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Source Material:Sahih Bukhari

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:

Narrated by 'Aisha 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 (i.e., till his death).

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65:

Narrated by 'Aisha That the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, Hisham said: I have been informed that 'Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death)." What you know of the Quran (by heart)'

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:

Narrated by 'Ursa The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234:

Narrated by 'Aisha The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.

Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236:

Narrated by Hisham's father Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. An answer:

By my research i have following conclusion she was 15 or above to it (maximum 22 and minimum 15) and there justification or reference is from well known book please read all.

1. According to many narratives, Ayesha participated in the battles of Badr and Uhud. No one older than 15 was allowed to accompany the Prophet's army in the battle of Uhud. This applied across the board to all participants, men and women alike. The battle of Uhud took place around the 2nd Hijrah, a time line close to her marriage with the Prophet. Obviously, she was at least older than 15 at that time.

2. A narrative regarding Ayesha's participation in the battle of `Uhud is given in Bukhari, (Kitabu'l-jihad WA'l-siyar, Arabic, Bab Ghazwi'l-nisa' WA qitalihinna ma`a'lrijal; that all boys under 15 were sent back is given in Bukhari, Kitabu'l-maghazi, Bab ghazwati'l-khandaq WA hiya'l-ahza'b, Arabic).

3. Most historians have consensus on the age of one of the oldest female companions of the Prophet, namely, Asma, the elder sister of Ayesha that was ten years older than Ayesha. It is also reported in Taqri'bu'l-tehzi'b as well as Al-bidayah WA'l-nihayah that Asma died in 73 Hijrah when she was 100 years old. Clearly, if Asma was 27 or 28 years old at the time of Hijrah, Ayesha was 17 at the time of Hijrah and 19 at the time of consummation of her marriage with Muhammad.

(For Asma being 10 years older than Ayesha, see A`la'ma'l-nubala', Al-Zahabi, Vol 2, Pg 289, Arabic, Mu'assasatu'l-risalah, Beirut, 1992. Ibn Kathir confirms this fact, [Asma] was elder to her sister [Ayesha] by ten years" (Al-Bidayah WA'l-nihayah, Ibn Kathir, Vol 8, Pg 371, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabi, Al-jizah, 1933). For Asma being 100 years old, see Al-Bidayah WA'l-nihayah, Ibn Kathir, Vol 8, Pg 372, Arabic, Dar al-fikr al-`arabi, Al-jizah, 1933). Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani also has the same information: "She [Asma (ra)] lived a hundred years and died in 73 or 74 AH." Taqribu'l-tehzib, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, Pg 654, Arabic, Bab fi'l-nisa', al-harfu'l-alif, Lucknow).

4. Tabari informs in his treatise on Islamic history that Abu Bakr had four children and all four were born during the pre Islamic period. The pre-Islamic period ended in 610 A.D, a fact that makes Ayesha to be at least 14 years of age at the time of her marriage around 613-624 A.D.

Tarikhu'l-umam WA'l-mamlu'k, Al-Tabari, Vol 4, Pg 50, Arabic, Dara'l-fikr, Beirut, 1979).

5. Ibn Hisham, the historian, reports that Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam quite some time before `Umar ibn al-Khattab which only means that Ayesha (ra) accepted Islam close to the time of first revelation (around 610 A.D). This means she must have been at least a young girl at that time. Assuming she was barely 6 or 7 at that time this information puts the age of Ayesha at 20 or more at the time of her marriage with Muhammad (623-624 A.D.), (Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, vol 1, Pg 227 - 234 and 295, Arabic, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-hadithah, Al-Riyadh).

6. Tabari reports that before migrating to Habashah, Abu Bakr planned to hand over his daughter, Ayesha to Mut'am's son to whom she was engaged. But fearing persecution by the Quraish, Mut'am refused and his son divorced Ayesha. The migration to Habashah happened 8 years before Hijra. Obviously, at the time she was ready to take on responsibilities as a wife (possibly 9 or 10 years of age). If she married Muhammad in the 2nd Hijrah (623-624 A.D), she could not be less than 19 years of age (a secondary reference for this argument is: Tehqiq e umar e Siddiqah e Ka'inat, Habib ur Rahman Kandhalwi, Urdu, Pg 38, Anjuman Uswa e hasanah, Karachi, Pakistan).

7. A famous Sunni imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, reports in His Musnad, that after the death of Khadijah, Khaulah came to the Prophet (pbuh) and advised him to marry again. She had two propositions for the Prophet: Either Muhammad could marry a virgin (bikr), or he could go for woman who had already been married (thayyib)". Khaulah named Ayesha for a virgin (bikr). It is common knowledge that the term bikr in the Arabic language refers to a well formed lady and not to a 9 year old, playful, immature lass. If she were nine, the word used by Khaulah would have been jariyah and not bikr.

(Musnad, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol 6, Pg 210, Arabic, Dar Ihya al-turath al-`arabi, Beirut).

8. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani has reported that Fatimah, Muhammad's daughter, was five years older than Ayesha and that Fatimah was born when the Prophet was 35 years old. Thus, Ayesha, according to Ibn Hajar, was born when Muhammad was 40 and consummated her marriage when he was 54 or 55. That makes Aysha at least 15-16 years of age.

(Al-isabah fi tamyizi'l-sahabah, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Vol 4, Pg 377, Arabic, Maktabatu'l-Riyadh al-haditha, al-Riyadh,1978)

Finally, it must be pointed out that Ayesha's age at the time of her marriage has never been an issue. If it were, his enemies must have picked up on this issue as they did to him on some other issues. Also, the reader must note that none of these Hadith reports concerning Ayesha's controversial age of marriage with the Prophet goes back to the Prophet himself. In other words, it is not the Prophet himself who said Ayesha was 6 or 9. These reports came from a single individual and the Iraqis reported from him when he grew old and his memory started failing.

In conclusion, this article is an attempt to prove that the books written 200-300 years after the death of Muhammad, while providing a good deal of historical information about him are not free from faulty, less than perfect and self-contradictory materials. These should not be taken as the final word for a Muslim. There is a Final Word for a Muslim and that is the Book of God, the Holy Qur'an-the book that defines the marriageable age for a man or woman when he or she attains soundness of judgment (Al-Qur'an 4:6). If Muhammad is a model for mankind, if he followed the Qur'an all his life, if Allah stands witness to his rock-solid character, there is no way that he could have taken a 6-9 year old, immature young, playful girl as a responsible wife. And Allah knowns better.

One of Muhammad's wives was Ayesha or Aisha. Depending on what sources are used her age at marriage is sometimes put at 6 and consummation at 9. However there are a number of facts which need to be factored in.

1: Not all sources agree with Bukhari about Ayesha's age, Bukhari's Hadith were not collated until 300-odd years after Muhammad's death. Other sources give Ayesha's age as being 16 at marriage and 19 at consummation.

2: Even if her age were 6 / 9, the custom of taking child brides was a part of Middle-Eastern culture. The Jews practised it as well as many of the other nations in the Middle-East and remember too that Mary of Nazareth's age was probably around the 12-14 mark.

3: Pedophilia is both a sexual dysfunction and a legal one. Muhammad's others wives were adult women with who he apparently had very good relations. This would not normally be the case for a pedophile.

4: Customs and Traditions as well as laws were very different then from now. What is considered unacceptable now was not considered anything to comment about then.

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