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A new crusade against Islam–Islamophobia

A massive campaign against Islam and the Muslims is going on at present in the world especially in the western media by the Rightist and the extremist religious circles. The campaign commonly named Islamophobia has reached its pinnacle in the western world.

Muslims were commonly the allies of the west in the cold war between the West and Soviet Union. Muslims immigrants were usually welcomed in the west at that time; which caused a surge of Muslim population in the west. The influence of these immigrants allied with some other reasons caused the spread of Islam rapidly in the West. However at the conclusion of the cold war, the western extremists started realizing that Islam is making its place therein quickly; so, in the nineties the term Islamophobia was coined and incident of 9/11 made it prominent in reverberation the same. The unending wave of terrorism in the present years; its conspicuous and hidden support by intellectual and religious sects gave an opportunity to the extremist west to launch a comprehensive and sophisticated intellectual war viz. Islamophobia against Islam.

The fear which prompted this Islamophobia war against Muslims is not the fear of Muslim countries or the Muslims residing over there but it’s a fear of the might of Islamic preaching causing a widespread conversion to Islam. If the process of Islamic preaching would have remained the same, Islam had become the religion of the majority in America and Europe in the twenty first century. The European extremist reaping the benefit of terrorist activities has launched a systematic and appalling campaign against Islam. Through this campaign, on the one hand the western extremist has projected Islam in such a way before its people which will make Islam an unacceptable religion while on the other hand it is sowing skepticism in the mind of the Muslims.

An offensive allegation

The campaign has many sides: one aspect relates to such nonsenses against the Islam and the noble personality of the Holy Prophet ﷺ which for us is disgusting if we allege it even against a commoner. By God I don’t want to write these claptraps even passingly to defend the Holy Quran and Noble Life of the Prophet ﷺ but when someone indulges in mudslinging  then under a compulsion to wipe that mud away, we have to dip hands in that mud.

The nonsensical allegation which has been disseminated that Islam permits sexual relationship with the children; the western extremists create nonsenses in this respect and quote a reference from the Holy Quran and cite the age of Syeda Ayesha رضی اللہ عنھا at the time of her marriage and our intellectuals simply substantiate such things; which gives a chance to the serious minded people to raise grave questions at Islam and the personality of the Holy Prophet of Islam ﷺ; therefore without citing these nonsensical questions; I am duty bound to give some academic explanation. These clarifications are related to the Holy Quran and Hadiths; I quote them here to substantiate the thesis of the Islam and the explanations of the Muslim exegetist and religious decrees of the Muslim intelligentsia that Islam permits sexual relationship with juvenile girls. Obviously, neither are we going to defend the opinions of Muslim intelligentsia nor is there a need of it; no further discussion would be necessary when the reality would become clear.

Description of the Holy Quran:

The description of the Holy Quran which has been presented as justification; I want to clarify it before discussing it further that on another place the Holy Quran has explained itself that marriage definitely is not a matter of an early age; it says: “And do not give the weak minded your property, which Allah has made a means of sustenance for you, but provide for them with it and clothe them and speak to them words of appropriate kindness. And test the orphans [in their abilities] until they reach marriageable age. Then if you perceive in them sound judgment, release their property to them. And do not consume it excessively and quickly.” In these verses the age of the marriage has not been given; so the humans need not be told about the age of marriage; but there is an established principle which definitely negates that Islam allows sexual relationship with a minor girl. The Holy Quran has defined the “age of marriage” of orphans so that their wealth and resources can be handed over to them. A person of an ordinary intellect can easily understand that whenever there is a discussion about the age of marriage of a child; it would be an age of puberty. If anyone could not understand it then we can request him that sexual relation is established for the continuation of the progeny and this could not occur without reaching to puberty of the parties. So whenever it is said that a child has attained the age of marriage; it would certainly mean that he has attained puberty and is no more a minor.

So age of marriage which the Quran has explained is when a child crosses the threshold of childhood; whether a girl or a boy; when they attained puberty and adolescence. The Holy Quran has also put forward its thesis in the same verse 6 and has taken “grown up” as its synonym and in comparison with the child who is “innocent” in the verse 5; and it has vividly explained the reality ‘the age of marriage is that age in which a boy or girl leaving behind the innocent age of childhood stepped into the adolescence and adulthood’. This is a definite that the Quran does not take marriage to be consummated in childhood and puberty rather takes it a matter of a mature age when children are grown into adolescence.

