Was the Prophet Muhammad a pediphile

Off to Great Debates

I agree that if Pat Robertson did not say that Muhammed was a pedophile, we should not say he did, even though he has said many ridiculous, egregious, and deeply offensive things about people whose religious beliefs are not in lockstep with his.

Jerry Falwell called Muhammed a pedophile.


galen: Interesting website. Let’s review some US marriage law:

Alabama: Min age with consent: 14
(a) Parental consent not required if minor was previously married.
(b) Other statutory requirements apply.

Mississippi: Min age with consent: None
Parental consent and/or permission of judge required.

California: Min age with consent: None
Other statutory requirements apply.

I don’t know about eighth century political middle-Eastern political marriages, but it is worth noting that in medieval and Renaissance-era political marriages, consummation of the union was often delayed when one or both of the parties was pre-pubescent. Parents and advisors were sometimes rightly concerned about girls bearing children too young. Sometimes it was believed that sex too early could be dangerous to the health of a young boy- look at Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII’s older brother.

So even if Muhummed married a nine-year-old, there is no proof that he had sex with her, or wanted too.

With regards to Jerry Vines comments: He was the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention when he made his comment. The incoming president of the Southern Baptist Convention is from a church here in Dallas and he DID speak out on the comments in question, just not in the most enlightened way.
Here is a link to the story

Excerpts from something quoted from Jerry Falwell’s recent writings on another board:

I’d be inclined to think that the marriage to the nine-year-old was akin to “political marriages” arranged between children, or with a child heiress and a nobleman, during the Middle Ages, not a case of Mohammed getting the hots for a child. If somebody has access to the Hadith, it might be interesting to see what those cites refer to.

Where’s Muslim Guy when you need him?

Now that we’ve sufficiently demonstrated that one should not learn about Islam from right-wing Christian evangelists with personal agendas, I’m curious as to what right-wing Islamic imans teach about Christianity. Just to see how things look from the other side of the cracked lens…

Now that we’ve sufficiently demonstrated that one should not learn about Islam from right-wing Christian evangelists with personal agendas, I’m curious as to what right-wing Islamic imans teach about Christianity. Just to see how things look from the other side of the cracked lens…

Polycarp: Here are a couple of commonly quoted hadith statements on A’isha’s age:
*Narrated Aisha: “The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina 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, Um 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 Alright, 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 a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle 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. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar), Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234)” *

'Aishah, may God be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet was betrothed (zawaj) to her when she was six years old and he consummated (nikah) his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years. (Saheeh al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64 )

Note that #65 is virtually identical even to the phrasing of #64 above, at least in translation ( sadly I can’t read the original ).

Here is an argument that the above quotes cannot be accurate:


Here’s an apologia, assuming the age was correct ( with a little Christian-bashing mixed in ):


There are arguments from all directions on this all over the web.

  • Tamerlane

Polycarp: Oh and here is an online translation of the hadith of Salih al-Bukhari ( I make no claims as to the accuracy of said translation ):


  • Tamerlane

I was just struck by this. Was it common for women to have children in their mid to late 40’s during Muhammed’s time? For some reason I thought that women having kids this late in life was something that had only come about w/ modern medicine. Am I just totally ignorant here?

I don’t have any statistics on which to go, but I’d say that the answer to your question is no, it wasn’t so common for women past 40 to bear children – but probably because the average life span of women was shorter than it is today, not because of modern medicine.

I’m not even sure that modern medicine does make it easier or more feasible for women over 40 to have children. Certainly medical technology makes it easier to detect problems with the fetus/baby and decide what to do about them; but I don’t think medical care makes it easier for the woman, biologically speaking, or makes it more likely that she will carry the baby to full term. In this sense, the risks of pregnancy – at any age – haven’t changed much in centuries.

I say this partly on the basis on anecdotal experience: two relatives and one close friend, all of whom became pregnant after the age of 40. All had equally good medical care, no pre-existing conditions which were likely to make the pregnancy particularly difficult, no bad health habits which obvious risks. My aunt miscarried in her third month; my cousin and my friend had no problems and each went on to have a second child in her 40s. I don’t think the successes were attributable to modern pre-natal care, but maybe this is a misconception on my part.

Still, it does seem rather uncommon for a woman to bear six children after the age of 40!