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Ayesha’s Age at the Time of Her Marriage – A Response to Innocence of Muslims

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By Qasim Rashid BSc, JD: He is an American-Muslim human rights activist, writer, and lecturer on American-Islamic Issues. He received his Bachelors of Science in Business-Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his Juris Doctorate at Richmond Law. The Richmond Law Faculty selected Qasim from his graduating class to receive the prestigious Nina Kestin Service Award for unsurpassed contribution to the University, the surrounding community, and to legal scholarship.

Ayesha’s Age: A response to the allegation that Ayesha was 6 or 9 when her marriage was consummated with Prophet Muhammad

The vitriolic anti-Islam film, “Innocence of Muslims” has caused quite a worldwide uproar. Newsweek seemed to add to that uproar with their “Muslim Rage” edition. Fortunately, it backfired and #MuslimRage has become the hottest new trend on Twitter. (Follow me @MuslimIQ) Still, Innocence of Muslims makes numerous vile accusations against Islam and its Noble Prophet (sa). One of these allegations is that the Prophet (sa) married Ayesha (rz) when she was underage. I have taken some time to quickly compile two arguments, one my own and one well-researched by another Muslim.

Together, these arguments demonstrate that the allegations levied against both Prophet Muhammad (sa) and Ayesha (rz) are meritless and based wholly on ignorance. The below evidence shows that far from being 6 or 9, Ayesha was likely 15-16 at the time of her consenting marriage, or as old as 18-20. Some scholars assert that she was actually only 12. Even if Hazrat Ayesha (rz) was only 12 at the time of her marriage and consummation, this should not be a cause for alarm for the clear reasons mentioned below.

The First Set of Arguments

The First Argument

The Catholic Encyclopedia says Mary Mother of Jesus (as) was 11 (and Joseph was 90) upon their marriage. [The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Reference of Work on the Constitution, Doctrine, Dicipline, and History of the Catholic Church, New York Robert Appleton Company, Vol. VIII, Pg. 505]. Yet, we do not hear anti-Islam elements raise objection to this recorded fact of history. If Ayesha (rz), even at age 12, was too young to be married, then certainly Mary Mother of Jesus was too young. Likewise, if Prophet Muhammad (sa) at the age of 53 was too old to marry Ayesha, then Joseph at age 90 was certainly too old. Yet, such objections do not exist, demonstrating the double standard anti-Islam individuals assert against Muslims.

The Second Argument

The law of the Talmud holds that a woman is of marriable age when she is 12 yrs and 6 months old and “Marrying off one’s daughter as soon after she reaches adulthood as possible, even to one’s Slave.” Talmud, Pesachim 113a]. Hasidic Jews still practice this tradition that spans back thousands of years. In fact, the Talmud presents some shocking guidance on marriage, also stating, “A maiden aged three years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition, and if her deceased husband’s brother cohabits with her, she becomes his.” [Talmud, Sanhedrin 55b].

Again, no objections are known from anti-Islam individuals to this practice, once again demonstrating the double standard. Historically speaking, Jews, Christians, and Muslims each held a social construct that permitted a person to be married at what our society considers young.

But, recognizing that things like life expectancy and social behavior were much different than they are now, two individuals in their pre or early teens marrying was not at all obscure. This is a fact that Jews, Christians, and Muslims each demonstrated. Most importantly, the concept of social construct must be reiterated. It was not just ancient Jews, Christians, and Muslims that recognized earlier teens or younger as acceptable ages for marriage. This is a concept that permeated our Western societies until only very recently, as explained next.

