Canada: Imam says 50-year-old man marrying 9-year-old girl is “legitimate” in Islam
Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, a Canadian Muslim scholar and Imam and the Chancellor of the Islamic Online University , sees no wrong in the marriage between Mohammad and Aisha. In a lecture few years ago, Bilal Philips explained that Islam defines puberty, meaning menstruation and capability of bearing a child, as the dividing line between childhood and maturity.
According to two hadiths in Bukhari about 54-year-old Muhammad and 9-year-old Aisha:
“It is reported from Aisha that she said: The Prophet entered into marriage with me when I was a girl of six … and at the time [of joining his household] I was a girl of nine years of age.”
“Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed [alone] for two years or so. He married Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consummated that marriage when she was nine years old.”
Debates and heated arguments are ongoing about what age Aisha was when Muhammad actually consummated his marriage with her, but it is plain from these hadith, the earliest and most reliable available sources, that it is mainstream belief in Islam to hold that Muhammad did marry Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine. Many Muslims invoke Muhammad’s example to justify raping children as a religious right, but Westerners are terrified to discuss these facts and their implications. To try to justify this or explain it away does no good to the female victims of incalculable human rights abuses that are justified under an Islamic banner.
The likes of Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips are given open forums with reprieves from feminists and so-called human rights advocates in the West. The fear of confronting this openly is revolting, and all the while those who do point out the truth are branded “Islamophobes.” Even worse, leaders who have the responsibility to protect innocents are aiding the perpetrators in the name of political correctness:
Police investigate alleged hate crime after flyers depicting Mohammad deflowering 9-year-old Aisha were sent in October 2016 to mailboxes in Edmonton, Alberta.
“Canadian Imam: 50 year old man marrying 9 year old girl is “legitimate” in Islam”, by Jonathan Halevi, CiJ News, October 30, 2016:
Police investigate alleged hate crime after flyers depicting Mohammad deflowering 9-year-old Aisha were sent in October 2016 to mailboxes in Edmonton, Alberta.
CIJnews was told that the Crown Prosecutor believes that the this flyer meets the criteria of a hate crime, among other things because of its pornographic content.
Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, a Canadian Muslim scholar and Imam and the Chancellor of the Islamic Online University , sees no wrong in the marriage between Mohammad and Aisha. In a lecture few years ago, Bilal Philips explained that Islam defines puberty, meaning menstruation and capability of bearing a child, as the dividing line between childhood and maturity. He claimed that 1400 years ago 9-year-old girls were more mature than children today and life was much shorter. However, he maintained that marrying a matured 9-year-old girl remains legitimate. “If a Muslim man in his 50s, even today, wanted to marry a young woman who was 9 or 10, she reached puberty, it is legitimate,” he said.
The following is a transcript of Bilal Philip’s lecture:
“So what is the way in which we should understand this? First and foremost, it is important for us to understand it within, you know, the context of the time, that in these times people have set laws in terms of what ages people can marry at, and what ages they can’t.
“They have set a certain set of laws where if one has relations with a woman who is, or a young lady, who is below a certain age then they will consider that to be paedophilia, and if she is a above that age that is considered to be, and it is consensual, consensual sex, was OK.
“The point is that when you go and look at the numbers across Europe, you’ll find that it varies from country to country, varying all the way from 12 to 18 to just depends on which country you go to, from France to Germany to Netherlands to Italy to Spain. You know you’re going around those different countries you’ll find the numbers varying from 12 to 18. So what may be considered acceptable relations in one country is considered to be paedophilia in another country. So they have numbers and they have set to define where consensual sex is acceptable or not.
“For us and Islam we have a natural principle, a natural dividing line, which is for a woman to be considered an adult or that she may be married and have sexual relations etc. that dividing line is puberty. That is a natural dividing line. Puberty is the body saying that that young lady is now capable of bearing a child. That’s what puberty is about for females, menstruation.
“So whether one, in this society, considers that person still to be a child or not, that’s not the issue. The issue is that biologically, she is now an adult capable of bearing a child.
“That is the bottom line and it’s a natural division, and that will take into account variations which exist amongst people, amongst tribes, areas of the world etc., because you’ll find that number varied.
“In Arabia, 9 was a common age for puberty, other countries it varied. So that was the point. This was the dividing line.
“When we’re talking about paedophilia, what is paedophilia anyway? Is paedophilia really adults going and marrying children? No.
“The paedophiles who are coming out of Britain and Germany, this is the most largest body of paedophiles, and the US, you know, going into Southeast Asia, to Thailand, to Sri Lanka, the Philippines, these countries where people are in poverty, right? and where you know young children have sold themselves, so sell their bodies to earn money, and where parents will be willing to sell their children for money.
