What is Islam’s view on child marriage?
There is a distinction between puberty (bulūgh) and maturity (rushd). (Quran 4:6) Whilst the physical indicators of puberty can signal the attainment of bulūgh this does not mean a child has reached maturity that is necessary for marriage. Sharia dictates are commonly categorised into devotional responsibilities (ʿibādāt) and social responsibilities (muʿāmalāt). Sharia social responsibilities were constructed to regulate social practices and transactions in order to minimise injustice and potential abuse. As marriage falls under the category of social responsibility (muʿāmalāt), it is left to the legal conventions of the land in which one chooses to reside. There is a growing international consensus that a minimum age of marriage is 18 years 1 and therefore, we recommend this as the minimum age of marriage even where the law of land permits marriage before the age of 18.