Prophets vs. Pedophiles [Part 1]

The Magic #9

A common accusation brought against Prophet Muhammad (saws) in our contemporary age is that he had committed an immoral act of sexual and emotional violence against children and has sanctioned the same sort of violence for all those that attempt to follow his teachings. By marrying a young girl of 9 years of age, he has been accused, by the unbelieving community, of being a pedophile or a child molester. Klingschor [1] is one of them, though he chooses the latter of the two accusations. Though it is easy for him and others to conjure up the magic number 9 as an attempt to refute Islam on moral grounds, as we shall see however, this numerical rabbit trick is simply an illusion based on fundamental misunderstandings. It is in my view that he and others with similar mentalities, have not fully comprehended the nature of historical man, both socially and biologically. Further — and I believe this to be the most important and influential flaw of their thinking — they have misunderstood the nature of morality and Islamic Law.

My first objection will revolve around how Klingschor and others view the historical man and our evolutionary pattern throughout time. In Klingschor’s initial analysis of this issue, he gives some contemporary definitions of puberty and historical evidences pertaining to the average time at which most females reached puberty in antiquity [2].

Note that he also quotes sources pertaining to the legal standards of certain societies in regards to when adulthood was reached. The implication he draws from these sources is that puberty automatically coincided with antiquities perception of adulthood (though most likely opposed to his own), and since Aisha (ra) appeared to be below this age limit prescribed by said societies, this means she was in fact an immature person incapable of sexual intercourse, understanding marriage, and social responsibility. Therefore, according to his understanding, she was victimized by the Prophet Muhammad (saws).

Here, Klingschor effectively commits the fallacy of suppressed evidence by not mentioning some important factors that run contrary to his conclusions. The first is that he fails to mention contemporary research in the field of child-studies of the past, which have noted the problem of correlating biological age with social fitness:

The problem of using biological age to determine the social age of a child is becoming more widely acknowledged in the literature (Baxter 2005a, p. 98; Lewis 2007). [3]

While the claim…that the biological basis of childhood cannot be contested, seems reasonable, one should be aware of its limitations. [4]

The reason for correlating biological age with social age or functioning seems to have come from the invalid biases of former researchers who had imposed their contemporary experiences of children upon past societies:

Much of the tension in the investigation of age in the past arises from the assumption that we can link biologicalto socialage. Sofaer (2006, p. 127) states (t)he desire to turn biological categories into social ones by creating implicit and direct links between the two, causes problems by trying to turn a process (ageing) into a class (age).She states that distinctions between the categories, particularly childcf. adult, are the product of the current limitations of osteological methods for age estimation in adults, and that using biological developmental standards for ageing results in the construction of artificial divisions of social and mental development between these categories (Sofaer 2006, pp. 126127). [5]

And while biological age is an important factor in determining childhood in the past — something we will be addressing later briefly in the case of Aisha — the evolutionary and historical realities of our species informs us of a far more nuanced play of events and what the “pedophile/child molester” screechers of today fail to mention. Regarding the cognitive development of children:

Human beings are the most cognitively flexible species on the planet and infants and young children are sensitive to early environmental conditions and can alter their path of development, based on current conditions, in anticipation of future conditions. Along these lines, Boyce and Ellis (2005) proposed the concept of conditional adaptations:

[E]volved mechanisms that detect and respond to specific features of childhood environments – features that have proven reliable over our evolutionary time in in predicting the nature of the social and physical world into which children will mature – and entertain developmental pathways that reliably match those featured during a species’ natural selective history (p. 290)”

Children living in different environments…develop different cognitive or behaviorial strategies in anticipation of the environment they will likely inhabit as adults.[6]

Conditional adaptations underpin development of contingent survival and reproductive strategies and thus enable individuals to function competently in a variety of environments. For example, according to life history (LH) theory, children’s brains and bodies tend to respond to dangerous or unpredictable environments by growing up fast and living for the here and now (e.g., Belsky et al., 1991; Chisholm, 1999; Ellis et al., 2009; Nettle, 2010; Quinlan, 2007). Viewed from within this framework, the adolescent who responds to a dangerous environment by developing insecure attachments, adopting an opportunistic interpersonal orientation, engaging in a range of externalizing behaviors, and sustaining an early sexual debut is no less functional than the adolescent who responds to a well-resourced and supportive social environment by developing the opposing characteristics and orientations (see Bel- sky et al., 1991; Ellis et al., 2011). [7]

The conditions for these adaptations vary, but generally are well established for past societies:

That the environment can influence growth and developmental trajectories during pre-adult life history stages is well established, and later life outcomes have been much sought after. Yet, the mechanistic events that influence the transition from one life history stage to the next, growth and puberty are incompletely understood….In general terms, high-mortality regimes favour relatively early reproduction, whereas low-mortality regimes favour delaying the onset longer [8,9]. As usual with an evolutionary problem, the reasons for this can be expressed in terms of costs and benefits. On the benefit side, females delaying reproductive onset may be able to produce higher quality offspring in the end, because of the extended period of pre-reproductive somatic investment and resource accumulation they can make. On the cost side, every time unit of delay increases the probability that the individual will die or become incapacitated before she is able to complete her reproductive career. Selection favours a point where the trade-off between these costs and benefits is optimized. [8]

The bottom line is that people simply did not live as long or as healthy in the past. Many women died right after childbirth, and the need to have many children, who would later be left without parents, would have triggered  youth in the past to mature faster so that society could still function. Death was something of a greater reality for children, and as such they had to adapt accordingly. The fact that such a common sense understanding needs to be scientifically proven, is an enigma.