“These people who go there, they’re going to marry these kids? No, They’re going there to abuse them, just to take pleasures and then leave. So it’s not about marriage at all.
“So when we look in terms of the Prophet’s [Mohammad], peace be upon him [PBUH], situation, this was marriage.
“So one, we have a natural dividing line – puberty. Two – we have the issue of whether it was marriage or whether it was sexual abuse.
“And when we consider really 1400 years ago what were the ages in which people are considered to be marriageable or not, I’m sure, I’m not, I haven’t studied British history or not, but I’m sure if you go back in British history 1400 years ago, and look at that marriage customs of that time, it’s not going to be any different. So he would end up having to go back and label the British kings as paedophiles and all other kind of things too.
“The point is that in the world at that time, they didn’t have, they had not set these old ages that we now find 18 and 16 and 18, this type of thing, as they have here today. People matured faster and life was shorter. You know if you made it to 50 you know you’re an old, really an old person, you know, this you’ve lived your life out.
“People died 35 as an old person, 35, 40, you died then you died ad an old person. So life was, people developed much faster. As soon as the child reached a certain age they were taught the basic things that a person should know how to run a family, take care of a home, cook and all the different things that were needed, children learned that. What we call children today learned that.
“So where today you can find a woman in her 20s studying in University, she still does not how to cook, she can’t iron, you know, she’s basically a baby, so going to university, I mean, there is something in those days that is inconceivable.
“So the attitude of society towards responsibility and all this kind of thing have changed. Consider Usama ibn Zayd, whom the Prophet PBUH made the head, military commander for the Muslim armies, 17 years old. Imagine putting you know 17 year old the head of the Pentagon, you know, he’s got his finger, he can press any button and send missiles all over the world. Hey, we would be in World War 3 in a minute, right?
“So we know that, there was a whole different level of maturity, people matured at a whole different pace. So we always have to look at these things within the context.
“And then we look at the consequences. People who have suffered from paedophilia in childhood. What about those people when they reach adulthood? These people have problems. They’ve got psychological problems. They’re going to psychiatrists and you know, they’ve got all kinds of.
Who was Aisha [9-year-old girl who was married to Mohammad, the founder and prophet of Islam]? Aisha was one of the leading scholars of the Ummah [Islamic nation], the fourth most prolific narrator of hadith [narrations attributed to Mohammad and his way of life and rulings], you know. Scholar of Sharia [Islamic Law], honored by the Ummah [Islamic nation].
“She was the person with you know psychological problems and all these kind of things and her life was shattered? No.
“So obviously, that whole marriage situation was a legitimate marriage. It had nothing to do with paedophilia in any way shape or form. It was a legitimate marriage which produced you know positive and good results. And it was a marriage of that time.
“But it remains legitimate, that if a Muslim man in his 50s, even today, wanted to marry a young woman who was 9 or 10, she reached puberty, it is legitimate.
“The fact that the world is not doing it, and most places people are not doing it, it doesn’t mean that it no longer is permissible. No. It remains.
“And in some societies, I know for example in India, though you know the whole issue of what they call child marriages, they tried to ban it. It is officially illegal, but they have shown that well over 50 percent of marriages taking place in India today, in spite of the banning and everything else, the girls are marrying under age what they consider to be underage, it is like 16.”
In one of his lectures (Published on YouTube on June 11, 2015), Bilal Philips addressed the “consequences of delaying in Marriage.” He argued the delaying the marriage bring about moral corruption, such as pornography, masturbation, lesbianism and homosexuality. The following is the transcript of Bilal Philips’ lecture:
“Here in our lives where this attitude of time, spare time, we have time, you don’t need to do this now, is the area of marriage. Young people when they reach the age of marriage. Parents are saying to them. Don’t get married, no. Wait, finish your studies and. Wait until you’ve got a job and you earned enough and you can build this thing and that, yeah, that’s the time. So that doesn’t happen until you are in your thirties. Right? That may be ok for the man. But for the woman it becomes a problem.
“It becomes a problem. Delaying Marriage. And the Prophet [Mohammad] peace be upon him told us: يا معشر الشباب من استطاع منكم الباءة فليتزوج O young people who ever among you are able should get married.
“He said get married young. Get married young and we delay. So what happens? Those years, which are the most critical years, the years in which hormones are flowing, desires are strong. We tell them don’t get married.
“So what happens? People just turn it off and say ok. Turn off the desires, I’ll carry on. No. They end up in corruption. Either they’re watching, you know, pornographic stuff, which they shouldn’t be watching the channels etc. Now that these things are all available in this society or they engage, get caught up in masturbation or something like this, whatever they’re going end up doing things that they don’t need to be doing things, which are harmful to them. harmful to the society.
