Was Aisha only nine-years old when Prophet Muhammad married her?

“Muslim scholars are caught in their own predicament. Most are willing to concede that historical timelines suggest Aisha could not have been aged nine when she became Muhammad’s bride. However, if they were to admit this flaw in the Hadith books, they would be opening a pandoras box. How many more laws of sharia, based on the hadith, are lies and need to be discarded?”

Cover of Kamran Pasha's book on Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad

Cover of Kamran Pasha’s book on Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad

 

March 19, 2010

Essay by Tarek Fatah

The allegation that the Prophet Muhammad married Aisha in the year 624AD when she was only a nine-year old girl, is not new.

However, the fact this controversy has surfaced on rightwing blogs, is something that has caught a lot of Muslims by surprise. It was sparked by a lecture in Toronto where the former Muslim, Syrian-American Wafa Sultan claimed, “As a married man, Mohammed raped Aisha when she was nine; he was fifty-four.”

Wafa Sultan’s depiction of Prophet Muhammad as a child rapist seems to be a manifestation of her hatred of Muslims in general. She has no evidence of any rape having taken place nor does she have a record of Aisha’s age. However, what she does possess is a rage against her former faith that she expresses with wild abandon.

In her book, A God who Hates, Wafa Sultan writes:

“Shouting has become their [Muslims’] hallmark and the main characteristic they use when they engage in conversation with someone whom they don’t agree with. Without it they have no sense of their own worth or existence; without it they have no sense eve of being alive. … On top of shouting their way through a conversation, they have acquired the habit of shrieking, and they take pleasure in hearing their own shrieks. They believe that the louder they shriek, the more they prove they are right. Their conversation consists of shouting, their talk is a screech, and he who shouts loudest and screeches longest is, they believe, the strongest. They fabricate disagreements so as to give themselves an opportunity to shout. They seek contradiction so that they can scream. … Islam canonized the Muslims’ desert nature, and from that moment on they were unable to acquire new ways of communicating with others.”

Just as Muslim anti-Semites denigrate Jews by claiming the ‘yahood’ have an incorrigible evil nature (fitra), Wafa Sultan too applies a similar diagnosis to describe the supposed unethical nature of the Muslim. She writes:

“The first moral question a person learns is the difference between the concepts of “yes” and “no”—in other words, the ability to decide what to accept and what to reject. … A Muslim lives his whole life and dies without ever having learned this lesson. Islamic culture has no clear concept of “yes” and “no.” The two opposites are confused in a way that makes Muslims’ behaviour incomprehensible to others who interact with them.”

After her Toronto speech, I protested her hateful language in an op-ed for the National Post. I was not alone in finding fault with Wafa Sultan’s logic or language. The Canadian Jewish Congress national president, Mark Freiman reacting to Sultan’s speech at the synagogue, told an Islamic conference in Toronto:

“…it is ironic that it was in a Jewish synagogue a short while ago that an ex-Muslim made the sweeping allegation that Islam as a faith was intrinsically incapable of political moderation or respecting the norms of secular society. The Jewish speakers at the event spoke up against this suggestion, but it is also appropriate tonight that I add my name and that of the Canadian Jewish Congress to the rejection of such irresponsible charges.”

Both Prof. Daniel Pipes and Avi Benlolo of the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre too spoke against the main premise of Wafa Sultan’s speech.

However, my critique of Wafa Sultan upset a lot of people. Dozens of rightwing anti-Muslim blogs were up in arms, calling me a wolf in sheep’s clothing and accusing me of defending child rape. It was if the floodgates of hate had been opened. The Jewish Internet Defence Force, reacting to my article, said:

“In reality, Islam is like a deadly, contagious disease. Once it invades the mind of its victim, it is capable of transforming him to a helpless pawn that has no choice but to execute what he is directed to do. Of the reported 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, millions are already trapped in the terminal stages of this affliction, while millions of others are rapidly joining them. The people enslaved with the extreme cases of Islamic mental disease are highly infectious. They actively work to transmit the disease to others, while they themselves engage in horrific acts of mayhem and violence to demonstrate their unconditional obedience to the dictates of the Islamic cult.”

I also earned the ire of Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad. Writing in Pajamas Media, Dr. Bostom took umbrage at my objection to Wafa Sultan’s anti-Islam speech inside a synagogue. Accusing me of Silencing the Jews, he claimed I was a bully, hateful and disingenuous. In an email message to me, Dr. Bostom suggested I was, “a despicable taqiyya-mongering pile of excrement.”

Another ex-Muslim, the author Ali Sina wrote on his website:

“Tarek Fatah proves my point that there is no such thing as moderate Muslim … Every “moderate” Muslim is a potential terrorist. The belief in Islam is like a tank of gasoline. It looks innocuous, until it meets the fire. For a “moderate” Muslim to become a murderous jihadist, all it takes is a spark of faith.”

Farzana Hassan, author of Islam, Women and the Challenges of Today, who has faced her fair share of death threats at the hands of Islamists, on learning about this controversy, asked the rhetorical question. “Should a moderate Muslim simply become a lackey who accepts every insult hurled their way?” She wrote:

“Moderate Muslims, reserve the right to defend any unwarranted criticism of either the founder of Islam or the faith. This is not to suggest that a great deal of the criticism is not justified. It is. Moderate Muslims, without hesitation, and at great risk to our lives, unequivocally condemn all atrocities committed in the name of Islam. We continuously work toward eliminating gender inequalities among Muslims including child marriages. Nonetheless, the charge against Mohammad as a child molester, however, is unjustified for the following reason: His relationship with Aisha was a loving relationship between two consenting adults. It is more than likely that Aisha was closer to being nineteen than nine at the time of marriage. This claim is supported by historical data that puts Aisha at least 15 at the time, though it is likely she was older.”

