As-Salāmu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakathuhu

May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you beautiful people

"Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." [Qur'an 17:81]

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Does Islam allow/encourage marriage with prepubescent girls?

The marriage of Aisha is totally unrelated to the verses usually bought up by anti islamists

65:1 O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately) their prescribed periods: and fear Allah your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are the limits set by Allah: and any who transgresses the limits of Allah, does verily wrong his (own) soul: thou knowest not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation.

65:2 Thus when they fulfill their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms; and take four witnesses two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day and for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out.

65:3 And He provides from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.

65:4 Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if he have any doubts is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.

65:5 This is the Command of Allah, which He has sent down to you: and if anyone fears Allah, He will remove his ills from him, and will enlarge His reward.

65:6 Let the women live (in iddah) in the same style as ye live, according to your means annoy them not, so as to restrict them. And if they carry (life in the wombs) then spend (your substance) on them until they deliver their burden: and if they suckle your (offspring), give them their recompense: and take mutual counsel together, according to what is just and reasonable. And if ye find yourselves in difficulties, let another woman suckle (the child) on the (father's) behalf.

65:7 Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief.

Sura 65:4 isn't talking about pre pubescent girls. It is talking about the iddah of a divorced woman. 4 months for a widow is the prescribed iddah, 3 months for a woman who you are in doubt about, and 9 months if the woman is pregnant. The three monthly courses for women is prescribed as a way to see if the woman is pregnant, if she is then by the end of three months you will know if she is pregnant or not. If she is pregnant then she can not marry until she delivers the baby. It is to ensure the child's lineage. During those three months the woman can not get married until all parties see if she is pregnant or not.

A woman can not bleed for the following reasons:
1. Medical
2. Born without a uterus (in which case she doesn't get a menses)
3. Post menopausal or menopause

Footnote on Sura 65:4 from Abdullah Yusuf Ali:
For normal women, the iddah is the three monthly courses after separation: if there are no courses or if the courses are in doubt, it is three calender months. By that time it will be clear whether there is pregnancy if there is the waiting period is still after delivery.

The verses are clearly speaking about divorce of women, and there are three categories of those women:

1- Women who are very old.

2- Women who have not had their monthly period at the time of the divorce.

3- Women who are pregnant at the time of the divorce.

For point #2, it doesn't necessarily have to mean that the woman was a young girl. It is clearly talking about the wife not having her period yet when the divorce happened. Women on average have 10 days of menstruation each month. Point #2 could be speaking about the 20 other days

I would like to add that many women do not have menstruation cycle even after reaching age of puberty, the verses in question also deal with this issue

**COUNTERCLAIM**

First the phrase: “Yaisna min al-maheedhi” which means “those women who are desperate of menses” is an indication to women who reached the stage of menstruation but do not menstruate and of those who reached menopause. Desperate of menses underlines that it concerns women who though reached the age, fail to menstruate too. Their 'Iddah period is three months.

Next comes, “Wallaee Lam yahidhna” which means “those who have not menstruated yet” This group of females are pre-pubescent girls who have not yet menstruated. Here the 'Iddah prescribed for them is equal to the previous group of women (ie. three months).

ANSWER:

واللائي
and those
لم
Did not
يحضن
have their periods
فعدتهن
so their waiting time
ثلاثة
Three
أشهر
Months

So it is referring to those who do not have their period, it does not mention kids or young girls. As i said it is referring to those who have not had their period yet, or those after puberty who still have not had a menstruation cycle even after reaching age of puberty. To say it is referring to pre-pubescent girls is incorrect, whether it is you saying it or any writer of tafsir. It is simply inserting something into the text which is not there, making that which is plain and clear more confusing

As respected as they may be, anyone can make mistakes.

Islamic rules on marriage:

1. The first condition required is puberty. Some girls, even if they are 17 years old still haven't had their first menstruation, so without this 1st condition marriage is impossible.

2. The second condition - 'Rushd' the girl has to be mature “enough to distinguish between good and bad" - (prudent judgement) and therefore be able to give an "INFORMED CONSENT".

3. Third condition - a girl has to be really ready mentally and physically to undertake the heavy responsibilities of marriage and child bearing, including the right and duties and the basis of fulfilling this condition is education. This is why in Islamic education is fundamental in all aspects. Academic education and the learning of skills is also very important.

4. If all those 3 conditions are present, then the last condition is that no one, even the parents can force their daughter to marry without her consent so without this the marriage is not valid. Coercion is also classified as a forced marriage.

Verses in the Quran have to be looked at in a hollistic context, and as I showed you the conditions of marriage, marriage of pre-pubescent girls would be impossible based on the Quran's very own conditions so to say this verse is referring to this is false. Hence it must be looked at bearing the conditions of marriage in mind, when done so if one continues to say it refers to pre-pubescent girls then it becomes an absurdity and an internal contradiction, which it is not. It only becomes as such to the one trying to force the issues and convince everyone this verse refers to pre-pubescent girls.

Conclusion:

 
Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the highest religious body in the Sunni world, has recently released a new manual on the rights of Muslim children.

"Marriage in Islam is regulated by certain rules, namely, children must reach puberty and maturity so that they can get married," it reads.

According to the Islamic Jurisprudence the conditions for marriage are:

1. The first condition required is puberty. Some girls, even if they are 17 years old still haven't had their first menstruation, so without this 1st condition marriage is impossible.

2. The second condition - 'Rushd' the girl has to be mature “enough to distinguish between good and bad" - (prudent judgement) and therefore be able to give an "INFORMED CONSENT".

3. Third condition - a girl has to be really ready mentally and physically to undertake the heavy responsibilities of marriage and child bearing, including the right and duties and the basis of fulfilling this condition is education. This is why in Islamic education is fundamental in all aspects. Academic education and the learning of skills is also very important.

4. If all those 3 conditions are present, then the last condition is that no one, even the parents can force their daughter to marry without her consent so without this the marriage is not valid. Coercion is also classified as a forced marriage.

So clearly an INFORMED CONSENT (Rushd) is required for a halaal marriage otherwise it is void in Islam. In this day and age, a girl at puberty is clearly not mature to give an informed consent. This is a requirement by Islamic law. If this law is not fulfilled the marriage is haram and 'void' in Islam. Coercing little girls is equivalent to forcing them so if there are such practices taking place in the world today I condemn them and needless to say they are totally unislamic.

In reference to the marriage of the prophet we have a different historical context. Various studies have proven that psychological maturity and adulthood were reached at puberty in pre-modern times:- it is imprudent of anyone to believe that they can bring the social norm of the 7th Century and apply it in the world today. Psychological maturity has delayed in modern times, much above the age of puberty whereby adulthood and maturity is supported by a structured education and legal system. That is the new social norm. Islam demands psychological maturity (required for an Informed Consent). Similarly trying to apply modern norms on 7th century arabia is also imprudent as maturity was reached alot earlier then

1 comment:

uzumaki naruto said...

walaikumussalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu ur posts are really helpful. keep up the good work please