Islam law does not regulate in absolute terms about the ideal age of marriage. In religion, there is no specification about minimum and maximum age for marriage because Allah wants humans to arrange it by themselves.
However, Quran has explained about marriage. If someone wanted to marry, he must be able and ready. Allah said in Surah An-Nur verse 32 :
“And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (An-Nur : 32)
The meaning of a proper marriage here is someone who has been able both mentally or spiritially to build a household. Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam gave an advice to his ummah to do marriage with the ability as a condition.
“We have told from Umar bin Hafs bin Ghiyats, have told us from my father (Hafs bin Ghiyats), have told us from al A’masy, he said : ‘Having told me from ‘Umarah from Abdurrahman bin Yazid, he said : ‘When I was with the Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam and the youth and we did not find any other, the Messenger of Allah said to us :
‘O youth, whoever of you has been able to marry, then marry, because marriage can subdue the view and keep the genitals. And whoever has not been able, then let’s fast, indeed it can control the passions.” (Bukhari)
From the information above, it can be concluded that maturity is so important in a marriage, and it is recognized by Quran and Hadith. Meanwhile, in Fiqh, the signs of age adult are determined by the signs of baligh, such as : the perfect age for men is 15 (fifteen) years old and ihtilam, while the perfect age for women is minimal 9 (nine) years old and she has got menstruation.
See also :
Limit of Baligh
If someone has met the age of baligh, a person is allowed to marry. Because in Islam, the age of baligh is identical with one’s maturity.
Some Ulama have different opinions in determining baligh or age limit of a person who can be considered baligh.
- The opinion of Syafi’iyyah and Hanabilah – “Boys and girls are considered baligh if they have been 15 years old.” (Muhammad Jawad Mughniyyah, al Ahwal al Syakhsiyyah, Beirut : Dar al “Ilmi lil Malayain, tt. Page : 16)
- The opinion of Hanafiyah – “Boys are considered baligh if they were 18 years old and 17 years old for girls.” (Ibid)
- The Opinion of Imamiyyah – “Boys are considered baligh if they were 15 years old and 9 years old for girls.” (Ibid)
Majority of ulama argue that the law of marrying underage children in Islam is permissible. Even, it has been agreed by all ulama that it is permissible to marry underage children. There are some arguments that strengthened this thing :
- Surah At-Thalaq
Allah explains about the detail of women’s iddah who have been in talaq.
“And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated.” (At-Talaq : 4)
From verse above, it can be concluded that Allah has explained about iddah period of women who have not got the period of menstruation is in three months. While it is known, it is impossible that an unmarried woman do a period of iddah. From this, it can be interpreted, that it is a firm argument and it shows that the law of marrying women who have not baligh is permissible. You may also read rights of a widow in Islam.
Even the Tafseer of Al-Baghawi also said :
“The women who have not got menstruation, the meaning is a little girl who has not got mestruation (not baligh). The period of her iddah (if she was divorced) is also three months.” (Tafseer al-Baghawi 8 : 152) [AdSense-B]
- Hadith of Muslim History
The hadith of Muslim history affirms about The Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam who married Aisyah radhiallahu ‘anha.
“Has told me Yahya bin Yahya, Ishaq bin Ibrahim, Abu Bakar bin Abi Syaibah and Abu Karib. Yahya and Ishaq have said : Has told us and al Akhrani said : Has told me Abu Mu’awiyah from al A’masyi from ak Aswad daru “aisyah rahiallahi ‘anha said : Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam married me when I was 6 years old and live with me at my 9 years old and he died when I was 18 years old.” (Muslim)
- Description and Agreement of Ulama (Ijma)
In this case, some of ulama argue and affirm that the law of marrying underage children is permissible. As the description from Ibn Hajar :
“Little girl, is married by her father with an agreement of Ulama. No one disagree, except unfamiliar opinions.” (Fathul Bari, 9 : 23)
However, there are some ulama who argue that a father is not allowed to marry his your daughter, except his daughter has been baligh and willing to be married. Ibn Syubrumah is one of ulama who argued like that. And through Ibn Hazm, Ibn Syubrumah said :
“No father marry his little daughter, until she is baligh and she is willing.” (al-Muhalla, 9 : 459)
But there is another opinion, that underage marriage must have the right of ijbar. The right of ijbar is a right of her father or grandfather who will marry her daughter without asking a permission to that child. And she is not a widow.
A wali (father) can marry his young daughter who has not baligh without asking a permission and if that girl has been baligh, there is not right khiyar.
On the other hand, a little boy should not be married. Nevertheless, if a girl married, her husband should not have intercourse her until she reach the age of baligh and adult. So she can do it as husband and wife. [AdSense-C]
As we know, that Abu Bakar rahiallahu ‘anhu has married ‘Aisyah rahiallahu ‘anhu with Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa’sallam when she was 6 years old without asking a permission to her. Because a permission of little girls is imperfect.
And according to Ulama, the marriage of teh Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam with ‘Aisyah radhiallahu ‘anha is an exception and it is a specialty for th Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaiihi Wasallam, because Allah has allowed him to marry more than four women and that is forbidden to be followed by his ummah.
There are some requirements of girls who may marry under the age :
- There is no real hostility between wali (father or grandfather) with his little girl.
- There is no hate between the girl and her future husband.
- A bridegroom must be appropriate and equal (kufu).
- A bridegroom must be able to fulfill and give a proper dowry.
That is the law of marrying underage children in Islam. Hope this article is useful for you. Thank you.
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