It is not just Islam-haters who have a stake in reaffirming the myth that Muhammad had a child bride. The fact is that throughout Islamic history, many a caliph and mulla has committed pedophilia and then justified the act by invoking the supposed tradition of Muhammad in consummating a marriage with a nine-year old girl. Even today in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Muslim girls have been given away by their fathers, brothers or uncles to middle-aged men with no sense of guilt or shame, since they are told their very own beloved Prophet had sanctioned child marriage.

It does not help that instead of denouncing child marriages,  Islamists and the orthodox clergy of Islam continue to defend the practise as Islamically permissible, legal and honourable. The fact that a four-year old girl walks into Yemeni court asking for a divorce from her aging husband does not awaken these supposedly holy men to the crime being committed in the name of Islam. These men undoubtedly commit statutory rape when they force themselves onto these children.

This begs the question: How do people like Wafa Sultan or the Islamists claim to know for a fact that the age of Aisha was nine when her marriage to Muhammad was consummated? There are no birth records from the time and there is not a single piece of physical paper that can be traced back to seventh century Arabia that mentions the age of Aisha.

In the absence of hard evidence, we have two choices:

  1. We rely on medieval hearsay and gossip that has unfortunately seeped into Islamic literature, the Hadith and Sharia law, or;
  2. We calculate the age of Aisha based on actual agreed upon indisputable chronology of events.

While the Islamists and Wafa Sultan rely on medieval gossip, I have chosen to make a rational estimate of Aisha’s age based on acknowledged historical timelines.

Most medieval Islamic history books were written 200-300 years after the advent of Islam and it is true that all of them state emphatically that Aisha was only nine when she became Muhammad’s bride.

However, all of them rely on, and quote, one single individual as the source of this information. His name was Hishām ibn Urwah, a prominent narrator of sayings of the Prophet (the Hadith), who died in the year 756AD. He was Aisha’s great-grand nephew, who first suggested that his great-grand aunt was only nine-years old on the day of her wedding, 125 years after the said event. Prior to his utterance– a century after the fact–there is no mention or reference to the age of Aisha.

Hisham bin Urwah lived and taught in Medina for 70 years, yet no one else—not even his famous pupil Malik ibn Anas—-reported Aisha’s age. It is no coincidence that the growth of harems of the Abbasid caliphs mushroomed to hundreds of wives and concubines—many young girls—at the time the sharia law based on bin Urwah’s report, legalized child marriage.

Instead of relying on the words of bin Urwah as so many Islam-haters and Islamists do, I suggest we look at a few facts that prove that Aisha’s age on the day of her wedding could not have been lower than 14 years of age.

The historian al-Tabari informs us in his treatise on Islamic history that the father of Aisha, Abu Bakr had four children and all them were born before the year 610AD, the year of the advent of Islam. If, as is generally accepted, Aisha became Muhammad’s bride in the year 624AD, then she had to be at least 14 years of age, if not older on the day of her wedding.

Other calculations based on historical events place Aisha as old as 20 when she was became a bride. Ibn Hisham, the historian, reports that Aisha accepted Islam quite some time before Umar (the second caliph). This means she must have been at least a young girl in the year 610. Assuming she was five years old when Abu Bakr and his family converted to islam, the information puts the age of Aisha at 20 or more at the time of her marriage with Muhammad was consummated in 624AD.

Furthermore, most Islamic historians agree that Asma, the elder sister of Aisha, was ten years older than her. It is also reported that Asma died in 683AD at the ripe age of 100. If this is true, then Asma would have been 31 years old at the time of Aisha’s wedding with Muhammad in 624 and the bride would have been 21.

Of course, these facts do not suit either the critics of Islam or the Mullahs who sanction child marriage. Had the medieval caliphs or their court appointed clerics in the 8th century accepted these timelines, it would have taken away their right to fill their harems with young girls of their choice.

My critics may argue that I am juggling the dates to validate my thesis. But where is the evidence that suggests my timeline of historical events is wrong? If the critics of Islam argue that there needs to be a reformation in Islam, then why would we not err on the side of an argument that could end child marriages in the Muslim world?

In the absence of any documentary evidence that Aisha was nine years old when she became Muhammad’s bride, why cling to to the gossip of one man, ibn Urwah, who served the courts of the caliphs? After all these were the very rulers who trampled over Islamic doctrine by instituting monarchies and building empires on the backs of slaves.

Wafa Sultan

This introspection is not to influence someone like Wafa Sultan, but to redeem our own selves. As far as Sultan is concerned, she makes little secret of the fact that she considers the world’s one and half billion Muslims as people suffering from a disease that she wants to treat. Such is her contempt for Muslims, as a physician, Sultan told a Jewish fundraiser in LA, “I have 1.3 billion patients.”

Her remarks were so offensive that one of the attendees, Rabbi Stephen Stein later wrote in the LA Times, he had to walk out of the fund raiser. Not only does she consider all 1.3 billion Muslims as suffering from a disease that needs treatment, her disdain for Muslims crosses all thresholds of rational discussion. Demonstrating her contempt for Muslims, she rails in her book:

“God placed donkeys and mules at Muslims’ disposal, while the West gave them mastery over new forms of transportation …”

So deep is her hatred of her heritage, she suggests we Muslims were a primitive peoples before the arrival of the Europeans and Americans. She writes:

“Before oil was discovered in the Gulf states, Muslims lived in primitive existence. Then, in the twinkling of an eye, the modern world descended upon their campsites, disfigured their world with palaces, high-rises, cars, and technology, and threatened the unchanging silence of their environment. …When people make an overnight transition from the Stone Age to the age of the airplane and the Internet, it is inevitable that they should undergo some kind of internal struggle in the process, and find themselves subject to depression and other psychological ills, specially when they continue to cling desperately to the teachings and social structure of their former environment. Muslims ran before they had learned to crawl, and tried to climb a ladder they had not even reached.”

