Does Saudi Arabia need a minimum age for marriage?

captive girl

In the news in Saudi Arabia is the story of a 15 year old girl who was married off to a 90 year old man in Jazan.  Her parents collected $17.000 in mahr for the girl. After the marriage the girl ”panicked” and locked herself into the bedroom for two days. She escaped and went back to her parents. The old man is now planning to sue the parents he wants them to send the girl back or have his money back.
According to Al Arabiya TV channel, the man said he paid the dowry to the young girl’s Saudi mother and Yemeni father, making the marriage “legal and correct”.

In Islam the husband has to pay the bride a sum of money, or give her property or valuables on marriage. This is called mahr. Without the payment of mahr the marriage is invalid. The mahr is the sole property of the bride, it does not belong to her family, she does not have to give it back in case of divorce, it is hers to with as she pleases.

This story has gotten a lot of attention in Saudi Arabia, people on Twitter call it ”Child-trafficking” and ”prostitution”.

Suhaila Zain Al-Abideen, a member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), called on authorities to swiftly intervene and save the girl. She said there was too huge an age gap between the man and the girl.
“The girl did not consent to the marriage and that was why she locked herself in. She didn’t want to marry the old man. When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold,” al-Abedin said. “The girl’s parents need to be held responsible for this.”
Jamal Al-Twairqi, a psychologist, said the girl is too young to make a decision on her marriage. If she is forced to go back to her husband, she might commit suicide, he warned.

The Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh considers girls ready for marriage from the age of 10 or 12, according to Islam. He gave this statement at the faculty of Imam Mohamed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh in 2012:
“Those who call for raising the age of marriage to 25 are absolutely mistaken,” He added: “Our mothers and grandmothers got married when they were barely 12. Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age.”

Saudi Arabia is facing strong pressure to raise the minimum age for marriage, following international criticism of cases involving children forced into wedlock with older men.
In 2010, the Saudi Human Rights Commission hired a lawyer to help a 12-year old girl divorce her 80-year old husband.

 

Read more:

Saudi Gazette

BBC News

Arabian business.com

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186 Responses

  1. And here’s another example of archaic tribal traditions. Traditions based solely on misogynistic ignorance which totally contradict the teachings of Islam.

    It’s a sad situation where parents treat their daughters as merchandise to be sold on a market. Disgusting doesn’t even begin to describe such people.

  2. I would not say the girl ”panicked”, I would call it a determined effort not to get raped by a geriatric pedophile.
    Good for her!

  3. But Kareem, isn’t it in the hadith that Aischa was only 6 when the prophet married her, and she was 9 when he had sex with her? And isn’t this the ground on which the Islamic clerics keep proclaiming that old man can marry little children?
    The grand mufti himself says 10 years is old enough for a girl.
    So why do you say this contradicts Islam?

  4. The man paid a dower, the woman takes a dowry to her husband. A mahr is translated as a dower.

  5. @All
    I think correctly and can say that Grand MUFTI is correct. He is not talking about SEX.
    The fault lies mainly with the MAN of 90 or the fault of Girl’s parents whom we call “WALI”
    The parents looked for Financial benefit and gave daughter’s hand to that old man. I think that it is not a SIN and that marriage should be disolved and couple must be separated with the consent of GIRL. We can not blaim ISLAM,it can happen anywhere and it does happen.

  6. sami, the mahr, (money for sexual pleasure) should have been given to the girl, not the parents. That was against Islamic rules.

    To sell your daughter to an old man against her will is a crime against humanity. But of course not against Islam.

    I don’t understand why you claim that men can’t have sex with underage girls. Islamic clerics say differently. Sometimes they say the minimum age for sex should be 9 but that is still pedophilia and childrape.

  7. @sami

    I won’t blame Islam as a whole (just as I would not blame Lutheranism for the sex crimes of Catholic clergy), but I will blame Saudi Islam for being unwilling to protect young women from being sold by their parents. What is scandalous is that it is those best informed about Islam who keep finding way to justify underage marriage. Maybe if Islam had a female clergy this problem would be solved.

  8. I do blame Islam for child marriage/rape. It’s in the Quran, it’s in the hadith, it’s the example of the prophet, the clerics promote it. They actually fight any attempt in Islamic countries to put a very low minimum age for girls because it is against Islam and it is ”westernization”.

    *If she is married without her permission, by threat or coercion, then the marriage is not valid. The only exception is in the case of the father and his daughter who is less than nine years of age. There is no harm if he gets her married while she is less than nine years old, according to the correct opinion. This is based on the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) marrying Aisha without her consent when she was less than nine years old, as is stated in authentic Hadith*
    Shaikh ibn Baz

    A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
    Sahi Muslim 8:3311

    The quran on divorce and iddah:
    And (as for) those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, if you have a doubt, their prescribed time shall be three months, and of those too who have not had their menstruation; and (as for) the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden; and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah He will make easy for him his affair.
    Quran 6:54

    So I suppose it will be very difficult to improve the situation in Saudi Arabia.

  9. Aafke, please correct me if I’m wrong, but didnt’ you use to argue that Aisha was in her late teens when her marriage was consummated? Did you recently find other information that contradicted your original argument?

  10. Kristine, yes, I think there are valid arguments to claim that Aischa could have been much older.

    But that is besides the issue here. You don’t see the grand mufti using this argument, nor any other important scholar.
    They all claim that underage girls can be married off to men, whatever age, and to put an age-limit is un-islamic.
    One cleric even said not so long ago that a girl can be married when still a baby!

    They are all using the official hadith, and there is the Quran as well, and the companions, like Umar ibn Khattib also made pedophilic marriages.

    The Fact is, that pedophilia is allowed in Islam.
    The consensus among Muslims is that underage girls can be married off and against their will too.

  11. There is no way a girl of 12 is ready to have children. It isn’t physically healthy and it isn’t emotionally healthy.

  12. I think what is required s for parents to educate their sons and daughters, especially their sons on respect of women, treating them as equals and general good sense then those boys as they grow to be men will not take advantage or tease or abuse women. Dads have to be an example and treat wives as equal, once men think women deserve the same respect, are not inferior beings and are as precious as men in gods eyes they will also understand marriage is a partnership with a good dose of friendship thrown in and then these things won’t happen. Is this utopia ? Yes. But no harm in working towards it, it’s easy to train you g sons in respect and daughters in self esteem and self sufficiency.

  13. This is not a tribal issue only. It is an Islamic issue. Those who have been asking for setting a minimum age requirement for marriage in Saudi are always confronted by the Hadiths about Aisha. It is a Major Sin in Islam to forbid what Allah has allowed. Since the prophet married Aisha at age 9 there is no way for a law to be developed under Shariia which prohibit such actions. The only solution is for secular laws to be adapted to replace such none sense.

  14. Islam didn’t set a minimum age requirement but has outlined that the bride should be able to make a life decision which is marriage. This I believe is to accommodate the norm of different regional aspects as well as life necessity. Based on this, in the world we live in 12 is definitely too young. It may have been relevant centuries before but not in this day and age. My grandma married aged 14 but I wouldn’t dream of allowing my child to leave me for marriage at such tender age. She must at least be an undergraduate student, that age I can’t stop her decision now can I?

  15. Marrying children should have never been relevant. Just because backward tribal people did it 1400 years ago, it does not make it right then and now. This is not just an issue of mental competence, which is the usual Islamic apologists position (i.e. girls were mentally ready to get married at an earlier at the time of the prophet).

    There are extreme physical risks when a young girl gets pregnant for both her and the baby. These risks were probably even worse at the time of the prophet due to worse nutrition and medical knowledge.

    Islam and the prophet are simply wrong. It is sickening that pedophilia still has apologists based on religious ideology.

  16. You shouldn’t so harshly judge people of older generations, it is preposterous to assume what is relevant in our time should be relevant generations ago, even centuries ago. Seeing as how most people from centuries ago didn’t get to live as long as we now do, it is very relevant for people at THAT time to marry young. Plus their lives were simpler than ours and not quite as complicated. Even in Europe before WWII it wasn’t rare to see very young married couples. It is a pity you have no sense of empathy for our older generation and the simple life they led thus leading to their ‘absurd’ decisions. I think many of us here have parents or grandparents who married at a very young age and I think it is highly indecent of ou to brand them as pedophiles since you don’t have the mental capacity to emphasize their generations.

  17. *empathize with the older generation

  18. @mrsB,

    Your attempt at changing this into a generational argument is lame. of course older generations did not have the knowledge we have today. And it is reasonable that they behaved in a certain way because of lack of knowledge. However, that excuse does not apply, when you are talking about a person who was presumed to be divinely inspired and his deity was all knowing. He also set himself as the example for men to follow for all time, because he has the rules from the deity that apply for all places and times.

    This example for men marries a 9 year old and leaves us with this mess. Additionally, we are talking 9 years old here, not 14 or 16. That is an age where the body just barely started to develop for girls.

    Here is your dilemma as a believer. Do you allow men to follow the example of the prophet? or Do you reject it and risk prohibiting something that the prophet did and hence is Hallal? Also, remember this prophet also told you that prohibiting what he and his deity allowed is a grave sin that makes you a none Muslim.

    I hope you answer these questions directly this time and not venture into silly arguments.

  19. My answer is going to be long and winding since I decided to copy and paste from a link that I find answers your question.

    Background: Some think, including many Muslims, that the prophet Muhammad (the messenger for The Quran) was engaged to a girl by the name of Aisha (sometimes spelt: Ayesha) when she was 6, and married her when she was 9 years old and he was about 50.
    The marriage story in question is based on the reports by various companions of the prophet Muhammad, as recorded by others from later generations. In these reported sayings, there are discrepancies/contradictions regarding what her age was at the time of marriage, ranging from 9 to 20 years old.
    There has been much discussion of this topic on the internet, in articles, television programmes and books etc. For those wishing to do further research, opposing articles will be referenced: two highlighting the discrepancies in the traditional sources for this story, and another which was written as a response to this. This is to show both sides, for and against, of the reported story. Please note, they require some background knowledge in order to understand them fully. If you prefer, you can skip these articles for discussion of what The Quran says about this subject below.

    http://www.quranicteachings.co.uk/ayeshas-age.htm
     by Abdul Fauq
    http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_151_200/ayesha_age_the_myth_of__a_prover.htm

    By Dr. T.O. Shanavas: Vice President of ‘Islamic Research Foundation International’ 

    qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=4604&CATE=1
     (this is a response to the 2nd article above)
    By Shaykh Gibril F Haddad: member of Sunni Path, The Online Islamic Academy
    It should be clearly noted that even though these articles disagree on some points, they clearly acknowledge contradictions exist with regard to the age at the time of marriage. Discrepancies are a common occurrence in oral reports from different sources, especially when recorded generations after an event. Furthermore, based on the evidence for the time, what likely compounded the confusion is that celebrating birthdays was not a common practice, thus exact ages were unlikely to be known.
    It should be noted that this story is nowhere to be found in The Quran.

    What does The Quran say on the age of marriage?
    The Quran does not state a specific legal age of marriage, however it does give a guideline and mentions situations and conditions that should be considered before marriage:
    * Determining mutual attraction/compatibility [2:221, 2:235, 30:21, 33:52]
    * Ascertaining whether the potential partner is of similar beliefs/faith [2:221, 60:10]
    * Discussion of and agreeing to the level of dower and other terms (if any) [4:4, 4:24]
    * Understanding and mutual acceptance of marriage as a solemn/strong oath/contract [4:21, 2:232, 2:237, 24:33]
    * If male, capable of providing for the family/household [2:228, 2:233, 4:34, 65:6]
    * To have physically matured / post-puberty [4:6, 24:31, 24:58-59]
    If the marriage is unsuccessful, one should also be capable of undertaking divorce proceedings, e.g. separation period, arbitration, discussion of settlement etc [2:226-232, 2:241, 4:35, 4:128-130, 33:49, 65:1-6].
    We will discuss in more detail the verse which specifically mentions the issue of age. The context is the rights of orphans and their wealth:
    And do not give the imprudent/weak-minded your money which God has made for you a means of support, and spend on them from it and clothe them, and speak to them in goodness. [4:5]
    And test the orphans until they have reached marriageable age*, then if you determine in them sound judgment**, then give them their wealth, and do not deliberately consume it wastefully or quickly before they grow up. And whoever is rich, then let him abstain (from the wealth), and if he is poor then let him utilise by what is recognised as good/appropriate. So when you paid to them their wealth, so call a witness on them, and be aware God is accounting. [4:6]
    *The Arabic word is “nikah” (marriage) and has an implied meaning of sex, hence some translators interpret it as ‘reached sexual maturity’ in this verse.
    **Arabic word is “rushd” and its meanings include: be well guided or directed, true direction, correct rule of action, straight forwardness, maturity of a child/intellect, capacity to manage one’s affairs.
    Thus, the two conditions for giving the wealth to the orphans are:
    1- The reaching of marriageable age / sexual maturity.
    2- The proving of sound judgement / capability in managing one’s affairs.
    Interestingly, this implies that one could reach marriageable age / sexual maturity but still not have sound judgement, which is universally true and gives a possible reason why a specific age for marriage is not stated in The Quran. Based on this and other verses regarding marriage, it can be deduced that these two conditions can also be used as a guideline for when to consider marriage. The reason being, if we suppose after having reached marriageable age / sexual maturity an orphan is allowed to get married but their wealth is not given to them, this means they have been determined not to have sound judgement, yet they are being allowed to get married, which is logically inconsistent with the guidance in The Quran.
    Please note, in 4:6 it also warns those entrusted with the wealth not to consume or waste it before they grow up, further reinforcing the idea that the period being referred to is when grown up. To conclusively prove this however, we can also look at other verses which discuss giving orphans the wealth owed to them [6:152, 17:34]. The Arabic word used in these verses is when they are “shudud”, which means physical maturity / the period from adolescence to adulthood. Since the orphans can only receive their wealth once “shudud”, and from 4:6 we know they become eligible for it after having reached marriageable age, this can only mean marriageable age begins from adolescence onwards. *There is no other possibility.*
    This conclusion can also be verified in the story of Jospeh, who when first found in the well was a boy (Arabic: ghulam, see 12:19), then taken into care, then when he reached “shudud” (i.e. became physically mature) the female of the household tried to seduce him [12:22-23].
    In addition, the usage of this word “shudud” in The Quran suggests reasonable physical strength, i.e. at least several years into adolescence [18:82, 28:14] which also agrees with most Classical Arabic dictionaries which average about from the age of 17 for the word “shudud”, which also happens to coincide with when a significant number of orphans would meet the two conditions for receiving their wealth. Many countries begin to grant extra rights at the age of 16, and many give full rights at 18, so this seems fairly close to worldwide practice.
    To conclude, it is proven beyond doubt by The Quran that one must be physically mature and be of sound judgement in order to get married.

    Keyword here Moq is to be of sound judgement and physically able to bear the responsibilities of marriage. From what I read of Aisha’s accounts, she sounds to fit that requirement albeit not fit our social standards of now. But I’ll tell you one thing, my grandmother handled her marriage life better than I do eventhough she married at age 14 while I was 26.

