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Rebuttal to
Correct
Marriageable Age
in Sikhism

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1 Contents Page

1 Contents Page.............................................................................................................. 2
2 “Rules” within the Sikh lifestyle and Islamic Faith.................................................... 3
3 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Proofs from the Sikh Scripture regarding
marriageable age ................................................................................................................. 3
3.1 SikhingTruth response: Sikh view on marriageable age..................................... 3
3.2 SikhingTruth response: Outdated rules within Quaran and Hadiths .................. 4
3.2.1 Punishment for a thief................................................................................. 4
3.2.2 Apostasy...................................................................................................... 4
3.2.3 Terror .......................................................................................................... 4
3.2.4 Dealing with Unbelievers ........................................................................... 4
3.2.5 Freedom of Religion ................................................................................... 5
3.2.6 Women........................................................................................................ 5
3.2.7 Adultery ...................................................................................................... 5
3.3 Summary ............................................................................................................. 5
4 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Question regarding correct marriageable age for girl 6
4.1 SikhingTruth response: Rebuttal to marriageable age question ......................... 6
5 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Sikhs make decisions without divine guidance.......... 7
5.1 SikhingTruth response: Concept of divine guidance .......................................... 7
6 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Marriage age of the Sikh Gurus wives? ..................... 7
6.1 SikhingTruth response: Age of the Gurus wives during marriage ..................... 7
6.1.1 Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Mata Sulakhani Ji................................................. 8
6.1.2 Guru Angad Dev Ji and Mata Khivi Ji........................................................ 8
6.1.3 Guru Amar Das Ji and Mata Mansa Devi Ji ............................................... 8
6.1.4 Guru Ram Das Ji and Bibi Bhani Ji ............................................................ 8
6.1.5 Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Mata Ganga Ji........................................................ 8
6.1.6 Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and Mata Nanaki Ji ............................................ 8
6.1.7 Guru Har Rai Ji and Mata Kishan Kaur Ji .................................................. 9
6.1.8 Guru Tegh Bahadur and Mata Gujari ji ...................................................... 9
7 Conclusions regarding the marriage age of the Gurus and their wives ...................... 9

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2 “Rules” within the Sikh lifestyle and Islamic Faith
This set of questions from our Muslim brethren has arisen from their interaction with
Sikhs and learning partly about Sikh views regarding marriageable age which has
implications regarding the morality surrounding Prophets Mohammad’s lifestyle who
married a 6 year old child when he was 50+ and consummated his marriage with her
when she was 9.

3 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Proofs from the Sikh
Scripture regarding marriageable age
Provide us with a clear proof from Sri Guru Granth Sahib that establishes when the right
time for marriage is?

3.1 SikhingTruth response: Sikh view on marriageable age
This question is a non starter to begin with because Sikhism has never taken a code book
mentality to spiritual life and God realisation.

The Guru Granth Sahib provides a human being with a framework of sound moral and
ethical standards together with an experience of divinity within and it is these combined
with common sense, logic and science that Sikhs will use to come to a decision on
whether something is right or wrong. This is also true for the “right time for marriage”
for a given individual.

It is a straw-man argument to suggest that just because the Guru Granth Sahib is not a
code book it is somehow inferior to Islamic scripture. Indeed the principles of Sikhism
are eternal as they are principles applicable to any situation.

In addition, the Sikh Rehat Maryada is a dynamic/evolving document updated by the
Khalsa nation every 30 years and provides a summary of Sikh principles as applicable in
every day life. An extract from the Sikh Rehat Maryada states:

Chapter XI - Anand Sanskar (Sikh Matrimonial Conventions and Ceremony) Article
XVIII
(a) A Sikh man and woman should enter wedlock without giving thought to the
prospective spouse’s caste and descent.
(b) A Sikh’s daughter must be married to a Sikh.
(c) A Sikh’s marriage should be solemnized by Anand marriage rites.
(d) Child marriage is taboo for Sikhs.
(e) When a girl becomes marriageable, physically, emotionally and by virtue of maturity
of character, a suitable Sikh match should be found and she be married to him by Anand
marriage rites.

