2006-05-09 13:29:57 UTC
with a Nine-Year-Old Girl
Muhammad and Aisha: Early Muslim writings attest that Muhammad had
sexual relations with a 9-year old girl. Should this be a concern to
those who hold Muhammad to be a model of holiness?
Was Muhammad a Pedophile?
An Examination Of Muhammad's Relationship With a Nine-Year-Old Girl
By David Wood
For the Western mind, perhaps the most disturbing fact about Islam is
that its founder had a sexual relationship with a nine-year-old girl.
Because of this, it has become increasingly popular in some circles to
refer to the Prophet of Islam as a "pedophile." This is, of course,
extremely offensive to Muslims, who view Muhammad as the ideal servant
of God and as the greatest example of what a man should strive to be.
Nevertheless, Muhammad's relationship with a young girl presents a
problem for Muslims, especially for those who want to share their faith
Since much of the following information will come as a shock to those
who are unfamiliar with this issue, we must be careful not to jump to
hasty conclusions about Muhammad. Pedophilia is one of the most serious
charges that can be leveled against a person, so the term
"pedophile" should not be used lightly. We must also remember that,
if a man has a sexual relationship with a young girl in a culture where
such a union is permissible, this doesn't necessarily mean that the
man is a "sexual predator," as the term "pedophile" implies.
Christians especially should be wary of flippant name-calling. With
that said, let us carefully examine Muhammad's relationship with
Aisha, recalling the Western principle that a man is innocent until
Faced with the arguments of Western critics, one Muslim apologist has
pieced together information from various accounts in an attempt to deny
that Aisha was as young as critics often claim:
The popular misconception as to Aishah's age may be removed here. . .
. Isabah, speaking of the Holy Prophet's daughter Fatimah, says that
she was about five years older than Aishah. It is a well-established
fact that Fatimah was born when the Ka'bah was being rebuilt, i.e.,
five years before the Call. Aishah was therefore born in the year of
the Call or a little before it, and she could not have been less than
ten years at the time of her marriage with the Holy Prophet in the
tenth year of the Call. . . . And as the period between her marriage
and its consummation was not less than five years, because the
consummation took place in the second year of the Flight, it follows
that she could not have been less than fifteen at that time. The
popular account that she was six years at marriage and nine years at
the time of consummation is decidedly not correct because it supposes
the period between the marriage and its consummation to be only three
years, and this is historically wrong.
The problem with this selective and carefully edited response (other
than the complete lack of references) is that it ignores the numerous
accounts we now possess which record Aisha's age when Muhammad
consummated his marriage to her. Many of these accounts are from Aisha
herself. Indeed, the evidence for Muhammad's marriage to the young
Aisha is as strong as the evidence for just about any other fact in
Islam. We have copious traditions relating Muhammad's marriage
proposal when Aisha was six or seven years old, as well as his
consummation of that marriage when she was nine:
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (may
the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) married her when she was
six years old, and he consummated her in marriage when she was nine
years old. Then she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his
Khadijah died three years before the Prophet (The blessing and peace of
Allah be upon him) departed to Madina. He stayed there for two years or
so and then he married Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age,
and he consummated that marriage when she was nine years old.
Urwa narrated: The Prophet (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon
him) wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years
old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years.
Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may
peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was
admitted to his house when I was nine years old.
Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may
peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and she
was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were
with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years
This is just a sample of the early Muslim traditions reporting
Muhammad's marriage to the young Aisha, but it is sufficient to show
that she certainly wasn't fifteen years old at the time of the
consummation, as Maulana Ali claims.
In addition to traditions regarding Aisha's age, the Hadith also
provides details about how the relationship began and progressed:
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (The
blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said to her: "You have been
shown to me twice in my dream. I saw you pictured on a piece of silk
and someone said (to me), 'This is your wife.' When I uncovered the
picture, I saw that it was yours. I said: 'If this is from Allah, it
will be done.'"
After having this dream about Aisha, Muhammad proceeded to ask her
father Abu Bakr for her hand in marriage. Abu Bakr understandably
objected at first, but Muhammad was able to persuade him to agree, and
Aisha was later taken to Muhammad's house:
The Prophet (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) asked Abu
Bakr for Aisha's hand in marriage. Abut Bakr said: "But I am your
brother." The Prophet (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon
him) said: "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book,
but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry."
