Aisha's age

May 2017
1,201
Syria
Nicknamed the "Mother of Believers", Aisha bint abu Bakr is the daughter of Abu Bakr, one of Muhammad's companions, and his third wife whom he allegedly married when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was only nine. Aisha's age during marriage, much like the woman herself, has become a source of constant controversy and debate.

With all that there.. the claim that Aisha was six during marriage and nine during consummation is also wrong, false and contradicts the well documented historical evidence which says otherwise.

What about the evidence and sources attesting her as a child bride?
The two concrete pieces of evidence attesting her as a child at the time of her marriage and explicitly stating her age at six during the marriage and nine during the consummation are those two hadiths:

"Narrated 'Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me.
-Sahih Bukhari 8:73:151

"Narrated 'Aishah said: "The Messenger of Allah married me when I was six, and consummated the marriage with me when I was nine, and I used to play with dolls."
-Sunan an-Nasa'i 4:26:3380


The first hadith comes from al-Bukhari's Sahih al-Bukhari, and al Nasa'i's Sunan al-Sughara, the former written in 870 AD and the latter in 915 AD.

Most are quick to cite those two hadiths as "evidence" for Aisha being a child bride and Muhammad being a "paedophile" but those hadiths don't even have a grain of truth or any legitimacy to be used in counter arguments. Why? The obvious presence of contradicting historical information. And lots of it.

Alright then, what's your evidence?
  1. The age difference between Aisha and her half-sister Asma: Abu-Bakr al-Siddiq had three daughters. The eldest of them was Asma bint Abu Bakr. Born in 595 AD, scholarly evidence shows us that she was precisely ten years older than her younger half-sister Aisha:

    -"Asma was 17th person who became Muslim and she was ten years older than her sister, Aisha. She passed away ten days after death of her son while she was 100 years old and all of her teeth were healthy. It was in the year 73 AH (692 AD)"
    - Ali al-Qari's "Mirqat al-Mafatih: Sharh Meshkat al-Masabih"

    -"[Asma] was Aisha's sister from her father. And as Ibn Abi-al-Zinad tells us: She was ten years older than Aisha"
    - Ibn Asakir - "Tarikh Madinat Dimashq"

    With Asma being ten years older than Aisha, that means Aisha was born in 605-604 AD. Muhammad and Aisha were married at either 622 (8 months after Hijra) or 624 (after the Battle of Badr) this means Aisha was either 17/18 or 19/20 during the time of her marriage.

  2. Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah": Hagiographer and historian Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad "Sirat Rasul Allah" includes a list of the names of all who accepted Islam in its first year of declaration (610 AD), and this list includes a mention of "Abu Bakr's little girl Aisha". If we are to believe that Aisha was truly 6 in either 622 or 624 AD, she wouldn't have even been born in 610 AD. This piece of evidence isn't as conclusive and decisive as Asma's age, but it further confirms it by stating how Aisha was a "little girl" in 610 AD which is in line with her birthday being 605-604 AD according to calculations based on Asma's age.

  3. Aisha's memories in Mecca: Aisha was reported as saying "I was a girl playing games when the verse, "indeed, the Last Hour is their appointed time, and the Last Hour will be more grievous and morebitter' was revealed to God's Messenger". The verse in question is verse 46 of Surat al-Qamar. This certain surah was revealed as a whole when Muhammad was staying in Ibn Arqam's house either in 614 or in 618-619. Again, if Aisha was six years old in either 622 or 624 AD, she either wouldn't have been alive when this occurred or would be too young to remember it. (If she was 6 in 622, she would be 2-3 in 618-619 and not born in 614, if she was 6 in 624, she would be either unborn yet/a few months old or 1 year old in 618-619).

    But.. she appears to have been old enough to remember the event and recite it later in her life, which again, debunks the claim that she was 6 during her marriage to Muhammad.

  4. Aisha's most believable death date: Mystery shrouds not only Aisha's date of birth, but also her date of death. But her most believable date of death is in 678 AD where she is reported at dying at the age of 74. Records of her death occurring in this year give a lot of detailed information: Her death occurring on Wednesday 17th of Ramadan, the attendants of her funeral and the head of its procession, her burial at Jannat al-Baqi according to her wishes, and the manner of her lowering to the grave by her nephews.

    More simple math: 678-74=604 AD (her birth year according to Asma's age).. thus: 622-604/605= 18/17 and 624-604/605 = 20/19.

So In conclusion: Aisha was from 17 to 20 years old at the time of her marriage.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2009
969
UK
Funny thing is I've just literally come from a debate on here about how Swiss Pike Squares fought or Roman equipment etc, I even cited that the Spanish Tercio's had a Ordinance list signed by the commanding officer for a list of soldier's and equipment in his battalion and the argument was .............. nothing is black and white, we don't know for sure even if its written at the time, by people who were there.

So in this instance when its written 2-300 years later ........... I'd love to hear the argument for this being fact if the above I listed from a current source wasn't accepted.

However other than that I'm staying out of this one, it attracts a certain type of individual with an agenda to enforce the stereo type, and I have no desire to discuss anything with people with such unsavory agenda's.
 
Jul 2017
842
Crete
The history surrounding the life of Muhammad (if he existed) are written way after the 6th century CE, You can never be sure about anything.
 
May 2017
1,201
Syria
The history surrounding the life of Muhammad (if he existed) are written way after the 6th century CE, You can never be sure about anything.
Muhammad, as well as his family and companions, all undoubtedly existed.

