Bride of death

16 10 2009
Pencildrawing by Laurie Lipton

Pencildrawing by Laurie Lipton

One of the results of the despicable and evil custom of marrying underage girls, as young as six years old, to perverted old goats, is that the victims tend to die an early death.

Sometimes by suicide, but also by childbirth.


Last month a 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage,  died during a difficult delivery in which her baby also died, a children’s rights organisation said on Sunday, demanding action to stop Yemeni men taking child brides.

“The child, Fawziya Abdullah Youssef, died on Friday September 11 in western Yemen at the age of 12 due to a complicated delivery,” the Yemeni Organisation for Childhood Protection (Seyaj) said.

This little girl suffered for three days before she died, the baby was stillborn.

“The case of Fawziya illustrates the tragedy of those whom we call ‘the brides of death’, who are little girls, less than 15 years old, forced into marriage, mostly due to financial reasons, The proportion of little girls and teenage females married before 15 is nearly 50 percent”.

The Parliament of Yemen has passed a law that would make the minimum age for girls to get wed 17.
But before the president could sign it, some of the  lawmakers requested it would be reevaluated by the parliament’s constitutional committee.
According to the lawmakers the measure is potentially Un-islamic.

They must be joking!


childbride afganistan



72 responses

17 10 2009


How maddening!

17 10 2009

Gag. Barf. Puke. Vomit. And All That Jazz.

These people live in the Stone Age.

17 10 2009

It’s just aweful. In Islamic law, girls are considered marriage material from the time they reach puberty. It’s common in the lower classes these drastic age differences. Sick.

17 10 2009

yeah revolting.
What wrong with logic thinking? Anybody knows that a man in his fifties will die a lot sooner as his teenage wife, leaving her with the kids in abject poverty (widows get very little in inheritance) And if the family take the kids (children are the property of the fathers family) they leave her in abject poverty with no future.
Which makes it clear: this is only about having sex with minors. Because there is no thought or care for the future of the child nor her eventual children.

There is nothing to say for such a disgusting practise.

Often these girls are married off for money, sold, or to make up a debt.
Can there be any more evidence that women are merely property?
women are nothing but slaves in these muslim societies, to be handed over for money.

17 10 2009
Save the Women!

The total disregard for the wellbeing of women in todays’muslim world should be recognised and dealt with. Muslims themselves have to finally get up and put a stop to it. It cannot be that all muslims condone of these practises. It is only a small minority. Why should they get to make the rules?
There has been public outcries from saudi society against childmarriages. It is quite something that these cases now hit the news. And still saudi judges refuse to divorce eight year old girls who have been married off against their will!

17 10 2009

Wildstorm, wanted to correct your comment: According to Islamic law a girl is marriage material even before she hits puberty. The Quran clearly sets out parameters for women who have to observe the waiting period after divorce but who have not yet had their periods (65:1-4). Thus not only can a Muslim man marry a pre-pubescent girl, he can even divorce her.

Claiming that under Islam a woman is given free will to accept or reject her future husband is plain lip service. Did Ayesha consent to her marriage with Muhammad? She didn’t even know she was getting married. But yes, Fatima was asked if she wanted to accept Ali. Two different sets of rules for two different people.

Sorry to start this religious debate, Aafke. This is not deliberate. It is just that this kind of stuff really pisses me off. You can choose to ignore this comment and delete it.

18 10 2009

sigh 😦

JAK for speaking up against this.

18 10 2009

Yemeni are very backward but child marriages take place in every traditional Muslim country to some extent. Often no one finds out. Just a month ago one of my former students from the UAE wrote to me saying her 11 year old sister was getting married to a 34 year old man.

My daughter is 11 years old and my husband is 34 years old!

So it is happening. And it is also right that people will find it un-Islamic. See, anything allowed by God in the Quran is haram to ban. Polygamy being one such practice. Marrying young girls is allowed in Islam. It is less painful when both spouses are young but when the man is the age of the bride’s father or grandfather then it is really odd.

I have always thought that no matter what the traditional practices may have been if something was not in the best interest of human beings, if something was bad for the health and well-being of a woman then God being all-knowing could have very easily banned such practices. Yes, Arabs had been marrying many times and marrying young girls and enslaving women but they had been doing a lot more that was instantly banned, so why not this?!


18 10 2009

I cannot just go to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. I have to get a visa, wait for health checks, pay a local muttawa, go through the OFFICIAL hajj agency, and only then am I allowed to make a hajj.

Otherwise making a hajj is illegal.

And yet, marrying a six year old is “Islamic”?

Customs change, times change.

As for marrying a 6 year old because Ayesha etc. etc. let’s then do it EXACTLY like the Prophet. Any man wishing to marry a pre-adolescent girl must get personal approval from the President himself.

This must be publicized around the whole country.

18 10 2009

Salaams Everyone:

“See, anything allowed by God in the Quran is haram to ban.”

This is true to a point. Not to ban, but everything has limits and conditions. Allah (swt) constantly reminds us not to transgress limits. He constantly tells us that transgressing limits angers Him.

The example of fulfilling conditions for Hajj is one example. People just can’t go to KSA for Hajj because Allah (swt) said they could in the Qur’an, lol. And nikah is another. For example, just because a man “can” marry doesn’t mean he should. If he is unemployed, has issues, etc., he transgresses limits for a permissible thing.

Just because we “can” doesn’t mean we “should.”

All of the backwardness of some Middle Eastern countries, I think, is caused more by a third-world mentality that uses the Qur’an for justification for the insane.

18 10 2009

That is true Saffiyah. You explained it well. But let’s say that a man can marry a child – is able to – financially and socially. In his mind he is doing it morally well. That he will look after her, he says. Can, or should, Muslims stop him? Wouldn’t he say, “I am allowed by my religion and as long as I am not transgressing, why not?”

How would a man transgress when he marries a child and is allowed to do that by his religion? What does transgression entail? To non-Muslims the very act of a grown man in his late forties of fifties marrying a girl who is not even in her teens is transgression of women’s rights and moral decency. But to us, Muslims, it isn’t. What is transgression in such a case for us?

Haj is a good example but Haj had different rules even in early-Islamic times. It is a social, financial, religious, ‘and’ personal act. But as far as marriage to a young child is concerned there were no strict rules involved as in the case of Haj.

