Refutation: The misconception of Aisha’s age

Many intellectuals who don’t hold a good view of Islam, time and again come up with this claim that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) got married to Aisha (may God be pleased with her), when she was merely a child. There are various claims on the matter, some quote the traditions which says that Aisha was six years old when she as married and nines years when the marriage was consummated. Others put the age of marriage at 10 and 13 at the time of consummation. So let’s explore the bits we know from historical records and the academic research which has been done on the matter.

Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s second marriage:

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was married to Khadija (may God be please with her) and their relationship lasted for more than two decades. At the time of their marriage Muhammad (peace be upon him) was twenty five (25) while Khadija was forty (40) and a widow. Polygamy in Arabia in those times (even now) was considered to be normal practice and the Arabs could marry any number of women without restriction or having to account for the social welfare of the woman.

After the death of his beloved wife Khadija, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was struck with grief. Witnessing his condition, a companion suggested that he should marry again and proposed the name of Aisha the daughter of Abu Bakar (may God be pleased with him) another companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The companion presented this proposal to Abu Bakar on the Prophet (peace be upon him)’s behalf. But at that time Aisha was already promised to Jubair (this was during the time when both Abu Bakar and Aisha were not Muslims). But now that Abu Bakar and Aisha were Muslims and deemed heretics within Mecca and the surroundings, Jubair distanced himself from claiming Aisha (broke off the engagement). Now the matter of adulthood of Aisha, it was agreed upon that the marriage will not be consummated until Aisha (may God be pleased with her) has attained adulthood. Thus the ‘marriage ceremony’ was virtually an engagement ceremony.

The misconception

So it is safe to establish that in pre – Islam Arabia, engaging young women (to be married) while they were about to reach puberty was not something out of this world. The popular misconception about Aisha’s age arises through a Hadith which is reported to be narrated by Aisha herself, the accounts of which can be found in Bukhari at two places at least.

However, the authenticity of these reports are challenged time and again by various academics. Hadith is a collection of reports about the life and actions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which are reported / narrated by others to a person and it is upto that person whether to accept or reject them by testing these reports in historical context. Sometimes, the Hadith is reported and it is left on the imagination of the reader to interpret the actions or the quotations of the Prophet in anyway that makes sense and fits the context. As a rule of thumb, it should be kept in mind that if in a certain case, the Hadith is found to be contradictory to the Holy Quran, the Quran will be taken as the final authority.

Now having established the authority of the Hadith let us see what one of the famous writer / scholar of Islam has to say about the reports found in Bukhari. Maulana Muhammad Ali was the first Islamic scholar directly to challenge the notion that Aisha was aged six and nine, respectively, at the time of her engagement and consummation of marriage. This he did in, at least, the following writings: his English booklet Prophet of Islam, his larger English book Muhammad, the Prophet, and in the footnotes in his voluminous Urdu translation and commentary of Sahih Bukhari entitled Fadl-ul-Bari, these three writings being published in the 1920s and 1930s. In the booklet Prophet of Islam, which was later incorporated in 1948 as the first chapter of his book Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad, he writes in a lengthy footnote as follows:

“A great misconception prevails as to the age at which Aisha was taken in marriage by the Prophet. Ibn Sa‘d has stated in the Tabaqat that when Abu Bakar [father of Aisha] was approached on behalf of the Holy Prophet, he replied that the girl had already been betrothed to Jubair, and that he would have to settle the matter first with him. This shows that Aisha must have been approaching majority [puberty] at the time. Again, the Isaba, speaking of the Prophet’s daughter Fatima, says that she was born five years before the Call and was about five years older than Aisha. This shows that Aisha must have been about ten years at the time of her betrothal to the Prophet, and not six years as she is generally supposed to be. This is further borne out by the fact that Aisha herself is reported to have stated that when the chapter [of the Holy Quran] entitled The Moon, the fifty-fourth chapter, was revealed, she was a girl playing about and remembered certain verses then revealed. Now the fifty-fourth chapter was undoubtedly revealed before the sixth year of the Call. All these considerations point to but one conclusion, viz., that Aisha could not have been less than ten years of age at the time of her nikah, which was virtually only a betrothal. And there is one report in the Tabaqat that Aisha was nine years of age at the time of nikah. Again it is a fact admitted on all hands that the nikah of Aisha took place in the tenth year of the Call in the month of Shawwal, while there is also preponderance of evidence as to the consummation of her marriage taking place in the second year of Hijra in the same month, which shows that full five years had elapsed between the nikah and the consummation. Hence there is not the least doubt that Aisha was at least nine or ten years of age at the time of betrothal, and fourteen or fifteen years at the time of marriage.” (Bukhari, Book of Qualities of the Ansar, by Maulana Muhammad Ali)

To understand the events which the author is discussing, the tenth year of the Call which Muhammad Ali refers to is ten years after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received his first revelations from God almighty, bestowing Prophet-hood on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). “Hijra” is Arabic for emigration, it signifies the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers towards Yathrib (later known as Medina).

