A fixed minimum age of marriage for girls is required to empower women financially, physically, socially and psychologically. Islam has offered certain incentives to the woman to enlighten themselves in the society by acquiring proper education, getting inheritance from father’s and husband’s property etc. All Muslims are commanded by Islamic Principles to treat their daughters and wives equally as men for providing education and excellent career. As the data suggests, in India due to early marriage, girls are not able to complete their education, grow various diseases, remain malnourished and contributes in exponential growth of Maternal Mortality Ratio. Islam does not advocate any notion that hinders the upliftment and empowerment of women.
Islam focuses on getting education because it is the most powerful weapon to achieve the dreams as enshrined in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said “Seeking education is compulsory for every Muslim”. Increasing minimum marriage age is entwined with attaining proper education. But the age old practices of early marriage irrespective of religion in India has created a barricade for women from achieving these goals. The recent debate on social media and electronic media to increase the minimum marriage age of girls is the need of the hour and is an outstanding step to elate girls’ progress and growth, make them independent financially as well as socially. When girls get married in proper age, they will be healthy to take care of their family and children. Islam supports such law that helps girls to sustain a meaningful and prosperous life.
“For girls, maturity may be defined as: ‘A girl’s ability to manage a good life, her level of acceptance of the responsibility of motherhood and child-rearing, as well as her appropriateness in social behaviour.” (Shad Ahmad ICNA)
Islamic principles do not specify certain age for marrying girls but it constitutes that girls should be eligible to maintain responsibilities of motherhood and child bearing and may contribute to the society. So minimum age can vary from country to country depending upon the prevailing biological conditions depending upon the race & ethnicity. India is in the process to increase the minimum marriage age of girls backed by data on factors affecting girls’ development and growth. Indian Muslims should understand and must support the new initiative that will be the most fruitful and beneficial for each & every girl in India irrespective of religion. After all, Islam has always supported the idea of betterment of the women populace.