Friday, 3 July 2009

Does the Quran allow Sex with immature girls? No

Here is ozzycda's video on Surah 65:4



Here is a blog article featuring a collection of refutation material on the subject of "sex with immature claims":
http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2010/10/jochen-katzs-sex-with-prepubescent.html

Here is my earliest attempt on this subject (the material above should take priority:

An allegation by Islamophobes on the internet; they claim the Quran allows sex with pre-pubescent girls, this is a hateful and bigoted allegation that has no other intention but to demonize Muslims. By Yahya Snow

Of course this claim contains no truth and is absurd. There are abundant claims of this fallacious and hateful nature on the internet. The internet is an unregulated media which means it can be a safe-haven for all sorts of hate-mongers and aberrations; in this case their vile and unscholarly claims are directed at Muslims.

I am a student of comparative religion and it astounds me that anybody can make such sullying claims against any religion, through study you realise that all religions teach good basic morals and encourage good and just actions.
Another aspect of this bizarre claim that truly saddens me is that this ignorant claim is supported by some Christian evangelical groups on the internet. I say anybody who supports claims of this nature has nothing to do with any religion but has everything to do with the devil’s work. My message to any Christian who supports such dehumanising claims is thus; fear God, for you are working inequity.

Having condemned their actions as hateful, ignorant and as propaganda used to demonize Muslims we must do the scholarly thing and look at their claim and show it to be false in a scholarly fashion so that people who may be unsure realise that the Quran does not support pedophilia. Let us examine their claim.

They claim that the Quran, chapter 65 verse 4, allows pedophilia. The verse in question is speaking of…As their fallacious claim is hinged on this reference allow us to quote an English translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

65:4- Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.

As you can see, the verse is actually pertaining to divorce and it is not instructing Muslims in pedophilia. One may ask how did the Islamophobes come to such a horrific allegation. Is it a totally baseless allegation or do they support it with some sort of argumentation?

Well their allegations are based on two fallacious arguments, both of which are addressed:

Their first argument:
Their allegation is in fact based on ‘those who have no courses’. They allege that this term refers to those who are still pre-pubescent. They are correct; it does refer to those who are yet to have their period. The problem here is that the islamophobic critic adds into this verse their own interpretation. They allege that this verse means that Muslims can have sex with pre-pubescent girls (paedophilia) as Muslims are allowed to conduct marriages between immature girls and men. This, of course, is their mischievous addition to the text. It may fool the one who is unversed with the context and the norms of the time in Arabia.

In Semitic communities, including Jewish communities (the community of Jesus included too) people would marry off their daughters to older men despite their daughters being immature (i.e. pre-pubescent). The girls would have to wait for maturity (ie puberty) before consummating the marriage. Of course (in Islam) once the girl has reached a mature age she decides if she wants the marriage to stand (I stress this so nobody goes away with the idea that Islam allows forced marriage). If she agrees upon it then she can consummate the marriage and live as husband and wife. The term to describe this (marrying off before maturity) would be ‘betrothal’, the most well known example of betrothal in history would be that of Mary being betrothed to Joseph, before Mary and Joseph came together for consummation (i.e. before Mary’s full maturity) she became pregnant with Jesus via immaculate conception.

This example is not given to digress but to illustrate that this did happen it is an example that Christians, Jews and Muslims can relate to. None of the communities mentioned (Islamic, Christian or Jewish) allowed sex with the girl before maturity so any accusation that disagrees with this fact is a false accusation. As we are speaking of Muslims I feel compelled to show that Islam does not allow sex with immature girls. This will be highlighted through two examples:

1. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) took part in this type of union too where the parents of a lady named Aisha betrothed their daughter (Aisha) to Muhammad (pbuh) and Muhammad (pbuh) and the parents of the girl waited until she had reached puberty before consummation of the marriage was allowed to take place. This is a recorded fact in history and the waiting period was roughly three years.
2. The all-encompassing example in this regard is given by looking at Islamic Law which is based on the Quran and the teachings of the last Prophet of Allah. So the bigot really should have looked at Islamic law (Jurisprudence) concerning marriage before making such an allegation. Islamic law does not allow sex with minors (both girls and boys). According to Islamic Law males can only have sexual contact with a female, if both parties are physically and mentally mature. The physical aspect refers to the maturity (having reached puberty) and mentally mature refers to somebody who is mentally capable (for example, you may have a mentally handicapped lady who has attained physical maturity but may be mentally handicapped, thus she would be deemed to be amongst those who are not eligible for marriage).


