Tag Archives: Judaism

Christmas: The Origins [Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

What are the origins of Christmas? See what a historian, social activist and modern explorer has to say on this subject. It’s a pleasant introduction into a 25 minute video that goes indepth into the history, politics and theology behind the day of Christmas. Shaykh Abdullah’s speaking style is both simple and extant (to the point), yet his speech is not condemning, in fact it’s quite inviting, with that we invite both Muslims and Christians to watch his video:

For the more enthusiastic seeker with a few minutes extra to spare, the Shaykh has authored a wonderfully written article:

Since earliest times the inhabitants of the Northern countries have observed that there is a period during the year when the days begin to lengthen and the cold begins to strengthen.  This event is the Winter Solstice, the turning point when winter having reached its zenith, has also reached the point when it must decline again towards spring.  Thus, December 21st is the shortest day of the year.
It was on or about December 21st that the Ancient Greeks celebrated the Bacchanalia or festivities to honour Bacchus the god of wine.  In Ancient Rome the Saturnalia of festivals in honour of Saturn, the god of time, began on December 17th and continued for seven days.  Both festivals ended in drunkenness, obscenity and disorder.  The Druids observed this season in their great roofless temples at Stonehenge and Avebury in England.  Torches were lit and strange pagan ceremonies were enacted in honour of the Sun god and to cut the Mysterious Mistletoe to which they gave god-like powers.  Even the Ancient Egyptians celebrated this mid-winter in honour of Horus, the son of Isis, born at the close of December.

The Ancient Germanic tribes celebrated the pagan feast of the 12 Night from Dec. 25th to Jan. 6th.  The conflicts between the active forces of nature were represented as battles between the gods and plants.  The winter was the Ice-Giant, cruel and unruly, and darkness and death followed him.  The Sun god and the South Wind were symbols of light and life.  At last Thor, the god of the Thunderstorm riding on the wings of the air hurled his thunderbolt at the winter castle and demolished it.

In Scandinavian countries, great fires were kindled to defy the Frost King.  The followers of Mithra, throughout the Northern countries, called this period sol invictus representing the time of the victory of light over darkness.  Mithra, for them, was not only the Sun god, but the Mediator between mankind and the Supreme Being.  His birthday was celebrated on the 25th of December.  Sunday, the seventh day of the week (for seven was his number) was consecrated to him, and known as the Lord’s Day long before the Christian Era.

The roots of the Christmas observance, therefore, go deeply into the folklore of the early pagan traditions.  What we may read of Christmas in ancient days finds its flower in the past  and present customs of Western Civilization.  We should clearly understand one important fact.  Christmas is not the actual date of the birth of Jesus (p.b.u.h), but a compromise with paganism.  The Gospels say nothing about the seasons of the year when Jesus was born.  On the other hand, they do tell us that shepherds were guarding their flocks in the open air.  Hence, many of the early leaders of the Church considered it most likely that the nativity took place either in the late summer of early Fall.

This and countless facts point to the conclusion that Christmas (Dec. 25th) actually has nothing to do with Jesus (p.b.u.h.) and Mary (p.b.u.h.), the humble of servants of Allah who abstained from the world and submitted entirely to their lord. Christmas has actually incorporated into itself all the pagan festivals; Greek, Roman, Druid, German, Scandinavian, etc., and given them new meaning.  The wild revels of the Bacchanalia, the Saturnalia, and the Twelve Nights survive in a milder form in the merriment that marks the season of Christmas today.

“Christmas gifts themselves remind us of the presents that were exchanged in Rome during Saturnalia.  In Rome, it might be added, the presence usually took the form of wax tapers (candles) and dolls – the latter being in turn a survival of human sacrifices once offered to Saturn.  It is a queer thought that in our Christmas presents we are preserving under another form one of the most savage customs of our barbarian ancestors!  The shouts of ‘Bona Saturnalia’, which the Roman people exchanged among themselves are the precursors of ‘Merry Christmas!’ The decorations and illuminations of our Christians churches recall the temples of Saturn, radiant with burning taper and resplendent with garlands”

SANTA CLAUS
Today, when Christmas is mentioned, most people immediately think of Santa Claus. The image of Jesus, the son of Mary ((Peace be upon them) is secondary and sometimes lost in the merriment and materialism. The prices in the market place go up and we find that people are spending thousands in order to buy gifts for their friends and neighbours. Most Christians fall into debt that can last for the greater part of the year.
The problem that comes during the Christmas season for Muslims and non-Christians is that there are a number of contradictory symbols. Some of these symbols reveal an animistic religious base but others appear to be monotheistic. At the top of all of them is Santa Claus. One might then ask ‘What do pagan festivals have to do with the innocent, loveable Santa Claus?’

