Victoria University of Wellington

Eva Nisa

Dr Eva Nisa is a lecturer of Religious Studies, School of Art, History, Classics and Religious Studies. She has focused on three topics in her research on unregistered marriages in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Her first topic deals with the trend of unregistered Muslim marriages of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia. In this research, she also discusses another trend among these migrant workers, namely ithbat nikah- officialising unregistered marriages. The policies issued by the Malaysian Immigration Department for these low-skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers holding Temporary Work Visit Passes prevents them from bringing their families or marrying in Malaysia. Nisa emphasises the importance of the social, political and religious contexts in analysing how the law operates and how these workers navigate often precarious situations and make strategic decisions. She also looks at the important notions of honour, shame and sexual desire, and transnational Muslim ethics in general.

Nisa’s second research on unregistered marriages deals with online siri (secret) marriages in Indonesia. Here she focuses on the effortsof the Indonesian government to bureaucratise Muslim marriages by insisting that citizens register unregistered marriages. This effort has generated criticism from conservative Muslims who believe in the validity of their marriages as long as all of the Islamic legal requirements for such marriages are fulfilled. Currently, she is also focusing on mut’a (temporary) marriages among young Shi’a communities in Indonesia.

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