Difference between revisions of "Aishas Age of Consummation"

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This article analyzes the modern Muslim apologetics that attempt to distort [[Aisha|Aisha's]] young age at consumation. See  [[Qur%27an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Aisha#Aisha.27s_Age_at_Consummation_and_Marriage|a separate article]] for the positive evidence of her young age found in dozens of sahih hadiths in multiple collections.
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[[File:Muhammad and Aisha freeing chief's daughter.jpg|thumb|332x332px|Mohammed and his wife Aisha freeing the daughter of a tribal chief. From the Siyer-i Nebi]]
==Introduction==
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'''Aisha''' (''‘Ā’ishah'', c. 613/614 –c. 678)<ref name="Siddiqui">Al-Nasa'i 1997, p. 108</ref> or عائشة, (also transliterated as '''A'ishah''', '''Aisyah''', '''Ayesha''', '''A'isha''', '''Aishat''', '''Aishah''', or '''Aisha''') was was consummated by [[Muhammad]], then 53,<ref name=":0">Narrated Hisham's father:
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Khadija died three years before the Prophet (ﷺ) 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.
  
Some [[apologists]] have recently claimed that Aisha was actually older than nine [[Islamic Lunar Calendar|lunar years]] at time of the [[The Meaning of Consummate|consummation]] of her [[marriage]] to Prophet [[Muhammad]]. They have attempted to explain that Aisha was in fact not nine-years-old as the [[Sahih]] hadiths of her own testimony claim, but some other ages derived from misquotations, indirect sources, fuzzy dating techniques and slander. These dubious research techniques have led to several conflicting ages to be proposed for Aisha at the time of consummation, including  12, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 21 years. This article analyzes every single argument that has been put forward, and provides additional information on the origins and history of the "Aisha was older" apologetic arguments, and the only logical purpose behind making them.
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[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Bukhari/USC-MSA/Volume-5/Book-58/Hadith-236 Sahih Bukhari 5:58:236]</ref> at the age of 9 or 10 according to various [[sahih]] [[Hadith|hadiths]].<ref name=":0" /><ref>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).
  
===Purpose===
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[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Bukhari/USC-MSA/Volume-7/Book-62/Hadith-64 Sahih Bukhari 7:62:64]</ref><ref name=":1">'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: '''Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.'''
  
The arguments raised by some apologists have given many the false impression that Aisha's age is a long contested issue in [[Islam]], and that it is a valid argument over interpretation that could eventually lead to reforms within mainstream Islam. This is certainly not the case. There is no argument over interpretation. The text clearly say one thing and one thing only. For those who have actually read the source material, it is disingenuous to claim otherwise. Lying about what sources say may be effective in apologetic pieces, but they are useless if the intentions behind them are to reform the religion. There is not a single serious Muslim scholar, someone who is accepted in the Muslim world and by mainstream Muslims as being representative of their beliefs, who would repeat these claims. Thus, the only purpose they serve is to deflect valid criticism from a belief that continues to result in millions of young girls being forced into [[Contemporary Pedophilic Islamic Marriages|pedophilic child marriages]] by individuals, and even entire nations, all of whom explicitly use Aisha's relationship with Muhammad as justification.
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[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Muslim/USC-MSA/Book-8/Hadith-3310 Sahih Muslim 8:3311]
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</ref><ref>Aisha said, '''"The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old." (The narrator Sulaiman said: "Or six years."). "He had intercourse with me when I was 9 years old.'''
  
===History===
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[https://quranx.com/Hadith/AbuDawud/Hasan/Hadith-2116 Sunan Abu Dawud 2116 (Ahmad Hasan Ref)]</ref> Muhammad initially married Aisha when she was 6, but, according to scriptural hadiths, waited 3 years to consummate the marriage for her to reach puberty.<ref>When the Prophet married Aisha she very young and not yet ready for consummation.
  
The majority of Muslims today, including both scholars and the general Muslim population, agree that Aisha was 9 when her marriage to Prophet Muhammad was consummated. This has been the mainstream Muslim understanding throughout Islam's 1,400 year history.  
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[https://wikiislam.net/wiki/The_History_of_al-Tabari Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 128]</ref><ref name=":2">According to Abd al-Hamid b. Bayan al-Sukkari - Muhammad b. Yazid - Ismai'il (that is Ibn Abi Khalid) - Abd al-Rahman b. Abi al- Dahhak - a man from Quraysh - Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad: "Abd Allah b. Safwan together with another person came to Aishah and Aishah said (to the latter), "O so and so, have you heard what Hafsah has been saying?" He said, "Yes, o Mother of the Faithful." Abd Allah b. Safwan asked her, "What is that?" She replied, "There are nine special features in me that have not been in any woman, except for what God bestowed on Maryam bt. Imran. By God, I do not say this to exalt myself over any of my companions." "What are these?" he asked. She replied, "The angel brought down my likeness; '''the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin,'''no other man having shared me with him; inspiration came to him when he and I were in a single blanket; I was one of the dearest people to him, a verse of the Qur’an was revealed concerning me when the community was almost destroyed; I saw Gabriel when none of his other wives saw him; and he was taken (that is, died) in his house when there was nobody with him but the angel and myself."
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According to Abu Ja‘far (Al-Tabari): The Messenger of God married her, so it is said, in Shawwal, and consummated his marriage to her in a later year, also in Shawwal.
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Al-Tabari, Vol. 7, pp. 6-7</ref> Although [[child marriage]] was common in the 7th century<ref>Most sources suggest age at consummation as nine, and one that it may have been age 10; See: Denise Spellberg (1996), ''Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha Bint Abi Bakr'', Columbia University Press, <nowiki>ISBN 978-0231079990</nowiki>, pp. 39–40;</ref> this topic is of heavy interest in the [[Apologists|apologetic]] literature and public discourse.    
  
The first ever pro-Muhammad and provably faulty objection raised to Aisha's age was by Maulana Muhammad Ali who lived from 1874 to 1951.<ref name="Zahid Aziz"></ref> He is neither a respected nor a notable figures as far as Islam is concerned, since he belonged to the [[Ahmadiyya]] whose beliefs drastically differ from mainstream Islam. The Ahmadiyya and their writings are also heavily focused on missionary work.
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Marriage at a young age was not unheard of in Arabia at the time, and Aisha's marriage to Muhammad may have had a political connotation, as her father Abu Baker was an influential man in the community.<ref>Afsaruddin, Asma (2014). "ʿĀʾisha bt. Abī Bakr". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett. ''[http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/browse/encyclopaedia-of-islam-2 Encyclopaedia of Islam]'' (3 ed.). Brill Online. Retrieved 2015-01-11</ref> Abu Bakr, on his part, may have sought to further the bond of kinship between Muhammad and himself by joining their families together in marriage via Aisha. Egyptian-American Islamic scholar, Leila Ahmed, notes that Aisha's betrothal and marriage to Muhammad are presented as ordinary in Islamic literature, and may indicate that it was not unusual for children to be married to their elders in that era.<ref>Ahmed, Leila (1992). ''Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate''. Yale University Press. p. 51-54. <nowiki>ISBN 978-0300055832</nowiki>.</ref>
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== Authenticity ==
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In the Quran the mention of marrying those who have not yet reached menstruation can be read in Chapter 65 "Al Talaq" verse 4.<ref>And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease.
  
Adding to Ali's objections, there is Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi (1924-1991) who in his Urdu booklet, "Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat" (English trans. 1997), laments that he is "tired of defending this tradition" that is "laughed" at and "ridiculed" by English-educated individuals he meets in Karachi who claim it is against "sagacity and prudence" and "preferred English society to Islam over this", and he readily admits his "aim is to produce an answer to the enemies of Islam who spatter mud at the pious body of the Generous Prophet".<ref>All  Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi quotations are taken from the Preface of the 2007 English translation of his Urdu booklet, "''Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat''", translated by Nigar Erfaney and published by Al-Rahman Publishing Trust under the title, "''Age of Aisha (The Truthful Women, May Allah Send His Blessings)''"</ref> A posthumous [[fatwa]] was issued against him in November 2004, labelling him a "Munkir-e-Hadith" (hadith rejector) and a "Kafir" (infidel) on the basis of being a rejector of hadith.<ref>The original fatwa and the English translation branding Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi's beliefs outside of Islam, thus making him a 'kafir', can be viewed here: [{{Reference archive|1=http://marifah.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=3036|2=2012-09-24}} Fatwa's on hadith rejectors?]</ref>
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[https://quranx.com/65.4 Quran 64:4]</ref> The Jalalayn [[tafsir]] (exegesis), is one of the most respected commentaries on the Quran.<ref>Tafsir al-Jalalayn is one of the most significant tafsirs for the study of the Qur’an. Composed by the two “Jalals” -- Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli (d. 864 ah / 1459 ce) and his pupil Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 911 ah / 1505 ce), Tafsir al-Jalalayn is generally regarded as one of the most easily accessible works of Qur’anic exegesis because of its simple style and one volume length. For the first time ever Tafsir al-Jalalayn is competently translated into an unabridged highly accurate and readable annotated English translation by Doctor. Feras Hamza.
  
More recently, there is Moiz Amjad (who refers to himself as "The Learner"). He readily admits to having lifted these faulty arguments from them, summarizing and presenting them in response to a Muslim asking him how he can respond to Christians who called Muhammad a pedophile (i.e. all of his arguments, like Ali's and Kandhalvi's before him, were apologetic in nature rather than scholarly).<ref>See: "[http://www.islamawareness.net/FAQ/what_was_ayesha.html What was Ayesha's (ra) Age at the Time of Her Marriage?]", by Moiz Amjad.</ref> It was at this very recent point in history that the arguments originating from the Ahmadiyya in the 1920s and 1930s finally achieved a little popularity among a few orthodox Muslims. However, this popularity seems to be strictly limited to articles or arguments on the Internet. Clearly a knee-jerk reaction to the avalanche in online criticism of Muhammad's life, as opposed to a tangible shift in beliefs.
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[https://www.altafsir.com/Al-Jalalayn.asp altafsir.com]</ref> In the Jalalayn exegesis it describes "those you have yet to menstruate" as "those who have not yet menstruated, because of their young age, their [waiting] period shall [also] be three months."<ref>And as for those of your women who read allā’ī or allā’i in both instances no longer expect to menstruate if you have any doubts about their waiting period their prescribed waiting period shall be three months and also for those who have not yet menstruated because of their young age their period shall also be three months — both cases apply to other than those whose spouses have died; for these latter their period is prescribed in the verse they shall wait by themselves for four months and ten days Q. 2234. And those who are pregnant their term the conclusion of their prescribed waiting period if divorced or if their spouses be dead shall be when they deliver. And whoever fears God He will make matters ease for him in this world and in the Hereafter.
  
In July 2005, Shaykh [[Dr.]] [[Gibril Haddad|Gibril Fouad Haddad]] responded to Moiz Amjad's polemics with, "Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet", published at SunniPath.com.<ref>Shaykh Gibril F Haddad - [http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=4604&CATE=1 <!-- Backup links: [http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fqa.sunnipath.com%2Fissue_view.asp%3FHD%3D7%26ID%3D4604%26CATE%3D1&date=2011-05-05] [{{Reference archive|1=http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?2925-Our-Mother-Aisha-s-Age-at-the-Time-of-Her-Marriage-to-the-Prophet-saw|2=2011-05-04}} ]-->Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet] - Sunni Path, Question ID:4604, July 3, 2005</ref> Including many facts that are easily verifiable for those who have access to the hadith and sira literature, he  dismantled the distortions being spread by apologists. For example, his analysis highlighted the fact that many of the arguments were based solely on faulty assumptions taken from hadiths completely unrelated to Aisha's age, or were misrepresenting the sources that were being cited (i.e. they actually supported the fact that Aisha was 9). To this day, his scholarly reply remains unanswered by Moiz Amjad. Haddad, who was listed amongst the inaugural "500 most influential Muslims in the world",<ref name="The 500">Edited by Prof. John Esposito and Prof. Ibrahim Kalin - [http://thebook.org/books_pdf/500Muslims_2009.pdf The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World (P. 94)] - The royal islamic strategic studies centre, 2009</ref> is a Muslim scholar and muhaddith (hadith expert)<ref name="The 500"></ref> who is taken very seriously by mainstream Muslims. He is also a vocal critic of [[Salaf|Salafi]] fundamentalism.<ref>Stephen Schwartz - [http://www.islamdaily.org/en/wahabism/2553.wahhabis-in-america.htm/ Wahhabis in America] - Islam Daily, February 26, 2005</ref>  
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[https://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=65&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza Quran 65:4]</ref>
  
