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March 17, 2004
Women: Never Sell Products Without Them

by Gillette aka Hassan[uddin] Khaja

Sometimes, don't you just wish that people would lie to you? Sure, honesty is great and all. But I'd like to declare that it is okay to lie to me and tell me, "Okay, we're not big perverts, so we won't act like it."

People feel that they need to exploit a woman's sexuality in order to sell a product, or to appeal to a certain non-feminine gender. For instance, during the nightly news, the people are dressed rather conservatively, including during the weather segment. But, during a football game, whose audience is predominantly of the mudhakkar half of the species, the producers felt the need to make the weather-woman wear the skimpiest, tightest outfit in the world.

Among the most insidious forms is the want-ad, that tells us that they are looking for someone with a "pleasant phone manner." I don't think that any sister, in light of the ayah in the Quran about complacency in speech, should have any illusion in her head as to exactly what a "pleasant phone manner" means if she considers applying for the job.

Of course, just as sure as Muslims are convinced that the American sunnah is the best sunnah, they can't help but imitate it. A few years ago, on Al-Manar, the Hezbollah state-run network - of all places - the news came on. Now, I could be an idiot. I could be crazy. But why did they have to put a beautiful woman - clad in hijab, of course, because that makes exploitation okay - at the newsdesk, for every man, young and old, potent and impotent, to see. Perhaps I come from the American school of thought that knows that people want to sell products, and sex sells products. I could be wrong.

From the great wisdom of Islam, is this: that a Muslim woman can claim, in a patriarchal society, that her exploitation is not only "morally" wrong, but haraam. In a profit-driven society, only the weight of the word of Allah (SWT) can counter the weight of all the money in the world.

But, of course, just as sure as Muslim women are convinced that the American sunnah is the best sunnah, they can't help but imitate it. Of course, we know the rule for Muslims - women included - is modesty in the way we walk, talk, and dress. This especially applies to women around the opposite gender due to men's [uhhh] weakness. However, contrary to popular belief, when women walk like they tap dance, talk like they sing, and dress like they want the attention of the heavens and the Earth and everything in between, they are acting, intentionally or inadvertently, immodestly.

Unfortunately, some of this immodesty is indeed intentional, and it translates into a violation of the rules when it comes to the Muslim gathering.

In Islam, there are no illusions as to whether or not a Muslim man can be trusted to lower his gaze. Even if one is so fortunate, Allah (SWT) doesn't encourage us to take the risk of finding out the hard way. So, among the rules is that women should not uselessly be putting themselves on public display for men.

Among the more unnecessary displays are ones at Muslim gatherings. However, if a measure is taken to keep women outside of the view of men, there's an uproar about women being treated as "second-class citizens" (this is, of course, according to the American sunnah).

Allah (SWT) didn't make up rules for all of mankind - as Islam is for all of mankind - just so he could be entertained. American culture is the perfect example of what happens when there is complacency and participation in the exploitation of women even by women. The exploitation of women makes it clear that if we don't hold fast to Islam, and put all our effort into implementing all that is Islamic, even if it isn't necessarily wajib, we are bound to be tempted by all that is un-Islamic.

of and relating to...
Talal said

Outstanding stuff, mashaAllah. And that's so true about all the new programs in the Gulf; the illness of overly made-up women, hijabified, abaya'ed and all, is a plague spreading everywhere.

on March 17, 2004 10:10 AM
Wajahat Gilani said


yes, brothers stop exploiting sisters.

wajahat gilani

on March 17, 2004 12:04 PM
Justoju said

Its good but I am just wondering why this was in the 'Fire' section? Is some sister expected to read it and get all riled up and say (in squeaky fairy voice) "Dont try to oppress me! You have no right to tell me not to put foundation/mascara/eyeliner/lipstick/powder/perfume on and giggle in my high heels and tight shalwar kamiz as I saunter past the boys pretending not to notice them after Eid salah!"?
Cuz that would be amusing :)

cmon sisters (and ultra-feminist sell-out brothers), entertain me...

on March 17, 2004 11:28 PM
Saima said

fine print and fine lines... one needs the specs of wisdom to see :)

on March 18, 2004 12:06 AM
Talal said

Daughter of Abbas, in what seems to be your first encounter with this site, you've hit the nail on the head as to the ultimate purpose of the Fire column :)

"ultra-feminist sell-out brothers".. hah.

