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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Social media is lying to you about Burma’s Muslim ‘cleansing’

Social networking sites are abuzz with news about Muslims being killed in Burma.You can see the sporadic posting of pictures by different people with captions like ‘Muslims killing in Burma’, ‘Muslims slaughtered by Buddhists in Burma’ and so on.
Thus, I took on the mission to sort the truth out for myself once and for all and researched some pictures that I felt were dubious. Below are a few pictures and their original copies. You can evidently see the gross difference between them and how they are thrown out of context.
This was a picture shared on Facebook.
I have found the original version which reads differently to the the one posted on the social networking site.
This picture was taken in 2010 after an earthquake in China and captures the efforts put in by the Tibetans to help rescue the victims. Now, Islamic political parties and some other elements are sharing this image as Muslim killing and their slaughter in Burma.
Another widely circulated  picture captioned “More then 1,000 people killed in Burma” is also fake.
575850 422729151098985 1400558517 n Muslims Killing in Burma and our Social Media / Islamic Parties
The original, as you can see below, is taken in Thailand in the year 2004. This picture shows protesters that were tear-gassed outside the Tal Bai police station in Bangkok. This is roughly 1,409.9 km away from Burma! What is grossly negligent about these photos is the factual ignorance of the hate these misleading photos can culminate.
VOICE LIBERTY NATIONAL 093950 Muslims Killing in Burma and our Social Media / Islamic Parties
Below, please find another image which was posted online, this time with an imprint of Jamaat-e-Islami on the top left . It reads ‘Terrorists of Budhism of Burma kills 500 Muslims’.
As you can guess, this is also a fabricated picture.
Terrorists of Budhism of Burma Kills 500 Muslims at the Beach today 753438 Muslims Killing in Burma and our Social Media / Islamic Parties
In reality, this image belongs to a Human Rights violation incident by the Thai authorities against the Rohingya ethnic minority of Burma. These refugees were detained for a few weeks and then sent off drifting into the sea.
Here is another instance of such fallacy spreading across the social media sites regarding the massacre of Muslims in Burma.
fb image Muslims Killing in Burma and our Social Media / Islamic Parties
This picture is extremely misleading considering that the original image was about the riots in Thailand that took place in 2003!
Now, take a look at the image below and observe how it is blown out of context.
fb image02 Muslims Killing in Burma and our Social Media / Islamic Parties
Now, view the original.
fb image02 origi 700x1024 Muslims Killing in Burma and our Social Media / Islamic Parties
The original picture is not even remotely close to what the picture above states. In fact, a Tibetan protester had set himself on fire in protest prior to the arrival of Chinese president Hu Jintao and that too in Delhi.
I do not deny the killings of Muslims in Burma – not even for a minute.
I think it is horrific and I am sympathetic towards the immense loss being suffered by my Muslim brothers and sisters abroad.
What I am against is being lied to.
Imagine the amount of lies we are being fed through these pictures. How can one trust any image online if such drastic manipulation and editing is being done to cater to someone’s political or personal agenda?
Social media and networking sites, if used properly, can be an impressive tool in spreading awareness amongst its users, but it can be an equally dangerous median as well if misused.
These images are false and are only igniting hatred and prejudice in our youth.
We need to become more vigilant and aware of the credibility and authenticity of  pictures we browse through. It only takes one wrong image to push us over the edge towards extremism.
Who do you think is more misleading?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is 27th of Rajab the night of Isra & Meraj?

Are we supposed to single it out for WORSHIP??

Assalam Wa Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu…………..

