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SuperZeZ

Why Didn't Muhammad Campaign Against Child Marriage?

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I'm sure that many muslims have heard the allegation that Muhammad was a pedophile because he took the 9-to-10-year-old Aisha as a bride. It's probably one of the most commonly made attacks on his character, and I can imagine it's very awkward to answer.

 

However, when in a comparative religion class in college, a local Imam visited to talk about Islam, and a significant portion of the theme of the talk was about setting the record straight regarding Islam. With this in mind, I brought up, as politely as I could, the topic of Aisha, to give him an opportunity to set that particular record straight for the class.

 

His reply was that child brides were fairly common practice at that time, and just as we can't judge the slave-owning American founding fathers by modern standards, we can't look at Muhammad and accuse him of being a pedophile.

 

I'm sorry to say that I don't think that argument holds water.

 

According to Islam, Muhammad was not just some ordinary man. If he were, I could easily accept the valid argument that he was a product of his times, and look at the ways in which he was better or worse than his contemporaries. But Muhammad is supposed to have recieved divine revelation from the one true god, the creator of the universe, infinitely wise and righteous.

 

If child marriage is truly wrong, as the vast, vast majority of people in modern times strongly believe, then somebody who received revelation from the one true, perfect, all-knowing, righteous god would surely have learned that through revelation. Or, failing that, surely this god would have sent a messenger to him when he first planned to wed Aisha to tell him of the injustice of the practice?

 

And in such a case, no argument of "everybody's doing it" would hold any water whatsoever. I honestly can't understand why such a person could see the widespread acceptance of the practice, and not immediately resolve to end the practice as soon as possible.

 

So my question is this: Why did Muhammad accept this product of his time instead of actively striving to correct it?

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Most of Muhammad's (pbuh) wife's were older. This is one of the few exceptions and from what I understand from my imam and some others the actual age is a matter of debate but the marriage was post-poned until she was of age. However, the engagement was when she was young. The actual marriage itself was not for sexual reasons. The problem is not with the prophet but with the people today as everyone sees marriage as a means of having sex and that is all they think about. But, back then marriage was a matter of security and social status. If you were not married it was not seen very well for the woman. Muhammad (pbuh) married her as a mercy. How do we know this?

 

Because he had done it in other circumstances as well. He married others as well who were struggling in society because of family events or personal problems including widows. Only 2 of the women that Muhammad (pbuh) ever married had children. His first wife, whom was older, and another whom it was said he cherished dearly. I think we both know what this suggests.

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Most of Muhammad's (pbuh) wife's were older. This is one of the few exceptions and from what I understand from my imam and some others the actual age is a matter of debate but the marriage was post-poned until she was of age. However, the engagement was when she was young. The actual marriage itself was not for sexual reasons.

 

Most sources I've seen say she was married at 6 and the marriage was consummated at the age of 9. Are my sources mistaken, and if so, at what age was the marriage consummated?

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My imam informed me that the actual marriage took place more around 16 to 17 not 9 and there was an engagement period so it being 16 or 17 makes more sense. Ask any Middle East Muslim and they will tell you this makes more sense, a marriage does not just happen like that. There is typically a courting period, of sorts. After it has been determined that both parties are interested the family approves or disapproves, particularly the father and then a dowry is discussed.

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Most sources I've seen say she was married at 6 and the marriage was consummated at the age of 9. Are my sources mistaken, and if so, at what age was the marriage consummated?

 

No, your sources are not mistaken.

 

To answer your question, Islam does not go by what the majority of the world thinks. The majority of the world believes in a lot of practices that Islam denounces.

 

In Islam, once a person enters puberty he or she is allowed to get married.

 

Look at the history of the age of consent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent#History_and_social_attitudes

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Islam didn't establish a specific age for marriage but conditions which is more practical, realistic and flexable (to satisfy each society, individuals, time place diffirences and emergency cases as well ). mainly the first condition is entering puberty and mental maturity to take care of husband, house, money and children. you can find the analogy of such conditions to the case of giving back the orphan's money to them, for two reasons such verse is just couple of verses after marriage verse and marriage have more responsibilities.

