Monday, 11 May 2015
The Sharing Group Discussion: The Ahadits on 'Aishah's (r.a.) Age at the Time of Marriage
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Sister Marjorie Abdullah posted the following on The Sharing Group, on the 21st April, 2014: “I was horrified when I saw this: Pedophilia is Okay in Islam. These people think women are only meant as sexual objects for men and are playing into the hands of Islamophobes. It is my understanding that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was 15 or 16 when she got married and 19 when she went to live with the Prophet (s.a.w.). Please correct me if I am wrong.”
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The pedophile heretic is wrong. ‘Aishah’s (r.a.) age at the time of marriage was much older: A Muslim Convert Once More: ‘Aishah’s (r.a.) Age at the Time of Marriage. Saudi Arabia does not have a minimum age limit for marriage. That is a cultural deviancy of the Wahhabi sect, not Islam.
This is the ruling of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah on marriage of minors in Islam: A Muslim Convert Once More: Marriage of Minors in Islam. We do not follow Wahhabis. They are out of the fold of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.
Sister Marjorie Abdullah: Thank you so much, Brother Terence. That is so helpful.
Sister Crystal: That was fantastic to read. I admit, one of the hardest things I struggled with in Islam was actually this. It is kind of a strange thing to fixate on, but I appreciate the information.
Sister Asmaa Mahmud: Thanks for the great information. I was asked by a non-Muslim colleague once whether it was true that ‘Aishah (r.a.) got married to the Prophet (s.a.w.) at the age of 6 and consummate at the age of 9. I knew it was false information, but did not know her exact age when she got married to the Prophet (s.a.w.). I have heard of this numerous times from different people, but thought it was nonsensical and knew the Prophet (s.a.w.) would not do such a thing. Now I see the light.
Sister Brenda Murphy: This was the #1 issue for me that prevented me entering into Islam wholeheartedly for quite a long time. Even now, showing the reasons why the 6 and 9 age is wrong gets so much hostility from the huge majority of Muslims who assume that you cannot be a mu’min if you are questioning a hadits classified as swahih. And that makes me sad and also a bit scared. People are afraid to condemn having sex with a 9 year old because they think the Prophet (s.a.w.) did it, which to me is the wrong way round of thinking that is something heinous to me and I refuse to believe my Prophet (s.a.w.) did it.
Brother Mansoor Rizvi: Here is another useful and educational talk on this misconception of the age of one of the wives of the Prophet (s.a.w.): Did the Prophet (s.a.w.) Marry a 9 Year Old? by Sayyid ‘Ammar Nakshawani.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Here is a very useful video that provides much in the way of clarity on the age of ‘Aishah (r.a.) that is also a clear reflection on the position of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, by Dr. Jonathan Brown: “Why are You Agitated by the Age of ‘Aishah (r.a.)?”
Sister Brenda Murphy: Brother Khalil, I was put off by the title, “Why are You Agitated by the Age of ‘Aishah (r.a.)?” because I cannot understand why anyone would have to ask that about a grown man having sex with a 9 year old girl. But I started watching the video and I have got as far as 6:22 when the speaker asks why no non-Muslim critics ever mentioned the age issue, and he says, “Because they were all marrying underage girls as well.” Okay, enough said. I am not going to bother listening to any more justifications. If you or anyone else thinks it is okay ,then go ahead; I am not even going to waste my breath with a reply.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The hadits that states that ‘Aishah (r.a.) married at such an early age is gharib from the ‘Iraqiyyah silsilah. There are also other reports that she was engaged once before her marriage to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the commentators remarked that she got engaged later than the norm. The idea that she was 9 years old is a fabrication, and has been used by some cultures to justify child rape.
Sister Brenda Murphy: Yes, I know. Jazakallahu khayran, Brother Terence. I am just feeling literally sick that people are so ready and willing to defend the “9-years-old” story. It is disturbing.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: “The hadits that states that ‘Aishah (r.a.) married at such an early age is gharib from the ‘Iraqiyyah silsilah”? Really? Who amongst the scholars of ahadits have declared this ‘gharib’, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis? Also, what is the implication of declaring a hadits “gharib”? What does that mean according to our ‘ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah? Does that mean that the hadits is fabricated or a lie on the Prophet (s.a.w.)?
Well, may Allah (s.w.t.) Guide us to what is best! But despite the indignation, digest, or whatever else one may feel, we have to ask ourselves, why does the hadits of the Prophet (s.a.w.) a swahih hadits say that the Prophet (s.a.w.) married a girl at the age of six and consummated the marriage at the age of 9? Why do we find this in the Swahih of Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), the acknowledged master of ahadits, by all of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, a major source for our Diyn? Why do we find this in the Swahih of Imam Muslim (r.a.)? Why do 11 of the tabi’in from Madinah, make this horrible and terrible report about the Prophet (s.a.w.)? Why does Imam al-Lakhmi (r.a.) report it in his Musnad? Why is this found in Imam ibn Sa’d’s (r.a.) Thabaqat? Why do we find numerous chains of transmission of this same report from various tabi’in, from ibn Mas’ud (r.a.), from Qatadah (r.a.); all recognised sources of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah? Why would such great figures of Islam say and report such things about the beloved Prophet (s.a.w.)? In the rage and indignation that has been expressed, let me also ask, what does the Qur’an say on the issue? What is the age one can get married as has been established in the Book of Allah?
First, has we express our modern indignation and forge our modern cultural sensitivities on people of all ages in history. Let us note that in the United States, the age for sexual consent was at one time as low as seven years old. The Campaign to Raise the Age of Consent, 1885-1914: “In the late nineteenth century, ‘age of consent’ referred to the legal age at which a girl could consent to sexual relations. Men who engaged in sexual relations with girls who had not reached the age of consent could be criminally prosecuted. American reformers were shocked to discover that the laws of most states set the age of consent at the age of ten or twelve, and in one state, Delaware, the age of consent was only seven.”
