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The Age of Aisha: An Appraisal of the Traditional and Revisionist Perspectives

T

Waqar Akbar Cheema

Abstract

This detailed paper delves into the question: how old was ‘Aisha (rA) when she married Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)? It examines the arguments for the traditional opinion that ‘Aisha was nine years old at the time of consummation of marriage and the alternate-opinions arguments presented by scholars who question the authenticity of these reports on which the traditional view is based. It provides a detailed analysis of the arguments presented by both sides and explores the historical context in which these reports were recorded. An attempt has been made to exhaustively consider arguments of both the sides. Overall, this research article provides a comprehensive overview of the debate surrounding ‘Aisha’s marriage age and offers valuable insights into the different perspectives on this issue.

Navigation Tabs

Arguments for Traditional View

 Narrator-Chains of ‘Aisha’s Age Statement/ ’Aisha referred to as ‘tender of age’ / Agreement of scholars

Arguments for Revisionist View

Age Statement Fabricated by Hisham / A Solitary Report of Erring Hisham / ’After ten’ is implied / Comparison with Asma’ / Comparison with Fatima / Born in Jahiliyya / Early Impressions of her parents / Listed as an early convert / Age on Revelation of Surah Qamar / Already engaged / Proposal rationale / In nursing roles / Senior to Anas, Abu Sa’id and Fatima?

1. Introduction

As discussed in a previous article, fault finding with the Prophet’s (ﷺ) marriage to nine-year-old ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, has become a staple for the critics of Islam since the last century. Whereas traditionally rooted Muslims have responded to the propaganda on the issue by referring to factors that highlight the shallow nature of the criticism, others have set to question the received information on this account. Such circles have thus argued that the reports from ‘Aisha mentioning her age at the time of marriage are weak due to hidden defects in their chain of narrators and anomalies in their content as they contradict other historical information that suggests she was, in fact, older. It is claimed that she was already in her teens when the Prophet (ﷺ) betrothed her. A significant amount of literature in support of alternate opinions on the age of ‘Aisha has come up over the decades. Muhammad Ali (d. 1951) of the Lahori Ahmadiyya community first argued for the alternate position.[1] Those who followed included Tamanna ‘Imadi (d. 1972),[2] Ghulam Ahmad Pervez (d. 1985),[3]‘Umar Ahmad Usmani (d. 1991),[4] Habib-ur-Rahman Kandhlawi (d. 1991),[5] Hakim Niaz Ahmad (d. 1999),[6] and of the same ilk, lately relevant, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi.[7] Not only are these all from the Subcontinent, but they are also known for their skeptical approach to hadith as an authoritative source. Lately, a Syrian hadith scholar Salah al-Din al-Idlibi[8] has joined the revisionist camp. Some other authors and speakers have also argued for alternate positions.[9]

The question is whether the collective efforts of all these individuals form a convincing case against the traditionally held position. Can their arguments be used as another line of defence in the wake of unabated attacks on the Prophet’s (ﷺ) honour without falling into an epistemic contradiction? The answer requires a compelling review and analysis of the arguments of both the traditional and the revisionist camps.

2. Arguments for the traditionalist position

2.1 ‘Aisha’s statement of her age at marriage narrated en masse

Traditionalist position on the age of ‘Aisha at the time of marriage rests on her statement. She is reported to have said:

تزوجني النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأنا بنت ست سنين …  فأسلمتني إليه، وأنا يومئذ بنت تسع سنين

~

The Prophet (ﷺ) married me when I was six years old … and I was sent to move with him when I was nine years old.[10]

With no significant wording change, over a dozen of her students have reported this statement from’ Aisha. These include.

1) ‘Urwa b. Zubair (d. 94/712-713), through at least four of his students, namely;

     I) Muhammad Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (d. 124/742), through his student Ma‘mar b. Rashid [11]

     II) ‘Abdullah b. ‘Urwa (d. circa 125/743)[12]

     III) Abu al-Zinad ‘Abdullah b. Dhakwan (d. 130/748)[13]

     IV) Hisham b. ‘Urwa (d. 146/763); From Hisham, in turn, over twenty persons are said to have related this narration. They were:

        i) Ma‘mar b. Rashid (d. 153/770)[14]

        ii) Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 161/777-778)[15]

        iii) Aban b. Yazid al-‘Attar (d. ca 164/781)[16]

        iv) Wuhaib b. Khalid (d. 165/781-782)[17]

        v) Hammad b. Salama (d. 167/784) [18]

        vi) Isma‘il b. Zakariyya (d. 173/789)[19]

        vii) ‘Abdul Rahman b. Abi al-Zinad (d. 174/790-791)[20]

        viii) Sa‘id b. ‘Abdul Rahman al-Jumahiy (d. 176/792-793)[21]

        ix) Ja‘far b. Suleman (d. 178/794)[22]

        x) Hammad b. Zaid (d. 179/795)[23]

        xi) Yahya b. Zakariyya b. Abi Za’ida (d. 184/800)[24]

        xii) ‘Abdah b. Suleman (d. 188/804)[25]

        xiii) Jarir b. ‘Abdul Hamid (d. 188/804)[26]

        xiv) Ali b. Mus-hir (d. 189/805)[27]

        xv) Abu Mu‘awiya ‘Abdullah b. Mu‘awiya al-Zubairi (d. taq 190/806)[28]

        xvi) Abu Mu‘awiya Muhammad b. Khazim al-Darir (d. 195/810)[29]

        xvii) Waki‘ b. al-Jarrah (d. 197/812)[30]

        xviii) Sufyan b. ‘Uyaina (d. 198/814)[31]

        xix) Yunus b. Bukair (d. 199/814-815)[32]

        xx) Abu Usama Hammad b. Usama (d. 201/817)[33]

        xxi) Al-Haitham b. ‘Adi (d. 207/822)[34]

        xxii) Yahya b. Hashim al-Simsar (d. 225/840)[35]

        xxiii) ‘Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Yahya b. ‘Urwa[36]

2) ‘Abdullah b. Safwan (d. 73/692)[37]

3) Al-Aswad b. Yazid (d. 75/694); through Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i[38] and his son ‘Abdul Rahman b. al-Aswad.[39]

4) Abu ‘Ubaida b. ‘Abdullah b. Mas‘ud (d. 81/700); through Abu Ishaq al-Sabi‘i and from Abu Ishaq by at least four narrators.[40]

 5) Abu Salama b. ‘Abdul Rahman b. ‘Awf (d. 94/712-713)[41]

 6) ‘Amra bt. ‘Abdul Rahman (d. 98/716-717)[42]

7) Mus‘ab b. Sa‘d (d. 103/721-722); through Abu Ishaq al-Sabi‘i.[43]

 8) Yahya b. ‘Abdul Rahman b. Hatib (d. 104/722-723)[44]

9) Qasim b. Muhammad (d. 106/725)[45]

10) ‘Abdullah b. ‘Ubaid Ullah b. Abi Mulaika (d. 117/735-736)[46]

11) ‘Abdul Malik b. ‘Umair (d. 136/754)[47]

 12) Yazid b. Jabir al-Azdi (d.  ?)[48]

13) Besides these twelve narrators from the succeeding generation (tabi‘un), a  companion, Buraida b. al-Husaib (d. 62/681-2) is also reported to have narrated from ‘Aisha about her age at marriage.[49]

Moreover, the same is mentioned in some mursal reports,[50] which are related by; Qatada b. Di‘ama (d. 118/736),[51]Muttalib b. ‘Abdullah b. Hantib (d. after 120/),[52] al-Zuhri,[53] and Habib – the freedman of  ‘Urwa (d. circa 130/747).[54] In the collection of reports of Ibadi al-Rabi‘ b. Habib, it is reported as a mursal narration of Abu al-Sha‘tha Jabir b. Zaid (d. 93/711-712).[55] Likewise, it is quoted in Shi‘i hadith works of Muhammad b. Ja‘far al-Kulaini (d. 329/941)[56]and Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Tusi (d. 460/1067),[57] as a mursal report of the Madinan Isma‘il b. Ja‘far (d. 138/755-756)[58], with the only difference being that it puts the age of Aisha at the time of consummation to be ten rather than nine.

It is thus a well-attested report. Ibn Hazm (d. 456/1063) noted that the fact is too well-known to require looking for its chains of narrators.[59] Likewise, al-‘Aini (d. 855/1451) alluded to the epistemic certainty it brings when he said.

 The hadith of ‘Aisha is famous and nearly mass-transmitted (qarib ila al-tawatur); indeed the Prophet (ﷺ) married her when she was six, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine. She was with him for nine years.[60]

Subsequently, Ibn Humam (d. 861/1457)[61] and Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari (d. 1014/1606)[62] made similar statements.

2.2 ‘Aisha’s termed as “a young girl of tender age.”

There is a set of reports wherein ‘Aisha is referred to as “a young girl of tender age,” which confirms her age statement at the time of marriage. Significantly, there is evidence that she referred to herself thus on at least six occasions in the lifetime of the Prophet (ﷺ). Another lady, Barira, also referred to her as such.

i) In one report ‘Aisha, mentioning her marriage, recounted that she was a little girl then (wa ana saghira).[63]

ii) In the narration of the well-known Incident of Slander (ifk), ‘Aisha mentioned how her absence from the camel litter was not noticed because she being a young girl of tender age (jāriyya ḥadītha al-sinn), was lightweight and, therefore, the caravan left without her. On the same occasion, Barira vouching for her innocence described her as a little girl of tender age.[64] It was in the year 5/626-627 when ‘Aisha was thirteen.

iii) In the year 7/628, when ‘Aisha was around fifteen, a contingent of Abyssinians arrived in Madina, and they did some sword sports in the mosque. ‘Aisha witnessed it from behind the Prophet (ﷺ). Describing how long the Prophet (ﷺ) stood there for her to see it to her satisfaction ‘Aisha mentioned herself the same way, i.e., a young girl of tender age (al-jāriyya al- ḥadītha al-sinn).[65]

iv) Once, in arguing with the Prophet (ﷺ) about his attachment to the memory of Khadija and herself being his only virgin wife, ‘Aisha described herself as “a tender of age” (ḥadītha al-sinn).[66]

v) On the eve of Farewell Hajj, i.e., in the year 10/632, ‘Aisha recalled while sitting on a camel behind her brother ‘Abdul Rahman, she dozed off as she was very young (ḥadītha al-sinn).[67]

vi) During the final illness of the Prophet (ﷺ), he asked for Abu Bakr to be called to lead people in prayers, but ‘Aisha hesitated, at which the Prophet (ﷺ) became angry. ‘Aisha replied that she thought Abu Bakr, a sensitive heart, would not be able to take his place.[68] One later source says when asked about it, she repeated her concern for Abu Bakr, adding that it was for her tender age then that she felt thus (ẓanantu bi ḥadātha sinni).[69]

vii) Upon the death of the Prophet (ﷺ) in 11/632 ‘Aisha beat her head and later felt bad for behaving that way and cited her lack of understanding of the situation and younger age (ḥadātha sinnī) as an excuse.[70] ‘Aisha was then eighteen only.

Use of terms like saghira, ḥadītha al-sinn and ḥadātha sinni implying tender age at various instances would not have been correct if ‘Aisha were more than a teenager by the time of the death of the Prophet (ﷺ).