At present this is enough as we have talked about it in the coming lines, however one point needs further clarification; that is in the same Surah Nisa ‘alimony’ has over and over again been described as a condition of the marriage; this is a token money paid by the groom to the bride as a token vouch saving to fulfil the future financial responsibilities of the bride. The question arises here Quran is forbidding to hand over the wealth to the minors; how can it push them to marriage in tender age, about which it is insisting to enter into a contract of marriage by giving them wealth.

So in our opinion at this point Allah Almighty has explained by using the words;

’’حتی بلغوا النکاح”

“Till they attain the age of Marriage” that childhood is not the age of marriage.

The reality of permission of sexual relationship with a minor girl in the Holy Quran:

We turn our attention to the verse now which the enemies of the Islam quote to level the allegation that sexual relationship is permissible with the minors whose menstrual cycle has not been started yet; Allah Almighty says in the Surah At –Talaq (65)verse no 4:

“And those who no longer expect Menstruations among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated.

Shibly has somewhere written,”the grounds to the Orientalist have been provided by us for whatever abuse they are hurling upon us.” the same is the case with the verse under discussion. A great number of our religious scholars explain in the context of this verse that this verse relate to those minor girls whose menstruation cycle has not been started yet; and as such sexual relationship with them is permissible. As herein the period for remarriage has been ordained and that period only relates to those women who have consummated their marriage with their husbands; so the detractors of Islam pick up this verse and disseminate this – Lo; the Quran permits sexual relationship with minor girls; every person can conceive the reaction which follows it.

In our opinion what the Holy Quran is describing can be simplified in these words that those women who has reached the age of Menstruation but somehow or other their periods has not been started yet; their period for remarriage is three months; the minor girls who has not yet reached the age of menstruation are not a topic of discussion here.

In our opinion the context does not allow other meaning besides those explained here. The verse starts with these words: ’’من نسائکم‘‘

“from among your women”. The word woman can never be applied to a minor girl until there is some definite setting and background. There is altogether no background of it here that we consider the word     woman as a minor girl.’’النساء‘‘

Rather contrary to it the term of divorce, period of remarriage and menstruation has been used which clearly relates to the women who have reached puberty. Hence ’’النساء‘‘ here has limited for adult woman only.

This discussion does not stop here; we know this too that the purpose of duration of three monthly cycles or three months is to know whether the woman is pregnant or not; because it has been explained in Surah Al-Ahzab (49:33) that there is no period (IDDAT) for the woman to remarry if the marriage has not been consummated. Now if a minor girl who has not attained puberty due to her age, cannot become pregnant. This is an irrefutable reality. She cannot be ordained to complete the period (IDDAT) to remarry. So a minor cannot be an addressee of this edict. Therefore context of the edict is final that the women who have been mentioned here are those adults whose menstrual cycle in spite of feminine juvenility and physical puberty has not been started yet; those minor girls are not the subject of discussion here who have not attained puberty. Otherwise if this is understood in those meaning then question arises that menstruation does not start to a girl at the age of three years, three months, three days or who has been born just three hours before. If it is understood in these meaning then why not there is a decree for intercourse with such a girl -although there has not been invented a word still to identify this action (intercourse) – with those who have entered the world just three hours before. If this is clear then no Muslim Scholar in future will derive this meaning from it; but there is no remedy for the detractors.

The detractor can raise two questions here: firstly those who have attained the age but their menstruation cycle have not started; they have been mentioned in the first part of the verse; “among those of your women who have become disappointed from the menstruation. So those cannot be mentioned here whose cycle has not started. Secondly the Quran uses a word’’النساء for the minor girls at some places so it would not be wrong to include “AN-NISA”

for the women here. According to us these objections are just a useless debate. “Disappointed from menstruation” takes our mind toward the women who has reached an old age and their physical system has reached that stage which has put an end to the monthly cycle; and these words are not appropriate for a young woman whose cycle has been interrupted due to some ailment or physical defect. It is possible that after pregnancy & childbirth and some medical treatment may normalize her cycle; so neither the term of “disappointed” is suitable for that woman nor the Quran has termed it as such.

