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Puberty and consummation of marriage

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  • Puberty and consummation of marriage

    Some non-Muslims are under the misunderstanding that Muslim men can consummate marriage with sexually immature children.

    Warning: the following is not for the shy, contains anatomical references

    Taken from the E-Book - The Islamaphobe's Glass House: Refuting the Claim that Prophet was Pedophile

    Puberty (page 86)

    Many well-meaning Muslim laypersons have furthered the idea that a man may not have sex with a pre-pubertal girl. This statement can be true or false, depending on what is meant by it. We must first define what is meant by the term “puberty”. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah warned the Muslims that when they debate about topics, they should first define the terms they use clearly; he further explained how sometimes two people will seem to be saying opposite things, even though the same thing is being said in different
    ways.

    The confusion occurs because “puberty” is defined differently in the English language and in Islamic legal terminology. According to the English language, the definition of puberty is: The time when a child’s body becomes sexually mature (Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary)

    If we use this English definition of puberty, then we agree that this is the precondition for consummating a marriage: according to Islamic Law (Shari’ah), a girl’s body must be sexually mature enough such that no harm will come to her from having sexual intercourse. However, Islamic legal terminology defines “puberty” (buloogh) in a different way: a girl is said to have attained the age of puberty when she has her first period (menarche), regardless of if she is sexually mature or not. Menarche is not a condition for marriage; sexually maturity is. Therefore, when Islamic scholars insist that
    it is not necessary for a girl to have reached the age of puberty, they merely mean to say that she does not have to be post-menarchal. However, all Islamic scholars agree that a girl’s body must be sexually mature. In other words, a girl must have reached puberty according to the English language, but not necessarily post-pubertal (baligh) according to the Islamic legal terminology.

    Muslim laypersons should stop claiming that menarche (onset of periods) is the minimum age for the consummation of marriage; Islamic scholars do not agree to this, and such a belief would create huge problems. After all, there are some girls who menstruate way before they go through the other stages of puberty. In other words, just because a girl has had her first period, this does not mean that her body is sexually mature. Wikipedia, for example, says:

    Menarche [onset of first period] may occur at an unusually early age, preceding thelarche [breast development] and other signs of puberty. This is termed isolated premature menarche.
    (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menarche)

    To give an example, there may be an eight year old girl who menstruates but who has not developed any of the other signs of puberty; her body may remain sexually immature. According to Islamic legal parlance, such a girl—who menstruated at an early age before her body becomes sexually mature—would technically be considered post-pubertal (baligh). Yet, from an Islamic perspective, it would be strictly forbidden (haram) to have sex with her, since her body has not matured enough to handle sexual intercourse. On the other hand, take the example of a fourteen year old girl who has gone through
    other stages of puberty, except for menstruation: she has developed large breasts, her sex organs are developed, etc. According to Islamic legal parlance, such a girl would not be considered post-pubertal (baligh), since she has not menstruated yet. Who then would be fitter for sexual intercourse: the eight year old girl with immature sex organs or the fourteen year old girl sexually mature sex organs? In fact, there are some girls who don’t get their first period until they enter their twenties! A medical journal on Cambridge.org
    says: The variable age at menarche was normally distributed with an age range of 7–24 years. (Cambridge.org,journals.cambridge.org/production/action/cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=10260)

    So if we demanded stubbornly that a girl must pass through menarche before
    consummation can take place, then this would create the unusual situation where we were allowing some post-menarchal seven year olds to be married, whereas forbidding some pre-menarchal twenty year olds from this! Therefore, the Islamic Law (Shari’ah) does not want this absurdity to occur, and that is the reason that menarche is not used as an indicator of a girl’s readiness for sex.

