Why did Prophet Muhammed Marry Aisha At a Young Age

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Why did Prophet Muhammed Marry Aisha At a Young Age

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    Default Why did Prophet Muhammed Marry Aisha At a Young Age

    Why did Prophet Muhammed Marry Aisha At a Young Age? Is that Morally Right? What about Paedophilia?

    by

    Dan_1988

    (This article was taken from http://dan1988.blogspot.com/2006/02/...rry-aisha.html)






    Age of Marriage in the light of Authentic Hadiths

    Prophet's Marriage to Aisha is becoming a famous topic amongst the critics of Islam. Whilst discussing this, they completely ignore the traditions at the time and the fruits the blessed marriage brought. In this article we will be exploring the reasons behind the marriage as well as affirming that Prophet Muhammed was not a paedophile. First of all let's examine the proof from Islamic sources regarding marriage to Aisha (RA):

    "Narrated 'Aisha:

    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death) Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64)"


    From the hadith it is confirmed that engagement was done when Aisha (RA) was 6 and then marriage was consummated when she was 9 years old. It must be noted that the marriage was extremely successful as it is evident from countless hadiths. Indeed, from a Muslim's perspective the marriage was divine:


    "Narrated 'Aisha:

    Allah's Apostle said (to me), "You have been shown to me twice in (my) dreams. A man was carrying you in a silken cloth and said to me, 'This is your wife.' I uncovered it; and behold, it was you. I said to myself, 'If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.' "" ( Sahih Bukhari,Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15)


    Age of Marriage in the Old Ages

    Morality is relative not absolute, it varies from culture to culture and society to society. What is perceived to be moral in USA may not hold to be true in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia. Morality is also relative to time, fornication/dating little time ago was regarded as taboo and a matter of shame for the family. However, now this is a common habit, dating could start as early as at the age of 10. Another example would be dress code, which was very modest in history but not so now.

    Therefore, we need to analyse the age of marriage in history and judge Prophet's marriage from there. Historically, the age at which a girl was considered ready to be married was puberty; this also was the case in biblical times. In an article called "Ancient Israelite Marriage Customs", by Jim West, ThD - a Baptist minister writes:

    "The wife was to be taken from within the larger family circle (usually at the outset of puberty or around the age of 13) in order to maintain the purity of the family line;"

    While discussing the meaning of the word 'almah, which is the Hebrew word for "young woman" or "adolescent female", Gerald Segal, in his book "The Jew and the Christian Missionary", Ktav Publishing House,1981, page 28 says:

    "It should be noted, however, that in biblical times females married at an early age."

    The Campaign To Raise The Age Of Consent, 1885-1994 (http://womhist.binghamton.edu/teacher/aoc.htm) [note the education domain] states:

    "American reformers were shocked to discover that the laws of most states set the age of consent at the age of ten or twelve, and in one state, Delaware, the age of consent was only seven."

    Thus it was a norm to be married at a young age. This is why the people of Quraish and other Arabian tribes at Prophet's time found absolutely no fault in their marriage. On the contrary it is evident from countless narrations that the marriage was successful. They detested Islam, they did everything to belittle the Prophet, tried to prevent Islam from spreading and even attempted to kill the Prophet! However, they raised no objection to the marriage of the Prophet to Aisha since at those times such a thing was not considered 'immoral'.

    Nabia Abbott, who is a western female orientalist and has written many anti-islam materials, writes in her book Aishah-The Beloved of Mohammed, Al-Saqi Books, London, 1985, page 7:

    "It is not clear just when the marriage actually took place. According to some versions, it was in the month of Shawwal of the Year 1, that is, some seven or eight months after the arrival at Medina; but, according to others, it was not until after the Battle of Badr, that is, in Shawwal of the second year of the Hijrah. In no version is there any comment made on the disparity of the ages between Mohammed and Aishah or on the tender age of the bride who, at the most, could not have been over ten years old and who was still much enamoured with her play."

    Even in our times in certain parts of the world the age of marriage is still relatively low. According to a chart on (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_...ious_countries ) the age of consent in Mexico and Philippines is only 12. In Guyana, Japan, South Korea, Spain and Swaziland the age of consent is 13. Hence even in ?Today's Times' a young marriage is not abnormal, as some in the west think.

    Should the people of United Kingdom, where the age limit is higher, be correct in slandering the people of Philippines/Mexico where the age limit is much lower and thus married at young age? Of course not! Or if within few centuries the age of marriage rises up to 20, then should those people have a right to slander those who lived at our times and married before 20? By the same token, we should not criticize the marriage of the Prophet based on the norm of our time.

    It ought also be noted that Aisha ( RA) was engaged to Jubayr son of Mut'im before Prophet Muhammed. This indicates the age of marriage and engagement in Prophet's time. However, the engagement was later nullified by Jubayr's parents due to Abu Bakr (RA) embracing Islam. This can be read in detail on http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/A...Holy%20Prophet

    Thus the history demonstrates that the age of the marriage was lower and relative to olden times, the marriage of the Prophet was not abnormal and there was nothing immoral about it. It was a norm at biblical times to be wedded at puberty or earlier, the age of consent one century ago in a 'modern country' was as low as 10 or 12, even 7 in Delaware! Even in our times, in certain societies, the age of consent is as low as 12 or 13. In the light of historical evidences, the marriage cannot be criticized.

    Age of Puberty, can a 9 year old be mature enough?

    Age of puberty varies however in woman it is generally reached earlier. "The average temperature of the country or province," say the well-known authors of the book Woman (Herman H. Ploss, Max Bartels and Paul Bartels, Woman, Volume I, Lord & Bransby, 1988, page 563.), "is considered the chief factor here, not only with regard to menstruation but as regards the whole of sexual development at puberty."

    Puberty in Girls (http://www.population.health.wa.gov....rtyinGirls.pdf) by an Australian government Public Health organization, says:

    "The first sign of puberty is usually a surge of growth: you become taller; your breasts develop; hair begins to grow in the pubic area and under the arms. This may start from 10 years to 14 years - even earlier for some and later for others."

    According to MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopaedia (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...e/001168.htm):
    "Precocious puberty is premature development of body characteristics that normally occur during puberty. (Puberty is the period in life when the body changes rapidly and develops reproductive capability). Puberty normally occurs between 13 and 15 years old in boys, and between 9 and 16 years old in girls. In girls, precocious puberty is when any of the following develop before 8 years of age:
    Breasts
    Armpit or pubic hair
    Mature external genitalia
    First menstruation"

    Indeed, there have been many cases of early puberty. For instance, Lina Medina gave birth at the age of 5 years, 7 months and 21 days. Encyclopaedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Medina ) says:

    "Lina Medina (born September 27, 1933 in Paurange, Peru) gave birth at the age of 5 years, 7 months and 21 days and is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history. This world record is closely followed by a similar case in Russia."

    When Aisha had reached puberty the marriage was consummated, as Karen Armstrong writes in her book Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, Harper San Francisco, 1992, page 157:

    "Tabari says that she was so young that she stayed in her parents' home and the marriage was consummated there later when she had reached puberty."


    Therefore it is not surprising if Aisha (RA) reached puberty at an early age. The marriage was consummated when Aisha (RA) reached puberty. Her maturity from ahadiths certainly dictates this. In addition, let us not forget that in olden times, marriage at puberty was nothing strange.



    Vital Benefits of the Marriage

    In addition, Aisha (RA) was exceedingly intelligent and had a formidable memory. She had profound knowledge of Quran and Sunnah She narrated over 2,000 hadith (at least 2,210). Abdul-Hamîd Siddiqî writes in a book entitled Sahih muslim (English-translation of Sahih Muslim, Volume 2, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, page 715.):

    "She [Aisha] developed into a spiritual teacher and scholar, since she was remarkably intelligent and wise. Her qualities help support the Prophet's work and further the cause of Islam. Aishah, the Mother of the Believers, was not only a model for wives and mothers, but she was also a commentator on the Qur'ân, an authority on hadîth and knowledgeable in Islamic Law. She narrated at least 2,210 ahâdîth that give Muslims valuable insights into the Final Prophet's daily life and behaviour, thus preserving the Sunnah of Muhammad(P)."

