Muhammad's Nuptial Example To Be Law In Egypt?

Andrew Bostom
One of Ayatollah Khomeini's early actions after toppling Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and seizing power, was lowering the marriage age in Iran as per these canonical hadith:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:

Narrated 'Ursa: The Prophet 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 Muslim Book 008 Number 3311

'Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (May peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and she was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.

Time Magazine reported in November, 2001:

In Iran the legal age for marriage is nine for girls, 14 for boys. The law has occasionally been exploited by pedophiles, who marry poor young girls from the provinces, use and then abandon them.

These practices are sanctioned as per article 1041 of "The Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran":

Marriage before puberty [i.e., before "nine lunar years" for girls, p. 118] by the permission of the Guardian and on condition of taking into consideration the ward's interest is proper. (p. 103)

Indeed, as the late David Littman observed in 2010, when a bill was introduced to the Iranian Parliament attempting to raise the marriage age for young girls from 9 to 15 years it was overruled by the ruling mullahcracy. They stipulated it would be against Islamic teachings to alter the law as "Islamic scholars had put a lot of efforts into these laws," notably, invoking Muhammad's example. "Thus," as Littman aptly concluded, "making it sacrosanct for the mullahs."

Now we learn the traditionalist Muslim ascension to power in Egypt, epitomized by the popularly elected Constituent Assembly is considering the same course of action. Specifically, statements have been made by the body in the Constituent Assembly designated to write Egypt's new constitution regarding,

...the possibility of sanctioning marriage of sexually mature girls even if they were at the age of nine.

Egypt's The National Council for Women (NCW) reportedly lamented this discussion, but conceded it was a popular expression

... of outdated traditions still prevailing in the Egyptian society.

One of Ayatollah Khomeini's early actions after toppling Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and seizing power, was lowering the marriage age in Iran as per these canonical hadith:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:

Narrated 'Ursa: The Prophet 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 Muslim Book 008 Number 3311

'Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (May peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and she was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.

Time Magazine reported in November, 2001:

In Iran the legal age for marriage is nine for girls, 14 for boys. The law has occasionally been exploited by pedophiles, who marry poor young girls from the provinces, use and then abandon them.

These practices are sanctioned as per article 1041 of "The Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran":

Marriage before puberty [i.e., before "nine lunar years" for girls, p. 118] by the permission of the Guardian and on condition of taking into consideration the ward's interest is proper. (p. 103)

Indeed, as the late David Littman observed in 2010, when a bill was introduced to the Iranian Parliament attempting to raise the marriage age for young girls from 9 to 15 years it was overruled by the ruling mullahcracy. They stipulated it would be against Islamic teachings to alter the law as "Islamic scholars had put a lot of efforts into these laws," notably, invoking Muhammad's example. "Thus," as Littman aptly concluded, "making it sacrosanct for the mullahs."

Now we learn the traditionalist Muslim ascension to power in Egypt, epitomized by the popularly elected Constituent Assembly is considering the same course of action. Specifically, statements have been made by the body in the Constituent Assembly designated to write Egypt's new constitution regarding,

...the possibility of sanctioning marriage of sexually mature girls even if they were at the age of nine.

Egypt's The National Council for Women (NCW) reportedly lamented this discussion, but conceded it was a popular expression

... of outdated traditions still prevailing in the Egyptian society.