Muslim men asked the Prophet detailed questions – can we shave our heads before we slaughter? Should it be after? Do we stone the devil before we slaughter? Can it be done later? How many stones? What sizes? How many times?

But such questions were not asked when they married young girls and that is what leaves it all open to a lot of interpretation. What God made halal thus cannot be made haram.

There is only one verse in the Quran indirectly referring to it. It was taken as something so normal. I agree that the times were different – girls had no schools to go to, life span was shorter etc. but just one order would have been enough – wait till a girl is 16 or 17 or 18. Wait till she has her period and her body is strong enough to bear a child.

Or maybe there were orders and they were lost. Only God knows.

18 10 2009

Seems like God would have should have known that at some point…marrying off little girls wouldnt be seen as normal among the general population? Just a thought

18 10 2009

Save the women, I agree with you.

anony-mouse, Don’t apologise, religion comes into it, so discussing it cannot be avoided. Like the post says, it’s actually the muslims who defend this outrage who claim it is religion. Therefore you have to discuss religion wether you like it or not.

18 10 2009

Achelois, (nice avatar) I am shocked to hear about the sister of your student. For some reason I had expected the UAE to be a bit more advanced.

I have serous doubts wether marrying such young girls is halal, and in any case, even a 6 year old needs to give consent. Also according to the quran, And we see that the quran differentiates between people old enough to make such large decisioins, and children too young to do so, as is described in how to deal with orphans.
And if an 8 year old girl does not wish to be married, then it is against Islam to marry her against her will. Anyway I think the hadith claiming Aischa to be 6 at her marriage is a false one.

Haleem, any man wishing to marry a 6-year old should get personal approval of Allah.

saffiyah, I think there’s a lot of backward tribal stuff in Islam, I also think that, no matter how early poor nomads may die, then, as now, children forced to become pregnant and give birth ahve a very high deathtoll. much higher as woen who are fullgrown. Not just that, the babies habve a ve3ry large chance of being defected or stillborn. Especially in a society where people die young this would place an unsustainable burden on the survival of a people.

So I have my doubts if it is really allowed, or if it’s been added in the past.

oh, well you say sort of the same thing Achelois

Coolred, or it is incorporated to cater to the wishes of pedophiles.
I maintain that the hadith which states that Aischa was 6 years old as she was married to the prophet is not backed up by anything in the hadith or historiucal facts. On the contrary. If you follow history she was between 17 and 21 when she was married off.

18 10 2009

The hadith that Aisha was married (against her will because at 6 years she could not have any idea) as such a young child is a contested one.
I keep being amazed how the most unreliable hadith are given the same value, or actually a higher value, as the quran, especially when they are bad for women. This hadith has been allowed in so that old men can rape little children in a ”halal” way.
And if this had been allowable in Islam from the start and if the hadith is correct, then I cannot conclude but that mohammed was a pedophile. Because only a pedophile would ever get sexually aroused by a little child,
Or Mohammed needed the support of an import man or men, who was/were pedophiles and were lured to support him by adding the rule that it is halal to rape small children under the guise of marriage.

Or people put it in later because somebody in power wanted it so.

Nobody with a healthy sense of right and wrong would wish this on a small girl. Nobody with a sense of logic cold think this is the right thing to do.
Or even think it safe for a young girl.
As is attested by the very high number of dead or unhealthy babies and dead or seriously injured girls due to them being forced into pregnancy far too young.

19 10 2009

Aafke I don’t think Aisha was any older than 9 years old. There are too many hadith to confirm this. No 21 year old plays with dolls and is taken by her arm to sit in a man’s lap who drinks milk and offers it to her from the same vessel.

Achelois there should have been an order “Wait till she is old enough to bear the fat load of the old man lying on top of her”!

You seriously believe there were orders and they were lost? Hope that was a joke!

Aerinndis kudos for saying what should be said.

19 10 2009

Saw this and thought about you –

19 10 2009

I find it repulsive but at the same time.
In Islam “marriage” in general is not what it is in other religions and cultures.
It is a temporary contract one engages in where one basically buys the other person for a period.
Also with all the injustice and human rights abuses considered the norm in Islam this to me seems like a minor offense however disturbing it is.

19 10 2009

Dennis, in Islam marriage is not always ‘temporary’. I agree that there are many types (misyar, mutah etc) which sound odd but ‘permanent’ marriage is very elaborately planned and very specific laws are laid out. That is why I find it odd that marriage to a child is given just one verse in the Quran.

20 10 2009

OMG! I have daughters, its so sad. What pleasures does one get from marrying a child when there are lots of women of marriageable age out there!! Subhanallah.

21 10 2009

That is so disgusting, I feel sorry for those poor little girls for having to put up with that

21 10 2009

I forgot to say “Dirty filthy paedophile pigs!!!”

22 10 2009

My hubby is Mauritanian and it is the standard practice for men of 28-30 yrs of age to marry 14-16 yr old girls. He says that for one these girls become “women” around 9 – Mauritania is known for fattening the ladies so they hit puberty younger and the age of the men is due to the time it takes them to become established and have enough money to marry. It grosses me out and i have asked how they get on with such an age difference but they culturally spend time with each other for food and sex – that is about it. The women hang with their lady friends and family while her husband works himself into an early grave trying to support everyone in his tribe. He noted girls here in the US are in no way the same level of maturity as women from his home country. He feels if they are raised with an expectation of marriage and a set age, they will be preparing for it

I know of a young lady here in the US whose family secretly married her at 15 to a 30 yr old. They made it public when she hit 17, the legal age where we lived. It made me sad. She was very smart, in AP classes in highschool and could have pursued any degree she wants. Now she has a child and studies for some job she can do from home – nothing related to her previous interests. I doubt the boys in the family will marry until they are through college and have had to time to become who they will be as adults. This is the biggest travesty for women who marry very young – they never fully develop their own personality. I think that is part of the reason for early marriage – because they are seen as more trainable.

Lastly, I totally don’t think Aisha was pre-puberty before entering the household. All of the women he married were older than him, Khadija significantly so. Many modern day scholars put her 16 or up which seems reasonable. I know of the hadith about dolls or whatever but hadith literature has a number of odd things in it.