Their second argument:

The alternative argument follows a slightly different despite leading to the same allegation. The argument follows the same unscholarly skeleton as their first argument; both arguments are built on their own interpolations and interpretations into the clear text of the Quran.

In this case they bring forth another verse from the Quran (33:49) and try to impose their understanding of the verse into the previously mentioned Quranic verse (65:4); I will quote an English translation of the Quran of the new verse, 33:49-

O ye who believe! When ye marry believing women, and then divorce them before ye have touched them, no period of 'Iddat have ye to count in respect of them: so give them a present. And set them free in a handsome manner.

Just to help the reader understand an Iddah/Iddat is merely a woman's post marital waiting period (of time), this period of time must expire before she marries again. There are four wisdoms behind the Iddat period (given by Abdul-Karim Zidan, Nazarat fi ash-Shari`ah al-Islamiyyah):

1- To discern whether the woman is pregnant or not. 2- Shari`ah has ordained the period of `Iddah to avoid any confusion of lineage which may result from the woman's pressing need of marriage. 3- The period a woman spends in `Iddah whether short or otherwise sheds light on the seriousness of marriage and how far it is a sacred bond. 4- It allows the man and the woman to think twice before breaking up the family tie, especially in cases where divorce is revocable. (Source: The Kuwaiti Encyclopaedia of Fiqh)


So, in short, the Quran (33:49) teaches us that that there is no Iddat if the man did not touch the wife (i.e. he did not have sex with her). However, for the immature girl we realise she has an Iddat. One may wonder what is the benefit for an immature girl to have an Iddat. We must remember that the girl’s family would have been responsible for setting up the marriage therefore any breaking of this marriage contract would have been between the husband (and/or his family) and the family of the girl. Family ties are very important in Islam therefore an Iddat gives the two parties a period of time to reconcile. In short, emotions would be more prominent in this type of divorce as opposed to a divorce between a mature female and male.

Going back to their claim; the Islamophobe uses verse 33:49 and then suggests that the previously mentioned verse (65:4) allows sex with pre-pubescent girls as 65:4 teaches Muslims that girls who have not had puberty have an Iddat if they are divorced. This is their claim, it is not substantiated by the Quran, and nowhere does the Quran allow sex with pre-pubescent girls. The Islamophobe uses textual acrobatics and his own interpolations in order to argue for his allegation.
The Quran gives a general instruction in 33:49 but simply gives an exception in 65:4. So it is clear that girls (immature) who have been married and are divorced are afforded an Iddat despite not having had sex with her husband. These girls are immature girls who have never even lived with the husband never mind having had sex with the husband. These immature girls live with their parents/guardians until they reach maturity and only after that they can consummate the marriage if the girl agrees to the union. Contrary to the Islamophobes’ claims these girls are not allowed to have sex with the husband until they reach maturity. This is proven by the following five pieces of evidence:

The Prophet Muhammed married an immature girl and waited three years (i.e. waited for her to reach maturity before consummating the marriage, this is documented in the reference section).(1) This action of the Prophet Mohammed shows Muslims that sex with pre-pubescent girls is not allowed, this is evidenced by the fact that the Prophet Mohammed did not consummate the marriage immediately (i.e. when the girl was pre-pubescent).(4) This action scuppers the Islamophobe’s argument because the actions of the Prophet oppose their unscholarly claims.
Islamic Law is based on the Quran and the actions of the Prophet Muhammed. Islamic Law does not allow sex with pre-pubescent girls, in fact Islamic Law does not allow sex with minors (both girls and boys), and this is shown in al-Fath by Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar. According to Islamic Law males can only have sexual contact with a female, if both parties are physically and mentally mature. This is a key point as the Law is based on the Quran as well as teachings of the Prophet so if the Islamophobe was correct then Islamic Law would allow sex with pre-pubescent girls. This is not the case and pours a comprehensive refutation upon the perverted claims of the Islamophobe. (3)
No mufassireen (commentators of the Quran) or companion of the Prophet viewed the verse 65:4 as allowing sex with immature girls. The mufassireen and companions of the Prophet are authoritative sources on the Quran and if they did not deem it to allow pre-pubescent sex then it is safe to say that the Quran does not allow such a thing.
The Quran (4:6) illustrates to us quite clearly that there is an ‘age of marriage’. This is another key point as it directly opposes the claim of the Islamophobe. (2)
No non-Muslim scholar such as Karen Armstrong or W.M. Watt made such a claim, surely if they believed the Islamophobe then they would have voiced the claim.

