Friday, December 12, 2008

Imam Calif Chronicles (Part V): Is Mufa'kathat (Thighing of Pre-Pubesant Wives) Condoned by Islam (part II)?


(Again, I we have our special guest Imam, brother Calif Namazifard bringing his unchallenged knowlege of Islam to the readers of this blog)

Next I would like to examine the aspect of sexual contact with wives who are under the age of puberty as it relates to the Quran and the Hadith. First, let us look at a particular Hadtih, Mohammad (pbuh) and 6-year-old Aisha:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Number 18:
Narrated 'Ursa: The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry."

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Number 88:
Narrated 'Ursa: Mohammed (p.b.u.h.) The Prophet (when He was 53 years old) wrote the marriage contract with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Number 151:
Narrated 'Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter they used to hide themselves.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 17:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: When I got married, Allah's Apostle said to me, "What type of lady have you married?" I replied, "I have married a matron' He said, "Why, don't you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?" Jabir also said: Allah's Apostle said, "Why didn't you marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you?'

I want to focus on the last Hadith I posted. Here, the Prophet (pbuh), is encoruageing Jabir to consider how "fondling" (mufa'kathat), young girls, is as good or perhaps better than having intercourse with full grown women. Clearly, Mohammad (pbuh), considered child marriage, not only to be legal, but preferable.

The concept is that the younger a girl becomes bonded with her husband, the more they will bonded together as husband and wife. It is clear from the reading of all of the relevant hadiths that Aisha was, over all, Mohammads favorite wife and the one closest to him. Likewise, early marriage is a good thing and beneficial to a long term relationship.

Now let is look at the situation from the
Quranic perspective:

Normally, there is a waiting period for a divorced woman, (in case she may be pregnant), before she can remarry. The Quran waives this waiting period or "Iddat" if the girl has not yet reached puberty - (her montly ovulation cycle):

{ وَٱللاَّئِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ ٱلْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ إِنِ ٱرْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلاَثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَٱللاَّئِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ وَأُوْلاَتُ ٱلأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْراً }

(And for such of your women as despair of menstruation) because of old age, (if ye doubt) about their waiting period, (their period (of waiting) shall be three months) upon which another man asked:
“O Messenger of Allah! What about the waiting period of those who do not have menstruation because they are too young?” (along with those who have it not) because of young age, their waiting period is three months. 

Another man asked: “what is the waiting period for those women who are pregnant?” (And for those with child) i.e. those who are pregnant, (their period) their waiting period (shall be till they bring forth their burden) their child. (And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah) and whoever fears Allah regarding what he commands him, (He maketh his course easy for him) He makes his matter easy; and it is also said this means: He will help him to worship Him well.

Allah knows best. 

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