5 years ago
The Marriage of Aisha , Part One
The Prophet's most erudite wife, Aisha, has always aroused controversial talk pertaining to the age at which she married the Prophet (SWS). She was young; some people put it as 9 years of age while others believe that she was at least eighteen or nineteen. Each group has its compelling evidence but we should bear in mind that every era has its own cultures, traditions and customs. We can't make the rules of our culture today a standard by which we measure a culture that was practiced over 1400 years ago.
It is noteworthy that the Prophet (SWS) remained single without marriage for twenty-five years till he married his first wife, Khadija. After her death, he remained without marriage for three years. A lady argued with him convincing him to marry. This lady suggested "Lady Ai'sha".
At the time, the enemies of the Prophet (SWS) were picky about every act he did. If Lady A'isha was too young or her marriage to the Prophet (SWS) was opposite to the prevalent culture, they would have surely commented on it.
The absence of any such comments may imply that:
It is noteworthy that the age of puberty was the standard by which marriage was contracted. The age of puberty may have been different one thousand years ago but we are sure, based on current research, that women reach the age of puberty earlier in warmer climates than those in cold countries. Therefore, it can be concluded that a woman would reach the age of puberty in the Arabian Peninsula faster than women in Europe.
A recent study about the age of puberty says
It is still a questionable issue for Christians as most of them find fault in the Prophet's marriage to Lady A'isha while she was still young. They give a blind eye to the fact that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was 12-14 yrs. old when she was pregnant with Prophet Jesus .
According to the "Oxford Dictionary Bible" commentary, Mary (peace be upon her) was 12 years old when she became impregnated.
It is noteworthy that Mary was at that time betrothed to Joseph, a 90 year old man. Therefore she must have been under ten years when she was betrothed, perhaps nine years old or even younger.
The Marriage of Aisha , Part Two
Regarding the Marriage of Mary to Joseph, the Catholic Encyclopedia says:
"In ancient Israel, girls married in their teens, even early teens. For Mary to be betrothed (engaged) but not yet formally married, yet old enough to have and nurse the Messiah, she would have been 12-14 years old. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible points out, "It appears that both boys and girls were married very young. Later [after the New Testament period] the rabbis fixed the minimum age for marriage at twelve for girls and thirteen for boys."
Exodus 21:10 says that a man can marry an infinite number of women; 1 Kings 11:3 says that King Solomon had seven hundred wives and 300 concubines; 2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, 14:3 say that King Solomon had six wives and numerous concubines and 2 Chronicles 11:21 says that Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. If we bear in mind that the Bible Old Testament allowed having sex with three-year old children, it would therefore be logically accepted that among the wives of the abovementioned Prophets were teenage wives, even younger than Mary.
The Age of Consent in the World
Also, the age consent in the US and Europe only 100 years ago for girls' marriage was as little as 10 and some popular men figures married little girls who were as young as their daughters. I have provided the Western links and proofs.
Also today, the Jewish law for marriage sets the age of consent for females at 11. (Consent is only one way of marriage) I do not know if modern Jewish law still allows (in theory) betrothal by intercourse as it was practiced in ancient times.
The Marriage of Aisha , Part Three
Aisha, a Woman Chosen by God for Muhammad (SWS)
It happened that the Prophet (SWS) saw ‘Aisha in his dream three times before proposing to her. An angel appeared to the Prophet (SWS) in three dreams in each of which he said,
A question may arise here; Why did God make Lady ‘Aisha in particular appear to the Prophet (SWS) in a dream?
God doesn't need to tell anyone to do anything because everything is in His Hand and moves according to His Will.
The answer to this question, though one need not strain his mind to find it, is recorded in the history archives. It is through this lady's matchless intelligence and enduring memory that half of this religion was related. A large number of the Prophet (SWS)'s sayings were related by this great lady. Truly she was the most influential pedagogue in most of the domains of Islamic jurisprudence especially issues confined to the affairs of women. During her life span she remained an impressive paradigm to all women of her time and for other generations of women to come. Most jurists and Qur'an expounders of her time would travel to her door to question her about what they could not understand. A large part of the Prophet's life, even the minute details, was related by her.