“Actually, in every one of these festivals, the leading figure was an old man with a large, white beard.  In the Bacchanalia, the chief god was not actually the young Bacchus, but the aged, cheery and decidedly disreputable Silenus, the chief of the Satyrs (Half man, half animal figures of Greek mythology) and the god of drunkards.  In the Saturnalia, it was Saturn, a dignified and venerable old gentleman, the god of Time.  In the Germanic feasts it was Thor, a person of patriarchal aspect, and a warrior to boot.” So, although the main figure of the Christian festival was supposed to be Jesus, the child-god born to an innocent woman, the pagan ways of the past were too strong in the hearts of the Christians to be easily dismissed.  The earlier gods were replaced by Saint Nicholas, an austere Christian Bishop who was born in Turkey in the 4th Century A.D., and became the patron Saint of children throughout the Western World.  The name Saint Nicholas has now been abbreviated to Santa Claus and even his image has changed, but one fact remains crystal clear; this merry, mystical figure that flies through the air in a reindeer-drawn sleigh is the re-incarnation of a pagan deity that is very much alive today in the minds of men.

WHY DOES SANTA COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY?
“The early Germans considered the Norse Hertha or Bertha, the goddess of domesticity and the home.  During the winter solstice, houses were decked with Fir and Evergreens to welcome her coming.  When the family and the serfs gathered to dine, a great alter of flat stones was erected and here a fire of Fir bough was laid.  Hertha descended through the smoke, guiding those who were wise in Saga to foretell the fortunes of those persons at the feast.  We learn from this story of Hertha and the reason why Santa Claus comes down the chimney instead of in at the door.”

THE CHRISTMAS TREE AND THE YULE LOG
In just about all times and continents, we find records of the worship, at some former period, of a tree as a divine object.  The Pagan Scandinavians called their greatest and most famous tree (the Ash tree) Yggdrasil.  Nobody had ever seen it, but everybody believed in it.  It was supposed to have been so big that it had three roots, one in heaven, one in hell, and one on earth.  According to Scandinavian mythology, when the roots of Yggdrasil are eaten through, the tree will fall over and the end of all things will have arrived.  The Anglo-Saxon Druids adopted this mythology and during Christmas period chose Yule log which they blessed an proclaimed that it should be ever burning.  This custom has survived and the Yule log is burnt throughout England.  The origin if he sacred tree may have been developed in Ancient Egypt and other older societies.”  Egypt had one in the palm, which puts forth a shoot every month.  From Egypt the custom reached Rome, where it was added to the other ceremonies of the Saturnalia.  But as palm trees do not grow in Italy, other trees were used in its stead.  A small fir tree, or the crest of a large one was found to be the most suitable because it is shaped like a cone or pyramid.  This was decorated with twelve burning tapers lit in honour of the god of Time.  At the very tip of the pyramid blazed the representation of a radiant sun placed there in honour of Apollo, the sun-god to whom the three last days of December were dedicated.”

HOLLY
“Some people believe that the word “Holly” is a form of the word “Holy” because of the association of these evergreens with Christmas.  This is not the true derivation, however.  Holly is merely a variation of Holin, Hollin, or Holm.  The name Holme is now used for a kind of oak.  This tree was admired by the Druids who believed that its evergreen leaves attested to the fact that the sun never deserted it. It was therefore, sacred.  It was also believed to be hateful to witches and is therefore, placed on doors and windows to keep out the evil spirits.”

CONCLUSION
This is only a glimpse at the incredible amount of distortion and paganism that has been incorporated into the Christmas doctrine and disseminated throughout the world in the name of love, giving, and the purity of the Virgin Mary and Jesus (Peace be upon them). Somewhere along the line when the Christians were being tortured and killed in Roman coliseums, somebody made the decision to make it easy for the northern people to accept these teachings. So what comes about is an adaptation and a change so that you actually have the Christmas ceremony which once represented Pagan images of nature, images based upon the worship of the sun, or the worship of the created things, now in the monotheistic religion.