Zeroing in on her own Arab community, Sultan claims:

“When an Arab revokes his agreement he justifies himself by insisting that he had never agreed in the first place, as he had not said yes, but had merely smiled and nodded his head. This ambiguity means that Muslims’ relationship with others are capricious and uncertain, and this has made it hard for people to trust them. People who cannot differentiate between yes and no and can express neither unambiguously have a confused notion of concepts in general.”

I have lived in the Arab world and among Arabs for a decade. I admit, there is much they can be criticized for. However, not even the Arabs’ worst enemy would accuse them of being uncultured or inhospitable. On the contrary, one could argue the hospitality of the Arab is their saving grace. Their poetry, their language and their generosity has charmed the likes of Moshe Dayan and Amos Oz. Yet, so blinded is Wafa Sultan with her hatred of the Arab, she told the Toronto Jewish Tribune that it was only when she came to the USA that she learned to say “Thank you” or “excuse me.” The Jewish Tribune quoted her as saying:

“I practised medicine for nine years in Syria. Believe it or not, I learned how to say thank you [only] when I came to America. For the first time. Because you have to thank Allah and Mohammed, nobody else. I learned how to say please, how to say excuse me.”

Perhaps I as a Pakistani-Canadian could teach Wafa Sultan how to say, “Shukran” (Thank you) or “Min Fadlaq” (please) or maybe her hatred of the Arab has caused her to be deaf to these words, since they are the two most oft-repeated words one hears in an Arab capital or village. However, if her loathing for the Arab is couched in cultural disdain, her contempt for the non-Arab Muslim is blatant. She does not consider non-Arab Muslims to be true muslims. In her eyes, if the Arab is an inferior being, the Pakistani is worse, not even worthy of the Islam she hates.

Mehnaz M. Afridi is Professor of Judaism and Islam at the Antioch University in Los Angeles. The Pakistani-American academic recounts a talk at a Jewish Temple where she shared the head table with Wafa Sultan.

She told me, “I had the inopportune moment to present at a Jewish Temple in Los Angeles with Wafa Al-Sultan. We were asked to show similarities between Judaism and Islam, and I did. I was the first presenter, she was second and gave a talk on how awful Islam was and how I was not a real Muslim because I am South Asian [of Pakistani descent]. Her beef with Indo-Pakistani Muslims was that we have ‘mangled’ the Islamic message to make it appear more positive.”

In her book, Wafa Sultan dismisses non-Arab Muslims, claiming, “a Christian born and brought up in Jordan is more Islamic in his behaviour and way of thinking than a Pakistani Muslim.”

At the 2006 LA fundraiser where rabbi Stein staged a walkout, he recalls Wafa Sultan’s racist attitude towards non-Arab Muslims. He writes:

“Then this provocative voice said something odd: ‘Only Arab Muslims can read the Koran properly because you have to speak Arabic to know what it means — you cannot translate it.’ Any translation is, by definition, interpretation, and Arabic is no more difficult to accurately translate than Hebrew. In fact, the Hebrew of the Bible poses many more formidable translation problems than Arabic. Are Christians and Jews who cannot read it ill-equipped to live by its meanings?”

The Hollywood screenwriter and television producer Kamran Pasha (of Sleeper Cell fame) who has authored a brilliant fictional novel about the life of Aisha, Mother of the Believers, told me that in his research for the book, he had concluded that Aisha was at least in her early teens when she became Muhammad’s bride. However, he chose to confront the critics head on. In the author’s note to his fascinating novel, Pasha writes:

“In my novel, I have chosen to directly face the controversy over Aisha’s age by using the most contentious account, that she was nine at the time she consummated her wedding. The reason I have done this is to show that it is foolish to project modern values on another time and world. In a desert environment where life expectancy was extremely low, early marriage was not a social issue—it was a matter of survival.”

As critics of Islam pummel the Muslim community with insults and mockery, our reaction merely makes their point. We burn books, threaten cartoonists or make a laughing spectacle of ourselves for the rest of the world. We simply refuse to indulge in retrospection and reflection. We refuse to discard the ossified books of the Hadith that justify so much that is wrong in the Islamic world and which contribute to so much shame and embarrassment.

Muslim scholars are caught in their own predicament. Most are willing to concede that historical timelines suggest Aisha could not have been aged nine when she became Muhammad’s bride. However, if they were to admit this flaw in the Hadith books, they would be opening a pandoras box. How many more laws of sharia, based on the hadith, are lies and need to be discarded? In the academia too, few Muslim scholars wish to be ostracized by the well-funded mosque establishment of North America—the only likely place that could host a reformation in Islam.

Too much is at stake for the Islamic establishment to admit that Prophet Muhammad was not the husband of a child bride. They would rather see their leader mocked then to admit to the fallibility of the Hadith literature. Until that happens, Islam-haters will continue to have a field day.

For the rest of us Muslims—moderate, liberal, secular or progressive, call it what you may—the challenge is simple: We need to detach ourselves from the man-made laws and traditions of the medieval world and step into the 21st century, like the rest of humanity, as believers in the strict separation of religion and state and universal human rights where all men and women are equal, irrespective of relgion or race.

