Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article, "Revisiting the Issue of Muhammad's Marriage with a child bride: How one Muslim Dawagandist attempts to defend the morally indefensible"


Bassam Zawadi

Warning To Christians: You are going to find a part of this article to be offensive, since I will be using strong language against the Biblical Jesus in response to Shamoun calling the Prophet a "filthy and immoral man". This is to tame animals such as Shamoun and make him think twice the next time he insults the Prophet in this manner and let him know how bad it feels to have your religion insulted.

Sam Shamoun's articles can be located here and here.

Shamoun has attacked strawman throughout most of his first article.

He spent most of the time trying to prove that Islam allows marriage to girls under the age of puberty. I never disputed this throughout the entire article that I wrote before. I was arguing that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not CONSUMMATE THE MARRIAGE with Aisha before she could do so.

In Islam, parents can betroth a child who did not hit puberty to someone else. We don't dispute this in any way. If the child grows up and decides to divorce the one she/he was betrothed to then fine, they can consummate the marriage since they are already married. I am not arguing against this. If Shamoun argues this is immoral, then let him PROVE that this is the case.

Now, regarding Aisha's CONSUMNATING THE MARRIAGE with the Prophet (peace be upon him), I would challenge Shamoun to prove that she wasn't physically or mentally able to do so. He thinks he has met my challenge. Let's see if that is the case.

Shamoun quotes from islam-qa and concludes that the reason why Aisha was allowed to play with dolls is because she didn't hit puberty.

The fool Shamoun still doesn't understand the Islamic ruling on dolls. Let us break it down for this fool so that he may understand (truly, it is the idiot guide to understanding Islamic fiqh):

-  In Islam, it is haram to play with dolls that have specific images.

-  Only those who did not hit puberty are allowed to play with them.

-  However, there are dolls that do not have these kinds of images.

-  It is permissible for both adults and children to play with them.

-  I quoted Ibn Uthaymeen and gave other evidence that suggested that there was a good chance that the dolls that Aisha played with are not the dolls that are forbidden for adults.

-  Thus, just because Aisha was playing with dolls (the permissible ones) that does not necessarily imply that she didn't hit puberty.

- The burden of proof is on Shamoun to show that Aisha played with forbidden dolls with an image during the time she consummated the marriage with the Prophet in order to successfully prove that she didn't hit puberty.

- Shamoun did not do such a thing.

Islam-qa makes it crystal clear that there are dolls that adults can play with and that one does not necessarily have to be prepubescent in order to play with them:

With regard to those in which the shape is incomplete, in which there is only a part of the limbs or head, but the shape is not clear, there is no doubt that these are permissible, and these are like the dolls with which 'Aa'ishah used to play. (Narrated in al-Bukhaari, 6130; Muslim, 2440). 

But if the shape is complete, and it is as if you are looking at a person - especially if it can move or speak - then I am not entirely at ease with the idea of them being permissible, because this is a complete imitation of the creation of Allaah. It seems that the dolls with which 'Aa'ishah used to play were not like this, so it is preferable to avoid them. But I cannot say that they are definitely haraam, because there are concessions granted to young children that are not granted to adults in such matters. It is natural for young children to play and have fun, they are not obliged to do any of the acts of worship so we cannot say that that they are wasting their time in idle play. But if a person wants to be on the safe side in such matters, he should cut off the head or hold it near the fire until it softens, then he should press it until the features disappear. (Majmoo' Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn 'Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), 2/277-278, cited here)

So when Shaykh Uthaymeen says:

there is no doubt that these are permissible,

He is speaking about dolls, which are not haram and that anyone can play with. He then states that this is most likely what Aisha played with:

and these are like the dolls with which 'Aa'ishah used to play.

Therefore, it is not necessary to assume that Aisha must have been prepubescent for her to have played with her dolls.

Sheikh Uthaymeen then argues that there are dolls that are haram, but there could be exceptions for children:

But I cannot say that they are definitely haraam, because there are concessions granted to young children that are not granted to adults in such matters.

But again, Uthaymeen emphasizes that these were not the kind of dolls that Aisha played with:

It seems that the dolls with which 'Aa'ishah used to play were not like this,

Hopefully, Shamoun can stop acting like a fool, get the point, and realize that the burden of proof is on him to show that Aisha was playing with forbidden dolls.