    This comment was in moderation due to more than one link.
    Please keep your comments short.
    Moderator

  20. The problem with the “older” Aisha arguments is that the ahadith give the early ages for betrothal and consummation in three different places, and even tell us that she was “playing with dolls” when Mohammad called her to his bed. Add to this the facts that the Quran says that wives do not have to have reached puberty and that Mohammad is a noble example to follow (without any reservations), and you have a situation that inflicts terrible damage on young girls.

    If Allah were god and Mohammad a wise man, it would seem that these texts would not have been included and preserved in Islamic texts. Would not an all-knowing, all-powerful god have foreseen this and prevented it? The answer is obvious: The writings clearly indicate that Allah and Mohammad have concern for little girls. Perhaps a single additional line saying Aisha had reached puberty would have made a big difference to untold thousands of children over a thousand years. But no.

    Arguing that Aisha was really 18, 28 or 108 changes nothing. Making excuses, blaming culture or tradition for this evil only serves to ignore the implications of what this means and to provide a cover of denial that perpetuates this crime. Until Muslims can criticize or even reflect on difficult issues they are contributing to this injustice.

  21. @Afke:
    Please learn to read, I didn’t. I didn’t mention anything about the age of marriage nor how old Aisha (pbuh) was when married. That’s an old issue wish I myself can’t clearly explain or discuss in this forum.

    What I was merely sharing how I felt concerning parents who marry of their daughters with the intention of taking the maher to make a quick buck.

    In Islam, the maher is the property of the bride. The parents are in no way whatsoever to demand it from the groom or the bride for their own use. It’s more like a form of insurance for the bride.

    What I wrote was about the how Arabs today twist certain Islamic rulings to cater to their own misguided fancies.

    So please, stop trying to take what I wrote towards another direction. It’s something you seem to do often, lol.

  22. Moq I have given you my answer but it hasn’t appeared yet so hold on. As for Jay, again you have made an error. Last time in the debate section you erred about ‘when two circumcised parts meet’-you claimed it was in the Quran. Now you erred about the story when Aisha played with her dolls…the Prophet didn’t call her to bed..She was with her friends when he entered the house. This link might interest you http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/53667490?width=320

  23. Where in the Quran does it say the wife doesn’t have to reach puberty Jay? You just make things up as you go don’t you?

  24. @mrsB,

    No you have not given an answer as I did not ask a question before. I actually expected this, because religious people always avoid direct questions that expose the issues of their religion.

    Your issue is you always complain here, that people do not respect your believes. How can anyone respect such believes when you cannot even answer a simple multiple choice question with only 2 choices :)

  25. Maybe you’re the one who have problems understanding answers that does not bode well with you? I don’t think the problem is with me, the problem is you’re not looking for an answer. you’re merely looking for ways to show that you’re right and everyone else is wrong. You couldn’t grasp my first reply about older generations etc so your weak response was i am lame. It’s ok you continue with your tantrums about pedophiles etc, it doesn’t change the fact that Aisha was capable to make or break important decisions to qualify as marriage material and thus eliminate the possibility of her being a child whether in the traditional sense or otherwise. Again Moq, I’ll thing go slow here…keyword in the Quran…Sound Judgment…

  26. And just to calm you down, since a 12,13 or even 6 year old girl in this age will not be of sound judgement nor capable to remember their time tables much less to teach adult Islamic men (sahabah) it would not go down well with me at all if she was to be married of. Anymore questions Moq?

  27. Just like MrsB I think it isn’t fair to compare 9 years or 15 years then and now. What happens in Saudi is a crime against these young girls period. I can’t fathom why an old man would want to have sex with a child. Supposedly these people have kids & grandkids of their own. How about the parents, don’t they fear Allah SWT?

  28. actually my really long winding comment has not passed moderation yet Moq. just stay tune if you like, don’t wait if u aren’t interested.

  29. I can’t imagine being 15 and having to marry an old man. Yuck!

  30. I agree with Jay Cactuz.
    There are hadith that Aisha was very young when the prophet had sex with her.
    The Quran makes provisions for the divorce of underage girls who haven’t menstruated yet.
    As a consequence it is now established in the Islamic faith that very young girls can be married off, her wali accepting for her, and to very old men.

    If there is an invisible all knowing skydaddy controlling these holy books there are only two options:
    1 Allah thinks child marriage and pedophilia is good
    2 The books are not written/controlled by Allah and contain serious and immoral mistakes.

    It is clear that in Saudi Arabia (and several other Islamic countries) the consensus is that Allah allows child marriage and pedophilia, and the example of the prophet makes pedophiliac marriages admirable.
    Only secular laws can save girls from this awful destiny.

  31. In Islam, some social norms are left for societies to adapt and decide what it sees fit. What is morally acceptable in one society might not be in another, and the same goes from one era to another. I think that since we’re becoming more globalized, we need to have a unified code of ethics. A global moral standard in order to avoid conflict between societies and minimize culture shocks. I mean Islam gives a license to the people to limit practices that are considered by essence halal. Just as Omar ibn al-Khattab banned the Mut’ah in marriage as well as in hajj for social reasons, and banned marrying non-Muslims (even Christian and Jewish women) during his 10 year rule. Saudi banned slavery during king Faisal’s rule although Islam doesn’t, What needs to be done on par with those limitations is designating a legal age of consent (whether it’s 16, 18 or 21). Especially when sentiments, even among Muslims, are growing against early marriages.

  32. Yasser, you stated what I was trying to say, bravo! Islam allows social norms to be decided by the society itself which I believe is wise. Allah knows best! It’s simply stupid to continue shouting pedophiles instead of acknowledging the norms of that society. Stupid and arrogant..and shows an unwillingness to learn. Such a pity our grandfathers are accused of being pedophiles too by these closed minded individuals. There is no middle ground with extremist Im afraid.

  33. even though I do not agree with most of Yasser’s opinions made in the past I do however agree with the one posted above. people should not be name calling for what was considered the norm in previous times. who knows maybe in the near future the norm in marriage would be allowing it only to people aged 30+. and they may even call us pedophiles.

  34. You cannot blame a religion for this you should blame the parents who thought this was a good way to get some money. You can get married in New York State at 14 if you have you parents permissin, but I think the bride would have to request it. Making a minimum age works if the parents have common sense or do not wish to profit from the transaction, which is what this seems to be.

  35. I agree, there is nothing you can do if a parent decided to make money off their child. no law will prvent this, it’ll all get done n secret, or age will be inflated or what not. the govt cant go around policing every individual.
    Id say a law + education is the key.

  36. The fact remains, Islam supports child marriage and pedophilic marriage.
    This is immoral.
    It is bad for the children, it could be lethal for the girl.

    Small children being raped by adults will always be damaged, mentally and physically.

    If a religion or society claims it’s ”moral” they are wrong.
    Religion has to be blamed for this outrageous support of child abuse.
    Children who are this young cannot give informed consent to sex because they are just too young!!!!.
    Pedophilic marriage means child rape.
    I really cannot see how anybody can come up with the excuse that religion is not to be blamed for supporting child marriage and pedophilic marriage, when it explicitly allows these.

    Any religion which supports childrape is evil and immoral.
    There is no excuse for Islam in it’s support for childrape. Or for Islam’s support to allow parents to decide against girls wills to sell them into sexual slavery.

  37. @mrsB,

    You never answer basic questions, but you do have a habit of starting name calling on commentator. The reason I brought these questions is the prophet marrying Isha at the age of 9 is the major hurdle stopping the laws in Saudi from prohibiting child marriages. Until you face up to this issue, child marriages will continue to happen.

    You just provided another example of why Muslims are not able to resolve the issues impacting their societies. This is just one of many.

    @Radha,

    “, there is nothing you can do if a parent decided to make money off their child. no law will prvent this, it’ll all get done n secret, or age will be inflated or what not. the govt cant go around policing every individual.”

    Yes education is key, but not the only tool to be used. If child marriages and the sale of children into such situations are outlawed and penalties including jail are implemented, you will reduce these crimes significantly. The reason why such laws are not enacted in Saudi Arabia is because the clerics resist it and they use the example of the prophet as the center piece for their resistance. Everyone wants to avoid the elephant in the room in an effort of being politically correct.

    Sorry, that issue is at the center of the debate about child marriages and it is not name calling. It is facts.

  38. Mrs. B, where do you get your numbers from about marriage in Europe?
    Cause I looked it up: Men and women tended to marry late in life before the industrial revolution, and after WW2 the average age went down a lot. Still reasonable, adult ages of course, not prepubescent children.

  39. @ Aafke, Correction, Islam doesn’t support child marriage. It’s neutral regarding it and left it for society to determine what age would be appropriate.

  40. The prophet, who is the best example to follow, married and had sex with an underage girl, according to the hadith.
    The Quran gives the time of idaah for divorcing gilrs who have not yet menstruated.
    Muslim clerics and scholars use the Quran and the hadith to claim that Islam allows child marriage and pedophilic marriage. And to oppose any attempt to set a minimum age for girls to get married as ”un-Islamic”.

    There is no neutrality in Islam. Islam specifically allows it, the best, most worthy of following man, Mohammed, set the example.

    So I do not understand where you get the idea that Islam does not oppose child marriage and pedophilic marriage.

    If you are against pedophilic marriage you have to admit that the Quran and hadith are wrong in promoting it.

  41. Not everything the prophet did is necessarily an example. He married 9 wives, however, Muslims cannot. Also, marrying Aisha at her young age was considered normal in the Arabian culture back then. There was no such thing as childhood. Kids had to work to provide for their families, and no one saw that as exploitation of child labor. Even in Europe, many queens were wedded early on in age, and the virgin Marry fave birth to Jesus at the age of 14. It’s not fair to think with the mentality of the 21st century to judge how people lived thousands of years ago. This of course leads to confirming my opinion that in this day and age, Saudi should put a floor for the age of consent and marriage. I know it’s a social issue which many will oppose, including religious clerics. But the fact remains, it’s just like women’s driving, a purely cultural issue.

  42. There was childhood, Images were forbidden, but girls were allowed to play with dolls until they were adult ea reached puberty. Islam has a set of rules when a child becomes ”adult”.

    We don’t know if marrying underage girls was considered normal among the non-muslims in that time, they left no written records. All we have is the Muslim sources, who, as you say, do claim for it to be normal.
    The fact that some ancient people considered pedophilic marriage normal does not make it moral or right.
    We do know that alcohol and gambling were also normal, Mohammed choose to forbid these relatively harmless ”cultural norms”. Then why didn’t he forbid the far greater evils of slavery and pedophiliac marriage?
    Because he gave the example, and the Quran considers it normal, for 1400 years girls have had to suffer.

    In Europe there were early marriages, (although no prepubescent) in the Middle Ages.
    So what? It’s not religious, on the contrary, the Middle Ages are called the Dark Ages. We consider them a bad time, when evil things happened.

    The virgin Mary is a myth, the apocrypha, from which this idea stems, are considered unreliable, that’s why they are ”the apocrypha” and not in the Bible. Some Christians consider the heretical, no Christians consider them trustworthy. If they even heard of them. They are not like the hadith, which are accepted by most Muslims. And the Bible does no explicitly endorse child marriage and pedophilic marriage as the Quran and hadith do.
    And Joseph is not considered the most excellent of men whom all Christian man have to imitate, like the Muslims should imitate Mohammed.
    And: Mary is supposed to be and remain a virgin, so there was never any sex between her and Joseph.

    Child marriage and pedophiliac marriage are part of Islam. Allah allows it, Mohammed ”the best of men” gave the example, and so now, 1400 years later Muslim men want to keep doing it, and as long as religion rules girls will be sold to pedophiles. It’s not cultural, it’s Islam.

  43. I’m not arguing whether Mary was a myth or not. You can make the same argument on Muhammad. Anyway. I am not speaking in defense of Islam or any religion just out of affiliation, but only objectivity. You can call me a devil’s advocate in this case. You spoke of adulthood in Islam to prove that there was childhood. I did not speak of childhood in the religious sense because the issue of marriage is cultural rather than religious. Yes there is an age of accountability in Islam and that is puberty. But did u know many girls reach puberty by the age of 9? So this argument I think is still not thoroughly thought of I guess. But nevertheless nice one you could throw at noobs :) In the Arabian culture children provided labor for the household and were accountable for bringing food on the table, but they weren’t accountable for religious duties till they hit puberty.

  44. @Yasser,

    You are not getting the point that child marriages are defended based on the prophets actions. The issue of his marriage to 13 known women is not the same as as the child marriage thing, since he specifically made a limit of 4 wives for others (also a social problem in my book, but we will leave that for another time).

    There is a reason why child marriages are extremely more common in countries and societies that apply shariia, example Saudi Arabia, Yemen and tribal areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. While in other countries like Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait, Turkey, etc. it is not a problem. The difference is in these countries the governments adopted and are capable of enforcing secular laws. The clerics are not allowed to influence the law based on the prophets actions. As a Saudi you should know that the Aisha marriage is the main reason why laws are not enacted in this area even after the countless embarrassments for the Saudi government on this topic.

    @mrsB,

    I read your long copy and paste article, which was not necessary, since I am familiar with all of these arguments. It all ended up as a simple statement of yours at the end “Aisha at 9 years old was capable of handling marriage both physically and mentally” My opinion about your summary is that it is an apologist nonsense. No girl, at the age of 9, is physically ready for intercourse and/or the possible pregnancy that may result from it. Sorry, but this is a fact. Snake oil type of arguments from clerics who do not understand physiology does not change facts.

  45. Girls in the past reached puberty at a much later date. Todays early onset of puberty is probably linked to nutrition and maybe the extra hormones in our food. 200 years ago the average age for girls to reach puberty was 15 to 18.

    How can you come up with such a lame excuse? Have you ever looked at a 9 year old girl? Can you really think it’s ok to have sex with such a small girl??? And what if she has extremely early menstruation? Have you got any idea what childbirth would do to such a tiny fragile body????

    Do you know how many girls today are harmed by too early sex? Do you know what happens to them, how they get torn up inside when a grown up man rapes them??? Google it and find out.
    Do you know how many girls die in childbirth every year? Girls of 11, 12, 13 years old! If their babies live they are often defective or born too early.
    How can you dare to defend this crime against humanity? The rape of children! The murder of children!
    Last year a man in yemen raped his 13 year old ”wife” to death. he had to tie her up because she didn’t want him and he didn’t manage rape her otherwise. It took him two days to rape her to death.

    Google how many girls die in childbirth trying to give birth to children their bodies were never developed enough to produce.
    Google how many girls kill themselves because they cannot bear any more beatings and rapes by their old husbands.
    Google how many girls are tortured, locked up or stoned to death for the crime of trying to escape their marriages.

    And you defend religion, because religion is more important than the life of little girls. Old pedophiles wanting to rape children are more important than the life and future of little girls.

    You make me sick.
    Everybody here who defends religion over the life of children makes me sick.
    The rules will not allow me to say what I really think of all those who are politically correct, apologists, defenders of childrape.

