Islam and Pedophilia

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Pedophilia (US) or paedophilia (UK) is the paraphilia of being sexually attracted to prepubescent or peripubescent children.[1] A person with this attraction is called a pedophile or paedophile.

Some pedophiles are sexually attracted to children only (exclusive pedophiles) whilst others are sexually attracted to both children and adults.[2][3]

In contrast to the generally accepted medical definition, the term pedophile is also used colloquially to denote significantly older adults who are sexually attracted to adolescents below the local age of consent,[4] as well as those who have sexually abused a child.

In contemporary law enforcement definitions, the term "pedophile" is generally used to describe those accused or convicted of the sexual abuse of a minor. Pedophilia is considered a taboo and is illegal in most societies, cultures and religions; however this is not the case in Islamic Law and, as a result, in many Muslim societies.

This is a core topic which contains summaries
of WikiIslam articles related to it


The following are summaries of pages discussing Islam, in relation to pedophilia:

Pedophilia in the Qur'an

The Qur'an permits pedophilia. The following Qur'anic verse allows sex with pre-pubescent girls who have not yet menstruated.

And (as for) those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, if you have a doubt, their prescribed time shall be three months, and of those too who have not had their courses; and (as for) the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden; and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah He will make easy for him his affair.

This verse is in reference to Iddat (العدة‎), which is a waiting period a female must observe before she can remarry. According to this verse, the stipulated waiting period for a divorced girl who has not yet menstruated is three months.

Muhammad and Pedophilia

The most stringent clinical definition of pedophilia in the DSM-IV-TR

A. Over a period of at least six months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).

B. The person has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies caused marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.

C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.

Note: This does not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old.

Muhammad was engaged to Aisha when she was only 6 year old and he was 51, and consummated the marriage while she was still prepubescent, aged 9 lunar years old.[5]

Muhammad's Companions and Pedophilia

In the early 7th century was pedophilia was common. Some companions of Muhammad also engaged in pedophilia. Umar, the 2nd caliph of Islam, married Umm Kulthum when she was 10-12 years old. Some sources even say that she was five years old when Umar married her.[6]

Association with child marriage

Contemporary Pedophilic Islamic Marriages

Due to its many endorsements within Islamic scripture, child marriages are permitted by the majority of Muslim scholars (historically and today) and leaders, and in many Islamic countries it is common practice. Girls far below the age of puberty are often forcibly married to older persons (sometimes in their 50s and older) for various personal gains by the girls' guardian or with the intention to preserve family honor by helping her avoid pre-marital sex.

Pedophilic Islamic marriages are most prevalent in Pakistan and Afghanistan, followed by other countries in the Middle East and Bangladesh.[7][8] This practice may also be prevalent to a lesser extent amongst other Muslim communities, and is on the rise among the growing Muslim populations in many non-Muslim countries, such as the United Kingdom[9] and the United States.[10]

In countries like Yemen, Bangladesh, Iran, and Northern Nigeria, attempts at reforming laws and banning child marriages have been opposed and stopped on the grounds that such a ban would be un-Islamic,[11][12][13][14][15] and in the case of Malaysia, the growing Muslim population has effectively turned back the clock on social progress by passing new laws which allow for the practice of pedophilic marriages specifically between followers of Islam.[16]

It is clear that Islamic Law, and Islam more generally, play an important role in the persistence of these practices.

Media and statistics

Muslim Statistics on Pedophilia

This page consists of various statistics concerning Islam and children. A small sample include:

  1. 4 out of 5 Middle-Eastern women are sexually abused between the ages of 3 and 6 by family members.
  2. More than half of all Yemeni girls are married before reaching the age of puberty.
  3. With more than 3,900 children within 6 months, Indonesia tops the UN bodies list for child trafficking cases
  4. Despite 2,000 child sex abuse claims in 1 year at Pakistani Islamic schools, not 1 was successfully prosecuted

Relevant Quotations

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.
The `Iddah of Those in Menopause and Those Who do not have Menses 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. [see 2:228] The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their `Iddah is three months like those in menopause. This is the meaning of His saying.
Exegesis on (Qur'an 65:4)
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]. 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.
Qur'an 65:4
Tafsir al-Jalalayn
Narrated Hisham's father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.
Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

Other Arguments

Dispute of Aisha's age

The age of Aisha was not disputed by earlier scholars but a surge of recent scholars claim that Aisha was actually older than nine lunar years at time of the consummation of her marriage to Prophet Muhammad. They find the Sahih hadiths of her own testimony mistaken, and opt to use indirect sources and disputed dating techniques to calculate different ages. These heavily criticized research techniques have led to several conflicting ages to be proposed for Aisha at the time of consummation, including 12, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 21 years.

The polemics can be broadly categorized into these categories; discrediting Hisham ibn Urwah and the Iraqi narrators, use of non-sahih information to refute otherwise sahih hadiths, the use of secondary and indirect sources in preference of direct testimonies, the use of ‘imprecise’ dating in preference to specific dates and statements of age, as well as the use of misquoted references and oftentimes what is plainly erroneous information.

The majority of Muslim scholars agree with the sahih hadith of Aisha's young age. This has been the mainstream Muslim understanding throughout Islam's 1,400 year history, and many scholars take offense to the new claims of Muslim apologists.

