In the comments to this post, below, Ismaeel from the Muslim Action Committee said the following:
The closing of the doors of ijtihad was a recognition of the ulema of the day that the process of developing METHODOLOGIES to discover ISLAMIC RULINGS on any given subject had been completed and all the four METHODOLOGIES would now be used to derive rulings from the texts on LEGAL issues.So, Islamic Law was fixed in the twelfth century and has been perfect ever since. This is absolutely mainstream for unreformed Muslims, which is to say the overwhelming majority of Muslims, including those in Europe, Australasia and the Americas. Here's an example (from America) of the sort of revolting conclusion this can lead to:
Finally, in late Spring of 2005, the day came which turned out to be the last day I ever went to this fiqh class. I happened to meet one of the other students shortly before class, and I asked him how he thought we should respond to the need for revision, especially considering that our textbook was based on a work more than six hundred years old. The other student replied, there was not much need to revise the traditional thought, but maybe only add something in those places where the traditional scholars were silent. No need at all to change anything substantial. I asked him about slavery and sex with slaves, and he suggested I ask the shaikh. And so I did.And just to show I'm not being unfair against Ismaeel by associating him with this sort of thing, here he is, on the old March for Free Expression website, in the comments:
And so it came as it had to come. When the class reached the five minute break, I asked the Shaikh, whether it was permitted for a male master to sleep with slave women against their will. He immediately said yes, and he added this was agreed upon by all four Sunni schools - Shafi'i, Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali. I asked to clarify, so if there was a slave market today, I could go and buy a fourteen year old girl just in order to sleep with her? He said yes, and he added, not only was it permitted, it was also common practice among early Muslims. Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the shaikh said, had children from his slaves. The class was shocked, especially the female students. One female student asked, what if the slave woman did not want to? The sheikh affirmed that this was not relevant. Another female student asked, whether this was still applicable today? The shaikh did not address this question - he did not seem to understand what the student meant by "applicable" - but he added that when agreements against slavery came up the Muslim countries "were the first ones to sign". The shaikh said sex slavery was perfectly according to the Qur'an. I later checked with a more reform-oriented scholar who assured me that the Qur'an does not permit this kind of abuse of human beings.
Now let me be absolutely clear that this was more than just the words of a crazy fiqh teacher. What our shaikh told us is perfectly in line with the consensus of more than thousand years of Islamic scholarship. Let me spell it out:
It is permitted (halal) according to all traditional schools (madhabs) to have sexual intercourse with slave girls of the age of nine years or above against their will and without marrying them. And when I say according to the traditional schools, I mean it was consensus among the scholars of all classic schools of Islamic law be it Sunni or Shia. It is all over the classic sources of Islamic law where this issue is elaborated to great detail.
Now what the past scholars said is one thing, how modern Muslim scholars deal with it is another. Unfortunately, the question is rarely asked, because most Muslims are unaware of the problems, but if it is asked, traditionally oriented scholars fail to condemn sex slavery. Even some of the most influential contemporary scholars are defending and justifying sex slavery
In many cultures women are intellectually, emotionally and physically mature by this age  to be married and have sex. Please stop trying to impose your liberal values and laws on everyone.And:
If you go to some arab countries even now amongst the bedouin and also in sub-sahara africa, girls of nine are physically, mentally and emotionally ready for marriage.Aisha was seven years old when Mohammed married her, and nine when he "consumated" their marriage. It's perfectly true that sexual relations with children were not unusual in the distant past, but sex between a fifty year old man and a nine year old girl must be considered to be rape today, in any country under any circumstances.
The Prophet (PBUH) first got married to a woman who was twice divorced, Lady Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, he was 25 and she was 40, he didn't remarry again until after she had died some 25 years later. Lady Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her was the only virgin girl he married after that.
For about a decade, from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, a campaigning group that eventually became known as the Paedophile Information Exchange tried to legitimise the idea of sexual relations between adults and children. It failed, unsurprisingly, and in large part as a result of a media led public outcry. Eventually, legal action in 1984 led to ther conviction of several members and the flight of the group's leader.
Any tradition that advocates slavery, the rape of slaves and the rape of under age girls in "marriage" is abhorrent, and the fact that it is a religious tradition is irrelevant. Why is there no outcry against these revolting teachings from Islamic law?