 

 

} وَابْتَلُواْ الْيَتَامَى حَتَّىَ إِذَا بَلَغُواْ النِّكَاحَ فَإِنْ آنَسْتُم مِّنْهُمْ رُشْدًا فَادْفَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ

 

 

4:6 S: And test the orphans until they attain puberty; then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property,

 

their should be no harm of any type for the bride/bridegroom/families/society (social, mental, health, ......) from the most general and imporant rules in Islam the hadeeth " don't cause any harm to your self nor to the others"

the verses:002.195 Y: And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.

 

004.029 Y: O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you Most Merciful!

 

AND SO, in a tribal hot society (yeman and Ethiobia) where the girls reach puberty at the age of (10-12), have hard work as shephards, lot of work and cooking in house using woods, getting water from a mile away which give here the strength, experiance and maturity. what is the problem when such girl marries whenever she's ready specially when sees her mother did the same and had a good and healthy life. or she have to wait tell her scandinafian collegue to reach puberty (14-16)!!???

BUT, when ever input conditions change and moslem authorities find out any kind of "harm" to any partner, Islam obligates them to establish any needed laws to stop/minimiz such harm

 

i have a question for you, as an atheist who believe that the human is just an evoluted monkey or animal, what is the law of marriage in the animal kingdom? do you think human are different than animals and should have a different laws?!!why?!!

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Most of Muhammad's (pbuh) wife's were older. This is one of the few exceptions and from what I understand from my imam and some others the actual age is a matter of debate but the marriage was post-poned until she was of age. However, the engagement was when she was young. The actual marriage itself was not for sexual reasons. The problem is not with the prophet but with the people today as everyone sees marriage as a means of having sex and that is all they think about. But, back then marriage was a matter of security and social status. If you were not married it was not seen very well for the woman. Muhammad (pbuh) married her as a mercy. How do we know this?

 

Because he had done it in other circumstances as well. He married others as well who were struggling in society because of family events or personal problems including widows. Only 2 of the women that Muhammad (pbuh) ever married had children. His first wife, whom was older, and another whom it was said he cherished dearly. I think we both know what this suggests.

 

Were all of Muhammad's marriages consensual?

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Marrying someone under the age of 18 is in fact a very new practice. And there are highly esteemed Americans in the past who have married what we would now consider underage.

 

In fact one such example is a now famous and highly respected author of the early twentieth century who married his thirteen year old cousin but many will be quick to point the finger at the prophet for the same thing. Such hypocrisy is really sickening.

 

Who do I speak of? Edgar Allan Poe:

 

When Poe’s foster mother died in 1829 her deathbed wish was honoured by Edgar and stepfather John reconciling, though it was brief. Poe enlisted in the West Point Military Academy but was dismissed a year later. In 1829 his second book Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems was published. The same year Poems (1831) was published Poe moved to Baltimore to live with his aunt Maria Clemm, mother of Virginia Eliza Clemm (1822-1847) who would become his wife at the age of thirteen.

source: http://www.online-literature.com/poe/

 

In fact, outside of the age of the girl in question can you tell me anything else about the marriage in question? Do you know her name? Do you know why the marriage was arranged in the first place? While I do not remember the exact details myself I have read the full biography of the prophet and thus I know now and I understand.

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In fact one such example is a now famous and highly respected author of the early twentieth century who married his thirteen year old cousin but many will be quick to point the finger at the prophet for the same thing. Such hypocrisy is really sickening.

Edgar Allen Poe did not claim to have recieved divine revelation from a perfect, infinitely good being. That's the key point here, that Muhammad Cannot be judged by the times he lived in, because he's supposed to be the prophet of a perfect god. The standards are higher.

Edited by SuperZeZ

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So now you are wanting to play God and say that you know what is righteous and not based on the standards of current times? Seems a bit one sided to me. Only in the last 50years or so has the concept of the age of 18 or older been implemented even in western society. So, what you ask is a bit absurd. You try to talk about how the prophet is not subjected to his time and yet you can tell me nothing about the conditions surrounding said marriage, why it occurred, any sources on where you are getting your information as to her age or even a name.

 

By the way, the girl still lived with her family after the "marriage" and did not live with the prophet until she was older. Like I said before marriage had a different context back then than it does now. when you can say more than what you have already we will talk some more, until then I bid you farewell as I am not a fan of reruns

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For SuperZeZ

 

The question here is; from where the sources which report that the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) married Aisha when she was at the age of 9 years old come from? Aren’t they Islamic sources? Well, the same sources told you that Mohammed is a prophet of Allah and he did received divine revelation from God. So why do you accept the first fact and reject the second?

