According to Islam and Sharia there is no set age at which a girl can be given in marriage, neither is there any limit to the age difference between the girl, who may not have reached puberty, and the man she must marry without her consent

146882: Is there a set age for marriage in Islam?


I would like to know whether there is a set age for marriage in Islam for men and women? I hope you can explain with reference to the Qur’aan and saheeh hadeeths.

Published Date: 2011-07-10
Praise be to Allaah.Firstly:

Islam does not give a specific age for marriage, either for the husband or for the wife. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not”

[al-Talaaq 65:4].

Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “along with those who have it [menses] not” means minors, those who have not yet started to menstruate. Adult women who have never menstruated at all are like those who “despair of menstruation” (i.e., have passed menopause); their ‘iddah is three months. End quote.

Tafseer al-Sa‘di, p. 870

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) married ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she was six years old and the marriage was consummated when she was nine years old. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4840) and Muslim (1422).

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Kabeer, 7/386:

With regard to females, the father may give his minor, virgin daughter who has not yet reached the age of nine in marriage, and there is no difference of opinion concerning that, if he gives her in marriage to someone who is compatible. Ibn al-Mundhir said: All of those scholars from whom we acquired knowledge unanimously agreed that it is permissible for a father to give his minor daughter in marriage if he arranges her to someone who is compatible, and it is permissible for him to do that even if she is reluctant. End quote.

Secondly:

No one may give a minor daughter in marriage except her father according to the view of Maalik and Ahmad. This was also the view of al-Shaafa‘i, but he regarded the grandfather as being like the father in that regard. Abu Haneefah said – and it was also narrated from Ahmad – that it is permissible for a guardian other than the father to give (the minor girl) in marriage, but the more correct view is the former one.

See: al-Mughni, 7/33

Thirdly:

The father should not give a minor daughter in marriage except in a case where he thinks it is in her best interests. Just as he may only dispose of her wealth in that which is in her best interests, the same applies with regard to arranging her marriage. Islam only permits that to the Muslim father who is pious and pays proper attention to the best interests of his children, and who understands very well that he is a shepherd and that he is responsible for his flock.

Ibn Wahb narrated that Maalik said, with regard to a man arranging a marriage for an orphan girl under his care: If he thinks that (the husband) is a man of virtue, righteousness and wisdom, it is permissible for him to do that.

Ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Jassaas, 2/342

Fourthly:

A man should not consummate marriage with his young bride until she is physically able to bear intercourse. This varies from one time, place and environment to another.

For more information please see the answers to questions no. 22442 and 127176.

What young men and guardians of girls should do is hasten to arrange marriages, so as to guard chastity and protect honour, and so as to attain the great purposes for which Allah ordained marriage.

And Allah knows best.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to According to Islam and Sharia there is no set age at which a girl can be given in marriage, neither is there any limit to the age difference between the girl, who may not have reached puberty, and the man she must marry without her consent

  1. θ says:

    The Bible doesn’t set the age for paedophiles of Christians and the Jews to have sex with their underage wife.
    At least, Islam sets a limit of man’s lust by forbidding any coitus before reaching puberty.

  2. madmanna says:

    “At least, Islam sets a limit of man’s lust by forbidding any coitus before reaching puberty”

    and those who have not yet reached puberty:

    ““And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not”

    [al-Talaaq 65:4].

    Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “along with those who have it [menses] not” means minors, those who have not yet started to menstruate.

  3. madmanna says:

    “At least, Islam sets a limit of man’s lust by forbidding any coitus before reaching puberty.”

    Maybe Islam does but Allah doesn’t forbid coitus before puberty:

    [2.223] Your ( prepubescent ) wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.

    Allah always got permission from his favorite prophet before he decreed anything. So Islam loses by two to one.

  4. θ says:

    “madmanna says: Maybe Islam does but Allah doesn’t forbid coitus before puberty: [2.223] Your ( prepubescent ) wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers. Allah always got permission from his favorite prophet before he decreed anything. So Islam loses by two to one.”

    At least, in Islam we have limit, now what is yours?
    The Bible doesn’t set the age for paedophiles of Christians and the Jews to have sex with their underage wife.
    Did the authors of the Bible forget to consult their favorite virgin?

