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A'isha was not a child when the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) married her 

Section : Articles   ||   Date : 2010 / 06 / 17   ||   Reading : 19872

This article is the transcription of a lecture delivered by His Eminence Allama Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib

Enemies of Islam be they Christians, Jews or other groups have often used the matter of the Prophet's marriage (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) to A'isha as a weapon against this Great Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family). They rely on that which was spread by A'isha about her having been married off to the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) when she was a girl of six and that he consummated his marriage to her when she was a girl of only nine. They say: "Look at how this old man married an innocent little girl young enough to be his granddaughter when he was over fifty years old! How could he live with himself taking away her childhood to satisfy his own needs? What sort of a Prophet is this who does something so inhumane?"

In spite of the fact that the account of the Prophet's marriage (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) to A'isha when she was a child is not told by anyone else but A'isha herself we find no hadith nabawi or any other hadith from a reliable source about it the enemies of Islam continue to spread these lies dreamt up by A'isha without any proper historical research. They just rely on the accounts to be found in the Bakri sect's sources.

In fact those with a grudge against the Master of Prophets (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) have exploited the fabricated hadith spread by A'isha through which she wanted to make people think that for the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family), she was the youngest, most radiant, most beautiful and the favourite among his wives. Her claim that she was just a delicate and innocent child who was ripped away from her swing on which she used to play with her little friends when her mother shouted out to her and led her away so roughly that she could hardly catch her breath without her knowing what was going to happen or what she was wanted for to take her to the house of the Prophet who frightened her when he walked in on her when the bitter truth became clear to her that she had suddenly become a wife.

Firstly, let us shed light on the hadith fabricated by A'isha. Bukhari narrates on the authority of Hisham on the authority of his father on the authority of A'isha who said: "The Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) married me when I was a girl of six. We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani al-Harith Ibn Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell out. Later on my hair grew back and my mother, Umm Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing settled down, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age." (Sahih al-Bukhari vol 4 p251 and Sahih Muslim vol 4 p141).

In another hadith A'isha paints a picture of what happened to her in another scenario no less full of tragedy than the last because she claims that her mother sat her down when she was just a poor child on the lap of her husband who treated her cheaply and consummated his marriage to her in the house of her father. No wedding banquet was laid on for her to celebrate her marriage to him. No one else even brought them anything to eat!"

Ibn Hanbal reports on the authority of A'isha that she said, "My mother came to me while I was being swung on a swing between two branches and got me down. My nurse took over and wiped my face with some water and started leading me. When I was at the door she stopped so I could catch my breath. I was brought in while Muhammad was sitting on a bed in our house. Men and women from the Ansar were with him. She sat me down on his lap. Then, she said: "This is your family. May Allah bless you with them and may Allah bless them with you. The men and women jumped up and went out and the Messenger of Allah consummated his marriage to me in our house. No camel was slaughtered for me and no sheep was slaughtered for me until Sa'd Ibn Ibada sent us a bowl of grapes, something he would send to the Messenger of Allah whenever he would go round to his wives. At that time I was a girl of nine." (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal vol 6, p211)

In order to back up her claim that she was an innocent child who did not understand what was going on around her, she came up with another account in which she claimed that when she got married to the Prophet, (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) she still had the dolls and figures she used to play with.

Muslim reports on the authority of Urwa on the authority of A'isha: "The Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) married her when she was a girl of seven and she 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." (Sahih Muslim vol 4 p142)

Moreover she claimed that she carried on playing with her dolls even after her move to the marital home and that the Greatest Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) would find it soothing and would help her play with her little friends even though they would run away from him because they were scared of him.

Muslim reported on the authority of Hisham Ibn Urwa on the authority of A'isha, "That she used to play with girls in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family). She said, 'My friends would come to me and would hide from the Messenger of Allah!' She said: 'So the Messenger of Allah would call to them to play with me." (Sahih Muslim vol 7 p135 and similarly Sahih Ibn Hiban vol 13 p174 and Mu'jam al-Tabarani vol 23 p21).

Ibn Sa'd reports on the authority of Urwa on the authority of A'isha that she said, "The Messenger of Allah walked in on me one day while I was playing with some girls and he said, 'What is this, A'isha?' So she said Sulayman's horse and he laughed." (Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa'd vol 8 p62).

