New programme aims to strengthen Muslim marriages

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (second from right) talking to wedding solemnisers and couples during the announcement of the Bersamamu programme yesterday at the Al-Mukminin Mos
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (second from right) talking to wedding solemnisers and couples during the announcement of the Bersamamu programme yesterday at the Al-Mukminin Mosque in Jurong East.PHOTO: REGISTRY OF MUSLIM MARRIAGES

Muslim couples applying to register their marriages from July 1 must first meet a naib kadi, or wedding solemniser, before their solemnisation ceremony.

The naib kadi will continue engaging the couple over the next two years, offering support and advice to help them lay the foundations of a strong and stable marriage.

Besides sharing advice and useful information on marriage and parenthood, the naib kadi may also refer couples to programmes and services aimed at enhancing their marital relationships, or when they need professional help.

The programme, which started as a ground-up initiative by the naib kadis, will be run by the Registry of Muslim Marriages and M³, which is an alliance of three key Malay/Muslim organisations - Mendaki, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) and the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council (Mesra).

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim announced the Bersamamu (Malay for With You) programme yesterday at the Al-Mukminin Mosque in Jurong East.

"Bersamamu aims to make a difference to the lives of all Muslim couples seeking to marry. It underscores how couples can journey towards a strong marriage with the support of their naib kadi," he said.

Official figures show there were 6,050 Muslim marriages in 2017, up from 5,954 in 2016 and 5,778 in 2015.

Meanwhile, the number of Muslim divorces fell to a five-year low in 2017, in part because of initiatives to bolster marriages in the community.

In the Bersamamu programme, couples must attend the free meet-up session after they file an online application for a Muslim marriage.

They will be required to meet the naib kadi once, for an hour, before their solemnisation date. Only after the first meeting will the marriage be registered.

  • 6,050

  • Number of Muslim marriages in 2017, up from 5,954 in 2016 and 5,778 in 2015, according to official figures.

Mr Mohamed Haziq, 30, has met the naib kadi, who is also a religious teacher, with his 29-year-old fiancee once after applying online to register their marriage.

"The advice given for life after marriage was especially helpful. It was also helpful that the ustaz (religious teacher) raised awareness to improve our religious knowledge," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2019, with the headline 'New programme aims to strengthen Muslim marriages'. Print Edition | Subscribe