young age of Ayesha
Question no. 1
Muhammad married Ayesha when she was 6-years old and
consumed his marriage with her when she was 9-years-old. How could a 54
year-old man calling himself the messenger God have sexual feelings for
a 9-year-old girl?
1- Ayatollah Montazeri
In those days the tradition
of Marriage was based on tribal customs and rituals. The objective of
marriage was mainly to foster friendship with the father of the bride
and therefore the marriage of the Prophet with Ayesha was a political
This is not a good excuse to marry an underage
child. I am not bothered of the marriage of the prophet with a daughter
of Abu Bakr, but the fact that Ayesha was a child. It is not proper for
a messenger of God to have sexual feelings for a little girl and it is
unconscionable to act on them. In this day and age if a 54-year-old man
has an intercourse with a 9-year-old girl he will be jailed and despised
as a pedophile. Why should the Prophet be forgiven?
2. Ayatollah Montazeri.
The Prophet at the age of 25
married Khadijah, a woman who was 40-years-old and did not marry with
another woman as long as she was alive. If the Prophet was a lustful
man, he would not have married with an older woman and stay faithful to
her all her life.
Khadijah was a wealthy woman and the Prophet was a
poor employee of her. Marrying a wealthy woman for him was climbing the
ladder of social status. At that age, he was an orphan boy with little
ambitions. Being a poor young man, no one paid attention to him. Kadijah
was to him a boon. She gave him the comfort and the ease of mind from
financial worries. Now he could afford to retreat to his cave and let
his imagination fly; meet Jinns, battle with Satan, converse with
Gabriel, and other creatures that haunted his feeble mind.
The fact that he remained faithful to Khadijah was
not due to his chastity or loyalty but because she was a powerful woman
and would not have tolerated infidelity from him. At that time Muhammad
had no followers and he would have lost everything if he had offended
his wealthy wife. That would have destroyed him completely.
However, he showed his true colors when he came to
power and virtually nothing could stop him from doing what he pleased.
It was then that he broke all the norms of the decency by the leave of
3- Ayatollah Montazeri.
The Prophets intention in
marrying numerous old and widowed women, apart from sociopolitical
considerations, was to foster their social status. Those were the days
when women, especially slave girls, had little or no value and ignorance
was such that they used to burry their daughters alive.
The Prophet married Khadijah, as I explained above,
for her wealth. After her death he married Ayesha who was only 6 years
old and due to Abu Bakr’s request did not consummate his marriage with
her for three years. During this time he needed a woman and the
non-believers would not marry him as they thought he was a lunatic.
Among his handful of followers there were few eligible women to whom he
could marry. Sauda was a Muslim woman and a widow. She was ideal under
the circumstances. She could warm his bed and take care of his home and
needs. He married her two months after the death of Kahdijah.
Khadijah and Sauda were the only wives of the Prophet, with whom
he married not for lust but out of necessity. Hafza, the daughter of
Omar also may have not been very beautiful according to her own father
and the Prophet may have married her to please him and for political
reasons. Every one of his other wives was a beautiful virgin or a
beautiful divorcee or widow. Majority, if not all of them were in their
teens. Prophet married them or simply slept with them without marrying
them only because of their looks. Some times he had to bend few rules
and even bring Allah to reveal some verses for him in order to allow him
get what he wanted. As was in the case of Zeinab Bent Jahsh, Maryah and
Ayesha. None of his wives were suffering from malnutrition or were
lonely poor widows prior to marrying him. The stories of Safiyah, Maryah
and Zeinab are love stories, flavored with lust, betrayal and crime.
You also correctly described the deplorable
condition of the slave girls in those days, but you forgot to mention
that many of these slave girls were free people before the Prophet took
away their freedom and reduced them into slaves. Are you saying that the
slave girls should have been grateful to the Prophet for killing their
loved ones and sell them in the markets to a Muslim who would use them
as a maid and a sex slave?
4- Ayatollah Montazeri
The marriage of the Prophet
with Ayesha took place in the first or second year of the Hijra at the
insistence of her father Abu Bakr and some of his friends. The Prophet,
for sometimes after the death of Khadijah, remained single. His main
objective in accepting this marriage was for political reasons. The
reason for this marriage was that the Prophet was under the intense
pressure by his enemies like Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl and was completely
dependant of the protection of other tribes. Abu Bakr had a lot of
tribal influence. And rejecting his offer, in those conditions, for the
Prophet was not prudent. In reality this marriage was symbolic and not
to satisfy his sexual instinct, because, as a rule a 53-year-old man
cannot have sexual feelings for a 9-year-old girl.
The Prophet did not marry Ayesha at the insistence
of her father. There are many Hadithes that show it was the Prophet who
desired Ayesha and asked Abu Bakr to give him his then 6-year-old
daughter for marriage. In fact Abu Barkr was shocked by such a request.
