What is the legal age for marriage in Saudi Arabia? Marriage is the year of life, and through marriage, the land grows, and the offspring multiply, and since the marriage bond is one of the important ties, which has many effects, it was necessary to place many restrictions on the conduct of the marriage contract, and among these restrictions is the legal age of marriage, so The reference website devoted this article to clarifying what is a marriage contract, what is the legal age for marriage in Saudi Arabia, mentioning the requirements of a marriage contract in Saudi Arabia, clarifying the legal age for women’s marriage in Saudi Arabia, what is the marriage of underage girls, the percentage of underage marriage in Saudi Arabia, and how to eliminate the phenomenon of marriage minors, and finally the importance of marriage.

What is a marriage contract?

The marriage contract is known from the linguistic point of view as: “connexion and intercourse, which means marriage, and it means intercourse with the wife.” As for idiomatically speaking, it is known as: “marriage contract; That is: a contract between a man and a woman with the consent of her guardian, which is intended for them to enjoy each other, and to form a righteous family and a sound society.” It is worth noting that the marriage contract is a definite project, the Almighty said: Except by God’s permission, for each term there is a book.[1]The Messenger – may God’s prayers and peace be upon him – also urged marriage, and consequently marriage is a legal obligation on every Muslim who was able to do so, and he was afraid that he would fall into adultery if he left it, and some scholars have said: that marriage is a Sunnah.[2]

Thus, the marriage contract is the same as the rest of the contracts; Such as the sales contract, the work contract, and so on, but it is as close as possible to personal contracts, not those contracts related to business. The general principle in all contracts is consent. The same applies to the marriage contract, as it is based on the consent of the contracting parties; That is, both the husband and the wife, and the jurists have differed about the pillars of the marriage contract. Some of them say that the marriage contract consists of 3 pillars, namely: the two parties, the offer and acceptance, and the place of the contract; That is, what is agreed upon. As for others, others saw that the pillars of the contract are offer and acceptance, but the prevailing opinion tends to consider that the marriage contract has two basic pillars that do not exist between them: offer and acceptance, and there are no other pillars; Perhaps the reason for this is that they do not assume the existence of both contracting parties, as there is no need to mention them when clarifying the pillars of the marriage contract, and the Personal Status Law stipulates: “The marriage is contracted with the offer of one of the contracting parties, and the acceptance of the other.”[3]

Conditions for annulment of the marriage contract in Saudi Arabia

What is the legal age for marriage in Saudi Arabia?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not permit marriage for any person, but rather made it conditional on a certain age, for both women and men, as the Saudi Ministry of Justice regulated the terms of the marriage contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The husband and wife are 18 years and over, as this was clarified in the executive regulations, which stipulate: “Before concluding a marriage contract, it is necessary to make sure that he is married to someone under the age of 18, and that he will not be harmed and achieve his best interests, whether male or female.” Where such a decision was issued after the great differences that took place in the Kingdom on this matter, and as a result, this decision was issued by the Ministry of Justice based on the recommendation of the Saudi Shura Council.

The decision stipulated that no one under 18 years of age should be married off, as they considered those under 18 as children not ready for marriage. What is appropriate to complete life with him, the marital relationship is not a fleeting relationship, but rather a permanent, stable and stable relationship, and according to it many responsibilities fall on the shoulders of both the husband and wife, who must bear this responsibility fully, just as marriage means offspring, and the righteousness of the spouses means Its goodness, and the corruption of the spouses means the corruption of the offspring, and this matter should not happen at all, and this is the basic wisdom of making the legal age of marriage 18 years.

Requirements for a marriage contract in Saudi Arabia

For a marriage contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there are many requirements that should be met, including:[4]

  • Each of the parties to the marriage contract, namely the fiancé and fiancée, must be present, in addition to the woman’s guardian, provided that all of them have proof of their identity (status card and original family book).
  • In addition to the first item, two witnesses from the woman’s side and her guardian must also be present, preferably from direct kinship with them, provided that they also have with them what proves their identity; The wisdom of bringing the two witnesses so that they can testify to the conclusion of the contract, the amount of the dowry and the back end, and all other conditions of the contract.
  • Work to bring the medical report, which must be done before marriage, for both the fiancé and the fiancée, and the medical report must be issued by an accredited hospital in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Work to seriously ensure the fiancée’s consent and complete consent to the marriage without any prior pressure from anyone, by asking the authorized person personally about her consent to that marriage and the conditions that she wants.
  • Working on knowing the amount of the dowry, whether it is received or not, and the amount of the expedited and deferred dowry.
  • Work to bring the original divorce document for the divorced woman and work to ensure that the waiting period has ended and that she is not reviewed by her first husband.
  • The original power of attorney document must be brought if the marriage contract may be conducted with a power of attorney from the guardian or the fiancé and make sure that the proxy is also authorized to marry under the power of attorney.
  • A document listing the original heirs of the woman whose father or her husband has passed away must be brought.​

How do I know the result of the marriage examination in Saudi Arabia 1443

The legal age of marriage for women in Saudi Arabia

The law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not differentiate between men and women with regard to the age of marriage, as in general, the Kingdom made the permissible age for marriage to be 18 years or more, and this matter is not only limited to men without women, but even women must be 18 years old A year for conducting a marriage contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the woman is the basis of the family, and accordingly the woman must be eligible for marriage, and bear all the responsibilities entailed under the marriage contract, which are related to the husband on the one hand, and the care of children on the other hand, and finally the requirements of married life Completely.

