In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee alone do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Guide us in the right path. The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, Not the path of those who have gone astray (Qur’an 1: 1 – 7). The Holy Qur’an Baqarah 2:129 says, “Our Lord! send amongst them an Apostle of their own who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom and sanctify them; for Thou art the Exalted in Might the Wise.”

Islam has prescribed certain measures to make the marital bond as permanent as humanly possible. The parties entering into marriage must strive to meet the conditions of proper age of puberty, general compatibility, reasonable dowry, goodwill (Qur’an 4:6). The Holy Qur’an 2:222-223 admonishes to have our wife as consorts, “They ask thee concerning women’s courses. Say: They are a hurt and pollution; so, keep away from women in their courses and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves ye may approach them in any manner time or place ordained for you by God. For God loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. Your wives are as a tilt unto you; so, approach your tilt when or how ye will. But do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear God and know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter) and give (these) good tidings to those who believe”.

Reaching the age of puberty as a condition of marriage in Islam is crucial, as the religion of Peace is against underage marriage. The Holy Qur’an, Nisaa, 4:6 says, “Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgment in them release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully nor in haste against their growing up. If the guardian is well-off let him claim no remuneration but if he is poor let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. When ye release their property to them take witnesses in their presence: but all-sufficient is God in taking account”. As Holy Quran is the first source of authority or law in Islam; followed by Hadith and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW); Consensus of Islamic Scholars (Ijma’); and the concept of analogical reasoning (Qiyas), it is contradictory and sophistry for any Hadith to contradict Holy Qur’an on the age of puberty for anybody to engage in marriage.

Thus, these Hadith claiming that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) married Aisha at the age of six, and came to his house at the age of nine should be considered fake as it contradicts the Holy Qur’an (Qur’an 4:6). “'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old. Also fake is the following Hadith that must be jettisoned: 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he 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”.

A Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) gives the most important condition in a marriage, “'Uqba b. Amir (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The worthiest condition which must be fulfilled is that which makes sexual intercourse lawful. In the narration transmitted by Ibn Muthanna (instead of the word "condition") it is "conditions". Another major condition is consent and acceptance of the spouse. A Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says, “'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) about a virgin whose marriage is solemnized by her guardian, whether it was necessary or not to consult her. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Yes, she must be consulted. 'A'isha reported: I told him that she feels shy, whereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Her silence implies her consent”. Also, Sufyan reported on the basis of the same chain of transmitters (and the words are): A woman who has been previously married (Thayyib) has more right to her person than her guardian; and a virgin's father must ask her consent from her, her consent being her silence, at times he said: Her silence is her affirmation”.

Indeed, Islam does not regard marriage as a union only for the gratification of conjugal lust, but a social contract with wide and varied responsibilities and duties. The reason behind it is that, according to the Divine Faith, a woman is not a plaything in the hand of man, but a spiritual and moral being who is entrusted to him on the sacred pledge to which Allah is made a witness. The wife is, therefore, not meant to provide sensuous pleasure only to the male, but to fully co-operate with him in making the life of the family and ultimately of the whole humanity significantly meaningful.

The Holy Qur'an has in so many verses pointed out the different purposes of marriage. It states: "And of His signs is that He has created wives for you from yourselves that you might find quiet of wind in them, and He put between you love and affection" (Qur’an 30:21). In this verse it has been said that the female is not inferior to the male in the sense that the former is created out of a superior stuff while the latter comes of a base origin. Both man and woman are the progeny of Adam and thus both have the same soul. The purpose of marriage, according to the Holy Qur'an, is therefore, the union of the two souls which are one in essence. Their separate existence is an unnatural state of their being which changes into the natural state when they are united by marriage and thus are brought close to each other physically, mentally and emotionally. May Almighty Allah Guide us and our communities aright in our marriages, Ameen.

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