(Credit: , who provided the following information)


Laws BEFORE Muhammad:

Many Societies knew the dangers to 9-year-old minor mothers and their babies long BEFORE Muhammad, and they didn't use them for breeding.


(1) The Jews at the time had already set the marriage age to 12:

Pious and Rebellious,Grossman, Avraham;,Brandeis University Press:

Intense opposition to the marriage of young girls is brought in the name of R. Shimon bar Yohai, that “Whoever marries off his daughter when she is young minimizes the bearing of children and loses his money and comes to bloodshed.”5 5. Avot de-Rabbi Nathan, Version II, ch. 48, p. 66. The concern is that the young girl may become pregnant and die as a result.


(2) Romans:

500 years before Muhammed, doctor Soranus wrote his book about gynaecology and in hit he stated that women could be considered fit for conception from 15. 15 is significantly older than 9. Soranus was from Ephesos and worked in Alexandria before he moved to Rome. So he had met desert-conditions girls.

Soranus wrote in his book: 

Soranus, Of Ephesus and Owsei Temkin (1994) Soranus’ gynecology. Baltimore Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

(Page 233):

In his book about gynecology in the section about problematic deliveries: "For it obtains whenever women married before maturity conceive and give birth while the uterus has not yet fully grown nor the fundus of (the) uterus expanded." So they knew the pelvic floor and birth canal were not mature enough.

(Page 227)

... difficult labor occur in those who give birth in a way which is contrary to nature? Diocles the Caerystan in the second book on gynecology says that primiparae and young women have difficult labor"

(Page 83)

How to Recognize Those Capable of Conception:

Since women usually are married for the sake of children and succession and not for mere enjoyment and since it is utterly absurd to make inquiries about the excellence of their lineage and the abundance of their means but to leave unexamined whether they can conceive or not and whether they are fit for childbearing or not it is only right for us to give an account of the matter in question One must judge the majority from the ages of 15 to 40 to be fit for conception"

And here was the law in the Roman Empire before Muhammad:

Roman Law and the Marriage of Underage Girls:"Twelve will seem to us undesirably young, and indeed ancient doctors such as Soranus warned against the dangers of women becoming sexually active at so early an age. Most Roman women appear to have married later, from about 15 to 20. But the possibility of efarlier marriage we know to have been actively pursued especially in upper-class families, where marriage often assisted dynastic alliances."


(3) Sparta:

In fact, Sparta raised the marriage age from 18 to 20 with the primary aim of decreasing the number of sickly children. As a result, they observed an increase in life expectancy for women, which began to rival that of men. It became evident that child marriage was the main contributing factor to mortality rates.


  • While Athenian women might have expected to marry for the first time around the age of fourteen to men much older than them, Spartan women normally married between the ages of eighteen and twenty to men close to them in age.[29]
  • According to Spartan ideology, the primary role of adult women was to bear and raise healthy children. This focus on childbearing was likely responsible for the emphasis on physical fitness in Spartan women, as it was believed that physically stronger women would have healthier children.[32] 
  • Bearing and raising children was considered the most important role for women in Spartan society; equal to male warriors in the Spartan army.[50] Spartan women were encouraged to produce many children, preferably male, to increase Sparta's military population. They took pride in having borne and raised brave warriors.[51]

Hence, even with an emphasis on bearing numerous children, Sparta raised the age of marriage for women to 18–20 years. Interestingly, this decision did not hinder Spartan women from having many children. On the contrary, it led to a decrease in the mortality rate among both mothers and children. Additionally, this measure curbed the birth of weak offspring prone to diseases. As a result, only healthy and robust children were born, growing up to become outstanding warriors.


Laws at the time of Muhammed.

The two dominant neighbouring empires had already prohibited intercourse with 9 years old girls before Muhammad.

Laws at the time of Muhammed Minor Marriage in Early Islamic Law, Carolyn G. Baugh, LEIDEN | BOSTON, 2017

"Although investigation into Sasanian-era (224–651 CE) child marriage prac-tices unearths scant information, the age of twelve is again important for girls. According to the Avesta, the age of majority was clearly set at fifteen for boys as well as girls; Middle Persian civil law allowed marriage at age nine, provided that consummation wait until age twelve.[24]"

Byzantine law required that a girl attain the age of thirteen before contract-ing a marriage. Whether she would have consented to the marriage or not prior to this age is deemed immaterial as she would have no legally viable consent to give.[22] All parties to a marriage needed to issue consent, including the groom, the bride, and her parents. In cases where a girl consented to intercourse prior to marriage it was assumed that she consented to the marriage itself and the families would then arrange it. However, if that intercourse occurred prior to the age of thirteen, the groom would meet with the law’s most serious punish-ments due to the girl’s assumed legal inability to consent.[23]"

At the time of Muhammed it was known to be injurious to girls to engage in very early intercourse. 


Medical Consequences of Child Marriage:

Modem Medicine shows that childbirth for females below the age of seventeen and • above forty leads to greater maternal mortality as well as infant mortality (London  1992, 501). It must he made clear that although conditions commonly associated with poverty, e.g. malnutrition, poor physical health and other negative circumstances may contribute to difficult births and bad health for young mothers, consistent findings indicate that the age factor plays a significant role by itself. "Even under the best of modern conditions, women who give birth before the age of seventeen have a higher mortality rate than older women. The closer a woman is to menarche, the greater the risk to both mother and child, as well as to the mother's future child bearing capabilities, for the reproductive system has not completely matured when ovulation begins". (Demand 1994, 102).

Another problem seen more often among underprivileged women is that they develop **fistulae which is often due to the pelvis not having fully formed. This can be caused by a complicated pregnancy or having intercourse at a very young age.**28. This leads the girl or woman to have permanent damage and often she is shunned by her family and community (4). Although such a condition is preventable it requires a good health service and communications systems (S). Unfortunately, these are often not available in impoverished areas of the developing world.

Knowledge of medical complications involved with early marriage cannot be considered "new" findings. Ancient and Medieval Medicine texts indicate that doctors were well aware of the physical harm posed to girls by early marriages and pregnancies. ……..In fact, not only doctors of Medicine but other scholars in Most societies had a clear understanding that intercourse should not take place before the menarche. Hesiod suggested marriage in the fifth year after puberty, or age nineteen, and Plato in the Laws mandated from sixteen to twenty years of age, and in the Republic he gave the age as twenty. Aristotle specifically warned against early childbearing for women as a cause of small and weak infants and difficult and dangerous labor for the mother, and the Spartans avoided it for just those reasons. (Demand 1994, 102)