What this informs us is that historically people did not share our same sense of reality when it came to sexual consent! So, the arch enemies of Islam of the 16th and 17th centuries, and before who were well aware of these reports about the Prophet (s.a.w.) marriage to ‘Aishah (r.a.), never used this as an attack on the Prophet (s.a.w.). Why? The reality is that our moral standards for sexuality today did not apply 1,400 years ago, like it or not. It was not uncommon in Arab culture or any culture for men to have sex with very young women. As I demonstrated, it was not uncommon in America in the late 19th century for the age of sexual consent to be very young. And when you read any of the classical works of fiqh written by our traditional scholars, they specify that to engage in sexual activity with a girl, she must have reached puberty and be able to withstand it sexual thrust physically. Our classical text say nothing about girls having to be at least 18 or 16 or any number at all! Name one classical Islamic text that mentions any age restrictions on marriage or the consummation of marriage?
Finally, let us look at what Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Hamid ‘Ali, a modern scholar of fiqh, says on this issue: “Who or what is the criterion for defining good and evil? Now, after having a look at the reports about the marriage, a legitimate question for one to ask is, ‘What is wrong with a man in his fifties marrying a six or nine year old girl?’ In other words, ‘Why is it a sin?’ The next question would be, ‘Who or what determined it to be a sin?’
As people of religion and Scripture; Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike are supposed to be Guided by the Words of God! This means that if anything is a sin, it is because God Said so! As people who do not take guidance from Scripture, good and evil are judged based either on the rules defined by government and societal norms, or based on what we as individuals conjure up in our own minds to be good or evil. Many of us may even define good as ‘whatever brings me comfort and benefit’ and evil as ‘whatever brings me grief, suffering, and harm.”
So, again, the question, ‘Why is the marriage of a senior to a minor a sin?’ Did God declare it to be a sin in either the Qur’an or the Bible? Unequivocally and absolutely not! If this is so, then why do Christians lambaste our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) for marrying a minor? Did Jesus (a.s.) say it was a sin? Did Moses (a.s.) declare it to be a sin? Did David (a.s.) or Solomon (a.s.) declare it to be a sin? Did any of the Qur’anic or Biblical personages mention explicitly or implicitly that the marriage of a senior to a minor is a sin? The answers are obvious!
Next, we move to the cultural basis for condemning our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). Why is it a crime according to societal norms and common law for a senior to marry a minor?” Shaykh ‘Abdullah continues, “The response to this question is either for fear that the older man will take advantage of the innocence and naivety of the young girl or woman, or that it is just because this is something that we as a society do not usually do. If we accept the first justification that gives consideration to the welfare of the young woman or girl, we can all agree that this is a legitimate fear. So anytime it is feared that a young girl will be harmed from being in an intimate relationship with an older man or senior, measures should be taken to ensure that the young girl is not harmed.
But what if measures can be taken to ensure that she will not be harmed by such a relationship? Would it then be enough justification for such a marriage? What if the parents of the girl who take into consideration the good character and standing of the potential groom arrange the marriage? What if there are those who propose to the potential groom as opposed to him making the proposal or even overstepping his bounds by taking advantage of a moment of seclusion with the girl in order to molest her? So, what true basis does anyone have to condemn Muhammad (s.a.w.) and accuse him of paedophilia or child molestation? There was no molestation involved! So, he was not a pedophile!
As for those who condemn such a marriage simply because it is not what most of us customarily do in our society, can we really consider custom and cultural norms to be a legitimate basis for condemnation? Consider the following: cultural and social norms are not characterised by stability and permanence, and they change with the change of time! What is accepted in one time or place is not acceptable in another time or place! The final judge of the appropriateness and inappropriateness of a person’s actions in cultural and social norms is the whims, lusts, and fancies of the overwhelming majority of the members of a society or it is influenced by the decrees, dictates, and regulations of government.”
Brother Husni Mohd Amin: I tend to agree with Brother Khalil Muhsin on this. If I may add, paedophilia is a value judgment based on contemporary societal normative. We have to be careful in treading grounds like this especially when moral relativism is involved and we are judging people in the past including the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) based on current values that are bound to change. If we are not cautious in this, then we might as well charge the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) for the crime of not having a proper identification card because in many countries today it is an offense to not have one. Then it would be reduced to utter silliness.
Why does it even matter to us if the Prophet (s.a.w.) married a 6-year-old ‘Aishah (r.a.) or a 9-year-old? He married ‘Aishah (r.a.) because he is the Prophet (s.a.w.). He even married Zaynab bint Jahsh (r.a.) on the Command of God. The sirah stands as proof of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) personal integrity. For the average person in today’s over-sexed up environment, sex maybe constantly in his or her mind, but having been charged with the Prophetic office and mission, sex would be the last thing in the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) mind. God Knows best. Moral relativism is a trap many Muslim apologists fall into despite their best intentions.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: As was discussed by scholars at al-Azhar, especially Sister Shima Umm Ramy’s favourite, whose name I forgot, there was an issue in the chains in that they all came through the same place. The chain was found to be gharib, strange. In any case, they came up with a report. They compared it with the timeline and other ahadits. In summary, the age of ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr (r.a.) at the time of her nikah can be calculated succinctly thus. Abu Bakr (r.a.) married twice, and fathered four children, before the beginning of the Revelation, at least thirteen years before the Hijrah: ‘Abdullah (r.a.), Asma’ (r.a.), ‘Abd ar-Rahman (r.a.), and ‘Aishah (r.a.). This is uncontested and well-known to the Muslims.
‘Aishah (r.a.) was betrothed to Jubayr ibn Muth’im ibn ‘Adi Bakr (r.a.), before Abu Bakr (r.a.) accepted Islam in the first year of the Call, twelve to thirteen years before the Hijrah. This is uncontested. When Abu Bakr (r.a.) planned to go to Abyssinia during the fifth year of the Call, eight or nine years before the Hijrah, Muth’im (r.a.) broke off the engagement because Abu Bakr (r.a.) had accepted Islam. This is uncontested. ‘Aishah (r.a.) remembered the Revelation of a verse known to have been Revealed in the fifth year of the Call or before, eight to thirteen years before the Hijrah. This is uncontested. ‘Aishah (r.a.) was betrothed to the Prophet (s.a.w.) two years after the death of Khadijah (r.a.), or a year before the Hijrah. This is uncontested. ‘Aishah (r.a.) did not accompany her father and the Prophet (s.a.w.) during the Hijrah, but arrived in Madina later, and became sick so that all of her hair fell out. This is uncontested.