As far as the second one is concerned the Quran has narrated the incident of Pharaoh to describe this event when he has started killing the baby boys and spared the baby girls; but herein “An-Nisa” definitely has been used for daughters, that is; it has been used here as a substitute of ’’ابناء‘‘ (sons). As the addressee knew the original incident historically also; so no one can have any misconception about the Quran. Now the question arises; why did the Quran use this word;

the reason lies behind Pharaoh’s action was that they will serve as his servants while grown up. The second reason has been explained by the authority on the Quran Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi; ‘to stimulate the honor of the Israelites the said solution was more effective”.(1/211). Therefore rhetorically the Quran has used the word in conjunction with the word ’’النساء ‘‘ ; ’’ابناء‘‘ which not only explained the context but also nature of Pharaoh’s persecution and Allah’s Mercy that Pharaoh had not spared the daughters of the Israelites as mercy but they will embellish their houses and adorn their bed after reaching the age of youth. If Allah had not freed them from the slavery of the Israelites they would have suffered the same fate. Similarly the clarification given by the words “let live your women” can never be explained with “let live your daughters”.

The age of Marriage of Hazrat Ayesha R.A

This was the description of the Holy Quran; the age of Hazrat Ayesha RA as described in the Seerah in connection with some sources gave the enemies of the Islam a chance to derive such thing which are even indescribable here.

We have given detail explanation in response to these kind of questions and the same has been copied hereunder.

Hadiths have given these details that at the time of Nikkah with the Holy Prophet the age of Hazrat Ayesha RA was 6 and at the time of consummation of marriage it was 9 ; but these hadiths are all against the Holy Quran; Hadiths; history and common sense. Many great scholars including Hakeem Niaz Ahmed in his book “Kashaf ul ghumah an umar ul umma” and Allama Habibur Rahman Kandhalvi in his book “ umar e Ayesha” have gathered  all the logic and reasoning  which has conclusively proved that the age of Hazrat Ayesha was not that as is described usually rather she was a young and adult woman. She was 16 at the age of Nikkah and was 19 at the time of consummation of Marriage. But the narrator mistakenly made 6 and 9. The reason behind this is that in Arabic the numeral above ten is spoken as a compound word like in English language it happens after 20 that’s why 21 is called twenty one. The same rule is applied in Arabic for numerals above 10. So 16 is called six and ten (sat ashraah) and 19 is called nine and ten (tisaah Ashraah) which the narrator has mistakenly written 6 and 9. For the facilitation of the readers hereunder we are giving some points from the Holy Quran, Hadiths, history and the common sense.

The Description in the Holy Quran:

The age for marriage has not been prescribed directly in the Holy Quran but the following surah indicates two conditions explicitly for the marriage:

“ and test the orphans until they are of marriageable age. If you find they have acquired sound judgment, then hand over their property to them. But devour not their wealth, nor use it up hastily out of fear that soon they will grow up(and demand it) (AN-Nisa 6)

According to the above ayah it becomes clear that the age of marriage is that age when one attain “sound judgment” here sound judgment means when one becomes able to understand financial matters. Because this Ayah is describing the same thing; hand over the wealth of the orphans when they attain the age of maturity or become sound in judgment. Secondly it is also forbidding eating up their wealth hastily in fear that they will grow up. This growing up is a second indicator of minimum the age of Marriage ; viz that person should not be considered a minor who has attained this age. The people who have observed the child of 9; knew it better that a child of 9 has neither had the clear judgment to handle any matter nor she could be called a grown up. So the Prophet ﷺ could marry a 9 years old is not understandable in the light of the above verse of the Holy Quran.

The decision of intellect, reflection, and facts:

If we reflect upon the above verse of the Holy Quran we will definitely come to the conclusion that the Holy Quran is not dictating a new command but describing a prevalent custom among the human beings. Whatever history of the Arabs is available to us tells the same story about the marriageable age of the girls is the same in which these are called virgins or as we call this age as the Teen Age in English.

Even today, the marriage of girls at this age is a custom in both Arab and Non-Arab worlds. In these circumstances if Hazrat Ayesha RA marriage took place at the age of 6 and consummated at 9 and that too with the Holy Prophet whose enemies and loyalist have reached the extremes then there should at least happen two things: the Quraish of Mecca and hypocrites of Madina who had become blind in his Enmity would have raised the heaven at these incidents. The great difference between marrying couple had been a normal thing at that time but to marry a child is abnormal even among the Arabs of that time; which could have given them a chance for negative propaganda,

But we witness the Orientalists do not spare an opportunity to raise a voice against him but the Pagans of that time remains silent on the same incident. Secondly this incident of marriage should not only have been narrated by Hisham bin Urwa alone but many others should have reported this as an extraordinary incident. But this is not the case; this incident has only been described by Hisham bin Urwa. He too did not describe it in his whole life but at his old age when he was shifted from Madina to Iraq.