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that which is not part of it…will have it rejected.”
In a report narrated by Imaam Muslim it says: “Whoever does any action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.”
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his khutbah on Friday: “The best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The worst of matters are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going astray.”
The Prophet also said: “and every going astray will be in the Fire.”  
Many Muslims single out 27th of Rajab for fasting and worshipping in the night…. thinking that this is the night of Isra and Meraj on which the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was taken to the heaven with the permission of Allah.
Infact……there is no authentic report which mentions the exact date………
Everything that has been narrated concerning a specific date for these events cannot be proven to have come from the Prophet…. Allah has wise reasons for causing the people to forget it.
As a matter of fact……….Even if the date were proven, it would not be permissible for the Muslims to single it out for particular acts of worship, and it is not permissible for them to celebrate it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not celebrate it and they did not single it out in any way. ………………………………………………………!
If celebrating it was something that is prescribed in Islam, the Messenger would have told his ummah about that, either in word or in deed. If any such thing had happened, it would have been well known, and his companions would have transmitted the information to us.
We Muslim should know that OUR RELIGION IS COMPLETE… we have everything explained by Allah and His Prophet. We don’t need any home-made virtues and merits which are fabricated by some people, long after the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Allah says:
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” [Surah al-Maa’idah 5:3] 
So the religion is complete… there’s nothing which the Prophet left or did not inform us about.
Are we trying to say that we are better than the Prophet and the Sahaba??
Or are we trying to say that Na’uzubillah the Prophet did not tell us about this virtues act of worship ??
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the most sincere of people, and he conveyed the message to the people in full…….and he fulfilled the trust. If venerating and celebrating this night were part of the religion of Allah, then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would have done that and would not have concealed it. Since no such thing happened, it is known that celebrating it and venerating it is not part of Islam at all.
It’s time to wake up from sleep of following man-made rituals… which are done in the name of Islam.
So brothers and Sisters.... there is no authentic report which mentions the exact date of the night Journey of the Prophet……and there is no fasting or night worship on the 27th of Rajab… neither any kind of celebration…..BEWARE! Of this Innovation…………………………!
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer. He replied: 
“Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a Bid’ah (innovation), and every bid’ah is a going astray.” 
Kindly forward this message and let your friends….. family etc. know about the reality….save yourself and your beloved ones from thisINNOVATION…………….!
May Allah guide us all to the straight path and help us all to abstain from all kinds of BID’AH

JazakAllah Khairun

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

To All the lovers of Ajmer Dargah

The greatest sin in the sight of Allah is SHIRK. He has promised a place in HELL forever.

Is this the Islam are beloved prophet Muhammed (pbuh) thought us ?

Please think whether you want to be one among them or  be a true MUSLIM by following QURAN and HADITH. Bow down only to ALLAH.            


Shirk is the biggest Zulm
And (remember) when Luqmân said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allâh. Verily joining others in worship with Allâh is a great Zûlm (wrong) indeed. (Luqman, 31:13)

Shirk will not be forgiven
Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allâh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. (Nisa, 4:48)
Jannat (Paradise) is forbidden for Mushrik
 Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allâh is the Messiah [‘Îsâ (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary)." But the Messiah [‘Îsâ (Jesus)] said: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord." Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for theZâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers. (Maidah, 5:72)
Narrated ‘Abdullâh رضي الله عنه: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said one statement and I said another. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Whoever dies while still invoking anything other than Allâh as a rival to Allâh, will enter Hell (Fire)." And I said, "Whoever dies without invoking anything as a rival to Allâh, will enter Paradise". (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.6, Hadîth No.24).

Can a person who recites Laillahaillallah be mushrik? 
And most of them believe not in Allâh except that they attribute partners unto Him [i.e. they are Mushrikûn i.e. polytheists. (Surah Yousuf, 12:106)

Dead persons do not hear
Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear nor can you make the deaf to hear the call (i.e. benefit them and similarly the disbelievers), when they flee, turning their backs.(Naml, 27:80)

Travelling with the Intention of Sawab/Pilgrimage
 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah who said: ‘I met Basrah ibn Abi Basrah al-Ghifaari and he asked me, ‘Where are you coming from?’ I said, ‘From al-Toor [Sinai].’ He said, ‘If I had met you before you left, you would not have gone there! I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Do not travel except to three mosques.’” (Reported by Ahmad and others with a saheeh isnaad)

Prohibition of making Graves as places of Worship
 The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 435; Muslim, 529)

And it was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Among the most evil of people upon whom the Hour will come when they are still alive are those who take graves as places of worship.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad.

((Indeed those before you used to take the graves of their Prophets' and pious people as places of worship, so do not take the graves as places of worship, for certainly I prohibit you from that)), transmitted by Muslim in his Saheeh.

Prohibition of sitting on Graves and/or praying towards them
It was narrated that Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not sit on graves, or pray towards them.” (Narrated by Muslim, 972).
Prohibition of building Graves with permanent structures

Muslim (969) narrated that Abu’l-Hayaaj al-Asadi said: ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib said to me: “Shall I not send you with the same instructions as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me? ‘Do not leave any image without defacing it or any built-up grave without leveling it.’”