22 10 2009

I agree you cannot separate this issue from the religion. The primary reason why child marriages are not illegal is the fact that the prophet of Islam married a 6 year old and played with until she reached the age of 9 at which time he had intercourse to complete the marriage. Sorry to be blunt, but that is at the core of this problem.

Now even moderate Muslims cannot escape this fact. They have only few choices:

1) They have to admit that the prophet is a pedophile.
2) Say that it is OK to marry a girl at that age since the prophet did it. This has to come at the expense of ignoring all the psychological and physical issues that arise for those children.
3) Play the intellectual acrobatic game that has many different arguments:
a) It was customary at the time for girls to marry at younger age. This does not hold water since Islam is sold as a religion for all times and all places.
b) Change the age of Aysha to something older. I do not buy this argument for all the reasons Anony-mouse stated and more.
c) Say it is OK for the prophet to do that, since he was given license from Allah to do it in the same way he was given a license to marry 11 women and had his unknown share of slave girls.
d) Girls at the time were more mature. This again does not hold water. Girls 1400 years ago had the same physiology as today and probably were less prepared for sex and pregnancy, because of lack of proper nutrition.
e) more acrobatics….

So far Muslims have taken either option 2 or 3 above, because option 1 will never be considered.

22 10 2009

UmmHabib, that was a very interesting comment. I love reading about cultures and your comment offered a nice new perspective to the whole issue.
I just wanted to point out that ‘only’ Khadeejah was older than the Prophet. All his other wives and slaves were younger than him. Sawda who is understood to be the oldest of them all was also in her mid-thirties when she got married to the Prophet.
The thing is we, Muslims, think that because all his wives except Aisha were widows and divorcees that we imagine that they must have been old. In fact most of his wives and slaves were either not even 20 years old at the time of their marriage/cohabitation or were in their early 20s (except for Khadeejah and Sawda). Safiya was 17 and Juwairiya and Rehana were under 20 years old as well. Maria was 16-17 and perhaps was another virgin but that is never mentioned.
In ancient Arabia girls were married off very early so most women were already married by the time they were 20 years old. To marry a virgin one had to find a really young bride. Many people believe Islam encourages men to marry widows and divorcees to support them – I think there was no other plausible option. You either had to marry a widow or divorcee or find a child bride if you wanted a virgin.
I too believe that Aisha was 8-9 when she was married to the Prophet not because of the dolls ahadith but several other which point that she was very young. For example, she was so little and light that she was easily left behind by the caravan. Apparently she was 16 or 17 years at that time. If she was 17 when she got married (like some believe) she would have been 25-26 years old at the time of Ifk. I don’t think people could have forgotten a 25 year old woman behind. Safwan was her childhood friend and he wasn’t even 20 years old at the time of Ifk. Plus, when the Prophet died, Aisha is reported to have said he died because she was too young and didn’t know how to look after him. Even during Ifk when her maid was questioned by Ali she complained that the only fault with Aisha was that she was too young to look after the dough which was often eaten by cattle when Aisha fell asleep.
No, I don’t think she was much older than 8 years old when she was married. This is what makes it all so difficult.

22 10 2009

MoQ, very interesting break down.
I wouldn’t call him a pedophile simply because pedophilia is a contemporary notion. But, and that is a big BUT, I do believe that when Islam came to abolish all bad practices in Arabia then it would have been a lot easier to ban child marriages and that would have won the Prophet a lot of brownie points at least from contemporary people.
I was watching a video in which Shiekh Hamza Yousuf was explaining Aisha’s age and he was calling for us to remove our cultural notions and see those times from the perspective of 7th Century Arabia. He claimed that childhood was the innovation of the Renaissance and in fact it was the Prophet who set the bar higher by asking only 15+ boys to be recruited in the army which was an innovation in his time. People loved that video. I saw many faults with it at many levels:
1. Islam abolished a lot of cultural practices. Many, many of them were ended by Islam. Why did child marriage survive the ban?
2. Quran is full of claimed scientific miracles. Isn’t it a scientific fact that a child’s body is too fragile for intercourse and worse, child-bearing and birthing?
3. If childhood was the innovation of the Renaissance and ancient Arabs didn’t know how to be children and attained maturity at a very young age, what was Aisha doing on the swings, with dolls, and playing Solomon’s horses?
4. Moreover, if the Prophet raised the bar of the boys, why not for girls?

22 10 2009

I don’t see why we have to justify this wrong by bringing the prophet into it. do we do everything he did? There’s a reason god gave us a brain . More imprtant he gave us critical thinking and reasoning skills, the skills that separates us from most of his creation.

God’s all powerful and if he wanted he could have stopped all ills in this world if he wanted, why didn’t he, could it be because he gave us a powerful brain and thought we’d use it and he didn’t need to micromanage our lives?

As for islam,child brides and aisha, the men in this world need to understand “you are not the prophet” so no you don’t get to do what he did, he may be right, he may be wrong, he may be a peodophile. does it really matter. I can safely bet my yrs pay that there is not one man inthis planet who follows the phrophets words/instructions to the letter, i mean literally live like him and do EVERYTHING he did, not cherry pick.
so no you are not him , didn’t live in his time and so no , no baby brides for you. 🙂 it’s so simple really.

22 10 2009


Very good comment. However, Muslims maintain that the prophet set the moral code of behavior for all generations to follow and he was without sin. Hence what he does is allowed by Allah. Now that is all good with the exception that the prophet took a very young child as a bride and he only paid lip service to abolishing slavery. So when you see Muslims take child brides or enslave girls in Sudan they feel morally justified, because it was done by their prophet.
Note: Abolishing slavery was a secular law forced on many Muslim countries by UN agreements and Muslim countries that do not allow child marriages have done so based on secular constitutions/laws left behind by colonization powers. These are not Shariia laws. Shariia does not provide for flexibility to establish moral laws that protect young women/girls.


“1. Islam abolished a lot of cultural practices. Many, many of them were ended by Islam. Why did child marriage survive the ban?”

