View Full Version : Refuting the Islamophobe's claim that Prophet Muhammad was a Pedophile [Amazing!].
02-12-2009, 02:56 PM
This is a really good book which discusses marriage throughout the world in different countries throughout history.
It's called: Refuting the Islamophobe's claim that Prophet Muhammad was a Pedophile.
What the Book contains:
In the first part; It first explains how marriages took place normally at a younger age in history throughout the world with sources and quick explanations as to why this occurred.
In the second part; It discusses the marriage of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Aisha, and how she wasn't really a child at all with quotes from herself to prove her adulthood.
It further explains the concept is totally different to how you imagine. And what really is meant is that some pubescents do not get their periods early [i.e. some young woman may not get their periods uptill their 20s!], however - they have matured physically in every other way. So there will be no harm that will come to them if they were to get married and have sexual relations. (He quotes 'ulamah who are well known i.e. Ibn Taymiyyah etc.)
The author is a medical student and on his final stages to be a doctor (insha Allah), so he knows what he's saying.
Here's a list of the contents page if you want to get a brief understanding of the books layout;
The Islamaphobe’s Glass House
Disclaimer __________________________________________________ ___________ 4
Introduction __________________________________________________ __________ 5
The Glass House __________________________________________________ ____ 6
Age of Marriage Under Jewish Law _________________________________________ 7
Age of Marriage Under Christian Law ______________________________________ 13
Historical Age of Marriage in Western Countries _____________________________ 22
Age of Marriage During Biblical Times ___________________________________ 23
Age of Marriage in Rome ______________________________________________ 25
Age of Marriage in Greece _____________________________________________ 28
Age of Marriage in Christian Europe _____________________________________ 29
Revered Christian Figures ________________________________________________ 30
Christian Saints __________________________________________________ ____ 31
Christian Kings, Royals, and Nobles _____________________________________ 33
Jewish and Christian Prophets__________________________________________ _ 36
Historical Age of Marriage in Non-Western Countries _________________________ 41
Age of Marriage in Egypt ______________________________________________ 42
Age of Marriage in India _______________________________________________ 43
Age of Marriage in Russia _____________________________________________ 44
Age of Marriage in China ______________________________________________ 45
Age of Marriage in Mongolia ___________________________________________ 46
Age of Marriage in Australia ___________________________________________ 47
Age of Marriage amongst Native Americans _______________________________ 49
Age of Marriage in Africa ______________________________________________ 52
Age of Marriage Under Hindu Law ________________________________________ 55
Age of Puberty __________________________________________________ ______ 59
Range of Puberty __________________________________________________ ___ 60
Range of Puberty Varies With Location ___________________________________ 62
Age of Sexual Maturity in Ancient Arabia _________________________________ 66
Age of Marriage Under Islamic Law _______________________________________ 67
Marriage of Immature Girls in Islam _____________________________________ 68
Consummation of Marriage ____________________________________________ 83
The Islamaphobe’s Glass House
Puberty __________________________________________________ __________ 86
Was Aisha Pre- or Post-Pubertal? ________________________________________ 95
Aisha’s Dolls __________________________________________________ ______ 98
Aisha’s Dolls: Round Two! ___________________________________________ 100
Did the Prophet’s Disciple View Aisha as Immature? _______________________ 112
Who Decides When a Girl is Mature? ___________________________________ 115
Father Cannot Oppress Daughter _______________________________________ 120
Forced Marriages are Forbidden (Haram)
Average Age of Marriage in the Post-Industrial World ________________________ 126
Pedophilia __________________________________________________ _________ 129
Prophet Muhammad’s Marriage to Aisha ___________________________________ 132
A Socio-Political Marriage ____________________________________________ 133
Noblewomen Married Early ___________________________________________ 137
Nothing Much Ado __________________________________________________ 138
__________________________________________________ _________ 140
02-12-2009, 02:57 PM
Age of Marriag e Under Jewish Law
The Jewish website, says:
The minimum age for marriage under Jewish law is 13 for boys, 12 for girls; however, the kiddushin [betrothal] can take place before that, and often did inmedieval times.
The age of twelve approximates the commencement of puberty. According to JewishLaw, marriage at this age is not just allowed, but rather it is actively and fathers are advised to quickly wed their pubescent daughters. We read:
One passage that would echo long and loud for Ashkenazic Jews throughout the Middle Ages held that a man who marries off his sons and daughters near the period of puberty (samukh le-firkan) will receive the scriptural blessing: “you shall know that your tent is in peace” (Job 5:24), 101 evidently understood to mean that if one’s children were married, they would not succumb to sexualtemptation” (Biale, 1997:p49-50)
(G.U.S.: A World Reference Atlas, http://www2.rz.hu-berlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/MIDDLEEASTOLD.HTM)
So Jewish Law allows men to marry twelve year olds, whom today would be considered “child brides”. But th e plot thickens! Even the age limit of twelve is not absolute.
Rather, twelve years old is merely the age at which a girl can decide to getmarried. Before that, however, her father can have her married off, without herpermission.
We read from the website of the to the United Nations:
According to Jewish religious law ( ), which in Israel confers validity on the marriage of Jews conducted within its borders, it is possible to marry a young girl of any age, but the girl h erself may decide to marry only when she has reached the age of 12 and a half.
(U.N. rep resentative, http://www.right-to-education.org/content/age/israel.html)
The authoritative Jewish website, says:
by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg
…In ancient (and not so ancient) times however, marriage was often-timescelebrated at a rather young age. Although we do not follow this dictum, technically speaking, a girl may be betrothed the moment she is born, and married at the age of three. [Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 37:1.] A boy may betroth and marry at the age of thirteen. [Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 43:1]
The Talmud recommen ds that a daughter be given in marriage at around the age oftwelve (i.e. the commencement of puberty), but Jewish fathers were historically allowed to marry their daughters off even before that age. Surprisingly, th e wife could be as young as three years old. According to Jewish Law, such marriages were officiallysealed by the man having sex with the baby. We read:
In the ancient world, Jewish law seemed to require an act of intercourse for abetrothal to be recognised. The Mishnah said:
"A girl three years old and one day may be betrothed by intercourse […]"
(Mishnah, Nid. V. 4). Maimonides
(A. D. 1180) states: "If she is three years and one day old she may be betrothed byan act of intercourse, with the consent of her father. If she is less than that, and her father has her betrothed b y an act of intercourse, sh e is not betrothed"
([1972:p18]). Edwardes (1967a:p168): "The early-marriage tradition of
Israel found acceptance in Christendom, whose precocious children bedded and wedded at or even before puberty
At the time of St. Paul, girls were married at puberty or a little before.
(G.U.S.: A World Reference Atlas,
Although twelve was set as the age, Jewish fathers were marrying their
daughters off well before that. We read:
Although the Talmud recommended that a daughter be given in mar riage when, between the ages of twelve and twelve and a half, a father could marry heroff well before that time…16th century Jewish history reveals a prevalence of girl "child" marriage, many of whom were between 12 and 14 years of age (Lamdan,1996)
The early marriage age may be attributed to several factors: an attempt to preventthe temptation of sexual relations before marriage; the effort to arrange the bestpossible match both socially and economically; the insecurity of diaspora Jews during the age of expulsions from Spain and Ottoman expansion, movingthem to establish ties that would assure the children 's financial future; and thedesire to raise a new generation of Jews as quickly as possible to assure thecontinuity of their people.
(G.U.S.: A World Reference Atlas, http://www2.rz.hu- (http://www2.rz.hu-/)berlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/MIDDLEEASTOLD.HTM)
According to many Jewish scholars, a girl should be married off as soon as she hitspuberty and no later. The says:
The first positive commandment of the Bible, according to rabbinic interpretation(Maimonides, "Min yan ha-Mi wot," 212), is that concerning the propagation of the human species (Gen. i. 28). It is thus considered the duty of every Israelite to...
...marry as early in life as possible. Some urge that children should marry as soon as they reach the age of puberty.
In the journal entitled , we find that Jews were still marr ying at the age
of puberty up until World War I:
In earlier days, girls got married at the age of nine…[following the] custom of marrying daughters at age eight to ten…if the maiden does not get marrieduntil the age of fifteen she has no hope of marriage, because she would beconsidered an old maid…At the end of the nineteenth century, despite theseregulations, families still married their daughters at the age of twelve andthirteen…On the eve of World War I, the situation changed somewhat for thebetter when the legal age for marriage was raised to fifteen.
(Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal,
Jewish girls “got married at the age of nine”, a practice which continued up until “the eve of World War I”. Why then are the Jews criticizing Prophet Muhammad (peace be uponhim) for marr ying Aisha (peace be upon her) at the age of nine? Is this not hypocrisy? Isthis not a case of living in a glass house and throwing stones? Why is it that Christian
adversaries condemn Muslims but say nothing at all to their Jewish counterparts?
To conclude, we close with the words of Mark E. Pietrzyk:
According to the Talmud, the recommended age for marriage is sometime after twelve for females, and thirteen for males. Marriage below these ages was generally frowned upon. However, a father was allowed to betroth his daughter to another man at an earlier age, and sexual intercourse was regarded as a valid...
...means of sealing a betrothal. The age limit for betrothal through sexual intercourse was shockingly low. According to the Talmud, “A girl of the age ofthree years and one day may be betrothed b y intercourse.”
(Mark E. Pietrzyk, http://www.internationalord (http://www.internationalord/)er.org/scandal_response.html)
02-12-2009, 02:58 PM
Age of Marriage Under Christian Law
We have shown how the Jewish Encyclopedia says that under Jewish Law girls can marry at the age of twelve or even younger than that; let us now see what the Catholic Encyclopedia says of Christian laws with regards to marriage.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says:The marriageable age is fourteen full years in males and twelve full years in
females, under penalty of nullity (unless natural puberty supplies the want of years [i.e. if puberty occurs before the age of twelve])… The canonical age holds in England, Spain, Portugal, Greece (Ionian Isles excepted, where it is sixteen and fourteen), and as regards Catholics even in Austria. While in some parts of the United States the canonical marriage age of fourteen and twelve still prevails, in others it has been enlarged by statutes.
(Catholic Encyclopedia, CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Canonical Age (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01206c.htm))
Elsewhere, the Catholic Encyclopedia says:By the common law, the age at which minors were capable of marrying, known as the age of consent, was fixed at fourteen years for males and twelve years for females. Marriages under the age of seven years for both were void, but between seven and the age of consent [14 for males, 12 for females] the parties could contract an imperfect marriage, which was voidable but not necessarily void.
(Catholic Encyclopedia, CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Civil Marriage (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09691b.htm))
Although twelve was the general guideline, Christian fathers were allowed to marry their daughters off even before that. We read:
Medieval Christianity continued to maintain the age of twelve as a minimal age for females to enter into marriage. However, even this low age limit was not absolute. Using natural law logic, Catholic authorities argued that the decisive factor which determined a child's readiness for marriage and sexual relations was the onset of puberty, and not necessarily age as such.
According to one Catholic scholar, “If it could be satisfactorily proved that puberty . . . was actually attained by the boy before the completion of his fourteenth year, or by the girl before the completion of her twelfth year, then . . . the party could enter upon a valid marriage.” 
