Abu Imân 'Abd ar-Rahmân Robert Squires attempt to defend Muhammad's marriage to six year old Aishah, which he consummated when she was 9 years old. We are given a verse from the Qur'an:
Surely in the Messenger of God you have a good example (Qur'an 33:21)
How does he defend the "Prophet" against this criticism?
First, he changes the subject giving us a lot of words that add up to absolutely nothing! After criticizing the west's problems with drug abuse, gay marriages, and abortion, he throws in Neo-Colonialism, Smart bombs, MTV, the Big Mac, Oedipus complex, Freud, and moral relativism. Second, Mr. Squires criticizes the Muslims who are uncomfortable with this issue, calling them "Westoxicated" and the "Uncle Toms of Islam". I have met many good and decent Muslims who are embarrassed by this incident and many attempt to revise Aishah's's age, making her older. The fact that Mr. Squires spends so much time and effort attacking the west and the Bible, in order to divert attention from the issue at hand, suggests the he is also uncomfortable with the entire affair. Even if the west is totally depraved (and in many ways it is) and the Bible is "pornographic" (which it is not), this does not excuse Muhammad of his actions nor does it immunize him against criticism. Mr. Squires concludes (in a rare instance when he returns to the issue at hand):
Of all the world's great men none has been so much maligned as Muhammad.
Have you ever wondered why?
Would you imagine that there are many fathers in the modern Arabian/Islamic world who would allow their six year old daughters to marry 50 year old men? If you had a six year old daughter, would you allow such a thing or would you apply the "double standard"?
'Aishah, may God be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet(P) was betrothed (zawaj) to her when she was six years old and he consummated (nikah) his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years. (Saheeh al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64)
Of the four ahadith in Saheeh al-Bukhari, two were narrated from 'Aishah (7:64 and 7:65), one from Abu Hishaam (5:236) and one via 'Ursa (7:88). All three of the ahadith in Saheeh Muslim have 'Aishah as a narrator Additionally, all of the ahadith in both books agree that the marriage betrothal contract took place when 'Aishah was "six years old", but was not consummated until she was "nine years old". Additionally, a hadeeth with the same text (matn) is reported in Sunan Abu Dawood. Needless to say, this evidence isñIslamically speaking - overwhelmingly strong and Muslims who deny it do so only by sacrificing their intellectual honesty, pure faith or both.
This evidence having been established, there doesn't seem much room for debate about 'Aishah's age amongst believing Muslims. Until someone proves that in the Arabic language "nine years old" means something other than "nine years old", then we should all be firm in our belief that she was "nine years old" (as if there's a reason or need to believe otherwise!?!).
I agree. She was 9 years old. However, the fact that this bothers the good consciences of many Muslims is a reason to rejoice.
This statement is, according to the Hadith, true.
Thus like everything that the Prophet(P) did, there was wisdom behind it and lessons to be learned from it. The wisdom behind such incidents provides us guidance on the basis of human morality, exposes the double standards of misguided hypocrites from other religions that criticize Islam and much more. But more on that subject below. . .
What "lesson" is to be learned here? Read what the Hadith says and think about it! Here is a man in his 50's having an erotic dream about a 4 or 5 year old girl! All of the " double standards of misguided hypocrites from other religions" combined DO NOT dismiss the fact that these fantasies are ABNORMAL!
Historically, the age at which a girl was considered ready to be married has been puberty This was the case in Biblical times, as we will discuss below, and is still used to determine the age of marriage in what the culturally arrogant West calls "primitive societies" throughout the world
True. I married in my late 20's, my parents married in their early 20's, and my grandparents married in their late teens. Cultural attitudes and economic conditions change over time.
At age 9? This would be an exceptional case. In any event, she would probably not be able to produce children at that age.
There are several Hadith which discuss this marriage and NONE OF THEM say that Aishah was pubescent! NONE! The reason that Muhammad waited was probably due to the fact that Aishah's had contracted some disease, in which she, temporarily lost her hair.
In terms of both physical and metal development, Aishah's was still a child. She played with dolls and was completely unaware of what was happening around her. To make Mr. Squire's case even weaker, Aishah's's playmates behaved as children would behave today:
The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aishah's at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty. (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)
At that time, this marriage refuted the notion that a man could not marry the daughter of a man who he had declared to be his "brother" (even in the religious sense). Since the Prophet(P) and Abu Bakr had declared each other to be "brothers", this notion was done away with. This is demonstrated in the following hadeeth:
Narrated 'Ursa: The Prophet(P) asked Abu Bakr for 'Aishah's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said, "But I am your brother." The Prophet(P) said, "You are my brother in God's religion and His Book, but she ('Aishah) is lawful for me to marry." (Saheeh al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 18)
Clearly, Abu Bakr thought Muhammad's request was improper, as would any decent father, because, as he said "I am your brother"! He was trying to extricate himself and his daughter from this situation. Muhammad brushed aside Abu Bakr's reservations by saying that it was perfectly lawful for him to marry Aishah. This Hadith has nothing to do with believers marrying the daughters of others whom they called "brother", but it has everything to do with satisfying Muhammad's needs and desires.