Did Islam really abolish all bad cultural practices or only the ones that interfered with the power of the ruler and his ability to raise a strong army. For example drinking and gambling were abolished, because no one wants an army that drank every night and its members squabbled over gambling debts. Also, this explains why boys under 15 were not recruited as fighters, it is better to wait for them to be soldiers when they are strong enough to fight. It is a waste to lose a soldier before he can be effective. Then ask why there are many bad cultural practices like slavery and child marriages were not abolished?

“4. Moreover, if the Prophet raised the bar of the boys, why not for girls?”

My opinion, he simply did not have to raise that bar for girls. They are on the sideline and insignificant for the plans. The only use they have is they made good rewards for the elite fighters and supporters.

Islamic early culture was a tribal warring culture and it remained so for the entire life of the prophet and beyond. You can see a similar culture in modern age in Sudan, Afghanistan, Eastern Pakistan and early 20th century Saudi Arabia (under King Abdul Aziz unification). There are no significant differences.

22 10 2009

I love the whole discussion. There’s too much here to answer everybody now.

Except @ Dennis.
Dennis, women constitute one half of humanity, Girls who are being killed or have their futures destroyed to live a miserable life as a virtual slave count. This is human misery which counts as much as when men suffer evil.
It always amazes me that when bad things happen to women exclusively, it gets pushed straight at the bottom.
The destruction of young girls and women is just as huge a crime as it is for men. To call it ”minor” is deeply disturbing!

I would like to pour some oil on the fire, I think the hadith were constructed to clarify the obscurity of many passages in the Quran, and also to improve on it. Which is why the hadith are in higher regard than the quran. They also nullify most of the few rights the quran gives women.

And as the hadith also state that the prophet ”thighed” Aischa as a tiny girl, this form of childabuse is now considered halal in some muslim circles.
Absolutely disgusting.
The more I learn about Islam the more proof I see that women are just cattle, posessions to be used as seen fit. No matter what hurt it may mean to then.

22 10 2009

I don’t think people use the Prophet’s example to justify it. I think what they say is because Allah did not object when the Prophet married Aisha that it is permissible as opposed to objectionable. I also think that most Islam-haters bring up this issue because not only did the Prophet marry Aisha but he believed that it was an order from Allah because he saw Aisha twice in his dreams wrapped in silk and carried by an angel as a present for him.
But then some people do use it to justify child marriages like the “sheikh” in the video link. To him a man can marry a year old baby girl as well because marriage contract is but just a form of “consent.” Now I am wondering if a year old baby can’t even say yes or no, whose consent is he talking about? People like him give Islam a bad name!

MoQ, I understand the tribal culture theory. Very unfortunate.

22 10 2009

But Achelois, this bloke also said marriage to a one year old baby is valid because the father woiuld be the one who gives is consent, and the father has to be obeyed anyway so it doesn’t matter at what age he decides to sell/marry off his daughter

22 10 2009

Yea, but then why do we claim that Islam gives full value to a bride and full right to reject a proposal?

This is what’s happening in KSA. It’s a catch 22 situation. The 9 year old is not granted a divorce by the judge because she hasn’t reached puberty. The husband can’t have sex with her either. When she has her period the husband can have sex with her and then she can decide whether she wants a divorce or not! Why must she lose her virginity first? Why didn’t they wait for her to reach puberty so she could decide whether or not she wanted to marry the bloke if she has to wait because she is mentally not mature enough to decide if she wants a divorce? Really, really wrong.

In Islam the father of a virgin can marry her off if she is too young to give her consent, but father’s permission is not required for a woman getting married again. Men use this to their advantage by selling their daughters.

22 10 2009


This is not about hate of Islam, it is about justice for young girls/women. It is hard to avoid the discussion of Aysha in this context, since Shariia law is based primarily on the actions and guidance of the prophet. Muslims are at a crossroad, because the laws based on Shariia are no longer valid for today and offend the sensibilities of most (Muslims included).

Islam is not much different than Christianity and Judaism, which also have laws against women. The difference is most of the countries, with majority citizens of these religions, have abandoned their religious laws and implemented secular adaptable laws.

Should Muslims follow or continue on the current path?

22 10 2009
Safe the Women

Muslims should follow their inner sense of right and wrong. Not the wahhabi scholars deranged interpretations.

@ Achelois. It is impossible to keep Aisha out of this; she described (according to the hadith) how the prophet used her and came on her clothes!
Everything the prophet did has to be followed to the lketter. No matter how disgusting. And how bad for the mind of the victim.

The reason marrying little children was not abandoned is because they liked it.

That girl in Saudi was only 8 years old! Her father sold her off witjout anybody knowing about it. And her mother tried to get her divorced but of course the wish of a girl and a mother are not regarded. The father has custody so the girl is his property so he can sell her.
She has to be raped before she can file for divorce because that is what the old pedophile paid for.

23 10 2009

Keep it up people, I am enjoying this!!!!

23 10 2009

According to one article I read,Aisha was already engaged to a man called Zubair before the Prophet proposed to her! How old was she then? A toddler?!

And then there’s the hadith about how a woman,Kawlah or something,suggesting the Prophet marry Sawdah and Aisha to help him look after his unmarried young daughters after the death of his wife.So what about the dream of Aisha prompting him to marry her? And if Aisha was 8 or 10(whatever!),how could she help look after his daughters?

If he just wanted to marry his best friend’s daughter,why justify it with a dream? Afterall the culture permitted it.Maybe he didn’t think of marrying her at all until he dreamt it.Afterall his 11 or more marriages,only Aisha was a child bride.If his child bride marriage was a sunna for the followers,he would’ve proved it with a harem full of 10 yr olds playing dolls or swings with Fatimah playing babysitter!

How muslims concluded this as an encouragement,only God knows.
And you know about that hadith where a girl comes and questions the Prophet about giving consent to a marriage her father contracts and he says the girl has the right to say no if she doesn’t want? How come the so-called sheikhs, esp in the video, above don’t mention it at all? Such sheikhs not only show who they are but the kind of society that allows them to do so.

Marriage contract of a 1 yr old,My Foot!

I always believed Sawdah was around 50 when she married the prophet according to a number of hadiths.It does change perceptions.There was once I read that Khadijah was not 40 as believed but younger than the Prophet!

I think following the personal life of the Prophet is risky( just to add,like eating, peeing! :D). It depends on how far you take it.Certain things are allowed for him but not for others.