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: The Prophet (The
blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) married me when I was a girl
of six (years). We went to Madina and stayed at the home of
Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later
on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Umm Ruman, came to me while I
was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and
I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me
by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was
breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some
water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the
house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said: "Best
wishes and Allah's Blessing and good luck." Then she entrusted me
to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's
Apostle (The blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) came to me in the
forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a
girl of nine years of age.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: When the Prophet (may
the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) married me, my mother came
to me and made me enter the house (of the Prophet) and nothing
surprised me but the coming of Allah's Apostle to me in the
Once Aisha was a part of Muhammad's household, she became his
favorite wife, even after he married several other women. Indeed,
Muhammad's other wives had to plead with him for treatment equal to
that of Aisha:
The wives of Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon
him) were in two groups. One group consisted of Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya
and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Umm Salama and the other
wives of Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon
him). The Muslims knew that Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace
of Allah be upon him) loved Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and
wished to give it to Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace of Allah
be upon him), he would delay it, till Allah's Apostle (the blessing
and peace of Allah be upon him) had come to Aisha's home . . . The
group of Umm Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Umm
Salama should request Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace of
Allah be upon him) to tell the people to send their gifts to him in
whatever wife's house he was. . . . [Muhammad replied]: "Do not
hurt me regarding Aisha, as the Divine Inspiration did not reveal it to
me on any of the beds except that of Aisha." . . . Then the group of
Umm Salama called Fatimah, the daughter of Allah's Apostle (the
blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) and sent her to Allah's
Apostle (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) to say to him:
"Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on
Thus, Aisha held a place of special favor among Muhammad's wives,
which caused a great deal of tension among the women. Since it may be
taken as historically certain that Aisha was very young when her
marriage to Muhammad was consummated, critics often charge that
Muhammad's preference for Aisha reveals his preference for young
girls. The Hadith offers a certain amount of support for this view:
When I took the permission of Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace
of Allah be upon him), he asked me whether I had married a matron. He
said: "Why hadn't you married a virgin that would play with you,
and you would play with her?" I replied: "O Allah's Apostle! My
father died and I have young sisters, so I felt it not proper that I
should marry a young girl like them who would neither teach them
manners nor serve them."
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: I used to play with the
dolls in the presence of the Prophet (may the blessing and peace of
Allah be upon him), and my girl friends also used to play with me. When
Allah's Apostle (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him)
used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the
Prophet (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) would call
them to join and play with me.
Nevertheless, it must be noted that, if Muhammad had truly been
obsessed with young girls, he could have taken many others as his
wives. Muhammad eventually held complete power in Medina and later in
Mecca, yet he didn't build himself a harem of young girls.
It is disturbing to find repeated mention of one of Aisha's tasks as
Muhammad's wife. The young bride was required to clean semen marks
from Muhammad's clothes before he would go out to pray:
Sulaiman bin Yasar narrated: "I asked Aisha (may Allah be pleased
with her) about the clothes soiled with semen. She said: 'I used to
wash it off the garment of Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace of
Allah be upon him) and he would go for the prayer with water spots
Aisha said: In case you saw it (i.e. drop of semen), it would have
served the purpose (of purifying the garment) if you had simply washed
that spot; and in case you did not see it, it would have been enough to
sprinkle water around it, for when I saw that on the garment of the
Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), I simply scraped it off and
he offered prayer, while putting that on.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: I used to wash the
semen off the clothes of the Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah
be upon him) and even then I used to notice one or more spots on
Further, there are several reports of Muhammad fondling his wives
(including the young Aisha) while they were on their periods, in
addition to accounts of his "night turns," during which he would
have sex with all his wives in the same night:
Aisha narrated: "The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon
him) and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were in the
ritual impure state. During the menses, he used to order me to wrap my
waist with a dress and used to fondle me, while in menses. He used to
bring his head near me during his seclusion and I would wash while I
was in my period."