The Third Argument

For centuries in Scotland, the age of consent for girls was 12—and parental consent was unnecessary. [G T Bisset-Smith. 1st edition. Edinburgh: William Green & Sons, (1902)]. Only in 1929 was the age raised to 16 for girls. [Id.] Consider the facts of appropriate ages to marry of American State Laws. In New Hampshire, the legal age for girls is 13 with parental consent. In Massachusetts, the legal age for girls is 12 with parental consent. In Mississippi, there is no age minimum for girls, as long as there is parental consent. In California, there is no age minimum for girls, as long as there is parental consent. And of course, as we know, Ayesha (rz) certainly had parental consent. This information is available at: http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/table_marriage#g

So the reality is that only recently has social construct decided that 18 is the age of maturity among men and women. Nothing says that 18 is the wrong age, or the right age across all times and places. We can only state that it is the correct age for our time and place, because this is the age we have agreed upon as a society. Thus, in our age, marriage below 18 is either forbidden, or requires certain highly controlled conditions to ensure the rights of the persons under 18 are not usurped. But, to make the jump to accuse Prophet Muhammad (sa) of acting inappropriately, simply because our social construct disagrees with a social construct that our American forefathers, ancient Christian and Muslim cultures, and contemporary Hasidic Jewish cultures practice—such a jump is unqualified and meritless.

But so far, we have only demonstrated that if Ayesha (rz) was married when she was as young as 11 or 12, history and our American forefathers demonstrate that such a marriage was not out of the norm. The next section demonstrates that Ayesha (rz) was 15-16 at the time of her marriage to Prophet Muhammad (sa), and possibly as old as 18-20.

The Second Set of Arguments

*Disclaimer – I am not the author of the below scholarship. I am reposting because it is excellently researched, appropriately referenced, and repudiates the baseless allegations that Prophet Muhammad (sa) married Ayesha (rz) when she was underage. Please read each of the arguments as it soundly responds from every angle to the allegations that Ayesha was under age at the time of her marriage.

The First Argument

Though some of these narratives are reported in Bukhari, 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.

The Second Argument

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.

Again, the argument that all those who heard this narrative from Hisham ibn `urwah were Iraqis, is a simple statement of fact. This can be checked in the biographical sketches of these narrators in any of the books written on the narrators.

The Third Argument

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).

The actual statements, their translations and their complete references are given below:

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)

All the hadith Hisham related regarding the age of Ayesha are from the time he was in Iraq. From a historical and evidentiary perspective, this already puts into severe doubt the veracity of such claims.

The Fourth Argument

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:

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).

So now we have evidence that when Hisham related the traditions related to Ayesha’s age, he did so while his memory suffered severely. Already, no court of law would consider such testimony valid, not even in a civil court where the burden of proof is quite low compared to a criminal court.

The Fifth Argument

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:

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)

Ayesha was married after Hijrah (migration). Thus, if she could recall that Chapter 54 was revealed, she must have been at least 3-5 years old, plus the 9 years before hijrah, which places her at 12-14 before Hijrah and at least 14-16 before marriage. This makes it impossible that she was 9.

The Sixth Argument

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:

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.

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.

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.”

This battle took place before Ayesha’s marriage to Prophet Muhammad, so now we see that she was at least 15-16 years old.

The Seventh Argument

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:

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)

According to Ibn Kathir:

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)

For Asma’s (ra) Age at Her Death in 73 AH

According to Ibn Kathir:

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).

According to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy:

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)

The Eighth Argument

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.

The original statement in Tabari, its translation and reference follows:

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)

The Ninth Argument

My ninth argument was:

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).

The Tenth Argument

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

The Eleventh Argument

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.

The Twelfth Argument

According to Ibn Hajar, Fatimah (ra), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, 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:

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)

These are all the references for the material I provided in my initial response.

Critics cite that Tabari, Abu Dawood, and Bukhari also says Ayesha was 9. Such critics miss the point on Hisham ibn `urwah. They are unaware of the fact that each one these traditions, whether it is from Tabari, Bukhari, Muslim or Abu Dawood, is either narrated by Hisham ibn `urwah or is reported to the respective author by or through an Iraqi. Not even a single narrative is free from either of the two problems.

I have quoted Tabari, Bukhari and Muslim to show that even their own information contradicts with the narrative regarding Ayesha‘s (ra) age. Thus, when the narrative of Ayesha‘s (ra) age is not reliable and when there is information in the same books that contradicts the narrative of Ayesha‘s age, I see absolutely no reason to believe that the information on Ayesha‘s (ra) age is accepted (when there are adequate grounds to reject it) and the other (contradictory) information is rejected (when there is no ground to reject it).