Since the publication of Haddad's definitive response, Moiz Amjad's highly convoluted arguments, with all of their obvious faults intact, have continued to be rehashed by countless apologists on the Internet with the same missionary and apologetic focus. Other transmitters of these arguments include, but are not limited to; T.O Shavanas,<ref>T.O Shanavas - [http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_151_200/ayesha_age_the_myth_of__a_prover.htm AYESHA’s AGE: THE MYTH OF  A PROVERBIAL WEDDING EXPOSED ] - Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.</ref> “Imam” Chaudhry (word-for-word plagiarism of Amjad's work),<ref>Imam Chaudhry - [{{Reference archive|1=http://islamicsupremecouncil.com/ayesha.htm|2=2011-05-01}} What Was The Age of Ummul Mo'mineen Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) When She Married To Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)?] - Islamic Supreme Council of Canada</ref> Zahid Aziz,<ref name="Zahid Aziz">Zahid Aziz - [http://www.muslim.org/islam/aisha-age.php Age of Aisha (ra) at time of marriage] - Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha`at Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A. (''for a refutation to the issues raised by Aziz's [[Tu Quoque|tu-quoque]] defence, titled "Mary and Joseph", [[Joseph the Pedophile|click here]]'')</ref> Nilofar Ahmed,<ref>Nilofar Ahmed - [{{Reference archive|1=http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/17/of-aishas-age-at-marriage.html|2=2012-02-17}} Of Aisha’s age at marriage] - Dawn, February 17, 2012</ref> and David Liepert.<ref>Dr. David Liepert - [{{Reference archive|1=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david-liepert/islamic-pedophelia_b_814332.html|2=2012-09-21}} Rejecting the Myth of Sanctioned Child Marriage in Islam] - The Huffington Post, January 29, 2011 (for direct responses to David Liepert, see: [[Rejecting Dr David Lieperts Aisha Was Older Apologetic Myth|Rejecting Dr. David Liepert's "Aisha Was Older" Apologetic Myth]] & [http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/silas/liepert.html Muhammad, Child brides, and David Liepert])</ref>
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In the modern era, Aisha's age at marriage ha"s been a source of controversy and debate. Some Muslims have attempted to revise the previously-accepted timeline of her life.<ref name=":3">Ali, Kecia. ''Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith and Jurisprudence''. OneWorld. p. 173-186. <nowiki>ISBN 978-1780743813</nowiki>.</ref> All biographical information on Muhammad and his companions was first recorded over a century after his death,<ref>Kadri, Sadakat (2012). ''Heaven on Earth''. Farrar, Straus, Giroux. p. 30.</ref> but the hadith and [[scripture]] provide records of early Islam through an unbroken chain of witnesses. Various hadiths stating that Aisha was either nine or ten at the time of her consummation come from collections with sahih status, meaning they are regarded as reputable by the majority of Muslims.<ref name=":0" /><ref name=":1" /> Some other traditional sources also mention Aisha's age. The ''sira'' of [[Ibn Ishaq]] edited by Ibn Hisham states that she was nine or ten years old at the consummation. The historian al-Tabari also states that she was nine.<ref name=":2" />
  
==Analysis==
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== Association with Child Marriage ==
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[[File:Child Marriage.jpg|thumb|Child bride with her infant daughter]]
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No age limits have been fixed by Islam for marriage according to, Persian Professor at the University of Cambridge, Reuben Levy, and "quite young children may be legally married".<ref name=":5">Levy p.106</ref> The girl may not live with the husband however until she is fit for marital sexual relations.<ref name=":5" /> The [[Jurisprudence|Hanafi]] school of jurisprudence of Islamic ''fiqh'' maintains that a wife must not be taken to her husband's house until she reaches the condition of fitness for sexual relations.
  
The following series of arguments were presented by Moiz Amjad. We have chosen to analyze and respond to them specifically, due to his polemics encompassing every single claim made by other modern-day apologists who sometimes use a few, or even all of them as their own. They do this often without acknowledging Amjad as the true source of their claims.  
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Levy adds: In Islamic legal terminology, ''Baligh'' refers to a person who has reached maturity, puberty or adulthood and has full responsibility under Islamic law. Legal theorists assign different ages and criteria for reaching this state for both males and females.<ref>John Esposito, Islam, Oxford University Press 2003</ref> In marriage ''baligh'' is related to the Arabic legal expression, ''hatta tutiqa'l-rijal'', which means that the wedding may not take place until the girl is physically fit to engage in sexual intercourse. Some Hanafi scholars hold the opinion that sexual intercourse may take place before puberty, as long as it's not injurious to one's health.<ref>Public » Askimam"
  
===First Argument: Number of Narrators===
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[http://askimam.org/ ''www.askimam.org''.]</ref> In comparison, ''baligh'' or ''balaghat'' concerns the reaching of sexual maturity which becomes manifest by the menses. The age related to these two concepts can, but need not necessarily, coincide. Only after a separate condition called ''rushd'', or intellectual maturity to handle one's own property, is reached can a girl receive her bridewealth.
  
{{Quote|1={{Cite web quotebox|url= http://www.understanding-islam.com/q-and-a/sources-of-islam/what-was-ayesha-s-ra-age-at-the-time-of-her-marriage-to-the-prophet-pbuh-5107|title= What was Ayesha's (ra) Age at the Time of Her Marriage to the Prophet (pbuh)? |publisher= Understanding-Islam|author= Moiz Amjad|date= May 1, 1998|archiveurl= http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.understanding-islam.com%2Fq-and-a%2Fsources-of-islam%2Fwhat-was-ayesha-s-ra-age-at-the-time-of-her-marriage-to-the-prophet-pbuh-5107&date=2013-11-18|deadurl=no}}|2=Most of these narratives are reported only by Hisham ibn `urwah reporting on the authority of his father. An event as well known as the one being reported, should logically have been reported by more people than just one, two or three.}}
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== Relevant Quotations ==
  
This is a classic ''Straw man''. Many of the chains of narration for [https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur%27an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Aisha#Aisha.27s_Age_at_Consummation_and_Marriage these hadiths] do not involve Hisham (for example, {{Muslim|8|3311}}, and in any case there is no requirement in Islam for multiple narrations. Even a single sahih hadith is sufficient to establish Islamic laws and practices.
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{{Quote|1=[https://quranx.com/65.4 Quran 65:4]|2=And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease.}}{{Quote|{{Bukhari|5|58|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.'''}}{{Quote|{{Bukhari|7|62|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).}}{{Quote|{{Bukhari|8|73|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)}}{{Quote|{{Muslim|8|3310}}|'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: '''Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.'''}}{{Quote|{{Muslim|8|3311}}|'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that '''Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, ''and her dolls were with her;''''' and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.}}{{Quote|{{Abu Dawud||2116|hasan}}|Aisha said, '''"The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old." (The narrator Sulaiman said: "Or six years."). "He had intercourse with me when I was 9 years old.'''}}{{Quote|{{Tabari|7|pp. 6-7}}|According to Abd al-Hamid b. Bayan al-Sukkari - Muhammad b. Yazid - Ismai'il (that is Ibn Abi Khalid) - Abd al-Rahman b. Abi al- Dahhak - a man from Quraysh - Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad: "Abd Allah b. Safwan together with another person came to Aishah and Aishah said (to the latter), "O so and so, have you heard what Hafsah has been saying?" He said, "Yes, o Mother of the Faithful." Abd Allah b. Safwan asked her, "What is that?" She replied, "There are nine special features in me that have not been in any woman, except for what God bestowed on Maryam bt. Imran. By God, I do not say this to exalt myself over any of my companions." "What are these?" he asked. She replied, "The angel brought down my likeness; '''the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin,'''no other man having shared me with him; inspiration came to him when he and I were in a single blanket; I was one of the dearest people to him, a verse of the Qur’an was revealed concerning me when the community was almost destroyed; I saw Gabriel when none of his other wives saw him; and he was taken (that is, died) in his house when there was nobody with him but the angel and myself."<BR>According to Abu Ja‘far (Al-Tabari): The Messenger of God married her, so it is said, in Shawwal, and consummated his marriage to her in a later year, also in Shawwal.}}
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==Apologetic History==
  
Shaykh Gibril Haddad also refutes the claim that most of these narrations are reported only by Hisham ibn 'Urwah.
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The majority of scholars today, agree that Aisha was 9 when her marriage to Prophet Muhammad was consummated. This has been the mainstream Muslim understanding throughout Islam's 1,400 year history.<ref>Hashmi, Tariq Mahmood (2 April 2015). [http://www.al-mawrid.org/index.php/questions/view/role-importance-and-authenticity-of-the-hadith "Role, Importance And Authenticity Of The Hadith"]. ''Mawrid.org''. Retrieved 28 March 2018.</ref> The first recorded objection raised to Aisha's age was by Maulana Muhammad Ali who lived from 1874 to 1951.<ref name="Zahid Aziz" /> However, he is not considered credible to the [[Sunni]] sect since he belonged to the [[Ahmadiyya]] sect whose beliefs drastically differ from mainstream Islam. The Ahmadiyya and their writings are also heavily focused on missionary work.<ref>[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8711026.stm Who are the Ahmadi? - BBC News]</ref>
  
{{Quote|{{cite web quotebox|url= http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=4604&CATE=1|title= Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet|publisher= SunniPath|author= Shaykh Gibril F Haddad|series=Question ID: 4604|date= July 3, 2005|archiveurl= http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fqa.sunnipath.com%2Fissue_view.asp%3FHD%3D7%26ID%3D4604%26CATE%3D1&date=2013-11-19|deadurl=no}}|2=Try more than eleven authorities among the Tabi`in that reported it directly from `A'isha, not counting the other major Companions that reported the same, nor other major Successors that reported it from other than `A'isha.}}
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Adding to Ali's objections, there is Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi (1924-1991) who in his Urdu booklet, "Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat" (English trans. 1997), laments that he is "tired of defending this tradition" that is "laughed" at and "ridiculed" by English-educated individuals he meets in Karachi who claim it is against "sagacity and prudence" and "preferred English society to Islam over this", and he readily admits his "aim is to produce an answer to the enemies of Islam who spatter mud at the pious body of the Generous Prophet".<ref>All  Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi quotations are taken from the Preface of the 2007 English translation of his Urdu booklet, "''Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat''", translated by Nigar Erfaney and published by Al-Rahman Publishing Trust under the title, "''Age of Aisha (The Truthful Women, May Allah Send His Blessings)''"</ref> A posthumous [[fatwa]] was issued against him in November 2004, labelling him a "Munkir-e-Hadith" (hadith rejector) and a "Kafir" (infidel) on the basis of being a rejector of hadith.<ref>The original fatwa and the English translation branding Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi's beliefs outside of Islam, thus making him a 'kafir', can be viewed here: [{{Reference archive|1=http://marifah.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=3036|2=2012-09-24}} Fatwa's on hadith rejectors?]</ref>
  
Details of some of these other chains of narration that do not include Hisham ibn 'Urwah ibn az-Zubayr can be found in the first half of an [https://islamqa.info/en/124483 article by the IslamQA] website.
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Deriving arguments from both Habib Ur Rahman and Muhammad Ali, [[Gibril Haddad|Moiz Amjad]] (who refers to himself as "The Learner") is the most recent reference to online apologetic. Moiz admits to having lifted his arguments from them, summarizing and presenting them in response to a Muslim asking him how he can respond to critical Christians.<ref>See: "[http://www.islamawareness.net/FAQ/what_was_ayesha.html What was Ayesha's (ra) Age at the Time of Her Marriage?]", by Moiz Amjad.</ref> With Moiz's restructured response the arguments originating from the Ahmadiyya in the 1920s and 1930s finally achieved a little popularity among a few orthodox Muslims. However, this popularity seems to be strictly limited to articles or arguments on the Internet and not between contemporary sheikhs and scholars.
  
===Second Argument: Locality===
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In July 2005, Shaykh [[Dr.]] Gibril Fouad Haddad, responded to Moiz Amjad's polemics with, "Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet."<ref name=":4">Shaykh Gibril F Haddad - [http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=4604&CATE=1 <!-- Backup links: [http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fqa.sunnipath.com%2Fissue_view.asp%3FHD%3D7%26ID%3D4604%26CATE%3D1&date=2011-05-05] [{{Reference archive|1=http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?2925-Our-Mother-Aisha-s-Age-at-the-Time-of-Her-Marriage-to-the-Prophet-saw|2=2011-05-04}} ]-->Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet] - Sunni Path, Question ID:4604, July 3, 2005</ref> Including many facts that are easily verifiable for those who have access to the hadith and sira literature. For example, his analysis highlighted the fact that many of the arguments were based solely on faulty assumptions taken from hadiths completely unrelated to Aisha's age, or were misrepresenting the sources that were being cited (i.e. hadiths actually in support the idea that Aisha was 9). His reply has not yet been answered by Moiz Amjad.
  
