It's well documented in the Hadiths that Mohammad (PBUH) became engaged to Aisha when she was six, and consumated the marriage when she was nine.

Before the Iranian revolution, female marriage was legal at eighteen years of age and above, and this was lowered afterwards to nine years of age to reflect Islamic law as interpreted by Iranian Imams. However, this was then raised to thirteen years of age in 2002 by the Expediency Council. But now recently, Mohammad Ali Asfenani has said Iran has a religious obligation to legally recognise the weddings of girls as young as nine:

"As some people may not comply with our current Islamic legal system, we must regard nine as being the appropriate age for a girl to have reached puberty and qualified to get married," Mr Asfenani, chairman of the parliamentary legal and judiciary committee, told Khabar Online. "To do otherwise would be to contradict and challenge Islamic Sharia law."

Is it unIslamic to raise female marriageable age above nine years of age?

  • Prophet's marriage with Hazrat Aisha RA was an exceptional and should not be taken as evidence to allow marriage at 9. Those who allow marriage at this age should show evidence from the lives of companions of the Prophet SAWW. If the companions did something then that means it was allowed for all the muslims, if not then we have no right to even discuss it further. The companions followed the Prophet's SUNAHs to the last degree. If they considered it allowed for themselves, they should have done it. Unless you can provide such an evidence, this debate should now be put to rest.
    – user14305
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 13:57
  • and legal age should be taken from the Quran which is 'Puberty' and no matter at what age the Man and Women reach puberty, they are then eligible for Marriage. To put off the confusion, it is said that girls reach puberty at the age of 12 and boys reach it at 14, some before that.
    – user14305
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 13:58
  • So if government make a law outta it and force people to not marry their girls before age 12 and boys before 14, they have the right.
    – user14305
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 14:00

3 Answers 3


Actually marriage needs not to be legal at all, it needs the wife and the husband to agree upon being husband and wife and in cases it is also required that the bride's father agree upon his daughter's marriage as well. So that they can marry at any age that they want and Islam allows them, although if they want their marriage to be legally provable they should record it somewhere. However, no one can forbid what Allah has allowed and no one can allow what Allah has forbidden. According to Islam when the human body is grown enough to have its sexual organs coming to be functional the person is allowed to marry, for either male or female, that is, at the age of 9 (or some say around 13 as this age may vary from region to region depending on the race, climate and etc.) for females and 15 for males. Nowhere Islam obligate males or females to marry as soon as they reach these ages, although always encourage them to marry as soon as they can. Only if the man or woman needs to have some kind of relation with the opposite gender, be it sexual or not, then it will be obligatory for him/her to marry. Increasing the marriage age however is always a discouraged action, there may be cases --as there are many-- that need such a relation but they find it socially unacceptable so that they will either decide to suffer until reaching the marriage age or to open an Islamically forbidden relation with the other gender, making friendships and even having sexual relations, all being some levels of Zina. Thus it is encouraged to lower the marriage age to the age that Islam has allowed, so that everyone who needs or anyway likes and can would be able to marry easily without fear of laws or social traditions. Based on these explanations it can be Islamically admitted to rise the marriage age temporarily during wars and other critical situations, if Allah' Caliph on the Earth will command so, however other than temporarily it might be anti-Islamic as it can cause sins to spread in the hearts of every youths. I said it might be as we also have a concept called "temporal marriage" in Islam, although only Shia Muslims now allow it. However, temporal marriage is not a complete solution as the classic marriage, mainly being a solution to reduce Zina to its least possibility (according to a Hadeeth from Imam Ali peace be upon him), so that rising the marriage age still might be unti-Islamic.

PS. Actually social traditions have changed much in the course of time, in past the marriage age was a lot lower, say around 15 for females (compared to about 25 now) and around 20 for males (compared to about 30 now), but now based on accuses like the natural right to have enough fun not to bear the great responsibility of a family very soon, the need for studying in university or earning money the marriage age has been risen and an attempt has been made to satisfy the natural desires with forbidden friendships during this gap, putting forward the friendship as one alternative to marriage in lower ages. This is due to the fact that we have practically approved a concept glued to the phrase "teenager" which translates this phrase as a period of time in each person's life during which the male or female has right to have fun, less to work and more to joy, be with friends, go to parks and cinema, travel and etc., while there is no such concept in Islam or any other religion, it can at most be linked to childhood and not to the teen-ages during which a youth has more energy and an stronger will and at the same time is sharper and full of ideas. One can both study-and-earn-money in this period and marry at the same time if he only sacrifices what is defined for him as teen-agery life, introducing it a natural (read it fake) human right!

  • Thanks for your answer, which is very long. I just want to know if it's antiIslamic. Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 23:18
  • @LarryHarson, I updated my answer to address your question more explicitly.
    – owari
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 2:14
  • not all madhabs agree social traditions are proof. certainly no madhab thinks social tradition can overwrite the Quran and Sunnah. Also, all madhabs allow child marriage. intercourse is the only area of debate. a mostly wrong answer filled with invented apologetics and no references. downvoted. If social tradition could overwrite qur'an and sunnah, then idol worshipping would still be halal
    – Hisham
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 18:22
  • @Hisham, have you even read my answer before to comment? expressions like "no one can forbid what Allah has allowed and no one can allow what Allah has forbidden" in my answer obviously deny what you say on my behalf.
    – owari
    Commented Mar 31 at 13:52

I think there is a difference between the laws and what actually happens in the society. I have heard the mother of my grandfather was also engaged at the age of 6 and consummated at the age of 9, but this is not the case that will happen now, even if there are laws allowing the engagement just after birth.

Also every country parliament has many members and many of them say many things every day, but this is far from passing a law. Parliaments mostly care the social/political considerations, and there are other organizations that check the laws to be according to the Shari'ah.

Finally in addition to the permanent Islamic laws, there are social laws also that are decided according to the conditions of the society. Raising the minimum age of marriage is not converting a Shari'ah Wajib (Obligation) to Haram (Forbidden) or vice versa, it is only limiting a Mubah (Indifferent) according to the current conditions of the society, that can be done through social laws - as done earlier in Iran or some other Islamic countries.

  • Is it unislamic? That's my question. Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 23:15
  • If you are asking of Fiqh, I am not Mujtahid to answer you
    – Ali
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 23:17

What is "unislamic"? unislamic is not Islamic, not going in the direction of Islam. Of course, that is unislamic. because, by Islam, unmarried persons should be tried to marry them, because it is commanded by Allah in Quran 24:32 .

Restriction of nine years is also unislamic.

Additional explanation: marriage is one thing and sexual intercourse is another thing.

  • 1
    doesn't answer well..!!! Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 7:56

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