Based on the evidence outlined above; it is clear that the Quran does not allow sex with pre-pubescent girls.
Just to put all this into perspective, the Quran, the Prophet, the companions of the Prophet, the Mufassireen, Muslims scholars, non-Muslims scholars and Islamic Law all disagree with the Islamophobe’s claim. The Islamophobe has no evidence to back up his claim; he merely has conjecture and his own perverted interpretation of the Quran. An interpretation that is in opposition to the Quran, the Prophet, the companions of the Prophet, the Mufassireen, Muslims scholars, non-Muslims scholars and Islamic Law.

So my message to the Islamopobe is thus; if you make a claim in a scholarly field then you must bring evidence to back your claim up and not conjecture and your own faulty interpretations that differ to all the authoritative interpretations and sources.

The first rule of making a positive assertion is:

‘Bring your evidence if you are truthful’

The Islamophobe is making a positive claim, therefore the burden of proof is on him, just to remind him; your own interpretation, speculation and conjecture does not constitute as evidence and nor can it be substituted for evidence. If I employed the same shoddy scholarship and deceptive argumentative approach as the Islamophobes have shown here I could state:

‘Barack Obama is from the planet Mars and his parents are Superman and Lara Croft. Because Mars is in the same solar-system as the Earth and Superman came to the planet Earth and met Lara Croft’

The questioner may ask me to prove this claim, using the Islamophobe’s argument I would merely restate my claim and interpolate a load of speculation and conjecture into the fold. Silly! The Islamophobe’s claim is also described as ‘silly’!

Their claim can be dismissed as untruthful, untrustworthy, unsubstantiated and shoddy to the extent that is an insult to the term ‘a school-boy error’.


To summarize:

The Islamophobe interpolates his own sad views into the Quran by claiming that the Quran allows sex with the pre-pubescent girl. This is dismissed as errant nonsense by all those who know about the concept of betrothal, Islamic history, Islamic scholarship, Islamic Law, the Quran, the Seerah and non-Muslim scholarship of Islam. It just goes to show that a ‘little knowledge is dangerous’, I would like to add that severely stunted knowledge coupled with a hateful agenda is even more dangerous as illustrated by the nature of the ignorant claims of the Islamophobes. W.Montgomery Watt (a Western scholar of Islam) speaks about the sexually charged critique that critics of Islam level at Islam and he suggests that men often project their own faults onto others and criticize others for what is really a more serious flaw in themselves. (5) This is food for thought for the Islamophobe as it points the finger at them. The issue of Christian clergy and abuse of children in their care and extreme evangelical Chrsitian’s ‘sexual claims’ against Islam springs to mind. This is quite apposite as a lot of anti-Islamic material originates from ‘not so loving’ evangelical Christians.

If that is not enough for the Islamophobes then nothing will suffice.

May Allah guide us all and keep us away from the trickery of the Islamophobes, may Allah also help the Islamophobes see the inequity and deception in their claims. Ameen.

References

1. Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, Harper San Francisco, 1992, page 157
2. Quran translation (A.Y. Ali) for 4:6-
And try orphans (as regards their intelligence) until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgement in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully, and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever amongst guardians is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his work). And when you release their property to them, take witness in their presence; and Allah is All Sufficient in taking account.
3.
http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/Fatwa/ShowFatwa.php?lang=E&Id=84343&Option=FatwaId
4. http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/search/label/Accustaion%20of%20Paedophilia%20against%20the%20Prophet%20Muhammed%20%28saw%29%20Refuted
5. What Is Islam by W.Montgomery Watt, Longman Group, Second Edition, 1979, pg230

18 comments:

Jayman said...

If what you say is true, how do you explain the following comments by Syed Abul Ala Maududi in Towards Understanding the Quran?