Prophet (SAW) prohibited us from taking his Grave at place of Worship
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not take your houses as graves and do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly). Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2042; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7226

Wazaa mein tum ho Nasara, to Tamaddum mein Hunood
Yeh Musalman hain jinhe dekh kar sharmaye Yahood!  …….. (Allama Iqbal)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Conversion to Islam growing dramatically in Austria

Conversion to Islam growing dramatically in Austria

Many Christians express that they were disillusioned and had lost their faith in Christianity, and of course the recent recurring sexual scandals of Catholic Church has played a major role in their exodus."
Official records suggest a dramatic growth in conversions from Christianity to Islam, in the predominantly Christian European country of Austria, Press TV reports.

“We see that people have spiritual longing that they feel there is something missing in their lives, if there is no dimension, no horizon as to the hereafter, or where am I? Why am I here?” Says Mr. Bagajati, an Austrian convert to Islam.

Austria is a predominantly Catholic Christian European country of over eight million people with strong and deep historical roots in Christianity.

Many Christians express that they were disillusioned and had lost their faith in Christianity, and of course the recent recurring sexual scandals of Catholic Church has played a major role in their exodus, which at the end led to many of them convert to Islam, where they could find comfort.

Most non-Muslim, European citizens have always been presented with an ugly and awful image of Islam, linked mainly to extremism and fundamentalism, by the Western culture.

Meanwhile, Ms. Bagajati believes that it is the “perfect time” for Islam to show its “peaceful nature” to non-Muslims, in a time when the United Nations has expressed concerns over growing religious discrimination and violence against religious groups.

Estimations show that almost half a million Austrian Christians have converted to Islam since roughly two years ago, with the numbers of conversions keeping thriving. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Moments- of -Dubai International Peace Convention APR-2012

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"When you leave Mecca bring Islam home, not just dates and Zamzam water" Sheikh Hussain Yee
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Sheikh Said Rageah,one of DIPC's speakers was born in Somalia & later moved to North America. He has a Bachelor’s in Islamic studies and a Masters in Shari'ah
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A sister embraces Islam during Dr. Zakir Naik's Q/A session. Allahu Akbar!
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Dr. Zakir Naik's second Q/A session just started, the last but not least activity of DIPC 2012
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As the Dubai International Peace Convention comes to an end, what are your thoughts about it?
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Three sisters and one brother embraced Islam as their religion during Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury's lecture. Allahu Akbar!
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We have forgotten death, this is why we do not think of the afterlife. Don't fool youselves brothers and sisters, our lives are very limited - Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury
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Moments ago a brother embraced Islam in the presence of Yusuf Estes at the Guide Us TV stand in the convention. Allahu Akbar!
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Worship the creator, not the creation - Yusuf Estes
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Lets not waste time discussing how a good person should be, lets be that person - Sheikh Muhammad Al Shareef.
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To achieve Peace you have to have good morals and manners. Islam encourages us to acquire these traits. Peace starts with us as muslims and Peace starts with our connection with God. We have to ask ourselves, are we fullfilling the pledge of spreading the message of Peace through Islam? - Abdul Bary Yahya
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A big thank you to the organisers for making these 3 days such a blessing and success
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A sister and brother accepted Islam after asking their questions to Dr.Zakir Naik. Allahu Akbar!
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Q:Why do we need religion? A: when you get a machine why do you need an instruction manual? To understand it. Quran is humanity's instruction manual - Dr. Zakir Naik
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Shiekh Mishary Al Afasy leading the Friday prayers

الشيخ مشاري العفاسي يؤم بالمصلين أثناء صلاة الجمعة في مركز دبي التجاري العالمي

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His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Bin Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum once his arrival to the convention
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The honorable speakers have arrived to Dubai International Peace Convention

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Canadian Professor Enters Islam - The True Religion

Professor David Roy Woelke of King Abdulaziz University is helped by Sheikh Abdul Elah Al-Ajlan of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth to recite the Shahadah during a brief ceremony at WAMY headquarters in Jeddah on Wednesday. In the top picture WAMY employees hug Woelke after he embraced Islam.
Published: Mar 30, 2012 00:29 Updated: Mar 30, 2012 00:29
shahadah professor1

