There’s that child marriage again. But it has nothing, mind you, nothing to do with Islam. Except the inconvenient matter of Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha (Bukhari 5.58.234). “Saudi group seeks to prevent sexagenarian from marrying child,” from Deutsche Presse Agentur, July 16:
Riyadh – Saudi Arabia’s national human rights body asked the authorities to prevent the marriage of a sexagenarian to a 10-year old girl, saying it would be a violation of an international convention, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday. The National Human Rights Association (NHRA) asked the legal authorities in the central Hayil province to prevent the marriage, The Saudi daily al-Watan said.
The couple to be wed went to the local hospital for the mandatory pre-marriage test, triggering concern among the medical staff.
The NHRA spokesman, Zuhair al-Harithi, told the newspaper that such a marriage would violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was signed by the kingdom.
Under Saudi law, however, there is no minimum legal age for marriage in accordance with a strict version of Islamic sharia law enforced in the country. A male guardian, usually the father, must give his consent to the marriage.
Saudi Arabia established the non-governmental NHRA, the first of its kind, four years ago to implement international human rights agreements signed by the kingdom.
The main obstacle: Sharia law.