By Shaykh Muḥammad Salīm Dhorat ḥafiẓahullāh, Founder: Islamic Da’wah Academy, UK
Translated by Mufti Abdullah Moolla
“In this country where each person can easily maintain their families, people get jobs, some work or the other, they get benefits, they support their parents. Even in such a place, we find boys and girls who are twenty-four and twenty-five years of age saying:
‘We are not ready yet’.
So, when we look at this culture of this time, we cannot understand how a girl of nine could marry.
Hence, the first response is for us to say that it has happened. We do not deny it. We do not go into defence mode like some apologetic people who take historical reports and cast Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī aside. They say:
‘This is a report of Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī and there is an error in the report of Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī’.
They go on about historical reports. They say that the age of Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā was eighteen years old according to historical facts. They become worried, these so-called scholars.
The ‘Ulamā say that Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī is the most authentic book after the book of Allāh, and therein it is mentioned that Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā was married at the age of six and that she moved into the home of her husband at the age of nine.
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The next question that arises is:
‘How could a girl of nine be married to a person who has reached more than fifty years of age?’
So, [again] we say that this has happened. We attest to it. We have no doubts or reservations about attesting to it either. The reason being that there is no problem with it. Nothing wrong had transpired for questions to be raised about it. The questions arise in our minds because we have not [personally] witnessed such things in our lifetime. When we haven’t seen something, we ask:
‘How could such a thing happen?’
Now, wherever a person is married off—a certain boy is married off to a certain girl or a certain girl is married off to a certain boy—we sometimes wonder if maybe it was not suitable. Why would it not be right? Because they may not seem suited for one another. The couple is then given a chance to live together for eight or nine years, and the world informs us that their life of eight or nine years has resulted in such happiness that a couple like this has perhaps never been seen before, nor [perhaps] will a couple like them be seen again. Now, when this happens, will your doubts and reservations be quelled or not? We will say:
‘Our notion was incorrect. We had assumed that the couple were not well-matched, whereas this has now been proven wrong.’
The books of Aḥādīth are filled with the reports of Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā [herself] and also the reports of other Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum regarding her. We learn and understand from these reports that the love experienced by Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā living with Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam was such that likely no other woman has ever lived with her husband as happily as she did.
My brothers, bear one thing in mind; especially my young companions. When it comes to the matter of Allāh Ta’ālā, the matter of the Messenger of Allāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the matter of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, the Noble Qur’ān, the Sharī’ah, or any law of the Sharī’ah—if any objection about these matters comes about, and you do not understand, then you should immediately say:
‘I believe and I testify. My understanding is deficient, if I go to a good scholar, he will clarify the matter.’
Do not entertain these objections. First say:
‘I believe and I testify.’
Then, if you are still not satisfied, go to a good scholar. He will explain the matter to you, or he will direct you to someone who will be able to explain the matter to you.
Sayyidunā Muḥammad ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sent to the world by Allāh Ta’ālā in order to complete and perfect the religion of Islām. From the time he was deputed as a Nabī until the time he passed on from the worldly life, whatever incidents had occurred, each and every incident was in order to complete and perfect Islām. Hence, the Nikāḥ to Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā was also to complete and perfect Islām. Since this incident occurred in order to perfect Islām, if you can’t understand it, then simply accept it as something miraculous. Assume that the maturity of an eighteen-year-old was given to a girl of nine. Do you believe and accept the mi’rāj (the journey to the heavens)? If you believe and accept the mi’rāj, then believe and accept the Nikāḥ of Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā in the same way: Allāh Ta’ālā brought a girl of nine into the marriage of Sayyidunā Muḥammad ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and before she could reach him, He blessed her with perfect maturity. This is not something just to make you accept it. The Aḥādīth reported by Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā tell us this.
There are two major objections surrounding this incident. One is that she was nine years old. As I have said, if she was nine, what was the problem? If a girl is nine, or even younger, and she has matured, then what is the objection?
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The second objection that comes about is:
‘The partner was more than fifty-years-old so there was no match.’
The answer to this is also simple. The partner that was more than fifty-years-old was such that, history bears testimony that there was no eighteen-year-old who could stand in comparison to him in terms of vigor and so on. People look at the age and feel that he was aged.
Even at the age of sixty, if we look at our time or any other time, there is no eighteen-year-old that can compare to him in looks, beauty, intelligence, vigor or power. No young man can compare to him in relation to any of these things.