Conclusion

Thus, taking all facts into consideration, it is clear that the allegation proposed in Innocence of Muslims is one without merit, one no person of intelligence can accept. Prophet Muhammad (sa) and Ayesha (rz) enjoyed a loving, mutual, consenting, legal, and sincere marriage—one to be emulated by all people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. As a final point, I encourage readers to also check out ‘s excellent piece on Ayesha (rz) published in The Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/sep/17/muhammad-aisha-truth

Posted by on September 19, 2012. Filed under Ahmadiyyat: True Islam,Asia,ISLAM. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

14 Responses to Ayesha’s Age at the Time of Her Marriage – A Response to Innocence of Muslims

  1. Zia H. Shah

    September 19, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Hadhrat Ayesha: A loving wife of the Holy Prophet of Islam

    This is an article by Dr. Khaula Rehman, published in spring 2010 volume of Muslim Sunrise.

    Different cultures in the past had different norms about marriage, for example, we know about the great Chinese sage, possibly a prophet of God, Confucius that his father Shu-liang, was a very old man and his mother a mere girl in her teens when Confucius was conceived. I have never known any Westerner raise hue and cry about this age disparity.

    Ayesha’s marriage at a young and impressionable age and the mutual love and harmony of her marriage helped her idealize her husband and his teachings to such a degree that she became a perfect student and an ideal teacher for generations to come. To read the whole article go to:

    http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/2010_spring.pdf#page=38

  2. Zia H. Shah

    September 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Age of Confucius parents and the double standard in the West
    Different cultures in the past had different norms about marriage, for example, we know about the great Chinese sage, possibly a prophet of God, Confucius that his father Shu-liang, was a very old man and his mother a mere girl in her teens when Confucius was conceived. I have never known any Westerner raise hue and cry about this age disparity.

    All too prevalent criticism of Hadhrat Ayesha’s age at the time of marriage only reveals the old rivalries and jealousy of the Christendom against the Holy Prophet Muhammad, otherwise the West never judges other cultures of the past so harshly on the anvil of modern day standards.

    The reference of the age of Confucius parents:

    Prof. Mark W Muesse. Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. The Great Courses transcript book, 2010. Page 40.

  3. Zia H. Shah

    September 19, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Thomas Carlyle about Prophet Muhammad’s wives
    The Prohet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, married Hadhrat Khadija when he was 25 years of age. She was 15 years his senior. The Christian apologists never worry about this age difference in marriage and that exposes their negativity when it comes to the marriage of Hadhrat Ayesha.

    Until the age of 53 the prophet had only one wife and it was only after the tragic death of Hadhrat Khadija that he married again.

    Thomas Carlyle, the great British historian writes about this particular situation in the Prophet’s life as follows:

    How he was placed with Kadijah, a rich Widow, as her steward, and travelled in her business, again to the Fairs of Syria; how he managed all, as one can well understand, with fidelity and adroitness; how her gratitude, her regard for him grew: the story of their marriage is altogether a graceful intelligible one, as told us by the Arab authors. He was twenty five; she forty, though still beautiful. He seems to have lived in a most affectionate, peaceable, wholesome way with this wedded benefactress; loving her truly, and her alone. It goes greatly against the impostor theory, the fact that he lived in this entirely unexceptionable, entirely quiet and commonplace way, till the heat of his years was done.

    Reference: Thomas Carlyle. On heroes, hero-worship and the heroic in history.

