Saudi Arabia’s most senior cleric said it was permissible to 10 year-old girls to marry and those who oppose the notion of such marriages seek to do an injustice by preventing a young girl from marrying a nice man in his forties or fifties. Sheik Abdul-Aziz Sheikh, the nation’s grand mufti, argued those who do not wish women to marry before the age 25 are following a “bad path” and denying them the right to get married. His comments came as Saudi Human Rights groups were attempting to secure new legislation that would establish minimum age requirements before a girl could get married.
The mufti is upset at such human rights groups. “a female who is 10 or 12 is marriageable and those who think she’s too young are wrong and are being unfair to her.” The assumption of the grand mufti is that mothers and fathers have an absolute right to decide when and to whom their daughters will marry. This is not an unusual idea since it was quite common in many societies five or six hundred years ago. The mufti is certainly on the cutting edge of 15th century thinking.