How to NOT defend Aisha’s (RA) age of marriage

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
With the ism of Allah, the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful

There have been many attempts to defend Aisha’s very young age of marriage. I’ve watched some videos and read some articles about it. Unfortunately I have to say there is a big embarrassment seeing some apologists trying to justify Aisha’s young age of marriage (Aisha was, according to them, married to the Prophet at the age of 6).

Aisha’s age of marriage have always been one of the most common weapon anti-Islamists use to attack and defame Islam. They would question why would the Prophet have done, according to them, a pedophilic act. Muslim scholars and wiseguys have to realise that this is not something we can go easy on! Serious efforts must be done to answer the doubts of the people!

Although there have been convincing arguments by Muslims themselves that Aisha’s age of marriage isn’t 6 but probably around her late teens [1][2][3][4], yet strict orthodox Muslims still insist that her age of marriage is 6 and the marriage consummated when she was 9.

I’m not taking sides here, my aim is to tell these traditional orthodox Muslims how they can improve on their argument. In this article my aim is to:

  • point out the one BIG fallacy they have been committing over and over again.
  • point out the questions that they must answer and not dodge, which they have been dodging like basketball players.

So what’s the BIG fallacy?

Those who defend Aisha’s young age of marriage usually argue that it is a normal practice to marry off young kids. So just because it was common and many people were doing it, child marriage can be justified? This is called the tu quoque fallacy. It is a fallacy which tries to justify a wrong act by saying other people are doing the same.

Image result for tu quoque fallacy

Child marriage can bring serious health effects, for example, girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. I wonder whether according to them, if child marriage is normalised today, would they say it is okay say child marriage is halal (actually it is halal to some scholars, so…)?

One thing the proponents of Aisha’s young age of marriage need to realise is that they should stop saying that other people are practicing child marriage to justify their stance (in fact, the examples they’ve given to prove this are kings of other nations practicing child marriage, not Arabs themselves). Are they trying to say that morality is based on what the society decides?

Another thing they should realise is that they should stop talking about the sexual lewdness in the society today when trying to justify Aisha’s age of marriage. This is called a ‘red herring’. Saajid Lipham (and many others) did this mistake in his video.

Questions that need to be addressed:

Here are the critical questions that demand critical answers which defenders of Aisha’s young age of marriage have been avoiding:

  1. If child marriage is not permissible, why is it okay for the Prophet to marry a child, but not okay for people today? Don’t say times has changed, because as i said, what is wrong will stay wrong.
  2. If the Prophet really married Aisha at a young age, does that mean it is recommended we do the same since according to the Quran, the Prophet has the best character and conduct (Quran, 33:21)? If not, why not? How do you pick which of the Prophet’s action can be followed and which are not? Why is ISIS not wrong for practicing child marriage?
  3. How do you prove that it was normal to marry a child during Muhammad’s time and in Muhammad’s society? Don’t give me examples of other societies normalising child marriage, they do not prove it was normal to the society Muhammad saws lived in. Give me examples 7th century Arabs practicing child marriage.
  4. Some will try to justify Aisha’s young age of marriage by saying that she was already matured by then. How can you prove that Aisha was already physically and mentally matured during her marriage, when there are ahadith saying she still played with dolls:

    Narrated ‘Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. ( Sahih Bukhari 8:73:151 )

    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old. ( Sahih Muslim 8:3311 )
  5. Why would the Prophet (saws) ever marry a child, since girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s ?
  6. If child marriage is halal, then how do you reconcile with the Quran’s command:
    – “And test the orphans [in their abilities] until they reach marriageable age (balagh al-nikah). Then if you perceive in them sound judgement, release their property to them…” (Quran 4:6) (This verse shows there is a marriageable age, and it suggests the age when they have sound judgement and able to take care of their properties).
    – “O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion.” (Quran 4:19) (Would a child ever consent marrying an adult?)
  7. Is it possible that the Prophet married Aisha at the age of 6 since it contradicted with the Quranic commands above?

Conclusion

The advocates of Aisha’s young age of marriage need to up their game and stop resorting to fallacies. They better do something about this or else they are just doing disservice to Islam as a whole, and to the Prophet (saws) and Aisha (ra).

References

[1] T.O Shanavas MD, Ayesha’s Age: The Myth Of a Proverbial Wedding Exposed
[2] Mufti Abu Layth, Age of Aisha (ra)
[3] Zahid Aziz, Age of Aisha (ra) at the time of marriage
[4] More notable names that argue Aisha was not 9 during her marriage: Sheikh Imran Nazar Hossein, Fazlurrahman al-Ansari, Salahuddin al-Idlibi, Shabir Ally, Adil Salahi, Ruqayyah Waris Ma’sud. Here is a 5 minute video which explains the main arguments briefly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P_9ZXOGQR4

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