The Wrong Kind of Muslim launches on June 19th and will be available in soft cover and Kindle. Follow Qasim @MuslimIQ and subscribe to his email list serve for the launch announcement.
Dr. Atif Mian is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Princeton University. He is well-regarded and recognized as one of the world’s leading economists and public policy analysts. This is the foreword he has graciously written for The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution & Perseverance. Enjoy!
The Wrong Kind of Muslim is a brilliantly woven narrative of our times. If you want to understand the battle between religious extremism and freedom of conscience at “ground zero”, read this book. If you wish to peek into the mindset that breeds the Taliban, read this book. And if you wish to learn about the brave men and women who push back against the ideology of violence on a daily basis at great peril to themselves, read this book.
I first met Qasim Rashid when I was a Professor at the University of Chicago and Qasim was starting college. It was clear even then that Qasim is one of those rare individuals who live beyond themselves.
Qasim’s passion is freedom of conscience. As I recently learned through him, 5.25 billion people around the world live under some form of governmental or societal religious oppression. It is remarkable how big the problem is and how little voice it gets. The Wrong Kind of Muslim is Qasim’s first step to change that.
Qasim has a rare knack for striking conversations with strangers. This—as you will see—is a useful trait to have in an environment where many people are afraid to talk openly about the prejudice and persecution that goes on unabated. People open up to Qasim because he genuinely cares. I remember once someone told Qasim that he was facing financial difficulties, and Qasim opened the doors of his house and let him stay in his house for an extended period of time.
Qasim is one of those crazy few who think—rather believe—that they can change the world. I have known Qasim for over a decade now and have no doubt that he is changing the world for the better. While I have seen Qasim develop into a terrific writer, he remains a man of action. When hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf coast, Qasim packed his bags and left for New Orleans to help those in need. This book is also Qasim’s call to action, a call for everyone to come together and fight for freedom of thought.
Qasim is the ultimate freedom fighter. If you read his many writings in the press today, you will find that he courageously fights for everyone’s right to freely express their beliefs. No ifs and buts attached. He fights for the helpless Christian woman who is imprisoned in Pakistan on absurd blasphemy charges. He stands up for the atheist blogger who is attacked in Bangladesh for his ‘lack of faith’. He repeatedly calls attention to the world’s persecuted in the belief that freedom of expression is humanity’s most fundamental right.
Qasim is a bigot’s worse nightmare. He is a Muslim. But he is not shy to call-out the bigotry of those Muslim countries that prevent non-Muslims from freely practicing and preaching their faith. He is an American, but never hesitant to denounce prejudice against Islam and Muslims in the U.S. He forcefully defends the character of Muhammad against bigoted accusations, but is equally quick to defend Jesus and Krishna. He is the only American I know who wears an “I love Muhammad” cap on his head and carries an “I love Jesus” key chain in his hand.
Qasim is a relentless crusader for peace and The Wrong Kind Of Muslim is his coming out party. He is only thirty, but has already become a recognized voice in national media on religion and politics. In an era of ‘partisan politics’ when most of us are driven by self-interest and narrow agendas, Qasim stands out by going against the grain. He strives—or as Qasim would correct me if he could—Jihads for all of us, for humanity, and for justice.
The stories that Qasim narrates in this book are very much real. Some of these stories will inspire you and elevate you: Mian Jee’s relentless search for inner peace, Danyal’s unbreakable spirit in the face of harrowing torture, Yusef’s compassion for others even as he lay on the ground bleeding to death. Then there are stories that will bring you face to face with some of the darkest realities of our world today. But above all there is an unmistakable message of hope; as for every Goliath there is a David who refuses to be cowed down.
The Wrong Kind Of Muslim is a story of our times. My prayer is that one day this book is read only as an account of history, rather than a description of present day reality.
Dr. Atif Mian
Professor of Economics and Public Policy
May 28, 2013
The Wrong Kind of Muslim launches on June 19th and will be available in soft cover and Kindle. Follow Qasim @MuslimIQ and subscribe to his email list serve for the launch announcement.
by: Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
“O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for God, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, God is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that God is well aware of what you do.” Holy Qur’an 4:136
In a mother’s womb were two babies.