‘Aishah (r.a.) moved in with the Prophet (s.a.w.) a year or two after the Hijrah, or two to four years after her betrothal. This is unclear from the various reports, which give different time periods, but all are agreed as to the general time frame. ‘Aishah (r.a.) was widowed in 11 AH. This is uncontested. She was a widow for about forty years and died in 50 AH. This is uncontested. Among the people who report these facts is Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.), the grandson of Asma’ (r.a.) and ‘Aishah’s (r.a.) grand-nephew, who lived in Madina for 71 years and then moved to Iraq, who reported that ‘Aishah (r.a.) passed in 50 AH. This is uncontested.
‘Aishah’s (r.a.) older sister, Asma’ (r.a.), was ten years older than ‘Aishah (r.a.). Asma’ (r.a.) was 27 at the time of the Hijrah, making ‘Aishah (r.a.) 17. This is uncontested. Asma’ (r.a.) passed away at the age of 100 in 73 AH. 23 years earlier, when ‘Aishah (r.a.) passed away, Asma’ (r.a.) was 77. This is uncontested. Thus, ‘Aishah (r.a.) was 67 when she passed away in 50 AH, seventeen at the time of the Hijrah, sixteen at the time of her betrothal to the Prophet (s.a.w.), and nineteen when she moved in with him.
All of the reports saying that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was six at the time of her betrothal to the Prophet (s.a.w.) come from Iraq, as do all of the reports that she was nine when she moved in with the Prophet (s.a.w.). There are no reports of this from Makkah or Madina. This is uncontested. Most of these reports from Iraq came through Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.), Asma’s (r.a.) grandson, mostly from his father. This is indisputable. Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.) is said to have reported that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was nine in the second year of the Hijrah, was widowed in the eleventh year of the Hijrah, and passed away in the fiftieth year of the Hijrah, when his grandmother, ten years older than his great aunt, ‘Aishah (r.a.), was 77. The same person who said ‘Aishah (r.a.) was nine in 2 AH also said she was 67 in 50 AH. So, the only reports that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was six, or nine, come from someone who also reports that she had to be sixteen when betrothed, and nineteen when she moved in with the Prophet (s.a.w.). And every other report showing her to be much older than six is uncontested and considered reliable, while Hisham’s reports from Iraq are considered unreliable for obvious reasons. I hope this clarifies things.
In what manner in the field of study of ahadits, is it acceptable to take a single report and base an ahkam or a verdict on it without examining the matn, the sanad, the silsilah and the manaqib before looking at its relation with other ahadits? In this case, it passed the matn. But there were discrepancies in the manaqib and Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.) was not considered tsiqah later in his life, on account of his failing memory by the time this ahadits was compiled. ‘Aishah (r.a.) stayed and passed away in Madina. All the other ahadits came from chains that originated in Madina. The gharib report from Shaykh Hisham (r.a.) originated in the vicinity of Kufa. Discounting all these issues with the chain, which you may dispute based on other opinions, the mathematics does not lie. Swahih hadits or not, the numbers say otherwise.
Paedophilia involves sexual relations with a woman before puberty. This was later classified in our time to before the age of majority. Even at 6 years old, that would be before puberty in the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.). At 9 years old, there may be the possibility of menstruation.
Speaking about moral relativism, Islam is a religion for all time. Since when, in the last 1,400, years did sexual morality change that paedophilia in any form was acceptable? The Prophet (s.a.w.) was Sent as an example. ‘Aishah (r.a.) herself said, he is the Qur’an. If this were true, it would have an impact on the entire message of the Qur’an and open the door to moral relativism. This would destroy the Sanctity of the Qur’an. Firstly, how could anyone think our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) would do this? And secondly, how could anyone think it is something that can be defended?
What if someone found a “swahih hadits” that the Prophet (s.a.w.) stole? Would they invoke moral relativism then as well? Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote a book on mushkil and dha’if ahadits. One of them, which was originally graded swahih but some others on the basis of technical examination spoke about drinking camel urine as a shifa’. Two other conditions were later emphasised as well. Firstly, the ahadits cannot contradict the Qur’an, and other ahadits that, in a body, have a stronger grading. A “swahih hadits” cannot contradict a swahih ahadits, or two hasan ahadits, for example. And secondly, a hadits cannot contradict common knowledge, as defined and examined by those who have knowledge in that area. I hope this is the end of this matter.
Sister Crystal: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, thank you. I was feeling an incredible revulsion. The fact that people here are actually bending and twisting their rationale to make this okay is exactly what my fiancé, whose family and he himself has been very educated in Islam, warned me about. If the general consensus were such that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was truly a child, I would burn my hijab and never let my child near any of these men who say its okay. In fact, given that one of our local a’immah believes this, I would not let him near my female child. This subject is a make or break for me. I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I would not follow a prophet or imam who approved of sex with a child.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, your accounts are filled with errors, mishaps and confusion! What you cite as “uncontested” in many ways been refuted by many of the scholars of the Diyn: Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad, the refuter of the Wahabiyyah provides clear proofs here.
Imam ibn Sa‘d’s (r.a.) report about the betrothal to Jubayr ibn Muth‘im (r.a.) has an extremely weak chain through Abu al-Mundzir Hisham ibn Muhammad ibn asw-Swa’ib al-Kalbi, from his father, Abu an-Nadr al-Kufi, from Abu Swalih (r.a.), from ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.). Hisham and his father are both ‘discarded’, matruk, and considered liars while the latter actually admitted to Imam Sufyan ats-Tsawri (r.a.), “All I have narrated to you from Abu Swalih is a lie.”
