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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The ancient historical references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 12. Aishah’s ‘playmates’:

Sometimes, when the Prophet arrived at Aishah’s room, she was ‘playing with her playmates’, and they scuttled away. The Prophet then kindly called them back and invited them to continue what they were doing.

‘I used to play with dolls in the house of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and my friends would come over to play with me. They would hide when they saw the Messenger approaching, but he was in fact very happy to see them with me, and so we played together.’ (reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim).

This is made to suggest at that time Aishah was indeed a very young child playing. However, if we stop emphasizing the word ‘playing’ and look at the fact that her young female friends who were with her promptly left the room, it seems far more likely that these friends were all well into their teens and not small children. They were socializing rather than playing.

Had they just been small children at games, it is highly unlikely that they would have run out when the Prophet arrived, especially in view of the fact that he was famous for his great love for small children, and willingness to join in their games.

It must also be borne in mind that there were no radio/television/videos in those days and different types of games were played and acts performed for entertainment and pastime.

One Eid day some Africans were celebrating and performing acts with spears. Hazrat Aishah watched this act with the Prophet.20

Even today in Middle Eastern culture and the Sub-Continent, teenagers organize plays whereby marriage of bride and groom dolls are arranged by older teenage girls and younger children are invited to take part as guest of the mock wedding ceremony.

One of the hadiths concerning the dolls also unconsciously adds to the evidence that Aishah was not just a small child.

‘One day the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked me: ‘What are these?’ ‘My dolls,’ I replied. ‘What is this in the middle?’ he asked. ‘A horse,’ I replied. ‘And what are these things on it?’ he asked. ‘Wings,’ I said. ‘A horse with wings?’ he asked. ‘Have you not heard that Sulaiman, the son of Dawud, had horses with wings?’ I said. Thereupon the Messenger laughed so heartily that I could see his back teeth!’ (Abu Dawud).

This winged horse was quite a sophisticated toy. One would love to know where Aishah got it from, and from whom? However, the point here is that it is very unlikely that she was only a small child when this conversation with the Prophet took place. It is a perfect example of what the traditions said of her – that she had a quick mind, was well-read, and frequently gave the Prophet (and others) quick answers that were pretty sharp.



20.  Al-Bukhari: An-Nikah.


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