Here, one should bear in mind the fact that according to the explanations given in the Qur'an the question of the waiting period arises in respect of the women with whom marriage may have been consummated, for there is no waiting-period in case divorce is pronounced before the consumation of marriage. (Al-Ahzab: 49). Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for the girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl in marriage at this age but it is also pemssible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Qur'an has held as permissible.

Yahya Snow said...

Jayman...

I am not sure you have read the article. I am unsure as if you had read this article you would have noted that Islamic Law does not allow sex with immature girls. Islamic Law is based onthe Quran and the Sunnah. Therefore it is clear from Islamic Law that the Quran does not allow sex with immature girls.

Jayman, all you do is interpolate your own corrupt understanding and views into text which do not support your claims.

My question to you is; why are aome evangelical critics on the internet so eager to inaccurately portray the Quran as a Book which allows sex with immature girls? (Especially relevant as Muslims have show the evangelical critics to be incorrect).

May Allah guide us all and bless us further in this month of Ramadan. Ameen

Jayman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yahya Snow said...

I appreciate your concern.

However, Maududi did not believe that one could have sex with a pre-pubescent girl. Islamic Law is very specific and disallows sex with pre-pubescent girls. Islamic Law is based on the Quran...therefore if the Quran did allow sex with prepubescent girls thane IslamicLaw would follow suit. That is not the case therefore both the Quran and Islamic Law do not allow sex with prepubescent girls.

I have never met a Muslim thinks having sex with prepebescent girls is allowed.

Most critics I have come across are biased towards Christianity or Atheism. Therefore their judgement and neutrality is always hindered. I would also note that all the famous (recognised) critics I have studied do NOT believe that the Quran allows sex with prepubescent girls.

All the Scholars (Muslim and non-Muslim) agree with me.

Therefore you seem to be awfully lonely in your corner

Yahya Snow said...

Note...Muhammad did not perform such an act. This is testified to by Islamic Law. It is sad that we (Muslims) have to continue to defend ourselves and our Prophet against appaling lies.

Peace

Jayman said...

Yahya Snow:

However, Maududi did not believe that one could have sex with a pre-pubescent girl.

Merely making this assertion is not helpful. I provided a quote from Maududi where he says it is permissible and you respond with a mere assertion. Please provide a quotation.

Muhammad did not perform such an act. This is testified to by Islamic Law.

Whether Muhammad actually had sex with a pre-pubescent girl may be debatable on historical grounds. However, a key point you seem to be missing is that some Muslim sources, which I quoted, had no problem stating that Muhammad did have sex with Aisha before she reached puberty. Since no Muslim would intentionally make Muhammad out to be a sinner, these sources must have been ignorant of the Islamic Law you keep alluding to but cannot cite (I note you ignored my comments about your interpretation of the Quran).

It is sad that we (Muslims) have to continue to defend ourselves and our Prophet against appaling lies.

You have to keep defending yourself because of what Muslims have done and said throughout the ages down to the present.

Zakaria said...

Jayman

Sexual maturity is defined in islam by some scholars on the basis of mental maturity and physical maturity. A girl can very well be both mentally and physically mature without having obtained her first menses. Puberty is a process in which menstruation is one part among others.
The reason why it is recommended in islam to marry as early as possible is to avoid sex outside the marriage.

Jayman said...

Hello Zakaria:

Sexual maturity is defined in islam by some scholars on the basis of mental maturity and physical maturity.

I note that you say only some Islamic scholars define sexual maturity on the basis of mental and physical maturity. Apparently Islamic Law is not as clear as Yahya Snow implies.

A girl can very well be both mentally and physically mature without having obtained her first menses.

Define mature. You certainly can't mean that it refers to a girl who is fully developed for then she would be menstruating.

Puberty is a process in which menstruation is one part among others.

True, but menstruation is often one of the last stages of puberty and thus a decent indicator that a girl is sexually mature as opposed to merely becoming sexually mature.

The reason why it is recommended in islam to marry as early as possible is to avoid sex outside the marriage.

I'd expect sexually abusing children to be deemed a bigger evil than pre-marital sex.

Zakaria said...

Jayman:

'I'd expect sexually abusing children to be deemed a bigger evil than pre-marital sex.'

