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Mohammad and Aisha: What's the truth?


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I want to know about the truth of Mohammad marrying a minor (Aisha).

A few questions I want answered with evidence to back up the answeres.

1. How old were Mohammad and Aisha when they got married?

2. How old were Mohammad and Aisha when the marriage was consumated?

3. Was Aisha Mohammad's last wife?

What is the truth?Did Aisha exist?Any other truthful information regarding this topic would be appreciated.

But first, answer the above questions.

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as far as i know:

1. yes

2. 9 yrs old

3. Not sure, but think so.

She was responsible for someone's death some years later (when she was 19 i think). Not sure whose, but he was important.

I was at a talk at a Sikhi camp a couple of yrs ago in Chigwell. A Singh was telling us abt a Muslim organisation who had come to a college to give a lecture and basically convert ppl (they were probably Wha'habis). He asked these ppl on the stage in front of every1 to justify a marriage to a 6yr old that was then consumated 3 yrs later. They deliberated for a few minutes, came back and said girls were more physically 'mature' then.

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The Young Marriage of `Âishah®

Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi

Introduction

Sadly we currently see the efforts of the Christian missionary activity focused primarily on derailing Islam now more than any other period in history. Thus, we witness numerous travesties and parodies coming from them in their attempts to twist, manipulate and totally abuse historical and etymological facts. These polemics range from a variety of the utterly hilarious to the outright abusive and cruel. One such dishonest Christian missionary polemic has been the allegation of the young marriage of `Âishah® to the Prophet Muhammad(P). The missionaries try to accuse the Prophet of being a child molester, albeit in politically correct terms, due to the fact that `Âishah® was betrothed (zawaj) at the age of 6 years old and the marriage was consummated (nikâh) a few years after the marriage at 9 years old when she was in full puberty. The lapse of time between the zawaj and nikâh of `Âishah® clearly shows that her parents were waiting for her to reach puberty before her marriage was consummated. If it were not for the fact that some gullible Christians have been parroting the claims without understanding the reasons behind it, we would have not even bothered with a refutation. Such a claim is based only on conjecture and moral relativism, and not on fact. This article seeks to refute the allegation, insha'allah.

Puberty And Young Marriage In Semitic Culture

The hilarity of the whole saga of Christian missionaries accusing the Prophet(P) of committing "child molestation" is that this contradicts the basic fact that a girl becomes a woman when she begins her menstruation cycle. The significance of menstruation that anyone with the slightest familiarity with physiology will tell you is that it is a sign that the girl is being prepared to become a mother.

Women reach puberty at different ages ranging from 8-12 years old depending on genetics, race and environment. We read that

There is little difference in the size of boys and girls until the age of ten, the growth spurt at puberty starts earlier in girls but lasts longer in boys.[1]

We also read that

The first signs of puberty occur around age 9 or 10 in girls but closer to 12 in boys[.][2]

Women in warmer environments reach puberty at a much earlier age than those in cold environments.

The average temperature of the country or province is considered the chief factor here, not only with regard to menstruation but as regards the whole of sexual development at puberty.[3]

Marriage at the early years of puberty was acceptable in 7th century Arabia as it was the social norm in all Semitic cultures from the Israelites to the Arabs and all nations in between. According to Hâ-Talmûd Hâ-Bavlî, which the Jews regard as their "oral Torah", Sanhedrin 76b clearly states that it is preferable that a woman be married when she has her first menses, and in Ketuvot 6a there are rules regarding sexual intercourse with girls who have not yet menstruated. This is further collaborated when Jim West, ThD, a Baptist minister, observes the following tradition of the Israelites:

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.[4]

Puberty has always been a symbol of adulthood throughout history.

Puberty is defined as the age or period at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction, in other eras of history, a rite or celebration of this landmark event was a part of the culture.[5]

The renowned sexologists, R.E.L. Masters and Allan Edwards, in their study of Afro-Asian sexual expression states the following

Today, in many parts of North Africa, Arabia, and India, girls are wedded and bedded between the ages of five and nine; and no self-respecting female remains unmarried beyond the age of puberty.[6]

Were There Any Objections to the Marriage of the Prophet(P) to `Âishah®?

The answer to this is no. There are absolutely no records from Muslim, secular, or any other historical sources which even implicitly display anything other than utter joy from all parties involved over this marriage. Nabia Abbott describes the marriage of `Âishah® to the Prophet(P) as follows.

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.[7]

Even the well-known critical Orientalist, W. Montgomery Watt, said the following about the Prophet's moral character:

From the standpoint of Muhammad's time, then, the allegations of treachery and sensuality cannot be maintained. His contemporaries did not find him morally defective in any way. On the contrary, some of the acts criticized by the modern Westerner show that Muhammad's standards were higher than those of his time.[8]

Aside from the fact that no one was displeased with him or his actions, he was a paramount example of moral character in his society and time. Therefore, to judge the Prophet's morality based on the standards of our society and culture today is not only absurd, but also unfair.

