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Ataturk's marriage law: reply to brother Nur

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Assalamu Caleykum, the topic about Ataturk's marriage law was already posted by brother Nur, but the topic quickly digressed, lol. So brother Nur,I never got to read your opinions about this , as well as everybody else's, but since you invited me to do so, let's start by a quick reminder of the selected articles you shared with us.





Looking back into the past of modern Turkey, it can provide a rare glimpse of the laws of the last Islamic Caliphate in Turkey, known as the Ottoman Empire.


Mustafa Kamal Ataturk who overthrew the Islamic Caliphate in Turkey to install a secular government was unable to wipe out all of Islamic Caliphate's legal influence ( Sharia Law ) from appearing in his new Secular Turkish Law, below are some selected interesting articles of Ataturk's Marriage Law:



1. Voluntary Marriage age begins at 18 and ends at 25, anyone who doesn't marry by 25, will be forced to marry.


2. If a person claims an exemption from marriage duty after age of 25 due to sickness, the person will be sent to medical check up, if sickness is curable, the marriage will be delayed till the person is healthy, if the sickness is permanent, the person will be exempted from marriage.


3. If a married man travels to another town for residence for few years to work or for any other legitimate duty, and he can not take his wife with him, he must inform the local government in the new town he resides the reason that he is alone without his wife, if he is financially able to marry another local woman, the new local government will force him to marry a local woman, when his duty is completed and he has to return, he must take his new wife back and reside with both of his wives in same locality.


4. If a man refuses to marry after age of 25 without any legitimate excuse, he will be fined 25% of his income to be deposited in the agricultural Bank to help marriage costs of poor peasants as a gesture of kindness.


5. Any married man who travels to another town for any reason who was being subjected to article #3, if he can't marry again in the new locality, he will pay 15% of his income to be spent according to article #4, and after 2 years, he will be forced to take his wife with him on his business travels.


6. Any man who fails to marry after age 25, will be dealt according to article #4, he will not be eligible for government job and benefits and can not be elected to office and he can't take a public responsibility.


7. Any married man older than 50 years, with only one wife, and who is able and capable, physically and financially to marry another woman, will be forced to marry another woman as a fair contribution for civic duty, if he is unable with good reason, he has to support orphans and the children of the poor, and to help their education and bringing up as per his financial ability.


8.Any man who marries before age of 25 and before compulsory military service age, shall serve two years in case of war. As for the man who marries after the age of military service, he shall serve 3 years.


9. Anyone who marries during the voluntary age ( 18-25) and who is poor, who owns no property, he is entitled to a grant of 150 - 300 Dunam ( 1 Dunam = 930 Square Meters of land) closest to his residence, the title of the land to be given immediately after marriage.


11. Anyone who marries during voluntary age (18-25) who has no mature brother who can assist his elderly parents, is qualified for a deferment of military service, and if a woman marries and she has no brother who can assist her elderly parents, she is entitled to the deferment of her husband from military service.


13. University students are allowed to defer marriage until after graduation.


14. Any man who does not have a legitimate job and who reached the age of 25 without getting married and his social status is immoral, he will be warned, and given a year to find a decent job, if he fails, he will be forcefully recruited to be a government laborer.





Mustafa Kamal Ataturk


October 21st, 1922


Anatolia , Turkey.


Translation from Arabic text by eNuri Transemantix


2010 eNuri Comparative Law Digest

Islam is the science of the Living -Spiritually!



Let's start by saying that marriage is a religious duty blessed by Allah to regulate our desires and establish families. Our religion allows marriage to happen as soon as a person becomes physically mature.


Marriage is by definition a "voluntary union" between a man and a woman, which is why I do not agree with Ataturk's marriage law stating that whoever is not married passed the age of 25 should be forced to marry. Our prophet Muhammad (SAW) even frowned upon forced marriages for they do not bring any benefits.


In fact, I believe that any man or woman should voluntarily come forward and talk to the leaders of their respective communities about finding spouses, if shyness is a barrier, making suggestions is even better. Marriage is not only an agreement,but one should not take it lightly, since it's a total commitment. It requires understanding the demands it carries,and sometimes one can mature passed the age of 25.


Early marriages are always the best, but in the course of the lives we live,the studies we do,or the careers we strive for, marriages are often delayed, and that's normal. Allah knows best the right time for each of us to marry,for He is the one who chooses our companions.


The article 6 Any man who fails to marry after age 25, will be dealt according to article #4, he will not be eligible for government job and benefits and can not be elected to office and he can't take a public responsibility. is unethical, because a government who has its citizens's best interests will have to hire its citizens regarding of their marital status.


No human being to whom Allah gave the freedom of choice should be forced to marry as a contribution for civic duty (refer to article 7), I think it's pure blackmail. I'm not sure of how much Ataturk got inspired by the sharia of the Ottoman caliphate or added things of his own.

Which brings the question if the sharia of the last islamic caliphate was conformed to the true Islam, considering that Muslims are being divided in so many branches until the day of this dunia. False interpretations are rampant.


Well brother Nur, I'm not sure what social solutions Al-Shabab can learn from this, except citizens helping out each other, but that is common sense, it's the basis of our religion. But when it comes to forcing marriages that should be a big NO-NO. What are your opinions Solers ? What's your take brother Nur ?

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Ukkhayti Bambi


I am in a hurry, and will come back later inshAllah, here are my quick responses.


Good Marriage is wonderful, and it is a basis of a stable society. Celibacy, or staying single for too long, without a health or an income reason can beg unethical influences, to the point that the person may adjust to this status. Its also true, that its is a voluntary, but like loitering around common areas, if a persons lifestyle can be shown to be a community threat if it becomes the norm ( Low Fertility rate of 1.3 can wipe out a nation) , the state, may encourage marriage by either incentives ( stick or carrot)!


The piece appealed to me from the historical point of view, not that I buy it wholesale, but it carried me back to a time when society had a different outlook and aspirations, when it looked at a single person with suspicion if there were so many eligible partners.


Clearly, the Ataturk law, which was a secular Law, omitted most of the beneficial complementary clauses of the Sharia Law, making his law seem as unreasonable Law, which prompted the secular Parliament to modify and change in the years that followed. ( will explain how societies and laws change in a Secular states later insnAllah


The writeup was meant to see past our time, and how in just 90 years ago, a country like Turkey, required young people to marry by age of 25. looking back today, was that secular law good or bad for Turkey? was it good for its economy, demography compared to the permissive Christian Club ( EU)?


Well, let us discuss it in light of our Religion, the Quran and Sunnah to validate what was good, and to omit what is inherently bad.


The reason I addressed this piece with the Shabab, is because, they need to also look back in time, to draw parallels of how societies diverge from Islam to DemonCracy and how they can progress better with a wholesome reasonable and Sunnah Compliant Sharia Law.



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