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Truth must stand for all time and not just for a specific culture or time in history. The
truths within the Guru Granth Sahib will easily achieve this.

Unfortunately for Muslims however, many principles from both the Quaran and the
Hadiths are now out-of-date. Some examples of outdated ideas or inhumane rules (by
modern standards) include:

3.2 SikhingTruth response: Outdated rules within Quaran and
Hadiths
3.2.1 Punishment for a thief
Without consideration for the degree of theft or even the conditions under which the theft
was made (e.g. a hungry boy whole stole a roll of bread to eat) there is one blanket rule
for all thieves:

5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for
what they have done—a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise.

3.2.2 Apostasy
Muslims who want to leave Islam must be killed.

(Sahih Bukhari 4.260)
Narrated Ikrima:Ali burnt some people [hypocrites] and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas,
who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said,
'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them,
for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "

3.2.3 Terror
People who don’t believe in God should be mutilated.

8:12 I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their
heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

3.2.4 Dealing with Unbelievers
3:28, Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers:
if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah

8:12, I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and
smite all their finger-tips off them

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"Ali Ibn Abi Talib encountered a man called 'Umru and told him, `I indeed invite you to
Islam.' 'Umru said, `I do not need that.' 'Ali said, Then I call you to fight.' (This was the
same policy Muhammad used with those who rejected his invitation.) 'Umru answered
him, `What for my nephew? By God, I do not like to kill you.' `Ali said, `But, by God, I
love to kill you"' (ibn Hisham, "The Biography of the Prophet", part 3, p. 113; see also Al
Road Al Anf part 3, p. 263).

3.2.5 Freedom of Religion
3:85, If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be
accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All
spiritual good).

3.2.6 Women
Outdated rules regarding women:

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 460:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to
have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will
curse her till morning."

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 122:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "If a woman spends the night deserting her
husband's bed (does not sleep with him), then the angels send their curses on her till she
comes back (to her husband)."

A woman is not a believer if she undertakes a journey which may last three days or
longer, unless she is accompanied by her husband, son, father or brother. (TR. P 431 )

A woman must veil herself even in the presence of her husband's father, brother and
other male relations. (TR. P 432)

3.2.7 Adultery
Adultery in Islam is a great sin punishable by stoning and sin. But a Muslim can commit
adultery with his maid or a married woman if he invades her town and captures her in the
war

3.3 Summary
In summary, human beings and life in general are not things that can be put in boxes or
labeled as black and white. Life also has many shades of grey too. This flexibility of free
thought and the ability to look at a situation from all angles is truly a blessing from the
Guru and this is why principles of life are better than fixed rules.

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4 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Question regarding
correct marriageable age for girl
There is not a single verse in Guru Gramth Sahib that answers the above question
(regarding marriageable age for girls). Hence, the Guru's silence is an acceptance of the
social customs of marriage during their time, since if it was wrong, it is safe to assume
they would have forbidden it and castigated the practitioners. However, any Sikh looking
to contradict the silence of the Gurus is not only claiming greater knowledge than them,
but also implying their silent acceptance of such marriages was wrong and that these
new post-modern Sikhs are correct.

4.1 SikhingTruth response: Rebuttal to marriageable age
question
It is accepted from both oral traditions of the Sikhs and the Hukamnamas of the Sikh
Gurus that they did not accept the harmful social customs of society and they did
discourage child marriage involving consummation of marriage with children, satee
(burning of the woman on the funeral pyre), dowry and female infanticide and
encouraged the education women and girls and widow re-marriage. It is the Hukamnamas
which were used to compile the Sikh Rehat Maryada (code of conduct) in 1949.

