A comprehensive refutation of the accusation of paedophilia levelled at the Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him)
Of course Mohammad (pbuh) has been criticised ever since he began preaching the message of Islam, this criticism began with his non-Muslim contemporaries in 7th century Arabia and extends to the modern day. The early criticism stemmed from Pagan Arabs who opposed the message that Muhammad (pbuh) preached this criticism follows a ubiquitous trait through the dark ages, middle ages, industrial revolution and all the way to modern times as well as post-modern times. The common trait being the origination of the critique of Mohammad (pbuh) was enveloped in a bias born out of the authors of the critique coming from an opposing religious stance and in many cases coming from an opposing evangelical background. Thus throwing the critique into the arena of prejudice, therefore, from an objective stance this criticism is tinged with a bias and in the case of that which flows from the evangelical side we must say it is far from neutral.
Of course both the early non-Muslim Arabs and the evangelical Christians of the past and modern times have pursued a policy of open defamation of the Prophet (pbuh) and indeed they still are doing this through websites and books dedicated to attacking Islam. The same dedication to attack other religions by the evangelical Christians does not exist. This observation is supported by the following quote from the orientalist W. Montgomery Watt ’ of the world’s great men none has been so much maligned as Mohammad’. This could well be due to the copious number of converts to Islam from Christianity in the modern Western world today. If this is the case then we must realise that their focus on Islam is coming from an ideological and theological battlefield. This, indeed, is my belief and the adage ‘ the first casualty of war is the truth’ comes to mind as their charges against Mohammad are bathed in falsehoods and deceptive quoting motivated by none other than attempting to
Before delving into refuting the charge of paedophilia against the Mohammad (pbuh) lets look at a brief overview of the insults and charges thrown in the direction of Mohammad (pbuh)
In the Middle Ages Mohammad (pbuh) was referred to via the derogatory term Maometics (the number of the beast, 666),
Martin Luther described him as “a devil and first-born child of Satan” (1) Christian pastor Jerry Vines called him a “demon-possessed paedophile”. (2)
That said lets move onto dissecting their claim of paedophilia. Of course their claim is based on Lady Aisha’s early marriage to Mohammad (pbuh). From my experiences in discussing this issue with those who advocate the claims I notice as a matter of fact that their objection to the marriage in question is fractured into a few claims:
1. The primary charge they bring is that of outright paedophilia, i.e. ‘sex with a pre-pubescent girl’
2. Having shown the individual that Aisha had reached puberty (i.e. claim 1 is false) their claim changes to ‘paedophilia with a young girl’
3. Finally after showing claim 2 as being unfair and lacking basis they claim that the age difference between Lady Aisha and Mohammad (pbuh) is far too vast and claim it to be repulsive
The primary charge they bring is that of outright paedophilia, i.e. ‘sex with a pre-pubescent girl’
Dealing with the first claim that Lady Aisha was ‘pre-pubescent’ when she consummated her marriage with Mohammed (pbuh). Their argument comes from the 4 narrations (hadiths) in Al-Bukhari and 3 hadiths in Al-Muslim stating her age to being 9 when the marriage was consummated. It must be stated that the age is disputed, reports regarding the age vary from 9 to age 20. The argument regarding whether the age was 9 or not shall be discussed later on in this article. It is imperative that we maintain a methodical approach in dealing with the accusations.
This claim of ’pre-pubescence’ is not that common as it is widely accepted by most of the accusers of Muhammad (pbuh) that she had reached puberty at the time of consummation, to be fair the minority who do claim ‘pre-pubescence’ are the extremely ignorant and hateful ones amongst the accusers. So the vast majority of them, to their credit, are honest enough to admit or concede that she had reached puberty before any sexual contact. Having said that, the claim must still be refuted.
First off, let us be clear, Lady Aisha had reached puberty. Obviously if that was not the case then the Pagan Arabs who vehemently opposed Muhammad (pbuh) would have brought this complaint up, no records of any such claims exist. Islamic law does not allow sex with a pre-pubescent girl, therefore, as Islamic Law is based on the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad, it is known through this fact that Aisha had reached puberty. Aisha saw this union as an honour and looked back at the marriage and her great life with Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) with great fondness and joy (3)this obviously shows that she was in full agreement with the marriage. We must also state that the parents of Lady Aisha were in full agreement of the marriage to take place and most crucially in this regard they were in full agreement for consummation to take place at the time it did, obviously no parent would send their daughter for consummation in a pre-pubescent stage in her life. Colin Turner (4) highlights the fact that 7th century Arabian girls reached adulthood at an earlier age. The Cambridge World History of Food (5) agrees with Turner and states girls in the southerly regions of Asia where the climate is warmer were marriageable in their eighth year and gave birth in their ninth or tenth year.