One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?”
The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”
The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother?” You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”
The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”
They say the most difficult thing for a parent to do is to bury their own child. Those faced with this painful event are tested with a trial of unspeakable patience.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) patiently bore the pain of burying fourteen children. His children ranged in ages from infancy to adulthood. The Holy Qur’an reminds us of the prayer, “Our Lord, burden us not with what we have not the strength to bear…” (2:287). Likewise, Allah promises in the Holy Qur’an, “No soul is burdened beyond its capacity.” (2:234). This is the guidance Prophet Muhammad (sa) personified to perfection.
Below is the letter, found in Risalat-e-Nabaviyya, pg. 270, Prophet Muhammad (sa) sent to one of his close disciples upon learning that his disciples son, who was a teen at the time, passed away. A brief incident from the life of Prophet Muhammad (sa) is prudent here as well.
The Prophet Muhammad (sa) observed a woman weeping uncontrollably over the loss of her child. As she wailed and screamed, Prophet Muhammad (sa) lovingly advised her to be resigned to the will of God and to express patience in this difficult trial. The woman, not realizing it was Prophet Muhammad (sa) advising her, angrily responded that if he had experienced her pain, he would not be offering such advice. Prophet Muhammad (sa) responded, “I have not experienced this pain once, but seven times.“
It is in this spirit and scope we present the letter Prophet Muhammad (sa) sent to his disciple, M’uaz bin Jabal (ra). We hope you find it worthwhile and spiritually enhancing.
Letter to M’uaz bin Jabal (ra)
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
From Muhammad, Prophet of Allah
To M’uaz bin Jabal (ra)
May peace be on you! I praise Allah the One. May Allah add to your recompense and calm your sad heart and give you endurace to thank Him.
As a matter of fact, our lives, our kith and kin and our property are merely a trust temporarily reposed to us from amongst the gifts of Allah. He benefits His servant by it, till He likes and when the fixed time comes, He takes it back.
The duty of man is to thank Allah when He bestows on him a munificence. And, when it is taken back he should endure it with patience.
Your son was a good trust of Allah. He (Allah) kept you blessed with him till He liked. And when He desired, He took him away from you, in return for a great recompense, provided you keep yourself contented with the will of Allah.
Oh M’uaz, if you show impatience you will lose your recompense or reward with Allah. If you get to know, how much return and recompense has been granted to you for it, then this loss would appear very meagre in your eye.
The promise which Allah has made with the people who endure misfortune and pain with patience, shall be fully fulfilled in the life to come. The promise of Allah should reduce your grief. Whatever is destined to take place, must occur.
Peace be upon you!
Seal: Allah’s Prophet Muhammad
May God protect every one of us from such a trial, but also give us the strength and patience if we must bear it, to His pleasing.
Ayesha’s Age: A response to the allegation that Ayesha was 6 or 9 when her marriage was consummated with Prophet Muhammad
The vitriolic anti-Islam film, “Innocence of Muslims” has caused quite a worldwide uproar. Newsweek seemed to add to that uproar with their “Muslim Rage” edition. Fortunately, it backfired and #MuslimRage has become the hottest new trend on Twitter. (Follow me @MuslimIQ) Still, Innocence of Muslims makes numerous vile accusations against Islam and its Noble Prophet (sa). One of these allegations is that the Prophet (sa) married Ayesha (rz) when she was underage. I have taken some time to quickly compile two arguments, one my own and one well-researched by another Muslim.
Together, these arguments demonstrate that the allegations levied against both Prophet Muhammad (sa) and Ayesha (rz) are meritless and based wholly on ignorance. The below evidence shows that far from being 6 or 9, Ayesha was likely 15-16 at the time of her consenting marriage, or as old as 18-20. Some scholars assert that she was actually only 12. Even if Hazrat Ayesha (rz) was only 12 at the time of her marriage and consummation, this should not be a cause for alarm for the clear reasons mentioned below.
