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Sayyidah Aishah(ra) was indeed 19 years old and not 6


The Sunday Times has published an article on the 11 of August 2008 about a book that uses hadith that are not true, fabricated hadith. 


It the case that Sayyidah Aishah (ra) was indeed 19 years and not 6, we have to refute the accusations laid upon the beloved Messenger (saw) by the kuffar on this issue. 


They did not know exact dates, but measured events against natural occurrences. For example, Naseema was born in the year of the big earthquake, and Omar was born a little before that. Another example: RasoolAllah (SA) was born in the year of Al-Fil. Furthermore, if the month is not given then a year’s difference can be accrued. If someone is born in 1978 and the month is not known, there are two possibilities: if the month of birth was January, then the year of birth would be counted, but if it was December, one should start counting from 1979, leading to a year’s difference. 


Hadith is an Arabic word, which in its real sense means a tale, speech, chat, conversation, or communication. In a technical sense, hadith or tradition means all the sayings, deeds, decisions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w), his silent approval of the behavior of his companions, and descriptions of his personality. Each hadith is prefaced by a chain of narrators called al-'isnad. Al-'isnad was the chain of people through whom the hadith was transmitted. The second part of the hadith is al-matn, the content, which reports the teaching or the incident. Every hadith or tradition must have a chain ('isnad), as well as the text (matn).


There are three main categories of the hadith called (1) as-sahih or the authentic hadith, (2) al-hasan or the good, as some of its narrators have been found to have a weaker memory in comparison to the narrators of sahih hadith, and (3) ad-da'if or the weak. This refers to traditions in which there is some problem in the chain of transmission, in the proper understanding of the transmitter, or in its contents, which may be in disagreement with Islamic belief and practice.


If we accept the premise that Ayesha’s nikah was at age 6, then her date of birth would have to be in 4 nabawwi, i.e., when the Prophet (SA) was in his 44th year, because her date of nikah is given as 10 nabawwi (in which case RasoolAllah’s age would be 50). This is incontrovertibly wrong. For example:

When the Prophet of Allah sent his message about Ayesha to Abu Bakr, he said, "Ya Rasool! I have already settled the matter with Mat’am bin A’di bin Naufal bin Abd Munaf’s son Jabir. Give me enough time to explain the matter to them." (ibn Saad)


If Ayesha was 6 during her nikah with RasoolAllah (SA), then the engagement with Jabir would have had to occur when she was 4 or 5, and there is no indication or example in the old Arab tradition that they would settle the engagements of 4 to 5 year old little girls.


Ayesha said, "When the Prophet received this ayat (54:46) in Mecca, I was a child and used to run around and play." (Bukhari, vol. 2, pg. 204)


“”In any case,  the truth has come out that at the time of her marriage to RasoolAllah (SA) Ayesha (RA) was, according to many traditions 17, and according to others, 19. There is no possible way she could have been less than 15-16, let alone 9. Those traditions that say she was married at 9 and that after she was married she used to play with dolls in the Prophet’s (SA) house cannot be given a sound status. RasoolAllah (SA) had his daughters married. None of them was ever married as a child. Fatima (RA) was married last, and her age was at least 21 or 22, despite the fact that Ali (whom she was to marry) was of her own extended family. “”


Since this is a weak hadith, it has no value for the purpose of Shari'ah. That means that no Muslim, Islamic Republic, or government can pass laws punishing a Muslim woman who does not observe this unislamic practice, many people confuse tradition that Muslim people practice with that of Islamic teachings.


Prologue from The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones. All content copyright Sherry Jones.




A Single Pointing Finger


Medina, January 627


Fourteen years old


Scandal blew in on the errant wind when I rode into Medina clutching Safwan’s


waist. My neighbors rushed into the street like storm waters flooding a wadi. Children


stood in clusters to point and gawk. Their mothers snatched them to their skirts and


pretended to avert their eyes. Men spat in the dust and muttered, judging. My father’s


mouth trembled like a tear on the brink.