    Abu Musa al-Ash'ari says:

    "Never had we (the companions) had any difficulty for the solution of which we approached Aisha and did not get some useful information from her". -- Sirat-I-Aisha, on the authority of Trimidhi, p. 163.

    Thus the contribution of Aisha was vital, without her perhaps much of the sunnah would have been lost. In addition the marriage also refuted the notion that a man could not marry the daughter of a man who he had declared to be his "brother" (even in the religious sense). Since the Prophet and Abu Bakr had declared each other to be "brothers", this notion was done away with. This is demonstrated in the following hadith:


    "Narrated 'Ursa:
    The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry."" (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 18)


    This is another teaching, which the marriage portrayed. The marriage also strengthened the relationship between Abu Bakr and Prophet Muhammed. Let us bear in mind that Abu Bakr was the first Caliph.

    Pedophilia and lust for women?

    According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998, definition of Paedophile is:

    "Pedophile: also spelled PAEDOPHILIA, psychosexual disorder in which an adult's arousal and sexual gratification occur primarily through sexual contact with prepubescent children. The typical paedophile is unable to find satisfaction in an adult sexual relationship and may have low self-esteem, seeing sexual activity with a child as less threatening than that with an adult." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998.

    Apart from Aisha, all his wives were more than 16 (The Prophet of Islam, the Ideal Husband (Lahore: Kazi Publications), pp. 10-12), which at those times was considered as a mature age. Indeed, his first wife was twice widowed before and was older than him by 15 years. All his wives except Aisha and Marya were widows. Therefore, it is evident that Prophet's marriage with Aisha was not a norm and Prophet did indeed find adult relationship. Prophet also did not have low self-esteem, as it is evident from his Seerah.



    In addition, Harold I. Kaplan et al. (Synopsis of Psychiatry, 5th ed. [Williams and Wilkens, 1988], p. 360) writes:

    "In addition to their paedophilia, a significant number of paedophiles are concomitantly or have previously been involved in exhibitionism, voyeurism, or rape". (Voyeurism is the recurrent preoccupation with fantasised or acts that involve seeking out or observing people who are naked, or are engaged in grooming or in sexual activity).

    It is commonly accepted by Muslims and non-muslims (un-biased) that Prophet in no sense indulged in "exhibitionism, voyeurism, or rape" or even came close to it. There is not a single reference to indicate that prophet was involved in any such act. In addition, Prophet waited for Aisha to mature and reach Puberty before the marriage was consummated, this obviously is contrary to the characteristics of a paedophile.



    Hypocrisy of Jews & Christians

    It is quite hypocritical of Jews and Christian to criticize the marriage of Aisha. Talmud (Jewish scripture) says:

    "Marrying off one's daughter as soon after she reaches adulthood as possible, even to one's Slave. (From the Talmud, Pesachim 113a)"

    As we discussed, in biblical times adulthood could refer to the age of Puberty or even younger age.

    Regarding the Marriage of Mary to Joseph, Catholic Encyclopaedia ( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08504a.htm), says:

    "When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, "the Lord's brother"). A year after his wife's death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age, Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place."

    Note: That article on Catholic Encyclopaedia obtains its information from early

    Christian writing including apocryphal writings.
    The Catholic Encyclopaedia goes on to conclude "...retained the belief that St. Joseph was an old man at the time of marriage with the Mother of God." If Christians do not find any difficulty in accepting "Mother of God" (according to Catholic Encyclopaedia), who was 12-14, marrying a 90 year old man then why do they raise objection towards the marriage of Aisha (RA) to the Prophet?


