Ayesha’s Age at the Time of Her Marriage – A Response to Innocence of Muslims

by Qasim Rashid

Ayesha’s Age: A response to the allegation that Ayesha was 6 or 9 when her marriage was consummated with Prophet Muhammad

The vitriolic anti-Islam film, “Innocence of Muslims” has caused quite a worldwide uproar. Newsweek seemed to add to that uproar with their “Muslim Rage” edition. Fortunately, it backfired and #MuslimRage has become the hottest new trend on Twitter. (Follow me@MuslimIQ) Still, Innocence of Muslims makes numerous vile accusations against Islam and its Noble Prophet (sa). One of these allegations is that the Prophet (sa) married Ayesha (rz) when she was underage. I have taken some time to quickly compile two arguments, one my own and one well-researched by another Muslim.

Together, these arguments demonstrate that the allegations levied against both Prophet Muhammad (sa) and Ayesha (rz) are meritless and based wholly on ignorance. The below evidence shows that far from being 6 or 9, Ayesha was likely 15-16 at the time of her consenting marriage, or as old as 18-20. Some scholars assert that she was actually only 12. Even if Hazrat Ayesha (rz) was only 12 at the time of her marriage and consummation, this should not be a cause for alarm for the clear reasons mentioned below.

The First Set of Arguments

The First Argument

The Catholic Encyclopedia says Mary Mother of Jesus (as) was 11 (and Joseph was 90) upon their marriage. [The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Reference of Work on the Constitution, Doctrine, Dicipline, and History of the Catholic Church, New York Robert Appleton Company, Vol. VIII, Pg. 505]. Yet, we do not hear anti-Islam elements raise objection to this recorded fact of history. If Ayesha (rz), even at age 12, was too young to be married, then certainly Mary Mother of Jesus was too young. Likewise, if Prophet Muhammad (sa) at the age of 53 was too old to marry Ayesha, then Joseph at age 90 was certainly too old. Yet, such objections do not exist, demonstrating the double standard anti-Islam individuals assert against Muslims.

The Second Argument

The law of the Talmud holds that a woman is of marriable age when she is 12 yrs and 6 months old and “Marrying off one’s daughter as soon after she reaches adulthood as possible, even to one’s Slave.” Talmud, Pesachim 113a]. Hasidic Jews still practice this tradition that spans back thousands of years. In fact, the Talmud presents some shocking guidance on marriage, also stating, “A maiden aged three years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition, and if her deceased husband’s brother cohabits with her, she becomes his.” [Talmud, Sanhedrin 55b].

Again, no objections are known from anti-Islam individuals to this practice, once again demonstrating the double standard. Historically speaking, Jews, Christians, and Muslims each held a social construct that permitted a person to be married at what our society considers young.

But, recognizing that things like life expectancy and social behavior were much different than they are now, two individuals in their pre or early teens marrying was not at all obscure. This is a fact that Jews, Christians, and Muslims each demonstrated. Most importantly, the concept of social construct must be reiterated. It was not just ancient Jews, Christians, and Muslims that recognized earlier teens or younger as acceptable ages for marriage. This is a concept that permeated our Western societies until only very recently, as explained next.

The Third Argument

For centuries in Scotland, the age of consent for girls was 12—and parental consent was unnecessary. [G T Bisset-Smith. 1st edition. Edinburgh: William Green & Sons, (1902)]. Only in 1929 was the age raised to 16 for girls. [Id.] Consider the facts of appropriate ages to marry of American State Laws. In New Hampshire, the legal age for girls is 13 with parental consent. In Massachusetts, the legal age for girls is 12 with parental consent. In Mississippi, there isno age minimum for girls, as long as there is parental consent. In California, there is no age minimum for girls, as long as there is parental consent. And of course, as we know, Ayesha (rz) certainly had parental consent. This information is available at: http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/table_marriage#g

So the reality is that only recently has social construct decided that 18 is the age of maturity among men and women. Nothing says that 18 is the wrong age, or the right age across all times and places. We can only state that it is the correct age for our time and place, because this is the age we have agreed upon as a society. Thus, in our age, marriage below 18 is either forbidden, or requires certain highly controlled conditions to ensure the rights of the persons under 18 are not usurped. But, to make the jump to accuse Prophet Muhammad (sa) of acting inappropriately, simply because our social construct disagrees with a social construct that our American forefathers, ancient Christian and Muslim cultures, and contemporary Hasidic Jewish cultures practice—such a jump is unqualified and meritless.