This is how A'isha tried to hold together this fictitious account of her being young when she married the Greatest Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) except that no matter how hard the creators of the false account tried to hold it together, it just falls apart as one can see. Now let us respond to these lies in line with scientific and historical facts, even those recorded in sources belonging to the Bakri sect.

Firstly, if A'isha's claims had been true, she would not have contradicted herself. We have already seen the discrepancy between her saying that when she got married she was "a girl of six" and her saying "a girl of seven". Both statements are reported on the authority of her nephew 'Urwa'.

Secondly, Bukhari narrates on the authority of Hisham on the authority of his father who said, "Khadija passed away three years before the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) left for Madina. He let two years pass, more or less and then he married A'isha, a girl of six. Then he consummated his marriage to her when she was a girl of nine." (Sahih al-Bukhari vol 4 p252)

The opponents [to Ahlulbayt i.e. al-mukhalifun] treat this hadith as if it is also narrated on the authority of A'isha herself for Ibn Hajar says, "This appears mursal but given that it is narrated by 'Urwa', what with his detailed knowledge of A'isha's life story it is also deemed to be narrated on her authority." (Fath al-Bari fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani vol 7 p175)

This hadith would mean that A'isha's wedding could only have taken place the year before the hijra in view of the fact that she was a girl of six, because after Khadija's passing (Allah's blessings upon Her) the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) let two years pass, more or less, without remarrying. Khadija (Peace be upon Her) passed away three years before the hijra. Then, His having consummated His marriage to A'isha when she was a girl of nine could only have taken place two years after the hijra because this is the time interval between when she was six and when she was nine. A'isha would only have been nine two years after the hijra. On this basis the length of time she lived with the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) could not have been more than eight years because as everyone knows He became a martyr in year ten (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family).

This contradicts what A'isha claimed according to Muslim's hadith mentioned above which said that she was taken as a bride, along with her dolls to the Prophet's house (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) when she was a girl of nine and that he died when she was a girl of eighteen which means that she lived with him for nine years. This is confirmed in another hadith narrated by Bukhari on the authority of Hisham on the authority of his father, also on the authority of A'isha: "The Prophet married her when she was a girl of six and she was taken to his house when she was a girl of nine and she lived with him for nine years" (Sahih al-Bukhari vol 6 p134).

The hadiths cancel each other out. If the first is authentic, then the length of time A'isha lived with the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) was not nine years and if the second is authentic, then the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) did not marry her the year before the hijra or two years after the Mother of the Believers Khadija al-Kubra's passed away.

This is another contradiction A'isha has dropped herself into even though both sayings are narrated along the same chain [of narration] i.e. Hisham on the authority of her nephew Urwa. This contradiction obviously shows up the lie and fabrication. The Bakri sect cannot mitigate by saying something like these hadith are weak because they have decided that they are all authentic and to be without a doubt on the authority of A'isha.

Thirdly A'isha claimed that the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) said, "Oh Allah! In particular, strengthen Islam with Omar Ibn al-Khattab." (Mustadrak al-Hakim vol 3 p83).
We are not in the process of refuting this hadith, or proving that it was fabricated by A'isha; we only wanted to rely on it to prove a point. We say that this hadith is claimed to have been uttered before Omar had begun pretending to be a Muslim on the pretext that his Islam had come as an answer to the Messenger of Allah's du'a (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family). A'isha claims that she heard it from the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) and that she narrates it directly from him.

According to the Bakri sect Omar's conversion to Islam was in the sixth year after the Prophetic Mission had begun i.e. about seven years before the hijra. It was stated above that A'isha was a girl of six the year before the hijra which means that seven years before the hijra she was still either in her mother's womb or a suckling babe incapable of rational thought. How could she have heard or been aware of this hadith allegedly uttered by the Holiest Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family)?

If what she claimed about her being young and her being a girl of six when she got married, she had no business falsely attributing this fabricated hadith to the Messenger of Allah (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family). And if it was not authentic then the point is still proven i.e. that she was much older than that because according to the claim, she heard the hadith, understood it and narrated it.
This is a third contradiction to add to the aforementioned contradictions which prove that it is a fabrication and a lie but what is most damaging of all is that they are all narrated through an authentic chain of transmission on the authority of Hisham on the authority of his father 'Urwa'. How does one escape that?