2.3 Agreement of the scholars

The total agreement of the scholars over the centuries is another evidence of the traditionalist position. Besides no variant report on the subject, scholars have also noted complete agreement on this issue. For example, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (d. 463/1071/) writes:

The Prophet (ﷺ) consummated the marriage with her at Madina when she was nine years old. I do not know of any difference among the scholars on this issue.[71]

Likewise, Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373), after mentioning the report about her age, writes:

There is no difference among the people on this point.[72]

Experts in all the fields of core Islamic sciences have quoted or alluded to the report about ‘Aisha’s marriage at the age of six/nine. Authors of all the six well-received hadith collections have related reports to this effect.[73] It was well received by jurists of all the leading schools of thought. The report is adduced by Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Shaibani (d. 189/804),[74] a student of Abu Hanifa, whereas ‘Abdullah b. Wahb (d. 197/813), a student of Malik b. Anas, related this report with a complete chain of narrators. Another Maliki scholar Ibn al-Mawwaz of Alexandria (d. 269/882-883) is known to have quoted it.[75]  Al-Shafi‘i and Ahmad b. Hanbal, we have already noted, narrated this report in their works. Moreover, as noted above, traditions to this effect are found in the works of the Shi‘a and Ibadis as well.

3. Arguments of the revisionists

3.1 The Marital-Age Hadith is a Historical Fabrication

Recently, at Oxford University, Joshua Little completed his doctoral thesis on the study of the hadith on ‘Aisha’s age. He concluded that;

the hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s marital age was first put into circulation by her great-nephew Hišām b.ʿUrwah b. al-Zubayr in Kufah between 754 and 765 CE—probably as a response to proto-Šīʿī polemics and hostility directed towards ʿĀʾišah.[76]

He begins his thesis with the words, “That Hadith are unreliable … cannot be seriously contested”, and the first reason he brings is the baggage of his own Christian/Western religio-historical tradition of “ubiquity of fabrication and pseudepigraphy.” This psychological baggage typically mars Orientalist research on Islam, and Dr Little’s reference to it is, in fact, a Freudian confession. Little defends Common Link (CL) theory and analysis by Joseph Schacht (d. 1969) and G.H.A. Juynboll (d. 2010) without realising an essential shortcoming in their research in that they ignored the fact that the corpus of isnads that has come down to us through extant compilations is only a fraction of what the early hadith masters had been aware of. That Bukhari, for instance, selected the reports from a pool of nearly 600,000 narrations[77] and that Abu Dawud likewise had written record of over 500,000 narrations[78] tells us that CL analysis thumped up by some orientalists is redundant to the end they use it.[79] There is no suggestion that unrecorded links were all unreliable in the eyes of the hadith masters who chose not to record them. Dr Little is aware of this point, as evident from his engagement with Dr Jonathan Brown’s critique of Juynboll: “it is implausible that tens or hundreds of thousands of ʾisnāds could have been fabricated.” In response, however, Dr Little escapes the point on isnad and instead alludes to an estimate of thenumber of “distinct prophetic hadith reports.” He then audaciously declares that early Muslims could fabricate 10,000 reports and falsely ascribe them.[80] Besides being an affront to the Muslim civilisation, the approach is justifiable only to an Orientalist who views the early Muslim world through the lens of what afflicted their own religio-cultural milieu of the time. This is conspicuous in Dr Little seeking a parallel to the conduct of later Christians and Jews once more.[81]

Specific to the report on the age of ‘Aisha, Little’s approach is ad hoc and afflicted with confirmation bias. To suggest that pattern in the use of alternate words like “rasul Allah” and “al-nabiyy” and likewise “bint” and “ibnah” allude to some convincing relation is absurd, especially when the alternates are all common usages and the phenomenon of narration by meaning is a given. More importantly, Dr Little fails to demonstrate any convincing reason for Hisham b. ‘Urwa to have concocted this tradition. His assertion that “it is conceivable that Hisham himself saw the same potential” of the legal use of the hadith that jurists demonstrated after Hisham is desperate.[82] Likewise, the claim that “the most plausible reason for its creation” is that “Hisham created the hadith in Kufa in response to proto-Shi’i polemics against his great-aunt” is signally devoid of merit for the simple fact that Hisham’s reports are free from the elements of what Little calls the “fada’il tradition.”[83]  Little is aware of this problem and thus seeks to circumvent it by highlighting that his CL for the fada’il tradition was a contemporary of Hisham.[84] Pace Little, Hisham’s contemporary, was not Hisham himself. Therefore, it makes no sense to see plausibility in the latter being held responsible for the theme of the comparatively less prolific tradent’s report.

Why would the age of nine be relevant in such a case? The question is critically important to see whether there is an anchor to Little’s conspiracy theory. Little’s admission that “to a certain extent it was arbitrary” undermines his theory on the report’s origins. All four of his follow-up hypothetical source claims are equally unconvincing by his admission. He accepts one as “highly questionable” and another as “heavily contested.” For a suggested cultural influence, the means of transmission, he acknowledges, were “not ideal for this hypothesis.”[85] Lastly, the idea Hisham might have used the ideas known to Kufan Shi‘as is rendered mute by the observation that none of the plethora of narrations from Hisham suggests that he meant to present his report as a kind of virtue of ‘Aisha, while the marriage-age is recorded in such reports from others besides. It is strange to see a scholar toiling up to analyse and hair-split the elements of a well-attested hadith and then running after the flimsiest of far-fetched suggestions to find an anchor for his hard work. Dr Little should have firmed up his origins theory more than the uselessly laborious isnad-cum-analysis he has come up with.

Dr Little makes no real argument for an alternate view on the age of ‘Aisha. He, however, says;

If indeed ʿĀʾišah was married to Muḥammad as a virgin, it is more likely that she was twelve-to-fourteen years old at the time of her marital consummation, at least on the basis of general historical prior probability.[86]

As admitted, no real argument is offered for this likelihood, and the general scepticism-ridden tone confirms that the author holds that Islamic sources are of no use to ascertain the historical facts of early Islam.[87] Accordingly, Dr Little’s doctoral thesis adds little to useful discourse on the subject.

3.2 The mistake on the part of some narrator

The report is claimed to be untenable because of its key narrator, Hisham b. ‘Urwa. The argument rests on some hadith-critics remarks that after moving to Iraq, Hisham, who was generally reliable, became prone to errors in narration. The idea is unconvincing because Hisham b. ‘Urwa is not the only narrator of hadith. At least three others corroborate him in relating the same report from ‘Urwa, and there are a dozen narrators besides ‘Urwa relating the same information from ‘Aisha, as noted above. Moreover, twenty people related to ‘Aisha from Hisham, not all of whom were from Iraq. They include Sa‘id b. ‘Abdul Rahman al-Jumahiy, ‘Abdul Rahman b. Abi al-Zinad, and ‘Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Yahya b. ‘Urwa who were from Madina. Another narrator from Hisham, Sufyan b. ‘Uyaina, a Kufan by birth, had moved to Makkah early in his life.[88] Accordingly, his narration from Hisham ought to be counted as non-Iraqi. Incidentally, Sufyan b. ‘Uyaina is categorically reported as assuring that the statement under consideration is Hisham’s particularly solid report from his father.[89] There is, likewise, no reason to assume that Ma‘mar b. Rashid received the report from Hisham in Iraq for he had left Iraq early in his career before Hisham moved there.[90]

Moreover, it is preposterous to assume that every narration of Hisham through Iraqi narrators must be dubious, especially when Iraqi narrators from him include Hammad b. Salama who was considered the most proficient of the narrators from Hisham.[91] One of the narrators from Hisham is Ma‘mar b. Rashid, who related the same information from al-Zuhri, another student of ‘Urwa, as well, which confirms against Hisham’s error impression.

Though the criticism against Hisham is irrelevant because of many other links back to ‘Aisha, it ought to be mentioned that while some scholars noted that Hisham was not meticulous in his reporting in his later years,[92] other prolific and more nuanced critics, such as al-Dhahabi and al-‘Ala’i, have observed that Hisham’s inadvertences were rare and therefore, incidental and natural. Accordingly, they contend, it does not warrant doubting his reports as a rule. [93] As for the story of Hisham accusing Ibn Ishaq of having lied in narrating from his wife Fatima, claiming that he had married her when she was nine while she was older than Hisham by some ten years, al-Dhahabi assures us it was concocted by Suleman al-Shadhakuni (d. 234/848-849).[94]

Al-Idlibi, the only hadith conversant proponent of the alternate view, does not make this argument. He instead admits that the argument does not hold because Hisham is not alone in narrating ‘Aisha’s statement about her age.

3.3 Claim that the words “after ten” were implied in the original statement

Some claim that in the original statement of ‘Aisha, “after ten” was meant and that the narrators from her failed to realize this and understood otherwise. The argument, however, is without merit. Not only is there no indication of it; several narrations from ‘Aisha add that at the time of the death of the Prophet (ﷺ) ‘Aisha was eighteen years old.

عن عائشة، قالت: «تزوجها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهي بنت ست، وبنى بها وهي بنت تسع، ومات عنها وهي بنت ثمان عشرة»

~

‘Aisha said the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) married her when she was six years old, consummated the marriage with her when she was nine, and when he died, she was eighteen.

 It is thus narrated in the narrations from (i) ‘Urwa’s through al-Zuhri, [95] Hisham,[96] and Abi al-Zinad,[97] (ii) Aswad,[98] (iii) Abu ‘Ubaida,[99] (iv) Yazid b. Jabir,[100] and (v) in Qatada’s mursal report.[101] Such narrations leave no room to assume that six and nine were sixteen and nineteen, respectively.[102]

3.4 Comparison with the age of Asma’ bt. Abi Bakr

It is claimed that ‘Aisha was seventeen (17) at the time of consummation of the marriage. This is done based on comparing her older sister Asma’s age. Asma’, we know, died in the year 73/692. However, based on reports that suggest she was a hundred (100) years old when she died and that she was ten years older than ‘Aisha, it is claimed that by the time of Hijra, ‘Asma was twenty-seven, and ‘Aisha was seventeen.

Let us first look at the evidence for the two premises of this argument. As for Asma’ being a centenarian, while many scholars have mentioned it, the earliest source with a complete chain of narrators is Ibn Manda (d. 395/1005). As reported by Hisham b. ‘Urwa b. al-Zubair, his father said;

كانت أسماء بنت أبي بكر قد بلغت مائة سنة، لم يقع لها سن، ولم ينكر من عقلها شيئًا.

~

Though ‘Asma bt. Abi Bakr had reached a hundred years of age; she had not lost a single tooth, nor was her mind affected. [103]

The focus here was her good physical and mental bearing, even at an advanced age, rather than the specifics of the age.

As for Asma’ being ten years older than ‘Aisha, it is based on a report from ‘Abdul Rahman b. Abi al-Zinad (100/718-719 – 174/790-791) who said regarding Asma’:

وكانت أكبر من عائشة بعشر سنين أو نحوها-  

~

 She was ten years or so older than ‘Aisha.[104]

Here again, “or so” (aw nahwaha) confirms against the suggestion of precise determination of age difference as the focus.

Thus we see that both the pieces of evidence in this argument are vague, and the one that speaks of ‘Aisha is not even traceable back to a contemporary of the persons concerned. Al-Dhahabi insisted that ‘Asma’’s age and age difference with ‘Aisha ought to be worked out based on the latter’s well-attested and categorical report about her age. Accordingly, he mentioned that either Asma’ died at ninety-one[105] or that she was some thirteen to nineteen (bid‘a ‘ashra sana) years older than ‘Aisha.[106]

Even if we assume that Asma’ was indeed a hundred when she died in the year 73 AH, it would mean she was 27 at the time of Hijra and 24 when the marriage of ‘Aisha was solemnized some three years earlier. The standard narrative says, ‘Aisha was then 6. Asma’ would be 18 years ‘Aisha’s senior, given the considerations here. Considering the obvious hyperbole in mentioning Asma’s age at her death, we can assume the age difference between the two was even less.