Even one of the references that Klingschor attempts to quote, makes note of the fact that biological age did not necessarily correlate with social fitness:

No matter what period we are examining, childhood is more than a biological age, but a series of social and cultural events and experiences that make up a child’s life… The time at which these transitions take place varies from one culture to another, and has a bearing on the level of interaction children have with their environment, their exposure to disease and trauma, and their contribution to the economic status of their family and society. The Western view of childhood, where children do not commit violence and are asexual, has been challenged by studies of children that show them learning to use weapons or being depicted in sexual poses (Derevenski, 2000; Meskell, 2000). What is clear is that we cannot simply transpose our view of childhood directly onto the past. [9]

It is rather odd for Klingschor to have missed this after having apparently read the source material and contemporary studies on the subject matter. Perhaps he’s not as objective as he makes himself out to be. He also does not make any reference to the conditions of the Arab world of this time, assuming that other isolated societies’ standards somehow apply, despite the various differences in environment, technology, economics, etc. Note that while the societies he does mention did have certain standards associated with biological age, this does not mean they were completely rigid in this respect. A girl reaching or not reaching menarche did not always determine her social status or preparedness in society – something that will be discussed more in part 3 regarding Islamic Law.

To his credit, he does attempt to prove that Aisha was socially immature at the time of her marriage as well, quoting various hadith[10].

The first two points are a matter of linguistic play by Klingschor, where he attempts to take the most literal interpretation of the texts while ignoring salient cultural nuances and other hadith that directly contradict his position. Where Aisha has called herself a ‘young girl’, she has elsewhere stated that at the age of 9 – girls become women:

Narrated Aisha: When the girl reaches nine years of age, she is a woman. [11]

So if we are supposed to take her words as authoritative regarding her level of maturity, then we should not ignore this hadith. As it appears, however, Klingschor operates on double standards. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for people of various ages to consider themselves ‘young’ compared to an older group. For instance, just because a 25 year old in the contemporary period considers him or herself ‘young’, this does not automatically mean that they simultaneously consider themselves unable to function in society –whether we are talking about marriage or anything else. In fact, that very same person may consider themselves an adult in a different context. For them to make both claims, is not a contradiction when we consider the various contexts in which they describe themselves in.

The second point, regarding that Aisha was considered immature by her maid, can likewise be refuted. Note that this hadith takes place many years after the initial consummation of Aisha’s marriage at the age of 9, making her older. The fact that young Aisha is considered immature here by her maid, is not in context of her entire level of maturity within said society, but in response to certain chores she is sometimes unable to complete. It is not uncommon in any society, whether contemporary or in the past, for older adults to call younger people immature. No matter what age group you may be a part of, an older age group may call you immature based on how they believe you should act.

The fact that Klingschor and others like to read these hadith in such a narrow fashion, while not having the same consistency in their own wordplay, is evidence of their lack of integrity, or in the very least, their lack of common sense.

The third point is refuted by first acknowledging that, like former research of the bioarcheaology of children, many people tend to assume that their contemporary experience of children can be applied to those of the past. It is apparent that Klingschor and many others with similar mentalities, are responsible for having committed this same fallacy of reasoning.

In his point regarding Aisha having taken her dolls with her upon moving in with the Prophet (saws), this is not unusual in the slightest, as these were probably the only things that Aisha owned and would have most likely kept to pass down to her own children later on:

Highly valued toys and childhood objects can be curated well into adulthood and passed on to subsequent generations of children; therefore, artefacts found in the archaeological record may not adequately reflect the full range of material culture used and cherished by the users. [12]

Regarding his point concerning the following hadith:

Narrated ‘Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fath-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13) [13]

First, Klingschor doesn’t bother to actually tell us when this event took place and also mistakenly assumes that the last statement in parentheses is actually part of the hadith when in fact it is part of a commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari titled “Fath-al-Bari”, written 1428 C.E./842 A.H. by the famous Shafi’i qadi, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. This is important to note because while this commentary is one of the most famous in Islam, Ibn Hajar’s explanations were based on a particular methodology that was not completely in touch with historical accuracy. Before getting into detail about that, let’s take a look at further commentary from the Fath al-Bari that explains the reason for this interpretation:

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:

When the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) arrived after the expedition to Tabuk or Khaybar (the narrator is doubtful), the draught raised an end of a curtain which was hung in front of her store-room, revealing some dolls which belonged to her.

