Turkey’s top state religious institution has issued a new fatwa on marriage announcing that girls can get married and become pregnant as young as 9 years old.
The Diyanet, otherwise known as the Directorate of Religious Affairs, is an official state institution whose role is “to execute the works concerning the beliefs, worship, and ethics of Islam, enlighten the public about their religion, and administer the sacred worshiping places.”
The fatwa, which can be read here, announces that girls can “marry and get pregnant as early as 9.”
“The Diyanet said that those who entered the age of adulthood could also marry. The Diyanet stated that the lower limit of age for girls was 9 for girls and 12 for boys. Diyanet said that girls could become pregnant at the age of 9, and that men could become fathers when they entered the age of 12,” states the fatwa.
A fatwa is a nonbinding but authoritative legal opinion pertaining to Islamic law.
In proclaiming 9-years-old to be the age at which girls can become pregnant, the Diyanet is following the example set by the Prophet Muhammad, who consummated his marriage with Aisha when she was also aged 9.