Age of Aisha at time of marriage


#1

Interesting article – from an Ahmadiyya, of course.:smiley:

In any discussion on the age of Aisha (ra: may Allah be pleased with her) at the time of her marriage with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him), it is of the greatest relevance to note the pivotal role she played as a teacher, exponent and interpreter of the religion of Islam. Aisha was an exceptionally intelligent and astute woman, a young prodigy, and this was the main reason why she was got married to the Holy Prophet, as is clearly proved by events after the Holy Prophet’s life. She entered his household, shortly after his emigration to Madina, just at the time when the teachings of Islam in all fields of life for the Muslim community were starting to be revealed to the Holy Prophet and demonstrated by him by his example and practice. An intellectually gifted person was required who would have daily contact with the Holy Prophet at the closest and most personal level, so as to absorb the teachings that he was giving on all aspects of life by his words and actions.


#2

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 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)

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 Alright, 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. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar), Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234)"

Sahih Muslim Book 8, Number 3311
’A’isha reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was seven years old, and (s)he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he died she was eighteen years old.


#3

I believe the essay addresses some of these issues.:smiley:


#4

Ahimsa,
I will be happy to discuss with you Aisha’s age as I’m familiar with your Zahid Aziz polemics. However, if you want to argue against the Sahih hadith that Aisha was not nine, please remember when you bring Zahid Aziz’s arguments for me to debunk, that they all come to one single consistent answer.

Don’t bring an argument that says she was 19, and then another that says she was 28. Just make sure your arguments are CONSISTENT and not SELF-CONTRADICTORY.

I think you’ll find that Zahid Aziz has used unreliable or erroneous information and cannot come up with a single consistent age for Aisha when Muhammad had sexual intercourse with her.

I hope you see what I’m getting at - if you want to debunk yourself go ahead but then what am I left to do?

I Rodrigo


#5

It’s interesting that the author of the article finds this relevant:

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 …”

The author goes on to state:

“Although these apocryphal accounts are not now accepted by many Christians, and the Catholic Encyclopedia says that they “are void of authority… However, these accounts are accepted by the Eastern churches.”

The reason this is interesting, is that both the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox accept that St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary never consummated the marriage. The author attempts to connect this to the consummation between Aisha and Muhammed either to be deceitful or simply out of ignorance of Church teaching. Either way, the ages of St. Joseph and Mary are irrelevant in this context.


#6

Any other muslims care to give their best clarification due the prophet being charge of pedophile here later on?


#7

"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 (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 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent#Ages_of_consent_in_various_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.


#8

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 witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/02_abu_bakr.htm#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 (population.health.wa.gov.au/Communicable/Resources/2107%20PubertyinGirls.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 (nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/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 (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.”


#9

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§.”

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.

Paedophilia 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.


#10

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.”

Far be it for me to call Karen Armstrong a liar but do you have the original Tabari reference?

You see: I doubt Tabari said this. I think Karen Armstrong inhaled too much incense that day.

So please find the Tabari reference so I can check.

Thank you very much,

Rodrigo

PS: hint - nobody but Karen Armstrong makes that claim about Tabari - not even the Muslims.


#11

what is basis do you doubte?
even (and thats not true) tabari didnt say that ,i gave you references from book of haddith which is above books of tafseer ,source of islam is quran and sunnah only ,so haddith is above tafseer ,bec tafseer is interpretation of text of quran while haddith is of sources of islam:rolleyes:

second ,why didnt you commented about other parts of research?


#12

what is basis do you doubte?
even (and thats not true) tabari didnt say that ,i gave you references from book of haddith which is above books of tafseer ,source of islam is quran and sunnah only ,so haddith is above tafseer ,bec tafseer is interpretation of text of quran while haddith is of sources of islam

second ,why didnt you commented about other parts of research?

I know what Tabari is as I have looked at it. It is a book of sira, but since it is referenced with isnad, it is also considered haddith.

I doubt Karen Armstrong because:

  1. I can’t find it in Tabari. Tabari never said that she had reached puberty when she was nine.

  2. all Tabari said that she was not yet ready for consummation when he married her.

  3. No Muslim source lists Tabari as saying Aisha had reached puberty - only Karen Armstrong does that.

  4. Karen Armstrong does not provide the page reference so anyone can check what she says.

Therefore, we only have Karen Armstrong’s word that Tabari said it. I’m afraid that’s not good enough. Not by Islamic standards and not by mine.