    Consent of Aisha's Family

    Let us not forget that marriage was willingly consented by Abu Bakr. If there had been anything wrong with the marriage, Abu Bakr would have objected. If the father of Aisha found no fault with the marriage then why should people 1400 years later raise objections? Naturally, Abu Bakr must have had the best interests in his heart for his daughter.

    Brief Summary

    History demonstrates that the age of marriage was low, in olden times women married when they reached puberty or even earlier. Even in USA, a century ago, age of consent was low, 7 in Delaware, even Today in some countries like Mexico and Philippines, age of consent is as low as 12. It should not be too astonishing to find therefore that Aisha was mature enough, as the medical evidences states that puberty can occur at the age of 9.

    Aisha allowed the sunnah to be preserved and has quoted over 2,000 hadiths, thus playing a vital role for Islam. The marriage also refuted the Arab notion that a man cannot marry the daughter of a man who he had declared to be his "brother" (even in the religious sense). In addition, the marriage also strengthened the relationship between Prophet Muhammed and Abu Bakr [Companion of Prophet Muhammed and First Caliph). Prophet does not fulfil the characteristics of a Paedophile. Let us not forget that Prophet waited 3 years before the marriage with Aisha was consummated and that all his other wives were older than 16. It is quite hypocritical of Christian to criticize the marriage of Aisha when Mary, who according to Catholic Encyclopaedia was between 12 and 14, and yet married Joseph who was 90 years old. Let us also not forget that consent of marriage was given by Aisha's father, who had the best interest in his heart for her.
    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

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    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

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    AYESHA’s AGE: THE MYTH OF A PROVERBIAL WEDDING EXPOSED



    A Christian friend asked me once, “Will you marry your seven year old daughter to a fifty year old man?” I kept my silence. He continued, “If you would not, how can you approve the marriage of an innocent seven year old, Ayesha, with your Prophet?” I told him, “I don’t have an answer to your question at this time.” My friend smiled and left me with a thorn in the heart of my faith. Most Muslims answer that such marriages were accepted in those days. Otherwise, people would have objected to Prophet’s marriage with Ayesha. However, such an explanation would be gullible only for those who are naïve enough to believe it. But unfortunately, I was not satisfied with the answer.



    The Prophet (PBUH) was an exemplary man. All his actions were most virtuous so that we, Muslims, can emulate them. However, most people in our Islamic Center of Toledo, including me, would not think of betrothing our seven years daughter to a fifty-two year-old man. If a parent agrees to such a wedding, most people, if not all, would look down upon the father and the old husband.



    In 1923, registrars of marriage in Egypt were instructed not to register and issue official certificates of marriage for brides less than sixteen and grooms less than eighteen years of age. Eight years later, the Law of the Organization and Procedure of Sheriah courts of 1931 consolidated the above provision by not hearing the marriage disputes involving brides less than sixteen and grooms less than eighteen years old. (REF: Women in Muslim Family Law, John Esposito, 1982). It shows that even in the Muslim majority country of Egypt the child marriages are unacceptable.



    So, I believed, without solid evidence other than my reverence to my Prophet (pbuh), that the stories of the marriage of seven-year-old Ayesha (ra) to fifty-year-old Prophet are only myths. However, my long pursuit in search of the truth on this matter proved my intuition correct. My Prophet was a gentleman. And He did not marry an innocent seven or nine year old girl.



    The age of Ayesha (ra) has been erroneously reported in the hadith literature. Furthermore, I think that the narratives reporting this event are highly unreliable. Some of the hadith regarding Ayesha’s age at the time of her wedding with prophet are problematic. I present the following evidences against the acceptance of the fictitious story by Hisham ibn `urwah and to clear the name of my Prophet (pbuh) as an irresponsible old man preying on an innocent little girl.
    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

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    EVIDENCE # 1 Reliability of Source


    Most of these narratives printed in the Hadith books are reported only by Hisham ibn `urwah reporting on the authority of his father. First of all, more people than just one, two or three should logically have reported. It is strange that no one from Medinah, where Hisham ibn `urwah lived the first seventy one years of his life has narrated the event, even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. The origins of the report of the narratives of this event are people from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have shifted after living in Medinah for seventy-one years.



