Quran 65:1 Marriage with Underage Girls?

O Prophet, when you [and the believers] divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed waiting-period and count the waiting period accurately . . . 4 And if you are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to those who have not menstruated as yet. As for pregnant women, their period ends when they have delivered their burden. 

 

Critics of Islam say that the verse “those who have not menstruated yet,” refers to underage girls, and therefore Quran allows marriage with girls who have not gone through puberty.

That is a complete misinterpretation of Quran. What Quran is referring to is not underage girls but women who stop menstruating for some medical reason, which is not uncommon. The condition is called functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, a disorder characterized by the failure to menstruate. It is thought to be caused by abnormal activity of many hormones, the condition is also related to metabolic imbalances and stress.

Also, there are now drugs which can stop menstruation.

The reason that it does not apply to underage girls is that there are Hadiths which suggest that a girl should have reached puberty before marriage. Child marriages in Arabia have also been rare. The controversy came about because of Ayesha, but now modern research shows that she must have been 18 at the time of her marriage, if other Hadiths about her and about her sister are correct. Iraqi and Iranians, who wrote much of the Hadith literature, reduced her age in Hadith literature because of another controversy: she kept figurines which only underage girls were allowed to have for fear of idolatry. See my web page, “Ayesha’s Age.”

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8 thoughts on “Quran 65:1 Marriage with Underage Girls?

  1. Luke Beparry December 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm Reply

    What? Maybe your response would make sense if the statement was “those who have stopped menstruating” but this is not the case. What is stated is “those who have not menstruated as yet,” yet being the keyword here. This means that menstruation has not yet occurred, meaning they would be prepubescent. So this passage condones the marriage of prepubescent girls as long as you wait a period of 3 months?

    • sincereadvisor December 17, 2012 at 4:31 am Reply

      The word “yet” is not in the Quran but refers to the second or third menstrual cycle, which in this case had not yet come about due to some reason. I left it in my original quote to answer the controversy. Keep in mind that Quran is referring to the waiting period of divorce, which is typically 3 menstrual cycles, after which the divorce becomes final. Here Quran is referring to a case where the woman perhaps had one or two menstrual cycles but missed the third one (even though she’s not pregnant). So even though she still hasn’t had her third period yet, by the third month the divorce still becomes final. In other words, a woman cannot prolong the divorce period by not having a menstrual cycle. Do you now understand?

  2. Neil March 28, 2013 at 10:31 am Reply

    Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them. The two forms are:

    Taqiyya – Saying something that isn’t true.

    Kitman – Lying by omission. An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills “it shall be as if he had killed all mankind”) while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of “corruption” and “mischief.”

    In short … the muslims keep lying to others … no matter what … and you are going to delete this post … cause you will get exposed … hahahahaha

    • sincereadvisor April 8, 2013 at 2:29 am Reply

      First of all, I apologize for replying late. I have been busy with other matters and neglecting this web site. I am not sure how your comment is related to this specific page, but I will answer it anyway. The next two verses say:
      “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” The word that is used here is “fitna” which is translated as “corruption,” “mischief,” or “starting trouble.” But in this context it essentially means terrorism, or doing something so evil that it can kill or destroy the lives of many, if not entire harm the entire nation. So the punishment is one of three things:

      1. Killed or crucified.
      2. Hands or feet be cut off from opposite sides.
      3. Expulsion from the country

      So any one of these three punishments can be applied. Western countries are already applying No. 1 [killing terrorism suspects by drones] in foreign countries, without a trial (which Islam would be against), so you should have no objection that one. No. 3 is fairly harmless. So, I guess it’s No. 2 that’s truly bothering you. I agree that is harsh, but the punishment is in lieu of life imprisonment with complete freedom and forgiveness thereafter, which can actually be less cruel than life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Both Jewish and Muslim scholars now believe in “equivalent punishments.” If it makes you feel better, you may read it as life imprisonment. BUT the last verse, is much more humane than any ANY Western law. It calls for complete forgiveness if a person had already repented prior to arrest. [We are still chasing Nazi death camp guards, whether they have repented or not!] And it also says, “And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful,” which is Quranic way of saying, “be kind, and forgive,” because God is Kind and Merciful.

