The Quick Sands of the Law of Marriage and Zanzibar: Some Missing Footnotes

Moh’d Makame Haji


Though it is accepted that marriage involves establishing an emotional bond between man and woman party to the marriage, yet among some African communities the practice of forced marriage is/has never been an abomination. Even for that matter, the custom of forced marriage was reckoned as one of the forms of marriage in some Asian countries like India which is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world. Then this practice did not survive beyond the classical period. Except, that with the changing times the form of force too may have undergone some change and taken a different shape but, as of the present the statutory law since mid of twentieth century soon after India won freedom regulate the institution of marriage. This shows that different factors contribute towards evolution of a social or other institutions their pattern or structure. The institution of marriage is therefore not an exception to this general principle. The conditions that contribute towards evolution of particular marriage practice therefore depends on the pattern of social interaction between the people, extent of intervention by the state, legal and economic systems, freedom and the urge and the need to maintain sexual privacy. The reference to India has been deliberate because Rakhsas after killing the members of the family of the girl and destroying her place of aboard would forcibly take the girl and marry with her. As such the instant practice had a political undertone. A similar not the same kind of development was witnessed by the Muslims of Zanzibar when to their dismay and disappointment some Muslims resorted to force marriage and the Muslim Sheikhs of Zanzibar instead of condemning it, officiated the marriage ceremonies. Why? This new practice was popularly called the Ndoa za Kurume or forced marriage. Then the same is enough to prove the social, economic, legal conditions and quality of interaction between the people ipso facto influence the marriage customs and practices in any society. This was certainly a reaction against the centuries old colonial oppression, and a reaction against socio-politico and economic trends imposed on the subjugated and impoverished people of Zanzibar who on being liberated forgot the Shariah and its ethos and the religious leaders preferred to forget it too consequently did not mind stretching their supportive hand towards the revolutionists. The instant study intends to examine and show how societal forces determine the nature of institutions no matter these institutions may have religious basis. Furthermore, effort would be made to determine the nature of impact it registered on a people who certainly are religious at core but metropolitan in nature for simple reason that Zanzibar has been a tourist spot and people being peace.

Keywords: Muslim Marriage, Compulsion, Culture, State, Public Perception

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN 2422-8400

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©