The period of 3 years between the engagement and consummation was clearly for Lady Aisha to reach maturity, both physically and mentally. Both physical and mental maturation must be reached if a marriage is to be consummated, this is Islamic law which is based upon the teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) and the Quran, this shows that Aisha would have been physically mature as well as mentally mature for consummation, i.e. she would have attained puberty. Lady Aisha even confirmed having reached puberty (6) but many people are unaware of this as the claim they make of ‘pre-pubescence‘ is not a common claim hence the proof to show their claims to be false is not widely publicised. Karen Armstrong also confirms that Lady Aisha had reached puberty at the time of consummation in her ‘Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet’ (7), this ’reaching of puberty’ is confirmed by great scholars such as Dawudi, Abu Hanifa etc (8) These are facts that Christian missionaries tend to ignore to further their agenda of maligning the character of Mohammad (pbuh), this practice of the Christians is dishonest and intended to deceive. Lady Aisha was betrothed to Mohammad at the age of 6 and then the marriage consummated at 9 according to the hadith mentioned earlier. The betrothal at an early age (6 years old) was in concordance with the custom at the time, this is proven by the fact that Lady Aisha was previously engaged for marriage to a man named Jubair ibn Mut`am (9). We must also state that the parents of Lady Aisha were in full agreement of the marriage to take place and most crucially in this regard they were in full agreement for consummation to take place at the time it did, obviously no parent would send their daughter for consummation in a pre-pubescent stage in her life. We must also remember that the marriage was not the idea of Muhammad (pbuh) but was suggested to Mohammad by Khawalh bint Hakim (10). Also, the consummation of the marriage was suggested to Mohammad (pbuh) by Lady Aisha’s father, this is further proof that she had reached puberty but also shows that there was no sexual motive within the blessed heart of Mohammad (pbuh) as neither the idea of marriage or consummation were initiated by him.(11) As a side note which is important, the Islamophobe brings a new element to his claim of ‘pre-pubescence’ and brings forth Hadith that state that Aisha played with dolls and the Islamophobe infers from this that Aisha was below the age of puberty. This is an unscholarly conflation of events as the traditions that tell us that Aisha played with dolls do not specify when she played with the dolls therefore it would be inaccurate to state that she played with dolls after or at the time of the consummation of the marriage. The dishonest Islamophobe tries to paint the picture of a girl playing with dolls and being forced into sex. This is not the case historically. The traditions of Aisha playing with dolls do not mention what age she was when she played with the dolls, therefore to make the Islamophobe’s judgement would be unscholarly and deceptive. The Islamophobe also uses a tradition that teaches us that Lady Aisha, when moving into live with Muhammad (pbuh), had took her dolls with her to her new home. People in the West (including myself) can relate to this as many girls on leaving their parents homes (whether to university accommodation or to live with their partner) take items of emotional value, dolls and teddy bears (from their childhood) are amongst these items. So, Aisha, was no different in this regard. There is no tradition stating that she was playing with the dolls at the time of consummation nor after this time. It would be extremely unfair and even deceptive to make that claims of the Islamophobe as there is NO evidence to support their claim that Aisha was playing with dolls at the time of consummation. All we know is that she was married at the age of six, she had a waiting period of three years in order to attain maturity and then she consummated the marriage after puberty; these are the facts, to imply otherwise would be conjecture. I will also append an online article that deals with this subject to further your understanding (see reference number 22)
The reason I include these points is to pour further cold water on their already defeated ‘arguments’.
So to summarise the key points proving puberty:
~ Enemies of Islam at the time saw nothing wrong with the marriage which proves puberty had been reached at the time of consummation
~ The parents of Lady Aisha deemed her to be ready for consummation, i.e. she had reached puberty
~ Karen Armstrong confirms puberty
~ Lady Aisha confirms her attaining puberty at the time of consummation
~ Well respected Islamic Scholars of the past have confirmed that puberty had been reached and agree NO sexual contact can be had with any pre-pubescent girl
~ The period of three years between marriage and consummation was for Lady Aisha to attain physical maturity
~ Girls of that region and time married earlier and reached maturity earlier too
~ Islamic law does not allow sex with anybody who is prepubescent, as Islamic law is based upon the words and actions of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as well as the Quran we realise that consummation took place after sexual maturity otherwise Islamic law would have allowed sex with prepubescent girls.