David Roy Woelke, a Canadian English language instructor at King Abdulaziz University, embraced Islam at the World Assembly of Muslim Youth’s (WAMY) headquarters here Wednesday.
Abdul Elah Al-Ajlan, deputy director of dawa programs at WAMY, assisted Woelke to recite the Shahadah (Lailaha Illallah Muhammad Rasulullah “there is no god but God(Allah) and Muhammad is the Messenger of God(Allah)” during a brief ceremony at the organization.
Woelke, whose new name is Dawood, said he embraced Islam after he was fully convinced that it is the true divine religion. He conducted a comparative study of Islam and his former religion Christianity and noticed a lot of differences.
“When I came to Saudi Arabia I realized how wrongly the Western media portrays Islam as a religion of violence and terrorism. In fact, it’s a religion of peace and universal brotherhood,” he said.
Woelke said it was this biased portrayal of Islam that prompted him to learn more about this religion and read the Holy Qur’an. “When I came to know that Islam is the true religion I decided to cut my relation with Christianity.”
The Canadian said he saw a totally different picture of Islam and Muslims in Saudi Arabia, adding that it was quite opposite of what has been projected in the Western press.
“Many Muslim friends encouraged me to accept Islam as my religion. Once a Pizza salesman told me he wished to see me becoming a Muslim very soon,” he said, adding that deeper studies about Islam made him closer to the religion.
Asked what would be the response of his family, Woelke said: “Mine is a tolerant and open family. However, they may find it a bit strange in the beginning because of their wrong perception of Islam painted by the Western media.”
He expected his family members would ask him about the Islamic teachings and how he would adapt with them. “There are a lot of misunderstandings about Islam in their minds. But I am quite sure that their impressions about Islam would change when I explain to them its various teachings,” he pointed out.
“There is a vast distinction between faith and religion,” said Woelke.
“Religion is a man-made institution but faith is the relationship between man and God,” he told Arab News. “I want to be busy working on my own relationship with God and not so busy about another man’s relationship with God,” he added.
Soon after reciting the Shahadah, WAMY employees embraced Woelke and congratulated him for accepting the true religion. The dawa department at WAMY gave him a copy of the Qur’an and a number of Islamic books in English as a gift.
Dr. Muhammad Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of WAMY, expressed his happiness over Woelke’s decision to embrace Islam. “Thousands of people belonging to different religions and nationalities, especially educated men and women like Woelke, are coming to the fold of Islam every year,” he said.
The WAMY official reminded Muslim governments about their duty to propagate the message of Islam and urged them to establish a ministry for the purpose. WAMY conducts dawa programs in more than 70 countries through qualified Islamic preachers. “Muslims are responsible to take the message of Islam to other communities,” Badahdah told Arab News.
He said a large number of men and women in the West had embraced Islam following the trident media campaign against Islam and Muslims following the 9/11 events. “There was huge demand for English translation of the Qur’an and Islamic books at bookstores. I am sure Islam will attract honest people like Woelke.”
Dr. Ismail Maritheri, an English teacher at KAU and a social activist, was overjoyed hearing the pleasant news. He said Harold Trupos, a former South African English professor at the university, had also embraced Islam because of the negative portrayal of the religion in the Western press. “He started learning about Islam when he saw a different picture of Islam and Muslims in Saudi Arabia.”


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One million US women to wear hijab for Iraqi woman killed in California

Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi mother of five, died on March 24 after being 
stabbed in her home in the US State of California.
One million non-Muslim women in the United States will be wearing hijabs in support of Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi immigrant brutally killed at her home in March.

Many non-Muslim women in the United States have posted photos of themselves wearing a headscarf on “One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi,” which is a recently created webpage on Facebook.

The Facebook page had about 10,000 likes on April 2.

Jean Younis, the office manager at Bonita Valley Adventist Church in National City, California, said she would wear an Islamic headscarf to support the family and friends of Shaima Alawadi on Sunday, according to a recent article published by the Washington Post.

“I do expect a reaction, but that’s the point. It needs to be discussed,” said Younis.

The 59-year-old church office manager is one of the many non-Muslim women who have expressed solidarity with 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi.

Alawadi, mother of five, was found unconscious at her home in El Cajon, California, on March 21. She died after being found beaten and lying in a pool of blood next to a note saying “go back to your country, you terrorist”.

There have also been “hijab and hoodie” demonstrations at several universities across the United States in recent days. The notion of “hoodie” refers to the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager gunned down by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida on February 26.

“They were both killed because of the way they looked and that is so wrong,” Younis said.

Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi are not the only victims of alleged hate crime in the United States in recent weeks.

On March 24, 19-year-old college student Kendrec McDade was shot and killed by two Pasadena police officers in Los Angeles County, California. Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said he believed as many as “eight shots” were fired at McDade.

