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Old 11-01-2008, 11:04 PM   #1
Ummat Muhammad
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: ALBUQ, NM
Posts: 49
Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

As Salaamu Alykum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Barakatu

I came across an interesting argument recently. There are some questions I want a reliable brother OR sister, to answer, if possible. I had a peculiar discussion with a brother before 'Isha about two days ago. He started the conversation by stating most Muslims put hadiths in a much highers status than it should be, and if it isn't mentioned in the Qur'an we must be suspicious of it, even if it is declared Sahih. Than he stated that all the hadiths about Aisha (RAA) being around the age of 9 or 6 when getting married is unreliable, even though they are Sahih. He even went further by stating that there has been research done by "scholars" that prove she was 18 when she married the blessed Prophet (Sallalahu Aleyhi Wasallam)!!! I'm a traditionalist inclined Muslim, so when I heard this, it sounded blasphemous. Even more shocking is he presented the argument that all the hadiths referring to 'Isa (AS) coming back to earth approaching the end of time cannot be trusted because they are narrated by Imam Bukhari's teacher, whose name I forgot. He gave the explanation that scholars have written on the teacher of Imam Bukhari, and that they declared he wasn't a righteous person, etc.. SOO my questions are:

1) Does anybody know of this research that says Aisha's marriage was at 18? And why would the Sahih hadiths about her marriage be considered unreliable?

2) What proof from Qur'an and Sunna is there that 'Isa (AS) will descend towards Yaum Al-Qiyamah. And, what is the criticism of the Teacher of Imam Bukhari who narrated the hadiths?
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:24 AM   #2
Ummat Muhammad
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: under Allah's Mercy
Posts: 873
Re: Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

Read Authority of the Sunnah by Jamaal Zarabozo and then share what you learn with him.

The book doesn't answer the above questions that you stated, but they answer the bigger question for this brother which lies in the authority, integrity, honor, and preservation of the sunnah.

This is clear in his beginning statement: He started the conversation by stating most Muslims put hadiths in a much highers status than it should be.

Wa Allahu A'lam.
"We all must suffer from one of two things: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret."

Abd Allah b. Shawdhab (d. 157 AH/774 CE) said,

"Verily, it is from the happiness of a youth or a foreigner that Allah guides them to a scholar from Ahl as-Sunnah."
al-Laalikaa'ee in Sharh Usoolul - I'tiqaad (no.30)

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Old 11-02-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
Sara Kasmani
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Re: Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

Actually akhi, rather than prove these things to him, I would take on the attack and find out his real motives.
When most people start a conversation of in that matter, they are not telling you this information because they want to know more about it...rather this is the first things that people say to sow the seeds of doubts in people and then introduce them to either deviant beliefs or to take them out of Islam altogether. I know this, because at uni one of the brightest students in our Islamic Studies class was a guy whose sole aim in life was missionary work in the Middle East (ie, converting the muslims in the middle east to christianity)
So tell him - the doubts that you are trying to raise have been answered a million times (and they have...any look at the major dawah sites will answer your questions, esp the sites run by Yusuf Estes) so what is your real reason in trying to corrupt my beliefs?
At this point he will back track....and then this is where you affirm your unyeilding attachment to the book of Allah and his promise to preserve the sunnah, becuase that is also part of the revelation. Then just turn your back and walk away. If he follows you, you can almost be guaranteed that he was up to no good. If he doesn't follow you, tell someone with more knowledge and more experiance in dawah and get them to speak with this brother. That way, you save yourself and you don't leave him hanging if indeed, he is genuine.

This is just my opinion....but you know the situation better. either way, before you speak with him again, keep making dua for his and your guidance as this is the best took when giving dawah.

Wallahu alam.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:47 PM   #4
Ummat Muhammad
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: ALBUQ, NM
Posts: 49
Re: Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

A found a very good argument on Aisha's age being older than 9. Ofcourse nothing is more proof than a Sahih Hadith, but this is still interesting. Can Shykh Yassir, another shykh, or a student a knowledge elaborate on these proofs?:

What was Ayesha’s (ra) Age at the Time of Her Marriage?

What was Ayesha’s (ra) age at the time of her marriage?

It is normally believed that she was nine years old at the time of her marriage with Mohammad (sws) was consummated. I do think it was according to the traditions of the Arab culture, as otherwise people would have objected to this marriage. But unfortunately, the modern day man is not satisfied with an answer as simple as that.