As for his biography and sources about him being written after the 6th/7th centuries, yes, they were, but they were the fruit of a strong oral tradition passed down from the companions of Muhammad and the man himself.
 
May 2017
1,201
Syria
To expand a bit more..

The reason why the claim that Aisha was six during marriage survived into the present day is simple, child marriage was not anything too uncommon in Arabia at that time. Both boys and girls were married at an extremely young age, becoming parents and heads of households at a young age, so the whole idea of a six year old bride is not extremely unbelievable if we'll look at 7th century Arabia as what it was, 7th century Arabia. Not to mention the fact that this claim's primary source are two hadiths. Middle eastern and Islamic society as a whole was extremely religious for the past fourteen centuries and this religious zeal still survives to our present day. I doubt anyone would've dared to doubt a hadith, privately in fear of "god's wrath" or publicly in fear of reprecussions, as much as I doubt anyone even intended to do so in the first place, those two hadiths were considered indisputable "sahih" and no one would've wanted to put the pieces together from fragmented scholarly works to prove or disprove something they considered indisputable, holy words.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
To expand a bit more..

The reason why the claim that Aisha was six during marriage survived into the present day is simple, child marriage was not anything too uncommon in Arabia at that time. Both boys and girls were married at an extremely young age, becoming parents and heads of households at a young age, so the whole idea of a six year old bride is not extremely unbelievable if we'll look at 7th century Arabia as what it was, 7th century Arabia. Not to mention the fact that this claim's primary source are two hadiths. Middle eastern and Islamic society as a whole was extremely religious for the past fourteen centuries and this religious zeal still survives to our present day. I doubt anyone would've dared to doubt a hadith, privately in fear of "god's wrath" or publicly in fear of reprecussions, as much as I doubt anyone even intended to do so in the first place, those two hadiths were considered indisputable "sahih" and no one would've wanted to put the pieces together from fragmented scholarly works to prove or disprove something they considered indisputable, holy words.
No, it wasn't. We have to refrain from Orientalist stereotypes. Unless you want to say all societies are or were "extremely religious", we shouldn't be saying this of "Islamic" societies.
 
Mar 2012
1,211
Magdeburg
To expand a bit more..

The reason why the claim that Aisha was six during marriage survived into the present day is simple, child marriage was not anything too uncommon in Arabia at that time. Both boys and girls were married at an extremely young age, becoming parents and heads of households at a young age, so the whole idea of a six year old bride is not extremely unbelievable if we'll look at 7th century Arabia as what it was, 7th century Arabia. Not to mention the fact that this claim's primary source are two hadiths. Middle eastern and Islamic society as a whole was extremely religious for the past fourteen centuries and this religious zeal still survives to our present day. I doubt anyone would've dared to doubt a hadith, privately in fear of "god's wrath" or publicly in fear of reprecussions, as much as I doubt anyone even intended to do so in the first place, those two hadiths were considered indisputable "sahih" and no one would've wanted to put the pieces together from fragmented scholarly works to prove or disprove something they considered indisputable, holy words.



I think only Judeans were really religious. I never heard ancient Midde easterners( excluding egypt) at all. Only some Sassanian kings were a bit crazy about Zorostrianism.


besides that most of the hadiths are made-up pile of garbage that was designed to fool people into following local preachers.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,835
USA
I have seen such funny explanations at a few Muslim brainwashing sites.

Even a simple reading of Mohammed's biography would convey to anyone that he was a sexual predator. Mohammed, an old man, especially relished on teenage girls. Is it then that difficult to go a couple notches down to a nine year old child for such a man? Further, the Hadiths tell it straight what took place, as Aisha herself speaks the truth. So why cook up laughable round about lies as shown in the op? I would call it acts of desperation by diehard Muslims to make their prophet fit into the modern standards of acceptability that was created and standardized by non-Muslims. If one wants to judge Mohammed correctly, judge him by Muslim standards.
 
May 2017
1,201
Syria
I have seen such funny explanations at a few Muslim brainwashing sites.

Even a simple reading of Mohammed's biography would convey to anyone that he was a sexual predator. Mohammed, an old man, especially relished on teenage girls. Is it then that difficult to go a couple notches down to a nine year old child for such a man? Further, the Hadiths tell it straight what took place, as Aisha herself speaks the truth. So why cook up laughable round about lies as shown in the op? I would call it acts of desperation by diehard Muslims to make their prophet fit into the modern standards of acceptability that was created and standardized by non-Muslims. If one wants to judge Mohammed correctly, judge him by Muslim standards.
Please, tell us when Aisha herself said she was six (not from that hadith.) during the marriage and please tell us how plain historical records and calculations based on them are "laughable lies" :)
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
1,211
Magdeburg
I have seen such funny explanations at a few Muslim brainwashing sites.

Even a simple reading of Mohammed's biography would convey to anyone that he was a sexual predator. Mohammed, an old man, especially relished on teenage girls. Is it then that difficult to go a couple notches down to a nine year old child for such a man? Further, the Hadiths tell it straight what took place, as Aisha herself speaks the truth. So why cook up laughable round about lies as shown in the op? I would call it acts of desperation by diehard Muslims to make their prophet fit into the modern standards of acceptability that was created and standardized by non-Muslims. If one wants to judge Mohammed correctly, judge him by Muslim standards.



Well, i'm definetely not the one that speaks in favour of islam, however blaming mohammad for being a sex predator against young women was not really something unusual of that time( even outside Arabia).


But glorifying it is another story........