I can't help but extend an invitation:

Hidaya is lookin' for some more columnists, so here's your chance to apply.
Send in:
Column title
Column sample
Some idea of what you want to write about.
If you want to write weekly or bi-weekly
Email address
Whether or not you're an RU student/alumni
to info@hidayaonline.com

on March 18, 2004 12:11 AM
Justoju said

JazakAllah khair brother Talal, inshaAllah I will consider your offer. Though I must warn you, I am a lazy person and as such dont actually like to DO anything--I just like to make offhand comments about what other people do :).
And this isnt my first encounter with Hidaya. I often take the liberty of reading an issue while doing other typical muslim-american things...like reading messages from unknown losers on naseeb.com, reading and angrily shaking my fist at some CAIR email about some inbred hick who was given a microphone and decided to say that "Mohammadists worship them camels", and checking out online fatwas about jinn (and the aunties that think they are about to give birth to them)--dont even pretend like ya'all dont love those fatwas...
InshaAllah, I will get back to you.

"Your intellect is in fragments,
like bits of gold scattered over many matters.
You must scrape them together,
so the royal stamp can be pressed onto you."

--Mawlana Jelaluddin Rumi (RA)

Excerpt from poem "Green Ears"
translated by Coleman Barks

on March 18, 2004 12:38 AM
ameer ar-rutgereen aka Ali Ibn Masood Farooki said

"ultra-feminist sell-out brothers"

HAHAHAAHAHAHA! Thank God a sister said it and there was no need for a brother to say it. I'm going to use this all the time if it's ok.

on March 19, 2004 2:45 AM
Rami said

cmon sisters (and ultra-feminist sell-out brothers)...

"Thank God a sister said it and there was no need for a brother to say it."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe labels and bad comments on our Muslims brothers is really something to be giving Shukr to Allah for. It serves no benefit to anyone reading...just mockery and amusement....and further division to our already divided Ummah.

Hazrat Abu Huraira (RAA) relates that the Holy Prophet(SAW) said: A muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He neither betrays him nor tells him a lie, nor humiliates him. Everything belonging to a Muslim, his honour, his property and his blood, is sancrosanct to another Muslim; and the piety is here(pointing towards heart). It is a fairly serious evil to consider a Muslim 'mean'.

on March 19, 2004 1:45 PM
Wajahat Gilani said


Excellent perception on Rami's part. I'm the first to admit my past is riddled with these crimes towards both brothers and sisters.

Wajahat Gilani

on March 19, 2004 4:04 PM
Justoju said


Finally...we got a little bit of fire on this board...JazakAllah khair bro. Rami:)

To all those concerned, the phrase was not coined so that it could become a label. Those words were simply prefixed to the word "brother" so that they could act as an adjective and thereby illustrate in an efficient and concise manner, what kind of brother the invitation was being extended to.

Also, according to many scholars the hadith that Bro. Rami mentioned (that was narrated by Abu Huraira(RAA)) applies to the rights of the individual Muslim and does not forbid us from speaking out against an evil. In our blessed deen we are obliged to speak out against diseases in our communities and simply cannot afford to stay silent as they eat away at the fabric of our Islamic perspectives. Check 'Umdat al-Salik - r2.19.

I pray I am not too late. Hopefully no one took my phrase and decided to create further divisions. Hopefully no one decided to ban our beloved "ultra-feminist sell-out brothers" from masjids and from the marriage pool. Hopefully no one created pseudo-GAP t-shirts mocking these poor misled creatures who have been thoroughly brainwashed and colored by the western capitalist adverizing culture machine. I get down on my knees, put my face in the dirt and pray for this. What have I done? (insert sarcasm bells).


on March 19, 2004 4:24 PM
Tanweer said

As-salamu 'ALaikum,

Wa eyyakum Sr Nadia!

Also I agree with Rami - we should be very careful of what we utter from our tongue. Prophet (saw) said, whoever safeguards what is between his legs and jaws has protected his religion.

Subhanallah its ironic that we accuse others of ogling and not protecting the first half of faith - but at the same time we let our tongue loose and corrupt the other half...

May Allah(swt) grant us hidaya to give a grade to each sin according to what the Shariah says and not according to our culture or tradition...


PS: At the same time, I know that our Ameer meant no harm, he just said it in an endearing way. Its his macho style!!

on March 19, 2004 4:37 PM
Justoju said

Ok, am I the only one here who thinks that this is "much ado about nothing"? I am a little slow so let me try to break this down for myself...

Our deen defines what is evil. The exploitation of women by muslims and non-muslims, men and women, alike, is an evil that is highly reprehensible in our blessed deen. Makeup, form-revealing clothing, immodest speech/actions (in front of a non-mahram) are haraam and are tools that this society uses to exploit women and to further an agenda. All of us agree that it is fardh upon us to enjoin the good and forbid the evil (as the Quran states). Exploiting women is evil. Therefore it is OK to say that those who exploit women and those that 'support' the exploitation of women are wrong. We all agree thus far right? right?
Everyone agrees with the hadith that Bro. Rami quoted. Everyone understands that it is wrong to harm a muslim in any way. However, it is still fardh upon us to enjoin the good an forbid the evil. This can be done (and usually IS done) without harming a muslim individual or his property/belongings/honour/blood. I am sure the Ameer has enough sense to know not to use the phrase against a specific muslim.