(Mark E. Pietrzyk, http://www.internationalorder.or/scandal_response.html)
Similar to Jewish Law, Christian Law differentiated between the minimum age of marriage and the absolute minimum age of marriage. Twelve years old was the minimum age of marriage, called the age of consent; in other words, a girl had to be twelve years old before should could arrange her own marriage. But the absolute minimum age of marriage was in fact seven years of age, during which time her father could arrange her marriage without her permission. In the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, we read:
Age of Consent: A Historical Overview
Age of Consent throughout history has usually coincided with the age of
puberty although at sometimes it has been as early as seven…The Roman
tradition served as the base for Christian Europe as well as the Christian Church itself which generally, essentially based upon biological development, set it at 12 or 14 but continued to set the absolute minimum at seven. In the past century there has been a tendency to raise the age of consent but the reasons for the change have not always been clear and the issue has been further complicated by the reluctance of many contemporary historians to recognize what the actual age of consent in the past has been. This failure has distorted the importance of biology on age of consent in the past.
(Age of Consent: A Historical Overview,
 O'Dea, 1-3; Rush, 30-3
Saint Thomas Aquinas, considered by Catholics to be the greatest theologian of all time, wrote in The Summa Theologica:If the parties are betrothed by another person [i.e. the father] before they reach the age of puberty, either of them or both can demur; wherefore in that case the betrothal does not take effect, so that neither does any affinity result therefrom.
Hence a betrothal made between certain persons by some other takes effect, in so far as those between whom the betrothal is arranged do not demur when they reach the proper age, whence they are understood to consent to what others have done.
(The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas,
SUMMA THEOLOGICA: Matrimony with regard to the betrothal (Supplementum, Q. 43) (http://www.newadvent.org/summa/5043.htm))
In other words, pre-pubertal marriages arranged by the father are recognized by the Church. Once the girl reaches puberty, she has the option of nullifying the marriage. However, there is a big catch to this: if the man has sex with the pre-pubertal girl, then she can no longer nullify the marriage. Catholic popes argued that even if marriage took place before twelve years of age and before puberty, then such a marriage would still be binding by the law. We read:Sexual intercourse which took place before marital age limits or puberty was not necessarily illicit or sinful. On the contrary, some popes ruled that intercourse below the age of twelve/fourteen had the effect of sealing a marriage contract, as long as such intercourse took place after the age of discretion, which was seven.
Once intercourse had taken place, the marriage could not be annulled.
(Mark E. Pietrzyk, http://www.internationalorder.or/scandal_response.html)
This is a very important point, and shatters the glass house that the Christians live in. The popes—who, due to the backing of the Holy Ghost, are considered infallible when they issue such religious edicts—ruled that a girl could be married off after the age of...
 Rush, 32-34.
...seven, before the age of consent. In other words, she could be married against her will.
If the husband had sex with her (even against her will), then this sealed the marriage and the girl could not annul the marriage. In the twelfth century, Pope Alexander III ruled:
If a girl of tender age is betrothed and delivered to her husband, and afterwards desires to marry a different man, her petition is not to be granted if her husband swears that he has had carnal knowledge of her even at the early age of eleven or twelve. 
The Christian scholars ruled that even if a seven year old girl had sex before reaching the age of puberty, the fact that she had sex proves that she was mature enough to be married.
In other words, the minimum criteria to marry a girl is that a man can have sex with her. When a man wants to marry a young girl, all he has to do is marry her and then have sex with her. In a very circular logic, the sex he had with her will validate his marriage and prevent an annulment. Christian Law therefore dictates that it does not matter how young a girl is, or whether or not she has attained the age of puberty; all that truly matters is that her husband can penetrate her and have sex. Once he does this, nobody can oppose or annul the marriage.
C. Yandell writes in “Carpe Corpus: Time and Gender in Early Modern France”:
In canon law, puberty normally determines marriageable age, although the
minimum age for marriage is seven years, "the age of reason", when a child is deemed capable of consent. The lawyer Estienne Pasquier notes that the Digest compiled by Justinian specifies fourteen years for men, twelve for women, but, he adds, if one is capable of carnal cohabitation before this age, marriage is permitted.
(Carpe Corpus: Time and Gender in Early Modern France, by Cathy Yandell
p.37, Carpe Corpus: Time and Gender in ... - Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/books?id=YXs1A_xAXp8C&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=noblewomen+married+early&source=web&ots=q6KGHQigfa&sig=0Pv95S0Z7pBtjVz9GZHbuWc53ho#PPP1,M1))
 Quoted in John Fulton, The Laws of Marriage (New York: E. and J.B. Young, 1883), 112.
We read further:
Thus even for very young partners, the act of intercourse bound the two of them together for life. As one Catholic scholar has written, “carnal relations between the parties seemed to indicate sufficient maturity and made up for the defect of years.”  Sexual intercourse below the age of discretion (seven) was not a crime, but merely “invalid,” and thus, inconsequential, as under Jewish law. 
Parents arranged marriages for their pre-pubescent children during the Middle Ages for a variety of dynastic, economic, and cultural reasons.  Such marriages were usually consummated at the age of twelve. Although physicians warned of the dangers of impregnating very young girls and implored husbands to wait until the wife reached the age of at least fourteen, such warnings usually went unheeded, and the Catholic Church continued to bless marital bonds with twelveyear-old girls. 
Although technically the consent of the child was necessary for a marriage to take place, the child was usually not in a position to challenge his or her parents and resist an unwanted union. This led to a number of abuses which went unchallenged by the Church. In 1526, the Dutch scholar Erasmus complained, “It is no uncommon case, especially in France, for a girl of scarce ten years to be married and a mother next year. . . . It seems portentous, and yet we sometimes see it, especially in Britain and Italy, that a tender child is married to a septuagenarian [i.e. a man in his seventies]. . . . Yet Church laws do not rescind such nuptials” 
 O'Dea, 8.
 For an example, see Charles Edward Smith, Papal Enforcement of Some Medieval Marriage Laws (Port
Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1940), 142-44.
 V.H.H. Green, Medieval Civilization in Western Europe (London: Edward Arnold Ltd., 1971), 184-85
 William J. Fielding, Strange Customs of Courtship and Marriage (New York: The New Home Library,
 Quoted in G.G. Coulton, Medieval Panorama (New York: MacMillan, 1944), 639.
In later centuries, some Christian commentators would denounce sexual relations with young girls as being equivalent to rape. In the sixteenth century, canonist Egidio Bossi argued for this interpretation on the grounds that a child could hardly be considered as being in a position to give consent. However, he recommended that the age of consent be fixed at only six or seven years of age. 
At the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, there was some discussion among the Church leadership about possibly raising the age for marriage.
Cardinal Charles De Guise of Lorraine, France, advocated raising the age of
marriage for women to twenty and for men to twenty-five. The bishop of Cordia, Spain, argued for the ages of twenty for women and twenty-two for men.
However, the majority of those on the Council were opposed to raising the age for marriage on the grounds that adolescents would be tempted to commit fornication unless they were permitted to marry. The conservatives prevailed: the age limit remained at twelve for females and fourteen for males. 
(Mark E. Pietrzyk, Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse (http://www.internationalorder.org/scandal_response.html))
In a paper published at a symposium on Byzantine Studies, we read:
Baptism, usually at birth, was the fundamental rite of incorporation into the body of Christ and the Church…Betrothal, sometimes as early as the age of five, marked another stage in the child’s social incorporation.
(Byzantine Studies: 2006 Spring Symposium,
 “Rape and Marriage in the Medieval Canon Law,” in James A. Brundage, ed., Sex, Law and Marriage
in the Middle Ages (Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate, 1993), 67.
 O'Dea, 4-6
Aisha (peace be upon her) was around the age of puberty when she married. Christians criticize the Prophet’s marriage to her on the grounds that she was too young. Yet, Christian Law not only allowed girls to marry at the age of puberty, but rather it was encouraged by the Church to marry at this young age. In an article entitled “The Practice and Theory of Marriage in Roman North Africa”, we read:
Other canons require that lectors, upon reaching puberty, should either marry or take vows of celibacy.
(The Practice and Theory of Marriage in Roman North Africa,
Practice and Theory of Marriage (http://people.vanderbilt.edu/%7Ejames.p.burns/chroma/marriage/huntermar.html))
In the article entitled “Marriage: Laws and Customs”, we read:
Legal Age for Marriage Roman law gave the minimum age for marriage as that of puberty which was 14 for boys and 12 for girls; these remained the legal age for marriage until the late 19th Century in Britain…There is however evidence that child marriages were reasonably common in North West England in the 16th century…
(Marriage: Laws and Customs, http://www.isle-ofman (http://www.isle-ofman/).
In an article entitled “Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe”, we read:
Ordinary people who chose not to devote their lives to ascetic observances were often advised that their best defense against the ever present urge to copulate was to marry early. For this reason, St. Chrysostom warned parents to see to it that their children married soon after they reached the age of puberty.
(Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe,
Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe by James Brundage (http://www.pinn.net/%7Esunshine/book-sum/medevl1.html))
When girls neared the approximate age of puberty, they were considered marriage material. These pre-pubescent and pubescent girls were routinely married off to men who were the same age as their grandfathers. We read:
Christian canon law followed Roman law in setting the minimum age of marriage at twelve for females and fourteen for males. The logic behind these marital age limits was that these were the approximate ages of puberty for both genders, indicating readiness for procreation. In ancient Rome, among both pagans and Christians, marriage at an early age was frequent. Betrothals often occurred even before puberty, although the consummation of marriage through intercourse usually did not take place until after the girl’s first menstruation. Very often, the age of discrepancy of marriage partners was great. According to one historian, “the matching of a man with a woman young enough to be his daughter or even granddaughter was generally accepted.” 
(Mark E. Pietrzyk, Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse (http://www.internationalorder.org/scandal_response.html))
 Treggiari, 102; John C. O'Dea, The Matrimonial Impediment of Nonage (Washington, DC: Catholic
University of America Press, 1944), 1. __________________
02-12-2009, 02:58 PM
Historical Age of Marriage in Western Countries
Age of Marriage in Rome
According to About.com:
In Ancient Rome…young girls were often married off when they were between the ages of twelve and fourteen.
(About.com, Teen Marriage -- History, Statistics, Things to Consider (http://marriage.about.com/cs/teenmarriage/a/teenmarriage.htm))
In the book entitled The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome, we read:
Traditionally in pre-modern societies, AAFM [age at first marriage] for girls
corresponded with the visible onset of puberty. In these early societies, high mortality rates demanded an offsetting high-birth rate. As a result, younger marriages were required to facilitate population growth.
(The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome, http://osdir.com/ml/education.public...l-review/2006- (http://osdir.com/ml/education.publications.bryn-mawr-classical-review/2006-)
In a scholarly article about the Roman Empire, we read that marriage would oftentimes precede the onset of puberty: Durry (1955a/b/c, 1956) had argued that Roman girls were married before puberty, that puberty was not important in fixing the age of marriage, and that such early marriages were consummated before puberty…
Taking into consideration epigraphic and literary material, Hopkins concludes that "[w]hether pre-pubertal or not, girl's age at marriage was by our standards very young and marriages were generally immediately
At least one author believed that a girl "should be married and deflowered as soon as she reaches puberty (i.e., the socially determined age of puberty)… "
Psychohistorians cite Rouselle (1988:p33) in arguing that Roman misconceptions about the hymen "could only be the result of girls being deflowered before puberty", being lawfully married before puberty.
