“There is no proof that the age of Hazrat Aisha was 9” However:
The Prophet ( P.B.U.H.) became engaged to ‘A’ishah at that time was seven years old. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was engaged to her at seven years and he married her when she was nine so she was very young. The West says, he married a child, don’t they? And the Muslims when they are told this get embarrassed, there faces become red, and they don’t know how to answer, they start stuttering. We want to answer this common question. We have two points to answer here, first about her age and second about why he married her in the first place. We’ll answer the second point after a while, but let’s address the first. How did he marry her when she was that young? In hot climates it is well known, that a girl reaches puberty and develops at a very young age and ages very young also, whereas in colder climates the opposite occurs. This means that at nine years old ‘A’ishah had become a woman, fully developed physically and emotionally. A woman is not just dictated by age, but instead by her development both physically and emotionally.
At that time it was normal for girls to get married at this age, and her previous offer of marriage to a non believer is further evidence for this. Another example of Hafsa ibn ‘ Omar who married for the first time when she was twelve. Another example is ‘Abdul Mutallib, the grandfather of the Prophet ( P.B.U.H.) married Hala who was the same age as Aminah bint Wahb. So this was normal for the Arabs in that time and not just within the Arabs. This was also accepted and common amongst the Jews, the leader of the Jews, Hulai in Ahtal, he was the reason for the battle of Khandak. The first marriage of his daughter Saffiya was to one of the Jews before she became a Muslim. She was at that time eleven years old, and in some accounts it says ten years old. This was accepted in those days… also another point is, when did this start being questioned? Only within the last sixty years. If this was truly an issue it would have first been questioned at the time, not a single book questions this.
Another point is that society changes. For example, in Egypt around twenty or twenty five years ago, the typical age for a woman being married was eighteen to twenty years old. If a woman was not married by the age of twenty five people would start getting worried, what’s wrong? Why isn’t she married? So it was very unusual but now the normal age is twenty five and thirty. If a girl was to marry at the age of eighteen, it would be looked on as unusual. This change took place in matter of twenty years, so we shouldn’t be embarrassed of the norms of what existed one thousand and four hundred years ago.
An English Historian stated, “At that age ‘A’ishah was fully developed, through fast development which was present amongst the Arab women of the time and where they would start to age during the late twenties. But this marriage has troubled many people about Muhammad. This is because they look upon the marriage as if it is in the present day, not taking into account the context of this marriage and that it was an accepted event. They do not consider that this trend is still present in Europe and Asia, until this very day. This was common in Spain and Portugal until recent years. Even in these times it is not uncommon. In some mountainous areas in the United States of America, it still exists.” I wanted to share that with you, because even the historian is saying this, we should not be ashamed of the age of ‘A’ishah when she married.
I don’t want anyone to misunderstand my words and think that at the age of eighteen etc, they can come and say they want to get married to such and such a person. I’ve explained that it is the context and trends of the times that dictate the correct time of marriage for a girl. We follow the trends of the times, as long as they do not contradict with our beliefs. If the trends show that the similarity in age between husband and wife is important, then we should follow that. A girl now at nine years, is still a child. We respect our climates and our environment.