So wheres the beef?

(speaking of, I am hungry...I am going to go eat my way into a greater jilbab size. Take that you oppressors! :) )

on March 19, 2004 5:10 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatulla Wabarakatu,

Just to cool down the fire a bit ;)

Sister...just read this:

The first is to show the great need of unity amongst muslims...which first and foremost in my view needs to be that we stop attacking each other. I know we as Muslims see lots of stuff we hate in other Muslims...but also as Tanweer said...we REALLY have to watch our tongues. Most people don't really realize what is considered as backbiting. So I don't want you too take offense...just be cautious...because like Br. Waj said...it happens to all of us...I backtrack my words sometimes(and do ALOT of editing) to make sure I didn't do it myself in one of my articles.

And if there are ny Muslims you really should be getting mad at, read this:

and this:

To our Ameer...no harm intended.

on March 19, 2004 6:03 PM
Justoju said


Wait, I thought my message WAS an attempt at cooling down the fire :)...

JazakAllah khair bro and much peace to you.


on March 19, 2004 8:50 PM
Gillette said

If anyone would like to stop writing really long comments and start writing articles, send your:

Column title
Column sample
Some idea of what you want to write about.
If you want to write weekly or bi-weekly
Email address
Whether or not you're an RU student/alumni
to info@hidayaonline.com"

on March 20, 2004 10:38 AM
ameer ar-rutgereen aka Ali Ibn Masood Farooki said


I apologize if I offended anyone, but I think people are a little anxious to put something in my mouth that I didn't say. I never called a specific individual anything.

As for unity, then look to the Sahaba who were before Islam the most disunited and after Islam the most united. What united them is the same thing that must unite us. And we must have no doubts that they enjoined the good and forbade the evil, and that they spoke out against each other when someone was wrong, and that they criticsized each other out of their mutual love, and sometimes their zeal led them to strike one another or to say such things as "Allow me to chop of his head, Ya Rasulallah".

I really think people are wasting much of their time making useless replies when they could be seeking beneficial knowledge.

on March 21, 2004 1:19 PM
Rami said

Aslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I too am sorry for offending anyone...and I didn't mean to cause such a fuss as I did. I still stand by what I said, yet my intentions were not to cause problems. I believe that even though we don't talk about specific people the best thing we can do to stay out of trouble is to say good or say nothing. And like you said, we have to point out thing that are wrong...and I fuly agree that those guys are doing us harm...so I suggest(just a suggestion) that someone write an article on this issue...get the word out directly to them..confront the enemy so to speak.
I again apologize and really mean to say that I meant no bad intentions. If I make an error I fully hope that someone points it out to me, I take quite well to hate mail. ;)

on March 21, 2004 4:52 PM
Abdullaah Somebody said

My Allaah,
This is causing quite a riot and I am not the least bit surpised by Bint Abbas, very nice, you have two dead husbands why are trying to kill more Muslim brothers(eluding to your comment on the "The Washing Machine" article of Br. Talal" . Anyways, I could not even comprehend what is "ultra-feminist sell out brothers?"
Feminism is not part of Islaam, the Muslim girls brought up in USA should know this. They go around saying, " We are Muslim Feminists" but there is no such thing.
Also, exploitation of women is haraam, in anyway and we have a right to speak about this.
Thats my two cents :>

on April 24, 2004 1:15 AM
gillette said

i love sisters (boy, do i love sisters), but i don't need to stare at them during the eid khutbah:

"Maryam Mirza wants more of her Muslim sisters to become religious leaders instead of followers, reported the Toronto Sun Nov. 14. So the 20-year-old, first-year political science student at York University stood on stage Saturday at her Rexdale mosque and delivered part of the Eid-ul-Fitr sermon, in which she called on the Islamic community to 'keep an open mind' about gender equality, and to let more women lead prayers and sermons. It's a sharp departure from the long-held 'patriarchal' Islamic tradition of only allowing men to deliver a sermon, members of the United Muslim Association mosque said during celebrations marking the end of Ramadan. 'One of my main focuses is definitely on the participation of women in Islam,' Mirza said after reading the second half of the sermon at the Finch Ave. and Hwy. 27-area mosque."


on November 17, 2004 12:49 AM
Justoju said

(Dr. Jekyll)
Ok, lets give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she wore a niqab and spoke in a simple, non-enticing manner?

