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Islamic Law: Girls Can Be Married Even ‘In The Cradle’

by Raymond Ibrahim

BAHRAIN-RELIGION-ISLAM-RAMADAN

…Fawzan insisted that nowhere does Sharia (or Islamic law) set an age limit for marrying girls: like countless Muslim scholars before him, he relied on Koran 65:4, which discusses marriage to females who have not yet begun menstruating (i.e., are prepubescent) and the fact that Muhammad, Islam’s role model, married Aisha when she was six or seven, “consummating” the marriage—or, in modern/Western parlance, raping her—when she was nine.

The grand point of the Saudi fatwa, however, is not that girls as young as nine can be married, based on Muhammad’s example, but rather that there is no age limit whatsoever.  The only question open to consideration is whether the girl is physically capable of handling her “husband.”  Fawzan documented this point by quoting Ibn Battal’s authoritative exegesis of Sahih Bukhari:

The ulema [Islam’s scholars and interpreters] have agreed that it is permissible for fathers to marry off their small daughters, even if they are in the cradle.  But it is not permissible for their husbands to have sex with them unless they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.  And their capability in this regard varies based on their nature and capacity.  Aisha was six when she married the prophet, but he had sex with her when she was nine [that is, when she was deemed capable].

Fawzan concluded his fatwa with a warning: “It behooves those who call for setting a minimum age for marriage to fear Allah and not contradict his Sharia, or try to legislate things Allah did not permit.  For laws are Allah’s province; and legislation is his exclusive right, to be shared by none other.  And among these are the rules governing marriage.”

Once again, case closed.

Fawzan, of course, is not the first to insist on the legitimacy of pedophilia in Islam.  Nor is this just some theoretic, abstract point; the lives of countless young girls are devastated because of this teaching.  Recall, for instance, the8-year-old girl who died on her “wedding” night as her “husband” raped her; or the 12-year-old who died giving birth to a stillborn; or the 10-year-old who made headlines by hiding  from her 80-year-old “husband.”…

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