Quran 65:4 – The Child Marriage Claim

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Kaleef K. Karim


1. Introduction
2. ‘Nisa’
3. Waiting Period
4. Distortions of Islamic Scholastic Interpretations of Quran 65:4
5. Science: Who are the Scholars Referring to?
6. Quran 4:6 – Marriage
7. Muslim and non-Muslim Scholarly Evidence
8. Conclusion

1. Introduction

The below Qur’anic passage has often been used by some to promote the idea that Islam permits pre-pubescent sexual relations:

And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease. – Quran 65:4 (Sahih International Translation).

Some critics have twisted and distorted the passage in order to deceive the masses into believing that Quran allows child marriages. In reality, this is a lie and a great distortion. As we will examine the verse you will see for yourselves what the actual meaning of it is, showing that in no way has Islam ever permitted such marriages. In order to respond to their claims, let’s first examine “Nisa”.

Read also: ‘Age of Consent in European & American History

2. ‘Nisa’

They claim that the Arabic word ‘Nisa’ could also refer to ‘female children’. Let us take a look in Arabic-English dictionaries. The Arabic word ‘Nisa’ has been used 59 times in the Quran. Not once has the word ‘Nisa’ been used for a ‘child(ren)’, it has always referred to mature adult women. Dr. Rohi Baalbaki, says in Al-Mawrid: A modern Arabic-English Dictionary:

Nisa Dr Baalbaki

In another such dictionary, The Hans Wehr Dictionary Of Modern Written Arabic states:
Nisa Hans Wehr

Joseph Catafago says in An English and Arabic Dictionary, the following:

3. Waiting Period

Let us read the verse again,

And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease. – Quran 65:4 (Sahih International Translation).

The Quran has commanded Muslim women to observe a waiting period, which they must observe before they can remarry. This waiting period must be observed after they are divorced, which is a (waiting) period of three months. Critics often use the part where it says, “[also for] those who have not menstruated”, and conclude that this gives permission to Muslims to marry female children. Some other English translations render the word ‘yet’ at the end of the passage. If we look at the verse just as it is, it does not mention or state that “you can marry female children.”

Read: ‘Bible: Child Marriage In Ancient Israelite Times

4. Distortions of Islamic Scholastic Interpretations of Quran 65:4

They often present scholarly works by Muslim scholars and twist their writings, implying to people who have no formal education in Islam that the Quran sanctions child marriages. Here is one such scholarly statement (you can read the remaining statements which are misquoted in the Notes/ References section):

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi –

“Here, one should bear in mind the fact that according to the explanations given in the Quran, 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 consummation 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 permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her.” [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

In reading the above commentary, critics assume that because marriage is allowed with a girl who has not yet menstruated that she must be a child – in other words – the female is immature and has yet to grow up. This poses a question, since when did menstruation become the only factor or criterion for someone to be determined as sexually mature? Regardless of the commentaries that mention being ‘too young’ or  of a ‘young age’, we must ask how that indicates that this passage refers exclusively to ‘children’? The fact that none of the commentators mention anything about children proves in itself that they are referring to adult females who have reached the age of maturity but who cannot menstruate because of either medical conditions, or because some females just take longer to start their menses.

Read also: ‘12-Year-old Mary’s Marriage To 90-Year-old Joseph The Carpenter

I would like to point out to readers that nowhere in the passage (65:4) is there any mention of children. If God approved of child marriages, and the commentators also agree and reiterate what the Quran says (as claimed by the critics), then why isn’t there any mention of this, either from the Quran or in the commentaries. We need to ask, why don’t they mention the term ‘children’? If Allah in chapter 65:4 approves of child marriages, why isn’t the Arabic word ‘itfal’ (طِفْلًا) mentioned in the verse (65:4), as has been done in following verses:


(Quran 22:5) ṭif’lan (as) a child وَنُقِرُّ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ مَا نَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلًا
(Quran 24:31) l-ṭif’li [the] children أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ
(Quran 24:59) l-aṭfālu the children وَإِذَا بَلَغَ الْأَطْفَالُ مِنْكُمُ الْحُلُمَ فَلْيَسْتَأْذِنُوا
(Quran 40:67) ṭif’lan (as) a child هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُكُمْطِفْلًا

Translations for the above verses.

