Fatwa of the Month: “A nine-year-old girl has the same sexual capacities as a woman of 20 and over”

A Moroccan Islamic theologian, Mohamed Ben Sheikh Abderrahman Al Maghraoui, has caused a great stir by stating “A nine-year-old girl has the same sexual capacities as a woman of 20 and over”

He issued a fatwa (Islamic edict) where he “legalizes” the union between a child and an adult male. “We found that girls of that age give better benefits than adult women,” he says. “Consequently they are so trained to marry as young of 20 years.”

In the Islamic world, especially in the Arabian Peninsula, marriage between girls and adult males is relatively common, but Muslim theologians have not gone so far in justifying the practice.

Al Maghraoui, a well-known Salafist sheikh, and the author of half a dozen books of theology, posted the fatwa on the website of his association Preaching in the Koran and Sunna. His critics argue that he probably has done it to defend, from a religious point of view, the marriage contracted in secret by one of his friends.

His pronouncement has caused a major scandal in Morocco, but so far there has been no reaction from the authorities. The radical theologian bases his edict in the example of the prophet Muhammad. “Aicha, recalls, had only six years when she became her fiancée but was not married until she turned nine”.

There are “vicious theologians who are capable of putting religion in the service of paedophilia” writes the socialist daily Al Ittihad al Ichtiraki. “The era of our Prophet is completely different from ours. These days a marriage of the kind would be a true injustice towards the girl. A true aberration” says Naji Adib, who heads the association No ones touch my Children, who campaigns in Morocco against this scourge.

“This type of people look at Islam from the point of view which is convenient for them. It is a restrictive vision of Islam. And it is bad. Fatwas like these show the lack of reasoning from those who issue them. I cannot understand via what intellectual road or for what mental construction they come to such aberrations” she added.

Faced with the passivity of the authorities, a lawyer from Rabat, Mourad Bakouri, has taken the initiative to denounce Al Maghraoui for “violation of the Family Code and violation of children’s rights.” The new Moroccan law, which came into force in 2005, stipulates that the minimum age for marriage is 18 years.

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Fatwa of the Month: Islam allows Rape and Wife Beating

Husband forcing his wife to have intercourse

Is it permissible for a man to force his wife or slave to have intercourse if she refuses?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The woman does not have the right to refuse her husband, rather she must respond to his request every time he calls her, so long as that will not harm her or keep her from doing an obligatory duty.

Al-Bukhaari (3237) and Muslim (1436) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)  said: “If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, and he spends the night angry with her, the angels curse her until morning.”

If she refuses with no excuse, she is disobeying and is being defiant (nushooz), and he is no longer obliged to spend on her and clothe her.

The husband should admonish her and remind her of the punishment of Allaah, and forsake her in her bed. He also has the right to hit her, in a manner that does not cause injury. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allaah is Ever Most High, Most Great”

[al-Nisa’ 4:34]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked what a husband should do if his wife refuses him when he asks for intimacy.

He replied:

It is not permissible for her to rebel against him or to withhold herself from him, rather if she refuses him and persists in doing so, he may hit her in a manner that does not cause injury, and she is not entitled to spending or a share of his time [in the case of plural marriage].” Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 32/279.

And he was asked about a man who has a wife who is rebellious and refuses intimacy – does she forfeit the right to maintenance and clothing, and what should she do?

He replied:

She forfeits her right to maintenance and clothing if she does not let him be intimate with her. He has the right to hit her if she persists in being defiant. It is not permissible for her to refuse intimacy if he asks for that, rather she is disobeying Allaah and His Messenger (by refusing). In al-Saheeh it says: “If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, the One Who is in heaven will be angry with her until morning comes.”

From Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 32/278. The hadeeth was narrated by Muslim, 1736.

So the wife should be admonished first, and warned against defiance (nushooz) and of the anger of Allaah and the curse of the angels. If she does not respond, then the husband should forsake her in her bed, and if she does not respond to that, then he may hit her in a manner that does not cause injury. If none of these steps are effective, then he may stop spending on her maintenance and clothing, and he has the right to divorce her or to allow her to separate from him by khula’ in return for some financial settlement, such as giving up the mahr.

Similarly a slave woman does not have the right to refuse her master’s requests unless she has a valid excuse. If she does that she is being disobedient and he has the right to discipline her in whatever manner he thinks is appropriate and is allowed in sharee’ah.

And Allaah knows best.

The above is Fatwa number 33597 appearing on the Islamic website of Shayk Muhammad Al-Muajjid’s ‘Islam Questions and Answers’. A link for verification: http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/33597