He asked: What is this? She replied: My dolls. Among them he saw a horse with wings made of rags, and asked: What is this I see among them? She replied: A horse. He asked: What is this that it has on it? She replied: Two wings. He asked: A horse with two wings? She replied: Have you not heard that Solomon had horses with wings? She said: Thereupon the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) laughed so heartily that I could see his molar teeth. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, #4914)

Al-Haafiz goes on to say:[43: Fath al-Baari 10/400, Baab (91), related to Hadith no.5954, 5955.]

Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa’ee have narrated with another chain (wajh aakhar) from ‘Aa’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said:” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) returned from the battle of Tabook or Khaibar…”.

Here he mentioned the Hadith about his (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) tearing down the curtain which she (may Allah be pleased with her) attached to her door. She (may Allah be pleased with her) said:” Then the side of the curtain which was over the dolls of ‘Aa’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) was uncovered. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: What is this, O ‘Aa’isha? She said: My dolls. She then said: then he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw amongst them a winged horse which was tied up. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: What is this? I said: A horse. He said: A horse with two wings? I said: Didn’t you hear that Sulaiman (Solomon – peace be upon him) had horses with wings? Then he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) laughed”.

Al-Khattaabi said: From this Hadith it is understood that playing with dolls (al-banaat) is not like the amusement from other images (suwar) concerning which the threat (wa’eed) of punishment is mentioned. The only reason why permission in this was given to ‘Aa’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) is because she had not, at that time, reached the age of puberty.

[al-Haafiz says:] I say: To say with certainty, [that she was not yet at the age of puberty] is questionable, though it might possibly be so. This, because ‘Aa’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) was a fourteen year old girl at the time of the Battle of Khaibar – either exactly fourteen years old, or having just passed her fourteenth year [and entering into the fifteenth year], or approaching it (the fourteenth year). As for her age at the time of the Battle of Tabook – she had by then definitely reached the age of puberty. Therefore, the strongest view is that of those who said: “It was in Khaibar” [i.e. when she was not yet at the age of puberty], and made reconciliation (jam’) [between the apparent contradictory rulings, of permissibility of dolls, in particular, and the prohibition of images, in general] with what al-Khattaabi said (above).[14]

Note the reason for the interpretation here. The purpose was to make reconciliation between two apparently contradictory rulings within the contemporary understanding of fiqh during Ibn Hajar’s lifetime. The strongest view was not based on historical accuracy or the realities of Aisha’s actual physical/mental maturity, but whether dolls were allowed to be played with at a certain age. Even in the commentary itself, Ibn Hajar notes that Aisha, at the time of her having played with these dolls, was around the age of 14. This, accordingly, would coincide with Klngschor’s necessary biological criteria for her not to have been a child — in the very least she would have been physically and mentally capable at this point, despite not having reached menarche, to have a marital relationship. The fact that Klingschor did not bother to mention that this portion of the hadith was in fact a commentary from Ibn Hajar, and the reasons behind his interpretation, along with the fact that Aisha was more than old enough at this time to have met his criteria, shows a further lack of integrity on his part.

If anyone is still interested in whether Aisha had reached minimal physical maturation prior to her consummation, this can be easily validated by looking at her own testimony. Recorded in a hadith, Aisha mentions that she had reached puberty prior to having lived with the Prophet Muhammad (saws) — or when she would have consummated the marriage:

Narrated Aisha: I had seen my parents following Islam since I attained the age of puberty. Not a day passed but the Prophet visited us, both in the mornings and evenings. [15]

Despite the fact that many societies set standards of adult responsibility based on biological concerns — such as menarche or certain set ages — these standards were flexible and also depended on various other conditions as well. Later in this presentation, we will be discussing the flexibility of Islamic Law in regards to these conditions.

To summarize, to make similar the contemporary realities of child and adult development with that of 1400 years ago, when neither reflect similar social, economic, technological or resource conditions, which would have also influenced the level of biological and cognitive development of said populations, is not only unfair, but completely and utterly fallacious. As such, we can say with certainty that Klingschor and others are simply morally incorrect. The magic number 9 objection is just that — magic.

A question that is often given to me and other Muslims is if we would marry our young, immature daughters off in the contemporary age: The answer is no, because we are following the example of our Prophet (saws) as well as the dictates of Islamic Law and their ability to incorporate various changing conditions throughout time. The real question that should be asked, towards our detractors  is if they would marry off their young daughters in early antiquity, knowing full well the moral consequences of not doing so, having now understood the historical and biological concerns related to that time period and its various geographical and cultural differences prior to the contemporary phenomenon of globalization.

In Part 2 we will address the possible moral philosophical foundations behind this misunderstanding as well as address the concern of how Divine sanctions can be universal if human conditions and biology change throughout time.

In Part 3 we will discuss the true nature of Islamic Law and how it is able to adequately incorporate the changing conditions of mankind into its moral framework.