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Were all of Muhammad's marriages consensual?

 

Yes, they were.

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Yes, they were.

 

What about Rayhana? Muhammad was responsible for her enslavement and the death of her entire tribe.

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What about Rayhana? Muhammad was responsible for her enslavement and the death of her entire tribe.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayhana

 

If you read the wiki on Rayhana, not much is known about her. There are also conflicting reports.

 

The entire tribe of Banu Nadir was not put to death. The tribe of Banu Nadir was responsible for its own fate though when it alligned itself the forces that wanted to destroy the Muslims.

 

What I can tell you for sure is that a Jewish woman by the name of Safiyyah (ra) was the Prophet's (pbuh) wife. Her tribe was conquered. The Prophet (pbuh) gave her the choice to remain a Jew and go with the rest of her tribe or to become a Muslim and marry him.

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For SuperZeZ

 

The question here is; from where the sources which report that the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) married Aisha when she was at the age of 9 years old come from? Aren’t they Islamic sources? Well, the same sources told you that Mohammed is a prophet of Allah and he did received divine revelation from God. So why do you accept the first fact and reject the second?

 

The problem is He doesn't believe in hadeeth nor quran but he does believe in a myth:

funny_atheism_definition.jpg

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The problem is He doesn't believe in hadeeth nor quran but he does believe in a myth:

funny_atheism_definition.jpg

 

Isn't there a rule against insulting people on this board?

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As-salamu 'alaikum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh

 

Brothers, let's not taunt SuperZez. He has been respectful. Let's afford him the common courtesy.

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As-salamu 'alaikum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh

 

Brothers, let's not taunt SuperZez. He has been respectful. Let's afford him the common courtesy.

 

Thank you, I appreciate that.

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For SuperZeZ

 

The question here is; from where the sources which report that the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) married Aisha when she was at the age of 9 years old come from? Aren’t they Islamic sources? Well, the same sources told you that Mohammed is a prophet of Allah and he did received divine revelation from God. So why do you accept the first fact and reject the second?

 

I am prepared to answer this question in detail, but first I would like to ask, just to make sure I'm not misrepresenting Islam with the response to come, what you think, as muslims, of Muhammad. To what, if any, degree, do you consider him to be factually or morally fallible, and how great of a role model do you consider him to be in modern times?

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We don't consider the Prophet (pbuh) fallible. We consider him the best role for all times.

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We don't consider the Prophet (pbuh) fallible. We consider him the best role for all times.

 

Very well then, here is the answer to the above question that I had begun writing, then stopped for that clarification:

 

For SuperZeZ

 

The question here is; from where the sources which report that the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) married Aisha when she was at the age of 9 years old come from? Aren’t they Islamic sources? Well, the same sources told you that Mohammed is a prophet of Allah and he did received divine revelation from God. So why do you accept the first fact and reject the second?

 

To answer your question (Sorry I didn't do it sooner), I will direct you to the following phrase: "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

 

But I'm not talking about what I believe about the nature of Muhammad. My main focus with regards to this discussion is what muslims believe.

 

Muslims, from what I understand, see the events described in the Qur'an as a historical record, a perfectly accurate factual account of what actually happened during Muhammad's lifetime. For the purposes of this discussion, I am willing to assume the existence of Allah, as well as the historicity of the Qur'an.

 

I do not believe that there is sufficient evidence of the existence of any god as particularly described by any religion today, but in addition, I also believe that, for certain religions, particularly the Abrahamic ones, even assuming the events described in their holy books are 100% correct and actually happened, the god these religions describe is not worthy of worship.

 

I am not, on this occasion, questioning the historicity of the Qur'an. If I were to become a muslim, I would not only have to be convinced of that, but I would also have to be convinced that Muhammad and Allah are perfect and righteous.

 

Why? Well let me provide an extreme example (I phrase it this way not to draw parallels or imply anything, but only to make the phenomenon I speak of larger and thus more visible):

 

Suppose somebody were to knock on my door and tell me he followed the teachings of a Nazi god, and that Hitler was his son and the savior of mankind, and that we were living in sin for not embracing the Nazi teachings. Now suppose that he succeeded to demonstrate the factual existence of this Nazi god with irrefutible, undeniable, incontrovertible evidence that could not be rejected by anybody whatsoever. Do I join his religion? No, that is the one thing I absolutely would not, should not, and could not do. I would accept his existence, but not dignify such a monster with praise he would not even remotely deserve.