“That’s the consequence. Once we delay it brings in corruption. Worse than that, you end up with lesbianism, homosexuality gets born out of those circumstances.
“So the harm is great. We should marry young. We should marry our children young. And just so that you don’t think he’s saying that. It’s easy for him to say that. You know, my son was 16 years old, I got him married at 16. His wife was 18.
“They now have 6 kids, live in Dubai. Having a happy life. A good life God Willing (انشالله). My other son who just turned 17, he’s going to get married in August, God Willing, his wife is 15. So it can be done.
“You know who am I, you know, I‘m a convert Muslim. When I was studying in [the City of] Madeenah, I met one brother. Saudi in Madeenah. He had gotten married when he was 3 years old. I was shocked, 3 years old. Yeah, he got married [when] his wife was 2 and he was 3. Yeah. Not a problem. Praise be to Allah [الحَمْد لله] they are happily married, have bunch of kids and, you know, sure.
“When the Prophet [Mohammad] peace be upon him said, marry young and have a lot of kids, you see, he has all the opportunity. I mean you’ll be able to to to play with your great grandchildren, you know, you would not be so old you can’t even, you know, you’re lying on the bed all you can do is look at them and you can actually go and play with them, your great grandchildren.
“So, Praise be to Allah, I’m not going to say that you have to go and do that with your kids now, but I‘m just saying that you know, it works. There’s no harm in it in fact it prevents corruption and prevents corruption.”
In his book “Contemporary Issues” from 2002, which was accessible for downloading in the online library of the website Muslims of Calgary, Bilal Philips among other things justified the rationale of early marriage in Islam.
The following are excerpts from Bilal Philips’ book:
“The Prophet (PBUH) has been accused of being a pedophile due his marriage to Aa’ishah at the age of 9…
“3. Islam 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 discernible and not arbitrary…
“5. Islam 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 (PBUH) and she came to live with him when she reached puberty at nine…”
Canadian Imam: Muslim girls are eligible for marriage at the age of 8 years and 9 months
Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, the Imam of the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto and the Jaffari Islmic Centre in Thornhill Woods, discusses in his book “Marriage and Morals in Islam” the Islamic law and rulings regarding to the age of puberty and early marriage.
The followings are excerpts from chapter three “The Islamic Sexual Morality (2) Its Structure”:
“Sexual desire is aroused in human beings at the age of puberty. In Islamic legal definition puberty (bulugh) is determined by one of the following: 1. age: fifteen lunar years for boys and nine lunar years for girls…”
“Since the sexual urge begins at puberty and as Islam says that sexual urge should be fulfilled only through marriage, it has allowed marriage as soon as the boy and the girl reach the age of puberty. In the case of girls, it not only allows them to be married as soon as they become mature, but also recommends such marriage. It is based on such teachings that Islam discourages girls from postponing their marriage because of education; instead, it says that girls should get married and then continue their education if they wish to do so.”
“Physical maturity by itself, however, is not enough for a person to handle the marriage responsibilities; rushd (maturity of mind) is equally important…”
“If a person does not marry soon after maturing and finds it difficult to control his or her sexual desire, then the only way to fulfill the sexual desire is mut’a.”
“In Islamic laws, according to the Shi’ah fiqh, marriage is of two types: da’im, permanent and munqati’, temporary. The munqati’ marriage is also known as mut’a…”
“I cannot overemphasize the temporary nature of mut’a. The message of Islam is quite clear: marry on a permanent basis; if that is not possible, then adopt temporary abstinence; if that is not possible, only then use the mut’a marriage.”
Nine years in lunar year, the minimum age according Islam for girl to marry, is in fact 8 years and nine months in solar year, as the lunar year is shorter by 11-12 days of the solar year.
These Islamic rulings regarding the age of puberty are being taught in Islamic schools in North America. For instance, the textbook for 7 Grade students of the Islamic Shia Study Centre West Madrasah (ISSC) in Brampton, Ontario explains the definition of puberty in Islam, and consequently the duties (wajib) applicable to all mature males and females.
The following is an excerpt from “Lesson 6 Gender-Specific (for Girls)” appears on page 100 of the aforementioned textbook which also appeared on the site of :
“Signs of Bulugh
As boys and girls grow into men and women, they change physically and emotionally. This age of maturity is also called the age of puberty (or bulugh in Arabic). Boys mature (become bāligh) closer to the ages of 13-15 years. Girls mature earlier and in Islām are considered to be bāligha from the age of 9 (i.e. on her 9th Islāmic birthday).