More Research

Many more scholars took up the issue following Maulana Muhammad Ali and concluded that Aisha might have been much older than what Muhammad Ali has pointed out. A pamphlet by Abu Tahir Irfani (published by the Anjuman Isha‘at Islam, Bombay, India) points out as follows:

  1.  The famous classical historian of Islam, Ibn Jarir Tabari, wrote in his ‘History’:

    “In the time before Islam, Abu Bakar married two women. The first was Fatila daughter of Abdul Uzza, from whom Abdullah and Asma were born. Then he married Umm Ruman, from whom Abdur Rahman and Aisha were born. These four were born before Islam.” (Tarikh Tabari, vol. 4, p. 50. )

    Being born before Islam means being born before the Call.

  2. The compiler of the famous Hadith collection Mishkat al-Masabih, Imam Wali-ud-Din Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Khatib, who died 700 years ago, has also written brief biographical notes on the narrators of Hadith reports. He writes under Asma, the older daughter of Abu Bakar:

    “She was the sister of Aisha Siddiqa, wife of the Holy Prophet, and was ten years older than her. … In 73 A.H. … Asma died at the age of one hundred years.” (Mishkat al-Masabih, Edition with Urdu translation published in Lahore, 1986, vol. 3, p. 300–301)

    This would make Asma 28 years of age in 1 A.H., the year of the Hijra, thus making Aisha 18 years old in 1 A.H. So Aisha would be 19 (nineteen) years old at the time of the consummation of her marriage, and 14 or 15 years old at the time of her nikah. It would place her year of birth at four or five years before the Call.

  3. The same statement is made by the famous classical commentator of the Holy Quran, Ibn Kathir, in his book Al-bidayya wal-nihaya:

    “Asma died in 73 A.H. at the age of one hundred years. She was ten years older than her sister Aisha.” (Vol. 8, p. 346.)

    Apart from these three evidences, which are presented in the Urdu pamphlet referred to above, we also note that the birth of Aisha being a little before the Call is consistent with the opening words of a statement by her which is recorded four times in Bukhari. Those words are as follows:

    “Ever since I can remember (or understand things) my parents were following the religion of Islam.”

This is tantamount to saying that she was born sometime before her parents accepted Islam but she can only remember them practicing Islam. No doubt she and her parents knew well whether she was born before or after they accepted Islam, as their acceptance of Islam was such a landmark event in their life which took place just after the Holy Prophet received his mission from God. If she had been born after they accepted Islam it would make no sense for her to say that she always remembered them as following Islam. Only if she was born before they accepted Islam, would it make sense for her to say that she can only remember them being Muslims, as she was too young to remember things before their conversion. This is consistent with her being born before the Call, and being perhaps four or five years old at the time of the Call, which was also almost the time when her parents accepted Islam.

The evidence by Muhammad Ali

In his Urdu translation and commentary of Sahih Bukhari, entitled Fadl-ul-Bari, Maulana Muhammad Ali points out reports of two events which show that Aisha could not have been born after the year of the Call. These are presented as follows:

  • The above mentioned statement by Aisha in Bukhari, about her earliest memory of her parents being that they were followers of Islam, begins with the following words in its version in Bukhari’s Kitab-ul-Kafalat. We quote this from the English translation of Bukhari by M. Muhsin Khan:

    “Since I reached the age when I could remember things, I have seen my parents worshiping according to the right faith of Islam. Not a single day passed but Allah’s Apostle visited us both in the morning and in the evening. When the Muslims were persecuted, Abu Bakar set out for Ethiopia as an emigrant.” (Muhsin Khan’s English translation of Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 37, Number 494.)

    Commenting on this report, Maulana Muhammad Ali writes:

    “This report sheds some light on the question of the age of Aisha. … The mention of the persecution of Muslims along with the emigration to Ethiopia clearly shows that this refers to the fifth or the sixth year of the Call. … At that time Aisha was of an age to discern things, and so her birth could not have been later than the first year of the Call.” (Fadl-ul-Bari, vol. 1, p. 501, footnote 1. )

    According to this claim her age should have be more than fourteen (14) at the time of consummation.