According to a report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, only in 2010 the statistics regarding single-bias hate crime incidents that were prosecuted in the United States showed there were 3,949 victims of racially motivated hate crimes, with 70 percent being victims of anti-black bias.

The FBI compiles annual statistics on hate crimes in the United States, but many commentators believe the bureau understates the real level of reported and unreported hate crimes each year.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Dr. Zakir Naik inaugurates Darussalam bookstore in Riyadh

RIYADH: The Islamic Research Foundation(IRF) owned Peace TV will start Arabic Channel from next year. A major Islamic satellite channel Peace TV already has a viewer ship of over 100 million viewers across the world. The 24-hour Arabic language Islamic channel will be dedicated for the Arabic speaking viewers around the world. 

President of the India-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and internationally renowned scholar Dr. Zakir Naik disclosed this in Riyadh this week. 

Dr. Naik was in Riyadh to inaugurate a book store of Daarussalam Publications at Riyadh Avenue Mall in Riyadh. 

There are more than 60 Arabic channels today but the Peace TV channel will be unique in content and technology. The new channel will have access to the world's 300 million native Arabic speakers, he added. He said the new channel would be a respected global media outlet presenting Islam and removing misconceptions about Muslims and the Islamic world. 

Dr. Zakir Naik said the IRF has planned to open two world-class international Islamic schools in Riyadh and Jeddah. These schools will be run based on the model of his Mumbai-based school, he noted. 

He was felicitated at a dinner reception hosted in Riyadh on Wednesday by Rashid Ali Sheikh, an Indian businessman and social worker. Another reception in his honor was hosted by Abdul Malik Mujahid, Darussalam managing director and it was attended by a large number of diplomats, businessmen and Saudi as well as non-Saudi officials. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How Young is "TOO YOUNG" For Marriage?

