January 23, 2011

Why didn't they say something?

I am reading about the Prophet (Sallahu Aalayhi wa Salaam) and I am in AWE of him. MashaAllah. I am reading his physical description, his mannerism etc. etc. and it has given me a deeper understanding of him. I got to the question about Aisha (ra) and I accepted it before since there was CLEARLY some wisdom in that choice since many ahadeeth are narrated through her and she was one of the leading jurists of her time. mashaAllah.

Besides reading Shama'il Tirmidhi I am attending the Al Maghrib "The Prophet's Smile" and although I missed yesterday's class I will make it today inshaAllah.  I was reading the notebook accompanying the class and came across this

Doubt #2 Why was 'Aisha (ra) so young?
"Firstly, it should be pointed out that this contention was never raised by any of the early critics of the Prophet (saw). Rather, it is an allegation that became notorious post-enlightenment. Thus, had there been the smallest hint of impropriety, the early critics of the prophet (saw) would have definitely raised this contention.

Secondly, not only was it customary in Arabia to get married at the age of puberty, but it was customary in the Christian western world as well. Here are some examples:

Imam al-Shafii said, "during my stay in Yemen, I have come across girls who began menstruation at the age of nine." -Siyar A'lam Al-Nubala10/91

Imam al-Bayhaqi narrated that Imam al Shafi said, "I have seen in the city of Sana'a a grandmother while she was twenty one. She menstruated at the age of nine and gave birth at the age of 10."  -Sunan al Bayhaqi al-Kubra': 1/319

Ibn al-Jawzi narrated similar stories from Ibn 'Uqail and 'Ubad al Mahlby -Tahqeeq Fi ahadith al-Khilaf 2/267

It is also narrated that the companion 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'As became a grandfather at the age of 23 or 26.

In Greek and Roman literature, many citations can be found of women getting married at puberty.

In our times, the state of Alabama and New Hampshire allow a girl of age 13 and 14 to marry with guardian consent.

It is also important to note that at no point in time was any discontent showed from 'Aisha (ra), but rather she loved the Prophet (saw) dearly.  This is manifested in the fact that, with her sharp and intelligent mind, she went on to become one of the five top narrators of hadith from all the Companions.  This alludes to the greater wisdom behind this marriage as well. Lastly, it is important to note that just because we are unable to perceive and fathom maturity at such young ages (due to the times in which we live, where at 17, one is still considered a minor and unaccountable for one's actions), it does not mean that it did not previously exist.  Thus, it is clear that claims that such wives were too young are baseless, and it is rather just a case of difference of place and time.

Didn't necessarily need such a long response but hey it added to my belief so am cool with it.  Just wanted to share since I benefited from it. Alhamdulillah.

wa salaam!


AlabasterMuslim said...

I love history, so when I found out that Aisha RadiAllahu Anha was nine when she was married, it didn't bother me at all because I was so use to hearing about nine year olds through 12 year olds getting married. The explanation was good though because I've never thought of the fact that even Prophet Muhammed's Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallams foes (at the time) didn't complain about it.

.::Tuttie::. said...

@Al. Alhamdulillah! I love history so I can get lost in a history book real fast.

@Sara. I just wanted to share in the hopes that it might benefit someone.

coolred38 said...

Menustrating at the early age of 9 is a biological function that nobody has control over. Being attracted to a 9 year old enough to want to have sex with her is something else entirely.

I have a lot of issues with a grown man being attracted to a child to the extent that he would and could have sex with her. This has nothing to do with custom or culture as ALL grown men do not view ALL 9 year olds in a sexual manner...no matter the custom or culture they spring from. So, as I said...I have big issues with this.

Regarding the fact that even his enemies had no issue with him said more about the standing of women as property in those days and not having autonomy over her own body and thus couldn't say no even if she wanted too...then that it was an accepted norm that grown men routinely married and had sex with children.