes among several communities, which consider Misyar an insult to women,” he said.
For Al-Omar, this type of marriage could, nonetheless, reduce spinsterhood and protect divorcees and widows. It also comes to the rescue of youth, many of whom cannot afford either the short-term and long-term costs of regular marriages.


DiplomaticQuarter: US ambassador lauds Saudi Arabia for successful Hajj season

Updated 06 August 2020

DiplomaticQuarter: US ambassador lauds Saudi Arabia for successful Hajj season

  • The envoy also praised Saudi hospitality during the Hajj season

RIYADH: US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid has lauded the Kingdom for its successful and safe organization of the curtailed Hajj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The envoy also praised Saudi hospitality during the Hajj season and expressed his appreciation for the country’s generosity.

“On behalf of the US Mission to Saudi Arabia, I extend our best wishes to all Muslims in Saudi Arabia and around the world on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha,” Abizaid said in a statement.

He thanked the Saudi leadership for the care and services provided to the specially selected group of around 1,000 pilgrims of various nationalities allowed to perform Hajj.

“I would also like to express our deep appreciation to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten, and Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh for the government’s actions to protect the health of those participating in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. 

“I also extend our gratitude to the people of Saudi Arabia for their kind hospitality, friendship, and generosity during Eid and throughout the eight decades of our two countries’ close partnership. May the prayers for peace of all people around the world be heard,” he added.

Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) also commended Saudi Arabia for its efforts in organizing Hajj.

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the steps taken by the Kingdom to ensure the safety of pilgrims and said the preventive measures had set an example for other countries to follow in working toward lifting COVID-19 restrictions.