Muslims and Non-Muslims alike seem very concerned over the age of Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, when she married the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. There are a number of facts involved to indicated this was very normal at their time in history both in the Arab culture and European culture as well.
One important fact is, Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, was offered in marriage to his best friend since childhood, Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, peace be upon him. Emphasis is on the word - "marriage". So this was a legal, binding contractual agreement; one that was considered quite proper and accepatable to the people of this time period. Never was an eyebrow raised or any point discussed on this issued amongst any of the companions or enemies of Islam, for that matter.
Another most convincing fact is, Ayesha had already been engaged prior to her father offering her in marriage to Muhammad, peace be upon him.
In this article we discover that even in our ancestors here in America the age of consent was much different than what we have today. -- Read:
1 A.D. -- (Augustus Ceasor) Traditionally the age at which individuals could come together in a sexual union was something either for the family to decide or a matter of tribal custom. Probably in most cases this coincided with the onset of MENARCHE in girls and the appearance of pubic hair in boys, that is, between twelve and fourteen, but the boundaries remained fluid. In much of classical Greece this was true of both same- and opposite-sex relationships. In Republican Rome, marriage and the age of consent were initially private matters between the families involved. Not until the time of Augustus in the first century C.E. did the state begin to intervene. Marriage then legally became a two-step process, a betrothal which involved an enforceable agreement between the heads of two households, and then marriage itself. Women who were not yet of agecould be betrothed with the consent of their fathers, but the woman herself had to consent to marriage. (This was still true in the 600's in Arabia; fathers could contract a marriage for their immature daughters of any age - even without their consent. However, when Islam came, girls had to be old enough for marriage [past puberty] and accept the proposal).
The Roman tradition influenced peoples and cultures with whom it had come in contact. In the Islamic tradition following Muhammad, betrothal could take place earlier than PUBERTY, perhaps as early as seven, but the marriage was not supposed to be consummated until the girl menstruated and was of age. In medieval Europe, Gratian, the influential founder of Canon law in the twelfth century, accepted the traditional age of puberty for marriage (between 12 and 14) but he also said consent was "meaningful" if the children were older than seven. Some authorities said consent could take place earlier. Such a marriage would be permanent as long as neither party sought annulment before reaching puberty (12 for girls and 14 for boys) or if they had already consummated the marriage. Even if the husband had technically raped his wife before she reached puberty, the marriage was regarded as consummated. It was this policy which was carried over into English common law, and although consent was necessary, force and influence or persuasion seemed to have been permissible elements. Similarly Gratian's ideas about age became part of European civil law.
The age of consent in both English and continental law seemed to be particularly elastic when property was involved or family alliances were at stake. For example in 1564, a three year old named John was married to a two year old named Jane in the Bishop's Court in Chester, England. Though Shakespeare set his Romeo and Juliet in Verona, the fact that Juliet was thirteen probably reflects the reality in England. Her mother, who was twenty-six, calls her almost an old maid.
The American colonies followed the English tradition but the law could at best be called a guide. For example in Virginia in 1689, Mary Hathaway was only nine (9) when she was married to William Williams. We know of her case only because two years later she sued for divorce, and was released from the covenant she had made because the marriage had not been consummated. Interestingly, historian Holly Brewer, who discovered the case, speculated that if William had raped Mary, she probably would not have been given the divorce.
1600's -- The only reliable data on age at marriage in England in the early modern period comes from Inquisitions Post Mortem (after death) which involved only those who died and left property. It appears that the more complete the records, the more likely it is to discover young marriages. Judges honored marriages based on mutual consent at age younger than seven (7), in spite of what Gratian had said, and there are recorded marriages of two (2) and (3) three year olds. The seventeenth-century lawyer Henry Swinburne distinguished between the marriages of those under seven (7)  and those between seven and puberty. He wrote that those under seven who had said their vows had to ratify it afterwards by giving kisses and embraces, by laying together, by exchanging gifts or tokens, or by calling each other husband or wife.
1600's -- A contemporary, Philip Stubbes, wrote that in sixteenth-century East Anglia, infants still in swaddling clothes were married.
1600's -- The most influential legal text of the seventeenth century in England, that of Sir Edward Coke, made it clear that the marriage of girls under twelve (12) was normal, and the age at which a girl who was a wife was eligible for a dower from her husband's estate was nine (9 years old) even though her husband be only four (4) years old.
The age of consent was more variable than a summary of the law seems to imply. Peter Laslett, for example, used available statistics to argue marriage and child bearing in the late teens was not common in England and marriage at twelve was virtually unknown. The problem is that his statistics might well be skewed because in England only a small portion of marriages were registered, and even on these registrations it is difficult to tell if they recorded first or second or later marriages. A second marriage by a man in his late fifties or a woman in her early thirties skews the data. Not all marriage records even bother to record the participants' ages. Unrecorded are marriages without parental consent and private weddings and the quality of data varies from region to region. For example in the parish of Middlesex County, Virginia, there is a record of fourteen-year-old Sarah Halfhide marrying twenty-one-year-old Richard Perrot. Only in the last sentence of the register does it indicate that she was a widow. Did the compiler read that far? We simply do not know what her age at first marriage was, or even if it had been consummated. Of the ninety-eight girls on the ten-year register, three probably married at age eight, one at twelve, one at thirteen, and two at fourteen. Historians in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have sometimes been reluctant to accept data regarding young ages of marriage, holding instead that the recorded age was a misreading by a later copier of the records. Natalie Davis, whose book The Return of Martin Guerre became a movie, made her heroine, Bertrande, much older than the nine-to ten-year old girl she was when she married her missing husband.
In the nineteenth century France issued the Napoleonic Code and many other countries, following France's example, began revising their laws. The Napoleonic Code, however, had not changed the age of consent, which remained at thirteen. When historian Magnus Hirschfeld surveyed the age of consent of some fifty countries (mostly in Europe and the Americas) at the beginning of the twentieth century, the age of consent was twelve in fifteen countries, thirteen in seven, fourteen in five, fifteen in four, and sixteen in five. In the remaining countries it remained unclear. In England and the United States, feminist agitation in the late nineteenth century called attention to the young age of consent and called for changes in the law. By the 1920s the age of consent, a state issue in the United States, was raised in every state and ranged from fourteen to eighteen, with most states settling on sixteen or eighteen.
In the last part of the twentieth century the U.S. public once again took note of age of consent issues. Although sometimes it is not possible to identify a single age of consent since the statutory age varies with the age of the defendant and with the particular sexual activity, in the United States as of 2000 the age at which a person may engage in any sexual conduct permitted to adults within a particular state ranges between fourteen to eighteen. In the vast majority of states the age is either fifteen or sixteen. Most states set the minimum age for marriage without parental approval at eighteen, and there are elaborate provisions governing which parent must give consent and who qualifies as a custodial parent or guardian when marriage under eighteen takes place. There are occasional contradictions since some states will allow a minor to marry with parental permission at an age when the minor cannot engage in legal sexual activity, while others allow a minor to engage in sexual activity years before he or she can marry without parental approval.

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Where did we get this? --