Tuesday 12 August 2008 (09 Sha`ban 1429)

      We need a law for mercy
      Abdullah Bajubeer I Al-Eqtisadiah
      IS it right, or is it at all possible, to have a law or a set of 
regulations for mercy similar to the regulations that monitor the financial 
market, traffic and the real estate industry?

      Is it apt to make such a law while our religion is a religion of mercy 
and our God, Allah Almighty, calls Himself the Merciful? Is it suitable to have 
this kind of a law when the Holy Qur'an speaks in many of its verses about 
mercy and the Prophet's tradition is replete with calls for mercy?

      I am almost tempted to call for such a law to protect our children from 
the cruelty of their parents and to prevent the marriage of our 10-year-old 
girls to men in their 60s and 70s.

      I have felt sick reading such stories in our newspapers and asked: Who 
can save our innocent and pure children from abuse? I feel that such news would 
be published in foreign newspapers under the "Believe It Or Not" category.

      Then came the news that the Wadi Hashbal police released a Saudi citizen 
who was detained for marrying his 10-year-old daughter to a man in his 70s.

      I thanked Allah, as the police were implementing the law of mercy even 
before its inception. Police released the father on bail. He was then, together 
with other parties involved in the case, brought to court. They included the 
70-year-old husband, the father of the miserable girl, the bride herself and 
her mother. The judge and the father have refused to speak about the issue 
until the court passes judgment.

      I will not delve into the details of this selling operation. This has 
been tackled by the press, which said the father took the price he got for his 
daughter - SR170,000 - to buy himself a new car.

      We know very well that our religion has not set a certain age for 
marriage, leaving it to the circumstances, traditions and the principle of 
providence, humanity and justice. Since the case is currently before court we 
cannot comment on it. We await the court's decision and will talk after that.

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