Al-Arabiya: A Saudi court has rejected a plea to divorce an eight-year-old girl married off by her father to a man who is 58, saying the case should wait until the girl reaches puberty, a lawyer involved told AFP. “The judge has dismissed the pleafiled by the mother because she does not have the right to file such a case, and ordered that the plea should be filed by the girl herself when she reaches puberty,” lawyer Abdullah Jtili told AFP in a telephone interview after Saturday’s court decision.
The divorce plea was filed in August by the girl’s divorced mother with a court at Unayzah, 220 kilometers (135 miles) north Riyadh just after the marriage contract was signed by the father and the groom. “She doesn’t know yet that she has been married,” Jtili said then of the girl who was about to begin her fourth year at primary school.
1. Sahih al-Bukhari 810-870 A.D. 256 A.H.
1a. “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 consummated that marriage when she was nine years old.” Bukhari vol.5 book 58 ch.43 no.236 p.153.
1b. The same points are in Bukhari vol.5 book 58 ch.43 no.234 p.152.
1c. “Narrated ?Urwa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ?Aisha while she was six year 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). Bukhari vol.7 book 62 ch.60 no.88 p.65
1d. Narrated ‘Aisha: The Prophet was screening me with his Rida’ (garment covering the upper part of the body) while I was looking at the Ethiopians who were playing in the courtyard of the mosque. (I continued watching) till I was satisfied. So you may deduce from this event how a little girl (who has not reached the age of puberty) who is eager to enjoy amusement should be treated in this respect. Bukhari vol.7 book 62 ch.115 no.163 p.119 1e. “Narrated ‘Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) I never remembered my parents believing in any religion other than the true religion (i.e. Islam), and (I don’t remember) a single day passing without our being visited by Allah?s Apostle in the morning and in the evening.” Bukhari vol.5 book 58 ch.44 no.245 p.158. Thus ?Aisha was either not very old or not born yet when her parents became Muslims. This is consistent with her being a child when her marriage with Mohammed was consummated.
2. Sahih Muslim 817-875 A.D. 261 A.H.
This is generally considered the second most reliable collection of hadiths.
2a. “(3309) Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported:
Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine. She further said: We went to Medina and I had an attack of fever for a month, and my hair had come down to the earlobes. Umm Ruman (my mother) came to me and I was at that time on a swing along with my playmates. She called me loudly and I went to her and I did not know what she had wanted of me. She too hold of my hand and took me to the door, and I was saying:
Ha, ha (as if I was gasping), until the agitation of my heart was over. She took me to a house, where had gathered the women of the Ansar. They all blessed me and wished me good luck and said: May you have shared in good. She (my mother) entrusted me to them. They washed my head and embellished me and nothing frightened me. Allah?s Messenger (may peace be upon him) came there in themorning, and I was entrusted to him.” Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 ch.548 no.3309 p.715-716
2b. “(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.”
(3311) ?A?isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah?s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married here when she was seven years old, and she was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and here dolls were with her: and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.” Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 8 ch.548 no.3310,3311 p.716.
2c. “(5981) Aisha reported that she used to play with dolls in the presence of Allah?s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and when her playmates came to her they left (the house) because they felt shy of Allah?s Messenger (may peace be upon him), whereas Allah?s Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent them to her.
2d. (5982) This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Hisham with the same chain of transmitters with a slight variation of wording.” Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 29 ch.1005 no.5981-5982 p.1299
3. Sunan Abu Dawud 817-888/9 A.D. 275 A.H.
3a. “(2116) Aishah said : The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) married me when I was seven years old. The narrator Sulaiman said : Or six years. He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old.” Sunan Abu Dawud vol.2 book 5 ch.700 no.2116 p.569
3b. “(4913) Aishah said : I used to play with dolls. Sometimes the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) entered upon me when the girls were with me. When he came in, they went out, and when he went out, they came in.” Sunan Abu Dawud vol.3 book 36 ch.1769 no.4913 p.1373
Note carefully this is NOT saying Mohammed had intercourse with Aisha while her playmates were watching. Rather it says the playmates played with her, and they went out when Mohammed came by, and could come back after he left.
3c. “(4915) Aishah said : The Apostle of Allah (may 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 (may 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.
Abu Dawud said : That is to say : I menstruated, and I was brought in a house, and there were some women of the Ansari (Helpers) in it. They said : With good luck and blessing. The tradition of one of them has been included in the other. Sunan Abu Dawud vol.3 book 36 ch.1770 no.4915 p.1374
3d. (5916) [typo, really 4916] The tradition mentioned above has also been transmitted by Abu Usamah in a similar manner through a different chain of narrators. This version has: With good fortune. She (Umm Ruman) entrusted me to them. They washed my head and redressed me. No one came to me suddenly except the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) in the forenoon. So they entrusted me to him. Sunan Abu Dawud vol.3 book 36 ch.1770 no.4916 p.1374
3e. (4917) Aishah said: When we came to Medina, the women came to me when I was playing on the swing, and my hair were [sp] up to my ears. They brought me, prepared me, and decorated me. Then they brought me to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he took up cohabitation with me, when I was nine. Sunan Abu Dawud vol.3 book 36 ch.1770 no.4917 p.1374
3f. (4918) The tradition mentioned above has also been transmitted by Hisham b. ?Urwah through a different chain of narrators. This version adds: I was swinging and I had my friends. They brought me to a house ; there were some women of the Ansar (Helpers). They said : With good luck and blessing. Sunan Abu Dawud vol.3 book 36 ch.1770 no.4918 p.1374
3g. (4919) Aishah said : We came to Medina and stayed with Banu al-Harith b. al-Khazraj. She said : I swear by Allah, I was swinging between two date-palms. Then my mother came, and made me come down; and I had my hair up to the ears. The transmitter then mentioned the rest of the tradition.” Sunan Abu Dawud vol.3 book 36 ch.1770 no.4915-4919 p.1374. Conclusion on Abu Dawud: 7 references and no counter-references affirm that Aisha was nine.