____________________________

FOOTNOTES

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[1] http://www.youtube.com/user/Klingschor

http://www.youtube.com/user/Lorientalist

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wlEhW_b87E

[3] Siân Halcrow, and Nancy Tayles, “The Bioarchaeological Investigation of Childhood and Social Age: Problems and Prospects,” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 15, no. 2 (2008): 203,

[4] Liv Dommasnes, and Melanie Wrigglesworth, “Introduction,” Children, Identity and the Past, (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), xiii.

[5] Siân Halcrow, and Nancy Tayles, “The Bioarchaeological Investigation of Childhood and Social Age: Problems and Prospects,” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 15, no. 2 (2008): 203,

[6] David Bjorklund, and Anthony Pellegrini, “Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Development,” The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development, ed. Peter Smith and Craig Hart (West Susex: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2011), 69-70.

[7] Bruce Ellis, Thomas Dishion, Marco Guidice, Aurelio Figueredo, Peter Gray, Vladas Griskevicius, Patricia Hawley, and David Wilson, “The Evolutionary Basis of Risky Adolescent Behavior: Implications for Science, Policy, and Practice,” Developmental Psychology, 48, no. 3 (2012): 601,

[8] Daniel Nettle, “Flexibility in reproductive timing in human females: integrating ultimate and proximate explanations,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, 366, no. 1563 (2011): 357-58,

[9] Mary Lewis, The Bioarchaeology of Children: Perspectives from Biological and Forensic Anthropology, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 4.

[10] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JGmP8ZZzoU

[11] Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab: al-Nikah #1027

[12] Laurie Wilkie, “Not merely child’s play:Creating a historical archaeology of children and childhood,”Children and Material Culture, ed. Joanna Sofaer Derevenski (New York: Routledge, 2000), 102.

[13] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, #151

[14] Fath-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13

[15] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, #465

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42 thoughts on “Prophets vs. Pedophiles [Part 1]

  1. I’ll be blunt. I think it would be better if you just refute the fact that Muhammad married a child. Many have done that instead of trying to explain why he did what he did.

  2. As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatu Allāhi wa-barakātuh.

    There is a mistake at the first line of the 2nd paragraph after the Hadeeth of Aisha saying when a girl reaches 9 she becomes a woman. It should be, “The second point, regarding that Aisha was considered IMmature by her maid.”

    Wa-jazāka Allāhu kulla khayr.

  3. I know that comment this may seem tangential, but it does pertain to Muhammad’s sexual practices as well as your statement that “[Muhammad] has sanctioned the same sort of [sexual] violence for all those that attempt to follow his teachings.”
    What is your response to the following hadith from Sahih Muslim?

    حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى، وَأَبُو الرَّبِيعِ الزَّهْرَانِيُّ، قَالَ يَحْيَى أَخْبَرَنَا حَمَّادُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ دِينَارٍ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ، هَلَكَ وَتَرَكَ تِسْعَ بَنَاتٍ – أَوْ قَالَ سَبْعَ – فَتَزَوَّجْتُ امْرَأَةً ثَيِّبًا فَقَالَ لِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ يَا جَابِرُ تَزَوَّجْتَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَبِكْرٌ أَمْ ثَيِّبٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ بَلْ ثَيِّبٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَهَلاَّ جَارِيَةً تُلاَعِبُهَا وَتُلاَعِبُكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ أَوْ قَالَ ‏”‏ تُضَاحِكُهَا وَتُضَاحِكُكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ إِنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ هَلَكَ وَتَرَكَ تِسْعَ بَنَاتٍ – أَوْ سَبْعَ – وَإِنِّي كَرِهْتُ أَنْ آتِيَهُنَّ أَوْ أَجِيئَهُنَّ بِمِثْلِهِنَّ فَأَحْبَبْتُ أَنْ أَجِيءَ بِامْرَأَةٍ تَقُومُ عَلَيْهِنَّ وَتُصْلِحُهُنَّ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ لَكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ أَوْ قَالَ لِي خَيْرًا وَفِي رِوَايَةِ أَبِي الرَّبِيعِ ‏”‏ تُلاَعِبُهَا وَتُلاَعِبُكَ وَتُضَاحِكُهَا وَتُضَاحِكُكَ ‏

    “Jabir b. ‘Abdullah (Radi Allahu ‘anhu) reported:
    ‘Abdullah died and he left (behind him) nine or seven daughters. I married a woman who had been previously married. Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to me: Jabir, have you married? I said: Yes. He (again) said: A virgin or one previously married? I said: Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), with one who was previously married, whereupon he (Allah’s Messenger) said: Why didn’t you marry a YOUNG GIRL so that you could sport with her and she could sport with you, or you could amuse with her and she could amuse with you? I said to him: ‘Abdullah died (he fell as martyr in Uhud) and left nine or seven daughters behind him; I, therefore, did not approve of the idea that I should bring a (girl) like them, but I preferred to bring a woman who should look after them and teach them good manners, whereupon he (Allah’s Messenger) said: May Allah bless you, or he supplicated (for the) good (to be) conferred on me (by Allah).” (Sahih Muslim 8:3460)

