Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Part 4

Child marriage and having sex with a minor 

Many countries have banned child marriage, which is a scourge to humanity. This type of marriage was quite common in the ancient Hindu system of marriage in India. In many ancient literatures we find that children, as little as five or six years of age, were engaged in marriages by their parents. When those children grew up to become adults, they were forced to live a conjugal life that, in many cases, they abhorred. This practice was nothing but the child abuse of the worst kind. However, with reforms in Hinduism by its pioneering humanist activists, this utterly despicable custom is now a thing of the past, at least in the legal sense. But how about Islam? Islamists often proclaim that their religion is the most up-to-date and the most progressive of all religions. Therefore, one may legitimately conclude that the system of child/infant marriage must be illegal in Islam. This, however, is a big deception! The truth is, in Islam there is no minimum age for marriage. Thus, marrying an infant, even a newly born suckling baby is very much halal or an approved thing. 

The cruelest part of this tyrannical child-sex slavery is that the marriage is absolutely binding if contracted by the parents. That is, the couple must consummate the marriage when they become adult.  

Here are the Sha'ria rules on infant marriage: 

Hedaya (ref. 11, p.36) Infant marriage permitted 

Case in which the marriage of infants continues binding after puberty If the marriage of infants be contracted by the father or grandfathers, no option after puberty remains to them; because the determination of parents in this matter cannot be suspected to originate in sinister motives as their affection for their offspring is undoubted; wherefore the marriage is binding upon the parties, the same as if they had themselves entered into it after maturity.

Case which admits an option of acquiescence after puberty But if the authority of others than their parents should have executed the contract, each is respectively at liberty, after they become of age, to choose whether the marriage shall be confirmed or annulled. 

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (pbuh), himself married a child of six (or seven) years old. Many articles have recently been written about this child bride of Muhammad. I shall refer the readers to read those articles elsewhere. Here are two hadith from the Sahi (authentic) of all ahadith to confirm the marriage of Muhammad (pbuh) with a child who was still playing with her dolls when the Prophet of Islam took her to his house to consummate (to have sex with her) the marriage.

Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3311:

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old. 

Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236:

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. 

Here is how the Prophet used to have fun and sex with his child bride. 

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 298:

Narrated 'Aisha:

The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junub. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me. While in Itikaf, he used to bring his head near me and I would wash it while I used to be in my periods (menses). 

Sahih Muslim Book 3, Number 0629:

'A'isha reported: I and the Messenger (may peace be upon him) took a bath from the same vessel and our hands alternated into it in the state that we had had sexual intercourse. 

Can we ever imagine how an over fifty years old man could fondle his pre-teen wife during her menstrual cycle! By the way, the meaning of Junub is sexual defilement, that is, the state after having sex. 

If you thought that marrying a girl of six years old and having sex with her when she turns nine is too much to digest then there is more surprise for you! 

In the Sirat Rasul, we read the incredible story that Muhammad, himself, wanted to marry a crawling baby girl a few years before his death. This happened after he married A'isha. The following citation is from the book of Sirat Rasul Allahby Ibn Ishak, the most authentic biographer of Muhammad (pbuh) Most other biographies are based on this monumental work by Ibn Ishak/Ibn Hisham:

(Suhayli, ii.79: In the riwaya of Yunus I.I recorded that the apostle saw her (Ummu'l-Fadl) when she was baby crawling before him and said, 'If she grows up and I am still alive I will marry her.' But he died before she grew up and Sufyan b. al-Aswad b. Abdu'l-Asad al-Makhzumi married her and she bore him Rizq and Lubaba....(ref.10, p. 311)

Elsewhere, we note that even Hazrat Omor or Umar (spelling variation) married Umm Kulthum, the four years old half-sister of Bibi A'isha!How fantastic!

These are the examples that the noblest of the nobles of Islam have left for their followers to emulate!

Riza or fosterage by suckling 

Have you ever thought of an adult Muslim man marrying an infant (less than two years old) as well as an adult woman who has a suckling baby? What happens if the baby that is married has no one to suckle her (say, she is an orphan) except the adult lactating wife? Of course, the solution in today's world is to bottle-feed the infant wife with formula milk. However, this may not be the true Islamic solution. Here is the Islamic answer: 

Hedaya (ref. 11, p.71)

Case of one of two wives suckling the other IF a man marry an infant and an adult and the latter should give milk to the former, both wives become prohibited with respect to that man [their husband], because if they were to continue united in marriage to him, it would imply the propriety of joint cohabitation with the foster-mother and her foster-daughter, which is prohibited, in the same manner as joint cohabitation with a natural mother and daughter. IT is to be observed on this occasion, that if the husband should not have had carnal connexion with the adult wife, she is not entitled to any dower whatever because the separation has proceeded from her, before consummation:-- but the infant has a claim to her half dower, the separation not having proceeded from her. 

