The high ratio of child marriages is of no surprise in Muslim countries having a patriarchal setup but the abuse of Islam for personal gains is horrendous. Male and female both genders are victims of early marriage but the ratio and sufferings of young girls are much higher than boys. The excuse by parents that Islam makes it obligatory for them to marry their daughters as soon as they reach to the age of puberty is shameless because if the obligations of Islam are so pious and vital for them then it is also an Islamic obligation to take the consent of girl before fixing her marriage.
The example of the holy marriage of Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) and Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) to justify early marriages has become irrelevant in the current scenario. First, in that marriage Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) was not forced emotionally or physically to agree for the marriage. In most of the current cases girls are emotionally pressurized by their parents and members of the family. Being an obedient child, the girls surrender their dreams, desires and right to choose their own life partner. Initially they resist but finding no support, they are left with no other choice but to sacrifice and their sacrifice is hailed by their parents as former’s consent. At an early age, the girls have no support of their parents and when parents deny to back the decision of their own girls, the girls become helpless.
Second, it was an honour for Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) to become Um Ul Momineen and no Muslim girl can even think about losing such opportunity .The highest number of Ahadis among women is given by Hazrat Ayesha ( R.A) which further emphasise the fact that the marriage was not done for worldly needs but to serve Islam.The sharp mind of Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) helped a lot of women to understand Islam and she lived a long life after the death of Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWW and the services she gave to Islam wouldn’t have been possible without becoming the companion of Prophet SAWW. In current circumstances the case is completely different. To label the child marriage as Sunah is an open challenge to the intentions of Holly Prophet (SAWW) as he had no personal gains behind agreeing to that marriage. Sunnah is not only about the actions done by Prophet SAWW but it is also about his intentions and context behind such action. To choose one thing and to neglect other thing is against the essence of Islam. In current scenario the action is completely according to Sunnah but the intentions do not match the intentions of Holy Prophet SAWW.
Third, which is the most sensitive topic to be discussed but to discuss it is also necessary to show the mirror to the pseudo-champions of Islam. The reason behind the holy marriage was not to fulfil sexual desires but in current cases girls are sexually abused in the name of marriage. The only difference between child rape and child marriage is that in child rape the consent of child’s parents is not taken and in child marriages parents happily agree. The commonality between child rape and child marriage is that in both cases the child does not want sex; being powerless it has been forced upon the victim. The newly wedded child-bride is manipulated to agree for sex and in some cases if she disagrees she is forced for it. She has been told by her mother and aunties that it is a great sin to refuse your husband when he asks for sex but the point is that where the sin of forced marriage does go? Isn’t it not a sin to force a girl for a marriage? It is.
Child marriage is an assurance of teen-age pregnancy of mother. The newly wedded couple is frequently asked about the ‘good news’ which is ironically bad for the health of the mother. There is a social pressure from not only groom’s family but the girls family also pushes her to be a mother so that her family will began and the chance of divorce lessens. A bride who doesn’t change her status to a mother is always questioned in social gatherings and the concept of family planning is alien to the people having conventional mindset. Early age pregnancy cause health issues to the mother, for instance, high blood pressure and amnesia. The mortality risk of mother and child also increases with early age pregnancy but who cares. The other problem is that family members are not satisfied with one child. Until the body of mother is not exhausted and she becomes fat, weak and sick the chain of pregnancy is not stopped. This leads to many other health problems, for instance, osteoporosis. The gist of the discussion is that health of a girls is the least concern of the people of patriarchal setup and it is an injustice to them.
To conclude, it is to say that child marriages do not fulfil the essence of Sunnah in current society. It is all about personal gains of parents and their own satisfaction. The misinterpretation of Islam cannot make child marriages of girls without their consent a religious obligation. Those who don’t fear from Allah should not also be afraid from accepting that they have their personal gains behind child marriage, for instance, to be free from the burden of their girl’s marriage, to protect their honour, to satisfy their greed and most of the times to escape from the tiresome responsibility of finding a compatible groom for their daughter. A marriage in which the consent of girl-child is not taken and she has been emotionally or physically manipulated is a collective rape and all are abets who pressurise the girl to agree.