Marriage At Puberty Today

The Prophet's contemporaries (both enemies and friends) clearly accepted the Prophet's marriage to `Âishah® without any problem. We see the evidence for this by the lack of criticism against the marriage until modern times. However, a change in culture has caused the change in our times today.

Even today in the 21st century, the age of sexual consent is still quite low in many places. In Japan, people can legally have sex at age 13, and in Spain they can legally have sex at the age of 12 years old[9]. A 40-year-old man having sex with a 14-year-old woman may be a "pedophile" in the United States, but neither in China today, where the age of consent is 14, nor in the United States in the last century. Biology is a much better standard by which to determine these things, not the arbitrariness of human culture. In the U.S. during the last century, the age of consent was 10 years old. California was the first state to change the age of consent to 14, which it did in 1889. After California, other U.S. states joined in and raised the age of consent too[10].

Islam And the Age of Puberty

Islam clearly teaches that adulthood starts when a person have attained puberty.

From the collection of Bukhari[11], we read the following tracts:

The boy attaining the age of puberty and the validity of their witness and the Statement of Allâh:

"And when the children among you attain the age of puberty, then let them also ask for permission (to enter)." Qur'ân 24:59.

Al Mughira said, "I attained puberty at the age of twelve." The attaining of puberty by women is with the start of menses, as is referred to by the Statement of Allâh:

"Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them prescribed period if you have any doubts (about their periods) is three months..." [Qur'ân, 65:4]

Thus, it is part of Islam to acknowledge the coming of puberty as the start of adulthood. It is the time when the person has already matured and is ready the responsibilities of an adult. So on what basis do the missionaries criticize the marriage of `Âishah® since her marriage was consummated when she had reached puberty?

We also read from the same source that

...Al-Hasan bin Salih said, "I saw a neighbour of mine who became a grandmother at the age of twenty-one."(1)

(1) The note for this reference says: "This women attained puberty at the age of nine and married to give birth to a daughter at ten; the daughter had the same experience."[12]

Thus, it is clear that if the charge of "child molestation" were to be advanced against the Prophet(P), we would also have to include all the Semitic people who accepted marriage at puberty as the norm.

Conclusions

We have thus seen that

It was the norm of the Semitic society in 7th century Arabia to allow pubescent marriages.

There was no reports of opposition to the Prophet's marriage to `Âishah® either from his friends or his enemies.

Even today, there are cultures who still allow pubescent marriage for their young women.

In spite of facing these well-known facts, the missionaries would still have the audacity to point a finger at the Prophet Muhammad(P) for immorality. Yet, it was he who had brought justice to the women of Arabia and raised them to a level they had not seen before in their society, something which ancient civilizations have never done to their women.

When Muhammad(P) first became the Prophet of Islam, the pagans of Arabia had inherited a disregard for women as had been passed down among their Jewish and Christian neighbours. So disgraceful was it considered among them to be blessed with a female child that they would go so far as to bury this baby alive in order to avoid the disgrace associated with female children.

"When news is brought to one of them of (the birth of) a female (child) his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on!"[13]

Through the teachings of Islam, Muhammad(P) put a swift and resounding end to this evil practice. God tells us that on the Day of Judgment, the female child will be questioned for what crime she was killed.

"When the female (infant) buried alive is questioned - for what crime she was killed."[14]

Not only did Muhammad(P) severely discouraged and condemned this act, he(P) also used to teach them to respect and cherish their daughters and mothers as partners and sources of salvation for the men of their family.

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri narrated that

The Prophet(P) said: 'If anyone cares for three daughters, disciplines them, marries them, and does good by them, he will enter Paradise.'[15]

Abdullah the son of Abbas narrated that

The Prophet(P) said: 'If anyone has a female child, and does not bury her alive, or slight her, or prefer his male children over her, Allâh will bring him into Paradise.'[16]

The Prophet(P) is also cited in Saheeh Muslim as saying

'Whoever maintains two girls till they attain maturity, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection like this'; and he joined his fingers.

In other words, if one loves the Messenger of God(P) and wishes to be with him on the day of resurrection in heaven, then they should do good by their daughters. This is certainly not the act of a "child molester", as the missionaries would like us to believe.

Finally, we end this with a citation from the Holy Prophet(P), who said

"I have come to defend the two oppressed peoples: women and orphans."