It is interesting to note that as late as 1647, Britain’s Puritan Parliament had Christmas ceremony banned as pagan. St. Nicholas appeared in early European folklore as another character, sometimes known as Beowulf , or Nick or Nikker. He was said to be a demon or the evil spirit of the north. Descriptions of him show him when humanoid as an aged creature with a flowing white beard. By The 16th century, the term had become more specific, the Chrisitianized:”Old Nick” or even “St. Nicholas” meant the devil proper. In the Bible, Isaiah 14:13, the devil’s throne was in the north. Satan presided over the winter’s darkness. So the character representing evil for the northern Christians was transferred into the figure of Santa Claus. He was often covered with red fur or driven in a sleigh by winged snakes.

If Santa Claus now is flying all over the world giving gifts to children what happened to the labour of their mother and the father?  Why is Santa Claus coming down the chimney? That is because there was a belief in ancient Scandinavia that a goddess of flames would come into the home.  And so this confusion now is all put together on the Christmas occasion and people have forgotten about Isa (p.b.u.h).

In the Islamic understanding, Isa or Jesus (p.b.u.h), the son of Mary (p.b.u.h)was a very humble person who possessed only one or two changes of clothing. He used to walk bare foot most of the time. He renounced the life of materialism and wanted people to move away from focussing on gold and silver. He encouraged the Children of Israel to have spirituality and to remember the Creator.  According to most Christian and Muslim theologians, the actual birth of Jesus the son of Mary (p.b.u.h) was in the summer.  In a Qur’anic chapter called Maryam ( Quran 19:16-40), there is a detailed discourse on Mary (p.b.u.h).  She is depicted as a very pious individual who spent most of her life fasting.  When the angel Gabriel told her that she would have a son, she couldn’t believe it. He informed her that it would happen by the power of God who would breath his spirit into her she would become pregnant; and she did.  She went out of the city to a remote area.  In the Quran, 19:24-25, Allah (swt) sent the angel to tell her that water will come under her and then to shake the palm tree and rutuban janniyya, the ripe dates, will fall down from the tree.  The Arabs knew that the ripe dates come in the summer time. Even the Christians agreed with this because, according to their traditions, the shepherds were putting their flocks outside.  And in the area of Bethlehem and Nazarath this could only be done in the warm weather.

Therefore, it is basically agreed upon that Jesus (p.b.u.h.) was a humble, simple, non- materialistic person who was born in the summer.  What is happening now is a cleverly contrived mixture that is moving more towards the celebration of immorality and materialism than piety and God-consciousness.

Allah has revealed in the Blessed Qur’an , Surah An-Nisaa (157-9), the following verses:

…And because of their sayings: We killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger, but they killed him not nor crucified him. It appeared so to them. And lo, those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture. They killed him not for certain. But Allah took him unto Himself.  And Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.  There is not one of the People of the Book but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.

In Surah Al Ma’idah is the following:

The Messiah, son of Maryam is but an Apostle; Apostles before him have Indeed passed away. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food.  See how We make the communications clear to them, then behold, how they are turned away. Say: Do you serve besides Allah that which does not control for you any harm, or any profit? And Allah is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.

Say: O followers of the Book! Be not unduly immoderate in your religion, and do not follow the low desire of people who went astray before and led many astray and went astray from the right path.

Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick : Source

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Atheism: Belief in the Inconsistent.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

In light of modern militant atheism, let’s take a logical, analytical and methodological approach towards understanding their position for the purpose of coming to a common understanding to develop our da’wah. To begin with, we must first comprehend what atheism is and is not, that is to define it.

Theism – the belief (ism) in a God (theos).
Atheism – the disbelief in (a) God(s) or the negation (denial) of belief in (a) God(s).

The “a” is a negation of the statement, just as would find in:

Gnostic – a knower.
Agnostic – one who does not know.

It is as this point I’d like to introduce the basis for atheism, the cardinal belief of the atheist:

“God(s) do(es) not exist, because their exists no evidence for this (these) God(s).”

The typical response to such a statement, is usually to create arguments, premises, statements that in someway try to present God or the existence of God as a logical position. This is problematic because the statement of the atheist is by innate nature, inherently flawed. That is to say, their position is flawed, the question is flawed, so the answer will definitely have flaws. Therefore, the response to such a statement should not be an attempt to refute it, as the atheist has already concluded their position:

(If) there is no proof for God => (then, this implies that) God does not exist.

This is called a logical implication, taking the form (if) A (then) => B.