      We live in a Western culture where forgiveness is hard to come by. Even when a criminal has paid the price with his or her life, people do not forgive him or her. If your intent was to portray God as cruel, I think it’s the opposite. Harsh punishments in Quran are balanced by commandments to forgive and to show mercy.

  3. Herman January 17, 2014 at 9:32 pm Reply

    First of all, in case anyone ever wanted to look it up, with regards to the divorce of pre-menarche females the “controversial verse is technically NOT Koran 65:1

    65:1 O Prophet! When ye (men) put away women, put them away for their (legal) period and reckon the period, and keep your duty to Allah, your Lord. Expel them not from their houses nor let them go forth unless they commit open immorality. Such are the limits (imposed by) Allah; and whoso transgresseth Allah’s limits, he verily wrongeth his soul. Thou knowest not: it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass

    but is instead Koran 65:4

    65:4 And if you are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to those who have not menstruated as yet.

    But knowing 65:1 is necessary to understand that the “period of waiting” in 65:4 refers to that necessary after divorce, the topic of 65:1. (so a better title would have been “Quran 65:1-4 Marriage with Underage Girls?”)

    Second of all, numerous tafsirs (“explanations”) and hadiths have interpreted 65:4 as “those who have not menstruated “YET.” (i.e. female children) INDEED, EVEN SINCEEADVISOR’S TRANSLATION HAS “YET” IN IT.
    But though this seemingly has been the majority opinion regarding the verse’s meaning (and even the opinion of Islamonline) nowadays, some Muslim apologists wishing to salvage their antiquated religion try their best to interpret it differently. What needs to be asked of these apologists is “Don’t you believe that Muhammad would fail to come up with rules for the divorce of six-year olds, considering that the Sahih Bukhari & Muslim hadiths record him marrying one?”

  4. Melanie Dodge February 23, 2014 at 5:03 am Reply

    The verse is simply saying that a husband must not have sex with a wife who is or may be carrying a child that is not his own and that he must respect that distance through the use of a waiting period in order to ensure that any child born to him is actually his.

    If a man had sex on his wedding night and she delivered 7 months later, it could be unclear to him whether the child was simply premature or was not actually his offspring. But a child who was born 3 months premature would be very obviously underdeveloped and extremely unlikely to survive, meaning that if it was not that the child was not a direct result of his interaction with her, making that child ineligible or lower in line for certain privileges.

    To clarify the waiting periods the verse continues saying that, if the male married a pregnant female, he must wait until she delivers before consummating his marriage to her. If he married one whose cycle has stopped, he must wait three months to be sure she is not pregnant. If he married one whose cycle has not started the waiting period is still three months, just in case she may have become pregnant on her first cycle.

    It is worth noting that some girls are very physically active which can delay puberty significantly. Many female athletes don’t have a cycle until they are legal adults and even just highly active girls are often put on hormone therapy in order to jump-start the process once the natural window for puberty has been missed. Other females are on birth-control or hormone-controlling medications which can mask or even eliminate cycles after they start. And some inactive females can have medical conditions that prevent them from having cycles. Everyone is a little different.

    I don’t think that the verse is meant to condone prepubescent marriage. It is simply meant to cover every situation. So unless a new wife can prove that she is not pregnant, the husband should observe the prescribed waiting period.

    • sincereadvisor March 5, 2014 at 3:40 am Reply

      So we agree? Correct?

      • Herman March 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

        Well, there is a simple way to try to resolve if you and Melanie are in agreement and are also correct in your interpretation. Let us ask Allah: “Allah, are Melanie and Sincereadvisor in agreement, and do they intepret Koran 65:1 to 4 correctly?”

        NO ANSWER.

        Sincereadvisor, your “Allah” is not really all that helpful, is he?

        You believe, sincereadvisor, that Allah has instructions that he wants each person to follow. Fine then. Please explain why it makes more sense to give these instructions to one person living 1,400 years ago then to give these instructions DIRECTLY TO EVERYONE RIGHT NOW. Can you please do that?

        If allah gave these instructions to everyone right now, how many would remain disbelievers compared to how many are disbelievers right now? What do you think?

        I think your allah wants to burn many people in hell-fire. He’s a sadist. Now what do you think about that?

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