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Iran: 850,000 girls married under the age of 10.

Sharia in action in Iran: 850,000 girls under age 10 are married

"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)." -- Bukhari 7.62.88

Muslims take this seriously and imitate Muhammad in this. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: "Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed."

The Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl "a divine blessing," and advised the faithful: "Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house."

The Qur'an also allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65:4).

"Gender and Society In Iran – Part 1: The Debate Over Child Marriage, Including Child Brides Wed To Adult Men," by Y. Mansharof and A. Savyon for MEMRI, April 24:

...Under Iranian law, girls may marry at 13 and boys at 15, and children under 10 may marry with the approval of their guardian and the court.[1]According to official statistics, about one million children, even under age 10, are married. The statistics also show that 85% of these one million married children are girls – meaning that most of them are married to grown men.[2]

Child Marriage Is Growing, And Poses Great Risk To Society – But It's Permitted By Islamic Law

Public figures – sociologists, Majlis members, activists, and others – have warned that the number of children marrying is on the rise, and with it the great health and social risks this poses for society, and have called on the regime to tackle it with legal and cultural reforms.[3] According to one sociologist, arranging marriages for children, especially girls, is common among poor and uneducated urban families that seek a way out of dire financial straits; he adds that the girls themselves are severely damaged both physically and psychologically.

Regime spokesmen have denied the extent of the phenomenon, and have also shrugged off the matter, saying that child marriage is legal and that preventing it is against Islamic law.

The following are facts, figures, and main arguments in the debate on child marriage in Iran.

The Statistics On Child Marriage In Iran

Marriage At Ages 10-15

According to regime statistics, from March through June of 2012, 1,805 children under the age of 15 were married legally and with the permission of the court; that number for the period from March 2011 to March 2012[4] was 7,440.

Expressing concern about the increase, anti-child-bride activist Farshid Yazdani, a member of the Association for the Defense of Children's Rights in Iran, noted that while in 2006 child marriages constituted 2.3% of all marriages, by 2010 that figure had grown 45%, to 4.9%. He warned the regime about the ramifications of child marriages, including divorce and domestic violence, and noted that in 2006, statistics showed that Iran had 25,000 divorced children aged 10-15.[5]

Marriages Under Age 10

According to Islamic law, girls reach maturity at age nine; in 2011, in Tehran province alone, 75 girls and boys under 10 were married.[6] Warning about the increase in marriages of children under 10, Yazdani noted that in 2010, in all of Iran 716 children under 10 wed – twice as many as in 2007.[7]

In an attempt to explain the increase in child marriages in Iran, Amanollah Gharai-Moghadam, who heads the Sociology Association of Iran, pointed at the economic difficulties afflicting Iranian society. He said that in Tehran province many destitute families accept any marriage proposal for their daughters regardless of the girls' ages – and regardless of their rights – so as to reduce the family's expenses. He added, "In some cases, poor families are forced to sell their daughters; in others they are forced to marry off their sons and daughters after the children conduct relations that are forbidden... and in still others, the girl is given to an elderly man in lieu of payment of a debt... In a society rife with poverty, [large] gaps in status, inflation, and unemployment, people act crudely."[8]...

Tags: Aisha, Iran, child marriage, sharia law

Views: 686

Replies to This Discussion

 Alan, It is not that confusing.

 Khomeini,s wife was not 9 or 10 when he married her. I have done nunerous researches to find the exact age, and what I have found is she could have been 13 or 16, Interestingly she gave birth to her first son a year after their marriage.

Khadijeh Saqafi (1913 – 21 March 2009) was the wife of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Saqafi was known as the "mother of the Islamic Revolution" within Iran.

Saqafi married Ruhollah Khomeini in 1929. She gave birth to seven children with Khomeini during her life, though only five survived childhood

 Now this thread starts of with (According to Mr Spencer)  Sharia in action in Iran: 850,000 girls under age 10 are married, yet when we read the article we see

Marriages Under Age 10

According to Islamic law, girls reach maturity majority at age nine; in 2011, in Tehran province alone, 75 girls and boys under 10 were married. Warning about the increase in marriages of children under 10, Yazdani noted that in 2010, in all of Iran 716 children under 10 wed – twice as many as in 2007.

 Now that is a big difference to the claimed 85,000. 

I think you mean "850,000".

Strangely enough, if Robert Spencer is going to be careless or is going to be deliberately exagerrating things, then he will actually give the elite an excuse to ban him that will sound credible.

shiva said:

 Now that is a big difference to the claimed 85,000. 

 Joe, There is a important but simple reason why the The Iranian penal code does not accord with what is found in Reliance of the Traveller.

