Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961

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An Ordinance to give effect to certain recommendations of the commission on marriage and Family Laws.

Whereas it is expedient to give effect to certain recommendation of the commission on Marriage and Family Laws.

Now, therefore in pursuance of the proclamation of the seventh day of October 1958, and in exercise of all powers enabling

him in this behalf, the President is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-

1. Short title, extent, application and commencement

(1) This Ordinance may be called the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961.

(2) It extends to whole of Pakistan, and applies to all Muslim citizens of Pakistan, wherever they may be.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint in this behalf.

2. Definition

(a) “Arbitration Council” means a body consisting of the Chairman and a representative of each of the parties to a matter dealt with this Ordinance:

Provided that where any party fails to nominate a representative within the prescribed time, the body formed without such representative shall be the Arbitration Council.

(b) “Chairman” means the Chairman of the Union Council or a person appointed by the Federal Government in the Cantonment areas or by the Provincial Government in other areas or by an Officer authorised in that behalf by any such Government to discharge the functions of chairman under Ordinance:

Provided that where the Chairman of the Union Council is a non-Muslim, or he himself wishes to make an application to the Arbitration Council, or is, owing to illness or any other reason, unable to discharge the functions of Chairman, the Council shall elect one of its Muslim members as Chairman for the purposes of this Ordinance.

(c) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under Sch. II.

(d) “Union Council” means the Union Council or the Town or Union Committee constituted under the Basic Democracies Order, 1959 and having jurisdiction in the matter as prescribed.

(e) “Ward” means a ward within a Union or Town as defined in the aforesaid Order.

3. Ordinance to override other laws, etc.

(1) The provisions of this Ordinance shall have effect notwithstanding any law, custom or usage, and the registration of Muslim marriages shall take place only in accordance with these provisions.

(2) For the removal of doubt, it is hereby declared that the provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1940 (X of 1940), the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 (Act V of 1908), and any other law regulating the procedure of Courts shall not apply to any Arbitration Council.

4. Succession.

In the event of death of any son or daughter of the propositus before the opening of succession, the children of such son or daughter, if any, living at the time the succession opens, shall per stripes, receive a share equivalent to the share which such son or daughter, as the case may be, would have received if alive.

5. Registration of marriage.

(1) Every marriage solemnized under Muslim Law shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance.

(2) For the purpose of registration of marriage under this Ordinance, the Union Council shall grant licenses to one or more persons, to be called Nikah Registrars, but in no case shall more than on Nikah Registrar be licensed for any one Ward.

(3) Every marriage not solemnized by the Nikah Registrar shall, for the purpose of registration under this Ordinance be reported to him by the person who has solemnized such marriage.

(4). Whoever contravenes the provisions of such-section (3) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extent to three months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

(5). The form of nikahnama, the registers to be maintained by Nikah Registrars, the records to be preserved by Union Councils, the manner in which marriage shall be registered and copies of nikhanama shall be supplied to parties, and the fees to be charged thereof, shall be such as may be prescribed.

(6) Any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, if any, inspect at the office of the Union Council the record preserved under sub-section (5), or obtain a copy of any entry therein.

6. Polygamy.

(1) No man, during the subsistence of an existing marriage, shall except with the previous permission in writing of the Arbitration Council, contract another marriage, nor shall any such marriage contracted without such permission be registered under this Ordinance.

(2) An application for permission under Sub-section (1) shall be submitted to the Chairman in the prescribed manner together with the prescribed fee, and shall state reasons for the proposed marriage, and whether the consent of existing wife or wives has been obtained thereto.

(3) On receipt of the application under Sub-section (3), Chairman shall ask the applicant and his existing wife or wives each to nominate a representative, and the Arbitration Council so constituted may, if satisfied that the proposed marriage is necessary and just, grant, subject to such condition if any, as may be deemed fit, the permission applied for.

(4) In deciding the application the Arbitration Council shall record its reasons for the decision and any party may, in the prescribed manner, within the prescribed period, and on payment of the prescribed fee, prefer an application for revision, to the Collector concerned and his decision shall be final and shall not be called in question in any Court.

(5) Any man who contracts another marriage without the permission of the Arbitration Council shall,

(a) pay immediately the entire amount of the dower whether prompt or deferred, due to the existing wife or wives, which amount, if not so paid, shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue; and

(b) on conviction upon complaint be punishable with the simple imprisonment which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both.

7. Talaq.

(1) Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as may be after the pronouncement of talaq in any form whatsoever, give the chairman a notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife.

(2) Whoever, contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both.

(3) Save as provided in sub-section (5) talaq, unless revoked earlier, expressly or otherwise, shall not be effective until the expiration of ninety days from day on which notice under sub-section (1) is delivered to the Chairman.

(4) Within thirty days of the receipt of notice under Sub-section (1), the Chairman shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation between the parties, and the Arbitration Council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.