  • There is a report in Sahih Bukhari as follows:

    “On the day (of the battle) of Uhud when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw Aisha daughter of Abu Bakar and Umm Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, ‘carrying the water skins on their backs’). Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people.” (Muhsin Khan’s translation and go down to report listed as Volume 4, Book 52, Number 131).

    Muhammad Ali’s footnote under the report quotes:

    “It should also be noted that Aisha joined the Holy Prophet’s household only one year before the battle of Uhud. According to the common view she would be only ten years of age at this time, which is certainly not a suitable age for the work she did on this occasion. This also shows that she was not so young at this time.” (Fadl-ul-Bari, vol. 1, p. 651).

Let’s expand the last account a bit more, as we have discussed in the previous section if AIsha was in fact nineteen at the time of consummation of her marriage, then one year later at the battle of Uhud she must be twenty. Adding to this, we should remember that battles which took place prior to this one, some passionate Muslim youth, out of eagerness, tried to join in the ranks of the Muslim army for battle. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) sent them back on account of their younger age. It will not be historically correct to assume that Aisha would have been just ten (10) years old during the battle of Uhud if she was performing her battle field duties at that time.

So we have ample evidence which quote the same sources from the Hadith and historical context to conclude that Aisha (may God be pleased with her) was nineteen years of age when she joined Prophet (peace be upon him) as his wife in the second year of Hijrah.

(This is part one which is written to debunk the lies put out there by those who are openly bigoted towards Islam, in Part two I will discuss the take of Christianity on marriage of young ‘virgins’ with much older men. The purpose of the article is not to disrespect Christianity, but to show the hypocrisy of the right wing Christian evangelists who use the Hadiths out of context to portray Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s as an immoral being.)

What “Mullah” want

Yesterday’s tragic incident, is nothing but a slap to the face of the nation. It wasn’t just a murder of a man, it was a murder of moral values given to us by Islam. It is not just the funeral of Shahbaz Bhatti, it is the funeral of Islamic principles, torn apart by the nation which claims to be the caretaker of this great religion. Every human, irrespective of their religion (except for many in Pakistan) has condemned this gruesome act of brutality. However, yet again, the clergy is quiet, none has come forward and condemned this heinous crime. Why? Because the killing machine called ‘Tehreek-e-Taaliban Pakistan” claims this murder in the name of the infamous, controversial blasphemy law.

I know, it came as a shock to me too. Not that the clergy failed condemn this act, but the fact that the atrocious Taliban are actually standing up for “rule of law”? There is a catch to this, they ONLY want to defend the blasphemy clauses while they are happy to break every other law in this country. All of a sudden, constitution is very important to them. Where is the mullah now? Are you happy ‘maulvi sahab’? Isn’t this what you really want? What else do we need to prove that this law is nothing but shame and misery towards Pakistan and the nation.

It is time to repeal this law once and for all, it has already claimed lives of many innocent people and have brought misery to others. Those who speak for it cannot bring forth a single piece of evidence neither from Holy Scriptures, nor from history. The facts they put forward are distorted and disgraceful, which have been proven over and over again. Yet the nation is unable to see through their disguise of ‘Holy men’, what deceiving and hypocritical beings they are.

Even if this incident doesn’t open our nation’s eyes, then I am afraid no Messiah is going to come for them. Pakistanis should understand the fact that these self-proclaimed religious scholars and these extremists, jihadist, ignorant and blood thirsty butchers (call them Al-Qaeda or Taliban) are one and the same. They have already hijacked our peaceful religion Islam and are using our beliefs against us, they want to rule the nation with fear and ignorance, that is what the Mullah want.

The worst creatures


The importance of knowledge in Islam

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was quoted saying:

Seek knowledge, even as far as China.

On another occasion the Prophet (peace be upon him) is recorded saying:

Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim (man & woman).

Many ‘hard-line’ Muslims have a common yet bizarre perspective to these sayings. A few days ago a group of people from the mosque (تبلیغی جماعت) came to my house to ‘preach’. These are the people who go house to house and meet with people and invite them to mosque and charities. One of them referenced the first saying and said, “You know, the Prophet was talking about Islamic knowledge, the spiritual knowledge and he emphasized so much as to ask the Muslims to travel to China at that time to seek knowledge, the science is just for skills, it isn’t real knowledge”. I respectfully disagreed with him and asked, “But, Islam at that time was only confined to Arabia and some eastern parts of Africa. What Islamic / ‘spiritual’ knowledge was to be gained in China at that time?” To which he had no answer, only to tell me that I have less religious knowledge and walk away.