But so far, we have only demonstrated that if Ayesha (rz) was married when she was as young as 11 or 12, history and our American forefathers demonstrate that such a marriage was not out of the norm. The next section demonstrates that Ayesha (rz) was 15-16 at the time of her marriage to Prophet Muhammad (sa), and possibly as old as 18-20.

The Second Set of Arguments

*Disclaimer – I am not the author of the below scholarship. I am reposting because it is excellently researched, appropriately referenced, and repudiates the baseless allegations that Prophet Muhammad (sa) married Ayesha (rz) when she was underage. Please read each of the arguments as it soundly responds from every angle to the allegations that Ayesha was under age at the time of her marriage.

The First Argument

Though some of these narratives are reported in Bukhari, most of these narratives are reported only by Hisham ibn `urwah reporting on the authority of his father. An event as well known as the one being reported, should logically have been reported by more people than just one, two or three.

The Second Argument

It is quite strange that no one from Medinah, where Hisham ibn `urwah lived the first seventy one years of his life has narrated the event [from him], even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. All the narratives of this event have been reported by narrators from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have had shifted after living inMedinah for seventy one years.

Again, the argument that all those who heard this narrative from Hisham ibn `urwah were Iraqis, is a simple statement of fact. This can be checked in the biographical sketches of these narrators in any of the books written on the narrators.

The Third Argument

Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb, one of the most well known books on the life and reliability of the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet  (pbuh) reports that according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah:“narratives reported by Hisham are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq.” It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq (Vol. 11, pg. 48 – 51).

The actual statements, their translations and their complete references are given below:

Yaqub ibn Shaibah says: He [i.e. Hisham] is highly reliable, his narratives are acceptable, except what he narrated after shifting to Iraq. (Tehzeeb al-TehzeebIbn Hajar Al-`asqalaaniy, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, Vol. 11, pg. 50)

I have been told that Malik [ibn Anas] objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq. (Tehzi’bu’l-tehzi’bIbn Hajar Al-`asqala’ni, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, Vol. 11, pg. 50)

All the hadith Hisham related regarding the age of Ayesha are from the time he was in Iraq. From a historical and evidentiary perspective, this already puts into severe doubt the veracity of such claims.

The Fourth Argument

Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal, another book on the [life sketches of the] narrators of the traditions of the Prophet  (pbuh) reports that when he was old, Hisham’s memory suffered quite badly (Vol. 4, pg. 301 – 302)

The actual statement, its translation and its complete references is given below:

When he was old, Hisham‘s memory suffered quite badly (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaalAl-Zahabi, Arabic, Al-Maktabah al-Athriyyah, Sheikhupura, Pakistan, Vol. 4, pg. 301).

So now we have evidence that when Hisham related the traditions related to Ayesha’s age, he did so while his memory suffered severely. Already, no court of law would consider such testimony valid, not even in a civil court where the burden of proof is quite low compared to a criminal court.

The Fifth Argument

According to the generally accepted tradition, Ayesha (ra) was born about eight years beforeHijrah. But according to another narrative in Bukhari (Kitaab al-TafseerAyesha (ra) is reported to have said that at the time Surah Al-Qamar, the 54th chapter of the Qur’an , was revealed, “I was a young girl”. The 54th Surah of the Qur’an was revealed nine years before Hijrah. According to this tradition, Ayesha (ra) had not only been born before the revelation of the referred surah, but was actually a young girl (jariyah), not an infant (sibyah) at that time. Obviously, if this narrative is held to be true, it is in clear contradiction with the narratives reported by Hisham ibn `urwah. I see absolutely no reason that after the comments of the experts on the narratives of Hisham ibn `urwah, why we should not accept this narrative to be more accurate.

The actual statements referred to in the above paragraph, their translations and their complete references are given below:

Ayesha (ra) said: I was a young girl, when verse 46 of Surah Al-Qamar, [the 54th chapter of the Qur’an ], was revealed. (Sahih BukhariKitaab al-Tafseer, Arabic, Bab Qaulihi Bal al-saa`atu Maw`iduhum wa al-sa`atu adhaa wa amarr)

Ayesha was married after Hijrah (migration). Thus, if she could recall that Chapter 54 was revealed, she must have been at least 3-5 years old, plus the 9 years before hijrah, which places her at 12-14 before Hijrah and at least 14-16 before marriage. This makes it impossible that she was 9.