The reasoning that a betrothal to Jubayr (r.a.) would suggest anything about age is also faulty and shows ignorance of the fact that betrothal could take place from the cradle or even before birth. Further, the word “majority” is probably being used in an unIslamic sense by Mawlana Muhammad ‘Ali.
al-Iswabah does not cite only one, but two possible dates for the birth of Fathimah az-Zahrah (r.a.). The first was the year the Ka‘bah was rebuilt, five years before Prophethood, when the Prophet (s.a.w.) was 35. This is reported by Shaykh al-Waqidi (r.a.) alone who is, moreover, very weak or discarded as an ahadits narrator. The second is the forty-first year of the Prophet (s.a.w.). This is reported by Imam al-Hakim (r.a.), in al-Mustadrak, through two chains, by Imam ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (r.a.), in al-Istiyy‘ab; and Imam al-Mizzi (r.a.), in Tahdzib al-Kamal. Both dates are cited in al-Iswabah, which adds that Fathimah (r.a.) was five years older than ‘Aishah (r.a.). By the first date, therefore, the age of ‘Aishah (r.a.) in the year the marriage was consummated, 2 AH, would be 15; by the second date, 9 – the age confirmed by the totality of the reports in the Swahih and Sunan books. The Thabaqat of Imam ibn Sa‘d (r.a.) explicitly states that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was six years of age at the time of nikah, and nine at the time of consummation.
As for Surah al-Qamar being “undoubtedly Revealed before the sixth year of the Call,” and the claimed “fact admitted on all hands that the nikah of ‘Aishah (r.a.) took place in the tenth year of the Call,” these are statements without basis. This is unquestionably cited and made clear within the original traditional sources of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah!
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Khalil Muhsin, I am not here to convince you or debate. If you sincerely believe the Prophet (s.a.w.) would marry a six year old, and feel that is justified, that is your issue. I, personally, cannot countenance an imperfection of that magnitude upon the Prophet (s.a.w.). I have stated my position and given my thoughts. I leave it to the people to decide.
I know Shaykh Gibril personally. And he is a good scholar. But we do not agree on everything. If every single time you were to provide something and I give a refutation, and I easily can here, this would be a never ending exercise.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Well, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, I am not trying to convince you of anything either! You can believe what you want to believe! However, stop pretending to speak for the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah as if your opinion represents what all of our ‘ulama have stated on the issue! The belief that the Prophet (s.a.w.) married ‘Aishah (r.a.) at 6 and consummated the marriage at 9 is well established in many of our traditional sources and books!
I say that the imperfection is not at all with our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.); it is rather from your cultural arrogance that would impose upon our Prophet (s.a.w.), your moral standard! Shaykh Gibril, who you know personally, is a serious scholar and would not say this about the Prophet (s.a.w.) without careful consideration. We should not disrespect them and our traditional scholars like the Wahhabis disrespect the ‘ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah when there is something they do not agree with! Let us humble ourselves to a reality that regardless whether you agree or disagree, many of our ‘ulama have held the same view and the mere fact that you find this in the ahadits books of great ‘ulama like Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) and Imam Muslim (r.a.) should give you pause before condemning them as men who held some terrible belief about our Prophet (s.a.w.)! So it is not about arguing with you! It is defending the honour of our Prophet (s.a.w.) and our ‘ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah from a scandalous attacks against their character!
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I appears to me more, brother, that you are only interested in defending yourself, not the Prophet (s.a.w.).
Brother Khalil Muhsin: You can personally feel any way you want, brother, but what are the facts? I have made something up about our Prophet (s.a.w.) that our ‘ulama have not affirmed? This is the bottom line, and I do not care about personal feelings when it comes to what our ‘ulama have asserted and affirmed! So how you feel is one thing; what our ‘ulama have stated is another! This, like it or not, is clear!
Sister Crystal: Brother Terence, no, you are quite alright. I should expect these challenges to my faith, given that every time I learn something new somewhere, something appears sent to challenge it. My opinions have not yet solidified completely beyond knowing that Allah is Most Merciful and Seeks us to love us and Wishes us to do the same for Him.
Before I converted, I looked up this issue. Unfortunately, I am not very highly educated in Islam, Arabic, or the social or customary norms of the time of the Qur’an, so a lot of what I must rely on are the opinions, teachings, and research of others because I do not have the knowledge to pursue this at the level I would probably need to fully assuage myself heart here. Frankly, I initially made the effort to embrace the theological belief that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was indeed 6 and 9. But I found difficulty in this because with as many times as I had to say to myself, “That’s just how it was,” I found myself making excuses and attempting to bunny trail my mind into agreeing with that theology. I cannot. And Allah (s.w.t.) has not Allowed that to settle peacefully in my mind and faith. I am simply too ignorant to truly contribute here in this discussion.
Sister Shima Umm Ramy: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, here is the link for Dr. Adnan Ibrahim: Age of ‘Aishah (r.a.) at Marriage.
Sister Brenda Murphy: These people say, “Our Prophet (s.a.w.) would not do anything wrong, therefore it is not wrong to have sex with a 9-year-old girl”, which is completely the wrong way of thinking - it should be, “Our Prophet (s.a.w.) would not do anything wrong, therefore he did not have sex with a 9-year-old.” Nine years old is very young; most 9-year-olds are still little girls with a few exceptions who might look a couple of years older. And evidently, our mother ‘Aishah (r.a.) had a small and slight figure, according to other accounts. I do not buy this nonsense about different times and different cultural norms, and thank God, I do not have to. I think there is sufficient evidence to prove that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was older than that at marriage.
Sister Marjorie Abdullah: Yes congratulations, Sister Crystal. I am sorry I opened Pandora’s Box when I posted that YouTube video. I hope it did not scare you off. Yes, many on this forum are very learned, but I, for one am not and just trying to figure things out too, despite being a convert over 30 years.
