Quoted from above
[He does not know,like his Parvezi friends, that the narration about the age of Ayesha, r.a., is NOT from Prophet Muhammad, pbuh. Thus it is NOT a Hadithe Muhammadi, pbuh.
Also, there is NO hadith from Muhammad, pbuh, urging Muslims to marry 9 year olds.]
The above criticism is unjustified in that the narrator of the hadith is not relevant, since the Mullahs and historians accept this hadith as a Sunnah. There are websites that say that girls in hot countries ‘develop’ faster, or, as stated, they do not find it wrong since everyone does it! Every excuse can be brought to justify the obscenity but it is based on hadith that are believed to be authentic. Whether we like it or not, hadith and Islam go together; they are one and the same to the majority Muslims and majority non-Muslims. Try telling a Mullah that they are false and see how far you get.
My Parvezi friends” are totally against child abuse, which underage marriage is, and to combat this Parwez Sahib showed from the hadith itself that Ayesha was between 15 to 19years old at the time of her marriage. Now, Dr Shabbir Saab has a reference to her age at around 46 years old, but since this is not available, no Mullah is going to accept the good Dr Saab’s word. Also, the Quranic verses on age of consent have been twisted to mean that all that is required is a nod of the head, or approval by silence! Black and white, written evidence, is called for to counter the underage obscenity. Parwez did that, the Mullahs could not challenge his evidence (it was their beloved hadith) so he had a thousand of them issue fatwa’s against him for this, as well as numerous other truths he advanced against their falsehoods.
Excerpt form 'Letters To Tahira: Ayesha's Age at the Time of Marriage' (Parwez)
The example of Ayesha (RA) is often cited in support of child marriage. It is believed that her nikah with the Prophet (SA) was performed when she was 6, and the consummation of the marriage when she was 9. This is and has been a very important issue throughout history.
One of the things unanimously agreed upon in the modern Muslim world is that Ayesha was 6 years old at the time of her nikah and 9 at the time she entered the Prophet’s (SA) house. This belief is so unanimously agreed upon that any research on the topic is considered not only superfluous, but a type of blasphemy. The source of this belief is the myriad traditions found in Bukhari, Tabri, Tabqaat, etc. However, in these same books and ones like them are traditions that refute the above stated position and present a contradictory one that says Ayesha’s age upon marriage was much greater.
Before exploring this issue, two or three introductory facts must be understood. First, the verses in the Quran concerning marriage and divorce were revealed after Hijrah, and because Ayesha’s marriage is thought to have occurred near the time of Hijrah, it was obviously before these revelations. Also, during that time, there was a custom among the Arabs to confirm the engagement of two people before marriage. The Quran only mentions nikah, not engagement, thus, when it is said that Ayesha’s nikah was at age 6 and marriage at age 9, the nikah indicates the custom of confirming the engagement, and the latter refers to the consummation of the marriage. Thus, the real question is, When was Ayesha’s actual marriage?
The second point is that the Arabs did not have a calendar. They did not know exact dates, but measured events against natural occurrences. For example, Naseema was born in the year of the big earthquake, and Omar was born a little before that. Another example: RasoolAllah (SA) was born in the year of Al-Fil. Furthermore, if the month is not given then a year’s difference can be accrued. If someone is born in 1978 and the month is not known, there are two possibilities: if the month of birth was January, then the year of birth would be counted, but if it was December, one should start counting from 1979, leading to a year’s difference.
The final point is that the popularization of the calendar occurred during the khilafat of Omar, and its foundation was the Hijrah. Even though the Hijrah was in Rabi al-Awal, the whole year is counted from Muharram. Before the Hijrah, years were counted from the nabuwwah (prophethood) of RasoolAllah (SA); when he was in his 40th year he received the first revelation. After this he stayed in Mecca for 13 years, then the Hijrah took place; in other words, RasoolAllah (SA) completed his 53rd year and began his 54th, then did Hijrah. If the first year of the nabuwwah is counted, then the Hijrah took place in the 15th year nabawwi, and if it is not counted, then it is 14th nabawwi.
In Asad Al-Ghaba’s collection of traditions (volume 4, page 377) it is reported:
Fatima (RA) was about 5 years older than Ayesha (RA).