After this (rather insignificant incident) I had forgotten about it, until one day while watching a documentary (Engineering an empire) on the History channel I was literally amazed at what I saw. It was a documentary about China and how over time it was engineered by its emperors. According to it, Chinese were one of the first astronomers, chemists, mathematicians and engineers. They were the first to modernize naval warfare. They put mercury and other elements to various tests and discovered many properties that the world had never seen. They  were on their way towards inventing rockets and torpedoes. They constructed the great wall, which to this day, stands as a monument to human engineering.

While at that time (during the 6th century) Arabia was in the age of darkness, ignorance ruled hearts and minds of the Arabs. But China at the same time was advancing intellectually, socially and technologically. The vision of the Prophet(peace be upon him) was so vast, his sense of urgency was spot on, He must have known what is happening in China (at that time). Ofcourse at that time, journey to China was a life long experience, which goes to show how much importance knowledge had in the eyes of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

It is sad how Muslims today have ‘limited’ the great vision of the Prophet (peace be upon him), by viewing his sayings in a perspective which (more often) doesn’t even make sense. It was this knowledge & technology which has changed the world to what we know today. It was this knowledge which has helped nation progress and overcome their rivals. It is this knowledge which has made nations like United States and China, world leaders. It was this knowledge that the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Muslims to seek 1,400 years ago.

‘I blame the West’

“I blame the West”, time and again I see Pakistanis from ‘various’ sections (especially the clerics) uttering this, blaming the west for the current (humiliating) situation the Muslim world, especially Pakistan, is in. I strictly disagree with them. This mess is created by us alone, it is preposterous to hold any (foreign) force responsible for it. Make no mistake I love my country, I love my countrymen / countrywomen. But as a nation, we are not doing what needs to be done for our own betterment.

If we compare the ‘Western’ ethics with ours we will observe that our ‘national’ character has fallen behind not only in the race of material progress, but also moral and religious values too. They (the west) say religion plays no part in a nation’s progress, but the truth is, they have adopted our (religious) values which have propelled them from being barbarians, into what we see today as prosperous and progressive countries. Let’s examine some basics.


Islamic values tell us “cleanliness is half of faith“, as a nation, we are only left with half of our faith.  Our roads, our alleys, our water streams are all filled with garbage and filth. There is no mechanism, on individual level or on community level to address this issue. The nation is deprived of clean water, pollution of every kind is found in almost every city in Pakistan.

Abiding the laws:

Islam commands every Muslim to observe the laws of the country he/she is living in. In Pakistan however, ‘laws’ only apply on those who are deprived (i.e. living from hand to mouth). There is a famous saying, ‘a nation’s character can be observed by observing its traffic’. There is a majority in Pakistan who completely disregard the traffic laws, not only the vehicle owners, even the cyclists and the pedestrians. Our nation, sadly is unaware of the road ethics which are observed in the developed countries.

Traffic is just a preview of a common Pakistani’s lawlessness. Corruption is a widespread disease in the country, majority from the President of the country, to the most low ranked clerk in an office, everyone is involved in some sort of corruption. Often, no work is done until and unless some sort of  ‘offering’ is made.  Ironic is the fact that the same is true for offices responsible for law enforcement.

Unfair & Unforgiving:

Yes, unfairness, a common trait we ignore in ourselves. Nothing in our country (not even the air we breath) is pure, adulteration in various edibles (even medicine) is overlooked by the common man (even the consumer, who frankly have no other choice as an average man). Everyone wants to make money ‘by hook or by crook’, how can there be fairness in such environment.

Most alarming is the fact that we are vengeful and unforgiving. It is very troubling to know that over a hundred thousand judicial cases are still pending in courts countrywide. Even more shocking is to know that many of these cases, have been passed down from generations. How does a nation progress when it can’t even resolve conflict between them in a given time?!

Islam teaches us fairness, forgiveness and honesty, but as a nation, I am afraid to say we have lost it. Interesting to note is the fact that none of the (so-called) clerics and religious scholars are addressing this issue. They are the ones to guide the nation in the light of this great religion, rather they are leading it into a ditch of ignorance and darkness. They ‘use’ the name of Islam, they fail to ‘understand’ it.