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=It is quite strange that no one from Medinah, where Hisham ibn `urwah lived the first seventy one years of his life has narrated the event [from him], even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. All the narratives of this event have been reported by narrators from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have had shifted after living in Medinah for seventy one years.}}
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However, Haddad's response did not stop Amjad's arguments from being rehashed by apologists on the Internet with the same missionary and apologetic focus. Other transmitters of these arguments include, but are not limited to; T.O Shavanas,<ref>T.O Shanavas - [http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_151_200/ayesha_age_the_myth_of__a_prover.htm AYESHA’s AGE: THE MYTH OF  A PROVERBIAL WEDDING EXPOSED] - Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.</ref> “Imam” Chaudhry (word-for-word plagiarism of Amjad's work),<ref>Imam Chaudhry - [{{Reference archive|1=http://islamicsupremecouncil.com/ayesha.htm|2=2011-05-01}} What Was The Age of Ummul Mo'mineen Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) When She Married To Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)?] - Islamic Supreme Council of Canada</ref> Zahid Aziz,<ref name="Zahid Aziz">Zahid Aziz - [http://www.muslim.org/islam/aisha-age.php Age of Aisha (ra) at time of marriage] - Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha`at Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A. (''for a refutation to the issues raised by Aziz's [[Tu Quoque|tu-quoque]] defence, titled "Mary and Joseph", [[Joseph the Pedophile|click here]]'')</ref> Nilofar Ahmed,<ref>Nilofar Ahmed - [{{Reference archive|1=http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/17/of-aishas-age-at-marriage.html|2=2012-02-17}} Of Aisha’s age at marriage] - Dawn, February 17, 2012</ref> and David Liepert.<ref>Dr. David Liepert - [{{Reference archive|1=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david-liepert/islamic-pedophelia_b_814332.html|2=2012-09-21}} Rejecting the Myth of Sanctioned Child Marriage in Islam] - The Huffington Post, January 29, 2011 (for direct responses to David Liepert, see: [[Rejecting Dr David Lieperts Aisha Was Older Apologetic Myth|Rejecting Dr. David Liepert's "Aisha Was Older" Apologetic Myth]] & [http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/silas/liepert.html Muhammad, Child brides, and David Liepert])</ref>
  
Another ''Straw man''. There is no requirement for a hadith to be narrated in Medina for it to be considered sahih. Also, many events in the Prophet’s life were narrated by single narratives as well. Does that make them invalid? No. To demand multiple, independent narrations from Medinans is just setting up a standard that does not exist – i.e. a straw man.
+
==Apologetic Arguments==
  
Shaykh Haddad also refutes this argument by listing the people from Medina who reported this event.
+
=== Dispute of Aisha's Age ===
 +
Some Muslim authors have attempted to calculate Aisha's age based on details found in some biographies, eschewing the traditionally-accepted ahadith, though Kecia Ali labels these attempts as "revisionist".<ref name=":3" /> One [[Sahih#Da'if|da'if]] (weak) hadith recorded in the works of some medieval scholars, including al-Dhahabi,<ref>al-Dhahabi. "Siyar a`lam al-nubala'". IslamWeb. Retrieved 3 September 2018. <q>قال عبد الرحمن بن أبي الزناد : كانت أسماء أكبر من عائشة بعشر" (Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi al-Zunad said: Asma was older than Aisha by ten years.)</q></ref> states that Aisha's older sister Asma was ten years older than her. This has been combined with information about Asma's age at the time of her death and used to suggest that Aisha was over thirteen at the time of her marriage.  
  
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Al-Zuhri also reports it from `Urwa, from `A'isha; so does `Abd Allah ibn Dhakwan, both major Madanis. So is the Tabi`i Yahya al-Lakhmi who reports it from her in the Musnad and in Ibn Sa`d's Tabaqat. So is Abu Ishaq Sa`d ibn Ibrahim who reports it from Imam al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, one of the Seven Imams of Madina, from `A'isha. All the narratives of this event have been reported.
+
[[Gibril Haddad|Shaykh Dr. Gibril Haddad]] who was listed amongst the inaugural "500 most influential Muslims in the world",<ref name="The 500">Edited by Prof. John Esposito and Prof. Ibrahim Kalin - [http://thebook.org/books_pdf/500Muslims_2009.pdf The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World (P. 94)] - The royal islamic strategic studies centre, 2009</ref> is considered a Muslim scholar and muhaddith (hadith expert)<ref name="The 500" /> criticizes this approach as relying on a single narrator, and notes that a hadith from the same narrator gives a broader range for the age difference between the sisters.<ref name=":4" />
  
In addition to the above four Madinese Tabi`in narrators, Sufyan ibn `Uyayna from Khurasan and `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya from Tabarayya in Palestine both report it.}}
+
===Not Enough Narrators===
  
===Third Argument: Reliability of Hisham===
+
This claim objects that there is only one narrator, Hisham, and that although it is a sahih (authentic hadith) he alone is not enough to consider the hadith reliable. However, many of the chains of narration for these hadiths<ref>[[Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Aisha#Aisha.27s Age at Consummation and Marriage|Quran, Hadith, and Scholars on Aisha's Age at Consummation and Marriage]]</ref> do not involve Hisham (for example, Sahih Muslim 83311)<ref name=":1" />, and, in any case, there is no requirement in Islam for multiple narrations. Even a single sahih hadith is sufficient to establish Islamic laws and practices.
  
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb, one of the most well known books on the life and reliability of the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah: "narratives reported by Hisham are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq". It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq (Vol. 11, pg. 48 - 51).  
+
[[Gibril Haddad|Shaykh Dr. Gibril Haddad]] also refutes the claim that most of these narrations are reported only by Hisham ibn 'Urwah. "Try more than eleven authorities among the Tabi`in that reported it directly from `A'isha, not counting the other major Companions that reported the same, nor other major Successors that reported it from other than `A'isha."<ref name=":6">''Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet''
  
The actual statements, their translations and their complete references are given below:
+
Shaykh Gibril Haddad</ref>
  
[[File:tehzeeb-001.gif]]
+
Details of some of these other chains of narration that do not include Hisham ibn 'Urwah ibn az-Zubayr can be found in the first half of an [https://islamqa.info/en/124483 article by the IslamQA] website.
 
 
Yaqub ibn Shaibah says: He [i.e. Hisham] is highly reliable, his narratives are acceptable, except what he narrated after shifting to Iraq. (Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb, Ibn Hajar Al-`asqalaaniy, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, Vol. 11, pg. 50)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I have been told that Malik [ibn Anas] objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq. (Tehzi'bu'l-tehzi'b, Ibn Hajar Al-`asqala'ni, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, Vol. 11, pg. 50)}}
 
 
 
According to Shaykh Haddad, Amjad’s third argument is either misrepresentation or a lie. Apparently, the slander against Hisham ibn Urwah is unfounded and unsupported by closer reading of Amjad’s own reference.
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Rather, Ya`qub said: "Trustworthy, thoroughly reliable (thiqa thabt), above reproach except after he went to Iraq, at which time he narrated overly from his father and was criticized for it." Notice that Ya`qub does not exactly endorse that criticism.
 
 
 
As for Malik, he reports over 100 hadiths from Hisham as is evident in the two Sahihs and Sunan! to the point that al-Dhahabi questions the authenticity of his alleged criticism of Hisham.
 
 
 
Indeed, none among the hadith Masters endorsed these reservations since they were based solely on the fact that Hisham in his last period (he was 71 at the time of his last trip to Iraq), for the sake of brevity, would say, "My father, from `A'isha? (abi `an `A'isha)" and no longer pronounced, "narrated to me (haddathani)".
 
 
 
Al-Mizzi in Tahdhib al-Kamal (30:238) explained that it became a foregone conclusion for the Iraqis that Hisham did not narrate anything from his father except what he had heard directly from him.
 
 
 
Ibn Hajar also dismisses the objections against Hisham ibn `Urwa as negligible in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (11:45), saying: "It was clear enough to the Iraqis that he did not narrate from his father other than what he had heard directly from him".
 
 
 
In fact, to say that "narratives reported by Hisham ibn `Urwa are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq" is major nonsense as that would eliminate all narrations of Ayyub al-Sakhtyani from him since Ayyub was a Basran Iraqi, and those of Abu `Umar al-Nakha`i who was from Kufa, and those of Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman from Kufa (the Shaykh of Abu Hanifa), and those of Hammad ibn Salama and Hammad ibn Zayd both from Basra, and those of Sufyan al-Thawri from Basra, and those of Shu`ba in Basra, all of whom narrated from Hisham!}}
 
 
 
===Fourth Argument: Hisham's Memory===
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal, another book on the [life sketches of the] narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that when he was old, Hisham's memory suffered quite badly (Vol. 4, pg. 301 - 302)
 
 
 
The actual statement, its translation and its complete references is given below:
 
 
 
[[File:meezaan-001.gif]]
 
 
 
When he was old, Hisham's memory suffered quite badly (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal, Al-Zahabi, Arabic, Al-Maktabah al-Athriyyah, Sheikhupura, Pakistan, Vol. 4, pg. 301).}}
 
 
 
This is another slander in which the accuser does not correlate Hisham’s memory loss with the ‘Aisha’s age’ hadiths. Hisham was born in 61 A.H. and died in 146 A.H. at Baghdad – meaning he was 85 years old when he died. He moved to Iraq when he was 71 years old. When did his memory fail him? The accuser provides no answer.
 
 
 
In fact, Shaykh Haddad accuses Moiz Amjad of outright lying.
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=An outright lie, on the contrary, al-Dhahabi in Mizan al-I`tidal (4:301 #9233) states: "Hisham ibn `Urwa, one of the eminent personalities. A Proof in himself, and an Imam. However, in his old age his memory diminished, but he certainly never became confused. Nor should any attention be paid to what Abu al-Hasan ibn al-Qattan said about him and Suhayl ibn Abi Salih becoming confused or changing! Yes, the man changed a little bit and his memory was not the same as it had been in his younger days, so that he forgot some of what he had memorized or lapsed, so what? Is he immune to forgetfulness? [p. 302] And when he came to Iraq in the last part of his life he narrated a great amount of knowledge, in the course of which are a few narrations in which he did not excel, and such as occurs also to Malik, and Shu`ba, and Waki`, and the major trustworthy masters. So spare yourself confusion and floundering, do not make mix the firmly-established Imams with the weak and muddled narrators. Hisham is a Shaykh al-Islam. But may Allah console us well of you, O Ibn al-Qattan, and the same with regard to `Abd al-Rahman ibn Khirash's statement from Malik!"}}
 
 
 
===Fifth Argument: Revelation Time of Surah al-Qamar===
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=According to the generally accepted tradition, Ayesha (ra) was born about eight years before Hijrah. But according to another narrative in Bukhari (Kitaab al-Tafseer) Ayesha (ra) is reported to have said that at the time Surah Al-Qamar, the 54th chapter of the Qur'an , was revealed, "I was a young girl". The 54th Surah of the Qur'an was revealed nine years before Hijrah. According to this tradition, Ayesha (ra) had not only been born before the revelation of the referred surah, but was actually a young girl (jariyah), not an infant (sibyah) at that time. Obviously, if this narrative is held to be true, it is in clear contradiction with the narratives reported by Hisham ibn `urwah. I see absolutely no reason that after the comments of the experts on the narratives of Hisham ibn `urwah, why we should not accept this narrative to be more accurate.
 
 
 
The actual statements referred to in the above paragraph, their translations and their complete references are given below:
 
 
 
[[File:bukhari-001.gif]]
 
 
 
Ayesha (ra) said: I was a young girl, when verse 46 of Surah Al-Qamar, [the 54th chapter of the Qur'an ], was revealed. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitaab al-Tafseer, Arabic, Bab Qaulihi Bal al-saa`atu Maw`iduhum wa al-sa`atu adhaa wa amarr)}}
 
 
 
The precise date of the revelation of Surah al-Qamar is unknown. Ibn Hajar, Maududi, and other traditionalists said it was revealed 5 years before Hijrah (muslimhope). Zahid Aziz said it was revealed before 6 BH. Khatib said it was revealed in 8 BH. Amjad does not name his source for his claim that the verse was revealed in 9 BH. The point is that the precise date of revelation of Surah al-Qamar is unknown, and using an imprecise date to calculate Aisha’s age is not only ridiculous but stupid. However, if an estimate must be used, then why not use Ibn Hajar’s estimate which is more authoritative and traditionally accepted than Amjad’s unnamed source?
 
 
 
Shaykh Haddad confirms this. He also proves that the traditional estimate of the revelation of Surah al-Qamar is consistent with Aisha’s age being nine years.
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Not true. The hadith Masters, Sira historians, and Qur'anic commentators agree that the splitting of the moon took place about five years before the Holy Prophet's (upon him blessings and peace) Hijra to Madina.
 
