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are the special issues (printed analogues were distributed in regions), shining{covering} about debatable problems gender theories, gender attitudes and relations in the most different areas of a public life. The research data resulted editions in a significant part are made by advisers of AGIC




THE GENDER RESEARCHES

In this section the gender researches are presented. The researches have been realized by the Azerbaijan authors with 1998 on present time




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Early marriages in Islam


Elshad MIRI
elshadmiri@gmail.com

Islam is the religion which was sent coincident with creation of man. If we view the Qur'an and Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, we can see this coincidence. They who alleged convergence on behalf of religion are fanaticism and fanatical cruelty that are not related to Islam, at all. Today unfortunately, one of the issues not relating to Islam is early marriages. Some parents marrying off particularly their little daughters try to justify their actions under the pretext of religion and traditions. What are these pretexts? What attitude does Islam have towards this point?

In general, Islam calls man and woman to marry. But before marriage Islam, noting how responsible and serious it is, recommends to think over it. Is it possible to burden children with so responsible work? The Qur'an teaches people to pray Allah in the following way: "Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear" (Baqara, 286). Could Allah commanding in the Qur'an that the marriage is a serious and responsible contract and teaching to pray "lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear" agree to lay on children so hard burden?

Some people trying to justify early marriages give as proof the aya saying "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 (iddat), and for those who have no courses (it is the same)" (Talaq, 4). They say that "such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses" permits early marriages. According to them, "iddat" cited in the aya is possible just after family life, and children are permitted to marry. But it is wrong to apply "as have passed the age of monthly courses" to children. Because there are those who have not passed the age of monthly courses in their life, at all. The scholars like Ibn Shubrume, Uthman al-Betti, Abu Bakr al-Asam did not accept this standpoint.

Allah commands in the Qur'an: "Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgement in them, release their property to them" (Nisaa, 6). In this aya childhood is restricted within the age of marriage. If early marriages were permitted, naturally, this restriction would be meaningless.

The main purpose of the marriage is to live together, to be happy, to enter into a marriage and to give birth to child. If a marriage is not based on that, children may face great shocks at more matured age.

The Prophet Muhammad recommended parents to teach their children to salat (prayer) under the age of 7, and if their children do not salat at the age of 10, they should be punished properly. Could he agree to deprive children of their childhood? How is it right to agree to marry children when they should be taught to perform namaz?

The mentioned ayat and Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad prove that Islam does not assume early marriages irrespective of any reasons.

How old was Aisha when she married?

The life of Messengers sent by Allah to guide people on right way is always exemplified for believers but they present a great interest for unbelievers. The Prophets are persons who always attract the attention of society with their words, behavior and way of life. Their every deed, virtually, was a point at issue. The life of the Prophet Muhammad is always a point at issue. The reason is that the period when the Prophet lived is relatively close to our time and every moment of the Prophet Muhammad's life is cited in Hadiths which came to hitherto. One of the points at issue is his marriage to Aisha. The main reason of reproach of the Prophet's marriage to Aisha is that the Prophet at the age of 53 married to girl at the age of 9. To the question "Is it possible to be engaged or to marry to girl at this age?" they said that "As the climate in the Arabian Peninsula differs from ours, girls come of age rapidly and at the age of 9-10 they are ready for marriage." But those who say it, naturally, have always had a certain tension inside. It is very difficult to imagine the marriage of the 53 aged Prophet to a 9 aged girl. The marriage of the Prophet to girl who is granddaughter to him may seem strange. What is the truth? Did Aisha marry the Messenger of Allah when she was a child, indeed?

Aisha's date of birth

There are various versions concerning the date of birth of Aisha. The main reason is that at that time date of birth of children was not emphasized and birthdays were not celebrated as today. If it was a distinguished one, his family tried to determine his date of birth. That's why there are different versions concerning the date of birth of Aisha, Abu Bakr's daughter.

Those who assert that Aisha married the Prophet Muhammad at the age of 9 say that she was born in the fourth year of his prophecy, i.e. in 614. The scholars as Suleyman Nadvi and Akkad noted that Aisha was born before the prophecy. The story related by Aisha herself proves the fact that Aisha was not born in the fourth year of the prophecy. Aisha said: "When I was a child playing in the yard, the aya saying "Nay, the Hour (of Judgement) is the time promised them (for their full recompense): and that Hour will be most grievous and most bitter"(Qamar, 46) was sent down to the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca."

