Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Aisha
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Aisha was the favorite of Prophet Muhammad's wives. He married her when she was six to seven years old and consummated the marriage when she was nine lunar years old according to the tradition (see "Aisha's Age at Consummation and Marriage"), making her Muhammad's youngest bride. Her young age is also seen in the tradition as proof of her pristine virginity at the time of her marriage to the prophet. Muhammad preferred to sleep with and have sex with Aisha above all of his other wives, and according to the tradition he died in her arms. As the favorite wife of the prophet, she was given a pre-eminent place amongst the companions of the prophet and in the isnads of the hadith she plays a pivotal role as the originator of many traditions. If the Islamic historical narrative is to be believed, she played a key role in the struggle for power within the caliphate after the Arab conquests; during the First Fitna she lead an army against Ali to lay claim to the caliphate, but was defeated at the Battle of the Camel.
Reasons for the Marriage
Muhammad liked to Fondle Virgins
Abu Bakr struck Aisha
So he admonished me and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of pain) but the position of Allah's Apostle on my thigh. Allah's Apostle got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the Divine Verses of Tayammum. So they all performed Tayammum. Usaid bin Hudair said, "O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours." Then the camel on which I was riding was caused to move from its place and the necklace was found beneath it.
Aisha's Age at Consummation and Marriage
Incident of the slander (al-ifk)
The incident of the slander (al-ifk) almost led to Muhammad divorcing Aisha and is widely reported in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, as well as Shia sources. Aisha was accused of committing adultery after she was left behind by the caravan. In the narrations of this incident Aisha is referred to as a girl of young age (jariyatun hadithatu s-sinni جَارِيَةٌ حَدِيثَةُ السِّنِّ), twice by herself, and once by her slave-girl, Buraira. Aisha states "At that time I was a young lady", and "I was a young girl and did not have much knowledge of the Quran" (both use the same arabic phrase just mentioned).
. . . That night I kept on weeping and could not sleep till morning. In the morning Allah's Apostle called Ali bin Abu Talib and Usama bin Zaid when he saw the Divine Inspiration delayed, to consul them about divorcing his wife (i.e. 'Aisha). Usama bin Zaid said what he knew of the good reputation of his wives and added, 'O Allah's Apostle! Keep you wife, for, by Allah, we know nothing about her but good.' 'Ali bin Abu Talib said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Allah has no imposed restrictions on you, and there are many women other than she, yet you may ask the woman-servant who will tell you the truth.' On that Allah's Apostle called Buraira and said, 'O Burair. Did you ever see anything which roused your suspicions about her?' Buraira said, 'No, by Allah Who has sent you with the Truth, I have never seen in her anything faulty except that she is a girl of immature age, who sometimes sleeps and leaves the dough for the goats to eat.' . . .I was a young girl and did not have much knowledge of the Quran. I said. 'I know, by Allah, that you have listened to what people are saying and that has been planted in your minds and you have taken it as a truth. Now, if I told you that I am innocent and Allah knows that I am innocent, you would not believe me and if I confessed to you falsely that I am guilty, and Allah knows that I am innocent you would believe me.
. . .She said, "I do not know what to say to Allah's Apostle." Still a young girl as I was and though I had little knowledge of Quran, I said, "By Allah, I know that you heard this story (of the Ifk) so much so that it has been planted in your minds and you have believed it. So now, if I tell you that I am innocent, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you will not believe me; and if I confess something, and Allah knows that I am innocent of it, you will believe me. By Allah, I cannot find of you an example except that of Joseph's father: "
The same Arabic phrase meaning girl of young age occurs in narrations about Muhammad screening Aisha with his garment when some Ethiopians were playing:
One version of a hadith about Aisha experiencing menstruation while on pilgrimage to Mecca too describes her uses the same phrase (Sahih Muslim 2:2773) though the other narrations of that hadith do not include the phrase (one explicitly points out its absense: Sahih Muslim 7:2774).
Didn't remember a time before Islam
Note that the exact same Arabic phrase appears in another hadith, but with a serious mistranslation:
This is a mistranslation. The exact same Arabic phrase appears in both hadiths. See here for details.
Thus ‘Aisha was either not very old or not born yet when her parents became Muslims. This is consistent with her being a child when her marriage with Muhammad was consummated.