 
 
Thus it is confirmed that our Mother `Aisha was born between seven and eight years before the Hijra and the words that she was a jariya or little girl five years before the Hijra match the fact that her age at the time Surat al-Qamar was revealed was around 2 or 3.
 
 
 
A two year old is not an infant. A two year old is able to run around, which is what jariya means. As for "the comments of the experts" they concur on 6 or 7 as the age of marriage and 9 as the age of cohabitation.}}
 
 
 
Thus, Amjad’s attempt to throw doubt on Aisha’s age by using a non-traditional (i.e. spurious) estimate for the date of revelation of Surah al-Qamar is easily debunked.
 
 
 
This is what Amjad later said, which totally debunks his own argument above.
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=The incident of the shaqq-al-Qamar (splitting of the moon) that has been mentioned in it, determines its period of revelation precisely. The traditionists and commentators are agreed that this incident took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet's Hijra to Madinah.
 
 
 
Ibn Hajar in his commentary "Fath al-Baariy" has indeed mentioned that the incident of the splitting of the moon took place around 5 years before the Hijrah. Nevertheless, this statement does not qualify as an "agreement" of 'traditionalists and commentators'. Maududi's referred statement, in my opinion, is not adequately substantiated. A more accurate statement would have been that all the commentators and traditionalists agree on the point that the incident of the splitting of the moon took place while the Prophet (pbuh) was in Mekkah.
 
 
 
As for the time of the revelation of Surah Al-Qamar, it can be estimated through the sequence of the revelation of the Surahs as given in Ibn Shihaab's "Tanzeel al-Qur'an"[2], Suyutiy's "Al-Ittiqaan"[3], and Al-Zarkashiy's "Al-Burhan fi Uloom al-Qur'an"[4]. According to each of these sources, the period of revelation of Surah Al-Qamar was the same as that of Al-Balad (90), Qaaf (50), Al-Humazah (104), Al-Tariq (86), Al-Jinn (72) and Saad (38 ). All of these Surahs are generally held to be revealed during the initial period of prophethood. Maududi, in his commentary, has acknowledged that each of these Surahs was revealed during the initial period of the Prophet's ministry.}}
 
 
 
So now we have Amjad backtracking on his claim that the date of revelation of Surah al-Qamar can be determined precisely. Initially he claimed it was in 9BH. Now he says it’s some undefined time in the Meccan period. Thus, it can be seen that Amjad himself has finally seen the absurdity of his own argument.
 
 
 
===Sixth Argument: Battle of Badr and Uhud===
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=According to a number of narratives, Ayesha (ra) accompanied the Muslims in the battle of Badr and Uhud. Furthermore, it is also reported in books of hadith and history that no one under the age of 15 years was allowed to take part in the battle of Uhud. All the boys below 15 years of age were sent back. Ayesha's (ra) participation in the battle of Badr and Uhud clearly indicate that she was not nine or ten years old at that time. After all, women used to accompany men to the battle fields to help them, not to be a burden on them.
 
 
 
A narrative regarding Ayesha's (ra) participation in Badr is given in Muslim, Kitaab al-jihaad wa al-siyar, Arabic, Bab karahiyah al-isti`anah fi al-ghazwi bikafir. Ayesha (ra) while narrating the journey to Badr and one of the important events that took place in that journey, says:
 
 
 
[[File:muslim-001.gif]]
 
 
 
When we reached Shajarah.
 
 
 
It is quite obvious from these words that Ayesha (ra) was with the group traveling toward Badr.
 
 
 
A narrative regarding Ayesha's (ra) participation in the battle of `uhud is given in Bukhari, Kitaab al-jihaad wa al-siyar, Arabic, Baab Ghazwi al-nisaa wa qitalihinna ma`a al-rijaal.
 
 
 
[[File:bukhari-002.gif]]
 
 
 
Anas reports that On the day of Uhud, people could not stand their ground around the Prophet (pbuh). [On that day,] I saw Ayesha (ra) and Umm-e-Sulaim (ra), they had pulled their dress up from their feet [to save them from any hindrance in their movement]."
 
 
 
As far as the fact that children below 15 years were sent back and were not allowed to participate in the battle of `uhud, it is narrated in Bukhari, Kitaab al-maghaazi, Baab ghazwah al-khandaq wa hiya al-ahzaab, Arabic.
 
 
 
[[File:bukhari-003.gif]]
 
 
 
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."}}
 
 
 
Aisha did not participate in Badr at all, despite Amjad’s assertion. It is illuminating to know that Amjad had partially quoted the Uhud hadiths to falsely convey the impression that Aisha participated at Uhud when the hadiths are clear in that she was merely carrying water skins to the combatants. The last part of the hadith was omitted, either deliberately or inadvertently, an act some people may consider disingenuous.
 
 
 
{{Quote|{{Bukhari|4|52|131}}|Narrated Anas: On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw 'Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, "carrying the water skins on their backs"). Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people.}}
 
 
 
Women and young children went to the battlefields to perform other functions.
 
 
 
{{Quote|1= {{Cite web quotebox|url= http://www.muslimhope.com/aishanine.htm|title= Aisha: Mohammed's Nine-Year Old Wife|publisher= muslimhope.com|author= |date= |archiveurl= http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.muslimhope.com%2FAishaNine.htm&date=2013-11-18|deadurl=no}}|2=The women and young children went on the battlefield after the battle and gave water to the wounded Muslims and finished off the enemy wounded. al-Tabari vol.12 p.127,146. During the days of the battle, the women and children were there to dig graves for the dead. al-Tabari vol.12 p.107.}}
 
 
 
Therefore, it is clear that the fifteen-year age threshold applied only to boys, and Amjad’s line of argument is clearly false.
 
 
 
Shaykh Haddad also showed that Amjad had used false or incomplete information.
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=First, the prohibition applied to combatants. It applied neither to non-combatant boys nor to non-combatant girls and women. Second, `A'isha did not participate in Badr at all but bade farewell to the combatants as they were leaving Madina, as narrated by Muslim in his Sahih. On the day of Uhud (year 3), Anas, at the time only twelve or thirteen years old, reports seeing an eleven-year old `A'isha and his mother Umm Sulaym having tied up their dresses and carrying water skins back and forth to the combatants, as narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.}}
 
 
 
===Seventh Argument: Asma's Age ===
 
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=According to almost all the historians Asma (ra), the elder sister of Ayesha (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha (ra). It is reported in Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb as well as Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihayah that Asma (ra) died in 73 hijrah when she was 100 years old. Now, obviously if Asma (ra) was 100 years old in 73 hijrah she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah. If Asma (ra) was 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah, Ayesha (ra) should have been 17 or 18 years old at that time. Thus, Ayesha (ra), if she got married in 1 AH (after hijrah) or 2 AH, was between 18 to 20 years old at the time of her marriage.  
 
 
 
The relevant references required in this argument are provided below:
 
 
 
For the Difference of Ayesha's (ra) and Asma's (ra) Age:
 
 
 
According to Abd al-Rahman ibn abi zannaad:
 
  
[[File:nubalaa-001.gif]]
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===Revelation Time of Surah al-Qamar===
  
Asma (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha. (Siyar A`la'ma'l-nubala', Al-Zahabi, Vol. 2, pg. 289, Arabic, Mu'assasatu'l-risala'h, Beirut, 1992)  
+
This arguments uses the Sahih Bukhari hadith in which Aisha explains she was a young girl when Surah (chapter) al-Qamar of the Quran was revealed.<ref>Narrated Yusuf bin Mahik:
 +
I was in the house of `Aisha, the mother of the Believers. She said, "This revelation: "Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time (for their full recompense); and the Hour will be more previous and most bitter." (54.46) was revealed to Muhammad at Mecca while I was a playfull little girl."
  
According to Ibn Kathir:
+
[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Bukhari/USC-MSA/Volume-6/Book-60/Hadith-399 Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith 399]</ref> With the rough estimation that this chapter was revealed nine years before hijrah (c. 622) some conclude that this makes Aisha older than other hadiths claim.
  
[[File:ibn-katheer-003.gif]]
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However, the precise date of the revelation of Surah al-Qamar is unknown. Ibn Hajar, Maududi, and other traditionalists said it was revealed 5 years before Hijrah (BH).<ref>The incident of the ''shaqq-al-Qamar'' (splitting of the moon) that has been mentioned in it, determines its period of revelation precisely. The traditionists and commentators are agreed that this incident took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet's ''hijrah'' to Madinah.
 +
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an</ref> Zahid Aziz said it was revealed before 6 BH.<ref>''The Moon,''the fifty-fourth chapter, was revealed, she was a girl playing about and remembered certain verses then revealed. Now the fifty-fourth chapter was undoubtedly revealed before the sixth year of the Call.
 +
Zahid Aziz</ref> Alternatively there is no reputable source that claims this chapter came about 9 BH.  
  
She [i.e. Asma] was ten years elder to her sister [i.e. Ayesha]. (Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 8, pg. 371, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabiy, Al-jizah, 1933)
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Shaykh Haddad confirms this as he argues that the traditional estimate of the revelation of Surah al-Qamar is consistent with Aisha’s age being nine years.
  
For Asma's (ra) Age at Her Death in 73 AH
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"The hadith Masters, Sira historians, and Qur'anic commentators agree that the splitting of the moon took place about five years before the Holy Prophet's (upon him blessings and peace) Hijra to Madina. Thus it is confirmed that our Mother `Aisha was born between seven and eight years before the Hijra and the words that she was a jariya or little girl five years before the Hijra match the fact that her age at the time Surat al-Qamar was revealed was around 2 or 3. A two year old is not an infant. A two year old is able to run around, which is what jariya means. As for "the comments of the experts" they concur on 6 or 7 as the age of marriage and 9 as the age of cohabitation."<ref name=":6" />
  
According to Ibn Kathir:
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===Battle of Badr and Uhud===
  
[[File:ibn-katheer-004.gif]]
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This apologetic argument aims to make the claim that Aisha was at the Battles of Badr and Uhud, and that since standard practice at the time disallowed anyone under 15 from joining the battlefield, she could not have been younger than this.  
  
She [i.e. Asma] witnessed the killing of her son during that year [i.e. 73 AH], as we have already mentioned, five days later she herself died, according to other narratives her death was not five but ten or twenty or a few days over twenty or a hundred days later. The most well known narrative is that of hundred days later. At the time of her death, she was 100 years old. (Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 8, pg. 372, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabiy, Al-jizah, 1933).  
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However, there are no sources that can be found mentioning Aisha's participation in the Battle of Badr. Though, are a few hadiths that highlight Aisha's involvement in the Battle of Uhud, but the the extent that she was not involved in the battlefield and merely carrying water skins to the combatants.<ref>Narrated Anas: On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw 'Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, "carrying the water skins on their backs"). Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people.
  
According to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy:
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[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Bukhari/USC-MSA/Volume-4/Book-52/Hadith-131 Sahih Bukhari 4:52:131]</ref> Women and young children were allowed to preform such functions during battles.<ref>The women and young children went on the battlefield after the battle and gave water to the wounded Muslims and finished off the enemy wounded.
  
[[File:taqreeb-001.gif]]
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al-Tabari vol.12 p.127,146.</ref>
  
She [i.e. Asma (ra)] lived a hundred years and died in 73 or 74 AH." (Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy, Pg. 654, Arabic, Bab fi al-nisaa, al-Harf al-alif, Lucknow)}}
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Shaykh Haddad also showed included on this subject:
  
Shaykh Haddad challenges the accuracy of the information, thus casting doubt on Amjad’s source material.
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"First, the prohibition applied to combatants. It applied neither to non-combatant boys nor to non-combatant girls and women. Second, `A'isha did not participate in Badr at all but bade farewell to the combatants as they were leaving Madina, as narrated by Muslim in his Sahih. On the day of Uhud (year 3), Anas, at the time only twelve or thirteen years old, reports seeing an eleven-year old `A'isha and his mother Umm Sulaym having tied up their dresses and carrying water skins back and forth to the combatants, as narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim."<ref name=":6" />
  
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Well, Ibn Kathir based himself on Ibn Abi al-Zinad's assertion that she was ten years older than `A'isha, however, al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' said there was a greater difference than 10 years between the two, up to 19, and he is more reliable here.
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===Tabari's Account of Abu Baker===
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This account uses [[Tabari|al-Tabari's]] exegesis to argue that Aisha was born in the pre-islamic period, and thus could not have been less than 14 tears old.<ref>All four of his [i.e. Abu Bakr's] children were born of his two wives - the names of whom we have already mentioned - during the pre-Islamic period.  
  