  46. I know child marriage is supported in countries where secular constitutions weren’t established. I get that point and I acknowledged that many religious clerics will even support it. But since Islam hasn’t codified a specific law for legal age of marriage, then the issue remains cultural. For example, nowhere in Islam where you will find that marrying a young girl of a certain age is sunnah (a tradition of Muhammad that is rewarded) although the prophet did it. It is considered mubah (lawful) which is the default state of all affairs concerning traditions. Therefore, Islam is not the reason people marry young girls, the culprit is Arabian culture which people often confuse with Islamix teachings.

  47. Mohammed ”married” Aisha at 6 without her consent. That makes it Sunna.

  48. @ Aafke, don’t start acting like a pregnant woman lol. I never defended child marriage, you won’t find that statement anywhere in my posts, I guarantee you. My only point was to clarify that from my studies on the subject, I concluded that marrying a young girls was rooted in Arabian culture, and not was something that Islam had established. Lack of legislative body in the Muslim world is the problem such matters are still being practiced. Although in my opinion, I think Muslim scholars should decide on the matter and direct Muslims to adhere to the norms of their own societies. In the US some states puts the age of consent to be different than others. I know a guy who married his girlfriend when she was 16 and had to move to a different state to get married. Issues such as age of consent are very subjective and varies from one person to another. I don’t support something that hasn’t been proven by science. And at the same time won’t accuse Islam of something it hasn’t been the cause of. There are so much better cases on which I can argue against Islam, others I can argue for. I take religions strictly academically, and i think it’s only fair to do so.

  49. Yasser, that is a very low and sexist remark. I am very disappointed that you are sinking to these depths. I would have expected that from an under educated dude like Mohammed, but not from you.
    I am sad to see the Saudi education will come out.

    What’s the cause of child marriage and pedophilic marriage?
    It’s Islam. You know that’s the reason but you cannot say so because Islam is perfect.
    You know pedophilic marriage is bad and therefore you cannot admit it is Islam.
    So it has to be ”cultural”.
    And it isn’t.
    The Quran allows it, the prophet gives the example, the clerics, including Islam’s top-cleric, the grand mufti, support child marriage and pedophiliac marriage.
    Muslim scholars all over the world have already decided on the matter. Do you live in the real world??? How come you don’t know that???

    From an acadamic point of view there are only two possibillities:
    – If you think Islam is perfect then raping little girls is perfect.
    – If you think raping little girls is wrong there is something wrong with your religion.

  50. Yapper:

    Very interesting. Just wondering isn’t it unlawful to make what is lawful unlawful in Islam. Thus I wonder if the govenment/culture which is in a predominately muslim country decides to set a minimal age on marriage then wouldn’t they be going against that which is made lawful according to the quran/sunnah. In other words committing an unlawful act by the standards of Islam. In my assessment it would not be a cultural issue but a religious/Islamic one. Therefore, Islam is ta fault.

  51. @Yasser,

    “. It is considered mubah (lawful) which is the default state of all affairs concerning traditions. Therefore, Islam is not the reason people marry young girls, the culprit is Arabian culture which people often confuse with Islamix teachings.”

    I know you pride yourself on being able to think independently, but you continue to not get the point why this is an Islamic issue.

    Pedophilia is not unique to the Arabic world, neither is child mirages. It used to happen in Europe and across the world. Western countries outlawed such practices and even associated heavy criminal penalties to them. Although, one can argue it was part of the European culture.

    Many cultures had bad practices. As another example consider, bride burning (or dowry Killing). In India the demand for a dowry was very much part of the culture and resulted in killings of brides, if the family did not satisfy the requirements. The Indian government outlawed such practices with criminal penalties. The idea that a practice is part of the culture is not an excuse for not passing laws to outlaw them.

    No one is disputing that these marriages are part of the culture. However, you seem to think that there is mutual exclusion for something to be caused by both religion or culture. So I am going to define the problem in a different way for clarity:

    “Child marriage is part of the tribal culture in the Arabic world and across many none Arabic middle Eastern and African countries. Religious text based on the prophet’s actions prevent reformers from changing local laws to criminalize these practices. Thus the problem is as much religious as cultural.”

  52. Therefore, Islam is not the reason people marry young girls, the culprit is Arabian culture which people often confuse with Islamix teachings.

    Yasser, that’s exactly my understanding. People would always mix up Islam with the Arabian culture. Your comment about the pregnant women was unnecessary though but it wasn’t as bad as the comments I’ve seen coming out of Aafke in the debate sections. And Aafke, I do sincerely think you are arguing with emotion rather than reasoning. I understand the emotional part as a mother but I too understood the difference of social norms of today and the ones from many many years ago. I don’t advocate child marriage but my stand doesn’t conflict with Islam in any way since the basic key into marriage from the Quran and Faith is the woman’s ability to give her own decisions.

  53. *Hadith not Faith

  54. Many cultures had bad practices. As another example consider, bride burning (or dowry Killing). In India the demand for a dowry was very much part of the culture and resulted in killings of brides, if the family did not satisfy the requirements. The Indian government outlawed such practices with criminal penalties. The idea that a practice is part of the culture is not an excuse for not passing laws to outlaw them.

    Yes Moq and that is the reason why more and more Muslims are being vocal about this child marriage issue as it doesn’t fit into the social norms of today. Even in Saudi, more and more Islamic groups are calling for the abolition of child marriage, including the Shoura Council.
    Compliance to ‘Urf or new social norms that is good is an Islamic teaching.

  55. @ aafke you made the point in one of the earlier blogs that you believed that aisha was older when she got married based on other hadiths. how can you then say that it is islam that propagates pedophilia rather than culture? if there are a variety of different hadiths that can cause you to come to different conclusions, and muslims in other parts of the world have come to different opinions on aisha’s age and the proper age of marriage, than its not a religious injunction! the only conclusion is that its a cultural one. also look up christian child brides in ethiopia. its just just a muslim phenomena. to truly solve problems you have to get to the root cause of them. that shows that you are genuinely concerned about the issue. to single out only one group and criticize them for a practice while ignoring the same practice in other groups of people seems like the priority is more on demonizing a specific group rather than general concern about a practice.

    yasser made good points. aafke keeps flip flopping on aisha’s age to suit her arguments rather than drawing conclusions from logic.

  56. I don’t know I just have a difficult time finding that the best among Muslims is this example:

    In the Sirat Rasul, you read the incredible story that Muhammad, himself, wanted to marry a crawling baby girl a few years before his death. This happened after he married A’isha. The following citation is from the book of Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishak, the most authentic biographer of Muhammad.

    (Suhayli, ii.79: In the riwaya of Yunus I.I recorded that the apostle saw her (Ummu’l-Fadl) when she was baby crawling before him and said, ‘If she grows up and I am still alive I will marry her.’ But he died before she grew up and Sufyan b. al-Aswad b. Abdu’l-Asad al-Makhzumi married her and she bore him Rizq and Lubaba….(ref.10, p. 311)

    It should also be noted that even Hazrat Omor or Umar (spelling variation) married Umm Kulthum, the four years old half-sister of Bibi A’isha! ‘

    From the Hadith:

    Muslim (8:3309) – Muhammad consummated his marriage to Aisha when she was only nine. (See also Bukhari 58:234 and many other places). No where in the reliable Hadith or Sira is there any other age given.

    Bukhari (62:18) – Aisha’s father, Abu Bakr, wasn’t on board at first, but Muhammad explained how the rules of their religion made it possible.

    This is similar to the way that present-day cult leaders manipulate their followers into similar concessions.

    Muslim (8:3311) – The girl took her dolls with her to Muhammad’s house (something to play with when the “prophet” was not having sex with her).

    Bukhari (6:298) – Muhammad would take a bath with the little girl and fondle her.

    Muslim (8:3460) – “Why didn’t you marry a young girl so that you could sport with her and she sport with you, or you could amuse with her and she could amuse with you?” Muhammad posed this question to one of his followers who had married an “older woman” instead of opting to fondle a child.

    Hedaya (ref. 11, p.36) Infant marriage permitted

    Case in which the marriage of infants continues binding after puberty—If the marriage of infants be contracted by the father or grandfathers, no option after puberty remains to them; because the determination of parents in this matter cannot be suspected to originate in sinister motives as their affection for their offspring is undoubted; wherefore the marriage is binding upon the parties, the same as if they had themselves entered into it after maturity.

    Case which admits an option of acquiescence after puberty—But if the authority of others than their parents should have executed the contract, each is respectively at liberty, after they become of age, to choose whether the marriage shall be confirmed or annulled.
    .

    Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3311:
    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236:

    Narrated Hisham’s father:
    Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.

    Here is how the Prophet used to have fun and sex with his child bride.

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 298:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junuba. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me. While in Itikaf, he used to bring his head near me and I would wash it while I used to be in my periods (menses).

    Sahih Muslim Book 3, Number 0629:

    ‘A’isha reported: I and the Messenger (may peace be upon him) took a bath from the same vessel and our hands alternated into it in the state that we had had sexual intercourse.

    Believe me I can find more and more of this stuff as it is in excess in hadiths.

  57. @mrsB,

    You are wrong in your statement:

    1) The Shura Council is not a religious group it is only an advisory board, whose recommendations are usually ignored especially when it is in disagreement with the ulima council
    2) The religious council is the Ulima, who’s head (the grand Mufti) along with most members are against any limits
    3) Saudi Arabia is a signer of the UN treaty for the rights of children which requires the country to have an age limit of 18. So far the country has been in violation of the treaty

    Actually, what you said fits perfectly with my argument that reformers cannot change laws because the religious establishment won’t allow it.

  58. Bigstick,repeating the Hadith over and over again isn’t going to make your case stronger. As has been established marriage with a younger bride was the norm. And regarding what goes on between the prophet and his wife, it is his business and rights as is hers. Don’t you fondle your wife? How is it so difficult to grasp the concept of different social acceptance. and I disagree the narrator of Hadith that you’ve given is one of the least trustworthy Hadith narrator. His Hadith recordings has been refuted many times.

  59. Husbands fondle their wives all the time (or they should) and taking baths together is very good for the marriage. So what’s your point? The reason why that Hadith about Aisha on her menses is to eradicate the common belief that one should be away from the wife when she has period. Moq,changes doesn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of time and blood for the White American to regard blacks as human even not long ago.

  60. Mrs. B:

    Actually history shows it was not the norm but Muslim keep telling everyone that it was the norm. What I do with my wife is really no ones business but if I had it written down for the world to see then it becomes all the world’s business.

    The issue is at hand that Muhammed is allegedly the best of men to follow by your religious standard and has his dirty laundry exposed to everyone to emulate. The unfortunate part is that the dirty laundry harms others and yet somehow you in your infinite ability to squirm like a spineless jellyfish that tries not to be pinpointed on a stance flip flops all over the place like a fish out of water. This type of manuevering is what extremist love best as you (alleged moderate) are the fodder to progress and change.

  61. And yet again……….you try to change topics to racism in America. Not the topic. Try again.

  62. Bigstick dear, I wasnt changing the topic. I was making a point by showing that changes does not happen overnight. Just like in America :-)

  63. Mrs. B:

    You forget we have had numerous conversations and this is a known pattern of yours as you try to bypass the harder issues on how to reconcile the known history of Muhammad with what most consider an unconscionable lack of morals.

  64. Which history is that Bigstick? The history of the Romans? The history of the Byzantines? The history of Ancient Greece? Read up marriage in Medieval Times by Rachelle Carter. And are Hindus also another kind of Muslim as you did claim it was only the norm in the Muslim’s minds. Did you know that over 40% of child marriages take place in India despite the goverment banning it? It boils down to culture and the remedy is education, not pointing fingers! At least if you want to play the blame game, blame justly.

  65. Going past all those lovely name callings you have handed out to me Bigstick, you are wrong to think I advocate child marriage. I have already explained my stand on the issue. Did you realised it isnt just Muslims here who have the understanding of this young marriage issue? You have agnostics, Hindu, etc who agreed that this was the norm centuries ago.

  66. Did you know that five centuries after Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, King John of England married 12 year old Isabella of Angouleme? Aisha may have been oung but she was not younger than was the norm at that time. Other Muslims doubt the very idea that Aisha was six at the time of marriage, referring to historians who have questioned the reliability of Aisha’s age as given in the saying. In a society without a birth registry and where people did not celebrate birthdays, most people estimated their own age and that of others. Aisha would have been no different. What’s more, Aisha had already been engaged to someone else before she married Muhammad, suggesting she had already been mature enough by the standards of her society to consider marriage for a while.

    I would however say that sadly in countries like Saudi Arabia, the reason motivating for such marriage is usually economic. The fact that KSA and even Iran use Aisha’s age as a justification for lowering the legal age of marriage tells us a great deal about the patriarchal nature of these countries and nothing about Muhammad, or the essential nature of Islam.

    Aisha’s age of marriage was not clear but what the records are clear about is the love, tenderness and respect she and her husband had for each other, as is enjoined in the Quran. To portray Aisha as a victim conflicts with her nature. She was no wallflower. She was a stateswoman, judge, scholar, mufti. She was a pioneer for Muslim women.

  67. There is a syndrome that fits this call Stockholm Syndrome. Where the victim then defends the offender. It is common and given the child’s options (she had none really) she made the best of a bad situation.

  68. I pressed the post button before citing my sources.

    1.http://mg.co.za/article/2012-09-28-00-truth-about-the-prophets-wife
    2. http://childblossom.blogspot.com/2011/04/child-marriage-i-n-earliest-known-india.html?m=1

    And a few more but I don’t want to be in moderation.

  69. I will research this Stockholm Syndrome in details as I have only cursory information a out it but in the mean time, you bypass all the other claims and came up with this one?

  70. Can you please explain to me this historical recording?

    Aisha had already been engaged to someone else before she married Muhammad, suggesting she had already been mature enough by the standards of her society to consider marriage for a while.

    Please explain this recording to me.

  71. Mrs. B:

    Okay here is a wikipedia. I know you hate it but it has a lot of sources you can research. The Key on ancient rome is between 15 to 20 years of age was typical. Yes there were some people who married younger but not the standard as menses back then typically did not occur until later due to nutrition and body fat. There are customs whereby children are engaged or married but it is never consummated until much later. it was a common practice between families some for solidify relations other to keep daughters safe and have some say over her life.

    There have always been bad/evil people who pray on the misfortunes or guillabiliy of others and have entered into relations with a child. It did not make it right then and it does not now. It just tells you of the character of the individual who is the predatory or instigator of the practice.

    Now you can research history on England and you will find that during the Dark Ages/Middle Ages women typically married in their late teens and 20’s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_ancient_Rome

    Even in ancient Egypt it was typical for men to marry at about 30 to a 15 year old. The reason was due to be able to control a young less informed individual. They did have far greater rights than what you might think they had as well.

    Well, I think it was broken due to Muhammad’s interest in her and his convincing the father to marry off to him. Given the fact that she was six or less at this time I high doubt that she understood the full gravity of the situation.

    Enjoy the research.

