Muhammad married Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine. His example in all things is considered normative in the Islamic world. Sharia Alert: “Court to consider divorce for 8-year-old girl,” from Agence France-Presse, August 24 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A SAUDI court will next month hear a plea for divorce from an eight-year-old girl married off by her father to a man in his fifties, the Arabic-language daily Al-Watan reported today.
It said the girl’s mother had filed the divorce case with the court at Unayzah 220km north of Riyadh, and cited lawyer Abdullah Jtili as saying the father had arranged the marriage without telling the girl….
But the daily also reported that the husband had refused to renounce the marriage, saying that he had not done anything illegal.
And of course, he hadn’t.
Arranged marriages involving pre-adolescents are occasionally reported in the Arabian Peninsula, including in the ultra-conservative Saudi kingdom where the strict conservative Wahabi version of Sunni Islam holds sway and polygamy is common.
In Yemen in April, another girl aged eight was granted a divorce after her unemployed father forced her to marry a man of 28.