A Saudi woman has been told the man who asked to marry her is “religiously unfit” because he is known to have once played the oriental lute.
The ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom requires women to seek permission from male “guardians” — their fathers, husbands or other male relatives — to travel, get married and other tasks.
This was brought into stark relief two years ago when the girl’s suitor, a teacher, asked the 38-year-old bank manager for her hand in marriage, Okaz newspaper reports.
But her staunchly Muslim family objected, saying he was not “religiously compatible” with her because he played the oud, the oriental lute which is popular across the Arab world.
The woman, who was not named, took her case to the courts. Unfortunately for the two young lovers, the judiciary backed the family and banned the union.
“Because the suitor plays a musical instrument he is unsuitable for the woman from a religious point of view,” the court said, according to Okaz.
An appeals court ratified the verdict, making it final, the newspaper added.
The woman told Okaz she is not willing to give up just yet. Now she will ask the country’s “highest authorities” — a reference to the royal court — to intervene and hear the case.
The potential bride, who holds a masters degree and is responsible for more than 300 employees, said she was determined to marry her suitor, describing him as “very pious and with a good reputation.”
This is not the first time a Saudi woman has run foul of the country’s strict Islamic laws.
Last month a hotel worker who appeared in what Saudi Arabia officials described as an “offensive” video eating breakfast with a female co-worker was arrested.
Vision of the pair carrying out their illegal act sparked outrage on social media after it was shared on Twitter.
AFP contributed to this report
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