The Prophet (ﷺ) and thighing allegation

Regarding fondling, Islam haters allege that the term is used of some sort of sexual practice with virgins which is a totally baseless claim. In order to force add a base behind it, the following is quoted:

عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ تَزَوَّجْتُ فَأَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَتَزَوَّجْتَ يَا جَابِرُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ بِكْرًا أَمْ ثَيِّبًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ ثَيِّبًا ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَهَلاَّ بِكْرًا تُلاَعِبُهَا وَتُلاَعِبُكَ ‏”‏

It was narrated that Jabir said: “I got married then I came to the Prophet and he said: ‘Have you got married, O Jabir?’ I said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘To a virgin or to a previously married woman?’ I said: ‘To a previously married woman.’ He said: ‘Why not a virgin, so you could play with her and she could play with you?'”[1]

The word here for play is La’b (لعب) which basically means to play, sport, game, jest, or joke; there is nothing sexual about it. No dictionary would give any other meaning.

Young girls, in general, by nature are more cheerful and active than their older counterparts and this is the fact which the Prophet (ﷺ) stated. Jabir (رضي الله عنه) was a young man who had lost his father in a battle. The Prophet (ﷺ) was not just a leader by name but his actions as well. Jabir (رضي الله عنه) himself states:

يَقُولُ مَا سُئِلَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ شَىْءٍ قَطُّ فَقَالَ لاَ

Never was the Prophet (ﷺ) asked for a thing to be given for which his answer was ‘no’.[2]

As the fatherly role taken by the Prophet (ﷺ), he wished the best for his people as he himself said: “I am to you like a father to his son (al-Munawi explained ‘in rank’), and I teach you“. The Prophet (ﷺ) himself married older women but for Jabir (رضي الله عنه), he hoped for someone close to his age so he could also retain his youthfulness. Tragedies make people age before their time and tend to quieten them and depress them. Therefore, if the Prophet (ﷺ) wished the best for Jabir (رضي الله عنه), why should one interfere with negative and perverted thoughts and comments? The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “you could play with her and she could play with you” which indicates that he also cared for the women and both the husband and wife could play, joke, and stay cheerful with each other at the same time. If someone takes play only to be something sexual, then it is their problem which they need to rectify.

Another narration is quoted as follows to arrive at faulty conclusions:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يُبَاشِرَ امْرَأَةً مِنْ نِسَائِهِ أَمَرَهَا فَاتَّزَرَتْ وَهْىَ حَائِضٌ

When ever Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) wanted to fondle any of his wives during the periods (menses), he used to ask her to wear an Izar.[3]

The word for fondle is Yubashir (يباشر) which is not a descriptive word. It literally means to go forth but is used as a polite form of being physically romantic. If the only way for some people to be physically romantic is to take off clothes, then again that is their problem; not of Islam.[4]

After quoting these narrations, a baseless and hateful conclusion is reached at by those who have nothing better to do than attacking Islam:

Notice that Muhammad found the practice of “fondling” virgins preferable to sex with adult women.

It is understandable that a person who grows up in a hyper-sexualised environment and knows nothing of Arabic, arrives at such faulty conclusions; however, such an act is still not excusable. If you don’t know, then ask those who know instead of preaching what you don’t know. This doesn’t require a very high IQ to understand. However, the anti-Islamic missionaries with nothing better to do argue that the Prophet (ﷺ) would have semen marks on his clothes and these could only be due to thighing. The following narration is quoted:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّهَا كَانَتْ تَغْسِلُ الْمَنِيَّ مِنْ ثَوْبِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، ثُمَّ أَرَاهُ فِيهِ بُقْعَةً أَوْ بُقَعًا‏

Narrated `Aishah: I used to wash the semen off the clothes of the Prophet (ﷺ) and even then I used to notice one or more spots on them.[5][6]

Why assume that the marks on the clothes were because of thighing? The act of removing entire clothes that is common in hyper-sexualised cultures today was not the act of all cultures. Even today, it is not in all cultures to remove entire clothes for the act of intercourse. Therefore, traces of semen on clothes is not something surprising. Secondly, the argument that the marks were due to thighing also assume that entire clothes were not taken off; so why assume so in one case and ignore the other all-together?[7] Lastly, why would one have an issue with the personal lives of a married couple?