(Janssen, D.F.; Oct 2002. G.U.S.. Volume I: World Reference Atlas. InterimReport. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GES...M#_Toc26337172 (http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/HISTORYCHHS.HTM#_Toc26337172))
In the article “The Age of Roman Girls at Marriage”, we read:
In fact menarche (onset of menses) was not always a pre-condition of marriage; nevertheless marriages were usually consummated immediately…they (prepubertal marriages) were not exceptional and were condoned. (The Age of Roman Girls at Marriage, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0032-
The age of seven was in vogue:
Around AD 530, and at least as far back as the reign of Augustus, the legal minimum age of marriage for girls was 12 and for boys 14 (Hopkins,
p313n22)…At least for the aristocracy, early ages are frequently mentioned. Betrothal could take place within a poorly defined period before this age; at least it must be assumed that a minimum legal age of seven was in vogue (p313n23) … Plutarche (historian, philosopher), and Soranus (doctor,
practising at Rome), both Greeks, implied that early marriage (12 or before) and defloration would occur…
(Janssen, D.F.; Oct 2002. G.U.S.. Volume I: World Reference Atlas. InterimReport. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, http://www2.huberlin (http://www2.huberlin/).
The great Roman leader Augustus fixed the minimum age of marriage at ten years old:
Roman children of the aristocracy married youngest (Hopkins, 1965:316ff;1983:p94; Weaver, 1986:p156). Roman marriage arrangements usually
began with a betrothal, which was possible before age ten, at least in the case of the aristocracy, or when political gains were in vogue (Balsdon, p87,
275n18). Augustus (AD 9) had fixed the minimum age at ten (Rawson, 1986:p21)…
(Janssen, D.F.; Oct 2002. G.U.S.. Volume I: World Reference Atlas. Interim Report. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, http://www2.huberlin (http://www2.huberlin/).
Age of Marriage in Greece
In the Ancient Greek civilization, the time to marry was at the onset of puberty:
Flacelière (59) also mentioned that girls could marry as soon as puberty hit.
(Daily Life in Greece at the Time of Pericles, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0075-
4269(1966)86%3C250%3ADLIGAT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W, http://www.richeast.org/htwm/Greeks/.../marriage.html (http://www.richeast.org/htwm/Greeks/marriage/marriage.html) )
Athenian men married out of a sense of civic duty and put off the fateful day until the age of 30 or more, at which time they married girls of half their age whose youth made them more easily controlled. (WomanInTheAncientWorld.com, http://www.womenintheancientworld.co...nt%20egypt.htm (http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/women%20in%20ancient%20egypt.htm))
02-12-2009, 02:59 PM
Jewish and Christian Prophets
1. Abraham: When the ignorant Christians condemn Prophet Muhammad (peace be
upon him) for marrying a young girl fifty years younger than him, they are actually
attacking the Prophets in their Bible as well. Do they not recall the story of Prophet
Abraham (peace be upon him) who, according to the Bible, slept with Hagar (peace be
upon her) who was sixty or seventy younger than him? If the Christians have an issue
with Prophet Muhammad being in his fifties, do they not say anything when Prophet
Abraham was in his eighties? We read:
Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband
to be his wife. He (Abram) slept with Hagar, and she conceived…So Hagar bore
Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram
was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
(Genesis, Chapter 16, verses 1–4, 15–16, NIV)
2. David: We read in the Bible that King David lay beside a young virgin, by which was
meant a girl who had just attained the age of puberty. We read:
When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm
even when they put covers over him. So his servants said to him, ‘Let us look for
a young virgin to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so
that our lord the king may keep warm.’ Then they searched throughout Israel for a
beautiful girl and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
(1 Kings, Chapter 1, verses 1–4, NIV)
3. Isaac: According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, Prophet Isaac (peace be upon him) was forty years old when he married Rebecca (Rivka) who was only three years old at the time! And it should be remembered that Prophet Isaac is considered by the Jews to be one of the most important of Prophets, and Rebecca is one of the four matriarchs of the Jews. What is interesting to note is that just like there are some defeatist Muslims who deny that Aisha was nine years old when she was married, there are also some defeatist Jews who deny that Rebecca was three years old when she was married. We refer the reader to the following defeatist website made by contemporary Jews who seek to deny what their classical scholars say on the matter:
Jewish Legends: Not according to everyone! (http://www.jewishlegends.com/displayExp.php?rumor=122)
In this article, the Jewish writers admit that they are taught in Jewish schools that
Rebecca was three years old when she was married:We all came home from school saying that Rivka was three years old when
she got married, and most of us had a hard time believing it. Our teachers
explained that people in those days matured faster, so 3 years old then was not
what 3 years old is now. What they did not tell us (probably because they did not
know), is that there is another opinion that says that she was 14.
Jewish Legends: Not according to everyone! (http://www.jewishlegends.com/displayExp.php?rumor=122))
How oddly similar is this claim made by these Jewish defeatists (“another opinion that
says she was 14”) to the claim made by some Muslim defeatists who claim that “another opinion says that Aisha was nineteen years of age.” Jewish apologists further the following argument:
Rivka, shortly before her marriage (Bereishit 24:16), is called NA’ARAH, which
refers to a girl of at least 12 years of age!
(JewishLegends.com, Jewish Legends: Not according to everyone! (http://www.jewishlegends.com/displayExp.php?rumor=122))
Muslim apologists use a strikingly similar argument. We cite the example of Understanding-Islam.com, a Muslim website that takes unorthodox opinions:
All those who know the Arabic language, are aware that the word "bikr" in the Arabic language is not used for an immature nine-year old girl. The correct word for a young playful girl, as stated earlier is "Jariyah". "Bikr" on the other hand, is used for an unmarried lady, and obviously a nine year old is not a "lady". (Understanding-Islam, http://understandingislam (http://understandingislam/).com/related/text.asp?type=question&qid=375)
Both sites (Jewish and Muslim) engage in some simplistic mathematical arguments in order to find discrepancies in dating. In fact, both groups use similar methodology to question the historicity of these early marriages. What is not similar, however, is the amount of ink wasted attacking Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the one hand and on the other hand the silence on Prophet Isaac’s marriage to the three year old Rebecca. The Zionists lead the charge in the attacks against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), so should we now expose their hypocrisy? If they argue that their classical scholars were wrong for saying that the forty year old Prophet Isaac married a three year old, then logic and fairness dictate that the Muslims are also absolved because they too have defeatists who simply deny that Aisha was nine at the time of marriage!
4. Jesus: And if the Christians wish to stick a spear in our hearts by attacking Prophet Muhammad, then what of Prophet Jesus’s mother Mary (peace be upon her) who was only twelve years old when she was betrothed to the ninety year old Saint Joseph? The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
The priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda
a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph,
who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates.
(Catholic Encyclopedia, CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Joseph (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08504a.htm))
According to the “Oxford Dictionary Bible” commentary, Mary was twelve years old when she became pregnant. As for the age of Saint Joseph, the traditional opinion was that he was a ninety year old widower at the time. It has only been very recently that suddenly the defeatists have sought to deny this, claiming that Joseph was “only” in his thirties. Whether or not Joseph was in his thirties or nineties is largely inconsequential, since the fact is that he was a grown man who married a twelve year old girl. In any case, the Christian East still accepts the idea that Saint Joseph was in his eighties and that Mary was twelve. An Eastern Orthodox website says:
An Elderly Joseph: The New Testament Apocrypha speak of Joseph as an elderly man, a widower with adult children, who was quite reluctant to be included among those from among whom a protector for Mary would be chosen. Although the Apocrypha were not included in the canon of Scripture their importance is great and much in evidence in the liturgical texts of some of the great Feasts.
However the Gospels too give evidence for an elderly Joseph. For example he is no longer mentioned after Jesus' trip to the temple as an adolescent. Note also that as Jesus was dying upon the Cross He asked John to look after His mother. That would have been unnecessary - and even insulting to Joseph had he been alive. But as an elderly man he would have reposed well before Jesus' crucifixion at the age of 32-33. Mary, however, would only have been in her middle age… The Christian East's picture of Joseph as a courageous, faithful, God-centred elderly widower rings true. It also tells us that "old people" are quite capable of being chosen for and embarking upon extraordinary adventures in which they obtain remarkable success by God's mercy and provision.
This picture may not be very attractive - particularly in a youth-fixated culture such as ours in which "old" has become a pejoritive expression. One can
understand the appeal of the youthful Joseph. But truth may have an attraction all its own.
Therefore, if the Christian West seeks to damn the Muslims for our belief in an elderly Prophet who married a young virgin, then let them cast the first stone against their own brothers in the East first. In any case, even if we accept the claim that Saint Joseph was in his thirties when he was betrothed to Mary (peace be upon her), does this change the fact that Mary was twelve years old?
The priest of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church said: “Mary’s husband is believed to be around 36. Mary was only 13 when she married Joseph. When she first was arranged with Joseph, she was between 7 to 9 years old.” So even the Western Christians believe that a grown man well into his thirties married a young girl and impregnated her. If the Christians of today are shocked at Aisha’s age, then should they not be equally shocked by the age of Mary? But we find that they are hypocritical in their attitude towards the Muslims, and we know this is only because the people hate to accept the Truth, and we recognize that all the Prophets were maligned and criticized by the disbelieving people.
God will deal with them just like God dealt with all those who maligned the Prophets.
02-12-2009, 03:00 PM
Historical Age of Marriage in Non-Western Countries
Age of Marriage in Egypt
In the article “Marriage in Ancient Egypt”, we read:
Marriage contracts do not generally tell the age of the parties, but we know from
other documents that marriage almost always occurred after sexual adulthood.
The average age for girls to enter puberty was 12 to 13, and around 14 for boys…
we find documentation of brides being as young as 8… It was not all together
uncommon for older men who had usually lost their wife to either death or
divorce to marry very young "women". Qenherkhepeshef, a scribe from Deir El
Medina for example married a 12 year old girl when he was 54.
(TourEgypt.com, Egypt: Marriage in Ancient Egypt (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/marriage.htm))
Age of Marriage in India
Jack Goody is a fellow of St. John’s College in Cambridge. In his book The Oriental, the
Ancient, and the Primitive, we find that girls were married off very early in Indian
Srinivas writes of the days in India when ‘pre-pubertal weddings were the rule’
(1984:11): a girl had to be married ‘before she came of age.’ The father of a girl
was obliged by Hindu law and by custom of the country to marry her before she
attained puberty, though cohabitation was often delayed, an average of three
(The Oriental, the Ancient, and the Primitive, p.208.
The Oriental, the Ancient, and the ... - Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/books?id=CZQRMZo956QC&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=age+of+marriage+ancient+japan&source=web&ots=5WGazdlO6f&sig=rvR)
And it is well-known that such early marriages remain prevalent in India today.
Age of Marriage in Russia
In Russia, girls were being married off during childhood just some one hundred years
ago. We read:DeMause (1990) pointed to “child marriage [being] widespread in Russia well into the nineteenth century.”