What they saw: my wrapper fallen to my shoulders, unheeded. Loose hair lashing


my face. The wife of God's Prophet entwined around another man. What they couldn’t


see: my girlhood dreams shattered at my feet, trampled by a truth as hard and blunt as


horses' hooves.


I let my eyelids fall shut, avoiding my reflection in the stares of my umma, my


community. I licked my cracked lips, tasting salt and the tang of my wretchedness. Pain


wrung my stomach like strong hands squeezing water from laundry, only I was already


dry. My tongue lolled like a sun baked lizard. I rested my cheek against Safwan’s


shoulder, but the horse’s trot struck bone against bone.

“Al-zaniya!” someone cried. “Adulteress!”


I made slits with my eyes. Members of our umma either pointed fingers and

shouted at me or spread their arms in welcome. I saw others, Hypocrites, jeering and

showing their dirty teeth. The ansari, our Helpers, stood silent and wary. Thousands lined

the street, sucking in our dust with their sharp breaths. Staring as if I were a caravan

glittering with treasure instead of a sunburned fourteen-year-old girl.


The horse stopped, but I continued -- over its flank, headfirst and into the arms of

Muhammad. Into my husband's control once more and sighing with relief. Trying to

forge my own destiny had nearly destroyed me, but his love held the power to heal. His

thick beard cushioned my cheek, caressed me with sandalwood. Miswak unfurled from

his breath, clean and sharp as a kiss.


“Thank al-Lah you have made it home safely, my A'isha,” he murmured.

The gathering crowd rumbled, prickling my spine. I lifted my heavy head to see.


Umar, rolled in, thunder and scowl. He was Muhammad's advisor and friend, but no

friend to women.


“Where, by al-Lah, have you been? Why were you alone with a man who is not

your husband?”


His accusations whipped like the wind through the crowd, fanning sparks into



“Al-zaniya!” someone cried again. I ducked as if the word were a hurled stone.

“It is no wonder that A'isha rhymes with fahisha -- whore!” People laughed, and

soon they began to chant: “A'isha -- fahisha! A'isha -- fahisha!” Muhammad steered me

through the crush toward the mosque entrance. As if in a mosaic their faces swirled

before me: the jowly Hamal and his pale wife Fazia-turned-Jamila, screaming and plumcolored;


the town gossip, Umm Ayman, pursing her wrinkled lips; Abu Ramzi, the


jeweler, flashing golden rings on his waving fists. I'd expected murmurs when I returned,


and lifted eyebrows -- but this? People who had known me all my life now wanted to tear


me apart. And Safwan -- I turned my head to look for him, but he had disappeared. As




Rude fingers yanked my hair. I cried out and slapped them away, and a stream of


spittle landed on my arm. Muhammad set me on my feet and faced the mob, then raised


his hands into the air. Silence fell like a shroud, muffling even the glares.


“A'isha needs to rest,” Muhammad said. His voice sounded as weary as I felt.


“Please return to your homes.”


He curled his arm around me and we ducked into the mosque. My sister-wives


stood near the courtyard entrance, two and two. Sawdah rushed forward, ululating,


enfolding me in her plumpness. She praised al-Lah for my safe return, then kissed her


amulet to ward off the Evil Eye. Next came Hafsa, weeping, kissing my hands and face.


She whispered, “I thought you were lost forever.” I didn’t tell her that she was nearly


right. Umm Salama nodded, unsmiling, as if she feared her head might topple off her


long stem of a neck. Zaynab slanted lusty eyes at Muhammad as though she and he were


alone in the room.


But my husband’s concerns were only for me. When my stomach clenched again,


slumping me in pain, he caught me and lifted me up as though I were filled with air. And


in truth, I had little else left inside me. I floated in his arms to my apartment. He kicked


open the door and carried me inside, then placed me on my feet again while he unrolled


my bed. I leaned against the wall, grateful for the quiet -- until Umar’s shout barged into


the room, followed by the man himself.


