HOW OLD WAS AISHA (RA) WHEN SHE MARRIED PROPHET MUHAMMAD PBUH?

An exotic flower blooms in South Africa……..untended

A review of Hadith and the age of Aisha (RA ) at the time of marriage to RasoolAllah pbuh.

There is no Hadith about the age of Ayesha,r,a.

Lack of knowledge leads to defense of non-issues

In 1986 I wrote an article which showed that the narrative about the age of the wife of the Prophet, pbuh, Ayesha Siddiqa, r.a., which is published in Imam Bukhari’s Sahih, is contradicted by many other narratives in books of hadith.

It was the first article in English on the subject in America and was well liked by people who wanted to contradict the attacks of the Perwaizi sect and answer the abuse by neo-cons like General Boykin and Spencer.

Many people published my article, often with minor changes, but without noting that they had gotten it from me, thus contradicting the first rule of Hadith that you must give your source.

As I have continued my hadith studies, I have found that there is NO hadith from the Prophet, pbuh, giving the age of Ayesha, r.a., when he married her.

Bukhari himself does not say that the narrative in his book about her age is from the Prophet, pbuh. His book has so much prestige that we took it or granted that whatever is in his book must be from the Prophet, pbuh. It is not and he does not say it is.

A hadith of the Prophet, pbuh, is about what he said, did or approved of or is about his qualities.. [1] None of these three aspects relate to the narrative about the age  of  Ayesha, r.a.

Even a hadith which is from the Prophet, pbuh, but is not narrated by a sahabi [Companion of the Prophet, pbuh]  but is from a taba’i, [generation after the Sahaba], is called MURSAL and lacks authenticity and does  not have  HUJJAT [religious acceptability] in Islam.[2]. The only exceptions are Taba’i narrators who had met numerous sahaba. [3]

What is important about Ayesha, r.a. is that the Prophet, pbuh, loved her and died in her arms.[4] She was a scholar, teacher, faqih, leader, orator, fighter and pious beyond all requirements. The verses of the Qur’an which defend her and reveal Islamic laws owing to her actions, show that she was a person of great mental and spiritual maturity.

The issue of her age is meant to trivialize her significance.

We fell into the trap.

The Mother of the Believers needs no  defense.

May Allah forgive our sins and shortcomings.

 BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1]. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, d. 852 Hijri, in Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb, Urdu translation.

[2]. Khateeb Baghdadi, d. 463 Hijri, in al-kifaya if ‘ilm al-riwaya. Urdu translation.

[3]Modern scholars agree. See See Khalil-ur-Rahman Chishti’s Hadith ki ahmiat awr zaroorat, [Urdu], published in 1420 H.

[4] “Dying became easier for me when I was shown Ayesha in paradise. It was as if I could see her hands.” [Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, narrated by Ishaq bin Talha, in Tabqat al-Kubra, biographical collection of Hadith compiled by ibn Sa’ad in 230 Hijri.]

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About Kaukab Siddique PhD

Professor of English, World Literature and Journalism at Lincoln University. Research specialization in Women and Islam

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