The First Set of Arguments
The First Argument
The Catholic Encyclopedia says Mary Mother of Jesus (as) was 11 (and Joseph was 90) upon their marriage. [The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Reference of Work on the Constitution, Doctrine, Dicipline, and History of the Catholic Church, New York Robert Appleton Company, Vol. VIII, Pg. 505]. Yet, we do not hear anti-Islam elements raise objection to this recorded fact of history. If Ayesha (rz), even at age 12, was too young to be married, then certainly Mary Mother of Jesus was too young. Likewise, if Prophet Muhammad (sa) at the age of 53 was too old to marry Ayesha, then Joseph at age 90 was certainly too old. Yet, such objections do not exist, demonstrating the double standard anti-Islam individuals assert against Muslims.
The Second Argument
The law of the Talmud holds that a woman is of marriable age when she is 12 yrs and 6 months old and “Marrying off one’s daughter as soon after she reaches adulthood as possible, even to one’s Slave.” Talmud, Pesachim 113a]. Hasidic Jews still practice this tradition that spans back thousands of years. In fact, the Talmud presents some shocking guidance on marriage, also stating, “A maiden aged three years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition, and if her deceased husband’s brother cohabits with her, she becomes his.” [Talmud, Sanhedrin 55b].
Again, no objections are known from anti-Islam individuals to this practice, once again demonstrating the double standard. Historically speaking, Jews, Christians, and Muslims each held a social construct that permitted a person to be married at what our society considers young.
But, recognizing that things like life expectancy and social behavior were much different than they are now, two individuals in their pre or early teens marrying was not at all obscure. This is a fact that Jews, Christians, and Muslims each demonstrated. Most importantly, the concept of social construct must be reiterated. It was not just ancient Jews, Christians, and Muslims that recognized earlier teens or younger as acceptable ages for marriage. This is a concept that permeated our Western societies until only very recently, as explained next.
The Third Argument
For centuries in Scotland, the age of consent for girls was 12—and parental consent was unnecessary. [G T Bisset-Smith. 1st edition. Edinburgh: William Green & Sons, (1902)]. Only in 1929 was the age raised to 16 for girls. [Id.] Consider the facts of appropriate ages to marry of American State Laws. In New Hampshire, the legal age for girls is 13 with parental consent. In Massachusetts, the legal age for girls is 12 with parental consent. In Mississippi, there is no age minimum for girls, as long as there is parental consent. In California, there is no age minimum for girls, as long as there is parental consent. And of course, as we know, Ayesha (rz) certainly had parental consent. This information is available at: http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/table_marriage#g
So the reality is that only recently has social construct decided that 18 is the age of maturity among men and women. Nothing says that 18 is the wrong age, or the right age across all times and places. We can only state that it is the correct age for our time and place, because this is the age we have agreed upon as a society. Thus, in our age, marriage below 18 is either forbidden, or requires certain highly controlled conditions to ensure the rights of the persons under 18 are not usurped. But, to make the jump to accuse Prophet Muhammad (sa) of acting inappropriately, simply because our social construct disagrees with a social construct that our American forefathers, ancient Christian and Muslim cultures, and contemporary Hasidic Jewish cultures practice—such a jump is unqualified and meritless.
But so far, we have only demonstrated that if Ayesha (rz) was married when she was as young as 11 or 12, history and our American forefathers demonstrate that such a marriage was not out of the norm. The next section demonstrates that Ayesha (rz) was 15-16 at the time of her marriage to Prophet Muhammad (sa), and possibly as old as 18-20.
The Second Set of Arguments
*Disclaimer – I am not the author of the below scholarship. I am reposting because it is excellently researched, appropriately referenced, and repudiates the baseless allegations that Prophet Muhammad (sa) married Ayesha (rz) when she was underage. Please read each of the arguments as it soundly responds from every angle to the allegations that Ayesha was under age at the time of her marriage.
The First Argument
Though some of these narratives are reported in Bukhari, 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.
The Second Argument
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 [from him], even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. All the narratives of this event have been reported by narrators from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have had shifted after living in Medinah for seventy one years.
Again, the argument that all those who heard this narrative from Hisham ibn `urwah were Iraqis, is a simple statement of fact. This can be checked in the biographical sketches of these narrators in any of the books written on the narrators.
