What is the minimum marriageable age of a little girl?
What is the minimum marriageable age of a little girl? In some Sharia governed countries, they legislate new legal regulations to reduce the marriage age limit to 9 years old. Is it allowed to marry with a little girl in 9 years old ?

Infants or young children cannot be married. It is not enough to reach the age of puberty, but to the age of maturity [mental development – rushd] for marriage according to Qur’an. There could be different age limitations because, maturity may vary regionally and by era; but a child who is 9 years old would clearly not be in the age of maturity.

In the 6th verse of Surah An-Nisa, the Glorified Allah commands:

“Test the orphans until they reach marriageable age. Then if you perceive in them sound judgement (rushd), release their property to them. Do not consume their property excessively and quickly, that they will grow up and take it back. And (the guardian) who is rich should behave honestly (by not spending their wealth); and who is poor should spend only as much as is fair. Then when you release their property to them, bring witnesses upon them. Allah is sufficient to call to account.” (An-Nisa/ The Women 4:6)

And the previous verses are:

“And give orphans their properties, and do not substitute the bad for the good. And do not consume their properties by combining them with yours, for that would be a serious sin.
If you fear that you might not treat the orphans justly, then marry the women you like: two, or three, or four. If you fear that you will not be able to treat them justly, then marry (only) one, or marry from among those under your guardianship. This will make it more likely that you will avoid injustice.”
(An-Nisa/ The Women 4:2-3)

The verse 2 commands the guardians to give their property to the orphans. The 3rd verse shows that the orphans that are subject to marriage are those very orphans who received their properties. The 6th verse commands the guardians to test the orphans until they reach the marriageable age, and release their property to them when they have sound judgment (maturity/rushd). The verse 6:152 also commands the guardians to manage the orphans’ wealth in the best way, until they are given to them:

“And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best [intending improvement] until he reaches maturity [mental development]. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not impose upon anybody a duty but to the extent of its ability. And when you speak be just, even if [it concerns] a near kin. And the covenant of God fulfill. That then He has charged you with; haply you will remember.” (Al-An’am/The Cattle 6:152)

As a part of marriage in Islam, the husband must give mehr, which is some properties or money, directly to his wife:

“And give the women (on marriage) their mehr (properties/gifts) generously.” (An-Nisa/The Women 4:4)

So, the girl that will marry must have the abilitiy to receive and manage those properties, which will be a part of her wealth. That means, the girl to marry must have reached her rushd, gained maturity, according to 4:6.

Evaluating the 2nd and 6th verses of chapter An-Nisa together with the verse above concludes that the orphans who will receive their properties would be those in marriage age those who have matured; i.e. mentally developed. So, reaching the age of maturity is also nesseccary for marriage.

Maturity period starts by passing the age of puberty, but can vary for everyone. For example; the person “A” may have entered the age of puberty, at the same time as “age of maturity” but the person “B” may have not reached the “age of maturity” although  a few years had passed after puberty. The parents or the guardian will decide whether the person is at the marriageable age or not. Therefore our religion declares that it is not allowed to marry without the permission of guardian and also declares null and void these kinds of marriages.

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Date: Apr 20, 2016
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