Why Muhammad Waited Three Years
. . . So, Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called Bailra and said: Barira, did you see anything in 'A'isha which can cause doubt about her? Barira said: By Him Who sent thee with the truth, I have seen nothing objectionable in her but only this much that she is a young girl and she goes to sleep while kneading the flour and the lamb eats that. . . .When Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) talked, my tears dried up and not even a single drop of tear was perceived by me (rolling out of my eyes). I said to my father: You give a reply to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on my behalf. He said: By Allah, I do not know what I should say to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I then said to my mother: Give a reply to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on my behalf, but she said: By Allah, I do not know what I should say to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I was a small girl at that time and I had not read much of the Qur'an (but I said): By Allah, I perceive that you have heard about this and it has settled down in your mind and you have taken it to be true, so if I say to you that I am quite innocent, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you would never believe me to be true, and if I confess to (the alleged) lapse before you, whereas Allah knows that I am completely innocent (and I have not committed this sin at all), in that case You will take me to be true and, by Allah, I, therefore, find no other alternative for me and for you except that what the father of Yousuf said:, (My course is) comely patience.
This is not saying Muhammad had intercourse with Aisha while her playmates were watching. Rather it says the playmates played with her, and they went out when Muhammad came by, and could come back after he left.
Other Islamic Sources
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.
أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol.2, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 297, https://app.turath.io/book/9783
Note from the translator (Ismail K. Poonawala): 877. She was six years old when the Prophet married her in Shawwil , tenth year of the mission. The marriage was consummated in Shawwil in Medina when she was nine years old. She died in Ramadan 58/678. Ibn Sa'd, Tabagat, VIII, 39-56; Balidhuri, Ansdb, I, 409-21.
أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol.3, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 162, https://app.turath.io/book/9783
She went to Abu Bakr’s house, where she found Umm Ruman, mother of ‘A’ishah, and said, "O Umm Ruman, what a good thing and a blessing has God brought to you!" She said, "What is that?" Khawlah replied, "The Messenger of God has sent me to ask for ‘A’ishah’s hand in marriage on his behalf." She answered, "I ask that you wait for Abu Bakr, for he should be on his way." When Abu Bakr came, Khawlah repeated what she had said. He replied, "She is [like] his brother’s daughter. Would she be appropriate for him?" When Khawlah returned to the Messenger of God and told him about it he said, "Go back to him and say that he is my brother in Islam and that I am his brother [in Islam], so his daughter is good for me." She came to Abu Bakr and told him what the Messenger of God had said. Then he asked her to wait until he returned.
Umm Ruman said that al-Mut‘im b. ‘Adi had asked ‘A’ishah’s hand for his son, but Abu Bakr had not promised anything. Abu Bakr left and went to Mut‘im while his wife, mother of the son for whom he had asked ‘A’ishah’s hand, was with him. She said, "O son of Abu Quhafah, perhaps we could marry our son to your daughter if you could make him leave his religion and bring him in to the religion which you practice." He turned to her husband al-Mut‘im and said, "What is she saying?" He replied, "She says [what you have heard]." Abu Bakr left, [realizing that] God had [just] removed the problem he had in his mind. He said to Khawlah, "Call the Messenger of God." She called him and he came. Abu Bakr married [‘A’ishah] to him when she was [only] six years old.
أبو جعفر الطبري, [أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol., al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, https://app.turath.io/book/9783 تاريخ الرسل والملوك], vol.3, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 162, أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol., al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, https://app.turath.io/book/9783
‘Ali b. Nasr- ‘Abd al-Samad b. ‘Abd al-Warith- ‘Abd al-Warith b. ‘Abd al-Samad- his father- Aban al-‘Attar- Hisham b. ‘Urwah- ‘Urwah: He wrote to ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan stating that he had written to him about Khadijah bt. Khuwaylid, asking him about when she died. She died three years or close to that before the Messenger of God’s departure from Mecca, and he married ‘A’ishah after Khadijah’s death. 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 she was nine years old.
