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What was the actual age of Ayesha (AS) when married to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?

EDIT: The too young age (6, 9 etc) is criticized most by Non-Muslims.

According to other sources Ayesha's age was:

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Non-Muslims are not a valid source of information about Islam. They always have their own goals and agendas. –  ashes999 Dec 30 '12 at 19:18
    
Your question gives the impression of you wanting to believe she wasn't 9 because you haven't given any links to where it's believed she was 9. –  Larry Harson Dec 30 '12 at 19:38
    
I just watched through the linked Zakir Naik video; he refutes the claim of 19, he doesn't confirm it. –  goldPseudo Dec 30 '12 at 21:50
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what was the actual age of Ayesha (AS) when married.., is this a primarily opinion based question? –  Muslim Jul 4 '13 at 6:53
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3 Answers

It is believed on the authority of some Hadith reports that the marriage ceremony (known as nikah, amounting to betrothal) of Aisha(R.A) with the Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) took place when she was six years of age, and that she joined the Prophet(PBUH) as his wife three years later at the age of nine.

Quotes below from two such reports in Bukhari.

“It is reported from Aisha(R.A) that she said: The Prophet(PBUH) entered into marriage with me when I was a girl of six … and at the time [of joining his household] I was a girl of nine years of age.”

-Shahih Bhukhari: Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234

“Khadija(R.A) died three years before the Prophet(PBUH) departed to Medina. He stayed [alone] for two years or so. He married Aisha(R.A) when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consummated that marriage when she was nine years old.”

-Shahih Bhukhari: Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236

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plz add hadith numbers or links –  muslim1 Dec 28 '12 at 17:11
    
@The crocodile hunter, See my updated answer –  Muslim Dec 29 '12 at 7:33
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Aishah ( رضي لله عنھا ) was six years old when she married the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) and nine years old when he consummated the marriage with her. This is what is proven from the books of hadeeth and has been agreed upon by all the scholars of Islam.

Some of the narrations are as follows:

Aishah ( رضي الله عنها ) reported that the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) 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. (source)

وَحَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَزَوَّجَهَا وَهْىَ بِنْتُ سَبْعِ سِنِينَ وَزُفَّتْ إِلَيْهِ وَهِيَ بِنْتُ تِسْعِ سِنِينَ وَلُعَبُهَا مَعَهَا وَمَاتَ عَنْهَا وَهِيَ بِنْتُ ثَمَانَ عَشْرَةَ ‏.‏

Some narrations state that Aishah’s ( رضي الله عنها ) age was six while others state that it was seven. Imam An-Nawawi (source) while commenting on this hadeeth in his Sharh of Saheeh Muslim stated that Ad-Dawoodee said:

"With regards to the narration in which she states that she was married at the age of seven while most narrations state that she was married at the age of six, then both narrations can be reconciled by the fact that she was six years and some months. Therefore in some narrations, she only mentioned the number of years of her age at that time while in other narrations she meant the year she was about to enter, and Allah knows best"

In another narration,

Narrated 'Urwa:

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) wrote the (marriage contract) with `Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). (source)

حَدَّثَنَا قَبِيصَةُ بْنُ عُقْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، تَزَوَّجَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَائِشَةَ وَهْىَ ابْنَةُ سِتٍّ وَبَنَى بِهَا وَهْىَ ابْنَةُ تِسْعٍ وَمَكَثَتْ عِنْدَهُ تِسْعًا‏.‏

There are many similar authentic hadeeth in Sunan Abe Dawood, Sunan An-Nasaaee, Sunan Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Sunan Al-Baihaqi Al-Kubra, Mustadrak Al-Haakim, Al-Mujam Al-Kabeer of At-Tabaraani which proves the above.

I would recommend you to read this treatise, which clears the doubts, arguments that people pose and misconceptions regarding marriage and age of Aishah ( رضي الله عنها ).

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Thanks Ansari ! –  Abdullah Dec 28 '12 at 14:46
    
MashaAllah tabarakallah, very good answer. +1 –  ashes999 Dec 29 '12 at 14:18
    
I have edited my question, her age is also said to be around 15-21 at marriage according to many sources. –  LifeH2O Dec 30 '12 at 18:46
    
+1 the treatise link is helpful –  Larry Harson Dec 30 '12 at 19:34
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@LifeH2O I don't see much evidence there. Sources should be authentic hadith or from Qur'an and the video of Zakir Naik says the same as my answer and not "19". The rest of links uses the argument of the narrator " 'Urwa" and casts doubt upon the hadith and answers to those you can find in the treatise I have linked. –  Abdullah Dec 30 '12 at 20:54
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Conclusion. She accepted Islam when she was 4 in 1 Besat (بعثت) so that She was about 18 in 2 Hijri.

  • As Ebne Molghan (ابن ملقن) (with refer to Bokhari (بخاری)) says: Aisha went to the house of The Prophet(PBUH) in 2 Hijri.

  • As Belazari (بلاذري) says: Aisha married with the Prophet (PBUH) in 4 Hijri.

So that we can conclude she was between 18 and 20 on her wedding day.

Some Details.

a) Al-Beihaghi, Ibne Asaker, Az-zahabi: Aisha was 10 years younger than her sister (Isma Bent Abi Bakr).