(G.U.S.: World Atlas, Huberlin.de - Studium Resources and Information. (http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/RUSSIA.HTM#_Toc82813007))
Age of Marriage in China
In Pre-Industrial China, girls were married around the age of puberty, or even before the onset of puberty. We read:
Prepubertal Betrothal / Marriage In the period till 771 BC, menarche indicated marriageable age…In 1855,Huc commented that “[n]othing is more common than to arrange a marriageduring the infancies of the parties, or even before their birth”… According to Fei (1939:p40), arrangements for marriage were made at age six or seven… The usual age for affiancing children [i.e. betrothal] was between seven and fourteen (Baber, 1934:p134). For an elaborate description of the custom of infant
betrothal as practised before 1911 in the conservative I-ch’ang districts, see Hanyi
and Shryock (1950)… Most Lolo groups marry at puberty, although
“some Lolos marry quite early, even at the age of four to five years” (Siang-
Feng Ko, 1949:p491-2), or are betrothed as infants (LeBar et al., 1964). In
general, “The age of puberty is a major juncture for youngsters of all
nationalities. However, many of the minority nationalities [of China] encourage
the marriage of their children before they mature, and thus follow the footsteps of
the older generations”.
…Among the turn-of-the-century Taiwanese, the practice of minor
marriage combined with a highly competitive marriage market drove the age of
the brides downward, below puberty (Ying-Chang and Wolf, 1995:p793)
(G.U.S.: World Atlas, Huberlin.de - Studium Resources and Information. (http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/CHINA.HTM#_Toc85469111))
Age of Marriage in Mongolia
The ancient Mongols married off their daughters at a very young age. Even today, it is very common to see Mongol girls being wedded at the age of four or five years of age:
Among the Ordos Mongols, children are sometimes betrothed even before birth.
This custom, called eŭndege in swie (“Match-making before birth”), is thought by
the Mongols to be of very nacient origin. […] the actual age of marriage today
 varies a great deal, from four or five years to sixteen or seventeen, the
average or ordinary age being fifteen (p66).
(G.U.S.: A World Atlas, Huberlin.de - Studium Resources and Information. (http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/MONGOLIA.HTM))
Age of Marriage in Australia
The traditional Aborigines similarly married their daughters off during childhood:
In traditional Aboriginal society marriages are significant to the forging of
alliances, and often betrothal arrangements are made when the prospective bride
is very young, or possibly even unborn. A man may not marry until he has
undergone a significant part of the lengthy initiation process: thus, at marriage a
man will be in his twenties or even thirties. Often a man’s first wife is the widow
of an older man, and his subsequent wives may be much younger…
Among Yuwaaliyaay people, […] infant betrothal appears to have been the
norm”. Among the aborigines of the Wheelman tribe a baby girl is betrothed
to a youth or man; he “grows” her, or supports her growing up (Hassell,
1936:p682)…Calvert mentions that “[…] a female child is betrothed, in
her infancy, to some native of another family, necessarily very many years older
than herself. He watches over her jealously, and she goes to live with him as soon
as she feels inclined”.
Spencer and Giller ([1927, II:p469-70) also mention betrothal of Aranda girls
“many years before the is born”. Radcliffe-Brown (1913:p184) states that
“marriages are arranged before children are born”. Provis writes in Taplin
(1879:p93) of the Streaky Bay South aborigines that there can sometimes be
seen “the incongruous spectacle of a little child betrothed to a grown man. The
girl is called his Kur-det-thi (future wife). They sleep together, but no sexual
intercourse takes place till the girl arrives at the age of puberty”.
Schürmann writes in Woods (1879:p222) of the Port Lincoln tribe that “long
before a young girl arrives at maturity, she is affianced by her parents, to some
friend of theirs, no matter whether young or old, married or single”. Howitt
(1904:p197) for the Wolgal tribe reports that “a girl is promised as a mere child to
some man of the proper class, he being then perhaps middle aged or even old”.
Betrothal occurred when “quite young”, states Bonney (1884:p129). Child
betrothal and marriage is noted for Arnhemland (Webb, 1944:p65). “A child
a year old will sometimes be betrothed to an old man, and it will be his duty to
protect and feed her, and (unless she is stolen by some one else) when she is old
enough she becomes his wife…The Yolngu practiced prenatal betrothal (Money
and Erhhardt, 1973 / 1996:p142), and, together with eventual siblings, join
the husband at menarche, at age 12 or 13.
(G.U.S.: A World Atlas, http://www2.huberlin (http://www2.huberlin/).
Age of Marriage amongst Native Americans
The practice of marrying girls at a young age was prevalent amongst Native American
populations as well, as we read in an article entitled “Living Arrangements Among
Native American Elders”:
Marriage was considered essential among all Navajos with polygamy, divorce,
levirate and sorarate being practiced. Marriages were traditionally not based on
romance but were arranged with the girls being married soon after puberty.
(Living Arrangements Among Native American Elders,
We read further:
A Delaware Native American girl who reached puberty may have had her
[marriage] union prearranged by her parents.
(WeddingDetails.com, Native American Traditions - WeddingDetails.com (http://www.weddingdetails.com/lore/native.cfm))
The first menstrual cycle was seen by the Native Americans as the coming of age, and after a ceremony, the young girl was ready for marriage:
This following are accounts for the coming of age rituals of first young women
followed by that of the young men. The first occurred when the girl had her first
menstrual cycle… When this celebration [i.e. the coming of age] was complete,
joy of being accepted as a woman remained with the young girl as well as five
vertical red and black stripes painted onto her cheek. These strips would be
eventually removed and when the last of them was gone the young girl would be
ready for marriage.
(Native Americans,http://edf3.gallaudet.edu/diversity/...e_american.htm (http://edf3.gallaudet.edu/diversity/BGG/RitesofPassage/native_american.htm))
The Aztecs married their daughters off “well before the age of puberty”:
“Most [Aztec] girls were married (cohabiting) well before the age of puberty”
(McCaa, 2003). Girls among the ancient Aztec (Nahua) married before age 15,
and in many cases before 12 (McCaa, 1997; cf. 1996, 1994): “Children became
adults upon marriage, and most children above the age of 10 years were married
(or widowed, separated or abandoned)”. Females married very young, according
to the narrative evidence from the Book of Tributes (Cline, 1993:p31-2).
Quantitative analysis of these data places the average for females below the age of
thirteen (G.U.S.: A World Atlas, Huberlin.de - Studium Resources and Information. (http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/AZTEC.HTM))
The various South American tribes practiced early marriage, and this practice continued well into the 1500s. It is sometimes referred to as a “rearing marriage”, i.e. the husband raises his wife from childhood. We read:
Sumner (1906:p382)  cited reports that of child marriage where “girls of ten
are mothers”. Child betrothal is reported among the Guaraní of the Paraná
River. “In some cases little girls were given to grown men, who lived with their
child wives, probably in the house of their future parents-in-law” (Métraux,
1948). Child betrothal is also reported among the Cainguá, but the girls were
said to remain with their parents, who receive presents from their prospective
For the Samaraka, “[i]n the past, girls were formally betrothed (kiiá) well before
puberty, and “betrothal in the womb” was an accepted practice, while today mean
age at betrothal is only a year or two below age at marriage and child betrothal is
unknown” (Price, 1975). Among the Warao, “[t]here were boys who were
betrothed to little girls who had not yet reached puberty” (Heinen, ).
Among the Brazilian Yanomamo, “[p]arents may also betroth their children
while they are still infants” (Early & Peters, 1990). Among the Cuna, the premarital four-day debut ceremony is even sometimes given before puberty in
the parents’ zeal to insure their daughter’s having it (Stout, 1947:p34). As for the
Asang, “[a] girl at a very early age, between eight and nine, is betrothed to a
young man, who at once takes up residence in the house of her parents, whom he
assists until […] [she] is old enough to be married, when, without ceremony, they
are recognized as man and wife (Pim and Seeman, 1869:p306-7)…
The Aikaná practiced betrothal in childhood, marriage took place after menarche
(Becker-Donner, ?:p280). The same was formerly so in the Makurap (p290).
The Bororo practised rearing marriage (Levak, 1973:p77-8).
(G.U.S.: A World Atlas, Huberlin.de - Studium Resources and Information. (http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/SOUTHAMERICA.HTM))
Age of Marriage in Africa
Amongst the various tribes of Africa, we find that the practice of marrying off girls at the age of puberty and even before that was very common. Rohlfs reported mothers of ten or twelve at fesan (cited by Sumner, 1906:p382). The Akan custom of “Asiwa” (infant betrothal) had almost become the principal form of getting married until it was abolished, in 1918, by the Okyeman Council… Among the Fanti, children could be betrothed before they were mature. The Masai practiced fetal and infant betrothal. Infant betrothal was further said to be practiced by the Azande, and Mbuti. Childhood betrothal was practised among the Dogon. Yao girls would be betrothed as infants or small children. Betrothal before birth or in early infancy was usual among the Kuranko. Among the Ewe, children would be betrothed in childhood or before birth. Among the Tshi-speaking people, a girl was publicly advertised for marriage at puberty (age 11-12) by being paraded through the streets decked out in ornaments. Lateral betrothals frequently took place before puberty and sometimes before birth.
Among the Yoruba-speaking peoples, girls of better class were almost always betrothed when children, frequently when infants, the husband in futuro being
sometimes an adult, sometimes a boy. Among the Konkomba, a girl was
betrothed to a man of more than twenty years of age, sometimes to an elder who
may give her away for marriage.
Among the Ethiopean Galla, marriages were often arranged by betrothal at a very
young age. In the Uganda protectorate, “[a]t any stage of its infant life a child
may be betrothed to some other infant or to one many years older than itself”.
Among the Somali, infant betrothal may have been common in the past. Among
the Mambwe / Amambwe (Zambia), betrothal was common in childhood. Among
the Yahgan, little girls were betrothed to adult men; sometimes parents agree to
unions between little boys and girls. The Ila child was sometimes betrothed at age
four, or even earlier. Among the Mouktélé (Northern Cameroon), children were
betrothed in infancy, somewhere around age six. Among the Bangwa (Western
Cameroon), a baby was betrothed at birth, or in infancy. Among the Bali (Western
Cameroon), betrothal, but not marriage, of children could take place before
menarche or puberty.
The Fang were sometimes married before birth. Koalib girls were betrothed at
eight or nine years of age, and at twelve or thirteen the marriage was
consummated. Nuba men begin courting at age twenty and generally get betrothed
to a girl child. Among the Azande, infant betrothal was the rule. As for the Tshidi
Barolong (South Africa), infant betrothal is practiced. Among the nomadic Fulani
children were betrothed at ages seven to ten in the case of girls, and from three to
ten in the case of boys. The Shuwalbe Fulani practiced infant betrothal between
boy and girl. Infant betrothal and adoption marriage among the Mbaise Igbo.
Traditionally, betrothal in infancy or childhood was customary in Benin Kingdom
and among the Northern Edo. In case of the Igbira of Northern Nigeria, betrothal
often took place in childhood. Among the Igala, betrothal could occur at age four
to five. Among the Utonkon-Effium Orri, betrothal of girls occurred at birth.
Among the Luo, child betrothal or marriage could take place. Childhood betrothal
was noted for the Shambala. The Nkundo girl could be betrothed in infancy. In
Tanzania, immature girls could also be betrothed, but infant betrothal occurred
only in mock fashion…
Among the African Marutze, the children “are often affianced at an early age, and
the marriage is consummated as soon as the girl arrives at maturity. The
Negroes of the Gold Coast, according to Bosman, often arranged for the marriage
of infants directly after birth; whilst among the Bushmans, Bechuanas, and
Ashantees, children are engaged when they are still in the womb, in the event of
their proving to be girls…
In Ethiopia, marriage occurs between age 12 and 15. Hausa women were married
just before puberty (villages) or after (rural dwellers), to adolescents some seven
years older. A Tuareg girl may have been married by age seven or eight. Fang
children were sometimes married before birth. In pre-1900 Nubia, girls were
married at the age of from eight to ten years. G/wi girls were married at age 7-9,
boys at about 14-15. Among the Kung, eight and nine-year-old brides would be
married to teenaged husbands. Bela would have been married before puberty.