“See how she shames al-Lah’s holy Prophet!” he cried. “Galloping through the


center of town with her hands on another man and her hair waving like a harlot’s dress.”


“A harlot with vomit-stinking breath and hair like a bird’s nest?” I blurted. Even


in my condition, I had to laugh.


“Please, Umar,” said Muhammad. “Can you not see that she is ill?”


“You indulge her.”


“I am happy to see her alive, praise al-Lah.” The love in my husband’s gaze made


me blush. How close I’d come to betraying him with that trickster! Safwan had lured me


with freedom, then tied my destiny to his desires. No different than any other man.


Except, perhaps, Muhammad.


“Yaa habibati, what reward should I offer Safwan ibn al-Mu’attal for bringing


you home safely to me?”


“One hundred lashes would be fitting,” Umar grumbled.


“But Safwan saved her life.”


“Apparently, Umar thinks I should have been left at the mercy of the jackals -- or


the Bedouins,” I said.


“At least you would die with your honor intact.”


“Nothing has happened to A'isha’s honor,” Muhammad said.


“Tell that to Hassan ibn Thabit,” Umar said. “I heard him moments ago reciting a


damning poem about your wife and that womanizing soldier.”


A poem. No wonder the umma had snapped at my heels like a pack of dogs when


I’d ridden into town. Hassan’s words could incite a crowd into frenzy nearly as quickly as


Muhammad’s raised hand could quell it.


But I refused to let Umar see me tremble. “Me, with Safwan? That’s ridiculous,” I

said. “I'm the wife of al-Lah’s holy Prophet. Would I want a nobody like him?”


I felt Muhammad’s eyes watching me. Heat spread like flame under my skin. Had

he heard the lie beneath my laughter?


Clipped steps rapped on the courtyard stones. A man’s hand flung open the door

to my apartment. His silver ring flashed like a sword’s blade: Ali, related to Muhammad

in three ways -- cousin, foster-son and son-in-law -- yet bitterly jealous of his love for

me. Stabs of pain pierced my stomach. I leaned my head against Muhammad’s shoulder.

“Here she is!” Ali extended his arm to point at me. “Medina churns with sickness

over your ruin, A'isha. Men are fighting in the streets over your guilt or innocence. Our

own people have turned against one another. The unity of the umma is threatened because   of you.”


“Did you defend me?” Even as I challenged him, I knew the answer.

He turned to Muhammad. “How can I defend her when Safwan himself will not

speak on her behalf?”


Of course. Not only had Safwan disappeared when the crowd grew menacing, but

when my father and Ali had approached him with questions, he’d hidden inside his

parents’ home. Some rescuer. I felt tears burn my eyes, but I willed them away. The only

one who could save me, it seemed, was me.


“Safwan doesn’t need to defend me,” I said, although my voice quavered and I

still leaned on Muhammad for support. “I can speak for myself.”


“Let her rest,” Muhammad said. He helped me walk to my bed, but before I could


lie down Ali was insisting I tell my story. The umma could not wait to know the truth, he


said. Another crowd was forming outside the mosque at this very moment, demanding




I closed my eyes, recalling the tale I and Safwan had fashioned on the ride home,


during my lucid moments. I was looking for my agate necklace, I said, fingering the


smooth stones. “My father gave it to me on my wedding day. Remember?” I looked at


Muhammad. “It means as much to me as the necklaces you've given your other wives.”

His expression didn’t change. I pressed on, spinning a tale that began with me

slipping behind the sand dunes to relieve myself, then returning to my howdah. As I

waited to be lifted onto the camel’s back I felt for my necklace -- but my throat was bare.


“I searched my clothing, the floorboards of my howdah, the ground. I would have

asked the driver to help me, but he was watering the camels." My voice stumbled like

tender feet on rocky ground. I took a ragged breath, trying to hold steady. "I followed my

path back to the dunes. I sifted the sands with my fingers. Then, when I was about to give

up, I found it. I ran back to the caravan -- but you were far away, like ants crawling


single-file into tomorrow. I knew I could never catch you. So I sat down to wait for

someone to come back for me.”