It is significant to note that the argument about the age difference between the two is based on a narration of Ibn Abi al-Zinad, born 27 years after Asma’s death, telling us that the report is not truly established in terms of narrative authority. Likewise, the narration about Asma’ approaching hundred comes through an isnad involving Hisham b. ‘Urwa through a Kufan al-Qasim b. Ma‘n.[107]

Ibn Abi al-Zinad himself narrates the standard narration on the age of ‘Aisha on the authority of ‘Urwa b. al-Zubair through Hisham b. ‘Urwa. One can only marvel at the contradictions involved in this argument. It is stupefying to doubt a narrator’s report through the subject person’s close relatives and direct students and unscrupulously accept his report for which he cites no authority. Likewise, the irony of basing the argument on an exclusive narration of Hisham bin ‘Urwa, through an Iraqi student of his, while thumping about this point to question his other report corroborated by many others is evident.

3.5 Comparison with the age of Fatima

The argument rests on two premises; Fatima was born five years before the first revelation, and she was five years older than ‘Aisha. Based on these, it is claimed that ‘Aisha must have been fourteen by the time of consummation of marriage.

To understand this, we need to see the basis of the two premises for the argument. First, as for Fatima’s birth year, there are three reports of significance. One has that the Prophet’s (ﷺ) uncle al-‘Abbas found Fatima and ‘Ali arguing about their ages and told them that Fatima was born the year Quraish were rebuilding the Ka‘ba, the Prophet (ﷺ) was then thirty-five years old, and ‘Ali was born a few years earlier than that.[108]

Another report has that upon inquiry of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham b. ‘Abdul Malik, Fatima’s great-grandson ‘Abdullah b. Hasan b. Hasan (d. 145/762) mentioned that she was thirty at her death.[109] This also implies that she was born in the year mentioned by al-‘Abbas, i.e., five years before the first revelation. Likewise, Ibn Ishaq noted that all of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) children from Khadija, including Fatima, were born before revelation.[110]

On the other hand, Suleman b. Ja‘far [b. Suleman] al-Hashimi (d. after 248/862) is reported to have remarked that Fatima was born when the Prophet (ﷺ) was forty-one,[111] i.e., a year after the first revelation.

There are some other opinions as well. Al-Kalbi has remarked she died at thirty-five, implying that she was born ten years before revelation.[112] Some had mentioned that she was only eighteen when she died soon after the Prophet (ﷺ) in the year 11/632.[113]  But these are too odd to be given any consideration.

Next is to examine the evidence for the age difference between ‘Aisha and Fatima. There is, in fact, no evidence except a lone remark from Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani. While several scholars record al-Hashimi’s opinion, [114] only Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani follows it with the observation that Fatima was about five years older than ‘Aisha.[115] The mention of the age difference of some five years is thus only a corollary of the opinion that Fatima was born after the beginning of revelation and was worked out by Ibn Hajar in view of the standard narrative on the age of ‘Aisha.

Now al-Hashimi’s opinion does not serve the revisionist end but contradicts it. Therefore, the use of its out-turn along with the report of al-Abbas and ‘Abdullah b. Hasan, to make an argument is both absurd and misleading.

Al-Dhahabi, on the other hand, mentioned that ‘Aisha was eight years younger than Fatima,[116] which confirms the reports from al-‘Abbas and ‘Abdullah b. Hasan regarding the age of Fatima and the standard narrative on the age of ‘Aisha.

3.6 Claim that ‘Aisha was born in the Jahiliyya

It is likewise claimed that ‘Aisha had been born before the first revelation and therefore must have been at least 14 by the consummation of marriage soon after Hijra. This is based on the following account given by al-Tabari.

تزوج أبو بكر في الجاهلية قتيلة… فولدت له عبد اللَّه وأسماء وتزوج أيضا في الجاهلية أم رومان بنت عامر … فولدت له عبد الرحمن وعائشة. فكل هؤلاء الأربعة من أولاده، ولدوا من زوجتيه اللتين سميناهما في الجاهلية.

Khalid Yahya Blankinship translated it as;

In the Jahiliyyah, Abu Bakr married Qutayla … She bore him ‘Abdallah and Asma’. He also married in the Jahiliyyah Umm Ruman bt. ‘Amir … She bore him ‘Abd al-Rahman and ‘A’ishah. All of these four of his children were born in al-Jahiliyyah from his two wives whom we have named.[117]

This is not the most obvious translation, and the latter part of it could mean:

All these four children were born from his two wives, whom we named he had taken in al-Jahiliyya.

That al-Tabari mentions his two other wives and children through them, emphasizing that he had married them “under Islam” (fi al-islam), confirms this. Moreover, al-Tabari’s take on the age of ‘Aisha in the same work,[118] which is very much in line with the standard narrative, requires us to refrain from any eccentricity in exploiting the ambiguity of the sentence structure.

In any case, it is only a statement of al-Tabari that is too ambiguous and cannot be used against the words of ‘Aisha.

3.7 ‘Aisha’s impression of her parents practicing Islam

Another rather ingenious argument is based on a statement of ‘Aisha that

I have no recollection of my parents doing anything but following the din of Islam. No day would pass without the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) visiting us at either end of it, both morning and evening. When the Muslims were being persecuted, Abu Bakr set out for Abyssinia as an emigrant until he reached Bark al-Ghimad  …[119]

Two arguments for an older ‘Aisha are made up from this. First, her recollection of her parents always following Islam reflects ‘Aisha’s understanding of the religious difference and, therefore, implies that she was of a discerning age which could not be the case if she had been born in the third or fourth year after the beginning of revelation. Second, it mentions ‘Aisha’s awareness of Abu Bakr’s departure for Abyssinia. It is argued that since the migration to Abyssinia took place first in the fifth and then in the early sixth year of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) prophethood, ‘Aisha, the above statement implies she was by then old enough to recall her father’s attempted participation in it.

The arguments are both weak. As for the claim that ‘Aisha’s testimony that she always found her parents practicing Islam, it only means that she had not seen her parents unaware of Islam. To suggest that it was a realization of religious differences is thinking beyond the text and context. The report has been used against the earlier discussed arguments for ‘Aisha’s alleged birth before the Prophet (ﷺ) was blessed with prophethood. [120]

Likewise, the hasty linking of the event to the well-known instances of emigration to Abyssinia is unwarranted.[121] The fuller narrations of the report confirm that it happened just before migration to Madina. Collating the narrations of the report of ‘Aisha, one gets that Abu Bakr, who sought to join the Muslims in Abyssinia,[122] was made to return to Makkah on the insistence of a tribal leader. The chieftain Ibn al-Daghina made Quraysh guarantee peace and security for Abu Bakr under the condition that Abu Bakr would keep his practice of Islam limited to his house. The Quraysh objected when his prayers within his house also gained traction, and they made Ibn al-Daghina talk to Abu Bakr, which ended in the dissolution of the protection arrangement.[123] The Prophet (ﷺ) told Abu Bakr that he had been informed of the place for migration, but he had to wait for permission to leave. Four months later, permission was granted, and the Prophet (ﷺ) left for Madina along with Abu Bakr.[124]  It tells us that Abu Bakr set out for Abyssinia just over four months before migration to Madina. Accordingly, we find al-Diyarbakri (d. 966/1559) and al-Halabi (d. 1044/1635) mention Abu Bakr’s bid to move to Abyssinia in the events of the thirteenth year of Prophethood.[125]

It is also instructive to consider here a statement of ‘Aisha regarding Khadija; “I had never seen her.”[126] Commenting on it, Muhammad Asad (d. 1992) observed:

‘A’ishah must have seen Khadijah, for she was six years old at the latter’s death and her father, Abu Bakr, was a constant Companion of the Prophet. But it is probable that she was too young at that time to have a conscious appreciation of Khadijah and her position in the Prophet’s house; and perhaps it is this she means by the words, “I had never seen her.”[127]

These details render the above argument for an alternate opinion on the age of ‘Aisha redundant, for she was, even according to the standard narrative, eight years old by the time of Abu Bakr’s emigration bid.

3.8 Relevance of ‘Aisha’s mention among early converts to Islam

Ibn Ishaq’s mention of ‘Aisha in the list of early Muslims has also been suggested as proof of her older age. The basic argument is that she, mentioned as a convert, must have been of discerning age at least, which could not be the case had she been born in the late third or early fourth year after the beginning of revelation. Ibn Ishaq mentioned:

ثم أسلم ناس من قبائل العرب منهم: سعيد بن زيد بن عمرو بن نفيل، أخو بني عدي بن كعب، وامرأته فاطمة بنت الخطاب بن نفيل بن عبد العزى، أخت عمر بن الخطاب، وأسماء بنت أبي بكر، وعائشة بنت أبي بكر وهي صغيرة، وقدامة بن مظعون، وعبد الله بن مظعون الجمحيان، وخباب بن الأرت حليف بني زهرة، وعمير بن أبي وقاص الزهري

~

Then people from the different Arab tribes turned Muslims, including Sa‘id b. Zayd b. ‘Amr b. Nufayl from the tribe of ‘Adi b. Ka‘b and his wife, Fatima bt. Al-Khattab b. Nufayl, the sister of ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, and Asma’ bt. Abi Bakr and ‘Aisha bt. Abi Bakr, who was a minor (wa hiya saghira), and … Khabbab b. al-Art, the ally of Banu Zahra, and ‘Umair b. Abi Waqqas al-Zuhri.

Ibn Ishaq carefully notes that ‘Aisha was only a minor at that time, which frustrates the argument. Ibn Hisham,[128] al-Bayhaqi,[129] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr,[130] and Ibn Kathir[131] all reproduced this observation without fail.

Significantly, there is no mention of Fatima here, who was, in any case, older than ‘Aisha and was already a Muslim.[132]The same is true for other daughters of the Prophet (ﷺ), who were older than Fatima as well.[133] The significance of the observation is that children were not all mentioned by Ibn Ishaq, which is why when he appended the mention of ‘Aisha to that of her elder sister, Asma’, he had to clarify that she was only a minor then. Moreover, comparing the age of ‘Aisha with those named besides her is instructive. Sa‘id b. Zayd b. ‘Amr is said to have died in the year 51 at the age of seventy-four,[134] implying he was no more than ten when the revelation began and became a Muslim in his early teens. ‘Umair b. Abi Waqqas, however, fell at Badr at the age of sixteen, which means he was born hardly a year or so before the revelation began.[135] Contrasting this with the age of ‘Aisha, for whom Ibn Ishaq had to add the disclaimer of being a minor is important to appreciate that the mention of ‘Aisha in this list of converts does not go as far as the revisionists suggest.

Moreover, several later classical scholars have viewed Ibn Ishaq’s mention of ‘Aisha here as an inadvertence.[136] To me, however, more than an inadvertence, it is a case of an undue presumption about Ibn Ishaq, giving an exhaustive and discrete list of converts in chronological order. Ibn Ishaq, it seems, only mentioned the names of early converts who either figured significantly in times before migration to Madina or whose prominence was all about it. Then while doing so, he mentioned Asma’, who was best known for her role during the Prophet’s (ﷺ) migration, and then thought of noting the name of ‘Aisha. This out-of-pattern mention of ‘Aisha’ made Ibn Ishaq add the qualification of her being only a little girl then.