Among the Kabyles, a father could marry his daughter before she has reached
puberty. Among the Igala (Northern Nigeria), the marriageable age was eight to
ten for girls…
Today, “very little country data exist about marriages under the age of 14,
even less about those below age 10”. In Ethiopia and in parts of West Africa,
marriage at age seven or eight is not uncommon. In Kebbi State, Northern
Nigeria, the average age of marriage for girls is just over 11 years, against a
national average of 17. A 1991 UN Population Cart indicates legal ages of
marriage of 9 in Morocco (males, with parental consent, compared to 21 for
females) and 6 for Ghana (both sexes, with or without consent).
(G.U.S.: A World Atlas, Huberlin.de - Studium Resources and Information. (http://www2.huberlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/GUS/AFRICA.HTM#_Toc86519743))
In many parts of Africa, girls continue to get married upon the commencement of
puberty. UNICEF recently surveyed six African countries:
A recent study by UNICEF in six Western African countries showed that 44 per
cent of 20-24 year old women in Niger were married under the age of 15. The
need to follow tradition, reinforce ties among or between communities, and
protect girls from out-of-wedlock pregnancy were the main reasons given.
(UNICEF, http://www.unicef-icdc.org/publicati...f/digest7e.pdf (http://www.unicef-icdc.org/publications/pdf/digest7e.pdf))
02-12-2009, 03:01 PM
...ma sha Allaahu taa'al, that was very beneficial. May Allaah reward you for sharing this information.
02-12-2009, 03:01 PM
Age of Marriage Under Hindu Law
Due to the situation in Kashmir, many Hindus harbor ill will towards Muslims. As a consequence, some of them attack Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by accusing him of being a pedophile. Yet, a quick look at the Hindu religious texts is enough to refute them. In the Hindu religious scripture known as the Manu-smriti, we read:
Gautama (18-21).— A girl should be given in marriage before puberty.
Vashistha (17.70).— Out of fear of the appearance of the menses, let the father marry his daughter while she still runs about naked. For if she stays in the home after the age of puberty, sin falls on the father.
Bodhayana (4.1.11).— Let him give his daughter, while she still goes about
naked, to a man who has not broken the vow of chastity and who possesses good qualities, or even to one destitute of good qualities ; let him not keep the maiden in his house after she has reached the age of puberty.
(Manu IX (9), 88; Manu IX, 56 - 103 (http://www.payer.de/dharmashastra/dharmash083.htm))
In an article entitled “Child Marriage in Nepal”, we read:
In the ancient Hindu scriptures of 400 to 100 BC, there are strict moral laws that enjoin the father to marry off his daughter at a very young age. These religious texts indicate that the best age for a girl to get married is between is 8 and 10.
It has been also mentioned that a girl should not wait for marriage more than three years after attaining puberty, and if she is not given by then in marriage by her father, the texts even instruct her to get married on her own. Such religious texts (the Bishnu Sutra and Gautam Sutra) direct the father to marry his daughter within three weeks of attaining puberty, and no later.
By 200 BC, the rules for a daughter's marriage seems to have become even more strict. The religious texts of that time contain strict moral laws that enjoined the father to marry off his daughter before she reaches puberty. Sage Manu of that age has categorically written in his treatise, Manu Smriti, that if a girl remains unmarried after reaching the puberty, the father has failed in his duty towards her.
Similarly, another sage, Parasara, said that the parents or guardians of a girl in who reaches puberty before marriage will definitely go to hell. Such rules imposed by the "holy ones" had their effect upon the religious population, and the practice of child marriage was firmly established by 200 BC.
(Child Marriage in Nepal,)
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics says:
[It was considered] sinful on the part of the [Hindu] father to allow his daughter to attain puberty without being married and the girl herself fell to the condition of a Sudra [i.e. low caste], marriage with whom involved degradation on the part of the husband…the Smrti of Manu fixes the age of husband and wife at 30 and 12 or 24 and 8 respectively; the later work of Brhaspati and the didactic portion of the Mahabharata give the wife’s age in these cases as 10 and 7 respectively, while yet later texts give 4 to 6 as the lower and 8 as the upper limit. There is abundant evidence that these dates were not merely theoretical.
(Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, p.450,
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics ... - Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/books?id=INJI4FGeLpYC&pg=PA523&lpg=PA523&dq=manu+ix+a+girl+should+be+given+in+marriage+befo re+puberty&source=web&ots=7WP3uyXj9V&sig=HN-O7gG0ya_0QTuwCvEUjGPQG_Y#PPA522,M1))
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics says further:
We find the rule, almost universally valid in the Smritis, according to which the nagnika, i.e. a girl going naked and yet immature, is the best (wife).  ....Manu shortly afterwards (ix (4). 94) lays down that a man of thirty years shall marry a girl
of twelve, and a man of twenty-four a girl of eight years...in Baudhayana  it isstated: "To a virtuous, pure husband the girl should be given while she is still immature; even from an unworthy man she should not be withheld if she has
The strict injunction regarding marriage before the commencement of puberty gains additional force from the fact that disregard of it is represented as accompanied by evil consequences for the father. While Manu is content to
characterize the father as blameworthy  who does not give his daughter in marriage at the proper time, it is stated in Vasistha: "For fear of the commencement of puberty, let the father give his daughter in marriage while she is still going about naked. For if she remains at home after the marriageable age, sin falls upon the father." 
...Observance [of child marriage], at least among the Brahmans, became essential and fundamental for orthodox Hinduism.
(Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, pp.522-523,
http://books.google.com/books?id=INJ...QG_Y#PPA522,M1 (http://books.google.com/books?id=INJI4FGeLpYC&pg=PA523&lpg=PA523&dq=manu+ix+a+girl+should+be+given+in+marriage+befo re+puberty&source=web&ots=7WP3uyXj9V&sig=HN-O7gG0ya_0QTuwCvEUjGPQG_Y#PPA522,M1))
02-12-2009, 03:03 PM
Range of Puberty
I have firmly established the fact that marriage at or around puberty was the norm
amongst ancient (and not so ancient) civilizations. Yet, perhaps an Islamaphobic
polemicist might argue that the average age of puberty was twelve years of age, whereas Aisha (peace be upon her) was only nine or ten when she moved into Prophet Muhammad’s house. Yet, this argument could is weakened easily. Yes, the average may well have been twelve years, but surely the reader should know what the word “average” means! Both mean (average) and median indicate values which are in the middle of a range of numbers. Therefore, if some girls attain the age of puberty at twelve, then others are having their periods at nine and still others at fifteen.
There is a range, and this has been part of the problem of establishing the
"normal" age of puberty. Girls might enter full-blown puberty anytime between ages 9 and 15.
(LiveScience.com, The Truth Behind Early Puberty | LiveScience (http://www.livescience.com/health/070904_bad_puberty.html))
So, girls will go through “full-blown puberty” at various ages, anywhere from between
nine and fifteen years of age. HealthTouch.com says:
Puberty usually starts between ages 8 to 13 in girls (HealthTouch.com,
Even if we look simply at menarche, we can see that the age varies greatly. A medical journal on Cambridge.org says: The variable age at menarche was normally distributed with an age range of 7–24 years.
HerWord.com says:Don’t be surprised if your nine-year-old daughter will have her menarche that early.
Range of Puberty Varies With Location
It is well-known that the average age of puberty differs from one population to another and from one race to another. It is therefore likely that while girls living in European countries tend to enter “full blown puberty” at around age twelve, whereas Arabian girls living a thousand years ago most likely went through this same process at a much younger age. Climate and altitude may affect the average age of puberty.
It has been demonstrated in numerous studies that girls living near the equator have menarche earlier than those living farther away from it. Some scientists attribute this to the warmer climate, whereas others attribute this to additional factors such as exposure to light.
There was a study conducted showing that girls who live in countries close to the equator started their menstruation earlier.
The book Women and Health Psychology says:
Many factors have been reported to affect age at menarche and/or the regularity of menstruation—[such as] climate, altitude, race, height, weight, hereditary, stress/psychological factors, light, and nutrition.
(Women and Health Psychology,
Women and Health Psychology ... - Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/books?id=pK9RGVrvQAEC&pg=PA74&lpg=PA74&dq=menarche+climate&source=web&ots=ILfZwgFzEO&sig=8ZZxn7Dvhzm2HH3cQTBh9_K-mss#PPP1,M1))
This phenomenon is not limited to menarche, but also applies to the whole of puberty. In the book Women: An Historical, Gynecological, and Anthropological Compendium, we read:
The average temperature of the country or province is considered the chief factor here, not only with regard to menstruation but as regards the whole of sexual development at puberty.
(Herman H. Ploss, Max Bartels and Paul Bartels; Woman: An Historical,
Gynecological, and Anthropological Compendium, Volume I, Lord & Bransby,
1988, p.563; Woman. An historical, gynaecological and anthropological compendium. Volume 3 only by PLOSS, Herman Heinrich, BARTELS, Max & BARTELS, Paul Find or Buy Book Now! (http://www.biblioz.com/lp25762280577_207.html))
Whether or not it is climate, latitude—or some other variable that affects menarche—is a hotly debated (and politicized) topic, but the point is that there are many factors which would contribute to an altered age of puberty. Therefore, it is not at all implausible that the average age was much younger in Arabia one thousand years ago. There is absolutely no way that anyone can disprove the idea that puberty began much earlier back then, since it is known that the average age fluctuates from one time to the other. In fact, the historical evidence supports our claim that the average age of puberty was much younger during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Just within the last one hundred years there has been a dramatic change in the average age of puberty, so one can only imagine the great change that could have taken place within the span of one thousand years! The historical literature does indeed suggest that the average age of puberty was much younger in Eastern countries. The Cambridge World History of Food says:
Albrecht von Haller (1775), for example, claimed that girls in the southerly
regions of Asia, where the climate was warm, were marriageable in their
eighth year and gave birth in their ninth or tenth year; conversely, women in
Arctic regions did not menstruate until age 23 or 24. This view was shared by
other eighteenth-century writers, most notably J.F. Freind (1738), Herman
Boerhaave (1744), and Montesquieu (1751).
(The Cambridge World History of Food, p.1455,
It is generally accepted that historically girls in Eastern civilizations reached puberty before their European counterparts, which was one of the reasons that marriage oftentimes took place a few years earlier in the Orient. The Southern Medical and Surgical Journal says:
It is allowable to infer that early marriage in oriental countries (which has generally, but without any proof, been ascribed to precocious puberty) ....
(The Southern Medical and Surgical Journal, p.41, The Southern Medical and Surgical ... - Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/books?id=QpwCAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=russia+puberty+marriage&source=web&ots=8yfAFiQxuK&sig=6Z4em89heFtlZG_Zyjf_ar5GE8s))
In any case, it is altogether unnecessary to prove the point that menstruation occurredearlier in ancient Arabia. We could even rely on the normal ranges provided for girls today in Europe, and we find that the ranges always include nine, and Aisha (peace be upon her) was either nine or ten when she moved into the Prophet’s house. We do not need to establish that the average age of puberty back then was nine, but rather we merely need to demonstrate that nine years old was within the normal range of puberty, which it most certainly was and still is.