Aisha said: "Whenever Allah's Apostle (the blessing and peace of
Allah be upon him) wanted to fondle anyone of us during her period
(menses), he used to order her to put on a wrap and then fondle
Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) had said: "The Prophet
(the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) used to visit all his
wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in
number." I said to Anas: "Had the Prophet (the blessing and peace
of Allah be upon him) the strength for doing this?" Anas said: "We
used to narrate that the Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be
upon him) was given the strength of thirty (men)."
The Prophet (may the blessing and Peace of Allah be upon him) used to
go around (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and
he had nine wives [at that time].
Hence, it is clear (1) that Muhammad had sexual intercourse with Aisha
when she was very young, (2) that this relationship was pursued by
Muhammad after he dreamed about her, (3) that she was his favorite
wife, (4) that she was given the duty of cleaning semen stains off his
clothes, (5) that he would fondle her (and others) during her period,
and (6) that he would sometimes have sex with Aisha and his other wives
all in the same day.
Muslim apologists deal with these facts in three different ways. As we
have already seen, some defenders of Islam reject the hadiths that
report the young age of Aisha. However, we saw that the evidence for
Aisha's age is simply too strong to ignore.
Another method of defending Muhammad's marriage to Aisha is the
Muslim appeal to moral relativity. According to this view, since
different cultures have different standards of morality, it is wrong to
criticize the standards of others based on one's own ethical system.
Consider the following responses by Maqsood Jafri and Abdur Squires:
The Arabs practised pologamy. In the wake of custom the Prophet
Muhammad married some ladies. Hazrat Khadijah was fifteen years older
[than] him at the time of marriage. Most of them were his age sake.
In his fifties he married Hazrat Aiysha, the daughter of Hazrat Abu
Bakr when she was just bloomed to youth. Hinting this marriage some of
the orientalists charge Prophet Muhammad as a "pedophile". It was
not only the Prophet Muhammad who had married a young girl [but] even
the father of Hazrat Aiysha, Hazrat Abu Bakr had also married a young
girl in his sixties. It was . . . part of the prevalent Arab culture
and custom. Hence not to be taken seriously.
The large majority of Islamic jurists say that the earliest time which
a marriage can be consummated is at the onset of sexual maturity
(bulugh), meaning puberty. Since this was the norm of all Semitic
cultures and it still is the norm of many cultures today-it is
certainly not something that Islam invented.
Thus, since the practice of marrying young girls was "part of the
prevalent Arab culture and custom," it is "not to be taken
seriously" as a criticism of Islam. This defense is truly amazing,
for, when defending Muhammad's moral perfection, Muslims often
maintain that Muhammad condemned the Arab culture for the prevalent
After spending his life in such chaste, pure and civilized manner,
there comes a revolution in [Muhammad's] being. He wearies of the
darkness and ignorance, corruption, immorality, idolatry, and disorder
which surround him on all sides. . . . He wants to get hold of that
power with which he might bring about the downfall of the corrupt and
disorderly world and lay the foundations of a new and better one. . . .
He wanted to change the whole structure of society which had been
handed down to them from time immemorial.
Muslims are also quick to point out immorality around the world,
especially in the West. It seems, then, that Muslims are suggesting a
very inconsistent message. When confronted with an immoral practice in
another culture, Muslims cry out in one accord, "We condemn these
practices, for they are against the eternal, perfect, and unalterable
Law of God!" Yet, whenever the moral character of Muhammad is being
scrutinized, Muslims suddenly say, "Don't judge Muhammad! You
should remember that he was from a different culture! Marrying young
girls was common in Arabia, and it still is, thanks to Muhammad's
precedent. Different people have different moral standards, so no one
should worry about Muhammad's sexual relationship with a
This convenient switch from moral absolutism to moral relativism is
logically unacceptable. Nevertheless, Muslim apologists have developed
another answer to Muhammad's critics, namely, that Muhammad's
marriage to Aisha was part of God's divine plan (i.e. God had a
reason for it):
It should be borne in mind that, like all acts of the Holy Prophet (may
peace be upon him), even this marriage had a Divine purpose behind it.