    “madmanna says: and those who have not yet reached puberty: ““And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not”[al-Talaaq 65:4].Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “along with those who have it [menses] not” means minors, those who have not yet started to menstruate.”

    Do you refer to the ruling of divorcement or widowhood?
    Of course every Mu’minat, that is postpubescent believer – not infant nor underage child (Arabic: Tifl, Q.22, v.5, Q.24, v.31, Q.24, v.59, Q.40, v.67) – can be betrothed (being engaged, bride-to-be) and divorced per Q.33, v.49.
    But on a topic of the widowhood – the end of betrothal because of her fiance’s death – a fiancee needs to “honor” her deceased fiance by having the waiting interval or Iddah for three months before making another betrothal and a bridal wedding.

  5. madmanna says:

    “At least, in Islam we have limit, now what is yours?”

    You have a waiting period of three months for those who have not yet menstruated and then she may be married off. That is the only legal limit to the man who wishes to marry her and have sex with her. If the dowry has been paid the man can take her straight in to his household after the three months waiting period is over.

    “And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not”
    [al-Talaaq 65:4].

    Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “along with those who have it [menses] not” means minors, those who have not yet started to menstruate. Adult women who have never menstruated at all are like those who “despair of menstruation” (i.e., have passed menopause); their ‘iddah is three months. End quote.

  6. madmanna says:

    “Do you refer to the ruling of divorcement or widowhood?
    Of course every Mu’minat, that is postpubescent believer – not infant nor underage child (Arabic: Tifl, Q.22, v.5, Q.24, v.31, Q.24, v.59, Q.40, v.67) – can be betrothed (being engaged, bride-to-be) and divorced per Q.33, v.49.”

    None of these verses stipulate any condition of marriage except the last which only refers to degrees of consanguinity which is an accident of birth and nothing to do with the sexual development of the subject.

  7. madmanna says:

    “But on a topic of the widowhood – the end of betrothal because of her fiance’s death – a fiancee needs to “honor” her deceased fiance by having the waiting interval or Iddah for three months before making another betrothal and a bridal wedding.”

    33 v 49 destroys your position because there is no waiting period for those who have been betrothed and have had no conjugal relations.

    [33.49] O you who believe! when you marry the believing women, then divorce them before you touch them, you have in their case no term which you should reckon; so make some provision for them and send them forth a goodly sending forth.

    Because there is a waiting period to observe for those who have not yet menstruated this implies that it is also lawful for them under Sharia law to be engaged in normal conjugal relations.

  8. θ says:

    “madmanna says: 33 v 49 destroys your position because there is no waiting period for those who have been betrothed and have had no conjugal relations. [33.49] O you who believe! when you marry the believing women, then divorce them before you touch them, you have in their case no term which you should reckon; so make some provision for them and send them forth a goodly sending forth.”

    Q.33, v.49 just talks about the divorcement by a *living fiance” or a “living husband”, not about the widowhood due to having a dead fiance or dead husband. Additionally, the waiting time of Iddah is also imposed upon both the menopausal woman – indicating that the coitus may never take place between an old man and old woman and the virgin woman.
    For a menopausal widow whose old husband somewhat died shortly *before* consummating her, as well as for the *virgin* widow whose husband somewhat died shortly *before* he consummated her, the waiting interval is needed for them both to honor him. It is possible for the death to come at a moment between the wedding in the morning and the first night.

    “madmanna says: Because there is a waiting period to observe for those who have not yet menstruated this implies that it is also lawful for them under Sharia law to be engaged in normal conjugal relations.”

    Firstly, the law doesn’t play with an inference or an unwritten supposition. If one want to suppose that Iddah implies coitus, we can also response with a better counterargument that both menopausal woman and old man don’t have desire to have sex anymore.

    Secondly, Who can tell or testify in the courts (except the menopausal wife herself, which is insufficient) if her old man *never* had sex with her due to his aging?
    Also on the virgin wife, in order to honor the death of her husband, as well as to prove her virginity, she needs to observe Iddah.

    As I mentioned above, on the divorcement (by a living man), no coitus no Iddah. But on the widowhood (separation due to death), even a menopausal widow should observe Iddah.

  9. θ says:

    “madmanna says: None of these verses stipulate any condition of marriage except the last which only refers to degrees of consanguinity which is an accident of birth and nothing to do with the sexual development of the subject.”

    My point is, especially in Q.24, v.31, the Arabic word “Tifl” (child) is made different than the word “Mu’minat” (mature woman), hence the underage children *are not categorised* as a group of Mu’minat for marriage (as Q.33, v.49)

  10. madmanna says:

    The touching is fulfilled when the male and female come together and this causes a waiting period for those who have touched each other. Whether or not coitus takes place or whether or not the woman is menstruating. These are irrelevant. Only the intimacy matters. If a man takes his prepubescent wife to bed with him he has all rights over her. The law is not concerned with the rest of what happens after the two go to bed with each other.

  11. madmanna says:

    If a man has broken the law by touching, or being sexually initimate, with his prepubescent wife, who is not yet menstruating, there would be no waiting period prescribed for this situation.

  12. θ says:

    “madmanna says: The touching is fulfilled when the male and female come together and this causes a waiting period for those who have touched each other. Whether or not coitus takes place or whether or not the woman is menstruating. These are irrelevant. Only the intimacy matters. If a man takes his prepubescent wife to bed with him he has all rights over her. The law is not concerned with the rest of what happens after the two go to bed with each other.
    If a man has broken the law by touching, or being sexually initimate, with his prepubescent wife, who is not yet menstruating, there would be no waiting period prescribed for this situation.”

    In Secularism, the term of Paedophilia doesn’t include anything of non-intimacy action or non-sexual gesturing, such as just touching the hand of underage girl.
    More than Secularism, even in Islam itself the act of touching the hand of legitimate wife or a fiancee isn’t categorised as what causes a sexual defilement of man, or that which may impose the obligatory purification on him.
    Hence, either from Secular perspective or from Islamic point of view, such a non-sexual activity between man and woman doesn’t make a crime.

    Bukhari, Vol. 9, Hadith 409
    Narrated Ibn Mas’ud, A man kissed a woman and then came to Allah’s Messenger and told him of that, so this Divine Inspiration was revealed to the Prophet: And offer prayers perfectly at the two ends of the day, and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds. That is a reminder for the mindful. (Qur’an 11:114) The man said, Is this instruction for me only? The Prophet said, It is for all those of my followers who encounter a similar situation.
    Al-Wahidi, Asbab Al-Nuzul, Verse 11.114
    Abu’l-Yusr ibn ‘Amr who said: A woman whose husband was sent with an army by the Prophet came to me and said: ‘I want to buy one silver coin worth of dates’. I liked the woman and so I said: ‘I have in the house dates which are much better than these, so come with me’. I touched her and kissed her. I then went to the Messenger of Allah, and related to him what happened. He said to me: ‘You have betrayed a man who is fighting for the sake of Allah in relation to his wife with the like of this’. And he put his head down on me. I thought I was of the dwellers of hellfire and that Allah would never forgive me. But then Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night). The Prophet sent for me and recited it to me.
    Ibn ‘Abbas who said: A man went to ‘Umar and said: ‘A woman came to buy from me, I took her inside an antechamber and did with her everything except intercourse’. ‘Umar said: ‘Woe unto you, her husband is absent fighting for the sake of Allah’ I said: ‘Yes, he is’ He said: ‘Go to Abu Bakr [and see what he says]’. He went to Abu Bakr and he said exactly as ‘Umar said. He said: ‘Go to the Messenger of Allah and ask him’. He went to the Prophet and related to him what he had already related to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Is her husband away fighting for the sake of Allah?’ When the man confirmed it, the Messenger of Allah did not speak with him. This verse was then revealed (Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo good deeds annul ill deeds), and the man asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, is this for me specifically or is it for everyone?’ ‘Umar struck his chest and said: ‘No, it is for everyone’. The Messenger of Allah laughed and said: ‘ ‘Umar is right’ .
    Mu’adh ibn Jabal who reported that he was sitting with the Prophet when a man came and said: O Messenger of Allah, what do you say about a man who touches a woman who is unlawful for him to touch, such that he does everything that a man usually does with his lawfully wedded wife, except that he does not have intercourse with her? The Prophet said to him: Perform minor ritual ablutions properly and then stand up to pray. Then, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night) up to its end. Mu’adh ibn Jabal asked: Is this for him specifically or for all Muslims? He replied: It is for all Muslims.
    Ibn Mas’ud who said: A man came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I have fondled a woman except that I did not sleep with her’. Allah, exalted is He, revealed [as a response] (Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo! good deeds annul ill deeds).