    Tehzibu'l-tehzib, one of the most well known books on the life and the reliability of the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) report that according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah:

    " He [Hisham] is highly reliable, his narratives are acceptable, except what he narrated after moving over to Iraq." (REF: Tehzi'bu'l-tehzi'b, Ibn Hajar Al-`asqala'ni, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, 15th century. Vol 11, p. 50).



    It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq:

    “I have been told that Malik [ibn Anas] objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq." (REF: Tehzi'b u'l-tehzi'b, Ibn Hajar Al-`asqala'ni, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, Vol.11, p. 50)



    Mizanu'l-ai`tidal, another book on the life sketches of the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports:

    "When he was old, Hisham's memory suffered quite badly" (REF: Mizanu'l-ai`tidal, Al-Zahbi, Al-Maktabatu'l-athriyyah, Sheikhupura, Pakistan, Vol. 4, p. 301)



    CONCLUSION: Based on these references, Hisham’s memory was failing and his narratives while in Iraq were unreliable. So, his narrative of Ayesha’s marriage and age are unreliable.

    Chronology

    Now let me state some of the pertinent dates in the history of Islam:

    http://www.irfi.org/articles/article...__a_prover.htm

    EVIDENCE # 2 Betrothal

    According to Tabari (also according to Hisham ibn ‘urwah, Ibn Hunbal and Ibn Sad), Ayesha was betrothed at seven years of age and began to cohabit with Prophet at the age of nine years. However, in another work, Al- Tabari says:

    "All four of his [Abu Bakr's] children were born of his two wives -- the names of

    whom we have already mentioned -- during the pre-Islamic period."(REF: Tarikhu'l-umam wa'l-mamlu'k, Al-Tabari (died 922), Vol. 4, p. 50, Arabic, Dara'l-fikr, Beirut, 1979)



    If Ayesha was betrothed in 620 CE (at the age of 7 years) and started to live with Prophet in 624 CE or 2 AH (at the age of nine years), she was born in 613 CE {(Year of living with Prophet MINUS Ayesha’a age at that time of living with Prophet EQUALS the date of birth of Ayesha (624CE – 9 yrs = 613 CE)}. So, based on one account of Al-Tabari the numbers show that Ayesha must have born (613 CE) three years after the beginning of revelation (610 CE). And yet another place Tabari says that Ayesha was born in Pre-Islamic time (in Jahilliyyah). If she were born in pre-Islamic time (before 610 CE), she would have be at least 14 years old. So, Tabari contradicts himself.

    CONCLUSION: Al-Tabari is unreliable in the matter of determining Ayesha’s age.



    Contradicting Reports

    EVIDENCE # 3 The Age of Ayesha in Relation to the Age of Fathima.



    According to According to Ibn Hajar,

    “ Fatimah (ra) was born at the time the Ka`bah was rebuilt, when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old... she (Fatimah) was five years older that Ayesha (ra).” (REF: Al-isabah fi tamyizi'l-sahabah, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Vol. 4, P. 377, Maktabatu'l-Riyadh al-haditha, al-Riyadh, 1978)



    So, based on Ibn Hajar, Fathima was born when Prophet was 35 years old and Ayesha was 5 years younger than Fathima. If Ibn Hajar’s statement is factual, Ayesha was born when Prophet was forty years old (Prophet’s age at the birth of Fathima PLUS 5 years = 40 years). If Ayesha was married to Prophet when he was 52 years old, Ayesha’ age at marriage would be 12 years {(Prophet’s age at the time of marriage MINUS Prophet’s age at Ayesha’s birth (52 yrs – 40 years = 12 yrs)}.



    CONCLUSION: Ibn Hajar, Tabari an Ibn Hisham and Ibn Humbal contradict each other. So, the marriage of Ayesha at seven years of age is a myth.