The Sixth Argument

According to a number of narratives, Ayesha (ra) accompanied the Muslims in the battle ofBadr and Uhud. Furthermore, it is also reported in books of hadith and history that no one under the age of 15 years was allowed to take part in the battle of Uhud. All the boys below 15 years of age were sent back. Ayesha‘s (ra) participation in the battle of Badr and Uhudclearly indicate that she was not nine or ten years old at that time. After all, women used to accompany men to the battle fields to help them, not to be a burden on them.

A narrative regarding Ayesha‘s (ra) participation in Badr is given in MuslimKitaab al-jihaad wa al-siyar, Arabic, Bab karahiyah al-isti`anah fi al-ghazwi bikafirAyesha (ra) while narrating the journey to Badr and one of the important events that took place in that journey, says:

When we reached Shajarah.

It is quite obvious from these words that Ayesha (ra) was with the group traveling towardBadr.

A narrative regarding Ayesha‘s (ra) participation in the battle of `uhud is given in Bukhari,Kitaab al-jihaad wa al-siyar, Arabic, Baab Ghazwi al-nisaa wa   qitalihinna ma`a al-rijaal.

Anas reports that On the day of Uhud, people could not stand their ground around the Prophet  (pbuh). [On that day,] I saw Ayesha (ra) and Umm-e-Sulaim (ra), they had pulled their dress up from their feet [to save them from any hindrance in their movement].”

As far as the fact that children below 15 years were sent back and were not allowed to participate in the battle of `uhud, it is narrated in BukhariKitaab al-maghaaziBaab ghazwah al-khandaq wa hiya al-ahzaab, Arabic.

Ibn `umar (ra) states that the Prophet  (pbuh) did not permit me to participate in Uhud, as at that time, I was fourteen years old. But on the day of Khandaq, when I was fifteen years old, the Prophet (pbuh) permitted my participation.”

This battle took place before Ayesha’s marriage to Prophet Muhammad, so now we see that she was at least 15-16 years old.

The Seventh Argument

According to almost all the historians Asma (ra), the elder sister of Ayesha (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha (ra). It is reported in Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb as well as Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihayahthat Asma (ra) died in 73 hijrah when she was 100 years old. Now, obviously if Asma (ra) was 100 years old in 73 hijrah she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah. IfAsma (ra) was 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrahAyesha (ra) should have been 17 or 18 years old at that time. Thus, Ayesha (ra), if she got married in 1 AH (after hijrah) or 2 AH, was between 18 to 20 years old at the time of her marriage.

The relevant references required in this argument are provided below:

For the Difference of Ayesha’s (ra) and Asma’s (ra) Age:

According to Abd al-Rahman ibn abi zannaad:

Asma (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha. (Siyar A`la’ma’l-nubala’Al-Zahabi, Vol. 2, pg. 289, Arabic, Mu’assasatu’l-risala’h, Beirut, 1992)

According to Ibn Kathir:

She [i.e. Asma] was ten years elder to her sister [i.e. Ayesha]. (Al-Bidaayah wa al-NihaayahIbn Kathir, Vol. 8, pg. 371, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabiyAl-jizah, 1933)

For Asma’s (ra) Age at Her Death in 73 AH

According to Ibn Kathir:

She [i.e. Asma] witnessed the killing of her son during that year [i.e. 73 AH], as we have already mentioned, five days later she herself died, according to other narratives her death was not five but ten or twenty or a few days over twenty or a hundred days later. The most well known narrative is that of hundred days later. At the time of her death, she was 100 years old. (Al-Bidaayah wa al-NihaayahIbn Kathir, Vol. 8, pg. 372, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabiy,Al-jizah, 1933).

According to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy:

She [i.e. Asma (ra)] lived a hundred years and died in 73 or 74 AH.” (Taqreeb al-TehzeebIbn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy, Pg. 654, Arabic, Bab fi al-nisaa, al-Harf al-alif, Lucknow)

The Eighth Argument

Tabari in his treatise on Islamic history, while mentioning Abu Bakr (ra) reports that Abu Bakrhad four children and all four were born during the Jahiliyyah – the pre-Islamic period. Obviously, if Ayesha (ra) was born in the period of jahiliyyah, she could not have been less than 14 years in 1 AH – the time she most likely got married.