02-12-2009, 03:04 PM
Age of Sexual Maturity in Ancient Arabia
We have provided categorical proof that such early marriages took place in all ancient (and not so ancient) civilizations, including the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Roman, Greek, Russian, African, Native American, Mongolian, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, and Australian civilizations, among others.
But perhaps the most relevant is the seventh century Arabian civilization, so here we shall cite proof that sexual maturity took place
very early in the days of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Ustadh Ayman bin Khaled cited a number of examples in Bassam Zawadi’s article, as follows.
Imam al-Shafi’i said in Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’ (Vol.10, p.91):
During my stay in Yemen, I have come across girls at the age of nine whom
Imam al-Bayhaqi also narrated the words of Imam Shafi’i in Sunan al-Bayhaqi al-Kubra (Vol.1, p.319):
I have seen in the city of Sana’a a grandmother while she was twenty-one. She menstruated at the age of nine and gave birth at the age of ten.
Ibn al-Jawzi narrated similar stories from Ibn U’qail and U’bad al-Mahlby in his Tahqeeq fi Ahadith al-Khilaf (Vol.2, p.267).
So the fact is that girls were sexually active at the age of nine, and they were turning into grandmothers before most people alive today would
have their own children! Therefore, because this was the cultural norm back then, no blame can be put on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is unacceptable to judge an ancient figure based on today’s standards; we must judge him based on what was the norm back then. __________________
02-12-2009, 03:05 PM
Marriage of Immature Girls in Islam (this is on page 68 [click on the book for continued discussion on the issue on khula' (a woman asking for divorce)])
Islamic Law (Shari’ah) allows for a marriage contract (nikah) to be drafted years before the marriage itself is actually enacted. In other words, the marriage contract is drawn up, but the contract is not executed until a later date. So even though the marriage contract can be drafted, the girl will not be “handed over” to the husband until many yearsafterwards. In other words, a father can marry his immature daughter off to a man before she comes of age, but the husband may not consummate the marriage until after she attains maturity.
Under Islamic Law, there are certain shuroot an-nifaadh (conditions required for the execution of the contract): for consummation of marriage, one of these conditions is that both parties are mature enough for marriage. If this condition is not met, then the marriage contract remains mauqoof (suspended) and has no actual practical effect, i.e. the consummation of marriage is delayed until the girl becomes mature enough for that. In the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Aisha (peace be upon her), the marriage contract was signed when she was immature, but only took effect until after she attained maturity. This is why Aisha (peace be upon her) remained in her father’s house for three years after the marriage contract was drafted.Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid said:
The fact that it is permissible to marry a young girl does not mean that it is permissible to have intercourse with her; rather that should not be done until she is able for it. For this reason, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah) delayed the consummation of his marriage to ‘Aa’ishah…Al-Dawoodi said: ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) had reached physical maturity (at the time when her marriage was consummated).
[Sharh Muslim, 9/206]
(source: Islam Question and Answer - On acting; and the ruling on marrying young girls (http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?ref=22442&ln=eng))
Marriage of Immature Girls is the Exception, Not the Rule [page 77-79. The pages after this discuss marriages of immature girls in other religions.]
Under Islamic Law, the general principle is that girls should not be married off whilst they are immature and under the age of accountability. This is because they are too young to make an informed decision by themselves. Marrying them without their consultation would be considered oppression.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani declared:
Marrying her off like this would in almost every case be a major sin, because of the harm, contravention of law, etc.
(Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, SunniPath.com)
However, there is an exception: fathers are allowed to marry their immature daughters off if they fear that delaying the marriage would mean losing out on a great opportunity. If the girl receives a very good marriage proposal—and the father fears that this proposal would be lost if the decision is delayed—then he is allowed to marry her off despite her young age. Because this is done with the intention of safeguarding the benefit of the girl, it is not seen as a form of oppression.
Imam an-Nawawi said:
They (the parents) should not marry her off before she reaches puberty if there is no obvious interest to be served that they fear will be missed out on if they delay it…In that case it is preferable to go ahead with the marriage because the father is enjoined to take care of his child’s interests and not to let a good opportunity to slip away. In fact, in most instances in which young girls were married off before maturity, it was in order to ensure that the girl did not lose out on a marriage proposal from a powerful man. This situation may not be applicable to today’s society, but it used to be the case in ancient times that a king or prince would wish to marry a daughter of another king or
prince. Therefore, the marriages would be arranged when the girl was still immature. This practice was prevalent in Christian Europe for many hundreds of years. This may seem odd by today’s cultural mores, but it was the societal norm back in ancient (and not so ancient) civilizations. One king would ask to marry another king’s daughter; the girl’s father did not want to lose out on such a good marriage proposal, so the marriage would be solemnized even when she was a child. (Another added benefit of these marriages was to strike an alliance between the two kingdoms.) Similarly, Abu Bakr (peace be upon him) didn’t want to lose out on the Prophet’s proposal, since after all, who would be better for his daughter than God’s Prophet? (Furthermore, the Prophet
wished to seal an alliance through this marriage; delaying the alliance would mean putting the fledgling Muslim polity at risk.)
It should be kept in mind that although Islam allows for such a provision, this only applies to the situation where a father thinks that delaying the marriage would lead to the girl missing out on a great opportunity. Otherwise, Islam does not at all encourage marrying off daughters at such a young age. As Shaykh
Salih al-Munajjid said:
It is preferable for a guardian not to marry off his daughter when she is still young unless there is a valid reason for it.
If a 9yr old is too immature;
Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azîz ibn Ahmad Ad-Durayhim says:As for the possible negative consequences of a man of such a mature age marrying such a young girl, it is patently obvious. The discrepancies in their capabilities, both physically and mentally, could bring about serious differences between the two of them that could lead to the failure of the marriage. This is something that has been seen and is well understood.
Therefore, I would [i]not recommend such a marriage nor would I encourage it.
Moreover, with respect to what we have said about the legal validity of such a marriage, that refers to the validity of the contract itself. As for the effects of the marriage - such as privacy, intimacy and sexual relations - that is another matter entirely. Such things are permitted only if the girl is able to handle such a relationship without any harm whatsoever coming to. Otherwise, it is prohibited. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "There shall be no harm nor the causing of harm."
It can also be seen in the very conduct of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He did not consummate his marriage with 'A’ishah for a number of years on account of her young age.
And from the fatwâ committee supervised by Shaykh 'Abdul-Wahhâb At-Turayrî we note: The lawfulness of consummating a marriage at such an age is contingent on the maturity of the girl and that no harm would come to her.
So if any harm would come from it, then it is unlawful i.e. harâm.
Q: So why didn't Islam prohibit such practices that are harmful?
Actually, it did. It would be impossible for Islam to have an explicit prohibition on every dangerous behavior from jumping off a scyscraper to smoking, so Islam has provided a single broad injunction to cover all instances of harm:
The Prophet Muhammad (sal Allah alaihi wasalam) said,
لا ضرر ولا ضر
"There is to be no harming, nor reciprocating of harm." (Musnad Ahmad, authenticated by Al-Albânî)
02-12-2009, 03:06 PM
Consummation of Marriage p.84
Under Islamic Law (Shari’ah)—like Jewish and Christian Law—marriages are sealed after they are consummated (i.e. when the couple has sexual relations). Some Muslims think that the minimum age for marriage under Islamic Law is either nine years of age or menarche (onset of menses). But this is not correct; in fact, Islam sets no minimum age limit. Rather, Islamic Law follows this simple dictum:
A man may have sex with his wife when she becomes sexually mature enough such that she is not harmed from having sex in any way whatsoever.
This is actually the most beautiful and all-encompassing rule of all. The Islamic scholars
agree—by consensus (Ijma)—with the above stated dictum. In other words, the only hard-and-fast rule with marriage is that a man may have sex with his wife so long as she is sexually mature enough that it does not harm her in any way whatsoever.
The consequences of this simple dictum are profound. Let us take the example of a fourteen year old girl who has passed the age of menarche (i.e. she has had her menses); it might be, however, that she has matured slowly, and therefore, she is still not ready to have sex. If having sex would bring harm upon her (in any way whatsoever), then it is considered forbidden (haram) for any man to consummate with her, despite her postmenarchal age. A man can only have sex with a girl if she is ready for that. Under Jewish and Christian Law, the focus is on if the man can have sex with her. Under Islamic Law, however, the focus is on the female: can she have sex without any harm being brought upon her?
Shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn Ahmad ad-Durayhim, a well-renowned Islamic scholar, was asked about marriage to such a young girl. In response, he said:
With respect to what we have said about the legal validity of such a marriage, that refers [only] to the validity of the contract itself. As for the effects [i.e. execution]
of the marriage—such as privacy, intimacy, and sexual relations—that is another matter entirely. Such things are permitted only if the girl is able to handle such a relationship without any harm whatsoever coming to her. Otherwise, it is prohibited. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There shall be
no harm nor the causing of the harm.” It can also be seen in the very conduct of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He did not consummate his marriage with
Aisha for a number of years on account of her young age.
Shaykh Abdul Wahhab at-Turayri wrote:
The lawfulness of consummating a marriage at such an age is contingent on the maturity of the girl and that no harm would come to her.
Imam an-Nawawi said:
With regard to the wedding-party of a young married girl at the time of consummating the marriage, if the husband and the guardian of the girl agree
upon something that will not cause harm to the young girl, then that may be done. The marriage contract between Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon her) and Aisha
(peace be upon her) was drawn up when she was only six or seven years old. But it was not executed until three years later at which point in time she had become sexually
mature such that she was capable of having sexual relations without any harm coming to her whatsoever.
Yes, Aisha (peace be upon her) was only nine or ten years old when she
consummated the marriage, but the reader should keep in mind that Prophet Muhammad married Aisha 1,400 years ago, which was a very, very, very long time ago. It may be
difficult for people today to associate nine or ten year olds with sex, but this is because the average human lifespan is now well into the eighties. Yet, as we know:
Human life expectancy was in the 20s a thousand years ago.
(Guardian, Ray Kurzweil: Bring on the nanobots, and we will live long and prosper | Comment is free | The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2214930,00.html))
It should be no surprise then that a woman who would die in her twenties would marry at a very young age. If people didn’t marry early, then they certainly would die early, and this would create a problem for the propagation and survival of the human species. Early marriage was necessary in order to counter incredibly high mortality rates. If women were not married at an early age, then they would not have enough years of child-bearing left, and slowly the human species would have died out.
Today, the average age of marriage in the West is around twenty-five. Yet, in the ancient world, people would die around this age. This is the problem with applying today’s situation and super-imposing it on olden times. It simply does not work. People today cannot fathom ten year old girls having sex, but people 1,000 years ago could notimagine a society in which everyone waits in their twenties to get married. It is hubris to judge all of humanity with our subjective—and ever changing—cultural norms.
02-12-2009, 03:07 PM
Was Aisha mature for marriage?
There is a very strong proof we can use to show that Aisha (peace be upon her) had reached physical maturity before she moved into the Prophet’s house, and this is Aisha’s own statement in which she said:
When the girl reaches nine years of age, she is a woman.