The Third Argument
Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb, 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 (Vol. 11, pg. 48 – 51).
The actual statements, their translations and their complete references are given below:
Yaqub ibn Shaibah says: He [i.e. Hisham] is highly reliable, his narratives are acceptable, except what he narrated after shifting to Iraq. (Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb, Ibn Hajar Al-`asqalaaniy, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, Vol. 11, pg. 50)
I have been told that Malik [ibn Anas] objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq. (Tehzi’bu’l-tehzi’b, Ibn Hajar Al-`asqala’ni, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-Islami, Vol. 11, pg. 50)
All the hadith Hisham related regarding the age of Ayesha are from the time he was in Iraq. From a historical and evidentiary perspective, this already puts into severe doubt the veracity of such claims.
The Fourth Argument
Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal, another book on the [life sketches of 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)
The actual statement, its translation and its complete references is given below:
When he was old, Hisham‘s memory suffered quite badly (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal, Al-Zahabi, Arabic, Al-Maktabah al-Athriyyah, Sheikhupura, Pakistan, Vol. 4, pg. 301).
So now we have evidence that when Hisham related the traditions related to Ayesha’s age, he did so while his memory suffered severely. Already, no court of law would consider such testimony valid, not even in a civil court where the burden of proof is quite low compared to a criminal court.
The Fifth Argument
According to the generally accepted tradition, Ayesha (ra) was born about eight years before Hijrah. But according to another narrative in Bukhari (Kitaab al-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 Hijrah. 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.
The actual statements referred to in the above paragraph, their translations and their complete references are given below:
Ayesha (ra) said: I was a young girl, when verse 46 of Surah Al-Qamar, [the 54th chapter of the Qur'an ], was revealed. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitaab al-Tafseer, Arabic, Bab Qaulihi Bal al-saa`atu Maw`iduhum wa al-sa`atu adhaa wa amarr)
Ayesha was married after Hijrah (migration). Thus, if she could recall that Chapter 54 was revealed, she must have been at least 3-5 years old, plus the 9 years before hijrah, which places her at 12-14 before Hijrah and at least 14-16 before marriage. This makes it impossible that she was 9.
The Sixth Argument
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.
A narrative regarding Ayesha‘s (ra) participation in Badr is given in Muslim, Kitaab al-jihaad wa al-siyar, Arabic, Bab karahiyah al-isti`anah fi al-ghazwi bikafir. Ayesha (ra) while narrating the journey to Badr and one of the important events that took place in that journey, says:
When we reached Shajarah.
It is quite obvious from these words that Ayesha (ra) was with the group traveling toward Badr.
A narrative regarding Ayesha‘s (ra) participation in the battle of `uhud is given in Bukhari, Kitaab al-jihaad wa al-siyar, Arabic, Baab Ghazwi al-nisaa wa qitalihinna ma`a al-rijaal.
Anas reports that On the day of Uhud, people could not stand their ground around the Prophet (pbuh). [On that day,] I saw Ayesha (ra) and Umm-e-Sulaim (ra), they had pulled their dress up from their feet [to save them from any hindrance in their movement].”
As far as the fact that children below 15 years were sent back and were not allowed to participate in the battle of `uhud, it is narrated in Bukhari, Kitaab al-maghaazi, Baab ghazwah al-khandaq wa hiya al-ahzaab, Arabic.
Ibn `umar (ra) states that the Prophet (pbuh) did not permit me to participate in Uhud, as at that time, I was fourteen years old. But on the day of Khandaq, when I was fifteen years old, the Prophet (pbuh) permitted my participation.”
This battle took place before Ayesha’s marriage to Prophet Muhammad, so now we see that she was at least 15-16 years old.
The Seventh Argument
According to almost all the historians Asma (ra), the elder sister of Ayesha (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha (ra). It is reported in Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb as well as Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihayah that Asma (ra) died in 73 hijrah when she was 100 years old. Now, obviously if Asma (ra) was 100 years old in 73 hijrah she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah. If Asma (ra) was 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah, Ayesha (ra) should have been 17 or 18 years old at that time. Thus, Ayesha (ra), 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.