If we don’t, then we better be prepared to be be mocked with derision as stragglers in a caravan who are slowing down the progress of all humanity.

33 comments for “Was Aisha only nine-years old when Prophet Muhammad married her?

  1. Ajay N
    August 26, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    In Hadis, Ayesha said that she married to prophet when she was 6 years old and he had sex with her when she was 9 year old.
    If you believe Hadis, then prophet is pedophile.
    Your calculation is she was 14 or 20, then, Why had she had not a child?
    As per Hadis, prophet had 9 or 11 or 20 wives, then why had he not had any child from them?
    Actually, Mohammad had only one wife, he had not many wives, but it is question, why moderate or jihadist Muslims denied it? Why they believe false Hadis?
    Biography of Prophet is distorted.
    The Truth is –
    Mohammad was a preacher of monotheism. He adopted monotheism from Judaism as he was impressed by Jew’s prosperity. He brought Hebrew religion in Arabic. He used to pray toward Jerusalem.
    Prophetism is Jewish tradition which was already discontinued by Jew. There was no prophet for Arab and Arab Nation. Mohammad declared himself prophet of Arab and Arab nation.
    He was married to Khadija. She was his only wife. Their marriage lasted 25 years i.e. upto death of Khadija. After six months of Khadija’s demise, Mohammad died.

    Mohammad’s companion Abu-baker, Omer, Ali etc carry forwarded legacy of Arabic Prophet, and gave name Islam to this movement. There were two groups of them- 1) Abu-baker and Omer, 2) Ali.
    They started Jihad for various reasons such as shortage of revenue, to destroy idols etc. Jihad is adopted from Crusades.
    Jew supported them as it was movement against idol-worship, but refused to accept Mohammad as prophet. As soon, they started wars which continue till today.
    They established caliphate, they destroyed Kaaba temple. They changed direction from Jerusalem to Kaaba. Abu-baker kissed the black stone and lied that he had seen prophet kissing it. They destroy idols only, but continued earlier ritual. Perhaps they could not understand prophet’s monotheism.
    They established committee for writing Quran in line of Torah i.e. exodus (hijari), Quran (46:12) also said that earlier it was book of Moses.
    They also wrote various Hadis.
    They created God’s Law-Sharia like Jew’s Halakha.
    While writing Hadis, they had shown Ayesha (Abu-baker’s daughter) and Hamsa (omer’s daughter) wives of Mohammad. This was exercise to established relation with Prophet, so that they are legitimate heir of Prophet, this is due to possible political threat from Ali and its followers i.e. Shias. Quran and Hadis are not about spirituality, it is only about politics and nothing else.

    Mindset of Jihadi
    It is just hate in mind of every Jihadi. They spread hate during Friday sermons. Jihadi always refer Quran’s violent verses for justifying their acts. As like Hadis, Jihadi thought that only terror makes Islam successful. Hence, they justify these verses.
    In a sermon commemorating the Birthday of Muhammad, in 1981, the Ayatollah Khomeini said:
    “Mehrab (Mosque) means the place of war, the place of fighting. Out of the mehrabs, wars should proceed. Just as all the wars of Islam proceeded out of the mehrabs. The prophet had sword to kill people. Our Holy Imams were quite militants. All of them were warriors. They used to wield swords. They used to kill people. We need a Caliph who would chop hands, cut throats, stone people. In the same way that the messenger of Allâh used to chop hands, cut throats, and stone people.” Now, who is defaming Islam? It is Quran, Hadis and Jihadi.
    While praying, every Muslim recite first chapter of Quran (al-fatiha) which has seven sentences.
    The seventh sentence is “ The path of those (i.e. Islam) You have blessed, not of those (i.e. Jew) against whom there is anger, nor of those (i.e. Christian) who are misguided.”
    Islam is established/turned against Jewish Imperialism (Judaism) and Greek Imperialism (Christianity) and become itself Arab Imperialism. http://www.religiontruths.wordpress.com Today, Islam is Arab conquest.

    Role of Secular Muslim
    Secularism is not against any faith. It is against religion’s law i.e. Halakha, Church’s law and Sharia.
    Believe that religions including Islam are man-made.
    Islam is both religion (faith) and state (sharia).
    Secular must reject Sharia i.e. no Jihad, no burqa, no kafir etc. and advocate equal right to women, and Human right, freedom of faith to all.
    Secular should rewrite Quran by deleting violent verses. It is not big exercise.
    Secular Muslim should built their own mosque and invite women to pray along with men. Make Islam civilized religion.

    • Sazid Khan
      October 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      Poor and Frustrated Hindus…When they not get their own agenda Clear then they will look into others..Before looking into other religion Look into your Civilized Culture…..Did you know your own God Hindu Krishna married 16,000 women including 4 years Child and rape them Continuously….even it prove that according to Hindu Mythology he was great Pedophile and even mad monster raping 16,000 women at a time..

      The Big Frustration is with the Mad Shiva Lingam who keen on raping innocent Hindu Female Goddess on time time..even Naked Kali was menstruating when she was raped by Mad Pedophile Shiva Lingam…

      It is not the end here in Hindu Kafirs A women is need to have sex with Five men as it was followed in Mahabharata by Drapuadi…

      Hindus even not follow their Concept of Drapaudi and Shiva lingam however itself they don’t know about their existence history…

      • Bharat
        October 29, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Mate. You shouldn’t be commenting on things you have no clue about. And your articulation shows not only your ignorance but your hatred. I’ll debunk one of your claims and let you to do your research on the others, unless you choose to be ignorant !