What is underage marriage?

Underage marriage: “It is a marriage in which either the woman is less than 18 years old,” and most cases of child marriage include girls, many of them in poor social and economic conditions. Child marriage is widely spread in the Arab countries, estimates vary. Significantly among the sources regarding the extent and scope of child marriage, the International Center for Research on Women’s Publications and UNICEF estimated the rate of child marriage in some Arab countries at 47% through the 1998 sample surveys, while the United Nations stated that it reached 30% in 2005, in a report The 2001 census reported that in some Arab countries there are no married girls under the age of 10, 1.4 million married girls out of 59.2 million girls aged 10-14, and 11.3 million married girls out of 46.3 million girls aged between 15 and 19 years old.

The Times of India reported that “Since 2001, child marriage rates in one of the Arab countries decreased by 46% between 2005 and 2009. Child marriage was banned in 1929 by some Arab laws, for example; During British colonial times, the legal minimum age for marriage was set at 14 for girls and 18 for boys. Under protests from Muslim organizations in undivided British India, the Sharia Law of Personal Status was passed in 1937 allowing child marriage with the consent of a girl’s guardian. India’s independence in 1947, the law underwent revisions, raising the minimum legal age of marriage to 15 for girls in 1949, to 18 for females and 21 for males in 1978.

The percentage of underage marriage in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi newspaper Al-Watan indicated that during the first months of this year, there were many cases of underage marriage that were referred to the Family Protection Centers in the Eastern Province. These cases include many girls whose age is less than the upper limit. For marriage, which is 18 years old in Saudi Arabia, the Family Protection and Accommodation Centers clarified the following statement: “During the first quarter of 2021, about 2069 communications were received, including 38 cases of shelter, and 417 cases of underage marriages were received, their ages often varying between 15 and less than 18 years. to protection centers to provide psychological and social counseling for them”; This is in order to ascertain the extent of their knowledge in general about the nature of the married life that they are on the verge of, and how they are prepared for this step, and whether they are worthy or not.

How much is the dowry in Saudi Arabia 2021 and the costs of marriage

Eliminate the problem of underage marriage

Although underage marriage has been prohibited under international law, child marriage is still practiced in countries around the world, often in societies that struggle with poverty and unemployment. Here are 5 ways Plan International works to prevent and end child marriage in the communities where we operate:[5]

girls education

Education plays an important role in protecting girls from underage marriage, in fact, the longer a girl stays in school, the less likely she is to marry before the age of 18 and have children during her teenage years. In addition, education ensures that girls acquire the skills and knowledge to find work and a means to support their families, This can help break the cycle of poverty and prevent child marriage that occurs as a result of extreme poverty and/or financial gain.

Empowering girls

Every girl has the right to decide her own future, but not every girl knows it—which is why empowering girls is so crucial to ending child marriage, when girls are confident of their own abilities, armed with knowledge of their rights, and supported by peer groups of other empowered girls, They are able to stand up and say “no” to coercion. Like child marriage, empowered girls can reshape views and challenge traditional norms of what it means to be a girl.

Mobilizing the wider community to stand up for girls’ rights

Fathers and community leaders are often responsible for deciding when and to whom a girl should marry. In many traditional societies, marriage is believed to keep girls safe, protected, and economically provided by their husbands. However, the opposite is true – marriage threatens girls’ physical and mental health, in In fact, girls who marry before the age of 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence and report their first forced sexual experience, moreover, child brides are more likely to be infected with HIV and more likely to experience fatal complications during pregnancy and childbirth, when fathers and leaders are educated Society has many negative consequences of child marriage, and this can inspire them to change their minds, speak up for girls’ rights, and encourage others to do the same.

Providing income opportunities for girls and their families

Providing livelihood opportunities to families such as microfinance loans is an effective way to prevent child marriage that occurs as a result of financial need. When families’ economic opportunities increase, their daughters are less likely to be considered economic burdens. This is especially true if a girl in school is acquiring valuable skills that will Help generate income in the future.

Solicit the government and encourage supportive laws

In countries where child marriage is prevalent, asking the government to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 is a critical first step for positive change. Once the minimum age is raised, it is essential to continue raising awareness of these laws among government officials and community enforcement leaders to ensure that laws are enforced. other legal policies; Like registering birth and marriage certificates, they are powerful tools for preventing child marriage.

Marriage is a school in which only those who are highly qualified for it can enter it. Therefore, the personal status laws in most countries decided to specify a specific age for marriage. The same applies to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which also determined the age of women and men at the time of the marriage contract, as was answered in a question What is the legal age for marriage in Saudi Arabia?, which was found to be at least 18 years old for both men and women.