The relevant references required in this argument are provided below:
For the Difference of Ayesha’s (ra) and Asma’s (ra) Age:
According to Abd al-Rahman ibn abi zannaad:
Asma (ra) was ten years older than Ayesha. (Siyar A`la’ma’l-nubala’, Al-Zahabi, Vol. 2, pg. 289, Arabic, Mu’assasatu’l-risala’h, Beirut, 1992)
According to Ibn Kathir:
She [i.e. Asma] was ten years elder to her sister [i.e. Ayesha]. (Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 8, pg. 371, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabiy, Al-jizah, 1933)
For Asma’s (ra) Age at Her Death in 73 AH
According to Ibn Kathir:
She [i.e. Asma] witnessed the killing of her son during that year [i.e. 73 AH], as we have already mentioned, five days later she herself died, according to other narratives her death was not five but ten or twenty or a few days over twenty or a hundred days later. The most well known narrative is that of hundred days later. At the time of her death, she was 100 years old. (Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 8, pg. 372, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabiy, Al-jizah, 1933).
According to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy:
She [i.e. Asma (ra)] lived a hundred years and died in 73 or 74 AH.” (Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy, Pg. 654, Arabic, Bab fi al-nisaa, al-Harf al-alif, Lucknow)
The Eighth Argument
Tabari in his treatise on Islamic history, while mentioning Abu Bakr (ra) reports that Abu Bakr had four children and all four were born during the Jahiliyyah - the pre-Islamic period. Obviously, if Ayesha (ra) 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.
The original statement in Tabari, its translation and reference follows:
All four of his [i.e. Abu Bakr's] children were born of his two wives – the names of whom we have already mentioned – during the pre-Islamic period. (Tarikh al-umam wa al-mamloo’k, Al-Tabari, Vol. 4, Pg. 50, Arabic, Dar al-fikr, Beirut, 1979)
The Ninth Argument
My ninth argument was:
According to Ibn Hisham, the historian, Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam quite some time before `umar ibn al-Khattab (ra). This shows that Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam during the first year of Islam. While, if the narrative of Ayesha‘s (ra) marriage at seven years of age is held to be true, Ayesha (ra) should not have been born during the first year of Islam.
According to Ibn Hisham, Ayesha (ra) was the 20th or the 21st person to enter into the folds of Islam (Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 227 – 234, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithah, Al-Riyadh) While `umar ibn al-khattab was preceded by forty individuals (Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 295, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithah, Al-Riyadh).
The Tenth Argument
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 (ra) was engaged – and asked him to take Ayesha (ra) in his house as his son’s wife. Mut`am refused, because Abu Bakr had embraced Islam, and subsequently his son divorced Ayesha (ra). Now, if Ayesha (ra) 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 (ra) had not only been born 8 years before hijrah, but was also a young lady, quite prepared for marriage.
Unfortunately, I do not have the primary reference to this argument at the moment. The secondary reference for this argument is: Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka’inat, Habib ur Rahman Kandhalwi,Urdu, Pg. 38, Anjuman Uswa e hasanah, Karachi, Pakistan
The Eleventh Argument
According to a narrative reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, after the death of Khadijah (ra), when Khaulah (ra) came to the Prophet (pbuh) advising him to marry again, the Prophet (pbuh) 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 (pbuh) asked about who the virgin was, Khaulah proposed Ayesha‘s (ra) 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”.
The complete reference for this reporting of Ahmad ibn Hanbal is: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol 6, Pg 210, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-`arabi, Beirut.
The Twelfth Argument
According to Ibn Hajar, Fatimah (ra), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, was five years older than Ayesha (ra). Fatimah (ra) is reported to have been born when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old. Thus, even if this information is taken to be correct, Ayesha (ra) 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.
Ibn Hajar‘s original statement, its translation and reference follows:
Fatimah (ra) was born at the time the Kaa`bah was rebuilt, when the Prophet (pbuh) was 35 years old… she (Fatimah) was five years older that Ayesha (ra). (Al-Isabah fi Tamyeez al-Sahaabah, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaniy, Vol. 4, Pg. 377, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-Haditha, al-Riyadh, 1978)
These are all the references for the material I provided in my initial response.