The original statement in Tabari, its translation and reference follows:

All four of his [i.e. Abu Bakr’s] children were born of his two wives – the names of whom we have already mentioned – during the pre-Islamic period. (Tarikh al-umam wa al-mamloo’kAl-Tabari, Vol. 4, Pg. 50, Arabic, Dar al-fikr, Beirut, 1979)

The Ninth Argument

My ninth argument was:

According to Ibn Hisham, the historian, Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam quite some time before`umar ibn al-Khattab (ra). This shows that Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam during the first year of Islam. While, if the narrative of Ayesha‘s (ra) marriage at seven years of age is held to be true, Ayesha (ra) should not have been born during the first year of Islam.

According to Ibn HishamAyesha (ra) was the 20th or the 21st person to enter into the folds of Islam (Al-Sirah al-NabawiyyahIbn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 227 – 234, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithahAl-Riyadh) While `umar ibn al-khattab was preceded by forty individuals (Al-Sirah al-NabawiyyahIbn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 295, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithahAl-Riyadh).

The Tenth Argument

Tabari has also reported that at the time Abu Bakr planned on migrating to Habshah (8 years before Hijrah), he went to Mut`am – with whose son Ayesha (ra) was engaged – and asked him to take Ayesha (ra) in his house as his son’s wife. Mut`am refused, because Abu Bakr had embraced Islam, and subsequently his son divorced Ayesha (ra). Now, if Ayesha (ra) was only seven years old at the time of her marriage, she could not have been born at the time Abu Bakr decided on migrating to Habshah. On the basis of this report it seems only reasonable to assume that Ayesha (ra) had not only been born 8 years before hijrah, but was also a young lady, quite prepared for marriage.

Unfortunately, I do not have the primary reference to this argument at the moment. The secondary reference for this argument is: Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka’inatHabib ur Rahman Kandhalwi,Urdu, Pg. 38, Anjuman Uswa e hasanah, Karachi, Pakistan

The Eleventh Argument

According to a narrative reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, after the death of Khadijah (ra), whenKhaulah (ra) came to the Prophet  (pbuh) advising him to marry again, the Prophet (pbuh) asked her regarding the choices she had in her mind. Khaulah said: “You can marry a virgin (bikr) or a woman who has already been married (thayyib)”. When the Prophet (pbuh) asked about who the virgin was, Khaulah proposed Ayesha‘s (ra) name. All those who know the Arabic language, are aware that the word “bikr” in the Arabic language is not used for an immature nine year old girl. The correct word for a young playful girl, as stated earlier is “Jariyah“. “Bikr” on the other hand, is used for an unmarried lady, and obviously a nine year old is not a “lady”.

The complete reference for this reporting of Ahmad ibn Hanbal is: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol 6, Pg 210, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-`arabi, Beirut.

The Twelfth Argument

According to Ibn HajarFatimah (ra), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, was five years older than Ayesha (ra). Fatimah (ra) is reported to have been born when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old. Thus, even if this information is taken to be correct, Ayesha (ra) could by no means be less than 14 years old at the time of hijrah, and 15 or 16 years old at the time of her marriage.

Ibn Hajar‘s original statement, its translation and reference follows:

Fatimah (ra) was born at the time the Kaa`bah was rebuilt, when the Prophet  (pbuh) was 35 years old… she (Fatimah) was five years older that Ayesha (ra). (Al-Isabah fi Tamyeez al-SahaabahIbn Hajar al-Asqalaniy, Vol. 4, Pg. 377, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-Hadithaal-Riyadh, 1978)

These are all the references for the material I provided in my initial response.

Critics cite that Tabari, Abu Dawood, and Bukhari also says Ayesha was 9. Such critics miss the point on Hisham ibn `urwah. They are unaware of the fact that each one these traditions, whether it is from TabariBukhariMuslim or Abu Dawood, is either narrated by Hisham ibn `urwah or is reported to the respective author by or through an Iraqi. Not even a single narrative is free from either of the two problems.

I have quoted Tabari, Bukhari and Muslim to show that even their own information contradicts with the narrative regarding Ayesha‘s (ra) age. Thus, when the narrative of Ayesha‘s (ra) age is not reliable and when there is information in the same books that contradicts the narrative of Ayesha‘s age, I see absolutely no reason to believe that the information on Ayesha‘s (ra) age is accepted (when there are adequate grounds to reject it) and the other (contradictory) information is rejected (when there is no ground to reject it).