23 10 2009

Oh boy! I didn’t know it’s gonna be that long!

23 10 2009

Lat, this discussion is very helpful in clarifying matters to me at least. When I had a similar discussion on concubines on my previous blog, apostates bashed me for believing in Muhammad and Muslims hated me for bringing up the topic. How do you understand your own religion if you don’t discuss?!

Anyway, Sawda Bint Zama’s age is disputed. According to the Encyclopedia of Islam she was about 30 years old and Khawla suggested the Prophet marry her or Aisha at which he said that if he married Aisha who would look after his children (Fatima, his youngest child, being even older than Aisha). Khawla then suggested he marry Sawda so she would look after the children. Around that time Aisha was engaged to Zubair Mutim (engagements did take place when girls were toddlers!) and the Prophet asked Khawla to arrange his marriage to both women.

Prophet never justified his marriage by using the dream excuse. That is what most people think. He simply proposed and told Abu Bakr that he was his brother in Islam but was not an uncle to Aisha so he could marry her. He used to tell Aisha that he had seen her in dreams perhaps to make her happy for he always indulged with her with kindness.

But most of wives were very young. At least 5-6 were under 20 years old when he was himself 55+. Not saying that it was good or bad. It was happening everywhere and was the culture. Just making an observation that because most were not virgins that we imagine them to be old and unattractive and vulnerable.

23 10 2009

@Aafke I don’t want to trivialize the problem of child marriages, but as you said there is a lot more that goes on then just underage child marriages.
And while it’s a problem that should be combated there is a lot more. Genital mutilation is also an example, denying woman education or freedom of movement, denying them equality and access to jobs or even as is sometimes the case, access to medical doctors.
There is simply a lot more going on in those parts of the world by which child marriages, however reprehensible are simply not the biggest problem woman in those countries face.
Often the biggest problem is simply finding enough food or clean water to eat and drink.
Also child marriages often come about for exactly this reason the inability of the parents to provide for there children.
Marriage is then seen as a way by which the child can be provided for.

23 10 2009

Dennis, but marrying off small children does not ”provide for them, it kills them. Many are given over to a life of slavery, abuse and torture.
And forget about education, the first thing which happens is that the girls are taken out of school. So childmarriage is responsible for many of the ills you mentioned. And yes, of course there are other ills which needs to be adressed. But this post is about childmarriage and girls dying while trying to give birth at 12 years old. So that’s what this discussion should adress.

Lat, nice long comment 😉 Yes I read that too, so they had to discauss it with the family, and tes she was apparently betrothed as a toddler. The family did not want her anymore as they had converted to Islam and the engagement was dissolved.

There are alsp many hadith which tell about Aisha’s incompetence in household matters due to her extreme young age.

I know! the hadith, I actually know of two, where the prophet tells women they have a free choice and can even divorce enforced husbands is one that all the scholars conveniently forget when it comes about women’s choice in marriage.

Achelois, interesting points.

23 10 2009
Safe the Women

I think the story of him dreaming about Aischa is wholly made up.
Unless it was a wet dream.
He married Sawda to do the work, and Aisha for the sex.
And that’s why he married all those other young pretty girls, as part of his collection.
Beside his slaves of course.
And didn’t give some of them a lot of choice either.
You can’t tell me a young girl wose family has just been butchered and has been walked past their dead bodies is all happy and willing to marry the old fogey who was responsible for it.

24 10 2009

Great discussion! I’m enjoying all the comments.

24 10 2009
Shoeb Qureshi

Muhammad was a lustful man. Sorry for being so blunt about it. It is recorded in Islamic books by Islamic scholars that early Muslims and non-Muslims alike thought he was a womanizer:

“When Abu Sufyan learned that the Prophet had taken her, he said, ‘That stallion’s nose is not to be restrained!” [Tabari VIII:110] and then

“Layla approached the Prophet while his back was to the sun and clapped him on his shoulder. He asked her who it was and she replied, ‘I am the daughter of one who competes with the wind. I am Layla. I have come to offer myself to you.’ He replied, ‘I accept.'” [Layla shared her story with her parents.] “They said, ‘What a bad thing you have done! You are a self-respecting girl, but the Prophet is a womanizer.'” [Tabari IX:139]

Ishaq wrote [pg. 186] that when Muhammad thought he had flown to Paradise even there he was busy asking angels who such and such woman belonged to:

“He took me into Paradise and there I saw a damsel with dark red lips. I asked her to whom she belonged, for she pleased me much when I saw her.” [Ishaq:186 ]

It was his lust that made him fool people by telling him that Allah had given him full right to decide whom he married and whom he divorced:

“You may put off whom you please, and you may take to you whomever you desire. You may defer any of them you please, and you may have whomever you desire; there is no blame on you if you invite one who you had set aside. It is no sin.” [Qur’an 33:51]

I want to ask what kind of prophet marries again after he is told by his Allah that he can’t marry anymore? He was told in the Quran (he wanted his followers to believe) that he couldn’t take any more wives but he kept marrying women till his death:

“The Messenger of Allah married Mulaykah. She was young and beautiful. One of the Prophet’s wives came to her and said, ‘Are you not ashamed to marry a man who killed your father during the day he conquered Mecca?” She therefore took refuge from him.” [Tabari VIII:187]

When someone asked if a virgin should be asked for her consent Muhammad said:

“The Prophet said, ‘A virgin should not be married till she is asked for her consent.’ ‘O Apostle! How will the virgin express her consent?’ He said, ‘By remaining silent.'” [Bukhari:V9B86N98]

A young girl who doesn’t even know what is happening to her will remain silent. Very convenient.

24 10 2009

Shoub Qureshi, Good examples. One thing many hadith make clear is that Allah is extraordinarily subservient to Mohammed: Whenever he wants people to something they don’t want to do: all he has to do is go to sleep and as if by miracle: That same night he has another ”revelation” which is Allah telling people what to do. Which always happens to be what Mohammed wants them to do.
And I suppose he was finally geting tired of fucking his many wives, and raping his many slavegirls. I suppose the girl he freed and made into one of his wives after having sex with her must have performed really well and that was her reward.
Anyway, I suppose he finally thought he’d had enough collected now, so he had Allah give him a revelation to stop marrying more.
But of course he could not contain himself when he could get his claws on another pretty girl, so he added her to the flock.
And hee… Guess what?
Allah, always happy to accomodate the prophet, especially when it comes to sex, doesn’t mind.