Now that the claim of ‘sex with a pre-pubescent girl’ has been refuted the accuser goes on to change their accusation to ‘paedophilia involving a young girl’
2. Having shown the individual that Aisha had reached puberty (i.e. claim 1 is false) their claim changes to ‘paedophilia with a girl who is younger than a modern day age of consent (usually the age of 16)
Interestingly enough, here the Christian missionary displays his/her own lack of knowledge of the Bible as the Bible gives its own age of consent/marriage as being puberty! The reference is Ezekiel 16:4-14 (12),therefore the Christian age of consent is between 8-13 years old (general age-range of puberty around the world), the word “hypocrisy” springs to mind when Christians attack Mohammad (pbuh) for using puberty as a minimum standard for consummation of a marriage. This highlights the double standards, dishonesty and lack of scholarly pursuit amongst the Christian missionaries. However the accusation must still be refuted and is refuted in the course of this article in the interest of thoroughness and academic integrity and most importantly out of respect and veneration for the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) as well as the truth.
Of course, this accusation uses modern day ages of consent as its yard stick. Modern day standards here in the UK would be age 16. In Oregon, America it would be 18, Spain and south Korea have it set at 13 and the Philippines are at 12 years of age(13). By applying American (Oregon) standards on people residing in the UK, Spain, Bolivia, France etc they would be deemed to have committed a sexual crime with a minor. This shows the inconsistencies that arise from using one particular cultural norm as a standard to judge another. Now, if comparing modern day ‘age of consent’ laws with the counterparts of other countries/cultures bring about charges of ‘paedophilia’ then it would be hardly surprising when the same occurs when cultural norms and standards of the past are scrutinised by modern day standards. I am sure the reader sees the inherent difficulties and inequities that this would bring about. Hardly a fair and scholarly way of doing things. In fact it’s a hypocritical argument as well as a smoke screen in order to deceive by attempting to inspire emotion to over-rule rationality.
It was a cultural norm at the time for both boys and girls to get married shortly after puberty, it was not a practice just for females(14) . As shown earlier ‘The Cambridge World History of Food’ (4) shows that early marriage was the cultural norm in other geographical locations and it was not just an Arabian thing. In fact South America and Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe still have cultural norms that allow if not encourage marrying shortly after the onset of puberty. It must also be stated this cultural norm extended to the rest of the Semitic civilizations (as confirmed by the Baptist minister, Jim West,(15) and was in clear display in the betrothal of Mary (Mother of Jesus, peace be upon both of them) to Joseph early on in the life of Lady Mary. This does gazump the Christian accuser.
Roughly 100 years ago in the 1880 the age of consent was as low as 7 in Delaware, while many other states in America were at 10 years old, including Alabama, California and Florida. Russia was at 10 while Scotland was at 12 and England 13.(16) therefore the Christian missionaries must believe EVERYBODY in the past to be paedophiles or advocates of paedophilia.
Judaism to this day teaches the Jews to use puberty as the minimum age for marriage (17).Also in Hinduism a man of 30 years can marry a girl of 12 years and a man of 24 can marry a girl of 8 years (Manu 9.94). We must not forget the Bible is also still using puberty as the age of consent (Ezekiel 16) Therefore Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism is allowing Paedophilia according to the Christian missionaries. To further highlight that the Jewish and Christian ages of consent were puberty we can refer to the well-renowned scholar, Geza Vermes, he teaches us (concerning Jewish customs, which were the customs early Christians adopted too) that betrothing the girl prior to puberty and waiting for the ‘ right biological moment’ to consummate the marriage (ie full wife status) was standard practice. (23) This is exactly what Muhammad (pbuh) did, this is what was the norm in Jewish and early Christian cultures (including the culture of Jesus, Mary and Joseph).
So going by the logic of the accuser of Muhammad (pbuh) then the accuser must be consistent and believe America and all modern countries were founded upon paedophilia, they must also believe that their own forefathers were paedophiles too whilst also accusing Abraham (a prophet, pbuh) and Joseph the stepfather of Jesus as being a paedophile. Another thing they must believe in order to be consistent is that Jesus (pbuh) gave approval of marriages like Aisha’s, therefore they must believe their own god approves of paedophilia especially considering the Bible gives the age of consent as puberty. Also being Christian they must also believe that their god (Jesus, pbuh) entered the world through the privates of a 12 year old girl, of course they are not consistent, if they were they would have to give up Christianity and admit that they are the progeny of paedophilia and that their god (Jesus, pbuh) approved of paedophilia as well as stating that the mother of their god was subjected to paedophilic abuse.
Obviously this is an illogical and unfair way of analyzing happenings of the old civilizations and it is far from scholarly and only adopted by hypocritical/over-zealous Christians who have a missionary agenda. While the rational person is scientific and methodical and realises imposing today’s cultural norm as a standard for peoples of the past is just ludicrous and unjust. Therefore any accusation of paedophilia levelled at Mohammad (pbuh) is an insult to fair scholarship, logic and the intelligence of anybody who cares for the truth.
