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Saudi Arabia: Court rules woman cannot marry man who plays musical instrument

12 October 2018

A Saudi woman has lost a two-year legal battle to marry a man who her family says is "religiously incompatible" with her because he plays the lute.

 

A Saudi court has ruled a woman cannot marry the man of her choice because he plays a musical instrument, which makes the couple religiously incompatible, reported AFP on 2 October 2018.

Women must get permission from male guardians–e.g. a father or brother– to do a range of things including getting married and applying for a passport.

Two years ago, the woman’s suiter asked for her hand in marriage. But her family objected.

In some parts of Saudi Arabia, “a man who plays a musical instrument is considered of inferior status and having a bad reputation”, AFP reported.

According to BBC, the woman asked lawyer Abdul Rahman al-Lahim to file a lawsuit against her brothers who had refused to allow her to marry the man because he “once played the oud (lute) and so was not considered religious”.

A lower court in the Qassim region sided with the family, agreeing that the couple could not wed. The judge said “Because the suitor plays a musical instrument he is unsuitable for the woman from a religious point of view,” according to BBC.

An appeals court recently upheld the verdict.

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