“Seek education, even if you have to travel to China (from Arabia)”, this is how much the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) emphasized on education. Clerics misunderstand the concept put forward by the Prophet and confuse that He was asking Muslims to get ‘religious’ education. While it is clearly not the case, there wasn’t any Islam in China at that time? History confirms that at that time (during the mid first century A.D.), Chinese were involved in researches including, aerospace, astronomy, physics and chemistry.

In our country, education is treated as a ‘business service’, there are scores of schools in every small town, different types of education. Tragically, everyone gets education based on their wealth, which has divided the country through generations. None of our universities is even in the top 100 in the world.

The saddest part is, this nation doesn’t even celebrate its most literate person, ‘Professor Dr. Muhammad Abd-us-Salam’, who went through this education system to produce his masterpiece which was ‘Electro-Weak’ theory. I bet, no average Pakistani can tell a single postulate of his theory. He won the Nobel price in Physics for his accomplishments, while his work isn’t even mentioned in our schools and colleges. He was victimized for being a member of a minority sect. Today, the United Nations is a proud owner of his scientific research institute in Italy (which according to him, he wanted to build here in Pakistan).


I believe if our nation starts embracing its religion (in its pure form), Pakistan can leave behind every developed country in the world in every field. Its time the nation understood, that they are being used, played by some interest groups, who are ‘hijacking’ their religion for their own benefits. And to those who blame the west, I blame you, I blame me, I blame every citizen of Pakistan, for where Pakistan is today. Change yourself, change Pakistan.

اسلام اور توہین رسالت کا قانون

Some of my friends asked me to write my posts about blasphemy law in urdu language, so I am posting this summarized version of all my posts about blasphemy law in urdu.

(click on the image to enlarge)

For the last time, there is no ‘blasphemy law’ in Islam

The fair name of Islam has recently been darkened by the murderous directive issued by certain Muslim leaders and endorsed by their supporters that Aasia Bibi must be assassinated as a result of her making blasphemous remarks about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Aasia Bibi might be guilty of blasphemy but this is not an offense for which the death penalty is prescribed by Islam. Not at all. No such instruction is contained in the Holy Qur’an and it is a significant point to bear in mind, that not one protagonist demanding her assassination has quoted a single verse from the Holy Qur’an as a basis of authority.

No Prophet of God was more blasphemed, maligned, insulted and abused during his lifetime than the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).  He and his faithful followers were subjected to every kind of verbal invective and physical harassment. He was forced to migrate from Mecca to Medina due to the severity of persecution by the Meccans. Ten years later he returned to Mecca with ten thousand followers who could have taken the town by storm but the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade any bloodshed. Much to the amazement of the Meccans he forgave them their cruel enormities and this was his general attitude throughout his life towards his enemies and blasphemous opponents. All Muslims look upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as a perfect exemplar for mankind and they would do well to be moved and guided by his noble example.

There is no mention in the Holy Qur’an or anywhere else of any punishment for a blasphemous act. The consequences of her blasphemy in this world and in the next life lie solely in the hands of God. Humans are free to accept or reject whatever they believe in. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

‘There is no compulsion in religion.’ (2:256)

‘It is the truth from your Lord; wherefore let him who will believe and let him who will disbelieve.’ (18:29)

Islam recognizes the right of freedom of conscience and freedom of belief and that as far as one’s religious belief is concerned one is answerable to God alone. No man has the right to punish another for his choice of belief. There is absolutely no compulsion whatsoever in Islam and no punishment of any kind permitted in the Holy Qur’an for blasphemy.

Human rights are laid down in the Holy Qur’an which guarantee man the right of perfect freedom of faith and conscience. In such matters God is the Judge – not man.

Why blasphemy law is not ‘Islamic’

After my previous post on the subject of ‘The Blasphemy law: (From being unIslamic to Islamic)’, I have been getting a lot of hatred for calling the law un-Islamic. Sadly, all of it is coming from (so called) Muslims. It is a disappointment that people do not ponder into religious history in the light of the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I was shocked to see people defending the law as if it was a part of some Holy Scripture.

None of them could answer my simple questions that were

“Give me any example where the Allah commanded to kill the blasphemer? Why didn’t The Prophet (peace be upon him) killed any blasphemer in his life? Why is it, that this ‘blasphemy law’ wasn’t in place during the Khilafat-e-Rashidah (the period of ruling of the four Caliphs of Islam)?”