The Prophet Muhammad(P)

-- ------------------------------------------------------

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Have a read through following:

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/h...tml#007.062.064

the link is a direct translation fo the Hadith Sahih Bukhari, which is regarded as RELIABLE from the Muslims, I've asked

here's what BUkhari says:

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:

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).

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Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65:

Narrated 'Aisha:

that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that 'Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death)." what you know of the Quran (by heart)'

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Volume 7, Book 62, Number 66:

Narrated Sahl bin Sad:

A woman came to Allah's Apostle and said, "I present myself (to you) (for marriage). She stayed for a long while, then a man said, "If you are not in need of her then marry her to me." The Prophet said, "Have you got anything m order to pay her Mahr?" He said, "I have nothing with me except my Izar (waist sheet)." The Prophet said, "If you give her your Izar, you will have no Izar to wear, (so go) and search for something. He said, "I could not find anything." The Prophet said, "Try (to find something), even if it were an iron ring But he was not able to find (even that) The Prophet said (to him). "Do you memorize something of the Qur'an?" "Yes. ' he said, "such Sura and such Sura," naming those Suras The Prophet said, "We have married her to you for what you know of the Quran (by heart)."

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Volume 7, Book 62, Number 67:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! How can we know her permission?" He said, "Her silence (indicates her permission)."

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Volume 7, Book 62, Number 68:

Narrated 'Aisha:

I said, "O Allah's Apostle! A virgin feels shy." He said, "Her consent is (expressed by) her silence."

Personal view on this:

I said, "O Allah's Apostle! A virgin feels shy." He said, "Her consent is (expressed by) her silence."

I think her silence rather depends on her such tender age, and the fact that 9 yr old Girls USUALLY don't know about such stuff :roll:

Bhull chukk maaf :)

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The way I look at this issue is like this-;

The Quran says that Mohammed is an example of what each Muslim should strive to be. Thefore it doesn't matter whether he married Ayesha because it was ok at that time or that he wanted to cement relations with his followers etc etc. The crux of this event is that a 60 odd year old man married a 6 year old girl and then consumated the marriage when she was 9 !. If the Quran simply said that Mohammed was a product of his age then the arguments that try to exonerate Mohammed could be said to have some truth to them. But the Quran says that he is someone to be emulated for all ages. If that is so how would we feel about a 60 year old man today marrying a 9 year old girl !. If the thought disgusts you as I am sure it would disgust every rational person then the Quran is wrong to say that Mohammed is a person who is to be emulated by Muslims. So the Quran is wrong.

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Ooh-Young-Man, you are right. In an earlier post, I have given a comment by Ayatollah Khomeini from his book.

Ayatollah Khomeini I think was a Shia and I have heard over and over again how Shias do not agree with the Sunnis regarding Aisha's age.

The Ayatollah was as evryone knows a widely followed religious leader of muslims.

Anyway the links are as follows:

Main Site: http://www.homa.org/

http://www.homa.org/Details.asp?Vie...OCID=2083225348

Let me translate it and I apologize in advance for the offensive language.

Anyone who has a wife who is less than 9 years old is not permitted having sexual intercourse with her, whether this is a permanent or temporary marriage. But he is allowed to have other forms of sexual activities such as touching her, hugging her for the purpose of sexual pleasure or having sexual pleasure with her thighs even if she is a breast feeding infant!!

It is not permissible to have sexual intercourse with her when she is less than 9 yeas old. In case the husband had sexual intercourse with her before she is 9 years old if he did not traumatize (inflict casualties) her, he only committed a sin and nothing else (no punishment!!). But if he traumatized her in such a way that her urinary tract (urethra) and her vaginal canal became one or her vaginal canal with her anal canal became one then it is prohibited forever for the husband to have sex with her (I wonder what kind of punishment it is?).

However in the case of the second type of casualty (mentioned above) this punishment is recommended (It is not even compulsory!). In any case of sexual contact she will remain as her wife and will inherit from her husband and her husband cannot marry his permanent 5th wife! He also cannot marry the sister of that lady (that little girl). He should also be responsible for her subsistence all her life even though he divorced her.

I also apologize for the poor English but those of you who know Farsi will testify that it is really what Khomeni said. An incomplete English version of his saying is here:

http://www.homa.org/Details.asp?ContentID=...OCID=2083225445

I would like to give the members some links and relevant quotes, therefrom.

In case someone wants to read an unbiased commentary on Islam, I would reccomend 'Life of Mahomet' written by Sir William Muir. I had earlier read Islam by karen Armstron, but seemed to short and a bit biased. Life of Mahomet on the other hand is an elborate commentary and the author has been more or less objective. He has been appreciatite where required and equally critical as well. The commentary has been written after what seems to be quite an exhaustive study of all muslim resources.

It is also relevant to quote the defination of Paedophilia:

http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/pedophiliaTR.htm

Some present-day islamic scholars on marriage with young virgins:

From:

Ask the Imam

http://islam.tc/ask-imam/index.php

'Islamic Q & A Online

with Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Camperdown, South Africa'

Question 6737 from Germany - Jan 10 2002

http://islam.tc/ask-imam/view.php?q=6737

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

{question}

i am 45 and married to already 15 years now after the sexual desire of my woman has nearly gone i am looking to marry again. And i would like to marry a woman who is 12 years old, her father and she has also agreed, my first wife told me that it could make problems if it will be a big different in age, and also some of my children are older than my second wife. What is your advise ? And is it allowed for me to have already sexual intercourse with these woman after we are married or to i have to wait till she reach at special age ?

{answer}

According to the Shari’ah, if a girl is a minor (did not attain puberty), she may be given in marriage by her father. When she attains puberty, she has the right to maintain the marriage or discontinue the marriage. There is no age limit to be intimate with one’s wife even if she is a minor.

It is important for you, in your situation, to consider the age difference reservation expressed by your wife.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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From:

Q & A site of the Muslim Students Organization of the University of Houston:

http://www.uh.edu/campus/msa/articl...rriage.html#age

( scroll down to: )

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

Is it allowed for a father to force his daughter to marry a specific man that she does not want to marry?

Answer:

...... If she is married without her permission, by threat or coercion, then the marriage is not valid. The only exeption is in the case of the father and his daughter who is less than nine years of age. There is no harm if he gets her married while she is less than nine years old, according to the correct opinion. This is based on the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) marrying Aisha without her consent when she was less than nine years old, as is stated in authentic Hadith. ....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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From:

Marriage at an early age

http://www.islamicvoice.com/august....arriage.htm#EAR

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

I have a nine year-old girl who is married to a person at the age of 20.....

Answer:

..... Scholars have discussed at length the marriage of a young girl who has not attained puberty and whether her father may marry her away without her permission. If such a marriage takes place it is valid. However, it is perhaps best if the marriage is not allowed to be consummated until the girl attains puberty .....

Also please check out : http://muslim-quotes.netfirms.com/childbrides.html

and for those who cannot visit the site, I quote as below:

Some Hadiths on marriage with young virgins & the child-bride Aisha:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 17:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

When I got married, Allah's Apostle said to me, "What type of lady have you married?" I replied, "I have married a matron' He said, "Why, don't you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?" Jabir also said: Allah's Apostle said, "Why didn't you marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you?'

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Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 67:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! How can we know her permission?" He said, "Her silence (indicates her permission)."

----------------------------------------------------------

Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151 :

Narrated 'Aisha:

I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)

----------------------------------------------------------

Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234:

Narrated Aisha:

The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.

----------------------------------------------------------

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 90:

Narrated Aisha:

When the Prophet married me, my mother came to me and made me enter the house (of the Prophet) and nothing surprised me but the coming of Allah's Apostle to me in the forenoon.

----------------------------------------------------------

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:

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 88:

Narrated 'Ursa:

The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

----------------------------------------------------------

Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236 :

Narrated Hisham's father:

Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.

----------------------------------------------------------

Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 41, Number 4915:

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) married me when I was seven or six. When we came to Medina, some women came. according to Bishr's version: Umm Ruman came to me when I was swinging. They took me, made me prepared and decorated me. I was then brought to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), and he took up cohabitation with me when I was nine. She halted me at the door, and I burst into laughter.

----------------------------------------------------------

Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 41, Number 4917:

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

When we came to Medina, the women came to me when I was playing on the swing, and my hair were up to my ears. They brought me, prepared me, and decorated me. Then they brought me to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and he took up cohabitation with me, when I was nine.

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Guest Javanmard

According to Shi'a sources Aisha was much older, in her late teens when she married the Prophet (SAS) whereas the Sunnis state that she was 9.

The Shia version is in my eyes more authentic because Shia sources have proper lineage whereas Sunni sources have gone through changes

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Ayatollah Khomeini was a Shia., revered by Shias and acknowledged to ab an authority on Islam by Shias...and what he says in his book about marrying a child and sex with a girl child have been illustrated above.

The only justification he can give for such a thing is because of consummation of marriage of the Prophet to Aisha at a young age.

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According to Shi'a sources Aisha was much older, in her late teens when she married the Prophet (SAS) whereas the Sunnis state that she was 9.

The Shia version is in my eyes more authentic because Shia sources have proper lineage whereas Sunni sources have gone through changes

I asked my friend..who's a SHIA..and said thta Aisha infact WAS NINE years old :)

and I asked some other muslims, who all said thta

the Bukhjari IS reliable :)

bhull chukk maaf

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