The proper response to such a statement, should be to question their “if”. What does this atheist mean, by “evidence”?

Do they mean philosophical? Super natural? Empirical? All of the above?

Usually, atheists have to create philosophical arguments to defend their empirical reasoning. Meaning, the evidence they seek is empirical. Empirical evidences is defined as that which can be seen, touched, heard, smelled and tasted. More or less, it has to be something which one can directly interact with, in a physical sense.

At this point, as a Muslim, I have to categorically dismiss such a notion of God. This atheist, believes in the disbelief of a God that Islam neither condones nor promotes. Muslims believe in Allaah, who is more or less described as being a non-physical, incomparable being, of which we cannot comprehend, because this Allaah is unlike anything we know and our minds can only generate concepts which are relative to what we see, hear, touch, smell and taste because we as humans function by these mechanical attributes in this world. So the atheist, is disbelieving in a concept of God that we as Muslims also hold to be irrational.

I am not condoning the belief of the atheist, but it is as this occasion, we can begin to understand what form our da’wah has to take towards them. Let them know, that their concept of God, is greatly flawed and thus their arguments towards such a God we wholly reject.

They may then pose the question, if God is all seeing, should God not have 1000 eyes?

Taking my advice from above, why should God need eyes to see? Eyes are built to function in this world, for which we are limited in numerous ways. The eyes of the Christian God only saw the Israelite kingdoms while being tempted by Satan. In this regard, we accept that human vision is greatly limited, which ever being has a human eye, cannot be all seeing, or in this regard, all knowing, as the eye is not meant to function as such.

So then the question presents itself, if you don’t know the nature of this God, how can you know that this God exists. If God is not a physical being, then what is God? How would one be assured that what you don’t see, feel, hear, taste or smell, exists?

I’d like to say that that’s also an inherently flawed question, which we will answer by using the age old method of proof by contradiction through analytical deduction by way of conversing their statements through an analogy:

“How do we know that Alexander the Great (insert any historical figure here) existed?”

None of us, have ever touched, seen, heard, smelled or tasted Alexander. So the erroneous concept of the onus on being on theists to present such a case to suit empiricist concepts is out of the window. If you believe that a historical figure existed without fulfilling the above criteria, then you cannot demand that the only evidence to prove God’s existence should be that which you also cannot use to substantiate your belief.

So what do we rely on to confirm that Alexander the Great existed? Why, the historical record of historians, reliant upon numerous narrations of his conquests, victories and losses. The vast amount of testification to this person’s existence or any other historical person’s existence, really depends upon the mass flow of historical information from the people at his time and after his time, attesting to his existence. Therefore, with that logic, we must also confirm that God exists, just as the reasoning for Alexander’s existence is used to confirm his. The testification of thousands at their specific time in existence to God’s works throughout our history, is testament to His existence. We simply use the same method that we used to substantiate the existence of Kingdom’s, historical figures, or events.

If the atheist presupposes that we cannot use the same method, then we must question their objective integrity. Are they questioning to understand, or questioning to display their character flaw of hypocrisy? What is good for you, is it not also good for me?

wa Allaahu Alam.

[Updated] Aisha (raa) Marriage to the Prophet Muhammad {saw} of Islam.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

A simple answer to a Judaic – Christian attack on the truth of Al Islam

To begin with, two facts must be established. Aisha (ra) was:

  • Six (6) years of age when the marriage contract was done.
  • Nine (9) years of age when the marriage was consummated.

We can establish this information, from a hadith, narrated by, Aisha (ra) herself:

Narrated ‘Aisha (ra):

that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).[1]

It is important to state who the narrator of this hadith is. It is directly from the lips of Aisha (ra). The person at the very heart of this great debate.

It is best to enter into the following sets of information with an objective mind. Removing all bias and applying proper academic principles to the information that is about to bestowed upon you, the reader. Take note that all quotes are cited. This has been done so that you can do research yourself and see the reality of the situation, rather than depending on hearsay. In order to proper understand the validity and purpose of the marriage we must first ask ourselves some very basic questions:

  • Who are the people that we should focus the research on?
  • Where did they live?
  • What kind of society did they have?
  • When was this society in existence?
  • Why did they do this marriage?

These five (5) questions form the basis of our research which employs critical thinking. Critical thinking can be summarized as:

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth and fairness. [2]

Therefore we must ask ourselves, what field of study, which by using critical thinking, can we seek to answer the five (5) questions listed above? The answer is anthropology. What is anthropology you might ask?

Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems. Historically, anthropologists […………] have been trained in one of four areas: sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Anthropologists often integrate the perspectives of several of these areas into their research, teaching, and professional lives.[3]

To summarize, we’ll look at this issue from a biological/ physical anthropological perspective and a sociocultural perspective. I’ve also added the dimension of secular law into the equation so that the subject matter’s relevance in our times can be properly digested.

(1) Anthropology –  Biological/ Physical.
(2) Anthropology –  Sociocultural.
(3) Secular law.

Biological/ Physical Anthropology.

The first major issue commonly associated with this marriage, is that Aisha (ra) is commonly referred to as a child, prepubescent, a girl. This draws into the plot that this was a child marriage. Yet, are these adjectives properly being applied to the person of Aisha (ra)? We must then ask, what is a child? A child is one who has not entered into the age of sexual maturation (the age at which one is able to begin sexual reproduction).[4]

A child is defined as:
child (chīld)
n. pl. chil·dren (chĭl’drən)

1. A person between birth and puberty.
2. A person who has not attained maturity or the age of legal majority.
3. An unborn infant; a fetus.
4. An infant; a baby.

Aisha (ra) reached this age, thus she was not a child nor prepubescent.

“Puberty is the stage of life during which you become biologically and sexually mature. It is the entry into adolescence, a period of tremendous changes in the body, emotions, attitude, values, intellect and relationships. This is the transition from the world of the child that gives way to the world of the adult.”[5]

So the question asks itself, did Muhammad (saw) consummate the marriage when her menses began?

Narrated ‘Aisha {ra}: (the wife of the Prophet) I had seen my parents following Islam since I attained the age of puberty. Not a day passed but the Prophet visited us, both in the mornings and evenings. My father Abii Bakr thought of building a mosque in the courtyard of his house and he did so. He used to pray and recite the Qur’an in it. The pagan women and their children used to stand by him and look at him with surprise. Abu Bakr was a soft hearted person and could not help weeping while reciting the Quran. The chiefs of the Quraish pagans became afraid of that (i.e. that their children and women might be affected by the recitation of Quran).”[6]

What to the scholars of Islam also say on the age of marriage?

The fact that it is permissible to marry a young girl does not mean that it is permissible to have intercourse with her; rather that should not be done until she is able for it. For that reason the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) delayed the consummation of his marriage to ‘Aa’ishah. Al-Nawawi said: With regard to the wedding-party of a young married girl at the time of consummating the marriage, if the husband and the guardian of the girl agree upon something that will not cause harm to the young girl, then that may be done. If they disagree, then Ahmad and Abu ‘Ubayd say that one a girl reaches the age of nine then the marriage may be consummated even without her consent, but that does not apply in the case of who is younger. Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Abu Haneefah said: the marriage may be consummated when the girl is able for intercourse, which varies from one girl to another, so no age limit can be set. This is the correct view. There is nothing in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah to set an age limit, or to forbid that in the case of a girl who is able for it before the age of nine, or to allow it in the case of a girl who is not able for it and has reached the age of nine. Al-Dawoodi said: ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was reached physical maturity (at the time when her marriage was consummated).[7]

Therefore in terms of a biological stand point, if we were to accept scientific principles (upon which our “modern” society operates), we must conclude that she was not a child, not prepubescent nor physically immature.

Sociocultural Anthropology.

In Semitic cultures, the age at which one is suitable for marriage begins with sexual maturation. For Jews, the boys have the Bar Mitzvah, indicated by puberty (sexual maturation). The Muslims judge the woman, by menstrual cycle, with sexual maturation, one earns the ability to have a menstrual cycle, also referred to as menses. This was the standard way to tell a girl from a woman, the known world has used this standard for ages, dating back to the most primitive of cultures. They judged a woman by her individual characteristic of having her menses which signalled adulthood.

Almost all primitive cultures pay attention to puberty and marriage rituals, although there is a general tendency to pay more attention to the puberty rites of males than of females. Because puberty and marriage symbolize the fact that children are acquiring adult roles, most primitive cultures consider the rituals surrounding these events very important. Puberty rituals are often accompanied with ceremonial circumcision or some other operation on the male genitals. Female circumcision is less common, although it occurs in several cultures. Female puberty rites are more often related to the commencement of the menstrual cycle in young girls.[8]

We can further see this historical fact, present in freely and easily available Jewish literature:

The Age of Maturity.