So far, what I mentioned above relates to an adult man marrying an infant girl. How about an infant boy marrying a grown up girl (nine years and above)? As per Islamic Sharia, there is, of course, no restriction on this practise. The only means by which a child can be prevented from marrying a grown up girl (that is to make him halal to visit her and be with her in privacy) is through a peculiar system in Islam known as RIZA or Rid'a. 

The Dictionary of Islam (ref. 6, p.546) defines RIZA thus: 

RIZA. A legal term, which means sucking milk from the breast of a woman for a certain time. 

The legal definition of RIZA is given in HEDAYA(ref. 11 ) as follows:

RIZA, or fosterage (Ibid, p.67)

Definition of the term Riza, in its legal sense, means a child suckling milk from the breast of a woman for a certain time, which is termed the period of fosterage. 

This is the Islamic name for suckling through fosterage. It is the practice by which a newly born baby is handed over to another woman who is able to suckle the infant. It was (and still is) a practice by the rich Arabs by which they hand over their newly born infants to be suckled by Beduin women. Even Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was suckled, initially, by Thueiba, a slave woman of his uncle Abu Lahab for a very brief period, and then, by his foster mother, Halima. 

Here is a hadith proclaiming the restrictions by fosterage: 

What is haram by birth is also haram by suckling...30.3.15 

Malik's Muwatta: Book 30, Number 30.3.15:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Dinar from Sulayman ibn Yasar and from Urwa ibn az-Zubayr from A'isha umm al-muminin, that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, " What is haram by birth is haram by suckling 

This practice will make the child being suckled to be haram to the foster mother. That is, the child, when he grows up, has unhindered access to his foster mother. It is, as if, the foster mother is the 'real mother' of the child. There is no problem with this noble provision, of course. So, where is the trouble? Let us examine the situation up close. 

In Islam, a woman can be married at any age even when she is a newly born baby. A foster mother can be any woman, nine years or older, other than her own biological mother. Imagine, a six-month old infant boy is suckled by a foster mother who is slightly above nine years of age. Now, when the infant boy becomes an adult of eighteen years (which is the age of Islamic puberty for male) the foster mother is slightly above twenty-seven years old, still a very youthful age for marriage, love, sex and childbearing. According to the Islamic law, the foster mother is completely forbidden to marry this newly turned adult male. He cannot even marry his foster sister. 

Here are a few rules on Islamic suckling or fosterage from the 'Reliance of the Traveller', the most authentic Sha'ria book (ref. 8,pp.575-576) 


n12.1 An infant becomes the "child" of the female who breast-feeds him (A: in respect to being unable to marry her, to the permissibility of looking at her and being alone with her, and inhis ablution (wudu) not being nullified by touching her) when: 

(a)    the milk comes from a female at least nine years old whether it is occasioned by sexual or something else;

(b)   and she breast-feeds a child who is less than two full years old;

(c)    in at least five separate breast-feedings (O:a restriction that excludes anything less than five; which is of no consequence. Separate breast-feedings means whatever is commonly acknowledged (def: f4.5) to be separate)

n12.2 In such a case: 

(1)   It is unlawful for the wet nurse to marry the child and its subsequent descendants (O: by familial relation or by suckling) exclusively (O: exclusively meaning that only the child's descendants become unlawful for her to marry, not the child's ancestors (N: or brothers)):

(2)   She becomes the child's "mother," and it is unlawful for the child to marry her, her ancestors (O: by familial relation or by suckling), her descendants (O: who become as if they were brothers and sisters (O: though the child is not forbidden to marry the latter's children).  

In ahadith we read a few interesting stories about RIZA. Here are some samples.

Aisha's sister Umm Kulthum suckled Salim ibn Abdullah ibn Umar only three times; that is why it was haram for him to visit Aisha; if suckled ten times by Kulthum then he would be halal for her...30.1.7 

Malik's Muwatta: Book 30, Number 30.1.7:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Salim ibn Abdullah ibn Umar informed him that A'isha umm al-muminin sent him away while he was being nursed to her sister Umm Kulthum bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq and said, "Suckle him ten times so that he can come in to see me."

Salim said, "Umm Kulthum nursed me three times and then fell ill, so that she only nursed me three times. I could not go in to see A'isha because Umm Kulthum did not finish for me the ten times."  

