Child Marriage and Muhammad's Companions
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Umar's Marriage to Umm Kulthum
Umar ibn al-Khattab was the 2nd Rightly Guided Caliph of Islam and married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abu Talib (the 4th Caliph), in 637–638 AD while she remained pre-pubescent, aged 10-12 years old (some sources suggest even younger). Umar was approximately 58 years old at the time.
There are many Ahadith which confirm that marriage at an early age was widespread among the companions and no one denied its permissibility. Getting married at an early age was not peculiar to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) as some people think, but it was general for him and for his Ummah.
The following are some of the actions of the Sahaba (companions):
1. Ali Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, married his daughter, Um Kulthum to Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, and she mothered a child before the death of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). Omar got married to her while she was young before reaching the age of puberty. This is reported by Ibn Saad in 'Al-Tabaqat'.
2. From Urwa Ibn Zubair: that Zubair, may Allah be pleased with him, married his daughter when she was very young. Reported by Saeed Ibn Mansour, in his Sunnah, and Ibn Abi Shaibah, in Al-musannaf, with a Sahih chain of narration.
Al-Shafie said in the book of Al-Um: "Many companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) married their daughters while these were still young."Delaying the marriage of girls in many Muslim countries is something new and contradictory to what Muslims used to do over many centuries.
Islamweb, Fatwa No. 88089, June 24, 2004
The majority of Shi'ites acknowledge Umar's marriage to Umm Kulthum bint Ali.
The Shi'ite authors Muhammad Al-Hassun and Umm 'Ali Mashkur stated in their book A'lam al-Nisaa al-Mu'minat:
Also, the famous Shi'ite websitestates the following in a commentary to the hadith in Furu al-Kafi:
The original Arabic text is: ام كلثوم هذه هى بنت امير المؤمنين عليه السلام قد خطبها اليه عمر في زمن خلافته فرده اولا فقال عمر ماقال وفعل مافعل
The Shi'ite scholar Abul Qasim al-Kufi (died 352 AH) also believed that it was Umm Kulthum bint Ali who married Umar, but stated that:
Shaykh Tabarsi also believed that Umm Kulthum bint Ali married Umar. He wrote the following in his book I‘lam al-Wara bi-A‘lam al-Huda:
Other notable Shi'ite scholars who believed that the marriage took place are also:
- Agha al-Tahrani 
- Al-Hurr Al-'Amily 
- Al-Muhaqqiq al-Ardabili 
- Sheikh Abu Jaafar al-Tusi 
- Fadil al-Hindi 
- Mohamad Soleiman-Peneh 
While the above scholars believed that the marriage took place, all of them held the opinion that Imam Ali was forced to give away his daughter - not that he happily married her off, as claimed by the Ahl al-Sunnah.
Most Sunnis believe that it was Umm Kulthum bint Ali that married Umar, as stated by Sunni and Shi'ite narrations mentioned above. This view is, among many others, held by the following prominent Sunni scholars:
- Ibn Shabba
- Muhammad al-Bukhari
- Ibn Qutayba
- Imam al-Bayhaqi
- Ibn Kathir
- Ibn Asakir
- Hakim al-Nishaburi
- Ibn Abd al-Barr
- The Marriage of Umar ibn Khattab and Umm Kulthum - Answering Islam
- “A‘lam an-Nisa al-Mu’minat” (p. 182) by Muhammad al-Hassun and Umm ‘Ali Mashkur
- I'lam al-Wara bi A'lam al-Huda by al-Tabarsi p.204
- Al-Dhari'ah 5:184
- Wasa'il al-Shi'a aal al-Bayt 15:19, 17:594, 21:263, 26:314
- Majmaa al-Fa’ida vol.11 p.530
- al-Mabsut vol.4 p.272
- Kashf al-Litham vol 2 pp.312
- Mohammad Soleiman Panah - Silence of Imam Ali (AS) - 'Aalim Network QR, May 10, 1996
- Tarikh al-Yaqubi vol. 2 pp.260
- Tarikh al-Madina vol 2 p654
- Tarikh al-Saghir vol. 1 p. 102
- Ma'arif p. 107
- Sunan al-Kubra vol. 4 p. 33
- Siyar Aalam al-Nubalaa 5:22-24
- Tahdhib al-Asmaa wa al-Lughat 2:267 #1219
- al-Hawi lil Fatawa 2:179
- Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah vol. 8 p. 14
- Tarikh Dimasqh|Tarikh al Dimashq 42:555
- Al-Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain, by Hakim al-Nishaburi|al-Hakim al-Nishaburi, 3/142
- al-Istiab fi ma'rifat al-Ashab vol 4 p 509