  72. Mrs. B:

    Oh. Just remember culture is irrelevant here as we are talking about the practice of religion. Islam as it stands today and as it is supported by the Hadith states that being a pedophile is okay. One has to wonder what type of God/Allah would endorse this action in the first place? What type of man did Allah/God chose to go forth and spread the good news of rape, pilliage, murder, child abuse, etc? Heck we haven’t even discussed the rape of his capitive wife after the murder of her husband or about having the oh so convenient God/Allah moment where it was okay to partake of adoptive son’s wife, etc. etc, etc., etc. But that is of course off topic although germaine to the character of Muhammad.

    If God/Allah is so mericiful and just and all knowing; how is it he got it so wrong on all fronts?

  73. From your last comment, I understand that you didnt read my earlier comments on Islam’s stands about social norms. Moving on…

    I have some much better sources than Wiki Bigstick.
    Paulette L’Hermite Le Clerq, in “The Feudal Order,” in A History of Women, Vol II:
    Silences of the Middle Ages (Harvard, 1992), ed. Christine Klupisch-Zuber, gen eds. George Duby and Michelle Perrot, pp. 204-206.]

    In Le Clerq, widespread practice of child marriage at the highest levels of society” [Le Clerq, p. 274]

    P.s ‘We’ are not discussing practices of religion, ‘you’ are.

  74. Have you heard of The Wife of Bath’s Tale? Or perhaps have a read of the wonderful writings of John McLaughlin titled Medieval Child Marriage:Abuse of Wardship? In his writings he ended his documentation with “As abhorrent as we find it in the 20th century, then, the merciless logic of a marriage theory which required consummation to complement consent winds up in at least a possibility of pedophilia in medieval child marriage. ”

    The difference with Aisha’s marriage, however, was she was already at a stage where she was able to give consent. Remember, she was engaged to someone else prior to her marriage to Muhammad which shows she was already regarded by that society to be of marriageble age. Although you did make up a naughty story that she broke off her first engagement just because the Prophet told her to. That is another story…look it up.

  75. I was expecting the news on this post to come up even though the same subject was covered as recently as last November. I am going to say same thing I said in that thread:

    “It is alright in the west for 12 year old to have boyfriends (they find it very cute) and its okay for them to go on “dates” and to leave them alone. But to marry young – oh no … thats not okay. …. There is nothing wrong in early marriage if the girl is ready to be married.”.

    Sex is rampant in the west regardless of age, in fact it is considered abnormal if a new teen is without a boyfriend. What do boys/girls do when they are in a relationship? Sex of course. To have sex outside of marriage is considered okay, even to live together is fine. So you see what is haram is made halal.

    What bothers them is that the young should NOT marry but its all okay with sex and relationships and pregnancies …etc outside of marriage. Do what you like – hey its a free society – just don’t get married.

  76. There is no flipflop.
    One could make a case using history and mathematics to claim Aisha could have been older. And many Western apologists use this because they cannot bear the idea that their perfect example had sex with a girl.
    But this is of no importance to this discussion.
    The hadith clearly state her age in years several times, so a lot of Muslims, especially outside western countries, consider these apologists mathematics to be apostacy. (punishable by death)
    The hadith also state that Aischa still played with dolls for several years after she went to live with the prophet (and was used sexually), so she did not have her first menstruation until many years later.

    It doesn’t matter. Every Islamic religious authority of any note uses the hadith and the Quran to allow child marriage and pedophiliac marriage. The grand Mufti says 10 or 12 is old enough for a girl to bear sex, childbirth and work in the home. Another cleric says a baby girl at the breast can be married off.
    These are religious authorities, clerics and scholars, claiming it’s their religion Which allows baby-marriage. Remember one has to learn from the scholars?

    That is the point I am making here.
    Islam and it’s clerics/scholars, explicitly allow and recommend child marriage and pedophiliac marriage.

    And this is one of the reasons I think Islam is an evil religion. It also proves that the men who made it up had their personal preferences in mind, not the well being of others. (Among other evils of course like slavery.)

    All comments of apologists on this threat prove how religion corrupts morality. They know it’s evil, they know its raping a defenseless little child.
    But their religion endorses it.
    Their prophet did it himself and he is the ”perfect example” to follow, so we get this endless round of intellectual acrobatics, logical fallacies, lies about their own holy texts and the fatwas of their clerics, and attempts to divert the discussion from the real topic, which is: The religion of Islam allows child rape.

  77. The problem is that Muslims who consider child marriage, and pedophiliac marriage a bad thing, is that they have a very hard time doing anything against it as long as the leaders of Islam claim it is a religious , God-endorsed practice.

    As long as the hadith and Quran reign supreme and cannot be gainsaid, there is no way out, little girls will continue to be sold to old pedophiles. The only way out is secular government and laws and that is not likely to happen in Saudi Arabia.

    I do think that over time Islam will loose power, as people get more educated and they find that their morality gets to be more in opposition with religion, same as the Christian church; it lost power in the west centuries ago and now is forced to play nice, and is forced not to allow many things which the Bible allows.
    The same thing will happen with Islam, the majority of Muslims will claim the hadith are be seen as historical in that time and there alone, it’s all metaphorical, it’s not meant for our time, or they just ignore what they don’t like of their scriptures. Which is what most Christians do today.
    And then girls will be protected from being sold to pedophiles.

  78. It is good to know that so many Saudi’s were outraged over this story, and that the Human rights commission stepped in.
    And that the story was all over the Saudi media. (which is government controlled)
    It does seem that change is coming, there is real activism in Saudi, by Saudi’s.

    And there is some good news: the girl will be allowed a divorce!

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/09/world/meast/saudi-teen-divorce/index.html?eref=rss_mostpopular

  79. @aafke-art,
    I apologize if my joke upset you buddy. I just felt you were getting too emotional over the matter, that’s why I said it. I don’t mean to say anything that would upset anyone here, no matter who. However, I do acknowledge our genders have distinct physiological as well as psychological differences. For example, during my internship, I was among a group of researchers studying a few phenomenons in a zero-sum game providing an ultimatum pertaining to behavioral economics. We ran experiments on people across different age groups, and different genders, we found that men were extremely competitive, correlating with high surges of testosterone in adolescents, showing more primitive rational maximization of utility similar to that of other male primates except gay men. Whereas among females, more so adolescents, there was less rational decision making detected as females with higher levels of estrogen (usually during menstrual cycles) experienced heightened emotions and were more concerned with equity and fairness over competing and winning. What’s interesting too, is that pregnant and lactating women who had higher levels of dopamine became too altruistic that they even accepted earning less than their peers. Our outliers of course were lesbian females who exhibited a behavior similar to a hetero sexual male. Anyway, just one of the reasons why I happen to be sexist. I am glad to send you a copy of my research if you’re interested. It’s science baby :)

  80. As for Islam taking the blame for underage marriages. I don’t know how many guys here agree that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. I am repeating this, I am not defending Islam or any religion,as Mrs.B and Moq indicated eaelier that the practice was not even considered to ber morally wrong in exogenous societies such as Europen and Indian. It’s a pre-Islamic practice which also rules out Islam’s role in influencing it. Yes Islam allows many things that by today’s standards would be considered very wrong such as slavery and underage marriages. But it’s worth noting that Islam’s resilience lies in its room for “ijtihad” gives room to scholars of different times to adjust certain practices to cope with the social variables. I mentioned examples earlier including Omar’s limitations on marriage, the current Saudi ban on marrying foreigners, banning women from driving, the Uthmanic Codex which limited the tongue in which the Qur’an was recited, Ali’s burning for the group which claimed him divinity (although it is forbidden in Islam to burn people), Muhammad told an adulterer in one instant to go home and repent, while in a famous instant he refused to bail out a thieve. In sum, there are several licenses given to scholars and rulers to adjust certain practices according to the greater good, as well as precaution. Similarly, from history we see that morality is fickle and changes over time. And while underage marriage and slavery were once accepted practices, Muslim scholars should adjust the bar along with the evolving social norms of the time.
    That’s my humble opinion.

  81. When I say Islam is the cause for pedophilic marriage I mean that now, in this age, in Saudi Arabia it’s Islam and it’s clerics which are responsible for the perpetuation of the rape of children.

    Maybe child marriage was the norm in that region before Mohammed and Islam cam along, we don’t know, as these people did not leave written history.
    What we do know is that Mohammed was all for it and gave the example for the future by marrying a 6 year old, had sex with her when she was only 9 and many years before she started menstruating.
    The book he and his friends put together does not condemn pedophilic marriage, on the contrary, it gives rules for the divorce of a prepubescent girl, which the ”husband” been using for sex but which had not reached the age of menstruation yet.

    So since 1400 years Islam has been supporting, endorsing, and by the example of the prophet, recommending child- and pedophilic marriage.
    Islam is the reason these old geezers can buy little girls for sex.

  82. Hmm, I rest my case lol. But I’m glad you’re not a regression analyst or else I can’t imagine the amount of bias your models would have after sticking all these confounding variables :p

  83. I have no idea what you are talking about, except that you will not accept what is written in the Quran, the ahdith, and the fatwa’s and ruling of Islamic scholars. You do not accept Islam at this point. But it seems you cannot admit that.

    You seem to be against Child- and pedophiliac marriage, you know it’s wrong, it’s bad. And so you can’t admit Islam supports these. Against all the evidence that Islam does support Child- and pedophiliac marriage.

    I think this goes for most of the people here. They are happy to quote quran and hadith when it suits them, but when a real immoral weakness in the books comes along the only thing they can do is shut their eyes, put their fingers in their ears, and start going nah-nah-nah.

    Yet the support of child- and pedophiliac marriage in Islam is one of the most blatant failings of the Mohammed and Islam.
    It’s amazing for me to see how people refuse to look reality in the face and keep twisting and turning, anything as long as they don’t have to face the failing of their imaginary friend, his prophet and their books.

  84. Yasser:

    I would like to see the report. Can you put up a link for all to see?

  85. I second that suggestion as well as (nudge nudge) look forward to an email from Yasser!

    On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 8:18 PM, American Bedu

  86. @ At Yasser, I like your points overall, and glad you mentioned “ijtihad.”

    @ Aafke: I am assuming you do not speak Arabic, therefore you cannot understand the Qur’an. The Qur’an can be interpreted differently depending on the individual, their personal biases, their cultural lens (their outlook on things) and their interpretation of language.

    People forget that Islam is a not fatalism (as stated by the popular Anthropologist Lila Abu Lughod). Islam is a prescription, yet it does not determine how life is and will be for everyone. Islam was also interpreted differently in different cultures and settings. Indeed the Saudi interpretation of Islam has many contradictions and flaws, but this problem is related to the concept of Saudi being a nation on a capitalistic world stage. Globalization and the idea of nation-states have caused extremism to evolved and has essentially disrupted the traditional ways of life, causing many paradoxes (such as incorporating capitalism with Islam).

    For those who are anti-Islam, I highly suggest you study Islamic civilizations from anthropological view, and try to see how cosmology (religion) had a symbolic purpose for societies. Lila Abu Lughod did an amazing ethnography on the Egyptian ‘Ali Al Awad’ Beduoin in Egypt in “Writing Women’s World.”

  87. escprt diary. oooh , so the quran isn’t for all people and all times, but only for those who can read classical Arabic? Thanks for pointing that out.
    On the other hand, I know people who speak Arabic and they tell me there’s nothing in the Quran which makes it ”impossible’ to translate. It’s a normal language like any other.

    And what are you implying? All translations of the Quran and hadith are wrong? In all languages??? But my Arabic speaking friends say that it says exactly the same in Arabic. The Quran makes provisions for the divorce of a ”wife” who has been used for sex, but is só young she hasn’t menstruated yet.

    And what about the hadith? All translated wrong as well?
    Well, strange then that the grand mufti uses these hadith to claim that girls as young as 10 are ready for sex, childbirth and house work. Why don’t you go to Saudi Arabia and teach their clerics and scholars they have it all wrong and tell them they can’t read Arabic. And there are a couple of other Islamic countries whose clerics need the same lesson.

    Pathetic, these kinds of apologist brain farts.

    You seem to have forgotten the essence of the discourse:
    1 It is ok for old pedophiles to rape little girls, or,
    2 The Quran and hadith are wrong.

    It’s very simple, choose 1 or 2

  88. Pathetic, these kinds of apologist brain farts.

    This is arguing using reasoning?

  89. I understand your tactics Aafke — using ‘put downs’ to make any other view point (other than your own) seem ‘pathetic.’ By the way you speak, I can tell you’re knowledge of Islam is not academic, nor from personal experience, but rather based on popular media, hearsay (from your Arabic-speaking friends) and unscholarly literature. I bet you read books like Ayaan Hirsi’s “Infidel” and then like many got convinced that Islam was such a terrible religion.

    Interesting how you can simplify an entire religion. But then again I’m not shocked as this is the common thing to do for those who don’t actually experience a culture personally; you generalize an entire population without forgetting you’re an outsider who cannot understand practices from other viewpoints.

    Again, I said Saudi Arabia now has interpreted Islam in a way that has doesn’t work with today’s modern world. Which is why ‘ijtihad’ is an important element of Islam…to reflect and revise practices with the current society. Should old men wed 10 year old girls? Of course not. Things have changed, and therefore practices need to be revised.

    In the 7th century, life was vastly different. As someone already mentioned, lifespans were short, thus marriages logically happened earlier. You talk as if women have no agency in Islam (which is a popular view by those against Islam ….evening influence Arabic-speaking people to agree). What you will never know is how women felt in those days. Again, the book, “Writing Womens Worlds” challenges this popular myth that Muslim women need saving, or that Muslim went are these powerless victims of their religion.

  90. “Mahmood (2001) has pointed out a disturbing thing that happens when one argues for a respect for other tradi- tions, She notes that there seems to be a difference in the political demands made on those who work on or are try- ing to understand Muslims and Islamists and those who work on secular-humanist projects, She, who studies the piety movement in Egypt, is consistently pressed to de- nounce all the harm done by Islamic movements around the world—otherwise she is accused of being an apologist”
    -in “Do Muslim Women really need Saving?” – Anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod

  91. We are not talking about an entire religion. We are talking about a 15 year old girl who was sold into sexual slavery to a 90 year old man, and how to prevent it.
    Preventing pedophilic marriages in an Islamic theocracy is very difficult because the religion, Islam, allows it.
    This is clear from the verse of the Quran which specifically names the Iddah, waiting period, to be observed by a married little girl who was used for sex but is too young to have menstruated yet.
    The hadith, of equal importance to the Quran, have the Prophet, the best man ever, and example for all Muslim men, marry a 6 year old, and having sex with her when she is only 9.

    The Islamic leaders, scholars and clerics, use these verses and hadith to proclaim that it is ok to have pedophilic sex with underage girls. Even babies according to some. That is now, in this time, and if nothing changes for a long time into the future.
    If you read the comments above you will find it was easy to debunk the common apologists excuses and intellectual acrobatics. Because, unfortunately, the Quran and hadith are quite clear in allowing child- and pedophilic marriage. And as Muslims themselves claim: they cannot be wrong.

    So for any believer with superior morals there is a problem, do they support the rape of little girls as their books allow, or do they come to the conclusion some mistakes have been made in writing the holy books.