He should stop appealing to authority and quoting Al Khattabi and start PROVING that Al Khattabi was right. Even Ibn Hajar al Asqalani stated that Al Khattabi's opinion was questionable.

Shamoun said:

Zawadi is splitting hairs at this point since to argue that Ibn Hajar didn't say this, but merely quoted someone else who did, doesn't deny the fact that this is found in his work. And that was my point, that Ibn Hajar mentioned the fact that Aisha hadn't reached puberty which accounts for why she was still playing with dolls.

Just because Ibn Hajar quoted the opinion of someone does not mean that he agreed with him. Ibn Hajar clearly stated that Al Khattabi's opinion was questionable:

"To say with certainty 'that she was not yet at the age of puberty' is questionable"'

Shamoun stated:

As I documented, al-Asqalani was not disputing whether Muhammad married Aisha before puberty, but whether she was still prepubescent during the expedition against Khaibar. Al-Asqalani asserted that the strongest view is that she hadn't attained puberty even at that time when she was already 14 years old, and thereby soundly refutes and exposes Squires' assertion that Aisha was pubescent when Muhammad married her.

Shamoun is a liar. I CHALLENGE Shamoun to show us where, in the entire commentary, Asqalani said that the strongest opinion was that Aisha did not hit puberty. Asqalani did not say this. He said the strongest opinion was that the incident occurred at the time of Khaibar. However, Asqalani did not state that Aisha did not hit puberty during Khaibar. He only said that it was possible because she hadn't hit the age of fifteen yet. Only the translator of the hadith inserted in brackets his assertions, not Asqalani's. So, the translator was mistaken, while Shamoun is a liar since he continues to push forth the translator's mistake.

Shamoun said:

Zawadi then brings up a red herring by referring to the fact that there have been cases of girls in warmer climates that reach puberty at the age of eight. Later he provides quotes from Muslim authorities claiming there were nine-year-old girls who had menstruated often and of one particular girl who was a grandmother at the age of 21!

This is not a red herring. It shows that it is not surprising or astonishing that Aisha could have been able to consummate her marriage at such a young age, and it does not require extraordinary evidence to prove so.

Shamoun, the foolish deceiver, then has the nerve to accuse me of being a deceiver and liar:

Zawadi then says something which further proves that he will use deception or even make things up in order to defend the indefensible:

I also personally know of a 23 year old girl in my Masters class who is very intelligent and still keeps a teddy bear in her car.

What makes this statement rather curious is that this sure sounds like what the following Muslim poster stated concerning someone he knew:


04-24-2008, 01:44 PM

asalaam alaikum

trustingod, i remember a brother saying that he knew someone who is 23, and she still keeps a teddy bear. besides, we see in her life how she was so mature throughout the marriage, and that she was fit enough for it - that's why it continued so perfectly. (do the shafi's believe Aisha married without hitting puberty; source)

Now what are the odds that both of these gentlemen know of a girl who happens to be 23 years old and still plays with a teddy bear? In light of Zawadi's track record of lying and deception it seems pretty certain that this is another time that he has taken over the statements of someone else and made them his own.

Now it is one thing to quote someone, or even paraphrase a point that one has taken from another source without referencing it. It s quite another thing to take someone else's words and experiences and then pass them off as your own in order to justify wicked and immoral actions such as Muhammad's marriage to a minor.

The only thing that is wicked and immoral is to accuse someone of something without evidence falsely.

Shamoun the fool should read what brother Qatadah said carefully:

i remember a brother saying that he knew someone who is 23, and she still keeps a teddy bear.

Qatadah is not saying that he knows the 23 year old girl, but that he knows someone who knows a 23 year old girl that has a teddy bear.

Now Shamoun the fool should have figured out that this person is me, for I have already stated this over five months ago in another forum:

And that by the way is not childish, just 2 weeks ago I knew of a 23 year old girl in my masters class who is very intelligent and still keeps a teddy bear in her car. (Anti-Islam website attacks Prophet [s] with this sharh of ibn hajar [ra], December 18, 2007, Source)

Yes, Shamoun, we know you feel like a fool. So what's new?