(Mr. Hyde)
Who am I kidding, she prolly didnt. This is a typical example of 21st century Islam. People have no faith left in traditional rightly-guided scholars and feel they can just pick up a quran (most wont bother with hadith because they deem them to be 'doubtful') and derive whatever the hell rulings they want and call it Islam. Its like everyone all of a sudden feels they have the right and the capability to 'define' a religion and that that is what the deen is all about! Like you can just make it whatever you want and practice it on your terms. It doesnt even matter if you are contradicting the vast majority of the ulema that have ever existed. It doesnt matter how unqualified they are to do the jobs of people who literally spent their entire lives poring over fiqh books with qualified teachers! Nothing matters except their own make-shift interpretation! If that isnt a fatwa from the nafs then what is!?!?
This stuff makes me so angry. I hate it when stuff gets me angry! Now I am even more angry cuz it was able to get me angry! I need to cool-down with some Quran. Peace out.

on November 17, 2004 1:37 AM
anonymousbrother said

To Br. Gilette and Sr. Justoju,

With all due respect, I think this sort of attitude is precisely what's wrong with our ummah today, because we've become utterly incapable of tolerating alternative viewpoints. Regardless of whether you agree with this woman's position, neither you nor I have any right to challenge the legitimacy of her Islam. Call me crazy, but last time I checked, there was only one prerequisite for being called Muslim: accepting the Shahada. From that point forward, the person in question is a Muslim, regardless of how strongly they follow Islamic principles. Sure, they may not be particularly good Muslims if they don't pray for example, but that doesn't change the fact that they are still Muslims. So Sr. Justoju, while you're cooling down, I strongly suggest you reevaluate your blatant intolerance for Muslims whose opinions contradict yours. Wasalaam.

on November 17, 2004 10:08 AM
gillette said

I talked about this in a previous article:

"But the prevailing logic of conflict [between Islam and the West] does remain superior. With this perception of conflict comes the perception of a 'winner' and a 'loser.' From a strictly materialistic perspective, this translates into the West as the winner, headed by the United States of America. The implications of a clear and apparent winner are devastating, since this further distances us from the possibility of reconciliation.

The surprising thing about the apparent victory of the West is that modern Islamic thought has found itself, instead of molding culture as it has in the past, being molded by the West. This has inevitably had an effect on the way Muslims raised in a Western country perceive their own religion."


In the article, I also write about the right to formulate one's own opinion after doing the right research. I'm implying here that Maryam Mirza's opinion was based on framing a previously understood Islamic opinion in a kaafir lens of analysis, then deducing that it's oppressive.

Aisha was superior to many sahaabah in knowledge, but she never gave khutbahs. Was that because it was patriarchal, as Maryam Mirza implies, or because it's highly inappropriate for a woman to get up in front of men to give a khutbah?

The West has introduced the implication that a male khateeb entails male superiority. And, of course, like I mention in the article, since the West has achieved material victory, they must be right.

I recall this making more sense in my head, BTW.

on November 17, 2004 10:33 AM
Justoju said

"Sure, they may not be particularly good Muslims if they don't pray for example, but that doesn't change the fact that they are still Muslims. So Sr. Justoju, while you're cooling down, I strongly suggest you reevaluate your blatant intolerance for Muslims whose opinions contradict yours."

AssalamuAlaikum Brother Anonymous,

I am afraid there has been a bit of a misunderstanding. Lemme try to clarify what I was saying in my post...

1. Brother, who was saying that she wasnt Muslim? Note I said "21st century Islam" and not "21st century kufr". Hopefully everyone knows that the shahadah is the dividing line for Islam. I dont know if you have had to argue with a lot of people before regarding Muslims trying to kick other Muslims out of the fold of Islam (aoodhobillah), but that isnt the argument here and I have in no way denied anyone's Islam--nor do I believe that Islam allows us to.

2. I dont have a problem with anyone contradicting MY personal opinions.
I have no problem with legitimate differences of opinion within the Ummah.
I have no problem with the different stances that different schools of thought take.
I have no problem with scholars interpreting things differently.
What I have a problem with is when someone openly contradicts ALL of the ulema and all of the schools of thought. I have a problem with modernist Muslims propogating and endorsing certain 'conclusions' that contradict all the scholars of the past 1400 years. I see that as a misrepresentation and hijacking of Islam and that makes me angry for the sake of Allah because it is every Muslim's JOB and DUTY to keep this deen from being misrepresented before Muslims and Nonmuslims.