So please tell me the Tabari reference so I can check it for myself.

Thank you.

Rodrigo


#13

can you tell me what is isnad of tabari? :wink: and even there was ,it cant be above isnad of sahih bukhari and muslim :rolleyes:
second ,the most authinthucated haddith told by our mother aisha herself may allah bless her and present in sahih book
and the research say that age of puberty differ from region to another :slight_smile:
now whats wrong :rolleyes:


#14

Here’s my take on the topic of Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha.
We have to go by the aHadith that come directly from Aisha. If she was as honest and good a person as Muslims claim, then no one can claim that she lied in the Hadiths.
Her father objected to the marriage. Muhammad paid no heed to her father’s objection and married her anyway.
Marriages at the age of 9 may or may not have been the norm in the Arab tribes. They were no the norm in the Jewish and Christian tribes. Under Jewish law a girl became engaged at 12.5, married a year later at 13.5 but did not move inwith her husband. She and her husband then ‘dated’ for the next year getting to know each other. At 14.5 the could then moved in together. This was the absolute youngest a marriage could be consumated under Jewish law. The age of marital consent for a boy was 14. Usually it was a 12.5 year old girl becoming enaged to a 14 year old boy.
The idea that the marriage was ‘devine’ and necessary because she was so instrumental to Islam. Gee, couldn’t he have just adopted her? Did sex have to be part of her becoming ‘educated’ in Islam?
Muhammad claimed to have incorporated the Jewish and Christan laws into Islam… except of course the one that would have prevented him from having sex with a child.
Did I really read above where a Muslim is stating that morality is relative and situational. One of the most consistent things I’ve heard over the years from Muslims is that moratliy is not relative or situational. That Shari’ah is the law of Allah and no one can change it. Can you make up your minds already?
It was about 1400 years ago when Muhammad married Aisha. We cannot undo the past. What was, simply was. But when Muslims claim that Muhammad was the perfect human who never did anything wrong they are making a claim that affects us TODAY. This claim means that there is nothing wrong, even today with marrying/consumating the marriage with a 9 year old. We know better then this today. Any person who has any care and compassion at all for children will be insenced at the idea of legalized marriage to a girl that age.
Just because a girl starts puberty it does not mean that she is ready for sexual relations with a full grown man or for pregnancy. The body of a girl is not ready for child bearing until about 5 years after the onset of puberty. This is scientific and medical fact. Forgive me if I’m being too graphic here… but the body of a 9 year old girl is not ready or big enough for sex with a full grown man. She will most likely end up with sever brusing and intermal damage. There are 3rd world countries today that have a high number of girls this age who are married off. Health and human rights organizations are fighting against this because they are having to deal with so many young girls who have developed sever heath problem because of the early sexual relations and in come cases early pregnancies. Their bodies are permanently damaged. And then what happens to these girls? Their SOB husbands divorce them because they have become damaged goods with physical problem that in many cases prevent sexual activity, child bearing ext. Generally by the time these girls are 15 or 16 they have been come litterally damaged goods. Anyone ever wonder why Aisha never had children? It think it’s pretty clear.
The bottom line is that God did not make little girls to be able to handle sex and pregancy. So obviosly it is imoral for them to be married and having sex. This cannot be argued as it is imoral to do anything to a person that permanently harms them.
It is wrong to force a person to marry. A 6-9 year old girl is not capable of making a life choice such as marriage. For anyone who argues that a 9 year old can make such a life choice… what other life choices aer you going to let you 9 year old make? Will you allow her to move out on her own if she chooses? Can she just take off and travel the world on her own? Can she drive a car? No… why? Because she is not mature enough to handle these choices… but some idiots think she’s capable of making one of life most difficult and enduring choices… marriage? This is pure self serving nonsense.
So it is the influence that Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha has on today’s world and on future generations that we need to be concerned with.


#15

looooooool ,did you try to read and learn ?
the first thing to do when you reply a post to read the entry and ( i will not tell you that secret of answering Qs) :smiley:


#16

I was not replying to you.


#17

Well, it would be interest to see if convey can provide the real Tabari reference instead of Karen Armstrong’s incomplete paraphrasing without proper references.

I also find it interesting that Muslims would think that puberty is an excuse for having sex with a young girl.

Did you know that girls as young as 4, yes 4, can achieve menses?

