According to the tenets of Islam, it is explained that it is necessary for a father to ensure that his daughter is married as early as possible. This has been taken in view of the light that adolescence presents certain psychological and physiological changes in girls that warrant early marriage.
Is this the solution to morality?
It remains to be seen how the virtue of chastity is retained because there are many other negative influences that can counter it. Essentially, the girl will not have reached full maturity, and may find the tasks of a wife and mother too difficult to cope with.
If a teenage girl in today’s world is married off by the father to a young man or one much older than her, it doesn’t solve the ‘problem’. In fact, it’s like getting the ‘problem’ out of the way. Generally, a girl attains adulthood at the age of 18 years and anything before that is unacceptable by law in most countries for a variety of reasons that may be viewed as human trafficking whereas the man who marries her forcefully can be incriminated for being a pedophile. What needs to be understood is that in some instances, what was workable in the past does not always apply today. Was there any proper formal education where children were required to get an education by law? Not likely.
Early marriage does not favour girls in a contemporary system because they need to get an education so as to cope with the social and professional challenges that lay ahead. It would be difficult for an educated man to relate to a wife who can only read and write. Conversely, with an educated wife, family income increases because she can seek gainful employment, or venture into business with her husband, or by herself since she has the necessary skills. That would make everybody more comfortable, wouldn’t it?
What about the effects on her health? There are various side effects for a girl who gets impregnated at an early age, and these are not limited to the body alone. Is she prepared for it together with the adjustments she has to make at such an early stage in life?
The body may not be fully matured, as well, and it may turn out to be a very nasty experience. Moreover, looking physically mature does not mean that the girl has the mental capacity to handle marriage or child production. To make matters worse, her education has been disrupted, and this would have aided in adjustment to marriage in the future in different ways. Curtailing her social life so early interferes with her development as an independent individual.
When all is said and done, a girl married at such a tender age has her life ruined because she will suffer health problems, and lose opportunities that could only have come her way had she completed her education and been given more time.
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