Hence, to find out Ayesha’s birth date we must find out Fatima’s.
Abbas went to Ali’s house, and Fatima was saying to Ali that she was older than him. So Abbas told Fatima that she was born in the year the Quraish were building the Kaaba and Ali was born a few years before that (Al-Ghaba, vol. 4, pg. 280).
Fatima was born in the year the Quraish were building the Kaaba and when the messenger of Allah was 35 years old (Al-Ghaba, vol. 4, pg. 377)
Fatima is the daughter of RasoolAllah. Khadija was her mother. Fatima was born in the year the Kaaba was being built, and that was 5 years before the nabuwwah (Tabqaat ibn Saad, vol. 8, pg. 11).
Abbas went to Ali’s house, and he heard Fatima saying to Ali that she was older. So Abbas said to them that Fatima was born when the Quraish were building the Kaaba and Muhammad (SA) was 35, and Ali a few years before that (ibn Saad, vol. 8, pg. 17).
Upon her death, what was Fatima’s age; there are many differences. Zubair bin Bakar narrated to Abdallah bin Al-Hasan that he was with Hisham bin Abdulmaalik and Kalbi. Hisham made an inquiry of Abdallah, "How old was Fatima bint RasoolAllah?" Abdallah replied, "30 years old." After this he asked Kalbi the same question and Kalbi replied, "35 years old." Upon hearing this Hisham said to Abdallah, "Listen to what Kalbi is saying," and Hisham gave more importance to Kalbi’s testimony. Then Abdallah said, "Oh ameer al-momineen! Ask me about my mother and ask Kalbi about his." (Istia’ab, vol. 6, pg. 752)
Fatima’s death was in 11 hijri. If she was 30 when she died, her birth date can be traced to about 5 years before the nabuwwah (prophethood). There are different hadiths about her age at death, for example, one says 24, another says over 18. But 30 years is most accurate. From this it is clear that Ayesha was born when RasoolAllah (SA) was in his 40th year (approximately 5 years after Fatima’s birth) i.e., the year he received the nabuwwah.
If we accept the premise that Ayesha’s nikah was at age 6, then her date of birth would have to be in 4 nabawwi, i.e., when the Prophet (SA) was in his 44th year, because her date of nikah is given as 10 nabawwi (in which case RasoolAllah’s age would be 50). This is incontrovertibly wrong. For example:
When the Prophet of Allah sent his message about Ayesha to Abu Bakr, he said, "Ya Rasool! I have already settled the matter with Mat’am bin A’di bin Naufal bin Abd Munaf’s son Jabir. Give me enough time to explain the matter to them." (ibn Saad)
If Ayesha was 6 during her nikah with RasoolAllah (SA), then the engagement with Jabir would have had to occur when she was 4 or 5, and there is no indication or example in the old Arab tradition that they would settle the engagements of 4 to 5 year old little girls.
Ayesha said, "When the Prophet received this ayat (54:46) in Mecca, I was a child and used to run around and play." (Bukhari, vol. 2, pg. 204)
Surah 54 (Al-Qamr) was revealed around 5 nabawwi. At this time Ayesha, at the very least, had to have been old enough to understand what a verse of Quran was, and to remember the incident. If we accept her date of birth to be 4 nabawwi, then she would be one year old in 5 nabawwi. For a one year old baby neither are running and playing possible, nor recognizing and remembering a verse of Quran. In contrast, if we accept her birth date as 1 nabawwi then during the time that Surah Al-Qamr was revealed she would be 5 to 6 years old. At this age she no doubt would be running and playing, and she would be able to recognize and recollect a verse of Quran.
The month given for the nikah is Shawal 10 nabawwi, when the messenger was 50 (ibn Saad, vol. 8, pg. 40). At this time Ayesha’s age, with certainty, was around 10 if the first year is not counted, and 11 if it is counted. Because the real importance lies with the actual marriage, not the engagement, we will move on.
The marriage took place after Hijrah, so we should now find out when the Hijrah took place. How many years did RasoolAllah (SA) stay in Mecca after the revelation? There are differing ahadith (sing. hadith) dealing with this. One says that he received the first revelation at age 43 and stayed in Mecca for 10 years. Another says:
A person came to Ibn Abbas and said that for 10 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina the messenger of Allah received revelation. Ibn Abbas said, "Who says that? In Mecca RasoolAllah received revelation for 15 years or more."
