Did Prophet Muhammad (s) Marry A’ishah at 9?
Those who hate Islam will use absolutely anything just to defame our religion and resort to whatever it may be to ruin the image of our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.). Among these dirty tactics is the accusation of paedophilia. Unfortunately they have been very very successful in their propaganda and have established this as a fundamental piece of knowledge that any non-Muslim, or even many Muslims know of.
What does paedophilia mean? Is it in reference to American law, or Christian law, or Australian marriage law? Who is imposing whose laws onto who???
As Muslims we believe in Divine legislation, and our jurisprudence and legal system is different to the forever-changing secular Western laws. Aspects and conditions of marriage in Islam is also different than today’s Western laws. As Muslims we believe a female reaches bulugh with the completion of 9 years, entering 10. This is the Law of Allah ta’ala, but there are many factors that surround this as well in regards to marriage. It is not as simple and straight forward as this.
For example, consent of guardian, her approval, her being mentally and physically able, there being a Maslaha for her, etc. The Bible allows marriage when one enters puberty. In Judaism minimum age for marriage is 12. Please do some reading on the laws and practices of early-age marriage in Medieval Christianity and Judaism. Also, read about age of consent in American history. In some states the legal age of consent was a young as 7.
ABC news has reported that Australia has some of the world’s highest teenage pregnancy and abortion rates. There are girls here as young as 13 who are terminating their pregnancies. Queen Elizabeth was groomed for her husband when she was 13. In I.R.Iran the legal age for marriage is completion of 13 years, and the marriage can only be consummated at 15 years of age.
We believe that the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) marriages were never for physical desires. As for the age of A’ishah when the Prophet (s.a.w.) married her, there are a few views:
1. Betrothal at 6, marriage at 9. Most Sunnis.
2. Betrothal at 9, marriage at 14/15. Some Sunnis.
3. Betrothal at 14/15, marriage at 19. Some Sunnis.
4. Marriage at 22-24. Some Sunnis – All Shia. [Many say she was previously married to Jubair ibn Mut'im and had a son from him by the name of 'Abdullah]
Our historians and scholars have proven through mainstream Sunni references that the age of A’ishah at her marriage to our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) was 22-24. Shia scholars did not speak about this topic for many reasons, and therefore some just mentioned what was commonly known in Sunni circles.
So, why do they insist she was 9?
Lowering her age in history was a sly and cunning tactic perpetrated by Bani Umayah to elevate her status more than the status of the other wives, due to her father, Abu Bakr, being the first Caliph. This would give him more legitimacy as being the father in law of the Prophet (s.a.w), and her being the youngest, the only virgin, and most favourite of the wives. Of course, we believe otherwise.
By: Shaykh Zaid Alsalami