Does that mean that it is all right for a man of 53 to have sex with a child of 4 who had just experienced menses?

One should think that a child’s full sexual development and psychological maturation must be taken into consideration in deciding whether she is mature enough for sexual intercourse.

But then Muslim typically come up with various apologetics when confronted with the truth about Aisha’s tender and immature age such as:

  1. she was not 9, she was variously 12, 14, 15, 19, 28 all at the same time. It does not shame the Muslim apologist to list all those ages at once. Someone like Zahid Aziz and Moiz Amjad will come up with half a dozen ages for Aisha when she had sex with Muhammad. Now, I know we’re talking religion - but it is still impossible for a girl to be more than one age during the one event in her life. Try telling that to Muslims - they just don’t get it.

  2. Aisha had reached puberty. There are sahih hadiths that imply that she had not reached puberty years after Muhammad had sex with her. But the Muslims keep on either assuming she had achieved puberty, or fall for Karen Armstrong’s unreference paraphrase (which I think is not in Tabari at any rate but merely Armstrong’s invention).

However, the rest of us can see that it is immoral for a 53 year old man to have sex with a 9 year old CHILD, irrespective of whether she had or had not achieved puberty. This sort of behavior is copied by Muslims throughout the centuries and sets in stone a behavior that most people find - well, less than moral.

I Rodrigo


#18

You are right, this is exactly the point. It is not something that happened 1400 years ago that has no bearing on today. Young girls are still married off to full grown men for the sole reason that Muhammad did it so its ok. The excuse is that its a legitimate marriage so of course he can have sex with the little child he married. :eek: There is no way a child that young is mentally or physcially ready for marriage or sex. Anyone who things they can be is mentally deranged.


#19

BelFarfalla said it all, except that in fact some girls are born menstruating. No, they don’t have teenage bodies. They have infant bodies with disrupted hormonal balances that cause their tiny wombs to shed dead tissue without a ripe egg or any of the other requirements for real fertility. That poor child who had a baby at five had an extremely strange body and began menstruating at eight MONTHS of age. She started developing breasts a few years later.
In the times in Christian civilization when the legal age of consent has been very low, it had no correlation with the common age at marriage. The average American bride in the 19th Century was about 24. The low age of consent reflected the law’s allowance for extreme desperation on the part of the absolute poorest parents. The laws were changed when crusading journalists made the public aware that little girls were really being raped becasue their parents couldn’t afford to shelter them. The outcry among almost all the people of Christian countries got the AOC’s raised drastically, state by state.
How about if we no longer use such delicate euphemisms as “intercourse”, “marriage”, and “consummated” to describe what happens to children sold into sexual slavery to men? What we are talking about is “child rape”, “captivity”, and “exploitation of youth”. Who is with me?


#20

How about if we no longer use such delicate euphemisms as “intercourse”, “marriage”, and “consummated” to describe what happens to children sold into sexual slavery to men? What we are talking about is “child rape”, “captivity”, and “exploitation of youth”. Who is with me?
I’m with you 100%. I’m been on this soap box for some time now And because of this I’ve taken some pretty hard beating (virtual ones) on the internet dicussing this very topic.
If you search the internet you will get pages of stories about young girls being forced into marriage. This is not only a problem in some Muslim communities… it happens all over mostly the 3rd world. We need to fight it and the last thing we need is a religion that says it’s ok.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 7 girls in the 3rd world are married before they are 15.

·Egypt, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, and the Middle East: In the rural villages of these countries many young girls are rarely allowed out of their homes unless it is to work in the fields or to get married.
These uneducated girls are often married off at the young age of 11.

·Some families allow girls who are only 7 years old to marry. It is very unusual for a girl to reach the age of 16 and not be married.

oIn **Afghanistan **, it is believed that between 60 and 80 percent of marriages are forced marriages.

oEven though the legal age to get married in Egypt is 16, and in India and Ethiopia, the age is 18, these laws are quite often ignored.
o
oEngland and the United States: The issue of child brides has also reached other countries such as England and the United States where secret illegal weddings are being performed.
Photo Op: Child Brides in Afghanistan
npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5541006

Rural Ethiopia Ignores Law Against Child Brides
npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6560441

The bride was 7
In the heart of Ethiopia, child marriage takes a brutal toll
chicagotribune.com/news/specials/chi-0412120360dec12,1,2870744.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
Child BRIDES OF INDIA
hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2214/stories/20050715006200400.htm


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