Hadrat Aisha was a precocious girl and was developing both in mind and
body with rapidity peculiar to such rare personalities. She was
admitted to the house of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) just
at the threshold of her puberty, the most impressionable and formative
period of her life. It was the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) who
nurtured her sensibilities and directed the growth of her faculties to
the most fruitful channel and thus she was made to play an eminent role
in the history of Islam. Moreover, she was the only virgin lady to
enter the House of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) and was
thus very competent to share the feelings of other ladies of younger
age who had numerous questions to ask from the Holy Prophet (may peace
be upon him) with regard to sexual ethics and morality. These ladies
felt shy of asking them through the elderly wives of the Holy Prophet
(may peace be upon him) out of modesty. They could speak out their
minds comparatively more freely to Aisha who was more or less of their
own age group.
Puberty is a biological sign which shows that a woman is capable of
bearing children. Can anyone logically deny this? Part of the wisdom
behind the Prophet Muhammad's marriage to Aishah just after she
reached puberty is to firmly establish this as a point of Islamic Law,
even though it was already a cultural norm in all Semitic societies
(including the one Jesus grew up in).
Here Muslim apologists argue that Muhammad married Aisha for a divine
purpose. Young girls who have questions about sex need someone to talk
to, and who better for this task than the young wife of the Prophet?
Further, Muhammad wanted to establish puberty as an appropriate age for
marriage, so he decided to demonstrate this rule by marrying Aisha.
There are numerous problems with this defense. First, such a response
could be used to justify nearly any behavior. Consider a husband on
trial for beating his wife. When he takes the stand, he explains,
"Your Honor, many women are victims of spousal abuse, and they need
someone to talk to. Out of the kindness of my heart, I decided to beat
my wife, so that she would be able to comfort other women whose
husbands beat them." Such an explanation would never be accepted
(except, perhaps, in countries under Islamic rule where the Qur'an
guarantees a husband's right to beat his wife). Besides, if
Muhammad had outlawed sex with children instead of becoming a willing
participant, little girls wouldn't have to worry about sex, and they
wouldn't need to question Aisha.
Second, it isn't necessary for a lawgiver to institute laws by
performing actions that create a precedent. In other words, Muhammad
didn't need to marry a young girl in order establish a law about
marrying girls who had reached puberty. Muhammad, as Islam's
lawgiver, could have simply issued a decree. For instance, Muhammad
allowed husbands to beat their wives. Was it necessary for Muhammad to
beat his wives in order to establish this as a law? Certainly not.
Similarly, when an American lawmaker says that killing someone in
self-defense is acceptable, no one argues that the lawmaker must go out
and kill someone in self-defense if his law is to stand. Hence, the
argument that Muhammad needed to marry a young girl to establish
puberty as the appropriate age for marriage completely fails.
Third, the Muslim claim that Aisha was a "precocious child" strains
the evidence. Aisha herself reports that, when she was taken to
Muhammad's house, she was playing on a swing with her friends. She
was also still playing with dolls. Based on the evidence, Aisha sounds
like a normal little girl, not like a young adult. Besides, Muhammad
didn't marry her because she was precocious; he married her because
he was dreaming about her.
Fourth, Muslims search for reasons to justify Muhammad's relationship
with Aisha because they are convinced that everything Muhammad did had
a divine purpose behind it. When critics point out Muhammad's
numerous murders and assassinations, Muslims claim that these violent
acts were just. When critics note the extent of Muhammad's polygamy,
or his participation in the slave-trade, or his countless
robberies, Muslims provide answers based on their idea that
Muhammad was an outstanding moral example. Similarly, when Muslims are
confronted with the evidence for Muhammad's sexual encounters with
Aisha, they assume that there must have been a reason for it. They then
invent reasons for Muhammad's behavior (i.e. the other little girls
needed someone to talk to about sex), and they offer these reasons as a
defense of Muhammad's morality. However, non-Muslims do not share
this confidence in Muhammad's moral perfection. Indeed, when
non-Muslims hear about Muhammad's violence, his greed, his polygamy,
and his support of spousal abuse, we aren't as quick to say "He
must have had a reason" as Muslims seem to be. Because of this,
Muslim justifications for Muhammad's marriage to Aisha sound hollow
when presented as a logical defense of Muhammad's actions.