24 10 2009

Shoeb Qureshi, welcome to my blog 🙂
Thank you for contributing to the discussion. Very interesting comment.
Well, I suppose that’s where all the insistence on eternal sex with eternal virgins in the eternal afterlife comes from…

STW, I think there is a story that even the prophet’s wives commented upon Allah’s ever readiness to privide the wished for revelation when required!

24 10 2009

Wow, Shoeb Qureshi’s comments are so interesting! I’ve often thought of Muhammad as a lustful man so I never understood why his followers thought he was sinless. If you go by what “prophet” Jesus said, lusting after a woman is the same as committing adultery with her (Matthew 5:27,28). But, I’m sure that’s just an area where Christians corrupted the Bible so really Muhammad lusting after woman is A-OK with Allah. *rolling my eyes*

aerinndis, ha, ha! Your comment is similar to what I’ve been thinking lately. It just seems amazing how any time Muhammad wanted something God always made an exception for HIM. It’s like “you common folks are limited to four women, but I can have as many as I want … Allah’s orders.” I’m sorry, I find it really strange when the one who is given this so-called revelation keeps changing the rules to suit himself. Wasn’t there even a rule against marrying a son’s wife so God all of a sudden declared adoption illegal so Muhammad’s adopted son was no longer his son and, therefore, formerly-adopted son’s wife could divorce him and marry Muhammad? How convenient – yet again – for Muhammad! How nice of Allah to bend/change the rules JUST FOR HIM!

Really, Islam, to me, is a religion all about men and their great desire for sex. Sex here and LOTS and LOTS and LOTS (x72) of sex in Jannah.

24 10 2009
Safe the Women

@ susanne 430, Yes, and I consider that a great sin! Just so he could take the wife of his adopted son he destroyed the chance for any orphan for more than a thousand years to be adopted.Just so he could have another woman added.

27 10 2009

Not fair to judge the prophet based on some spurious hadiths and it goes against the ‘exalted standard of character’ the Quran speaks of him.

27 10 2009

I think the hadith should be kept out of Islam alltogether.
I don’t think they are reliable period. How can anyone think so when a lot of them contradict the quran?
Sharia law isn’t based on the quran, it’s mostly based on the hadith and that’s why it’s so bloody unfair to women and why it has such barbaric punishments.
I really think Islam as it is today needs a thorough overhaul, from re-interpreting the quran itself by people who have knowlege of the ancient languages spoken at the time it was written down, and then translated into arabic, to throwing out each and every hadith which contradicts the quran, and a complete revision of sharia law.
Islam as it is now is a false religioin, bogged down by bedouin tribal culture, a misinterpretation of the original quran, and riddled with false hadith and superstitions. Besides being obsessed with outer form instead of true faith, and making idols of pieces of cloth like the hijab and abaya and niqab. And a most unhealthy worship of fallable biased politically guided scholars.

27 10 2009
Shoeb Qureshi

It is the hadith that show what Muhammad was. Without it Quran is a confusing book with several lines about Muhammad’s private life that no one will understand. The earliest biographers were spurious, the hadith is spurious which mean no one knows the true Muhammad. When you don’t know what type of a man he was then why do you believe him that Quran is word of Allah?
Hugh Hefner goes around donating money to animal rescue and autism centers and himself claims that he is a “pretty moral guy” so should the world accept him as a moral man? Unfortunately for him Muhammad was born in full light of history and can’t escape what he did. Read his letters to various heads of states [] he was full of himself and cruel. Give the name of one prophet who told people “accept me or you will be ruined.”
Muslims follow a blind faith. Anything that shows them that Muhammad was not of an exalted character becomes spurious but they will quote the same hadith writers to claim that Muhammad was a perfect man.

27 10 2009

The Quran is a book which was written in several languages. Most of the pivotal words in the Quran were foreing languages, and they were imperfectly understood by the scribes who translated the Quran in Arabic and did not have enough knowlege of these foreign words.
This is why there are so many mistakes and obscure passages in the quran.

The most well known of those is the word houri, which meant raisin. But the Arab writers didn’t know that, so they imagned them to be virgins.

I have written a new post on it explaining further. and I will be writing a lot about it explaining more.

27 10 2009

Theologian James Luther Adams once said, “an unexamined faith can only be true by accident.” Why is it taken for granted that Muslims do not examine their faith? And what is truly surprising is how many non-Muslims try to explain what’s in the Quran and how without hadith Quran is ‘unclear’ and what’s so bad about Islam.

Frankly, I don’t agree with child marriages or polygamy or concubinage. I don’t even agree with the punishments sharia imposes. And I don’t agree with proselytizing. I don’t like Muslims proselytizing and I don’t like Christians proselytizing. I don’t even like Atheists proselytizing and asking people to leave religion.

Most Muslims probably know all that’s said here, but they still believe in Muhammad and I say let them. No one has monopoly over religion. What he did may seem immoral but because of him over a billion people worship ‘one’ God.

” Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” – Jesus Christ.

28 10 2009


“And what is truly surprising is how many non-Muslims try to explain what’s in the Quran and how without hadith Quran is ‘unclear’ and what’s so bad about Islam….”

I think the issue here is Muslims are not doing it themselves. There is no true free discussion going on in Islamic circles. Scholars can be executed or murdered for speaking out in the Islamic world. Further, any scholar that speaks out in the west is demonized or marginalized by Muslims.

Under these conditions of course others will get interested to fill the gaps left by the lack of true discussions by Muslims themselves. As part of that interest research is conducted and the fact that the Quran is a hollow weak book does not escape such scrutiny. Any researcher can also notice there is a rich heritage in Hadith that far exceeds what is offered by the Quran. Those researchers will discover the gaps in codifying the hadith and the fact that Shariia laws are primarily made up from this imperfect documentation.

“Atheists proselytizing and asking people to leave religion.”