3. In the Quran we are commanded repeatedly to enjoin the good and to forbid the evil. According to the 4 schools of thought, this command does not become incumbent upon us in cases where there is legitimate difference of opinion within the schools of thought. You cant criticize ppl for something there is no consensus on and that could possibly be 'ok'. There is tolerance of opinion. But when there IS consensus on something, and a law is violated, you cant go on pretending that its 'ok'. Islam is all about tolerance, but not at the expense of its own preservation and purity.

4. I am not anti-research or anti-contemplation or anti-deduction. We NEED to do these things to strengthen and feed our iman and to keep our deeni progress from coming to a dead halt. We NEED to learn and to explore so that our hearts do not become stagnant. But please, when coming to conclusions, lets have a bit of epistemological modesty and take into consideration the opinions of the experts. Lets take into consideration the example set by the Rasool, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and his sahabeeh. Lets take into consideration what the blessed teachers from amongst the blessed salaf felt about the issue and deduced after doing their research. These things need to be taken into consideration when doing our research. Not taking them into consideration renders our vision myopic and our perspective limited. No matter how unbiased a person may think he/she is, they are, in the end, a product of their era, place, and background, so it is important to look at what different scholars from different eras (ESPECIALLY the earliest era of Islam) said about the issue one is researching.

The reason I had an issue with this sister's interpretation is not because it contradicted mine, but because she was 'propogating' an interpretation of Islam that contradicted the earliest examples of the Mothers of the believers, the examples set by the female scholars that came after them, and all of the scholars of ahlus sunnah wal jamaah over the past 1400 years.

I hope I was able to clarify my opinion and not further muddle the issue.

Brother Hassan: Your excellent explanation of the world of modernist 'reformist' Islam made sense outside of your head too.


on November 17, 2004 2:32 PM
Humayun said


The problem with the Ummah today is not that we dont tolerate other points of views, its just that we dont tolerate the only point of view that is worth tolerating; the Quraan and Sunnah


on November 18, 2004 6:01 PM
Justoju said

Given the discussion that just took place on this thread, this seemed to be the best place to post this.

It is an EXCELLENT treatment of the Sayyida A'isha age issue.


on December 2, 2004 2:03 AM
asif said

Salaam muslims in Rutgers University:

Is your ISRU affiliated with MSA? Or this is an independent (in-house) muslims students group?

And I am curious, how do you guys elect/select your officials, (President, Treasurer and such)?

When I was in college, some 8-10 years ago, we were grappling with the notion of election vs Unanimous (bayah) to the President/Amir and he then goes on to select the executive body.

And also, did you guys ever had a Muslimah as the President/Amirah (is that right arabic?), who was driving the core Objectives and Goals of the chapter vs just being a ceremonial executive?

I would like to hear some views on that.

Jazak'Allah Khair in advance.

on December 2, 2004 11:56 AM
Justoju said

I apologize in advance for the length. I had posted a treatment of the Sayyida Aisha (RA) age issue on this thread. I wanted to post something related to that. Another EXCELLENT piece where the misconceptions of one questioner are refuted with proper evidence. MashaAllah.

Its in statement-->refutation format with the invalid statements in quotations. I LOVE Sheikh Gibril.

Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet

Answered By Shaykh Gibril Haddad


"To begin with, I think it is the responsibility of all those who believe that marrying a girl as young as nine years old was an accepted norm of the Arab culture, to provide at least a few examples to substantiate their point of view. I have not yet been able to find a single dependable instance in the books of Arab history where a girl as young as nine years old was given away in marriage. Unless such examples are given, we do not have any reasonable grounds to believe that it really was an accepted norm."


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

- Abu Tughlub ibn Hamdan married the daughter of `Izz al-Dawla Bakhtyar when she was three and paid a dowry of 100,000 dinars. This took place in Safar 360 H. (Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil).

- Al-Shafi`i in al-Umm reported that he saw countless examples of nine-year old pubescent girls in Yemen. Al-Bayhaqi also narrates it from him in the Sunan al-Kubra as does al-Dhahabi in the Siyar.

- Al-Bayhaqi narrated with his chains in his Sunan al-Kubra no less than three examples of Muslim wives that gave birth at age nine or ten.

- Hisham ibn `Urwa himself (whom the objector claims to know enough to forward the most barefaced judgments on his reliability) married Fatima bint al-Mundhir when she was nine years old (al-Muntazam and Tarikh Baghdad).

- Our liege-lord `Umar married Umm Kulthum the daughter of `Ali and Fatima at a similar age per `Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn `Abd al-Barr and others.

- And our Mother `Aisha herself was first almost betrothed to Jubayr ibn Mut`im before her father dropped that option when he received word from the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless and greet him and be well-pleased with them.