Sister Brenda Murphy: Thanks, Sister Marjorie, for posting the video because it is good to see the other, correct, perspective on this issue that has been shared here.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: May Allah (s.w.t.) Forgive you all for your arrogance and blatant disrespect of our esteemed ‘ulama, who we take this Diyn from! And May He Guide you all to understand that our scholars are not sick, perverted supporters of paedophilia has you insultingly suggest! The esteemed ‘ulama of our Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), Imam Muslim (r.a.) and many others have reported that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was 9 years old when her marriage was consummated! They were not, and should not be, subjected to your moral relativism and, frankly, pure arrogance!
Shaykh Gibril Haddad reports about the age of ‘Aishah (r.a.) at the time of her marriage to the Prophet (s.a.w.): “However, the precise age of nine at the time of consummation is reported with at least seventeen different chains in the Six Books, nine of them in the Swahihayn, plus three more chains in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (r.a.) and one more in Imam ad-Darimi’s (r.a.) Musnad.” Seventeen different chains in six books of swahih ahadits, including Swahih al-Bukhari and Swahih Muslim, so all of these ahadits masters are, according to you, all are supporters of paedophilia! According to your claims, all of these illustrious scholars of our Diyn have this twisted, sick perverted notions about our Prophet (s.a.w.). So, we are not talking about just a few people with this belief; we are talking about some of the major scholars that most of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah rely upon for critical information about Islam itself!
Since they report this, according to your logic, since they had no problem saying this about the Prophet (s.a.w.), why do you listen to them at all? According to you all, it is an insult upon the honour of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to suggest that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would consummate his marriage with ‘Aishah (r.a.) at such a young age! The problem is not with the reports; it is with your moral relativism; it is not with the scholars of ahadits; it is with your efforts to subject your feelings above the Qur’an, the sunnah, and the ‘ulama of our Diyn!
Sister Crystal: May Allah (s.w.t.) Forgive you for your judgement on your brothers and sisters. Allah (s.w.t.) will Deal with us, if indeed, there is arrogance on our part. Your job, as a brother, is to love your fellow Muslim, not accuse them.
Sister Shima Umm Ramy: I take it that you do not agree with Dr. Adnan Ibrahim’s take on this Brother Khalil Muhsin? I remembered Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis once posted and explained opinions from various highly esteemed scholars on this issue as well, which supported Dr. Adnan’s clarification.
When you said, '”... it is with your efforts to subject your feelings above the Qur’an...,” are you accusing us of shirk, Brother?
Brother Khalil Muhsin: No, I do not agree with Dr. Adnan’s take, and I agree with the vast majority of scholars, of our ‘ulama, and the seventeen different chains of ahadits on the age of ‘Aishah’s (r.a.) consummation of her marriage! I happen to believe that our scholars were not ‘sick’ or supporters of paedophilia!
Sister Brenda Murphy: My beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) never harmed anyone. I know that, al-Hamdulillah. Unfortunately, I do have personal close acquaintances who can testify that it is harmful to the child, physically and psychologically, to have sexual intercourse before the physical, mental and emotional process of maturity is complete. Periods are only half the story. Unless you have ever been a sexually immature girl, I do not think you would understand, although it should not stop anyone from empathising.
Sister Shima Umm Ramy: I was just presenting an alternative opinion, but we certainly did not expect you to be so touchy about it. And I really do not think any of us here was disrespecting our traditional scholars here. But to say that we place our feelings above the Qur’an is unacceptable. I did not realise the age of ‘Aishah (r.a.) at the time of her marriage, was stated anywhere in the Qur’an?
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Your “personal” experiences, Sister Brenda Murphy, cannot be utilised as a measuring guide to evaluate the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.), his relationships, or anything else! What is physically and psychologically harmful in our situation cannot be utilised to assess life in Madina over 1,400 years ago and what would be harmful in that situation! For all of this banter, no one has answered some simple questions that I have posed! Child molestation is a serious and perverse crime! Why would so many of our scholars for ages so easily report these ahadits about the Prophet (s.a.w.)? Why? Were they all supporters of child molestation and pedophilia? Is that it? All of our esteemed scholars are sick?
Sister Shima Umm Ramy, I did not realise that either, which is why I asked earlier in this thread, where in the Qur’an does it say that it is morally wrong to marry a girl at 6 years old and consummate that marriage at 9 years old? Where do we obtain this moral value from the Qur’an? The sunnah? Where? Maybe you did not read much of what was stated, Sister Shima Umm Ramy; statements like “The pedophile heretic is wrong. ‘Aishah’s (r.a.) age at the time of marriage is much older.” Just using this as an example, statements like this certainly suggest a deep level of intolerance for our traditional ‘ulama, who have argued for centuries that the Prophet (s.a.w.) consummated his marriage with ‘Aishah (r.a.) at the age of 9! So, perhaps ‘touchy’ would be a little better applied to you now that we examine the logical outcome of some of the statements here!
It is rather simple. If you believe that the Prophet (s.a.w.) consummated his marriage with ‘Aishah (r.a.) at the age of 9, you support and suggest that our Prophet (s.a.w.) was a pedophile and corrupt! Scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah have stated this for centuries. So how are we to reconcile this? Just say, “They were wrong and Dr. Adnan Ibrahim is right”? I do not think so!
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Our scholars can be wrong. They are not perfect. We did not come to Islam to become sheep. And we should not afraid to say that we do not believe she married at six. We should not afraid to say that Swahih al-Bukhari is not infallible. It is not the Qur’an. It is claimed that there are seventeen narrations, but since all of them go through Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.), that makes them one narration in reality. Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.) himself was rejected by Imam Muslim (r.a.) as a narrator, and rejected any narration that went through him alone. And no one is saying that the scholars are perverse. But they can be mistaken, since they all build from the previous generation. To claim an overwhelming majority in this, is disingenuous. That is not true at all. Imam Malik (r.a.), the student of Shaykh Hisham (r.a.) also declined to narrate from him in his al-Muwaththa’, and so did many of the worthies of Madina in his time.
Sister Shima Umm Ramy: I am a mother, Brother Khalil. Although I have a son only, it would be very difficult for me to allow my daughter to go through that, if I have one. I can understand if young ones are betrothed to each other at an early age as is practised in some cultures, but to have sex with a girl at such a young age, it hurts! And that is why I agree with Sister Brenda, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would not harm anyone!
