Everyone know that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) married Ayesha (RA) when she was 6 and consummated when she was 9.

  1. So, does it mean Islam supports child marriages? If at all muslims consider Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) case as exceptional, then why?
  2. Also, a related question, Does Islam support Pedophilia by any means?

Answers are expected quoting historical evidences. And also any rulings based on Qur'anic verses is expected along with.

Answers are expected from all schools of thought and sects

This question is put up because, many non believers are in a notion of this, and imagine if someone asks you, and you could not answer.


OK. Those of you guys who are getting stuck at the age of Ayesha(RA), you can take help from this Age of Ayesha (AS) at marriage?. But don't take it as final plz. Seems there has always been the controversy regarding the age of Ayisha(RA).

  • @Islam this keyword 'Pedophilia' has created a lot of rumors around the web pertaining to Prophet Muhammad. OK. Just search you'll come to know. Let those come here and get the perfect answer in Islamic perspective, as no scholar has ever answered this before. Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 12:23
  • Paedophilia and child marriage are diff, you can ask another question esp on paedophilia
    – user940
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 12:24
  • Why would I like to divide the traffic to different pages? Well in that case I would choose pedophilia. Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 12:26
  • in that case that quoted hadith is irrelevant
    – user940
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 12:27
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    No one objected me about this before, not even the moderators. So I wouldn't wish the pages traffic be divided but to stay in one and answer them in two sub parts. If I ask another question, any moderator would definitely try to close it as Duplicate. Get that Islam. There's no problem here if just use the word, we might face the non believers anytime and can attack us with this question. So, everyone must be able to answer this and be ready. Plz I request you, no more edits. I've faced a lot. Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 12:35

8 Answers 8


Does Islam permit child marriages?

I will explain the Hanafi law, as I don't know the other ones. Basically, marriage is legal at any age. So, yes, child marriages are allowed. However, sexual intercource between the husband and the wife happens after the girl reaches puberty, not before.

Source: A website which belongs to Hanafi scholars:



Definition of pedophilia and Islam

According to the dictionary.com, pedophilia is defined as the "sexual desire in an adult for a child". According to Islam, a child is somebody who has not reached puberty yet. So even if a girl is nine years old; she is not (Islamically) considered a child if she has reached the age of puberty. Thus, if a man engages in sexual intercourse with her, it is not considered pedophilia...because the girl is not a child to begin with. It doesn't fit the definition of pedophilia.

"This question is put up because, many non believers are in a notion of this, and imagine if someone asks you, and you could not answer."

Nowadays in the United States a girl at the age of 18 is considered an adult. So if she marries, let's say, a 40 year old; it will not be considered pedophilia. But what if, say 100 years later, the United States changes its definition of adulthood from 18 to 20? Then will this 40 year old guy who married an 18 year old today, be considered a pedophile 100 years later??

In other words, if a nonbeliever accuses the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) of pedophilia, then ask them if their definition of adulthood is better than that of other people. If so, then why? Why should the age of adulthood be considered 18 and not anything else?

  • Are the sources you mentioned in English? And also, some claim that Ayesha(RA) was still playing with dolls when the couple were staying together, inferring that Ayesha (RA) did not get puberty yet, so she was allowed to play with dolls? @Erciyes I support your 2nd half though. Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 15:57
  • @Wiser The sources are in Turkish, which is why I summarized them in English so you could understand. Also, reaching puberty in Islam starts with getting your period for the first time (for girls). You don't have to stop playing with dolls overnight simply because you reached puberty.
    – Artus
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 16:52
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    Insightful answer. The only thing I would say is not to engage in debate with trolls, fools, or with anyone, really ("Ask them to prove it to you."). Now if two people want to discuss something, genuinely looking for some reflection, even if they might disagree, that's a completely different story :)
    – Student
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 19:17
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    Can I ask if there is any references of Aicha being asked if she accepts the prophet or not ? I have looked for a while and I found none. Regardless of whether or not she was an adult or whether the US's notion of paedophilia is better or worse than Islam's notion of paedophilia, I think one of the points to answer is this: "is a culture where the wife is asked permission is better or not than a culture where the wife is not asked permission". I know the girl's consent is mandatory when she is mature, but no such requirement, to my knowledge, exists if she is 6 months old.
    – ZakC
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 21:50
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    -1 for playing word games about pedophilia. Allowing grown men of any age to marry girls before puberty, and to have sex with them once puberty sets in, has so many documented devastating effects - physiologically, psychologically, behaviorally; just ask the people on Medical Sciences - that are simply not present in a significant degree after the girl reaches a more mature age; that makes this answer is nothing but PR for pedophilia. Yes, outlawing sex with girls before a certain age (somewhere between 14 and 18) is definitely better than allowing it as soon as puberty sets in.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 11:02

