did Mohammed marry a girl of 6 and consummate the marriage when she was 9?

_Z_

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sorry to ask but i wanted to clear this up. :)

did Mohammed marry a girl of 6 and consummate the marriage when she was 9?
someone said to me that this is true and is actually written in the Koran, apparently some u-tube dude went on about it, so i am asking Muslims here if this is true? ...and how does it affect their view of Islam? ...does it justify paedophilia?
 

wil

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sorry to ask but i wanted to clear this up. :)

did Mohammed marry a girl of 6 and consummate the marriage when she was 9?
someone said to me that this is true and is actually written in the Koran, apparently some u-tube dude went on about it, so i am asking Muslims here if this is true? ...and how does it affect their view of Islam? ...does it justify paedophilia?
I remember reading about this someplace and that the marriage was to protect the child?

Child marriage is an interesting phenomenon. While the US and the UN are vocal about it today, it wasn't long ago that what we see as abhorent was commonplace. Now I'm not talking about 6 year olds or 9 year olds. But Joseph Smith of Mormon fame had what half a dozen brides under the age of 18 youngest being 14, with rumors of younger? And then what was Jerry Lee Lewis asked to leave England for? In rural America the pioneering spirit and all that young teens gave birth to the folks that populated this nation, big families were the thing and the earlier you started the more you could have. Preteen women were often married off, in exchange for a cow or a horse or whatever...tis our history as well. But we want to forget about that and focus on others since we've raised ourselves in consciousness now. I'd venture to bet there isn't one industrialized nation that didn't once tolerate this practice.
 

Muslimwoman

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No there is nothing about it in the Quran but it is a good question and one we do not have a definitive answer to.

The narrations that refer to her age range from 6, 9, 12,15 and up to 18 years of age. Sheikh Hamza Yusuf has said that each narration relating to her age are all singular so none can be confirmed.

However it was perfectly normal custom at the time for girls to marry and then consumate the marriage at puberty (ie begining menstrating - which of course is different ages for girls). The marriage was to forge a bond between the Prophet and his closest companion (Abu Bakr who took over as leader of the Muslims when the Prophet died), again something that was perfectly normal at the time.

The Oxford Bible commentary states that Mary (the mother of Jesus) (pbut) was 12 when she became pregnant, which would mean she had been betrothed to Joseph much earlier than this. Joseph is believed to have been in his mid 30's at the time but I have never heard it suggested that he was a paedophile.

So given that it was normal, even if she had just reached puberty, no I do not see it as supporting what we now consider paedophilia. If you consider that paedophelia is a sexual desire for a child then why would he wait until she reached puberty to consumate the marriage if he was interested in children? Also consider that his other wives were much older (often widows) and his first wife was 15 years older than him. None of this suggest that he was interested in sex with children.

This looks at a few narrations that would suggest Aisha (pbuh) was in fact much older:

Real age of Hazrat Aisha « ISLAM - the only DEEN

If we look at the world today (just google age of consent) we can see that many societies have much lower ages of consent. In the UK a man would be imprisoned for having sex with a 12 year old but in Spain it is perfectly legal.

In 1889 California was the first US state to raise the age of consent from 10 to 14.

With all this in mind I find it very unfair when people suggest the Prophet was a paedophile but as I say it is a question many people ask and I do understand why you have asked it.

Hope this helps you to understand the issue.
 

_Z_

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thank you very much wil and muslimwoman

i agree with what you say, ancient [and not so ancient] societies often married young if only for purity [so the girls didn’t get pregnant outside of marriage]. it has often been the case in history that girls marry very young due to royal connections or whatever.

i agree entirely with what you say. sorry for any misplaced insinuations! :) don’t worry when i find that u-tube dude and the relevant thread at other forums i will put them straight! ;)
 

Muslimwoman

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No need to apologise for misplaced insinuations, if we don't ask we can't learn.