        Lord Krishna had 16108 wives. Of these the first 8 wives are the 8 different incarnations of his ONLY wife goddess Laxmi. Laxmi is known to have eight different qualities (Like Durga is known to have nine). So each wife was an incarnation which excelled in one aspect of goddess Laxmi.

        The other 16100 wives were kidnapped by a demon called Narkasura. When freed by Krishna they implored him to marry them to save their honour. So he married them and one version of Lord Krishna stayed with each of them (16100 Krishnas. Remember he is God and can do that).

        For the rest you can do your own research without a jaundiced eye !

      • Lekha C
        January 5, 2015 at 11:09 PM

        And in which book do Krishna appear? Mahabharat.
        Do you know who wrote it? Maharshi Vyasdev
        Do you now realize that it’s a story? You can search wikipedia or read Mahabharat & see the writer’s name widely on everybook.
        Ramayan & Mahabharat are two “Mahakavyas” like Illiad & Odyssey.

        • Aditya
          May 26, 2015 at 7:59 PM

          Someone once said that ‘ if you want to destroy a civilization, detach its from its own root’. I can see that happening.

          • Jai
            May 27, 2015 at 12:38 AM

            It was chanakya!!!

        • aryan verma
          October 24, 2016 at 9:51 PM

          Ohhh lol look who is talking about mahabharat and ramayan. A muslim or a co religionist of terrorists.
          Mahabharat was written by ganesha and vyasdev was only dictating.
          And ramayan was written before the birth of lord rama. Unlike quran which was written by a self proclaimed prophit.

      • Rex
        May 27, 2015 at 1:28 AM

        I couldn’t understand why every Muslim start talking something else when any comment comes in Islam. Whatever happened to other the religions history can be discussed in their forum…here the topic is Muhammad not Hindu or whatever…

      • PanC
        May 20, 2016 at 2:53 AM

        Jihadi Sazid Khan, what is the source of your comment. Your Quran, LOL. Get a life, instead of just abusing others. Wafa Sultan, was right, read it properly.
        “Shouting has become their [Muslims’] hallmark and the main characteristic they use when they engage in conversation with someone whom they don’t agree with. Without it they have no sense of their own worth or existence; without it they have no sense eve of being alive. … On top of shouting their way through a conversation, they have acquired the habit of shrieking, and they take pleasure in hearing their own shrieks. They believe that the louder they shriek, the more they prove they are right. Their conversation consists of shouting, their talk is a screech, and he who shouts loudest and screeches longest is, they believe, the strongest. They fabricate disagreements so as to give themselves an opportunity to shout. They seek contradiction so that they can scream. … Islam canonized the Muslims’ desert nature, and from that moment on they were unable to acquire new ways of communicating with others.”
        And You prove it.

      • shanti
        May 20, 2016 at 3:58 AM

        Apply ur mind if you have. Is it possible to have sex daily with 16000 women (16000/365=44 years of sex life and than to one women in one life). Your Zakir naik is also justify 4 marriages using above 16000 figure. To know islam Quran is enough. To know hinduism one book is not enough there needs to be studied 1000s of books. Tentatively 50,000. Thousands of books were burnt by islamic invaders. All your conclusions are incorrect because u didn’t read all the scripture. if you want to understand hindusim and india read Vivekanand. Why do you take support of hindusim to prove correctness of quran. And Hinduism is such a great religious culture that it gives us permission to bow for mosque or islam and I respect Islam and its prophet can you do the same the answer will be a BIG NO. Than where is co-existence in your interpretation of Islam

      • Pissed
        May 20, 2016 at 1:34 PM

        Okay. So, I criticize Krishna. I call him a bloody womanizer. I call him blacky. I call him stupid idiot. Now, please imitate me and do the same to your great womanizer. Yeah, please do! If a Hindu can do this, why can’t a Muslim? If Hinduism can allow this, why not Islam? No? Really, no? Why? Saw the difference, buddy? This is Hinduism. You will have to be born twice to even think of imitating it. Chu^&%$!
        Can we now focus on the original subject?

        • Sumeet Agarwal
          June 29, 2017 at 9:49 AM

          Got nothing to say about your stupid comment. Your name says all about you.

      • aryan verma
        October 24, 2016 at 9:55 PM

        Wow you really are frustrated. Thats why making your own stories.

        If krishna ever raped anyone , then may hinduism perish , and if muhammad was a pedophile , then may islam keep producing more and more terrorists

  2. amir
    October 29, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    It is a very long answer to prove this error (historically) and there is not enough space here to write such a long answer. But in short and what i believe Prophet didn’t marry a kid

    First see the narration by Ursa:

    Bukhari Volume 7, 62, 88:
    Narrated ‘Ursa:

    “”The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).””
    To start Just answer few questions
    1)can today’s marry their small sister or daughter to 60 year old guy? Why as it is a sunnah?
    2) can a today’s muslim marry a 9 year old girl? Why as it is a sunnah?
    3) why all those muslims who believe that this is a correct narration…….. don’t follow the sunnah of prophet.
    4) why all muslim states punishes the guy who marry a kid of 9 year old? As it is a sunnah so why they don’t follow sunnah of Prophet?
    5) Prophet life is the reflection of a Quran. Can anyone please prove from Quran where God ordered to marry a small kid?
    6) 2nd lastly if it was a custom of that era to marry a small kid then why only prophet marry a small kid? Why we don’t have any other example from companion of prophet?
    Even my dear u cannot find a single event of kid marriage from pagans of that era from the history books.
    7) Lastly we believe that Islam is for all societies, era and time till Day of Judgment. So didn’t God knew that an era will come where it will be legally and socially crime (in all world including an Islamic state of Saudi Arabia and Iran) to marry a kid? Why God didn’t stopped Prophet to marry a kid?
    Quran clearly tell us the age of marriage. So a very simple question did Prophet Muhammad violated Quran? Another question is if Prophet violated Quran then how come his followers are advised to follow Quran Strictly?

