At What Age Did the Prophet - salaLlaahu alahyi wa sallam - Marry Khadeejah - radiyaLlaahu an'ha?

The reports about the age of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and Khadeejah (radiya Allahu anha) at marriage have been reported by:

1. Ibn Sa’d in Tabaqaat al-Kubraa (8/15-17) with four (4) different chains, all from Muhammad bin Umar bin Waaqid al-Waaqidee who reported from his Shaykhs in the different routes. In one of the reports, it said Khadeejah was 28yrs old then. In another it said she was 25; and in yet another, she was said to be 40 while he was 25. The other report only said she was about 10 years older than him at the time. Despite the obvious irregularities in the reports, regarding Muhammad bin Umar al-Waaqidee who transmitted all, Imam Ahmad said, “He is a liar”! Al-Bukhaaree said: “His narrations are abandoned; Ahmad, Ibn Numayr, Ibn Mubaarak and Ismaa’eel bin Zakariyya all abandon him.” Imam Yahya bin Ma’een said, “He is not reliable.” Imam Aboo Hatim ar-Raazee said, “his narrations should not be accepted.” Imam Ibn al-Madeenee said, “He fabricates narrations.” See Tahdheeb al-Kamaal (26/180-194), al-Kaashif by Hafidh adh-Dhahabee (2/281) and Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb by Hafidh Ibn Hajar (no. 6175).

2. Al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (3/200) with his chain of reporters ending with Muhammad bin Ishaaq, giving his own narration that: “When he married her she was 28.” Although the chain is Hasan (sound) up to Ibn Ishaaq, it is well-known that he was not a witness to the event and was even not companion. The source of his narration is not clearly known.

3. Ibn Hisham as cited in al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (1/631) gave her age as 25 citing “some people of knowledge on the authority of Aboo ‘Amr al-Madanee.”

4. Ya’qoob Ibn Sufyaan al-Fasawee as cited in al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (1/631) who reported with a chain that ended with “many told me that”: “...he was 25 yrs old.”

Commenting on these reports, Dr. Akram Diyaa al-‘Umaree said: “Even though these pieces of information are not authentic based on the science of narrations, they are popular among the historians”! He also said, “No authentic reports can be found shedding light on these events.” As-Seerat an-Nabawiyyah as-Saheehah (1/113-114).

Also, Muhammad bin Abdillah al-‘Ushan has included these reports in his book: Maa shaa’a walam yathbut fee as-Seerat an-Nabawiyyah (Popular But Unreliable Reports Cited in the Prophet’s Biography) pg. 18.

Allahu A'alam.

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