  13. madmanna says:

    Those who have touched each other have gone through a marriage ceremony and gone to bed together. Those who are betrothed have not. The first have a waiting period before they divorce. The others do not need any waiting period because they have not been intimate with each other.

  14. madmanna says:

    “Islam does not give a specific age for marriage, either for the husband or for the wife. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not”

    [al-Talaaq 65:4].”

  15. madmanna says:

    Apparently the law plays safe because the girl who previously did not menstruate may still be pregnant and change her value.

  16. θ says:

    “madmanna says: Those who have touched each other have gone through a marriage ceremony and gone to bed together. Those who are betrothed have not. The first have a waiting period before they divorce. The others do not need any waiting period because they have not been intimate with each other.”

    A Bikr is a woman who already attains puberty, becoming mature, having consent.
    Aisha was the Bikr-bride of Prophet Muhammad, meaning the post-pubescent virgin. She is not called Sabyan (underage, prepubescent teen).

    (i) Sabyan (prepubescent underage girl):
    Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, Book 42, Hadith 104
    ‘Anbas said, I saw Ibn ‘Umar greet children (Sabyan) in the schools.

    Muslim, Book 19, Hadith 4457
    The Messenger of Allah used not to kill the children (Sabyan), so thou shouldst not kill them unless you could know what Khadir had known about the child he killed, or you could distinguish between a child who would grow up to he a believer (and a child who would grow up to be a non-believer), so that you killed the (prospective) non-believer and left the (prospective) believer aside.

    (ii) Bikr is postpubescent virgin. A Bikr ought to be asked for her consent and responsibility.
    Bukhari, Vol. 9, Book 86, Hadith 101
    Narrated `Aisha: Allah’s Messenger said, It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (Bikr) (for the marriage). I said, A virgin feels shy. The Prophet said, Her silence means her consent. To people he said, If a man falls in love with an orphan slave girl or a virgin and she refuses (him) and then he makes a trick by bringing two false witnesses to testify that he has married her, and then she attains the age of puberty (Fa adrakat Faradiyati) and agrees to marry him and the judge (Qadi) accepts the false witness and the husband knows that the witnesses were false ones, he may consummate his marriage.

    (iii) Aisha was married as the Bikr-bride (postpubescent virgin), not Sabyan anymore.
    Bukhari, Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 14
    Narrated `Aisha: I said, O Allah’s Messenger Suppose you landed in a valley where there is a tree of which something has been eaten and then you found trees of which nothing has been eaten, of which tree would you let your camel graze? He said, (I will let my camel graze) of the one of which nothing has been eaten before. (The sub-narrator added: `Aisha meant that Allah’s Messenger had not married a virgin (Bikr) besides herself .)

  17. madmanna says:

    “A Bikr is a woman who already attains puberty, becoming mature, having consent.
    Aisha was the Bikr-bride of Prophet Muhammad, meaning the post-pubescent virgin. She is not called Sabyan (underage, prepubescent teen).”

    This is irrelevant because

    According to the Koran a woman who has not yet menstruated must have a waiting period before her divorce is complete. This means it is lawful for pre-menstruant girls to marry according to Sharia.

  18. θ says:

    “madmanna says: This means it is lawful for pre-menstruant girls to marry according to Sharia.”

    The word Nikah in Islamic definition includes betrothal. A Pre-menstrual girl can be betrothed.

  19. θ says:

    “madmanna says: According to the Koran a woman who has not yet menstruated must have a waiting period before her divorce is complete. ”

    In order to avoid any doubts or suspicion over one fiancee’s virginity, the end of her betrothal gives her an obligation of Iddah as well.

  20. madmanna says:

    “In order to avoid any doubts or suspicion over one fiancee’s virginity, the end of her betrothal gives her an obligation of Iddah as well.”

    Not so according to the following verse:

    [33.49] O you who believe! when you marry the believing women, then divorce them before you touch them, you have in their case no term which you should reckon; so make some provision for them and send them forth a goodly sending forth.

    If the marriage was not consummated there is no waiting period. The formerly betrothed are considered to be free straight away by breaking off their betrothal.