Sister Nazeera Faz: This is adapted from the Islamic Research Foundation International answer: ‘Aishah’s (r.a.) Age at Marriage. In the Mishkat al-Maswabih by Imam at-Tabrizi (r.a.) on consent in marriage, a woman must be consulted and give her permission to make the marriage valid. It says, “So, in a Muslim marriage, a credible permission from women is a pre-requisite for the marriage to be valid. By any stretch of imagination, the permission by a seven-year-old immature girl cannot be a valid authorisation for marriage. It is unconceivable to me that Abu Bakr, an intelligent man, would take seriously the permission of a seven-year-old girl to marry a fifty-year-old man. Similarly, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would not have accepted permission given by an immature girl who, according to Imam Muslim (r.a.), took her toys with her when she went live with Prophet (s.a.w.).
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Well, Sister Shima, I would not let my daughter get married at 9 years old today, living in America, in our current situation and lifestyle either, but that judgement of mine is not based on a universal standard of morality that has existed for all time! Again, you and others are forging your own sensibilities throughout the annals of time and making a judgement, and projecting that judgement throughout time and culture and everything else! In my view, this is very arrogant! The simple fact of the matter, looking at it historically, when girls mature and have their menstruation, they were considered, in many cultures, ready for sex! Here in the United States, like I showed in the 19th century Delaware law, the age of consent was at 7 years old!
Sister Crystal: And many of us would not have agreed with the law being 7 years old in Delaware. Also, most girls do not have their menstruation at 9. That has been a relatively recent development due to the use of growth hormones in foods. I, too, considered that argument. But I have a reasonable knowledge of the human body due to my work in the medical field. While it is possible, it is not probable.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis no, our scholars are not infallible! The Prophet (s.a.w.) is infallible and since he consummated his marriage with ‘Aishah (r.a.) when she was 9 years old, then he was absolutely right to do so! And I will take Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), Imam Muslim (r.a.) and his masters of ahadits and their high level of knowledge over your emotional rants against them! You also are not knowledgeable about ahadits and its sciences, brother! All of the narrations do not go through Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.), as you erroneously assert! And to top it off, Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.) did not just convey this through the Iraqis as you erroneously assert! Imam az-Zuhri (r.a.), from Madina, relayed it through him, as well as Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Dhakwan (r.a.), another Madinan. The scholars of ahadits have Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.) to be reliable and trustworthy which is why his account is found in Swahih Muslim!
Your also wrong that Shaykh Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (r.a.) was the only one who reported this! Shaykh Gibril Haddad exposes your error in his explanation here, by showing that the reports also came from other tabi’in as well: “Nor was this hadits reported only by ‘Urwah, but also by ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, al-Aswad, ibn Abi Mulaykah, Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Yahya ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Hathib, Abu ‘Ubaydah, and others of the tabi‘i a’immah directly from ‘Aishah.”
So, I guess all of these ahadits reporters were pedophiles too! Think of the magnitude of your insulting disparagement of our ‘ulama! You should be ashamed of yourself, my brother, and repent to Allah! If you have such a disparaging view of our ‘ulama, why do you claim to take your Diyn from them?
Sister Nazeera Faz: Brother Khalil Muhsin, please read the link I posted above and tell your opinion about it.
Sister Shima Umm Ramy: Sister Nazeera, Dr. Adnan Ibrahim provided a detailed explanation on this, yet this was not accepted, so I am not banking on Brother Khalil accepting this other evidence.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I believe it is you who are being emotional, Brother Khalil Muhsin, and you are projecting. You would note by the way I write that I am not ranting. I like my sentences grammatically perfect and my spelling in proper British English. I wrote most of my answers from memory. I did not need to cut and paste from anywhere. I contend that it would be unbecoming to believe or accept that our Prophet (s.a.w.) would have sexual relations with a child. I would not have left everything behind and converted to Islam if I believed that he was anything less than morally perfect.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Sister Crystal, whether you would have agreed with that law back in 1850 or not, is irrelevant! The fact of the matter is that it was the law back then, and what it shows is that our attitudes about sex have changed a bit over the centuries! The fact that it was the law shows that there was widespread acceptance! Also your own statement admits to the possibility of a girl having their menstruation at 9, and again, you are using evaluations of people and conditions today as universals to apply to all time! Show me a study that took place 1,400 years ago in the Arabian Desert that describes women’s capacity for sexual intercourse and then we can intelligently discuss the issue!
Sister Shima Umm Ramy, no, I do not have to accept that there are ahadits which “defy and contradict” the noble character of the Prophet (s.a.w.)! What I can accept is that there is a gross lack of knowledge about Arabic language, that many have never studied ‘ulum al-ahadits, that many have never read commentaries on the ahadits that explain linguistics, that conveys context of ahadits reports, and a whole host of issues related to ahadits! I will accept that before I accept assertions about ahadits from people who generally do not know what they are talking about!
Sister Nazeera here is what I think about what you posted. Listen and examine this carefully! Dr. Brown is an ahadits expert: “Why are You Agitated by the Age of ‘Aishah (r.a.)?”
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Khalil Muhsin, what you have failed to understand is that this is also an issue of fithrah. We do not need the Qur’an or the ahadits to tell us when some things are wrong. I would be worried for the man who could be convinced that the murder of an innocent is acceptable because “scripture” says so, that rape is acceptable, that thievery is acceptable, that oppression is acceptable, that taking sexual advantage of a minor is acceptable. Such a thing is repugnant upon the soul. That is the purpose of our conscience. We know in the depths of our being that this is wrong. Are some people so morally unsound that they are willing to believe the perverse?
The ahadits are neutral, there as snapshots of moments. That does not make them pillars of iman, or legal rulings in and of themselves. Disagreeing upon a hadits should not automatically be viewed as an inpugnment upon the character of the people who verified it. Could you imagine if in every dispute on the authenticity of a hadits, the scholars took it personally? Why are you? And since when did our ‘aqidah include total and absolute acceptance of the Shaykhayn?