    The Prophet was an exemplary man. All his actions were most virtuous so that we, Muslims, can follow them. Again ask a very simple question. Can any Muslim of today give his daughter age 7 to a fifty year old guy?

    So, I believed, without solid evidence other than my reverence to my Prophet, that the stories of the marriage of seven-year-old Ayesha to 50-year-old Prophet are only myths. However, my long pursuit in search of the truth on this matter proved my intuition correct. My Prophet was a gentleman. And he did not marry an innocent seven or nine year old girl

    The thing is it is an error of history and nothing else, may be language mistake. As this narration was narrated by only one guy “Hisham ibn `Urwah” and when he narrated he was an old man of 85. And this was narrated 300 years after the death of prophet.
    We cannot trust an old guy of 85. There may be some mistake in understanding from an old guy, Urwa, who said 19 and bukhari (from Persian language back ground) understood as nine. As in arabic 9 call as tisa while 19 call as tisa ushra, so very slight difference. It may be slip of a tongue or weak memory of that old guy. Also please do remember that Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari was not an arab guy with native language of Arabic. He was from Samarkand; Bukhara with Persian was his native language. He was just 17 or 18 when he heard this narration. So there are chances of lot of mistakes from him.
    Bukhari collected around 600,000 and only 7275 narrations he declared as correct. Thus considered 592,725 hadiths to be un-proven hadiths, lies and/or fabrications, that is almost 99% of what he collected. My question is didn’t he made a mistake in this narration also. May be this narration is also spurious?
    Please also note this was narrated only by Bukhari. Even his own student Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj didn’t mentioned this narration in his own book (collection of hadith) known as Sahih Muslim
    My concern is why we Muslims don’t rectify this error from our own history. Ghamidi forced to leave the country just because he was trying to rectify some historical errors.

    I think the main problem is if we reject even a false saying, then whole fiqa will come down to earth as 90% Fiqa is based on those sayings and not on Quran. There is no danger to the religion of Islam, if we reject any of false sayings but its danger to the fiqa.

    I think now its time to come to distingue between the history and religion. The sayings, which are related to the history of Islam, should be separated from those that have any connection with the Ibadaat. Each and every saying should be thoroughly examined and should be rejected which is against QURAN.

    I woud like to quote about Ibn Khaldun that he wrote: “I do not believe any hadith or report of a companion of the Prophet to be true which differs from the common sense, meaning of the Qur’an, no matter how trustworthy the narrators may have been.

    At the end i think i can satisfy non muslims about this fact that Prophet didnt married a small kid but its very difficult to satisfy those narrow minded mullahs whose earnings depends on narrating false and dubious hadiths. because if one narration proofed false this mean may be all other narrations goes to dust bin.

    • Ramen Das
      October 31, 2014 at 4:46 AM

      Your prophet was a gentleman? ha ha. What about the many other incidences?

      Where he kept prettiest one from the prisoners for himself e.g. Safiyya bint Huyayy and consummated the marriage in 3 days?

      Ordered to kill whoever criticized Islam or him?
      The Death of `Asma’ Bint Marwan
      http://www.answering-islam.org/Muhammad/Enemies/asma.html
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/'Asma'_bint_Marwan
      The Death of Abu ‘Afak
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_%27Afak

      • zaki
        March 1, 2016 at 1:54 PM

        Sorry to annoy u
        I’ve been to these sites as well … answering Islam , religion of peace , Islam.org stuff ….. they cherry pick anything that is hateful …. most are false …. u do realise that hafiyya incident is in hadith books written by anti Semites don’t u …..

        Also let’s look at common sense here …bibi. safiyya never hated Muhammad pbuh …. even after MUHAMMAD PBUH she never expressed any hatred for him ….

        That whole consummation carp is same books who tell to marry 9 year olds ….

        Heresay bro never gets u anywhere

        And I m glad u mentioned marwann family …. marwan and his family were famous for sprouting lies against MUHAMMAD PBUH slandering and insulting was common practice for them

        Marwan himself was exiled from median by MUHAMMAD PBUH but was then recalled by uthman which turned into the worst mistake ever …. he was a. Horrible man and then he celebrated killing of MUHAMMAD PBUH family and toyed with the heads of Imam hussain and. Family

        Then when he lived in medina again he left his family under the protection of son of Imam hussain who protected them from violent slaughter of umayyads while so many were killed by MARWAN FRIENDS

        Then marwan married a girl 50 years younger. Then himself too become caliph …. seriously golddigger of the century …. she poisoned him and was killed herself

        Then his son became caliph Abdul malik on whose orders so many Indians were killed …. yes it was marwan son on whose orders india was attacked …..

        Then his. 3. Grandsons became caliphs …. each more bloody then the last …. each more sadist then last

        That’s the legacy of Marwan family

    • Pissed
      May 20, 2016 at 1:38 PM

      Yes, you may be right. But, who will tell this to the Arabs? And the billion plus in the world? And those who are ready to kill to scotch any discussion on their religion?
      You may try hard to reform them, but they will keep killing to retain all their privileges. Of raping and killing apostates, atheists and kaffairs, of talaq, of marrying children, or keeping four wives and of destroying the lands that give them shelter.

  3. Raman Sehgal
    October 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Problem is that Hadiths paint Mohammed as criminal – nothing else and without Hadiths Koran has no meaning. It would be better instead of distorting Islamic literature Tarek Fateh give alternative narrative to solve the problem.

