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Child brides as young as 8 (eight) were common among the Byzantine emperors and nobility!
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This page was taken from http://filebox.vt.edu/users/oraja/aishahage.html
Hazrat Aishah Siddiqah's
Age at Her Marriage:
[Note: Many anti-Islamic sites accuse our Beloved Holy Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, of , God Forbid, marrying a minor. We present here an article that will clear our Beloved Holy Prophet (pbuh) off this blasphemous charge. May Allah guide the opponents of Islam aright, Aameen!]
Most narrations carry misstatements about the age of Hazrat Aishah Siddiqah at the time of her marriage to the Holy Prophet, (peach and blessings of Allah be upon him). They place this marriage in the tenth year of the Call and state that Hazrat Aishah was only 6 years old at that time. On proper sifting of the material facts, these statements turn out to be incorrect and it becomes evident that she, in fact, was about 19 or 20 years of age when she arrived in the house of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as his wife in 2 A.H.
It will be in the fitness of things to quote from the writings of two well-known Muslim scholars of the present century who are the main exponents of the view that Hazrat Aishah Siddiqah was 6 years old at her Nikah and 9 years old at the time of the consummation of her marriage. Both Maulana Syed Sulaiman Nadvi and Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maududi are well-known Muslim authors of Seerat (biography).
Maulana Syed Sulaiman Nadvi writes on page 21 of his book 'Seerat-i-Aishah':
In the article, "The Nikah Date of Sayedah Aishah," published in the 'Tarjuman al-Quran' of September 1976, Maulana Abul Ala Maududi wrote:
The above quotations amply bear out that both Syed Nadvi and Syed Maududi agree to the correctness of reports stating the age of Sayedah Aishah at 6 years at Nikah and 9 years at the consummation. Their only worry seems to be the calculation of the correct year of the Call and the Hijrah for fixing these ages in those calendar years. Both of them start with a preconception that the age of 6 years for Nikah and 9 years for consummation are correct and true, and set out in search of the correct year of the Call and Hijrah in which these preconceived ages will fit in. This hardly can be called a scientific method of finding her correct age. This rather may be called an effort to find a correct date for a given age.
As far as my information goes the first voice against the common misconception about the age of Sayedah Aishah at her marriage was raised by Maulana Muhammad Ali, M.A., LL.B., in 1924 in his 'Muhammad the Prophet', wherein he wrote:
Sulaiman Nadvi took Maulana Muhammad Ali to task (for his above-quoted view) in note 2 on page 26 of the third edition of his 'Seerat-i-Aishah' in the following words:
In spite of this severe criticism of Muhammad Alis view, Nadvi not only contradicts himself about the age of Hazrat Aishah, but provides supporting evidence to Muhammad Alis views when, writing about the last days of the life of Hazrat Aishah, he writes at page 111 of the same 'Seerat-i-Aishah': "Hazrat Aishah was a widow and she passed 40 years of her life as a widow." Further, at page 153 he writes: "The last days of Khilafat (Caliphate) of Amir Muawiyya were the last days of the life of Hazrat Aishah and her age at that time was 67 years." Now if we deduct 40 years of her widowed life from 67 years then we find she was 27 years of age at the time of the passing away of the Holy Prophet in 11 A.H. and not 18 years as reported by Nadvi in the earlier pages of the same book. Since the total period of the Call is 23 years, therefore, according to this account she was born about four years before the Call and not in the fourth year of the Call as Nadvi tried to make us believe in his earlier pages quoted herein above. Consequently, her age at the time of the Nikah in the tenth year of the Call works out to 14-15 years and not 6 years, as Nadvi himself so assertively reported. According to this account, Hazrat Aishahs age at the time of consummation of her marriage in 2 A.H. works out to 19-20 years and not 9 years as stated in earlier pages of Seerat-i-Aishah. A further enquiry is most naturally necessitated to find out which of the reports of Nadvi should be given credence.
There are other important events recorded in history which provide definite evidence about the age of Hazrat Aishah.
1. The well-known historian Ibn Jareer al-Tabari writes at page 50 of volume 4 of his 'Book of History': "Abu Bakr married two ladies in the days of ignorance (pre-Call era). Fateelah daughter of Abd al-Aza was the first, from whom Abdullah and Asma were born. Umm-i-Rooman was the second, from whom Abd al-Rahman and Aishah were born. All the four children of Abu Bakr were born in the days of ignorance (Jahiliyyah, i.e., pre-Islamic days) from the above-named two ladies.
2. It is a well-known fact of history, that Abu Bakrs son Abd al-Rahman fought against the Muslims in the battle of Badr. His age at that time was 21-22 years, and although he was older than Aishah, there is no evidence to show that the difference between their ages was more than three or four years. This fact lends support to the view that Hazrat Aishah was born four or five years before the Call.
3. The well-known historian and scholar Allama Imad-ud-Deen Ibn Katheer writes in his 'Al-Badayah' about Sayedah Asma daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) (and we hope Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maududi must have seen it as he referred to 'Al-Badaya' in his article): Asma died in 73 A.H. at the age of 100 years. She was ten years older than her sister Aishah. Now according to this report Asma would have been 27-28 years old at the time of Hijrah and since she was ten years older than Sayedah Aishah, therefore the age of Sayedah Aishah would have been 17 or 18 years at the time of Hijrah. Accordingly, her birth falls about four or five years before the Call, and her age at the time of the consummation of marriage in 2 A.H. will work out to 19-20 years.
4. The author of the well-known collection of Hadith 'Mishkat al-Masabeeh', Sheikh Waheed-ud-Deen, writes in his well-known book 'Ahmal fi Asma al-Rijjal':
All the above quotations give ample refutation to the common misconception that Sayedah Aishahs age at the time of her Nikah was 6 years and at the time of consummation of marriage it was only 9 years. If Muslim scholars of the present era deem fit to make an objective research instead of beating the old track, they will find ample material in the pages of history to arrive at a correct age for Sayedah Aishah. This indeed would be a great service to the cause of Islam. Islamic Review, December 1980, U.S.A.
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