Saudi Cleric clarifies Sharia law regarding child brides -- Go Ahead

You may remember that I wrote a few weeks back about the 8 year old who could not legally get divorced from her 58 year old husband.  I had a couple (not many) comments about how blaming the religion for the Sharia based ruling that the court gave was incorrect. I found this amazing because the article clearly stated that the court ruled based on their religious books AND I quoted from the relevant Hadith citing Mohammad's example.

Now the top cleric in Saudi Arabia has weighed in on the matter and given his thoughtful religious declaration about young girls marrying older men.

Turns out he has read his religious texts and believes them to be a good way to live.

CNN: Top Saudi cleric: OK to wed young girls

The debate over the practice of men marrying children in Saudi Arabia was back in the spotlight this week, with the kingdom's top cleric refusing to annul the marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man.

...Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom's grand mufti, said in remarks quoted Wednesday in the regional Al-Hayat newspaper. "A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she's too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her."

...  "We hear a lot in the media about the marriage of underage girls," he said, according to the newspaper. "We should know that Shariah law has not brought injustice to women."

Sharia law is explicitly based on religious texts that say that these things are allowed.

So as I wrote before in my “Why I engage in religious debates…” essay:

In Islam, Mohammad’s life is the best example of how to lead a virtuous life. How he lived his life is to be emulated by faithful Muslims. It is blasphemous to suggest that Mohammad’s moral example could be improved upon. This leads to some tragic modern day occurrences.

The Sahih al-Bukhari is the most trusted Sunni collection of Hadiths which records the life of Mohammad. It has passages like the following (the link is to the specific quote in the USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts):

HADITH: Sahih al-Bukari -- Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88: Narrated ‘Ursa:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Mohammad consummated his marriage with a nine year old.

If people honestly believed that this kind of behavior is the highest morality that we could even aim for, what effect could this kind of thinking have in the real world today?

We have the answer — the head cleric of Saudi Arabia has, once again, declared that Sharia Law not only allows children brides, but is proud of that fact.

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