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Thus, Goitein notes that European Jews would marry their girls early, once they had collected the expected amount of dowry.A bride price is the amount paid by the groom to the parents of a bride for them to consent to him marrying their daughter.he also clarifies, in the same chapter, in verse that: "Although a father has the option of consecrating his daughter to anyone he desires while she is a minor or while she is a maiden, it is not proper for him to act in this manner".
In 1275 sexual relations with girls under either 12 or 14 (depending on interpretation of the sources) were criminalized; the age was reduced to 10 in 1576.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the British colonial administration introduced marriage age restrictions for Hindu and Muslim girls on the Indian subcontinent.
A Scottish physician living in 18th century Syria reported that locals tried to contract marriages for their children at a young age, but the marriage was not consummated until the girl "had come of age".
Evidence from 19th century Palestine suggests that husbands sometimes initiated sexual relations before their wife reached puberty, but that it was a rare occurrence, condemned socially and censured by sharia courts.
Disputes regarding physical maturity between the involved parties were to be resolved by a judge, potentially after examination by a female expert witness.
Some modern Muslim authors and Islamic scholars, such as Ali Gomaa, who served as the Grand Mufti of Egypt, doubt the traditionally accepted narrative and believe based on other evidence that Aisha was in her late teens at the time of her marriage.The legally prescribed marriageable age in some jurisdictions is below 18 years, especially in the case of girls.Even where the age is set at 18 years, cultural traditions may take priority over legislative law and many jurisdictions permit earlier marriage with parental consent or in special circumstances, such as teenage pregnancy.Before the industrial revolution, in many parts of the world, including India, China and Eastern Europe, women tended to marry immediately after reaching puberty, in their mid-teens. Friedman, "arranging and contracting the marriage of a young girl were the undisputed prerogatives of her father in ancient Israel." Most girls were married before the age of 15, often at the start of their puberty.Societies where most of the population lived in small agricultural communities were characterized by these marriage practices well into the 19th century. Ruth Lamdan writes: "The numerous references to child marriage in the 16th-century Responsa literature and other sources, shows that child marriage was so common, it was virtually the norm.Classical Sunni jurisprudence allows a father to contract a marriage for his underaged girl.Appropriate age for consummating the marriage, which could occur several years after signing the marriage contract, was to be determined by the bride, groom and the bride's guardian, since medieval jurists held that the age of fitness for intercourse was too variable for legislation.In many cases, only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female.Causes of child marriages include poverty, bride price, dowry, cultural traditions, laws that allow child marriages, religious and social pressures, regional customs, fear of remaining unmarried, illiteracy, and perceived inability of women to work for money.The minimum age for a valid marriage was puberty, or nominally 14 for males and 12 for females.There is no minimum marriage age defined in traditional Islamic law, and the legal discussion of this topic centered primarily on women's physical maturity.