8 year old Nojoud wants divorce

Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:20

Looking through my Tag surfer, I found a post pointing to a story from Yemen. Are you ready for this? I wasn’t.

8 year old, Nojoud Muhhamed Nasser, a brave little girl from Yemen, went to court eight days ago, by herself, to find a judge. She wanted to find out, if she could be divorced from her 30 year old husband, whom her father forced her to marry 2 months ago. By the Yemeni law, she is to young to prosecute, but her father and her husband have been arrested. This is 21st century, people.

Her testimony:

“My father beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me. I refused but I couldn’t stop the marriage,” Nojoud Nasser told the Yemen Times. “I asked and begged my mother, father, and aunt to help me to get divorced. They answered, ‘We can do nothing. If you want you can go to court by yourself.’ So this is what I have done.”

“He used to do bad things to me, and I had no idea as to what a marriage is. I would run from one room to another in order to escape, but in the end he would catch me and beat me and then continued to do what he wanted. I cried so much but no one listened to me. One day I ran away from him and came to the court and talked to them.”

“Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him. This lasted for two months”

“He was too tough with me, and whenever I asked him for mercy, he beat me and slapped me and then used me. I just want to have a respectful life and divorce him.”

Her husband says:

Yes, I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me,” he said. “But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”

It’s not ok. You have ruined someone’s life forever…

photo by Stephanie Sinclair

In Yemeni civil law, children under the age of 15 can not get married, but in 1998 an amendment was made, in order for parents to be able to make a marriage contract, if they wish so. Officially, the husband can not consummate the marriage until the girl is “ready” or “mature” ( I really do not know exactly, what that means in Yemeni law. Has her first period? Verbally agrees to have a sexual contact with her husband?)

Muslims are to follow Muhammed’s example. After Muhammed’s first wife died, he married his best friend’s daughter, Aisha. She was six at that time, so he had to wait to consummate the marriage until she was about nine. (There are controversies about Aisha’s age, some Muslim scholars are trying to convince the masses, that she was bit older than that).

Muhammed followed the cultural norm established in his land: marrying young girls and starting sexual interactions with them after their first menses was a norm at that time in the Arabic Peninsula (Jewish custom said the girl must be at least 12.5, the boy at least 13). Therefore Muhammed established this practice for his followers to come for the next centuries. Islam authoritatively and consequently follows His Prophet’s example till today.

To make things easier for the men, there is a Fatwa (ruling on Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar) explaining Muhammed’s sexual relationship with Aisha, which they can follow, if needed.

(…) answering the question about “thighing” of Aisha, (…)

After the committee studied the issue, they gave the following reply:
It has not been the practice of the Muslims throughout the centuries to resort to this unlawful practice that has come to our countries from pornographic movies that the kufar (infidels) and enemies of Islam send. As for the prophet, peace and prayer of Allah be upon him, thighing his fiancée Aisha. She was six years of age and he could not have intercourse with her due to her small age. That is why [the prophet] peace and prayer of Allah be upon him placed HIS [MALE] MEMBER BETWEEN HER THIGHS AND MASSAGED IT SOFTLY, as the apostle of Allah had control of his [male] member not like other believers.. (from here )

If you can find another word then a word starting with “p” describing this act done to a child, send me a note.

Anyway, that’s what and why Muslim men think about marrying young girls in some parts of the world still today.

The question to investigate would be: is this beneficial for the child-bride? Can the modern psychology, science change the approach of Muslims in this subject?

It is a proven fact that after the first menses, it takes between 1 to 6 years for a girl to be ready to successfully carry a baby full term. Younger girls are more likely to miscarry and their babies are facing higher risks during their developmental stage.

Mental, psychological, emotional and spiritual growth, and in consequences, beneficial engagement in the society is highly imparted also.

Early pregnancies are the leading cause of death for girls age 15 to 19 in the developing world, UN reports. According to UNFPA, at least 49 countries in the world are facing the problem of “child-brides”. In Afghanistan, it is believed that between 60 and 80 percent of marriages are forced marriages.

Why are parents doing this to their children? The answer is almost always the same: financial or material benefits. Some are bought with money, some with material possessions, some with animals, some are the debts payments (officially it is a dowry, of course). Sad, but true.

You tell me, if girls so young are mature enough to handle life provided for them in such a way. You tell me, if you would like to volunteer and live through such life? You tell me, if you would allow your daughter/sister/mother to have a life story so traumatic? You tell me, if it should be still permissible in Islam to marry elementary age girls ?