I believe that this is a comprehensive and logical way in which to refute and disprove the ‘paedophilia with a young girl’ claims of the Christian missionaries, my sincere hope is that they will remove the clouds of bigotry and hatred from their eyes and see the lack of fairness, integrity and truth in their claims and realise that they are being hypocritical as their own faith has the same standard. I must also praise the atheists and other secularists in their open-minded and logical manner in analyzing claims of this nature regarding Mohammad (pbuh)as I, from personal experience, have realised that they readily dismiss the ‘paedophile’ claims as false and brand it as an unfair character assassination as they recognise the different cultural norms and the lack of logic within the claims. This does reflect poorly on ‘religious’ folk especially the evangelical Christians who peddle these slurs against Mohammad (pbuh) relentlessly without conceding that they have no substance to them and ironically insulting their own Bible in the process as the Bible supports Muhammad’s (pbuh) marriage to Aisha, this is a humiliating exposure/exposition of their lack of reading of the Bible. I guess this is one of the contributing factors in the mass exodus from Christianity to atheism/secularism in America, so Christian missionaries who couple dishonesty and hypocrisy of this nature with their preaching are counterproductive to their aims and are harming Christianity and the reputation of religious Christians, an already much maligned reputation.
Also to further highlight the Muslim position we must accept that there is alternative credible sources indicating the age of Lady Aisha to be greater than 9, of course the Christian missionaries never mention this in their propaganda pieces against Islam. There has been a book by Mohammed Ali (‘The Prophet of Islam‘) making the case that the age of betrothal was not 6 and Aisha was at least 14-15 at the time of consummation. This is the view of other scholars and historians and is best shown by a snippet of an article by a scholar that I respect hugely (Dr Jamal Badawi), it does outline reasons why he does not believe the age to be nine, this can be viewed in the reference section (18)
·To summarize the points made:
~The Christian missionary criteria to judge Mohammed (pbuh) is unscholarly, unfair and has no basis in the mind of a rational being who values truth and justice
~The Christian missionary ‘logic’ would result in charges of paedophilia levelled at their own god (Jesus, pbuh),Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the stepfather of their god (Joseph)
~Puberty is not only the age of consent for Islam but it is also the case with Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism and other past civilizations. Therefore it is hypocritical of the Christians to attack Mohammed
(pbuh) for teaching puberty as a minimum age of consent
~Comparing people/civilizations of the past with modern day age of consent laws does not make intellectual sense and unfairly renders all past nations as ‘paedophiles’ when using such unscholarly criteria
~The Christian missionary ‘logic’ would result in charges of paedophilia levelled at their own god (Jesus, pbuh),Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the stepfather of their god (Joseph) as well as labelling their own book, the Bible, as a book promoting ‘paedophilia’.
3. Finally after showing claim 2 as being unfair and lacking basis they claim that the age difference between Lady Aisha and Mohammad (pbuh) is far too vast and claim it to be repulsive
Having refuted the first 2 allegations against Mohammad (pbuh) we realise that the Christian missionary resorts to this ‘argument’, which, of course is in a similar mould to the previous 2 desperate and devious attempts to malign the character of Mohammad (pbuh)
Their argument is, once again, extremely basic and superficial. The argument they level is ‘a form of sexual perversion’ as the Prophet (pbuh) was much older than Lady Aisha. Of course it is true that Mohammad (pbuh) was older, this is not disputed by any historian or scholar, be they Muslim or non-Muslim. We must point out that there is no law against a bride marrying a groom who is older than her and vice versa. As there is no law in the modern world or even past communities condemning this, one must ask why they see such an objection in this kind of union, especially considering both parties were willing to go ahead and the relationship was a great success. Here, I am of the belief that the secularist (generally) would ‘free’ Mohammad of any ‘charge’ as there is nothing to go against secular law here. The objective Christian (i.e. no missionary agenda) would also recognise that there is nothing wrong here and they would also point to Biblical figures being involved in similar marriages. If the christian missionary or hater of Islam sees objection in an older man marrying a younger lady then you would expect the marriage of a younger man (Mohammad, pbuh) to an older lady (khadija) to be objectionable to them, here they remain silent. They remain silent because it is their will to deceive people into thinking bad of Mohammad (pbuh). They also remain silent regarding the fact that the ideas for the marriage and consummation of the marriage to Lady Aisha were not initiated by Mohammad (pbuh), this scuppers their sexual perversion argument before it even gets off the ground
There are historical examples that date back to the time of Mohammad (pbuh) in Arabia that show that a younger woman marrying an older man was nothing unusual in fact it was rather common. (19). This was the case the world over at that specific time in history and is still the case in some parts of the world today.
