One of the satanic practices that is plaguing some Muslim communities is what is known as Nikah Siri which literally translates to “secret marriage.” But why would someone resort to secret marriage as marriage is usually something that should be announced and celebrated? This practice is typically utilized for marriages that are illegal in a society so individuals who partake in Nikah Siri do so to circumvent their local laws.
Recently in Indonesia, a 12-year-old girl was forced by her foster parents to marry a 45-your-old-man in order to “repay a favor.” Despite this being illegal in Indonesia, the foster parents justified such an abhorrent act under the so-called Islamic jurisprudence of “Nikah Siri, ” but what does the Quran say about such things?
In the following verses, God informs us that many who claim to follow the Quran fail to study it and apply it to their lives, and instead choose to only apply it partially. This decision opens the door for these individuals to be led on by the devil and to partake in secret conspiracies.
[47:24] Why do they not study the Quran carefully? Do they have locks on their minds? [47:25] Surely, those who slide back, after the guidance has been manifested to them, the devil has enticed them and led them on. [47:26] This is because they said to those who hated what GOD has sent down, “We will obey you in certain matters.” GOD fully knows their secret conspiracies.
Additionally, God prohibits secret conspiracies when the aim is to commit sin and transgression.
[58:7] Do you not realize that GOD knows everything in the heavens and everything on earth? No three people can conspire secretly without Him being their fourth, nor five without Him being the sixth, nor less than that, nor more, without Him being there with them wherever they may be. Then, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of everything they had done. GOD is fully aware of all things. [58:8] Have you noted those who were enjoined from conspiring secretly, then insist on conspiring? They conspire to commit sin, transgression, and disobedience of the messenger. When they come to you, they greet you with a greeting other than that decreed by GOD. They say inside themselves, “GOD will not punish us for our utterances.” Their only requital is Gehenna, wherein they burn; what a miserable destiny. [58:9] O you who believe, if you have to confer secretly, you shall not confer to commit sin, transgression, and to disobey the messenger. You shall confer to work righteousness and piety. You shall reverence GOD, before whom you will be summoned. [58:10] Secret conspiracy is the devil’s idea, through which he seeks to hurt those who believed. However, he cannot hurt them against GOD’s will. In GOD the believers shall trust.
So the fact that this practice is done in secret to promote sinful conduct should be reason enough for Muslims to realize that this practice goes against the teachings of the Quran. But let’s look further to see how according to the Quran what these foster parents did was a form of child prostitution making the 45-year old recipient a pedophile.
The article assesses that the child was given to the man to repay a favor for some medical expenses the man covered for the girl. In the following verse, God equates such actions of selling off one’s daughters against their will, under the guise of marriage, to that of prostitution.
[24:33] Those who cannot afford to get married shall maintain morality until GOD provides for them from His grace. Those among your servants who wish to be freed in order to marry, you shall grant them their wish, once you realize that they are honest. And give them from GOD’s money that He has bestowed upon you. You shall not force your girls to commit prostitution, seeking the materials of this world, if they wish to be chaste. If anyone forces them, then GOD, seeing that they are forced, is Forgiver, Merciful.
وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّىٰ يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا وَآتُوهُمْ مِنْ مَالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَنْ يُكْرِهْهُنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
Notice that the verse begins discussing people who want to be married but who cannot financially afford it, and then continues discussing guardians who force their girls into prostitution for financial gain. Therefore, since marriage requires both parties to be eligible and willing (4:29), a guardian who forces their girls into such arrangements for financial gain, against the woman’s will, is not much of a guardian but rather just a lowlife pimp.
These adopted parents sold an orphan into prostitution in order to repay a debt, but it is even worse than that. The verse above uses the term فَتَيَاتِكُمْ / fatayātikum which specifically means a full grown young women as opposed to a child.
What these adopted parents did to this child is not only worse than prostitution, but even worse than murder according to the Quran.
[2:191] …Oppression is worse than murder.
Additionally, God tells us that compulsion is prohibited in the Quran (2:256), and that only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted.
[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others’ properties illicitly – only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you.
يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَنْ تَرَاضٍ مِنْكُمْ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا
It is worth noting, that the above verse comes immediately after discussing the rights of orphans, setting the dowry for women, writing a contract, and marriage.
But is a child even capable of being married according to the Quran? The answer to this can be found in the following verse:
[4:6] You shall test the orphans when they reach puberty. As soon as you find them mature enough, give them their property. Do not consume it extravagantly in a hurry, before they grow up. The rich guardian shall not charge any wage, but the poor guardian may charge equitably. When you give them their properties, you shall have witnesses. GOD suffices as Reckoner.
وَابْتَلُوا الْيَتَامَىٰ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغُوا النِّكَاحَ فَإِنْ آنَسْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ رُشْدًا فَادْفَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَلَا تَأْكُلُوهَا إِسْرَافًا وَبِدَارًا أَنْ يَكْبَرُوا وَمَنْ كَانَ غَنِيًّا فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ وَمَنْ كَانَ فَقِيرًا فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ فَإِذَا دَفَعْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فَأَشْهِدُوا عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ حَسِيبًا
The Arabic term for puberty in this verse is النِّكَاحَ / l-nikāḥa, which you will notice is the same root as the word for marriage. This is because in Quranic Arabic the word for puberty also means the age of marriage or the age of sexual maturity. Therefore, a child by definition has not reached sexual maturity and therefore is not eligible to get married, according to the Quran.
But in addition, we see that the root for النِّكَاحَ / l-nikāḥa comes from the root ن ك ح which has the following derivative meanings:
ن ك ح = to tie; make a knot; a contract; cement; marry, the age of marriage, the age of sexual maturity, the age one is capable of signing a contract independently
Since marriage is a contract between two adults the age by which one can physically, mentally, and legally get married, according to the Quran, is when the individual is not only sexually mature, but also capable of independently signing a contract on their own behalf.
Therefore, the act of adopted parents giving away an 12-year-old they are responsible for to a 45-year old man is nothing short of child sex trafficking and completely unequivocally prohibited by the Quran.
Note: For a detailed look at marriage in the Quran, you can check out the following episodes on the topic and the corresponding article.