Dr. Upinder Jit Kaur from the University of Patiala has written:
“The Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind called woman"the conscience of man "without whom
moral living was impossible. The girls were also encouraged to receive education. Child
marriage was discouraged and the practice of female infanticide severely banned. The
latter was considered so important that it was subsequently made a part of the
instructions given to the Sikhs at the time of baptism. The oath requires that Sikhs will not
practise female infanticide or have any association at all with those who practise it, will
not take alcohol, tabacoo and other drugs, and will not marry their daughters for
monetary gain. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, firmly endorsed the principle of
human equality in all walks of life at the time of administering amrit to his followers.
Guru's baptism was and is open to all. A Sikh cannot be called a Sikh if he discriminates
between a high and a low or between a man and a woman. Sikhism has thus been a
potent influence in the emanicipation of Indian womanhood. According to the basic
tenets of Sikh religion, a woman has full freedom for worship, education and vocation.
She may work in a field or a factory or go to a battlefield as a soldier. There are no
obstacles in her way. Further, not only are there no prejudices in Sikhism against women
engaging in productive work, it is made obligatory for all individuals, both men and
women, to engage in gainful and productive activity and contribute something for the
public weal.”

In India however, child marriage did not consist of old men marrying minors and instead
consisted of 2 young children getting married which is still prevalent in certain parts of
India such as Rajasthan. In addition the marriage of 2 children did not involve
consummation of the marriage until several years later.

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It was almost alien in Indian society to have someone as old as a grandfather to marry
someone as young as his grand daughter.

So in summary the Gurus did speak against child marriage and were NOT silent about it.
The only people in India who may have done this could have been the foreign Islamic
community living in India.

5 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Sikhs make decisions
without divine guidance
In following their vain desires, the atheists seek to formulate and invent edicts and laws
based upon nothing but their limited and flawed intellects. Indeed, the atheists are more
true to their beliefs than these Sikhs who arrogantly declare things to be right and wrong,
since they reject the existence of an all-Wise Creator, but these Sikhs, even after claiming
to believe in an all-Wise Creator, seek to play the role of the all-Wise by forwarding what
they deem to be right and wrong, good and evil without any divinely revealed evidences
to back their claims.

5.1 SikhingTruth response: Concept of divine guidance
The primary difference between close minded “religious” thinking and open minded Sikh
thought is that the Guru Granth Sahib connects a Sikh to their primal core (God) and so
our decisions when performed with oneness are divine by default because God himself
guides his beloved congregation.

The Gurus did not limit the Sikh community to a “rule book” that would be applicable
1400 years ago but would struggle to be acceptable in the 21st century. We have already
listed a small collection of some of the outdated rules from both the Quaran and the
Hadiths above so these will not be listed again.

6 Islam-Sikhism website wrote: Marriage age of the Sikh
Gurus wives?
We end with these simple questions:
• How old were the wives of the Gurus when they married? How old was Sulakhni
when Guru Nanak married her?
• During the time of the Gurus, how old, on average, were the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh
women when they married?

6.1 SikhingTruth response: Age of the Gurus wives during
marriage
Firstly we have listed the ages at which the Sikhs masters and their wives were married
and these have been summarised below:

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6.1.1 Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Mata Sulakhani Ji
http://www.sikhpoint.com/religion/sikhcommunity/Sulakhni.htm
http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/Sikh-History/Mata-Sullakhni-Ji.html

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469 and was engaged in 1485. He was married 2 years
later in 1487. Guru Nanak was 18 (1487-1469) years old at the time of marriage.
Mata Sulakhani was born in 1473 and was 14 (1487-1473) when she was married to Guru
Nanak

6.1.2 Guru Angad Dev Ji and Mata Khivi Ji
http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/Sikh-History/Today-in-Sikh-History-31st-March.html
http://www.sikhlionz.com/matakhiviji.htm

Guru Angad Dev was born on March 31, 1504 and married Mata Khivi Ji in 1519. Guru
Angad was 15 (1519 – 1504) years old at the time of his marriage
Mata Khivi Ji was also born in 1504 and was also 15 when she was married

6.1.3 Guru Amar Das Ji and Mata Mansa Devi Ji
Guru Amar Das Ji was born in the village of Basarke on May 5, 1479 and he was married
at the age of 24. Mata Mansa Devi Ji is considered to be a similar age to Guru Amar Das
Ji when they were married

6.1.4 Guru Ram Das Ji and Bibi Bhani Ji
http://www.sikhworld.co.uk/page29.html

Guru Ram Das was born on September 24, 1534 and married at age 20 (1554-1534) on
18th February 1554
Bibi Bhani ji was born on 19 January 1535 and married at the age of 19