  4. Zia H. Shah

    September 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Hadhrat Ayesha’s Age at the Time of Her Marriage

    By Shazim Ahmad (Facebook)

    Hadhrat Ayesha (ra) was the third wife o f the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the daughter of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hadhrat Zaynab (ra) (Um Rumaan). She was young when she married the Holy Prophet, but her age was never an issue until it has recently become an issue for Islamophobic writers. It is important to note that any Hadith which does not conform to the teachings of the Qur’an should be rejected for the obvious reasons that the Qur’an is the word of God and has been precisely preserved, whereas the Ahadith are collections of sayings of the Holy Prophet (saw) recorded long after the Prophet’s death. Looking at truly authentic sources, the Holy Qur’an states:

    ‘And assess the orphans until they attain the age of marriage; then, if you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them.’ (Al Qur’an 4:7). Thus the Qur’an gives a clear definition of adulthood and marriageable age – when one has attained a good measure of mental maturity. As such, the property of the orphans must be handed over to them when they have mature intellect to properly manage it. So the Qur’an rejects the marriage of immature girls and boys as well as entrusting them with serious responsibilities. Hadhrat Ayesha (ra), when asked to describe the Prophet’s character; answered that his character was the Qur’an (Abu Dawud). What he did was what the Qur’an taught; what the Qur’an taught was nothing else than what he did. Thus, the Holy Prophet (saw) could not have married a little immature child as it is against the teachings of the Holy Qur’an.

    Most historians agree with the following dates in the history of Islam:

    • 610 AD: Islam was founded when the Prophet received his first revelation

    • 615 AD: Muslims migrated to Abyssinia.

    • 621 AD: Hadhrat Ayesha (ra) was engaged to the Prophet Muhammad (saw)

    • 622 AD : Migration to Madina (End of 622)

    • 625 AD: Hadhrat Ayesha (ra) was married to the Prophet.

    The time before Islam is known as the time of ignorance. Tabari in his treatise on Islamic history, reports, “In the time of ignorance he [Abu Bakr] married Um Rumaan. … She bore him Abdul Rahman and Ayesha. All of his four children which are mentioned here were born during the time of ignorance.” i.e before 610 AD.

    There is a fifteen year period from the beginning of Islam to the marriage of the Prophet with Ayesha. {Tareekh-e-Tabari Vol 1 Part-II, P-250}. If Ayesha was born before Islam, thus in the time of ignorance, then she was at least 15 years old at the time of her marriage One hadith states that Ayesha said: “This revelation: ‘Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time (for their full recompense), and the Hour will be more grievous and more bitter’ (54:47) was revealed to Muhammad (saw) at Makkah while I was a playful girl.” {Sahih Bukhari. Vol.6 , book 60, hadith 399}. The general consensus is that Chapter 54 was revealed eight years before migration to Medina, indicating that it was revealed in 615 AD. If Ayesha was a young girl of even 4 or 5 in 615 AD when this chapter was revealed, she would have been 14 or 15 at the time of marriage.

    Read more: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2011/12/religion/islam/hadhrat-ayesha%e2%80%99s-r-a-age-at-the-time-of-her-marriage#ixzz26uxaqcbp

  5. leila elkhalil

    September 19, 2012 at 11:02 am

    here we go again those individuals who make a living trashing others should be investigated for they themselves most likely are buried in trash and they should be brought to justice, because the venom that comes from them is a threat to our children and the moral fabric of our society which they aim to destroy in the name of freedom of expression.How long will it take our legal justice system to figure out the difference between freedom of expression and tresspassing beyond boundaries which is causing all the violence and turmoil in the world we see today.

  6. anisa

    September 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    All the arguments presented by brother Zia Saheb are very strong and undeniable. And all the rlating post posted here for shedding some further light are too very solid.
    They are absolute facts.Masha’Allah. I salute him for his efforts.

  7. Yundola

    September 20, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Acutally I dont care whoelse in history also married a child. I dont justify one of these marriages. The thing is muslims defend ALL the things Mohammed did, whereas all other societies/religions change and adapt their moral standards. Why not questioning things and even chritizise them? Who from you who is a father would marry his 12 or 14 year old daughter with a 60 year old guy? Which girl wants that voluntarily? Come on, you would think the same as I would think. Moreover today the puberty starts much earlier than it was hundreds of years ago. That Aisha was “already” 12/14 years old is not consent since in Iran after Khomeinis seize of power, he lowered the age of marriage to 9 years to be closer to true islam. But that again seems to be a matter of a different treatment of the hadiths.

