Did Muhammad marry a six year old girl?

There is a hadeeth that says that Lady `Aa’isha was six years old when the Prophet (PBUH) married her and that he consummated the marriage when she was nine. I find that hard to believe, but it is widely accepted. Adversaries of Islam have a field day with that one. Do you have any thoughts on this?

This is a common misconception. It is known that `Aa’isha, may God have been pleased with her, was ten years younger than her sister Asmaa’ and that Asmaa’ was 27 years old when she was helping her father and the Prophet (PBUH) in their migration to Medina. That makes `Aa’isha 17 years old at Hijra. We also know that the Prophet (PBUH) married her at the year 2 A.H. which makes her 19 years old at her wedding.

There are many books, classic and modern, that state that Asmaa’ bint Abi-Bakr, may God have been pleased with them, was born at the year 27 B.H. and died at 73 A.H., at the age of 100, a few nights after her son Abdullah ibn Az-Zubayr (RA). Most of those books also state that she was ten years older than her sister `Aa’isha (RA).

Some of these books are:

الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة، لابن حجر

سير أعلام النبلاء، للحافظ الذهبي

عز الدين بن الأثير، أسد الغابة في معرفة الصحابة

محمد البوهي، ذات النطاقين أسماء بنت أبي بكر

الأعلام للزركلي

الطبقات لابن سعد

السيرة النبوية لابن هشام

المعارف لابن قتيبة

Ibn Qateeba has documented in his book المعارف that `Aa’isha (RA) died in the year 58 A.H. at about 70 years of age.

Hope this helps.

The error about her age comes from her own narration which she said when she was old. It is therefore quite possible that she dropped the “teen” from the numbers, i.e., she said “six” when she meant to say “sixteen”. That’s a reasonable explanation. I sometimes say “last year” when I mean to say “last week”

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