daughter of Abu Bakr and third wife of Muhammad. According to the ahadith in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, and numerous other reports, she married Muhammad at the age of 6 when Muhammad was 53, and they consummated their marriage when she was at the age of 9.

Narrated 'Ursa:
The Prophet 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). (Sahih Bukhari 7.88)
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. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13) (Sahih Bukhari 8.151)
Narrated 'Aisha:
Allah's Apostle said to me, "You were shown to me twice (in my dream) before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said to him, 'Uncover (her),' and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' Then you were shown to me, the angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said (to him), 'Uncover (her), and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' " (Sahih Bukhari 9.140)
Some Muslims claimed that Muhammad did not initiate the marriage with Aisha, but that Abu Bakr, after Aisha was spunned by a prospector and was not able to find another man to marry her, approached Muhammad to marry here. However, the following hadith clearly showed that it was Muhammad who was the initiator and Abu Bakr was even shocked at that suggestion.
Narrated 'Ursa:
The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry." (Sahih Bukhari 7.18)
Narrated Hisham's father:
Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. (Sahih Bukhari 5.236. see also Sahih Bukhari 7.64, Sahih Bukhari 7.65)
Aisha was surprised at the (consummation) of marriage:
Narrated Aisha:
When the Prophet married me, my mother came to me and made me enter the house (of the Prophet) and nothing surprised me but the coming of Allah's Apostle to me in the forenoon. (Sahih Bukhari 7.90)

Narrated Aisha:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Sahih Bukhari 5.234)

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) married me when I was seven or six. When we came to Medina, some women came. according to Bishr's version: Umm Ruman came to me when I was swinging. They took me, made me prepared and decorated me. I was then brought to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), and he took up cohabitation with me when I was nine. She halted me at the door, and I burst into laughter. (Sunan Abu Da'ud 41.4915, Sunan Abu Da'ud 41.4916, Sunan Abu Da'ud 41.4917)

Aisha related many hadiths which became the basis of many portions of the Shar'ia. She was given the title Mother of the Believers (Ummul Mu'minin).

Some others have contended that the hadith reports are inaccurate as regards her age: The Learner disagrees and gives more details, while another confirms that she was 9 years old (The Young Marriage of 'Aishah), besides taking some snipes at Christians.

Further reading:

  • Muhammad, Aisha, Islam, and Child Brides
  • An Examination of Muhammad's Marriage to a Prepubescent Girl and its Moral Implications
  • The Age of Aishah
  • Aisha — 9 year-old bride

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