Regarding the Issuing of the Family Law (Shia Section):
Constitutional Guarantees are One Thing and Codifying the Law
Statements made by the Vice-President of Al Wifaq, Khalil Almarzooq,
regarding the Shia section of the Family Law, have aroused a lot
of controversies and objections, particularly his statement that
the law ‘ will never see the light of day as long as the demands
of the Shia scholars, regarding constitutional guarantees, are not
met’. He added that: ‘the nation can live with or without Family
Law. It has managed without it for more than 1400 years and can
continue to do so for another 1400 years’.
The problem lies in the issue of codifying Islamic rulings, which
has become a demand in many countries and even in those that don’t
have laws such as Saudi Arabia. Hence, it was surprising to see
an influential MP, serving in the legislative authority, belittle
the importance of codifying Islamic rulings.
Indeed, Almarzooq has the right to ask for any guarantee he sees
fit. This is the real problem we face today and should be solved
through dialogue between the Government and Shia scholars. However,
the very existence of a family law which judges, legislators and
the Executive Authority abide by should not be undervalued.
There are those who say that the constitutional guarantees which
the Al Wifaq MPs demand are not only hard but impossible to achieve.
In our opinion there is a solution to this problem, since both Shia
scholars and Al Wifaq MPs accept the very existence of a Family
Law, but their concerns center around possible changes in the future
to the law instigated by the Legislative Authority. From this basis
a compromise can be achieved. However, Almarzooq appeared nervous
in his statement when he said that the Government did not offer
a solution to this matter and also said that ‘we are ready to wait
for another 2800 years’.
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had stressed that any law which
contradicts the Islamic Sharia will not be authorized. This was
regarded by some MPs as a positive sign for Shia scholars and a
new beginning for solving the problem.