I do not agree with that statement. Atheist do not have a dogma to convert anyone to. Most believe in getting to the truth through a process that scrutinize information before they are accepted as fact. This is true of science, history, law, etc. It just happens that religious text and concepts do not pass the scrutiny and fall in the area of blind faith.

“What he did may seem immoral but because of him over a billion people worship ‘one’ God.”

So the end justifies the means? and is worshiping a deity really a worthy cause to begin with?

28 10 2009

Worshipping one God is the essence of the Abrahamic religions .To me that’s a worthy cause to believe in.But not so if some followers take it upon themselves the sole authority to preach the religion the way they want.

@Moq,you sure atheist do not have a dogma? They sure know their way around an invisible ‘dogma’.Because they do convert others to their belief and how do they do this without a dogma.Magic,hah?

28 10 2009


Sorry you are taking this personal, but let me introduce you to the definition of Dogma

” An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.”, FTD dictionary

Atheist do not have absolute truth nor a belief system. What we know to be true can change if new evidence comes along to prove otherwise. This is why science is ever changing. So yes there is no Atheist Dogma.

Regarding magic, If you know anything about atheism you will know that is the farthest thing from our believes. It is the rejection of the explanation for everything as the creation of a magical being in the sky. We’d rather think that every problem will have a logical explanation. Science has explained many things that were believed to be supernatural just a few centuries ago.

Regarding conversion, we do not have missionaries, clergy, preachers, holy books, etc. What happens simply is that people reject religions, because they defy logic. There is no believe system to convert to as simple as that.

28 10 2009

Achelois, ”And what is truly surprising is how many non-Muslims try to explain what’s in the Quran ”
That is because muslims are not allowed to question nowadays. If you go back in time you will see there have been Muslims who have been researching the origins of the Quran and the truthfullness of the hadith.
But you know as well as I that that is not allowed anymore. Any deviation from the current salafi Saudi Arabia dominated path and you will get labeled an ”apostate” and get shot. (Like Mahmood Taha)
So the only ones left to think freely are the interested people in the free world who often are genuinly interested but not muslims, or those who have decided Islam is not for them after all.
What I resent is that the notion that all people who are interested in Islam, but not muslim themselves, are enemies of Islam. The notion that it is impossible that they study Islam but out of animosity, which is again the absolute ridgidness and intolerance of today’s Islam.

Actually there is a segment of muslims even now who reject the hadith completely and only allow the Quran to dictate their belief.

Moqreligion, The thing about atheists is that they are so very diverse. Most are completly uninterested in joining into religious debates and you will never even hear from them. some are interested in the philosophy and want to discuss.
But there are also some who do think they need to ”rescue people from their believes” and they can be as obnoxious as a religious person trying to bully you into ”believing”.
It takes all sorts you know!

28 10 2009

MoQ, There are over a billion Muslims. There will be some who are Muslim in name. There will be many who are violent. But most are ordinary people who go on about their ways and worship one God. Certainly every Muslim commenting here is a peaceful person who obeys God and loves their prophet.
Now I’m not saying that everyone should love the Prophet. What I am asking is for people to show respect for each other’s feelings. When we all know that no violent Muslim is commenting here why are we upsetting respectful Muslims? Honestly, has any Muslim on this post shown bad behavior?
Secondly, Quran is a book of Muslims and Muslims are examining it. There are numerous interpretations of the Quran. I have a whole collection on my computer which is interpreted by various ‘Quranists’ and each interpretation is different from the other. I agree that not all Muslims read these, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist or that people are not examining their faith.
Regarding the violence inherent in Muslims, I have a long theory for that as well but this is not the place for it.
About atheists, I believe they don’t have dogma but they do proselytize which actually makes many people consider them as a religious group. They proselytize by claiming to be of superior intelligence and in many, many instances I have personally observed that it is the less intelligent who get so impressed with that claim that they become atheists just join that circle of intellectual elite. I have friends and family who have done just that.
Historically, many early Muslims converted to Islam for the same reason. The Quran as well as the early Muslims urged people to ‘think’ and called all polytheists, the ‘uninformed’ aka stupid. Those who converted honestly believed that by converting overnight they had become enlightened and intelligent.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am Unitarian and accept atheistic belief just as valid as theistic belief. I just think that not even the most staunch atheists claim with absolute authority that there is no God. Even Dawkins says that as a scientist he knows that there is a possibility that there is a God but since he can’t prove His existence he will rather try to prove His non-existence.
Anyway, that is another argument altogether. What I meant in my previous comment was only to ask people to show respect. We can certainly condemn the practice of child marriages and even object to the Prophet’s marriage to Aisha but with respect. We can think aloud without hurting the sentiments of those who revere Muhammad as their Prophet. At least I believe that has a more profound effect and will get people thinking because attack only counters attack.

28 10 2009

Yes let’s get back to the subject. I think there should be room in Islam, to think, and to invedtigate. I for one do not believe that books and belief systems can span so many years without chnage. And of course Islam has changed and is changing too and so is the menaing muslims give to their dogmas.
It can’t be denied. We can see from history how the religion changed, how the Quran has been editted for political reasons or out of misunderstanding.
We can see through history how some nations formed a very different form of Islam as others.
In this frmawork discussioin about childmarriages is possible and should be adressed.

Achelois, but ther really are atheists who are really, totally, completely convinced that there is no god.
Dawkins makes a very small adjustment because he is a scientist and as a true honest scientist he can never be 100% until something has been 100% proven, which is impossible for something like the non-existance of God. But I do think from his writings and comments he is 99,9% sure.

28 10 2009
Save the Women

Mahmood Taha is a good example of the muslims willing to kill their brightest mind.
He was a sudanese muslim engineer and thinker and he got executed for his thinking.
Progressive ideas, or any ideas deviant from the offocial ”party-line” are so intolerable to muslim establishment today that the only option they know is to kill who ever dares to think.
People are to be slaves in mind as in body. Anybody who dares to break out will get killed.

I strongly suggest people read the link i provided.
This is what happens to people in the muslim world who dare to think, who dare to try and implement humanitarian values into an Islamic context.

With Saudi Wahhabism on the rise and infiltrating èvery muslim community fueled by petro-dollars, I am afraid tolerance and independent thinking are very far removed from any Islamic community now.