The sura "Qamar" is said to be sent down in Mecca after the sura "Tariq". The Muslim scholars are unanimous that the sura, as a whole, was sent down to the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca. This sura was sent down in the first time of the Meccan period (the fourth year of the prophecy). As Aisha remembers when this sura and ayat were sent down, her birth in this year is impossible. To remember when the aya was sent down to the Prophet and to be able to play in the yard, Aisha should have been under the age of 5-6 or more, at least. If to take into consideration that the sura "Qamar" was sent down in the fourth year of the Meccan period, the chances of the marriage of Aisha at the age of 14-15 to the Prophet Muhammad are good.

Aisha's sister was 10 years elder than she

The other version proving it is Aisha's sister called Asma. Asma binti Abu Bakr is the mother of Abdullah bin Zubeir. Asma is said to live till 100 years old and died in 73 A.H. (692) in Mecca. Asma and Abdullah are children of Abu Bakr from wife called Kayle binti Abduluzza, and Aisha and Abdurrahman - from the other wife called Ummi Ruman. Asma was born 27 years before A.H. (622) in 595 in Mecca. She was 10 years elder than Aisha. If to take into consideration that Asma died in 73 A.H. at the age of 100, then she was 27 years old in 622 when Hijra, i.e. the emigration of Muhammad and his followers to the city of Medina from Mecca happened. It means that at that time Aisha who was 10 years younger than her sister was 17 years old. The fact that Aisha was 17 years old conforms to the interpretation of Hadiths in Bukhari's "Sahih". Otherwise, it may seem very absurd that the baby who was born in the fourth year of the prophecy remembered the aya of the Qur'an. Thus, it is possible to make conclusion that Aisha was not born in the fourth year of the prophecy but 4 years before the prophecy.

It should be taken into consideration that at that time, after the death of Khadija, the Prophet wanted to marry a woman who could take care of his home and children. How is logical the opinion of those who say that the Prophet Muhammad married to a girl who was even younger than his children? Naturally, it was very difficult for a child under the age of 9 to manage all family tasks and to stand them.

When did the Messenger of Allah get marry of his daughter Fatima?

In addition, Fatima, the youngest daughter of the Prophet Muhammad was born one year before the prophecy. Even Fatima is said to be born 5 years before the prophecy (605) when Quraish rehabilitated Ka'ba in Mecca.

The wedding of the Prophet Muhammad with Aisha was performed in the month of Shawwal of 2 A.H. (April, 624). The wedding is said to officiate in the month of Shawwal of 1 A.H. (623). Fatima and Ali entered into a marriage 4.5 months later the marriage of the Prophet Muhammad to Aisha, i.e. in 624. If to take into consideration that Ali was born nearly 22 years ago A.H., in 600, when he married Fatima he was 24 years old, but she was at least, 15 or 18 years old. Before the marriage of Fatima to Ali, Abu Bakr and Umar asked her in marriage from the Messenger of Allah. But the Prophet making apology to both of them properly, married her to Ali. If in that region girls at the age of 6 can be engaged and get married at the age of 9, why did the Prophet Muhammad wait for 15 or 18 age in order to marry Fatima to Ali who was grown up in his home? Why did Abu Bakr or Umar who were 2-3 years older than the Messenger of Allah ask Fatima in marriage from the Prophet when she was not at the age of 9 but of 18? Why did they wait so long? Allegedly, if Abu Bakr agreed to affiance his daughter Aisha at the age of 6 and to get marry of her with the Prophet at the age of 9, why did not he ask Fatima in marriage from the Prophet when allegedly, she was at the same age as his daughter? From this standpoint, the assertion concerning the marriage of Aisha at the age of 9 fails.

Climate is a pretext

If 9-aged Aisha was able to marry, did not Fatima have constitution and appearance to marry at the age of 9? If in the Arabian Peninsula girls had such a constitution that they were able to marry at early age and to give birth to child, why did sources relating the well-known "Ifq" event when Aisha's palankeen was put on the camel say that "Aisha was very weak that's why she was not felt"? Why were 9-aged boys recommended to return home by saying "you are still little"? If girls mature at early age, should not boys living in the same climate have matured? But one year after the marriage to the Prophet Muhammad, Aisha equally with other women, she went into the battle of Uhud.

The marriage of Aisha to the Messenger of Allah lasted 9 years. All Islamic scholars confirm her role in interpretation of the Qur'an, Hadiths and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) sciences. She, criticizing the greatest scholars of that time, corrected their mistakes, made recommendations and put people on the right path in order to understand right the Qur'an and Hadiths. It is illogical to attribute all that to the child.