Quran 22:5 –  O People, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then [consider that] indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed – that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then [We develop you] that you may reach your [time of] maturity. And among you is he who is taken in [early] death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit [old] age so that he knows, after [once having] knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells and grows [something] of every beautiful kind.

Quran 24:31 –  And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.

Quran 24:59 – And when the children among you reach puberty, let them ask permission [at all times] as those before them have done. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses; and Allah is Knowing and Wise.

Quran 40:67 – It is He who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot; then He brings you out as a child; then [He develops you] that you reach your [time of] maturity, then [further] that you become elders. And among you is he who is taken in death before [that], so that you reach a specified term; and perhaps you will use reason.

5. Science: Who are the Scholars Referring to?

There are three types of females the verse refers to. The first type of female we will examine, are older women who sometimes due to a body disorder have had their menstrual cycles ceased. This may be due to stress, diet or heavy athletic training. In the Book ‘The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health’, it says:

“Amenorrhea means the absence of menstruating in a pre-menopausal woman. During pregnancy or breastfeeding amenorrhea is perfectly normal and is called physiologic amenorrhea. Abnormal or pathologic amenorrhea comes in two forms: primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea is a term used if menstruation has not began by the age of 16. Secondary amenorrhea is a term used if previously normal menstrual period stop for more than 6 months in a woman who is not pregnant or breastfeeding and is not nearing menopause.” [6]

In the book ‘Integrated Women’s Health: Holistic Approaches for Comprehensive Care’, Professor Ellen Frances Olshansky writes:

“Three broad types of amenorrhea have been identified. If menstruation has not stared in a woman by the age of 16, this is referred to as primary amenorrhea. If menstruation stops after at least one period has occurred, this is referred to as secondary amenorrhea. Women frequently experience this second type of amenorrhea due to stress, loss or gain of weight, breast-feeding, excessive exercise, change in lifestyle, or physical ailments, and may be due to menopause. The third type of amenorrhea is known as irregular or erratic menstruation. In this case, menstruation may occur a few times a year.” [7]

Thus, as we have read from a scientific aspect, some women can and do experience situations where their menstrual cycles have stopped for a long period of time (in some cases well over 4 months). The following Muslim and non-Muslim scholars also agree that the passage (Q 65:4) is referring to those women:

Maulana Muhammed Ali –

Every divorce must be followed by a period of waiting called the ‘iddah: ‘O Prophet! When you divorce women for their iddah (prescribed or waiting time)’ (65:1). The iddah is about three months: ‘And the divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses (quru)’ (2:228). A qar (pl. quru) is the entering from the state of tuhr (cleanness) into the state of menstruation. In normal cases it is about four weeks, but there are variations in the case of different women. In the case of women who do not menstruate as well as those whose courses have stopped, the ‘iddah is three months (65:4), and in the case of pregnant women, the waiting period is till delivery. [8]

Professor Ian Richard Netton –

The Arabic word Idda (number) is used for the period of waiting prescribed in Islamic law during which newly widowed and recently divorced women are prevented from entering into a new contract of marriage. The Qur’anic authority for the different prescriptions is found in Q. 2:228 and Q. 2:234. In the case of  divorced woman, the time of waiting is three menstrual peroids. For non-menstruating women or those past the age of menstruation the time is three months (Q.65:4). This is intended to provide sufficient time to ascertain whether or not there is unborn child of the dissolved marriage. In the case of a widow the Idda is four months and ten days. The longer period of waiting in this case provides additional time for mourning. In either case, however, an unborn child is taken to term before another marriage. This establishes paternity and ensures that provision is made by the former husband, or from the estate of the deceased husband, for the welfare of mother and child. [9]