Nojoud, you are a brave girl. I will remember you.

More reading:

Child brides in Islam

7 years old child bride in Ethiopia

Child brides in Afghanistan

4 years old child bride in Afghanistan

Saudi 11 year old marrying 10 year old cousin

12 years old Nigerian, widowed at 20 with 5 kids and pregnant


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17 thoughts on “8 year old Nojoud wants divorce

  1. You shall know them by their fruits, that is so true!!
    8 Years old, & you are expected to get married, etc…….& yet your family expects you to go through this divorce on your own. What kind of Love is this?

    Definately, not the Love of Jesus: who died on the cross for you, that you may live abundantly in Him & walk the Christian walk & know true peace.

    No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus Know Peace.

    I do not know who I’m writing this to, I hope that I’m making this post to the 8 year old girl, as my heart breaks for her. I can’t imagine it, nor do I want to imagine getting married @ such a young age. Even 23 years old was too young for me, 30 years old is better.

    If I’m making this post to anyone else, especially her husband: just because you married her doesn’t make you right. No-One should marry an 8 year old girl, that is way too young.

    Vengence is mine saith the Lord, I will repay!! So, we need not to take things into our own hands, but pray that Justice will be served on this man & many others like him. Be it through the court system, or @ the Day Of Judgement.

    (parts of this comment are not displayed)

  2. Jesus Cares 4u,

    Thank you for your comment and visiting my blog. I updated this girl’s situation yesterday on my site.
    I cut about 3 sentences off your comment post, I think they were bit to offensive.
    I understand your anger though. What they do in the name of Allah or following their tribal customs should not be permissible.

    Blessings,

    Iwona

  3. why should you care if the younger women miscarry the babies? they aren’t humans anyway…. according to the rest of your posts! why should you care about another human being, when you agree to kill babies?

  4. Where did you get the images you use in this blog? I am looking for rights free images of child brides for a presentation I am putting together for the Women’s Studies department at ASU. Thank you for your help.

  5. This case of nojoud considers a null marriage as long she has been forced to. It’s a well-known basic rule in Islamic law (Sharia). It’s quit different as for Aisha ,Allah be pleased with her, at that time females were got grown up – physically and mentally- faster than we do nowadays. obviously -from her narration- she was pleased with her married of Muhammed, peace be upon him, and she would refuse this marriage if wanted to, but surely she weren’t to do because she was full know that it’s a great grant of Allah.

  6. Apparently, most poster repliers here are Christians who haven’t studied history regarding courtship and marriage in diverse cultures – but rather only versed in their own culture which is so-called “updated” through “progress”.

    Any student of history knows that the idea of child marriage is nothing new. In fact, it is the repulsive reaction to such practice is what’s new. The practice of wedding off your daughter upon the start of the menses was not just traditional, it’s also practical.

    During those days there were no professions that demanded half one’s lifetime of study. So the skills of being parents was the most important of all – especially if you wanted to make sure your country had more population than the enemy’s.

    Sad to say, today’s parenting sucks. And it’s all because of so-called “progress”. The cultures that maintained these marriage practices are just continuing what they have been doing for centuries.

    Before you are quick to judge the “un-Christian” ways (pun intended) of Muslims, better research on the past of Christians and Jews. You might be surprised.

    For example, if child marriage is immoral, then Mary the mother of Jesus was also immoral. Did we forget she was Jewish? Jewish custom like most customs during her time was that she married when she was ripe. In English, around 9-14 years old – a median of 12 years). Her husband, Joseph, was probably around 30 years old and successful because they don’t wed off your daughter to potential losers like in most cases nowadays.

    I could say more here but I might hurt your feelings. So I suggest you research on it. Okay?

  7. Does it matter what was done in past times? Just because a prophet did something a couple of thousand years ago does it make it right today. It was not right then but who was going to question his perversion. Thighing an infant girl? Is that not an act of pedophilia? tThe life expectancy was much shorter than today. So marriages were made at a younger age. We live much longer today so early marriage is not a necessary thing. I can’t imagine being forced to have continual sex at 8 or10. What a terrible experince for such young girls. But it is obvious in the countries in question the girls and women are nothing only a commodity to be bartered or sold off. And to the men that marry them the are just a disposible commodity to be used up. They are not treasured as they should be by their families or their spouses.

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