(The report goes back to Hisham b. Muhammad. See above, I, 1766). Then the Messenger of God married ‘A’ishah bt. Abi Bakr, whose name is ‘Atiq b. Abi Quhafah, who is ‘Uthman, and is called ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Uthman b. ‘Amir b. ‘Amir b. Ka‘b b. Sa‘d b. Taym b. Murrah: [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 Shawwal. She was eighteen years old when he died. The Messenger of God did not marry any maiden except her.
أبو جعفر الطبري, [أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol., al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, https://app.turath.io/book/9783 تاريخ الرسل والملوك], vol.3, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 163, أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol., al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, https://app.turath.io/book/9783
Her mother was Umm Ruman bt. ‘Umayr b. ‘Amr, of the Banu Duhman b. al-Harith b. Ghanm b. Malik b. Kinanah.
The Prophet married ‘A’ishah 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.
According to Ibn ‘Umayr [al-Waqidi]- Musa b. Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman- Raytah- ‘Amrah [bt. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Sa’d]: ‘A’ishah was asked when the Prophet consummated his marriage with her, and she said:
The Prophet left us and his daughters behind when he emigrated to Medina. Having arrived at Medina, he sent Zayd b. Harithah and his client Abu Rafi’ for us. He gave them two camels and 500 dirhams he had taken from Abu Bakr to buy [other] beasts they needed. Abu Bakr sent with them ‘Abdallah b. Urayqit al-Dili, with two or three camels. He wrote to [his son] ‘Abdallah b. Abi Bakr to take his wife Umm Ruman, together with me and my sister Asma’, al-Zubayr’s wife, [and leave for Medina]. They all left [Medina] together, and when they arrived at Qudayd Zayd b. Harithah bought three camels with those 500 dirhams. All of them then entered Mecca, where they met Talhah b. ‘Ubaydallah on his way to leave town, together with Abu Bakr’s family. So we all left: Zayd b. Harithah, Abu Rafi’, Fatimah, Umm Kulthum, and Sawdah bt. Zam‘ah. Ayd mounted Umm Ayman and [his son] Usamah b. Zayd on a riding beast; ‘Abdallah b. Abi Bakr took Umm Ruman and his two sisters, and Talhah b. ‘Ubaydallah came [too]. We all went together, and when we reached Bayd in Tamanni my camel broke loose. I was sitting in the litter together with my mother, and she started exclaiming "Alas, my daughter, alas [you] bride"; then they caught up with our camel, after it had safely descended the Lift. We then arrived at Medina, and I stayed with Abu Bakr’s children, and [Abu Bakr] went to the Prophet. The latter was then busy building the mosque and our homes around it, where he [later] housed his wives. We stayed in Abu Bakr’s house for a few days; then Abu Bakr asked [the Prophet] "O Messenger of God, what prevents you from consummating the marriage with your wife?" The Prophet said "The bridal gift (sadaq)." Abu Bakr gave him the bridal gift, twelve and a half ounces [of gold], and the Prophet sent for us. He consummated our marriage in my house, the one where I live now and where he passed away.
أبو جعفر الطبري, [url=https://app.turath.io/book/9783 تاريخ الرسل والملوك], vol. 11, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 602, url=https://app.turath.io/book/9783 See also: Sahih Bukhari 5:58:234
ابن إسحاق; ابن هشام, سيرة ابن هشام ت طه عبد الرؤوف سعد, vol.2, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah0, p. 644, https://app.turath.io/book/23833
ابن إسحاق; ابن هشام, سيرة ابن هشام ت طه عبد الرؤوف سعد, vol.2, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 655, https://app.turath.io/book/23833
Meantime Abu Bakr approached Mut‘im, who was persuaded without difficulty to forgo the marriage of ‘A’ishah to his son; and, some months after the marriage of Sawdah, ‘A’ishah also became the Prophet’s wife, through a marriage contracted by him and her father, at which she herself was not present. She said afterwards, that she had her first inkling of her new status when one day she was playing with her friends outside, not far from their house, and her mother came and too her by the hand and led her indoors, telling her that henceforth she must not go out to play, and that her friends must come to her instead. ‘A’ishah dimly guessed the reason, though her mother did not immediately tell her that she was married; and apart from having to play in their courtyard instead of in the roads, her life continued as before. 