But Ibn Abbas also reports that the time spent in Mecca was 13 years (ibn Saad, part 1, pg. 333; Tareekh Tabri, vol. 1, pg. 54, 135) and this is what is generally accepted. The reason for this contradiction is as follows: when the Hijrah occurred the messenger (SA) finished his 53rd year and was starting his 54th. When he was 40 the nabuwwah began. If the first year of the nabuwwah is not counted, then the time spent in Mecca was 13 years and Hijrah was in the 14th year nabawwi. If it is counted, then the time spent in Mecca is 14 years, and the Hijrah in the 15th year nabawwi.
Now we must find out how long after Hijrah the marriage took place. Commonly held traditions state that Ayesha’s nikah (engagement) was at age 6 and the marriage was at age 9 in Medina, during the month of Shawal. Because the engagement took place 3 years before the Hijrah, in accordance to these ahadith, the marriage should have been in Shawal 1 hijri. But this is also wrong. In Tabqaat ibn Saad Ayesha reports with detail:
When RasoolAllah (SA) and Abu Bakr Siddiq went to Medina they left RasoolAllah’s daughter and Abu Bakr’s family behind in Mecca so that afterwards they could bring them safely and carefully (vol. 4, pg. 43).
Ayesha reports: "When I went to Medina I developed a fever and all of my hair fell out. After I became well they grew back to my shoulders, then I got married." (Bukhari, part 2, pg. 204)
From this it is obvious that:
1. Ayesha stayed back in Mecca for some time after the Hijrah (keep in mind the Hijrah was in Rabi al-Awal) After she reached
2. Medina she became sick and lost all of her hair
3. Her hair grew back down to her shoulders and her marriage took place after that
If we should accept that the marriage took place in Shawal 1 hijri, then all the above events would have had to occur within 8 months (from Rabi al-Awal to Shawal). If she stayed in Mecca for at least 3-4 months, then for one month was sick, this would leave only 3-4 months before the marriage. It is obvious that in no way whatsoever can hair grow to the shoulders in such a short time. This is so obvious that a commentator of Bukhari writes:
This saying is very strange that the marriage occurred 7 months after Hijrah. This saying is very weak. The marriage occurred after the Battle of Badr in Shawal 2 hijri (A’ini, vol. 8, pg. 96).
In support of this Istia’ab also writes:
RasoolAllah did the nikah with Ayesha 3 years before Hijrah in Shawal 10 nabawwi and 18 months after Hijrah in Medina she entered his house (vol. 4, pg. 377).
Fatima’s marriage was 4 months after Ayesha’s (Al-Ghaba, vol. 4, pg. 377).
Fatima’s marriage was in Muharram, now the question is which year hijri was it. There is a long hadith in Bukhari in which is mentioned:
Narrated Ali: I got a she camel in my share of the war booty on the day of Badr, and the Prophet (SA) had given me a she camel from the khumus. When I intended to marry Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s messenger, I had an appointment with a goldsmith from the tribe of Bani Qainuqa to go with me to bring Idhkhir (grass of pleasant smell) and sell it to the goldsmith and spend its price on my wedding reception. I was collecting for my camels equipment of saddles, sacks and ropes while my two camels were kneeling beside the room of an Ansari man. I returned after collecting whatever I had collected to see the humps of my camels cut off and their flanks cut open and some portion of their livers taken out. (vol. 4, pg. 206. After this the hadith goes on to tell who killed the camels. Because that part is not relevant to this discussion we will stop here.)
From this it is obvious that Ali was not married before the Battle of Badr, which took place in Ramadan 2 hijri; meaning that the earliest he and Fatima could have married was the Muharram of 3 hijri. Since Ayesha’s marriage was 4 months before this, it had to have been in Shawal 2 hijri, not 1 hijri.
The above paragraphs elucidate the truth that has come forth; that at the time of her marriage Ayesha was 15. If the year of birth is counted then she was 16 years old, or in other words, 2 years older than her age at Hijrah.