Ibn Hajar reports in al-Isaba from Hisham ibn `Urwa, from his father, that Asma' did live 100 years, and from Abu Nu`aym al-Asbahani that "Asma' bint Abi Bakr was born 27 years before the Hijra, and she lived until the beginning of the year 74." None of this amounts to any proof for `A'isha's age whatsoever.}}
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Tarikh al-umam wa al-mamloo'k, Al-Tabari, Vol. 4, Pg. 50, Arabic, Dar al-fikr, Beirut, 1979</ref>
  
It is only from al-Zinad that we have the 10 year age difference. Even from al-Zinad, who Amjad relies on, we have two isnads. In the 2nd report he gives a more ambiguous age difference of ten or so years (بعشر سنين أو نحوها).
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However, al-Tabari's own account reports at least five times that Aisha was around 6-7 years old during marriage and the marriage was consummated 3 years later.<ref>The angel brought down my likeness; the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin, no other man having shared me with him
  
{{Quote|1=[https://islamqa.info/en/124483 IslamQA.info]|2=This report was narrated via two isnaads from al-Asma ‘i from ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Abi’z-Zinnaad.  
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[[The History of al-Tabari|Al-Tabari,]] [[The History of al-Tabari#Volume VII: The Foundation of the Community|Vol. 7, p. 7]]</ref><ref>I was then brought [in] while the Messenger of God was sitting on a bed in our house. [My mother] made me sit on his lap... Then the men and women got up and left. The Messenger of God consummated his marriage with me in my house when I was nine years old. Neither a camel nor a sheep was slaughtered on behalf of me.
  
The first isnaad was narrated by Ibn ‘Asaakir in Tareekh Dimashq (69/10). He said: Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Maaliki told us: Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Waahid as-Sulami told us: My grandfather Abu Bakr told us: Abu Muhammad ibn Zabr told us: Ahmad ibn Sa‘d ibn Ibraaheem az-Zuhri told us: Muhammad ibn Abi Safwaan told us: al-Asma‘i told us, that Ibn Abi’z-Zinnaad  said: … and he quoted the report.  
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[[The History of al-Tabari|Al-Tabari,]] [[The History of al-Tabari#Volume IX: The Last Years of the Prophet|Vol. 9, p. 131]]</ref><ref>The Messenger of God saw 'A'ishah twice-[first when] it was said to him that she was his wife (she was six years old at that time), and later [when] he consummated his marriage with her after coming to Medina when she was nine years old.
  
The second isnaad was narrated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Isti‘aab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashaab (2/616): Ahmad ibn Qaasim told us: Muhammad ibn Mu‘aawiyah told us; Ibraaheem ibn Moosa ibn Jameel told us: Ismaa ‘eel ibn Ishaaq al-Qaadi told us: Nasr ibn ‘Ali told us: al-Asma‘i told us: Ibn Abi’z-Zinnaad told us: Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, <b>who was ten years or so</b> older than ‘Aa’ishah, said:…}}
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[[The History of al-Tabari|Al-Tabari,]] [[The History of al-Tabari#Volume IX: The Last Years of the Prophet|Vol. 9, p. 131]]</ref><ref>[The Prophet] married her three years before the Emigration, when she was seven years old, and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old, after he had emigrated to Medina in Shawwil. She was eighteen years old when he died.
  
IslamQA further point out the unreliability of al-Zinab, and criticise attempts to use his sole narration against the mass of evidence for the traditional age of Aisha at her marriage:
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[[The History of al-Tabari|Al-Tabari,]] [[The History of al-Tabari#Volume IX: The Last Years of the Prophet|Vol. 9, p. 131]]</ref><ref>The Prophet married Aishah in Shawwal in the tenth year after the [beginning of his] prophethood, three years before Emigration. He consummated the marriage in Shawwal, eight months after Emigration. On the day he consummated the marriage with her she was nine years old.
  
{{Quote|1=[https://islamqa.info/en/124483 IslamQA.info]|2=Most of the scholars regarded ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Abi’z-Zinnaad himself as da‘eef (weak).}}
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[[The History of al-Tabari|Al-Tabari,]] [[The History of al-Tabari#Volume XXXIX: Biographies of the Prophet.27s Companions and Their Successors|Vol. 39, pp. 171-173]]</ref>
  
In other parts of their article IslamQA cite alternative reports on when Asma was born (ten, six or five years before the prophet's mission began.
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Furthermore, Shaykh Gibril Haddad says that the initial passage mentioned is misinterpreted, stating "Al-Tabari nowhere reports that 'Abu Bakr's four children were all born in Jahiliyya' but only that Abu Bakr married both their mothers in Jahiliyya, Qutayla bint Sa`d and Umm Ruman, who bore him four children in all, two each, `A'isha being the daughter of Umm Ruman."<ref name=":6" />
  
Using inaccurate data and an unreliable narrator, Amjad assumes Asma was older than Aisha by 10 years when a more reliable source says the age difference is up to 19 years. Taking this more reliable information calculates Aisha’s age at around nine years old at the time of her consummation even if we grant the traditional date of Asma's own birth, completely in accordance with the sahih hadiths where Aisha herself said she was nine years old.
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===Time of Umar's Conversion to Islam===
  
===Eighth Argument: Tabari's Account===
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This argument draws on [[Sira|al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah]] (Biogoraphy of the Prophet) to claim that since Ayesha converted to Islam before Umar she could not have been born during the first year of Islam.<ref>According to Ibn Hisham, Ayesha (ra) was the 20th or the 21st person to enter into the folds of Islam. While `umar ibn al-khattab was the 41st.
  
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=Tabari in his treatise on Islamic history, while mentioning Abu Bakr (ra) reports that Abu Bakr had four children and all four were born during the Jahiliyyah - the pre-Islamic period. Obviously, if Ayesha (ra) was born in the period of jahiliyyah, she could not have been less than 14 years in 1 AH - the time she most likely got married.
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Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 227 - 234, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithah, Al-Riyadh</ref>
  
The original statement in Tabari, its translation and reference follows:
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However, even if the claim Aisha converted to Islam before Umar were true it, does not mean this took place during the first year of Islam, since Umar converted in 617 AD, about 4 years after Aisha’s birth in 613 AD.<ref name="Siddiqui" /> Furthermore Aisha never accounted converting to islam as hadiths show she never remembered a time before when her family wasn't Muslim.<ref>Narrated 'Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) '''I never remembered my parents believing in any religion other than the true religion (i.e. Islam)''', and (I don't remember) a single day passing without our being visited by Allah’s Apostle in the morning and in the evening."
  
[[File:tabariy-003.gif]]
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[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Bukhari/USC-MSA/Volume-5/Book-58/Hadith-245 Sahih Bukhari 5:58:245]</ref>
  
All four of his [i.e. Abu Bakr's] children were born of his two wives - the names of whom we have already mentioned - during the pre-Islamic period. (Tarikh al-umam wa al-mamloo'k, Al-Tabari, Vol. 4, Pg. 50, Arabic, Dar al-fikr, Beirut, 1979)}}
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Besides disputing the claim that Ibn Hisham reported that Aisha accepted Islam quite some time before `umar ibn al-Khattab, Shaykh Haddad also casts doubt on the claim stating, "Nowhere does Ibn Hisham say this. Rather, Ibn Hisham lists `A'isha among 'those that accepted Islam because of Abu Bakr.' This does not mean that she embraced Islam during the first year of Islam. Nor does it mean that she necessarily embraced Islam before `Umar (year 6) although she was born the previous year (year 7 before the Hijra) although it is understood she will automatically follow her father's choice even before the age of reason."
  
Shaykh Gibril Haddad says that the evidence Amjad provided above is false.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Al-Tabari nowhere reports that "Abu Bakr's four children were all born in Jahiliyya" but only that Abu Bakr married both their mothers in Jahiliyya, Qutayla bint Sa`d and Umm Ruman, who bore him four children in all, two each, `A'isha being the daughter of Umm Ruman.}}
 
 
There is also no need to make oblique calculations using Tabari when Tabari explicitly states Aisha’s age several times.
 
 
These are Tabari’s direct accounts. He reported it at least five times, making it clear that this was what he deemed authoritative.
 
 
{{Quote|{{Tabari|7|p. 7}}|The angel brought down my likeness; the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin, no other man having shared me with him}}
 
 
{{Quote|{{Tabari|9|p. 131}}|I was then brought [in] while the Messenger of God was sitting on a bed in our house. [My mother] made me sit on his lap... Then the men and women got up and left. The Messenger of God consummated his marriage with me in my house when I was nine years old. Neither a camel nor a sheep was slaughtered on behalf of me.}}
 
 
{{Quote|{{Tabari|9|p. 131}}|The Messenger of God saw 'A'ishah twice-[first when] it was said to him that she was his wife (she was six years old at that time), and later [when] he consummated his marriage with her after coming to Medina when she was nine years old.}}
 
 
{{Quote|{{Tabari|9|p. 131}}|[The Prophet] married her three years before the Emigration, when she was seven years old, and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old, after he had emigrated to Medina in Shawwil. She was eighteen years old when he died.}}
 
 
{{Quote|{{Tabari|39|pp. 171-173}}|The Prophet married Aishah in Shawwal in the tenth year after the [beginning of his] prophethood, three years before Emigration. He consummated the marriage in Shawwal, eight months after Emigration. On the day he consummated the marriage with her she was nine years old.}}
 
 
===Ninth Argument: Time of Umar's Conversion to Islam===
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=According to Ibn Hisham, the historian, Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam quite some time before `umar ibn al-Khattab (ra). This shows that Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam during the first year of Islam. While, if the narrative of Ayesha's (ra) marriage at seven years of age is held to be true, Ayesha (ra) should not have been born during the first year of Islam.
 
 
According to Ibn Hisham, Ayesha (ra) was the 20th or the 21st person to enter into the folds of Islam (Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 227 - 234, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithah, Al-Riyadh) While `umar ibn al-khattab was preceded by forty individuals (Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 295, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithah, Al-Riyadh).}}
 
 
Muslimhope shows that even if we were to believe that Aisha accepted Islam before Umar, it doesn’t mean this took place during the first year of Islam since Umar converted in 617AD, about 4 years after Aisha’s birth in 613AD. Thus, Amjad had made a miscalculation here.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.muslimhope.com/aishanine.htm Muslimhope]|2=1. Nobody today really knows the order. In general there is lengthy disagreement on the order of who accepted Islam, as al-Tabari vol.5 p.80-87; vol.12 p.38 discuss. If they cannot even agree on the first five men, how can they know the 21st?
 
<BR>
 
2. A’isha never converted to Islam, because she never remembered a time when Mohammed did not come by twice a day and her parents were not Muslims. This is prior to the first migration to Ethiopia (617 A.D.) (Bukhari 5:245 p.158).
 
<BR>
 
3. ‘Umar became a Muslim just after the first migration to Ethiopia (617 A.D.) according to Ibn Ishaq p.155,156. So what Ibn Hisham counts as A’isha’s "conversion" could be between birth and three years old.}}
 
 
Besides disputing the claim that Ibn Hisham reported that Aisha accepted Islam quite some time before `umar ibn al-Khattab, Shaykh Haddad also casts doubt on Amjad’s logic.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Nowhere does Ibn Hisham say this. Rather, Ibn Hisham lists `A'isha among "those that accepted Islam because of Abu Bakr." This does not mean that she embraced Islam during the first year of Islam. Nor does it mean that she necessarily embraced Islam before `Umar (year 6) although she was born the previous year (year 7 before the Hijra) although it is understood she will automatically follow her father's choice even before the age of reason.}}
 
 
===Tenth Argument: Abu Bakr's Migration to Habshah===
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=Tabari has also reported that at the time Abu Bakr planned on migrating to Habshah (8 years before Hijrah), he went to Mut`am - with whose son Ayesha (ra) was engaged - and asked him to take Ayesha (ra) in his house as his son's wife. Mut`am refused, because Abu Bakr had embraced Islam, and subsequently his son divorced Ayesha (ra). Now, if Ayesha (ra) was only seven years old at the time of her marriage, she could not have been born at the time Abu Bakr decided on migrating to Habshah. On the basis of this report it seems only reasonable to assume that Ayesha (ra) had not only been born 8 years before hijrah, but was also a young lady, quite prepared for marriage.
 