He objected that he was a foster brother to the Prophet, which would
have made such a marriage illicit. But the Prophet dismissed his concern
saying that they were not real blood brothers and their oath of
brotherhood was of no relevance in this case.
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."
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 foster son’s wife was deemed
to be a daughter-in-law and they would not marry her. Also it was
costmary 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 wishes.
Bakr and Muhammad had pledged to each other to be brothers. So according
to their costumes 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 the daughter of Hamza who was also a foster
brother to the Prophet because she was not very pretty.
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). "
the following Hadith the Prophet confided to Ahesha that he had dreamed
of her before asking her hand from her father.
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.'
The excuse that this marriage was “political”
can be also dismissed easily. Abu Bakr was a good friend of the Prophet;
he was one of his followers and his foster brother, he belonged to the
same tribe of the Prophet; there was no need for the Apostle of Allah to
sleep with his little daughter in order to foster his friendship. The
evidence shows that the holy Prophet took advantage of this man’s
devotion and abused the trust that he had in him and coerced him into
giving his little girl in marriage to him. How could you deny the
request of a man whom you believe to be a messenger of God?
Abu Jahl (the father of ignorance) was a derogatory nicknames given to
Abul Hakam (the father of erudiciton). It’s difficult to
see in what ways sleeping with a 9-year-old girl would have protected
the Prophet from him? As you said this marriage took place one or two
years after Hijra. His enemies were in Mecca. Even if such a marriage
could have protected the Prophet, which is absurd, he was already safe
in Medina, so that alibi is unacceptable.
Anyway, the point is not that the Prophet married a
daughter of Abu Bakr. The point is that he had sex with a 9-year-old
child. If you say it was done to protect himself, then the Prophet was
an opportunist who raped a little girl to save his own life. Please
don’t say it was not rape because a 9-year-old child is not mature
enough to consent and if she cannot consent it is rape. Your defense
incriminates the messenger of Allah even more than my accusations.
You said that the marriage was symbolic. How
symbolic it could be if the Prophet approached Ayesha when she,
according to her own testimony, was still playing with her toys and gave
her a completely different kind of toy to play with that “SURPRISED”
that little girl?
Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 90
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.
You wrote, “As a rule a 53-year-old man cannot
have sexual feelings for a 9-year-old girl.” That is absolutely true.
This is precisely my point. Unfortunately we are not living in a perfect
world and there are people who are psychologically disturbed and violate
the rules. Even today there are old men who fantasize having sex with
small children, keep their photos and exchange them on the Internet.
They are known as pedophiles and to protect our children we put them in
jail. If the Prophet hadn’t “surprised” that little girl in the
same forenoon that her mother took her to his house, I could have
accepted that the marriage was “symbolic”, even though its merits
are not clear. But when we see that the Apostle of Allah consummated his
marriage with that little girl in the same day that she was taken to
him, it is hard to see it as “symbolic”; symbol of what?
5- Ayatollah Montazeri.
There is no doubt that the
climatic conditions influence the physical and psychological growth of
girls and their growth are more accelerated in hot climates.
In the previous point you explained that the
marriage was symbolic and “as a rule a 53-year-old man cannot have
sexual feelings for a 9-year-old girl”. But now you are approaching
from a totally different angle.
I am afraid 9-year-old girls in Arabia are still
9-year-old children. Unless you advance a scientific evolutionary theory
that human race has undergone a huge mutation during these 1400 years
and in those days women reached adulthood at the age of 9, the fact
remains that the Prophet had sexual feelings for an underage girl and
this was wrong. To be convinced that 9-year-old children were always
children, even during the time of the Prophet, we do not have to look
farther than another Hadith narrated by Ayesha herself. In the following
hadith Ayesha is revealing that she was playing on a swing when her
mother took her to the Prophet.
Abu-Dawud Book 41, Number 4915,
Number 4915 and
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) 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 (pbuh),
and he took up cohabitation with me when I was nine. She halted me at
the door, and I burst into laughter.
And used to play with her dolls.
Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151
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)
Muslim Book 008, Number 3327:
'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.
As a rule one would say that if she was still
playing with her dolls, she was not mature enough to learn about sex,
first hand, from a man who could be her grandfather.
6- Ayatollah Montazeri.
The difference of age between
men, and the women they married, in the primitive societies, was
acceptable and customary. Also it was not indecent or lewd for older men
to marry very young girls and people of those days did not deem that to
be something immoral. Even up to this day, one can find marriages with
very young girls among the Arabs. As a rule one should not compare the
customs of the primitive and tribal societies with the customs of the
modern and advanced societies of today.