One variant of the same argument is that since ‘Umar’s conversion is mentioned after the said mention of ‘Aisha, it means ‘Aisha had been a Muslim before ‘Umar converted. While analyzing Ibn Ishaq’s statement above is sufficient to render this argument mute, relevant details also show its frivolity. ‘Umar is commonly known to have become a Muslim towards the end of the sixth year of Prophethood. Ibn Sa‘d records a statement of ‘Umar’s freedman Aslam that ‘Umar converted to Islam in Dhu al-Hijja of the sixth year,[137] i.e., August 616. ‘Aisha, on the other hand, was between six and seven at the time of her marriage in Shawwal of the tenth year,[138] i.e., May 620. Therefore, she was around two and a half years old when ‘Umar converted and was counted as a believing head. To reiterate, Ibn Ishaq’s clarification that ‘Aisha was only a little girl then is the key.

3.9 ‘Aisha age at the revelation of a Surah al-Qamar verse

A report recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari has ‘Aisha mention that when verse 46 of Surah al-Qamar was revealed in Makkah, she was “a girl of playing age” (jariyyatun al‘ab).[139] This point has also been used as an argument for an older ‘Aisha. The claim rests on the assertion that Surah al-Qamar was revealed in the fifth year of prophethood, and ‘Aisha referred to her then as a jariyya which – it is argued – means she was in her teens already.[140]

As the beginning suggests, Surah al-Qamar was revealed soon after the splitting of the moon, which took place around five years before Hijra (qabl al-hijra bi nahwi khamsa sinin)[141] or the ninth year of prophethood, as some scholars have put it.[142] This is also confirmed by a report of Ata’ [b. Rabah?] from Ibn ‘Abbas that there were seven years between the revelation of verses 45 of the Surah and the Battle of Badr[143] , which took place in the year 2/624.

As per ‘Aisha’s reports about her age, she must have been some five years old then, which perfectly fits her self-description as jariyyatun al‘ab, even if one insists on the “activity and running” connotation of jariyya for etymological considerations. The word, however, is used for infant girls as well as in the authentic hadith about washing baby girls’ urine.[144] Moreover, ‘Aisha herself used it for girls under nine when she said:

 When a girl (jariyya) reaches nine years of age, she becomes a woman.[145]

This argument also does not call for a second thought on ‘Aisha’s well-transmitted statement about her age.

3.10 ‘Aisha had been proposed to Jubair b. Mut‘im previously

That ‘Aisha had been proposed to Jubair b. Mut‘im is also adduced to suggest that she had been born before Islam. How could Abu Bakr accept Mut‘im’s proposal for his son to ‘Aisha after embracing Islam? This was possible, it is argued, only before Abu Bakr became a Muslim which he did soon after the first revelation.

The argument misses that in the early years of Islam, the rules regarding the unlawfulness of marriage between believers and polytheists were not revealed. The Prophet (ﷺ) himself had married three of his daughters to idolaters and did not seek divorce after they became Muslims. Zainab was married to al-As, and she lived with him until after the Prophet (ﷺ) migrated to Madina. Umm Kulthum and Ruqayya were married to the two sons of Abu Lahab, though their marriages had not been consummated.[146] The Prophet (ﷺ) did not dissolve the marriages of any of them by himself. Abu Lahab’s two sons divorced Umm Kulthum and Ruqayya only after the by-name condemnation of their parents was revealed in the Qur’an.

In case of ‘Aisha the marriage had not been formally solemnized yet. It was only an understanding and word given that ‘Aisha would eventually be married to Jubair. When Khawla made the proposal on behalf of the Prophet (ﷺ);

Umm Ruman said, Mut‘im b. ‘Adi has asked for her in marriage to his son, and, I swear, Abu Bakr never broke an agreement he had made. Abu Bakr went into Mut‘im bin ‘Adi, who had his wife, the boy’s mother, with him. She commented, “Well, Ibn Abu Quhafa! perhaps you want our boy to change his religion and join yours if he gets married into your family? Abu Bakr asked Mut‘im b. ‘Adi, “Is your reply the same?” He replied, “She has a say!” Abu Bakr left. Allah had thus relieved him of thought of the promise he had made to Mut‘im.[147]

Umm Ruman mentioned that Abu Bakr had promised to marry ‘Aisha to Mut‘im’s son. The boy’s mother expressed her apprehension in case the marriage took place, which Abu Bakr, after allowing Mut‘im to disagree with his wife, understood as revoking the promise. Jubair wasn’t even a part of the conversation; therefore, it was not a marriage dissolved through divorce but rather a promise retracted.[148]

Moreover, Mut‘im b. ‘Adi, though a disbeliever, was unlike Abu Lahb, noble in his conduct and had protected the Prophet (ﷺ) upon his return from Ta’if.[149]  It was in appreciation and gratitude for him that the Prophet (ﷺ) said about the prisoners taken at Badr, “If al-Mut‘im b. ‘Adi had been alive and spoken to me about these filthy ones; I would have freed them for him.”[150]

With no interfaith marriage restrictions in place, the example of the Prophet’s daughters in view, and Mut‘im’s nobility, Abu Bakr’s agreement to marry ‘Aisha to Jubair b. Mut‘im does not warrant doubting ‘Aisha’s statement about her age.

3.11 The context of the marriage proposal and its rationale

Referring to the report from ‘Aisha in which she mentioned how after the death of Khadija, a woman named Khawla bint Hakim spoke to the Prophet (ﷺ) about marriage and sought his permission to propose him to both Sawda and ‘Aisha,[151] it is claimed that it would have been farfetched to propose to a six-year-old especially if the intent was to seek emotional support after the death of a beloved and supporting wife.

Ironically, the same report adds ‘Aisha’s testimony that she was six when the Prophet (ﷺ) married her and nine when the marriage was consummated. The report is a long story narrated by ‘Aisha herself. Naturally, ‘Aisha was not an eyewitness to the Khawla’s conversation with the Prophet (ﷺ) regarding proposals, and she must have heard it from Khawla or the Prophet (ﷺ) himself. Years later, when she described it to Abu Salama and Yahya b. ‘Abdul Rahman, she would have described it all summarily. Accordingly, if one feels that the two parts of the report are incongruent, he would be better off assuming that the details of the intent and talk about the proposal in respect of ‘Aisha is not duly recorded rather than hastily doubting ‘Aisha’s words about her age.

As for emotional support, perhaps it wasn’t immediately intended in the case of ‘Aisha, for it is established that ‘Aisha did not move in with the Prophet (ﷺ) until three years later. Whereas Sawda provided emotional and family support, marriage with ‘Aisha, under divine guidance, was meant to meet larger ends besides cementing the Prophet’s (ﷺ) relation with Abu Bakr.

3.12 ‘Aisha in nursing roles

3.12.1 Participation in the Battle of Uhud

As for ‘Aisha’s participation in the battle of Uhud, it was only about bringing drinking water to the wounded.[152] ‘Aisha was by then around eleven. Though filling and carrying water skins is not easy, we must not gauge the physical strength of eleven-year girls of seventh-century Arabia based on the impression of much-pampered girls of the same age brought up in the sedentary lifestyle of our day. Moreover, it was an extraordinary situation, and ‘Aisha must have done her best to rise to the occasion.

3.12.2 Dressing the wounds of Usama b. Zaid

Once Usama b. Zaid stumbled at the threshold of the door and injured his face. The Prophet (ﷺ) asked ‘Aisha to clean the blood from his face, but she felt repulsed, at which the Prophet (ﷺ) himself cleaned his face and remarked, “Had Usama been a girl, I would have adorned her, dressed her, and arranged to marry her.”[153] Another narration has that ‘Aisha said, “One day the Messenger of Allah ordered me to wash Usama’s face who was a little boy then. As I had no child, I did not know how to wash children. Therefore, the Prophet (ﷺ) himself cleaned his face.”[154]

It is claimed that the Prophet (ﷺ) would have asked ‘Aisha to wash Usama’s face only if she was reasonably older than her. This, however, is not a necessity. Usama was injured, and in pain; therefore, it was an unusual circumstance and required quick action. One narration adds that the Prophet (ﷺ) had to leave for the prayers when he asked ‘Aisha to attend Usama, and upon returning from prayers when he found that ‘Aisha had not done so, he washed the wound.[155]Significantly, however, ‘Aisha could not wash Usama’s face injury, which could be for her tender age, a fact she later referred to as inexperience in tendering children. Finding the Prophet (ﷺ) was a little upset for ‘Aisha not doing the due[156] she volunteered to clean the mucus from ‘Usama’s face, at which the Prophet (ﷺ) remarked, “O ‘Aisha, love him, for I love him.”[157] The young, intelligent ‘Aisha thus learned the right conduct from the Prophet (ﷺ).[158]

Though there is no clarity as to when this incident happened, it was perhaps around the Battle of Badr because one narration has that Usama was suffering from smallpox as well,[159] and one of the reasons ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan could not accompany the Prophet (ﷺ) during the expedition that ended up in the Battle of Badr was his affliction with smallpox.[160] While ‘Aisha and Usama were nearly age fellows, it makes sense that ‘Aisha recalled that Usama was then a lad (sabi) while she referred to herself as a young girl (jariya) a few years later as well.

3.13 ‘Aisha implying seniority to certain companions

3.13.1 ‘Aisha termed Anas and Abu Sa‘id ‘young boys.’

Anas was born around ten years before Hijrah[161] , and so was Abu Sa‘id Khudri.[162] They were accordingly three or four years older than ‘Aisha, yet she is reported to have once remarked:

What do Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri and Anas b. Malik know of the saying (hadith) of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). They were only young boys then.[163]

Al-Idlibi, who uses this argument, contends that ‘Aisha calling Anas and Abu Sa‘id young boys implies she was older than them. At face value, however, the remark also carries an impression against the reliability of all Anas and Abu Sa’id reported from the Prophet (ﷺ). Whereas no source records the context of the remarks, it is evident that it must have been about a specific issue. Perhaps, it was about something about which the narrations of the two young companions differed from those of senior companions, and ‘Aisha alluded to their relatively tender age to prefer the account of senior companions. What confirms this estimation is that ‘Aisha is said to have related hadith reports on the authority of Hasan b. ‘Ali, a companion much younger than her.[164]

‘Aisha’s use of the words “young boys” for Anas and Abu Sa‘id, therefore, was not in comparison to herself; instead, it was only a statement of a fact of the early years of the Prophet’s life in Madina.

3.13.2 ‘Aisha addressed Fatima as “O daughter.”

Al-Idlibi cites a narration about dialogue between ‘Aisha and Fatima in the final days of the Prophet (ﷺ), during which ‘Aisha addressed Fatima as “O daughter” and contends,

It is far-fetched that a young woman would say something like “O daughter!” to someone older than her, even if she were her stepmother.

The argument itself is farfetched because there is no evidence to suggest ‘Aisha was older than Fatima. Al-Idlibi ends up implying that Fatima was only a few months or a year older than ‘Aisha and that “such a small difference in age would not prevent a younger stepmother from saying “O daughter!” to someone older than her under her care.” The contradiction is too evident to require elucidation.