My moral compass cannot accept that the man who was the wasilah for us to receive Revelation would be guilty of any form of deliberate zhulm. That is impossible. I consider this a worse fitnah than people defacing mosques or drawing caricatures of the Prophet (s.a.w.). At least they have the excuse that they are disbelievers. What is the excuse of the Muslims?
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Sister Shima Umm Ramy, your logic is extremely faulty. The Prophet (s.a.w.) married ‘Aishah (r.a.) at the age of 6 and waited until she reached the age of 9 to consummate the marriage. It is your assumption that this hurt her without any evidence at all except the projections of your 21st century moral and emotional sensitivities. Talk to and do some research with cultural historians and they will inform you that it was a common practice. Listen to the video I posted where Dr. Brown explains that while the ahadits were well known for centuries about the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) marriage and consummation, that the enemies of Islam who were anxious to disprove something about Islam knew about this; they never mentioned it because it was so common that no one thought about it like we would today.
Sister Shima Umm Ramy: I provided an alternative explanation by an Arab Muslim scholar, knowledgeable in the science of ahadits.
Sister Nazeera Faz: Even after knowing that there are discrepancies in the hadits, rather than believing that Prophet (s.a.w.) did not marry a 9-year-old, to argue otherwise strange to me!
Sister Shima Umm Ramy: That is, it, Sister Nazeera. Dr. Adnan presented the discrepancies, but because he came to a different conclusion, it is considered controversial.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, the Qur’an and sunnah tells us that murder, rape, thievery and oppression is wrong! We are Muslims; we get our moral standards from Revelation, not from your personal moral compass with suggestions that your compass is so pure that is can discern the fithrah! Once again, what are you saying about our ‘ulama? If they are “perverse”, what legitimate claim do you have to them? What do you say about Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.): he was a great scholar but a pervert? So we should ignore his perversion and accept his scholarship? Listen to the foolish implications of your words, brother, and what it comes to is simple: perhaps you are wrong? Is that a possibility? Or why not say, “Hey, let me leave this issue alone because I have not fully understood it”? How about that? It is your insistence that follows a pattern that you deem logical but, in reality, it is illogical.
It says: consummating with a woman at the age of 9 is morally wrong; it is perverse; the Prophet (s.a.w.) would never do something perverse; and the Prophet (s.a.w.) was lied upon by the vast majority of scholars in Islamic history because he did not consummate with a woman at the age of 9! Your thought process starting with the first two points, is assumptive and arrogant! It projects not what Allah (s.w.t.) has Made Clear to us by Revelation, but what you project as your standard of moral excellence. And you not only project it for our time and space, but you project this as a universal principle that expands across space, time, and culture! You can apply all the emotives that you want! What you cannot deny is that the scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah have affirmed the ahadits for centuries! Now, if all of them are perverts, then what can we legitimately say about our Diyn? That our knowledge is from perverts? May Allah (s.w.t.) Protect our ‘ulama from such scandalous mistreatment and distortion!
Dr. Adnan’s presentation is filled with discrepancies and these discrepancies are similar to what many scholars have successfully and clearly refuted. Scholars like Dr. Johnathon Brown, Shaykh Gibril Haddad, and Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Hamid ‘Ali have far more knowledge of the ahadits sciences than Dr. Adnan and his claims on this issue are rejected by serious scholars of ahadits.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Khalil Muhsin, are you trying to say that without the Qur’an, you would not know that murder is wrong? The Qur’an and the sunnah is the standard of moral excellence. It is not the standard of morality since that would mean without it, people are by nature, immoral. That in itself would contradict what Allah (s.w.t.) Says, that He Created us in the Best of Forms. It is without doubt that consummation of marriage with a 9-year-old, a child is morally wrong. If you believe it is acceptable, you should not be near children. Heaven forbid.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) was not “lied upon” as you state. The proper concept was that there is an error in that sanad. I believe so, other scholars do. There is a khilaf here. You make it sound as if this was an ijma’ when it is not. Are you saying that scholars who do not hold the same opinion as your favourites are not serious hadits scholars?
You have also failed to account for biology. What are the chances of such a child having mensuration? What would be the state of her vagina by such an intrusion? In which part of the Qur’an has your version of Allah made clear that having sex with a child is acceptable even then? There is no moral ambiguity here. That you would claim it relative is worrying.
Also, please go back to the thread and compare the timeline. You have not successfully addressed it. The mathematics cannot be refuted by a narration. We know the age of ‘Aishah (r.a.) at her passing, and we know the date. It is a simple exercise of arithmetic.
This excuse of time and space is also not acceptable. Morality is not relative. It is a standard that has not changed. It is eroded by the less scrupulous but religion is meant to be its guardians. Islam set the standard of moral absolutism in the Qur’an as al-Furqan, and now you are using ahadits to argue otherwise?
Sister Crystal: Brother Khalil Muhsin, show me proof that ‘Aishah (r.a.) had her menses at that time, and that Muhammad (s.a.w.) did not, even by the standard of menstruation and puberty make a woman, have sex with a child in mind and body. By all definitions, that is a paedophile. If you choose to believe that theology, then you are indeed endorsing paedophilia.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, this is astounding! So, this moral standard of “fithrah” that would deny the consummation of marriage with a 9-year-old, this perverse and immoral crime as you describe it, was suddenly overlooked and accepted by our ‘ulama for thousands of years because of a ‘mistake’ in the sanad? This what you are telling us! For real? The great scholars of fiqh and taswawwuf, men renowned for moral excellence, the awliya’, the masters of the sciences of the shari’ah and heart; they all accepted this report about the Prophet (saws) which you describe as a natural evil, an enormous perversion and abomination; they all have accepted this enormous error for centuries and obviously ignored what they should have known was wrong by “fithrah” or “nature” simply because of this “mistake” in the sanad! My dear brother, that is plain ignorant! This is the exact same argument of the Wahhabis who claim after thousands of years of scholarship, they can come along and fix the “mistakes” of our ‘ulama!
