Report: Why did Muhammad (PBUH) marry a 6 year old child
Why did Muhammad (PBUH) marry a 6 year old child (Ayisha)
Question: Why did Muhammad (PBUH) marry a 6 year old child (Ayisha)?
Answer: Some innacuracies are said by those who seek to defame Islam, one such event that has caused quite a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is his marriage to a 6 year old girl, Bibi Aisha [ra may Allah‟s peace be on her] and that Holy Prophet (PBUH) was a pedophile. Aisha [ra] , may Allah’s peace be on her, was neither a “child” nor was she “molested” and Holy Prophet (PBUH) was a good man and considered to be the most honest and upright citizen of Medina . No one was esteemed more for his trustworthiness, integrity, and humbleness more than Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during this time. To accuse him of such heinous and repulsive acts is an outrage. Nevertheless, the topic should be addressed with facts and peace, in order to protect Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Bibi Aisha [ra] against such horrific malicious attacks, may Allah’s peace be on them both.
The true story of the two is in all actuality the most beautiful story of love and affection the world could ever know! 1400+ years ago, the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was clearly very different than modern day . Historical records, proven to be authentic, tell us that cultural traditions around the known world of that time considered girls to be women as soon as they have experienced their first menstrual cycle. The daughters were then offered and given into marriage quickly after this. This was a practice not only in Arab culture but in others as well, Jews also practiced child marriage , as did disbelievers and pagans . It was often considered important to marry off the girl, regardless of age – some even younger than Bibi Aisha [ra] , Allah‟s ( swt) peace be on her , for tribal customs, and to “add‟ males to the family. These girls had no voice, were not permitted to deny the marriage, and had absolutely no rights or say regarding this marriage. It was also, in those times, thought of as a “shame’ or an “embarrassment’ for a family to give birth to a girl. As such, men of the family would often take the newborn girls into the desert and bury them alive, to avoid the shame on the family . Child brides and female infanticide , were not at all uncommon in those days. Though, today, we would consider either of these situations to be criminal and barbaric. However, when Islam came in this time period, it came in stages to acknowledge that it is Allah (swt) who has all authority over mankind. We find in the Noble Qur‟an 4:19 [Surah Al – Nisa (The women) ] “O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, [this means that men could not marry a woman against her will, men could not marry them without their consent and could not take their inheritance from them, and they , the women, have to be old enough to give their consent. Allah (swt) makes it very clear here, that a man could not marry a child, but only a woman – able to have children and old enough to make these serious decisions. ] You should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.”
Pre – marital events:
Before Aisha [ra] was married to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) she was engaged to another man, an infidel named Jubair ibn Mus‟ab ibn Ady. Her father, Abu Baker, had agreed to this marriage. Jubair ibn Mus‟ab ibn Ady called off their engagement due to differences in religion. Abu Baker, the father of Aisha [ra] was a senior companion ( Sahabi ) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
When Aisha [ra] was six (6) years of age her father, Abu Bakr, offered her to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for marriage. This tells us that this was traditionally accepted and society accepted such a young girl of age six (6) to be offered into marriage. Prophet Muhammad denied the offer. Bibi Aisha [ra] went outside to continue playing. This tells us that she was not old enough to give consent, and that she could not make this decision. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not go to Aisha [ra] for a proposal of marriage; on the contrary, her father came to him ! Sometime later, again, Abu Bakr offers his daughter to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and it is at this time that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accepts Aisha [ra] in marriage. This tells us that she was older, and matured enough to consent to the marriage. Though she was married to the Prophet (PBUH) she did not live with him until she had reached the age to bear children. ( A young girl experiencing menstrual cycles at an early age was not uncommon, due to the dry, humid and hot weather conditions. ) Bibi Aisha [ra] tells us everything, by her own words “Narrated ‘ Aisha [ra] : that the Prophet married her 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 ” [ Sahih Bukhari 7:62:64 ] As is evident the many narrations that Aisha [ra] related after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PB U H), Aisha [ra] and Muhammad (PBUH) had a very happy marriage and enjoyed each other very much. Though the Prophet (PBUH) died while she was a young woman, Ai sha [ ra] never said a single word against her husband! She continued to hold high respect and admiration for him. Aisha [ra] never remarried. She went on to narrate more than 2000 ahadith.