They, the missionaries, try to deceptively implant thoughts of sexual perversion but they ignore the Bible and show double standards.
Now consistency is key here, if the Christian missionaries are consistent they will find objection with Abraham (a Prophet of God,pbuh) as Abraham (pbuh) did the same as Mohammad (peace be upon Abraham and Mohammad) but Abraham (pbuh) was 86 years old which is much older than Mohammad (pbuh) as highlighted in the Bible:
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.’ Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. … So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.” (Genesis, chapter 16, verses 1–4, and 15–16, New International Version.)
Also David (pbuh) according to the Bible did have a young virgin to tend to him, being fair and scholarly I must mention that it is not believed any sexual relations took place (mentioned below), however the reasons why I include this is to illustrate honesty on my part and to show that age difference did not matter an iota back in those days:
“When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his servants said to him, ‘Let us look for a young virgin to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.’ Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no intimate relations with her.” (1 Kings, chapter 1, verses 1–4, New International Version. Bolding is mine.)
Also Joseph is said to have been 90 when he married the 12-14 year old Mary (mother of Jesus, peace be upon both of them)(20), thus it must be extremely hypocritical and inconsistent for christian missionaries to attack Mohammad (pbuh) for having a marital relationship with a younger woman when Joseph (who was much older than Muhammad,pbuh) did the same with Mary (peace be on her). The irony is immense and it is compounded by the fact that the lady that the Christian missionaries believe to be the ‘mother’ of their ‘god’ was involved in a similar relationship. Naturally, if the Christian missionary is entirely consistent and honest (something that history shows that they are not) they will believe that the ‘mother‘ of their ’god’ was subjected to ’paedophilia’ or some other ’sexual perversion’ and was wilfully involved in a ’sexually perverse relationship’, moreover they will believe that the stepfather of their ‘god’ was a pervert (either ‘paedophile‘ or ‘a man motivated by lust’):
These accounts are summed up in the Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1913 edition,:
“It will not be without interest to recall here, unreliable though they are, the lengthy stories concerning St. Joseph’s marriage contained in the apocryphal writings. When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children … A year after his wife’s death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age, Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph …”
Of course it is hypocritical for the Christian missionaries to attack Mohammad (pbuh) because there is an age difference between him and Lady Aisha. However the Christian missionary who spreads lies and distortions about Mohammad (pbuh) and Islam is shameless and will no doubt hide the fact that the step-father (Joseph) of the Christian god (Jesus, pbuh) was in a similar relationship but he was even older than Mohammad (pbuh) so the age difference is more profound and of course his relationship was with Mary (peace be on her), the Christians believe that she is the mother of their god so using ‘logic’ the missionaries would believe that the mother of their god was the victim of paedophilia or was married to a man of lust, all this while their god ( Jesus, pbuh) was growing up, i.e. their god was raised by a man of lust (according to the missionary logic or lack of logic). They also fail to add that their god (Jesus, pbuh) never rebuked Joseph or Mary for their relationship, therefore they must believe that Jesus (pbuh) saw nothing wrong with this relationship and it was a cultural norm at the time.
Of course their relationship was the norm at the time, just like that of Abraham’s (pbuh) relationship with Hagar. We must also note that the belief of sincere Muslims and Christians would be that neither Mohammed, Abraham, Joseph, Jesus or Mary (peace be on them all) did anything wrong concerning their support and/or partaking in age-gap marriages. Again the Christian missionary ends up with egg on his/her face and winds up looking unscholarly, lacking sound reasoning and full of hypocrisy and deception.
~ Claiming an age difference as being objectionable is being unscholarly and dishonest as the context is missing as age differences in marriage were not seen as objectionable in the Arabian culture and were the norm.
~Modern day law does not object to an age-gap marriage and nor did any great civilization of the past object to this, in fact they partook in age-gap marriages and were the norm in many past communities and still are the norm in some modern-day communities
~ Secular, Christian, Hindu, Jewish law do not object to an older male marrying a younger female, therefore it is hypocritical to attack Islam for allowing it without attacking the others
~ Well known Biblical figures such as Abraham (pbuh) and Joseph (the step father of Jesus, peace be upon them) were involved in similar relationships yet the missionaries tend to ignore this or not know it
~ This claim is unjust and holds no water at all and only highlights a lack of knowledge on the part of the claimant as well as their desperation to besmirch the last Prophet of God, Mohammed (pbuh)
The Christian missionaries clearly have an agenda against Islam, their ‘fight’ against Islam and massive efforts in order to get these ‘paedophile’ claims to stick is shown to be inconsistent as the same accusations (if using dubious Christian missionary ’logic‘) could be levelled at their faith (Christianity) and Hinduism (manu 9.94) as well as Judaism (Sanhedrin 55b). The ‘tactics of dishonesty’ employed by these missionaries backfire and result in their dishonesty being revealed to all and moves the thoughtful people away from Christianity rather than bringing them closer to it. These Christian missionaries are not faithful in speaking about other faiths, what makes us believe they are truthful when speaking about other topics?