Proceeding with Shamoun's arguments, he gets all emotional and argues that Aisha not being able to marry after the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a cruel thing to her:

This was one of the worst curses a young maiden could ever experience in her life. To think that women such as Aisha never had the joy of raising children or of having husbands to comfort and meet all of their needs for the rest of their lives is truly heart wrenching to say the least.

This is just another typical subjective Christian argument with no objective basis.

This is God's law, and we accept it, fully. If God wanted to test Aisha this way, then so be it. There is probably wisdom behind this law that we don't know about.

Can't I argue the same thing against Christianity? Christianity teaches that if a woman gets married to a man and then after a couple of years she finds out that he can't satisfy her in bed or has a bad personality, SHE IS FORCED TO STAY MARRIED TO HIM. This won't be a valid reason for her to divorce him. She has to put up with him until the day he dies (1 Corinthians 7:39) or cheats on her (Matthew 5:32).

Thus, we return Shamoun our emotions:

This is one of the worst curses a young maiden could ever experience in her life. To think that women could never have the joy of having husbands to sexually and spiritually comfort them after mistakenly making the wrong choice in marrying someone (which could happen to anyone) and meet all of her needs for the rest of her life is truly heart wrenching to say the least.

Okay, we expect Shamoun to convert to Islam any second now. Give me a break.

The rest of Shamoun's article tries to prove that Islam permits us to marry prepubescent girls, and this is something that I have never argued against. I was always speaking about consummating the marriage.

Shamoun states:

do not seem to be at all concerned with the biological and psychological aspects of the girl, whether she has the physiological and mental maturity to experience such intimacy.

But I already addressed this here, so no need to reinvent the wheel.

Shamoun argues:

What makes this all the more amusing is that Zawadi proceeds to refute his own argument and establish the fact that Muhammad Muhsin Khan was correct in translating the term as "immature girl":

The companion might have attributed her carelessness due to the fact THAT SHE WAS YOUNG and did not take seriously her responsibility over her tasks. However, this does not imply she was immature [sic] or psychologically incapable [sic] of being married. (Emphasis ours)

It is so sad that Zawadi doesn't see that his comments establish the point that, by saying she was a young girl, Aisha was acting as any immature child would, e.g. she was careless and irresponsible, who would rather play with kids her own age than do house chores. And yet this is the same young girl that Zawadi wants to convince us was old and mature enough to get married to a fifty-four year old man!

I made my position clear in my previous article. I stated that just because someone might be immature at work (like how many people in their early twenties are) and do not take their job seriously does not necessarily imply that the person is too immature to get married.

Also, the narration does not say that Aisha would leave her work and play with her friends instead. It says that she would sleep.

Likely, Aisha, at her young age, would not take her house chores seriously (just as I and many other bachelors do; if you see my room, it is a mess!), but I really do not see how this in any way shows that she was too immature to get married. Someone not taking a certain thing seriously might be said to be immature in regard to that thing, but that does not necessarily imply that he/she is immature in everything. I honestly do not see the strength in this argument.

For example, I find that women are unnecessarily jealous of their husbands to be childish and immature. I find that aspect or act immature, but I in no way find the person as a whole to be immature or incapable of being married.

Enough of the examples; I think I have put my point across. 

Now, let us begin with Shamoun's part 2.

Shamoun states:

The evidence was provided by the other quotations which we had sourced such as the following:

Umar asked Imam Ali for the hand of Bibi Umme Kulthum (as) in marriage, to which Ali replied, 'O Commander of the Faithful, SHE IS A MILK FED CHILD'. To which Umar replied, 'By Allah! That is not true. You are seeking to avoid me'. 'Ali therefore ordered that Umm Kulthum have a bath and then wear a shawl. 'Ali told her to go to the Khalifa, 'give him my regards and ask him if he likes the shawl, he can keep it, other wise, he should return it'. When she came to Umar, he said, 'May Allah bless you and your father, I like it'. Hence Umm Kulthum came back to her father and told her that Umar did not open the shawl but just looked at me. Ali married her to Umar and they had a child named Zayd. (Ibn Sa'd's Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Volume 8, p. 463, Dhikr Umm Kulthum; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