Conclusion

Thus, taking all facts into consideration, it is clear that the allegation proposed in Innocence of Muslims is one without merit, one no person of intelligence can accept. Prophet Muhammad (sa) and Ayesha (rz) enjoyed a loving, mutual, consenting, legal, and sincere marriage—one to be emulated by all people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. As a final point, I encourage readers to also check out ‘s excellent piece on Ayesha (rz) published in The Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/sep/17/muhammad-aisha-truth

___________

If you are interested in reading more of the work of Qasim Rashid click here

 

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12 thoughts on “Ayesha’s Age at the Time of Her Marriage – A Response to Innocence of Muslims

  1. Pingback: Was Muhammad ﷺ a lustful Womaniser?

  2. I was born out here in the Western world. What I am trying to encourage is that we defend the truth instead of trying to appease the critics (for example, Hadhrat Aisha’s age, the fire cooling for Hadhrat Ibrahim, the verse on “beating”, etc.) I think we would attract people to the faith and strengthen others’ faith by defending the truth instead of finding a way to pacify the critics.

    You are correct about the fact that at that time, they did not have the system of date calculatiions like we have today. My guess is that the narrator(s) of the Hadith remembered her age being 9 at the time of marriage because she also lived 9 years with the Holy Prophet (saw) before his passing away. That is just my conjecture.

    I just don’t think her exact age is so crucial to know. Anyway, I was told that Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) has written about this, probably in Seeratul Mahdi. Someone could look into that and see what he concluded, but I don’t think it has been translated into English yet.

  3. I don’t think it was bad for the Holy Prophet (saw) to marry a woman with her consent and the consent of her family, and who was a woman able to bear chidren. We have to make sure our Western opponents understand this very clearly instead of trying to appease them by saying no, she was older.

    Again, they should fear what their own children are doing outside of wedlock. Quran says that the mocking of the disbelievers will encompass their ownselves, and this is exactly what is happening to them because of this calumny they do against the Holy Prophet (saw) and his marriage with Hadhrat Aisha (ra). They are probably jealous because of the great benefit and blessings this marriage has had for the Ummah.

  4. I agree to some extent with Nasir M. on this one – irrespective of whether Ummul Muminin Sayyida A’isha (ra) was 9 or 12 or 15 or 19, we would still honour her and defend the Prophet (saw)’s marriage to her. To do so does not mean that we as Muslims believe in or promote ‘child-marriages’. It is a crude conclusion – one made often by amateur propagandists.

    It is a fact that women can become pubescent earlier than others and thus are capable of sexual reproduction at ages as early as 9 and 10 – as the recently publicized spate of child-pregnancies has shown – I am not a medical specialist so I’ll stop here on the physiological aspects. But show me a child who marries early and then does a service to faith like that of Sayyidah Aisha (ra) with the knowledge she imparted which safeguarded the sunna and Hadith for generations and generations – until such an example presents itself, I will never even think of comparing today’s child-pregnancies with the ‘marriage’ and then later ‘consummation’ of the marriage of our beloved Sayyida Aisha (ra). The two are incomparable. As far as I know, there are no sound traditions which confirm the age at which the marriage was consummated, but that such figures are arrived at by way of deduction and estimation – but I am open to corrections on this point.

    Aside from this, indigenous peoples who inhabit the deserts and mountains in north africa and in the south americas have also been known to have marriages very early – women in such societies take on a maternal role and manage the affairs of the house very early on in their lives, as the customs and traditions of their respective societies dictate. I have witnessed married 11-12-year old girls in these tribal societies manage whole households, cooking, shopping, looking after children, nursing the elderly, etc. Such societies rely upon early marriages and this is through custom and tradition and a reliance upon a societal pattern that engenders early responsibility.
    Which revealed book states that a marriage cannot take place earlier than our current man-made laws arbitrarily allow? We should not forget that such laws legislating the age of consent at 15, 16 or 18 were not written by humans because child-marriages in these primitive societies were being abused or employed for immoral purposes, but rather, that people in much more ‘developed societies’ began abusing the trusts they were given in looking after children. They abused their positions and abused children in their care. Moreover, these laws came about as the result of an engineered programme of liberalism which legally permitted obscenity, adultery, fornication and pronography, and which promoted and protected permissiveness through laws propagated by irreligious liberals and naturalists who wished to allow for a permissive and liberal society in order to satisfy theirs and others’ lustful desires and inclinations.

    Much of the Asian subcontinent has also been affected by this unnatural desire to have sexual relations with children propelled by lust and desire, rather than for a lawful purpose such as marriage and cohabitation.