Well the point of departure is both sexual and mental maturity. Every human being is different in that regard. These criteria are set so that no child is abused and at the same time minimizing the risk of pre-marital sex.
Your statement is based on your worldview and is not something a muslim would agree with.
Remember I said some scholars not all have this view. If you have a problem with their view take it up with them or the people that defend that view.
Just because in general in islam early marriages are recommended it doesn't mean that all scholars have the same lower limit. Based on among other things this recommendation, some scholars put the lower limit to sexual and mental maturity with or without menses.

Jayman said...

Zakaria:

Well the point of departure is both sexual and mental maturity. Every human being is different in that regard. These criteria are set so that no child is abused and at the same time minimizing the risk of pre-marital sex.

If you don't think a girl has to be menstruating then you are not using the term "mature" to mean fully sexually developed. Such a weak standard of maturity will lead to child abuse.

Your statement is based on your worldview and is not something a muslim would agree with.

Are you actually saying that Muslims deem pre-marital sex to be worse than sexually abusing a child? My statement is not based on my worldview but on the fact that the victims of sexual abuse suffer much, much more than those who engage in consensual pre-marital sex.

Remember I said some scholars not all have this view. If you have a problem with their view take it up with them or the people that defend that view.

The difference of opinion needs to be stressed because it undermines Yahya Snow's claim that Islamic Law is unambiguous on the matter of sex with pre-pubescent girls.

Zakaria said...

Jayman

"Are you actually saying that Muslims deem pre-marital sex to be worse than sexually abusing a child? My statement is not based on my worldview but on the fact that the victims of sexual abuse suffer much, much more than those who engage in consensual pre-marital sex."

By claiming that you force your worldview on an islamic worldview I mean that those who say it's okay to marry a pre-menses girl do not agree with your presupposition that it is child abuse.

"If you don't think a girl has to be menstruating then you are not using the term "mature" to mean fully sexually developed. Such a weak standard of maturity will lead to child abuse."

In most western countries a girl can have consentual sex as early as 15 years old. Do all 15-year old girls meet even the islamic criteria let alone having had their first menses? No. You base your criteria on age alone which might not guarantee that the girl is ready for sex mentally and physically.
Moreover, you use a lot of words like 'weak standard', 'not fully sexually mature'. Just because you say so doesn't mean that your claim agrees with some objective truth. A muslim with this view would say that these are not weak standards at all.

'The difference of opinion needs to be stressed because it undermines Yahya Snow's claim that Islamic Law is unambiguous on the matter of sex with pre-pubescent girls.'

Do all differences of opinion need to be stressed? All worldviews have differences of opinion. That doesn't mean that the minority view should be regarded as representative of the worldview as a whole.

Not only is this a minority view but it is very rarely practiced and should thus be seen as representative of islam as a whole. As soon as christian apolpogetics or other islamophobes find something they can criticize in islam they jump on it and imply that it is representative of the whole religion.

Zakaria said...

Not only is this a minority view but it is very rarely practiced and should thus be seen as representative of islam as a whole.

The sentence above should read as follows:

Not only is this a minority view but it is very rarely practiced and should NOT thus be seen as representative of islam as a whole.

Jayman said...

Zakaria:

By claiming that you force your worldview on an islamic worldview

The fact that I believe the state should make sexual abuse illegal, does not mean that I am forcing my worldview on anyone (as if that were possible). It means I expect the government to protect innocent civilians.

I mean that those who say it's okay to marry a pre-menses girl do not agree with your presupposition that it is child abuse.

You write as if this is merely a matter of personal opinion. Either sex with immature girls tends to harm such girls or it does not. There is no room for mere opinions.

You base your criteria on age alone which might not guarantee that the girl is ready for sex mentally and physically.

I haven't asked for your definition of mental maturity yet because you still haven't explained your definition of physical maturity.

Just because you say so doesn't mean that your claim agrees with some objective truth.

I assumed you could look up definitions and basic biological facts for yourself. Mature is defined as: having completed natural growth and development; of or relating to a condition of full development. Menstruation is usually the last sign of puberty. Unless you are going to butcher the definition of mature, I don't see how you can disagree with me much.

Do all differences of opinion need to be stressed?