    EVIDENCE # 4 The Age of Ayesha in Relation to the Age of Asma

    According to Abda'l-Rahman ibn abi zanna'd:

    “Asma (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha. (REF: Siyar A`la'ma'l-nubala', Al-Zahabi, Vol. 2, p. 289, Arabic, Mu'assasatu'l-risalah, Beirut, 1992)



    According to Ibn Kathir:

    "She [Asma] was elder to her sister [Ayesha] by ten years". (REF: Al-Bidayah wa'l-nihayah, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 8, p. 371, Dar al-fikr al-`arabi, Al-jizah, 1933)



    According to Ibn Kathir:

    "She [Asma] saw the killing of her son during that year [i.e. 73 AH], as we have already mentioned, and five days later she herself died. According to other narratives she died not after five days 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." (REF: Al-Bidayah wa'l-nihayah, Ibn Kathir (died 1333), Vol. 8, Pg. 372, Dar al-fikr al-`arabi, Al-jizah, 1933)



    According to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani:

    "She [Asma (ra)] lived a hundred years and died in 73 or 74 AH." (REF: Taqribu'l-tehzib, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, Pg 654, Arabic, Bab fi'l-nisa', al-harfu'l-alif, Lucknow)



    According to almost all the historians Asma (ra), the elder sister of Ayesha (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha (ra). If Asma was 100 years old in 73 AH, she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijra { Asma’s age MINUS 73 hijrah EQUALS the age of Asma at the time of Hijrah( 100 – 73 or 74 = 27 or 28)}.



    If Asma (ra) was 27 or 28 years old at the time of Hijrah, Ayesha (ra), being younger by 10 years, should have been 17 or 18 years old {Asma’s age at the time of Hijarah MINUS the age difference between Asma and Ayesha EQUALS the age of Ayesha at the time of Hijarh (27 or 28 –10 = 17 or 18 yrs)}. Thus, Ayesha (ra), being 17 or 18 years of at the time of Hijra, she started to cohabit with Prophet between 19 to 20 years old (The Age of Ayesha at the time of Hijra + the year of Ayesha cohabiting with Prophet (19-20 + 1-2 Hijra) = The Age of Ayesha when she cohabit with Prophet (19 or 20 years).



    Based on Hajar, Ibn Katir, and Abda'l-Rahman ibn abi zanna'd, age of Ayesha at the time living with Prophet would be 19or 20 years. In evidence # 3, Ibn Hajar suggests that Ayesha is 12 years old and in evidence # 4 he contradicts himself with a seventeen or eighteen-year-old Ayesha (ra). What is the correct age, twelve or eighteen?

    CONCLUSION: Ibn Hajar is an unreliable source for Ayesha’s age.
    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

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    EVIDENCE # 5 Battles of Badr and Uhud

    A narrative regarding Ayesha's (ra) participation in Badr is given in Muslim, Kitabu'l-jihad wa'l-siyar, Bab karahiyati'l-isti`anah fi'l-ghazwi bikafir. Ayesha (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 travelling towards Badr.

    A narrative regarding Ayesha's (ra) participation in the battle of `uhud is given in Bukhari, Kitabu'l-jihad wa'l-siyar, Bab Ghazwi'l-nisa' wa qitalihinna ma`a'lrijal:

    "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-i-Sulaim

    (ra), they had pulled their dress up from their feet [to avoid any hindrance in their movement]."

    CONCLUSION: Ayesha (ra) was present in the battles of Uhud and Badr.



    It is narrated in Bukhari, Kitabu'l-maghazi, Bab ghazwati'l-khandaq wa hiya'l-ahza'b:

    "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."



    Summary: Based on the above narratives, (a) the children below 15 years were sent back and were not allowed to participate in the battle of `uhud, (b) Ayesha participated in the battles of Badr and Uhud



    CONCLUSION: Ayesha's (ra) participation in the battle of Badr and Uhud clearly indicates that she was not nine old but at least 15 years old or older. After all, women used to accompany men to the battlefields to help them, not to be a burden on them. This account is another contradiction about Ayesha’s age.



