Facts behind the controversial Marriages of our Beloved Prophet Muhammed (saw) - Part I

By GuidedOnes

 

    

 

"But do you mean to tell me that the man who in the full flush of youthful vigour, a young man of four and twenty (24), married a woman much his senior, and remained faithful to her for six and twenty years (26), at fifty years of age when the passions are dying married for lust and sexual passion? Not thus are men's lives to be judged. And you look at the women whom he married, you will find that by every one of them an alliance was made for his people, or something was gained for his followers, or the woman was in sore need of protection." - - Dr Annie Besant (Dr Annie Besant in 'The Life and Teachings of Mohammad,' Madras, 1932)
A noted British author has observed: "No great religious leader has been so maligned as Prophet Mohammed. Attacked in the past as a heretic, an impostor, or a sensualist, it is still possible to find him referred to as "the false prophet." A modern German writer accuses Prophet Mohammed of sensuality, surrounding himself with young women. This man was not married until he was twenty-five years of age, then he and his wife lived in happiness and fidelity for twenty-four years, until her death when he was fourty-nine. Only between the age of fifty and his death at sixty-two did Prophet Mohammed take other wives, only one of whom was a virgin, and most of them were taken for dynastic and political reasons. Certainly the Prophet's record was better than the head of the Church of England, Henry VIII." Geoffrey Parrinder, Mysticism in the World's Religions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976, pg. 121)


   Every time the Muslims talk about Prophet Muhammad (saw) to the heretics, they use a point against the saintly character of Prophet(saw) by pointing fingers towards his marriage with a girl named Ayesha(ra), who was presumably, 12 years old at the time of her marriage to Prophet and another woman named Zainab, whom he married after she divorced a man named Zaid whom Prophet had adopted as his son. Muslims on the other hand are commanded to hold her in highest regards according to the will and decree of Allah(swt) as is evident from the verse above. Moreover, it's a historical fact that A'ishah (ra)  was one who possessed exceptional qualities, and Holy Prophet saw in her a great woman of the future who was best suited to perform the duties of a wife and of a teacher whose words and deeds had to be preserved for the guidance of mankind. A'ishah(ra) turned out to be one of the greatest woman scholars for Islam, thus setting an example for future generations of Muslim women. Aishah(ra) was said to be the most knowledgeable in Islam, even by the male companions of the Prophet's times and was in fact one of the most learned amongst them. Companions had to come to her and seek the knowledge that only she knew that only she was privy to. Her significant example of being highly regarded especially among the men plays an important role in removing beyond a shadow of a doubt any uncertainties regarding women to be inferior to men in aspects of faith or false notions condemning women to be hindered from earning a high status in society, especially in terms of spiritual growth and morality. Compare this to the history of other major religions in which women were regarded to remain subordinate to men especially in terms of spiritual development. All his wives, especially A'ishah(ra), transmitted many scholarly works (sayings, deeds, and actions) from Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Aishah's father, Abu Bakr, was a key figure in the history of Islam as well as a close friend and trusted advisor of Muhammad. The joining in marriage of Muhammad and Abu Bakr's daughter solidified the relationship between him and the Prophet. When Muhammad(saw) died, there was a need for a new Muslim leader. Abu Bakr was chosen khalifah due to his close knit relationship with Muhammad and the marriage between Muhammad and his daughter, A'ishah.

From the non-Muslim front, there is a terrible hypocritical approach to this whole affair of Prophet's multiple marriages. It has been effectively proven by scholars that the age of Ayesha(ra) which is written in few Hadith books is contradictory and can be false. See, 'How infallible are Sahih Hadiths?' in this regard. Nowhere in Holy Qur'an, even a passing reference has been made to this aspect of Prophet's wife. But, before I direct you that part of the scholarly study, let's agree for argument's sake, that the charges are true and you still want to hold this argument against ethics of Islam then try to have a look into your own backyard and let's see, what other major religions talk about such marriage concepts. 

