The Quran has stipulated a waiting period for divorced women to get remarried. This waiting period is called Iddah as mentioned in the Quran. But there is an exception; Allah, the God of the Quran, prescribes no Iddah for a category of divorced women:
O ye who believe! If ye wed believing women and divorce them before ye have touched them, then there is no period that ye should reckon. But content them and release them handsomely.
Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo itha nakahtumu almuminati thumma tallaqtumoohunna min qabli an tamassoohunna fama lakum AAalayhinna min AAiddatin taAAtaddoonaha famattiAAoohunna wasarrihoohunna sarahan jameelan [Quran. 33:49]
From this verses, it is understood that Iddah (stipulated waiting period) is tied to consummation of the marriage. If a woman is divorced by her husband before touching her, i.e. before having sex with her, she need not observe any waiting period to get remarried.
Clearly the reasons for Allah to stipulate Iddah is to avoid chances of pregnancy as a result of sexual relations between the married couple before their divorce.
In cases of divorces, where the husband had sex with the wife, the Quran specifies the Iddah, a waiting period of three months, in verse 65:4:
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, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.
Waalla-ee ya-isna mina almaheedi min nisa-ikum ini irtabtum faAAiddatuhunna thalathatu ashhurin waalla-ee lam yahidna waolatu al-ahmali ajaluhunna an yadaAAna hamlahunna waman yattaqi Allaha yajAAal lahu min amrihi yusran.
Here, Iddah is prescribed to two categories of women. First it says: “Yaisna mina al-maheedhi”—that is, “those women who are desperate of menses”. This indicates women, who reached the stage of menstruation but do not menstruate. The other category are those, who have reached menopause. Desperate of menses points to women, who, though reached the age, fail to menstruate. Their Iddah period is three months. This is prescribed probably to take maximum precaution about her being pregnant. Next, there comes “Wallaee Lam yahidhna”—that is, “those who have not menstruated yet”; this group of women are prepubescent girls, who have not menstruated yet. Here, the Iddah prescribed for them is the same: three months.
[I would urge readers to take particular attention on the phrase “Wallaee Lam Yahidhna”; because, it is going to be most important in this article.]
Let us sum up the two verses: a woman, divorced before sex, need not observe any Iddah at all [33:49].
But what is the reason for the prescribed Iddah for girls, who haven’t menstruated yet?
It is, obviously, because sexual intercourse has occurred between the child and her husband. It is, thus, clear that marrying prepubescent girls and having sex with them is sanctioned by the Quran.
Quranic verses with such obvious sanction of pedophilia is not enough to convinced some Muslims that pedophilia is permitted in Islam. They like to assign a different meaning and interpretation to the phrase “Lam Yahidhna” (“Not menstruated yet”) in verses 65:4. Some Muslims argue that this phrase only refers to women, who have reached the age of puberty, but fail to have courses. This is the main argument. But it holds little water, because the group of women, who have reached the age of puberty and do not menstruate, is covered in the verse in phrase: ”Yaisna min al-Maheedhi”—i.e. desperate for menstruation. Two categories of women can be desperate of menses:
1. Women, who have reached menopause, and
2. Women, who have reached the stage of puberty but do not menstruate.
Women, who have reached the stage of menstruation but fail to have menstrual courses, have been covered in the phrase “Yaisna Min al-Maheedhi”. The phrase under trial here is “Lam Yahidhna”, which comes next to it. It is a simple logic that a group of women, already covered in the earlier phrase, need not be repeated or covered again in next phrase. The Quran is the words of almighty Allah; it is not a matter of joke.
The secondly argument that comes from such Muslims is word “Nisa” in verse 65:4. They argue that “Nisa” means women; so the verse does not refer to prepubescent girls, but mature women. But this is an utterly lame excuse, which can be refuted using the same Quran. See some verses from Quran where we find the word “Nisa”:
1. And [remember the time] when we saved you from Pharaoh's people, who afflicted you with cruel suffering, slaughtering your sons and sparing [only] your women - which was an awesome trial from your Sustainer;
(Waith najjaynakum min ali firawna yasoomoonakum sooa alAAathabi yuthabbihoona abnaakum wayastahyoona Nisaakum wafee thalikum balaon min rabbikum AAatheemun) [Quran. 2:49]
2. Said the chiefs of Pharaoh's people: "Wilt thou leave Moses and his people, to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon thee and thy gods?" He said: "Their male children will we slay; (only) their females will we save alive; and we have over them (power) irresistible."
(Waqala almalao min qawmi firawna atatharu moosa waqawmahu liyufsidoo fee alardi wayatharaka waalihataka qala sanuqattilu abnaahum wanastahyee Nisaahum wainna fawqahum qahiroona) [Quran 7:127]
3. And remember we rescued you from Pharaoh's people, who afflicted you with the worst of penalties, who slew your male children and saved alive your females: in that was a momentous trial from your Lord.
(Waith anjaynakum min ali firawna yasoomoonakum sooa alAAathabi yuqattiloona abnaakum wayastahyoona Nisaakum wafee thalikum balaon min rabbikum AAatheemun) [Quran 7: 141]
4. Remember! Moses said to his people: "Call to mind the favour of Allah to you when He delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: they set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons, and let your females live: therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.
(Waith qala moosa liqawmihi othkuroo niAAmata Allahi AAalaykum ith anjakum min ali firawna yasoomoonakum sooa alAAathabi wayuthabbihoona abnaakum wayastahyoona Nisaakum wafee thalikum balaon min rabbikum AAatheemun) [Quran 14:6]
5. And when he brought them the Truth from Our presence, they said: Slay the sons of those who believe with him, and spare their females. But the plot of disbelievers is in naught but error.