When it shows someone's claims to be false and is of such moral importance, yes. If we want to have an honest discussion about Islam and sex with immature girls we have to deal with the fact that some Muslims justify their actions with appeals to Shariah.

That doesn't mean that the minority view should be regarded as representative of the worldview as a whole.

Nowhere have I said that all Muslims believe sex with immature girls is OK. However, the Quran and Hadith seem ambiguous at best on the subject. If the Quran is the basis of Islam and the Quran says sex with immature girls is permissible, then the Islamic worldview is suspect on ethical grounds.

Not only is this a minority view but it is very rarely practiced and should not thus be seen as representative of islam as a whole.

Despite living in the West, I come across such stories about once a month. Here's a story from Kansas City. Note that "she was pressured into the union because her mother and stepfather thought she was going to be sexually active with a boy her age." Her relatives had to take her away "to protect her from further sexual abuse." Again, I didn't say all Muslims hold such a view and the article makes that clear too. But we can't deny that, say, a Quaker family would never subject their daughter to such abuse (and certainly not on religious grounds).

As soon as christian apolpogetics or other islamophobes find something they can criticize in islam they jump on it and imply that it is representative of the whole religion.

I see that certain Islamic beliefs, not necessarily held by all Muslims, lead inevitably to immorality. Marrying off young girls is one of those beliefs, even if it is not held by all Muslims, that leads to immorality. As long as you ignore these links the abuse will continue. Would you rather that the "Christian apologists" and "Islamophobes" looked the other way as girls are sexually abused?

Zakaria said...

Jayman

Please read The Islamaphobe’s Glass House
Refuting the Claim that Prophet Muhammad was a
Pedophile
By Ibn al-Hashimi

If you google it you'll find the text.

It also discusses the question of minimum age for marriage. As I said you have to discuss this with those who actually hold this opinion.

Anonymous said...

Marrying someone that has not reached puberty does not mean you can have relations with that person ... considering the example of the Prophet (saw) who technically married Aisha (ra) before she reached puberty but she didn't move into his household until after she reached it ... but Jews use the bible (Numbers 31:17-18) to justify marriage and coition with 3 year olds

Jayman said...

Anonymous:

Marrying someone that has not reached puberty does not mean you can have relations with that person

True, but it sets up a situation that can be easily abused.

considering the example of the Prophet (saw) who technically married Aisha (ra) before she reached puberty but she didn't move into his household until after she reached it

The earliest Muslim sources do not agree on this matter as my opening post demonstrated.

but Jews use the bible (Numbers 31:17-18) to justify marriage and coition with 3 year olds

If some Jews rape children that doesn't mean it's OK for Muslims to rape children. Of course, it is quite a stretch to think that Numbers 31:17-18 is sanctioning child rape. The minimum age for marriage in Judaism is 13 for boys and 12 for girls.

Anonymous said...

Also more proof is the authentic hadeeth of the Prophet (saw) that relations are only permissible if it doesn't cause the girl harm and when she is ready ... unlike in the bible where isaac married rebekah when she was 3, and of course there is no marriage without consummation (intercourse) in judaism ...

Jayman said...

Anonymous:

Also more proof is the authentic hadeeth of the Prophet (saw) that relations are only permissible if it doesn't cause the girl harm and when she is ready

Can you provide a citation? Also, how about a plausible interpretation of Quran 65:4?

unlike in the bible where isaac married rebekah when she was 3, and of course there is no marriage without consummation (intercourse) in judaism

The Bible does not mention Rebekah's age at marriage. However, a close reading of Genesis 24 shows that she could not have been three years old at the time she was given in marriage. First, she went to the well without anyone watching over her. Second, she re-filled her jar of water repeatedly to provide water to Abraham's servant and his camels. Third, she was able to hold a conversation. Fourth, she knows that her home has room for Abraham's servant. Fifth, Rebekah's family does not object to giving Rebekah in marriage to Isaac as you would expect them to do if she were three. Sixth, Rebekah's family acknowledges that she is mature enough to decide on her own whether to leave immediately with Abraham's servant.

Sanh. 76b explicitly forbids parents to give their child in marriage before the child has reached puberty. Jewish law is quite clear on the matter. Why is it so difficult for Muslims to come up with an analogous citation from the Quran or Hadeeth?