  92. I don’t need to read any other book than the Quran, the hadith, and the biography of the prophet to come to the conclusion that Islam is a terrible religion. And looking at what happens in places where Islam rules is very supportive of that view.

    Like child marriage and child rape. If a book supports pedophiles to rape little girls I don’t need to read other people’s opinions on the book to make up my mind. The same goes for condoning slavery. These things are wrong and any book which promotes them is wrong. Any religion which supports slavery and child rape is wrong.

    Trying to make out that ”If one doesn’t read the Quran in it’s original language, one cannot understand it”, is moot, as there are many Arabic scholars and clerics who can read it in Arabic and come to the same conclusion: Islam allows child marriage and pedophilic marriage.
    this is evil.

    So, either you support this evil because it’s what the imaginary friend tells you is right, or you agree that the books of Islam need some editing.
    Which is it?

  93. You overlooked or didn’t comprehend what I was saying. What a pity

  94. You mean I refuse to fall for your attempts to change the subject.
    Other people have tried that tactic on this thread.

    If you have proof that the Quran and hadith are faulty, in translation, and in Arabic, it would be great if you could share your proofs here, it would be a relief for many Muslims who are against Child marriage and pedophilic marriage.

  95. Such a refined comment! I agree on the matter of varying interpretations of Islamic sources and thus the emergence of different schools of thought. For example, since Saudi scholars consider the Salafi methodology (orthodox) to be the “safest” and most conservative of all interpretations (according to the hadith that states that Muhammad’s nation will divide into 73 sects, all of which are misguided except one; the one which held steadfastly on what Muhammad and his companions were upon), the implications is that you would find only certain scholars often quoted as reference to some fatwasn such as “shaikh al-Islam” Ibn Taimiyya (whom I wrote a decent research paper on in college), Ibn al-Qayyim, and Ibn Kathir. The latter is considered to have writren the official commentary of the Qur’an currently taught in Saudi. Saudi scholars, such as Ibn Sa’d in “Tayseer alKareem al-Mannan” exegesis made sure generarions ago that Great Ulamaa Council never strays away from the narrow, almost literal understanding, with minimal use of ijtihad on newly invented matters using the infamous label “bid’ah” which literally means innovation, and holds a very negarive connotation among Salafis. While in other countries where intellectual discourse has take place, you find a comentary such as that written by Sahl al-Tusrari more promimenet among Sufi scholars and Rumi’s and Ibn Arabi’s esoteric and mystic unserstanding is more appealing to more liberal doctrines that delves into philosophy and metaphysics.

  96. ^^ @escortdiary

  97. Great discussion! I am so glad that I found your blog while googling for my relocation to KSA/Aramco.

  98. I don’t understand why you argue with someone who refuses to be open-minded and prefer to twist and turn their own arguments (one time saying this another time that). She says she need not look at anything else other than Quran and hadith but has no hestiation to link various youtube vids and anti-islamic site links to teach herself more hate.

    I wouldn’t bother. I see wisdom in Yasser’s and escortdiary’s comments but don’t waste them on people who do not want to know.

  99. Correct as usual Sarah ;-)

  100. So explain to me what’s up with the texts of the hadith and the Quran. Do you ignore them? Are you allowed to ignore them? Do you ignore them because they are against your moral feelings?What about the scholars and clerics who don’t ignore them?
    Or do you think it’s moral to keep supporting child- and pedophilic marriage?
    Why do you think this is moral? Is that based on your own sense of morality or do you feel you have to consider it moral because your religion forces you to support it?
    Would you mind if one of your own daughters was married to a 90 year old man at 15?

    I really don’t understand you, do you support child marriage and pedophilia because your books say so?
    Or do you, in this case, ignore the books because you don’t agree with them?

    Why won’t anybody give me an answer?
    It’s a simple question:
    1 Do you support the holy texts which allow child marriage and pedophilic marriage?
    2 Or do you think these texts are wrong in allowing child- and pedophilic marriage.

    Why is it such a problem to answer? It’s simple: 1 or 2. Which one do you support?

  101. Aafka, I think your honest in your inquiry. So, I will give it another shot, and hope this time it will make sense.
    To answer your questions:
    1- What is moral in one society changes over time, and vice versa. Believe me, wearing jeans was considered really shameful (even for guys) in Saudi because it describes the figure of the lower body. However, this has faded away in less than 50 years. You can imagine now, traditions that are 1400 years of age. While the Sirah acknowledges “pedophilia” in the numerous narrations you have presented, it is not to be judged by our contemporary moral standards. In some schools of jurisprudence, marriage has different conditions than others. for example, some claim that it is not allowed to marry people of different social class, tribe. and take the marriage of Zainab (who was an Arab tribal woman) to Zaid (who was of African descent), the marriage ended up in divorce because she resented him for it. Also, the prophet Muhammad, banned Ali from marrying any other woman as long as he was married to his daughter, Fatima. Scholars look at these incidents and derive laws. Other scholars look at the same events and give other interpretations to the ruling. So, while Muhammad married Aisha at a young age, they don’t see it a consistent pattern that indicated it had anything to do with Islamic legislation, rather, Aisha was the only virgin Muhammad had married among other women of varying ethnic and age groups. Nothing stood out in Aisha’s marriage to religious scholars other than it was culturally acceptable and Islam did not stop it as it did not stop slavery. However if today our sense of morality has changed, and we began to see underage marriages becoming morally wrong, then it is under the privileges of the Muslim rulers and decision makers to adjust whatever they see best for their societies. I personally, as well as many Saudis don’t see underage marriage acceptable today, and that some laws have to be put in place to ban it. Hence, you see it a hot topic today in Saudi media. Saudi scholars are cautious movers when it comes to such controversial matters, and so they don’t legislate laws until urgency calls for it. Saudi legal system is still in its infantry. It’s far less developed and codified than its Western counterparts.

  102. Let me ask you a question of similar nature. We all know today that incest is morally wrong. But was that the case when the sons of Adam married their sisters? Abraham was ordered to kill his son (Ishmael in Islam, Isaac in Judaism and Christianity). Now, killing your own son in today’s norms would label you a psychopath and if you’re lucky you’d spend the rest of your life in a correctional facility. But in the case of Abraham, it’s looked at as the finest example of obedience to God.
    My personal advise to you; always try to consider context (cultural or otherwise) before making judgments as an outsider.

  103. So you belive that the sons of Adam married their sisters???
    Waw… the mind boggles.
    This of course never happened, because ”Adam” is a myth, this guy never existed. If Adam and Eve were the only humans, and their children and children’s children committed continual incest then humanity would have died out with grossly misshapen and sick and deranged offspring a couple of generations later.
    You cannot come up with nonsense stories from bronze age goat herders to ”prove” your case.
    Just so you know this for the future.
    Appealing to ancient myths of primitive people is not a valid argument when you discuss problems in the real world.

  104. I didn’t say I believe that. I am saying that one should be able to think like those he is trying to argue with in order to see their points of view. Luckily for me, I can think like a Muslim and I can think like an agnostic. Just because you are convinced of one thing, doesn’t mean you have to impost your way of thinking on others, and that it’s my way or the high way. Religion has a huge influence in many parts of the world, and decision making, even in politics often includes lobbies of religious parties.
    We can’t deny the existence of religion and the power it retains, especially in the Middle East. In Theocratic systems like Iran and Saudi, the one thing giving legitimacy to the rulers is the religious establishments which supports them.In the early 90s, The Saudi populace was once close to imploding after the Saudi government allowed US forces to use Saudi soil during operation desert-storm to hit fellow Muslim country, Iraq. There was an upheaval that led to a potential revolution against the regime. That crisis was averted by a close call after the Ulama Counciil announced that the Ba’thist regime is non-Islamic and that Saddam Hussein was an apostate, and thus allowing the use of help from “non-Muslims” against transgression. Many examples throughout history confirm Marx’s statement that Religion is the opium of the masses. We cannot exempt ourselves from dealing with such variables. I know since you live in the West, secularism has downplayed the role of Religion, but in many other parts of the world today, it’s as powerful as the days of the inquisition in Europe.

  105. Ok, I just posted a reply, but I think it went to Spam. @American Bedu, please check it out!

  106. Hi Yasser,

    Sorry but you come across as Mister Goody Two-Shoes, speaking in forked tongues; with no moral compass whatsoever. :)-

  107. @Yasser,

    I thought you believed and understood evolution. If you do then you should know there is no possibility for an Adam and Eve. Not only because of the myth of religions, but also in evolutionary process there is no single generation that you can point to where a species all of the sudden turns into another. Hence there isn’t any possibility of any species to be decedent of a specific pair of mother and father.

    I do think you are trying to understand the topic, but you do not have good grasp of it including earlier mistakes where you stated that modern humans are descendants of Neanderthals.

    Relying on Myths to support your logic is not helpful to your argument. None believers do not accept things like Adam and Eve existed nor that Abraham was a person who tried to kill his son on the order of a deity. It is all a myth and does not add any value in constructing a logical argument.

    I am also, not following the value of these references from the past. Nor tying them to anthropology etc. These discussions seem like they are aimed at watering down the responsibility of the religion on the issue.

    “Islam exists today and it is in the way of reforms on this issue and that is based on the prophets example. It is that simple.”

    You continue to find every argument possible and reaching for weak analogies and never once actually acknowledged the problem and its link to Islam.

  108. Ok, just in case American Bedu can’t find the comment in her Spam folder, I will reiterate here:
    First of all, I did not indicate I believe in Adam and Eve or the Creation story at all. I was simply trying to show you how the mind of a believer functions. I know you take it for granted that you live in the West and Secularism has already abated the need to deal with such religious beliefs. In the Middle East, however, we don’t have that luxury, and that political decision making in theocratic regimes (such as Saudi and Iran) is highly dependent on the legitimacy it gains from religious authorities. I also explained how Religion — as Karl Marx stated –is truly the opium of the masses, and told you how a revolution almost struck the Saudi regime in the early 90s after it allowed the US army to use its soil in its attacks on “fellow Muslim Iraq” during the Gulf War. The Ulama council simply released a fatwa that Saddam was an apostate and that the Bath’ist regime is kafir regime and thus it is lawful for Muslims to seek help from non-Muslims against other non-Muslim transgressors. It averted the revolution by a close call.
    Anyway, you may consider religion a myth. I personally consider myself an agnostic, but can think like a Muslim since I have extensively studied Islam and was brought on it. And concerning issues in a certain society, you have to be able to think in the mindset of its people. Yes, most Saudi people believe in Adam and Eve, and will use this same analogy that you consider to be a myth as an undeniable truth. It’s unfortunate for scientific people out there, but in my part of the world,it’s reality I have to deal with. Saudi is still in the days of the inquisition :)
    Now, I hope this will be posted lol

  109. Ha! I posted another reply but it did not show up. I guess long replies here are set to go to Spam folder automatically :(
    @American Bedu, HELP!

  110. Now for your other comment. Which is all over the place and some sentences are completely unintelligable.

    It seems I was completely mislead by other Muslims before. Even the ones on this thread who now agree with you that:
    1 – The Quran is not for all people and all times.
    2 – The words of the Quran are not really that important and don’t need to be followed if you don’t agree with them.
    3 – The Hadith are not really that important either and one doesn’t need to give them too much importance if one doesn’t like them.
    4 – One doesn’t need to take the example of the prophet too seriously
    5 – One doesn’t need to listed to the scholars because they don’t know what they are talking about.

    Which is really answer #2 of my question. I therefore put you down as one who thinks the holy books of Islam are faulty and one doesn’t have to follow them.
    Thank you very much, I hope all people here will pick their answer and share it with us.

    As a reminder:
    1 Islam allows child marriage and pedophilic marriage and that is good and moral because religion says so.
    2 The books of Islam are faulty and they should be ignored or edited.

  111. It seems one of my posting attempts succeeded. *sigh*
    Aafke, check it out, I hope it clarifies some of the misconceptions

  112. @ X-Moozlum, Yup! I’m the devil’s advocate lol, but isn’t that mentally stimulating? It’s Hegelian dialectics; thesis, antithesis, and synthesis all over again :)

  113. @Yasser,

    There are many issues with how your are debating here:

    1) You assume that we have less knowledge than you about Muslims positions and how they think. You do not have any basis for this.
    2) You debate from 2 sides without any indication that you are doing that until after you are called on some bad positions.
    3) Your really have not stated your position clearly. You had many comments where in each you take different positions. Then you get on a soap box and assume you should educate us, even when you do not have any clue what is our base of knowledge nor where you are addressing specific errors. I mean seriously, what does the war in Iraq has to do with the case of child marriage, except that you want to educate us on irrelevant topics based on your assumption of our ignorance on such topics.
    4) Why even think about debating for Muslims or even try to say here is their mindset? As you know they are very capable of stating their own positions.

    Note in a debate, if you sound shifty on your positions, you lose credibility. I know that is true in my case. You did have credibility in your first few comments on this blog, then you started this endless shifting and Apologetics. I hope you state your positions clearly on some of the specifics I laid out. i.e. not what you think others think.

  114. Yep, a lot of bulls*t, no mental discipline, and no answer to the actual question.
    1 It is ok for old men to have sex with tiny little girls because religion allows it
    2 The books of islam are wrong and should be edited to keep child marriage and pedophilic marriage out.

  115. MoQ, I don’t assume anyone has any less knowledge about Muslims than I do. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been debating Aafke, who clearly indicated he/she needed an explanation. Hence why I provided the answer from a Muslim’s perspective. I am not shifty in positions, I just separate between what’s scientific that is testible and consistent over time and social and moral dilemmas that are fickle and varying over time. I aim not to take sides in any argument or become prejudice, but I will provide whatever may seem like a sound argument for any topic in discussion. I don’t believe evil and wrongdoing exist intrinsically in any individual, entity or action, but depending on what position you take, and what circumstances you are in. In other words, every moral judgment is subjective. I honestly have seen deficiency in some of the Muslims’ comments, and I think it’s not fair, just as I would hate for scientific explanations to be distorted, I wouldn’t like to see Muslim people not aware of their own counter arguments. Seems you guys here created a bipartisan situation. It’s like you guys are saying you’re either with me or against me. In this case, I find myself compelled to indulge in whatever I see fit. :)
    Oh, and as for my “scientific” mistake, I apologize if I didn’t explain it fully, but yes, some scientists believe Neanderthals are ancestors of modern humans although I mentioned to Aafke that some other subspecies also existed and should at some time fill the fossil gap. Our ancestors probably have crossbred with Neanderthals at some point in Europe, or that they have evolved into another subspecies that resulted in the modern human in Africa.

  116. @American Bedu, seems my post went to spam again lol

  117. Oh, and by the way @ MoQ, the example I used for the Gulf War was just to show the power and authority religion and religious leaders holds over politics and people in Saudi Arabia and the MENA in general. I am surprised you weren’t able to deduce that.