"In my opinion, the age of Ayesha (ra) has been grossly mis-reported in the ahadith. Not only that, I think that the narratives reporting this event are not only highly unreliable, but also that on the basis of other historical data, the event reported, is quite an unlikely happening. Let us look at the issue from an objective stand point. My reservations in accepting the narratives, on the basis of which, Ayesha's (ra) age at the time of her marriage with the Prophet (pbuh) is held to be nine years are: Most of these narratives are reported only by Hisham ibn `Urwah, reporting on the authority of his father. An event as well known as the one being reported, should logically have been reported by more people than just one, two or three."

Try more than eleven authorities among the Tabi`in that reported it directly from `A'isha, not counting the other major Companions that reported the same, nor other major Successors that reported it from other than `A'isha.

"It is quite strange that no one from Medinah, where Hisham ibn `Urwah lived the first seventy one years of his life has narrated the>event, even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. "

Not so. Al-Zuhri also reports it from `Urwa, from `A'isha; so does `Abd Allah ibn Dhakwan, both major Madanis. So is the Tabi`i Yahya al-Lakhmi who reports it from her in the Musnad and in Ibn Sa`d's Tabaqat. So is Abu Ishaq Sa`d ibn Ibrahim who reports it from Imam al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, one of the Seven Imams of Madina, from `A'isha. All the narratives of this event have been reported

"Nor by narrators from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have had shifted after living in Medinah for seventy one years."

Not so. In addition to the above four Madinese Tabi`in narrators, Sufyan ibn `Uyayna from Khurasan and `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya from Tabarayya in Palestine both report it.

Nor was this hadith reported only by `Urwa but also by `Abd al-Malik ibn `Umayr, al-Aswad, Ibn Abi Mulayka, Abu Salama ibn `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf, Yahya ibn `Abd al-Rahman ibn Hatib, Abu `Ubayda (`Amir ibn `Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud) and others of the Tabi`i Imams directly from `A'isha.

This makes the report mass-transmitted (mutawatir) from `A'isha by over eleven authorities among the Tabi`in, not counting the other major Companions that reported the same, such as Ibn Mas`ud nor other major Successors that reported it from other than `A'isha, such as Qatada!

"Tehzibu'l-tehzib, one of the most well known books on the life and reliability of the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh), reports that according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah: "narratives reported by Hisham are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq". It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq. (vol11, pg 48 - 51)"

Rather, Ya`qub said: "Trustworthy, thoroughly reliable (thiqa thabt), above reproach except after he went to Iraq, at which time he narrated overly from his father and was criticized for it." Notice that Ya`qub does not exactly endorse that criticism.

As for Malik, he reports over 100 hadiths from Hisham as is evident in the two Sahihs and Sunan! to the point that al-Dhahabi questions the authenticity of his alleged criticism of Hisham.

Indeed, none among the hadith Masters endorsed these reservations since they were based solely on the fact that Hisham in his last period (he was 71 at the time of his last trip to Iraq), for the sake of brevity, would say, "My father, from `A'isha? (abi `an `A'isha)" and no longer pronounced, "narrated to me (haddathani)".

Al-Mizzi in Tahdhib al-Kamal (30:238) explained that it became a foregone conclusion for the Iraqis that Hisham did not narrate anything from his father except what he had heard directly from him.

Ibn Hajar also dismisses the objections against Hisham ibn `Urwa as negligible in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (11:45), saying: "It was clear enough to the Iraqis that he did not narrate from his father other than what he had heard directly from him".

In fact, to say that "narratives reported by Hisham ibn `Urwa are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq" is major nonsense as that would eliminate all narrations of Ayyub al-Sakhtyani from him since Ayyub was a Basran Iraqi, and those of Abu `Umar al-Nakha`i who was from Kufa, and those of Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman from Kufa (the Shaykh of Abu Hanifa), and those of Hammad ibn Salama and Hammad ibn Zayd both from Basra, and those of Sufyan al-Thawri from Basra, and those of Shu`ba in Basra, all of whom narrated from Hisham!

"Mizanu'l-ai`tidal, another book on the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that when he was old, Hisham's memory suffered quite badly. (vol 4, pg 301 - 302)"

An outright lie, on the contrary, al-Dhahabi in Mizan al-I`tidal (4:301 #9233) states: "Hisham ibn `Urwa, one of the eminent personalities. A Proof in himself, and an Imam. However, in his old age his memory diminished, but he certainly never became confused. Nor should any attention be paid to what Abu al-Hasan ibn al-Qattan said about him and Suhayl ibn Abi Salih becoming confused or changing! Yes, the man changed a little bit and his memory was not the same as it had been in his younger days, so that he forgot some of what he had memorized or lapsed, so what? Is he immune to forgetfulness? [p. 302] And when he came to Iraq in the last part of his life he narrated a great amount of knowledge, in the course of which are a few narrations in which he did not excel, and such as occurs also to Malik, and Shu`ba, and Waki`, and the major trustworthy masters. So spare yourself confusion and floundering, do not make mix the firmly-established Imams with the weak and muddled narrators. Hisham is a Shaykh al-Islam. But may Allah console us well of you, O Ibn al-Qattan, and the same with regard to `Abd al-Rahman ibn Khirash's statement from Malik!"

