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Aishas Age of Consummation

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Since the publication of Haddad's definitive response, Moiz Amjad's highly convoluted arguments, with all of their obvious lies and 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>
==The ArgumentsAnalysis==
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.
===The First Argument: Number of Narrators===
{{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.}}
{{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.}}
===The Second Argument: Locality===
{{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.}}
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.}}
===The Third Argument: Reliability of Hisham===
{{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).
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!}}
===The 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)
{{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!"}}
===The 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.
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.
===The 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.
{{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.}}
===The 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.
Using inaccurate data, 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, completely in accordance with the sahih hadiths where Aisha herself said she was nine years old.
===The Eighth Argument: Tabari's Account===
{{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.
{{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.’}}
===The 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.
{{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.}}
===The 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.
{{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."}}
===The 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".
whatsoever.}}
===The 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.
In conclusion, Fatima’s birth date is uncertain. Despite this, Amjad used a non-traditional estimate to cast doubt on Aisha’s age, when the traditional account exactly matches the established facts. Note that Amjad omitted the traditional account in his Ibn Hajar reference, choosing instead one that is clearly in error. Some might view this deliberate omission to be disingenuous.
===The 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.}}
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