The Rabbis, however, reckoned the age of maturity from the time when the first signs of puberty appear (Nid. 52a), and estimated that these signs come, with women, about the beginning of the thirteenth year, and about the beginning of the fourteenth year with men. From this period one was regarded as an adult and as responsible for one’s actions to the laws of the community. In the case of females, the rabbinic law recognized several distinct stages: those of the “ḳeṭannah,” from the age of three to the age of twelve and one day; the “na’arah,” the six months following that period; and the “bogeret,” from the expiration of these six months. In the case of males, distinction was made in general only between the period preceding the age of thirteen and one day and that following it, although, as will be seen below, other stages were occasionally recognized.

The attainment of the age of majority, however, did not of itself render one an adult; the prescribed age and the symptoms of puberty together were necessary to establish the majority of a person. If there were no signs of puberty at the age of majority (i.e., at the beginning of the thirteenth year in a female and at the beginning of the fourteenth in a male) the person retained the status of a minor until the age of twenty. If after that period signs of impotence developed, thus explaining the absence of the signs of puberty, the person was admitted to the status of an adult; if such signs did not develop, the person remained in the status of a minor until the age of thirty-five years and one day—the greater part of the time allotted to man on earth (comp. Ps. xc. 10). In the case of a woman, the bearing of children was regarded as sufficient to establish her majority (Yeb. 12b; Maimonides, “Yad,” Ishut, ii. 9; comp. “Maggid Mishneh” and “Leḥem Mishneh” ad loc.; for the whole subject see Nid. v. 3-8; vi. 1, 11-12; “Yad,” l.c. ch. ii.).

Marriage of Minors.

The ḳeṭannah might be given in marriage by her father, and the marriage was valid, necessitating a formal divorce if separation was desired. Her earnings and her findings, also, belonged to her father, and he could annul her vows and accept a divorce for her (Nid. 47a; Ket. 46b). In the absence of her father, her mother or her brothers might contract a marriage for her, but such a marriage might be annulled by her without any formality before she reached the age of maturity (see Mi’un). Illegitimate intercourse with her carried with it the regular punishment for the transgressor, although she could not be punished (Nid. 44b). The na’arah, however, although still under the control of her father (Ḳid. 41a), was considered a responsible person; her vows were valid (Nid. 45b). The bogeret was regarded as entirely independent of her father’s will and was looked upon as an adult in all respects (Nid. 47a).

The Rabbis recognized in males a stage similar to that of the ḳeṭannah. A boy nine years of age was regarded as being of a nubile age, so that if he had illegitimate intercourse with a woman forbidden to him she would be liable to punishment, although he could not be punished until he reached the age of maturity—thirteen years and one day (Nid. 44a). His marriage, however, was not valid (Ḳid. 50b; “Yad,” l.c. iv. 7), although he could acquire a “yebamah” through intercourse (Nid. 45a; B. B. 156b). A stage similar to that of the na’arah was recognized by the Rabbis in the case of the rebellious son (Deut. xxi. 18-21). The period during which one might become liable to the punishment inflicted upon the rebellious son was extended to include the three months (six months in Yer. Sanh. viii. 1) immediately succeeding the age of maturity (Sanh. 69a). After a boy had reached the age of maturity he was regarded a responsible person in all ritualand criminal matters, and the court inflicted punishment upon him for any transgressions. The Rabbis entertained the belief that heavenly punishment was not visited for sins committed before the age of twenty (Shab. 89b; comp. B. B. 121b; Maḥzor vitry, ed. Hurwitz, p. 550; Ḥakam Ẓebi, Responsa, § 49; but comp. “Sefer Ḥasidim,” ed. Wistinetski, § 16, where the opinion is expressed that the heavenly punishment does not depend on age but on the intelligence of the transgressor; see also Asher ben Jehiel, Responsa, xvi. 1).[9]

Secular Law.

Secular law states that all girls become women at a legally fixed age. Although biologically absurd, the concept behind this is related to a filed of politico-economic studies termed “adult suffrage”. Adult suffrage essentially guarantees under a sovereign nationa’s legislative system, that at a particular fixed age, members of society earn certain rights, one such being that of voting. It may also refer to a citizen’s right to legally have a driver’s permit, have an identification permit, earn the authority to sign contracts with institutions etc. While I could go more into adult suffrage, that topic escapes the purpose of this article. However, I do encourage you, the reader to continue investigations into that subject matter. Secular law can state that females become legal or earn adult suffrage when they are 18, 16, or in some cases, like France, at the age of 14. Usually the age of sexual consent is commonly associated with the age of adult suffrage.

