Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a cleric in Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, has reportedly issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.”
According to FrontPage:
Appearing in Saudi papers on July 13, the fatwa complains that “Uninformed interference with Sharia rulings by the press and journalists is on the increase, posing dire consequences to society, including their interference with the question of marriage to small girls who have not reached maturity, and their demand that a minimum age be set for girls to marry.”
Fawzan insists that nowhere does Sharia set an age limit for marrying girls: like countless Muslim scholars before him, he relies on Koran 65:4, which discusses marriage to females who have not yet begun menstruating (i.e., are prepubescent) and the fact that Muhammad, Islam’s role model, married Aishawhen she was 6-years-old, “consummating” the marriage—or, in modern parlance, raping her—when she was 9.
FP reports that the point of the fatwa is not so much that girls as young as 9 can follow Muhammad’s example and have sexual intercourse, but that there is in fact no age limit at all for the children to be taken as wives. FP asserts the only question posed by the cleric is whether the child is literally physically capable of “bearing the weight” of her new husband, or, molester.
Fawzan reportedly illustrates this point by quoting Ibn Batal’s authoritative religious text Sahih Bukhari:
The ulema [Islam’s interpreters] have agreed that it is permissible for fathers to marry off their small daughters, even if they are in the cradle. But it is not permissible for their husbands to have sex with them unless they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men. And their capability in this regard varies based on their nature and capacity. Aisha was 6 when she married the prophet, but he had sex with her when she was 9 [i.e., when she was deemed capable].
Fawzan then reportedly concludes his fatwa with the warning:
“It behooves those who call for setting a minimum age for marriage to fear Allah and not contradict his Sharia, or try to legislate things Allah did not permit. For laws are Allah’s province; and legislation is his excusive right, to be shared by none other. And among these are the rules governing marriage.”
FP reminds us that Fawzan is not the first Islamic leader to legitimize pedophilia in Islam and that the former grand mufti of Saudi Arabia himself also supported “child-marriage,” citing the Quran and Sunna as proof.
Needless to say many young girls are falling victim such rulings. FP relates the circumstances surrounding the horrific death of a 13 year old girl who was reportedly raped and killed by her husband:
Recall, for instance, the 13-year-old girl who died while her much older husband was copulating with her (it was later revealed that, due to her reluctance, he was tying her up and “raping” her—as if there is another way to describe sex with children); or the 12-year-old who died giving birth to a stillborn; or the 10-year-old who made headlines by hiding out from her 80-year-old “husband.”
But there are likely numerous other instances that go unreported as the victims’ fear bringing any attention that might result in further abuse, or even their murder.
Where are the human rights abuse investigations at times like these?