    EVIDANCE # 6 Surat al Qamar

    According to the generally accepted tradition, Ayesha (ra) was born about eight years before Hijrah. But according to another narrative in Bukhari (kitabu'l-tafseer) Ayesha (ra) is reported to have said:



    "I was a young girl (jariyah)" when Surah Al-Qamar was revealed. (REF: Sahih Bukhari, kitabu'l-tafsir, Bab Qaulihi Bal al-sa`atu Maw`iduhum wa'l-sa`atu adha' wa amarr)

    The 54th surah of the Qur'an was revealed eight years before Hijrah (REF: The Bounteous Koran, M.M. Khatib, 1985). So, it was revealed in 614 CE {Year of Hijrah MINUS year of revelation of Al Qamar (622 CE – 8 = 614 CE)}. If Ayesha started living with Prophet (pbuh) at the age of nine in 623 CE or 624 CE, she was a newborn infant (a sibyah) {Year of Ayesha living with Prophet MINUS age of Ayesha when she started to live with Prophet (623 CE or 624 CE– 9 years=614 0r 615) at the time the Surah Al-Qamar was revealed.



    According to the above tradition, Ayesha (ra) was actually a young girl (jariyah), not an infant (sibyah) in the year of revelation of Al Qamar. “Jariyah” means young playful girl (Lane’s Arabic English Lexicon). So, Ayesha, being a Jariyah not a sibyah (infant), must be somewhere between 6-13 years at the time of revelation of Al-Qamar, and thereby she must have been 14-21 years (6-13 + 8= 14-21 years) at the time she married Prophet.

    CONCLUSION: This tradition also contradicts the marriage of Ayesha at the age of nine.



    EVIDANCE # 7. Arabic Term

    According to a narrative reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, after the death of Khadijah (ra), when Khaulah (ra) came to the Prophet (pbuh) advising him to marry again, the Prophet (pbuh) asked her regarding the choices that 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 the identity of the bikr (virgin), 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 without conjugal experience prior to marriage, as we understand the word, virgin, in English. Therefore, obviously a nine-year-old girl is not a "lady" (Bikr). (REF: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 6, p. .210, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-`arabi, Beirut.)



    CONCLUSION: The literal meaning of the word, Bikr (virgin), in the above Hadith is adult women with no sexual experience prior to marriage. Therefore, Ayesha was an adult woman at the time of her marriage.



    EVIDENCE # 8. The Qur’anic Text

    All Muslims agree that the Qur’an is the book of guidance. So, we need seek the guidance from the Qur’an to clear the smoke and the confusion created by the eminent men of the classical period of Islam in the matter of the age of Ayesha at her marriage. Does the Qur’an allow or disallow marriage of an immature child of seven years of age?



    There are no verses that explicitly allow such marriage. However, I found a verse that guides us in our duty to raise a child deprived with the death of one or both parents. I believe that guidance of the Qur’an on the topic of raising orphans is also valid in the case of our own children. The Verse states:

    “And make not over your property (property of the orphan), which Allah had made a (means of) support for you, to the weak of understanding, and maintain them out of it, clothe them and give them good education. And test them until they reach the age of marriage. Then if you find them maturity of intellect, make over them their property……” (Qur’an 4:5-6).



    In the matter of children who has lost a parent, a Muslim is ordered to (a) feed them, (b) clothe them, (c) educate them, and (d) test them for maturity “until the age of marriage” before entrusting them with management of finances. Here the Qur’anic verse demands meticulous proof of their intellectual and physical maturity by objective test results before the age of marriage in order to entrust their property to them.



    In the light of the above verses, no responsible Muslims would hand over financial management to a seven or nine year old immature girl. If we cannot trust a seven-year-old to manage the financial matters, she cannot be intellectually or physically fit for marriage also. Ibn Hambal (REF:Musnad Ahmad ibn Hambal, vol.6, p 33 and 99) claims that Ayesha at the age of nine was rather more interested to play with toy-horses than to take up the responsible task of a wife. Therefore, I would not believe that Abu Baker, a great Moimin, would betroth his immature seven-year-old daughter to fifty-year-old Prophet. Similarly, I would not believe that Prophet (pbuh) would marry a seven-year-old immature girl.