What? Nothing that was discussed absolves Muhammad from his actions. According to the Hadith WHICH YOU QUOTED, there is no evidence that Aishah was pubescent, she behaved as a normal little girl, Abu Bakr politely objected to the union, and Muhammad (who was Abu Bakr's) friend began to have erotic fantasies about this innocent child when she was 4 or 5 years old!
So, in order to provide more words, which do not excuse Muhammad's behavior, Mr. Squires launches the standard Muslim attack on the Bible.
Book of Numbers, Chapter 31
The portion of the Bible that we want to look at begins with the Book of Numbers, Chapter 31, verses 17 and 18. Here, Moses(P), following the Lord's command, orders the Israelites to kill all the Midianite male children. The order continues with the following:
". . . kill every woman who has known man by lying with him, but all the female children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."
One can only guess how the Israelites determined who the virgins were. Most probably, they did it based on age and maturity, assuming that all of the female "children" who had not reached puberty were virgins. Keep in mind that this was done, according to the Bible, on God's command to "Avenge the Israelites on the Midianites". Later, God gives Moses(P) instructions on how to divide up the booty, "whether persons, oxen, donkeys, sheeps or goats". Based on this command, "thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known a man by lying with him" were divided up. This was done so that the Israelite soldiers could have these young girls "for themselves". I do not suspect that anyone reading this is either so naive or ignorant of King James English to not know what this means!
Our God is a God of love and a God of JUSTICE. The Midianites, for a little historical perspective, were a semi-nomadic people, descended from Abraham and Keturah, who lived in a tract of country east and southeast of Moab, on the eastern coast of the Dead Sea. They seem to have been the principal instigators of the infamous scheme of seduction, planned to entrap the Israelites into the double crime of idolatry and licentiousness [see Numbers 25:1-3,17,18] by which, it was hoped, the Lord would withdraw from that people the benefit of His protection and favor. Moreover, the Midianites had rendered themselves particularly obnoxious by entering into a hostile league with the Amorites (see Joshua 13:21). The Moabites were at this time spared in consideration of Lot (see Deuteronomy 2:9) and because the measure of their iniquities was not yet full. God spoke of avenging "the children of Israel" (see Numbers 31:2); Moses spoke of avenging the Lord (see Numbers 31:3), as dishonor had been done to God and an injury inflicted on His people. The interests here were identical. God and His people have the same cause, the same friends, and the same assailants. This, in fact, was a religious war, undertaken by the express command of God against idolaters, who had seduced the Israelites to practice their sinful religion.
In conclusion, the slaughter of the Midianitish people and the capture of their women, children, and property and in the destruction of all of their places of refuge, demonstrates the severity of a righteous God whose wrath fell heavily on that base and corrupt race.
"When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands and thoust has taken them captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and had a desire unto her, that though would have her to thy wife, then though shalt bring her home to thine house . . . and after that you may go into her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if though have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go".
Explanation: First, we must understand that this is a Mosaic law. Second, we must understand the traditions of that day. According to the war customs of all ancient nations, a female captive became the slave of the victor, who had the sole and unchallengeable control of right to her person. Moses improved this existing usage by special regulations on the subject. He enacted that, in the event that her master was captivated by her beauty and contemplated a marriage with her, a month should be allowed to elapse, during which her perturbed feelings might be calmed, her mind reconciled to her altered condition, and she might bewail the loss of her parents, now to her the same as dead. A month was the usual period of mourning with the Jews, and the circumstances mentioned here were the signs of grief--the shaving of the head, the allowing the nails to grow uncut, the putting off her gorgeous dress in which ladies, on the eve of being captured, arrayed themselves to be the more attractive to their captors. The delay was full of humanity and kindness to the female slave, as well as a prudential measure to try the strength of her master's affections. If his love should afterwards cool and he become indifferent to her person, he was not to lord it over her, neither to sell her in the slave market, nor retain her in a subordinate condition in his house; but she was to be free to go where her inclinations led her.
Really? Perhaps you should read the Bible more closely. We Christians believe that our God is a God of love, but we also believe that He is a God of justice. Please remember that, according to the Bible and the Qur'an, God destroyed nearly all life on earth - including children, during the great flood.
Moral relativism? Muhammad practiced it on a daily basis! Muhammad often received "revelations" which suited his needs of the moment - making him the father of "situational ethics". Read Sura 33 - it is a study in situational ethics. When Muhammad lusted after the wife of his adopted son, God granted the "Prophet's" wishes. When his wives asked for more jewelry, God threatened them that Muhammad would divorce them and find prettier wives. God allowed men to marry only 4 wives but Muhammad had as many as 13! All widows were permitted to re-marry EXCEPT the widows of Muhammad. Muhammad certainly preached a faith suited to man's "natural disposition" and he personally exceeded many of the limits that he set.
Jesus Christ is my "guidepost" and I am not ashamed of ANYTHING that He did or said. Jesus loved children and once said:
"It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin." (Luke 17:2) Once again, God knows best.
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