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Aishah’s marriage and her exact age
The ancient historical references
Some thought-provoking suggestions
Some historical facts that need considering carefully:
The age of Aishah in relationship to the age of her sister Asma
Abu Bakr’s children were born before the advent of Islam
Abu Bakr’s marriage to Umm Ruman
Aishah was one of the first children to embrace Islam
Some background details of the marriage
Abu Bakr’s concern about the delay of Aishah’s full wedding
Aishah was playing on a swing when called to her marriage
The date of the death of Aishah
The status of the narratives in the Sahih collections
Sayyid Sulayman Nadvi’s statement examined
Aishah’s dolls
Aishah’s ‘playmates’
Aishah’s Needlework
Aishah’s Account of the Miraj and the Hijrah
Aishah’s role in the Battle of Uhud
Aishah’s knowledge
Her status as a jurist



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Madam Aishah, a Study of her age at the time of her marriage with Prophet Muhammad

Historical Fact 13. Aishah’s Needlework:

Aishah lived in a very simple apartment, as did all the Prophet’s wives, but she was still house-proud and liked to do as much as she could to beautify her room and make it comfortable for the Prophet.

This led to a couple of hadiths which are very well known, but the likely age of Aishah at the time is usually not commented upon.

One of the early prohibitions was on art work which might distract a believer from their prayers, or tempt their minds away from true worship of the One True God. It was so commonplace in the times of jahiliyyah (ignorance) for homes to have little ‘household gods’, statues, paintings, and so on. God’s revealed law was that no person was to create a graven image and bow down to it. Many strict Muslims took the prohibition to the extremes of having nothing pictorial whatsoever in their homes.

However, the Prophet had not given an outright prohibition, and depictions of plants, animals and birds were allowed on plane surfaces (not three-dimensional), such as cloths, paper, wall-drapes, rugs, carpets. There are sound hadiths which indicate the Prophet’s dislike for such types of pictures, because they were reminiscent of those who lived in luxury, and also he commented that they distracted him from his prayers.

The reason for mentioning all this at this point, is that Aishah apparently spent some of her time creating soft furnishings with her needlework – a time-filler far more usual in a teenage girl than in a small child, no matter how precocious.

Muslim reported from Zayd ibn Khalid (who was quoting Abu Talhah); ‘I heard from the Messenger’s (the Prophet) statement – ‘The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or statues’. I then went to see Aishah and asked her: ‘Are you aware of this saying? Did you hear the Messenger of Allah (the Prophet) say this? She replied: ‘No, but I will tell you what he did. Once, when he had gone on an expedition, I draped the door with a curtain having pictures on it. When he returned and saw it, I could discern from his face that he disliked it. He pulled it down and tore it apart, saying: ‘Allah has not commanded us to clothe stone and clay.’ She said: ‘We cut it and made two pillows out the cloth, stuffing them with palm fibres. He did not criticize me for that.’

Muslim also reported from Aishah: ‘We had a curtain (Note: this was inside the house) with the figure of a bird on it. When the Messenger (the Prophet) entered the house he saw it right in front of him, and he said: ‘Remove it from here. When I enter and see it, I am reminded of this world.’

The Prophet did not tell her to tear it up, but only to remove it from the place where it hung; he disliked seeing it there because it brought to his mind the world and its attractions. Al-Bukhari also reported Anas as saying: ‘Aishah had covered part of her apartment with a drape. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told her: ‘Take it away from my sight, because its figures keep distracting me from my prayers.’21



21. Yusuf al-Qaradawi: ‘The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam’, pp 111-112).


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