    Another important duty demanded from the guardian of a child is “to educate them.” Let us ask the question, “How many of us in the Islamic Center believe that we can educate our children satisfactorily before they reach the age of seven or nine years?”

    The answer is “none.” It is a logically impossible task to educate a child satisfactorily before the child attains the age of seven. Then, how can we believe that Ayesha was educated satisfactorily at the claimed age of seven at the time of her marriage? Abu Baker (ra) was a better judicious man than all of us. So, he definitely would have judged that Ayesha was a child at heart and was not satisfactorily educated as demanded by the Qur’an. He would not have married her to any one. If a proposal of marrying the immature and yet to be educated seven-year-old Ayesha came to Prophet (pbuh) he would have rejected it outright because neither Prophet (pbuh) nor Abu Baker (ra) would violate any clause in the Qur’an.



    CONCLUSION: Marriage of Ayesha (ra) at the age of seven years would violate the maturity clause or requirement of the Qur’an. Therefore, the story of the marriage of the seven-year-old immature Ayesha is a myth.

    EVIDENCE # 9. Consent in Marriage

    A women must be consulted and get her permission to make the marriage valid (REF:Mishakat al Masabiah, translation by James Robson, Vol. I, p.665). So, in the Muslim marriage, a credible permission from women is a pre-requisite for the marriage to be valid. By any stretch of imagination, the permission by a seven-year-old immature girl cannot be a valid authorization for marriage. It is unconceivable to me that Abu Baker, an intelligent man, would take seriously the permission of a seven-year-old girl to marry a fifty-year-old man. Similarly, Prophet would not have accepted permission given by an immature girl who, according to Muslim, took her toys with her when she went live with Prophet (pbuh).

    CONCLUSION: Prophet (pbuh) did not marry seven-year-old Ayesha because it would have violated the requirement of valid permission clause of Islamic Marriage Decree. Therefore, Prophet married intellectually and physically mature Lady Ayesha.



    SUMMARY: It was neither an Arab tradition to give away girls in marriage at an age as young as seven or nine years, nor did the Prophet (pbuh) marry Ayesha (ra) at such a young age. The people of Arabia did not object to this marriage, because it never happened in the manner it has been narrated.

    Obviously, the narrative of the marriage of nine year old Ayesha by Hisham ibn `urwah cannot be held true when it is contradicted by many other narratives reported above. Moreover, I see absolutely no reason to accept the narrative of Hisham ibn `urwah as true when other scholars including Malik ibn Anas view his narrative, while in Iraq, as unreliable.



    The quotations from Tabari, Bukhari and Muslim show they contradict each other regarding Ayesha's (ra) age. Furthermore, many of these scholars contradict themselves in their own records. Thus, the narrative of Ayesha's (ra) age at the time of the marriage is not reliable due to the clear contradictions seen in the works of classical scholars of Islam. Therefore, I see absolutely no reason to believe that the information on Ayesha's (ra) age is accepted as true when there are adequate grounds to reject it as myth. Moreover, the guidance from the Qur’an is against the marriage of immature girls and boys and also against entrusting them with responsibilities.



    ANSWER TO MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND: We do not know the exact age at the time of her marriage due to lack of reliable records. Based on the evidences presented above, the marriage of fifty-two-year-old Prophet (pbuh) with Ayesha (ra) at nine year of age is only a proverbial myth. On the contrary, Ayesha (ra) was an intellectually and physically mature Bikr (virgin = adult unmarried woman with no sexual experience) when she married Prophet (pbuh).
    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

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    From my experience , nobody objects about this marriage for a reason other than that it simply didn't match his\her own personal selfish taste .

Why did Prophet Muhammed Marry Aisha At a Young Age

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Why did Prophet Muhammed Marry Aisha At a Young Age

Why did Prophet Muhammed Marry Aisha At a Young Age