Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, consummated his marriage with Aisha when she was nine. This fact is recorded several times in the hadith collection Muslims consider most reliable, Bukhari: 5.48.234; 5.58.236; 7.62.64; 7.62.65; and 7.62.88. Because Muhammad is the excellent example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21), it is very hard to work against child marriage in Muslim-majority countries.
Yet when people raise this point in America and Europe today, they’re called “Islamophobes” and worse. The truth then comes out only in places such as the 18th paragraph of a Reuters story about a different topic, as is the case here.
“Indonesia Islamic body to mull ban on smoking and yoga,” by Olivia Rondonuwu for Reuters, January 23 :
Indonesia’s top Islamic body meets at the weekend for what looks set to be a hot theological debate on a range of issues including whether Muslims should be allowed to smoke, abstain from voting or even do yoga.
Officially secular, Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, accounting for roughly 85 percent of the country’s 226 million people. Most follow a moderate form of Islam, although there is vocal radical fringe.
Ain’t it always the way!
About 700 people, including Muslim clerics and theological experts, are due in West Sumatra for the National Edict Commission meeting, which has the power to issue fatwas.
“There will be debate before we reach conclusions. We need to listen to the pros and cons and it’s likely to be a hot debate,” said Ma’ruf Amin, a chairman of the Ulema Council, known as MUI.
The MUI has carved a key role for itself in Indonesia and its pronouncements on everything from Islamic banking to halal food can have a big influence on Southeast Asia’s top economy….
Underage marriage will also be debated after an Islamic cleric last year incited uproar when he married a 12-year old girl with her parents consent.
Under Indonesian law, men can marry at 19 and women at 16, although under some Islamic laws there is no age limit.