Wed 23 Jm2 1435 - 23 April 2014
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Is it acceptable to marry a girl who has not yet started her menses?

I have not yet reached the age of puberty. Is it correct that a girl could get married before her menses start, or is that just a traditional myth?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

Firstly: 

Marriage to a young girl before she reaches puberty is permissible according to sharee’ah, and it was narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this point. 

1 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt (about their periods), is three months; and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise”

[al-Talaaq 65:4] 

In this verse we see that Allaah states that for those who do not menstruate – because they are young and have not yet reached the age of puberty – the ‘iddah in the case of divorce is three months. This clearly indicates that it is permissible for a young girl who has not started her periods to marry. 

Al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The interpretation of the verse “And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt (about their periods), is three months; and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise”. He said: The same applies to the ‘idaah for girls who do not menstruate because they are too young, if their husbands divorce them after consummating the marriage with them. 

Tafseer al-Tabari, 14/142 

2 – It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) married her when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine, and she stayed with him for nine years. 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4840; Muslim, 1422. 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: 

The scholars are unanimously agreed that a father may marry off his young daughter without consulting her. The Messenger of Allaah married ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr when she was young, six or seven years old, when her father married her to him. 

Al-Istidhkaar, 16/49-50. 

Secondly: 

The fact that it is permissible to marry a minor girl does not imply that it is permissible to have intercourse with her, rather the husband should not have intercourse with her until she becomes able for that. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) delayed consummating the marriage to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). 

And Allaah knows best.

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