How old was Aishah (ra) at the time of her marriage?

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Representational image.

By Husain A Nuri

Aishah was one of the wives of Prophet Muhammad(s). How old was Aishah when she was engaged or married to the Prophet(s)? Was she six years old, nine years old, or in her teens? Because of some misleading Islamic writings and a false hadith, people now believe the Prophet(s) married Aishah when she was 6-year old!

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Muslim scholars are to be blamed for their writings and teachings that Aishah (ra) was six years old when she was engaged.

They do not care to research, analyze the information, and study the facts. They are busy in blindly following untruth. Their uncharacteristic support for this wrong information brought much shame to Islam and defamed Nabi Muhammad (S).

To them, this false hadith statement is absolute, even if goes against the teachings of the Qur’ān, even if it portrays Islam in a poor light, and even if it maligns Nabi Muhammad (S). Below I am discussing only a few pieces of evidence to prove that Aishah (ra) was not six years old when she was engaged and she was not nine years old when she lived with Nabi Muhammad (S).

Please note that there are many more evidences to prove the falsity of the popular notion. In the year 620 C.E., Muhammad(s) was 50.

It is true at the age of 50, he married Aishah and began to live with her when he was 53. The question is whether Muhammad(s) was cohabiting with a nine-year-old child? Could Muhammad(s) violate the Qur’ānic prohibition of child marriage stated in verse 4:6?

If Aishah (ra) was six years old when the engagement took place, then she must have been born in the year 613 C.E. If this alleged birth year is investigated and analyzed with evidences, the falsity will become clear. At-Tabari, a famous scholar and commentator of the Qur’ān, states that all four of Abū Bakr’s children were born during the pre-Islamic period.

Abū Bakr was Aishah’s father. The Islamic period began in 610 C.E. Therefore, by at-Tabari’s statement, Aishah was born before 610 C.E.—in the year 609 C.E or a few years earlier. If we consider she was born in 609 C.E., then she was at least 14 years old when she began to live with the Prophet(s). Let us investigate further.

The Prophet’s youngest daughter, Fātimah was born in 635 C.E., Some biographers say Fātimah was five years older than Aishah. If this is true, then Aishah was born in 640 C.E., the year the Prophet(s) received the first divine revelation.

At that time he was 40 years old. Therefore, at the time of his engagement to Aishah, she was ten years old and at the time of the actual marriage, she was 13 years old. But this needs further investigation.

Let us analyze further. Asmā’ was Aishah’s elder sister. According to all historians, Asmā’ was 10 years older than Aishah. Asmā’ lived for 100 years and died in the year 692 C.E.

Her death is well documented because by that time the Islamic calendar was fully established and events were being recorded fairly accurately. Working backward from the year of death, Asmā’ was born in 592 C.E. Therefore, Aishah was born in 602 C.E.

This finding is in agreement with at-Tabari’s statement that all four of Abū Bakr’s children were born during the pre-Islamic era. If this finding is correct, then Aishah was 17 years old at the time of her engagement and 20 years old when she lived with the Prophet(s).

On two occasions, two of the Prophet’s close companions asked for Fātima’s hand in marriage. On both occasions, the Prophet(s) rejected the proposals. At that time Fātima was in her teens.

The Prophet(s) himself was not in favor of giving his teenage daughter in marriage to a companion equal to his own age, so how could he himself volunteer to marry a child? This analysis further indicates that Aishah was not six years old at the time of her engagement.

No sane person would agree to marry his or her six-year-old child to a man 50 years of age.

We have to ask some serious questions: is it possible that the Prophet(s) knowingly proposed to a six- year-old child, and actually lived with her when she was nine years old? Is it possible that he would set such an example? The issue has serious repercussions in the Muslim world, so we must seek guidance from the Qur’ān.

The Qur’ān contains the best guidance and the best teachings. Islam does not provide a specific age for marriage, either for a man or a woman.

However, the age of marriage is stated to be when one has reached “maturity.” The marriageable age for girls is explained in another verse by using the term fatāya meaning “young woman.” At this stage, the girl has attained puberty or sexual maturity.

The purpose of this analysis is to show that the marriageable age for a man or a woman is when he or she reaches maturity. In Islam, the marriageable age is never in the pre-puberty stage.

