It is common for a discussion about Islam to naturally derail into criticism and attack on the Islamic early marriage and maligning Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s marriage to Aisha radiyAllahu anha.
First, a Muslim in the name of being westernized, civilized or modern should not get embarrassed or questions the sanctity of Muhammad allAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s and Aisha marriage. The marriage was divine as it was just. There is no need to hide facts or twist history as if Allah owes anyone any explanation before he makes his decision. Apart from the fact that child marriage was a global custom even before the prophet was born, it should suffice a Muslims to belief that Allah who created Aisha (RA) and Muhammad (SAW) decided this marriage by whatever age difference.
There is no need to create excuses like “she was matured”, “Arabs grow fast” or she was tall”, it means we are admitting that there is something wrong with Allah’s decision. Some even go as far as negating facts by saying that “she may not have been 6”. The most authentic narration told us that Allah showed her to the prophet twice in a dream, and that she was married to the prophet when she was 6 and the prophet 50 and the marriage consummated when she reached puberty at 9 and it remains so.
Those who keep on maligning this marriage cannot even cite any instance when Aisha was ever displeased with her marriage to Nabee more so she turned out as one of the greatest women of Islam and a champion of the prophet’s legacy till her death. Abu Musa Al-Ashari narrated that “Never had we any difficulty but we approach Aisha for the solution and never did we meet her that we didn’t get any useful information from her. (Tirmidhi)
Child marriage was practiced without any restriction among the Greeks, Asians and Europeans. Roman Christians of the Byzantium Empire practiced it never saw it as improper in the historical context since a person at puberty was considered an adult and not a child as the modern word defines it.
In the medievial jewish community of Ashkenazi, girls were married off as a ketannah. A ketannah (literally meaning little [one]) was any girl between the age of 3 years and that of 12 years plus one day; a ketannah was completely subject to her father’s authority, and her father could arrange a marriage for her without her agreement
In early Christian European societies, children were betrothed to each other as young as infants and would marry when they meet the age of consent 12 for girls and 14 for boys. Christian royal monarchs’ children were married as early as early as age 8-10 mostly to secure a political and/or financial tie. The betrothal is considered a binding contract upon the families and the children. The breaking of a betrothal can have serious consequences both for the families and for the betrothed individuals themselves.
Anne de Mowbray 8th countess of Norfolk died as a child bride at the age of nine. She was the bride of Richard of Shrewsbury
Richard II, aged 29, married his 2nd wife Isabella of Valois in when she was 6, yes 6. They were married for 4 years until his death. The marriage was political, never consummated, and actually grew to like each other as friends if a 29 year old can be “friends” with a 6 year old.
Henry VIII, aged 49, married Catherine Howard when she was about 16 years old.
Lady Jane Grey was about 15 when she married her child groom who was about 16 or 17.
King James I, aged 23, married Anne of Denmark when she was 14.
Charles I, aged 25, married Henrietta Marie of France when she was 13.
William III and Mary II ruled jointly. Mary was 15 when she married her 27 year old 1st cousin.
Richard III, aged 19, married Anne Neville when she was 16.
Henry VI, aged 23, married Margaret of Anjou when she was 15.
Henry IV, aged 14, married 1st wife Mary de Bohun when she was 12.
Richard II, aged 14, married 1st wife Anne of Bohemia when she was 15.
Edward III, aged 13, married Philippa of Hainault when she was 13.
In mexico they have what is called a “quinceanera (coming-of-age), parties for 15-year-old girls that send the signal that they are ripe for marriage.
Marriage as early as age 7, which was considered the “age of reason”, or directly after puberty was the norm for the vast majority of all human society even until the 19th century. According to the Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, the “age of consent” throughout history usually coincided with the age of puberty” with “the absolute minimum at seven”. Both that Journal and Encyclopedia Britannica state that age of consent laws were passed from Roman law to the Church to English Common Law which states: “between 7 years and puberty there could be consent but not consummation” until puberty, with no parental consent required from the age of 12. This was confirmed in 1877 by the US Supreme Court. 6 states and the District of Columbia allow this Common Law marriage and such marriages are then constitutionally recognized in all 50 states.
Puberty marks the transition from childhood to adulthood and is associated with emergence of libido and frequent sexual urge. This may explain why premarital sex, rape and pornography is rampant among teenagers under the guises that “puberty comes with a lot of sexual feeling”. So why should that urge not be retrained and fulfilled within the confines of marriage?
Globally,the average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14. Every year in the world’s richest countries, there are 1.25 million teen pregnancies and 500,000 teen abortions. Non Islamic societies have the higher rates of child abuse, child prostitution and trafficking, child pornography, incest and even legal “beastiality”, sex with animals. These atrocities are not completely absent in Islamic society but when they occur, they are an exception and not the norm and never at the same alarming epidemic proportion.
It is sheer hypocrisy for people with perverted and distorted ideas about morality to consider early marriage a crime yet condone teenage premarital sex under the guise of freedom and support it with contraception and abortion clinics. The usual excuse is that “they are not mentally, emotionally or psychologically matured for marriage and so the marriage will end in failure. The fact is that even until the 18th century, reaching puberty meant becoming an “adult”, in terms of maturity, behavior and responsibility, as stated in the Journal of Social History. It was only in the industrial mid-18th century that late marriage mentality and psychological maturity started to delay, due to side effects that are proven to delay maturity such as: increasing comforts of life, overindulgence, diminished parental discipline, degraded sexual values and children remaining children longer to complete their education.
In the past, children struggle alongside their parents for physical and economic survival. They carry out chores and responsibility, participate in family or societal decision making and contribute to family or societal progress. This is proven to speed psychological maturity which prepares them for the future role and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.
Today young men and women have been wired to believe that they are still kids and so see themselves as boys and girls. They are being spoon fed, overpambered and overindulged by their parents in the name of showing them love or giving them the best. They have been allowed to grow up sleeping till 9 in the morning and throughout the weekends instead of preparing the family breakfast or washing the family car. They do nothing for themselves because they have parents, house helps or relatives from the village always at their beck and call. With this attitude unbated, they grow up careless, irresponsible, incompetent and unproductive with zero respect for elders and rules. And the worse is they imagine themselves as civilized individual.
The society wants husband as hardworking, honest and responsible as the Sahabas, and women as patient, submissive and unmaterialistic as the wives of the sahaba. But with the late marriage mentality and the soc