Ten suckle is required for a boy to be halal to visit a woman...30.1.8 

Malik's Muwatta :Book 30, Number 30.1.8:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Safiyya bint Abi Ubayd told him that Hafsa, umm al-muminin, sent Asim ibn Abdullah ibn Sad to her sister Fatima bint Umar ibn al-Khattab for her to suckle him ten times so that he could come in to see her. She did it, so he used to come in to see her.

(Please note that ten suckling was later abrogated by five suckles) 

Malik's Muwatta: Book 30, Number 30.3.17:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr ibn Hazm from Amra bint Abd ar-Rahman that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Amongst what was sent down of the Qur'an was 'ten known sucklings make haram' - then it was abrogated by 'five known sucklings'. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died, it was what is now recited of the Qur'an."

Yahya said that Malik said, "One does not act on this."  

Needless to say that in an Islamic paradise, RIZA will be a perfectly rightful method to solve the problem of milk supply for the babies. Now, imagine what will happen to the marriage market if most women give up their infants to their foster mothers for a limited period of time! The marriage market will come to a halt, no joke. Most potential suitors will be forbidden for each other due to RIZA or suckling by fosterage, isn't it? 

Of course, I cited an extreme scenario of Islamic fosterage.Modern world is not at all dependent on RIZA or suckling by fosterage. We have formula milk for those infants whose mothers are unable to breast-feed them for one reason or other. However, I could not find any Sha'ria rule where bottle-feeding can be used as an alternative to RIZA. See, in the seventh century medieval period, there was no baby formula milk, nor was there any concept of bottle-feeding as an alternative to suckling. Therefore, those Bedouin Arabs resorted to RIZA to solve the mother's milk supply problem. 

An interesting argument will be to know if a lactating woman can suckle an adult man or not? Tauba! Tauba!What a preposterous idea!Islam can never allow such a thing. It is a thought only provoked by Satan, the Islamists will declare. It is true that we find no mention of legitimacy of suckling an adult man or an adult woman in Sha'ria. Neither there is any mention of its illegality.In a few ahdith, we find mind-boggling episodes on RIZA. Let us review a few of them. 

A woman can suckle a young boy so that he becomes haram for her... 8.3426 

Sahih Muslim: Book 008, Number 3426:

Ibn Abu Mulaika reported that al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. Abu Bakr had narrated to him that 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Sahla bint Suhail b. 'Amr came to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Messenger of Allah, Salim (the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa) is living with us in our house, and he has attained (puberty) as men attain it and has acquired knowledge (of the sex problems) as men acquire, whereupon he said: Suckle him so that he may become unlawful (in regard to marriage) for you He (Ibn Abu Mulaika) said: I refrained from (narrating this hadith) for a year or so on account of fear. I then met al-Qasim and said to him: You narrated to me a hadith which I did not narrate (to anyone) afterwards. He said: What is that? I informed him, whereupon he said: Narrate it on my authority that 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) had narrated that to me. 

Sex with slave-girls/captive women is a perfectly valid Islamic way for a Muslim man to satisfy his sexual appetite. How about his wife?No, his wife can never indulge in such sex orgies. Therefore, it is quite natural for the unfortunate wife to be jealous (read mad) to prevent her husband from indulging in such vulgarity. Can RIZA be successfully applied here? Well, an extremely jealous woman did just that. She went to the young adult slave-girl and suckled her with her breast. This made the slave-girl haram to her husband. What a novel idea it was to prevent her amorous husband from having further intercourse with the slave-girl! Alas! It did not work out well for her. Who received the punishment? Yes, it was the lactating wife of the Muslim man! Hazrat Umar asked her to be flogged, thus protecting the right of her husband to have unhindered sex orgy with his slave-girl. It sounds mind boggling, isn't it? Here is the story from Malik's Muwatta, the founder of Maliki School of Islamic jurisprudence. 

Umar told a man to beat his wife for suckling a slave-girl with whom he used to have sex; kinship by suckling is only by the suckling of the young...30.2.13 

Malik's Muwatta: Book 30, Number 30.2.13:

Yahya related to me from Malik that Abdullah ibn Dinar said, "A man came to Abdullah ibn Umar when I was with him at the place where judgments were given and asked him about the suckling of an older person. Abdullah ibn Umar replied, 'A man came to Umar ibn al-Khattab and said, 'I have a slave-girl and I used to have intercourse with her. My wife went to her and suckled her. When I went to the girl, my wife told me to watch out, because she had suckled her!' Umar told him to beat his wife and to go to his slave-girl because kinship by suckling was only by the suckling of the young.' "  

Is it possible to extend the concept of RIZA to a husband and his wife/s?