Muslims are mistaken if they think islam is a spiritual path. Any spirituality they feel about islam comes out of their own hearts, not from the doctrine.
Islam is, and has always been, a totalitarian dictatorial political system which does not brook any kind of opposition or freedom of thought. It’s goal is to enslave people’s minds and make them subservient to the leaders.
This is particularly obvious when it comes to women. The Islamic wahhabi scholars are very clear on this: women are subservient to men. This is most clear, in the most Islamically ruled country on earth. Saudi Arabia, which is under almost total control of the wahhabi scholarship.
In Saudi Arabia women are slaves from the moment they are born. Unless a mahram gives them freedom they have none. Unless a mahram allows medical treatment they will have none. Men can beat and kill women without being held accountable.
Women’s lives are of no account.
Girls have been chased into burning school and died because they could not get at their abayas in the rush for life. A black shroud is more important in Islam as a woman’s life.
An 8 year old girl can be married off against her will to an old man. Against her mother’s will. She does not get a divorce because it’s only the men’s will which counts.
This translates up in the hierarchy: as women are slaves to men, so are men slaves to the rulers and scholars. Islam insists on people being slaves of Allah, but what it amounts to is that they are to be slaves to the ruling classes, the dictators and the scholars.
Saudi Arabia, and the states ruled by the Taliban, are the ultimate nightmare: the ultimate hell on earth.

28 10 2009

‘What he did may seem immoral but because of him over a billion people worship ‘one’ God’

And billions more have DIED and are still dying, with no end in sight, because of him.

28 10 2009

The topic is ”child marriage”
No religion unless closely related to childmarriage, please dear friends.

28 10 2009

Aafke, I was talking to my Indian Hindu neighbour today about child marriages. She is 22 years old, married with two kids. Her mother got married when she was 12 and had her when she was 15. She is now 37 years old and a mother of 10 kids and grandmother of two!

In India child marriages are still quite normal in some areas and sometimes parents marry off two toddlers. Reasons she gave were:

1. To ensure girls don’t dishonour the family.
2. Perhaps if parents waited a good suitor may be lost.
3. To create family ties with friends – sooner the better.
4. To keep young men chaste by providing them a girl as soon as they hit puberty. Now if the boy is young he will get an even younger bride who may be just a child herself.
5. Young brides mean early pregnancy which gives women at least 3 decades to keep producing babies before menopause.
6. Younger mothers have more energy to look after and play with their children – they grow together!
7. Why wait when girls have to given in marriage some day.
8. Men demand less dowry from younger brides.

29 10 2009

Your Hindu friend is right,Achelois.But this happens more so in villages where girls are less educated and practically have no say in their future lives.I’m sure this happens in muslim households too.But I believe in a lesser extent.There’s more awareness now.

I talked to a muslim grandma(coincidence? 🙂 ) who hailed from India.She says a young child bride should only be married to a young groom otherwise how can the marriage have mutual understanding and love.And she says that such child marriages I speak of are in the minority particularly undertaken by poor families.

13 04 2010

These people must really be retards for marrying babes. This has nothing to do with religion. It is their out-dated thinking, education and logic.

13 04 2010

Mohammed, welcome to my blog.
Yes. Not retards, but pedophiles.
Heard the lastest? In KSA hospitalstaff were shocked when a 65 year old man infected with hepatitis wanted to marry a 12 year old. The parents of the twelve year old girl were anxious to get the tests done as soon as possible in order to deliver their poor daughter into the hands of the diseased child abuser.
Why would parents want their daughter to be raped, possibly killed in childbirth, and surely indected with an std by an old man???

14 04 2010

And just recently we heard a 12 year old bride die of internal bleeding 3 days after her marriage.

14 04 2010

I have written a post both about the poor girl whose destiny it apparently is to be married to an old man, and be infected with a deadly disease. Also the Yemeni girl, she was killed by the relentless rape of a man more then twice her age. But as he raped her under the guise of marriage there will be no punishment for him.

These crimes against humanity, against girls and women should stop!

27 04 2010
Magoichi Saika

We should all be careful not to get carried away by our emotions. Let us remember here that we are dealing with the culture of a people. Whether they be a small tribe or millions of people from different nations, we should respect their cultural differences (that means, no condemnation) even if it seems too “unusual” or “depraving” in our sense.

Why? Because, that’s that way they are! How would you feel if foreign cultures considered us “depraved” because we do not chop off the hands of robbers? You’d think they’re silly. Surprise! They think we’re silly too.

In my opinion, countries of a different culture should not intercede too much in the cultural affairs of other countries – even if it appears criminal. Because what is traditionally required in one culture may be criminal in the other and vice versa.

The best that you should do is not to aggresively change the ways of a cultural norm but instead influence it with yours – peacefully.

As to the the plight of these child brides, you should leave it to the evolution of their culture and – to some extent – your respectful diplomacy.

27 04 2010

I don’t agree. I do not like for evil deeds to slowly fade away. They don’t btw.
I have no respect for institutionalised childrape. I have no respect for pedophiles. I have no respect for parents who sell their little girl off to sexual slavery.

I can’t change a sick cultural norm in a country half the world away, but I can voice my opinion of it on my blog and respect doesn’t come into it.

And what is all this balderdash about ”culture”???
I was not writing about ”culture”, I was writing about the horrible plight of human beings.
Little girls are every bit as much a human being as you, I and men!

I wasn’t writing about a quaint cultural practise I was writing about the torturous death of a little girl!

And I have no respect for killing children.

27 04 2010

Magoichi Saika, What if those countries have joined the rest of the world and pledged to forego their primitive ‘culture’ and join the civilized world as a member of the United Nations? These child marriages violate the United Nations Human Rights Treaties.

27 04 2010

Saudi Arabia signed the Un charter with reservations: they wanted to become a member, but did not really want to give up their inhumane customs.
And Human rights clash too much with Sharia.

9 05 2010

it’s not fair it’s wrong this should’nt be happening .it’s not right. if girls are to get married at an early age then should’nt the boys be the same age as the girls to make it even? that would make it little fair. after marriage girls are not the property of their hushands .girls own themselves.girls are not toys or anything else.i think the goverment should say that if a girl is to get married it should be after the age of 18.

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