  8. Zia H. Shah

    September 20, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Dear Yundola, the age of Ayesha’s marriage would have been buried in the pages of history, with no one knowing it or talking about it, like the disparity in the age of marriage of Confucius’ parents or of age of marriage of Mother Mary, except that only way irrationalities of Christianities can be defended against the core rationalities of Islam is by switching the debate from fundamental and core issues to peripheral issues with some emotional appeal.

    If we focus on God and salvation then the discussion goes to Trinity and vicarious atonement and unlike Jesus, who was resuscitated after being put on the cross, Christianity cannot be resuscitated. Please read Thomas Payne’s, Age of reason. Mark Twain said:

    It took a brave man before the Civil War to confess he had read the Age of Reason … I read it first when I was a cub pilot, read it with fear and hesitation, but marveling at its fearlessness and wonderful power.

    Payne, who was one of the Founding Fathers, solved the mystery of Christianity in two paragraphs with a whole big book yet to go. He gave us criterion to judge as almost a one-liner:

    The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.

    He wrote about vicarious atonement:

    From the time I was capable of conceiving an idea, and acting upon it by reflection, I either doubted the truth of the Christian system, or thought it to be a strange affair; I scarcely knew which it was: but I well remember, when about seven or eight years of age, hearing a sermon read by a relation of mine, who was a great devotee of the church, upon the subject of what is called Redemption by the death of the Son of God. After the sermon was ended, I went into the garden, and as I was going down the garden steps (for I perfectly recollect the spot) I revolted at the recollection of what I had heard, and thought to myself that it was making God Almighty act like a passionate man, that killed his son, when he could not revenge himself any other way; and as I was sure a man would be hanged that did such a thing, I could not see for what purpose they preached such sermons. This was not one of those kind of thoughts that had anything in it of childish levity; it was to me a serious reflection, arising from the idea I had that God was too good to do such an action, and also too almighty to be under any necessity of doing it. I believe in the same manner to this moment; and I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system.

  9. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    September 21, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Well, I seem to be in good company, because that is more or less exactly what I felt when ‘I was capable of conceiving an idea’. (although I do not recall the exact spot in the garden…).

  10. Yundola

    September 21, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Dear Zia,

    I could also give you 20 statements from other famous people that say islam is not a “true system”. You stated that core irationalities can only defended by sticking to peripheral irationalities of islam. In my opinion the lifestyle of Mohammed is the most fundamental thing at all in islam. Thats why criticism and even the mention of stories of his life are forbidden and supressed by violence if they dont fit the agenda. Kind of paradox, either you accept him fully with all he has done, or you just say he was not perfect and did things that were not good. The latter you wont do, so you try to avoid discussions about his lifestyle that dont fit your personal idea of a moral life or try to justify them with weird explanations. Not you personally, but most of the muslim world in general. As if whole islam would collapse like a house of cards if there were really open discussions about your religion with regards not only to positive things. And when you look at your hadith and see what Mohammed did you cant say that he is a prophet and at the same the Jesus is a prophet. And in my opinion its a totally minority opinion to reject so many hadith as being fictional. But thats just an opinion and maybe you are right and the rest of muslims is wrong. Only one can be a “prophet” otherwise God suffers from a personality disorder. Maybe Buddha, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Mother Therese would be appropriate for prophets but not people with a totally different lifestyle of Jesus. I wont tell exactly what I am refering to otherwise my post maybe would be deleted here although i would only refer to islamic scriptures and not to some fictional anti islam stuff. Kind of paradox, is it? Concering trinity, of course there are arguments that are convincing that trinity is not “true” as well as the otherway round, but your claim is somehow wrong. Trinity is the most peripheral thing in christianity. Christians dont bother with that at all. When they live they just ask themselves: “What would Jesus do in this situation”?. Thats what matters. So maybe trinity is just a theological construction or even wrong with regards to the bible? Who cares? I did not even look in the bible and search for verses that proof or falsify trinity. The values Jesus taught are important and nothing more. An atheist who is peaceful and does not judge people by their religion is closer to God than a christian who feels superior and discriminates against other people.

