This Study aims to analyze the matter of the substantial age difference between the nuptials, in an attempt to accomplish two basic goals; namely: elaborate the position of Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) on this issue, and analyze the position of the Emirati and Jordanian personal status Laws toward this matter. The present Study adopted the descriptive analytical method including comparison and criticism, and it found that the jurists held two distinct positions; the first deems it necessary to have age compatibility, where one group among them considers it laudable and the other considers it as a condition; and the second one views it as unessential between the two nuptials. The author of the Study favored, based on discussing the opinions and criticizing them, and relying on the opinion of some psychologists and sociologists, the opinion arguing for the necessity of compatibility in age between the two nuptials.

As to the legal position, the Emirati and Jordanian legislators addressed this issue, where the Emirati legislator emphasized that in case the two betrothed are not compatible in age where the age of the fiancé is double that of the fiancée or more, then the marriage is not officially concluded except with the approval and knowledge of the betrothed and upon obtaining the permission of the judge. The latter may not give permission unless there is an overriding interest in this marriage. As for the Jordanian legislator he dealt with this issue by taking the position that it is prohibited to conclude a marriage with a woman in case the fiancé is more than twenty years her senior except if the judge ascertains her consent and free choice.

The Study concluded by offering a cluster of recommendations, foremost of which: is the amendment of the paragraph dealing with the matter of age compatibility between the nuptials in the Emirati and Jordanian Laws to become: “It is prohibited to conclude the contract in case the age difference between the two parties is twenty years and more, except upon the judge ascertaining consent and free choice of both parties, and that an overriding interest is present in this contract,” where the two forms of the matter is an older person marrying a young woman and a young man marrying an old woman.

Key words: age compatibility, age, betrothed, personal status law

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