Submitted by Taj Ashaheed (United States), Apr 11, 2006 at 23:25I could not help but laugh at your poor -but predictable- attempt at derision...
If you like educating ignorant people, you must engage in quite a bit of self-conversation...
Amusement aside, but speaking of, i am always amused at those who criticize the use of illogical fallacies and yet (hypocritically) engage in the same method of bad argument...you are such an example...
so in the same vein of educating (a true educator is always learning, no?) let me point out some fallacies you employ:
ad hominem: "after all I never like to miss a chance to educate an ignorant person. And you fit that category quite nicely." (curious when you, in your first paragraph deride the use of "typical Muslim ad hominen")
Argumentum ad ignorantiam: "Some muslims swear by them as being the authentic words of Muhammad, some muslims think they are not reliable therefore discard them all together(sufi).
So which one of these categories do you fall in? "
(there are 2 problems here: there are more than 2 categories of people with regard to hadith, i fall in one of them, you fall into another: me - i know about hadith criticism and categorization...you: don't know much about the science of hadith - that's already no 4 categories...the second problem is that you are incorrect in asserting that sufis discard hadith altogether)
let's review: there are 3 lessons here:
1) don't attempt to cite/deride illogical argumentation and then use it yourself
2) don't deride personal attacks and then use them yourself
3) do some (more) objective study of Islam before attempting to criticize it
4) do not be mentally/intellectually derailed by the fact that what Muslims say/do can and will differ from the tenets of Islam - (i threw that one in as an aside/free-be)
moving to the hadith about Aisha...i will give you the nutshell version:
First, is the age of Aisha understood by all as being young as 6/9? No...from wikipedia.org:
"The age of Aisha at marriage is an extremely contentious issue. On the one hand, there are several hadiths (said to have been narrated by Aisha herself) which state she was six or seven years old when betrothed and nine when the marriage was consummated. Other traditional material (hadith, sira, etc.) suggests that Aisha may have been nineteen or twenty years old when she married"
by understanding textual criticism of hadith as well as being familiar with ahadith literature as well as as-siraat, one easily sees why the 6/9 year old conclusion regarding Aisha's age is not a cut and dry as Islam-bashers would like it to be:
Most of these narratives from hadith and sirat are reported only by Hisham ibn `urwah reporting on the authority of his father. An event as well known as the one being reported, should logically have been reported by more people than just one, two or three.
It is quite strange that no one from Medinah, where Hisham ibn `urwah lived the first seventy-one years of his life has narrated the event, even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. All the narratives of this event have been reported by narrators from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have shifted after living in Medinah for seventy-one years.
Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb, one of the most well known books on the life and reliability of the narrators of the traditions ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) reports that according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah: "narratives reported by Hisham are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq". It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham, which were reported through people of Iraq (Vol. 11, pg. 48 - 51).
Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal, another book on the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that when he was old, Hisham's memory suffered quite badly (Vol. 4, pg. 301 - 302).
According to the generally accepted tradition, Ayesha (ra) was born about eight years before Hijrah. However, according to another narrative in Bukhari (Kitaab al-Tafseer) Ayesha (ra) is reported to have said that at the time Surah Al-Qamar, the 54th chapter of the Qur'an , was revealed, "I was a young girl". The 54th Surah of the Qur'an was revealed nine years before Hijrah. According to this tradition, Ayesha (ra) had not only been born before the revelation of the referred Surah, but was actually a young girl (jariyah), not even only an infant (sibyah) at that time. Obviously, if this narrative is held to be true, it is in clear contradiction with the narratives reported by Hisham ibn `urwah. I see absolutely no reason that after the comments of the experts on the narratives of Hisham ibn `urwah, why should we not accept this narrative to be more accurate.
According to a number of narratives, Ayesha (ra) accompanied the Muslims in the battle of Badr and Uhud. Furthermore, it is also reported in books of hadith and history that no one under the age of 15 years was allowed to take part in the battle of Uhud. All the boys below 15 years of age were sent back. Ayesha's (ra) participation in the battle of Badr and Uhud clearly indicates that she was not nine or ten years old at that time. After all, women used to accompany men to the battlefields to help them, not to be a burden upon them.
According to almost all the historians Asma (ra), the elder sister of Ayesha (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha (ra). It is reported in Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb as well as Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah that Asma (ra) died in the 73rd year after hijrah when she was 100 years old. Now, obviously if Asma (ra) was 100 years old in the 73rd year after hijrah, she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah. If Asma (ra) was 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah, Ayesha (ra) should have been 17 or 18 years old at that time. Thus, Ayesha (ra) - if she got married in 1 AH (after hijrah) or 2 AH - was between 18 to 20 years old at the time of her marriage.
Tabari in his treatise on Islamic history, while mentioning Abu Bakr (ra) reports that Abu Bakr had four children and all four were born during the Jahiliyyah - the pre Islamic period. Obviously, if Ayesha (ra) was born in the period of jahiliyyah, she could not have been less than 14 years in 1 AH - the time she most likely got married.
According to Ibn Hisham, the historian, Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam quite some time before Umar ibn Khattab (ra). This shows that Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam during the first year of Islam. While, if the narrative of Ayesha's (ra) marriage at seven years of age is held to be true, Ayesha (ra) should not even have been born during the first year of Islam.
Tabari has also reported that at the time Abu Bakr (ra) planned on migrating to Habshah (8 years before Hijrah), he went to Mut`am - with whose son Ayesha (ra) was engaged at that time - and asked him to take Ayesha (ra) in his house as his son's wife. Mut`am refused, because Abu Bakr had embraced Islam. Subsequently, his son divorced Ayesha (ra). Now, if Ayesha (ra) was only seven years old at the time of her marriage, she could not have been born at the time Abu Bakr decided on migrating to Habshah. On the basis of this report it seems only reasonable to assume that Ayesha (ra) had not only been born 8 years before hijrah, but was also a young lady, quite prepared for marriage.
According to a narrative reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, after the death of Khadijah (ra), when Khaulah (ra) came to the Prophet (pbuh) advising him to marry again, the Prophet (pbuh) asked her regarding the choices she had in her mind. Khaulah said: "You can marry a virgin (bikr) or a woman who has already been married (thayyib)". When the Prophet (pbuh) asked about who the virgin was, Khaulah proposed Ayesha's (ra) name. All those who know the Arabic language, are aware that the word "bikr" in the Arabic language is not used for an immature nine-year old girl. The correct word for a young playful girl, as stated earlier is "Jariyah". "Bikr" on the other hand, is used for an unmarried lady, and obviously a nine year old is not a "lady".
According to Ibn Hajar, Fatimah (ra) was five years older than Ayesha (ra). Fatimah (ra) is reported to have been born when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old. Thus, even if this information is taken to be correct, Ayesha (ra) could by no means be less than 14 years old at the time of hijrah, and 15 or 16 years old at the time of her marriage.
Last piece of advice: "not opening one's mouth so wide will ensure not enough space for one's foot or for one's brain to fall out..." (anonymous)
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (285) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes