When covering the life of the Prophet Muhammad, one of the most debatable topics is that of the age of his wife Aisha when the two married.
Her alleged young age has been used in smear campaigns against the Prophet. The latest publication dealing with the topic is "Jewel of Medina" by journalist Sherry Jones - a novel on the life of Aisha. This novel has stirred controversy over the topic, as US publisher Random House expressed its desire to postpone its publication out of fear that its content could spark violence.
Reports that Aisha bint Abi Bakr was 6 or 7 years old when she became engaged and 10 when she married  have been the most basic factor in the formation of the view regarding her age of marriage. Also, it should not be forgotten that factors such as similar practices being quite widespread at the time and the physical development of children becoming complete at an earlier age at that time also contributed to the dispersion of this view. For this reason, this subject was not made a current issue for discussion until very recently.
Orientalists who do not consider the conditions of the time period in which an action occurred and who examine Islam from "outside" have made this a current issue. The Muslim world's reaction to this different stance has been mixed. While some have insisted that Aisha's above-mentioned age at marriage is correct , others are of the opinion that Aisha was older . In this situation, where it is not always possible to maintain a balanced view, various approaches have developed as an answer to Orientalists' claims, including those that choose to deny the reports or ignore the existence of other alternatives as a response to this view.
First of all, we should know that everyone is a child of the time they live in and therefore must be evaluated according to the cultural context of the relevant time. There are certain values that form a society's customs and when a society is evaluated, these values have to be taken into consideration. Otherwise, were we to attempt to evaluate historical events within today's conditions, we should remember that we are fated to make mistakes.
It is known that during the period when Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, existed, young girls were married at an early age  and that age difference was not important in marriage . Especially in regards to young girls, it should not be forgotten that there was social pressure for this, that they matured earlier due to climatic and geographical conditions and that they were seen as goods that needed to grow in their husband's house. Moreover, this is not a matter just related to girls; boys were also married at ages 8, 9 and 10 and they became the head of a family at an age that is perceived as very young today . Perhaps it is this culture that lies at the basis of this issue's not having been questioned until recent times. Otherwise, it was impossible for a mentality that wanted to brew a storm in regards to the Prophet's marriage with Zaynab bint Jahsh and that slandered Aisha after her return from the Muraysi expedition to not criticize such an issue at that time.
In the verses of the Quran that came at the same time, the age for marriage was mentioned and it was emphasized that children should be married when they come of age . So, opposing a divine suggestion cannot be considered. Using the mentality of Umar, if intervention had been a matter of consideration here, the Prophet would surely have been warned in a coming revelation and a step would have been taken to resolve the issue. At any rate, the Prophet's wedding to Aisha took place in accordance with direction from divine will .
Now, if you like, putting the extremes behind us and using moderate criteria, let's examine sources related to Aisha's age at marriage once again.
1. While listing names of Muslims during the first days of Islam, Aisha's name, together with her older sister Asma, are listed immediately after the names of the Sabiqun al-Awwalun (the first ones) like Uthman ibn Affan, Zubayr ibn Awwam, Abdurrahman ibn Awf, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, Talha ibn Ubaydullah, Abu Ubayda ibn Jarrah, Arqam ibn Abi al-Arqam and Uthman ibn Maz'un. Being the 18th person to accept Islam, Aisha's name precedes the names of Umayr ibn Abi Waqqas, Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, Salit ibn Amr, Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah ibn Jahsh, Abu Hudayfa, Suhayb ibn Sinan, Ammar ibn Yasir, Umar ibn Khattab, Hamza ibn Abdilmuttalib, Habbab ibn Aratt, Said ibn Zayd and Fatima bint Khattab . This means she was living then and was mature enough to make such a choice and exercise her will. In addition, the information in reports that "she was a small girl then" shows that her name was mentioned in a conscious way .
This date refers to the early days of Islam. For it is known that Aisha's sister Asma, who was born in 595, was 15 when she became a Muslim . This indicates the year 610, when the Prophet started to receive the revelation and this then shows that Aisha was at least 5, 6 or 7 that day and that she was at least 17 or 18 when she married the Prophet in Medina.
2. In regard to days in Mecca, Aisha said, "I was a girl playing games when the verse, 'Indeed, the Last Hour is their appointed time [for their complete recompense], and the Last Hour will be more grievous and more bitter'  was revealed to God's Messenger ." This information opens other doors for us regarding her age.
The verse under consideration is the 46th verse of Surah Qamar, the 54th chapter of the Quran, which explains the miracle of the split moon [the splitting of the moon is one of the miracles performed by the Prophet Muhammad]. Revealed as a whole, this surah came while the Prophet was in Ibn Arqam's home in the fourth (614)  or eighth (618) or ninth (619)  year of his mission, according to differing reports. Looking especially at necessity, some scholars focused on the date being 614; when this date is taken, Aisha either had not been born or had just been born. While when this date is taken it appears that she must have been born at least eight or nine years earlier, the situation does not change much when 618 or 619 are taken. In that situation she would have only been 4 or 5 years old, neither an age at which she would be in a position to understand this event and relate it years later. According to the second possibility, she was probably born when Muhammad's prophethood had just begun .
Another matter worth mentioning here is that while describing that day, Aisha stated, "I was a girl playing games." The word she used to describe herself, jariya, is used to describe the passage into puberty. Ibn Yara, an Arab poet, describes this passage as follows: "When a girl becomes 8 years old, she is not a 'jariya.' She is a bridal candidate that I can marry to Utba or Muawiya."" Some scholars say that it is used for girls who are older than 11.
If we look at the issue taking 614 as the year that Surah Qamar was revealed, Aisha would have been born at least eight years before the prophetic mission, or in 606. If we accept 618, then the year of birth would have been 610; this event alone makes it impossible for her to have been 9 when she married.
When this information is combined with her name being on the list of the first Muslims, we get the result that Aisha's date of birth was probably 606. Consequently, she would have been at least 17 when she married.
3. Of course, Aisha's memories of Mecca are not limited to this. In addition to this, the following memories confirm this matter:
a) Her saying that she had seen two people begging who had remained from the Year of the Elephant (the year in which Yemeni King Abraha sent an army of elephants to Mecca in order to destroy the Kaaba; the elephants were pelted with pebbles dropped on them by birds), which occurred 40 years before the prophetic mission and is accepted as a milestone for determining history, and her handing down this information with her sister Asma only .
b) Her describing in detail that during difficult times in Mecca, God's Messenger had come to their house morning and evening and that her father, Abu Bakr, who could not endure this hardship, attempted to migrate to Abyssinia .
c) Her stating that first it was mandatory to offer two cycles of obligatory prayer and that later it was changed to four cycles for residents, but that during military campaigns two cycles were performed .
d) In reports about the early days, there being statements like, "We heard that Isaf and Naila had committed a crime at the Kaaba and for this reason God turned them into stone as a man and woman from the Jurhum tribe ."
4. Being betrothed before the engagement: Another factor that supports the above view is that at the time when the Prophet's marriage was a topic of discussion, Aisha was engaged to Mut'im ibn Adiyy's son Jubayr. The suggestion for the Prophet to marry Aisha came from Hawla bint Hakim, the wife of Uthman ibn Maz'un, someone not from the family. Both situations show that she had come to the age of marriage and was known as a young marriageable girl.
As is known, this betrothal was broken by the Ibn Adiyy family due to the possible religious conversion of their son to Islam, and it was only after this that Aisha's engagement to Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, took place . Consequently, the marriage agreement was either made before the prophetic mission or when the call to Islam was being made openly (three years after the Prophet began receiving revelation). If it was made before the mission, together with the idea that Aisha was 9 years old when she married being shaken from its foundation, it implies that Aisha was born even earlier than has been thought. For this reason, some say that she was a 13- or 14-year-old girl then .
It should not be overlooked that this decision was made during the period when the call to Islam had begun to be made openly. In regard to time, this means 613-614. If it is assumed that Aisha was born four years after the mission, it has to be accepted that she had not yet been born, so it is not possible to talk about a marriage agreement under these circumstances. In this case, it has to be accepted that she was at least 7 or 8 when her engagement was broken, so the year was probably 605 .
Here, another possibility can be mentioned; namely, an agreement of arranged future marriage similar to "cradle tallying," an agreement between parents in the early years after the birth of a baby. However, there are no details in the texts under consideration to confirm this.
Dr. Reşit Haylamaz is the editor-in-chief of Kaynak Publishing Group.
1. Bukhari, Manaqib al-Ansar, 20, 44; Muslim, Nikah, 71; Fadail al-Sahaba, 74; Abu Dawud, Adab, 55; Ibn Maja, Nikah, 13; Nasai, Nikah, 78; Darimi, Nikah, 56.
2. Azimli, Mehmet, "Hz. Aise'nin Evlilik Yası Tartışmalarında Savunmacı Tarihciligin Cıkmazı," İslami Arastırmalar, Vol. 16, Issue 1, 2003.
3. See Dogrul, Omer Rıza, Asr-ı Saadet, Eser Kitabevi, Istanbul, 1974, 2/141; Nadwi, Sayyid Sulayman, Hazreti Aişe, (trns. by Ahmet Karataş), Timaş Yayınları, İstanbul, p. 21, 2004; Savaş, Rıza, "Hz. Aişe'nin Evlenme Yası Ile Igili Farklı Bir Yaklasım,"" D. E. U. İlahiyat Fak. Derg. Issue 4, İzmir, 1995, pp. 139-144; YUce, AbdUlhakim, Efendimiz'in Bir GUnU, Isık Yayınları, Istanbul, pp. 82-83, 2007.
4. Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet, married Hala bint Uhayb, who was young then. Since he married off his son Abdullah to Amina at an early age at around the same time of his own marriage with Hala, the Prophet was almost of the same age with his uncle Hamza.
5. In order to have family relationship with the Prophet and thus further his close relation with God's Messenger, Umar ibn Khattab married Ali's daughter Umm Qulthum, and this marriage was not found strange at that time at all.
6. Amr ibn As, for instance, was 12 years older than his son Abdullah. This means that he was around 10 when he got married. For further information see Ibn al-Athir, Usud al-Gaba, 3/240.
7. Nisa: 4/6.
8. Bukhari, Ta'bir, 21, Manakib al-Ansar, 44, Nikah, 9; Muslim, Fadail al-Sahaba, 79; Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 6/41, 128.
9. Ibn Hisham, Sira, 1/271; Ibn Ishaq, Sira, Konya, 1981, 124.
10. Ibn Hisham, Sira, 1/271; Ibn Hisham, Sira, 124.
11. Nawawi, Tahzib al-Asma, 2/597; Hakim, Mustadrak, 3/635.
12. Qamar 54:46.
13. Bukhari, Fadail al-Qur'an, 6; Tafsir al-Sura, (54) 6; Ayni, Badruddin Abu Muhammad Mahmud ibn Ahmad, Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Dar alIhya al-Turas al-Arabi, 20/21; Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, 11/291.
14. Suyuti, Itqan, Beirut, 1987, 1/29, 50; Dogrul, Asr-ı Saadet, 2/148.
15. The month difference stems from the lunar calendar.
16. Taking this information into account, some people calculate Aisha's age at marriage as least 14 or 22, up to 28. We have not focused on these as they are not supported by the sources.
17. Ibn Hisham, Sira, 1/176; Haysami, Majma al-Zawaid, 3/285; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 4/553; Bidaya, 2/214; Qurtubi, Tafsir, 20/195.
18. Bukhari, Salat, 70, Kafala, 5, Manaqib al-Ansar, 45, Adab, 64; Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 6/198.
19. Muslim, 3/463; Mu'jam al-Kabir, 2/285, 286; Mu'jam al-Awsat, 12/145; Ibn Hisham, Sira, 1/243.
20. Ibn Hisham, Sira, 1/83.
21. Bukhari, Nikah, 11; Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 6/210; Haysami, Majma al-Zawaid, 9/225; Bayhaqi, Sunan, 7/129; Tabari, Tarih, 3/161-163.
22. Savaş, Rıza, D. E. U. İlahiyat Fak. Dergisi, Issue 4, İzmir, pp. 139-144, 1995.
23. Berki, Ali Hikmet, Osman Eskioglu, HatemU'l-Enbiya Hz. Muhammed ve Hayatı, 210.
reliable sources and she did not live with him as husband and wife
until she was over fifteen. It was the practice of the people at
that time to marry women at 12, this due to them reaching puberty
earlier in oral civilisations. This was a normal marriage in this
Don't forget that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has
a dream where the angel Jibril was carrying a person and he asked
who is was, the angel said it is your wife, the cloth was uncovered
and it was Aisha, this happened three times.
She was married to him before the Hijra to Medina and did not live
with him until after which was some three years. In the Jewish Torah
it states than any father who hasn't married his daughter by the age
of twelve, has dishonored her. Henry the 8th wed Anne Boleyn aged
There are several reasons for this marriage Aisha (may God be
pleased with her) reported the second most narrations about him
(over two thousand), she was the first female scholar and she taught
hundreds if not thousands of students. She corrected other
companions when they made mistakes, she was a living authority of
religious knowledge in her time.
People who try to compare one time with another really misrepresent
Likewise, the nonsense about the "cultural context of the relevant time" proves nothing except that Islam is an ideology limited by the time and place in which it was created.
Kinda puts paid to the claims of a "perfect" and "timeless" religion, don't it!
3 centuries after her death...how could this issue be possibly
it was absoulutely normal to get married in this age at that time. The girls got mature in the age of 9 and was similar to girls who are 19- 20 today. But Hazrat Aishah RA was not 9 years when they got married to the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s) but 19- 22. I have 100 % clear prooves.I see many muslim scholars or other muslims who don't even want to know the actual age of Aisha RA because they blindly follow Sahih Bukhari. You can read the article here : http://www.ilovezakirnaik.com/madamayeshah/index.htm.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) is the best man who ever walked this earth and every decision he took was the best. We are not even able to imagine his perfection. Allah himeslf says that O Prophet you are best example for mankind.
Some frivolent scholars wanted to elevate the status of Um Al-mumineen Aicha (RAA)to that of a genius to the point that they exagerated her age and claimed that was only 9 years old when she married the messenger of Allah (pbuh). They inadvertedly set the trap to themselves & other Muslim generations because they got carried away & focused only on her brain capacity to absorb lots of hadiths & verses. They did not think for a moment that saying that Aisha (RAA) was 9 years old when married the messenger would automatically imply that our beloved prophet could be called a pedophile by his enemies.
The ennemies of Allah love it when Muslims shoot themselves. Aisha (RAA) is a pious sahabia & honourable wife of the messenger of Allah (pbuh). This red hair & beautiful daughter of Abu Bakr (RAA) had an amazing memomy for details but she was not a genuis otherwise she would not've been involved in the Battle of Aljamal against Imam Ali (KAW). She must 've been 17 or 18 years old at least if not older when she got married the prophet (pbuh).
Pls note that it's still common to this day to see parents in different parts of the world that claim that their children are younger than they really are. I know for a fact that my grand father is three years older than what his birth certificate shows!!!
the "right" age of marriage for a girl. For the
male, its when he's able to maintain his wife.
When Mariam got pregnant, what was her age? Has
to be hardly 13 and at maximum 14 because she
withdrew from the Temple (Mih'raab) when she
started to have her monthly cycles and that is at
the age of around 11 or 12 and it wasn't long
before Allah CHOSE THIS AGE THAT SHE SHOULD GET
PREGNANT! THINK ABOUT THIS: Is this choice
without any purpose? Isnt Allah conveying us some
message? But only those who have inner eyes and
ears can hear it: al-Ihsaan!
PS: Seems like all the thoughts have been jumbled
This is a divine marriage and we Muslims must treat it like that and clear misconceptions. Only Allah knows.
EXCERPT FROM: http://www.teenpregnancyadvisor.com/category/blog
"Ultimately, the result of the study showed that those teens - 12- 17 years old - who watched the most TV programming that included casual sex and casual sexual relationships were twice as likely as peers who didn't watch the programming to become pregnant."
Excerpt from: http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/13/27/
"More than 800,000 teenagers become pregnant each year(1)
34% of girls become pregnant at least once before age 20(2)
11% of pregnant 15-17-year-olds have already been pregnant at least once before(2)
Twenty percent of teens are sexually active before the age of 15, and 14% of these teens with early sexual debut will become pregnant during their teen years.(2)
The same behavior - sexual activity - that places young persons at risk for pregnancy also increases their risk for STIs, including HIV."
EXCERPT FROM: http://www.teenshelter.org/data.htm
"Approximately One Million teens become pregnant each year in the United States. This results in approximately 520,000 births, 405,000 abortions & 80,000 miscarriages."
EXCERPT FROM: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1796503&pageindex=1
"...It has been recognized that married people and parents are less likely to commit suicide than unmarried or childless people."
Exceprt from: http://harvardscience.harvard.edu/culture-society/articles/dating-violence-linked-teen-pregnancy-suicide-attempts
"Dating violence linked with teen pregnan
in the time of the scholars who feared Allah, they didn't write about something until they made Esstikhara about it. that's why Allah blessed their books and we still rely on them to learn the pure Islam.
you can't find one book, since the Prophet Salla Alaihe wa sallam, wrote about Aisha's age. in the last decades, after Islam became the fastest growing religion in the west, some people mainly from the vatican took the road to attack islam by anything they can. reading bukhari, nothing stop them other than one Hadith monkati'a(means hadith with broken chain of narration) end with Aisha! if you do not have any knowledge of the SCIENCE OF HADITH, you will not understand the reason for that hadith.
look at them? in one year, 50 000 cases of pedofiles in US churchs alone! nothing happen! not one good person to speak up and say "I can't take this anymore, something serious must be done".
today, it is a Tabbou in America to say "many pedofiles in churchs and synagogs". and who knows? brother Ali may would like see that a tabbou in Iran too. while it's true.
but it is not a Tabbou to say stupid stuff about the prophet Muhammad even if you have zero evidence.
I doubt you find one judge in the world or the history of mankind, who will accept to judge somebody died 1400 years about incomplete hadith missunderstood by his enemies. but I believe the majority of the judges around the world, will love to judge the huge rising number of pedofiles around us.
True moslems doesn't talk bad about prophets and messengers because they know Allah mocks who mock them in this life before the hereafter... while those who do that, just don't get it.
it's a clear oxymoron and moslems should learn to point the finger not let's pedofiles point the fingers on them.
this will be my last post here.
salam alaikom brother.
MAY ALLAH REWARD THEM, JAZAKALLAH KHAIRAA
Whatever Mother Aisha's age was at the time of her marriage, one should not forget that our Prophet Muhammad(SAW) married her when she became baaliq (reached puberty). A woman reaching puberty is naturaly ready to bear children, hence ready to get married!
We should also not forget that this was not a forced marriage. In fact, Mother Aisha and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with both of them) were extremely close to our Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Prophet (SAW) decided to give up his soul in Mother Aisha's home and Hazrat Abu Bakr was his best friend on earth.
With regards to an older man marrying a young woman, she remained loyal to him even after he passed away and lived majority of her life next to Prophet's grave or in Majid-e-Nabwi relaying his sunnah to us. She was the first prominent muslim female scholar!!!
Since she and her father were so loyal to Prophet (SAW), as far as I am concerned, no one has any right to second guess their personal decisions, especially when one of them was sanctioned by Allah Subhanu watala.
In fact, science proved that girl mature as early as 9 years of age. Aisha was destined to record many important hadith surrounding husband-wife relationship. Therefore, Her "tape recorder" like memory was even more powerful in her younger age. She is intelligent, brilliant and mature. Number of years of age for her is irrelevant.
Muhammad s.a.w is a beautiful person with beautiful character. I trust him and his judgement to marry Aisha.
Perhape the age of consent in 2008 will be viewed as gross and very un principled in the centuries to come. maybe many of the things we do today will seem attrocious in the future.
do not follow their mistakes? we don't need waste time answering the people who are programmed to do nothing but the wrong.
is there anything in the Qur'aan that says Aisha was 6 or 7 or whatever??? no! then only the Qur'aan who has the authenticity 100%. anything else can have mistakes in it.
do you think the Prophet did something wrong and the disbelievers of his time didn't mention it first?!
when you find attacks on Islam or the Prophet, from the disbelievers, not said before, draw the conclusion that it has no basics and move forward.
all the madahib were clear about the girl should marry only when she is in women's age. means able to give a birth and mature enough to understand what's the marriage. some had the age 15 others put 17 or 16. do you think if they believed the prophet married Aisha at such age, they will choose 15,16 and 17 to be the maturity for women???!!
this whole mess made from the pedophiles in churchs to cover themselves!. those people who like to follow the pedophiles in churchs to curse the last messenger and prophet to mankind, are fooling no one but themselves.
we are looking at them unable to do anything to more than 50 000 pedophiles in their churchs and synagogs!!! and they pretend to care to the life of someone 1400 years ago!!!.
thanks Allah, we the moslems who respect all the messengers of Allah. you will never hear a moslem pretending jesus to be gay because he didn't marry! that's because we respect the prophets and messengers of Allah and we will never use them to further our hunger to impose our faith on others.