 The Reliance of the Traveller is a classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence, which is  basically Sunni, where as since the sixteenth century Iran/Persia has been the only country in the world having Shi'ah Islam as its official religion, consequently the general principles of its legal system differed somewhat from those of other countries which followed Islamic law.

Also, I am quoting from the Civil Code concerning marriage, which is different to rule on divorce.

I realise the difference is very likely between Shia and Sunni interpretations of sharia law.  But globally (and in the UK) the Sunnis greatly out-number the Shia.  Which is why in England we also have these cases of 9yo girls being married off.

I don't think we should complicate the message (as it sows doubt in the mind of the less involved).  We should perhaps just focus on the Sunni interpretation, what the Reliance says, and the fact that it is going on all over the muslim world (maybe less so in Iran than in many other countries),  

Let the Shias speak out if they don't agree.  But since one muslim is not going to criticise another...

Thanks for checking Shiva, and I think you are right Joe, we need to keep the message simple. So how about this:

  • Islamic law (Shia and Sunni) as actually implemented in, say, Iran, allows marriage with a girl from age 13.  
  • However, the age of maturity for girls is actually 9, so if the parents and seniors agree, a girl can be married even from that age 
  • This exemption is used, because it was applied in Iran in 2010 to 716 children under 10 years old.


Yes I did mean 850,000. What we have here is 842,000 muslims accused wrongly of a vile deed they did not commit.

Strangely enough, if Robert Spencer is going to be careless or is going to be deliberately exagerrating things, then he will actually give the elite an excuse to ban him that will sound credible.

 If you notice Mr Spencer has a temple plate for different subjects, as we can see in all the threads you have linked to in this thread, He uses the Khomeini libel and misquoting the civil code numerous occasions, which indicates he is being deliberate.

He also quotes about Ashia, who the Shites loath, and all the quotes about her marriage are from Sunni scriptures ( the Shafi'i Sschool) and are their claim to the caliphate

 This I have warning about this for a long time now. I am not surprised the banned Geller, but it did come as a surprise that Mr Spencer was banned. Any way this proves we can never be too careful. 

 But since one muslim is not going to criticise another

Except when they are blowing up each others mosques

Alan Lake said:

Thanks for checking Shiva,

No Problems

and I think you are right Joe, we need to keep the message simple.

Yes Joe is right, but I think we should know and be aware of the details

However, the age of maturity for girls is actually 9

No Alan it should be the age of Majority

The Australian media have picked up this story, of a 12yo girl being married off by her muslim father, to a 26 yo man.

The story from Islington (London) in 2012 was far, far worse than this.  And not one mainstream media outlets in the UK picked up that story.  Yet in the Islington story, it was clear there were a whole series of imams who had married off girls as young as 9.  The girls were attending primary school in the day, and being raped at night by their elderly "husbands".

The UK Home Office say they are "powerless" to stop underage "wives" being imported into the UK.


Maybe they should ask the government to change the law.  Oh... they are the government.

Its the racism of low expectations. Expect to see the aristocrats of the Guardian, waxing lyrical over our "cultural tolerance" on this one.

8 yo girl dies at hands of 40 yo husband, on wedding night in Yemen.

An eight year-old child bride died in Yemen on her wedding night after suffering internal injuries due to sexual trauma. Human rights organizations are calling for the arrest of her husband, who was five times her age.

Al Nahar, Lebanon, reported that the death occurred in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia. This brings even more attention to the already existing issue of forced child marriages in the Middle East.

"According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides. Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15."

It is reported that over a quarter of Yemen's young girls are married before the age of 15Not only do they lose access to health and education, these child brides are commonly subjected to physical, emotional and sexual violence in their forced marriages.

One of the main issues is that there is currently no consistent established definition of a "child" that has been agreed upon worldwide.  This leaves various interpretations within countries and little protection for those who are affected. 

Establishing this age limit is among the top priorities of groups like HRC which was responsible for publishing the 54-page report “How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”, documenting the lifelong damage to girls who are forced to marry at young ages.  Most pro age-limit organizations agree that 18 should be the legal age for marriage.

In February 2009, a law was created in Yemen that set the minimum age for marriage at 17. Unfortunately, it was repealed after more conservative lawmakers called it un-Islamic.

Sharia Law has led to the legislation of child marriage in 6 countries

Saudi wives can be not only pre-pubescent, but even babies, because Saudi Arabia has no minimum marriage age at all

By Roddy Newman

While Sharia law courts have created a lot of controversy in Britain, they would be even more controversial if people found out that Sharia has led to the legalisation of child marriage in 6 countries. As the vast majority of people seem to be unaware of Sharia's child marriage dimension, this article only uses mainstream media articles, the UN, a major opinion poll company's Sharia law polling data, and the early biographer of Mohammed who Muslims say is the most reliable, and who states unequivocally that that Mohammed married one of his wives, 'Aisha, when she was a child as its sources.

