Child marriage has abundant testimony in Islamic tradition and law.
Turkey’s religious affairs directorate (Diyanet) said in January 2018 that under Islamic law, girls as young as nine can be married.
“Islam has no age barrier in marriage and Muslims have no apologies for those who refuse to accept this” — Ishaq Akintola, Professor of Islamic Eschatology and Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Nigeria
“There is no minimum age for marriage for either men or women in Islamic law. The law in many countries allows girls to marry only from the age of 18. This is arbitrary legislation, not Islamic law.” — Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-‘Ubeidi, Iraqi expert on Islamic law
There is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can marry “even if they are in the cradle.” — Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council
“Islam does not prohibit the marriage of young children.” —Islamic Ideology Council of Pakistan
These authorities say these things because hadiths considered authentic by Muslims record that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad married her and nine when he consummated the marriage:
“The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha when she was six years old and consummated his marriage to her when she was nine years old and stayed with him for nine years (i.e. until his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88) .
Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:
The Prophet hired me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the house of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got sick and my hair fell out. Later my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to see me while she was playing on a swing with some of my friends. She called me and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She took me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. Then I was out of breath, and when my breathing was normal, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. She then she took me to the house. There, in the house, I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes, Allah’s blessing and good luck.” So she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for marriage). Unexpectedly, Allah’s Apostle came to me in the morning and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a nine-year-old girl. (Bukhari 5.58.234).
Muhammad was fifty-four years old at the time.
Marrying young girls was not that unusual for his time, but because Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct in Islam (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is held up as an exemplary in this to this day. And so, in April 2011, the mufti of Bangladesh, Fazlul Haque Amini, declared that those trying to pass a law banning child marriage in that country were putting Muhammad in a bad light: “Banning child marriage will provoke a challenge to the marriage of the holy prophet of Islam, [putting] the moral character of the prophet in controversy and challenge.” He added a threat: “Islam allows child marriage and it will not be tolerated if any ruler ever tries to broach this issue in the name of giving more rights to women.” The Mufti said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives for any law restricting child marriage.
Likewise, the influential website Islamonline.com in December 2010 justified child marriage by invoking not only the example of Muhammad, but also the Qur’an:
The Noble Quran has also mentioned the waiting period [i.e. for a divorced wife to remarry] for the woman who has not yet menstruated, saying: “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 [Qur’an 65:4]. Since this is not denied later, we can deduce from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual relations with a pre-adolescent girl. The Qur’an is not like the jurisprudence books that mention the implications of things, even if they are prohibited. It is true that the prophet entered into a marriage contract with A’isha when she was six years old, however, he did not have sexual relations with her until he was nine years old, according to al-Bukhari.
Other countries make Muhammad’s example the basis of their laws regarding the legal age of marriage for girls. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. The marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid as long as the interests of the ward are duly observed.
According to Amir Taheri in The Spirit of Allah: Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution (pp. 90-91), Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a pre-adolescent girl “a divine blessing” and advised worshipers to gift their own daughters accordingly: “Do everything you can to make sure your daughters don’t see their first blood in your house.” When he seized power in Iran, he lowered the legal age of marriage for girls to nine, following the example of Muhammad.
“Kanpur: Accused of bullying, Md. Faiz threatens minor girl to ‘cut her to pieces’ when she files police complaint, arrested”, OpIndia, 28 Nov 2022:
In UP’s Kanpur, a person named Md Faiz was arrested for stalking, harassing a minor girl and then threatening to ‘cut her to pieces’ when she filed a police complaint against him. Faiz is reportedly a historian with several police cases against him. Faiz used to stalk and harass the younger girl. She was even pressuring her to marry him.
The incident was reportedly reported from the Naubasta area of Kanpur. The girl victim is a minor and studies in class 12. According to the victim’s complaint, Md Faiz has been harassing the girl and pressuring her to perform ‘Nikah’ with him.
When the victim refused his advances, Faiz threatened the girl that he would kidnap her and if she refused any further, cut her to pieces. The victim’s family had filed a complaint against Faiz in October, but he went on the run at that time, according to reports.
On November 25, Faiz arrived again and began to threaten the victim and her relatives….
When the police team finally located Faiz and arrived to arrest him, the female members of his family reportedly tried to create a ruckus, intending to prevent his arrest. The women and some neighbors even clashed with the police, so additional forces were called in to control the situation.