The Purpose of the Marriage:

1 – He saw a dream about marrying her. It is proven in al-Bukhaari from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to her: “You were shown to me twice in a dream. I saw that you were wrapped in a piece of silk, and it was said, ‘This is your wife.’ I uncovered her and saw that it was you. I said, ‘If this is from Allaah then it will come to pass.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 3682). As to whether this is a prophetic vision as it appears to be, or a regular dream that may be subject to interpretation, there was a difference of opinion among the scholars, as mentioned by al-Haafiz in Fath al-Baari, 9/181.

2 – The characteristics of intelligence and smartness that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had noticed in ‘Aa’ishah even as a small child, so he wanted to marry her so that she would be more able than others to transmit reports of what he did and said. In fact, as stated above, she was a reference point for the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) with regard to their affairs and rulings.

3 – The love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for her father Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him), and the persecution that Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) had suffered for the sake of the call of truth, which he bore with patience. He was the strongest of people in faith and the most sincere in certain faith, after the Prophets.

It may be noted that among his wives were those who were young and old, the daughter of his sworn enemy, the daughter of his closest friend. One of them occupied herself with raising orphans, another distinguished herself from others by fasting and praying qiyaam a great deal… They represented all kinds of people, through whom the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was able to set out a way for the Muslims showing how to deal properly with all kinds of people. [See al-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah fi Daw’ al-Masaadir al-Asliyyah, p. 711].[10]

– Hope this answers the issue.

wa Allahu Alam.

[1] – Sahih Bukhari :: Book 7 [Wedlock, Marriage, Nikah] :: Volume 62 :: Hadith 64.

[2] – http://www.criticalthinking.org/aboutCT/define_critical_thinking.cfm

[3] – http://www.aaanet.org/about/WhatisAnthropology.cfm

[4] – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/child

[5] –  http://www.ifsha.org/yp/puberty.htm

[6] – Sahih Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 8 :: Hadith 465

[7] – http://islamqa.com/en/ref/22442/age%20of%20consent

[8] – “An Overview of the World’s Religions” – http://www.theology.edu/relig02.htm

[9] – http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=91&letter=M&search=age+of+maturity#ixzz0u6JujGf1

[10] – Excerpt from: [ Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/106; By Imam Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah]

Does Judaism Promote Child Sex?

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Does Judaism Promote Child Sex?

Evidences are being used from the Talmud which according to Encyclopaedia Judaica its authority is quite clearly defined:

After the completion of the Talmud as a work of literature, it exercised a twofold influence as a historical factor in the history of Judaism and its followers, not only in regard to the guidance and formulation of religious life and thought, but also with respect to the awakening and development of intellectual activity. As a document of religion the Talmud acquired that authority which was due to it as the written embodiment of the ancient tradition, and it fulfilled the task which the men of the Great Assembly set for the representatives of the tradition when they said, “Make a hedge for the Torah” (Ab. i. 2). Those who professed Judaism felt no doubt that the Talmud was equal to the Bible as a source of instruction and decision in problems of religion, and every effort to set forth religious teachings and duties was based on it; so that even the great systematic treatise of Maimonides, which was intended to supersede the Talmud, only led to a more thorough study of it. In like manner, the Shulḥan ‘Aruk of Joseph Caro, which achieved greater practical results than the Mishneh Torah, of Maimonides, owed its authority to the fact that it was recognized as the most convenient codification of the teachings of the Talmud; while the treatises on the philosophy of religion which strove as early as the time of Saadia to harmonize the truths of Judaism with the results of independent thinking referred in all possible cases to the authority of the Talmud, upon which they could easily draw for a confirmation of their theses and arguments. The wealth of moral instruction contained in the Talmud exercised a profound influence upon the ethics and ideals of Judaism. Despite all this, however, the authority enjoyed by it did not lessen the authority of the Bible, which continued to exercise its influence as the primal source of religious and ethical instruction and edification even while the Talmud ruled supreme over religious practise, preserving and fostering in the Diaspora, for many centuries and under most unfavorable external conditions, the spirit of deep religion and strict morality.[1]

So what does the Talmud, say about sex with children? Well, we’ve got to define the term “child” in order to continue:

A child is one who has not entered into the age of sexual maturation. This meaning the age at which one is able to begin sexual reproduction.