Small preparations were made for the wedding- not enough, at any rate for ‘A’ishah to have had a sense of a great and solemn occasion, and shortly before they were due to leave the house she had slipped out into the courtyard to play with her passing friend. In her own words: "I was playing on a see-saw and my long streaming hair was disheveled. They came and took me from my play and made me ready."
Abu Bakr had bought some fine red-striped cloth from Bahrain and it had been made into a wedding-dress for her. In this they now clothed her. Then her mother took her to the newly built house where some women of the Helpers were waiting for her outside the door. They greeted her with the words "For good and for happiness- may all be well!" and led her into the presence of the Prophet. He stood their smiling and combed her hair and decked her with ornaments. Unlike his other marriages, at this there was no wedding feast… then they all went their ways, and the bridegroom and the bride were left together.
For the last three years scarcely a day had passed by without one or more of ‘A’ishah’s friends coming to play with her in the courtyard adjoining her father’s house. Her removal to the Prophet’s house changed nothing in this respect. Friends now came every day to visit her in her own apartment – new friends made since her arrival in Medina and also some of the old ones whose parents, like hers, had emigrated. "I would be playing with my dolls," she said, "with the girls who were my friends, and the Prophet would come in and they would steal out of the house and he would go out after them and bring them back, for he was pleased for my sake to have them there." Sometimes he would say "Stay where ye are" before they had time to move. He would also join in their games sometimes, for he loved children and had often played with his own daughters. The dolls of puppets had many different roles. "One day," said ‘A’ishah, "the Prophet came in when I was playing with the dolls and he said: ‘O ‘A’ishah, whatever game is this?’ I said: ‘It is Solomon’s horses,’ and he laughed." But sometimes as he came in he would simply screen himself with his cloak so as not to disturb them. 
William Montgomery Watt
Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri
Muhammad Surprises Aisha
Washing Off Muhammad's Semen
Thighing menstruating wives
The term Mufaakhathah means to have foreplay with the wife in between her thighs. It is reported in one narration that when the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) wanted to enjoy one of his wives who was in menstruation, he would put a piece of cloth on her vagina (i.e. cover it). [Ibn Maajah].
The author of Faydh Al-Qadeer interpreted the expression 'if he wanted to enjoy to mean having all permissible foreplay but avoiding the vagina [or the anus], like in between her thighs (i.e. Mufaakhathah).Allaah Knows best.
Islamweb, Fatwa No: 92051, April 5, 2006, http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=92051.
Muhammad fondles Aisha
Muhammad sucked Aisha's tongue
Two days for Aisha
Due to her aging, Muhammad wanted to divorce his second wife, Sawda. To prevent this, Sawda gave up her turn to the young Aisha.
Whenever Allah's Apostle wanted to go on a journey, he would draw lots as to which of his wives would accompany him. He would take her whose name came out. He used to fix for each of them a day and a night. But Sauda bint Zam'a gave up her (turn) day and night to 'Aisha, the wife of the Prophet in order to seek the pleasure of Allah's Apostle (by that action).
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
- According to Al-Zawa‘id the verse is sahih but also munqata since Abu ‘Ubaida did not hear the Hadith from his father. Ref: Sunan Ibn-I-Majah, Imam Abdullah Muhammad B. Yazid Ibn-I-Maja Al-Qazwini, English version by Muhammad Tufail Ansari [Kazi Publications, 121-Zulqarnain Chambers, Gampat Road, Lahore Pakistan, first edition, 1995], volume III, pp. 133-134
- Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Volume II, translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Muneer Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, first paper edition, 2000], pp. 93-94
- Ibn Qayyim Al-Juaziyyah, Zad-ul Ma’ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l ‘Ibad (Provisions for the Hereafter, From the Guidance of Allah’s Best Worshipper), translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando, Fl: First edition, December 2000], Volume I, pp. 157-158
- Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources [Inner Traditions, International, Ltd.; Rochester Vermont, 1983], pp. 105-106
- Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources [Inner Traditions, International, Ltd.; Rochester Vermont, 1983], pp. 132-134
- W. Montgomery Watt - Muhammad At Medina (P. 323) - Oxford At The Clarendon Press, 1977, ISBN 9780195773071
- Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar) Biography of the Noble Prophet, [Maktaba Dar-us-Salam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition 1995], "The Prophetic Household", p. 485