Interestingly, CNN calls the Islamic practice of child marriage "inhumane and cruel":
What CNN apparently still doesn't know is that this "inhumane and cruel tradition" is thoroughly grounded in the teachings of Islam.
According to the Qur'an (Surah 33:21), Muhammad is the pattern of conduct for Muslims. But Muhammad himself married a child-bride:
Sahih al-Bukhari 3896—Narrated Hisham’s father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Al-Madina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he wrote the marriage (wedding) contract with Aishah when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consummated that marriage when she was nine years old.As if Muhammad's example weren't bad enough, the Qur'an specifically allows Muslim men to divorce prepubescent girls after having sex with them.
Sahih al-Bukhari 5158—Narrated Urwa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).
Sahih Muslim 3310—Aisha reported: Allah’s Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.
Sahih Muslim 3311—Aisha reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was seven years old, and she was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
Sunan Abu Dawud 2116—Aishah said: The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old. (The narrator Sulaiman said: Or six years.) He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old.
According to Surah 2:228, if a Muslim man wants to divorce his wife, he should wait until she has gone through three monthly cycles (i.e., three periods) in order to make sure that she isn't pregnant. But the question later arose: What about wives who do not have monthly cycles? How long should their husbands wait to divorce them? The Qur'an answers this question in Surah 65:4, where it gives divorce rules for (1) women who do not have monthly cycles because they are too old, (2) girls who do not have monthly cycles because they are too young, and (3) women and girls who do not have monthly cycles because they are pregnant. The verse declares that, if Muslim men want to divorce girls who haven't yet reached puberty, they must wait three months (after having sex with them). The verse reads:
Qur'an 65:4 (Hilali-Khan)—And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the 'Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubts (about their periods), is three months, and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their 'Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise, except in case of death]. And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their 'Iddah (prescribed period) is until they deliver (their burdens), and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.In case there is confusion about the meaning of this verse, here are three classic Muslim commentaries and one modern commentary on Qur'an 65:4:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir—Allah the Exalted clarifies the waiting period of the woman in menopause. And that is the one whose menstruation has stopped due to her older age. Her `Iddah is three months instead of the three monthly cycles for those who menstruate, which is based upon the Ayah in (Surat) Al-Baqarah [see 2:228]. The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their `Iddah is three months like those in menopause.Hence, in condemning Islamic child marriage, CNN has condemned both Muhammad and Allah. We couldn't agree more. But CNN refuses to address the Islamic component of child marriage. As long as Western journalists continue to speak out against a practice while cowering in silence about the cause of the practice, they'll never get to the root of the problem, and child marriage will go on.
Tafsir al-Jalalayn—And [as for] those of your women who (read allà'ï or allà'i in both instances) no longer expect to menstruate, if you have any doubts, about their waiting period, their prescribed [waiting] period shall be three months, and [also for] those who have not yet menstruated, because of their young age, their period shall [also] be three months.
Tafsir Ibn Abbas—(And for such of your women as despair of menstruation) because of old age, (if ye doubt) about their waiting period, (their period (of waiting) shall be three months) upon which another man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! What about the waiting period of those who do not have menstruation because they are too young?” (along with those who have it not) because of young age, their waiting period is three months.
Tafsir Maududi—Here, one should bear in mind the fact that according to the explanations given in the Qur'an the question of the waiting period arises in respect of the women with whom marriage may have been consummated, for there is no waiting-period in case divorce is pronounced before the consummation of marriage. (Al-Ahzab: 49). Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for the girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl in marriage at this age but it is also permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Qur'an has held as permissible.