    • Sahih Bukhari
      3.310:
      Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah: I was with the Prophet in a
      Ghazwa (Military Expedition) and my camel was slow and
      exhausted. The Prophet came up to me and said, “O Jabir.” I
      replied, “Yes?” He said, “What is the matter with you?” I
      replied, “My camel is slow and tired, so I am left behind.”
      So, he got down and poked the camel with his stick and then
      ordered me to ride. I rode the camel and it became so fast
      that I had to hold it from going ahead of Allah’s Apostle . He
      then asked me, have you got married?” I replied in the
      affirmative. He asked, “A virgin or a matron?” I replied, “I
      married a matron.” The Prophet said, “Why have you not married
      a virgin, so that you may play with her and she may play with
      you?” Jabir replied, “I have sisters (young in age) so I liked
      to marry a matron who could collect them all and comb their
      hair and look after them.” The Prophet said, “You will reach,
      so when you have arrived (at home), I advise you to associate
      with your wife (that you may have an intelligent son).” Then
      he asked me, “Would you like to sell your camel?” I replied in
      the affirmative and the Prophet purchased it for one Uqiya of
      gold. Allah’s Apostle reached before me and I reached in the
      morning, and when I went to the mosque, I found him at the
      door of the mosque. He asked me, “Have you arrived just now?”
      I replied in the affirmative. He said, “Leave your camel and
      come into (the mosque) and pray two rak`at.” I entered and
      offered the prayer. He told Bilal to weigh and give me one
      Uqiya of gold. So Bilal weighed for me fairly and I went away.
      The Prophet sent for me and I thought that he would return to
      me my camel which I hated more than anything else. But the
      Prophet said to me, “Take your camel as well as its price.”

      This is full Hadith and it does not show that he was asking him to marry a matron.He was asking the reason for marrying a matron as Jabir was a young man who was marrying for the first time and was supposed to marry a girl suitable for his age.

      When the Prophet found that he married a senior lady so as to get better care for his sisters , he favoured him with returning his camel.

      • I’m referring to a different hadith than you, although your hadith does cover the same event and is more detailed. However, I don’t see how that changes my point. Muhammad initially wanted Jabir to marry someone who was young (in some translations, a virgin). Once Jabir explains the reason why he did so, Muhammad agrees and is indeed thankful. If you notice, I did make sure to include that part above:
        “…whereupon he (Allah’s Messenger) said: May Allah bless you, or he supplicated (for the) good (to be) conferred on me (by Allah).” (Sahih Muslim 8:3460)

  4. I find your exchange of responses back and forth with Klingschor concerning this matter to be somewhat pointless. It would be natural to get varying perspectives and age ranges of the onset and completion of puberty, especially during such an archaic period. After all, it’s not as if anyone in seventh-century Makkah/Madinah could take take the GnRH levels of different age groups of girls or was able to discern an accurate age range for puberty in such an era. I call Muhammad the “pedo-nabi” because I find it humorous, but I admit that I don’t know whether he was indeed a pedophile. However, I really don’t see how you or Klingschor are going to prove whether he was or was not a pedophile/child molester. From a biological stance, it seems quite unreasonable and both will consult the studies which support your opinion.

      • That’s nice. If I’m truly “talking crap,” then could you please show me the GnRH record of girls from seventh century Makkah and Madinah? Since such advanced hormone detectors weren’t developed until then 1980’s, the GnRH levels you found must have been a form of “mukjizat from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala),” lol. I’ll tell you what, if and when you find these documents from the seventh century detailing hormone levels of girls of that era, please scan them and upload them to Photobucket or somewhere else, I will immediately convert to Islam. I eagerly await links to those documents.

      • BTW, I’ve been on many Islamic forums, including Ummah.com, Sunniforum.com, and forums.islamicawakening.com. I would like to inform you that you are by no means the first person to call me a “dirty mushrik.” You should be more creative with your insults next time, lol.

      • /begin{sarcasm}
        Oh, and since you think I’m dirty, I recommend you keep a face mask on. I mean what if my najasa rubs off on you via this internet conversation. You wouldn’t want to be ritually impure, would you?
        /end{sarcasm}

    • He has shown that Lady Aisha discussed about her being mature when the Prophet was at Mecca .
      And they started staying together at Mecca, so it was after a few years of her maturity.
      The Hadiths that show their non- sexual interactions do not prove that they were married at that time.

      There is one more Hadith that show that he slept the whole night on her lap

      Which also proves that she was mature enough for him to be comfortable on her lap to sleep.
      Read Bukhari 5.21

      • Is this the hadith you are referring to?:

        We went out with Allah’s Apostle on one of his journeys till we reached Al-Baida or Dhatul-Jaish where my necklace got broken (and lost). Allah’s Apostle stopped to search for it and the people too stopped with him. There was no water at that place and they had no water with them. So they went to Abu Bakr and said, “Don’t you see what ‘Aisha has done? She has made Allah’s Apostle and the people stop where there is no water and they have no water with them.” Abu Bakr came while Allah’s Apostle was sleeping with his head on my thigh and said, “You detained Allah’s Apostle and the people where there is no water and they have no water.” He then admonished me and said what Allah wished and pinched me at my flanks with his hands, but I did not move beCause the head of Allah’s Apostle was on my thigh.