Before Aisha was engaged

There is another point clarifying this matter. Before the marriage of Aisha to the Messenger of Allah, even before the betrothal, Aisha was engaged to Jubair, son Mut'am ibn'Adi. Mut'am refused to honor the long-standing betrothal, as he did not wish his family to be connected to the Muslim outcasts. From where did Mut'am learn Abu Bakr was Muslim? In the first years Islam was agitated secretly. To learn Abu Bakr, the father of Mut'am's son's fiancee is Muslim could be possible when Islam was disseminated openly, after Muslims' campaign to Ka'ba or meeting on the Sa'fa hill. It seems more logical that Mut'am being aware of Abu Bakr is Muslim, broke off betrothal of his son with Aisha. Allegedly, if Aisha was born in the fourth year of the prophecy, during this time her mother should had been pregnant that is contrary to fact. This event demonstrates that before the marriage to the prophet Muhammad, more specifically before the betrothal, Aisha came of age and was engaged to Jubair.

Marriage of Aisha to the Prophet Muhammad lasted 9 years

The marriage of Aisha to the Prophet Muhammad lasted 9 years, till the death of the Prophet. On the eve of the death of the Prophet she was 27 years old. After the death of the Messenger of Allah she lived 48 years and died on the 17th of Ramadan in 58 A.H. (14 July 678) after Fitr namaz (extra prayer). She is said to die on the 13th or 19th of Ramadan, in 56, 57 or 59 A.H. When Aisha died, she was 74 years old.

If to subtract the years of Aisha's life and the years of the marriage of the Messenger of Allah from the date of death, it becomes clear how old Aisha was when she married to the Messenger of Allah: 74 - 48 = 26, 26 - 9 = 17, i.e. when Aisha married the Prophet Muhammad, she was not at the age of 9, but at least, 17.

In conclusion, disparity in about one or two years is possible, but 9 years is absolutely impossible.

The reason of why a man's age is so significant is to clarify that Muslim girls being engaged at the age of 6 and married at the age of 8 has not relation to religion, since Allah said: "Ye have indeed in the Apostle of God a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in God and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of God", (Ahzab, 21), "Obey God and His Apostle, if ye do believe" (Anfal, 1, 20).
VIRTUAL MUSEIM

AGIC promotes creating the history of civil society and those initiations by studying womans public activity in the end of XIX - the beginning of XX centuries. The collection of the visual evidences and oral reminiscences allows not only to recalled the events, become utterly absorbed in the atmosphere that reigned at that time but also to comprehend, understand how and what efforts were demanded for establishing of Caucasus womens rights. The information collected here will serve also as a supporting material for teachers, historians and researchers working in the sphere of womans and gender problems. They will get an opportunity of using these unique documents as historical references, visual and oral evidences.




EUROPEAN WOMENS THESAURUS

The European Womens Thesaurus is the tool for definition and search of the "female" information in databanks, the Internet and the collection of womens libraries, the documentary centers and archives. The European Womens Thesaurus contains 2087 European terms.

In the Azerbaijan version of the Thesaurus are brought 589 terms reflecting sociopolitical realities of the Azerbaijan society, national and Islamic culture.




GENDER DIRECTORY

is the data-base of all the national actors involved in women's and gender issues work. The data base supposes to include the gender focal points: State agencies, National parliament, Business sector, Mass media outlets, International organizations, functioning in Azerbaijan, Funding institutions, functioning in Azerbaijan,Diplomatic corps, functioning in Azerbaijan, the individual actors (individual feminists, writers and poets, artists, scientific womens rights lawyers). Attention! The directory is connected by links to databases of womens NGOs (both registered and non-registered), NGOs carrying out gender projects, researchers and teachers.




AZERBAIJAN STATE COMMITTEE ON FAMILY, WOMAN AND CHILD PROBLEMS

In Azerbaijan by initiative of the President Ilham Aliev in accordance with Presidential Decree dated by 6 of February 2006 State Committee on Family, Women and Children issues has been established. Chairwoman of the Committee is Mrs. Khidjran Guseynova. She is the professor of the Baku State University and the first woman- the doctor of political sciences in Azerbaijan




THE NATIONAL DOCUMENTS

The section presents the international documents on achievement of equality between men and women and protection of human rights for women.




THE INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS

The section presents the international documents on achievement of equality between men and women and protection of human rights for women.




DATABASE OF WOMEN'S NGO

The database base of womens NGOs includes the registered and unregistered organizations, womens f groups. Attention! There arent practically precisely profile NGOs in Azerbaijan. For completeness of the information search is recommended to realize by several key words




DATABASE OF NGOS, CARRYING OUT GENDER PROJECTS

The database represents the information about the international and national projects on gender problems for the period 1998-2007. Search is carried out both by thematic key words and under names of NGOs






Human Rights in the XXI Century - Azerbaijan














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Regional Initiative of Women's Groups for Promoting ICT as a Strategic Tool for Social Transformation









      This site was prepared with support of Fund " Open Society " - Fund of Assistance