"'Umar asked 'Ali for the hand of his daughter, Umm Kulthum in marriage. 'Ali replied that SHE HAS NOT YET ATTAINED THE AGE (of maturity). 'Umar replied, 'By Allah, this is not true. You do not want her to marry me. If she is underage, send her to me'. Thus 'Ali gave his daughter Umm Kulthum a dress and asked her to go to 'Umar and tell him that her father wants to know what this dress is for. When she came to Umar and gave him the message, he grabbed her hand and forcibly pulled her towards him. 'Umm Kulthum asked him to leave her hand, which Umar did and said, 'You are a very mannered lady with great morals. Go and tell your father that you are very pretty and you are not what he said of you'. With that 'Ali married Umm Kulthum to 'Umar." (Tarikh Khamees, Volume 2, p. 384 ('Dhikr Umm Kalthum'); Zakhair Al-Aqba, p. 168)

For more references and details please consult this article.

Can't Shamoun the fool see that these narrations work against him and not for him? If Ali truly believed that it would be immoral for Umar to marry his daughter when she was that young then why did he eventually allow it to occur?

Now the question on everyone's mind would be why Ali initially reacted the way he did. Well, there are two possible answers.

First, it is possible that Ali thought that Umar wanted to get married and consummate the marriage with Umm Kulthum right away. Thus, Ali stated her age because he believed that his daughter was still not ready for intercourse (which was true since Umar consummated the marriage a year after marrying Umm Kulthum).

Secondly, Ali did not want Umar to marry his daughter and only used his daughter's age as an excuse. This might be an argument that Shias use since they hate Umar, however I believe that it is possibly the case for a different reason. As I argued in my previous article, some sources indicate that the companions did not want Umar to get married to another woman for fear that she might distract him from his duties as a Caliph. Thus, it is very likely that Ali didn't want Umar to get married for the same reasons and only used his daughter's age as an excuse. However, his excuse was wrong/bad and he knew it, therefore he eventually married his daughter to Umar.

Thus, Shamoun has shot himself in the foot for appealing to these narrations since they show that it was acceptable for girls that young to get married.

Also, Shamoun ignored my argument regarding it being normal during that time for young girls to get married and that it would be difficult to believe that the Arabs found Umar's marriage to Umm Kulthum to be morally objectionable.

One can also find the rebuttal to the article that Shamoun has referred to here.

Shamoun states:

Here, Zawadi has "borrowed" the arguments of Christian apologists and philosophers in order to defend the indefensible.

This is what I already believe as a Muslim. I only cited Christians since you hold them to be authoritative and to show that you apply double standards.

Shamoun states:

Be that as it may Zawadi defines the internal critique as internal consistencies, specifically examples of Muhammad failing to apply his own standards. Even though we have documented many instances where Muhammad broke his own rules and had no shame doing so (*).

If the Qur'an itself is the one giving the Prophet these privileges, then there is no internal inconsistency.

Shamoun goes on:

The example he gives concerning a universal critique is one which actually begs the question, namely that raping a little child is something which everyone deems to be evil (except, of course, to those who are doing the raping!). We do agree with him that such an act is wrong simply because the God of the universe tells us that it is in his holy Word, the Bible (1, 2).

Yes, we agree with Shamoun that raping a little child is wrong. Actually, raping anyone would be universally condemned. That is why Shamoun's false rapist and sex-hungry Biblical God should be universally condemned:

But the exciting thing is that rape entails forcibly making the person engage in sexual intercourse with you. Where on earth has Shamoun shown that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) forced Aisha into marrying her? Her parents and she consented to the marriage! Talk about false analogies.

Shamoun then goes on to quote verses from the Qur'an, which state the permissibility of one having sexual intercourse with his slave girls. He then states that this entails that Islam permits rape. He argues that it is unlikely that the slave woman would consent to sleeping with her master.

We agree that not all slave women would consent, but that doesn't mean that all of them wouldn't. Also, there is plenty of evidence in Islam that one cannot harm those under his authority. To say that the Muslim has the right to rape his slave girl just because he has the right to engage in sexual intercourse with her is as good as saying that a Muslim has the right to rape his wife when she refuses his bed, which is ridiculous. (See here).