Fourthly: Ibn Qutayba says by way of comment on A'isha's hadith about her marriage when she was a girl of nine: "And she lived until the time when Mu'awiya was the Caliph and she passed away in the year fifty eight when she was nearly seventy. She was asked, "Shall we bury you next to the Messenger of Allah?" She replied, "But I did wrong. Bury me with my sisters." So she was buried in the Baqi' [cemetery] and she appointed Abdallah Ibn Zubayr as her executor. (Al-Ma'arif by Ibn Qutayba p29).

Al-Birri said, "She passed away in the fifty ninth year after the hijra towards the end of Mu'awiya's reign as Caliph. She was nearly seventy. It was on a Monday night, the night before the seventeenth of Ramadan." (Al-Jawhara fi Nisab al-Nabi wa Ashabihi al-'Ashara by Al-Birri vol 1 p216).

Ibn Abd Rabbih said, "After his death, she lived on right up to the days of Mu'awiya and she died in the fifty eighth year. She was nearly seventy. (Al-Iqd al-Farid by Ibn Abd Rabbih vol 2 p71).

Al-Maqdisi said, "He married A'isha in Makkah the year before the hijra () A'isha passed away during the time of Mu'awiya. She was nearly seventy. He said to her, "Should we not bury you in your house with the Messenger of Allah?" She replied, "No. I did wrong after His death." (Al-bid' wa al-Tarikh by Al-Maqdisi vol 1 p260).

On this basis, A'isha's age would have been roughly twelve the year before the hijra, the year in which the Greatest Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) married her (as mentioned above). What a far cry this is from her saying that she was a girl of six or seven!".

Even if we were to work on the presumption that what they meant by "nearly seventy" at her death was that she reached the age of sixty seven as some of them have stated then she would have been a girl of nine when she got married, not a girl of six or seven except for the fact that we also reject their account that she got married the year before the hijra. We refer back to the objection raised in the second point (above). There is shown to be a contradiction which disproves her claim.

Fifthly, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani says about Asma' daughter of Abu Bakr, "She was the mother of Abdallah son of Al-Zubayr. She became a Muslim a long time ago in Makkah and pledged allegiance to the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family). She was ten years older than A'isha and died less than a month after her son was killed. She was a hundred years old. That was in the year seventy three. (Subul al-Salam by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani vol 1 p39).

Al-Baihaqi and Al-Dhahabi narrate on the authority of Ibn Abi al-Zinad that he said, "Asma' daughter of Abu Bakr was ten years older than A'isha. (Sunan al-Baihaqi vol 6 p204 and Siyar  al-Nubala' by Al-Dhahabi vol 2 p289)

Similarly, Al-Nawawi narrates on the authority of Hafiz Abu Na'im that he said, "Asma' was born twenty seven years before the Messenger of Allah's hijra (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family). Her father Abu Bakr was twenty one years old when she was born." (Tahdhib al-Asma' by Al-Nawawi vol 3 p223).

The conclusion to be reached from these narrations is that Asma was twenty seven years old the year before the hijra and given that she was ten years older than her sister A'isha, A'isha's age was about seventeen at that time. That was the year in which she got married. What a far cry this is from her claim that she was a girl of six or seven. So the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) consummated his marriage to her when she was nearly twenty not a girl of nine.

This is how the lie told by A'isha is exposed. It was her intention to pretend to be younger and fool people into thinking that she was an innocent child who was married against her will to a really old man. In fact, A'isha was nearly twenty at the time meaning that she was a grown up woman and not a child as she claimed.

The age difference between her and between the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) was about 33 years which is much less than the age difference between Joseph the Carpenter and Our Lady, the Virgin Mary (Peace be upon Her) when she got married or when they got engaged to each other. Mary's age was between just 12 and 14 while Joseph's was about 90.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age, Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old" (Website). That means that the age difference between Joseph and Mary was about 77 years. That is more than double the difference between the Prophet Muhammad (Allah's Peace and Blessings upon Him and His pure Family) and A'isha. So why is there no outcry over this matter too?


 



 
 

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