For girls, more specifically, marriage is never in the pre-menstruation age. During medieval periods, many countries practiced child marriage.

In many Muslim societies, the practice was common, however, this was not Islamically correct.

It is not possible that Prophet(s) would set the wrong example by marrying a six or nine-year-old girl.

There are a number of other historical pieces of evidence to prove that the Prophet(s) married Aishah (ra) when she was 16 and lived together when she was 19.

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This is an excerpt from the book titled “Islam: Faith and Practice Explained” by Husain A. Nuri

16 COMMENTS

  1. Makes sense. See the below hadith too which emphasises the need for consent by the female for marriage, which is not possible at a young age.

    Abu Hurayrah(may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A previously married woman should not be married until her verbal consent has been sought, and a virgin should not be married until her permission has been sought.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is her permission?” He said: “When she remains silent.”‘

    Moreover scholars, even the hadith collectors themselves, all Sahih hadiths are not absolute truth, and needs to be vetted against Quran and other hadiths or historical data.

  2. “And test the orphans [in their abilities] until they reach marriageable age. Then if you perceive in them sound judgement, release their property to them”. (4:6).

    Note the marriageable age is equated to having good judgement to handle property independently.

  3. Even though the argument sounds good for ears, the author has to explain other hadiths, mad’hab and even Quran stance which does appear to condone pre-pubescent marriage.

    65:4 And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] “those who have not menstruated”. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease.

    “Those who have not menstruated” are interepreted as young, who have not reached the years of menstruation by several tafsirs including Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Tafsir Jalalayn.

    The Hanafi madhhab of Islamic fiqh maintains that a wife must not be taken to her husband’s house until she reaches the condition of fitness for sexual relations.

    “In case of a dispute on the matter between the husband and the bride’s wali (her nearest male kinsman and her guardian), the judge is to be informed and he is to appoint two matrons to examine the girl and report on her physical preparedness for marriage. If they decide she is too young, she must return to her father’s house until she is judged fit. Betrothal may take place at any age. Actual marriage is later, but the age for it varies in different lands.”

    Reuben Levy, The Social Structure of Islam

    Hope the author clarifies this.

    • Common-sense….Maturity begins in few months to years after menarche (onset of menstruation)
      No one should examine physically.
      Mother or elder sister can vouch depending on external physical appearance, intellectual maturity, height attainment and pubertal secondary sexual maturity.
      What’s the great rush??????
      Shariah would recommend waiting for Rukhsati (consummation) it becomes crystal clear intellectually, mentally and emotionally; that the girl has matured into a young woman,; mostly age of 14 years to 16 years atleast onwards…depending on physical health and strength and nutrition.
      Safe is for any earliest Nikah contract at 12-14 years girl’s age but compulsory wait for rukhsati (moving with husband and consummating nikah) for atleast 1-2 years after menarche (starting menses) after achieving 14-17 years atleast.
      Especially for poor strata who cannot afford to study much or survive without halaal nikaah.

      Dr Sajid Hameed Khan
      Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician.
      Pune, India.

  4. I totally agree with this article and many Islamic historians proved that Aisha(RA) age was much more than 9 years while her marriage with Prophet(SAW).
    Why main sectors of Muslims in India like Tabligi, Ahle-hadees, jamiat-e-Islam etc can’t come under same umbrella even today to search the Islamic history to judge correct age of Aisha(RA) while her marriage with Prophet(SAW) mainly to answer Indian non-Muslims. Are these sectors egoistic against each other?
    Anyhow, RSS knows the inabilities of today’s Muslims and the Muslim world.

  5. Also investigate Khadija’s age as well. It is said she was 40 years old at the time of marriage & then she produced 6 children from prophet. How can 40 years old woman produce 6 kids? It is said that her true age was 28. Please investigate this.

    • I am a Pediatrician.

      I hav seen more children in ladies more than 40 yrs age than d grey cells in ur pea-sized RSS chaddie brain !

      Homework for you : Ask ur Mom, menopause occurs in norrmal ladiess from 47 yrs to 53 yrrs.