        Allah’s Apostle kept on sleeping till be got up in the morning and found no water. Then Allah revealed the Divine Verse of Tayammum, and the people performed Tayammum. Usaid bin Al-Hudair said. “O family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first Blessings of yours.” We urged the camel on which I was sitting to get up from its place and the necklace was found under it.

        What does that have to do with A’isha’s maturity?

        What about THIS hadith:

        Sunan Abu Dawud Book 41, Number 4914:
        Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:

        When the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) arrived after the expedition to Tabuk or Khaybar (the narrator is doubtful), the draught raised an end of a curtain which was hung in front of her store-room, revealing some dolls which belonged to her.

        He asked: What is this? She replied: My dolls. Among them he saw a horse with wings made of rags, and asked: What is this I see among them? She replied: A horse. He asked: What is this that it has on it? She replied: Two wings. He asked: A horse with two wings? She replied: Have you not heard that Solomon had horses with wings? She said: Thereupon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) laughed so heartily that I could see his molar teeth.

        Would you really consider her to be mature?

    • So? Historically, there have been even younger mothers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_youngest_birth_mothers
      I don’t see how this video directly relates to the marriage between Muhammad and A’isha. According to the description on the video you linked to, Kordeza Zhelyazkova was 11 yrs. old and her husband Jeliazko Dimitrov is 19 yrs. old. I’m sure we can all agree that there is a difference between a man of 53/54 years of age having sex with a 9 yr. old girl and a 19 yr old boy having sex with an 11 year old. Also, the boy in the video seems to express some regret as to his actions. On the other hand, it would quite weird for a Muhammad to do so, as prophets are considered infallible in Islam:
      لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
      “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.: (Qur’an 33:21)

  5. The purpose of the video is to justify the marriage of the prophet to Aisha. Obviously apart from comfort, companionship and love that is desired through marriage so is the ability to have children. If this was an aim of the marriage of Prophet Muhammed to Aisha and the engaging in sexual intercourse, then it is right to justify this through a video showing an 11 year old’s ability to have children. If an 11 year in today’s society, which is very different from society in the year 600, can have children then do you not feel that it is possible for a 9 year old to do so? The posting of the video is implicitly trying to make the claim that sexual intercourse with Aisha was the Prophets desire to fulfil his lust but rather to procreate. Paedophiles and child abusers would obviously engage in intercourse to fulfil their lusts but this was not the case with the Prophet’s marriage due to the posting of that video.

    Therefore the video IS related to the marriage between Muhammed and Aisha as it is implying that marriage between the two was not due to the craving of sex but because of other more important issues such as engaging in procreation, being in a loving relationship (so the ummah can follow) or companionship between spouses.

    Your second claim that Muhammed should have shown some ;guilt’ at marrying and engaging in sexual intercourse with a young girl is absurd. Why? If Muhammed married knowing full well that this was a morally, legally right thing to do AT THE TIME then why should he have felt remorse? Clearly the author of this post has outlined a brilliant case for the marriage and the social context surrounding it not to mention the maturity of Aisha which he/she deduces from hadith and quranic literature. This shows that what Muhammed did was perfectly within the bounds at that time.

    I have a question for you. If Muhammed was engaged to Aisha who was at the age of 6 (according to most hadith/scholars) but waited until she was 9 to consummate the marriage, do you still then think that what he did befits the profile of a child molester? Why would he wait for a period of 3 years if he was not concerned with Aisha going through puberty or not? Surely a prolific sex fiend/child molester would engage in sexual intercourse and abuse his victim regardless of whether that person had reached puberty or not. The prophet (if as you claim was a molester) had a perfect opportunity to do so just this because he was A. a prophet B. Everyone was following him, so he could have made it perfectly ok to consummate marriage to pre-pubescent girls and got everyone to follow him. A paedophile would not wait 3 years to abuse his victims especially in such close proximity and the ‘victim’ i.e. Aisha would have displayed such trauma in later life which was not the case and a claim that you (Jaskaran Dhaliwal) cannot substantiate.

    Regards

    Shaun

  6. I would like to make a correction.
    “The posting of the video is implicitly trying to make the claim that sexual intercourse with Aisha was NOT the Prophets desire to fulfil his lust but rather to procreate.”

  7. Pingback: Religion vs Paedophilia [Part 2] | The Muslim Debate Initiative Blog

  8. Pingback: Prophets vs. Pedophiles [Part 3] | The Andalusian Project

  9. Pingback: Religion vs. Paedophilia [Part 3] | The Muslim Debate Initiative Blog

  10. Pingback: Religion vs. Paedophilia [Part 3] | Reposting for Islam

  11. My work (Sian Halcrow) has been miscited here. Yes, the notion of cultural or social age is different than biological age. However this should not be used justify sexual abuse by men towards very young females.

