Mar 31, 2008, 8:38 AM
The president of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, GSIC, has denounced what he called the present-day indecent dress code, especially by young girls, calling for the matter to be addressed immediately.
Muhammed Lamin Touray, who was speaking in an interview with The Point, said the people who facilitate such dress codes must show some care because, as he put it, the situation is getting out of hand.
“Our present day dress code is indeed saddening and needs to be addressed immediately. Our sisters and daughters have no clue of the type of dress they wear; as long as it looks fashionable to them, it is good,’’ he said.
‘‘The tailors and the people in business must be careful, because Allah will question them on this type of dress they make and sell,’’ Touray added.
Commenting on the issue of forced marriage, Touray said according to Shariah, a woman who has already experienced marriage cannot and must not be forced into marriage.
‘‘Her consent and opinion must always be sought before tying the marriage. A girl who has never experienced anything in marriage must be guided in making her choice of a man in marriage, but must not be forced,” he stated.
Marriage, Touray noted, is a Sunnah (a way of life of Prophet Muhammad) but not obligatory or compulsory, while obedience to parents is an obligation.
“Allah said in the Quran ‘obey me and follow my commands and that of your parents’ ” Touray cited.
The erudite imam explained that women could be guided in making their decisions, but must never be forced into marrying men against their consent.
“The reason for guiding her is to protect her from bad influences in making her decisions. Shariah (the Islamic law) has categorically prohibited forced marriage, especially when it is done prior to the consultation of the spouses.
‘‘In an Islamic marriage, the consent of the spouses is a key principle before the marriage takes place”.
In Touray’s view, there should be constant dialogue between parents and children to avoid unfortunate scenes.
“It is an obligation on every parent to give your child in marriage to a man who is pious, and this is not an easy task on the parents especially the fathers. This is why parents–child dialogue is very important within the family.
‘‘Most of the misunderstandings and disagreements emanate from the lack of dialogue between parents and children. If there is constant dialogue between parents and children, we will be able to avoid this unfortunate situation.
“Constant dialogue will instill discipline and courage into the minds of our young ones,’’ he added.