Was Rebecca a 3 Year Old When she got Married?

The Muslim Ummah is not unanimous as to the age of Aisha when she got married to the prophet of Islam, even though the Hadith clearly states that Aisha was 6 years old when she got married to the prophet of Islam and that Muhammad who was about 50 years plus had sex with her at the age of 9, yet, some Muslims are not too convenient with this narration as they deem it embarrassing for the prophet to be involved in such acts.

Those who hold to this believe came up with the notion that Aisha was actually between the age of 16-18 when she got married to the prophet instead of what was reported in the Sahih Hadith.

This had created alot of problem especially for some Muslims when trying to defend the notion that the prophet had sex with Aisha at the age of 9.

This can be clearly seen in the video I made two weeks ago when a Dawah preacher in Nigeria tried to deny that the Hadith narration existed and caused a real discomfort within the Muslim Ummah, you can watch there video here.

In an attempt to defend the prophet of Islam from this embarrassing narration, Muslims are now trying hard to look for something SIMILAR in the Bible, as if that helps the discomforts Muslims feel when they read about Muhammed’s consummation of his marriage at the age of 9. One of such Muslim is Mustafa Ahmed.

Mustafa made a post recently that Rebecca was a 3 year old when Issac married her. Now, before you start thinking of how “ridiculous” this sounds, Mustafa further made a conclusion that the reason why Rebecca can be said to be a little girl was because she has a nurse.

mustafa_rebecca

In this article, we are going to focus on the text of the Bible, Genesis 24 precisely and analyzed this to see if Rebecca was indeed a 3 year old or a matured woman ready physically and psychologically for marriage. As for the for the study of the of the word “na’ar” which Mustafa also claimed to be an evidence of the fact that  Rebecca was a child, or little girl, you can check my response here as well as I go into details to refute this ridiculous and unscholarly conclusion.

In Genesis 24:3, we read:

And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

Please note in this verse of the scripture, Abraham told his servant to get a wife for Issac, I don’t think Abraham was telling his servant to go and get a little child of 3 year old for Isaac, rather, a wife, and interestingly, the word for wife in this verse is the hebrew word  אִשָּׁה  ishshah and according to the Strong hebrew lexicon it means “women” or “wife” and in fact, this is the very word that was used for Eve in the book of Genesis. From this alone, we see that Abraham was looking forward to meeting a woman and not a child.

Again, we read in verse 8 of Genesis 24 of how the will of the woman is sought, does a child of 3 years have a will in a matter of marriage? as we shall see later, this was not the case with Aisha, Muhammad’s child bride, she was only taken and prepared to be the wife of the prophet when she playing with her mates, we read:

And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 

This plainly shows the person in question must have an understanding of what she is getting into, and we will see in the foregoing verse, how Rebecca gave her consent to the marriage proposal. We read of another interesting thing in verse 11 of the Bible,

And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.

Please note again, the verse state the time and that those who come in the evening to draw from this well are women, again, this does sound like a 3 year old coming to draw from the well. This is a well known custom in the land, a good example is what happened in Exodus 2:16:

Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

Again, these descriptions does not fit that of a 3 year old Rebecca that Mustafa has painted and invented in his mind, we read further of how Abraham’s servant whom Abraham had told to get a woman for Isaac in prayer concerning the woman the Lord will show him in verse 14;

And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

Mustafa in his post states that Rebecca was a 3 year old or a little girl, because of the hebrew word used for damsel in the verse, the word  נַעֲרָה na`arah which according to the Strongs Hebrew Lexicon means a girl (from infancy to adolescence):—damsel, maid(-en), young (woman).

Notice the variety of meanings given to this one word, but Mustafa in his post only use girl because he wants to defend the idea that there is nothing wrong with Muhammad having sex with Aisha at the age of 9. In verse 17, we read that Abraham’s servant ran to meet her and ask that water be given to him, at this point, the servant was not like, “this is a little girl” or do we conclude that he does not know the difference between a Child and a Woman? All these shows how baseless this argument is just reading from the text alone.

Now, Abraham’s servant was invited into the house, and after he sure that the Lord had heard him, here is what he said, please note he was not talking about a little girl here, in verse 37 we read:

And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:

Again, he talking about a wife, and not a little girl, interestingly enough, the hebrew word used here is the same word that was used for Eve when the Lord made her, so if Rebecca was a little girl, we will also have to conclude that Eve was also a little girl, how irrational can this get? The illogicality in this reasoning is just not endless. Sadly enough, this is the argument being put forward just to justify the acts of Muhammad.

Rebecca Father having listened to Abraham’s servant narration and how the Lord has directed him in his decision answered that his daughter can go with him, we read in verse 51:

Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken

Even when Rebecca has consented to this by accepting the gifts, she was still called upon as to make her decision as stated in verse 57 and 58

And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.

And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.

Here is the difference, while she was asked on her decision on this, Aisha, the child bride of Muhammad was not given this opportunity, she was not asked as to whether she will be the bride of the prophet of not, she was just taken amid her friends, prepared and then taken to the house of the prophet, this is reported in the Sahih Hadith of the prophet as collected by Bukhari, we read Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 5, Book 58, Hadith 234:

Narrated Aisha: The Prophet (ﷺ) engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.

Please note how Aisha narrated that she was still a girl when the prophet married her, in fact, according to her, she was still playing swing  with her friends when the mother took her and prepared her for the marriage, it was a sudden event, she has no decision to make, she was still a child with no mind of her own on the matter, how on earth can this be compared to the experience of Rebecca who was consulted on this matter?

We have seen clearly from this verses of the scripture that Rebecca was not a child bride like Aisha, she is a woman who is matured to make a decision, moreover, Abraham never asked his servant to get him a child for Isaac but a wife and that makes a huge difference.

Another objection Mustafa also raised is to conclude that Rebecca must have been a child before she was accompanied by a nurse, according to him, that’s an indication that he must be a child. Again, this is nothing but a shallow and unscholarly conclusion, because as we shall see in the scriptures, nurses are like attendants to the people they are assigned to and has nothing to do with one being a child or not.

This does not however rule out the fact that nurses attended to babies as the case was when Moses was born and many others, but it will be very deceptive to generalize the use of the term to mean that whenever it is used, it must always have to do with dealing with a child. A quick way of dispelling this misunderstanding is seen in Genesis 35:8 talking about this very same nurse Deborah and when she died;

But Deborah Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.

So, if the argument was that Rebecca must have been a child and that’s the reason while she had a nurse with her, so what is the nurse still doing with her after she has given birth to her children, up unto the time that she got old, the nurse was still with her. Why is the need of the service of the nurse again, when according to the Muslims, she was a girl then and is now matured? This again only shows a desperate attempt to justify Muhammad’s action again. This is nothing but a desperate attempt of reading into the text what it does not say.

We have seen clearly from this chapter of the Bible how the lie that Rebecca was a child is not only supported by the reading the scripture, but lack evidence as well, we wish our Muslim friends will read the text with an open mind and let the text speak for itself instead of trying to read into the text.