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Did Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) forcibly married Aisha(ra)?


Regarding the marriage of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with Ayesha (r.a), let
us first analyze why Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) married Ayesha (r.a). It’s mentioned in*Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Hadith.No.15,* Narrated
‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her: The Messenger of Allah said (to me):
*”You have been shown to me twice in (my) dreams. A man was carrying you
in a silken cloth and said to me, ‘This is your wife.’ I uncovered it; and
behold, it was you. I said to myself, ‘If this dream is from God, He will
cause it to come true.” *

Now let us see what is the age at which a girl can get married.
Historically, the age at which a girl was considered ready to be married has
been puberty.  This was the case in Biblical times and is still used to
determine the age of marriage in what the culturally arrogant West calls
“primitive societies” throughout the world.  As the Ahadith about ‘Ayesha’s’
(r.a) age show, her betrothal took place at least three years before the
consummation of the marriage.  The reason for this was that they were
waiting for her to come of age (i.e. to have her first menstrual
period). Puberty is a biological sign which shows that a woman is capable of bearing
children.  Can anyone logically deny this?

Gerald Segal says in the book *The Jew & the Christian Missionary*, Ktav
Publishing House, 1981, page 28. “It should be noted, however, that in
biblical times females married at an early age”. Another contemporary
reference relating marriage age to puberty is an article on Central Africa,
in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica 15th Edition (1987), Volume 15, page
646, says:   “. . . women marry soon after puberty.”

Due to the way that Almighty God has created man and woman, i.e. with strong
sexual desires, people should marry young. In the past, this was even truer
since life expectancy was very low (i.e. you were considered “old” if you
made it to 40!). Not only does marriage provide a legal outlet for people
with strong sexual desires, but it usually produces more children.  One of
the main purposes of marriage is to produce children— *”be fruitful and
multiply”* as the Bible says in Genesis, Chp.8, v: 17. This was especially
important in the past, when people did not live for as long as they do now
and the infant morality rate was much higher.

When the consummation of marriage took place there is nothing to doubt
regarding the puberty of Ayesha (R.A), because scientifically we know that
in certain geographical locations females attain maturity earlier. However,
in regards to puberty and at what age most girls have their first menstrual
cycle, the well-known authors of the book *“Woman”* says “The average
temperature of the country or province is considered the chief factor here,
not only with regard to menstruation but as regards the whole of sexual
development at puberty.” (Herman H. Ploss, Max Bartels and Paul Bartels,
Woman, Volume I, Lord & Bransby, 1988, page 563.)

An article entitled *Puberty in Girls* by an Australian government Public
Health organization, says: “The first sign of puberty is usually a surge of
growth: you become taller; your breasts develop; hair begins to grow in the
pubic area and under the arms. This may start from 10 years to 14 years –
even earlier for some and later for others.”

Additionally an article *Physical Changes in Girls During Puberty* has this
to say:

“During puberty, a girl’s body changes, inside and out, into the body of a
woman. The changes don’t come all at once, and they don’t happen at the same
time for everybody. Most girls start showing physical changes around age 11,
but everyone has her own internal schedule for development. *It’s normal for
changes to start as early as 8 or 9 years of age*, or not until 13 or 14.
Even if nothing looks or feels different yet, the changes may have already
begun inside your body.”

Many will readily agree with the information above, but still may harbour
reservations about whether a marriage to an older man could be happy for
such a young girl. We would like to ask, what is the age difference between
husband and wife commanded in any religion? Let this be known from the
person who is objecting Ayesha’s (r.a) age at the time of marriage. The fact
is that no religion requires its followers to maintain a particular age
difference between husband and wife. Islam does not command to maintain a
particular age difference, but it surely indicates that it should be
marriageable age, which indicates puberty (sexual maturity).

Happy marriages occur between people with a fairly large difference in ages
is known among psychologists. A well know Psychologists, Theodor H.
Vandevelde, says in the book, *Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology & Technique*,
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1980, p. 243. “When the differences (in ages) is
great, e.g. exceeds fifteen to twenty years, the results may be happier.
The marriage of an elderly (senescent) not, of course, an old (senile) man
to a quite young girl, is often very successful and harmonious.  The bride
is immediately introduced and accustomed to moderate sexual intercourse”

Moreover marriage is a mutual agreement, especially between the wife & the
husband before and after marriage takes place and it is agreed upon between
the two concerned families before the marriage. Further there is nothing
wrong by any standard of theology and science.

Some might have viewed the marriage of Muhammad (pbuh) and Ayesha (ra) as an
exceptional marriage, but then the two partners were exceptional people. The
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last of the Prophets and the best of
creation; and Ayesha (ra) was a very intelligent and observant young girl
with a very good memory. Ayesha (ra) spent the next nine years of her life
with the Prophet (pbuh), and she grew into womanhood, she remembered all
that she saw and heard with great clarity, for to be the wife of the Prophet
was even more than extraordinary. So much happened around him – the Quran
continued to be revealed, verse by verse, and people’s hearts were
constantly being turned over and transformed, including hers and she was a
witness of so much of all that took place. It is not surprising, therefore,
that a great deal of the knowledge that we still have today, about how our
beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) lived and
behaved, was first remembered and then taught to others by Ayesha (ra). It
is thanks to this exceptional marriage, between a man nearing the end of his
life and a woman still near the beginning of hers that we know so much about
both of them, and this is what makes it so much easier for those who wish to
follow in their footsteps to try and follow their example.

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