The age of Aisha at the time of marriage to the Prophet Muhammad has been questioned by some.
The source of the conflict was narrated in the book of Al-Bhukari (the most authentic book in Islam after the Noble Quran). Aisha stated: “The Messenger of Allah married me when I was seven years old, and he consummated the marriage with me when I was nine.” Due to the quality of the work of Al-Bhukari some have avoided questioning the text. Let us consider this text also reported in Al-Bhukari. Aisha stated, “Since I reached the age when I could remember things, I have seen my parents worshipping according to the right faith of Islam. Not a single day passed but Allah's Messenger visited us both in the morning and in the evening. When the Muslims were persecuted, Abu Bakr set out for Ethiopia as an emigrant.” The event that Aisha mentions about Ethiopia was in the fifth year of Islam and she was old enough to understand and report the incident.
Al-Bhukari’s work is indisputably the best in history and while I am by no means calling to disregard it, I am encouraging you to gain a more in depth understanding of the text. Keeping in mind the lack of birth documentation as well as the desire for a woman to highlight her young age, perhaps we can assume that she was not reporting actual age but rather emphasizing how young she was compared to the other ladies in the Prophet’s household. This conclusion is supported by the context, the historical happenings at the time, the culture of the society and additional texts in Al-Bhukari stating: “The father or the guardian cannot give a virgin or matron in marriage without her consent” and “If a man gives his daughter in marriage while she is averse to it, then such marriage is invalid”
We should also consider the following:
- The Prophet Muhammad was not engaged in a sexual relationship before the age of 25.
- He married Khadijah who was 15 years older than himself.
- He was happily married to Khadijah for 25 years (some could say during his sexual prime).
- He did not marry another woman during the lifetime of Khadijah.
- We did not hear a single complaint from any of his enemies (and there were many) in regard to his character.
- All of AbuBakr’s (Aisha’s father) children were born before Muhammad’s prophecy.
- The Prophet spent 13 years in Mecca after the start of his prophecy prior to migrating to Medina.
- Aisha was engaged to a man named, Jubayr ibn Mut'im prior to marrying the Prophet Muhammad.
- The Prophet Muhammad married Aisha in Medina, two years after the migration.
- Aisha was 10 years younger than her sister Asma’ (note: they agree that Asma’ was born 27 years before the “Migration to the City of Medina”).
By using simple math, it allows us to understand that Aisha was nearing the end of her teen age years at the time of her marriage.