(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Nikah)
From this, we can see that Aisha (peace be upon her) had the body of a woman when she consummated her marriage with the Prophet (peace be upon him). She was mature, and not immature, as the Islamaphobes claim.
Imam Ibn kathir (May Allah have mercy on him) narrates a hadith in his Al-Bidayah wa-Nihayah:"Imam Bukhari (May Allah have mercy on him) narrates another hadith which he heard from Farwa bin abi al-Mughria who heard from 'Ali bin Masher who heard from Hisham bin 'Urawh who heard from his father who reports from 'Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her), who said: 'When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was betrowth to me, I was six years old. Later, when we migrated from Makkah to Medina and stayed at bin harith bin khdhrj's place, I had grown up. My hair had got longer and I had physically matured; however, I still used to play with other girls...I was nine years old at that time."
Source (http://qurango.com/seerat.html) Page 210-211
Aisha (peace be upon her) brought her dolls along when she moved into the Prophet’s
house. The Islamaphobes use this as a proof, as if Aisha (peace be upon her) bringing her dolls proves that she was an immature girl. However, this is not true. Aisha (peace be upon her) was a mature woman, as she stated in her own words. The fact that she brought along her dolls does not at all disprove this.
Many mature girls have dolls; we just call them “stuffed animals” nowadays. It is wellknown that sexually active young women in America love to receive stuffed animals—such as teddy bears—from their lovers. In fact, a recent survey carried out by Travelodge and published in Sky News showed that 15% of adult women sleep with their teddy bears.  I don’t think I really need to prove this, since everyone knows that young adult women love teddy bears and other stuffed animals. But just for the sake of being thorough, I cite the example of the surgeon at the University of California Irvine who would hand out teddy bears to women fighting breast cancer.
This same idea was adopted at many other hospitals; Wendy Mitchell, the former program manager for the Center for Women’s Health, commented about the patients: “Their eyes well up with tears of joy. They take the teddy bear and hold it to their chests hoping this teddy bear from their doctor, this power of touch, will get them through this.” 
The point is that Aisha (peace be upon her) bringing her dolls along—or even playing with them—does not prove anything at all, especially when we factor in that she lived over a thousand years ago. According to About.com, it was just a couple decades ago that girls used to play with Barbie dolls up until their teenage years. Denise Van Patten writes:
13 Ananova - Men love their teddies (http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2240697.html)
14 Teddy Bear Gifts Bring Joy to Women With Cancer (http://www.ohsuwomenshealth.com/news/bears.html)
It was with great reluctance that I packed up my Barbie dolls in their doll trunk
for the last time at 14. Back in Barbie's early heyday, in the 1960s and 1970s, my
story wasn't unusual—girls often played with Barbie until their early teens.
(About.com, Why Do Girls Outgrow Barbie Dolls At Such a Young Age? (http://collectdolls.about.com/cs/barbiemodern/a/barbieoutgrow.htm))
So we see that in the 1970s, girls as old as 14 were playing with Barbie dolls. And a
hundred years ago, the average age at which girls stopped playing with dolls was
substantially older. And a thousand years ago, girls—and even young women—had few
other ways to spend their free time, and thus, playing with dolls was routine. They had no other source of entertainment—no MTV, no shopping malls, no internet. Today, girls outgrow dolls very fast, because of all the other more catchy gizmos people have to entertain themselves with. One reference website states:
The toy dolls that existed before the 1700's served chiefly as playthings for adults
as well as for children…The first dolls specifically for children probably were
made in the 1700's.(How Stuff Works, HowStuffWorks "Doll" (http://reference.howstuffworks.com/doll-encyclopedia.htm))
So in ancient (and not so ancient times), it was not at all unusual to see young adult
women playing with dolls. As we can see, the fact that Aisha (peace be upon her) played with dolls does not in and of itself prove that she was an immature girl.
The reason why the doll wasn't forbidden was because it was like a 'sock puppet' and made out of wool. Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani says;
If the doll of Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) had clear features, then this was
before the prohibition of picture-making.
(Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari)
the dolls back then were just made of wool, so they were more like sock puppets than
intricately designed Barbie dolls. This is confirmed by the following hadeeth:
We used to make toys of wool for the boys, and if anyone of them cried, he was
given those toys until it was time of the breaking of the fast.
(Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 181)
Bassam Zawadi comments:
The above Hadeeth proves that dolls of children were nothing like what we know
as dolls nowadays, since they are nothing but stick wrapped with wool that take
no shape and if someone looked at it he won't be able to recognize what they
symbolize. Knowing that, we can explain why the Prophet (peace be upon him)
did not recognize the toy of Aisha (he didn't know that it was a horse), therefore
inquired about it to the extent that he could not tell the wings as it was just extra
piece of wool or sheet added to the toy.
Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid was asked about Aisha’s dolls to which he said:
Those toys which are made of wool are not considered to be [graven] images,
because they do not have a head apart from a piece of wool, and it does not have
the features of the faces such as eyes, nose, mouth, or ears. If an image does not
have a head or any [distinct] facial features, it is exempt from the ruling
Noblewomen Married Early
Aisha (peace be upon her) was a noblewoman; her father, Abu Bakr, came from the
noblest of blood. As such, there is nothing peculiar about Aisha’s early marriage, as
historically noblewomen were married off very young. In S. Shahar’s The Fourth Estate:
A History of Women in the Middle Ages, we read:
It is clear, in any event, that daughters of the nobility married young...a relatively high age of marriage among women was non-existent among the medieval
(The Fourth Estate: A History of Women in the Middle Ages, p.136,
The Fourth Estate: A History of ... - Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/books?id=i7yImBHWu1wC&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&)
In the article “Medieval Marriage and Childbirth”, we find that noblewomen of Europe
were routinely married off under the age of ten:
For many noble-born or royal women [of Europe], marriage could and often did
take place at a young age. There are many instances or very young girls being
betrothed and married under the age of 10 years old.
(Women of History, http://womenofhistory.blogspot.com/2...ievalmarriage- (http://womenofhistory.blogspot.com/2007/08/medievalmarriage-)
Nothing Much Ado
Before she was betrothed to Prophet Muhammad, Aisha (peace be upon her) was first
engaged to another man, a Non-Muslim named Jubayr ibn Mut’im. Jubayr was a fervent enemy of Islam, and when Aisha’s father became a Muslim, Mut’im cancelled the marriage. From this, we can see that there was nothing much ado about Prophet
Muhammad’s proposal to Aisha, since she had other suitors as well. Aisha’s parents
certainly did not see this as pedophilia; otherwise, they would not have agreed to marry her off to Jubayr or Prophet Muhammad. In fact, Aisha’s parents were very pleased with the marriage, and Aisha herself would boast about it throughout her life.
Far from the victim of pedophilia, Aisha (peace be upon her) was a very possessive wife who used to talk with great pride about her close relationship with the Prophet of Islam.
It is narrated in Musnad Ahmad that the name of Aisha wasthe name of Aisha was first proposed to Prophet Muhammad by a woman named Khaulah. This proves two points: firstly, had the marriage been considered pedophilia, then certainly a woman would not have proposed the idea. Khaulah certainly saw nothing amiss about the marriage. The second point—of great importance here—is that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not himself bring up Aisha’s name, so there is no question about any pedophilic desires. Rather, someone else brought up her name, and most likely due to the fact that she had just lost her fiancé. What a loss Abu Bakr must have felt when his daughter’s betrothal was broken off. And so, Prophet Muhammad offered to marry Aisha himself, and how elated Abu Bakr must have been!
It is known that the Quraysh idolaters at the time left no stone unturned in their insults against Prophet Muhammad: they used to criticize each and every one of his actions, whenever and wherever they could. Yet, the Quraysh never
once mentioned his marriage to Aisha. And why should they when it was the cultural
norm? There are countless examples of young brides in those days, such as Umm
Kulthoom bint Ali, Fatima bint al-Mundhir, Bint `Izz al-Dawla Bakhtyar, and many
others! This was more than just a regional and cultural norm, but rather it was the
normative practice of humanity before the industrial era.
Interestingly, the Christian missionaries during the Middle Ages never used this polemic
against the Prophet. We find that they would oftentimes accuse Prophet Muhammad of being a polygamist but never did they refer to him as a pedophile or anything of that sort.
Aisha became one of the greatest scholars of Islam, and she is revered by Muslims as the Mother of the Believers. The Christians revere Mary as a matriarch of Christianity, who was only twelve years of age when she supposedly married Joseph. The Muslims
similarly revere Mary, as well as Aisha (peace be upon them both). What then is the
issue when both Christians and Muslims revere matriarchs who were young girls when
02-12-2009, 03:14 PM
The concept of Puberty (balaagah/maturity) P.86-94 [A MUST READ!]
Many well-meaning Muslim laypersons have furthered the idea that a man may not have sex with a pre-pubertal girl. This statement can be true or false, depending on what is meant by it. We must first define what is meant by the term “puberty”. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah warned the Muslims that when they debate about topics, they should first define the terms they use clearly; he further explained how sometimes two people will seem to be saying opposite things, even though the same thing is being said in different ways.
The confusion occurs because “puberty” is defined differently in the English language and in Islamic legal terminology. According to the English language, the definition of
The time when a child’s body becomes sexually mature (Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary)
If we use this English definition of puberty, then we agree that this is the precondition for consummating a marriage: according to Islamic Law (Shari’ah), a girl’s body must be sexually mature enough such that no harm will come to her from having sexual intercourse. However, Islamic legal terminology defines “puberty” (buloogh) in a different way: a girl is said to have attained the age of puberty when she has her first period (menarche), regardless of if she is sexually mature or not. Menarche is not a condition for marriage; sexually maturity is. Therefore, when Islamic scholars insist that it is not necessary for a girl to have reached the age of puberty, they merely mean to say that she does not have to be post-menarchal. However, all Islamic scholars agree that a girl’s body must be sexually mature. In other words, a girl must have reached puberty according to the English language, but not necessarily post-pubertal (baligh) according to the Islamic legal terminology.
Muslim laypersons should stop claiming that menarche (onset of periods) is the minimum age for the consummation of marriage; Islamic scholars do not agree to this, and such a belief would create huge problems. After all, there are some girls who menstruate way before they go through the other stages of puberty. In other words, just because a girl has had her first period, this does not mean that her body is sexually mature. Wikipedia, for example, says:
Menarche [onset of first period] may occur at an unusually early age, preceding thelarche and other signs of puberty. This is termed isolated premature menarche. (Wikipedia, Menarche - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menarche))
To give an example, there may be an eight year old girl who menstruates but who has not developed any of the other signs of puberty; her body may remain sexually immature. According to Islamic legal parlance, such a girl—who menstruated at an early age before her body becomes sexually mature—would technically be considered post-pubertal (baligh). Yet, from an Islamic perspective, it would be strictly forbidden (haram) to have sex with her, since her body has not matured enough to handle sexual intercourse.
On the other hand, take the example of a fourteen year old girl who has gone through other stages of puberty, except for menstruation: she has developed large breasts, her sex organs are developed, etc. According to Islamic legal parlance, such a girl would not be considered post-pubertal (baligh), since she has not menstruated yet. Who then would be fitter for sexual intercourse: the eight year old girl with immature sex organs or the fourteen year old girl sexually mature sex organs? In fact, there are some girls who don’t get their first period until they enter their twenties! A medical journal on Cambridge.org says:
The variable age at menarche was normally distributed with an age range of 7–24 years.