And I don't mean Shamoun imposing his understanding on the text, but clearly showing that the text states this.

Recommend reading:

It also seems like Shamoun forgot that sex with slave girls existed in the Old Testament and that this same argument could be used against him! Truly, what a foolish missionary.

Shamoun states:

And since Muhammad took for granted that the Judeo-Christian worldview was valid to criticize his so-called "revelations":

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 10:94 Pickthall

This implies that he comes under judgement and criticism for going against God's moral standard for marriage.

We addressed the Christian missionary distortion of this verse over here:

Shamoun then argues that marriage at age nine can cause damages. But there are many examples of women marrying at this age who didn't receive these damages. Just because some may get harmed doesn't mean that all of them would. (e.g., Don't ban Pepsi for everyone just because a diabetic can't drink it)

Shamoun stated:

As one last act of desperation Zawadi criticizes the Holy Bible for teaching that Jesus followed the cultural norms of his day by referring to Gentiles as dogs and for supposedly dishonoring his mother, all of which have been refuted here: 1, 2, 3, 4

I read those articles, and they only address why Jesus referred to his mother as a "woman." However, I admitted in my article that this argument was not that strong, and I appealed to other statements of Jesus.

Shamoun states:

In conclusion, Zawadi failed to provide an INTELLECTUAL AND RATIONAL defense for his prophet's marriage to a minor.

Yes, I did, you are just angry that you can't PROVE what subjectively bothers you is wrong.

Shamoun states:

Zawadi may deceive Muslims by this trick but those whom God has blessed with a better moral sense

Again, the subjectivity continues to come in. Who on earth is Shamoun to say he has a "better moral sense" without proving so?

Millions of Muslims thank God for blessing them for having a "better moral sense", since at least our religion prescribes a modest dress code for women unlike Christianity. It bans alcohol completely, unlike Christianity, and the list goes on and on. Who does Shamoun the fool think he is for saying he is blessed with a moral sense?

Shamoun states:

For example, Zawadi will often bring up the examples of the OT wars to complain that the Bible condones brutality and evil. Yet does he apply the internal critique to see whether this is morally objectionable from the perspective of the Judeo-Christian worldview? Not at all, since if he did he would have to admit that these wars were thoroughly just in God's eyes:

First of all, I have made it clear that my position regarding violence in the Bible is that it is subjective, and I only use it for retaliatory purposes. (See introduction here and read here)

Secondly, I can level a stronger argument against the morality of the false Biblical God than Shamoun can dream of against Allah.

I can quickly level an internal critique. For instance, the false Biblical child-murdering God of the Old Testament contradicts Himself when He states that children shouldn't be punished for the sins of their fathers (2 Kings 14:6 & Job 21:19). Yet, He ends up doing so (Exodus 20:5-6, Leviticus 26:22, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9 & 2 Samuel 12:13-19).

Thus, this is an internal critique and I can provide many more examples. However, I have no interest in doing so since I concern my self with providing real objective arguments unlike emotional and subjective missionary fools like Shamoun.

Shamoun states:

Moreover, is he applying the ethnocentric critique to condemn these wars? No, since these military acts would have been considered normal procedure by the peoples of that time. In fact, even his own false prophet condoned and accepted that these wars had God's approval and were therefore just:

What a joke! Shamoun states that it was okay for innocent civilians to be murdered at that time, yet it is not so in the 21st century. I can barely hold my self from laughing (and puking for that matter).

So basically Shamoun is arguing that these things are not okay today since God's laws have to adapt to changing cultures and societal behavior. Surely this is absurd and it should actually be the other way around.

In conclusion, Shamoun has not provided a rational and objective basis for his arguments.

NOTE: I am not going to kindly request Shamoun to stop insulting my beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I don't kindly request anything from foolish thugs. All I will say is that if he continues insulting, I will insult right back. If Shamoun removes his insults, then I would promise to edit this article and remove my harsh comments as well. He needs to be tamed and understand that in interfaith dialogue we have to be sensitive about the other person's feelings, since these topics are very sensitive to people.

We apologize for offending any other Christians since it wasn't our intention.

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