Understanding Aisha’s Age: An Interdisciplinary Approach

In recent years, few criticisms of Islam have taken the spotlight as much as condemnations of the Prophet’s marriage to Aisha. Muslims are accused of following the example of a man who had inappropriate relations with a 9-year-old girl. As a result, this has led many to doubt their faith and the moral compass it provides. However, this criticism is based on fallacious reasoning. When reviewing the available evidence, we not only find that early marriage was normal in many early societies, it also made moral sense given their circumstances. Throughout human history, populations had to adapt to their physical and social environments while optimizing their ethical judgments accordingly—much as we do today. This paper elucidates the flawed nature of accusations of the Prophet’s alleged immorality as well as how Islam teaches us to adapt the message of the Qur’an to changing circumstances.

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