Finally, Muslim explanations for Muhammad's behavior fail to take
into account the dangers that accompany sex at a young age. Many
Muslims claim that, as soon as a young girl gets her first period, she
is ready to bear children. This "old enough to bleed, old enough to
breed" mentality, aside from being disgusting, is completely false. A
nine-year-old girl isn't ready for sex or children, even if she
reaches menses earlier than other little girls. Children that young are
still growing; when they become pregnant, their bodies divert
nutritional resources to the developing fetus, depriving the growing
girls of much-needed vitamins and minerals. Further, all sorts of
complications result from adolescent pregnancies, because the bodies of
the young girls simply aren't ready to give birth.
The West has discerned the dangers posed by adolescent pregnancies.
Muslim apologists often claim that marriage to young girls was common
in biblical times. This may be correct, but it is because young
marriages were part of the culture, not because God endorsed them.
Whereas many Christian countries have recognized the potential harms
brought on by pregnancies among adolescent girls and have raised the
legal age for marriage, Muslim countries are often kept from such
advancements because of Muhammad. This is interesting, for Muslims
often claim that Muhammad was scientifically enlightened and that the
Qur'an is a scientific masterpiece. In reality, Muhammad's
marriage to Aisha is injuring young girls across the Middle East and
North Africa. The dangers have even been noted by the United Nations,
which issued the following report in an attempt to curb the practices
supported by Islam:
Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by
members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every
social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural
practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members,
while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These
harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM);
forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or
practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility;
nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and
its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide;
early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and
their violation of international human rights laws, such practices
persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality
in the eyes of those practicing them.
Child marriage robs a girl of her childhood-time necessary to develop
physically, emotionally and psychologically. In fact, early marriage
inflicts great emotional stress as the young woman is removed from her
parents' home to that of her husband and in-laws. Her husband, who
will invariably be many years her senior, will have little in common
with a young teenager. It is with this strange man that she has to
develop an intimate emotional and physical relationship. She is
obliged to have intercourse, although physically she might not be fully
Health complications that result from early marriage in the Middle East
and North Africa, for example, include the risk of operative delivery,
low weight and malnutrition resulting from frequent pregnancies and
lactation in the period of life when the young mothers are themselves
Early pregnancy can have harmful consequences for both young mothers
and their babies. According to UNICEF, no girl should become pregnant
before the age of 18 because she is not yet physically ready to bear
children. Babies of mothers younger than 18 tend to be born premature
and have low body weight; such babies are more likely to die in the
first year of life. The risk to the young mother's own health is also
greater. Poor health is common among indigent pregnant and lactating
In many parts of the developing world, especially in rural areas, girls
marry shortly after puberty and are expected to start having children
immediately. Although the situation has improved since the early
1980's, in many areas the majority of girls under 20 years of age are
already married and having children. Although many countries have
raised the legal age for marriage, this has had little impact on
traditional societies where marriage and child-bearing confer
"status" on a woman.
An additional health risk to young mothers is obstructed labor, which
occurs when the baby's head is too big for the orifice of the mother.
This provokes vesicovaginal fistulas, especially when an untrained
traditional birth attendant forces the baby's head out unduly.
Contrary to Muslim claims, a nine-year-old girl just isn't ready for
sexual intercourse or for its possible ramifications (i.e., pregnancy,
giving birth, breast-feeding, and raising a child). It is unnecessarily
dangerous, for a much safer relationship could be created if the
marriage were to take place several years later, when the girl reaches
her late teens. Muslims may respond to this by arguing, "But Aisha
never became pregnant, so none of this matters." Yet it does matter.
Every year, countless young girls, still playing with dolls, are taken
to live with much older husbands. If these husbands were to be
challenged, they wouldn't respond by saying, "But it's part of
Arabic culture"; instead, they would reply, "It can't be wrong,
since Muhammad did it too."
