I would like to know whether there is a set age for marriage in Islam for men and women? I hope you can explain with reference to the Qur’aan and saheeh hadeeths.
Praise be to Allaah.
Islam does not give a specific age for marriage, either for
the husband or for the wife. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“And for such of your women as
despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be
three months, along with those who have it not”
Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “along
with those who have it [menses] not” means minors, those who have
not yet started to menstruate. Adult women who have never menstruated at all
are like those who “despair of menstruation” (i.e., have passed menopause);
their ‘iddah is three months. End quote.
Tafseer al-Sa‘di, p. 870
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
married ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she was six years old
and the marriage was consummated when she was nine years old. Narrated by
al-Bukhaari (4840) and Muslim (1422).
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in
al-Sharh al-Kabeer, 7/386:
With regard to females, the father may give his minor, virgin
daughter who has not yet reached the age of nine in marriage, and there is
no difference of opinion concerning that, if he gives her in marriage to
someone who is compatible. Ibn al-Mundhir said: All of those scholars from
whom we acquired knowledge unanimously agreed that it is permissible for a
father to give his minor daughter in marriage if he arranges her to someone
who is compatible, and it is permissible for him to do that even if she is
reluctant. End quote.
No one may give a minor daughter in marriage except her
father according to the view of Maalik and Ahmad. This was also the view of
al-Shaafa‘i, but he regarded the grandfather as being like the father in
that regard. Abu Haneefah said – and it was also narrated from Ahmad – that
it is permissible for a guardian other than the father to give (the minor
girl) in marriage, but the more correct view is the former one.
See: al-Mughni, 7/33
The father should not give a minor daughter in marriage
except in a case where he thinks it is in her best interests. Just as he may
only dispose of her wealth in that which is in her best interests, the same
applies with regard to arranging her marriage. Islam only permits that to
the Muslim father who is pious and pays proper attention to the best
interests of his children, and who understands very well that he is a
shepherd and that he is responsible for his flock.
Ibn Wahb narrated that Maalik said, with regard to a man
arranging a marriage for an orphan girl under his care: If he thinks that
(the husband) is a man of virtue, righteousness and wisdom, it is
permissible for him to do that.
Ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Jassaas,
A man should not consummate marriage with his young bride
until she is physically able to bear intercourse. This varies from one time,
place and environment to another.
For more information please see the answers to questions no.
What young men and guardians of girls should do is hasten to
arrange marriages, so as to guard chastity and protect honour, and so as to
attain the great purposes for which Allah ordained marriage.
And Allah knows best.