 
Unfortunately, I do not have the primary reference to this argument at the moment. The secondary reference for this argument is: Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat, Habib ur Rahman Kandhalwi, Urdu, Pg. 38, Anjuman Uswa e hasanah, Karachi, Pakistan}}
 
 
Muslimhope shows that Amjad’s logic is wrong and not based on fact.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.muslimhope.com/aishanine.htm Muslimhope]|2=Even if this account is accurate, Arabs both then and today often betrothed girls soon after they were born. Abu Bakr had other daughters and it might have been one of them.}}
 
 
Shaykh Haddad also casts doubt as to the veracity of Amjad’s Tabari evidence, admittedly derived from a secondary reference that Amjad never checked.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Not at all, there is no mention of emigration in Tabari's account of Abu Bakr's discussion with Mut`im. Nor did he ever ask him to take `A'isha because there had been only some preliminary talk, not a formal arrangement. Umm Ruman, Abu Bakr's wife, reportedly said: "By Allah, no promise had been given on our part at all!" Rather, al-Tabari said that when news of the Prophet's interest in `A'isha came, he went to see Mut`im. Then Mut`im's wife manifested her fear that her son would become Muslim if he married into Abu Bakr's family. Abu Bakr then left them and gave his assent to the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace. Your assumption fizzles at the root when you read al-Tabari's positive assertion: "On the day he consummated the marriage with her, she was nine years old."}}
 
 
===Eleventh Argument: Meaning of Bikr===
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=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 she had in her mind. Khaulah said: "You can marry a virgin (bikr) or a woman who has already been married (thayyib)". When the Prophet (pbuh) asked about who the virgin was, Khaulah proposed Ayesha's (ra) name. All those who know the Arabic language, are aware that the word "bikr" in the Arabic language is not used for an immature nine year old girl. The correct word for a young playful girl, as stated earlier is "Jariyah". "Bikr" on the other hand, is used for an unmarried lady, and obviously a nine year old is not a "lady".
 
The complete reference for this reporting of Ahmad ibn Hanbal is: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol 6, Pg 210, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-`arabi, Beirut.}}
 
 
Amjad's claim is refuted by multiple sahih hadith narrations of a highly relevant conversation between Muhammad and Jabir in which bikr (virgin) is clearly compatible with jariyah (young girl).
 
 
{{Quote|{{Bukhari|5|59|382}}| Narrated Jabir:
 
 
"Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said to me, "Have you got married O Jabir?" I replied, "Yes." He asked "What, a virgin [bikr] or a matron [thayyib]?" I replied, "Not a virgin but a matron." He said, "Why did you not marry a young girl [jariyah] who would have fondled with you?"}}
 
 
Sina has also refuted this argument.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/ayesha_age.htm Ali Sina]|2=This explanation is absolutely incorrect. Bikr means virgin and, just as in English is not age specific. In fact Ayesha was the second wife of Muhammad (after Khadijah) but Muhammad did not consummate his marriage with her for three years because she was too young. Instead he had to content himself with Umma Salamah, until Ayesha matured a little bit more. It would not have made sense to marry a beautiful woman like Ayesha and wait for three years to take her home.}}
 
 
And Amjad has agreed:
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=The author is quite right. Bikr in the Arabic language does, in fact, mean 'virgin'. However, I was actually referring to the usage of the word, not its literal meaning. It is correct that literally the word 'Bikr', like the word "virgin" refers to a biological reality, however, also just as the word 'virgin', the word 'Bikr', in the Arabic language, is used for a young woman, who has not yet had sexual contact, not for a child.}}
 
 
Shaykh Gibril Haddad also adds:
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=This is ignorant nonsense, bikr means a virgin girl, a girl who has never been married even if her age is 0 and there is no unclarity here
 
whatsoever.}}
 
 
===Twelfth Argument: Fatima's Age Difference===
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=According to Ibn Hajar, Fatimah (ra) was five years older than Ayesha (ra). Fatimah (ra) is reported to have been born when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old. Thus, even if this information is taken to be correct, Ayesha (ra) could by no means be less than 14 years old at the time of hijrah, and 15 or 16 years old at the time of her marriage.
 
 
Ibn Hajar's original statement, its translation and reference follows:
 
 
[[File:isaabah-001.gif]]
 
 
Fatimah (ra) was born at the time the Kaa`bah was rebuilt, when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old... she (Fatimah) was five years older that Ayesha (ra). (Al-Isabah fi Tamyeez al-Sahaabah, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaniy, Vol. 4, Pg. 377, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-Haditha, al-Riyadh, 1978)}}
 
 
Amjad has deceptively combined and quote-mined two different versions of Fatima's age reported by Ibn Hajar. Shaykh Gibril Haddad shows that Ibn Hajar was merely reporting what some narrators reported, not his own conclusion. The first version he reports says that Muhammad was 35 when Fatima was born. The second, which mentions the five year age difference, says that Fatima was born when Muhammad was 41.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Ibn Hajar mentions two versions: (1) al-Waqidi's narration that Fatima was born when the Prophet was 35; and (2) Ibn `Abd al-Barr's narration that she was born when he was 41, approximately one year more or less before Prophethood, and about five years before `A'isha was born. The latter version matches the established dates.}}
 
 
Using Fatima’s age difference with Aisha to refute the Aisha’s Age sahih hadiths is a logical fallacy because the biography of Fatima is conflicting. Nobody knows for sure when Fatima was born (when her father was a nobody) nor her age difference with Aisha, and though her death was well-recorded her age at death is not known for certain.
 
 
The traditional account is that she was born on Friday, 20th jumada ` th-thaaniyah in the fifth year after the declaration of the prophet - hood (615 AD), which means she was about the same age as Aisha.<ref>[http://www.hadith.net/english/prophet/fatimah.htm Fatimah az-Zahra] - (A Brief History of The Fourteen Infallibles, p. 47-53)</ref><ref>[http://www.ummah.net/khoei/fatima.htm A Brief Biography of Fatima (A.S) the daughter of the Last Messenger and the Mother of Imams] - Ummah.net</ref> Another account reports that Fatima was born when Muhammad was 41, one year into his prophetic career.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://home.swipnet.se/islam/A_Personality/Fatima(a.s).htm Fatimah The Radiant, Daughter of the Apostle of Allah]|2=The most predominant view in the traditions transmitted by our traditionists is that Fatimah az-Zahra' was born in Mecca, on the twentieth of Jumada 'l-Akhirah, in the fifth year of the Prophet's apostolic career. It is also asserted that when the Prophet died, Fatimah was eighteen years and seven months old.
 
 
It is reported on the authority of Jabir ibn Yazid that (the fifth Imam) al-Baqir was asked: "How long did Fatimah live after the Messenger of Allah?" He answered: "Four months; she died at the age of twenty-three." This view is close to that reported by the traditionists of the (Sunni) majority. They have asserted that she was born in the forty-first year of the. Messenger of Allah's life. This means that she was born one year after the Prophet was sent by Allah as a messenger. The scholar Abu Sa'id al-Hafiz relates in his book Sharafu' n-Nabiyy that all the children of the Messenger of Allah were born before Islam except Fatimah and Ibrahim, who were born in Islam.
 
 
Reference: Abu Ali al-Fadl ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Fadl at-Tabrisi (c. 468/1076 - 548/1154)}}
 
 
So we have already seen conflicting accounts that Fatima was born when Muhammad was 35, 41 (and Aisha born 5 years after), and 45.
 
 
In conclusion, Fatima’s birth date is uncertain. The traditional account matches well with the established facts. Despite this, Amjad combined Fatima's birth date in one account, with her age difference to Aisha from another account that gave a conflicting birth date. He presented this combination as if it were a single account and hid the conflict between them.
 
 
===Thirteenth Argument: Arab Tradition===
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.understanding-islam.com/ri/mi-005.htm Moiz Amjad]|2=In my opinion, neither was it an Arab tradition to give away girls in marriage at an age as young as nine or ten 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.}}
 
 
Although we agree there is no evidence to support the claim (usually made by Muslims in defence of Muhammad's pedophilia) that it was an Arab tradition to give away pre-pubescent young girls in marriage to old men, no credence should be given to mere ‘opinion’ of Aisha's age of consummation when there are sahih hadiths that explicitly state that Aisha married and had sex with Muhammad when she was aged only nine.
 
 
Although an ad hominem, this neatly summarizes what an actual Muslim scholar thinks about Moiz Amjad’s scholarship.
 
 
{{Quote|1=[http://www.webcitation.org/67gTj2QC2 Gibril Haddad]|2=Those that itch to follow misguidance always resort to solipsisms because they are invariably thin on sources. In this particular case "the Learner" proves to be ignorant and dishonest. It is no surprise he moves on every single point, without exception, from incorrect premises to false conclusions.}}
 
 
==Other Arguments==
 
 
===Hadith Saying 'Aisha Had Reached Puberty===
 
===Hadith Saying 'Aisha Had Reached Puberty===
 +
This argument is based off a mistranslated haidth, Sahih Bukhari 1:8:465, which reinterprets to the idea that Aisha had seen her parents follow islam since the age of puberty, and not a day passed by without Muhammad visiting them.<ref>Narrated `Aisha:
 +
(the wife of the Prophet) I had seen my parents following Islam since I attained the age of puberty. Not a day passed but the Prophet (ﷺ) visited us, both in the mornings and evenings...
  
'Aisha lived with her parents before her marriage to Muhammad was consumated at the age of 9 ({{Muslim|8|3310}}). The following mistranslation is used to claim she reached puberty while she still lived there.
+
[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Bukhari/USC-MSA/Volume-1/Book-8/Hadith-465 Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Hadith 465]</ref>
 
 
{{Quote|{{Bukhari|1|8|465}}| Narrated `Aisha:
 
 
 
(the wife of the Prophet) I had seen my parents following Islam since I attained the age of puberty. Not a day passed but the Prophet (ﷺ) visited us, both in the mornings and evenings...}}
 
 
 
The word أَعْقِلْ means to use thoughts or reasoning, but the translator Muhsin Khan has used the word 'puberty'. The meaning rather is simply that 'Aisha was never aware of a time when her parents were not Muslim. A literal translation would be "I was not aware of my parents other than that the two of them both acknowledged the religion" (لَمْ أَعْقِلْ أَبَوَىَّ إِلاَّ وَهُمَا يَدِينَانِ الدِّينَ).
 
 
 
The same Arabic phrase is translated as follows in another hadith by the same translator:
 
 
 
{{Quote|{{Bukhari|8|73|102}}|  Narrated `Aisha:
 
 
 
(the wife of the Prophet) "I do not remember my parents believing in any religion other than the Religion (of Islam), and our being visited by Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) in the morning and in the evening....}}
 
 
 
See also the two other occurrances, {{Bukhari|3|37|494}} and {{Bukhari|5|58|245}}.
 
 
 
==Conclusion==
 
 
 
Apologists have presented a series of arguments as to why the generally accepted understanding of Aisha’s age (i.e. nine-years-old) when she married and had sex with Muhammad, based on commonly known narratives, is erroneous and contradictory. However, on closer inspection, we find they have produced arguments that can be broadly categorized into these categories:
 
 
 
:A. Unjustified slanders against Hisham ibn Urwah and the Iraqi narrators.
 
:B. The use of non-sahih information to refute otherwise sahih hadiths.
 
:C. The use of secondary, indirect sources in preference of direct testimonies.
 
:D. The use of ‘imprecise’ dating in preference to specific dates and statements of age.
 
:E. The use of misquoted references and erroneous information.
 
:F. The use of incorrect logic.
 
:G. Personal opinion.
 
 
 
When one examines their claims, one sees that their arguments contradict and debunk each other.  Argument No. 5 says she was 14 to 21 years old. However, argument No. 6 says she was 15+, argument No. 7 says she was 17 or 18, argument No. 8 says Aisha was 14+, argument No. 9 says she was 12+, and argument No. 12 says she was 12. In other words, each and every one of the evidences contradicts and debunks all the others. Which of these so-called arguments is correct? They cannot all be correct. Clearly the apologists do not have a clue.
 
  
They have used doubtful data and assumptions for their calculations. In reality, all the arguments are false. Instead of using sahih hadiths, they use non-sahih source material. Instead of using specific and clear age testimony, they use events that cannot possibly be dated with any degree of accuracy. Instead of using traditions of acknowledged authenticity, they prefer to believe unsubstantiated slander and misquotations. Hardly a solid foundation for establishing facts. No wonder they cannot provide a consistent answer to the question of Aisha’s age.  
+
However, the word أَعْقِلْ means thoughts or reasoning, but the translator, Muhsin Khan, has used the word 'puberty'. The meaning rather is simply that 'Aisha was aware that her parents were following Islam. A literal translation would be "I was not aware of my parents other than that the two of them both acknowledged the religion". The exact same Arabic phrase is translated correctly in another hadith by the same translator.<ref>Narrated Aisha:
 +
(wife of the Prophet) Since I reached the age when I could remember things, I have seen my parents worshipping according to the right faith of Islam. Not a single day passed but Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) visited us both in the morning and in the evening...
  