Moreover, the report about the dialogue is well-known, and most narrations are devoid of ‘Aisha saying “O daughter!” to Fatima.[165] Therefore, the only narration with these words is weak in terms of narrative authority.[166]

In any case, referring to one’s stepdaughter as ‘O daughter’ regardless of the age difference is natural and reasonable, not something that warrants subjecting an established report to revisionism.

3.14 General remarks on the arguments for the alternate position

Of the arguments for the ‘alternative position,’ we can see many are weak in terms of narrative authority; a few are misleading besides being incongruent and even contradictory in details. Careful proponents of the alternate position on the subject, therefore, are forced to sidestep some arguments. That Fatima was five years older than ‘Aisha cannot be argued along with the contention that the latter must have been older than or a near age-fellow of the former – perhaps a reason Idlibi does not compare the ages of the two. If Hisham’s narration related by numerous Iraqis is dubious, the information about the age difference between ‘Aisha and Asma’ cannot be trusted a priori, for it has come to us only from Hisham through a single Kufan narrator. The use of statements of scholars born generations later, i.e., Ibn Ishaq and Tabari, against the testimony of more than a dozen of ‘Aisha’s students is absurd. Moreover, the ambiguity in one of Tabari’s sentence structures should be viewed considering his take on the subject elsewhere rather than trying to make an argument out of it otherwise. To Idlibi’s frank confession that “they are supplemental evidences that cannot be considered stand-alone evidences,” we can responsibly add that they fail to make an impression collectively as well.

4. Conclusion

The statement of ‘Aisha regarding her age at the time of the marriage is well-attested and narrated en masse by her students. Moreover, it is corroborated by ‘Aisha’s multiple statements about her tender age after the marriage. On the other hand, the arguments for the alternate position are all presumptive and cannot be deemed “stand-alone evidence” by the confession of its most avid proponents. While the socio-cultural aspects, specific details of the marriage, and ‘Aisha’s well-expressed self-perception in the relationship serve as a solid defence against the slanders of modern critics, falling into revisionism will bolster the impression of scandal. Moreover, such revisionism amounts to an epistemic contradiction in preferring presumptions based on indirect solitary reports over largely transmitted direct information bearing on the subject.

References & Notes:

[1] ‘Ali, Maulana Muhammad, Muhammad: The Prophet, Seventh ed. (Columbus: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam, 1993) 183-184

[2] ‘Imadi, Tamanna, Akhari Nabi ki do Sharik-i-Hayat, Compiled by Mufti Muhammad Tahir al-Makki, (Karachi: al-Rahman Islamic Centre, n.d.) 105-116

[3] Pervez, Ghulam Ahmad, Tahira kay naam Khutut, Eighth ed. (Lahore: Tulu e Islam Trust, 2002) 202-213

[4] Usmani, ‘Umar Ahmad, Fiqh al-Qur’an, (Karachi: Idara Fikr e Islami, 2002) Vol.2, 145-189

[5] Kandhlawi, Habid ur Rahman Siddiqi, Age of ‘Aishah, Translated by Nigar Erfany, (Karachi: Al-Rahman Publishing Trust, 1998)

[6] Niaz Ahmad, Hakim, Kashf al-Ghumma ‘an ‘Umar Umm al-Umma – Tahqiq ‘Umar-i-‘Aisha, (Karachi: Mashkur Academy, n.d.) reprinted by al-Rahman Publishing Trust, Karachi.

[7] Ghamidi, Javed Ahmad, “Sayyida ‘Aisha ki ‘umar” included in, Maqamat, (Lahore: al-Mawrid, 2014) 323-327; also translated in Saleem, Dr. Shehzad, Selected Essays of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, (Lahore: al-Mawrid, 2015)116-120

[8] Al-Idlibi, Salah al-Din, Manhaj al-Naqd al-Matn ‘ind al-‘Ulama al-Hadith al-Nabawi, (Amman: Dar al-Fath, 2013) 405-411; al-Idlibi, “Hadith Miqdar ‘Umar al-Sayyida ‘Aisha Yawm al-Zawaj”, Mawqa‘ Idlibi Net URL: https://idlbi.net/marriageage/ (April 7, 2015) translated in Mol, Arnold Yasin, Aisha (ra): The Case for an Older Age in Sunni Hadith Scholarship, (Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, 2018) URL: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/read/paper/aisha-ra-the-case-for-an-older-age-in-sunni-hadith-scholarship

[9] For other such writings see, Daif, Shawqi (editor)/ Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Durar fi Ikhtisar al-Maghazi wa al-Siyar, (Cairo: Dar al-Ma‘arif, 1403 AH) 13 (muqaddima); Maqsood, Ruqaiyya Waris, Hazrat Aishah: A Study of Her Age at the Time of her Marriage, (Birmingham: IPCI, 1994); Salahi, Adil, Muhammad: Man and Prophet, (Markfield: The Islamic Foundation, 2002) 808-819; Meeruti, Shabbir Ahmad, Sahih Bukhari ka Mutali‘a (Lahore: Dar al-Tadhkir, 2005) Vol.2, 252-255; al-‘Aqqad, Mustafa Mahmud, Al-Siddiqa bint al-Siddiq, (Cairo: al-Shirka al-Nahda, 2005) 47-49; Hashimi, Qadi Muhammad Tahir ‘Ali, ‘Umar-i-‘Aisha par Tahqiqi Nazar, (Havelian: Qadi Chan Pir al-Hashimi Academy, 2011); Haylamaz, Reşit, Aisha: The Wife, the Companion, the Scholar, (Clifton: Tughra Books, 2012) 220-224; Akhtar, Hamid Sa‘id, Mezan-i-‘Umar-i-‘Aisha, (Lahore: 2013); Amjad, Moiz, Understanding Islam: Answers on the Web – Volume 1 (Lahore: Dar ul Ishraq, 2001) 371-391; Mufti, Muhammad Rafi‘, Rasul Allah sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam kay nikah, (Lahore: al-Mawrid, 2017) 19-27; A‘zami, Anis Ahmad & Akhtar, Javaid, Haqa’iq Umar-i-‘Aisha, (Karachi: Bismillah Book House, 2022); Mohiuddin, Meraj, Revelation: The Story of Muhammad, (Scottsdale: Whiteboard Press, 2015) 161-162;  Others who have voiced the alternate view include Tariq Suwaidan, Adnan Ibrahim, and Mufti Abu Layth.

[10] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 3894, et al.

[11] Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, Hadith 1422 -71; Al-San‘ani, ‘Abdul Razzaq, al-Musannaf, Hadith 10349; Ibn Sa ‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vo.8, 49; Al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 5544; Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, Hadith 3028; Abu ‘Awana, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith 4271; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 30, 44; al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith  3312; al-Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 20983; al-Baghawi, Sharh al-Sunnah, Hadith 2258.

[12] Al-‘Ijli, Abu al-Hasan, Ma‘rifa al-Thiqat, (Madina: Maktaba al-Dar, 1985) Vol.2, 455 No. 2343

[13] Al-Tabarani, Abu al-Qasim, al-Mu‘jam al-Awst, Hadith 6957; the narrators are reliable except that Yunus b. Bikr al-Kufi narrating from Abu al-Zinad has been criticized. He has been criticized for relating uncorroborated narrations which, however, does not apply here. Few like al-‘Ijli have deemed him reliable (thiqa). See, al-Mizzi, Abu al-Hajjaj, Tahdhib al-Kamal, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1980) Vol.4, 232-233; al-Nuri, Abu al-Ma‘ati, et al., al-Jami‘ fi al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dil, (Beirut: ‘Alam al-Kitab, 1992) Vol.1, 109-110

[14] Al-San‘ani, ‘Abdul Razzaq, al-Musannaf, (Dabhel: Majlis al-‘Ilmi, 1983) Hadith 10350; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vo.8, 49; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 31, 44 al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, Ma‘rifa al-Sahaba, Hadith 7376;

[15] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 5133, 5158; Abu ‘Awana, al-Mustakhraj, (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifa, 1998) Hadith 4266; al-Busti, Ibn Hibban, al-Sahih, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1993) Hadith 7118; al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Awst, (Cairo: Dar al-Haramain, n.d.) Hadith 2042; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 49; al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, Akhbar Asbahan, (Beirut: DKI, 1990) Vol.2, 63

[16] al-Tabari, Ibn Jarir, Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, (Beirut: Dar al-Turath, 1387 AH) Vol.3, 163-164; translated in Poonawala, Ismail K., The History of al-Tabari: Volume IX – The Last Years of the Prophet, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990) 131. See also, al-Barzinji, Muhammad b. Tahir; Hallaq, Muhammad Subhi Hassan, Sahih Tarikh at-Tabari, (Beirut: Dar Ibn Kathir, 2007) Vol.2, 352 no.311

[17] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 5134; al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 47; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, (Beirut: DKI, 1990) Vol.8, 49

[18] al-Sijistani, Abu Dawud, al-Sunan, Hadith 4933; al-Tiyalisi, Abu Dawud, al-Musnad, (Cairo: Dar Hijr, 1999) Hadith 1557; Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 2001) Hadith 26397; Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, (Riyadh: Dar al-Rayah, 1991) Hadith 3009; al-Mawsali, Abu Ya’la, al-Musnad, Hadith 4600; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 47; Al-Tabarani, Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, 19 Hadith 41; al-Fasawi, Ya‘qub b. Sufyan,  al-Ma‘rifa wa al-Tarikh, Ed. Akram Diya’ al-‘Umari (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1981) Vol.3, 268; Ibn Abi Khaithama, al-Tarikh al-Kabir, (Cairo: al-Faruq al-Hadithia, 2006) Vol.1, 170, 187; al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, Ma‘rifa al-Sahaba, (Riyadh: Dar al-Watan, 1998) Hadith 7377; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifa al-Ashab, (Beirut: Dar al-Jil, 1992) 1882

[19] Sa‘id b. Mansur, al-Sunan, (Bombay: Dar al-Salafiyya, 1982) Hadith 515

[20] Ibn Wahab, al-Jami‘, (Alexandria: Dar al-Wafa, 2005) Hadith 260; Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 24867; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 46; al-Baghdadi, Khatib, al-Kifaya fi ‘Ilm al-Riwaya, (Madina: Maktaba al-Ilmiyya, n.d.) 58; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 47;

[21] Ibn Wahab, al-Jami‘, Hadith 260; al-Baghdadi, Khatib, al-Kifaya fi ‘Ilm al-Riwaya, 58; The Oxford scholar Dr Little tried to weaken the narration from Sa‘id b. ‘Abdul Rahman claiming that he was born in 157/773-774 after Hisham died in 146/763. This is plainly wrong. Sa‘id was not born in 157/773-774 but was appointed as a judge in Baghdad that year and worked for seventeen years before his death 174/790-791. Other accounts say he died in 176/792-793 aged 72. See al-Fasawi, al-Ma‘rifa wa al-Tarikh, Vol.1, 165; al-Baghdadi, al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 2002) Vol.10, 96-100; Dr Little exclusively relies upon Akhbar al-Qudah which has a manifest scribal error at this point. Sa‘id’s biographical note begins with the mention that Caliph Musa al-Mahdi [sic] appointed him as judge of the eastern quarter of Baghdad. Waki‘, Muhammad b. Khalf, Akhbar al-Qudah, (Beirut: ‘Alam al-Kutab, 1998) Vol.3, 264. Al-Fasawi, too, notes that Sa‘id was already a judge when Harun al-Rashid became the Caliph in the year 170/786. Also see, Khalifa b. Khayyat, al-Tarikh, (Beirut: Resalah publications, 1397 AH) 447. Naturally, a twelve or thirteen-year-old boy could not be a judge. Apparently, the wording in Akhbar al-Qudah was وولي (he was appointed), which was wrongly scribbled or typed as وولد (he was born), and Dr Little accepted it uncritically. See, Little, JJ, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age:  A Study in the Evolution of Early Islamic Historical Memory, Diss. Pembroke College, University of Oxford, 2022. IslamicOrigins.com. Web, 230, 276-278, 300, 432, 435-436