Ref:

  1. Al-Beihaghi (البيهقي، أحمد بن الحسين بن علي بن موسي ابوبكر (متوفاي 458هـ)، سنن البيهقي الكبرى، ج 6 ، ص 204 ، ناشر: مكتبة دار الباز - مكة المكرمة، تحقيق: محمد عبد القادر عطا، 1414 - 1994.)

  2. Ibn Asaker (ابن عساكر الدمشقي الشافعي، أبي القاسم علي بن الحسن إبن هبة الله بن عبد الله،(متوفاي571هـ)، تاريخ مدينة دمشق وذكر فضلها وتسمية من حلها من الأماثل، ج 69 ، ص 8 ، تحقيق: محب الدين أبي سعيد عمر بن غرامة العمري، ناشر: دار الفكر - بيروت - 1995.)

  3. Az-zahabi (الذهبي، شمس الدين محمد بن أحمد بن عثمان، (متوفاي748هـ)، سير أعلام النبلاء، ج 2 ، ص 289 ، تحقيق: شعيب الأرناؤوط، محمد نعيم العرقسوسي، ناشر: مؤسسة الرسالة - بيروت، الطبعة: التاسعة، 1413هـ..)

and

b) Al-Tabarani, Ibne Asaker, Ibne Asir: Isma (older sister of Aisha) was born in 27 before the Hijrat.

Ref:

  1. Al-Tabarani (الطبراني، سليمان بن أحمد بن أيوب ابوالقاسم (متوفاي360هـ)، المعجم الكبير، ج 24 ، ص 77 ، تحقيق: حمدي بن عبدالمجيد السلفي، ناشر: مكتبة الزهراء - الموصل، الطبعة: الثانية، 1404هـ – 1983م.)

  2. Ibne Asaker (ابن عساكر الدمشقي الشافعي، أبي القاسم علي بن الحسن إبن هبة الله بن عبد الله،(متوفاي571هـ)، تاريخ مدينة دمشق وذكر فضلها وتسمية من حلها من الأماثل، ج 69 ، ص 9 ، تحقيق: محب الدين أبي سعيد عمر بن غرامة العمري، ناشر: دار الفكر - بيروت - 1995.)

  3. Ibne Asir (الجزري، عز الدين بن الأثير أبي الحسن علي بن محمد (متوفاي630هـ)، أسد الغابة في معرفة الصحابة، ج 7 ، ص 11 ، تحقيق عادل أحمد الرفاعي، ناشر: دار إحياء التراث العربي - بيروت / لبنان، الطبعة: الأولى، 1417 هـ - 1996 م.)

  • Conclusion 1: With respect to (a) and (b) you can calculate the year which Aisha was born in. It was 17 before the Hijrat. That is, Ayesha was 4 or 5 at the first year after Bi'that.

c) Al-Bukhari: The Prophet (PBUH) married with Aisha after 3 years when Khadija died.

Ref:

  1. Al-Bukhari (البخاري الجعفي، محمد بن إسماعيل ابوعبدالله (متوفاي256هـ)، صحيح البخاري، ج 3 ، ص 3606، ح3606 ،كتاب فضائل الصحابة، بَاب تَزْوِيجِ النبي e خَدِيجَةَ وَفَضْلِهَا رضي الله عنها ، تحقيق د. مصطفي ديب البغا، ناشر: دار ابن كثير، اليمامة - بيروت، الطبعة: الثالثة، 1407 - 1987.)

and

d) Ibne Molghen: Aisha started living in the Prophet's house in 2 Hijri.

Ref:

  1. Ibne Molghen (الأنصاري الشافعي، سراج الدين أبي حفص عمر بن علي بن أحمد المعروف بابن الملقن (متوفاي804 هـ)، غاية السول في خصائص الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم ، ج 1 ، ص 236 ، تحقيق : عبد الله بحر الدين عبد الله ، ناشر : دار البشائر الإسلامية - بيروت - 1414هـ - 1993م.)

and

e) Az-zahabi (indirectly): Aisha started living in the Prophet's house in 4 Hijri.

Ref:

  1. Az-zahabi (الذهبي، شمس الدين محمد بن أحمد بن عثمان، (متوفاي748هـ)، تاريخ الإسلام ووفيات المشاهير والأعلام، ج 3 ، ص 288 ، تحقيق د. عمر عبد السلام تدمرى، ناشر: دار الكتاب العربي - لبنان/ بيروت، الطبعة: الأولى، 1407هـ - 1987م.)
  • Conclusion 2: With Respect to (Conclusion 1), (c), (d) and (e), by the time Aisha started living with the Prophet (PBUH), she was between 18 and 20.
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@Thecrocodilehunter - I know but I am forced to use Arabic references and it took long if I wanted to translate them. in Addition after translation anybody couldn't understand them. but I am trying to add the in English too ... –  yaa110 Dec 29 '12 at 12:02
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Thanks for the references, but my calculator shows she was 4 or 5 at the first year after Bi'that, if she was born 17 years before Hijrat. Your references are good but your writing style is somewhat strange ;). Maybe it is better if you could quote the Arabic and English translation of the context but then cite only to Arabic addresses of such contexts (name of the books, the publishers, and etc.), as if anyone is going to refer to your references he should read the books in their original language anyway. Godspeed and thanks for your time and effort. –  owari Dec 29 '12 at 15:30
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-1 This is not true, check the 2 first answers above, What makes their answer more authentic is that Aisha Narrated one of the hadiths. –  Suhaib Feb 14 '13 at 1:44
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