ISLAMABAD - The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Wednesday suggested a gap between engagement and Nikah to help stem the growing number of divorce cases.

The religious body, which met under the chair of CII Chairman Moulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani, noted that the gap may help the would-be husband and wife to understand each other.

While expressing concern over the surge in divorce cases, some of the members attributed it to the hurry in Nikah along with the engagement only to end up, in most case, in divorce after differences develop between the two (couple) or the respective families.

CII member Samia Raheel Qazi said that in some cases, where the brides have to proceed abroad, they require Nikah much before the formal marriage for processing of travel documents. In such cases, Nikah and the engagement become necessary.  Moulana Sheerani said that engagement before Nikah was desirable as it would give time to the families of both bride and bridegroom to understand each other.

He further said that Nikah through Wali (custodian) is permissible in Islam but the final say to accept the Nikah rests with the bride.

Zahid Mahmood Qasmi said that there is practice to marry a girl with Holy Quran, or tree and other unnatural things, which is forbidden in Islam and such a practice should be declared unlawful and compoundable offence.

Dr Samia Qazi said that in some parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa the girl’s hand was asked by firing at the doorstep of the girl or by the public announcement which should be stopped forthwith and declared unlawful.

Justice (retd) Manzoor Hussain Gillani said that in AJK the marriage of a girl child was fixed at the time of her birth which is also against Islam and should be checked through law.

The CII meeting also took serious notice of a private channel’s programme ridiculing the CII member’s letter seeking a bill on the men’s rights and protection against domestic violence. The CII through a unanimous resolution demanded of the PEMRA to take stern action against the channel.

“The council members took strong exception to the programme stating that the issue was yet not taken up by the council for deliberation yet the channel discussed it, which they considered an insult to the respected members of the council,” said Syed Manzoor Gillani, a member of the council.

The members asked the CII chairman to write a letter to the PEMRA chairman for stern action against the channel for infringing the CII’s sanctity.

The council also adopted a resolution to condemn the Shah Noorani shrine blast and also condemned recent terrorist attacks in Karachi. The members of the council also paid glowing tribute to the valiant soldiers who laid down their lives on LoC in defence of the motherland.

President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain would likely address the CII session today on the last day of its three-day session concluding Thursday.