Salaam
 

Muslimwoman

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Hi Chris,

That list has Egypt wrong, it is 16 here (although girls often marry younger).

It is quite an interesting subject. Turkey changed their law in 1885 to increase it from 13 to 16 to stop child prostitution. This causes an uproar in the Roma community who usually married at puberty.

There are also people that suggest lowering the age in the UK. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/16/nsex16.xml

We have a staggering amount of pregnancies in girls 14 & 15 in the UK, which is generally seen as the age sex drive really kicks in. Most are with boys their own age or a couple of years older, not because of peadophiles.

By the way I got Spain wrong, it is 13 not 12 according to an Aids charity.

I was really staggered to see how many states in the US still have laws against homosexuality, especially when I hear the comments some Americans make about Islam and it's views on the subject.

So maybe we have pushed the boundaries too far the other way on age of consent? I know when I was at school I and most of my friends were sexually active at 14-15 and yet the boy if 17 could have been jailed.

To be fair most Muslim countries in the ME have an age of 16 but nobody bats an eye when girls get married younger, as long as the girl has consented.
 

bananabrain

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an interesting aside from jewish law: the mishnaic definition of adulthood is "finding two hairs" (pubes, that is) - in other words, sexual maturity (usually understood as 12 for girls and 13 for boys to take account of normative maturity) which is then deemed to render someone capable of sexual activity; however, elsewhere the mishnah states that it is normal to marry at 18. clearly the sages were capable of maths, which implies a certain amount of frolicking in haystacks if you ask me, albeit this would not of course have been approved of.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 

Muslimwoman

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Thank you BB, an interesting snippet. So what would be the normal age of marriage in todays Jewish society if you didn't have to abide by laws of the country you live in? Would you wait until 18 if livng in a country that allows marriage at 16?

Interesting that they accept 6 years of sexual frustration (or not as the case may be). Is that not just asking for trouble?

I think that is why over here the law says 16 but if a girl wants to get married before then everyone just accepts it rather than cope with the problems of sexual activity outside marriage. When peole are ready they are ready and there is generally no stopping them.
 

bananabrain

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Muslimwoman said:
So what would be the normal age of marriage in today's Jewish society if you didn't have to abide by laws of the country you live in?
well, if we're talking about the ultra-orthodox, they'd have to give the young man a chance to really get into his Torah studies, so it would likely end up being 18 for him in any case, although with the girl it would more likely to be 15-16. the trouble is these people are so inexperienced that they have very little idea what to actually do without taking lessons, it's not like they're allowed access to, ahem, instructional manuals or audio-visual, ahem, stimulus. the rabbi who taught me the laws of "taharat ha-mishpaha" gave me a sort of raised eyebrow and asked me if i needed him to cover the biological side of it. i said i was fine there, thank'ee, let's just do the dinim; later on he referred me to a number of eye-opening discussions about the rabbinic opinion that "anything that increases intimacy between a couple is permitted", under which rubric you appear to be able to engage in a great deal more imaginative conduct than might at first appear from a cursory inspection of the halakhot.

Would you wait until 18 if livng in a country that allows marriage at 16?
like i say, that's probably a question of allowing the young man a chance to get into his Torah studies and/or acquire the means to support his family.

Interesting that they accept 6 years of sexual frustration (or not as the case may be). Is that not just asking for trouble?
of course it is! that's why they're so obsessed with modest dress, behaviour and segregation of the sexes and what in the frummy ghetto are referred to as "bulletproof tights". it seems to me, however, that they have developed a pretty impressive structure for channeling frustrated sexual energy into Torah study; of course, outside the yeshiva world, the rest of us generally make our own arrangements, from the modern orthodox "tefillin date" (first heard of in new york, bring your tefillin because you'll not be starting from your own house to go to morning prayers) to the renewal "if you really must have one off the wrist, wait until Shabbos and don't leave G!D out of it" to the rather more straightforward (at least in theory) premarital sex.

