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Traditional Marriage In Africa Free Essays - StudyMode
However, the south now has arbitral panels to resolve conflicts among Muslims, the awards of which are recognized in some states’ formal courts. The Lagos State Independent Sharia Panel, established by the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (a voluntary civil organization) in 2003, has, in addition to the usual family law matters (divorce, maintenance, and child custody), heard other matters. In one case, a prospective couple wanted the panel to act as the bride’s marriage guardian (waliy) because the bride’s family members refused. The panel solemnized the marriage after appointing a member of the panel as her waliy. Additionally, a man troubled by a fornication (zina) he had committed wanted the panel to inflict the hundred lashes prescribed by Islamic law as the canonical punishment (hadd) for his sin. The panel declined to enforce the punishment because its jurisdiction is limited only to civil matters and only a sovereign Muslim leader (imam) can inflict or order such punishment. The panel has also heard cases relating to contracts and land disputes. The range of cases filed before the panel indicates an urgent need for the establishment of official Sharia courts in southern Nigeria.
The nonrecognition of Islamic law as a distinct legal tradition and its classification as customary law in Nigeria raise problems for Islamic law in the southern part of the country where ethnic customary law prevails. This is especially problematic in the southwest where there is a substantial Muslim population and there are Muslim-majority states, but Muslims are denied application of Islamic family law. This was exemplified in the case Estate of Alayo; notwithstanding that the deceased was a Muslim and married according to Islamic rites, Islamic law was not applied to her estate because the court found that Ijebu is not a Muslim area and that there was no provision for applying Muslim law in the area.
Traditional Marriage in Nigeria Essay Example for Free
The third expression of legal pluralism in the country is connected to the country’s political history. Colonial authorities administered the northern and southern protectorates separately until their amalgamation in 1914. With the introduction of regionalism in 1954, the country was divided into three regions: northern, western, and eastern. These regions had a large measure of autonomy and thus developed along slightly different lines. Despite the subsequent creation of states beginning in 1967 (Nigeria now has thirty-six states and a Federal Capital Territory), this regionalism holds the key to understanding the current legal arrangements in the country. Until the regions were broken into states, uniform laws applied in each of the regions. Today, the bulk of the laws in the states owe their origin to the era of regionalism. Uniformity of laws in the northern states, particularly regarding Islamic and customary laws, continued largely until 1999, when twelve of the nineteen states in the north adopted Islamic law as the basic source of laws in their states in a largely uniform manner.
The Islamic marriage ceremony conforms to the Islamic law and traditions. According to Muslim traditions, parents arrange a suitable partner. Compatibility is not considered important, the choice is entirely in the parents hand.
This type of marriage is found in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda
The Yoruba case is a clear depiction of a society where power relations were traced through their age-grading culture. The Yoruba people are located mainly in southern Nigeria. Until missionaries and colonialism influenced the area, most of the Yoruba were genderless beings. Instead of having a culture that was divided through gender expectations and hierarchies, the Yoruba people used seniority as an organizing system. This system separated power relations by age and lineage, not gender (Oyěwùmí 1997). The only real gendered aspect of the Yoruba society concerned the different roles in pregnancy and arguably the beginning of marriage (“The Yoruba Family” 2013).
The Maasai of Tanzania is a case that provides a clear depiction of a pastoral society, subsisting traditionally on nomadic livestock. This way of relating to the environment seemed to express very subtle yet impactful differences in gender ideology found in the social dynamics of the culture. Men were largely in control of ‘consultations, decision-making, and conflict resolution, over the age-grades, sections, and clans as well as over homesteads, clans, and communities.’ Family dynamics were mostly regulated by the role of bridewealth among the Maasai (Willis, 1999). Wives therefore become somewhat of the property of husbands among the Maasai since they pay a fee of cattle and other livestock to the wives’ family in exchange for her to live and work with him, and his cattle (Hodgson I, II, 1999) (Willis, 1999). These cattle would be paid to the father and the mother of the bride as well as in some instances with partitions paid to the bride herself (Hodgson I, 1999) (Wangui, 2008). Daughters therefore pose an important sense of wealth themselves to families due to their marriageable quality with which to acquire bridewealth for their family.
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1 Traditional Gender Roles in Marriage; ..
Legal pluralism in Nigeria is very complex, taking three distinct forms. First, there is the legal pluralism arising from the multifarious legal traditions or legal cultures in the country. Laws in Nigeria are derived from three distinct laws or legal systems: customary law, Islamic law, and English-style laws. Customary law is indigenous to Nigeria with each of the various ethnic groups in the country having its own distinctive customary law.
Traditional Marriage in Igboland » All Things Nigeria
Nigerian women have very limited ownership rights. Civil law entitles women to have access to land, and a few states have enshrined equal inheritance rights into law, but certain customary laws stipulate that only men have the right to inherit and own land. For women without the means to purchase land on their own, in practice, their ability to obtain land flows solely through marriage or family. Data from the government indicates a significant gender gap in land ownership. For free use, women make up only 24% of landowners and for distributed land, women make up only 26% of owners. Survey data reported by the British Council Nigeria in 2012 show that the percentage of women owning land decreased from 13% in 2003 to 7.2% in 2006 (Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire).
Traditional Marriage Rites: How It's Done In Yoruba …
Muslims, Christians, and adherents of various traditional religions are the three main religious groups in Nigeria. Muslims constitute the majority, although Christians generally dispute this. Muslims and Christians are the most powerful religious groups in the country. Although the Nigerian Constitution emphatically forbids the State from having an official religion, some have rightly pointed out that Islam and Christianity, given their prominence and governmental recognition, are de facto state religions.
Real Nigerian Wedding: Ndidi ..
The classifications “religious law” and “customary law” are therefore not appropriate for the discussion of Islamic law in the Nigerian legal system. It is better and more meaningful to discuss law and legal pluralism in Nigeria under customary law, Islamic law, and common law, which are the globally and nationally recognized legal traditions and categorizations.
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