 

The point I hope to make clear with that example is that no god becomes worthy of praise, worship or obedience merely because that god exists. Muhammad cannot be perfect if he did a single thing that was morally objectionable, and neither can Allah, which is why I asked about Aisha and Rayhana, as the stories as I understood them were incompatible with moral perfection.

 

From what I understand, the answer to my question is that Muhammad didn't campaign against child marriage because there is nothing wrong with child marriage in and of itself as long as the child chooses to marry of her own free will, without any pressure or duress, and Aisha chose to marry Muhammad of her own free will, without any pressure or duress. Is that correct?

 

As for Rayhana, from what I understand, the answer I have been given is that there's no indication that she was ever enslaved, or that her tribe had been decimated by Muhammad's forces. Is that correct?

 

If those answers are accurate, I feel I can accept them as reasonable answers. Are they accurate? Have I understood the answers I have been given properly?

Edited by SuperZeZ

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This is what God says in the Qur'an:

 

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? (25:43)

 

I believe this is the problem you have. Like you said, assuming that Islam is true you still would not want to worship God and thus you have in effect taken your opinion/desire as your god.

 

Satan became Satan because He did not want to do what God told him to do. God asked him to prostrate to Adam (pbuh) but he did not want to.

 

The fact is that Allah decides what is morally right or wrong seeing that He is the Creator.

 

"From what I understand, the answer to my question is that Muhammad didn't campaign against child marriage because there is nothing wrong with child marriage in and of itself as long as the child chooses to marry of her own free will, without any pressure or duress, and Aisha chose to marry Muhammad of her own free will, without any pressure or duress. Is that correct?"

 

Yes, that is correct. A person cannot be married against their will.

 

A girl came to Aisha (may God be pleased with her) and said: My dad has married me off to someone and I detest this. So she replied: Sit down until the Prophet (pbuh) returns. When the Prophet (pbuh) returned and was told, he asked to see her father, then allowed her to choose whether to remain married or not. So she said "I don't mind being married, but I wanted to show women that fathers do not have any right to do what my father did" [Nasai, Fath Al-Bari Ibn Hajr, Sunan Ibn Majah]

 

The marriage of the Prophet (pbuh) and 'Aishah (ra) was a happy one.

 

"As for Rayhana, from what I understand, the answer I have been given is that there's no indication that she was ever enslaved, or that her tribe had been decimated by Muhammad's forces. Is that correct?"

 

Well my answer regarding Rayhana was more that she was an obscure personality, i.e. not a lot is known about her and the reports regarding her are conflicting, therefore, not much can be said for sure. I gave the alternative example of Safiyyah (ra) who was a Jewess. Her tribe had aligned itself with the Pagan Meccans against the Muslims. Her tribe was conquered. The Prophet (pbuh) gave her the choice of remaining a religious Jew and staying with her people or becoming Muslim and marrying him. She chose to get married.

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Not everything that God does or dictates might be initially pleasing to you. That's why Islam in Arabic literal means "submission" and a Muslim is one who submits to Allah. Islam is thus not based on what we want but what Allah wants.

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If God defines what is right and what is wrong, then doesn't that mean that the definition of "Right" would just be "Whatever God tells you to do"?

 

I sincerely hope that that isn't what you are saying.

 

Surely you can think of something that you would refuse to do on moral grounds even if Allah told you to do it. Rape? Torture? Inflicting harm upon those who have been nice to you, harming your own family?

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(66. And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innnocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes,'' very few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their conviction;) (67. And indeed We would then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves.) (68. And indeed We would have guided them to the straight way.) (69. And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) (70. Such is the bounty from Allah, and Allah is sufficient as All-Knower.) (From Surah 4)

 

Yes, you are right in that right is what God tells you to do. For example, Allah tried Abraham (pbuh) by ordering him to sacrifice his son and both father and son complied. But the thing is God has not commanded us to rape, inflict harm upon those are nice to us or our families. So I think it is useless to think of these "What if"-scenarios. Like the above verse says, had God hypothetically commanded us to kill one another or leave our homes, most would not comply but it would have been a lot better if we did.

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