Ayesha(ra) was engaged to someone else before she got engaged to Muhammad(saw): 
Lady Ayesha(ra) was already engaged to a non-Muslim man named Jober Ibn Al-Moteam Ibn Oday. Back then, the people of Mecca did not object to Ayesha(ra)'s engagement to Jober because she was physically mature enough to be considered for marriage. Her parents saw that and they engaged her to Jober. 

The only reason why Ayesha (ra)'s father, Abu Baker Al Siddeek, broke her engagement with Jober is because he was a non-Muslim. Later, a woman named Kholeah Bint Hakeem suggested for Muhammad (saw) to marry Ayesha(ra), because Muhammad (saw) and Abu Baker became best friends. Muhammad (saw) engaged Ayesha(ra) for 2 years before he married her. 

Abű Bakr (ra) is also recorded to have spoken these words: "There are three things I cherish most: a look at your face, to spend my wealth on you and that my daughter is thy wife."

All Muslim scholars agree 100% that Muhammad(saw) and Aisha(ra) were engaged for 2 years before marriage. 

  
Prophet Muhammad(saw) was a Noble Messenger of God. Muhammad(saw) lived in a society and culture that existed 1400 years ago, and we must not judge what he or others did based on the standards we have set today. It is wrong and foolish to do so!. 

Another major (seemingly oldest) religion of the east, Hinduism, finds it's roots in early marriages of the girls. Child marriage of daughters 5-6 years old was common due to the custom of dowry and to avoid scandals [Nand 17] [Basham 167-8] [Yadav 70] [Altekar 16] [Banerjee 70]. Hindu Law books prescribe that the best partner for a man in one-third his age. Thus a man 18 year old should marry a girl 6 years old! –

"A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl of eight years of age; if (the performance of) his duties would otherwise be impeded, he must marry sooner." [Manu IX.94]

This was meant to prevent any scandals. Narada states that some of the defects to be avoided in brides are if they already had a relationship with another man or have their minds set on another, they should not be selected [Sheth 67].

So, what we have to keep in mind is, not only was it a custom in the Arab society as well,  to Engage/Marry a young girl it was also common in the other olden world societies. Also, the case of Mary the mother of Jesus comes to mind, in non-biblical sources she was between 11-14 years old when she conceived Jesus (peace be upon him). Mary (may peace be upon her) had already been 'betrothed' to Joseph before conceiving Jesus. Joseph was a much older man and Mary(ra) was younger than 11-14 years of age when she was 'betrothed' to Joseph. We, as Muslims, would never call Joseph a wrong doer, nor would we ever refer to the 'Holy Ghost' of the Bible, that 'Impregnated' Mary as a "Rapist" ...and Allah Almighty knows best. Not to mention, the present day misguided Priests of the church, painting the world red with their escapades that involve countless crimes of 'Pedophilia' and Rapes', where Susan Archibald, 37, a now retired Air Force officer who said a Catholic Air Force chaplain abused her starting in the 1980's, when she was an 18-year-old cadet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He was 38. In her testimony she said that, "When my chaplain first began to abuse me, he told me that God had sent me to him as a gift." A gift to use and throw.

I hope the response above would have cleared some of the doubts in the minds of the sick who act as self-appointed judges on self made citadels on the issues of criticizing other religions except their own. However, those who are interested in scholarly studies and wish to distill truth from falsehood based on some logical and historical facts, please hit the given link below:

  

Next: Prophet's Marriage to a 12 Yr old girl and his Daughter in Law >>

References:

  • [Manu] = `Manu Smirti’, Manu, Aryavartta, 4400 B.C-1500 B.C. ? translations exist..
  • [Manu Smrti, Doniger and Smith] = `The Laws of Manu’ W.Doniger and B.K.Smith, Penguin India N.Delhi 1991
  • [Sheth] = `Religion and Society in The Brahma Purana’ - S.Sheth, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. N.Delhi 1979
  • Prophet's marriages - Removing misconceptions
  • Muhammed's (saw) Wives - A virtual Encyclopedia  (Islamonline)

 

         

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