Mohammed Asad –

10 I.e., for any physiological reason whatever. [10]

Yusuf Ali’s Commentary –

5513 Cf.2:228. For normal women, the Iddah is the three monthly courses after separation: if there are no courses or if the courses in doubt, it is three calendar months. By that time it will be clear whether there is pregnancy: if there is, the waiting period is still after the delivery (see also 2:234). [11]

Malik Ghulam Farid –

3067. The words ‘if you are in doubt’ have been added because the stoppage of monthly course may be due to some disorder in the womb or to some other cause, though menopause may have not yet arrived. [12]

Shaykh, Mufti Saiful Islam –

A woman who menstruates has either been divorced, agreed upon khula or marriage is dissolved, then her waiting period will be three months. If a woman does not menstruate then her period will be three months. [13]

Tafsir Anwarul Bayan – Mufti Muhammad Aashiq Elahi Muhajir Madani –

Allah stipulates an Iddah (waiting period) of three months for the woman who has passed menopause and for the woman who has not yet began menstruating. The Iddah of a pregnant woman will terminate as soon as she delivers the child or when she aborts a child whose limbs have already formed. According to Imam Abu Hanifah, this shall be the Iddah of a pregnant woman if she is divorced and even if her husband passes away. Whereas the Iddah of another widow is four months and ten days, the Iddah of a pregnant woman will expire as soon as she delivers – even though the child is born a few minutes after her husband’s death. In a like manner, the Iddah of a pregnant divorcee will also expire as soon as she delivers and not after three menstrual cycles.

NOTE: If a woman is divorced before husband and wife could share any time in privacy, she will not have to observe the Iddah (waiting period).

NOTE: If a woman stopped menstruating without her having reached menopause, her Iddah (waiting period) will not expire after three months. She will have to wait until three menses pass or until she undergoes menopause. [14]

In addition to all of these scholastic references, the staunch critic of Islam Rev. Elwood Morris Wherry a Christian scholar, who when commenting on Q. 65:4, notably mentions nothing about ‘child marriage’. [15]

Related Article: ‘Bible: Numbers 31:18 Sanctions Pre-Pubescent Marriages?

The second type of female which the verse (65:4) refers to are those women who have reached the age of maturity yet are unable to menstruate due to medical condition(s). For example, a girl could be 16 years old (or even older) and still not be able to menstruate – this is completely normal because some girls take longer for their cycles to occur. There are girls that take a lot longer than other girls to have their first menstruation. Although they are mature, they are physically and mentally ready to get married, yet due to their medical conditions they take longer to have their first period. Moreover, under Islamic law for a marriage to be valid, both the male and female must be of sound mind. Every Muslim who has attained the age of maturity can enter into a marriage contract. For the marriage to be valid, there must be consent from both parties. A marriage of a female can be consummated even if she has not yet started her menses, as long as she is physically capable of sexual intercourse. The reason why a female can get married when she hasn’t started her menses is because menstruation is not the main factor that makes a person an adult. For example, a female as stated earlier, could reach the age of maturity, where she is ready for marriage yet she does not menstruate due to medical conditions (or because some females just take longer than others to start their menses). As Mufti (scholar) Abrar Mirza from Chicago, IL (USA) states:

At times, even though a girl reaches the age of maturity, she still does not menstruate due to certain medical conditions. However, because of her having reached maturity, she and her husband may have consummated the marriage. In the case of a divorce and the absence of menstruation in this scenario, she will observe an ‘iddah equivalent to three lunar months. This is the ruling mentioned in al-Talaq. Hence, there is no contradiction in rulings, as they discuss different scenarios.” [16]

Notice, he makes it clear that the passage in question is referring to girls who have reached the age of maturity.