Jesus outlined a principle of reliability at Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much: and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
These propaganda artists masquerading as ‘religious’ Christians are defying logic and should contemplate the following sayings rather than looking for opportunities to twist the truth and slander the last Prophet of Almighty God.
“It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.” – Annie Besant, THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD, Madras, 1932, p. 4.
“I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”
George Bernard Shaw, THE GENUINE ISLAM, Vol. 1, No. 81936.
The reason some Christian missionaries operate in this deceitful fashion, in my opinion, is due to the high convert numbers that Islam tends to have coupled with the already huge global population of Muslims and its huge growth rate via birth-rate, therefore it is naturally seen as a threat to Christian dominancy, especially considering that a large proportion of the converts to Islam do come from Christian denominations. The question still remains, why would the missionaries resort to dishonest character assassinations rather than focus their tack on the Islamic theology and argue against Islam in an honest manner?
The question is answered by comparing Islamic theology with Christian theology, when this is done in an honest and scholarly fashion one sees that Islam is more rational, scientific and logical while Christianity comes off very poorly when compared to Islam, these observations are highlighted by the points below
1. Islam has a logical belief concerning God, i.e. God is ONE while the Christians have an illogical belief concerning God, i.e. they believe in the trinity, which Christians themselves do not even understand and this lack of logical sense is further highlighted by the following quote:
“One may say with one’s lips: ‘I believe that God is one, and also three’–but no one can believe it, because the words have no sense.” (‘What is Religion’ by Leo Tolstoy). One must ask themselves “would God send down a core belief(i.e. the trinity) that is incomprehensible by the recipients or would it be logical and rational (like the Islamic belief)?” I must also add that NO prophet (including Jesus, pbuh) ever taught the trinity but they did teach the Islamic form of monotheism. Logic and history argues against Christianity here!
2. The Bible (through its genealogies) incorrectly teaches us that the Earth is about 6000 years old, science shows the Bible to be far off the mark here and scientists believe the age of the solar system to be closer to 4.5 billion years and the appearance of human beings on the earth is estimated to be in the tens of thousands of years! A vocal group of Christians (Young Earth Creationists) still argue for the Biblical version today.
The Quran makes no such inaccurate assertions and is fully compatible with modern day science and even has scientific miracles within it, I must also state that there are further scientific problems in the Bible for further reading concerning the comparison of the Bible and Quran with science please read ‘The Bible, The Quran and Science by Dr. Maurice Bucaille. I also append an excerpt from Gary Miller concerning science and Islam from his article ‘An Introduction to the way of Life known as Islam’ in the reference section that makes interesting reading and gives a good feel of how science agrees with Islam (21). I feel compelled to put forward the rhetorical question, ‘ would God not know the age of the earth?’ Science argues against Christianity here
3. The Bible contains lewd passages such as:
For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. (Ezekiel 23:20)
The Quran remains a Book of great eloquence and has nothing that can compare to Ezekiel 23:20. Surely the Book of God would be free from lewdness and full of eloquence? Rationale argues against Christianity here!
4. The Christians claim that Jesus (pbuh) is God but there is no such claim in the Bible from Jesus (pbuh), in fact Jesus (pbuh) claims to be a man and claims God is One and the Gospel of Luke states he is a prophet. The Quran also teaches that God is One and Jesus is the prophet of Allah (Quran,19:30). However Trinitarian Christians try to make Jesus (pbuh) out to be part of God even though their own Bible disagrees with them. This kind of inconsistency is never found in the Quran. In summary the Christians have an unclear Book (the Bible) while the Muslims have a Book full of clarity and consistency (the Quran). Surely God would send a message of clarity concerning the core belief? Sound reasoning argues against Christianity.
