The Directorate of Religious Affairs has stated that girls can get pregnant at 9 and boys can be fathers on turning 12. According to the Directorate of Religious Affairs, it would be more appropriate for girls who have attained puberty to be accompanied by their parents or guardians on marrying, but it says it is possible without a parent or guardian. In the Directorate of Religious Affairs’ statement with reference to the reports, it is said, “No good-faith interpretation can be ascribed to the distortion of the definitions and items in our Dictionary of Religious Terms publication to produce such an allegation.”
According to a report by Ali Ekber Ertürk of Sözcü, the Directorate of Religious Affairs, defining marriage on its official website, has argued that marriage protects people from adultery and furthers the continuation of mankind.
The Directorate of Religious Affairs, which says “If there exists the danger of a person entering an illegitimate relationship it is their religious duty to marry,” has made the following definition in defining puberty according to which girls may marry on entering this stage:
“Marriage must be enacted by making a statement of intent in the presence of two witnesses. While it is possible for a woman who has attained puberty to get married herself without her parents or guardians, it is mandub (something it is better done) for her parent or guardian to be present.”
“A 9-YEAR OLD GIRL CAN GET PREGNANT”
The Directorate of Religious Affairs, in defining “puberty” on its official website, has explained that girls attain puberty on turning nine, while boys do so on turning twelve.
Here is the definition:
“‘Bulugh’, which has such dictionary meanings as ‘arriving, managing in time, attaining a business goal’ is a term in Muslim jurisprudence that refers to somebody ending their period of childhood and coming of age. A person who has attained puberty is known as a baligh. The age of puberty may vary according to the child’s physical build and climatic conditions. The lowest limit of the age of maturity has been determined by Islamic jurists to be twelve for boys and nine for girls. Having reached this age, with a boy having nocturnal emissions and entering the stage at which he may be a father and a girl having periods and entering the stage at which she may become pregnant, they have attained de facto puberty. However, when boys and girls turn fifteen, they may be declared to have attained puberty even if they do not display these signs of having matured. Puberty is the period in which a person is deemed religiously accountable and acquires the status of an adult. A person who attains this age and is of sound mind now attains full capacity to act. They consequently become subject to religious laws such as worship and the canonically lawful and proscribed and attain the capacity to assume penal, financial and civil law obligations.”
The Directorate of Religious Affairs confirms on issuing a denial
The Directorate of Religious Affairs has confirmed that the pronouncement that girls can marry and get pregnant at the age of nine contained on its official website is included in the dictionary of religious terms that it itself has issued. The Directorate of Religious Affairs, which stipulates in its dictionary that the age of puberty is 9 for girls and 12 for boys, has claimed in its statement that these words have been distorted. The Directorate of Religious Affairs’ statement reads as follows:
“The reports contained in certain press outlets today that the Directorate of Religious Affairs has made a pronouncement to the effect that girls can marry at a young age are unfounded and most certainly do not reflect the truth. No good-faith interpretation can be ascribed to the distortion of the definitions and items in our Dictionary of Religious Terms publication to produce such an allegation.
Marrying girls before they have acquired the responsibility and attained the psychological and biological maturity to become mothers and establish a family does not accord with the Islamic religion that imposes the condition of consent and free will in marriage. In fact, our Directorate has never in the course of its history condoned marriage at an early age and will not do so. It has been noted countless times in Final Declarations at top-level meetings held by our institution such as Religious Councils and Provincial Muftis’ Seminars that marrying girls at an early age can never be supported with religious references. This is also the opinion of our Supreme Council of Religious Affairs.”