Question and answer details
|Why do women in Muslim communities seem to marry quickly through great pressure from the parents? This is for main two reasons, that the man who has proposed has great morals and a good financial position. Then what happened to love? If men really have great morals, how do they look at marriage of girls at the age of 14, 13 and even 12? Why doesn’t the community allow the child to enjoy her life? Also, in my last visit to an Arab country, I heard of many divorces through the court saying that today women in Muslim communities are not given their right. For example, a teenager girl is not allowed to go out alone, except with one of her relatives being with her. That is due to the fear of being raped.|
|Amani Aboul Fadl Farag|
Salam Dear Jonny,
I need to thank you for your question, but I think you have confused many different types of marriages: girl child marriage (12-13 years old), quick marriage, forced marriage, pragmatic marriage without love (for money), and early marriage. And you held Islam responsible for them all!
In India, for example, both Muslim and Hindu girls marry at the age of ten and below; in some Egyptian rural areas it is the custom of both Muslim and Orthodox Christian parents to marry their girls below fifteen, and the same applies to girls in desert areas such as the Arab Peninsula.
But in most urban places all over the Muslim world and among Muslim minorities in Western societies, the established norm for girls is to get married after higher education above the age of twenty.
I myself, as an active member of many women’s NGOs, have participated in a lot of seminars and workshops discussing how to get out of this crises and how to help the youth out, financially or otherwise, to be able to get married.
Both sociologists and psychologists are working hard to investigate the causes of the crisis, which has pushed the age of marriage up to over 28 in most Islamic societies.
In a story from the life of our Prophet—whose instructions are the second main source of law after the Noble Book of the Quran—it is reported that a young woman came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and complained that her father had given her in marriage to a man without her consent. Here, the Prophet (peace be upon him) annulled her marriage.
Till this day, the girl's opinion should be heard by the one who registers the marriage contracts. Otherwise, he doesn't register the contract.
Contradictory enough, the latter Declaration of 2002 recognizes those children's emotional and physical needs and allows them to hold premarital relations under the protection of the government and if a pregnancy takes place it is called a teenage pregnancy.
The physical and emotional needs of young men and women of this age should be respected if they need to express them.
Thus, the only way for adults (those who have reached puberty) to satisfy such needs is to get married according to their own personal choice and with the blessing of the family and the whole society and to have legitimate children.