Can Girls Marry When They Are Nine Years Old?
Submitted by on Tue, 03/11/2009 - 15:51
Dear Brother / Sister,
In terms of fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), a baby or an old man aged one hundred and fifty can marry theoretically. However, the age difference that can cause problems in the life of marriage should be paid attention in terms of being equal or similar. Since dwelling in tranquility (ar-Room 30/21), maintaining the generation of man (al-Hindî XVI/276 “Marry and increase in numbers, as I will take pride in you before other nations on the Day of Judgment” and protecting oneself from harams (for the hadith, see Tirmidhi nikah 1: Nasai, siyam 43; Bukhari, sawm 1, nikah, 2,3); are described as the benefits of marriage in Islam, the age that one of those mentioned above is needed is the recommended age of marriage. The fact that Allah causes some physiological, psychological changes in man should be the signs of that age. Considering that the three benefits or reasons mentioned above can be affected by the character of the community that one lives in and by the conditions of the environment, everybody should determine that age himself/herself. Marrying as soon as possible after reaching puberty is recommended both by the religion and medicine. ( Sibai, al-Mar'a 59 et al.)
As it is known, the age of puberty and growth for girls in hot countries is earlier than those in cold countries. Even today, girls in Africa complete their growth and marry at an age that can be regarded as too early for us. It is related to the state of growth rather than the number expressing the age. It should be noted that the ages mentioned for marriage in fiqh books were determined in accordance with the characteristics of the places where the writers of those books lived.
There are extremely amazing issues that vary from culture to culture and community to community. The viewpoint on family and man are among those variables. During the Age of Bliss, so many young people that can be regarded as children by us fought in battles through the permission of the Prophet and were wounded or martyred. We also saw similar examples in the War of Independence. We watched something on TV a few days ago. One school was left without any students because all of the students of that school took part in the War of Independence (It is something that the modern point of view will label as “child abuse” and display. Now, they are trying to give that school the title “Ghazi” (warrior)!
Therefore, when we talk about the Arab community of 1400 years ago, we should not forget that we are members of “modernized” (that is, members that have been degenerated and started to think like Westerners) community. The world does not consist of only the geography and history that we live in.
Our religion does not order us to marry our daughters when they are nine years old. On the contrary, it is recommended that a girl be married when she feels ready for marriage; once our Prophet intervened and prevented a father who wanted to marry her daughter by force. That is, it is theoretically possible to marry at the age of nine but it should not be understood as an order.
Is betrothal in the cradle permissible in our religion?
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