  6. Secular Lindu and fake arabic student,

    You Hindu sanghi bhangi trolls are high on cow shit and monkey piss as usual. Do we have to teach basic biology to you piss drinking penis worshipping primitive baboons now? In 1929 the age of consent in India was 14, I wonder why. There is no controversy over the age of the mother of the believers, marriage is allowed after puberty, and this has been the around the world since humanity started. So why act if this is something strange or new? Unlike Hindus, Muslims don’t lie or make up nonsense. Repeating lies is the usual failed Hindu tactic. Don’t you Hindu gutter rats know your own history? Today in the 21st century, you smelly Hindu haramis still have the highest number of rapes, pedophelia and child “marriages” in the world! Because it comes straight out of your disgusting Hindu “scriptures”! Lets take a look:

    Vedas Promote Rape, Bestality, Violence And Also SAY Women Is Sin. Vishnu A Hindu God Is Said To Have Raped Tulsi. Its Mentioned In Shiva Purana, Rudra Samhita 2, Yudha Khanda 5, Ch 23.38-45 ”On seeing her husband, Vrnda too was delighted. She forgot her sorrow. She considered everything a dream. Delighted in the heart and with all the dormant passions kindled up, she sported with him for many days in the middle of that forest. Once at the end of the sexual intercourse she realised that it was Visnu. Vrnda rebuked him angrily and spoke thus. Vrnda said:—Fie on this misdeed of Visnu in outraging the modesty of another man’s wife. I have now realised you as the wielder of illusion, appearing in the guise of an ascetic. Soma Another Hindu God Is Said To Have Raped Brihaspati’s Wife After Kidnapping Her. Its Also Mentioned In Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Krishna Janma Khanda 80.9-19 ”[Tara to Soma]…And if you commit rape with me, you will surely be guilty of woman slaughter. But when the Moon, without minding her words was about to commit rape with her, the dispassionate chaste woman cursed him thus…In spite of the curse however, the Moon, held her and associated with her. Afterwards, holding the sorrowful, weeping wife of the Guru in his lap, he left that place. Another Hindu God Brihaspati Has Raped His Brother’s Pregnant Wife. Its Also Mentioned In Matsya Purana 49.17-28 ”Suta said:- Brihaspati, whilst staying on Earth, one day saw the wife of his brother, Usija, who was big with child, and addressed her thus:- ”Dress thyself well and let us enjoy.” She, being thus addressed, replied to Brihaspati thus:- ”The embryo in my womb is mature and is already reciting the Vedas. Thy seed will also not be fruitless and thy proposal is sinful.” Hearing which, Brihaspati said:- ”I need not to be taught morality by thee, O sweet one.” After saying that, he carried out his desire by force. Indra Another Hindu God Has Raped The Wife Of Sage Gautama .Its Also Mentioned In Skanda Purana V.iii.136.2-16 ”There was a Brahmana named Gautama who was like another Brahma. He was endowed with truthfulness and piety. He was engrossed in the Vanaprastha stage of life. His blessed wife named Ahalya was very famous in all the three worlds as a woman endowed with beauty and prime of youth. Satakratu [Indra], the king of Devas, was infatuated by the exceptional beauty of Ahalya. The Slayer of Bala, therefore, tempted her. ”O beautiful lady of uncensured features, resort to me, the king of Devas, Sport about with me. You shall be one honoured in all the three worlds. What will you do with this Brahmana who has become lean and emaciated due to his over-zealousness for purity and conventional rites and austerities and Vedic studies! O lady of beautiful eyes, you must be rather undergoing sufferings now.”…Getting an opportunity, he assumed the excellent guise of the sage and carnally delighted Ahalya who believed (that he was Gautama) in the inner apartment. Within a moment thereafter, O descendant of Bharata, the excellent sage hurriedly entered the apartment. On seeing Gautama come Purandara [Indra] became terrified and he went out. Seeing him he thought (knew) that it was Sakra. So Gautama became highly enraged and he cursed Devendra: ”Since you could not control your senses, be one with a thousand vaginal apertures.” On being cursed thus, Devendra was instantly covered with a thousand vaginal apertures.

    Truth is bitter, Hindu gutter rats!

      • Wrong again, anonymous sanghi bhangi,

        This filth comes straight from your Hindu “scriptures.” Too bad most Hindus don’t know or can stomach such vile “teachings.” You can’t defend this pagan gutter monkey madness! The truth hurts doesn’t it, Hindu sh1t eater?!

        India will never progress as long as Hinduism is the majority religion.

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