[22] Al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan, Hadith 3256; Abu ‘Awana, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith 4267; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48;

[23] al-Sijistani, Abu Dawud, al-Sunan, Hadith 2121; Abu ‘Awana, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith 4265; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 45; al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith  3311; al-Baihaqi, al-Ma‘rifa al-Sunan wa al-Athar, Hadith 13561; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 49;

[24] Abu ‘Awana, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith 4264

[25] Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, Hadith 1422 -70; al-Nasa’i, Abu ‘Abdul Rahman, al-Sunan, (Aleppo: Maktab al-Matbu‘at al-Islamiyya, 1986) Hadith 3378; Ibn Abi Shaiba, al-Musannaf, (Beirut: Dar al-Qurtuba, 2006) Hadith 34628; Ibn al-Jarud, al-Muntaqa, (Beirut: Mo’assasa al-Kutab al-Thaqafiyya, 1998) Hadith 711; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 48; al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith  3311; Ibn Abi Dawud, Musnad ‘Aisha, (Kuwait: Maktaba al-Aqsa, 1405 AH) Hadith 56; al-Baladhuri, Ahmad b. Yahya, Ansab al-Ashraf, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, 1996) Vol.1, 409-410;

[26] Ibn Abi Dawud, Musnad ‘Aisha, Hadith 34

[27] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 3894; Ibn Majah, al-Sunan, Hadith 1876; al-Darimi, al-Sunan, Hadith 2307; Abu ‘Awana, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith 4260; al-Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, (Beirut: DKI, 2003) Hadith 13843; al-Baghawi, Sharh al-Sunnah, (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1983) Hadith 3224

[28] Al-Hakim, Abu ‘Abdullah, al-Mustadrak, (Beirut: DKI, 1990) Hadith 6715

[29] Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, Hadith 1422 -70; Al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan, Hadith 3255; Ibn Rahuwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, (Madina: Maktaba al-Iman, 1991) Hadith 722;

[30] Ibn Rahuwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, Hadith 721; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48;

[31] Al-Shafi‘i, al-Musnad, (Tartib al-Sindi), (Beirut: DKI, 1951) Hadith 89, 102; al-Humaidi, Abu Bakr, al-Musnad, (Damascus: Dar al-Saqa, 1996) Hadith 233; al-Ajurri, al-Shari‘a, (Riyadh: Dar al-Watan, 1999) Hadith 1878; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 58; al-Baihaqi, al-Ma‘rifa al-Sunan wa al-Athar, (Cairo: Dar al-Wafa’, 1991) Hadith 13559; al-Baghawi, Sharh al-Sunnah, Hadith 2257;

[32] al-Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 13658; Ibn Ishaq, al-Siyar wa al-Maghazi, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, 1978) 255 (it is not reported through Ibn Ishaq; it is from Ibn Bukair’s additions to Ibn Ishaq’s work)

[33] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 3896; Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, Hadith 1422 -69; al-Sijistani, Abu Dawud, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 2009) Hadith 4933; al-Mawsali, Abu Ya‘la, al-Musnad, (Damascus: Dar al-Ma’mun, 1984) Hadith 4897; al-Busti, Ibn Hibban, al-Sahih, Hadith 7097; al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, al-Mustakhraj, (Beirut: DKI, 1996) Hadith  3310; al-Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 13657, 14468, 20984; al-Naishapuri, Abu Bakr, al-Ziyadat ‘ala Kitab al-Muzani, (Kuwait: Dar al-Kawthar, 2005) Hadith 445;

[34] al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, Ma‘rifa al-Sahaba, Hadith 7368; Ibn ‘Asakir, Abu al-Qasim, Tarikh Damishq, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, 1995) Vol.3, 171-173;

[35] al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, Ma‘rifa al-Sahaba, Hadith 7375; Abu al-Hajjaj, Ibn Khalil, “‘Awali Ibn Hisham wa Ghairuhu”, included in al-Jaza’iri, Abu ‘Abdullah Hamza (editor), Kitabu Suluk Tarik al-Salaf, (Amman: Dar al-Athariyya, 2009) 389 No. 27

[36] Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, 22 Hadith 50;

[37] Ibn Abi Shaiba, al-Musannaf, Hadith 32944; Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, Hadith 3036; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 77; its narrators are those of al-Sahih al-Bukhari; see, al-Haithami, Nur al-Din, Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, (Cairo: Maktaba al-Qudsi, 1994) Vol.9, 241 Hadith 15308; Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Hadith 6730; classified as sahih by al-Hakim.

[38] Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, Hadith 1422 -72; Al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan, Hadith 3258; ; Ibn Abi Shaiba, al-Musannaf, Hadith 17626, 34564; Ibn Rahuwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, Hadith 1537; Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 24152; Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, Hadith 3019; al-Ajurri, al-Shari‘a, Hadith 1879; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 51, 59; al-Asbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith  3313; al-Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 13659; Abu ‘Awana, al-Mustakhraj, Hadith 4707; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48; al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol.1, 409; Abu Zur‘a al-Damishqi, al-Tarikh, (Damascus: Majm‘ al-Lugha al-‘Arabiyya, n.d.) 494; Ibn Hazm, Abu Muhammad, Hajjat al-Wada‘, (Riyadh: Bait al-Afkar, 1998) 435 Hadith 507 (from al-A‘mash through Abu Mu‘awiya); Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 49 (from al-A‘mash through Isra’il); al-Dainawari, Ibn Qutaiba, al-Ma‘arif, (Cairo: al-Ha’iya al-Misriyya, 1992) 134 (from al-A‘mash through Malik b. Su‘air)

[39] Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 153; al-Haithami, Nur al-Din, Kashf al-Astar ‘an Zawa’id Musnadal-Bazzar, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1979) Hadith 2659;

[40] They were;

(i) Mutarrif b. Tarif al-Kufi; see, Al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan, Hadith 3257; Al-Nasa’i, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 5349; al-Baihaqi, Abu Bakr, al-Ba‘th wa al-Nushur, (Beirut: Markaz al-Khidmat wa al-Abhath al-Thaqafiyya, 1986) Hadith 125

(ii) Isra’il b. Yunus b. Abi Ishaq; see, Ibn Majah, al-Sunan, Hadith 1877; Al-Nasa’i, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 5350; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48; al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol.1, 411; al-Baghdadi, al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, Vol.13, 148

(iii) Sharik b. ‘Abdullah al-Nakha‘I; see, Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.10, Hadith 10279; Vol.23, Hadith 54;

(iv) Sufyan al-Thawri; see, Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 55-56;

Narrations through Isra’il seem to suggest Abu ‘Ubaida related it on the authority of his father ‘Abdullah b. Mas‘ud which would mean it is disconnected for Abu ‘Ubaida was too young when his father died and, therefore, did not listen to anything from him. Narrations through Mutarrif and Sufyan have it from Abu ‘Ubaida on the authority of ‘Aisha. Same is true for the stronger of the two narrations from Sharik. Al-Nasa’i thus observed that Mutarrif’s report is more reliable than that of Isra’il. See Al-Nasa’i, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 5350. That reports from Sufyan and Sharik also confirm it bolsters Al-Nasa’i’s observation. In fact a report from Isra’il also does not mentioned ‘Abdullah b. Mas‘ud as Abu ‘Ubaida’s source; see, Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48.

Narration of Abu ‘Ubaida from ‘Aisha cannot be dubbed as disconnected for he must have it related it on the authority of ‘Aisha. Certain narrations confirm it in relaying the words of ‘Aisha in first person, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) married me (tazawwajani)…and consummated marriage with me (dakhala ‘alayya) ….” (Al-Nasa’i, H. 3257); “I came to the Prophet [as a bride] (udkhiltu ‘ala al-nabi) when I was (wa ana’) nine years old” (al-Tabarani, Vol.23, H. 55)

[41] Al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan, Hadith 3379; Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 25769; Ibn Rahuwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, Hadith 1164; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 45-46; classified as hasan by Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, and Shu‘aib al-Arna’ut.

[42] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 46; al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol.1, 410;

[43] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48; Mus‘ab is known to have witnessed Qur’an compilation under ‘Uthman (d. 35/656). See,  al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1995) Vol.4, 84. Moreover, there is evidence for his interaction with ‘Aisha. See, Bahshal, Abu al-Hasan, Tarikh Wasit, (Beirut: ‘Alam al-Kutab, 1986) 132.

[44] Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 25769; Ibn Rahuwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, Hadith 1164; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 45-46; Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, Hadith 3006; al-Mawsali, Abu Ya’la, al-Musnad, Hadith 4673; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 57; al-Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 20985; al-Sulami, Hisham b. ‘Ammar, Hadith Hisham b. Ammar, (Riyadh: Dar al-Eshbelia, 1999) Hadith 123; al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, Vol.3, 162; classified as hasan by Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, and Shu‘aib al-Arna’ut and Hussain Salim Asad.

[45] Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, Hadith 3007; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 52, 69;

[46] Ibn Rahuwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, Hadith 1238, 1784; al-Nasa’i, Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 5345; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Awst, Hadith 8116. See note 148 below.

[47] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 51; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, Hadith 74; he was born in 33/653-654, therefore, there is no reason to doubt him narrating from ‘Aisha (d. 58/678). See, al-Busti, Ibn Hibban, al-Thiqat, (Hyderabad: Da’ira al-Ma’rif al-‘Uthmaniya, 1973) Vol.5, 116-117 No. 4122

[48] Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, (ed. DKI) Hadith 6714; See, al-Busti, Ibn Hibban, al-Thiqat, Vol.5, 535 No. 6099; al-‘Iraqi, Zain al-Din, al-Dhail ‘ala Mizan al-Aitidal, (Beirut: ‘Alam al-Kutab, 1987) 356-357; his eldest son ‘Abdul Rahman b. Yazid was born around the year 71/690-691. See Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.7, 323. Accordingly, there is no reason to doubt that he could have got this information directly from ‘Aisha (d. 58/678). Cf. Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, (Cairo: Dar al-Ta’sil. 2014) Vol.7, 19 Hadith 6879; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, (Damascus: Dar al-Minhaj al-Qawim, 2018) Vol.8, 10, Hadith 6897. The less critical DKI edition mentions that the narrator was the father of “Yazid b. Jabir”. In contrast, other better-researched editions mention he was the father of “Yazid b. Yazid b. Jabir”, which aligns with the data in biographical works. Despite citing the Dar al-Ta’sil edition (the vol., page, and report numbers given by him correspond to it), Dr Little misses the point, which leads him to hastily conflate Yazid b. Jabir, the father, with Abu al-Sha‘tha Jabir b. Zaid, whose report I reference below, before offering a corrective using sources otherwise. However, he is adamant about seeing a linkage between the two by opening up the possibility of a mistake on the part of the compiler of a different work for no fathomable reason. See, Little, The Hadith of ‘A’isha’s Marital Age, 384, 387-388.

