Child Marriages – Dr. Bilal Philips
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ) has been accused of being a pedophile due his marriage to ‘Aa’ishah at the age of nine.
1. Pedophilia involves adults taking advantage of children by purchasing sexual favors from them. British and German sex tourists being caught in Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines are not seeking marriage but only sex from child prostitutes or impoverished people willing to give their children away for a few pennies.
2. The age of consent for women set in the West varies from 14 to 18. These ages were arrived at by democratic vote and have no actual relationship to the woman’s ability or inability for sexual relations or marriage. Consequently, what is considered legal sex in France may be considered rape in England.
3. Islaam sets the age of marriage at puberty, as it is the natural dividing line between childhood and adulthood. Menstruation indicates that a young girl has reached childbearing age. This age may vary from country to country, but it is discernable and not arbitrary.
4. Most societies around the world sanctioned child marriages up until this century. It was not introduced by Islaam but regulated.
5. Islaam stipulates that a girl or boy married before puberty will not live with their spouse until they have attained puberty. Furthermore, they have the right to cancel or proceed with the marriage when they reach puberty.
6. ‘Aa’ishah was seven when she was married off to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to live with him when she reached puberty at nine.
7. Women abused as children usually have difficult times coping as adults. They are often unstable and psychologically handicapped. ‘Aa’ishah became the leading female scholar of her time and conveyed to the next generation an enormous body of Islaamic law. She was known to be the fourth most prolific narrator of the Prophetic traditions of all of the Prophet’s followers (صلى الله عليه و سلم).