4. Tirmidhi 825-892 A.D. 209-279 A.H.
“..Ahmad and Is’haq said that if a female orphan reaches nine years old and was wed with her consent, then the marriage is permissible and she will have no choice when she matures. The two relied on a hadith by Ai’sha stating that the prophet peace be upon him had sexual relations with her when she was nine. Aisha said, if the little girl reaches nine then she is a woman” Tirmidhi said: A good hadith. (Tirmidhi, “Marriage according to Allah’s
5. Sunan Nas?ai 830-915 A.D. 215-303 A.H.
5a. A’ishah said: The Apostle of Allah peace be upon him married her when she was six and had intercourse with her when she was nine. (Sunan Nas?ai, Book of Marriage, no.3255)
5b. A’ishah said: The Apostle of Allah peace be upon him married me when I was seven and had intercourse with me when I was nine. (Sunan Nas?ai, Book of Marriage, no.3256)
5c. A’ishah said: The Apostle of Allah peace be upon him married me when I was nine and I accompanied him for nine years. (Sunan Nas?ai, Book of Marriage, no.3257)
5d. A’ishah said: The Apostle of Allah peace be upon him married her when she was nine and died when she was eighteen. (Sunan Nas?ai, Book of Marriage, no.3258)
5e. A’ishah said: The Apostle of Allah peace be upon him married me when I was six and had intercourse with me when I was nine and I was playing with dolls. (Sunan Nas?ai, Book of Marriage, no.3256)
Note that the previous are in original Arabic, but were not in the English translation. However, the English translator at the front wrote the following under #18.
“When Hadrat ‘A’isha passed nine years of married life, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fell in mortal sickness. On the 9th or the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal 11 A.H., he left this mortal world?Hadrat ‘A’isha was eighteen years of age at the time when the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away and she remained a widow for forty-eight years till she died at the age of sixty-seven.” Sunan Nasa?i vol.1 #18 p.108-109 (English material at the front)
Note that she had nine years of married life with Mohammed, and since he died when she was eighteen, she was nine years old when she started her married life with Mohammed.Conclusion on Sunan Nasa’i: Not counting English translation notes, the Arabic has 5 references and no counter-references to affirm that A?isha was nine.
6. Ibn-i-Majah 824-886/887 A.D. 273 A.H.
6a. A?isha was married when she was six years old, and nine when she went to Mohammed?s house. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 book 9 ch.13 no.1876 p.133
6b. A?isha was married at seven, went to Mohammed?s house at nine, and was 18 when Mohammed died. According to al-Zawa?id, its isnad is sahih according to the condition of Bukhari. However Abu ?Ubaida did not hear from his father, so it is munqata (has a gap) Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 book 9 ch.13 no.1877 p.134.
7. The Historian ibn Ishaq – died 767/773 A.D. 145/151 A.H.
7a. “Yahya b. Abbad b. Abdullah b. al-Zubayr from his father told me that he heard Aisha say: “The apostle died in my bosom during my turn: I had wronged none in regard to him. It was due to my ignorance and extreme youth that the apostle died in my arms.””(Guillaume, A., The Life of Muhammad, a translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan, page 682). A?isha said she was an extreme youth when Mohammed died.
8. The Historian al-Tabari – died 923 A.D.
8a. ?Aisha was 6 (or 7) years old when she was married, and the marriage was consummated when she was nine years old. al-Tabari vol.9 p.129-131. Muhammad b. ?Amr is one of the transmitters.
8b. ?Aisha was 6-7 when married, and the marriage was consummated when she was 9-10, three months after coming to Mecca al-Tabari vol.7 p.7. The chain of transmission includes an unnamed man from the Quraysh.
8c. Aisha died in June-July 678 A.D. (A.H. 58) at the age of 66. That would make her born in 610 A.D.. al-Tabari says she consummated her marriage with the prophet when she was nine years old. al-Tabari vol.39 p.171,173. (al-Tabari wrote 38 volumes of history, plus a 39th volume called Biographies of the Prophet?s Companions and Their Successors.)
X 8c. On the other hand, al-Tabari also wrote that i.e. “All four of his [Abu Bakr?s] children were born of his two wives — the names of whom we have already mentioned — during the pre-Islamic period.” (Tarikhu’l-umam wa’l-mamlu’k, Al-Tabari, vol.4, p.50, Arabic, Dara’l-fikr, Beirut, 1979. al-Tabari vol.11 p.141 also mentions this, with footnote 766 saying al-Tabari has a conflict here. The footnote also says that al-Baladhuri?s Ansab I, p.409-411; Ibn Hajar?s Isabah IV, p.359-360 supports her being married by 9 years old.