The third type of female the verse refers to are those who under Islamic law are said to have matured once she experiences one or more of the following:

  • A monthly period
  • She has a wet dream
  • Growth of pubic hair

If the female does not experience any of the above, then she will automatically be deemed mature at the age of 16. Now, although she has not experienced any of these signs, she will be classed as pre-pubescent as she has not experienced any of the above criteria. However, because she is physically and mentally mature, a marriage with her is lawful as long as she can handle intercourse and has mentally developed. Bear in mind, in order for the marriage to go ahead, permission of the girl has to be sought, otherwise such marriage is invalid. Ml. Asif Umar states:

“In principle, it is permissible for a male and female to marry at any age. If they are immature (nabaligh, minor), then a wali (guardian) must give them away in marriage. Consummation of the marriage can only occur once the girl matures or her body is physically fit for that. If the wife is an adult and is unfit for intercourse, then too it is prohibited until it is not harmful to her health.”

Notice what the scholar states towards the end, even if a female is an adult, say for example 20 years old or even older, and she is ‘unfit’ for intercourse, then one is prohibited from having sexual intercourse with her.

So, when some of the scholars mention ‘pre-pubescent’  girls in their commentaries, with regard to Quran 65:4, they’re referring to those type of girls mentioned above. One has to remember Quran 65:4 is safeguarding those females who may be pregnant, the iddah (waiting period) is to know within a certain time (three months) whether the female is pregnant or not.

Read also: ‘Numbers 31: 18 – Child Marriage In The Bible?

Having read all the evidences presented on Quran 65:4, we can now understand who the commentators were referring to when they spoke of girls who do not menstruate or who are pre-pubescent.

6. Quran 4:6 – Marriage

I have written the following article using the Quran and scholarly commentary that marriage is permitted when one has reached the age of maturity: ‘Minimum Age For Marriage In The Quran‘.

7. Muslim and non-Muslim Scholarly Evidence

The following quotes are from Muslim and non-Muslim scholars who have studied Islam extensively. I have quoted them so as to give readers who are not Muslim a better understanding, to demonstrate that Islam as a religion only permits marriage to take place when one is physically (sexually) mature and of sound mind (sane).

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari

Islam prefers marriage at the the appropriate age, when a boy or girl becomes physically, emotionally and intellectually mature, and is fit to take up social and economic responsibilities that marriage brings.” [17]

Ashraf’s blessings of Marriage – One of the Comprehensive & Intimate Islamic step-by-step Guides to Nikah (Marriage) & Marital bliss. Based upon the works of contemporary Scholars –


Upon maturity, although thoughts and enthusiasm for marriage commence, nevertheless, Nikah (marriage) at an early age, when physical body parts are still developing is harmful. At this young stage, organ growth has not peaked and, a drain in manee (semen) because of irresponsible behaviour is detrimental. Understand well, manee (semen) although classified impure in matters of taharat (purity) by the Shareeh’ah, is viewed as a very precious commodity. It takes eight drops of blood, which in turn is the result of much nourishment to produce just one drop of this life-making substance. Should large amounts of manee (semen) be wasted at an early stage, vital body orgasms will be deprived of their nourishment; health suffers and growth is stunted: with dire consequences later in life. However, should youngsters protect their youth, chastity, health and manee (semen) from misuse: then upon full maturity and marriage; they will experience indescribable sweetness, ectasy and peace. This is why it is good practice to nurture a ‘suitable’ match (but only with the consent of one’s child – around 16 years of age for girls and for boys 18 years) so that natural desires and thoughts are focused towards their future partner, though do remember before nikah they remain haram to each other: be it viewing, meeting, touching or speaking. [18]