I think that is why over here the law says 16 but if a girl wants to get married before then everyone just accepts it rather than cope with the problems of sexual activity outside marriage. When people are ready they are ready and there is generally no stopping them.
that's kind of the position the sages took: "oh, well, look, you'd better get married as soon as you can or we'll really have trouble".

b'shalom

bananabrain
 

Muslimwoman

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So can you date any time in Jewish history where the 'laws' changed regarding the age of marriage/consent?

I am asking because it seems to me from a quick glance that while Muslim communities accepted marriage from the age of puberty there was no need for all this 'but what about looking at pictures of girlies' and 'can I use Mrs palm and her five daughters'. This only seems to have become such an issue as time moved on and the age of consent got higher and higher.

If you look at just about any 'ask the scholar' website it is full to overflowing with questions about sex and usually the answer is to study the Quran. Albeit a good answer it is not in fact dealing with the issue of whether as a society we have pushed young people into this situation by upping the age of consent.
 

bananabrain

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So can you date any time in Jewish history where the 'laws' changed regarding the age of marriage/consent?
er, not really; in classical jewish civilisation under the sages the conditions above presumably prevailed, whereas in subsequent exile the customs and laws of the host nation would have an influence as per dina de'malchuta dina (abide by the law of the land) - all we can really say is that the less acceptable pre-marital sex is/was, the younger people were likely to get married.

on the other hand, the issue of, ahem, illicit emission, whether manual, nocturnal or onanistic (i.e. withdrawal) is in the Torah, so it's been something we've been concerned with since genesis.

for us, in short, the answer is "if it's a problem, bloody well get married!"

b'shalom

bananabrain
 

Muslimwoman

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for us, in short, the answer is "if it's a problem, bloody well get married!

Well I think we certainly followed suit on that one, although all this upping of age limits has put paid to that one and we are left with very frustrated (or sinful) young people!!

Nice to see we are progressing :D
 

Friend

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Here the right story...
After three years of constant struggle of the prophet ... when Mohamed was fifty-three years old, a relative called Khawla went to him and pointed out that his house was sadly neglected and that his daughters needed a mother to look after them. Mohamed was aware of that, but he had never thought of re-marriage.

But who can take the place of Khadija?” he asked in wonder.

“Aisha, the daughter of Abu Bakr,” she answered.

Abu Bakr was Mohamed's dearest friend, and more than once he had risked his life to save Mohamed's, and more than once he had risked his livelihood and possessions for the sake of Islam. He had dedicated his whole life to the service of Allah and his Messenger. Honor was Abu Bakr's due, Mohamed felt, and to bring him and his tribe closer to him was a service to Islam, but Abu Bakr's daughter was a pretty little girl of seven years old, hardly the person to take care of his daughters.

But she is very young,” he said.

Khawla had a solution for everything. He was to marry at the same time Sawda, the widow of Al-Sakran ibn Amr. She had been the first woman to emigrate to Abyssinia for the sake of her religion and had endured much for the sake of Islam and was then living with her aged father, her husband having died. She was middle-aged, rather plump, with a jolly, kindly disposition, just the right person to take care of growing little girls. So Mohamed gave permission to Khawla to speak to Abu Bakr and to Sawda on the subject.

Both parties accepted, feeling that it was a great honor. Sawda went to live in Mohamed's house and immediately took over the care of his daughters and household, while Aisha became betrothed to him and remained in her father's house playing with her dolls.

Some years later after Mohamed and Abu Bakr emigrated to Medina, Aisha became Mohamed's bride at the request of Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr was a man with broad vision who traveled and studied much, and who had a wide knowledge of the wisdom of the Arabs and was the authority on Arab genealogy. He was very fond of poetry and taught Aisha and her older sister, Asma the best of Arab verse and Arab proverbs.

When she was removed to Mohamed's house, he found in her an apt and avid pupil, quick to learn, with a quick and accurate memory. Very intelligent, she soon became a keen scholar and would sit and argue with others. Whenever she beat someone else in argument, Mohamed used to smile and say,

“She is the daughter of Abu Bakr.”