Critics cite that Tabari, Abu Dawood, and Bukhari also says Ayesha was 9. Such critics miss the point on Hisham ibn `urwah. They are unaware of the fact that each one these traditions, whether it is from Tabari, Bukhari, Muslim or Abu Dawood, is either narrated by Hisham ibn `urwah or is reported to the respective author by or through an Iraqi. Not even a single narrative is free from either of the two problems.
I have quoted Tabari, Bukhari and Muslim to show that even their own information contradicts with the narrative regarding Ayesha‘s (ra) age. Thus, when the narrative of Ayesha‘s (ra) age is not reliable and when there is information in the same books that contradicts the narrative of Ayesha‘s age, I see absolutely no reason to believe that the information on Ayesha‘s (ra) age is accepted (when there are adequate grounds to reject it) and the other (contradictory) information is rejected (when there is no ground to reject it).
Thus, taking all facts into consideration, it is clear that the allegation proposed in Innocence of Muslims is one without merit, one no person of intelligence can accept. Prophet Muhammad (sa) and Ayesha (rz) enjoyed a loving, mutual, consenting, legal, and sincere marriage—one to be emulated by all people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. As a final point, I encourage readers to also check out Myriam Francois-Cerrah‘s excellent piece on Ayesha (rz) published in The Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/sep/17/muhammad-aisha-truth
I remember vividly learning about Hazrat Abu Bakr (rz), Hazrat Umar (rz), Hazrat Usman (rz), and Hazrat Ali (rz)—collectively known as the Khulafa Rashideen or the “Rightly Guided Caliphs.”
But I could not merely accept tales of their greatness. I had to see for myself.
As a child, and even today, I studied for hours on end, learning of their compassion, loyalty, bravery, courage, intelligence, and humility. And today, I have seen the Khulafa Rashideen’s greatness for myself. I reflect, and cannot help but marvel at their lives.
But this story does not end here. Khilafat is God’s promise to the righteous, to Muslims who follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. Khilafat is a reward to the Ummah. A reward that strengthens unity, brotherhood, and devotion. As I write this, I cannot help but reflect that my love of the Khulafa Rashideen stems not only from their magnificence and grandeur, but also because I have been so fortunate to witness Khilafat returned to the Ummah once again.
And this Khilafat has been blessed immensely—blessed with the prayers of the Master Prophet Muhammad (sa), blessed with the prayers of the Khulafa Rashideen (rz), and blessed with the prayers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) who is the long-awaited Imam Mahdi and Messih.
Under this Khilafat e Islam e Ahmadiyya, the Ummah has witnessed a rebirth of unity not seen since the days of Islam’s first century. This weekend, I, along with 30,000 Muslims from over 100 nations worldwide will once again unite to witness that Khilafat strengthen the ties of unity, brotherhood, and devotion at the 45th Annual Jalsa Salana UK, as we sit at the feet of our beloved Khalifa, Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba).
His courage, bravery, wisdom, compassion, and righteousness is living proof that Islam is a living religion. That Islam can produce such lions of peace this day in age. Governments across the world, from the United States to the United Kingdom, from Canada, to Ghana, from Holland to Nigeria, and countless more have championed him unreservedly as a paragon of virtue, a pillar of peace, a spiritual guide of unprecedented stature. Millions of Muslims from over 200 nations have united together under his flag of peace and human progress.
His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), is proof that the Khulafa Rashideen were not myths, were not accidents, and certainly were not exceptions. Rather, they were the result of a righteous Ummah who adhered to the Qur’an and Sunnah per the teachings of the Master Prophet Muhammad (sa).
As Muslims, we marvel at the lives of Hazrat Abu Bakr (rz), Hazrat Umar (rz), Hazrat Usman (rz), and Hazrat Ali (rz). I invite you today—do not just look to the past, but also look to the future! Come see Khilafat for yourself! See Khilafat as established by God Almighty in the latter days, to revive and reunite the Ummah. View him live on mta.tv. Write to him and await his reply. Pray to God and await His reply. Above all, take this opportunity to take control of the Ummah’s future, and to take advantage of God’s immense grace and blessings.