Maulana Mohammed Ali –

No particular age has been specified for marriage, in the Islamic law; in fact, with the difference of climatic conditions, there would be a difference as to the marriageable age in different countries. But the Holy Qur’an does speak of an age of marriage which it identifies with the age of majority… (4:6). Thus it will be seen that the age of marriage and the age of maturity of intellect are identified with full age or the age of majority. And as marriage is a contract the assent to which depends on personal liking, as already shown on the basis of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, and since this function cannot be performed by anyone but the party who makes the contract, it is clear that the age of marriage is the age of majority, when a person is capable of exercising his choice in matters of sexual liking or disliking. A man or a woman who has not attained to puberty is unable to exercise his or her choice in sexual matters and unable to decide whether he or she will like or dislike a certain woman or man as wife or husband. [19]

Professor Lynn Welchman writes –

“The majority of all classical schools of law held that minors could be contracted in marriage by their guardians, although consummation was NOT PERMITTED UNTIL THE MINOR WAS PHYSICALLY READY TO ENTER A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP.” [20]

Professor Lynn Welchman in her other book called ‘Women and Muslim Family Laws in Arab States: A Comparative Overview of Textual development and Advocacy” also reiterates the point that:

“There was, generally, less opposition on jurisprudential (or political) bases to the setting of minimum ages of marriage than to other aspects of the reform agenda; although the classical juristic consensus permits the marriage of minor wards by their guardians, the fact that CONSUMMATION WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO OCCUR UNTIL PUBERTY OR LATER, DEPENDING UPON THE WIFE’S PHYSICAL MATURITY…” [21]

Glenn L. Roberts in his book ‘Islamic Human Rights and International Law’ clarifies the misconception held by some people that Islam allows child marriages by stating the following –

“It is sometimes reported that Sharia permits child marriage, or that an Islamic marriage occurs in two stages. These assertions are not correct. The sharia sets no minimum age for concluding a contract for marriage, but such a contract is not a contract in the Western sense because no consideration is required (and it typically will not even be written, but simply presumed from birth). The couple may be betrothed while the ‘wife’ is still a child, but the man does not deliver the dowry until the actual wedding ceremony which customarily can occur ONLY AFTER THE GIRL’S PUBERTY, AND THE ‘MARRIAGE’ CANNOT BE CONSUMMATED UNTIL AFTERWARDS. THUS THE SHARIA PROVIDES FOR TRUE MARRIAGE ONLY AFTER THE GIRL’S PUBERTY, and there no economic transactions until then.” [22]

Professor Solomon Alexander Nigosian –

“In Islam, the basic unit of society is the family is marriage. Hence, neither celibacy nor monasticism are encouraged in Islam as a way of life except under unusual or extenuating circumstances. Chastity outside marriage is regarded as a prime virtue, and the Quran recommends early marriage as a way to ensure abstinence from unlawful sexual activity. Those who reach marriageable age without finding a suitable mate are exhorted to observe complete abstinence from sexual activity until the right opportunity presents itself (Quran 24:34). Extramarital relations are altogether forbidden (Quran 17:33). It was not uncommon at one time for children to be married even before they reached puberty, though THEY WERE NOT PERMITTED TO COHABIT UNTIL THEY WERE ATLEAST SEXUALLY MATURE.” [23]

Dictionary of Islam by Patrick Hughes states –

“It is, therefore, important to consider what the requisite conditions are to vest in an individual the capacity to enter into a valid contract. As a general rule, it may be remarked, that under the Islamic law, the capacity to contract a valid marriage rests on the same basis as the capacity to enter into any other contract. ‘Among the conditions which are requisite for validity of a contract of marriage (says the fatawa-i-Alamgiri, p 377), are understanding, puberty, and freedom, in the contracting parties, with this difference, that whilst the first requisite is essential necessary for the validity of the marriage, as a marriage cannot be contracted by a majnun (non compos mentis), or a boy without understanding, the other two conditions are required only to give operation to the contract, as the marriage contracted by a (minor) boy (possessed) of understanding is dependent for its operation on the consent of his guardian.’ Puberty and discretion constitute, accordingly, the essential conditions of the capacity to enter into a valid contract of marriage. A person who is an infant in the eye of law is disqualified from entering into any legal transactions (tassaru fat-i-Shariyeh-tasarrufat-i-Shar’iah), and is consequently incompetent to contract a marriage. Like the English Common law, however, the Muhammdan law males distinction between a contract made by a minor possessed of discretion or understanding. A marriage contracted by a minor who has not arrived at the age of discretion, or who does not possesses understanding, or who cannot comprehend the consequences of the act, is a mere nullity.” [24]

