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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The ancient historical references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 9. The status of the narratives in the Sahih collections:

How is it, then, that the hadith collections of al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, an-Nisa’I and Ibn Majah all narrate Aishah’s age at the time of her nikah as being merely six, and that she went to live in her husband’s home at the age of nine?

It seems that they used Hisham’s tradition for confirmation of this. However, it must be repeated again that Hisham’s record is not altogether reliable, even though Hisham got his information from his own father, Asma’s son Urwah. Many scholars, such as Ajurri, Uqayli, Abu al-Aswad and Imam Malik all remarked that none of the narratives Hisham recorded on his father’s reference concerning Aishah were trustworthy – and the given reason is because they all originated in Iraq.

Even the narratives in the Sihah (the Authentic Books of Hadith) about Aishah’s nikah which claim Aishah herself as the source are suspect, because the chain of authorities on which this narrative is based consists entirely of either Basri or Kufi elements.

Yaqub ibn Abi Shaybah, Ibn Kharash and Imam Malik, as also Ajurri, Uqayli and Abu al-Aswad, all maintain that Hisham’s Iraqi references are invalidated, and untrustworthy. The reason is the very serious objection that these narratives were completely unknown to the people of Madinah.

Both Imam Malik and Imam al-Shafi’i declared: ‘Any tradition with no roots in Hijaz has no substance, that means, it is not trustworthy.’15

Therefore, since all the narratives and references related to Aishah’s nikah and wedding, even those alleged to be on the authority of Aishah herself, originated in Iraq and were unknown to the scholars of Madinah, they cannot be trusted even though they fulfill the conditions laid down by some of the compilers of the Six Authentic Books.

The only piece of non-Iraqi evidence to back up the Iraqi material is the reference of Muhammad ibn Shihab al-Zuhri recording a similar statement – also on the authority of Urwah, Hisham’s father. However, it has not been established whether al-Zuhri heard this directly from Urwah. Ibn Hajar, the great interpreter of al-Bukhari, stated:

“There is no proof that Muhammad ibn Shihab attended to Urwah directly, though it has been proved that he gathered references from other authorities, even greater than Urwah.’16

So, if the references all go back to Hisham, what can be deduced from this?

Unfortunately, we can prove quite simply that his records are not consistent, and all hadith scholars agree that when a particular narrator contradicts his own narrative, then it should not be considered trustworthy.17

It was certainly Hisham’s personal opinion (not a matter gleaned from any other source or scholar) that Aishah did pass away in 50 AH/672 CE. He also stated that his grandmother Asma was older than Aishah by ten years. Unfortunately for Hisham, as we have already seen, if Aishah died in 50 AH aged 67, she must have been born 17 years before the Hijrah, in 605. This means that his dates simply don’t add up, for once again it makes Aishah 19 and not 9 at her full marriage.



15. ‘Tadrib al-Rawi’ (Egypt) p.23.
16. ‘Tahdhib al-Tahdhib’ (Beirut) Vol IX/450).
17. ‘Irshad al-Fuhul’ (Egypt).


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