MySA :"Early, forced marriages obstacles to women ’s progress" - Islamic Relief USA

The following is an excerpt from an article posted in the  in April 2018: 

“The news this past weekend about a 16 year-old girl from Texas who was allegedly tortured by her own parents after she refused to marry an adult man is nothing short of horrific, disturbing, and un-Islamic.

Nobody’s refusal to an unwanted marriage should compel their own parents to pour hot oil on their bodies, beat them with a broomstick or be choked.

Unfortunately, the practice of marrying off teens (or even younger kids) is commonplace in many parts of the world, several of which are predominantly populated by Muslims. Fortunately, it remains extremely rare in the United States.

Arranged marriages involve the consent of all parties, including the woman. In contrast, early and forced marriages often, or just about always, lack the consent of the girl, with the decision of the wali, or male guardian, considered sufficient authorization for the marriage.

This practice, right from the get-go, goes against common Islamic teachings. In the holy Quran, Sura 4 contains several verses about the need to have a woman’s consent. Also, according to many narrations of Prophet Muhammad, a virgin girl should not be married until she has given permission.

In addition, it is widely understood in Islam that a legitimate marriage is one in which both partners have the comprehensive maturity (physical and psychosocial) to understand their rights and responsibilities. In Arabic, this concept is referred to as rushd, which means “awareness.

In Niger, for example, a United Nations Demographic and Health Survey found that 57 percent of girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are married and not attending school.

Other data revealed that some 50 countries allow marriages to take place before the age of 16. Some 14 million girls under age 18 are getting married each year, the organization states.

Islamic Relief USA — a humanitarian organization that works in Texas from its office in Plano, and was involved in Hurricane Harvey relief work — recently participated in a panel discussion at the 62nd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to call attention to the causes of early and forced marriages.”



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