“Someone?” Ali pointed his sharp nose at me, sniffing for lies. “You mean




“Yaa Ali, let her tell her tale,” Muhammad said.


“In truth, it is a tale, and nothing more.” Ali spat on the dirt floor and wiped his


mouth with the back of his hand, glaring at me. “You waste our time with this fantasy,


while we all know the real story.”


“Ali, please,” Muhammad said, more sternly. Ali folded his arms across his chest


and curled his lips at me. My courage wavered under his scrutiny. Did he truly know the


reason I had lost the caravan? Maybe it would be better for me to tell the truth -- but a


glance at my husband’s concerned face changed my mind. Even Muhammad, who knew


me as if our souls were one, wouldn’t understand why I’d risked so much for so little --


and he might not believe me when I told him I was still pure.


“You sat down to wait,” Umar said. “What occurs next in this unlikely tale?”


I closed my eyes, feeling faint. What was the story? I and Safwan had rehearsed it


during our ride. I let out a long sigh, calming my frantic pulse. This next part was true.


“As the sun rose, I found shade under a grove of date-palm trees,” I said. “I lay


down, keeping cool. Then I must have slept, because the next thing I remember is


Safwan’s hand on my shoulder.”


Umar grunted. “Did you hear that, Prophet? Safwan ibn al-Mu’attal is now

touching your wife. We all know where that leads.”


“Why didn’t you both ride home right away?” Ali barked.

“Something happened to me.” This part was also true. “I felt a sharp cramp, like a

knife in my stomach.” Muhammad’s eyes seemed to soften -- a good sign, meaning he


must believe me at least a little.


“I couldn’t travel, not while I was doubled over with pain. So Safwan pitched his

tent for me to rest in, out of the sun.”


Ali guffawed. “And where was Safwan while you were lying in his tent?” I

ignored him, wanting only to finish this interrogation and go to sleep.


“I retched for hours. Safwan tried to help me. He gave me water and fanned me

with a date-palm frond. Finally he became frightened, and we came back for help.” I

didn’t tell how he’d nearly made me scream with his hand-wringing. Al-Lah is punishing

us, he'd moaned, over and over again. Along with the water, I began to spit up bile and

remorse. Take me to Medina, I said sourly. Before al-Lah kills us both.


When I finished my tale, Ali was scowling. “This is not the full story,” he said.


“Why was Safwan lagging so far behind the caravan? Was it because he knew you would

be waiting for him under the date palms?”


“I asked Safwan to remain behind,” Muhammad said. “To watch for the return of

the Mustaliq to their camp.”


“She has been flirting with him for years!”


I snorted, as if his words amused me instead of chilling my blood. He spoke the

truth -- but who else knew?


“Where is your proof, Ali?” I said, meeting his angry gaze for a moment, then

dropping it for fear he’d see the panic in my eyes. “A single pointing finger makes an

insignificant mark.”


Then, with Muhammad’s help, I lay down on my bed and turned my back to them

all: the ever-suspicious Umar; Ali, so eager to think the worst of me; and my husband,

who could quiet an angry mob with a raised hand but who had allowed these men to

slander me. Why had I returned? I closed my eyes and dreamt, again, of escape. This

time, though, I knew it was only a dream. There would be no escaping my fate. At best,

al-Lah willing, I might shape my destiny -- but I couldn’t run from it. This much I had

learned from my mistakes these past few days.


I slept lightly, tossed by fever and regret, until whispers whipped about my head

like stinging sand, jolting me back to consciousness. Muhammad and Ali were sitting on

the cushions near my bed, arguing -- about me.


“I cannot believe A'isha would do such a thing,” Muhammad said. His voice was

a broken shell, fragile and jagged. “I have loved her since she sprang from her mother’s


womb. I have played dolls with her and her friends. I have drunk from the same bowl

with her.”


“She is fourteen years old,” Ali said, his voice rising. “Not a little girl anymore,

although many years younger than you. Safwan is much closer to her age.”