The main argument based on the flawed conclusions

The Prophet (ﷺ) technically married Aisha (رضي الله عنها) before she reached puberty and then practically married her after she reached puberty. In other words, the marriage was decided before her puberty but finalised after she had reached puberty. Based on this backdrop, the anti-Islamic claim states:

This three-year period between marriage and consummation must have been the time when he practiced thighing (unless our Muslim friends want to argue that he practiced thighing with a different virgin).

The deceitful linking of unrelated narrations and misrepresenting them with twisted interpretations have been exposed above and once that faulty base is rectified, the question does not even arise and searching for the time when he practiced thighing is nothing less than being dishonest.

Moreover, the Prophet (ﷺ) married an older lady when he was 25 years old and remained monogamous for 25 years till the age of 50; this proves that the motive of his later marriages was not desire as his enemies claim. During the time between engagement and marriage, Aisha (رضي الله عنها) stayed with her father and so the allegation of thighing with a prepubescent girl does not even arise.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

References and Footnotes:

[1] Sunan an-Nasa’I, Book 26, Hadith 24

[2] Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 78, Hadith 64

[3] Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 6, Hadith 8

[4] Mufaakhathah is the Arabic word for ‘thighing’. Even though there is nothing wrong in such a personal act between a married couple, the Arabic word here is not expressed; the word used is not descriptive and is general to refer to what we can politely say as being physically romantic. Even if some Muslims scholars today interpret fondling as inclusive of thighing, this would not change anything from the core of the argument; the bottom line is that this act was not done on a pre-pubescent girl. Moreover, the scholars say regarding fondling that it also includes flirting, kissing, and so on.

وفيما يتعلق بموضوع سؤالك، فإن جواز تقبيل الزوجة الصغيرة بشهوة والمفاخذة ونحو ذلك له ضوابط بيناها في الفتوى رقم: 195133 ، وقد بين العلماء رحمهم الله تعالى أن الأصل جواز استمتاع الرجل بزوجته كيف شاء إذا لم يكن ضرر، وذكروا في ذلك استمناءه بيدها ومداعبتها وتقبيلها وغير ذلك… – Source

[5] Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 4, Hadith 99

[6] Another cheap attack is made and that has been explained in detail here: Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) visiting all his wives in one night?

[7] One may be wondering as to why so much details about the personal life of the Prophet (ﷺ) have been recorded in Islamic books. Since, the Prophet (ﷺ) was not just a Messenger but also a role model, it is necessary that we know about his complete message in detail. He (ﷺ) came to clarify, among other missions of his’, all the laws and the way to conduct their personal and private lives as well. It is the duty of the reader to take these positively and not delve too much into them considering the hyper-sexualised environment around them. Take the positive and move on; there is nothing wrong in any of it and the Messenger (ﷺ) was a human being; the best human being ever. Why was Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) polygamous?

6 thoughts on “The Prophet (ﷺ) and thighing allegation

  1. SubhanAllah, I didn’t know after these Islam-haters never stop. I thought that after dozens of refutations of the allegation regarding Prophet’s (saw) marriage to Aisha (r), they have stopped but I was wrong. They brought up a new issue of thighing. JazakAllahKhayr for your refutation.

    Also check out:
    In sha Allah, i will add this article’s material to the above compilation with this site’s reference. Hope you don’t mind.

  2. Pingback: Does Islam allow marriage with prepubescent girls? | Qur'anic misconceptions addressed

    • If you haven’t heard of the original allegation, then you can ignore it altogether. It’s just silly and very hateful.

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