    In fact, doctors would agree that a girl who menstruates is not necessarily ready for sex, whereas a girl whose body is sexually mature is ready for that. Once again, because Islamic scholars use menstruation as an indicator of the onset of puberty (buloogh), it is therefore not very productive to use the Islamic definition of puberty (buloogh) to delineate a girl’s readiness for sex. A girl may technically be post-pubertal (buloogh) from an Islamic perspective, yet not be ready for sex. On the other hand, another girl may technically be pre-pubertal from an Islamic perspective, and yet be ready for sex; after all, some girls become sexually mature but have delayed menarche. Mufti Maulana Husain Kadodia explained:

    In reality, puberty has two usages. The first usage is with regards to physical
    development, whereas the second usage is with regards to menses. For (sexual) intercourse, developmental puberty is a precondition. Whereas for other rulings—such as being ordered to pray—the menses usage applies.
    (Maulana Mufti Husain Kadodia, www.Ask-Imam.com)

    This is a very meaningful quote to understand, so let us elaborate on it. Basically, there are two usages of the word “puberty”. The first usage of the word “puberty” [i.e. sexual maturity] is a precondition for the consummation of marriage. On the other hand, the second usage of “puberty” [i.e. menstruation] has to do with the age of accountability, not marriage. Once a girl reaches the age of puberty/accountability, then prayer (salah), fasting (sawm), almsgiving (zakah), and other religious duties become mandatory on her. A person under the age of accountability, on the other hand, would not be punished for failing to uphold these religious duties. When Islamic scholars use the term “puberty” (buloogh), they are only referring to this second usage of the term.

    It would be dangerous to use menarche (onset of periods) as a precondition for sex; as we have discussed, some girls who have their menses are not sexually mature, and some sexually mature girls do not have their menses until after many years. Therefore, the idea that puberty is a precondition for sexual intercourse can be true or false, depending on how we define “puberty”. If we use the English definition of the word, then it would
    be correct to say that puberty is a precondition for sexual intercourse. If we use the Islamic legal definition, however, then we should know that this is in reference to the age of accountability and has nothing to do with marriage.

    The Islamaphobes paint the picture that Islam allows a grown man to pierce his penis like a lance into the underdeveloped vaginal opening of a sexually immature girl. Yet, this is a horribly inaccurate depiction. A girl’s body must be sexually mature such that she can withstand sexual intercourse without any harm coming to her whatsoever. For example, the vagina cannot be small and improperly developed; otherwise, a man’s penis would damage it, creating lacerations and other vaginal injuries. According to Islamic Law, if a
    girl is sexually immature such that it would cause harm to her if she engaged in sexual intercourse, then it is forbidden (haram) to have sex with her. I noticed that an Islamaphobic site posted a fatwa (religious edict) from Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid in which at the beginning of his ruling he said:

    Marrying a young girl before she reaches the age of adolescence [puberty] is
    permitted in Sharee’ah; indeed it was narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this point. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “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” [al-Talaaq 65:4]

    In this verse we see that Allaah has made the 'iddah in the case of divorce of a girl who does not have periods - because she is young and has not yet reached puberty - three months. This clearly indicates that Allaah has made this a valid marriage. Yet, in the very same ruling, the Shaykh finished by saying: Al-Dawoodi said: `Ai’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had reached physical maturity (at the time when her marriage was consummated).

    From this, we can see the two usages of the word “puberty”. Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid is basically saying that it does not matter if a girl has had menarche [first usage of the word “puberty”], but it does matter if she has gone through the pubertal changes that cause sexual maturation [second usage of the word “puberty”]. We cannot know for sure whether not Aisha had her menses, but what we do know for a fact is that Aisha “had reached physical maturity (at the time when her marriage was consummated).” In other words, the legality of the marriage hinged not on the menses, but rather on the sexual development that came about as a result of puberty.

    In effect, Islam does not prescribe any age limit for consummation of marriage. There may exist some girls who become sexually mature at the age of nine, whereas other girls are still sexually immature at the age of sixteen. (Yes, it would be completely forbidden under Islamic Law to have sex with a sixteen year old if she was sexually immature!) When Islamic scholars clarify that menarche is not associated with the minimum age of consummation, this is not their way of encouraging pre-menarchal girls to be married off! Rather, it is to make it clear that menarche is just not the parameter we look for. To give an analogy, if some person were to claim that a girl must be four feet tall before she could be married off, then Islamic scholars would protest this, since height is not a determining factor. Yes, because Islamic scholars say that sexual maturity is a requirement for consummation of marriage, a consequence of this is that most girls who get married will be taller than four feet. After all, most girls shorter than four feet are sexually immature. But nonetheless it would be wrong to say that height is the factor we look for to
    determine who is and who is not ready for sexual intercourse.

    The emphasis then is on sexual maturity, not any specific age, since girls develop at different rates. Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid wrote: There is nothing…that forbid(s) that [consummation] in the case of a girl who is able for it before the age of nine, or to allow it in the case of a girl who is not able
    for it and has reached the age of nine.

    In other words, age does not matter; all that matters is that the girl has undergone the pubertal changes that would allow her to endure sexual intercourse without bringing any harm to herself. Islamic Law (Shari’ah) is beautiful: all the emphasis is on the safety and well-being of the girl. If sex would be harmful to the girl in any way whatsoever, then it would be forbidden (haram) to have sex with her. In the words of Mufti Maulana Husain
    Kadodia: This shows the paramount importance that the Shari’ah gives to the rights of the girl, by making her safety, health, and well-being the precondition for marriage. This is in the spirit of Shari’ah to remove any harm that may come to the girl. (Maulana Mufti Husain Kadodia, www.Ask-Imam.com)

    By harm, we mean any harm whatsoever, physical as well as psychological. Islam recognizes psychiatry as a legitimate branch of medicine. The evidence for this is that it is permissible (halal) to use medicines containing forbidden (haram) ingredients in them for the purpose of treating clinical depression, a psychiatric disease. Of course, the psychological harm must be real, documented, and have proof in the medical sciences.

    Most Westerners claim that marriage at such a young age is always harmful, and they look down on past civilizations who engaged in that. In their collective hubris, these Westerners judge all of humanity past and present based on their own society’s norms. Yet, they should have some humility and be more self-critical. In the words of Abdullah Squirres, the West has “been swallowed up (possibly unknowingly) by the ugly monster of ‘moral relativism.’” In the West, for example, homosexual relationships are now being considered normal, whereas large age gaps between man and wife are considered abnormal. Christians would gawk at a ninety year old man married to a twelve year old girl, but barely raise an eyebrow at Adam and Steve.

    Yet, their own Bible categorically condemns homosexuality; God was so outraged by this “abomination” that He sent “fire and brimstone” to destroy the society that engaged in it. On the other hand, large age gaps are the norm in Biblical narratives. The Biblical Prophet Abraham was eighty-six years old when he married someone some sixty or seventy years younger than him. The Biblical King David, the man who slew Goliath, was an old man on his deathbed when he married a young virgin. The Biblical Prophet Isaac was forty years old when he married a three year old Rebecca! According to the
    Christian narrative, the ninety year old Joseph married the twelve year old Mary. Saint Augustine at the age of thirty-one betrothed a ten year old girl whom he married two years later. And other examples abound.

    Yet, suddenly when it comes to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon), the disingenuous Christians are up in arms! Is their criticism honest or is it merely the result of their ignorance, arrogance, and Islamaphobia? Should we really judge all of humanity based on the West’s ideals? Somehow the Westerners cannot understand how a sixty year old man would find a fifteen year old girl to be attractive, yet they somehow understand how one man would be attracted to another man. This is merely a case of moral relativism,
    and based on Western society’s cultural mores. Yet, not every society feels the same way, and the Westerners should realize this! For example, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told his disciples about the story of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) and how the people of Sodom engaged in the sin of homosexuality. Being attracted to another man was so unacceptable amongst the Arabs that many of the Prophet’s disciples were shocked and told him that they had previously thought it impossible for a man to be attracted to another man.