Your moral, biological assumptions are not universal, my brother! You cannot make a “biological account” for people living 1,400 years ago in the Arabian Desert, brother! That is ridiculous! What have I articulated that is different from Shaykh Gibril Haddad who you hold in high esteem when he is refuting Wahhabis; would you permit him around your kids?
You tell me of one fiqh text that goes beyond saying that when the woman has her menstruation, she is mature and can be married! Tell me of one fiqh text, and our ‘ulama were masters of medicine too! They understood the woman's body well! Tell me of one, single classical text from any of the four schools of Islamic thought that provides age as a prohibitionary condition of marriage! If morality is not relative, then you are accusing our ‘ulama who have accepted these reports for centuries as being immoral? This is the only conceivable and logical conclusion one can reach from your statements, brother! Not even the Wahhabis make such a blatantly disrespectful assessment of our ‘ulama or awliya’! May Allah Protect you from error!
The proof is that she had her menstruation at that time or before that time, is that the Prophet (s.a.w.) consummated his marriage with her at that time which is verified by seventeen different chains of narration, sanad, including by Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) and Imam Muslim (r.a.)! The evidence and proof is overwhelming! The reality is that to the people of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, we know what is morally right and wrong because the Qur’an and sunnah says its right and wrong! Now, if you are a Mu’tazilite, then you have a different ‘aqidah from the people of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah and you would believe that we can know right and wrong without Revelation - this is a different argument!
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Khalil Muhsin, you have made Islam inaccessible to the Muslims and have driven the non-Muslims away with this lack of morals. Your segue into fiqh, taswawwuf and ‘aqidah has widened an issue of a mere sanad and made it an article of faith. Your reasoning is superfluous and emotional. Your nafs got so involved in a simple discussion that ended with you at odds with almost every single person on this thread. Instead of convincing people, you have driven them further from the inheritors of the prophets. Are you embodying this sunnah you claim to defend, brother?
And you have not addressed many of the actual points beyond what you have put up pertaining to one aspect of the discussion. That is disappointing. Your argument was circular.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, those are all nice deflections from what I have directly asked of you. It is very simple and not complicated at all, my brother. It is you who has made the judgements! You decreed that, “It is without doubt that consummation of marriage with a 9-year-old, a child is morally wrong.” It is you who have stated that, “The proper concept was that there is an error in that sanad.”
So, once again, I ask you for clarity: the great scholars of fiqh and taswawwuf, men renowned for moral excellence, the awliya’, the masters of the sciences of the shari’ah and heart; they all accepted this report about the Prophet (s.a.w.) which you describe as a natural evil, an enormous perversion and abomination, they all have accepted this enormous error for centuries and obviously ignored what they should have known was wrong by “fithrah” or “nature” simply because of this “mistake” in the sanad!
How is this an unfair conclusion to reach by way of what you state? Are you saying that Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), Imam Muslim (r.a.) and numerous other scholars over the centuries of Islamic scholarship looked at this hadits, and we know they were men of great piety and morality! Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) was extremely strict about who he took ahadits from and if it was known that these men where in the slightest morally corrupt or guilty of minor sins repeatedly, he would not accept ahadits from them. Yet, Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), this pillar of moral excellence and character would pass along a hadits to us that is, as you describe, ‘perverse’ and accept it! Does that really make sense to you, brother! Stop ducking and avoiding the issue!
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Khalil Muhsin, perhaps you may not be aware, but there have been, over the ages, ahadits that were initially authenticated, even graded swahih, that were eventually discarded. It is a continuing process. It is not part of the ‘aqidah that we must accept every ahadits. You may say that I am arrogant, or such like. I am not going to lose sleep over it. I disagree with your “evidences” but I am not inclined to debate on them. The way I read the situation, you are simply defending a position because you want to win an argument and I do not play those games. They are for children.
There are a multitude of people like you in this ummah. You know some of the text but you do not know people. In effect, you worship your version of the text. My concern, is not to refute you on every single point, but to assure the sisters, especially the new converts, that not all Muslims believe this, or use it to condone paedophilia, as it is happening now. I have raised more than enough points to question the unquestioned, this need to accept everything without thinking.
Brother Khalil Muhsin: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, in other words you are not going to answer the questions or the implications of your own statements that are extremely confusing to new Muslims and anyone who adheres to Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah and we should simply accept from you, that our righteous ‘ulama condoned paedophilia because they made a mistake with the sanad! This is the bottom line of what you are saying! All the rest of what you are addressing is diversionary drivel and nonsense!
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: What is confusing is people like you condoning paedophilia. I find it disturbing that you deliberately mischaracterise what I said.
Sister Crystal: Brother Khalil Muhsin, your “proof” of menstruation is as indefinite as everything else. You have essentially said that we know ‘Aishah (r.a.) was 9 at consummation because it is written, and the moral code is written, and that is our basis for knowledge. What you have just failed in proving is that ‘Aishah (r.a.) was indeed physically ready as a woman to become a wife in body as well as name. If she had indeed been prepared, would not it have been explicitly written, as everything else supposedly is? Rather, you subscribe to the implication that she was physically entering puberty and had her menstruation by assuming that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would not have consummated the marriage otherwise. This is not explicitly written, therefore, we do not know, and opinions are formed as opposed to definitive knowledge being revealed. You have contradicted your own arguments with your own form of argument. Be consistent, brother, in how you argue and how you determine fact from supposition.
Sister Marjorie Abdullah: We know that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was the best of husbands and ‘Aishah (r.a.) was happily married, but many men are not and in this year, 2014, many young girls are forced into marriage without their consent. 14 million girls under 18 years are married off every year, usually dropping out of school and failing to realise their potential. They are more vulnerable to domestic violence than older brides, are 5 times more likely to die of complications during pregnancy and childbirth and even their babies are 60% more likely to die before their 1st birthday. Many young brides are so miserable, they attempt suicide. The Qur’an speaks out about burying girls alive, yet is not forcing a girl into marriage before she is ready and not allowing her an education or to fulfill her potential another way to bury her alive?