OTTAWA – A Canadian Muslim professor at Carleton University in Ottawa has stressed that there is no basis for legalizing early marriage in Islam, opining that lady Aisha married Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) when she was 16 or 17, and not 9 years old.
“I think that all of this is wrong, and I take the opinions that Aisha, may Allah be pleased of her, was 16 when she married the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, because she had converted to Islam with Abu Bakr [her father],” Professor Auda, a Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at Carleton University in Ottawa and a Founding and Board Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, said.
“There is another narration, yes I know, both narrations are in the reliable books of hadiths and in fact, the 9 and 7 narration is more authentic than the narration that she converted with her father when she was 5 or 5 and then 11 years later, she married the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, in Madinah.
“But I think that based on what I understand is the spirit of Islam, and knowing that a 9 year old is really small, unless you know humanity was very different at that time, which we really have no evidence for, biologically speaking, that 14 hundred years a 9 year old was like a 16 or 18 year old today.
“I don’t think that this had happened and therefore personally I object to this in his fiqh [jurisprudence] and I think that the opinion that talks about Aisha, may Allah be pleased of her, the historical evidence of her being 16 or 17, to me is evidence that makes sense and is compatible with what Islam is about.”
Auda was speaking in his recent lecture held at the Islamic Institute of Toronto on the book of the medieval Andalusian Muslim polymath Averroes (Ibn Rushd) “Distinguished Jurist Primer (Bidayat Al-Mujtahid)”.
`A’ishah, the mother of the faithful, was the only virgin that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ever married.