Thursday, August 17, 2017

The age of Khadija, the mother of the believers

Some say she was born in 555 AD and others say she was born in 567. If we accept the first one than at the time of her marriage in 595 AD with the Prophet she was 40 and if we accept the second one she was 28. She was married twice before her marriage with the Prophet. She had 3 or 4 children from previous marriages, three sons and one daughter, depending on whose account you accept. Not much is known about any of them except one by the name of Hala who together with the brother Mother Khadija died either in the battle of Fujjar or in a street brawl as historians have different narrations.
Tabari says the Prophet had eight children six from Mother Khadija, four daughters and two sons. However, Shias in general believe that she had only one daughter, Fatimah.  We know the names of seven children of the Prophet as given by the historian. We do not have the names of the eight children or age. The first child was born three years after the marriage, thus depending on whose account one accepts either at the age of 44 or 21, the second one’s date of birth is not known, the third one was born at her age of 45 or 33, the fourth one when she was either 47 or 35.  The fifth one when she was 48 or 36 and the sixth one when she was 50 or 38. However some historians claim that the youngest daughter of the Prophet was born in 615 AD when mother Khadija was 62.
This is what we find in most history books on the ages of the Prophet’s children. Qasim(598 – 600 or 601 AD), Abdullah. 615 AD), Zainab (599 – 630 AD), Ruqayyah (601 – 624 AD), Umm Kulthum (603 – 630 AD), Fatimah (ca. 604 or 615– 632), Ibrahim (630-631))
Now the latest Mayo Clinic research tells us the following. Menopause is the time that marks the end of one’s menstrual cycles. It's diagnosed after one has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in the 40s or 50s, It can happen between 40 and 50.
Now according to the commonly held view the first child of Mother Khadija was born when she was 43 and the last when she was 50 or 62. Is that scientifically possible if one determines that she married the Prophet at the age of 40 or 41? Is accepting that a part of Iman. What if we accept the alternative age, 28 at the time of her wedding the prophet? History gives us both options and the Quran is silent on that. Can science be used to determine her age based on her reproductive cycle or do we have call it a divine miracles especially when the longest of her children was Zaibab (31 years) Others were Qasim, one year, Abdullah, less than year, Ruqayyah 23 years, Umm Kulthum 27 years and Fatima, 28 or 18 years depending whose history you accept?
If history cannot help us can our common sense do that? Don’t be agitated with this question, rather think calmly about the historical accounts that have reached us. If the historians have problems with determining the age of the wives and children of the prophet, can they be relied on other details of his life? What then is the criterion of analyzing history and sorting out facts from faction?

Well, the only document that dates back to the times of the Prophet is the Quran itself and that is the only criterion to determine the accuracy of events reported by historians in the written form some 300 years after the death of the Prophet.

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