Child marriage is (probably) recognized.

The Qur'an describes the how to measure the post-divorce waiting period (iddah) of females who haven't menstruated:

And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease. -- Qur'an 65:4

Therefore, the Qur'an recognizes divorce among females who haven't menstruated. It seems logical that this implies that child marriage is recognized.

There's some apologetics at Discover The Truth (it doesn't technically talk about child marriage) and Me Forum, Patheos.com (it's talking about women with irregular periods). But this is at odds with tafsir, e.g.:

O Messenger of Allah! What about the waiting period of those who do not have menstruation because they are too young? -- Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

Those who are too young [such that they have not started menstruating yet] -- Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

Child marriage (or pedophilia) is supported?

Muslims are required to obey the law (example fatwa), so if child marriage is not legal, it's forbidden in Islam.

Different countries have different thresholds for marriage (see Wikipedia's Marriageable Age table; it varies a lot). Marriage in Islam is generally encouraged, so there will be cases when it's "supported" in one country, yet illegal in another. Likewise, sex outside of marriage is a major sin in Islam.

In short, it has to be legal to be supported by Islam.

Was the Prophet's case exceptional?

Not insofar as the age. In fact, apologetics typically follows the line "it was normal at the time".

It was the norm of the Semitic society in 7th century Arabia to allow pubescent marriages. -- AskImam.org


do not lose much time reading this unclear answer, i will fix it, if god wills / insha'a allah . ( pedophilia term has some proofs. dislike of it is felt. some things which are understandable by people are not said in quran and hadithes. )

  1. yes, islam supports child marriages; muhammad's case is not exceptional. 2) what is pedophilia? look at wikipedia: "an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children". so, does islam support sexual attraction to prepubescent? there are some hadiths and ayats that support desire to marry virgins: for example: http://sunnah.com/search/?q=jabir+marry :

He said: 'Why not a virgin, so you could play with her and she could play with you?'"

http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/55/74/default.htm (about paradise) :

Virgins, in a state of inviolate chastity, whom no man or Jinn has ever touched,

but desire to marry is not strictly equal to sexual desire. desire to marry may be with sexual attraction to future state of body, not to current state of body. additionally, girls should be married for her religion, not for beauty or other things, according to hadiths http://sunnah.com/search/?q=marry+four+dust .

i think, sexual intercourse with girl who cannot conceive is israf, and israf is prohibited in islam. but in other hand, it may be accounted as act that makes spouses closer, so, i am not sure, and islamic scholars allow it. (of course, it is prohibited if it is painful). and maybe it is even not possible to know out when first ovulation occurs, so it is has some additional logic in that case.

so, i think, islam does not encourage nor discourage sexual attraction to prepubescent, but, encourages child marriages (due to it encourages marriages generally without direct age restriction), and it is controlled by spouses an their families, what and when they do. and marriage does not mean primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent, because marriages in islam are done without time terms, and divorce is discouraged.

if you/they ask, why islam does not have direct marriage age limit/restriction or why it does not discourage sexual attraction to prepubescent, answer is - why it should ? and the european tradition also does not discorage all sexual attraction to prepubescent, as you see, only primary or exclusive of it is discouraged (in new edition of wikipedia it is said : "Pedophilia or paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or ..." ).

and take in account, that even if this word/term "pedophilia" looks/sounds medical and scientific, i have not seen any scientific base of it, so, it is just an european culture element, and it has not to be followed as some scientific fact. by this definition given in wikipedia it is indeed a disorder, but, it, as it is defined in wikipedia, probably does not have any proofs anyway, and when i looked for sources of this definition i see that it is not as it is in sources! source no 1 is DSM-5 and it is not accessible but definition of it is cited in wikipedia:

... pedophilic disorder ... paraphilia in which adults or adolescents 16 years of age or older have intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that they have either acted on or which cause them distress or interpersonal difficulty.