6.1.5 Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Mata Ganga Ji
http://www.searchgurbani.com/gurus/guruarjun.htm
http://members.dancris.com/~sikh/chap07.html

Siri Guru Arjan Dev Ji was born on April 15, 1563 and married in 1589 at the age of 26
The birth date of Mata Ganga is not known

6.1.6 Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and Mata Nanaki Ji
http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Hargobind

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http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Mata_Nanaki

Guru Hargobind Sahib was born on 19 June 1595 and married in 1613 at the age of 18
Mata Nanaki was born in 1598 and married at the age of 15

6.1.7 Guru Har Rai Ji and Mata Kishan Kaur Ji
http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Har_Rai

Guru Har Rai was born in 26 February 1630 and was married on 19 June 1640 at the age
of 10 to Mata Kishan Kaur Ji. Bhai Har Rai became Guru Hari Rai at the age of 14 and
two sons were born from this marriage, Ram Rai was born in 1646 when the Guru was 16
years old and Har Krishan wasborn in 1656, when Guru was 26 years old.

6.1.8 Guru Tegh Bahadur and Mata Gujari ji
http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php?title=Mata_Gujri

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was born on the 1st April 1621 and was married in 1633 at the age
of 12 and became Guru in 1665 at the age of 44.
Mata Gujari Ji was born in 1624 and was married at the age of 9 to the Guru.
Mata Gujri had her one and only son in the year 1666 at the age of 44.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Mata Sundari Ji
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobind

Guru Gobind Singh was born on the 22nd of December 1666 and was married in 1684 at
the age of 18
Mata Sundari Ji was a similar age when she was married to him.

7 Conclusions regarding the marriage age of the Gurus
and their wives
As we can see all the Gurus who married (except Guru Har Krishan as he was a child)
were married at a young age and so were their wives.

Historically in the Punjab, there were three big functions connected with a marriage
which included the Engagement, Wedding and Muklawa. Big gatherings and singings
were held at all these three functions. In many cases, engagements were held at 8-12
years of age. The wedding was performed a couple of years after the engagement (10-14
years). Then after the wedding, it would take several years (16+) for the bride to move in
with her in-laws and live there and this is when the marriage would be consummated.
This last part of the wedding process is called the Muklawa.

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In the case of Guru Nanak Dev Ji the gap between the engagement and the marriage was
a couple of years making him 18 on his wedding day and the Muklawa would have lasted
for 2 years making Mata Sulakani 16 before their marriage was consummated.

In the cases of Guru Har Rai Ji and Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, who were married at the ages
of 10 and 12 respectively with their wives a similar age, the wives would have moved to
their husbands home several years later around when they were 16 to 18 years of age and
again this is when their marriages would have been consummated.

The marriage would conclude with the Maklawa and by this time the married couple
were young adults around the ages of 16 - 18 who had been given sufficient time to
mature emotionally, physically and mentally to have their marriages consummated. It
should be noted that Guru Har Rai took leadership of the Sikh community at the age of
14 as did a number of the other Gurus so there was no question of whether they were
mature from an emotional or a mental level as they were providing solace and comfort to
both Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.

Sikhs in modern times tend to only perform the engagement and the marriage and the
Muklawa is now not practiced as the average young Sikhs marry at 20+ years of age.

So again it is yet another non argument to suggest that if the Gurus as young men/boys
married young women/girls of similar age that it is automatically morally acceptable for
Prophet Muhammad at the age of 50+ to marry a girl of 6 and consummate his marriage
with her when she was 9. There is a difference here…but just in case the differences are
not obvious they include:

• The Sikh Gurus and their wives did marry young but they were both of similar age.
The age gap was not 40+ years.
• The marriages between the Gurus and their wives were consummated when they were
physically, mentally and emotionally developed and the Muklawa marked the
conclusion of the marriage ceremony.
• As a side note the Gurus did not marry wives belonging to their son-in-laws or have
intercourse with concubines. These things could never be associated with Godly
people.

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