Their argument appears to be that because they themselves, using spurious information, derive multiple conflicting ages for the one specific event in Aisha’s life, then we must throw out what we know about her age at this event. In effect, they are saying that just because they are using rubbish data, we have to throw out the sahih hadiths. However, this is not the logical outcome. A reasonable person would note that whilst their arguments debunk each other, all of the sahih hadith in regards to Aisha's age of consummation are in perfect harmony. Thus, rather than discarding the good with the bad, we will merely throw out the bad; in this case, the weak apologetic attempt to obfuscate our understanding that Aisha was aged nine when she married and had sex with Muhammad.
+
[https://quranx.com/Hadith/Bukhari/USC-MSA/Volume-3/Book-37/Hadith-494 Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 3, Book 37, Hadith 494]</ref>
  
 
{{Core Pedophilia}}
 
{{Core Pedophilia}}
Line 383: Line 143:
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==
  
* [[Muhammad and the Clinical Definition of Pedophilia]]
+
* [[Islam and Pedophilia]]
 
* [[Responses to Apologetics - Muhammad and Aisha|Responses to Apologetics: Muhammad and Aisha]]
 
* [[Responses to Apologetics - Muhammad and Aisha|Responses to Apologetics: Muhammad and Aisha]]
  
Line 390: Line 150:
 
==External Links==
 
==External Links==
 
*[http://www.sunnipath.com/about/shaykhgibrilhaddad.aspx Shaykh Gibril Haddad] ''- Biography of Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad at SunniPath, The online Islamic Academy''
 
*[http://www.sunnipath.com/about/shaykhgibrilhaddad.aspx Shaykh Gibril Haddad] ''- Biography of Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad at SunniPath, The online Islamic Academy''
*[http://www.faithfreedom.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10197&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15&sid=61510bd178b644d956b58527d0bbd500 Evidence Muhammad was a pedophile] ''- FFI forum thread which deals with further apologetics''
 
*[http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/05/really-really-wishing-aisha-werent-nine.html Really, really wishing Aisha weren't nine] ''- Robert Spencer debates a typical non-Muslim apologist for Islam''
 
 
*[http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Learner/index.htm Responses to "The Learner" (Moiz Amjad) and others] - ''Collection of Answering Islam articles''  
 
*[http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Learner/index.htm Responses to "The Learner" (Moiz Amjad) and others] - ''Collection of Answering Islam articles''  
  

Revision as of 13:50, 28 December 2018

Mohammed and his wife Aisha freeing the daughter of a tribal chief. From the Siyer-i Nebi

Aisha (‘Ā’ishah, c. 613/614 –c. 678)[1] or عائشة, (also transliterated as A'ishah, Aisyah, Ayesha, A'isha, Aishat, Aishah, or Aisha) was was consummated by Muhammad, then 53,[2] at the age of 9 or 10 according to various sahih hadiths.[2][3][4][5] Muhammad initially married Aisha when she was 6, but, according to scriptural hadiths, waited 3 years to consummate the marriage for her to reach puberty.[6][7] Although child marriage was common in the 7th century[8] this topic is of heavy interest in the apologetic literature and public discourse.

Marriage at a young age was not unheard of in Arabia at the time, and Aisha's marriage to Muhammad may have had a political connotation, as her father Abu Baker was an influential man in the community.[9] Abu Bakr, on his part, may have sought to further the bond of kinship between Muhammad and himself by joining their families together in marriage via Aisha. Egyptian-American Islamic scholar, Leila Ahmed, notes that Aisha's betrothal and marriage to Muhammad are presented as ordinary in Islamic literature, and may indicate that it was not unusual for children to be married to their elders in that era.[10]

Authenticity

In the Quran the mention of marrying those who have not yet reached menstruation can be read in Chapter 65 "Al Talaq" verse 4.[11] The Jalalayn tafsir (exegesis), is one of the most respected commentaries on the Quran.[12] In the Jalalayn exegesis it describes "those you have yet to menstruate" as "those who have not yet menstruated, because of their young age, their [waiting] period shall [also] be three months."[13]

In the modern era, Aisha's age at marriage ha"s been a source of controversy and debate. Some Muslims have attempted to revise the previously-accepted timeline of her life.[14] All biographical information on Muhammad and his companions was first recorded over a century after his death,[15] but the hadith and scripture provide records of early Islam through an unbroken chain of witnesses. Various hadiths stating that Aisha was either nine or ten at the time of her consummation come from collections with sahih status, meaning they are regarded as reputable by the majority of Muslims.[2][4] Some other traditional sources also mention Aisha's age. The sira of Ibn Ishaq edited by Ibn Hisham states that she was nine or ten years old at the consummation. The historian al-Tabari also states that she was nine.[7]

Association with Child Marriage

Child bride with her infant daughter

No age limits have been fixed by Islam for marriage according to, Persian Professor at the University of Cambridge, Reuben Levy, and "quite young children may be legally married".[16] The girl may not live with the husband however until she is fit for marital sexual relations.[16] The Hanafi school of jurisprudence of Islamic fiqh maintains that a wife must not be taken to her husband's house until she reaches the condition of fitness for sexual relations.

Levy adds: In Islamic legal terminology, Baligh refers to a person who has reached maturity, puberty or adulthood and has full responsibility under Islamic law. Legal theorists assign different ages and criteria for reaching this state for both males and females.[17] In marriage baligh is related to the Arabic legal expression, hatta tutiqa'l-rijal, which means that the wedding may not take place until the girl is physically fit to engage in sexual intercourse. Some Hanafi scholars hold the opinion that sexual intercourse may take place before puberty, as long as it's not injurious to one's health.[18] In comparison, baligh or balaghat concerns the reaching of sexual maturity which becomes manifest by the menses. The age related to these two concepts can, but need not necessarily, coincide. Only after a separate condition called rushd, or intellectual maturity to handle one's own property, is reached can a girl receive her bridewealth.

Relevant Quotations

And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease.
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.
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).
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)
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
Aisha said, "The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old." (The narrator Sulaiman said: "Or six years."). "He had intercourse with me when I was 9 years old.
According to Abd al-Hamid b. Bayan al-Sukkari - Muhammad b. Yazid - Ismai'il (that is Ibn Abi Khalid) - Abd al-Rahman b. Abi al- Dahhak - a man from Quraysh - Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad: "Abd Allah b. Safwan together with another person came to Aishah and Aishah said (to the latter), "O so and so, have you heard what Hafsah has been saying?" He said, "Yes, o Mother of the Faithful." Abd Allah b. Safwan asked her, "What is that?" She replied, "There are nine special features in me that have not been in any woman, except for what God bestowed on Maryam bt. Imran. By God, I do not say this to exalt myself over any of my companions." "What are these?" he asked. She replied, "The angel brought down my likeness; the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin,no other man having shared me with him; inspiration came to him when he and I were in a single blanket; I was one of the dearest people to him, a verse of the Qur’an was revealed concerning me when the community was almost destroyed; I saw Gabriel when none of his other wives saw him; and he was taken (that is, died) in his house when there was nobody with him but the angel and myself."
According to Abu Ja‘far (Al-Tabari): The Messenger of God married her, so it is said, in Shawwal, and consummated his marriage to her in a later year, also in Shawwal.

Apologetic History

The majority of scholars today, agree that Aisha was 9 when her marriage to Prophet Muhammad was consummated. This has been the mainstream Muslim understanding throughout Islam's 1,400 year history.[19] The first recorded objection raised to Aisha's age was by Maulana Muhammad Ali who lived from 1874 to 1951.[20] However, he is not considered credible to the Sunni sect since he belonged to the Ahmadiyya sect whose beliefs drastically differ from mainstream Islam. The Ahmadiyya and their writings are also heavily focused on missionary work.[21]

Adding to Ali's objections, there is Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi (1924-1991) who in his Urdu booklet, "Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat" (English trans. 1997), laments that he is "tired of defending this tradition" that is "laughed" at and "ridiculed" by English-educated individuals he meets in Karachi who claim it is against "sagacity and prudence" and "preferred English society to Islam over this", and he readily admits his "aim is to produce an answer to the enemies of Islam who spatter mud at the pious body of the Generous Prophet".[22] A posthumous fatwa was issued against him in November 2004, labelling him a "Munkir-e-Hadith" (hadith rejector) and a "Kafir" (infidel) on the basis of being a rejector of hadith.[23]

Deriving arguments from both Habib Ur Rahman and Muhammad Ali, Moiz Amjad (who refers to himself as "The Learner") is the most recent reference to online apologetic. Moiz admits to having lifted his arguments from them, summarizing and presenting them in response to a Muslim asking him how he can respond to critical Christians.[24] With Moiz's restructured response the arguments originating from the Ahmadiyya in the 1920s and 1930s finally achieved a little popularity among a few orthodox Muslims. However, this popularity seems to be strictly limited to articles or arguments on the Internet and not between contemporary sheikhs and scholars.

In July 2005, Shaykh Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad, responded to Moiz Amjad's polemics with, "Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet."[25] Including many facts that are easily verifiable for those who have access to the hadith and sira literature. For example, his analysis highlighted the fact that many of the arguments were based solely on faulty assumptions taken from hadiths completely unrelated to Aisha's age, or were misrepresenting the sources that were being cited (i.e. hadiths actually in support the idea that Aisha was 9). His reply has not yet been answered by Moiz Amjad.

However, Haddad's response did not stop Amjad's arguments from being rehashed by apologists on the Internet with the same missionary and apologetic focus. Other transmitters of these arguments include, but are not limited to; T.O Shavanas,[26] “Imam” Chaudhry (word-for-word plagiarism of Amjad's work),[27] Zahid Aziz,[20] Nilofar Ahmed,[28] and David Liepert.[29]

Apologetic Arguments

Dispute of Aisha's Age

Some Muslim authors have attempted to calculate Aisha's age based on details found in some biographies, eschewing the traditionally-accepted ahadith, though Kecia Ali labels these attempts as "revisionist".[14] One da'if (weak) hadith recorded in the works of some medieval scholars, including al-Dhahabi,[30] states that Aisha's older sister Asma was ten years older than her. This has been combined with information about Asma's age at the time of her death and used to suggest that Aisha was over thirteen at the time of her marriage.

Shaykh Dr. Gibril Haddad who was listed amongst the inaugural "500 most influential Muslims in the world",[31] is considered a Muslim scholar and muhaddith (hadith expert)[31] criticizes this approach as relying on a single narrator, and notes that a hadith from the same narrator gives a broader range for the age difference between the sisters.[25]

Not Enough Narrators

This claim objects that there is only one narrator, Hisham, and that although it is a sahih (authentic hadith) he alone is not enough to consider the hadith reliable. However, many of the chains of narration for these hadiths[32] do not involve Hisham (for example, Sahih Muslim 83311)[4], and, in any case, there is no requirement in Islam for multiple narrations. Even a single sahih hadith is sufficient to establish Islamic laws and practices.

Shaykh Dr. Gibril Haddad also refutes the claim that most of these narrations are reported only by Hisham ibn 'Urwah. "Try more than eleven authorities among the Tabi`in that reported it directly from `A'isha, not counting the other major Companions that reported the same, nor other major Successors that reported it from other than `A'isha."[33]

Details of some of these other chains of narration that do not include Hisham ibn 'Urwah ibn az-Zubayr can be found in the first half of an article by the IslamQA website.

Revelation Time of Surah al-Qamar

This arguments uses the Sahih Bukhari hadith in which Aisha explains she was a young girl when Surah (chapter) al-Qamar of the Quran was revealed.[34] With the rough estimation that this chapter was revealed nine years before hijrah (c. 622) some conclude that this makes Aisha older than other hadiths claim.

However, the precise date of the revelation of Surah al-Qamar is unknown. Ibn Hajar, Maududi, and other traditionalists said it was revealed 5 years before Hijrah (BH).[35] Zahid Aziz said it was revealed before 6 BH.[36] Alternatively there is no reputable source that claims this chapter came about 9 BH.

Shaykh Haddad confirms this as he argues that the traditional estimate of the revelation of Surah al-Qamar is consistent with Aisha’s age being nine years.

"The hadith Masters, Sira historians, and Qur'anic commentators agree that the splitting of the moon took place about five years before the Holy Prophet's (upon him blessings and peace) Hijra to Madina. Thus it is confirmed that our Mother `Aisha was born between seven and eight years before the Hijra and the words that she was a jariya or little girl five years before the Hijra match the fact that her age at the time Surat al-Qamar was revealed was around 2 or 3. A two year old is not an infant. A two year old is able to run around, which is what jariya means. As for "the comments of the experts" they concur on 6 or 7 as the age of marriage and 9 as the age of cohabitation."[33]

Battle of Badr and Uhud

This apologetic argument aims to make the claim that Aisha was at the Battles of Badr and Uhud, and that since standard practice at the time disallowed anyone under 15 from joining the battlefield, she could not have been younger than this.

