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How Old was Aisyah (r.a) when She got married to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)? (Part 4)

Author of this article:   Ridhwan ibn Muhammad Saleem

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful
Praise be to God, and peace upon the Seal of Prophets.

Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Orientation to Dates
Awareness of Age in Pre-Modern Societies
Evidence that Aisha was Between Fifteen and Nineteen Years of Age
Chronological Imprecision in the Prophetic Biography
Conceptualisation of Numbers in Primitive Societies
Differences in the ‘six-nine’ narrations
More Evidence that the Relationship was not Inappropriate
Why did the ‘six-nine’ narrations gain such prominence?
Conclusion

Appendix: Authors note

Abstract

Although the widely-cited hadith states that Aisha was nine years old when her marriage to the Prophet (upon him be peace) was consummated, this is contradicted by strong historical evidence. Tabari, the famous historian and hadith expert, states that Aisha was born at least fifteen years before the marriage was consummated, and both early prophetic biographers, Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham, mention that Aisha was amongst the earliest converts to Islam, once again making her much older than the ‘six-nine’ reports indicate, and corroborating Tabari’s opinion. Also, reports of Aisha’s age in works by such authorities as Nawawi, `Asqallani and Ibn Kathir all place her in her late teens at the time the marriage was consummated. Moreover, historical reports in books such as Saheeh al-Bukari contain descriptions of Aisha in which she appears much older than the ‘six-nine’ narrations would suggest.  Pre-modern people were typically not aware of age or birth dates as we are in modern bureaucratised society, and conceptualisation of numbers was also very different in the past. Pre-modern people would often approximate their age when asked, and numbers were often expressed as descriptors rather than intended to be chronologically precise.  Read more of this post

How Old was Aisyah (r.a) when She got married to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)? (Part 3)

Prophet Mohammad’s youngest and only virgin wife is Aisha (Aysha or Ayesha), the daughter of his closest companion. Her age at the time of marriage is uncertain. According to some narrations, she was 9 years old. Because she could have been as young as 9 years old, these days, some haters of Islam today say that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was a pedophile. However, according to alternative methods of calculating her age, she could have been 12 – 18 years old. What is certain is that he did reach her puberty and she was very happy in her marriage.

Most of the Hadith narrations mentioning her age was nine are reported through Hisham ibn Urwa while living in Iraq, where Hisham ibn Urwa is reported to have relocated after living in Madinah for seventy-one years. It is reported in one of the most well known books on the life and reliability of the narrators of the traditions ascribed to the Muhammad reports that Yaqub ibn Shaibah said, “narratives reported by Hisham are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq”. It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham, which were reported through people of Iraq. Another book on the narrators of the traditions of the Muhammad reports that when he was old, Hisham’s memory suffered quite badly.

We find evidence in both Hadith books and history books that indicates Aisha must have been older than nine when she got married: Read more of this post

How Old was Aisyah (r.a) when She got married to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)? (Part 2)

Qualities of Aisha and her role in Islam

In any discussion on the age of Aisha (ra: may Allah be pleased with her) at the time of her marriage with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him), it is of the greatest relevance to note the pivotal role she played as a teacher, exponent and interpreter of the religion of Islam. Aisha was an exceptionally intelligent and astute woman, a young prodigy, and this was the main reason why she was got married to the Holy Prophet, as is clearly proved by events after the Holy Prophet’s life. She entered his household, shortly after his emigration to Madina, just at the time when the teachings of Islam in all fields of life for the Muslim community were starting to be revealed to the Holy Prophet and demonstrated by him by his example and practice. An intellectually gifted person was required who would have daily contact with the Holy Prophet at the closest and most personal level, so as to absorb the teachings that he was giving on all aspects of life by his words and actions. Such a person would need to possess the following qualities:

  • an excellent, precise memory to retain a vast amount of detail accurately,
  • the understanding to grasp the significance and the principles of the teachings,
  • powers of reasoning, criticism and deduction to resolve problems on the basis of those teachings,
  • the skills to convey knowledge to a wide range of audience,
  • and, finally, have the prospect of living for a considerable period of time after the death of the Holy Prophet in order to spread his message to distant generations.

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How Old was Aisyah (r.a) when She got married to Muhammad?

pbuh)PROOF #1: OUR TESTING TOWARD THE SOURCE Most of the stories which tell us about this matter were being told only by Hisham ibn `Urwah, who wrote it by the order of his father. There supposed minimal 2 or 3 person who wrote the same story or hadist. It is strange that no one in Medinah, where Hisham ibn `Urwah lived, until his 71 years old, had waited to told about this story, besides the fact that there were a lot of students in Medinah include the famous one Malik ibn Anas, never recorded to tell about this story. The beginning of this story was from Iraq people, where Hisham stayed there in his old age after moved from Medinah. Tehzibu’l-Tehzib, one of a quite famous book who discuss about the stories from Hadist tellers, according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah has noted : “Hisham is highly trusted, his story possible to accept, EXCEPT the stories he told after he moved to Iraq“(Tehzi’bu’l-tehzi’b, Ibn Hajar Al- ‘asqala’ni, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, 15th century. Vol 11, p.50). Read more of this post