    • Dr. Halcrow (if that’s actually you), no where does this article attempt to misquote you in attempts to justify “sexual abuse by men towards very young females”, but to show that past societies and cultures cannot be judged based on contemporary standards given their different conditions and social functioning.

      Im afraid you mistook my use of your work to infer something that isn’t there.

  12. Aisha the Child Wife of Muhammad

    The thought of an old man becoming aroused by a child is one of the most disturbing thoughts that makes us cringe as it reminds us of pedophilia and the most despicable people. It is difficult to accept that the Holy Prophet married Aisha when she was 6-years-old and consummated his marriage with her when she was 9. He was then, 54 years old.

    Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310:
    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that ‘Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death).” what you know of the Quran (by heart)’
    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88
    Narrated ‘Ursa:
    The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).
    Some Muslims claim that it was Abu Bakr who approached Muhammad asking him to marry his daughter. This is of course not true and here is the proof.
    Sahih Bukhari 7.18
    Narrated ‘Ursa:
    The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for ‘Aisha’s hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said “But I am your brother.” The Prophet said, “You are my brother in Allah’s religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry.”
    Arabs were a primitive lot with little rules to abide. Yet they had some code of ethics that they honored scrupulously. For example, although they fought all the year round, they abstained from hostilities during certain holy months of the year. They also considered Mecca to be a holy city and did not make war against it. A adopted son’s wife was deemed to be a daughter in law and they would not marry her. Also it was customary that close friends made a pact of brotherhood and considered each other as true brothers. The Prophet disregarded all of these rules anytime they stood between him and his interests or whims.
    Abu Bakr and Muhammad had pledged to each other to be brothers. So according to their costoms Ayesha was supposed to be like a niece to the Holy Prophet. Yet that did not stop him to ask her hand even when she was only six years old.
    But this moral relativist Prophet would use the same excuse to reject a woman he did not like.
    Sahih Bukhari V.7, B62, N. 37
    Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
    It was said to the Prophet, “Won’t you marry the daughter of Hamza?” He said, “She is my foster niece (brother’s daughter). ”
    Hamza and Abu Bakr both were the foster brothers of Muhammad. But Ayesha must have been too pretty for the Prophet to abide by the codes of ethics and custom.
    In the following Hadith he confided to Ahesha that he had dreamed of her before soliciting her from her father.
    Sahih Bukhari 9.140
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    Allah’s Apostle said to me, “You were shown to me twice (in my dream) before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said to him, ‘Uncover (her),’ and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), ‘If this is from Allah, then it must happen.
    Whether Muhammad had actually such dream or he just said it to please Ayesha is not the point. What matters here is that it indicates that Ayesaha was a baby being “carried” by an angel when the Prophet dreamed of her.
    There are numerous hadithes that explicitly reveal the age of Ayesha at the time of her marriage. Here are some of them.
    Sahih Bukhari 5.236.
    Narrated Hisham’s father:
    Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.
    Sahih Bukhari 5.234
    Narrated Aisha:
    The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.
    And in another Hadith we read.
    Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 41, Number 4915, also Number 4916 and Number 4917
    Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:
    The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) married me when I was seven or six. When we came to Medina, some women came. according to Bishr’s version: Umm Ruman came to me when I was swinging. They took me, made me prepared and decorated me. I was then brought to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), and he took up cohabitation with me when I was nine. She halted me at the door, and I burst into laughter.
    In the above hadith we read that Ayesha was swinging, This is a play of little girls not grown up people. The following Hadith is particularly interesting because it shows that Ayesha was so small that was not aware what was going on when the Holy Prophet “surprised” her by going to her.
    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 90
    Narrated Aisha:
    When the Prophet married me, my mother came to me and made me enter the house (of the Prophet) and nothing surprised me but the coming of Allah’s Apostle to me in the forenoon.

    Must have been quite a surprise! But the following is also interesting because it demonstrates that she was just a kid playing with her dolls. Pay attention to what the interpreter wrote in the parenthesis. (She was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty)

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)

    Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3311
    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
    The holy Prophet died when he was 63. So he must have married Ayesha when he as 51 and went to her when he was 54.
    Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 33
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    I never felt so jealous of any woman as I did of Khadija, though she had died three years before the Prophet married me, and that was because I heard him mentioning her too often, and because his Lord had ordered him to give her the glad tidings that she would have a palace in Paradise, made of Qasab and because he used to slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat among her friends.

    Khadija died in December of 619 AD. That is two years before Hijra. At that time the Prophet was 51-years-old. So in the same year that Khadija died the prophet married Ayesha and took her to his home 3 years later, i.e. one year after Hijra. But until she grow up he married Umm Salama.
    In another part Ayesha claims that as long as she remembers her parents were always Muslims.
    Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 245
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    (the wife of the Prophet) I never remembered my parents believing in any religion other than the true religion (i.e. Islam),

    If Ayesha was older i.e. 16 or 18 as some Muslims claim, she would have remembered the religion of her parents prior to becoming Muslims.