    Lastly, on the arguments from Islamic texts, anyone who is familiar with early Islamic historiography will know that ages and dates are fairly speculative – furthermore, specific ages of people were not as well known in that world as they are today – obviously most people had no record of their dates of birth except for vague references to other historical events that took place near such a time, as many of the traditions cited in the article show. Therefore, the age was not important at the time, and neither – I would argue – is it important now. It seems as though the matter of real significance was a lady’s maturity and capability to run the affairs of the household, etc. and to engage in marital relations. That is what seems to be key – not age. Therefore, I agree with Nasir M, that the allegations made are almost insignificant – because they deal with things which were not issues of great importance at the time – but whose importance has been magnified by our socio-political realities and thus it is wholly illogical – not to mention unfair – to impose our 21st Century realities on 6th C. tribal Arabia. To do so would be to fall into the same trap that most post-modernist Muslims and non-Muslims have unfortunately fallen victim to, and are much the worse for it.

  5. Dear Nasir, I am not sure where you live, but in the West this allegation is one oft repeated. It is manipulated and used as a means to discredit the Holy Prophet (saw) in the eyes of ordinary non-Muslims. It is right that those who feel capable should try to readdress the imbalance.

    Historiography is such that it is very common for dates to be uncertain and historians to offer the most probable ages / dates. Those being representative of the current state of research. Future generations will discover new information or material evidence, as is almost always the case, and then document a more precise date. Current research is based on the dates presented in Sahih al-Bukhari and not against them.

    Your point that this allegation was not made by the opponents of Islam who lived during the life of the Prophet would not hold up with today’s opponents. They would simply reply that we Muslims are very quick to emphasise the deeply rooted immoral practices then prevalent in Southern Arabia in the sixth century, a period we even call the Period of Ignorance, and so it is quite plausible that they would not have recognised this ”alleged” practice as a negative one.

    I think your final point is incredibly important. The societal problems facing the USA today are extreme on so many different levels (as with many other countries). Such people should stop seeking blame in others and re-consider their own position and how they are helping to make things better. They often accuse Muslims of living 1,400 years in the past, yet it appears that they are the ones who are obsessed with 1,400 years ago, for all the wrong reasons, and are completely oblivious to the broken societies they live in TODAY. They offer no solutions and only add fuel to the fire.

  6. If you look at this from the point of view of the average neutral non-Muslim youth of today, your comment can be summarised as “our Prophet is bad, but your society is worse”. That is how this response will be perceived, I hope you can put yourself in those shoes. It is EXACTLY this kind of article that puts things into context for a naive reader.

    Thank you Qasim Rashid and previous authors of similar articles for fighting the good fight.

  7. I appreciate the effort here, but even these calculations are contradictory. Was she 9? 12? 15? 20? etc. Which one is it? If she was 12, then some calculations are wrong. It she was 15, then other calculations are wrong, etc. Am I understanding that correctly?

    Hadhrat Masih-e-Maud (as) has stated in Shahadatul Quran that we accept all Hadith that are not contradictory to the Holy Quran. Furthermore, he has stated elsewhere that we believe Sahih Bukhari is the most authentic source after the Holy Quran, and we believe that Sahih Muslim is after Sahih Bukhari in terms of authority. Both Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are agreed that the marriage of Hadhrat Aisha (ra) with the Holy Prophet (saw) was performed when she was 9 years old, and they she lived with him for another 9 years until his passing away in 10 AH.

    Saying that she was allowed on the battelfield so therefore she must have been 15 or older is not correct. That restriction was for actual fighting, and she was not fighting because she was not a boy.

    A woman is of marriageable age when she begins to have her period, right? That is because she can bear childern at that age. So are the objectors all-knowing that they can tell us when that was the case for our beloved Ummul Mumineen Hadhrat Aisha (ra)?

    The enemies of the Holy Prophet (saw) sought every avenue of insult for him, and this is clear in the history. How could they be mute on this issue? Are the current objectors more knowledgeable than those opponents who lived during that time?

    My opinion based on all of this is that we should not engage too much in trying to prove to these objectors that Hadhrat Aisha (ra) was older than 9. I think it is futile. Maybe those same objectors should stop insulting the Holy Prophet (saw) and Hadhrat Aisha (ra) and their marriage and instead be worried about their society’s children having sex outside of marriage at a younger and younger age, some of them bearing children out of wedlock at young ages like 12-14.

    Ws
    Nasir M.

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