Muhammad upon whom be peace married Aisha at the age of 9. In this millenium this is a crime in many countries.
Contemporary views claim that Muhammad had an insatiable appetite including for children. Is this allegation true or baseless. Let as examine some views.
People who want to defend women’s rights make it a big issue when the wife of prophet Muhammad did not make it an issue. She did not seem to mind, in fact she was very proud until the day she she died. The prophet was a very loving husband, they had the perfect marriage . It is pretty straightforward and an issue of anthropology.
Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present, that draws and builds upon knowledge from the social sciences and biological science as well as the humanities and the natural sciences. -source wikipedia.
People have different cultures and for different times different values apply. Even the prophet Muhammad enemies did not make an issue of his child bride at his time so why should people pounce at this issue now? It was the cultural norm in those days to marry a child attaining the age of puberty even as tender as 9 years old. If it was offensive it would have easily been used as the biggest issue to foil his prophethood status and it would be carved in stone.
In fact Romeo and Juliet were a 14 and 15 year old. Point for you to ponder.
The point is sexuality and the age of puberty has changed over time. In certain countires it is lower than the current bar of 16 years.
The Islamic Syariah (law) which is the same as Jewish law stipulates that adulthood is the onset of puberty. Therefore a 9 year old girl 14 centuries ago would be the same as a 16 year old girl today. There are many states that would allow a 16 year old girl to marry in the US states today.
The problem is people like to define their culture and impose it on other cultures that does not comply with theirs.
Aisha had no problem about her marriage, the problem is when society thinks it is a problem. Had Aisha married at the recommended age of contemporary age she would not have had the opportunity to learn and become one of prophet Muhammad’s greatest Islamic woman scholars.
People have different cultures and different standards. Society have to be more academic and anthropological and not impose other societies values on other societies.
Secondly Aisha was engaged prior to that to another male suitor old but it was annulled before she was offerred her hand in marriage to Muhammad s.a.w. This is evidence that marriage at a tender age was the cultural norm in those days.
Thirdly in the study of the sciences of hadiths we may observe that scholars have different views upon which was the actual age Aisha married and consummated. It has been narrated in one hadith that it was at 6 she was married to prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and consummated at 9. But other scholars disagree and said it was at 16 and consummated at 19. The issue here is not whether it was illegal since it was a common practice in those times. We can see here that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was around 54 years old and she might be between 9 to 16 years old. She was a bright and astute girl and is amongst the first woman jurist and scholars. Her close relationship with the prophet during the remainder of his ten years of life was instrumental in being one of the reliable sources of the sayings of the prophet in particular in matters concerning marriage which requires close intimicay with the prophet. No man could be as close to the prophet to recount sayings of ablutions and ghusl which is purification. Only a spouse can. Her tender age allowed her to learn fast and she was a strong authority even after the demise of Muhammad s.a.w.
Lastly, Muhammad was an example to mankind. He married to set an example to people accepted practices. He showed that an old man can marry a young women at the onset of puberty and lead a fulfilling married life. The misnomer is to misquote and take it out of context.
Here is a video that helps explain the science of hadith pertaining this.
Source – Yusof Qadhi.