Muhammad has been accused of pedophilia in numerous writings, sermons,
and conversations. We have seen that the earliest Muslim traditions
offer support for this view. However, the evidence sustaining the
charge of pedophilia is perhaps too limited to warrant such a harsh
conclusion. We know that Muhammad had a sexual relationship with a
young girl, and that this was reprehensible. Yet we must take cultural
differences into consideration in formulating an accurate appraisal of
a person's character. In Muhammad's society, sexual intercourse was
acceptable when a girl reached menses, and Muhammad probably waited
until Aisha had reached this age.
Similarly, we don't have enough information to call Muhammad a
"pervert." While Muhammad's sexual acts may seem startling, we
don't know enough about the nature of these acts to condemn him as a
sexual deviant or a predator.
Nevertheless, Muslims are too hasty in dismissing Muhammad's
relationship with Aisha. We can't simply ignore a prophet's
marriage to a nine-year-old girl. Muslims view Muhammad as the highest
example of a moral life, but his marriage to Aisha conflicts with that
view. If they want to put Muhammad forward as the standard of morality,
Muslims need to come to terms with the many questionable things
There is a simple, but highly explicit, way to evaluate the importance
of Muhammad's marriage to Aisha. We must begin by trying to get a
mental picture of a morally perfect man. For Muslims, this will include
all the things they have been taught about Muhammad. According to their
picture, he is kind, generous, patient, humble, and trustworthy. He
protects orphans and widows, endures persecution, helps the needy, and
promotes justice. He prays faithfully, fasts regularly, and obeys God
in everything. He is loyal to his friends and patient with his enemies.
He never gives in when tempted with evil. Now we must picture that same
man in a room with an innocent little girl. He takes away her doll,
climbs on top of her, and puts his penis inside her. She doesn't know
what is happening because she is too young to know much about sex.
Frightened and confused, she cries because of the pain and bleeds on
her bed, but she tries to remain quiet out of respect for her new
husband, who, in return, endangers her life. Later, he tells her to
wash the semen off his clothes so he can go to the mosque to pray.
If a person is able to keep the same vision of moral perfection
throughout that description, he may have the faith necessary to be a
Muslim. But if his vision of the perfect man is at odds with what
Muhammad did on numerous occasions, he will need to look elsewhere for
an ideal human being.
 Maulana Muhammad Ali, Muhammad the Prophet (St. Lambert: Payette
and Sims, 1993), pp. 183-184.
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Matraji, tr. (New Delhi: Islamic
Book Service, 2002), Number 5133. See also 5134.
 Ibid., Number 3896.
 Ibid., Number 5158.
 Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, tr., Number 3310.
 Ibid, Number 3311.
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, Number 3895. See also Number 5078.
 Ibid., Number 5081.
 Ibid., Number 3894.
 Ibid., Number 5160.
 The Qur'an commands husbands to treat their wives equally (4:3),
a command that Muhammad clearly violated. Of course, the same verse
also forbids husbands to marry more than four women, but Muhammad
received a revelation granting him immunity from this law (33:50).
 Ibid., Number 2581.
 Ibid., Number 2967.
 Ibid., Number 6130.
 Ibid., Number 230.
 Sahih Muslim, Number 566.
 Ibid., Number 232.
 Ibid., Numbers 299-301.
 Ibid., Number 302.
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, Number 268.
 Ibid., Number 5068.
 Professor Maqsood Jafri, "On The Character of Prophet Muhammad
(PBUH)," accessed at
 Abdur Rahman R. Squires, "The Young Marriage of Aishah,"
accessed at http://www.muslim-answers.org/aishah.htm.
 Abul A'la Mawdudi, Towards Understanding Islam (Islamic Circle
of North America, 1986), pp. 53, 56.
 Sahih Muslim, Note 1860 (p. 716).
 Squires, "The Young Marriage of Aishah."
 According to the Quran, "Men are the maintainers of women
because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they
spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient,
guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose
part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the
sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way
against them; surely Allah is High, Great" (v. 4:34, M.H. Shakir
 For references, see "Islam Beheaded" at
 For more on this, see "Talking Ants and Shrinking Humans" at
 Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights, Fact Sheet No.
23, "Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and
Children," accessed at http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/fs23.htm.
The actual report is much longer than the selections quoted here.