The eyes of Mūsā (‘alayhi as-salām) are of one type, whilst the eyes of Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) are something else. Mount Ṭūr is one thing, whilst the divine ‘arsh is something else.
There is a major difference between him (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the rest of humanity. When the divine munificence was manifested on Mount Ṭūr, Sayyidunā Mūsā ‘alayhi as-salām fell unconscious, while the eyes of Sayyidunā Muḥammad ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam were something else. Some reports even say that they had seen the divine. His beauty made even the most beautiful flowers seem pale in comparison. The fragrance of the flowers was one thing, and his fragrance was something else completely.
Sayyidunā Anas raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu and other companions say that just before the demise of Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, there were no more than twenty white hairs on his blessed head and beard. What was the vigor and strength of such a person who did not have more than twenty white hairs at the age of sixty?
I address my Muslim brothers and sisters and say that there is no need to be apologetic. It was a very good match. It was highly successful. If our beloved master, Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam was desirous of marrying a young virgin spouse, then the polytheists of Makkah Mukarramah had offered him everything. They offered him any girl from Makkah Mukarramah. However, at the age of twenty-five, he married a woman that was forty-years-old and he did not marry anyone else for as long as she lived.
There was a lady by the name of Khawlah who came to Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam after the demise of Sayyidah Khadījah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā. She put forward the names of Sayyidah Sawdah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā and Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā. Firstly, Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā had not been a prospect for Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam prior to this. Secondly, the person who gave counsel with this suggestion was a woman and not a man. Women are very sensitive regarding matters of this nature. If a woman is saying this, i.e., you can marry either Sayyidah Sawdah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā or Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā, and the age of the first is greater and the age of the second is less, then we understand that there was nothing objectionable about this at that time. Otherwise, how could a woman come and present something clearly objectionable and flawed to Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
Now, when word was sent to Sayyidunā Abū Bakr raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu (the father of Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā), he did not mention or discuss anything about her age. He said:
“This is your niece.”
Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that she was not his niece in terms of the Sharī’ah.
“We are brothers in terms of our faith.”
Hence, Sayyidunā Abū Bakr raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu was satisfied and did not object.
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Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā was married at the age of six. She remained in the marriage of Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam for twelve years after this. She moved to the home of her husband at the age of nine. Thus she spent nine years in the house of her husband. When she was happy and had no issues, why are you getting a stomach-ache over it?
All of the women that came into his Nikāḥ were either divorcees or they were widows. Their ages were similar to that of Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Because of this, after the demise of the Messenger of Allāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam they had all passed away within a period of five to seven years.
If we look at the issue of age difference, then Sayyidah Khadījah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā was fifteen years elder than him and Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā was approximately forty-years younger. The Nikāḥ of Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā was for the completion and perfection of Islām. Women have many matters and issues which are unique to them. They have specific needs related to the home. There are issues regarding social matters and social living exclusive to them. Allāh Ta’ālā willed that Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā be married to Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam so that after his demise she remains alive, and that whatever she taught during this time be spread throughout the Ummah. So two generations benefitted from the lifespan of Sayyidah ‘Ā’ishah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā. The other pure wives had departed from this worldly life. Hence, there would have been a deficiency [in the spread of such knowledge] if this Nikāḥ was not done.”
Source: Lecture (Urdu): Imam Bukhārī rahimahullāh ke Hālāt awr Hadhrat ‘Ā’isha raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā kā Nikāh – Khatme Bukhārī awr Takmīle Hifz (Jameah Tahfīzul Qur’ān, Bolton 25/06/22)
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“Even in such a place, we find boys and girls who are twenty-four and twenty-five years of age saying:
‘We are not ready yet’.”
If only….we would be in better shape. It’s much worse. Today you’ll find them well into their thirties and even older. Many women view a husband and a household as a burden. So, they want to delay it as much as possible. Once women are forced by the biological clock to tie the knot, the men they qualify for have become accustomed to the single life.
I didn’t read fully but if this is not addressed, this is only a modern objection.
No kuffar before the later colonial era (1900 onwards) had any problems with the age of Ummuna ‘Aishah radi Allahu ‘anha. This objection arose only when the age of consent thing started to enlighten the kuffar.
According to the currently circulated Christian Bible/narrations themselves, Mary was 12 when she married Joseph the Carpenter while he was 90, or something along those lines!!!
They might as well make the argument that the sahabah didn’t know Python or Java! Makes perfect sense, apply today’s jahil standards of today on a society far more logical, open-minded and sensible than the poof-thumping religion of liberalism!