While many came up with stories about it, some just opted to talk rubbish. The stories were fascinating, I was amazed to see how individuals can distort facts just to gain their interest and influence. Not only it is a distortion of facts about the personality of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) but it is a distortion of the teachings of the peaceful religion called Islam.

The (so called) scholars focus on the execution orders that were given out by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) on the day of Mecca’s conquest. Here are some names and their real cases:

Abdullah ibn Sa’d:

Abdullah ibn Sa’ d, who had become Muslim and been appointed as a scribe of revelation by the Prophet. He later reneged and joined the infidels. After the Conquest of Mecca, when he heard that the Prophet had ordered his execution, he took refuge with his milk-brother Uthman. The latter gave him shelter, then took him to the Prophet with a request once again to accept his conversion to Islam. The Prophet remained silent. Then Uthman asked a second time, whereupon the Prophet accepted Abdullah ibn Sa’d’s oath of allegiance. The latter subsequently became governor of Egypt during the caliphate of  Umar and Uthman, playing a major part in the conquest of Africa.

Abdullah ibn Khatal:

Abdullah ibn Khatal, who had previously accepted Islam and been sent by the Prophet to collect alms tax. A slave and one of the Ansar (dweller of Medina) went along with him. Coming to a halt in their journey, Abdullah ibn Khatal told the slave to prepare a chicken for a meal, but the slave went to sleep instead, and was unable to prepare the food in time. Abdullah ibn Khatal became angry and killed the slave. Fearing that if he returned to Medina, the Prophet would exact retribution for the slave’s death, he reneged and joined the infidels. On the day Mecca was conquered, he was executed upon orders of the Prophet (peace be upon him), not for apostasy, not for blasphemy, but for the killing of the slave.

Miqyas ibn Ayubabah:

Miqyas ibn Ayubabah, Hisham ibn Ayubabah’s brother. In the Dhu Qarad campaign, an Ansari(Medina dweller) had killed Hisham by mistake. After this Miqyas came to Medina and accepted Islam. He asked the Prophet for compensation for his brother’s death, and his request was granted. He stayed in Medina for a few days, then killed the person responsible for his brother’s death, escaped to Mecca and reneged. The Prophet ordered that he be put to death.

Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl:

Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl who, following in his father’s footsteps, was an uncompromising opponent of Islam. Seeing that he was sure to meet his end in Mecca, he fled to the Yemen. His wife, Umm Hakim bint Harith, who had accepted Islam, appealed to the Prophet for asylum on behalf of her husband. Her request was granted, and she went to the Yemen to collect Ikrimah. He returned with her and became Muslim at the hand of the Prophet.

Habbar ibn al-Aswad:

Habbar ibn al-Aswad, who had been responsible for great persecution of the Muslims. When the Prophet’s daughter Zaynab, was on her way from Mecca to Medina, he stabbed her camel’s side with a spear. The camel went into a frenzy and Zaynab fell down. She was with a child at that time. Not only did she suffer a miscarriage, but the effects of the mishap remained with her for the rest of her life. Orders were given for him to be killed, but he came to the Prophet and pleaded for mercy. “Prophet of God,” he said, “forgive my ignorance. Let me become a Muslim.” The Prophet forgave him.

Where in all of these events, was an execution for blasphemy? One should remember that before the migration of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), all the time he spent in Mecca was among those who used to conspire his murder, abuse him in front of the crowds, attack him and chase him through streets. Why were those people set free? Of course the ones who were executed were also blasphemers, but the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a greater man. He never seek revenge upon anyone for his personal grudges.

If however, we are lead to believe that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered those executions on the basis of ‘crimes of blasphemy’ then it will make it seem like that was (God forbid) an act of revenge. Qur’an is clear about revenge

‘And the recompense of an injury is an injury the like thereof; but who so forgives and his act brings about reformation, his reward is with Allah. Surely, He loves not the wrongdoers.’

[Ch. 42 V.41]

There had been incidents where even God wanted to take revenge for the abuse and blasphemy done with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the famous incident of Ta’if should be recalled. The Prophet asked God for their mercy from God not revenge!

For those who still think the infamous blasphemy law is Islamic, they should re-visit Islamic history and see on that day when Mecca was down on its knees, Prophet Muhammad had all the chance to take revenge from each and every living being in that city. If blasphemy law was Islamic, the Mecca should have had been bathing in blood. The truth is death penalties have never been common in Islam.

The actions and decisions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on that day clearly showed the world that he was a very wise intellectual and what he did on that day was justice to those who were wronged by these individuals mentioned above.

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