(5) If the wife be pregnant at the time talaq is pronounced, talaq shall not be effective until the period mentioned in Sub-section (3) or the pregnancy, whichever later, ends.

(6) Nothing shall debar a wife whose marriage has been terminated by talaq effective under his section from remarrying the same husband, without an intervening marriage with a third person, unless such termination is for the third time so effective.

8. Dissolution of marriage otherwise than by talaq.

Where the right to divorce has been duly delegated to the wife and she wishes to exercise that right, or where any of the parties to a marriage wishes to dissolves the marriage otherwise than by talaq the provisions of section 7 shall, mutatis mutandis and so far as applicable, apply.

9. Maintenance.

(1) If any husband fails to maintain his wife adequately, or where there are more wives than one, fails to maintain them equitably, the wife, or all or any of the wives, may in addition to seeking any other legal remedy available apply to the Chairman who shall constitute an Arbitration Council to determine the matter, and the Arbitration Council may issue a certificate specifying the amount which shall be paid as maintenance by the husband.

(2) A husband or wife may, in the prescribed manner, within the prescribed period, and on payment of the prescribed fee, prefer an application for revision of the certificate, to the Collector concerned and his decision shall be final and shall not be called in question in any Court.

(3) Any amount payable under Sub-section (1) or, (2) if, not paid in the due time, shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue.


In sub-section (2), the full-stop occurring at the end shall be replaced by a colon and thereafter the following proviso shall be added, namely:

Provided that the Commissioner of a Division may, on an application made in this behalf and for reasons to be recorded, transfer an application for revision of the certificate from a Collector to any other Collector, or to a Director, Local Government, or to an Additional Commissioner in his Division. [Ord. II of 1975, Section 2].

10. Dower.

Where no details about the mode of payment of dower are specified in the nikahnama or the marriage contract, the entire amount of the dower shall be presumed to be payable on demand.

11. Power to make rules.

(1) The Government may make rules to carry into effect the purposes of this Ordinance.

(2) In making rules under this section, such Government, may provide that a breach of any of the rules shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extent to two hundred rupees, or with both.

(3) Rules made under this section shall be published in the official Gazette and shall thereupon have effect as if enacted in this Ordinance.

12. Amendment of child marriage restraint act, 1929 (xix of 1929). Omitted by Ord. 27 of 1981.

13. Amendment of the dissolution of muslim marriages act, 1939 (viii of 1939). Omitted by Ord. 27 of 1981.

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Displaying 10 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Abdul Aziz says:

    Very very very excellent article for family laws and other related law articles

  2. iftkhar ali says:

    Slamo alikam sir mera nam iftkhar ali hai aor muslam hon belgium rehta hon mein pakistan mein shadi karna chahta hon likan mein kisi vjohat ko vaja se pakistan nai aa sakta app se poshna ye hai ke app mery shadi karwa sakte hain fon per ya kesi aor tareqe se mein aa nahi sakta.

  3. I like very much these comments of family laws.

  4. Hola estoy encantada de visitar vuestra web me parece super buena.

    Yo soy una colegial universitaria que me encanta el desarrollo web,
    el diseño y sobre todo la creación de aplicaciones de juegos para móviles.

    Me gusta mucho vuestra web me parece super interesante.

    Os felicito por vuestra web, soy desde ya una admiradora vuestra.

    Hola me ha gustado mucho tu articulo
    Es alucinante, buena aviso la que he encontrado.
    Muchos besitos.
    Por fin alguno que me lo ha explicado para que yo lo puede comprender.

    Estoy demasiado contenta.
    Grande, que contenta estoy, es lo mas. Muchas gracias.

  5. azhar says:

    sir mey aik saal sey neend ki tablets kha rahaa hoo jobs aur gheryloo pareshaani ki wajaa sey. jub ye waqaa hoowaa aus time tablets khaai hoi thi. mey ney apni wife ko juldi juldi mujh sey sey 2 dafa talaq kahaa mey sahey toor per ye word adaa na ker sakaa aur wife ney apney writeen letter mey likha mey 2 dafaa talaq di hey. aur apney mobile sey apni saas key no per talaq talaq talaq k msg send ker diya.sir merey 2 childrens 2 years key. kya talaq revoke hoo sakti hey ya nahi.koi tareeqa bataa ey bohat pareyshaan hoo. mey apni wife ko wapus laa na cha ta hoo mey aus sey bohat mohabat ker ta hoo. plz help me

  6. Allah bux says:

    Sir i m asking any recent judgment by high court under sectoion 4;ordinance 1961,regarding share of grandson plz if recently any judgment givn by court inform m by email. Thanks

  7. Fahd Raja says:

    Allah Bux
    there is a decision of federal shariat court that declares sec:4 and sec 7 as repugnant to spirit of Islam. However appeal has been filed in Supreme Court and it is still
    PLD 2000 FSC 1
    Allah Rakha vs Federation of Pakistan

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