“Puberty is the stage of life during which you become biologically and sexually mature. It is the entry into adolescence, a period of tremendous changes in the body, emotions, attitude, values, intellect and relationships. This is the transition from the world of the child that gives way to the world of the adult.”[2]

A standard definition of a child, supports the above claim:

A child is defined as:
child (chīld)
n. pl. chil·dren (chĭl’drən)

1. A person between birth and puberty.
2. A person who has not attained maturity or the age of legal majority.
3. An unborn infant; a fetus.
4. An infant; a baby.[3]

Thus in simple terms, a child, is one who has not attained the age of puberty, i.e. sexual maturation.

So what does the Talmud say about child marriages and intercourse with innocent, young, infants?

An infant is defined as:

in·fant (ĭn’fənt)
n.
1. A child in the earliest period of life, especially before he or she can walk.[4]

How many kids under the age of 4 (four) do you know who can walk?

What does the Talmud say?

“Our Rabbis taught: It is related of Justinia the daughter of ‘Aseverus son of Antonius that she once appeared before Rabbi ‘Master’, she said to him, ‘at what age may a woman marry?’. ‘At the age of three years and one day’, he told her. ‘, And at what age is she capable of conception?’ ‘At the age of twelve years and one day’, he replied. ‘I’, she said to him, ,
married at the age of six and bore a child at the age of seven; alas for the three years that I have lost at my father’s house’. But can a woman conceive at the age of six years? Did not R. Bibi recite in the presence of R. Nahman: Three classes of woman may use an absorbent in their marital intercourse: A minor, and an expectant and a nursing mother. The minor,20 because otherwise she might become pregnant and die.”[5]

What exactly did we just read?

1. Jews can have sex with infants who are at the age of 3 years and 1 day old.
2. It was common practise to do so, as the woman admits she became pregnant from intercourse.
3. The merciful side to this is, have sex with an infant, but you something to absorb the sperm so she won’t die from intercourse.

It Only Gets Worse From Here.

IF ONE WAS YOUNGER THAN THIS AGE, INTERCOURSE WITH HER IS LIKE PUTTING A FINGER IN THE EYE. It was asked, Do the features of virginity disappear and reappear again or is it possible that they cannot be completely destroyed until after the third year of her age? In what practical respect could this matter? — In one, for instance, where her husband had intercourse with her before the age of three and found blood, and when he had intercourse after the age of three he found no blood. If you grant that they disappear and reappear again [it might well be assumed] that there ‘was not sufficient time for their reappearance, but if you maintain that they cannot be destroyed until after the age of three years it would be obvious that a stranger cohabited with her. Now what is your decision? — R. Hiyya son of R. Ika demurred: But who can tell us that a wound inflicted within the three years is not healed forthwith, seeing it is possible that it is immediately healed and it would thus be obvious that a stranger had cohabited with her? Rather the practical difference is the case, for instance, where her husband had intercourse with her while she was under three years of age and found blood and when he had intercourse after the age of three he also found blood. If you grant that the features disappear and reappear again the blood might well be treated as that of virginity, but if you maintain that they cannot be destroyed until after the age of three years, that must be the blood of menstruation. Now what is your decision? — R. Hisda replied, Come and hear: IF ONE WAS YOUNGER THAN THIS AGE, INTERCOURSE WITH HER IS LIKE PUTTING A FINGER IN THE EYE; what need was there to state, LIKE PUTTING A FINGER IN THE EYE’ instead of merely saying: IF ONE WAS YOUNGER THAN THIS AGE, INTERCOURSE WITH HER IS of no consequence’? Does not this then teach us that as the eye tears and tears again so do the features of virginity disappear and reappear again.[5]

wa Allahu Alam.

Sources:
[1] – Talmud, It’s Authority, The Jewish Encyclopaedia {Encyclopaedia Judaica}, 1901-1906.
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=32&letter=T&search=Talmud#149

[2] – Entry into Adolescence, Stage of Biological and Sexual Maturity, Puberty, Young People.
http://www.ifsha.org/yp/puberty.htm

[3] – Dictionary.com
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/child

[4] – Dictionary.com
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/infant

[5] – Babylonian Talmud : Tractate Niddah, Folio 45a
http://www.come-and-hear.com/niddah/niddah_45.html