“Shh, Ali! Do not disturb A'isha’s rest.”


“Then let us find a more suitable place to talk.” I heard the rustle of cloth. Don’t

go, I wanted to beg, but I was too weak. So I moaned, instead. Muhammad laid his hand

on my forehead.


“Her skin is hot,” he said. “I cannot leave her alone.”

“Then I must speak here.”


“Please, cousin. I value your counsel.”

I held my breath, dreading Ali’s next words. What kind of punishment would he

suggest for me and Safwan? A whipping? Banishment from the umma? Death?

“Divorce her,” Ali said.


“No!” I sat up, ready to throw my arms around my husband’s neck and hold on

with all my strength. Muhammad stroked my damp brow, his smile shifting like a shadow


under a changing sun.


“Don't leave me,” I said, forgetting about Ali, the last person I would have wanted


to hear me beg.


“I am not leaving you, habibati. But I have decided to send you to your parents'


house for a while. Abu Bakr and Umm Ruman will nurse you back to health, al-Lah


willing, away from all these wagging tongues.”


“Don't divorce me.” Weeks later, as I waited in my parents’ house for


Muhammad’s verdict, I'd wince to recall how I'd clung to his hand and cried in front of


Ali. “I love you, habibi.”


I meant those words as I’d never meant them before. I’d learned much during


those hours in the desert with Safwan. Safwan, who’d promised one thing and delivered


another, the same as when we were children.


“I love you, too, my sweet.” But his voice sounded far away, and his eyes looked


troubled. I lay down and clutched his hand as though it were a doll, then drifted slowly


back toward sleep.


As I slipped away again I heard Ali's voice, urgent and low.


“Think of the umma, how delicate its weave,” he said. “A scandal like this could


tear it apart. You must act now, cousin. Send her back to Abu Bakr for good.”


“Divorce my A'isha?” Muhammad’s laugh sounded nervous and faint. “I would


just as soon cut out my own heart.”


“She’s tainted,” Ali said -- increasing my hatred for him with each word. “You

need to distance yourself from her before this scandal marks you, also. Many men in this

town would love to see you fall.”


Muhammad slowly pulled his hand from my grasp, leaving me to drift alone on

my sea of fears.


“Can’t you see it?” Ali pressed. “I know you can. Then why do you look so

worried? Wives are easily acquired. You will find another child-bride.”

_ _ _


Centuries later, scandal still haunts my name. But those who scorned me, who

called me “al-zaniya” and “fahisha,” they didn’t know me. They never knew the truth --


about me, about Muhammad, about how I saved his life and he saved mine. About how I

saved all their lives. If they knew, would they have mocked me then?


Of course, they know now. Where we are now, all truth is known. But it still

eludes your world. Where you are, men still want to hide the women away. You, in the

now, they cover with shrouds or with lies about being inferior. We, in the past, they erase

from their stories of Muhammad, or alter with false tales that burn our ears and the

backs of our eyes. Where you are, mothers chastise their daughters with a single name.

“You A'isha!” they cry, and the girls turn away in shame. We cannot escape our

destinies, even in death. But we can claim them, and give them shape.

The girls turn away because they don’t know the truth: That Muhammad wanted

to give us freedom, but that the other men took it away. That none of us is ever alive until

we can shape our own destinies. Until we can choose.

So many misunderstandings. Here where we are, we cup the truth in our hands

like water, trying to contain it, watching it slip away. Truth is too slippery to hold. It must


be passed on, or it slides like rain into the earth, to disappear.

Before it disappears, I will pass my story on to you. My truth. My struggle. And

then, who knows what will happen? Al-lah willing, my name will regain its meaning. No

longer, then, a word synonymous with treachery and shame. Al-Lah willing, when my

story is known, my name will evoke once more that most precious of possessions. Which I   claimed for myself and for which I fought until, at last, I won it from the Prophet of God

- not only for myself, but for all my sisters also.


My name: “A’isha.” Its meaning: “life.” May it be so again, and forevermore.


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