Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Life Of The Prophet (saw) From The Wife of the Prophet (saw) Part I

The Prophet (saw) Married A'isha At 6!


We have seen a contagion spreading across the Muslim world concerning the US movie entitled “The innocence of Muslims.” The said film has caused widespread Muslim outrage that have resulted in people taking to the streets to voice their anger, causing a wave of wanton death and destruction in the process that has merely served to reaffirm outsider stereotypes about the Islamic faith. So, what is it that has attracted the ire of Muslims on the street? Why the need to take to the streets, partake in protest and civil unrest spilling into criminal acts? If you ask the common layperson, they will respond that their aim is threefold, namely that:

  • The noble character of our exemplary Prophet (saw) be protected.
  • The film be banned forthwith.
  • Those involved be prosecuted for their portrayal of Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Now, are these demands justified? If the character of Prophet (saw) has been harmed, how does one define a person of good character? Is there any means via which we can deduce what that good character of Prophet (saw) was? Do Muslims have some standard of respect and honour for the Prophet (saw) that essentially determines what lines can / cannot be crossed? With this in mind, we have a question: 'Is the film depiction at variance with the portrayal of Prophet (saw) in the main corpus of authority Sunni works?'

If you ask the average Sunni Muslim on the street, he will provide an impromptu response that it is. It is unlikely that most Sunni Muslims would have ever consulted any of these books, they have simply taken to the streets at the behest of their Mullah’s who have through their incendiary speeches duped the masses into assuming that the film depiction of Muhammad (saw) is alien to Islam, and that people should therefore vent their anger by way of violent protest. What these poor adherents are not told is the truth, that the very depictions, that formed the basis for this obscene piece of film making is not out of kilter with the Sunni Muslim depiction of Muhammad (saw) in the authentic Sunni world, on the contrary it concurs with it. If the director has sought to sensationally portray the Prophet (saw) as a suicidal maniac, a cruel ruler, a paedophile or a playboy with an insatiable sex drive then these are in complete conformity with the Sunni Muslim depiction of Muhammad (saw). With this fact in mind, do Sunni Mullah’s really have any right to rile Sunni Muslims and urge their adherents to take to the streets and mount violent protests when they know that the depiction of Muhammad (saw) is no different to how he has been depicted from the testimonies of the supposed nearest and dearest to the Prophet (saw)? Do Sunni Muslims really have the right to vent their frustration at the film maker whilst at the same time lauding works such as Saheeh Al-Bukhari that have painted Prophet (saw) in the same manner as the director had presented him? Sunni Muslims, you cannot have your cake and keep it! If you wish to depict the director of this film as a blasphemer, then you must by the same token condemn your most esteemed works, and accuse all those that narrated such about Muhammad (saw) to be liars and blasphemers. Why should curses be hurled at the director of the film for saying that about Muhammad (saw) that the Sahaba and a wife of the Prophet (saw) said some 1400 years earlier? If their depictions of Muhammad (saw) as a man with a high libido that dabbled in brutality and paedophilia are not objectionable, rather all those that reported such are granted the epithet (r.a), why should this director be cursed and presented as evil incarnate? Why should US flags, effigies of Pastor Terry Jones and the director be set alight, whilst Saheeh Al-Bukhari is showered with respect, with copies maintained in a crisp, clean condition in libraries and cupboards throughout the Sunni Muslim world?

Rather than vent their anger in the way that they are at the moment, now is the time for introspection. Sunni Muslims need to assess exactly how Muhammad (saw) has been portrayed in their works. We have therefore penned this article, “The life of the Prophet (saw) from the tongue of the wife of the Prophet (saw)” to show just that, so that our readers should know that the blasphemies in the film, 'Innocence of Muslims' is no different to those deemed authentic in Saheeh Al-Bukhari, that the Sunni clergy deem as the most authentic book after the Qur'aan.  Rather than take to the streets, the correct approach should therefore be for the common Sunni Muslim to:

  • Think about how their Sect depicts Muhammad, and ask whether such depictions an ode to the reverence of Muhammad (saw) 
  • Assess whether they are happy to ascribe themselves to a belief system that has such a shameless portrayal of Muhammad (saw)
  • Think about whether they should revere and accept the testimonies of those that have depicted Muhammad (saw) in this manner, the chief narrator in this article being A'isha.

