As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 9


Reality of the Prophet's Marriage to Aaisha (radiallahu'anha)

    From the major issues on which the Christian clergy slander the Prophet Muhammad (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) are his marriages, especially his marriage to Aaisha. The reason is that they find the Prophet’s marriage to his wives 1400 years ago in a different culture and circumstance, to be at odds - not with the teachings of the Bible, but with ideas of ‘morality’ as understood by the west today - ideas of ‘morality’ that are not absolute and not based on revelation from God, but those that are constantly changing depending on public opinion.

    Historically, the age at which a girl was considered ready for marriage has been puberty, as was the case since Biblical times, and is still used today to determine the age of marriage in some societies. 'Aisha was nine years old when she reached puberty and in accordance with the traditions at the time, her marriage was consummated with the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) with the agreement of both parties and families. Islam regulated existing marriage practices, and did not invent them, therefore, Islamically there is no special virtue for a girl to be married early or late. Once a girl has reached puberty – the tradition in Arabia at the Prophet’s time was to marry off girls because of short life-spans. ‘It is interesting to note that Christians from a very early time criticized (again hypocritically) the Prophet's practice of polygamy, but not the marriage to Aisha. Certainly, those from a Middle Eastern Semitic background would not have found anything to criticize, since nothing abnormal or immoral took place. It was the European Christians who began to criticize Muhammad (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) on this point, not ones who were in touch with their Semitic roots.’ [The Young Marriage of Aisha by Abdur-Rahman R. Squires]

    This is what the brouhaha on the Prophet’s marriage to Aisha is all about – legal marriage with a girl who has reached puberty, with the consent of her parents in accordance with the customs of the times. As for the objections by Christian priests on the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) for having plural marriages, then the following should show that they have really no basis for their objections.

    ‘According to Father Eugene Hillman in his insightful book, Polygamy reconsidered, ‘Nowhere in the New Testament is there any explicit commandment that marriage should be monogamous or any explicit commandment forbidding polygamy.’ Moreover, Jesus has not spoken against polygamy though it was practiced by the Jews of his society. Father Hillman stresses the fact that the Church in Rome banned polygamy in order to conform to the Greco-Roman culture (which prescribed only one legal wife while tolerating concubinage and prostitution). He cited St. Augustine, ‘Now indeed in our time, and in keeping with Roman custom, it is no longer allowed to take another wife.’ [Women in Islam Versus Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition - the Myth and the Reality]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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