In the Book ‘Law Students Companion QA’, it says:

“The essentials of Muslim marriage:

(1) Every Muslim of sound mind, who has obtained puberty, may enter into a contract of marriage.
(2) Offer must be made by one party.
(3) Acceptance must be made by the other party.
(4) Offer and acceptance must be in presence and hearing of sufficient witnesses; either two males or one male and two female…..” [25]

Classical scholars like Imam Shaffi (767 – 820 CE) and others have said that a girl below puberty should not be given away in marriage:

“It should be noted that al-Shafi’i and his companions said: It is preferable for fathers and grandfathers not to marry off a virgin until she reaches the age of puberty and they ask her permission, lest she end up in a marriage that she dislikes. What they said does not go against the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, because what they meant is that they should not marry her off before she reaches puberty if there is no obvious interest to be served that they fear will be missed out on if they delay it, as in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah. In that case it is preferable to go ahead with the marriage because the father is enjoined to take care of his child’s interests and not to let a good opportunity slip away.” (Sharh Muslim, by Imam al-Nawawi, volume 9, page 206)

Here is another classical opinion which forbids the consumattion of prepubescent marriages:

“Ibn Taymiyyah narrated from Ibn Shubrumah that he said: It is not permissible to arrange a marriage for a young girl who has not reached the age of puberty, because if we say that that is subject to her consent, her consent does not count (because she is too young to make such decisions), and when she does reach the age of puberty we believe that she should not be forced into a marriage. Ibn Taymiyyah said: This view is the correct one, that the father should not arrange a marriage for his daughter until she reaches the age of puberty, and when she reaches the age of puberty he should not arrange a marriage unless she gives her consent.” (Al-Sharh al-Mumti‘, volume 12, page 57 – 59)

8. Conclusion:

As observed from the evidences examined, it is clear that the scholars do not see Quran chapter 65 verse 4 as entailing any recommendation that Muslims are allowed to marry children. The overwhelming evidences presented  shows that nothing in the passage indicates that those who have not menstruated are considered to be children. It is agreed unanimously by Muslim and non-Muslim scholarly sources that marriage in Islam is only allowed when a female has reached an age where she is physically ready (and capable) for sexual intercourse, and also at an age where she knows what is right and wrong as an adult (mentally mature). The claim by some that the passage of Quran 65:4 sanctions child marriages is a nothing short of gross fabrication and deceit. Muslim scholars clarified in their commentaries on the passage that they were referring to adult females who have reached the age of maturity. The fact that throughout the commentaries they did not once mention anything about ‘children’ should be a proof in itself that they were all referring to females who are adults. [26]