[49] Al-Isbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, Al-Tibb al-Nabawi, Ed. Mustafa Khezr Dönmez (Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2006) Vol.2, 732 No. 842; Al-Isbahani, Abu Nu‘aim, Akhbar Isbahan, Ed. Seyyed Kasrawi Hassan (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-‘Ilmiya, 1990) Vol.1, 233

[50] Here the mursal looking reports of ‘Urwa b. al-Zubair have not been mentioned as ‘Urwa surely got this information directly from ‘Aisha though sometimes he might have reported it indirectly. See, Al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, (Beirut: Dar al-Ma‘rifa, 1379 AH) Vol.7, 224;

[51] Al-Tabarani, Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, 19 Hadith 40

[52] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 174; scholars differ whether he met ‘Aisha and the reports shows no signs of direct transmission. See, al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.5, 317

[53] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vo.8, 49 (through Ja‘far b. Burqan ); Vol.8, 174 (through Muhammad b. ‘Abdullah); al-Fasawi, al-Ma‘rifa wa al-Tarikh, Vol.3, 267-268; al-Baihaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith 13423 (through ‘Ubaid Ullah b. Abi Ziyad).

[54] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 62-63; Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Vol.4, 5; cf. al-Mughaltai, Abu ‘Abdullah, Ikmal Tahdhib al-Kamal, (Cairo: al-Faruq al-Hadithia, 2003) Vol.3, 382; the person narrating from Habib is ‘Abdul Wahid b. Maimun Mawla ‘Urwa. He has been criticized by most commentators except Yahya b. Ma‘in who found no fault with him. See, al-Dhahabi, Shams al-Din, Tarikh al-Islam, (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 2003) Vol.4, 143

[55] Al-Warjalani, Yusuf b. Ibrahim, Kitab al-Tartib fi al-Sahih min hadith al-Rasul, (Muscat: Maktaba Muscat, 2003) 238 (no. 528), 326 (no. 750)

[56] Al-Kulaini, Muhammad b. Ja‘far, Furu‘ al-Kafi, (Beirut: Dar al-Ta‘aruf, 1993) Vol.5, 424

[57] Al-Tusi, Muhammad b. al-Hasan, Tahdhib al-Ahkam fi Sharh al-Muqn‘a, (Najaf: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, 1960) Vol.6, 251

[58] al-Maqrizi, Taqi al-Din, Itti‘az al-Hunafa bi Akhbar al-A’imma al-Fatimiyin al-Khulafa, (Cairo: al-Majlis al-A‘la lil-shu’un al-Islamiyya, 1996) Vol.1, 15

[59] Ibn Hazm, Abu Muhammad, al-Muhalla bi al-Athar, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, n.d.) Vol.9, 40

[60] Al-‘Aini, Badr al-Din, al-Binaya Sharh al-Hidaya, (Beirut: DKI, 2000) Vol.5, 90

[61] Ibn al-Humam, Kamal al-Din, Fath al-Qadir, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, n.d.) Vol.3, 274

[62] Al-Qari, Mulla ‘Ali, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih, (Beirut: DKI, 2001) Vol.6, 298

[63] Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Hadith 6727

[64] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 2637, 2661, 4141, 4750 et al.

[65] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 5190, 5236; Ibn Hibban, al-Sahih, 5876. See also, al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Vol.2, 445

[66] Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, 14 Hadith 23; See also, Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Vol.41, 357;

[67] Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, Hadith 1211 -120, 121; Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 26344;

[68] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 664, 678, 679, 682 et al.

[69] Al-Qadi, ‘Abdul Jabbar al-Mu‘tazali, Tathbit Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, Ed. ‘Abdul Karim ‘Uthman (Beirut: Dar al-‘Arabiyya, 1966) Vol.1, 259

[70] Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 26348; al-Mawsali, Abu Ya‘la, al-Musnad, Hadith 4586; classified as hasan.

[71] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifa al-Sahab, 919;

[72] Ibn Kathir, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, Vol.2, 141

[73] Al-Tirmidhi has it in his more technical work on subtle observations regarding hadith narrations. See, al-Tirmidhi, Abu ‘Isa, al-‘Ilal al-Kabir, (Beirut: ‘Alam al-Kitab, 1409 AH) 169 no. 296

[74] Al-Shaibani, Muhammad b. al-Hasan, al-Asl, Ed. Dr. Mehmet Boynukalın (Beirut: Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs / Dar Ibn Hazm, 2012) Vol.10, 186

[75] Al-Qairawani, Ibn Abi Zaid, al-Nawadir wa al-Ziyadat ‘ala ma fi al-Mudawwana min ghairiha min al-Ummahat, (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 1999) Vol.4, 396;  see also, al-Siqilli, Abu Bakr, al-Jami‘ li masa’il al-Mudawwana, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, 2013) Vol.9, 21-22; Vol.24, 78. Contrast this to Dr Joshua Little’s misplaced claim that the first Maliki jurist to use the marital-age hadith was a Baghdadian ‘Abdul Wahhab b. ‘Ali al-Qadi (d. 422/1031). See, Little, The Hadith of ‘A’isha’s Marital Age, 436-437. Our primary reference here is Abi Zaid al-Qairawani (d. 336/996) who in turn is citing the Alexandrian Ibn al-Mawwaz (d. 269/882-883).

[76] Little, JJ, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age:  A Study in the Evolution of Early Islamic Historical Memory, Diss. Pembroke College, University of Oxford, 2022. IslamicOrigins.com. Web, 22

[77] al-Baghdadi, al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 2002) Vol.2, 327, 333

[78] al-Baghdadi, al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, Vol.10, 78

[79] For a general critique of Juynboll’s views on hadith, see Khan, Dr Alam, Istishraq aur ‘Ilm-i-Hadith, (Lahore: Aks Publications, 2021)

[80] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 91-92

[81] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 92

[82] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 456

[83] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 322-335

[84] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 331, 459

[85] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 465-469

[86] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 512

[87] Little, The Hadith of ʿĀʾišah’s Marital Age, 508-514, 518. For more observations on Dr Little’s work see note 21, 48 and 75.

[88] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.6, 41 (Ibn Sa‘d counts him among the scholars of Makkah); al-Baghdadi, al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, Vol.10, 244

[89] al-Humaidi, al-Musnad, Hadith 233;

[90] Ma‘mar b. Rashid, The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad, Edited and introduced by Sean W. Anthony (New York: New York University Press, 2014) xxiii-xxiv

[91] Ahmad b. Hanbal, Abu ‘Abdullah, al-‘Ilal wa Ma‘rifah al-Rijal, Ed. Wasi Ullah ‘Abbas, (Riyadh: Dar al-Khani, 2001) Vol.3, 228 No. 4998;

[92] al-Baghdadi, al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 2002) Vol.16, 56. See also, al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Vol.1, 448

[93] al-Dhahabi, Shams al-Din, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala,(Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1985) Vol.6, 35-36; Al-‘Ala’i, Salah al-Din Abu Sa‘id, al-Mukhtalitin, (Cairo: Maktaba Khanji, 1996) 126 no. 43

[94] al-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam, Vol.4, 196; al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.7, 49-50.

[95] Muslim, al-Sahih, Hadith 1422 -71 et al.

[96] Ibn Ishaq, al-Siyar wa al-Maghazi, 255; ‘Abdul Razzaq, al-Musannaf, Hadith 10350; Ibn Manda, Ma‘rifa al-Sahaba, (Al-Ain: UAE University Press, 2006) 940-941;

[97] Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Awst, Hadith 6957.

[98] Muslim, al-Sahih, Hadith 1422 -72 et al.

[99] Ibn Majah, al-Sunan, Hadith 1876; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 48

[100] Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Hadith 6714.

[101] Al-Tabarani, Mujam al-Kabir, Vol.23, 19 Hadith 40

[102] The fact was acknowledged by Late Khalid Mas‘ud in his otherwise approving review of Hakim Niaz Ahmad’s work with revisionist take on the age of ‘Aisha. See, Niaz Ahmad, Hakim, Kashf al-Ghumma ‘an ‘Umar Umm al-Umma – Tahqiq ‘Umar-i-‘Aisha, 33

[103] Ibn Manda, Ma‘rifa al-Sahaba, 982; Ibn ‘Asakir also preserves the isnad; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.69, 27-28; the narrator after Hisham is al-Qasim b. Ma‘n.

Before Ibn Manda, Al-Tabarani (d. 360/971) also mentioned Asma’ being a centenarian but only from Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Madini aka Fustuqa (d. 289/902) who mentioned no authority for this. See, Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.24, 77 No. 200. Other dates mentioned by Fustuqa all appear to be his calculation taking the word about Asma’ reaching hundred years of age at face value.

[104] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifa al-Sahab, (Amman: Dar al-A‘alam, 2002) 269-270; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.69, 10; Raba‘i, Abu Muhammad / al-Maqdasi, Diya’, Muntaqa min Akhbar al-Asma‘i, (Damascus: Dar al-Tilas, 1987) 139 no. 65

[105] al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.3, 380

[106] al-Dhahabi, Shams al-Din, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala,(Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1985) Vol.2, 288

[107] al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.8, 190

[108] Al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-ashraf, Vol.1, 413; al-Dawlabi, Abu Tahir, Al-Dhurriya al-tahira, (Kuwait: Dar al-Salafiyya 1407 AH) 110 no. 210;  al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk,Vol.11, 597; translated in Tasseron-Landau, Ella, The History of al-Tabari: Volume XXXIX – Biographies of the Prophet’s Companions and Their Successors, 167;

[109] Ibn Abi Khaithama, Abu Bakr, al-Tarikh al-Kabir, (Cairo: Dar al-Faruq al-Hadithiya, 2006) Vol.2, 40; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifa al-Sahab, 928;

[110] Ibn Ishaq, al-Siyar wa al-Maghazi, 82; al-Dawlabi, Al-Dhurriya al-tahira, 42 no. 43

[111] Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Vol.5, 391 Hadith 4823 cf. Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Vol.7, 86 Hadith 7040; Al-Zirikli, Al-A‘lam, Vol.3, 122-123;

[112] Ibn Abi Khaithama, al-Tarikh al-Kabir, Vol.2, 40; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifa al-Sahab, 928;

[113] Al-Tabari, Muhib al-Din, Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi al-Qurba, (Cairo: Maktaba al-Qudsi, 1356 AH) 52; al-Diyarbakri, Tarikh al-Khamis, (Beirut: Dar al-Sader, n.d.) Vol. 1, 278; both cite Kitab Tarikh Mawalid Ahl al-Bayt of Abu Bakr Ahmad b. Nasr b. ‘Abdullah al-Dhari‘ (d. 365/975-6) for this. The same appears to be mentioned in Ibn al-Khashshab al-Baghdadi’s (d. 567/1171-2) Tarikh Mawalid al-A’imma wa Wafiyatihim as well.

