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Marriage With a Nine Year Old Girl

Rights of Women in Islam


The Prophet of Islam married Ayisha, a nine ear old girl, at the time when he was older than forty and this type of marriage is a crime!

Besides the invalidity of the historical quotations for determining persons’ ages, especially in the primitive and illiterate society of Mecca at a time when birth certificates were nonexistent, one should ask the critics what criterion they use in establishing crimes errors and omissions to judge the validity of marriages? How much should the age difference between a couple be before their marriage is considered a crime? On what basis or by what criterion should the difference of ages of the couple be measured?

In determining the above, one should consider either the law and regulations, or the nature, or religious laws, or consensus of both sides, or judgment and public opinion. Is there any other way? Let us examine each category.

From the perspective of the law and regulation, not only in those days, but even today (even in the United States of America or Europe,) there are no laws establishing a minimum or maximum difference between the ages of the couple wishing to marry each other. With reference to nature we find that even in the world of plants and animals where the basis of copulation is to reproduce offsprings, such limitations are nonexistent. As long as the male species has the potential to produce not only there is no requirement for a minimum age difference between couples, but that the younger age is preferred. With regards to religious laws, as far as this writer is aware, they do not address the age difference between the couple. If we consider the consensus of the couple, it is not for others to try to impose their views on an affair wherein the couple has agreed to marry each other after considering the benefit of taking such action for themselves and for those related to them.

Is it not the practice of today’s advanced societies to base societal relations on consensus and satisfaction of both sides involved? In so called advanced societies neither homosexuality nor same sex marriages are considered a crime! Nor are extramarital, unlawful and secret relationships between members of opposite sex considered obscene and repulsive except for cases of rape! Finally, if we consider public opinion and judgment we see that the people in today’s societies are against such behavior. But is it possible to ask what the basis of this public opinion is and what criterion is used to distinguish between moral and immoral behavior? It is not a fact that today in every country there are different norms of behavior and traditional values and standards of ethics? In one place, homosexuals are executed, in another, a religious leader after being exposed for having had homosexual relations (with minors) for fifteen years while on duty, still retains his position as a religious leader! We observe these differences of opinions and judgments every day in our time and in spite of this we expect a tribal society of fourteen centuries ago to behave according to our public opinion and judgment and act as we do in our society.

In today’s world a citizen is connected to other peoples and societies in dozens of ways including scientific, cultural, artistic, athletics, recreational, religious, social, etc., and the building blocks of a society are integrated by composition of various and numerous social fabrics. But Islam was declared during the days of ignorance and paganism, among scattered tribes at war with each other and has stood for friendship, brotherhood, equality and freedom. In those days, connection through lineage was considered among the strongest bonds. With a simple wedding, not only two persons and two families, but two sects and tribes would become related and would defend each other with their lives. In order for the Prophet to strengthen the bond with the first converters to Islam, i.e., Ali, Abubaker, Omar, Othman, etc., being under siege from all sides by revengeful enemies, he either wedded his daughters to them, or wedded one of theirs for himself. This was not done by reluctance and compulsion; rather, it was done freely and with pride. It is astonishing that the critics of Islam on the one hand emphasize the love and affection between the Prophet and his wife Ayisha, and on the other, point to his marriage as a calamity! Who would be frustrated by a marriage that took place with pride and consensus of the bride and her parents and to the end of the couple’s life was filled with purity, sincerity, love and affection, and was compatible with the common laws of the society? What injustice took place that some people should want to ignore the problems and injustices of their own actions and instead blame the actions prevalent in a society of fourteen centuries ago?

Unfortunately, nowadays in the West, sexual issues constitute the main axis of relationships between men and women compared to those days when strong factors such as economics, guardianship, social norms and tribal traditions played a strong part in the relationships. Have those who admire the beauty and youth of Ayisha ever asked themselves why the Prophet wedded the sister (or daughter) of Omar who was infamous for ugliness and bad manners for himself, and that after all the followers of the prophet had turned down Omar’s offer of his sister or daughter as their bride?