"According to the generally accepted tradition, Ayesha (ra) was born about eight years before Hijra. But according to another>narrative in Bukhari (kitabu'l-tafseer) Ayesha (ra) is reported to have said that at the time Surah Al-Qamar, the 54th chapter of the >Qur'an, was revealed, "I was a young girl". The 54th surah of the Qur'an was revealed nine years before Hijra. "

Not true. The hadith Masters, Sira historians, and Qur'anic commentators agree that the splitting of the moon took place about five years before the Holy Prophet's (upon him blessings and peace) Hijra to Madina.

Thus it is confirmed that our Mother `Aisha was born between seven and eight years before the Hijra and the words that she was a jariya or little girl five years before the Hijra match the fact that her age at the time Surat al-Qamar was revealed was around 2 or 3.

"According to this tradition, Ayesha (ra) had not only been born before the revelation of the referred surah, but was actually a young girl (jariyah), not an infant (sibyah) at that time. Obviously, if this narrative is held to be true, it is in clear contradiction with the narratives reported by Hisham ibn `Urwah. I see absolutely no reason that after the comments of the experts on the narratives of Hisham ibn `Urwah, why we should not accept this narrative to be more accurate."

A two year old is not an infant. A two year old is able to run around, which is what jariya means. As for "the comments of the experts" they concur on 6 or 7 as the age of marriage and 9 as the age of cohabitation.

"According to a number of narratives, Ayesha (ra) accompanied the Muslims in the battle of Badr and Uhud. Furthermore, it is also reported in books of hadith and history that no one under the age of 15 years was allowed to take part in the battle of Uhud. All the boys below 15 years of age were sent back. Ayesha's (ra) participation in the battle of Badr and Uhud clearly indicate that she was not nine or ten years old at that time. After all, women used to accompany men to the battle fields to help them, not to be a burden on them."

First, the prohibition applied to combatants. It applied neither to non-combatant boys nor to non-combatant girls and women. Second, `A'isha did not participate in Badr at all but bade farewell to the combatants as they were leaving Madina, as narrated by Muslim in his Sahih. On the day of Uhud (year 3), Anas, at the time only twelve or thirteen years old, reports seeing an eleven-year old `A'isha and his mother Umm Sulaym having tied up their dresses and carrying water skins back and forth to the combatants, as narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

"According to almost all the historians, Asma, the elder sister of Ayesha was ten years older than Ayesha. "

Well, Ibn Kathir based himself on Ibn Abi al-Zinad's assertion that she was ten years older than `A'isha, however, al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' said there was a greater difference than 10 years between the two, up to 19, and he is more reliable here.

"It is reported in Taqri'bu'l-tehzi'b as well as Al-bidayah wa'l-nihayah that Asma died in 73 hijrah when she was 100 years old. Now, obviously if Asma was 100 years old in 73 hijrah she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah. If Asma was 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah, Ayesha should have been 17 or 18 years old at that time. Thus, Ayesha, if she got married in 1 AH (after hijrah) or 2 AH, was between 18 to 20 years old at the time of her marriage."

Ibn Hajar reports in al-Isaba from Hisham ibn `Urwa, from his father, that Asma' did live 100 years, and from Abu Nu`aym al-Asbahani that "Asma' bint Abi Bakr was born 27 years before the Hijra, and she lived until the beginning of the year 74." None of this amounts to any proof for `A'isha's age whatsoever.

"Tabari in his treatise on Islamic history, while mentioning Abu Bakr, reports that Abu Bakr had four children and all four were born during the Jahiliyyah -- the pre Islamic period. Obviously, if Ayesha was born in the period of Jahiliyyah, she could not have been less than 14 years in 1 AH -- the time she most likely got married."

Al-Tabari nowhere reports that "Abu Bakr's four children were all born in Jahiliyya" but only that Abu Bakr married both their mothers in Jahiliyya, Qutayla bint Sa`d and Umm Ruman, who bore him four children in all, two each, `A'isha being the daughter of Umm Ruman.

"According to Ibn Hisham, the historian, Ayesha accepted Islam quite some time before Umar ibn Khattab."

Nowhere does Ibn Hisham say this.

