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The Noble Quran does NOT mention marriage of under-age girls

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Verse 65:4 of Surah 'At-Talaq' does NOT make any references of marriage of under-aged females as wrongly and ignorantly claimed by various belligerent non-Muslim groups.

The Verse in focus is:

"And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not. And for those with child, their period shall be till they bring forth their burden. And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, He maketh his course easy for him." 65:4 (Surah At-Talaq)

And .. the line of the above Verse in focus is: "along with those who have it not."  In original Quraanic Arabic it would read as:

"واللائي لم يحضن "

"waallaee lam yahidna"  (transliteration)   


Non-Muslim fundamentalist groups use this line of Ayat 65:4 as Quraanic permission to wed under-aged girls.  This is very far from the truth and totally incorrect.  They have either not understood this line or most likely, they intentionally misinterpret it to defame the Noble Quraan.  In the process they only end up defaming their own wretched selves.

It is also important to observe that most traditionalists who take their guidance from Hadith rather than the Noble Quraan, would often interpret the underlined words of Verse 65:4 as meaning, under-age females, to make it compatible with the Hadith.  This is because of those several unauthentic ahadith narrating Aisha's (ra) age being 6 years during the time of her marriage to the Prophet (SAAW) and 9 years during the time of consummation of marraige.  For the purpose of supporting these false narrations, many of our ulemas misinterpret Verse 65:4 of the Noble Quraan as reference to minor girls.  Just for everyone's information, the story of Aisha's (ra) under-age marriage has long been proven wrong with concrete references to historical dates and evidences as analysed by T.O. Shahnavaz in his article Was Aisha (ra) a six-year-old bride?

I always knew that this Verse refers to adult women, NOT under aged girls.  At first I interpreted by linking it to the preceding line of the same Ayat 65:4, meaning .. those women who "despair" of menstruation along with those who don't.  "have it not" indicating those who don't despair i.e. who are menstruating.  But later I came across the actual interpretation.

While I was studying this issue, I consulted a brother who expressed his interpretation on the basis of his in depth research on this topic, as follows:
 
Quote:
"As for this Verse, I would say that it is very simply refering to women who do not menstruate for any physiological reasons. As you stated in your message, "lam" is simple "did not + does not" "lam yalid walam yulad" (he does not beget nor is he begotten)...so its refering to such women who have not and continue to not menstruate. It is simply stating that such women are also to abide by the stipulations in the Verse as well as women who have reached menopause."
Unquote:

This further reminded me that some months ago I saw a television documentary on menstruation where experts and analysts gave a detailed account of many more women than we might think around the world who, because of certain gyneacological problems, haven't had a single menstrual cycle all their lives. 

Then again, there are some women who's menstrual cycles stop unexpectedly very early in life - between the age brackets of mid 20s to mid 30s.  Such women are often in suspence till age 45, not being sure when they might have their next cycle or it may never happen at all.   About 10% of women in North America experience this condition.   

To explore the issue of absense of menses in young women or relatively young women well before the normal menopausal age, the following are the essential medical details.  These conditions have been prevalent in women throughout history, the only difference being that in the early days there was no cure.  Now, several such problems are treatable.  But even nowadays many young and younger females face this medical condition for various reasons.

The issue of very late or total absense of menstrual cycle in young women is a condition called Amenorrhea.

Amenorrhea is the lack of menstrual flow and can be a birth problem or a sign of malfunction or disease.  In primary amenorrhea, menstruation does not begin when expected (by the age of 16 or 17).  Thus, it's a term given to very late commencement of periods.   Secondary amenorrhea occurs when the normal established menstrual cycle is shut down for 6 months or indefinitely due to a condition other than pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause.

Some women start menstruating very late, between ages 15 to 17.   Causes can include extreme weight gain or loss caused by illness, eating disorders, excessive exercising, or stress.  Hormonal problems, such as those caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or problems with the reproductive organs, may be involved.  Then again, certain young women can stop menstruating after several years of regular cycles because of similar illnesses or disorders mentioned above that may occur while they are in their 20s or 30s.  Also, young women with eating disorders like anorexia usually end up with an absense of their menstrual cycle 3 or 4 years down the road. 