  4. MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA
    October 31, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Could have been. Nothing surprising. Read this piece in Wikipedia:

    “Lina Medina (born September 27, 1933, in Ticrapo, Huancavelica Region, Peru) is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history, giving birth at the age of five years, seven months and 17 days. She presently lives in Lima, the capital of Peru.

    Medina’s son weighed 2.7 kg (6.0 lb; 0.43 st) at birth and was named Gerardo after her doctor. Gerardo was raised believing that Medina was his sister, but found out at the age of 10 that she was his mother. He grew up healthy but died in 1979 at the age of 40 of a bone marrow disease.

    Medina has never revealed the father of the child nor the circumstances of her impregnation. Escomel suggested she might not actually know herself by writing that Medina “couldn’t give precise responses”.[4]

    Although Lina’s father was arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse, he was later released due to lack of evidence, and the biological father who impregnated Lina was never identified.[4][5] Additionally, there was no explanation of how a five-year-old girl could conceive a child.[6]

    In young adulthood, she worked as a secretary in the Lima clinic of Lozada, who gave her an education and helped put her son through high school.[6] Medina later married Raúl Jurado, who fathered her second son in 1972. As of 2002, they lived in a poor district of Lima known as “Chicago Chico” (“Little Chicago”).[1] She refused an interview with Reuters that year,[1] just as she had turned away many reporters in years past.”

    Of course, Aisha’s case is different. She could know her would-be-husband, at least at the time of copulation [9 years age] and lived long with him till his death.

  5. MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA
    October 31, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Wikipedia has also given a list of youngest mothers of the world [up to 11 years age] and I extract the Indian mothers from that list here:

    1. June 7, 1932 H. 6 years,
    7 months Unknown India
    (now India) The 6-year-old known only as “H.” gave birth by cesarean section to a girl weighing 4.19 lb (1.90 kg) at Victoria Zanana Hospital in Delhi. She was initially admitted for what was thought to be an abdominal tumor, as she complained of localized pain in her lower abdomen. Her father said she was 7, but civic records gave her birth date as October 11, 1925, making her 6 years and 7 months old at the time of labor. She had never menstruated and her breasts were still far from being fully developed, yet she was able to breastfeed her child for 9 months.[7]

    2. August 1933 Unidentified 8 years Her husband[note 1] India An unidentified 8-year-old girl in Kashmir reportedly died in labor along with her child. The girl’s mother, a destitute widow, said she had been forced to accept an offer of marriage for her daughter.[11]

    3. April 1873 Unidentified 10 years,
    6 months “A native gentleman” India In an account published in 1873, C. MacNamara described having been called in early spring to examine a baby boy in Calcutta, who had reportedly been born to a 10-year-old girl.[69]

    It appears USA holds the pride of place in maximum no. of child mothers!

  6. Krishan Bhattacharya
    May 26, 2015 at 8:23 PM

    So, Mr Fatah argues rightly that we can take two approaches to this question:

    1. We rely on medieval hearsay and gossip that has unfortunately seeped into Islamic literature, the Hadith and Sharia law, or;

    2. We calculate the age of Aisha based on actual agreed upon indisputable chronology of events.

    The problem with Mr Fatah’s approach is that we cannot really do the latter, since all the chronology of the life and actions of Muhammad are based on the hearsay of the biographical (hagiographic) traditions of the Hadith and the Sira. Since, apart from a few inscriptions on architecture and coins, there are virtually no written records to be found from the century during and after the Prophet’s life. All the biographical traditions were written down over a hundred years after his death. So anyone, viewing this question from inside Islam must rely on the traditional sources.

    Once this limitation is taken under consideration, it becomes clear that Mr Fatah being unfair to Sultan and Sina. They, after all, are only criticizing the Prophet’s actions based on what Islamic traditionalists say in the first place. They are judging Islam based on its foundational texts and what its clerical authorities say. In the case of Shiism, Ayatollah says that sexual contact short of penetration even with infants is permissible.

    This is no mere ‘allegation’, as Mr Fatah describes it above. This is the sort of sexual ethics that leading ulema figures teach, and it it hardly the fault of Wafa Sultan and Ali Sina for going after them. If Mr Fatah wants to push back against these writers, he will have to find a greater fault that their criticism of Islam as taught by its most respected clerics.

    Personally, I have always found Wafa Sultan’s arguments to be refreshingly honest. I see no evidence of bigotry on her part. Just the impassioned anger at someone who knows the truth about Islam as it is believed and practiced today. She says what she does to help Muslim understand their predicament, not out of any hatred for them.

    I would almost extend this same judgement to Ali Sina, but he has become a Christian conservative. In some of his modes, he can write like a proper liberal humanist. But he has a strong reactionary streak, which has only grown stronger over time. Sultan, by contrast, strikes me as a genuine liberal.

    I wonder if Mr Fatah really feels that Sultan is as hateful as he describes her above. Frankly, a look at his activity on facebook shows that he is… how to put it? Anything but devout. Why does he go after Sultan, but is charitable toward Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose criticism of Islam is easily as negative. The only difference is one of tone. Somehow I think the difference in his attitude is a political one.

    Frankly, much of Mr Fatah’s commentary on Islam and the politics of the Muslim world resembles the criticism of its most scathing apostates. Of these Ibn Warraq is the most important because of his humanism and rationality. Ali Sina’s work is valuable because he very much understands the faith from the point of view of the devout Muslim. The female apostates are of incalculable value. AHA, Sultan, Amal Farah, Maryam Namazie, and my personal favorite Mona Walter (that lady is very easy on the eyes!).