For example, this 2008 "Times" article about forced child marriages in Nigeria, reveals that there is "fierce resistance" in its mostly Muslim states to a ban on child marriage, because they see such a ban as contrary to Sharia, which is why only one of them has agreed to a modified form of the ban (which outlaws marriage to pre-pubescent girls):

So why do Nigerian Islamists support child marriage?

Sharia is based on "The Koran", and the "Sunnah" (the words and deeds of Mohammed), and according to Sahih al-Bukhari, who is regarded by Muslims as the most reliable early biographer of their prophet, the founder of Islam married one of his wives, 'Aisha, when she was 6, and consummated that marriage when she was 9, as volume 7, book 62, number 64 of this University of Southern California Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement translation of Al-Bukhari reveals:

These 4 BBC News, "New York Times", UN, and "Wall Street Journal" articles mention Islamists in Yemen, Niger, and Saudi Arabia who say that Mohammed's child bride is the reason why they are in favour of child marriage:

The "Views of harsh punishments" section of this 2010 Pew Research poll, revealed that most Muslims in Nigeria support 3 grotesque, and extremely violent Sharia punishments (stoning adulterers to death, cutting off the hands of thieves, and executing people who abandon their Muslim faith), and that Muslims in Pakistan, Jordan, and Egypt are even more strongly in favour of those 3 punishments, so it is not surprising that, for the same obvious Sharia reason, grotesque child marriages are legal in 4 other mostly Muslim nations, and were until recently legal in another mostly Muslim country:

Saudi Arabian law is based entirely on the harshest of the 3 Sunni schools of Sharia jurisprudence (the "Hanbali"), so it is no surprise that as this 2010 "San Francisco Chronicle" article explains, child marriage is still legal in that country, although the Saudi justice minister said in 2009 that the minimum marriage age should be raised to 18:

Saudi wives can be not only pre-pubescent, but even babies, because Saudi Arabia has no minimum marriage age at all, as this 2008 Associated Press article reveals:

That article quotes Saudi marriage official Ahmad al-Muabi's opinion that fathers can legally sell their 1 year old daughters to husbands if they wish.

Moreover, once a Saudi girl or baby has been sold to a husband, she can then find it difficult to divorce him, as the just cited "San Francisco Chronicle" article pointed out that a Saudi court would not allow an 8 year old girl to divorce her middle aged husband.

In another case which this BBC News story discusses, a 12 year old Saudi girl asked for a divorce from the 80 year old husband she had been sold to, after he allegedly raped her, but she then dropped the divorce case, because her father wanted her to stay married:

Nor is it a surprise that in Islamist run Northern Sudan, 10 year old girls can legally be sold to a husband by their fathers, as this 2010 "New Republic" magazine article shows:

People tend to think of Turkey as a relatively secular Muslim country, but the "San Francisco Chronicle" article about Saudi Arabian child marriage which I cited a moment ago, also mentions the fact that Turkey's Islamist government reduced the minimum marriage to 12 in 2009. The result of that law change, was of course the legalisation of forced child marriages, which is why this Turkish newspaper article discusses the case of a Syrian 12 year old girl whose family sold her to a middle aged Turkish husband, who then raped her and forced her to take drugs, which led to Turkish police having to rescue her after her Syrian family complained:

There has also been controversy over child marriages in Yemen in recent years, but because of Islamist opposition to outlawing them, they are still legal, which is why a 2009 ban on them was overturned after just 1 day:

Yemen's child brides can be sold to men when they are as young as 8:

Moreover, in Iran, where the minimum marriage age is now 16 for women and 18 for men, Sharia law recently led to the age of consent for girls being 9 within marriage, as this 2006 BBC article about a 16 year old Iranian woman who was executed for having sex outside marriage explains:

Finally, even when child marriage is illegal in mostly Muslim countries, Islamists often simply ignore the law. For example, child marriage is illegal in Afghanistan, but this 2011 "Time" magazine article about Afghan wives being jailed for fleeing violent husbands, points out that, "Nationwide, more than half of all girls are married before they turn 15, usually to settle disputes.":,8599,2039564,00.html

This "New York Times" article about Afghan child marriages discusses an 11 year old girl who was sold to a 40 year old man:

So will Britain's Sharia courts lead to Britain's Islamists ignoring British democratic law by selling young girls to men? After all, as this 2011 article points out, polygamy, which like selling girls to men is a product of an extremely male dominated Sharia culture in which males have a far higher status than females, is already widespread in Britain, despite the fact that polygamy is illegal under British democratic law:


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