(Falamma jaahum bialhaqqi min AAindina qaloo oqtuloo abnaa allatheena amanoo maAAahu waistahyoo Nisaahum wama kaydu alkafireena illa fee dalalin) [Quran 40:25]
In these verses, the word “NISA” is used to signify “Female infants”; it's use is not restricted to refer to mature women. To get the picture right, it is necessary to quote from the Old Testament, because these verses are replicas of story depicted in Exodus:
And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah; and he said: 'When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, ye shall look upon the birth-stool: if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.' [Exodus, 1:15-16]
And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying: 'Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. [Exodus, 1:22]
The story of Israelites under Pharaoh and his command to kill all male infants but let female newborns alive..! If we check all those Quranic verses, NISA is obviously used to signify female infants. So, “NISA” simply means females of all ages, according to the Quran.
Quranic Tafsirs justifying pedophilia
To Muslims' denial that the Quran sanctions marriage of prepubescent girls and sex with them, which amounts to pedophilia, is pure nonsense, rest of this article will look into most authentic Tafsirs (Interpretation of Quran) to get the exact message of the verse of Iddah, Quran 65:4. First of all, let us look at the tafsir of modern scholars. Renowned Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi (d. 1979) in Tafhim al Quran (Commentary on the Quran) interprets verse 65:4 as:
And if you are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to those who have not menstruated as yet. They may not have menstruated as yet either because of young age, or delayed menstrual discharge as it happens in the case of some women, or because of no discharge at all throughout life which, though rare, may also be the case. In any case, the waiting-period of such a woman is the same as of the woman, who has stopped menstruation that is three months from the time divorce was pronounced.
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. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Quran has held as permissible.
Note here what Maududi mentions giving prepubescent girls in marriage and consummating the marriage. He affirms that it is permitted by the Quran; no Muslims can question or forbid it. This viewpoint is shared by late Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Mufti Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen al-Wuhaibi al-Tamimi (1925–2001 CE) [Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Majmoo’at As’ilah tahumm al-Usrah al-Muslimah, p. 61–63; see here]:
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 [(i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise [Quran. Surah al-Talaaq 65:4]
The reason for bringing two modern scholars is only to show nothing has changed in Islamic tenets on marrying and having sex with prepubescent girls even in our era. Now, let us have a glance at classical Tafsirs of the Quran. Only relevant parts of the Tafsirs will be quoted here to save space.
Bukhari writes regarding this hadith:
Narrated Sahl bin Sad:
While we were sitting in the company of the Prophet a woman came to him and presented herself (for marriage) to him. The Prophet looked at her, lowering his eyes and raising them, but did not give a reply. One of his companions said, "Marry her to me O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet asked (him), "Have you got anything?" He said, "I have got nothing." The Prophet said, "Not even an iron ring?" He said, "Not even an iron ring, but I will tear my garment into two halves and give her one half and keep the other half." The Prophet; said, "No. Do you know some of the Quran (by heart)?" He said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "Go, I have agreed to marry her to you with what you know of the Qur'an (as her Mahr)." 'And for those who have no courses (i.e. they are still immature). (65.4) And the 'Iddat for the girl BEFORE PUBERTY is three months (in the above Verse). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 63)
First of all, most prominent of all Mufassirs (Quran interpreters) Ibn Kathir says:
Allah the Exalted clarifies the waiting period of the woman in menopause. And that is the one whose menstruation has stopped due to her older age. Her `Iddah is three months instead of the three monthly cycles for those who menstruate, which is based upon the Ayah in (Surat) Al-Baqarah. 2:228). The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their 'Iddah is three months like those in menopause. [Ibn Kathir on Quran 65:4]
Note that Ibn Kathir clearly mentions women in menopause as well as young girls, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Next, Tafsir Jalalain of Imam Jalaluddin Mahalli and Jalaluddin Suyuti also interpret the verse in the same way:
And [as for] those of your women who 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. [Tafsir Jalalain on Quran 65:4]
Notice that, here too, these two famous Mufassirs interpret “Those who haven’t not menstruated yet” in verse 65:4 as prepubescent girls.
These are amongst the greatest scholars of Islam. The Tafsirs of other scholars are not available in English. I will, therefore, include here other famous Tafsirs, now available only in Arabic, as listed in altafsir.com, with English translations:
Click on the image to enlarge
[Tafsir Abu-Hayyan. On Quran 65:4] The underlined text: “Those who have not menstruated yet” denotes those not menstruated because of being young.
More can be brought from authentic Quran interpreters, which says the same and will only consume space. In all these greatest of Tafsirs, what is common is that all of them interpret the phrase “Those who have not menstruated” in Quran 65:4 as “Those girls who have not reached the age of menstruation due to their young age”. We, therefore, have an unequivocal evidence that the Quran stipulates Iddah or waiting period for prepubescent girls too, simply because the consummation of the marriage has taken place.
Conclusion: Quran 65:4 obviously stipulates Iddah to divorced prepubescent girls. Moreover, the Quran prescribes no waiting period or Iddah for a divorced woman, who makes no sexual contact with her husband. Therefore, divorced prepubescent girls need to observe Iddah, simply because sexual contact has occurred between her and her husband. This proves beyond any scope of doubt that the Quran endorses pedophilia, the most abominable and perverted of all sexual crimes.
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A Complete Guide to Pedophilia in Islam
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Conclusion of Pedophilia in Islam