"This shows that Ayesha accepted Islam during the first year of Islam. While, if the narrative of Ayesha's marriage at seven years of age is held to be true, Ayesha should not have been born during the first year of Islam."

Rather, Ibn Hisham lists `A'isha among "those that accepted Islam because of Abu Bakr." This does not mean that she embraced Islam during the first year of Islam. Nor does it mean that she necessarily embraced Islam before `Umar (year 6) although she was born the previous year (year 7 before the Hijra) although it is understood she will automatically follow her father's choice even before the age of reason.

"Tabari has also reported that at the time Abu Bakr planned on migrating to Habshah (8 years before Hijrah), he went to Mut`am -- with whose son Ayesha was engaged -- and asked him to take Ayesha in his house as his son's wife. Mut`am refused, because Abu Bakr had embraced Islam, and subsequently his son divorced Ayesha (ra). "

Not at all, there is no mention of emigration in Tabari's account of Abu Bakr's discussion with Mut`im. Nor did he ever ask him to take `A'isha because there had been only some preliminary talk, not a formal arrangement. Umm Ruman, Abu Bakr's wife, reportedly said: "By Allah, no promise had been given on our part at all!" Rather, al-Tabari said that when news of the Prophet's interest in `A'isha came, he went to see Mut`im. Then Mut`im's wife manifested her fear that her son would become Muslim if he married into Abu Bakr's family. Abu Bakr then left them and gave his assent to the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace.

"Now, if Ayesha was only seven years old at the time of her marriage, she could not have been born at the time Abu Bakr decided on migrating to Habshah. On the basis of this report it seems only reasonable to assume that Ayesha had not only been born 8 years before hijrah, but was also a young lady, quite prepared for marriage."

Your assumption fizzles at the root when you read al-Tabari's positive assertion: "On the day he consummated the marriage with her, she was nine years old."

"According to a narrative reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, after the death of Khadijah, when Khaulah came to the Prophet advising him to marry again, the Prophet asked her regarding the choices she had in her mind. Khaulah said: "You can marry a virgin (bikr) or a woman who has already been married (thayyib)". When the Prophet asked about who the virgin was, Khaulah proposed Ayesha's name. All those who know the Arabic language, are aware that the word "bikr" in the Arabic language is not used for an immature nine year old girl. The correct word for a young playful girl, as stated earlier is "Jariyah". "Bikr" on the other hand, is used for an unmarried lady, and obviously a nine year old is not a "lady"."

This is ignorant nonsense, bikr means a virgin girl, a girl who has never been married even if her age is 0 and there is no unclarity here whatsoever.

"According to Ibn Hajar, Fatimah was five years older than Ayesha. Fatimah is reported to have been born when the Prophet was 35 years old. Thus, even if this information is taken to be correct, Ayesha could by no means be less than 14 years old at the time of hijrah, and 15 or 16 years old at the time of her marriage."

Rather, Ibn Hajar mentions two versions: (1) al-Waqidi's narration that Fatima was born when the Prophet was 35; and (2) Ibn `Abd al-Barr's narration that she was born when he was 41, approximately one year more or less before Prophethood, and about five years before `A'isha was born. The latter version matches the established dates.

So our Mother `A'isha was nineteen to twenty years younger than her sister Asma' (b. 27 before Hijra-d. 74) and about five years to eight years Fatima's junior.

"These are some of the major points that go against accepting the commonly known narrative regarding Ayesha's (ra) age at the time of her marriage. In my opinion, neither was it an Arab tradition to give away girls in marriage at an age as young as nine or ten years, nor did the Prophet marry Ayesha at such a young age. The people of Arabia did not object to this marriage, because it never happened in the manner it has been narrated."

Those that itch to follow misguidance always resort to solipsisms because they are invariably thin on sources. In this particular case "the Learner" proves to be ignorant and dishonest. It is no surprise he moves on every single point, without exception, from incorrect premises to false conclusions.

Hajj Gibril


on December 19, 2004 1:03 AM
Justoju said

The above comment is awesome. I am posting right now just so that it doesnt disappear from the 'noisemakers' box.

on December 19, 2004 3:25 AM
Imran said

Mashallah, Thank you for the article Sis Justoju. its very good and a very worthwhile read. Those who aim to attack our beloved do not understand that Allah is his maula (protector) and will never let his high status and rank be effaced, for he was sent as a mercy to the worlds, the best of creation.

But as we see bros/sis' knowledge of this deen is paramount and of utmost important. How falsehood disappears when truth takes its stance

A poet said:

Learning is the most precious thing you could store. He who takes up learning will never have his honour effaced. So acquire for yourself those matters of which you were once ignorant, For the beginning and the end of knowledge is happiness.

on December 19, 2004 5:39 AM
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