The purpose of this article is to highlight those golden narrations from the tongue of A'isha (wherein she provides a frank vivid depiction of her marital life with the Prophet (saw). Whilst anyone with the slightest integrity would feel ashamed and embarrassed by such narrations, the shameless Nawasib feel that their faith gets stronger to the point that one reason A'isha  should be afforded respect is due to her bedroom accounts. The usage of the moniker “the Prophet’s lover” from some of the opponents, evidences what utter disrespect the Nasb have for the Prophet (saw) and the very first lady they professes to respect and defend to the hilt! 

Conjugal relations are part and parcel of marriage, one doesn’t need to be a genius to know that a married couple will indulge in acts of intimacy within the confines of their own home, this is not a reality that needs to be cascaded to all asunder. Their sexual relationship is a private matter, any public reference to it is humiliating to the couple and deeply disrespectful. Could the Ahl us Sunnah enlighten us as to whether he has ever introduced his mother to his Salafi brethren as “his father lover?” Would the public use of such a term impress his mother and evidence his deep, love and respect for her? Would the usage of such a term, impress his brethren? Or would they be shocked at such an introduction and deem it demeaning and unacceptable? No honourable son would introduce his mother in such a manner. No son with an iota of decency would introduce his natural mother in such a manner, and yet we have this sprat describing his spiritual mother as “the Prophet’s lover?” Is this how a wife of the Prophet (saw) should be introduced to the world? Depictions of which one would expect to read in filthy Barbara Cartland novels not a supposed religious text book whose alleged authenticity is only second to the Qur'aan! Depictions themselves come from the direct testimony of A'isha herself. Whilst we are yet to find any evidence of the spouses of today’s Sunni Shaykh de jour’s Dimishqiyya (If he is no longer a homosexual), Philips and Faisal cascading their bedroom antics down to their adherents, A'isha was uninhibited on this subject matter, and sought her utmost to ensure that no stone was left unturned when it came to highlighting this aspect of the Seerah of the Prophet (saw).

All sources that are Quoted can also be found from the official websites of the opponents:

If one does not trust the links above, please feel free to either Google an online version of Bukhari which can be found from multiple sites or alternatively invest into a personal copy of the book. 

We read in  Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 18: 

Narrated Urwah: The Prophet (saw) asked Aboo Bakr for A'isha's hand in marriage. Aboo Bakr said, "But I am your brother." The Prophet (saw) said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry." 

Note how the narrator of this tradition is Urwah the nephew of A'isha and not A'isha herself who is presenting the discussion as an eye witness, by the side of Aboo Bakr, clear as he did not attribute the tradition to anybody else, saying I heard from so and so, rather he states the Prophet (saw) asked for the hand of A'isha and grandfather said, "But I am your brother." Now think carefully Urwah is the younger brother of Abdullah ibn Zubair, who was born in Madinah, and this alleged incident occurred when A'isha was six years of age!

A lesson can be gauged from, the tradition. Aboo Bakr was initially apprehensive at the proposal, as the Prophet (saw) was his brother thus making A'isha his niece, hence making such a union invalid. The Prophet (saw) draws up a clear distinction between brothers in religion and brother through bloodline. Does this not evidence Aboo Bakr’s lack of knowledge on the matter? Is this not disrespectful of Aboo Bakr? The reality is this was an attempt by Urwah to establish some familial link with the Prophet (saw). Sadly, we know the bonds of brotherhood were made between the companions on two occasions, and on both occasions, the Prophet (saw) took Imam Alee (a.s) as his brother and nobody else!

Now consider these narrations:

Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 57: 

Narrated A'isha: Allah's Apostle said (to me), "You were shown to me in a dream. An angel brought you to me, wrapped in a piece of silken cloth, and said to me, 'This is your wife.' I removed the piece of cloth from your face, and there you were. I said to myself. 'If it is from Allah, then it will surely be.' " 

Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Book of Dreams. Volume 9, Book 87, Number 139: 

Narrated A'isha: Allah's Apostle said (to me), "You were shown to me twice in (my) dream. Behold, a man was carrying you in a silken piece of cloth and said to me, "She is your wife, so uncover her,' and behold, it was you. I would then say (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' " 

Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Book of Dreams. Volume 9, Book 87, Number 140: 

Narrated A'isha: 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.' Then you were shown to me, the 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.' " 

Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15: 

Narrated A'isha: Allah's Apostle said (to me), "You have been shown to me twice in (my) dreams. A man was carrying you in a silken cloth and said to me, 'This is your wife.' I uncovered it; and behold, it was you. I said to myself, 'If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.'" 

