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The truth behind Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha

Islamophobes paint Aisha as a victim, but the records are clear on this that Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) had a loving and egalitarian relationship.

The Orientalist scholar W. Montgomery Watt had written, “Of all the world’s great men, none has been so much maligned as Muhammad.” His quote seems all the more true in light of the recent derogatory remarks made by the expelled BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.

Among other slanders, critics find it objectionable that Prophet’s (peace be upon him) beloved wife Hazrat Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) was just six years old when she was engaged to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), when he himself was in his 50s, and she was only nine when the marriage was consummated.  

Since the criticism is a recurring one among critics of Islam, so the matter deserves close scrutiny.

Although most Muslims would not consider marrying off their nine-year-old daughters, but in Islam girls and boys can be married off once they enter puberty. According to an article published in The Wire which was originally published in The Guardian, five centuries after Muhammad’s (pbuh) marriage to Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her), 33-year-old King John of England married 12-year-old Isabella of Angoulême.

This example proves that Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) may have been young, but she was not younger than was the norm at the time. She had already been mature enough by the standards of her society to consider for marriage.

The portrayal of Muhammad (peace be upon him) by Islamophobes, based on his marriage to Hazrat Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) or him having 9 wives, ignored the fact that before his marriage to Aisha, Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been married to Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her), 15 years his senior. He was with Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her) alone for 25 years. But when she died, he was devastated and his sahaba (companions) encouraged him to remarry. Then he married Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) daughter of his close friend, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), who was the first man to accept Islam.

Another fact the critics ignore is that, of the women Muhammad (peace be upon him) married, all but one were widows. To consider the marriages of the prophet (PBHU) outside of these calculations is profoundly dishonest.

Islamophobes paint Aisha as a victim, but the records are clear on this that Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) had a loving and egalitarian relationship. The instances that they liked to drink out of the same cup or race one another, are indicative of a deep connection which belies any misrepresentation of their relationship.

Islamophobes manipulate Hazrat Aisha’s story to justify the abuse of young girls and to depict Islam as a religion that legitimises such abuse. But the gulf between her true legacy and her depiction in Islamophobic materials is not merely historically inaccurate, but it is an insult to the memory of a pioneering woman and the greatest man on earth who married widows to provide financial and emotional support them.

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