  118. @Aafke, you can’t just cancel out other people just because they believe in superstition. I think what makes people civilized is that we acknowledge our differences and work to come in terms with each other. I know it’s frustrating to you that there are people who follow Religion, but antagonizing them is not the way go about it. If you want to educate people about Science, you have to first convince them you aren’t biased and are willing to step down from your pedestal and see things the way they do for a minute. Don’t get emotional simply because they did not agree with you on points X and Y, but look at it as a learning process, an opportunity to understand why people believe in bizarre things and how can they accept morally wrong situations. Being stereoscopic is a hard thing to do, but it’s doable, while prejudice is fatal

  119. Yasser:

    What about that report?

  120. AA:

    This is the sound bite that Esort has provided you. It might give you some overview.

    http://www.smi.uib.no/seminars/Pensum/Abu-Lughod.pdf

  121. Okay this is slightly off topic but still relevant as it impacts how women are treated and viewed. I would like to hear how others view this since it has been posed that “Patriarchy transcends religion and culture and is a human dimension of ignorance that needs to be addressed outside of the religious and cultural clothing that it wears.”

    Do you agree with the assessment?

  122. AA,
    “So explain to me what’s up with the texts of the hadith and the Quran. Do you ignore them? Are you allowed to ignore them? Do you ignore them because they are against your moral feelings?What about the scholars and clerics who don’t ignore them?”

    Calm down, AA, look at you! You sound hormonal. There is no need to get so wound up like a cheap clock. No one is ignoring anything in the Quran and hadiths. It is you who turn them into something which they are not and misinterpret them until you are blue in the face or further. There is no point in explaining anything to you because the outcome is the same – you start spewing more hatred. You are obviously not here to learn and try to understand other cultures, traditions or religions (to build bridges as is the aim of Carol) but you are here to spread your hatred.

    MoQ
    “1) You assume that we have less knowledge than you about …”

    But that is how you assume about others all the time! And you keep on going on about how people should debate as if you are a master on debates. I have been noticing a pattern to your way of “debating” all these years. And most of them are about throwing cheap shots at your opponent to demoralize and degrade them. You feel threatened because Yasser seems more knowledeable than you and makes more sense than you ever did? Is that it?

    Yasser sounds very balanced to me. Keep going Yasser! People tend to be nice to you when you talk against Islam and you become their hero but once you display your views on Islam which they don’t like, they show their true colors and turn against you, spit their venoom on you. But you are wise enough to have realised that by now.

  123. @Yasser,

    Your answer seems like you really have no believes. Everything is watered down into politically correct academic arguments I guess that is Ok, you need to work these things through. Someday you may mature your thoughts enough to understand that a person should have some firm principles to form an identity. Examples what things you would consider immoral, not why immoral things exist (i.e the social reasons, the history, etc.). For me in this case it is simple, sex with minors whether it is called a marriage or rape is morally wrong. Any ideology that contributes to sustaining this immorality is also morally wrong.

    Note I never argue that Muslims are immoral as a general statement. I argue that the religion is immoral when it comes to this issue. Some Muslims do engage in immoral acts, such as child marriages. Laws are not enacted because of the text of the religion. Other Muslims sit idly on the sidelines and mainly engage in apologetics, because their primary focus is to defend the actions of the dear prophet rather than face the issue .

    Again at the center of this issue is a person who claimed to be directed by the divine, marrying a 9 year old. Saying it is the norm at the time is not a good argument, because the all knowing deity should have passed the info to him that such action is not a good moral example for his followers. A 9 year old whether in the 7th century or now, is not ready physically for sexual intercourse.

    Let’s try a direct position on my statement above this time.

    Cheers!

  124. ! And you keep on going on about how people should debate as if you are a master on debates. I have been noticing a pattern to your way of “debating” all these years. And most of them are about throwing cheap shots at your opponent to demoralize and degrade them. 

    I’ve noticed that too Sarah. Moq thinks he’s the only one who has the know-how when it comes to debates and intellect but all he does really is just patronize his opponents. Have you seen his last comments on the topic Divorce over Twitter against new commentary Muhammad? Talk about low self esteem mixed with a sense of superiority.

    Yaseer , if there is one thing you need to know, as long as you are against these Islamophobes ideas, no matter how objective your comments are you will be considered either a) naive and less intelligent b) a fork tongue or c) an evil apologists. Get used to wrap your head around these guys. Oh btw, Aafke is a woman, just thought I’d let you know since you keep referring to her as buddy or man. And yes I must agree with Sarah. Aafke, it would seem to me that you are all over the place and your arguments are always inconsistent. First you blame Islam, then you said You don’t blame Islam as a whole just the Saudi way of interpreting Islam then you turn back and claim Islam is at the root of child rape. Do you realize how insane your comments sound? There is nothing remotely intellectual about your comments only hate.

  125. @Sarah,

    “But that is how you assume about others all the time! And you keep on going on about how people should debate as if you are a master on debates”

    Yes I told you many times that on a specific topic you did not know what you were talking about. In each case I provided you with the details of where you did not know your facts. I never assume you have lack of knowledge until you demonstrated that trait. As an example, you ventured into arguments about evolution and argued with confidence. A few comments later, you we discovered that you were getting your information about what evolution is from a Christian religious documentary.

    Another example is your scientifically proven fact that if you eat Pig meat, you will lose your ability to be modest ;)

    You have always claimed this unfairness, but if you go back to some of our discussions, you will find my statement is 100% accurate as I take great care in making sure that I gave you plenty of room to demonstrate your knowledge. However, you do have a habit of arguing without having elementary knowledge of a topic.

    Sarah, I hope you understand this statement “stating a fact is different than an assumption”

  126. @mrsB,

    Let’s see. You are now calling me an Islamaphope. Can you define what that is?

    By the way I do not think Yasser is on a team and it is kinda funny that you are trying to recruit.

  127. Moq

    “Yes I told you many times that on a specific topic you did not know what you were talking about”

    Oh how stupid of me. I forgot that only you know what you are talking about and others are just yapping away at nothing in particular. We are all plain stupid!

    “you ventured into arguments about evolution and argued with confidence. ”

    Yes I have reason to believe what I say just as you do. It does not mean that you are “100% accurate”. Are you making yourself a god? Funny for someone who does not believe in one! I would agree with you if you say you believe you are 100% sure of your opinions. I think your problem is right there. You tend to think that you are ALWAYS 100% accurate. Even scientists are not 100% right all the time.

    and regarding the “pig”, since you bought it up again, I repeat that that is my opinion and since when is that not allowed. And my opinion about it is being proved more and more on this blog. Just look at where it is going!

    About creation vs evolution, no one of the evolutionists could answer my question on the debate page. Why is that not suprising?

    Yes Mrs B, I too, noticed that on Divorce over Twitter.

    Good day.

  128. Child marriage is a cultural thing, not religious one and any law has footprints of culture and cannot completely get rid of cultural influences. Eventhought Islamic laws are very progressive, cultures in Islamic countries are still feudal or semi-feudal.There is nothing Islamic about child marriage in fact it is IsLamic as in the Quran, marriage is a strong covenant (4:21) And you don’t need to have attended a secular school to to conclude that such a covenant cannot be entered into by children of the age of eight, that too a strong contract. A child does not even understand what a covenant is. It is also known that in an Islamic marriage, both parties can stipulate conditions. can a child stipulate conditions?
    As for the allegation that Aafke made about how a child was even rewarded some divorce settlement, wherein the Prophet is supposed to have given a minor girl the option to repudiate her marriage when she informed him that her father had married her off against her will. But a reading of this hadith clearly shows she was a grown up as the word ‘bikran’ was used meaning grown up virgin.
    i

  129. Sorry Sarah, you came here to attack me and when I responded you got defensive.

    Regarding having an opinion it is always fine. But when you argued that evolution is something different than what it is, you were changing facts. Do not get upset that people are correcting you if you misrepresent facts.

    You can continue believing that pig meat makes a person immodest, but do not expect that people will respect that opinion neither should you expect that people will think you are rational for such believe.

    Anyway I never read your question on the debate page and I am afraid I won’t be able to find it as there are many comments there. Re post it and I can see if I can provide an answer.

  130. I haven’t finish but pressed the post button. Back to the Prophet marrying Aisha, we may never truly know Aisha’s real age but the facts shows that she was clearly matured enough to enter a strong covenant. The Prophet married her with her agreement as well as her father’s blessings. No Moq, I am not recruiting anyone, very childish of you to imply so. I am showing him that sometimes he shouldn’t take it to heart when his intellect is ridiculed. Yes I called you an Islamophobe. And you called me evil and naive. Seems only fair.

  131. I hope this thread doesn’t evolve into a debate about evolution THEORY and pigs ;-) Double wink ;-)

  132. So mrsB, you think a 9 year old is physically ready for sexual intercourse or giving consent? Since you emphasized that she agreed.

    Hmmmmmm,

    “Yes I called you an Islamophobe. And you called me evil and naive.”

    So when did I call you evil. I did call you naive but only after you took like 3 shots at me. You continue doing that by the way. And anyway you still have not defined what an Islamophobe is. Is it anyone that think there are parts of Islam and its prophet are immoral, or is it a person that is afraid of Muslims? just curious since you throw these titles around so easily.

    By the way I have been at bedu for years and with thousands of comments and you will never find one comment of mine where I showed prejudice against people that call themselves Muslims. However, I am not shy about pointing immorality in the ideology and the behavior of the prophet.

    You can also read my interview with Carol for specifics on why and in what areas I oppose religions (not limited to Islam by the way)

  133. No, MrsB, don’t worry, pigs and evolution are in the debate page.

    Moq,
    “But when you argued that evolution is something different than what it is, you were changing facts”

    Sorry I did not know I was changing your “facts”. How immoral of me.
    I did not come here to attack you but just to point out my “facts” :)
    I wish you could get it into your head that what you believe in does not necessarily have to be facts. You can be wrong you know. You can never know for sure what evolution is – so it can be changed even by scientists at any time. Will you then say that those scientists changed facts?

    You know, Mrs B, this topic of Aisha has been going on for so long in so many books, blogs …etc its kind of stale don’t you think? The fact of the matter is that she is the wife of our Prophet (saas) and they loved each other very much. She learnt alot from him and narrated so many hadiths and later on she became a scholar and received people who wanted to know the laws or settle disputes.

    The days of our prophet were different. People used to marry very young – not only in Arabia but elsewhere too.

  134. “I hope this thread doesn’t evolve into a debate about evolution ”
    THEORY and pigs”

    Shhhhhhh, Mom Carol is sleeping. As long as she does not notice we can talk about any topic. That is until I get my hand slapped and moved to the dungeon. Ooops I mean the debate page.

  135. @Sarah,

    No one argues with you about your freedom to believe in anything you want, Your issue is that you want us to respect the belief. All what you gonna get from me is that I will only respect your freedom to believe.

    “so it can be changed even by scientists at any time. Will you then say that those scientists changed facts?”
    Yes we know what evolution is, because it was defined by a dude called Darwin. If you come up with a different definition then you are changing the fact of what he wrote. You can argue that evolution is not true based on your believe system. But you will be going against scientific evidence.

    Now regarding scientists changing facts. Scientists never claim to have facts. Facts (i.e. 100% certainty) only exists for things we invent. Example mathematics, what is written by Darwin in his book, etc. So yes in Science if new evidence comes along which can disprove evolution then scientists will change their minds. Now the chance of that is extremely remote since evolution theory is well supported with over 200,000 peer reviewed papers providing evidence.

    It is the nature of science to continue exploring and always following the evidence to where it may lead. It is an advantage of the scientific method to have such an open process to allow the debunking of bad science when evidence warrants it (just do not bet that will happen to evolution)

  136. @Sarah and Mrs.B,
    It’s sad when prejudice and bias become indicative of one’s “forming an identity” What happened to neutrality and objectivity? I mean, if I were on a blog arguing with a bunch of Saudis or people who never had the luxury to engage in academic discourse in their life, I would excuse their closed-mindedness. But supposedly, you guys here are mostly Americans or Westerners who probably went to respected universities, or at least live in societies where critical and free thinking is encouraged. Yes, I’ve noticed there is a dichotomy here that revolves around Islam. But as I have expressed earlier, I will refrain from taking sides in this matter. What appeals to me in any discussion is not whether or not an individual agrees with me, rather, it is how intelligently an argument is woven and presented.
    Apparently, some people here are more interested in clashing with others rather than exchanging ideas and creating synergy.
    In this case, I will reserve my right to selectively interact to some of the posts here and ignore others.
    Best to all,

  137. Sorry some of us just cannot be neutral about things like child marriages. I for one will not let it be explained away with cultural and academic arguments.

  138. Moq,
    Yes I agree with you on certain things. But who is Darwin? He is just another human being and he could be wrong on many things. He did not even have the information or access to info that we have now. I mean, he was wrong about the appendix, so he could be wrong in many of his observations. He did not have access to knowlege of DNA, cells, fossils that have been found after him …etc. Darwin can be wrong – is it not possible?

  139. Darwin was human just like some of us. So why base your “correctness” solely on him.

  140. @Sarah,

    Darwin defined a theory called evolution, which describes the diversity of species. His observations are not the theory, but they are input to how he formed the theory. And of course he could not have observed nor would he have had access to every piece of data nor was all his data correct. But he did create a framework theory based on what he had.

    What was brilliant about his theory is when we discovered things like DNA, it actually reaffirmed the theory rather than weaken it.

    I do not base my belief on Darwin. It is a scientific theory that has been supported by a great deal of evidence. That is no different than accepting Gravitational theory (hence I do not base my believes on Newton either).

    The reason why evolution always comes up in these argument instead of other theories like gravity is because believers cannot accept that we have solved the puzzle of diversity of species. That is, they cannot accept that humans evolved from animals, which contradicts their creationist text.

    If you look at this with an open mind, you will notice that evolution is a hot button because it is a piece of science which threatens religious believes. It is not because evolution theory is bad science.

  141. Oh, so I am all over the map? So sorry! Let me explain my argument:

    In many Islamic countries very small girls are married, sometimes to other children, but a lot to grown up men, sometimes very old men. If an 80 year old man wants to have sex with an 8 year old girl then that old man is a pedophile. It is a sexual disorder. A disease. Why do Islamic countries allow this? Because in the Islamic religion there are provisions for marriage to underage girls and the prophet of this religion married a 6 year old himself as described by the holy books of the religion. Mohammed did use her for sex from the time she was 9 and, according to the hadith, for many years until she reached puberty. His companions married very young girls too. because this is in the holy books, which no believer is allowed to change or counter, it is very difficult to save little girls from being raped by pedophiles.

    It is very bad for children to be raped. No child can give consent for marriage or sex because they are just too young to understand these matters. They are really very small children who need to grow up. Their bodies are not ready for sex either. If they get pregnant a lot of them die in childbirth.

    The leaders of the islamic religion, and many of it’s followers claim child marriage and pedophilic marriage is ok because their religion allows it and Mohammed gave the example himself. So as the holy books of Islam are for all people and all time, now the marriage of old man to very small girls is now for all people and all time.
    Any Muslim who apologizes for this, or wants to remain ”neutral” is supporting this system, ie. is supporting that pedophilic marriage should be allowed.