  11. Zia H. Shah

    September 21, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Thank you. We need to learn from each other and that will reduce the gulf that exists in our views.

    Muhammad: the Light for the Dark Ages of Europe!

    An honest study of the causes of the Dark Ages and European renaissance will lead to the inevitable conclusion that Muhammad, may peace be on him, was the Light and the Messiah of the Dark Ages. John Davenport writes in, an apology for Mohammed and the Koran: ”It is in the compositions of Friar Bacon, who was born in 1214, and who learned the Oriental languages, that we discover the most extensive acquaintance with the Arabian authors. He quotes Albumazar, Thabet-Ebu-Corah, Ali Alhacer, Alkandi, Alfraganus and Arzakeb; and seems to have been as familiar with them as with the Greek and Latin classics, especially with Avicenna, whom he calls ‘the chief and prince of philosophy.’ The great Lord Bacon, it is well known, imbibed and borrowed the first principles of his famous experimental philosophy from his predecessor and namesake Roger Bacon, a fact which indisputably establishes the derivation of the Baconian philosophical system from the descendants of Ishmael and disciples of Mohammed.” In a short paragraph, John Davenport has very precisely identified all the links in the human intellectual evolution. Additionally, his book, which is available in Google books, is a master piece in the defense of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. Read his two page Preface and he is standing shoulder to shoulder with other great defenders of the Prophet Muhammad in the Western world, like Thomas Carlyle. Unfortunately, some Western scientists and historians propose the European science to be some sort of magical wand and what preceded it as not good enough or label it as pre-science or mystical science etc!

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?” Alphonse de Lamartine
    Allow me to make the lion’s share of my case by quoting a classic book History of the Moorish Empire in Europe published in 1904 in three volumes and extending over more than 2000 pages. The insightful writer, Samuel Parsons Scott, a lawyer from Hillsboro Ohio writes, as he attributes all the success of Europe to the Prophet Muhammad:

    Unlike most theological systems to which men, in all ages, have rendered their obedient and pious homage, no mystery obscures the origin and foundation of Islam. The purity and simplicity of its principles have undergone no change. Its history has been preserved by the diligence of innumerable writers. The life and characteristics of its Prophet, even to the smallest detail, are accessible to the curiosity of every enterprising scholar.

    The austere character of a faith which, at its inception, exacts a rigid compliance with the minutest formalities of its ritual, naturally becomes relaxed and modified after that system has attained to worldly importance and imperial authority; or, in the language of one of the greatest of modern writers, ‘a dominant religion is never ascetic.’ It is strange that Islam, which, in this respect, as in many others, has conformed to the general law of humanity, and now acknowledges tenets and allows practices that would have struck the subjects of Abu-Bekr and Omar with amazement, has been able to preserve in such perfection the observance of its ceremonial; especially when it had no organized sacerdotal power to sustain it. The absence of an ecclesiastical order which could dictate the policy of the throne, and humble the pride of the ermine and purple with the dust in the presence of some audacious zealot, also left untrammelled the way for scientific investigation and research, and, more than all else, contributed to dispel the darkness of mediaeval times. The doctrine of toleration enunciated by Mohammed gave no encouragement to that system of repression whose activity has exhausted every means of checking the growth of philosophical knowledge, by imposing the most direful spiritual and temporal penalties upon every teacher who ventures to publicly explain its principles; and it is a matter of far deeper import to the civilization of the twentieth century, than is implied by the mere performance of an act of devotion, when the Temple of Mecca—the seat of a time-honored faith, from whose shrine emanated the spirit of learning that redeemed degraded Europe—is saluted five times every day by the reverent homage of concentric circles of believers, one hundred and fifty million in number, from Tangier to Pekin, from the borders of Siberia to the Equinoctial Line.

