Muhammad (c. 570 – 632) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam.[c] According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet divinely inspired to preach and confirm the monotheistic teachings of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. Muhammad united Arabia, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.
The Sahih al-Bukhari, the most trusted of hadith sources on Muhammad’s life, states: “the Prophet married her [Aisha] when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:62:64).
In Islamic literature, the young age of her marriage did not draw any significant discourse. Aisha's age was generally not considered noteworthy or remarkable until the late 20th and 21st century. The Wikipedia page for Aisha states:
"Beginning in the late nineteenth century, with the East and its alleged immoralities subject to increasing opprobrium, the colonizing powers sought to regulate the age of consent. As such efforts ran into conflicts with local forms of Sharia, pointers to Aisha's age at marriage (and the associated Prophetic precedent) proliferated across the archives in explaining the backwardness of Muslim societies and their reticence to reforms. In response, some Muslims chose to align themselves with the projects of modernization and re-calculated her age — using deft stratagems of omission and commission — to fix it at early adolescence, but conservatives rejected such revisionist readings since they flew in the face of ʻilm al-ḥadīth.
In the mid-20th century, amidst growing concerns of Islamic extremism, as Muslim societies and Islam itself came under scrutiny, pointed criticisms of Aisha's young age at marriage began to appear; this has since prompted many Muslim scholars to contextualize the traditionally accepted age of Aisha with renewed vigor, emphasizing cultural relativism, anachronism, the political dimensions of the marriage, Aisha's non-ordinary physique, etc. In the late-twentieth century and early twenty-first century, Aisha's age has become a tool of Islamophobic polemicists".
Our page on Pederasty in Islam
- Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64. Translation by Muhammad Muhsin Khan.