    My opinion is that on this subject, the rape of little girls by old men in ”marriage”, the religion of Islam is immoral. It’s a very bad thing that this practice is written down in its holy books and therefore can be practiced today, and is promoted by Islamic religious leaders.

    The question I am asking of Muslims on this topic is this:
    As Islam officially allows child- and pedophilic marriage what is your way of dealing with this:

    1 Do you agree, maybe against your own moral feelings on the subject, that child- and pedophilic marriage should be allowed because religion allwos it.

    2 Is the practice of Child- and pedophilic marriage só immoral to you that you think your Prophet and books are wrong in this aspect and should be ignored/edited.

  142. Shhhhhhh, Mom Carol is sleeping. As long as she does not notice we can talk about any topic. That is until I get my hand slapped and moved to the dungeon. Ooops I mean the debate page.

    This made me chuckled, no sarcasm intended.

  143. *
    1 Do you agree, maybe against your own moral feelings on the subject, that child- and pedophilic marriage should be allowed because religion allwos it.
    2 Is the practice of Child- and pedophilic marriage só immoral to you that you think your Prophet and books are wrong in this aspect and should be ignored/edited.

    My personal answer as a Muslim, mother and human is based on our society of today, ‘CHILD marriage (and I stress on the term child in all its definition) is immoral and a crime. This is in line with Islamic teaching since compliance to the norm of the society is part and parcel of this religion AND since in the Quran it is clearly stated that marriage is a strong covenant (without external pressure) between a man and a woman then I reject the notion that child marriage is endorsed in the Quran nor a Sunnah . So no editing required, just understanding.

  144. I have answered you Aafke but it’s probably in the spam box.

  145. mrsB, Thank you answering the question.
    So you go for #2.
    You are very moral person, and the only one on this tread who had the guts to look a difficult problem in the face and give an honest answer..

  146. Hehe Aafke, whatever floats your boat :-)

  147. AA,
    To answer your questions:
    1) No I do not agree that child/pedophlic marriages should be allowed in any religion and if a religion allows it, it is a poor excuse for a religion. Child/pedophlic marriage would be dangerous since one of the partner is mentally sick.
    Islam does not allow such a marriage. If you think that our Prophet was such a person then we would have heard about him marrying many children but in reality opposite is true. Most of his wives were matured women. The Prophet had many children around him but he did not marry them. He was well-known in the community as a noble, honest and trustworthy man. Marrying a young person does not make one a pedophile.

    2) This question is not valid. Refer to answer 1) above. And no books are encouraging such marriages so nothing to be ignored or edited or deleted.

  148. Sarah, I am glad you are against child- and pedophilic marriage. But if you want to forbid such marriages you will have to ignore the Quran, the hadith, and the example of the prophet. It’s there, in your own holy books. You have to ignore these bits of your holy books. Better even; scrap them.

  149. Can you prove to me by quotes where in the Quran or in hadith it encourages child/pedophilic marriages.

    Thanks and I appreciate your calmness.

  150. Sarah, I have done so 50 times on this thread, and you as a muslim should not need for a kuffaar to point them out for you.

    Bigstick, that were some interesting links you put up, this sentence is very appasite to the discussion here:
    *Where the rights of women, and the reputation of Islam, collide, she stands foursquare with Islam, and against those rights. It has been noted by the real Muslim (or more often, ex-Muslim) feminists – such intrepid fighters for women’s rights as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Azam Kamguian – that quite a few supposed Muslim “feminists” end up retreating into a defense of Islam, whenever they sense that the interest in the mistreatment of women might harm the Faith.*

    I have noticed it before and we see it here on this topic, when a blatant moral fault within Islam is pointed out everything goes haywire, from ”It doesn’t count, it’s cultural not religious” to ”It is really good because Allah knows best and the Quran and hadith are faultless”
    Any oyher subject, country, ancient time is being brought up, as long as they haven’t got to look facts in the face.

    However, I find it hopeful that some people will admit that the hadith are not perfect, and that child- and pedophilic marriage is bad and that the Quran shouldn’t have been written in such a way as to make it look as if it were allowed.

  151. I gave some bits of the hadith and quran on the 8th at 6,23
    Look it up.
    btw, there is more but I don’t want to do too much paste copy as it isn’t allowed.
    And it’s boring.

  152. AA,
    if you have mentioned it before, sorry, I did not see it. When you are loud, screaming and shouting, its kinda difficult to see things. So kindly do quote them again.

  153. Ok, Sarah. Give me a minute,

  154. Quran
    65:4
    *And (as for) those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, if you have a doubt, their prescribed time shall be three months, and of those too who have not menstruated yet; and (as for) the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden*
    “Wallaee Lam yahidhna” is the Arabic, which means “those who have not menstruated yet” This means the girls pre-pubescent , so young that they haven’t reached the age of menstruation.

    The meaning of this verse, and it;s implications are described in tafseers by islamic scholars.

    Ibn Khatir:
    The `Iddah of Those in Menopause and Those Who do not have Menses Allah the Exalted clarifies the waiting period of the woman in menopause. And that is the one whose menstruation has stopped due to her older age. Her `Iddah is three months instead of the three monthly cycles for those who menstruate, which is based upon the Ayah in (Surat) Al-Baqarah. [see 2:228] The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their `Iddah is three months like those in menopause. This is the meaning of His saying.

    Al Tabari
    The interpretation of the verse “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”. He said: The same applies to the ‘idaah for girls who do not menstruate because they are too young, if their husbands divorce them after consummating the marriage with them.

  155. Another tafsir:

    Sayyid Abul Ala Maudud:
    Here, one should bear in mind the fact that according to the explanations given in the Quran the question of the waiting period arises in respect of the women with whom marriage may have been consummated, for there is no waiting-period in case divorce is pronounced before the consummation of marriage. (Al-Ahzab: 49). Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for the girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl in marriage at this age but it is also permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Quran has held as permissible.

  156. The hadith:
    (just a selection, there are more)

    SAhi bukhari 7:62:63:
    Narrated ‘Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years

    Sahi Bukhari 7:62:88
    Narrated ‘Ursa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

    Sahi Muslim 8:3311
    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.

    Abu Dawud 2:22116

    Aisha said, “The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old.” (The narrator Sulaiman said: “Or six years.”). “He had intercourse with me when I was 9 years old.

    Sahi Bukhari 3:48:829:

    Narrated Aisha:
    That night I kept on weeping and could not sleep till morning. In the morning Allah’s Apostle called Ali bin Abu Talib and Usama bin Zaid when he saw the Divine Inspiration delayed, to consul them about divorcing his wife (i.e. ‘Aisha). Usama bin Zaid said what he knew of the good reputation of his wives and added, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Keep you wife, for, by Allah, we know nothing about her but good.’ ‘Ali bin Abu Talib said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Allah has no imposed restrictions on you, and there are many women other than she, yet you may ask the woman-servant who will tell you the truth.’ On that Allah’s Apostle called Buraira and said, ‘O Burair. Did you ever see anything which roused your suspicions about her?’ Buraira said, ‘No, by Allah Who has sent you with the Truth, I have never seen in her anything faulty except that she is a girl of immature age, who sometimes sleeps and leaves the dough for the goats to eat.

    Sahi Bukhari 8″73:151
    Narrated ‘Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me
    Images and dolls were forbidden but it was allowed for little girls who had not reached the age of menstruation yet, therefore Aischa was allowed to play with dolls

  157. Al Tabari:
    Umm Ruman said that al-Mut‘im b. ‘Adi had asked ‘A’ishah’s hand for his son, but Abu Bakr had not promised anything. Abu Bakr left and went to Mut‘im while his wife, mother of the son for whom he had asked ‘A’ishah’s hand, was with him. She said, “O son of Abu Quhafah, perhaps we could marry our son to your daughter if you could make him leave his religion and bring him in to the religion which you practice.” He turned to her husband al-Mut‘im and said, “What is she saying?” He replied, “She says [what you have heard].” Abu Bakr left, [realizing that] God had [just] removed the problem he had in his mind. He said to Khawlah, “Call the Messenger of God.” She called him and he came. Abu Bakr married [‘A’ishah] to him when she was [only] six years old.

    Mohammed consummated the marriage later because he could not pay for her:
    We all went together, and when we reached Bayd in Tamanni my camel broke loose. I was sitting in the litter together with my mother, and she started exclaiming “Alas, my daughter, alas [you] bride”; then they caught up with our camel, after it had safely descended the Lift. We then arrived at Medina, and I stayed with Abu Bakr’s children, and [Abu Bakr] went to the Prophet. The latter was then busy building the mosque and our homes around it, where he [later] housed his wives. We stayed in Abu Bakr’s house for a few days; then Abu Bakr asked [the Prophet] “O Messenger of God, what prevents you from consummating the marriage with your wife?” The Prophet said “The bridal gift (sadaq).” Abu Bakr gave him the bridal gift, twelve and a half ounces [of gold], and the Prophet sent for us. He consummated our marriage in my house, the one where I live now and where he passed away.

  158. Mohammed was interested in another baby girl but he died before he could marry her:

    Ibn ishaq, ”the life of Mohammed”
    Suhayli, ii. 79: In the riwaya of Yunus I. I. recorded that the apostle saw her (Ummu’lFadl) when she was a baby crawling before him and said, ‘If she grows up and I am still alive I will marry her.’ But he died before she grew up

    Mohammed’s companions also married very young children, Omar ibn Khattab married a girl who was reported to be either 5 or 10 or 12 years old.

  159. Modern scholars on child marriage:

    The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia:
    It is incorrect to say that it’s not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger. A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she’s too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her.

    Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age
    Note that ”to marry off” means the father decides.

    Fatwa of Sheikh Mohamed Ibn Abderrahman Al-Maghraoui (Morocco):
    A nine-year-old girl has the same sexual capacities like a woman of twenty and over
    This man also wrote:
    The marriage of nine-year-old girls is not forbidden because according to the Hadith , Mohammed married Aisha when she was only seven-years-old and he consummated his union when she was nine

    Fatwa of Ibn Abd al-Barr:
    The scholars are unanimously agreed that a father may marry off his young daughter without consulting her. The Messenger of Allaah married ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr when she was young, six or seven years old, when her father married her to him.

    Imam Sani (Nigeria) declared:
    Child marriage in Islam is permissible. In the Koran there is no specific age of marriage…[If the government imposed new laws against child marriage] There will be violent conflict from the Muslims, saying that ‘no, we will not accept this, we’d rather die than accept something which is not a law from Allah

    Dr. Ahmad al-Mu’bi, Saudi marriage officiant said on tv:
    You can have a marriage contract even with a 1-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of 9, 7 or 8. But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and tradition

    Sheik Mohammed al-Hazmi:
    Everything that is not forbidden is permitted. [The new law in Yemen that set the minimum marriage age at 17] is a Western plot aimed at Westernizing our culture. The West wants to teach us how to marry, conceive and divorce. This is cultural colonization that we reject

    Sheikh Hamoud Hashim al-Tharihi
    Because this happened to the Prophet, we cannot tell people that it is prohibited to marry at an early age

    Fatwa by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid:
    it is permitted to contract marriage with a young girl and to hand her over to her husband to stay with him before she reaches adolescence

    Sheikh Ibn Baz:
    If she is married without her permission, by threat or coercion, then the marriage is not valid. The only exception is in the case of the father and his daughter who is less than nine years of age. There is no harm if he gets her married while she is less than nine years old, according to the correct opinion.
    This is based on the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) marrying Aisha without her consent when she was less than nine years old, as is stated in authentic Hadith

  160. I have googled Fatwas against child marriage, or Islamic scholars against child marriage, but those searched gave me only clerics and fatwas against banning child marriage. (that list btw is endless)
    There may be fatwas against child marriage but I don’t want to spend more time on this.

    All these hadith, fatwas and proclamations by muslim clerics prove that child marriage and pedophilic marriage are specifically allowed in Islam, by the religion of Islam, and I have a serious problem with that.

  161. My North African husband says that he thinks the only reason they would have done this is if they are extremely poor and in desperate circumstances.

  162. Aafke let me explain the verse 65:4

    Sahih International [65:4]

    And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease.

    Firstly it talks about women who have menopause. Secondly it talks of women who have not yet menstruated. Do you know there are women who bleeds all the time and also women who don’t bleed or menstruate ever or do so but rather late? Rare but it exists. A former classmate of mine started her period in when she was 16. even modern medicine doesn’t regard menstruation as the only sign of puberty erty. And often even after the ‘first menses’ the periods are not regular initially and occurs with long gaps after many months. so trying to use that verse is invalid. As you can see the wisdom behind this verse, God knew that there are women who have rare disease whereby they are late in starting their menses or have long gaps in between menses. Naturally a settlement had to be provided for these women in case of divorce.

  163. As for In Ishaq, a favourite among Islamophobe, even Al Bukhari rejected his works since his Isnad or chain of narration had too many holes and Ibn Ishaq was known for his alliances with the Jews of that time. His accounts of Laylatul Qadr was also contradictory with any hadith and most importantly Ibn Ishaq was rejected by all other scholars including Imam Malik, Au Dawud Al Bukhari etc. Ibn Ishaq was a solitary narrator who had never even witness the life of the prophet, he wrote an awful biography (sirah ) which is different from hadith. Do you seriously think this man had any credibility to talk about hadith and sirah? It is a common knowledge that the Jews of that time had different interests of the Muslims so naturally their trustworthiness are distrusted.

  164. Have a look at this link Aafke, it’s about primary amenorrhea. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001218.htm

  165. Just a side note: Ibn Isaac’s biography never survived. but a large portion of it was redacted by Ibn Hisham later on. Just as Plato’s works today is actually Ibn Sina’s

  166. AA,
    Thanks for the list of references.

    However this list does not answer my question.

    I asked:
    “Can you prove to me by quotes where in the Quran or in hadith it encourages child/pedophilic marriages”.

    I did not see any references which encourages child/pedophilic marriages which was your accusation in the first place. I have not even see the word “pedophile” in any of the quotes.

    Furthermore, I have not seen any references which permits, allows, encourages a child marriage leave alone child/pedophilic marriages.

    All I saw was a quote from the Quran talking about the waiting period for different cases – nothing about encouraging pedophilic marriages. And some hadiths about Aisha (again – nothing about encourging child/pedophilic marriages) with a bunch of opinions of scholars which we are not considering since we are taking lessons only from Quran and hadiths.

    Where is the prove that child/pedophilic marriages are encouraged?

  167. AA,
    You said: “Images and dolls were forbidden but it was allowed for little girls who had not reached the age of menstruation yet, therefore Aischa was allowed to play with dolls”

    Where did you get this from? Images are not allowed for anyone child or adult to be hanged. Dolls that do not look too much like humans and not displayed but used for playing are allowed by anyone child or adult.

    Oh by the way, forgot to add that in the Quranic quote, the word mentioned was “nisa’a” meaning women and not “child/children” when referring to waiting period. And the word “yet” is not there if you translate word for word. Also there is some wisdom in this verse which I may elaborate later.