5. The Christians accept the belief of ‘sacrifice’ of an innocent man (Jesus, pbuh) in order for the world to gain forgiveness for sins, Muslims have no such belief and believe God forgives out of His Mercy. Surely God is Just and would not condemn an innocent man in order to forgive sins, surely God can forgive sins through His own Mercy. Why would God kill an innocent man for the sins of others? If the Christian belief makes no sense now then the lack of logic is further compounded by adding in the other Christian belief that the man sacrificed/killed for the sins of mankind was ‘God’, therefore the Christians believe that God killed himself or part of Himself in order to forgive sins. All forms of rationality argue against Christianity here!
The Christian missionaries know the above points yet they adhere to their policy of spouting propaganda in order to keep Christians away from Islam, this reminds me of the Pagan Arabs who opposed Islam, these Pagans would lie about Mohammad (pbuh) in order to keep people away from Islam, despite their efforts more and more people accepted Islam, interestingly enough more and more people from the Christian communities are accepting Islam today! One of the reasons behind this is that the Bible only makes sense through Muslim understanding, i.e. the New and Old Testaments are corrupted texts, hence the contradictions and problems (some of which have been outlined above).
My sincere advice to the honest truth-seeker would be put away the Christian missionary propaganda and research Islam objectively and see for yourself the truth and logic within it.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Allah makes the way to Jannah (paradise) easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.”[Muslim].
Jesus outlined a principle of reliability at Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much: and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
1.Catholic Encyclopaedia (1913)
2. The Washington Post: Anti-Muslim Remarks Stir Tempest
Leading Evangelicals Back Baptist Preacher,
By Alan Cooperman Washington Post Staff WriterThursday, June 20, 2002; Page A03
3“al Isabah fi Tamyeez al Sahabah (The correct differentiation between the Companions”, Ibn Hajar “Ibn Sa’d said:…Aisha said (in appreciation): ‘I have been given features not given to any woman. The Prophet (peace be upon him) married me when I was seven, the angel brought him my image in his hand to look at it, he consummated our marriage when I was nine, I saw the angel Gabriel, I was his most beloved wife, and I attended his diseased till he died, not witnessed but by me and the angels’.”
4. C. (Colin) Turner, Islam: The Basics, Routledge Press, p.34-35
5.The Cambridge World History of Food says:
Albrecht von Haller (1775), for example, claimed that girls in the southerly regions of Asia, where the climate was warm, were marriageable in their eighth year and gave birth in their ninth or tenth year; conversely, women in Arctic regions did not menstruate until age 23 or 24.
6.“Awn Al Mabood”, Al Aabadi “… Aisha said: ‘If the “jariyah” (young girl) reaches nine years, then she is a woman”, Al Munzhiri (the hadeeth expert) said: Narrated by Tirmizhi and Nasaa’i; Al Tirmithi said: Good Hadeeth. Aisha is obviously speaking based on her own experience and thus confirming to have reached adulthood (puberty) at nine
7. Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, Harper San Francisco, 1992, page 157
8.Explanation of Muslim by Imam Nawawi, Book of Marriage, Hadeeth 75, Vol 9, p.207 Aisha said: ‘Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) engaged me when I was six years old, and consummated the marriage when I was a girl of nine years old.’… And Malik and Shafii and Abu Hanifa said: ‘The limit for that (consummation) is her (the female’s) capability for (sexual) intercourse.’ Dawudi said: ‘And Aisha then had physically matured well indeed’.”
9.Ibn Sa`d has stated in the Tabaqat that when Abu Bakr (father of `A’ishah) was approached on behalf of the Prophet, he replied that the girl had already been betrothed to Jubair and that he would have to settle the matter first with him. This shows that `A’ishah must have been approaching maturity at the time.
10From Imam Ahmed (Good Hadith according to Ibn Hajar in Fathul Bari, with other hadiths corroborating many of the details including Tabarani as good, Al Hakim in Mustadrak as authentic, and Abdulrazaq in Mustadrak): “After Khadijah died, Khawlah bint Hakeem,…said: ‘Wouldn’t you marry, O prophet of Allah?’ He said: ‘Who?’ She said: ‘If you like, a virgin, or a previously married woman.’ He said: ‘Who is the virgin?’ She said: ‘The daughter of the most beloved creature to you, Aisha daughter of Abu Bakr.’ He said: ‘And who is the previously married?’ She said: ‘Sawda bint Zama; she believed in you and followed you, in what you say.’ He said: ‘So go, and mention me to them.’ So she entered Abu Bakr’s house and said: ‘O Um Ruman, what great good and blessing did Allah grant you!’ She said: ‘And what is that?’ She said: ‘The Prophet PBUH sent me to propose his marriage to Aisha.’ She said: ‘Wait for Abu Bakr to come.’ Abu Bakr came and she said: ‘O Abu Bakr, what great good and blessings did Allah grant you!’ He said: ‘And what is that?’ She said: ‘The Prophet PBUH sent me to propose his marriage to Aisha.’ He said: ‘Is she good for him? She is his brother’s daughter.’ She returned to the Prophet PBUH and mentioned that to him. He said: ‘Return and tell him I am your brother and you are my brother in Islam, and your daughter is good for me.’ She returned and mentioned that to him. He said: ‘Wait.’ And he went out. Um Ruman said that Mutim Ibn Adiyy had proposed for her to his son, and by Allah, Abu Bakr never made a promise and broke it… He returned and told Khawlah: ‘Invite the Prophet PBUH to come over.’ She invited him, and he married him to her, while Aisha was six years old then… Aisha said: ‘Then we moved to Madinah and lived among bani al Harth al Khazraj, in al Zanh.’ She said: ‘Then the Prophet PBUH came and entered our house, and men and women gathered around him. And my mother came to me… and then said: ‘These are your parents, so may Allah bless them for you and bless you for them’… And the Prophet consummated our marriage in our house… and I was nine years old that day’.”