    Another example of the West’s selective bias is their scorning of cousin marriages; somehow it is considered biologically normal to be attracted to the same sex, yet it is backwards to be attracted to a cousin! Is it not possible, we ask these people, that not all cultures are alike? What is considered acceptable by you may not be acceptable to others and vice/versa. In the West, for example, fornication is considered acceptable, or at least normal. In the United States and parts of Europe, the average age at which girls engage in sexual foreplay (kissing, fondling, oral sex, etc.) is shockingly low; by the age of twelve, about half of American girls have become unchaste, and some have even lost their virginity. In fact, most Western readers will probably think that a girl having her first kiss on her junior prom is “cute”; few Westerners realize that this is fornication as condemned in their Bible. In fact, the Westerners are more accustomed to and okay with fornication than they are of marriage; so an American girl who has oral sex at fourteen
    gets only nominal criticism and is considered “more normal” than a Muslim girl who gets married at the same age!

    The idea that absolutely no girl is ready to be married at the age of nine, ten, or twelve is completely false. The proof against this claim is that many American girls are voluntarily becoming sexually active at those ages. But hey, reason the Westerners, that is okay so long as it is illegal fornication and not the lawful sexual intercourse of marriage! If a high school girl engages in lesbian activity with another girl, that’s okay they say, so long as her partner is around the same age! On the other hand, normal heterosexual sex between an older man and a young wife is considered atrocious. It becomes understandable for a girl to be attracted to another girl, but completely unacceptable for an elderly man to find a young girl attractive.

    Ancient (and not so ancient) cultures used to prize virginity. That is why men used to marry girls as soon as they turned sexually capable, in order that they marry girls who have not been “defiled” by other men. On the other hand, girls favored socially wellestablished males; this meant that girls tended to favor elderly men, instead of financially struggling younger ones. This is why there was a huge age gap back in those days. Today, on the other hand, Western guys could care less about the virginity or chastity of their brides; in fact, most of them express interest in finding sexually) “experienced” girl. Furthermore, whereas once society had valued age in males, now the older you are, the more chance you have of being accused of senility! And thus the age gap disappears. But this should be understood as a cultural trend, and not a moral fact of life. Yes, girls today are disgusted by the thought of marrying old men, but was the Biblical Hagar insulted at marrying the eighty-six year old Abraham? Was the Biblical Mary, the mother of Jesus, disgusted by the thought of marrying a widower in his nineties? Was the ten year old girl fiancé of Saint Augustine disgusted by the thought of marrying a thirty plus male? Was the seven year old French princess disgusted by the thought of marrying a Christian King, Richard II? Far from it. All of these girls were very pleased with their marriages to such noble men, just as Aisha was pleased with her marriage to the Mercy of all the Worlds, the Seal of the Prophets, and the best human in the world.

    Yes, today it seems difficult to believe that a nine or ten year old would be ready for consummation of marriage, but Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) married her over a thousand years ago. Is it not conceivable that we judge him by the standard of his time and not the cultural norms of today? In any case, such a marriage is valid according to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law. As such, there is no issue.

  • #2
    Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

    From same source:

    Who Decides When a Girl is Mature? (page 115)

    We have agreed that the Islamic dictum states that marriage cannot be consummated with a girl until and unless she has reached sexual maturity, such that no harm may come to her from it. This of course leads to the obvious question: who decides when the girl is ready for this? If this decision were to be made by the husband, then we all know how this would result in chaos: so many husbands would rush into sexual intercourse, even before the girl is ready for that. Therefore, the Islamic Law (Shari’ah) does not give this right to the husband. This is a means of protecting the wellbeing of the child.

    Instead, the decision is given to the father, who can decide when the girl is ready to move into her husband’s house. In Islam, the decision rests with him. A father is the protector and maintainer of his daughter, and he would have the best interest of the child in mind. Who knows the daughter better than the father? A father will know how mature or immature his daughter is, and whether or not she would be ready for marriage. Oftentimes what happens in Muslim families is that the girl thinks she is ready for marriage, but the father prevents her from this, based on her young age; this is out of the
    father’s care and concern for the child.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

      And some more for...