[1] Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi on Quran 65:4, http://www.englishtafsir.com/quran/65/index.html
[2] Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen commentary on Q. 65:4
Surah al-Talaaq 65:4: If a woman does not menstruate, either because she is very young or old and past menopause, then her ‘iddah is three months, because 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 their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise.
[3] Tafsir Ibn Kathir
And [as for] those of your women who (read allā’ī or allā’i in both instances) no longer expect to menstruate, if you have any doubts, about their waiting period, their prescribed [waiting] period shall be three months, and [also for] those who have not yet menstruated, because of their young age, their period shall [also] be three months — both cases apply to other than those whose spouses have died; for these [latter] their period is prescribed in the verse: they shall wait by themselves for four months and ten [days] [Q. 2:234].
Tafseer Ibn Kathir http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=65&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2
[4] Tafsir al-Jalalayn
And [as for] those of your women who (read allā’ī or allā’i in both instances) no longer expect to menstruate, if you have any doubts, about their waiting period, their prescribed [waiting] period shall be three months, and [also for] those who have not yet menstruated, because of their young age, their period shall [also] be three months – both cases apply to other than those whose spouses have died; for these [latter] their period is prescribed in the verse: they shall wait by themselves for four months and ten [days] [Q. 2:234]. And those who are pregnant, their term, the conclusion of their prescribed [waiting] period if divorced or if their spouses be dead, shall be when they deliver. And whoever fears God, He will make matters ease for him, in this world and in the Hereafter.
[5] Ibn Abbas
(And for such of your women as despair of menstruation) because of old age, (if ye doubt) about their waiting period, (their period (of waiting) shall be three months) upon which another man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! “What about the waiting period of those who do not have menstruation because they are too young?” (along with those who have it not) because of young age, their waiting period is three months.” Another man asked: “what is the waiting period for those women who are pregnant?” (And for those with child) i.e. those who are pregnant, (their period) their waiting period (shall be till they bring forth their burden) their child. (And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah) and whoever fears Allah regarding what he commands him, (He maketh his course easy for him) He makes his matter easy; and it is also said this means: He will help him to worship Him well.
Ibn Abbas http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=65&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0
(And for such of your women as despair of menstruation…) [65:4]. Said Muqatil: “When the verse (Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart…), Kallad ibn al-Nu‘man ibn Qays al-Ansari said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is the waiting period of the woman who does not menstruate and the woman who has not menstruated yet? And what is the waiting period of the pregnant woman?’ And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Abu Ishaq al-Muqri’ informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamdun> Makki ibn ‘Abdan> Abu’l-Azhar> Asbat ibn Muhammad> Mutarrif> Abu ‘Uthman ‘Amr ibn Salim who said: “When the waiting period for divorced and widowed women was mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, some women of Medina are saying: there are other women who have not been mentioned!’ He asked him: ‘And who are they?’ He said: Those who are too young [such that they have not started menstruating yet], those who are too old [whose menstruation has stopped] and those who are pregnant’. And so this verse (And for such of your women as despair of menstruation…) was revealed”.
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 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.
[6] The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health [Copyright 1996, 2004 by the President and Fellows of Harvard college] By Karen J. Carlson, Stephanie A. Eisenstat, Terra Diane Ziporyn page 33
[7] Integrated Women’s Health: Holistic Approaches for Comprehensive Care by Ellen Frances Olshansky [Copy Right 2000] page 189
[8] The religion of Islam: A comprehensive Discussion of the sources, Principles and Practices of Islam [1990] Maulana Muhammed Ali page 501
[9] Encyclopaedia of Islamic civilization and religion by Professor Ian Richard Netton page 274
[10] The Message of The Quran translated and explained by Muhammad Asad page 1183
[11] Yusuf Ali Commentary page 406http://bradfordisoc.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/quran-yusuf-ali.pdf
[12] Malik Ghulam Farid The Holy Quran – Arabic Text with English translation and short Commentary Page 1150
[13] Marriage a Complete Solution By Shaykh, Mufti Saiful Islam Page 89
[14] Illuminating Discourses On the Noble Quran – Tafsir Anwarul Bayan By Mufti Muhammad Aashiq Elahi Muhajir Madani page 219
[15] Their appointed time. “That is, when they shall have had their courses thrice after the time of their divorce, if they prove not to be with child; or, if they prove with child, when they shall have been delivered. Al Baidhawi supposes husbands are hereby commanded to divorce their wives while they are clean; and says that the passage was revealed on account of Ibn Omar, who divorced his wife when she had her courses upon her, and was therefore obliged to take her again.”-Sale.
A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran: Comprising Sale’s Translation and Preliminary Discourse – E. M. Wherry Volume 4, page 155
[16] Scholar, Mufti Abrar Mirza from Chicago, IL (USA) Commentary on Quran 65:4 http://askimam.org/public/question_detail/19344
[17] Marriage and Family building in Islam By Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari Page 11
[18] Ashraf’s blessings of Marriage – One of the Comprehensive & Intimate Islamic step-by-step Guides to Nikah (Marriage) & Marital bliss. Based upon the works of Contemporary Scholars page 48
[19] The religion of Islam A Comprehensive Discussion of the sources, Principles and Practices of Islam By Maulana Mohammed Ali page 618 – 619
[20] Beyond the Code: Muslim Family Law and the Shariʼa Judiciary in the Palestinian West Bank [Copy Right 2000] By Lynn Welchman page 108
[21] Women and Muslim Family Laws in Arab States: A Comparative Overview of Textual development and Advocacy By Lynn Welchman page 62
[22] Islamic Human Rights and International Law By Glenn L. Roberts page 67 NOTES 174
[23] Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices By Professor Solomon A. Nigosia page 121 http://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/collections/special_collections/f43_s_a_nigosian/
[24] Dictionary of Islam By Patrick Hughes, Thomas Patrick Hughes page 315
[25] Law Students Companion QA By Manish Arora page 435
[26] [There is the story of Abu Bakr and Umar proposing to marry Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet. The Prophet Muhammed rejected the proposals given that she was very young in age compare to Abu Bakr and Umar who were a lot older at the time. Hence, this shows that the Prophet (p) discouraged a marriage where the female or the male had considerable age difference. The following are the reports:

“Narrated Abdullah bin Buraidah: It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin Buraidah that his father said: “Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, proposed marriage to Fatimah but the Messenger of Allah said: ‘She is young.’ Then ‘Ali proposed marriage to her and he married her to him.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i volume 4, Book 26, Hadith 3223. Eng. Trans., https://sunnah.com/nasai/26/26 )


“Abu Bakr and Umar sent Proposal for Fatimah, so the Prophet said: She is a child. So Ali sent Proposal (later), and he married her.” (Takhreej – Imam Dhahabi, volume 2, page 460)

“عن عبد الله بن بريدة عن ابيه رضى الله عنه قال خطب أبو بكر وعمر فاطمة قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم انها صغيرة فحطبها على فزوجها

“Buraydah narrated: Abu Bakr and Umar approached Fatima for marriage. The Messenger of Allah told them that she was too young. Ali approached her for marriage and married her.” (al-Mustadrak of Imam al-Hakim, volume 2, page 167)



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21 Responses »

  1. Amazing Work ,Thank you.

  2. Kaleef, thank you for this wonderful well written article in defense of Islam. May Allah reward you in this world and the next.

  3. Child Marriages: debunking deviant customs in the light of Quran


  4. Assalamuwaliqum brother Kaleef K. Karim, you have done a wonderful work. Brother i have search for this explanation for hours and finally Allah has made possible finding such a extraordinary explanation in your website. All praise to almighty Allah. May Allah grant you jannatul ferdous.

  5. You refer to the tafseers that the sahabah asked the prophet about women that are too young to menstruate. How do you justify that?


  7. What about many commentaries of the Quran which say “O Messenger of Allah! What about the waiting period of those who do not have menstruation because they are too young?”- Ibn Abbas 65:4. This clearly shows it talking about girls who have not reached puberty yet.

  8. And i didn’t understand ref number 5.
    Explain this point in more detail. It is possible that immature girls are also included in this verse, as are girls with amenorrhea.
    This means that child marriage is allowed.

  9. It is hard to believe Islamic classical scholars not admit child marriage.


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  3. 65:4 explained – does the Quran allow child marriage? – Paid Viewpoint
  4. Child marriage in the Quran? 65:4 explained – Following the Guidance
  5. Age of Marriage – Truths

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