I agree that primitive societies had some customs
that are shocking to our modern sensitivity. Primitive people did a lot
of things that appall us today. They had, human and animal sacrifices;
practiced gender discrimination, slavery and many forms of abuses of
human rights. I am not condemning primitive societies for they did not
know better. I am condemning modern people who follow those primitive
societies by following the examples of a man who was just a product of
his primitive society. I am condemning a man who called himself the
Prophet of Allah, the “Mercy of God in the worlds” Rahmatu’llah
lil Alamin” and the example for all mankind, who instead of setting
the example of morality and rectitude followed the customs of his
primitive society and thus reaffirmed them and perpetuated them as
something to emulate. I am condemning a society that has forgotten its
own past splendor and glory and is now trying to copy the customs of a
primitive society and wants to establish their primeval precepts by
following their prophet who had nothing new to add to that primitive
society bur was a product of it.
Yes, we should not compare the customs of the
primitive and tribal societies with the customs of the modern and
advanced societies of today. But why should we emulate them? Why should
we follow them? Why should we accept their prophet who was incapable to
break away from that primitiveness, barbarity and savagery?
If the Prophet was truly a prophet, he would have
acted differently. He would have not followed the customs of his
primitive society but would have set a new standard. If he followed the
example of his primitive society why are we following him? On one hand
the Muslims of the world study Muhammad’s life meticulously, try to
imitate him in everything he did. They dress like him, shave like him,
walk like him and talk like him, do as he did and live as he lived. They
believe everything he did, was ordained by God and he was sent to be the
example to all humanity. Yet you say that he did just what his ignorant
and primitive society used to do and we should forgive his sins because
he was just a victim of that society. How pitiful are we who have not
seen this yet. Look what has befallen to our mighty nation that has
forsaken its own past glory and is now blindly following a man who
followed the customs of his primitive society. Could we sink deeper than
this? Is there any humiliation more denigrating than this?
7- Ayatollah Montazeri
The issues of each time and
place must be viewed according to the standards of their own time and
place and not according to standards of other times and places. On the
other hand we find that the Prophet (pbuh) practically did not confront
with many customs of his own time that were not in contrast with the
educational and spiritual goals of Islam, but dealt with them gradually
and with realism in order to slowly eradicate them.
I agree that issues should be apprised in the
context of to their own time and place. Something that was acceptable
1400 years ago in Arabia may not look that good today. Perhaps we should
not judge those people so harshly. But the question is why should we
follow them? The solutions that were appropriate then are no more
suitable for our time. Why follow a doctrine that has lost its utility
and is stuck in history?
Muslims are advised to follow the Sunnah of the
Prophet. You say that the Prophet was an Arab, following the traditions
of his own people, so what he did was right in that context. But by
following him now aren’t we perpetuating those unfit and outdated
customs of those Arabs of 1400 years ago?
You affirm that the Prophet did not confront those
bad customs that were not in contrast with spiritual and educational
goals of Islam. My question is then, what are the spiritual and
educational goals of Islam? What is the main goal of Islam anyway? The
Muslim’s answer is of course, to recognize that God is one and he does
not have any partner and that Muhammad is His messenger. This is the
main concern of Islam. Moral and ethical issues are secondary. All the
sins can be forgiven. Theft, homicide, murder and pedophilia are
forgivable but assigning a partner to God is not.
not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything
else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a
sin Most heinous indeedl" (Q.4:
In other words, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Ben
Laden, Khalkhali and Khomeini will be forgiven despite all their crimes
because they were Muslims and did not set partners to Allah but Gandhi
who was a Hindu and as Muslims claim believed in a multitudes of deities
will be burned for eternity in hell.
This Allah must be sick. He is a lunatic and a very
miserable being for wanting so desperately to be known by his creatures
and being so jealous. If this is the god of Muhammad he is not worthy of
any praise but needs to be locked in a mental hospice very urgently.
As to those bad habits of the people that the holy
Prophet did not confront directly but tried to deal with them gradually
in order to eradicate them, what are they? In our world, pedophilia is a
crime. It’s a shame that the Prophet did not consider pedophilia
important enough to deal with it immediately because it did not contrast
the spiritual goals of Islam. But I would have been still happy if I
could see that he at least discouraged it. But no, he did not discourage
it at all. He actually endorsed it by himself setting the example. This
is not the way to “eradicate” something. This is the way to confirm
it, to perpetuate it and to promote it.
Prior to Islam, we Iranians were a cultured people.
We did not have these barbaric customs and traditions. Thanks to Islam
these shameful traditions have also crept into our culture and are being
practiced in our motherland.
Pedophilia is only one of the gifts of Islam to us.
The holy Prophet endorsed many traditions that are equally despicable.
Assassination of one’s enemies that is now so customary in our country
was also a tradition of the Prophet. He used to send assassins to the
houses of his enemies to kill them at night. The honorable members of
the Islamic Regime of Iran are following that tradition of the messenger
of God (peace be upon his immaculate soul)