This is the year 131 hijrah when many of the historian are of the view that his memory had been affected. Ibn AlHijar in his “Tehzeeb Ul Tehzeeb” and Hafiz Zahbi in his, “Meezan” have thrown light at this problem of Ibn Al Hasham. So they remain reluctant to accept those traditions of AlHisham which he had narrated in his old age from Baghdad. The tradition narrated in regard to the marriage is one of these things; as it does not relate to Halal and Haram (allowed and prohibited) so much care had not been taken; this is a normal routine with our intelligentsia that they become stringent with regard to Permissible and prohibited (Halal and Haram) and Islamic commandments (Ahkams); nevertheless for us the Honour of the Holy Prophet is sacred to us and above any of the commandment pertaining to Halal and Haram. So this tradition should be reflected pertaining to this aspect.

Description of Hadiths

There are many a hadiths in Sahih Bukhari  which indirectly hints at the age of Hazrat Ayesha RA; for example in Sahih Bukhari “Kitab Ul Tafseer”, Ayesha RA alludes to the revelation of Surah Qamar and said that at the time of its revelation I was a “jaria” means a girl and used to play. In Surah Qamar, the famous incident of Incision of Moon is described. On the basis of this incident the Scholars (mufasreen) and Narrators of hadiths (muhadseen) are unanimous that this surah (verse) was revealed in the fifth year of Nabawwah. It is the year in which according to Hisham she might have been born. Hence, as per Hisham, the birth year of Hazrat Ayesha is the same in which Bukhari describes her as the girl entering the age of playfulness. Migration took place eight years after this incident and consummation of marriage took place two years after migration. According to this calculation; the marriage took place after nine or ten years of the revelation of Surah Qamar when she has entered the age of puberty and this is correct according to us.

These details clearly indicates that if we accept the hadith of Hisham we have to refute the hadith of Bukhari ; but according to the authentic hadiths of Muslim and Bukhari, Ayesha RA participated in the battles of Badr and Uhad. In Uhad along with Umm e Saleem, she remained busy in giving water to the warriors.( Bukhari; Kitab ul Jihad wa seer, Chapter Ghazwa tun Nisa wa qataluhuna maa arrajal) The War is not a children play so the Holy Prophet had forbidden the participation of children under 15 years of age. Whereas the age of Ayesha RA was 11 years at the time of Uhad War. How is it possible that permission to participate in war be given at such a young age. It also clarifies that the hadith of Hisham is incorrect as far as the age is concerned as her age is greater than the age given by him at the time of marriage (Nikkah).

Historical Evidence

Historical evidences suggest that Ayesha RA’s age was greater than described by Hisham. For example, Historian Tibri in his “History of Tibri” writes that Abu Bakr RA had four children and all of them were born in the age of Ignorance i.e. before the declaration of Nabawwah It means that Ayesha RA was not born in 5th year of Nabawwah but much before that. And it is also historically proven that at the time of the migration, Ayesha RA was seventeen or eighteen years old. For example it has also been narrated that Ayesha RA  was ten years younger than her sister Asma RA and Asma RA died at the age of 100 in the 73 year of Hijrah which means that at the time of migration, her age should be 27 years and Ayesha’s RA age be 17; this had been described by Zahbi in his “seer al Alam an Niba; Ibnal Hijar in his “Taqreeb al Tehzeeb” and Ibnal Kasir in his “Badaia Wan Nahaia”. This proves that at the time of Nikkah Ayesha RA age was 16 and at the time of consummation of Marriage, her age was 19 which was mistakenly written 6 and 9 by the narrator.

We have given a few details here as this much can be given in answer to a question. For details you may consult the followings books:

Hakim Niaz Ahmed  ———-Kakashif ul ghamaa

Allama habib Ur Rahman———- Umar e Ayesha.

Wherever you be —–don’t be a source of discomfort but instead a source of solace for the human beings.