To begin with, I think it is the responsibility of all those who believe that marrying a girl as young as nine years old was an accepted norm of the Arab culture, to provide at least a few examples to substantiate their point of view. I have not yet been able to find a single dependable instance in the books of Arab history where a girl as young as nine years old was given away in marriage. Unless such examples are given, we do not have any reasonable grounds to believe that it really was an accepted norm.

In my opinion, the age of Ayesha (ra) has been grossly mis-reported in the ahadith. Not only that, I think that the narratives reporting this event are not only highly unreliable but also that on the basis of other historical data, the event reported, is quite an unlikely happening. Let us look at the issue from an objective stand point. My reservations in accepting the narratives, on the basis of which, Ayeshas (ra) age at the time of her marriage with the Prophet (pbuh) is held to be nine years are:
  • Most of these narratives are reported only by Hisham ibn `urwah reporting on the authority of his father. An event as well known as the one being reported, should logically have been reported by more people than just one, two or three.
  • It is quite strange that no one from Medinah, where Hisham ibn `urwah lived the first seventy one years of his life has narrated the event, even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. All the narratives of this event have been reported by narrators from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have had shifted after living in Medinah for seventy one years.
  • Tehzibu'l-tehzib, one of the most well known books on the life and reliability of the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah: "narratives reported by Hisham are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq". It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq. (vol 11, pg 48 - 51)
  • Mizanu'l-ai`tidal, another book on the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that when he was old, Hisham's memory suffered quite badly. (vol 4, pg 301 - 302)
  • According to the generally accepted tradition, Ayesha (ra) was born about eight years before Hijrah. But according to another narrative in Bukhari (kitabu'l-tafseer) Ayesha (ra) is reported to have said that at the time Surah Al-Qamar, the 54th chapter of the Qur'an, was revealed, "I was a young girl". The 54th surah of the Qur'an was revealed nine years before Hijrah. According to this tradition, Ayesha (ra) had not only been born before the revelation of the referred surah, but was actually a young girl (jariyah), not an infant (sibyah) at that time. Obviously, if this narrative is held to be true, it is in clear contradiction with the narratives reported by Hisham ibn `urwah. I see absolutely no reason that after the comments of the experts on the narratives of Hisham ibn `urwah, why we should not accept this narrative to be more accurate.
  • According to a number of narratives, Ayesha (ra) accompanied the Muslims in the battle of Badr and Uhud. Furthermore, it is also reported in books of hadith and history that no one under the age of 15 years was allowed to take part in the battle of Uhud. All the boys below 15 years of age were sent back. Ayesha's (ra) participation in the battle of Badr and Uhud clearly indicate that she was not nine or ten years old at that time. After all, women used to accompany men to the battle fields to help them, not to be a burden on them.
  • According to almost all the historians Asma (ra), the elder sister of Ayesha (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha (ra). It is reported in Taqri'bu'l-tehzi'b as well as Al-bidayah wa'l-nihayah that Asma (ra) died in 73 hijrah when she was 100 years old. Now, obviously if Asma (ra) was 100 years old in 73 hijrah she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah. If Asma (ra) was 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah, Ayesha (ra) should have been 17 or 18 years old at that time. Thus, Ayesha (ra), if she got married in 1 AH (after hijrah) or 2 AH, was between 18 to 20 years old at the time of her marriage.
  • Tabari in his treatise on Islamic history, while mentioning Abu Bakr (ra) reports that Abu Bakr had four children and all four were born during the Jahiliyyah -- the pre Islamic period. Obviously, if Ayesha (ra) was born in the period of jahiliyyah, she could not have been less than 14 years in 1 AH -- the time she most likely got married.
  • According to Ibn Hisham, the historian, Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam quite some time before Umar ibn Khattab (ra). This shows that Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam during the first year of Islam. While, if the narrative of Ayesha's (ra) marriage at seven years of age is held to be true, Ayesha (ra) should not have been born during the first year of Islam.
  • Tabari has also reported that at the time Abu Bakr planned on migrating to Habshah (8 years before Hijrah), he went to Mut`am -- with whose son Ayesha (ra) was engaged -- and asked him to take Ayesha (ra) in his house as his son's wife. Mut`am refused, because Abu Bakr had embraced Islam, and subsequently his son divorced Ayesha (ra). Now, if Ayesha (ra) was only seven years old at the time of her marriage, she could not have been born at the time Abu Bakr decided on migrating to Habshah. On the basis of this report it seems only reasonable to assume that Ayesha (ra) had not only been born 8 years before hijrah, but was also a young lady, quite prepared for marriage.
  • According to a narrative reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, after the death of Khadijah (ra), when Khaulah (ra) came to the Prophet (pbuh) advising him to marry again, the Prophet (pbuh) asked her regarding the choices she had in her mind. Khaulah said: "You can marry a virgin (bikr) or a woman who has already been married (thayyib)". When the Prophet (pbuh) asked about who the virgin was, Khaulah proposed Ayesha's (ra) name. All those who know the Arabic language, are aware that the word "bikr" in the Arabic language is not used for an immature nine year old girl. The correct word for a young playful girl, as stated earlier is "Jariyah". "Bikr" on the other hand, is used for an unmarried lady, and obviously a nine year old is not a "lady".
  • According to Ibn Hajar, Fatimah (ra) was five years older than Ayesha (ra). Fatimah (ra) is reported to have been born when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old. Thus, even if this information is taken to be correct, Ayesha (ra) could by no means be less than 14 years old at the time of hijrah, and 15 or 16 years old at the time of her marriage.

