This question is asked by many non-Muslims and is used to hurt Muslims who do not understand this, This was an answer that I had prepared for a Christian.
He married Aisha in contract initially and then she lived with him three years later. There are varying reports about her age when she married him some sources say 6,9,12,15 and the Shia say 18. According to Sheikh Hamza Yusuf all the narrations about her age at the time of marriage are singular narrations therefore there isn't one that stands out and we can affirm that narration.
In any case when she married him, she was fully formed woman, in other words capable of child birth. This was perfectly normal in that time, as it was the practice of the Arabs at that time to marry women at 12, when they had reached puberty and they did not live together until three years after that.
In most of the books, scholars generally say the age was twelve and then she went to live with him when she was fifteen, after the emigration to Medina.
This was a normal marriage in this time because another woman Khawla said why don't you marry Aisha, this confirms it as a practice of the people.
Don’t forget that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had a dream where the angel Jibril was carrying a person and he asked who is was, the angel said it is your wife, the cloth was uncovered and it was Aisha, this happened three times. She was married to him before the Hijra to Medina and did not live with him until after which was some three years.
In the Jewish Torah it states than any father who hasn’t married his daughter by the age of twelve, has dishonoured her. Henry the 8th wed Anne Boleyn aged twelve.
Some Hindis marry when their brides are aged twelve, the Jewish tradition has about what age a woman should be when she marries, some say 6 others say 9 and 12.
Mary mother of Jesus according to Christain sources was 12 when she gave birth to Jesus (upon them peace).
There are several reasons for this marriage, Aisha (may God be pleased with her) reported the second most narrations about him (over two thousand), she was the first female scholar and she taught hundreds if not thousands of students.
She corrected other companions when they made mistakes, she was a living authority of religious knowledge in her time. Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) was also married to Safiyyah, the daughter of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the leader of a Jewish tribe in Arabia. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)married her when she was 16 years old and guess what? He was her third husband; she was married twice before him.
So, how old do you think she was when she got married to her first husband? Probably around 12 or 9, just like `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her).
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica—which is a Western source written by non-Muslim scholars and scientists — puberty is “in human physiology, the stage or period of life when a child transforms into an adult normally capable of procreation,” which essentially means “sexually mature.” She was engaged before him to the son of Uqbah ibn Muayt. He was one of the idol worshipers of the Quraish, who had abandoned her because of her father’s strong position in supporting Islam.
Also, when Khawlah bint Hakim suggested to him to marry Aisha, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, thought thoroughly whether to accept or to refuse. He took into consideration his relation with Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him).
People who try to compare one time with another really misrepresent that time.
Many people forget how amazing Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was, after the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) passed away, she did not marry again. She loved him that much that she could not bear to marry anyone else.
People who bring slander to this are really showing what they have in themselves because when a dog backs at the moon, it does not a make a difference to it.
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