39,000 child marriages occur daily.
This Saudi cleric is (by far not the only one) trying to justify child marriages … and it needs to stop
At a time when many are fighting to end child marriage across the world, a Saudi cleric issued an edict saying that in Islam, it’s permissible.
The controversial edict was made by Sheikh Abdullah Al Mane’e, a long-time member of the kingdom’s Council of Senior Scholars, during a television appearance. It came in response to a question asked by a viewer.
A short clip of his statement went viral on Twitter over the weekend in which he said:
“There is no specific age for a girl to be married, that’s for one. For two, a girl’s father is the person who is most entitled to make such a decision for her because he’s the person who has her best interest at heart.”
“If he finds that a man who proposed to his daughter is acceptable, there is nothing wrong with going ahead with the proposal even if the girl is young,” he added.
Al Mane’e also explained that what validates his edict is the fact that examples of child marriage can be found in the Quran.
“Abu Baker accepted his daughter Ayesha’s marriage to Prophet Muhammad when she was just six years or seven years old and their marriage was consummated when she turned nine. This is not to compare anyone to him, but we’re just saying this is an example to follow,” he said.
The Saudi cleric’s statement didn’t stop there, he also went on to explain that there is a reason why Muslim men were given the right to govern a woman when it came to marriage decisions.
“This rule wasn’t set to grant men power to oppress or degrade women, but to help them make the right decision when it comes to choosing who to marry, a person who is right for them and who’ll make them happy,” he said.
Towards the end of his edict, Al Mane’e said that allowing or forbidding such marriages all depends on the reason or motive behind them.
“If a father or guardian is marrying off the girl for financial gain or to profit out of it, then he is considered a criminal and a traitor. However, if he thinks a great marriage opportunity has come around and accepts it to ensure his daughter’s happiness, he’d be doing nothing wrong,” he explained.