    Now someone may still claim that all these hadithes are lies. People are free to say whatever they want. But truth is clear like the Sun for those who have eyes.
    No sane person would be aroused by a 9-year-old child. Decent people wince at the thought of this shameful act. Yet some Muslims deny them. The question is why so many followers of Muhammad would fabricate so many false hadithes about the age of Ayisha, which incidentally confirm each other?

    I can tell you why people would attribute false miracles to their prophet. Babis believe that Bab started to praise God as soon as he was born. There is a Hadith like that also about Muhammad. Christians believe the birth of the Christ was miraculous and the Jews believe Moses opened a dry passageway through the Red Sea. Believers love to hear these stories. It confirms their faith. There are many absurd miracles attributed to Muhammad in the hadiths, despite the fact that he denied being able to perform any miracles. But why should anyone fabricate a lie about the age of Ayisha that would portray his Prophet as a pedophile?

  13. Salaam Alaikum brother Asadullah Ali

    Jazaka Allahu Khayran for this great info. I have written some articles on Marriage in Christianity and Judaism + American and European History of Marriage in the 19th to 20th century.

    Here are the articles

    Article 1: Age of Consent in European & American History
    http://discover-the-truth.com/2013/09/09/age-of-consent-in-european-american-history/

    Article 2: Marriage of Mary To Joseph the Carpenter. Proven Historically that Joseph was 90 Years old when he married 12 year old Mary
    http://discover-the-truth.com/2013/09/30/marriage-of-mary-to-joseph-the-carpenter-more/

    Article 3: Bible: Child Marriage in Ancient Israelite times
    http://discover-the-truth.com/2013/09/14/bible-child-marriage-in-ancient-israelite-times-paedophilia/

  14. Pingback: FutileDemocracy: The White Atheist Savior Of Muslim Women – Hakeem Muhammad

  15. Pingback: The Ayesha Strikes Back: No Victim AT ALL (refuting futiledemocracy ) – Hakeem Muhammad

  16. A rather long-winded argument for something that everyone knows, children develop at different speeds depending on their environment and things were different a long time ago.

    My concern is that we are not talking about say, a girl around the age of fifteen or so having a sexual relationship with a middle age man (although that too, is a little hard to digest). Maybe you could argue that a young adolescent brought up in the right environment could be mature enough to make such decisions.

    We are actually discussing a nine year old girl, do you know any nine year olds asadullah? They are little children. As i write this i remember my little nine year old cousin playing with her fake toy money and running around outside with her school friends of a similar age and i ask myself, would such young girls of this age ever be able to fully understand or consent to a sexual relationship whatever the circumstances of her upbringing and physical development and the answer is a resounding no and frankly i find entertaining the idea truly disturbing.

    • A rather long winded reply for someone who clearly did not read this article, much less the next one which would answer your concerns in full.

      Please spare me the appeal to emotion. I tire of self-important anecdote taking the place of real thinking.

      Also note, I wouldn’t be this blunt had you actually given an objection that wasn’t already addressed in the articles themselves.

      • Lack of real thinking?

        Tell me, if someone made the same argument you make say for a three year old instead of a girl around the age of nine, would your argument still stand? Why not?

        There are cases where puberty starts at an extremely early age (like the youngest mother at 5 years old) and things were different in different time periods so it’s OK to have sex and get married at three years old according to your arguments.

        You provide no measurable or comparable difference between now and past civilizations and just assert things were different, sure things were different, that doesn’t mean that little girls were mature enough to make huge life changing decisions and have sexual contact.

      • Once again, if you’re not even going to try and engage my arguments fairly — much less address the specifics and the factual data being presented here — then I’m afraid you’re wasting my time and your own.

        Your examples are not even worth addressing because I specifically mentioned what is NORMATIVE and also included essential Islamic principles of ‘preventing harm’.

        Please, either take the discussion seriously or just don’t bother.

  17. Sorry, you have lost me now. I have read your whole blog post (again) and don’t know what you are talking about. Perhaps i am missing a part of your blog post somehow.

    You are arguing that critics don’t take into consideration that children psychologically and physically mature faster in different societies and more perilous environments (such as the 7th century hijaz) and so projecting our modern understanding of maturity and children on different civilizations is unfair. That is clear enough, we see eye to eye on that yes?

    My point is, you provide no measurable or comparable difference between now and the 7th century Hijaz and just assume that because children mature quicker that would make a little nine year old capable of getting married and having a sexual relationship. (which is why my original post asked you if you could ever imagine a nine year capable of having one).

    If she did start puberty that does not make somebody ready for such a relationship, many girls today start their menstrual cycle younger than nine year old yet, of course, they are not emotionally ready for a sexual relationship.

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