The Meaning of 'Consummate'

Some reject the narrations given by Aisha in which she states that she was married to Prophet Muhammad when she was six years old and that he consummated his marriage with her when she was nine lunar years of age, even while these are recorded in Bukhari's sahih ahadith collection.

These apologists will usually resort to questioning the English translation of Dr. Mushin Khan, without addressing the ahadith in their original Arabic. A reading of the relevant Bukhari ahadith makes it clear, however, that Muhammad had sexual intercourse with Aisha when she was nine years of age.

The terms used are: "udkhilath" and "bana biha", which can only mean "sexual intercourse" in the context of the ahadith. The confusion regarding this comes from a lack of understanding regarding the English phrase "consummation of marriage", an ignorance of Arabic and an a general unwillingness to admit that the prophet had sexual intercourse with a nine year old child.

Joseph, husband of Mary, Defense of Muhammad's Marriage to Aisha

This article reviews the claim that Joseph, the husband of Mary (the mother of Jesus Christ), was a pedophile, a popular argument used to defend Prophet Muhammad's pedophilic marriage to Aisha (in debate with Christian critics of Islam).

The non-canonical apocrypha, the Christian equivalent of da`if (weak) or maudu (fabricated) hadith, in fact, do not say Mary married Joseph when she was aged only 12. They say, rather, that she was possibly 17 years of age at the time the marriage was eventually consummated, if ever (Mary's perpetual virginity, the belief that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, is an essential article of faith for the majority of the world's Christians, as well an orthodox doctrine in Islam). Indeed, the very same non-canonical Christian writings that suggest Mary's age also describe her as having been "ever virgin" (in The History of Joseph the Carpenter, Jesus says on Joseph's death "my mother, virgin undefiled").

Miscellaneous Apologetics Used to Defend Muhammad's Actions

This article reviews other, assorted modern perspectives that attempt to justify the marriage between the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his six-year-old child-bride Aisha, and which are not fully covered in stand-alone articles.

The 26 arguments covered include: "Muhammad can't be a pedophile because he also had sex with grown women", "pedophiles prefer children but Muhammad had many adult wives and only one child-bride", "at that time it was okay to have sex with 9 year-olds in Arabia", "people lived shorter life spans back then", and "menstruation in hot climates starts earlier than in cold ones, so girls in Arabia matured as early as nine".

See Also


Other Core Articles

Core articles contain an overview of other articles related to a specific issue, and serve as a starting point for anyone wishing to learn about Islam:

External Links


  1. Definition and scope of Pedophilia
  2. Definition of Pedophilia - MedicineNet, April 27, 2011
  3. Ryan C. W. Hall, MD, and Richard C. W. Hall, MD, PA, - "A profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes and Forensic Issues" - Page 459, April 2007;82(4):457-471 •
  4. Ames, A. & Houston, D. A. (1990). "Legal, social, and biological definitions of pedophilia." Archives of Sexual Behavior. 19 (4), 333-342.
  5. Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). Sahih Bukhari 7:62:64
  6. "'Umar asked 'Ali for the hand of his daughter, Umm Kulthum in marriage. 'Ali replied that '''she has not yet attained the age (of maturity)'''. 'Umar replied, 'By Allah, this is not true. You do not want her to marry me. If she is underage, send her to me'. Thus 'Ali gave his daughter Umm Kulthum a dress and asked her to go to 'Umar and tell him that her father wants to know what this dress is for. When she came to Umar and gave him the message, he grabbed her hand and forcibly pulled her towards him. 'Umm Kulthum asked him to leave her hand, which Umar did and said, 'You are a very mannered lady with great morals. Go and tell your father that you are very pretty and you are not what he said of you'. With that 'Ali married Umm Kulthum to 'Umar." Tarikh Khamees, Volume 2, p. 384 ('Dhikr Umm Kalthum') and Zakhair Al-Aqba, p. 168
  7. America Magazine: Child Marriage in Afghanistan and Pakistan, by Andrew Bushell; March 11, 2002
  8. Americans For UNFPA: Virtual Slavery: The Practice of “Compensation Marriages” by Net Community of AfUNFPA; last retrieved Monday, 08 December 2008
  9. Ten-fold rise in forced marriages in just four years - The Daily Mail July 2, 2009
  10. Christine Vendel - Man charged with statutory rape in ‘marriage’ to 14-year-old girl - The Kansas City Star, November 8, 2009
  11. "Nigeria Child Brides-Broken Lives", Times Online, November 28, 2008 (archived), 
  12. "I Could Marry Off My Six Year Old Daughter If I So Wished, Senator Ahmed Yerima Replies Critics", The Nigeria Today, July 21, 2013 (archived), 
  13. Islamist leader threatens of waging Jihad - Weekly Blitz, April 20, 2011
  14. Yessir - Child Marriage - Death Of 13 Year Old Bride After Wedding - A BIG MESSAGE, April 10, 2010
  15. YEMEN: Deep divisions over child brides - IRIN, March 28, 2010
  16. Outcry over Malaysian child marriages - Sydney Morning Herald, August 4, 2010