Child Custody in an Islamic Perspective: The Case of South Sudan

Refat Juma is an imam from The Southern Sudan Islamic Council (SSIC), a non-governmental Islamic organization which aims to spread the Islamic call and support poor communities to achieve decent living and prosperity in the fields of education, health and poverty alleviation in Southern Sudan. The Islamic Council of Southern Sudan is a voluntary civil society organization registered with the Ministries of Justice and Humanitarian Affairs, a non-governmental and non-profit organization concerned with the management and organization of Muslim community affairs in South Sudan, headquartered in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The Islamic Council has 33 branches in all states. The country has 32 states in addition to the administrative region of Abyei.

This paper discusses child custody in Islam from the perspective of South Sudan. There is currently no national family law, leaving women and children vulnerable. The South Sudan Islamic Council (SSIC) is a religious group that promotes religious tolerance and advocates for the rights of women and children.

Islamic law (Sharia) grants mothers physical custody (hadana) of their children after divorce, as long as they don’t remarry. However, fathers retain legal custody and control most aspects of the child’s life, including education, residence, and travel documents.

The paper argues that customary law in South Sudan often overlooks the needs of women and children. The SSIC recommends enacting a Family Law Act and Anti-GBV Act to protect women and children’s rights. They also call for better education on both Sharia law and basic human rights.

BACA JUGA:   The Concept of Genderin Islam
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