-- so no "primary or exclusive" is here!, source no 2 is ICD-10, definition of it :

F65.4 Paedophilia A. The general criteria for F65 Disorders of sexual preference must be met. B. A persistent or a predominant preference for sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children. C. The person is at least 16 years old and at least five years older than the child or children in B.

F65 DISORDERS OF SEXUAL PREFERENCE G1. Recurrent intense sexual urges and fantasies involving unusual objects or activities. G2. Acts on the urges or is markedly distressed by them. G3. The preference has been present for at least six months.

-- so neither, no "primary or exclusive" is here! and this contradicts rules of wikipedia and somebody should fix the definition in wikipedia. i think, adding "primary or exclusive" is just a trick of editors of wikipedia to make the the term correct , because almost any attraction, if you add "primary or exclusive" to it, becomes a strange behavior, for example: attraction to drink is normal, attraction to tea is also normal, and we cannot understand, why it would be a disorder, but if write "primary or exclusive attraction to tea", we understand that it is a starnge behavior, because there is no reason to want to drink only tea.

and what i can say about these definitions? these does not say about just sexual attraction, as it is written in wikipedia, but about "sexual urge" and "preference for sexual activity with ... f65 g2 ... urges". as the word "urge" is used, i think, it is more likely about sexual intercourse than sexual activity like hugging. and sexual intercourse with prepubescent child spouse is indirectly discouraged by islam, because of israf is prohibited, as i have already written. and these definitions also does not have any scientific proofs, explaining why it is a bad thing. and if they would try, i think, they could not proof it, (with exactly these definitions), because there are different people, and even sexual intercourse with little child maybe physically harmless, for example, if it is non-penetrative. but non-penetrative sexual intercourse is discouraged in islam: http://sunnah.com/bukhari/64/182 : "... coitus interruptus ... Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) ... said ... It is better for you not to do so ...", also it is a discouraged thing because it is israf. and that child must be spouse in islam. it is psychologically harmful and bad thing if it is without marriage and it is disallowed in islam. and, i think, marriage with too little child is indirectly prohibited in islam, because he/she cannot give proper consent for marriage.

  • this is a different view I'm seeing here. Honest though... Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 3:58
  • I'm a little confused. A virgin does not necessarily need to be a child. He/she can be an adult...
    – Artus
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 23:41
  • @Erciyes words in hadiths about marriage of jabir indicate that: "young girl", "play with her and she with you", "my nine sisters; so I disliked to have another young girl of their age".
    – qdinar
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 7:02
  • @Erciyes i think you are right. there are little support for both to marry young/little child or older child.
    – qdinar
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 16:51
  • in some versions of the hadith about jabir it is said "young girl" but seems in most versions it is said "virgin".
    – qdinar
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 13:18

This was years ago and at that time it was normal for people to marry at young ages. Your age does not matter when it comes to marrriage but it is your maturity that matters. Aisha wanted to get married and she was not forced in any way.

  • Well in that case many claim that she was just a kid and she had no knowledge and felt "What's going on? Why are these women so excited?" and I guess at that age, the consent of the father is considered final. Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 12:20
  • @Wiser No. Where have you got that information from? Aisha knew what marriage was and was mature and had understood her responsibilty as a wife. Aisha herself wanted to get married to the Prophet. The marriage did not take place because her father. In Islam is the girl does not want to get married and does not accept the marriage, the marriage is invalid and not accepeted. The Prophet had a dream more than once where Aisha was brought to him and so it was the will of Allah for this marriage to take place. Even non Muslims got married early e.g. at age of nine.
    – Zohal
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 17:47

In Islam, women are become known as "women" once they hit puberty, which officially makes them ready for marriage anyways. In the time of our Prophet, which was over 1400 years ago, women generally matured a lot younger than women nowadays, both physically and mentally. It was totally normal for women to get married at that age. They didnt consider age as a factor in getting married, just if the man or woman was ready for the marriage or not.And when people talk about the prophet's case as being exceptional, it is regarding his marriage of multiple women, not their age.

