Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Saudi Men's Temporary marriages with Indonesian women on rise

These women do not know that their marriages would end within a few days and that they would have to bear children of people who would abandon them.

Last year, the Saudi Embassy in Jakarta received 82 calls regarding children of Saudis who had married Indonesian women and then abandoned them

Temporary marriages with Indonesian women on rise
P.K. Abdul Ghafour | Arab News

JEDDAH: A large number of Saudis are engaging in temporary marriages with Indonesian women with the intention of divorcing them.

“Such marriages are likely to increase if Islamic scholars fail to give a clear ruling prohibiting them,” said Khaled Al-Arrak, director of Saudi affairs at the Saudi Embassy in Jakarta.

He said most Saudis were engaged in such marriages without realizing their consequences. “Some poor Indonesians marry off their girls to Saudis hoping it would put an end to their poverty and miseries. If the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars does not ban this type of marriages, things will go out of control,” Al-Arrak warned.

There are so many offices in Indonesia that facilitate such marriages, Al-Watan Arabic daily said. The marriage takes place in the presence of witnesses and a man posing as the father of the bride.

These women do not know that their marriages would end within a few days and that they would have to bear children of people who would abandon them.

Last year, the Saudi Embassy in Jakarta received 82 calls regarding children of Saudis who had married Indonesian women and then abandoned them. “We have received 18 such calls from abandoned Indonesian wives of Saudis and their children this year so far,” Al-Arrak said.

The Saudi Embassy official said that the cases registered with the embassy accounted for only 20 percent of such marriages that have actually taken place.

Aysha Noor, 22, an Indonesian woman from Sikka Bhumi, 160 km east of Jakarta, said her parents married her to a young Saudi man when she was 16, thinking it would be a blessing for the family and end their poverty.

“We in Indonesia consider people of Makkah and Madinah as blessed ones. The man gave me a dowry of six million Indonesian rupiahs (SR2,024). The dowry helped us to solve some of our economic problems. My family did not know that the man was intending to have a temporary marriage.”

She adds: “After a few days he paid us the remaining amount of three million rupiahs (SR1,011) and left the country.” Noor said she later had a similar marriage with another Saudi before finding a job at a nightclub as a singer and dancer.

There are many women in Indonesia who have similar stories to tell. Some of them find it difficult to look after their children from Saudi husbands. The Saudi Embassy in Jakarta registers such Saudi children and helps them travel to the Kingdom to recognize their fathers but many refuse to accept them.

The embassy also receives visa requests for marriages, particularly for people of special needs and elderly who want to marry Indonesian women. These marriages often fail because the Saudi society treats them as maids and they cannot merge with the society primarily because of language barrier. Such marriages cost between SR5,000 and SR10,000.

S.P. Dharmakirty, consul for information at the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah, confirmed that temporary marriages involving Saudis were taking place in his country.

“Indonesian authorities have taken appropriate measures to curb this practice,” he told Arab News, adding that some people involved in such illegal marriages have been detained.

The consul also pointed out that the marriage of some Indonesian women with elderly and handicapped Saudis was not legal.

“We face many problems because such marriages are not registered and the women coming from Indonesia use visa for maids to come to the Kingdom,” he said. “Some of them later come to consulate to seek advice,” he added.

5 comments:

Beng said...

Doesn't this border on legalized prostitution?

Such practice has been going on by richer Arabs in poorer Islamic countries with the blessing of religious authorities.

Misyar marriage as is known is a contract between a man and a woman for the purpose of sex in exchange for financial (usually) rewards. In this aspect I find the "transaction" no different from prostitution.

If Misyar marriage is allowed why not legalize prostitution?

Klambat said...

As usual the Saudis are interpreting Sharia Law according to their whims and fancies.

By the way Beng Misyar marriage is not temporary marriage but it is a marriage where a woman agrees to give up some of her rights like maintenance, housing etc. The couple continue to live separately from each other, as before their marriage, and see each other to fulfil their needs only. This kind of marriage is allowed in the Sunni school of thought.

This differs from Mut'a which is a temporary marriage. It is a fixed-term marriage contract accepted in the Shia school of thought. The duration of this type of marriage is fixed at its inception and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term.

Beng said...

Klambat,

You point taken on Misyar marriage.

Some Sunnis do believe in misyar marriage but Nikah al-Mut‘ah is practised by Shi'ah Islam. Both are "temporary" marriage but the terms and condition differs.

Which ever way I look at it, co-habiting, mistress, one night stand and prostitution are contract between two adults albeit its terms and conditions are slightly different.

Perhaps with a religious blessing one can overlook the issue of morality in sex outside marriage.

PANGKOR STALLION said...

Legal matters or whatever forms of contract, these are only man made "legal terms" to make something "NOT HALAL and SINFUL" into something "HALAL and SELF LIE" for someone with evil intension as the end of the main objective...

It all boils down to the end of the result what one does to another party is "morally bad" and the funny thing is that the Arab Religious Authories "ALLOWS" legalise prostitution.

If the Arab authorities do nothing about this then the only cure is to look at the Indonesian Authorities to protect their own people.

Patricia Hannigan said...

What on earth would be the benefit for the woman in a Beng Misyar marriage? If it's "a marriage where a woman agrees to give up some of her rights like maintenance, housing etc", what does she get from it?