      Father Cannot Oppress Daughter

      A father may only marry his daughter to a man with the intention of safeguarding her good. If he intends to abuse this privilege, in order to gain some worldly benefit—at the expense of his daughter’s well-being—then this is definitely forbidden (haram) in Islam. Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid declared:
      It is forbidden to make deals in marriage, such as saying “Let me marry your
      daughter and I will give you my daughter or sister in marriage.” Such reciprocal deals are a form of oppression and injustice, and haram (forbidden).

      In such cases of abuse, then the Islamic court could step in to prevent and stop the father from this. Under Islamic Law, the court system and judges should be the protectors of the daughter over and above the father, if he oversteps his bounds.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

        Consummation of marriage with young wife in which puberty has not occurred, is allowed in Islam. Some argue that Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H consummated marriage with nine year old Hazrat Aisha because she had attained puberty at that time. That might be the case. But from Quran its clear that marrying a child girl and having sexual intercourse with her, is allowed. Allaah says :

        “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”

        Iddah is for wife whose marriage is consummated.

        Jurists from all four fiqas of Sunnis agree that a child girl of any age can be married, even a suckling baby. But intercourse (جماع) with child wife should be done with her when she is physically fit for it. And when she attains of age nine, a husband has full right to do sexual intercourse with his wife. Jurists explains that if sex does not cause "ifza" (fistula between urethra and vagina) to the child wife, then she is physically fit for intercourse with husband.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

          The problem with having the mindset of kufr is that you wont see a problem with your young daughter or sister sleeping with her boyfriend yet you will have issues if she marries.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

            Originally posted by Ekoor View Post
            The problem with having the mindset of kufr is that you wont see a problem with your young daughter or sister sleeping with her boyfriend yet you will have issues if she marries.
            IRONIC that these kufaar cant even make their own minds up, they got laws differing all over the world then they want boss muslims around LOL

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

              Originally posted by Ekoor View Post
              The problem with having the mindset of kufr is that you wont see a problem with your young daughter or sister sleeping with her boyfriend yet you will have issues if she marries.
              Yeah I have seen a documentary in YouTube of British girls who are pregnant at age of 12 lool
              Ibn Al Qayyim may Allah have mercy on him said: ("
              The heart on its journey towards Allah the Exalted is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator..”
              )

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

                Originally posted by Muhammad Iqbal 6 View Post
                Consummation of marriage with young wife in which puberty has not occurred, is allowed in Islam. Some argue that Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H consummated marriage with nine year old Hazrat Aisha because she had attained puberty at that time. That might be the case. But from Quran its clear that marrying a child girl and having sexual intercourse with her, is allowed. Allaah says :

                “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”

                Iddah is for wife whose marriage is consummated.

                Jurists from all four fiqas of Sunnis agree that a child girl of any age can be married, even a suckling baby. But intercourse (جماع) with child wife should be done with her when she is physically fit for it. And when she attains of age nine, a husband has full right to do sexual intercourse with his wife. Jurists explains that if sex does not cause "ifza" (fistula between urethra and vagina) to the child wife, then she is physically fit for intercourse with husband.
                You may check this link

                https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/...arriage-claim/
                Ibn Al Qayyim may Allah have mercy on him said: ("
                The heart on its journey towards Allah the Exalted is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator..”
                )

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Puberty and consummation of marriage

                  Originally posted by Wave&Smile View Post
                  However, Islamic legal terminology defines “puberty” (buloogh) in a different way: a girl is said to have attained the age of puberty when she has her first period (menarche), regardless of if she is sexually mature or not.
                  Period is not the only sign of puberty.
                  "The signs of puberty are: menstruation, wet dreams, growth of coarse hair around the private part or reaching the age of fifteen."
                  Whichever of those signs appears first, the girl has reached puberty.
                  Last edited by Muslimah_08; 13-11-17, 05:02 PM.

                  Comment

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