Revisiting the Age of Aisha Pt. 1

In this rebuttal we are going to be addressing another shameful attempt to justify Muhammad’s marriage to a 9-year-old minor. The following comments and interaction are taken from the website of Muslim apologist and Georgetown professor Jonathan A. C. Brown:

bigdumbbear 7 points 6 months ago

Dr. Brown if you do not mind, one more question!

The age of Aisha at the time of her marriage to Prophet Muhammad.

Keep in mind that I (and many others on this board) became your biggest fan after your video response to this question. My question is as follows: The critics admit that the age of Aisha between 9 and 12 when she married the Prophet was not out of the norm at that time. However, they argue, that Prophet Muhammad is the role model of humanity and hence, him marrying Aisha at that age means that either Prophet Muhammad was not a role model in every way, but a product of his time and place and also that since marrying at 9 in this day and age is a crime in pretty much every country out there that would then mean that Prophet Muhammad’s actions do not have meaning today. Sorry if this came out as a stream of consciousness. Would you address this issue with regards to Lady Aisha’s age? Thank you kindly sir.

[–]DrJonathanBrown [S] 29 points 6 months ago

Salam, the Prophet’s marrying Aisha at the age of nine was not unusual at the time. We know this because there is no record of him being criticized for this, while the Quran does record criticisms of his marriage to Zainab, which was controversial and unusual at the time. The Prophet’s actions are not all normative for us; we do not have to do everything he did, and in many cases, it would not be right to act as he did in our particular circumstances. We know that because according to a Hadith in the Sunan of Al-Nasai, the Prophet did not allow his daughter Fatima to marry Abu Bakr because of the age difference between the two. Finally, there are some elements of the Prophet’s Sunnah that are actually prohibited for us, like continuous fasting and marrying more than four women. To say that “the Prophet being our role model” means that we have to do everything he did is to misunderstand the nature of the Sunnah’s normative quality.

[–]bizzish 2 points 6 months ago

Fatima (ra) married Abu Bakr?

Don’t you mean Ali?

[–]tinkthank 3 points 6 months ago

Re-read his comment.

the Prophet did not allow his daughter Fatima to marry Abu Bakr because of the age difference between the two.

Ali (ra) was married to Fatima

[–]Dirtydunn 1 point 6 months ago

You misread. He saying that rasulallah didn’t marry Fatima to abu bakr RA for the reason of age differences. Abu bakr is about two years younger than rasulallah and about 27 years older than Fatima.

You could come out with the understanding that when looking for a potential spouse for your child that you look at their fitrah (nature). Some children may have no problems with a large age gap while others may have problems. (Dr. Jonathan Brown, /r/Islam!; bold emphasis ours)