    For any readers here who want the hard facts, look no further than the Islam expert at the old L’Orientalist YouTube channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wlEhW_b87E

  7. shahriar
    May 27, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    Brothers and sisters … please read the Quran Tafsirs and understand the meaning. And please do not insult any faith. We are no one to insult anyone. The moment we do that we get taken by the Evil. May Allah Azza wa jal keep everyone in peace and everyone’s emotion in check. As a Muslim, if I see anyone talking very bad and nasty stuff about my faith the only thing I can do is point him or her in the right source of info other than that nothing can be done. We have been advised on how to tackle this type of attack on our faith. And counter attack is not the prescribed way. Let them do and say what they want to.

  8. ARC
    May 27, 2015 at 11:59 PM

    He was nothing but an extension of Abraham. A delusional cult leader drunk on megalomania. He thought he was above all and therefore absolved of any wrong or guilt.

  9. Rajat Tiku
    April 1, 2016 at 11:27 PM

    I am amazed to see that people have so much time in critisizing others faith. such a waste of time. Instead of finding faults with others and their faith, look within and you would see an ocean of faults.

    Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye

    Neither muslims understand Krishna nor Hindus understand Muhammad. why do we have to prove other wrong. why do you have to defend your god or your faith. it is between you and your god. Guys please stop this hatred. Both hindus and muslim remember one thing when you are abusing other you are abusing god cos its same god who created hindus and muslims. respect him respect his creation.

    • Akram Khan
      May 20, 2016 at 12:47 PM

      Agree with you bro.

  10. nagesh dhawde
    May 20, 2016 at 8:28 AM

    I was surprised to read replies of people who do not have proper reading backgrounds and following just their granny stories of Gods and Demons. Leave it all aside fellows and please utilise knowledge for today. Just yesterday in someone’s blog i read that Raje Shiwaji is the first ruler to kill high class bramhin – so he stood against the Religious book if Hindus. Really! it is so funny comment!

  11. Srinivasan
    May 20, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    “The historian al-Tabari informs us in his treatise on Islamic history that the father of Aisha”

    If Hadees is to be rejected for being written 200 yrs after Mohd, why is Tabari counted, which is also written centuries 150+ years after Mohd. Matter of convenience ??

    • Tarek Fatah
      May 20, 2016 at 9:02 AM

      You have a point. I am referring to Tabari because his 50-volume history is considered scholarship by historians and Islamic theologians as well.

      My point being, if one has to err, one better err on the side of reason, not mythology or blind faith that runs counter to basic humanity.

  12. Fuaad
    May 20, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    Everybody, whether Hindu or Muslim…
    Why do you consider yourself smart enough to comment about the person about whom you don’t have complete knowledge. And more foolish act is to post your incomplete and narrowed thinking on social network.
    Answering to Hindu brothers, people you don’t have any idea who Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) was and what position He has in the history of mankind!!! He is the one who is given tremendous respect from scholars and educated people of every religion. Not going far…Taking example of recent event.. Rani Mukherjee.. who doesn’t happen to be a religious scholar.. but an educated Hindu women said that the greatest person in the history of mankind… is Prophet Muhammad
    (PBUH).
    Furthermore, in a book written by a Non-Muslim author on the world’s greatest personalities… he mentions the First and Foremost Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) …. Just do a research and find out for whom the maximum number of biographies are written… answer is again Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) … Those writers were quite educated and far smarter than you…. that’s why they were able to publish their book in comparison to u all who just sit at your place and just think shit…
    It’s quite obvious that how much respect and honour these qualified and learned people give to Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) …..and they do it because they have gathered knowledge about Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) …
    If u all would have got the same… I think probably this useless, senseless, absurd conversation wouldn’t had happen…
    So plz… first reach to that level so that U can comment…. rather dare to comment..

    Now to our Muslim brothers…. If u really follow our Prophet Muhammad, then u must also be knowing that He taught us to respect every religion and take care that nobody gets hurt with our statements…. I would like to state that event when our Prophet was harassed brutally by people of Taif and Gabriel (A. S.) asked for permission to crush Taif natives between the two mountains… He refused and instead prayed for their well… It’s so pity that u have lost ur Sabr and Tawaqquh and behave against His Teachings…
    Plz… follow our Prophet’s teachings so that u an proudly claim that u are follower of Prophet Muhammad… Also u all don’t have more knowledge of Lord Krishna’s life in comparison to Hindu brothers…so please don’t come up with your view of his life…..
    Summarising…. mutual respect should be maintained and the one who posted should think before posting…. and if he does such…. his/her narrow thinking should be bombarded from both sides…

  13. Rokeya Bari
    May 21, 2016 at 1:22 AM

    Well written by Fuaad…Thanks for your comments

  14. Kamran
    May 21, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    “Shouting has become their [Muslims’] hallmark and the main characteristic they use when they engage in conversation with someone whom they don’t agree with. Without it they have no sense of their own worth or existence; without it they have no sense.

    Sounds like trump supporters

  15. Steve
    February 8, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    One has to wonder how it is that such a colossal galactic mistake that puts the Islamic prophet is such a shockingly horrible position got into Islam’s most authentic, reliable and trusted hadiths in the first place, and stood, there unmolested for over a thousand years. Shouldn’t there have been an outcry across the Islamic world like nobody has ever seen to correct this “obviously” shocking mistake? Except, perhaps, it wasn’t a shocking mistake, and only shocking to the western sensibilities in modern times. Seems the reality is that it’s been accepted by the vast overwhelming number of Islamic scholars from the get go.

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