So if we demanded stubbornly that a girl must pass through menarche before consummation can take place, then this would create the unusual situation where we were allowing some post-menarchal seven year olds to be married, whereas forbidding some pre-menarchal twenty year olds from this! Therefore, the Islamic Law (Shari’ah) does not want this absurdity to occur, and that is the reason that menarche is not used as an indicator of a girl’s readiness for sex.
In fact, doctors would agree that a girl who menstruates is not necessarily ready for sex, whereas a girl whose body is sexually mature is ready for that. Once again, because Islamic scholars use menstruation as an indicator of the onset of puberty (buloogh), it is failing to uphold these religious duties. When Islamic scholars use the term “puberty” (buloogh), they are only referring to this second usage of the term.
It would be dangerous to use menarche (onset of periods) as a precondition for sex; as we have discussed, some girls who have their menses are not sexually mature, and some sexually mature girls do not have their menses until after many years. Therefore, the idea that puberty is a precondition for sexual intercourse can be true or false, depending on how we define “puberty”. If we use the English definition of the word, then it would be correct to say that puberty is a precondition for sexual intercourse. If we use the Islamic legal definition, however, then we should know that this is in reference to the age of accountability and has nothing to do with marriage.
The Islamaphobes paint the picture that Islam allows a grown man to pierce his penis like a lance into the underdeveloped vaginal opening of a sexually immature girl. Yet, this is a horribly inaccurate depiction. A girl’s body must be sexually mature such that she can withstand sexual intercourse without any harm coming to her whatsoever. For example;
the vagina cannot be small and improperly developed; otherwise, a man’s penis would damage it, creating lacerations and other vaginal injuries. According to Islamic Law, if a girl is sexually immature such that it would cause harm to her if she engaged in sexual intercourse, then it is forbidden (haram) to have sex with her. I noticed that an Islamaphobic site posted a fatwa (religious edict) from Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid in which at the beginning of his ruling he said: Marrying a young girl before she reaches the age of adolescence [puberty] is permitted in Sharee’ah; indeed it was narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this point. (a) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the 'Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt (about their periods), is three
months; and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their 'Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise” [al-Talaaq 65:4]
In this verse we see that Allaah has made the 'iddah in the case of divorce of a girl who does not have periods - because she is young and has not yet reached puberty
- three months. This clearly indicates that Allaah has made this a valid marriage. Yet, in the very same ruling, the Shaykh finished by saying:
Al-Dawoodi said: `[b]Ai’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had reached physical maturity (at the time when her marriage was consummated).
From this, we can see the two usages of the word “puberty”. Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid is basically saying that it does not matter if a girl has had menarche [first usage of the word “puberty”], but it does matter if she has gone through the pubertal changes that cause sexual maturation [second usage of the word “puberty”]. We cannot know for sure whether not Aisha (peace be upon her) had her menses, but what we do know for a fact is that Aisha (peace be upon her) “had reached physical maturity (at the time when her marriage was consummated).” In other words, the legality of the marriage hinged not on the menses, but rather on the sexual development that came about as a result of puberty.
In effect, Islam does not prescribe any age limit for consummation of marriage. There my exist some girls who become sexually mature at the age of nine, whereas other girls are still sexually immature at the age of sixteen. (Yes, it would be completely forbidden under Islamic Law to have sex with a sixteen year old if she was sexually immature!)
When Islamic scholars clarify that menarche is not associated with the minimum age of consummation, this is not their way of encouraging pre-menarchal girls to be married off! Rather, it is to make it clear that menarche is just not the parameter we look for. To give an analogy, if some person were to claim that a girl must be four feet tall before she could be married off, then Islamic scholars would protest this, since height is not a determining factor. Yes, because Islamic scholars say that sexual maturity is a requirement for consummation of marriage, a consequence of this is that most girls who get married will be taller than four feet. After all, most girls shorter than four feet are sexually immature.
But nonetheless it would be wrong to say that height is the factor we look for to determine who is and who is not ready for sexual intercourse.
The emphasis then is on sexual maturity, not any specific age, since girls develop at different rates. Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid wrote:
There is nothing…that forbid(s) that [consummation] in the case of a girl who is able for it before the age of nine, or to allow it in the case of a girl who is not able
for it and has reached the age of nine.
In other words, age does not matter; all that matters is that the girl has undergone the pubertal changes that would allow her to endure sexual intercourse without bringing any harm to herself. Islamic Law (Shari’ah) is beautiful: all the emphasis is on the safety and well-being of the girl. If sex would be harmful to the girl in any way whatsoever, then it would be forbidden (haram) to have sex with her. In the words of Mufti Maulana Husain Kadodia:
This shows the paramount importance that the Shari’ah gives to the rights of the girl, by making her safety, health, and well-being the precondition for marriage.
This is in the spirit of Shari’ah to remove any harm that may come to the girl. (Maulana Mufti Husain Kadodia, Ask Imam.com with Mufti Ebrahim Desai (http://www.ask-imam.com/))
By harm, we mean any harm whatsoever, physical as well as psychological. Islam recognizes psychiatry as a legitimate branch of medicine. The evidence for this is that it is permissible (halal) to use medicines containing forbidden (haram) ingredients in them for the purpose of treating clinical depression, a psychiatric disease. Of course, the psychological harm must be real, documented, and have proof in the medical sciences.
Most Westerners claim that marriage at such a young age is always harmful, and they look down on past civilizations who engaged in that. In their collective hubris, these Westerners judge all of humanity past and present based on their own society’s norms. Yet, they should have some humility and be more self-critical. In the words of Abdullah Squirres, the West has “been swallowed up (possibly unknowingly) by the ugly monster of ‘moral relativism.’” In the West, for example, homosexual relationships are now being considered normal, whereas large age gaps between man and wife are considered abnormal. Christians would gawk at a ninety year old man married to a twelve year old girl, but barely raise an eyebrow at Adam and Steve. Yet, their own Bible categorically condemns homosexuality; God was so outraged by this “abomination” that He sent “fire and brimstone” to destroy the society that engaged in it.
On the other hand, large age gaps are the norm in Biblical narratives. The Biblical Prophet Abraham was eighty-six years old when he married someone some sixty or
seventy years younger than him. The Biblical King David, the man who slew Goliath, was an old man on his deathbed when he married a young virgin. The Biblical Prophet
Isaac was forty years old when he married a three year old Rebecca! According to the Christian narrative, the ninety year old Joseph married the twelve year old Mary. Saint Augustine at the age of thirty-one betrothed a ten year old girl whom he married two years later. And other examples abound.
Yet, suddenly when it comes to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon), the disingenuous Christians are up in arms! Is their criticism honest or is it merely the result of their ignorance, arrogance, and Islamaphobia? Should we really judge all of humanity based on the West’s ideals? Somehow the Westerners cannot understand how a sixty year old man would find a fifteen year old girl to be attractive, yet they somehow understand how one man would be attracted to another man. This is merely a case of moral relativism, and based on Western society’s cultural mores. Yet, not every society feels the same way, and the Westerners should realize this! For example, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told his disciples about the story of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) and how the people of Sodom engaged in the sin of homosexuality. Being attracted to another man was so unacceptable amongst the Arabs that many of the Prophet’s disciples were shocked and told him that they had previously thought it impossible for a man to be attracted to another man. Another example of the West’s selective bias is their scorning of cousin marriages; somehow it is considered biologically normal to be attracted to the same sex, yet it is backwards to be attracted to a cousin! Is it not possible, we ask these people, that not all cultures are alike? What is considered acceptable by you may not be acceptable to others and vice/versa. In the West, for example, fornication is considered acceptable, or at least normal. In the United States and parts of Europe, the average age at which girls engage in sexual foreplay (kissing, fondling, oral sex, etc.) is shockingly low; by the age of twelve, about half of American girls have become unchaste, and some have even lost their virginity. In fact, most Western readers will probably think that a girl having her first kiss on her junior prom is “cute”; few Westerners realize that this is fornication as condemned in their Bible. In fact, the Westerners are more accustomed to and okay with fornication than they are of marriage; so an American girl who has oral sex at fourteen gets only nominal criticism and is considered “more normal” than a Muslim girl who gets married at the same age! The idea that absolutely no girl is ready to be married at the age of nine, ten, or twelve is completely false. The proof against this claim is that many American girls are voluntarily becoming sexually active at those ages. But hey, reason the Westerners, that is okay so long as it is illegal fornication and not the lawful sexual intercourse of marriage! If a high school girl engages in lesbian activity with another girl, that’s okay they say, so long as her partner is around the same age! On the other hand, normal heterosexual sex between an older man and a young wife is considered atrocious. It becomes understandable for a girl to be attracted to another girl, but completely unacceptable for an elderly man to find a young girl attractive.
Ancient (and not so ancient) cultures used to prize virginity. That is why men used to marry girls as soon as they turned sexually capable, in order that they marry girls who have not been “defiled” by other men. On the other hand, girls favored socially well established males; this meant that girls tended to favor elderly men, instead of financially struggling younger ones. This is why there was a huge age gap back in those days.
Today, on the other hand, Western guys could care less about the virginity or chastity of their brides; in fact, most of them express interest in finding a (sexually) “experienced” girl. Furthermore, whereas once society had valued age in males, now the older you are, the more chance you have of being accused of senility! And thus the age gap disappears.But this should be understood as a cultural trend, and not a moral fact of life. Yes, girls today are disgusted by the thought of marrying old men, but was the Biblical Hagar insulted at marrying the eighty-six year old Abraham? Was the Biblical Mary, the mother of Jesus, disgusted by the thought of marrying a widower in his nineties? Was the ten year old girl fiancé of Saint Augustine disgusted by the thought of marrying a thirty plus male? Was the seven year old French princess disgusted by the thought of marrying a Christian King, Richard II? Far from it. All of these girls were very pleased with their marriages to such noble men, just as Aisha (peace be upon him) was pleased with her marriage to the Mercy of all the Worlds, the Seal of the Prophets, and the best human in the world.
Yes, today it seems difficult to believe that a nine or ten year old would be ready for consummation of marriage, but Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) married her
over a thousand years ago. Is it not conceivable that we judge him by the standard of his time and not the cultural norms of today? In any case, such a marriage is valid according to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law. As such, there is no issue.
Therefore not very productive to use the Islamic definition of puberty (buloogh) to delineate a girl’s readiness for sex. A girl may technically be post-pubertal (buloogh)
from an Islamic perspective, yet not be ready for sex. On the other hand, another girl may technically be pre-pubertal from an Islamic perspective, and yet be ready for sex; after all, some girls become sexually mature but have delayed menarche.
Mufti Maulana Husain Kadodia explained:
In reality, puberty has two usages. The first usage is with regards to physical development, whereas the second usage is with regards to menses. For (sexual)
intercourse, developmental puberty is a precondition. Whereas for other rulings—such as being ordered to pray—the menses usage applies. (Maulana Mufti Husain Kadodia, Ask Imam.com with Mufti Ebrahim Desai (http://www.ask-imam.com/))
02-12-2009, 03:17 PM
the rest of the book can be found around the net if u search for it.
I tried to post the parts which i found relevant, insha Allah you'll benefit alot for it in dawah.
02-12-2009, 04:14 PM
Mashallah. Jazak Allah khair for sharing.
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