In Islamic legal terminology, Baligh or Bulugh ( _ar. بالغ or بُلوغ) refers to a person who has reached maturity or puberty and has full responsibility under Islamic law. Legal theorists assign different ages and criteria for reaching this state for both males and females. [John Esposito, Islam, Oxford University Press 2003]

For example, in issues pertaining to marriage, "baligh" is related to the Arabic legal expression, "hatta tutiqa'l-rijal", which means that the a wedding may not take place until the girl is physically fit to engage in sexual intercourse. In comparison, "baligh" or "balaghat" concerns the reaching of sexual maturity which becomes manifest by the menses. The age related to these two concepts can, but need not necessarily, coincide. Only after a separate condition called "rushd", or intellectual maturity to handle one's own property, is reached can a girl receive her bridewealth. [Masud, "Islamic Legal Interpretation, Muftis and Their Fatwas", Harvard University Press, 1996]


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