She became so learned that one of her contemporaries used to say that if the knowledge of Aisha were placed on one side of the scale and that of all other women in the other, Aisha's would win. She used to sit with the women and teach them about the precepts and rituals of Islam which the Messenger had taught her, and long after the Messenger and Abu Bakr passed away she was a source of reference on the practice of Islam and the words of the Messenger as applied to both men and women. It is an example of Divine wisdom that she went to Mohamed's house so young, absorbed so much, and was able to transmit it to another generation intact.

Besides being a scholar, Aisha was a very graceful young woman with comely features. A friendship grew up between her and Sawda when she was removed to Mohamed's house as a little girl and Sawda took care of her with the rest of the household. When Aisha grew up, Sawda passed up her share of the Prophet's time in favor of Aisha and was content to manage his household and be

“the Mother of the Believers.”

Being the daughter of Abu Bakr, who on one occasion had given away all his capital for the sake of religion, and the wife of Mohamed, who kept nothing for himself, she was very generous. One day the Messenger had an offering killed. According to Islam, the giver of an offering is entitled to retain a part, one third, and the rest is to go to the poor. It was, Aisha's job to distribute the meat to the poor. And when she had finished giving to all the poor, she found that she had left nothing for the Messenger's large household except the neck of the animal. Distressed, she went to Mohamed and said,

“I have been able to save nothing but this.”

“That is the only part you have not saved,” said the Messenger smiling. For what goes to Allah is saved indeed.

Aisha had charming ways and the Messenger grew very fond of the young woman who was brought to his house as a little girl and grew up under his care.

One day an elderly lady came to visit them and Mohamed was most attentive to her. After she left, Aisha asked who she was and Mohamed said,

“She used to visit us in the days of Khadija.”

Anything that reminded him of his beloved Khadija was dear to him.

On another occasion he heard the voice of Hala, Khadija's sister, in the courtyard outside and hurried out to meet her. Annoyed, Aisha later said to him.

“Khadija was an old woman, and Allah has given you better than her.”

“By Allah,” he said, “my Lord has not given me better than her. She trusted me when people scorned, she believed in me when people denied, she comforted me with her money when people deprived me, and Allah has given me issue from her to the exception of other women.”

Aisha says, “I learnt to hold my tongue where Khadija was concerned.”

Mohamed was most kind to all people, and gallant as well as kind to women, but he had loyalties that he allowed no one to approach. He never forgot someone who did him a good turn, and Khadija's memory he held very dear.

Thanks
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_Z_

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friend hi
interesting story for sure, but i didn’t understand how this referred to her age? there is a thread at another forum at the moment so i really want to give them the right info to shut them up :D. most people do agree about the age thing ~ that his wife was probably around 14 or so, its just that ‘some’ christians like to use it to put islam down by saying about the 6 and 9yrs old thing.

thanks Z
 

Friend

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but i didn’t understand how this referred to her age?

Slaam Z

He call her father to engage her...and then wait to marriage her after some times,, and after that call his wife swada to look after her ...then this mean that he stay and wait her to be ready to start her new marital life ...


hope this will be useful :)
 

Muslimwoman

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friend hi
interesting story for sure, but i didn’t understand how this referred to her age? there is a thread at another forum at the moment so i really want to give them the right info to shut them up :D. most people do agree about the age thing ~ that his wife was probably around 14 or so, its just that ‘some’ christians like to use it to put islam down by saying about the 6 and 9yrs old thing.

thanks Z

The honest answer Z is we do not know her age, different texts give very different ages so we will never know for sure.

I find the best way to shut people up is to refer them to how close in recent history the laws changed in the UK/US/Europe etc (wherever the people you talk to come from). As I said, the US didn't up the agre from 10 to 14 until just over 100 years ago - so how many 'peodophiles' did we have until recently??
 
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