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Aisha’s Marriage in Focus

Written by Theresa Corbin

I’ve written about it in the context of other issues a couple of times now, but I thought Aisha’s (Allah be pleased with her) age at marriage deserved a post all on its own. Because lots of people have this same question: Why did the Prophet (PBUH) marry Aisha when she was so young?

Aisha's Marriage in Focus

We don’t know Aisha’s age when she married the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The thing is they didn’t keep birth records back in those days. They also didn’t celebrate birthdays or really even keep track of age. We do have reports that Aisha was anywhere from 9-18 at the time of her marriage.

What is important for us to understand about Aisha’s marriage to the Prophet is that we cannot apply our standards in 2016 to people 1,400 plus years ago and vice versa. When people do put lives 1,400 years ago into 21st century context, it is as if they admit to not understanding historical context or ever having taken a history class in their lives. And that’s just sad.

Life in the 7th c.

We do not live in the same world at all. In the 7th century people were not guaranteed to see the ripe old age of 30. People matured early and were ready for marriage a heck of a lot earlier. Looking back even a few hundred years ago, the legal age of marriage was as young as anything from 10-14 years old. 

Richard A. Posner, chief judge of the U.S. court of appeals writes, “The law governing the age of consent has changed dramatically in the United States during this century. Most states codified a statutory age of consent during the nineteenth century, and the usual age was ten years.” [1]

Marriage in the 7th c.

The practice of marrying early was not an aberration to the people during the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her). Christians, Jews, and pagans all married very young. So if we are going to criticize Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, why don’t we have a problem with King John of England marrying 12-year-old Isabella of Angoulême? 

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The Truth About Child Marriages: Part 2

Written by Theresa Corbin in collaboration with Saadia Haq of The Human Lens

As we read in Part 1 (here), penned by our feminist friend, proud Pakistani, and human rights worker, Saadia Haq, we have a serious crisis in the Muslim world. Just one?! No, not by a long shot. But this particular crisis girls are facing is quite serious. Marriage. No child should even have to think about, much less fear the “M” word.

We are seeing a number of underaged Muslim girls being forced by their parents into marriages, all while being told that the injustices done to them are perfectly acceptable in Islam.

There is nothing new about claiming power illegitimately in the name of the Divine. It is the basis of my series, Take Back Islam. It happens in all faiths and at all levels, from familial to governmental.  

Slapping the label of religion on something doesn’t necessarily make is so. This is the case with child and forced marriages.

child marriage graphic p2

Underaged

Some use the following Qur’anic verse as a justification for underaged marriages:

“And if you are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to those who have not menstruated as yet. As for pregnant women, their period ends when they have delivered their burden.” (Qur’an 65:4)

A better translation of this verse would be:

“Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if you have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear God, He will make their path easy.” (Qur’an 65:4)

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The Truth About Child Marriages: Myth v. Reality- Excavating Shariah, Part I

Part I, Written by Saadia Haq of The Human Lens in collaboration with Theresa Corbin

The topic of prevailing child marriages among Muslim communities makes the bravest of the brave writers think twice, as this thorny subject is sure to bring negative backlash to the persons ‘considered  traitors for airing the dirty linen’ in public.

But let’s not be fools as to bury our heads under the sand as certain groups use all sorts of excuses for global pedophilia. The prevalence of child marriages is evident in Africa Sub Saharan, Middle East and Asia. And when girls aged 7, 9 or 14 are married off, that’s just plain sick. Still in much of the Muslim world and or where Muslims live, the practice of child marriages continues because its part of the native ‘tradition and culture’.

child marriage part 1

 

Continue reading about  victims of this inhuman and unIslamic practice in part 1 here on Saadia’s website.

Part 2 here

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