Causes for secondary amenorrhea include birth or congenital defects like underdeveloped ovary and fallopian tube or imperforate hymen.  Absense of menstruation can also occur if women suffer from certain glandular problems like thyroid or pituitary diseases.  Normal menstrual function often returns (though not always) after the disorder is treated with medications.  But in the early days there were no  medications nor treatments to resume normal periods for such disorders. Treatment of amenorrhea may range from hormonal supplementation for developmental abnormalities of the reproductive system to surgery for tumors of the pituitary.  Young women with primary amenorrhea that is caused by birth defects may require medicine, surgery or both.  But these are only very modern day remedies.

Some young women experience an abrupt end in menstrual cycle because of surgery or some medical treatment or home remedy pertaining to some other illness not relating to menstruation. 

Much of this information is available in the following medical encyclopedia website.

Menstruation Absent


Praise be to Allah only .. the Glorious Quraan is so comprehensive that it never leaves out any facts of life.  In the 7th century, the Glorious Quraan took into consideration all those aspects of the human body that are being studied today.  Those combative non-Muslim groups who are hellbent upon discrediting the Noble Quraan only end up discrediting themselves, exposing how ignorant they are in the 21st century about facts included in the Quraan in the 7th century. 

Praise be to Allah and Allah alone!


Related links:

Amenorrhea, POCS and Verse 65.4..... and ffi goons

Noble Quran does NOT allow marriage with adopted daughters

AceOfHearts:

Thank you sister Zeynab for this excellent post. I would like to say that it was not from me the interpretation came from. I read it in a Qur'an only translation/interpretation referred to as QXP (author I am not sure of), the translation/interpretation is available at yaqb.org. You wrote and posted this article before receiving my second PM where I said this. :)

Praise be to Allah alone indeed. He guides those who believe onto a straight path.

Take Care.

Zeynab:
Quote from: AceOfHearts on September 05, 2008, 08:03:50 pm


 I would like to say that it was not from me the interpretation came from. I read it in a Qur'an only translation/interpretation referred to as QXP (author I am not sure of), the translation/interpretation is available at yaqb.org. You wrote and posted this article before receiving my second PM where I said this. :)

 

That's okay brother.  We all learn by thinking, reading and researching.  If your research brings fine results, you must get the credit for it, or at least a big portion of it :)

I will check that site, InshAllah.

Salaams and peace

Zeynab:
Quote from: AceOfHearts on September 05, 2008, 08:03:50 pm

I read it in a Qur'an only translation/interpretation referred to as QXP (author I am not sure of), the translation/interpretation is available at yaqb.org.

Brother .. of both these sites, can u give a link for tafsirs / interpretations? 

Heba E. Husseyn:
This is so, so informative.  Endless thanks to both of you.

Hardline hadith traditionalists and christian and other non-Muslim fascist groups are like predators.  They keep looking through the Quranic verses to find any Ayat or sentence that can be easily twisted to bring about a meaning of their choice.  As for Verse 65:4, the detailed interpretation by brother Ace and sis zeynab leaves no doubt of its proper meaning, that is, non-menopausal women who've never menstruated.  The very literal meaning at yaqb.org says:

"And those (F) who became infertile/despaired from the menstruation from your women, if you became doubtful/suspicious, so their term/count (is) three months, and those (F) who did not menstruate, and (those) of the pregnant , their term/time (is) that (E) they (F) give birth/drop their (F) off spring/loads/pregnancies , and who fears and obeys God, He makes/puts from his matter/affair ease/flexibility."

The original Arabic is:
 
وَاللائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِنْ نِسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ وَأُولاتُ الأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا

The verse says "who did not menstruate" and not who haven't yet menstruated, which directly points at women of menstruating age but who haven't menstruated.   I would also bring up some more aspects that provide evidence of this meaning.