This is the lesson the Khulafa Rashideen taught us in the past. And this is the lesson that Khilafat e Islam e Ahmadiyya teaches us as we grow united into the future. But do not take my word for it.
Come see for yourself.
His Holiness, the Khalifa of Islam, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, represents the most powerful proof on Earth that Islam is a living religion, full of compassion, peace, and harmony.
Below is a poem I wrote in 2008, describing my elation when His Holiness graciously accepted our wedding invitation in London. With his arrival in 2012 in my home country—America—and therefore essentially in my home, I am again filled with that same excitement and wonder. I hope you enjoy my poem, entitled, My Blessed Guest.
all the satans assunder
while I sit and I marvel at this Spiritual Wonder
Through the black holes indeed I felt his cosmic explosion
To my ever so humble request and unless
much less real
but I know what I feel
My Wonder said I do
Accept the invitation, to your spiritual culmination
Planets divide and mountains implode
While a humble creation has his humble Waleema
Gets a glimpse into heaven with his blessed Khalifa
of Allah’s Mercy upon me
Cannot be described to thee,
It’s like the white feathered birds
A dream, conceived in a state of unimaginability
A moment in time of spiritual incredibility
of ridicule and laughter,
my spiritual dream,
That is what they were after
So to protect my dream I followed the path of the Prophet (sa)
That Pricless Prophet (sa) and his patient prayer for peace
And just like with thunder I sat in a blunder
So beautiful yet dare I say frightening?
Wrapped in a body with a soul of perfection
of flaw fear or fitna,
Since his conception
my Wonder’s been engrossed in all Allah’s reflection
And I saw a holy victory, one No One could deny,
Of the Sun and the Moon
He was sheerly consumed!
And I, by his presence, could finally assume
Heaven was at hand
Planets divided and mountains imploded
And a humble creation had his humble Waleema
Got a glimpse into heaven with his blessed Khalifa
Uncontrollably shaking, my nerves were invading
My soul so elating, and savouring,
this spiritual force called Masroor
My Wonder, full of Al Noor
The spiritually pure,
For this world he Is the cure
a compromised mallady
my soul yes my reasons, were all but mere treason
To the need of Allah’s unity,
I hadn’t any answers to break satans mutiny
like Ayatul Kursee
Is the answer to this era’s salvation,
without my Wonder’s prayers
we accept desecration
Isn’t just some childish illusion,
But it’s the path to our Lord,
With Allah Himself as our award
Planets divided and mountains imploded
And a humble creation had his humble Waleema
When the universe ceases and all will have passed
When life’s said and done only Allah will last
When the scroll’s will be written with all who attest
On March 3rd my Wonder, was My Blessed Guest
A week before I took the LSAT, Tim looked at me dead in the eye and said, “Listen carefully, Qasim. You need to know something. Law School is a place where dreams go to die.” I listened patiently, and wondered what could be so terrible as to evoke Tim’s antagonism. As I prepare to graduate, I understand the journey to get here.
A great man once told me that death is not the exception in this world, but the rule. Life, instead, is the exception. Everything dies, and it is only God Almighty Who is ever living. The irony in Professor Carroll’s passing is that when I faced difficulties in law school, he was my “go to” guy to talk these things out. My knee-jerk reaction to learning of his death was to, believe it or not, call him to talk about it. But as God’s plan would have it, that was not to be this time. Indeed, life is not the rule in this world, it is the exception. In the next world, however, life is the rule. And as John also means “ever living,” Professor Carroll should fit right in.
Professor Carroll first reached out to me in September 2010 when an unfortunate person was threatening to burn the Koran. He stopped me in the hallway, only to tell me that as a Christian, he condemned the act. With humility, he asked me not to judge Christians by that person’s actions. It broke my heart then, and it breaks my heart now that he felt the need to have to clarify his religious perspective because of the actions of another. I had no idea who I was getting involved with, but I knew right then I was dealing with someone special. I just had no idea how special.