11. Ibn Hajar (in “Fathul Bari”) and Al Tabaraani “Aisha said:…’Until we arrived at Madinah, so I dwelt among the family of Abu Bakr…So Abu Bakr told him: ‘What prevents you from consummating with your wife?’ So he consummated with me’.”
12.Ezekiel 16:6-8 (King James Version)
verse6And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
verse7I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. (the hair refers to pubic hair)
verse8Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love ( meaning she is at the age of sexual maturity); and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
Note:The development of pubic hair and breasts can begin from the ages 8-13, thus the bible has an age of consent between 8-13
13~Stephen Robertson, “Age of Consent Laws.” Children and Youth in History, Item #49 (accessed January 22 2009, 4:26 pm)) http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/49?section=primarysources&source=24
14~Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet, married Hala bint Uhayb, who was young then. Since he married off his son Abdullah to Amina at an early age at around the same time of his own marriage with Hala, the Prophet was almost of the same age with his uncle Hamza.
~Umar ibn Khattab married Ali’s daughter Umm Qulthum, and this marriage was not found strange at that time at all.
~ Amr ibn As, for instance, was 12 years older than his son Abdullah. This means that he was around 10 when he got married. For further information see Ibn al-Athir, Usud al-Gaba, 3/240.
15~In an article called “Ancient Israelite Marriage Customs“, by Jim West, ThD – a Baptist minister writes:‘The wife was to be taken from within the larger family circle (usually at the outset of puberty or around the age of 13) in order to maintain the purity of the family line’
17″Marrying off one’s daughter as soon after she reaches adulthood as possible, even to one’s Slave. (From the Talmud, Pesachim 113a)”
18~’ 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.
These are some of the major points that go against accepting the commonly known narrative regarding Ayesha’s (ra) age at the time of her marriage.
In my opinion, neither was it an Arab tradition to give away girls in marriage at an age as young as nine or ten years, nor did the Prophet (pbuh) marry Ayesha (ra) at such a young age. The people of Arabia did not object to this marriage, because it never happened in the manner it has been narrated.’
19~Other examples of age gap marriages at the time of the Prophet Muahammad (pbuh) include: Hala, the cousin of Amina bint Wahb was married to Abdul-Muttalib on the same day his son `Abdullah married Aminah bint Wahb who was at Hala’s same age. Also, the Companion `Umar ibn Al-Khattab married the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah honor his face, while he was at her grandpa’s age.
20~The Catholic Encyclopaedia even tells us the following:”A year after his wife’s death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates”Note: the priests themselves were the ones who suggested the marriage.They never cared about the age difference between Mary(12-14 years) and Joseph(90years), thus further showing that these marriages were the norm
21~An Introduction to the way of Life known as Islam
by Gary Miller
Modern scientists, for instance, have been amazed by the accuracy of scientific information presented in the Qur’an. Here are just a few examples: In his book of embryology-‘The Developing Human’ [W.B. Saunders Publishing, 1982], Dr. Keith Moore added a whole chapter to discuss the scientific accuracy of the Quranic discussion of this science. Another eminent scientist, Dr. Maurice Bucaille wrote in his book-‘The Bible, the Qur’an and Science’: “I could not find a single error in the Qur’an.if a man was the author of the Qur’an how could he have written facts in the 7th century A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge” Facts about astronomy, the animal world and other natural phenomenon, that were alien to modern science not long ago, are scattered among the messages of Allah’s Unity and His Attributes throughout the miracle that is known as al-Qur’an
23. Jesus the Jew, by Geza Vermes, 1973, William Collins sons and Co Ltd, pages 219-222