However, there are no sources that can be found mentioning Aisha's participation in the Battle of Badr. Though, are a few hadiths that highlight Aisha's involvement in the Battle of Uhud, but the the extent that she was not involved in the battlefield and merely carrying water skins to the combatants.[37] Women and young children were allowed to preform such functions during battles.[38]

Shaykh Haddad also showed included on this subject:

"First, the prohibition applied to combatants. It applied neither to non-combatant boys nor to non-combatant girls and women. Second, `A'isha did not participate in Badr at all but bade farewell to the combatants as they were leaving Madina, as narrated by Muslim in his Sahih. On the day of Uhud (year 3), Anas, at the time only twelve or thirteen years old, reports seeing an eleven-year old `A'isha and his mother Umm Sulaym having tied up their dresses and carrying water skins back and forth to the combatants, as narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim."[33]

Tabari's Account of Abu Baker

This account uses al-Tabari's exegesis to argue that Aisha was born in the pre-islamic period, and thus could not have been less than 14 tears old.[39]

However, al-Tabari's own account reports at least five times that Aisha was around 6-7 years old during marriage and the marriage was consummated 3 years later.[40][41][42][43][44]

Furthermore, Shaykh Gibril Haddad says that the initial passage mentioned is misinterpreted, stating "Al-Tabari nowhere reports that 'Abu Bakr's four children were all born in Jahiliyya' but only that Abu Bakr married both their mothers in Jahiliyya, Qutayla bint Sa`d and Umm Ruman, who bore him four children in all, two each, `A'isha being the daughter of Umm Ruman."[33]

Time of Umar's Conversion to Islam

This argument draws on al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah (Biogoraphy of the Prophet) to claim that since Ayesha converted to Islam before Umar she could not have been born during the first year of Islam.[45]

However, even if the claim Aisha converted to Islam before Umar were true it, does not mean this took place during the first year of Islam, since Umar converted in 617 AD, about 4 years after Aisha’s birth in 613 AD.[1] Furthermore Aisha never accounted converting to islam as hadiths show she never remembered a time before when her family wasn't Muslim.[46]

Besides disputing the claim that Ibn Hisham reported that Aisha accepted Islam quite some time before `umar ibn al-Khattab, Shaykh Haddad also casts doubt on the claim stating, "Nowhere does Ibn Hisham say this. Rather, Ibn Hisham lists `A'isha among 'those that accepted Islam because of Abu Bakr.' This does not mean that she embraced Islam during the first year of Islam. Nor does it mean that she necessarily embraced Islam before `Umar (year 6) although she was born the previous year (year 7 before the Hijra) although it is understood she will automatically follow her father's choice even before the age of reason."

Hadith Saying 'Aisha Had Reached Puberty

This argument is based off a mistranslated haidth, Sahih Bukhari 1:8:465, which reinterprets to the idea that Aisha had seen her parents follow islam since the age of puberty, and not a day passed by without Muhammad visiting them.[47]

However, the word أَعْقِلْ means thoughts or reasoning, but the translator, Muhsin Khan, has used the word 'puberty'. The meaning rather is simply that 'Aisha was aware that her parents were following Islam. A literal translation would be "I was not aware of my parents other than that the two of them both acknowledged the religion". The exact same Arabic phrase is translated correctly in another hadith by the same translator.[48]

This page is featured in the core article, Islam and Pedophilia which serves as a starting point for anyone wishing to learn more about this topic Core part.png

See Also

Translations

  • A version of this page is also available in the following languages: Czech. For additional languages, see the sidebar on the left.

External Links

Acknowledgments

This article is greatly indebted to the following:

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Al-Nasa'i 1997, p. 108
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Narrated Hisham's father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet (ﷺ) 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. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:236
  3. 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 7:62:64
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old. Sahih Muslim 8:3311
  5. Aisha said, "The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old." (The narrator Sulaiman said: "Or six years."). "He had intercourse with me when I was 9 years old. Sunan Abu Dawud 2116 (Ahmad Hasan Ref)
  6. When the Prophet married Aisha she very young and not yet ready for consummation. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 128
  7. 7.0 7.1 According to Abd al-Hamid b. Bayan al-Sukkari - Muhammad b. Yazid - Ismai'il (that is Ibn Abi Khalid) - Abd al-Rahman b. Abi al- Dahhak - a man from Quraysh - Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad: "Abd Allah b. Safwan together with another person came to Aishah and Aishah said (to the latter), "O so and so, have you heard what Hafsah has been saying?" He said, "Yes, o Mother of the Faithful." Abd Allah b. Safwan asked her, "What is that?" She replied, "There are nine special features in me that have not been in any woman, except for what God bestowed on Maryam bt. Imran. By God, I do not say this to exalt myself over any of my companions." "What are these?" he asked. She replied, "The angel brought down my likeness; the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin,no other man having shared me with him; inspiration came to him when he and I were in a single blanket; I was one of the dearest people to him, a verse of the Qur’an was revealed concerning me when the community was almost destroyed; I saw Gabriel when none of his other wives saw him; and he was taken (that is, died) in his house when there was nobody with him but the angel and myself." According to Abu Ja‘far (Al-Tabari): The Messenger of God married her, so it is said, in Shawwal, and consummated his marriage to her in a later year, also in Shawwal. Al-Tabari, Vol. 7, pp. 6-7
  8. Most sources suggest age at consummation as nine, and one that it may have been age 10; See: Denise Spellberg (1996), Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha Bint Abi Bakr, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231079990, pp. 39–40;
  9. Afsaruddin, Asma (2014). "ʿĀʾisha bt. Abī Bakr". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett. Encyclopaedia of Islam (3 ed.). Brill Online. Retrieved 2015-01-11
  10. Ahmed, Leila (1992). Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. Yale University Press. p. 51-54. ISBN 978-0300055832.
  11. And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease. Quran 64:4
  12. Tafsir al-Jalalayn is one of the most significant tafsirs for the study of the Qur’an. Composed by the two “Jalals” -- Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli (d. 864 ah / 1459 ce) and his pupil Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 911 ah / 1505 ce), Tafsir al-Jalalayn is generally regarded as one of the most easily accessible works of Qur’anic exegesis because of its simple style and one volume length. For the first time ever Tafsir al-Jalalayn is competently translated into an unabridged highly accurate and readable annotated English translation by Doctor. Feras Hamza. altafsir.com
  13. And as for those of your women who read allā’ī or allā’i in both instances no longer expect to menstruate if you have any doubts about their waiting period their prescribed waiting period shall be three months and also for those who have not yet menstruated because of their young age their period shall also be three months — both cases apply to other than those whose spouses have died; for these latter their period is prescribed in the verse they shall wait by themselves for four months and ten days Q. 2234. And those who are pregnant their term the conclusion of their prescribed waiting period if divorced or if their spouses be dead shall be when they deliver. And whoever fears God He will make matters ease for him in this world and in the Hereafter. Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza Quran 65:4
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ali, Kecia. Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith and Jurisprudence. OneWorld. p. 173-186. ISBN 978-1780743813.
  15. Kadri, Sadakat (2012). Heaven on Earth. Farrar, Straus, Giroux. p. 30.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Levy p.106
  17. John Esposito, Islam, Oxford University Press 2003
  18. Public » Askimam" www.askimam.org.
  19. Hashmi, Tariq Mahmood (2 April 2015). "Role, Importance And Authenticity Of The Hadith". Mawrid.org. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Zahid Aziz - Age of Aisha (ra) at time of marriage - Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha`at Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A. (for a refutation to the issues raised by Aziz's tu-quoque defence, titled "Mary and Joseph", click here)
  21. Who are the Ahmadi? - BBC News
  22. All Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi quotations are taken from the Preface of the 2007 English translation of his Urdu booklet, "Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat", translated by Nigar Erfaney and published by Al-Rahman Publishing Trust under the title, "Age of Aisha (The Truthful Women, May Allah Send His Blessings)"
  23. The original fatwa and the English translation branding Habib Ur Rahman Siddiqui Kandhalvi's beliefs outside of Islam, thus making him a 'kafir', can be viewed here: Fatwa's on hadith rejectors?
  24. See: "What was Ayesha's (ra) Age at the Time of Her Marriage?", by Moiz Amjad.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Shaykh Gibril F Haddad - Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet - Sunni Path, Question ID:4604, July 3, 2005
  26. T.O Shanavas - AYESHA’s AGE: THE MYTH OF A PROVERBIAL WEDDING EXPOSED - Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
  27. Imam Chaudhry - What Was The Age of Ummul Mo'mineen Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) When She Married To Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)? - Islamic Supreme Council of Canada
  28. Nilofar Ahmed - Of Aisha’s age at marriage - Dawn, February 17, 2012
  29. Dr. David Liepert - Rejecting the Myth of Sanctioned Child Marriage in Islam - The Huffington Post, January 29, 2011 (for direct responses to David Liepert, see: Rejecting Dr. David Liepert's "Aisha Was Older" Apologetic Myth & Muhammad, Child brides, and David Liepert)
  30. al-Dhahabi. "Siyar a`lam al-nubala'". IslamWeb. Retrieved 3 September 2018. قال عبد الرحمن بن أبي الزناد : كانت أسماء أكبر من عائشة بعشر" (Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi al-Zunad said: Asma was older than Aisha by ten years.)
  31. 31.0 31.1 Edited by Prof. John Esposito and Prof. Ibrahim Kalin - The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World (P. 94) - The royal islamic strategic studies centre, 2009
  32. Quran, Hadith, and Scholars on Aisha's Age at Consummation and Marriage
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet Shaykh Gibril Haddad
  34. Narrated Yusuf bin Mahik: I was in the house of `Aisha, the mother of the Believers. She said, "This revelation: "Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time (for their full recompense); and the Hour will be more previous and most bitter." (54.46) was revealed to Muhammad at Mecca while I was a playfull little girl." Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith 399
  35. The incident of the shaqq-al-Qamar (splitting of the moon) that has been mentioned in it, determines its period of revelation precisely. The traditionists and commentators are agreed that this incident took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet's hijrah to Madinah. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an
  36. The Moon,the fifty-fourth chapter, was revealed, she was a girl playing about and remembered certain verses then revealed. Now the fifty-fourth chapter was undoubtedly revealed before the sixth year of the Call. Zahid Aziz
  37. Narrated Anas: On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw 'Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, "carrying the water skins on their backs"). Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people. Sahih Bukhari 4:52:131
  38. The women and young children went on the battlefield after the battle and gave water to the wounded Muslims and finished off the enemy wounded. al-Tabari vol.12 p.127,146.
  39. All four of his [i.e. Abu Bakr's] children were born of his two wives - the names of whom we have already mentioned - during the pre-Islamic period. Tarikh al-umam wa al-mamloo'k, Al-Tabari, Vol. 4, Pg. 50, Arabic, Dar al-fikr, Beirut, 1979
  40. The angel brought down my likeness; the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin, no other man having shared me with him Al-Tabari, Vol. 7, p. 7
  41. I was then brought [in] while the Messenger of God was sitting on a bed in our house. [My mother] made me sit on his lap... Then the men and women got up and left. The Messenger of God consummated his marriage with me in my house when I was nine years old. Neither a camel nor a sheep was slaughtered on behalf of me. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 131
  42. The Messenger of God saw 'A'ishah twice-[first when] it was said to him that she was his wife (she was six years old at that time), and later [when] he consummated his marriage with her after coming to Medina when she was nine years old. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 131
  43. [The Prophet] married her three years before the Emigration, when she was seven years old, and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old, after he had emigrated to Medina in Shawwil. She was eighteen years old when he died. Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 131
  44. The Prophet married Aishah in Shawwal in the tenth year after the [beginning of his] prophethood, three years before Emigration. He consummated the marriage in Shawwal, eight months after Emigration. On the day he consummated the marriage with her she was nine years old. Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 171-173
  45. According to Ibn Hisham, Ayesha (ra) was the 20th or the 21st person to enter into the folds of Islam. While `umar ibn al-khattab was the 41st. Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 227 - 234, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithah, Al-Riyadh
  46. Narrated 'Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) I never remembered my parents believing in any religion other than the true religion (i.e. Islam), and (I don't remember) a single day passing without our being visited by Allah’s Apostle in the morning and in the evening." Sahih Bukhari 5:58:245
  47. Narrated `Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) I had seen my parents following Islam since I attained the age of puberty. Not a day passed but the Prophet (ﷺ) visited us, both in the mornings and evenings... Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Hadith 465
  48. Narrated Aisha: (wife of the Prophet) Since I reached the age when I could remember things, I have seen my parents worshipping according to the right faith of Islam. Not a single day passed but Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) visited us both in the morning and in the evening... Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 3, Book 37, Hadith 494