If we bring the traditions together we learn that:

Urwah states Aboo Bakr initially rejected the hand for Aisha on the premises of brotherhood, the Prophet (saw) rejected this stance, Aboo Bakr became silent.

When the time came for A'isha to enter the home of the Prophet (saw), Aboo Bakr was nowhere to be seen, rather it was her mother Umm Ruman that took her to the house of the Prophet (saw).

As for the traditions suggesting the desire of the Prophet (saw), the famous saying that all good deeds are rewarded by Allah (swt), well the Prophet (saw) saw A'isha in a dream, so what is left of this saying when the Prophet (saw) concludes with the words 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen?'

Whether it happened or did not happen. It would be from Allah (swt).

As the intention was to evidence love of Prophet (saw), Urwah did not consider this fact, nor did Bukhari!

Now note the discrepancies in the dream traditions:

'An angel brought you to me, wrapped in a piece of silken cloth.'

 Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 57.

'A man was carrying you in a silken piece of cloth and said to me..'

Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Book of Dreams Volume 9, Book 87, Number 139. 

"You were shown to me in a dream.'

 Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 57.  

'You have been shown to me twice in (my) dreams.'

 Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15.

'The Angel / man uncovered the cloth to show Aisha.'

Book of Dreams Volume 9, Book 87, Number 140.

'The Prophet (saw) uncovered the cloth to observe A'isha.'

 Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Book 62, Number 57, Book of Dreams Volume 9, Book 87, Number 139 and Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15.

Our questions are as follows:

1. Did Allah (swt) physically raise A'isha before the Prophet (saw) or did He (swt) merely present a picture of her?

2. Raising her from her bed would have been unlikely, she was an infant, no doubt within close proximity of her parents and siblings, had she been raised they would have surely raised the alarm, and this would have been well documented in the annals of history.

3. When its common sense that A'isha was not physically raised, then clearly an image of A'isha must have been presented to the Prophet (saw), since photocopiers were not in existence during that era.

4. If an image was presented then how can Nawasib suggest that the Shi'a usage of imagery is Bid'ah?

5. Will Nawasib issue a Fatwa against Allah (swt) who have no doubt delivered this image to the Prophet (saw)?

6. Nawasib can’t have their cake and eat it. If imagery is haraam, then a Fatwa needs to be issued forthwith against Allah (swt) for creating the A'isha replica.

We read in Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Merits of the Helpers of Madinah. Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234: 

Narrated A'isha:  The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Madinah 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, Umm Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girlfriends. 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 All right, 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. 

 Source: Saheeh Al-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). 

 Source: Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65: 

Narrated A'isha: That the Prophet (saw) 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 A'isha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death)." What you know of the Qur'aan (by heart)' 

Sunnis deem Saheeh Al-Bukhari to be the most authentic of all traditions. Other books might have variant narrations but none can override Saheeh Al-Bukhari, particularly when the narration is from A'isha, the main recipient of the event.

As the narration suggests that A'isha was six years of age at the time of the marriage, then one can deduce it occurred in Makkah.  We would like to know:

Who conducted the marriage ceremony (Nikah)?  

Which Muslims were witnesses to the event?  

What was the precise necessity to enter into a marriage contract with a six year old?  Where was the nikah read, the house of Aboo Bakr, the Prophet (saw), or the House of God (swt)?  

Were previous customs in existence relating to marriage with a pre-adolescent? Sadly, none of these narrations provide any clarity on this.

Before consummation, the Hijrah took place, that is why Aboo Bakr was residing in the home of Bani-Al-Harith bin Khazraj. The traditions seems to infer that A'isha accompanied Aboo Bakr on Hijrah, that is at variance with the other books of history that inform us that A'isha and others conducted their Hijrah later on, sadly Aisha fails to clarify: 

After what period she did the Hijrah and arrived in Madinah.

How many days of travel did that involve?

Who accompanied her?

