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How does one deal with non-Muslims when questioned on the age of Bibi Ayesha RadhiAllahu Anha at the time of her marriage to the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

POLYGAMOUS LIFE OF RASULULLAH (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)

Allah Taãla has given certain priviledges only to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Álayhi Wasallam) which are mentioned in Chapter 33 vs 50-51. Among other
priviledges one was having more than four wives simultaneously. Allah Taãla
says, ‘Oh Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) we have made permissible for
you your wives.’ (Ahzaab 33-50). The polygamous marriages of Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) to more than four wives simultaneously should
be viewed as obeying the order of Allah Taãla to do so. It was not merely a
means of fulfilling his carnal desires as many people allege. The Arab
environment was infested with many evils among which was adultery and
fornication. Despite living in such an environment, he never indulged in
this evil act. His modesty was so popular among his people that when the
Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) claimed prophethood, his people made
every effort to disgrace him by accusing him of being a poet, practising
witchcraft, of being insane, etc. However, nobody ever accused him of any
act of immodesty. The Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was very
handsome and attractive. Many beautiful women from honourable families even
proposed marriage to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) but he
declined. Instead, when he was only 25 years of age he married a widow who
had children from her previous marriage. Considering the fact that he was
the most handsome person that Allah Taãla has created, many women desired
him in marriage. Had he followed his desires, there was no obstacle for him
to do so. In his youth, he could have had many many beautiful women, but he
married a widow 15 years his senior. He lived with her for 25 years and she
bore all the children of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) except
one. When Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was 50 years of age,
Hadhrat Khadija (Radhiallaahu Ánha) passed away. Those 25 years of
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam)’s marriage was a monogamous one.
The polygamous marriage was only after he attained the age of 50.

He married Hadhrat Sawdah and Áaisha (Radhiallaahu Ánhuma). Sawda
(Radhiallaahu Ánha) lived with him immediately but Áaisha (Radhiallaahu
Ánha) came to live with him in the year 2 AH. when he was approximately 54
years of age.

55 YEARS (3 AH.)
He married Hadhrath Hafsa (Radhiallaahu Ánha). After a few months, he
married Hadhrat Zaynab bin Khuzaymah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) who lived with him
for only 3 or 18 months (as recorded in different narrations) before she
passed away.

56 YEARS (4 AH.)
He married Umme Salma (Radhiallaahu Ánha)

57 YEARS (5 AH.)
He married Zaynab (Radhiallaahu Ánha)

58 YEARS (6 AH)
He married Hadhrat Juwayriyah (Radhiallaahu Ánha)

59 YEARS (7 AH.)
First he married Umme Habibah then Safiyyah then Maymoonah (Radhiallaahu
Ánhunna) in one year.

From the above explanation, it is clear that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi
Wasallam)’s marriage was a monogamous one till he was 50 years. His
polygamous marriages, mostly to widows were after the age of 50 with the
command of Allah Taãla. Had Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) followed his
carnal desires, he would have married all virgins and changed them in short
periods of time. Since the polygamous marriages of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Álayhi Wasallam) was by the order of Allah, therefore, the wisdom of that
order cannot be questioned nor comprehended. However, according to our
limited understanding, the wisdom underlying the polygamous marriages of
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was:
1. Since Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) came as a teacher to
mankind, there are many avenues of a person’s domestic life which had to be
conveyed to the Ummah. It was the many wives of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Álayhi Wasallam) who had the knowledge of these aspects and fulfilled their
responsibility by conveying the teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi
Wasallam) to the Ummah. Consider the following:
Áaisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) alone narrated approximately 2210 Ahaadith with
regard to different laws, character, ettiquettes, etc. The narrations of
Hadhrat Umme Salma (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) totals up to 378. Hafiz ibn Qayyim
(RA) mentions that if the Fataawa of Hadhrat Umme Salma (RA) had to be
gathered which she gave after the demise of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi
Wasallam), then the need would arise to compile an entire book. The total
students of Áaisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) are approximately 200 and she taught
Deeni knowledge for 48 years consecutively after the demise of Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam).
2. The mission of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was to convert
people and propagate Islam. By marrying one woman, her entire tribe had
accepted Islam. This was done by virtue of marrying that woman.
3. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) had to transform the evils of
the society by practice. The people shunned marrying widows especially if
they already had children from their previous husbands. Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) married a widow and thereby changed the wrong
ideology of the people. Likewise, he reformed the society that abused the
orphans by caring for the orphans of the women he married.

These are but just a few wisdoms of the polygamous marriages of Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam).

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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