See https://library.tebyan.net/fa/Viewer/Text/107903/8

[114] al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, Vol.2, 71; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.3, 157; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifa al-Sahab, 925; Ibn Sayyid al-Nas, ‘Uyun al-Athar,  Vol.2, 358; al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal, Vol.35, 248; al-Maqrizi, Imta‘ al-Asma‘, (Beirut: DKI, 1999) Vol. 5, 351;

[115] al-‘Asqalani, al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, Vol.8, 263;

[116] al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.2, 139

[117] al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, Vol.3, 425-426 translated in Blankinship, Khalid Yahya, The History of al-Tabari, Volume XI- The Challenge to the Empires, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993) 140-141

[118] Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, Vol.3, 161-164, translated in Poonawala, Ismail K., The History of al-Tabari: Volume IX – The Last Years of the Prophet, 128, 130-131

[119] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 2297, 3905

[120] al-Zurqani, Sharh ‘ala al-Mawahib al-Ladunya, Vol.2, 459-460;

[121] Whereas early sources confirm that the first emigration to Abyssinia took place in the fifth year of prophethood, they do not categorically mention the date of the second emigration. In the first case the emigrants left in Rajab of the fifth year of prophethood and returned two months later in Shawwal. See, Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.1, 159, 161. No early source appears to give dates for the second emigration. Apparently, this was for the fact that the emigrants did not all set out together, rather they left in groups following one another as mentioned in report of Umm Salama. See, Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad, al-Mubtada wa al-Mab‘ath wa al-Maghazi, Ed. Muhammad Hamidullah (Fez: Ma‘had al-Dirasat wa al-Abhath li al-Ta‘rib, 1976) 194 no. 282. Dr. Raghib al-Sirjani, therefore, argues that the second emigration to Abyssinia started towards the end of the tenth year of prophethood or in the beginning of the eleventh year. See, al-Sirjani, Raghib, Tawqit al-Hijrah al-Habasha al-Thaniyya bi al-Adilla, https://www.islamstory.com/ar/artical/3406718 and https://www.islamstory.com/ar/artical/3406716

[122] Al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, Vol.7, 232; al-Zurqani, Sharh ‘ala al-Mawahib al-Ladunya, Vol.2, 33-34;

[123] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 476, 2297, 3905, 6079

[124] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 2297, 5807

[125] Al-Diyarbakri, Tarikh al-Khamis fi Ahwal Anfas al-Nafis, Vol.1, 319; al-Halabi, Nur al-Din, Insan al-‘Uyun fi Sira al-Amin al-Ma‘mun, (Beirut: DKI, 1427 AH) Vol.3, 521

[126] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 3818

[127] Asad, Muhammad, Sahih al-Bukhari – The Early Years of Islam (Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1981) 129. Also see, Al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Vol.7, 137.

[128] Ibn Hisham, ‘Abd al-Malik, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyya, Ed. Mustafa Saqa, (Cairo: Mustafa Babi, 1955) Vol.1, 254;

[129] al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, Vol.2, 174;

[130] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Durar fi Ikhtisar al-Maghazi wa al-Siyar, Ed. Shawqi Daif (Cairo: Dar al-Ma‘arif, 1403 AH) 39

[131] Ibn Kathir, Abu al-Fida’ Isma‘il, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, (Beirut: Dar al-Ma‘rifa, 1996) Vol.1, 453

[132] Al-Zurqani notes that Ibn Ishaq had reported that ‘Aisha said Khadija and her daughters accepted Islam when Allah bestowed the Prophet (ﷺ) with the prophethood. See, al-Zurqani, ‘Abdul Baqi, Sharh ‘ala al-Mawahib al-Ladunya, (Beirut: DKI, 1996) Vol.1, 460;

[133] Ibn Sa‘d mentioned for both Ruqayya and Umm Kalthum that they became Muslims with their mother Khadija. See, Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 29-30. On this point see also, ‘Urjun, Sadiq Ibrahim, Muhammad Rasul Allah – Manhaj wa Risala: Bahth wa Tahqiq (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1995) Vol.1, 512-514

[134] al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.2, 140; al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal, Vol.10, 453-454;

[135] Al-Waqidi, Muhammad b. ‘Umar, al-Maghazi, (Beirut: Dar al-A‘lami, 1989) Vol.1, 21; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.3, 111.

[136] Mughaltai b. Qalij, Abu ‘Abdullah, al-Ishara ila Sirah al-Mustafa wa Tarikh man ba‘dahu min al-Khulafa, (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1996) 109; al-Qastalani, Ahmad b. Muhammad, al-Mawahib al-Ladunya bi al-Minahi al-Muhammadiyya, (Damascus: al-Maktab al-Islami, 2004) Vol.1, 220-221; al-Zurqani, Sharh ‘ala al-Mawahib al-Ladunya, Vol.1, 459-460; The same was noted by an unnamed scholar in his annotation to Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr’s work. See, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Durar fi Ikhtisar al-Maghazi wa al-Siyar, 21, 39;

[137] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.3, 204; al-Suyuti, Jalal al-Din, Tarikh al-Khulafa, (Makkah: Maktaba Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, 2004) 94

[138] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 63

[139] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 4876, 4993

[140] The report does not mean ‘Aisha claimed to have learnt Surah Qamar as a jariyya. Nevertheless, such a suggestion would be untenable given that Aisha herself related that the first surah she learned was Surah Taha, and it was after she had moved in with the Prophet (ﷺ). See Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.18, 121; Vol.63, 404.

[141] Al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, Vol.6, 632; al-Qastalani, al-Mawahib al-Ladunya, Vol.2, 254; Al-Alusi, Shahab al-Din Mahmud, Ruh al-Ma‘ani fi Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim wa Sab‘a al-Mathani, (Beirut: DKI, 1415 AH) Vol.14, 74; Hawwa, Sa‘id, al-Asas fi al-Sunna wa Fiqhiha, (Cairo: Dar al-Salam, 1995) Vol.1, 267

[142] Bahraq, Muhammad b. ‘Umar, Hada‘iq al-Anwar wa-Matali‘ al-Asrar fi Sirat al-Nabi al-Mukhtar, (Jeddah: Dar al-Minhaj, 1419 AH) 192; Al-Diyarbakri, Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol.1, 298; al-Halabi, Insan al-‘Uyun, Vol.3, 521

[143] Al-Wahidi, Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali, al-Tafsir al-Basit, (Riyadh: Jami‘a al-Imam Muhammad b. Sa‘ud, 1430 AH) Vol.21, 121

[144] Al-Tirmidhi, al-Jami’ al-Kabir – Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 616; classified as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, and sahih by Shu‘aib al-Arna’ut and al-Albani; al-Sijistani, Abu Dawud, al-Sunan, Hadith 375-379; Al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan, Hadith 304; Ibn Majah, al-Sunan, Hadith 525-527;

[145] Al-Kirmani, Harb b. Isma‘il, Masa’il Harb bin Isma‘il al-Kirmani: Al-Taharah wa Al-Salah, Ed. Muhammad b. Abdullah Al-Sari‘ (Beirut: Al-Rayan Publishers, 2013) 587, No. 1289; see also al-Tirmidhi, al-Jami’ al-Kabir — al-Sunan, Vol.2, 580; al-Baihaqi, Abu Bakr,  Sunan al-Kubra (Beirut: DKI, 2003) Vol.1, 476,

[146] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 29-30. Ibn Sa‘d mentions that both were married before the prophethood. In case of Ruqayya, however, al-Dhahabi corrects Ibn Sa‘d noting that she was married before hijra i.e. after prophethood. See, al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.2, 251

[147] Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 25769; classified as hasan

[148] It may be argued that a report says Abu Bakr had married ‘Aisha (jawwajaha) to Jubair and that she was divorced (tallaqaha). See, Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 47; al-Tabarani, Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, 26, Hadith 62. The report, however, is untenable for it is related by Ibn Abi Mulaika without citing ‘Aisha or another authority for this. Significantly, Ibn Abi Mulaika has reported from (‘an ‘Aisha) her statement about her age at marriage but his narration mentioning Jubair’s affair appears in a mursal form only (cf. citations at note 46 above). In view of this, the report cannot be taken at face value. Perhaps he paraphrased the entire affair conflating promise to marry and its retraction with marriage and divorce.

[149] Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyya, Vol.1, 381

[150] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 3139, 4024

[151] Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 25769; Ibn Rahuwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, Hadith 1164; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol.8, 45-46; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.23, 23 Hadith 57; Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Vol.2, 281 Hadith 2704

[152] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 2880, 3811, 4064; Mubarakpuri clarifies that women came to the battlefield after the encounter was over. See, al-Mubarakpuri, Safi al-Rahman, al-Rahiq al-Makhtum, (Mansoura: Dar al-Wafa’, 2010) 252

[153] Ibn Majah, al-Sunan, Hadith 197; Ahmad, al-Musnad, Hadith 25082  – classified as hasan;

[154] Abu Ya‘la, al-Musnad, Hadith 4458; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.8, 68;

[155] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.8, 69.

[156] A narration has that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I will never be disgusted by him.” See, Al-Waqidi, Muhammad b. ‘Umar, al-Maghazi, Ed. Marsden Jones (Beirut: Dar al-A‘lami, 1989) Vol.3, 1125-1126; another has that ‘Aisha started washing his face disgustingly upon which the Prophet (ﷺ) hit ‘Aisha’s hand and washed Usama’s face himself. See, Ghazali, Ihya al-‘Ulum al-Din, (Beirut: Dar al-Ma‘rifa, n.d.) Vol.2, 218

[157] Al-Tirmidhi, al-Jami‘ al-Kabir,  Vol.6, 357 Hadith 4153 – classified as hasan gharib by Tirmidhi and qawi (strong) by Shu‘aib al-Arna‘ut.

[158] Al-Soyani, Muhammad b. Hamd, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya kama ja’at fi al-Ahadith, (Riyadh: Maktaba al-Obeikan, 2004) Vol.2, 327

[159] Al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi, Vol.3, 1125-1126; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.8, 68

[160] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifa al-Sahab, Vol.3, 1038; al-Halabi, Insan al-‘Uyun, Vol.2, 202

[161] al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.3, 406

[162] Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Hadith 6389; Abu Sa‘id mentioned that he was thirteen at the battle of Uhud (i.e., in 2 AH) and was thus refused participation in the battle.

[163] Al-Tahawi, Abu Ja‘far, Ahkam al-Qur’an, (Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı, 1995) Vol.1, 217; Ibn ‘Abad al-Barr, Jami‘ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa Fadlihi, (Riyadh: Dar Ibn al-Jawzi, 1994) Vol.2, 1098; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.20, 394; al-Ka‘bi, ‘Abdullah b. Ahmad, Qabul al-Akhbar wa Ma‘rifah al-Rijal, (Beirut: DKI, 2000) Vol.1, 191

[164] al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal, Vol.16, 220-221; al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, 144; for specific report see, al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.3, 73 Hadith 2700; Ibn Manda, Kitab al-Tawhid, Ed. ‘Ali b. Muhammad Nasir al-Faqihi (Madina: Jami‘a al-‘Ulum al-Islamiyya, 1409 AH) Vol.2, 191 Hadith 343; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, Hadith 4800; See also, al-Albani, Irwa’ al-Ghalil fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Manar al-Sabil, (Beirut: Maktab al-Islami, 1985) Vol.2, 168-169; Al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, al-Tamyiz fi Talkhis Takhrij Ahadith Sharh al-Wajiz (=Talkhis al-Habir), (Riyadh: Dar ‘Adwa’ al-Salaf, 2007) Vol.2, 709; ‘Uthmani, Zafar Ahmad, ‘Ila’ al-Sunan, (Karachi: Idara al-Qur’an, 1414 AH) Vol.6, 89-90;

[165] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, Hadith 6285; Muslim, al-Sahih, Hadith 2450-98,99; Ahmad, al-Musnad, Hadith 26413 etc.

[166] al-Tahawi, Abu Ja‘far, Sharh Mushkil al-Athar, Ed. Shu‘aib al-Arna’ut (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1994) Vol.1, 139-140 Hadith 146 – classified as da‘if. Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, Hadith 2970; Al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, Vol.22, Hadith 1031; al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, Vol.7, 165-166; al-Dawlabi, Al-Dhurriya al-tahira, 105 Hadith 194

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