Abbas reported that RasoolAllah (SA) stayed in Mecca for 15 years. An attempt has been made to account for the difference between 13 and 15 years, but if this narration is considered sound (that RasoolAllah stayed in Mecca for 15 years and the Hijrah was in the 16th year), then Ayesha’s age at marriage would be 17. The support of Abbas comes from Tabri as well:
Ibn Abbas and Ibn Khadla related that RasoolAllah died at age 65 (trans. Haydar Abad, vol. 1, pg. 599).
Meaning that if the nabuwwah started at age 40, then 15 years were spent in Mecca and 10 in Medina.
Besides these testimonies there is another that even more soundly explains that Ayesha’s age at Hijrah was in fact 17, and thus at marriage she was 19 years old.
Asma bint Abu Bakr was Ayesha’s older sister. Concerning her, Mishqat Sheikh Wali Ad-Deen Abi Abdallah Mohammad bin Abdal Khateeb wrote in his book Akmaal Fi Asma Al-Rijal:
Asma is the daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq. She is the mother of Abdallah bin Zubair. When Islam came to Mecca, it is said that only 17 people accepted it. Asma was 10 years older than Ayesha. Asma’s son Zubair’s body was buried (after he was murdered), and after 10 or 20 days Asma bint Abu Bakr died at age 100. At this time it was 73 hijri. Lots of people have reported this (pg. 472).
Asma’s age at death was 100. From this follows that her age at Hijrah was 27. Because Ayesha was 10 years younger than Asma, at Hijrah Ayesha’s age was 17. Hence, she was married when she was 19 years old, i.e., 2 years after Hijrah. It is also evident that what Kalbi told Hisham bin Abdulmaalik about Fatima’s age as being 35 when she died is connected to the following fact:
if Ayesha’s age at Hijrah was 17, then Fatima’s was 22; at death Fatima would be around 33. Including the years of birth and death, the age becomes 35.
In any case, from these explanations the truth has come out that at the time of her marriage to RasoolAllah (SA) Ayesha (RA) was, according to many traditions 17, and according to others, 19. There is no possible way she could have been less than 15-16, let alone 9. Those traditions that say she was married at 9 and that after she was married she used to play with dolls in the Prophet’s (SA) house cannot be given a sound status. RasoolAllah (SA) had his daughters married. None of them was ever married as a child. Fatima (RA) was married last, and her age was at least 21 or 22, despite the fact that Ali (whom she was to marry) was of her own extended family.
Finally, it is necessary to summarize the findings of this article. It is a reality that for one particular event one finds many conflicting ahadith. For example, in Tabri there are ahadith that say the Prophet’s (SA) age was 60, 63, 65 (vol. 2, part 2); or concerning Fatima’s death: after the death of RasoolAllah (SA) she lived only 3 days, 1 month, 2 days, 5 days, 4 months, or 6 months (Shibli, Seerat An-Nabi, vol. 2). This difference is yet of a few days or months; Waqdi wrote that Sauda died in 54 hijri and Imam Bukhari wrote that she died during Omar’s administration as caliph (meaning before 23 hijri). Fifty-four is much more than 23. As long as these conflicts are not concerned with matters of Deen (those matters having to do with the Islamic Deen) and do not lower the virtuous and noble position of the Prophet (SA), it doesn’t matter which tradition one accepts. The matter of Sauda’s death does not affect the Deen or the reputation of Allah’s messenger. However, those traditions that affect the Deen or RasoolAllah’s position should be analyzed very carefully. The principle with which one should study these ahadith is that any statement against the fundamental guidelines set by the Quran or the virtuous character of Muhammad (SA) cannot in any manner be sound, regardless of how scientifically accurate the Isnad might be. History is, after all, a fallible product of the human mind’s conception and recollection of events, whereas the Quran is a unique and unquestionable testimony. This truth is also evident that RasoolAllah (SA) could never have done anything, in saying or practice, that was contradictory to Quran or the honor of humanity. That is why one must make a distinction between conjectural information and The Truth. If this is done then we will save ourselves a lot of vexation and misunderstanding. Until a standard is created and traditions and history are judged against it and only that is kept which fulfills the above requirements, viz., not contradicting Quran and not defiling the messenger, we must not forget our responsibility to think and research matters of importance.