regarding pedophilia, this doesnt exist in islam, due to what was said before, age is not taken into consideration-if the person is ready for marriage, then so be it. Islam does however forbid forced marriages, so if a women (even if she is 9 years old) doesnt want to marry, then noone is allowed to force her to, they cant even ask her why she doesnt want to, It is completely her choice, and this was the case with our prophet pbuh marrying Aisha (ra)-

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    Are you sure about this women generally matured a lot younger than women nowadays, both physically and mentally???? Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 10:50
  • @servantofWiser, yes i am sure, otherwise they would have still been considered as children and not capable of marriage. How can Aisha (ra) have agreed to a marriage if she wasn't mature enough to know what was going on? Also her father wouldn't have considered her marraige-material to the Prophet PBUH, whom he loved dearly, if she wasnt mature enough :)
    – Tash C
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 22:22
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    @TashannaChamma That's the whole controversy. It can be argued very well that a 9 year old whether in today's age or 1400 years ago is never ready for marriage. Girls usually complete puberty by age 15 - 17.
    – user921
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 6:22
  • @masfenix yes, that is the whole point i am making. A nine year old today is considered a child, but in those days she was well and truly considered an adult. There is no argument to make, coz noone was alive 1400 years ago to compare the day and ages, but if our Prophet, the one who is known to be the perfect example for mankind, did something then who are we to say it's wrong? In today's age, yes it will be considered abnormal, but that doesnt mean we criticise what happened over 1400 years ago
    – Tash C
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 6:49
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    Can you give evidence for your claim about the onset of puberty? The only sources I can find say that in medieval times it was usually between 12-14 years, there seemed to be a rise up to 16-17 in the early 19th century in some parts of the world and then a drop back to 12 in some societies (possibly going lower even). Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 13:37

I think that this question is so thorough to take from all parts, the point is, contemporary sexuality has classed pedophilia into three stages:

  1. Ephebophilia which is the sexual desire toward adolescents between ages 15 to 19

  2. Hebephilia which is the fact of being sexually attracted by pubescents (typically, ages 11–14)

  3. Nepiophilia that's an extremely dangerous orientation and the committer must be sentenced for it because it involves sexual interest toward toddlers and infants under 4 until 10 y.o; it's illegal and prohibited in all cultures and religions and laws.

As far as i think, the third sexual behavior isn't supported by Islam, nor by any religion, but some of the other classifications must be highlighted and precised by scholars as to which one Islam does allow.

  • Muhammad had sex with Aisha when she was 9 according to a very dominantly accepted hadith.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 10:57
  • @G.Bach I'm sorry I don't respond to trolls Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 8:46
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    I'm not a troll, I'm pointing out that your answer is wrong; based on that hadith the vast majority of scholars say it is halal to marry and have intercourse with a child, as long as she has her menses.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 10:51
  • @G.Bach Even if she doesn't have her menses, so long as there is no harm, as far as I know it is okay. But child marriage in Islam is subject to the condition that it serve a clear and real interest.
    – Mahir
    Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 15:35

1.So, does it mean Islam supports child marriages? If at all muslims consider Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) case as exceptional, then why?

It does not, the prophet was not exempted from such rule either.

2.Also, a related question, Does Islam support Pedophilia by any means?

It does not, in Islam there are a few Hadith that go around about Pedophilia -including the low age of Ayesha, which should be treated as falsehood as the Prophet PBUH is high from such lowly actions nor would he condone anything to hurt children. Even in wars non Muslim children are not to be touched, let alone Muslim children.


Marriage of Aisha(R.A.) with the prophet(s.a.w.) was divinely inspired. So this event doesn't give free license to child marriage. Secondly it was not anyway an action of lust, it was marriage bonded with love. We all know that later Aisha (R.A.) became an intellectual giant and an important part of Islamic history. This wouldn't have been possible if our prophet(s.a.w.) did the marriage out of lust. No woman on earth ever forgives the person who molests her in her childhood.

  • 1
    divinely inspired Do you have any evidence to support that?
    – user12537
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 23:28

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