    We may well consider with admiration the rapid progress and enduring effects of this extraordinary religion which everywhere brought order, wealth, and happiness in its train; which, in destroying the deities of the Kaaba, swept away the traditions of thirty centuries; which adopted those pagan rites that it could not abolish; which seized and retained the birthplace of Christianity; which dispersed over so wide a territory alike the theocracy of the Jews and the ritual of Rome; which drove the Magi from the blazing altars of Persia; which usurped the throne and sceptre of the Byzantine Church; which supplanted the fetichism of the African desert; which trampled upon the mysteries of Isis, Osiris, and Horus, and revealed to the wondering Egyptians the secret of the Most High God; which invaded the Councils of Catholicism, and suggested a fundamental article of its belief; which fashioned the graceful arches of our most famous cathedrals; which placed its seal upon the earth in the measurement of a degree, and inscribed its characters in living light amidst the glittering constellations of the heavens; which has left its traces in the most familiar terms of the languages of Europe; which affords daily proof of its beneficent offices in the garments that we wear, in the books that we read, in the grains of our harvests, in the fruits of our orchards, in the flowers of our gardens; and which gave rise to successive dynasties of sovereigns, whose supreme ambition seemed to be to exalt the character of their subjects, to transmit unimpaired to posterity the inestimable treasures of knowledge, and to extend and perpetuate the intellectual empire of man. These signal and unparallelled results were effected by the inflexible constancy, the lofty genius, the political sagacity, of an Arabian shepherd, deficient in the very rudiments of learning, reared among a barbarous people divided into tribes whose mutual hostility had been intensified by centuries of warfare, who had no organized system of government, who considered the mechanical and mercantile arts degrading, who recognized no law but that of force, and knew no gods but a herd of grotesque and monstrous idols. Robbery was their profession, murder their pastime. Except within the precincts of their camp, no friend, unless connected by the sacred ties of blood, was secure. They devoured the flesh of enemies slain in battle. Deceit always excepted, cruelty was their most prominent national characteristic. Their offensive arrogance, relentless enmity, and obstinate tenacity of purpose were, in a direct ratio to their ignorance and their brutalizing superstition, confirmed by the prodigies, the omens, and the legends of ages.

    To undertake the radical amelioration of such political and social conditions was a task of appalling, of apparently insuperable difficulty. Its fortunate accomplishment may not indicate the active interposition of Divine authority. The glories which invest the history of Islam may be entirely derived from the valor, the virtue, the intelligence, the genius, of man. If this be conceded, the largest measure of credit is due to him who conceived its plan, promoted its impulse, and formulated the rules which insured its success. In any event, if the object of religion be the inculcation of morals, the diminution of evil, the promotion of human happiness, the expansion of the human intellect; if the performance of good works will avail in that great day when mankind shall be summoned to its final reckoning, it is neither irreverent nor unreasonable to admit that Mohammed was indeed an Apostle of God.[1]

    Read the whole article.

  12. zakaria daud

    September 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Unfortunately the Islamophbians and enemies of Islam, by willful intention, stir up the Muslim world into a frenzy every now and then. This film is another of the sequence. Best way is to reply with reason and logical references like it has been done by the author of this article. Instead of Hundreds of thousands of emotional Muslims shouting in the streets it would be better to bring out thousands of logical and convincing essays in the entire media for every sane person to know the difference between truth and a malafide lie. The Muslim world is damaging itself by this show of impatience and protest. It can not deter others to come up with more shameless articles and films on the so called free media. It will encourage others to come out with more vitriolic material than this. In fact any one who commits such a shameless act of desecrating other’s religion gains world wide fame and then sits down comfortably in his/her cozy domain chuckling at the frenzy he/she has created. We must, therefore, write and make documentaries refuting such atrocious attacks on our religion and put them up on U-Tube for everyone to see the light.

  13. Nasir A Bhatti

    September 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Zia H Shah Sb I congratulate you for your excellent response & presentation of beautiful rebuttal by a non Muslim on the character of our noble Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (saw). It is so pleasing and satisfying that i dont have words of expressing my feelings of satisfaction. MasahAllah. May Allah reward you handsomely. Ameen

  14. Zia H. Shah

    September 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Nasir A Bhatti. May Allah continue to shower blessings on the Muslim Times! Please popularize the Muslim Times among friends and family.

    Best Regards!

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