  21. θ says:

    “madmanna says: If the marriage was not consummated there is no waiting period. The formerly betrothed are considered to be free straight away by breaking off their betrothal.”

    What if there’s no divorcement at all, but just the end of betrothal because of death of fiance?

    Who can tell or testify in the courts (except the virgin wife herself, which is insufficient) if her deceased man had not yet sexually consummated with her?
    Also to prove her virginity, she – either virgin wife or virgin fiancee – needs to observe Iddah.

  22. madmanna says:

    After the man has taken her to his house she is lawfully his wife and she may not have reached the age of puberty. Under Sharia he has the right to divorce her but if she is not menstruating because she has not reached the age of puberty he must wait 3 months before evicting her. Allah is not very merciful and forgiving after all so it seems.

    Couldn’t Allah be merciful and forgiving by commanding the man to keep the girl until she either begins to menstruate or have a child? Wouldn’t that be merciful and forgiving? But the her price would go down and we can’t have that can we?

  23. θ says:

    “madmanna says: After the man has taken her to his house she is lawfully his wife and she may not have reached the age of puberty.”

    Taking a fiancee to bed before the formal marriage is fulfilled is a sin. The betrothal just permits the in-house meeting (visitation as hanging out) and saying a proper saying or conversing politely, but not for a physical touching or groping.
    Tirmidhi, Number 3118,
    Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Prophet said, Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third.

    The precondition of puberty is one of items termed by Qur’an as “Scriptural terms” (Hatta Yablughal Kitabu Ajaluhu), beside Iddah and female consent.
    Q.2, v.235 There is no blame upon you for that to which you allude concerning a proposal to women or for what you conceal within yourselves. Allah knows that you will have them in mind. But do not promise them secretly except for saying a proper saying. And do not determine to take a marriage ties until it reaches the Scriptural terms. And know that Allah knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.

    There’s no marriage with prepubescent girl (Sabyan), at most just betrothal.
    Marriage can only be valid after the woman reaches her puberty (Bikr).
    Bukhari, Vol. 9, Book 86, Hadith 101
    Narrated `Aisha: Allah’s Messenger said, It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (Bikr) (for the marriage). I said, A virgin feels shy. The Prophet said, Her silence means her consent. To people he said, If a man falls in love with an orphan slave girl or a virgin and she refuses (him) and then he makes a trick by bringing two false witnesses to testify that he has married her, and then she attains the age of puberty (Fa adrakat Faradiyati) and agrees to marry him and the judge (Qadi) accepts the false witness and the husband knows that the witnesses were false ones, he may consummate his marriage.

    Aisha was married as the Bikr-bride (postpubescent virgin)
    Bukhari, Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 14
    Narrated `Aisha: I said, O Allah’s Messenger Suppose you landed in a valley where there is a tree of which something has been eaten and then you found trees of which nothing has been eaten, of which tree would you let your camel graze? He said, (I will let my camel graze) of the one of which nothing has been eaten before. (The sub-narrator added: `Aisha meant that Allah’s Messenger had not married a virgin (Bikr) besides herself .)

  24. madmanna says:

    “Taking a fiancee to bed before the formal marriage is fulfilled is a sin.”
    So what?

    61 v 4 is not talking about the fiancée but about the wife who is too young to menstruate.

  25. madmanna says:

    “And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not”
    [al-Talaaq 65:4].
    Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “along with those who have it [menses] not” means minors, those who have not yet started to menstruate. Adult women who have never menstruated at all are like those who “despair of menstruation” (i.e., have passed menopause); their ‘iddah is three months. End quote.
    Tafseer al-Sa‘di, p. 870

    Only a married woman can be divorced.

  26. θ says:

    “madmanna says: Only a married woman can be divorced.”

    Nowhere does verse Q.65, v.4 mention any word of divorcement at all. Rather Q.65, v.4 just talks in a context of “betrothal” with an underage fiancee, and termination of betrothal due to the death of fiance, and then the Iddah for that.

    Q.65, v.4. And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not. 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.

  27. madmanna says:

    Now you are in full denial of the plain meaning of the text.

    You are denying a freedom that Allah has granted to male muslims, namely the freedom to divorce their underaged wives.

    I don’t think Allah will be pleased with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s