Wastagferullah! Wastagferullah! Naujubillah! No sane Muslim can even think of committing this despicable act, Islamists will say. However, what we find in the Holy Scripture is quite upsetting, to say the least. 

If you drink your wife's milk than that does not make the relationship haram, there is only kinship by suckling in the first two years...30.2.14 

Malik's Muwatta:Book 30, Number 30.2.14:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that a man said to Abu Musa al-Ashari, "I drank some milk from my wife's breasts and it went into my stomach." Abu Musa said, "I can only but think that she is haram for you." Abdullah ibn Masud said, "Look at what opinion you are giving the man." Abu Musa said, "Then what do you say?" Abdullah ibn Masud said, "There is only kinship by suckling in the first two years."

Abu Musa said, "Do not ask me about anything while this learned man is among you."  

Who was Abdullah ibn Masud? He was among the closest ten companions of Muhammad (pbuh) who was promised paradise by him. Every word uttered by ibn Masud is considered to be completely authentic. In fact, his position could be easily considered next to Muhammad. Now, what did ibn Masud say in the above hadis? Readers, please think about its implication. Yes, a husband can drink his wife's milk and still can remain her sex partner. Strange Islamic rules! Here is another silly hadis

It is permissible to have intercourse with a suckling lady...8.3391 

Shahih Muslim:Book 008, Number 3391:

Judaima daughter of Wahb al-Asadiyya (Allah be pleased with her) reported that she heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I intended to prohibit cohabitation with a suckling woman until I considered that the Romans and the Persians do it without any injury being caused to their children thereby. (Imam Muslim said: Khalaf reported it from Judamat al-'Asadiyya, but the correct wording is what has been stated by Yahya.) 

The reason why suckling the milk of a woman by her adult husband is quite alright is explained in the following lines by Malik. When the adult drinks the milk of his wife, the milk is treated as a food and not as foster milk! This, indeed is the bizarre Islamic rule, to say the least.

Suckling is for the first two years, even if it is only a drop; whatever is after two years is only food that is eaten...30.1.10, 11 

Malik's Muwatta: Book 30, Number 30.1.11:

Yahya related to me from Malik that Yahya ibn Said said that he heard Said ibn al-Musayyab say, "Suckling is only while the child is in the cradle. If not, it does not cause flesh and blood relations."

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that he said, "Suckling however little or much, makes haram. Kinship by suckling makes men mahram."

Yahya said that he had heard Malik say, "Suckling, however little or much when it is in the first two years, makes haram. As for what is after the first two years, little or much, it does not make anything haram. It is like food."  

And finally, we have this gem of all ahadith. Please read the following hadis and decide whom shall you bash first, before you call me an Islam basher. 

Mohammad disliked withdrawing the penis before semen was discharged; he also disliked having intercourse with a woman suckling a baby; but these were not forbidden...34.4210 

Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 34, Number 4210:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud:

The Prophet of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) disliked ten things: Yellow colouring, meaning khaluq, dyeing grey hair, trailing the lower garment, wearing a gold signet-ring, a woman decking herself before people who are not within the prohibited degrees, throwing dice, using spells except with the Mu'awwidhatan, wearing amulets, withdrawing the penis before the semen is discharged, in the case of a woman who is wife or not a wife, and having intercourse with a woman who is suckling a child; but he did not declare them to be prohibited.  

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[ Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 5 - Part 6 ]

Abul Kasem is an Bengali ex-Muslim and academic. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside and Why We Left Islam.. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of five e-Books: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted at

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Name: Muhammad
Date: Monday March 16, 2009
Time: 12:19:16 -0500


You never knew anything about were probably a sufi or shia muslim who are regarded as should go to youtube and press zakir naik.i promise you if you listen to him you will know that you have been a stupid person.all those you claim wrote the quran have not been true probably read a book which decieved history there is clear evidence that muhammad (saw) was an illiterate and that he was telling people word of God.he is no doubt the most influential man in need to go to an orthodox scholar an ask him questions.all that you have said i promise you is a lie against islam and be careful about the way you lie against are nothing but an ignorant and these are facts which have lived for over a millenium.before writing anything just verify that it is the truth

Name: zuhaib
Date: Wednesday April 08, 2009
Time: 13:22:05 -0400


this all is crap. May Allah throw u in he'll. This is such a big sin u have made that u will burn I hell. Please remove this crap which u have written. I promise this is wrong.

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