Minor Marriage in Early Islamic Law


Author: Carolyn Baugh
In Minor Marriage in Early Islamic Law, Carolyn Baugh offers an in-depth exploration of 8th-13th century legal sources on the marriageability of prepubescents, focusing on such issues as maintenance, sexual readiness, consent, and a father’s right to compel. Modern efforts to resist establishment of a minimum marriage age in countries such as Saudi Arabia rest on claims of early juristic consensus that fathers may compel their prepubescent daughters to marry. This work investigates such claims by highlighting the extremely nuanced discussions and debates recorded in early legal texts. From the works of famed early luminaries to the “consensus writers” of later centuries, each chapter brings new insights into a complex and enduring debate.

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Carolyn G. Baugh, Ph.D. (2011), University of Pennsylvania, is Assistant Professor of History at Gannon University. In addition to scholarly articles, she has translated Ibn Khaldūn’s treatise on Sufism, Shifāʾ al-sāʾil fī tahdhīb al-masāʾil for the Library of Arabic Literature.
Part One: The Early Formative Era
Chapter One: Contextualizing and Conceptualizing Minor Marriage
Chapter Two: The Early Compendia
Chapter Three: Early Ḥanafī Thought
Chapter Four: Early Mālikī Thought
Chapter Five: Al-Shāfiʿī

Part Two; Consensus, Consensus Writing, Post-Formative Era Writing, and Whether Consensus Matters
Chapter Six: Consensus
Chapter Seven: Writing Consensus
Chapter Eight: Post-Formative Era Thought on Minor Marriage
Conclusion: Does Consensus Matter?

Appendix: Excerpts from the Early Compendia
Of immediate interest to scholars and students of Islamic law and those specializing in human rights law, particularly those concerned with consent and compulsion and the early legal tradition.