    As a side note, I know a lady who has been masturbating since she was 8. And if there is one girl like this, there maybe many more. She was not influenced by anyone, used to go to school like regular children …etc. I think that if it was not providing her with some kind of pleasure, she would not be pursing this bad habit so regularly but she did. Does this mean that prepubescent girls do experience pleasure, do have this need? If so, and if marriage is providing this need and pleasure, why would they not want to get married?

  168. In the Quran, An Nissaa, 4:127 Mohammed was asked who he were meant with ”nissaa” he explains who is meant with ”Nissaa”:

    1 Orphans
    2 Female wards
    3 Those you desire to marry
    4 The weakened from the children or new born

    And they ask for your opinion/clarification in the women, say: “God decreed/clarifies in them, and what is read/recited on you in The Book in the women orphans/minors that lose their father, those who you did not give them what was written/dictated to them, and you desire that you marry them, and the weakened from the children/new borns, and that you take care of to the orphans/minors that lose their father with the just/equitable; and what you make/do from goodness, so that God was/is with it knowledgeable.”

    In other parts of the Quran the word ”Nissaa” is used when talking about female children.

    Images and dolls are forbidden in Islam, But they explicitly allowed for little girls to play with. I wonder you do not know that. This is pretty basic stuff for a Muslim.

    Sahi Bukhari,

    Narrated ‘Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me.
    (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.)

    The Islamic Ruling Concerning Tasweer, Abu Muhammad Abdur-Ra’uf Shakir:

    Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baaree (Fath al-Baaree, no. 6130, Kitaab: al-Adab, Baab: al-Inbisaat ilaa an-Naas): This Hadith has been used as a proof for the permissibility of possessing (suwar – of) dolls and toys for the purpose of the little girls playing with them. This has been especially exempted from the general prohibition of possession of images (suwar).

    Fatwa on dolls and three dimensional toys:

    But if these images and dolls are toys for children, the Sunnah indicates that they are permissible. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “I used to play with dolls in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I had female friends who would play with me…” al-Bukhaari, 6130; Muslim, 2440. Ibn Hajar said: This hadeeth indicates that it is permissible to have images of girls (i.e., dolls) and toys for girls to play with. This is an exception from the general meaning of the prohibition on having images. This was stated by ‘Iyaad and was narrated from the majority. They permitted the sale of dolls to girls so as to teach them from a young age how to take care of their homes and children. Ibn Hibbaan stated that it is permissible for young girls to play with toys…

    btw, You need to realize some facts about girls, menstruation, and when they are women capable of bearing children:
    Well fed modern girls get their menstruation years earlier than they used to. This may also be because we put so many hormones in the animals we eat. In 18th century Europe menstruation began between 15 and 18 years old. Aisha lived in a primitive time in harsh desert conditions.

    After menstruation begins it takes between 2 and 6 years of maturing before the female body is ready to bear children.

  169. Anyway Sarah, considering the work I have put in I think it’s time you do something yourself. Give back to me.
    Show us the parts in the Quran where it doesn’t allow child and pedophilic marriage, show us the hadith where it is clear that child-pedophilic marriage is forbidden.

    Show us the tafsir where the scholars explain why child-pedophilic marriage is not permitted.

    Show us the fatwas and the speeches where Islamic scholars and imams make clear child/pedophilic marraige is wrong and not supported by Quran, hadith and the sunnah of the prophet.

    Give us a speec h from the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia where he denounces ageriatric old man having sex with a little girl. (after he ”married” her and handed over the payment for sexual pleasure.)

  170. AA
    Your interpretation of 4:127 is incorrect. The Quran is saying that they will ask you about the rulings concerning women (it is not a defination of women). So, Allah says, tell them that the ruling has been recited to you in the Book about orphan girls (nisaa) whom you desire to marry and about the oppressed children orphans.
    As you can see there is clear separation of orphan girls (nisaa) and children orphans.

    In older cultures it used to the norm for new born babies to be matched with each other – not married but matched. When these babies grew up some, they were fixed to be married. They can still not live together. This still happens in indian culture. When they were old enough and reach baligh age, they will consumate the marriage or they can separate if they (bride/groom) wish. The bride’s wali or guardian can appoint women to examine the girl to see her readiness for marriage. If she is, then the marriage takes place.

    No one can be forced into marriage and even that is so, the woman has power to divorce:

    “The widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until their order is obtained, and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is obtained.” (AlBukhari)

    There is no age limit fixed in Islam because the bodily function differs era to era, place to place, culture to culture …etc but other conditions are specified such as proposal, consent, witnesses..etc. Different madhabs also specify differnt conditons.But all madhabs agree that marriages should not be forced.

    In Shariah terms the girl must reach baligh age which is puperty (indicated by menses) and the term hatta tutiqa-al-rijal which mean physically ready and fit for sexual relationships and has full responsibility under Islamic law.
    (Islamic Legal Interpretation, Muftis and Their Fatwas, Harvard University Press, 1996)

    AA, yes you gave and list and I appreciate that but I do not see that you proved anything with your list. So far there nothing to suggest pedopiles to marry children or for encourging child/pedophile marriages. Please can you give one quote that permits, encourages such a marriage.

    You said:
    “Show us the parts in the Quran where it doesn’t allow child and pedophilic marriage, show us the hadith where it is clear that child-pedophilic marriage is forbidden”

    I have tried to explain above with shortage of time. However with your own words, you cannot prove a negative. :)

    Have a good day.

  171. Sarah, the Quran uses nisaa in several places to include female children, so your argument that the mere use of nisaa means Aischa was an adult woman does not hold. And as the hadith claim she was 6 when the prophet married her that argument becomes bizarre.

    Shortage of time? You are very unfair, I gave up the time to give you a very good selection of Islamic writing supporting child- and pedophilic marriage and you have nothing to counter the argument and then you say you don’t have the time?

    I can well believe it. It will take you many months of searching the fatwas and proclamations of the important Islamic scholars now and in the past and you won’t find anything against child-and pedophilic marriage.
    That is because it doesn’t exist.
    Islam allows child-and pedophilic marriage.
    This is fact and this is why it happens all over the Islamic world, and they do it in secret in other countries where there are secular laws protecting children’s rights.

  172. Sorry, I didn’t mean shortage of time ever, but at that time of writing. And also I wanted to reply to you asap. Anyway, I did not see any peophilic references so I am going to say that you did not prove anything. Nisa is used for women, and you can see all references in the Quran to see my point. As you can see I did put the shariah point up there as well. If the hadith says Aisha was 6 when married so? She was married but did not go to her husband. She was with her parents. Is that proof of pedo marriage?

    A pedophile is someone with mental disorder. Maybe there are men who marry children because of this order but it is not something encouraged by Islam. So all your references are not proving anything.

    Thats all I can say for now.

  173. Aafke, you fail to conceptualize (ie: question the ideology, the power-politics behind written sources, the context), you fail to step out of your own cultural biases. You are ethnocentric, in that you can only evaluate others with a sense of cultural superiority.

    Again, you fail to understand the practices that actually occur in everyday, daily life. You focus on extremities, without conceptualizing as to why such extremities happen. I’d like to see you take on your arguments in an academic setting, and see how far your ethnocentric views will go.

    As with your numerous quotes from the Quran, you also fail to question your sources or consider the social conditions given the context in which it was written. Who wrote this and for what purpose? What was the position of power of the author who wrote this?

    Please don’t ask another ‘black and white’ question where people need to choose. Life is not a fixed equation.

  174. Escort diary, you really serious? My ”sources”, let me see, they were the Quran, Hadith, tafirs and scholars, and they are suspect?
    What ”context”? Are we now to see the books and teachings of Islam in ”context”? Great, in that case we can change a lot of stuff about Islam.

    So you really claim that the hadith and quran are suspect?
    So you choose #2, the Quran and hadith are incorrect and need to be editted or ignored.
    Or, as you put it: the Quran and hadith are ”suspect”….
    Thank you for answering the question.

  175. You do realize the Quran along with hadiths, etc are interpreted very differently among different readers, scholars and in different contexts?

  176. Excort Diary:

    Why don’t you provide some scholars that interpret differently so that it can be analyzed. Maybe provide some sources such as scholarly books to convey your point.

    The problem I have with almost all religion is that no matter the source it degrades or belittles or damages someone either in ability, perceived modesty (key word to control/belittle), race, orientation, gender or intelligence.

    Once it does this it fails my test and it becomes a product produced by man with specific intent which tries to reduce others into something less. I find this unacceptable and thus almost all religion is deemed unacceptable. In my assessment there is more than enough in the quran, hadith, sira and fiqh to cause harm, destruction, murder, rape, and slavery. Therefore it is an evil ideology produced by warring factions for the purposes of building an empire, controlling the masses and stepping on humanity to elevate certain select individuals. it is nothing more than this and it is at a minimal a destructive and hateful ideology.

    Now if you can provide how all of this is wrong then do so. I will await your sources. Until then it is a hateful ideology and the only way it is worthy of anything is to be studied like a virus in a sterile area or from a historical standpoint of how mankind managed to kick the religious hate habit, past that it is simply a fairytale or just a nightmare. Depends on which side you have to deal with ……………the hate it induces or the intelligence it insults.

  177. @ AB: Why aren’t my comments showing up :(

  178. Trying again to post this…

    @ Bigstick1: I will mention to you scholars who are highly critical about how Islam is perceived in the West. They include Edward Said, Lila Abu Lughod, Noam Chomsky, Marshall Hodgson and their multiple academic followers.

    I must also add that I am not a Muslim, but I have respect for all cultures and religious/mythical beliefs as I see the merit in such superstructures. I went through a hard-lined atheist phased (similar to the likes of Aafke), so I understand very well the mentality she and others come from. However, once I became well immersed into the academic world I, ironically, came to the realization that positivist (science/rational) theories cannot explain everything, as they themselves are theories (often politically motivated). I also became quite familiar with the notions of Said’s Orientalism and Subaltern studies, which argues that much of the knowledge we have about various parts of the world are heavily skewed for political motives (heavily misguided histories told by Europeans, often used politically to support imperialism — which still exists today). This means that the knowledge of hadiths, the perceptions of Islam, the way Muslims behave is often from an Orientalist perspective. The best way to gain moral support for invading a culture is by dehumanizing them, and essentializing their so-called ‘backward’ and ‘barbaric’ traits. This tactic is used to attack Muslims and Islam, by painting it and it’s followers in a negative light. What is more dangerous is that these Orientalist (ethnocentric, and degrading) ideas are still widely held and go unquestioned (again, I even fell it for. Sorry Aafke, but most of your arguments are rather predictable, as they stem from an Orientalist narrative).

    At present, I no longer believe that everything can be rationalized and explain through science (and that science itself is a belief system based on theory — that indeed cannot explain everything in a rational manner. I also do not believe religion is a fatalism, therefore we can not reduce it into a generalized form….it’s interpretation is very time and context based.

    I am not a Westerner, but I was brought up in the West. I was seduced by the West, and it’s notion of science and rationality. I was led to believe that we live in a ‘free’ part of the world, and gender equality (and all that other idealized jargon). But all of this is very misleading, as I began to understand the world better from a macro perspective.

    We have a problem with spam. especially very large comments seem to go in spam.
    please do not keep reposting your comment but wait until one of the moderators finds your comment in spam and releases it.
    Moderator

  179. Aafke is still bellbent on the either/or way of thinking. Neither the Qur’an, nor the SIrah are scientific manuals to be understood in one specific way. Even academically, they are considered pieces of literature that have linguistic, cultural, and even historical dimensions. Issues of authenticity of some hadith over always arise, altering understanding. And in Tafsir, the tools used by some scholars differ. For example, and this is for the people who really want to understand and not just argue for the sake of argument, there is a verse in the Qur’an that speaks about “touching” women to indicate one of the nullifiers of ablution. Now scholars would debate this from a linguistic and cultural point of view and say that touching women in the Arabic culture is a polite way to indicate having sex. Others who are literal would make ablution necessary whenever a non-mahram woman is touched. Another prime example was when the prophet Muhammad ordered the Muslims not to pray Asr prayer until they reached bani quraidha (a warring tribe). Some scholars would deduce it is permissible to delay prayers in times of war, others would claim that the prophet just said it in order to hasten the army’s march towards its destination so that Asr time would arrive while they are there. I can tell you tens of such examples if you like. This is what needs to be taken into consideration when debating Islamic issues and Islamic law.

  180. Please explain why the Quran and hadith are not faulty in allowing child and pedophilic marriage. please explain why the prophet did not contract a pedophilic marriage with a 6 year old. Where is the basis for that assumption? Where do the books of Islam denounce child marriage?
    Do you think the books of Islam are wrong and need to be edited? Just claiming they mean something else than what they mean is not enough. if you do not agree with this aspect of islam it must be changed.
    Otherwise child- and pedophilic marriage will continue in islamic communities.
    I do see that everybody who has (sort of) answered the question thinks the books of Islam, and the example of the prophet as described in the hadith are wrong. But they don’t want to actually say so.

    I think you need to look serious problems with your religion in the face. It’s the only way to change if something is bad in your religion.
    If you don’t agree with child and pedophilic marriage, if you want to release little girls from being raped by old men you need to address the faults in your religion.

  181. They are not faulty because they aren’t intrinsically evil, but subjected to each society’s moral code. Islam in its essence claims to be timeless, and for this, it wouldn’t make sense to legislate laws based on the 21st century’s moral and cultural nuances when they can be changed later on. Nothing in morality is static, even murder can become justified, and at times praised. Child marriage only became evil when globalization started taking place and humanitarians decided to set standards to what a child’s life should be like. Education then became a right, child support became a right, and along the way, they designated an age for consent. A definition for what a child is and what it entails did not exist in the past, but each society differed as it continues to differ today in rural regions. So, I think it’s a point for Islam to not legislate a static laws such as that of alcohol and adultery, but also gave authority and obligated scholars to enforce moral behavior in every society. Hence why I think Muslims scholars should make a law banning child marriage, child labor, and all kinds of human exploitation as it is considered abusive by current standards.

  182. @escort diary – are you writing comments with a lot of links? WordPress has been acting up in the last few weeks. It changed its appearance and I think there are glitches it now needs to fix. ):

    On Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 9:07 AM, American Bedu

  183. Yasser:

    Isn’t that the problem that Islam laws are not timeless unless you stop growth, cognitive skills, and critical thinking. Therefore society does not move but stands still and in the sewage it spews. It is like peeing and defecating but never being able to move from the spot or properly dispose of it. So it is a perfect setting for disease (rote thinking and decomposition of human achievements), petualance (ill-welled, misbehaved, spoiled, ill-mannered, easily offended, etc), and toxic (leading to rape, murder, racism, phobia of the different) thus leading to the utimate demise (war, killing, or lack of interest due to stupidity).

    In other words if Islam’s laws are timeless then God has a problem as nothing is timeless as change is inevitable and so is growth. Thus this is a man made system that needs to be rejected based on numerous flawed statements, facts, and realities.

    Which then begs the question, if Islam is timeless and perfect why does it need scholars to change the interpretation which all currently agree on unless it is not timeless and perfect which then leads it to be a manmade construct.

  184. [...] Arabia continues to need mandatory changes on its allowance of controversial marriages and divorce [...]

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