According to child marriage traditions in Arabia, an under age pre-menstrual girl who might be married with just the 'nikah' ceremony would basically mean a commitment to future marriage .. much like an engagement ceremony.  'Nikah' consists of the consent of the bride and groom and signing of papers.  But the marriage was never consummated at this stage.  Even nowadays, in many Muslim communities when adult women and men get married, the 'nikah' often takes place a few months, sometimes even a year or more prior to the actual marriage when the couple start living together.  This is known as the bride's departure ceremony and is a separate gathering.  The marriage is consummated only after this ceremony, not after the 'nikah.'  In olden days it was the same.  After performing the 'nikah' the bride would continue living with her parents till a suitable date for her departure to her husband's house would be arranged.  In the case of an under age girl, she would live with her parents after the 'nikah' till she matured.  So, there's no waiting time for under age pre-menstrual girls in case of a divorce.  They don't qualify for Iddah.  As per customary rules, they wouldn't start living with their husbands till they began menstruating.  Therefor, while living with her husband, she would be a menstruating female and not in the category of those who still await their periods.   Even according to the Hadith where they've concocted this story of Aisha's (ra) child marriage, Aisha's nikah took place when she was 6 years old (and pre-menstrual) and went to live with her husband at age 9 or 10 after maturity.

One can also figure out why women of this category,  who've ceased to menstruate at a young age, are mentioned in Surah At-Talaq .. because some men keen on having children (or more children) might take this as a reason for divorce.   

Moreover, Iddah (waiting time after divorce or widowhood) has a specific purpose.  It's not just a needless custom.  The purpose, as we know, is to determine the paternity in cases of very early conceptions.  So, one may ask, why should menopausal women require Iddah.  This too has a purpose.  Menopause doesn't come overnight.  It has several stages and could be spread over a few years.  Some women could turn menopausal within a year while it could be a lot more gradual with others.   Menstrual cycle keeps getting more and more irregular as the months pass by with long gaps of several months before it stops altogether.  Throughout this duration the woman is menopausal by definition and fertility is very low.  Yet, freak conceptions cannot be ruled out.  Thus, if such a woman re-married immediately after divorce or widowhood without observing Iddah, and then discovered her pregnancy a couple of months later, it would be very difficult (in the olden days impossible) to prove the paternity of the child. 

In this regard it's also worth mentioning that the Noble Quran allows divorce even before the marriage has been consummated.  In this case the only rule one has to observe is that the marriage gifts given to the woman by her husband are not to be returned.  She has the right to keep them and it's incumbent upon the husband to provide for her even if he divorces her before consummating the marriage.  For such women, no Iddah is prescribed for the same reason because they haven't lived with their husbands. 
 
"It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them, nor appointed unto them a portion. Provide for them, the rich according to his means, and the straitened according to his means, a fair provision. (This is) a bounden duty for those who do good."  (2:236)

"If ye divorce them before ye have touched them and ye have appointed unto them a portion, then (pay the) half of that which ye appointed, unless they (the women) agree to forgo it, or he agreeth to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie. To forgo is nearer to piety. And forget not kindness among yourselves. Allah is Seer of what ye do."  (2:237)

"For divorced women a provision in kindness: a duty for those who ward off (evil)."  (2:241)

All aspects stated in this thread along with the various references to marriage mentioned in the Quran giving complete independence to the woman viz.
 
-  wife must be given a dowry that's entirely hers
-  the husband must bestow on his wife a portion of his assets as a marriage gift and she is not duty bound to return any of these gifts at any time
-  she has the right to seek divorce and she is fully entitled to defend & absolve herself with the oath of Li'an in case her husband accuses her of moral misconduct
 
These are evidences that prove beyond any doubts that the wife has to be an adult (at least 16 plus) and not an eight-year-old kid. 

JazekAllah Khair, peace and Salaam to all.

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