While families were celebrating the long-awaited union between husband and wife, the police were tipped off about disturbing activities going on at the religious ceremony. However, nothing could prepare law enforcement officials for the horrific discovery they stumbled upon during the newlywed couple’s honeymoon.
After a typical Muslim wedding concluded, Dahkan Police made a stomach-churning discovery concerning the bridal party. Authorities arrested multiple people when they found out that 2 families and an imam had arranged for the 22-year-old groom to share his marriage bed with his 4-year-old bride, Dawn News reports. The 40-year-old imam, Molvi Kifayatullah Bhutto, consecrated the matrimony on Saturday in an Islamic ceremony called “nikkah khwan,” religiously binding the prepubescent child to the Muslim man.
Police arrested the 22-year-old groom, Habibullah Shar; his father, Gul Meer Shar; and the child’s father, Papoo Shar, for arranging an illegal child marriage. The 4-year-old girl was also taken into protective custody and her mother, Zameer Shar, was placed under arrest for her involvement. The last names may suggest that both families are closely related, as is customary for marriages in the Muslim world.
In total, both sets of in-laws, the Muslim imam, and numerous wedding attendees have been taken into police custody and face charges in separate trials. The charges were cited under Sections 3, 4, and 5 of Pakistan’s Early Child Marriages Restraint Act of 2013, which prohibits individuals under the age of 18 from marrying.
An initial report stated that the girl was 5 years old but later confirmed that she was only 4, according to Dahkan Police. Authorities told journalists that the marriage had been officiated by the imam but police intervened and rescued the child just before her parents handed her over to the groom, who is more than 5 times her age. The marriage was arranged by both families soon after the girl was born, as is a Pakistani Islamic tradition, the Pakistan Observer reports.
It is unclear whether Habibullah planned to rape the child immediately after receiving custody of her or if he would’ve waited until she reached puberty. However, the event sheds light not only on the incompatibility of Sharia law and basic human rights but also Islam’s fundamentals.
Despite the fact that many Pakistanis and Muslims around the world might condemn this particular incident, it’s undeniably justified and encouraged in every accepted Islamic text. In fact, to condemn this act would be to condemn the divine authority of the prophet Muhammad, the only man whom Allah allowed to interpret his word.
When Muhammad was at least 50 years old, he convinced his closest companion and the soon-to-be first Caliph, Abu Bakr, to hand over his 6-year-old daughter, Aisha, to him in marriage. At first reluctant, Bakr quickly agreed when Muhammad convinced him that Allah had “given” Aisha to him in a dream and that the Quran prescribed a man to marry a prepubescent child. Not one to resist his debauched lusts, Muhammad waited just 3 years until Aisha was 9, possibly in part because she had fallen severely ill, to “consummate” their union.
Every hadith in the collection confirms that Aisha was no more than 10 when the 50-something-year-old prophet raped her. Aisha herself confirms that she was 6 when betrothed and 9 when raped.
“The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years)… Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.” (Bukhari 5.58.234).
Additionally, the Quran supports the act of child marriage, as Quran 65:4 declares the rules for divorcing women who have gone through menopause, young women who are still menstruating, and girls who have not yet gone through puberty.
Millions of prepubescent girls are married off to men several times their age each year. While child marriage isn’t exclusive to Islam, the Islamic custom of marrying off young girls can never be combated without equally combating the religion. It is a fundamental of Islam established by its prime male example.