Were those accompanying her Muslim or Kuffar.

If Muslim / non who were they?

Is this how daughters are married off, unexpectedly, without time to compose / prepare themselves?

Why did the Prophet (saw) turn up unexpectedly at midday and not at night?

Why did her mother make her stand at the door?

Why are we not informed of any consolation between mother and daughter before this hand over?

Where was Aboo Bakr at this very emotional time?

Where were her other relatives (brother and sisters)? Is it not natural that they would want to see off their sister?

What did Aboo Bakr leave as a gift?

We appeal to justice, just ponder over these shameless narrations. A'isha informs us that she would appear to the Prophet (saw) in his dreams; her image remained in his mind. He rushed to ask for her hand as a six year old. Now consider the hand over event, bearing in mind Aboo Bakr’s claim of fraternal links and contemplate the manner in which A'isha is handed over to the Prophet (saw). Think about the desire of the Prophet (saw), his impromptu entry to enable a speedy hand over and think about what sort of picture this paints of the Prophet (saw). Is this the image of Prophethood that the Nasb content with? Of course you will get some insisting that such traditions are false, as the actual age of A'isha  at the time of marriage, as can be deduced from other historical accounts. Such research in no way assists the advocates of A'isha, after all if they are now insisting that we reject the personal testimony of Aisha in favour of secondary sources, they are in fact insisting that Sunni Muslims reject: 

The direct witness testimony of A'isha. 

The authentic, reliable, golden chain of Aboo Bakr’s  descendants that conveyed these narrations.

The most authentic work in the so-called Sunni sect.

The repercussions of such an approach are evident for all to see. After all, if A'isha’s direct eye witness testimony can be called in to question here, then anything that she says can become the subject of scrutiny, scepticism and even doubt. It is little wonder that faced with this bleak prospect the so-called Sunnis have to their credit come out extolling the accuracy of A'isha’s account, thus protecting her from any suggestion that her account was false. Rather than feel embarrassed at such narrations, we see scholars within the so-called 'Ahl ul Sunnah' defending such narrations, stating that such marriages are not objectionable as a girl is capable of marrying at the age of nine provided she attains puberty as she is capable of bearing a child. Bilal Philips falls within the ambit of those that not only affirm to A'isha’s testimony, but actually insist that it is correct for such narrations to be embraced. There is a world of difference between a girls being capable of marrying (due to her attaining puberty) and whether it is morally / ethically right for such a young girl to marry. The maturity of a girl does not automatically change with the onset of menstruation; she remains a ‘girl’ developing into a woman. The suggestion that menstruation gives the green light for such a girl to be wedded and bedded is absurd. Think logically, can any right minded person envisage a fifty year old man marrying a nine year old girl whose maturity was such that she was still playing with her dolls? Has Bilal Philips married his daughter to a fifty year old man, pursuant to the alleged Sunnah of the Prophet (saw)?

Alhamdulillah for the Shi'ee of Imam Alee (a.s) their exists no conflict of conscience, our position is clear, A'isha concocted this narration to create a persona of an innocent girl, and thus limiting her culpability in future acts, whether they related to marital strife through to her opposition to Imam Alee (a.s). These traditions are the height of indecency, and have in fact been concocted to provide a defence for A'isha’s later conduct; after all they will argue her marital conduct was linked to her immature age.

Defence One

Sayeda Faatima (s.a) consummated the marriage with Imam Alee (a.s) at the age of 10.

Reply One

Food which is eaten by the parents has an enormous effect of the future of the child, because it is from this food that the sperm is formed and carried on to the womb to grow and become a human being.

The psychological state of the parents during sexual intercourse has a great effect on the child's state of mind and his/her behavior in the future. In light of these two points (the nutritional and psychological effects upon children), we move on to elaborate on the subject by verifying it through a narration.

Narrated from Imam Alee Reza (a.s) the Prophet (saw) said: ‘When I was taken to the heavens, Jibra'eel (a.s) took me by my hand, and I entered Jannah. Then, he (Jibra'eel) gave me from the heavenly dates, and I ate it. Then that altered my sperm in my loin. So when I returned to the earth, I had slept with Khadeejah (s.a), and Fatimah (s.a) was conceived, and Fatimah (s.a) is a human Houri. So whenever I yearn the scent of Jannah, I smell the scent of my daughter, Fatimah (s.a).’”