These are some of the major points that go against accepting the commonly known narrative regarding Ayesha's (ra) age at the time of her marriage.

In my opinion, neither was it an Arab tradition to give away girls in marriage at an age as young as nine or ten years, nor did the Prophet (pbuh) marry Ayesha (ra) at such a young age. The people of Arabia did not object to this marriage, because it never happened in the manner it has been narrated.

I hope I have been of some help.

Best Regards

1- The answer to this question is primarily based on the research by Habib ur Rahman Kandhalwi (urdu) as presented in his booklet, "Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat", Anjuman Uswa e hasanah, Karachi, Pakistan
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:26 AM   #5
Qabeelat Tayybah
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Brooklyn
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Re: Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

wa 'alaikumassalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

As the sister said, don't focus on mending the branches with him; go for the roots. The root of his problem isn't that he doesn't want as-Sayyida 'Aisha's (RA) age to be 9, nor his denial of Prophet 'Isa ('alayhissallam) coming back. The root is that he simply has no idea what the place of hadith is in this Deen. I don't know any good books to refer you to, but the sister mentioned the book by Jamal Zarabozo.

I think that if this brother is sincere, all he needs is to understand how important and trustworthy and fundamental hadiths are to a Muslim, and of course how developed and precise and accurate the science and system of hadith really is. From what you said about him, I can guess that he probably has the same misconception that many have: Hadiths are unreliable because they are simple "He narrated from him, who heard from him..." and that's where it ends. Actually, there is much more to it than that!!
After the root problem is solved, the branches mend themselves.

Now...if he has some sort of inner problem about 'Aisha's (RA) age being 9 because of the environment we live in today and the things we hear constantly, then that is a different story and there are many responses to that. But for now his main problem is his lack of knowledge about the science of hadith and how dependable it really is.

Allah knows best.
مَا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

18. Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it).
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:25 PM   #6
Qabeelat Tayybah
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Re: Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

I would also suggest coaxing and cajoling (based on hikmah) to attend classes held by knowledgeable people. I witnessed this many times with muslims (specifically converts) who had a problem and preferred the Quraan to the Sunnah (in the misguided manner) and once they learned from people they couldn't possibly question (or possibly answer against the proofs) they came back to the correct understanding inshaAllah.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Qabeelat Al-Shams
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Location: London
Posts: 188
Re: Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

Assalaamu 'Alaykum,

Our dear brother, Ayman bin Khaled has written a very detailed response to the argument that Aa'isha (radiyallaahu 'anhaa) was 18 years of age when she married ar-Rasool (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). InshaAllaah I'll try and post it.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:21 PM   #8
Banu Wedad
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Re: Aisha's REAL age and is 'ISA (AS) really coming back?

Whatever age she was, it doesn't really matter does it?
If there was really a problem with it, during that time, then you would think at least one of his (SAW) many enemies would have said something about it. Simple as that.

Allahu Allim.
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