Source: Uyoon Al-Akhbaar Al-Reza. Vol. 1, Pg. # 115, Hadeeth # 3.

There is a little disagreement about the primary narrator 'Abd Al-Salaam bin Saalih,' whether or not if he was an Sunni or Shi'ee. Al-Khoei in his Mu`jam Rijal Al-Hadeeth and Al-Tafreeshee in his Naqd Al-Rijaal have said that he is a Shie'e. While earlier scholars such as Al-Tusi and Al-Hilli have stated that he is an Sunni. Even if we were to say he was a Sunni, the hadeeth will only be lowered to Reliable because it is 100% established that the narrator is trustworthy. 

The heavenly status of Sayeda Faatima (s.a) makes her unique among all the women and indeed from all the humans of the world.

Defence Two

A'isha's age was 10 according to the Imams of the Ahlulbayt (a.s).

Reply Two

وعنه ، عن محمد بن عيسى ، عن يونس ، عن أبي أيوب الخرّاز ، قال : سألت إسماعيل بن جعفر : متى تجوز شهادة الغلام ؟ فقال : إذا بلغ عشر سنين ، قلت ، ويجوز أمره ؟ قال : فقال : إن رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) دخل بعائشة وهي بنت عشر سنين ، وليس يدخل بالجارية حتى تكون امرأة ، فاذا كان للغلام عشر سنين جاز أمره ، وجازت شهادته . 

Alee bin Ibraheem from Muhammad bin Isa from Yunus bin Abdur Rahman from Aboo Ayyub Al-Khazaz who said: I asked Isma'eel bin Ja'far, "What age is the witnessing of a boy accepted?" In which he replied: "If he completes 10 years of age." I (Aboo Ayyub) said, "And is his matter (decisions?) legal (at that age)?" He said: "The messenger of Allah (saw) entered upon A'isha when she was a female of 10 years, and it is not for one to enter upon a girl until she becomes a woman (i.e 10 years is the limit for that), so if a boy reaches 10 years his matter (decisions?) is legal and so is his witnessing."

Grading: Al-Majlisi II said this hadeeth is Saheeh in Mir’aat Al-`Uqool, Vol. 24, pg. 235. Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Saheeh Mawqoof (Authentic Halted). Milaadh Al-Akhyaar, vol. 10, pg. 102

Source: Al-Kaafi, Vol.7, Pg. # 388, H # 1. , Tahdheeb Al-Ahkaam, Vol. 6, ch. 91, Pg. # 251, H # 49. , Wasil ush Shia. Vol. 1, ch. 4, Pg. 44, H # 75.

The Hadeeth has been Graded 'Saheeh' or 'Saheeh Mawqoof ' by Allamah Majlisi II (r.a). The narration states A'isha consummated the marriage at the age of 10. Also we find there is no mention of when the intial Nikaḥ had taking place. Sayed Al-Khoei (r.a) has commented on this Hadeeth as follows:

( * 1 ) ولكن الرواية لا يمكن الاستدلال بها ، فإنها ليست رواية عنمعصوم ، وقول إسماعيل ليس بحجة ، على أنه مبنى على استدلالفاسد وعلى قياس واضح البطلان .

"But the narration can not be used as a proof because it is not from an infallible person (Imam/Prophet), and Isma'eel's opinion is not Hujjah (proof). Besides, it is based on a clear wrong logic and Qiyas."

مباني تكملة المنهاج - السيد الخوئي - ج 2 - شرح ص 77

Source: Mabani Takmilat Al-Minhaaj. Vol. 2, Pg. # 77.

The Hadeeth itself is not Hujjah (proof), as it has not been narrated directly from an Infallible (a.s). Isma'eel made a mistake by doing Qiyas (conjecture) by comparing the eligibility of a boys and girls testimony based on their ages with the consummation of the Prophet (saw) marriage with A'isha, when they are not related in any way. Unless of course one accepts that a male and females testimony can be accepted in all instances at the age of 10. It is highly likely that Isma'eel made such a conjecture to prove that he is not an Imam (a.s), and it not clear whom he narrated it from, as we do not find a single Hadeeth from the Imams (a.s) that support his claim either.

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