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Does Islam encourage getting married to underage females?
This is a wrong understanding said by those who looked at some lustful contemporary Arab Muslims who get married to young females and see that this is a good thing, but nothing was narrated in Koran or Sunna urges to do this. The prophet (Blessings and peace of God be upon him) himself only married one virgin woman she is lady A’isha, all his other wives were not virgin. Islam stipulates that a woman who is going to be married must have the ability to carry out responsibility, as she will be responsible for her husband, her house and her children in addition to her work if she has a job, the prophet (Blessings and peace of God be upon him) said: “And a woman is a shepherd at her husband’s house and she will be accountable for her flocks.” This was narrated by Al-Bukhary after Ibn Omar.
This means that we shouldn't allow a girl to get married unless we are sure she can do her responsibilities. If she is unable to do, we wait until she is ready psychologically, physically, lively and intellectually for marriage so that she can be a good wife as the prophet (Blessings and peace of God be upon him) said: “The best that a man can amass is a good wife, if he looks at her, she gets him happiness, if he orders her, she obeys him, and if he is not with her she keeps herself for him.” It was narrated by Abu Da'wood and Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak after Ibn Ab'baas.
But the narration that orientalists repeat and keep to it because it is narrated in Al-Bukhary and Muslim books of Hadith when the prophet (Blessings and peace of God be upon him) was fifty years old he got married to A’isha who was six years old and consummated marriage when she was nine years old. This narration differs with the Qur'an and true Sunna, it also differs with mind, logic, customs, habits and the timeline of the incidents of the prophet’s mission.
Referring to the original books of history concerned with the prophet’s mission, such as Al-Kamel, Tareekh Damascus, Seyar A’lam Annobala’, Tareekh Attabarey, Al-Bedaya Wannehaya, Tareekh Baghdad, Wafeyat Al-A’yan and others, they nearly agree to the timeline of the prophet’s mission as follows:
The prophet’s mission continued for 13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina, it began in 610 AD. Emigration to Medina was in 622 AD i.e. after 13 years in Mecca, and the prophet’s death was in 632 AD after 10 years in Medina.
The historical resources we mentioned before says that Asmaa’ was 10 years older than A’isha, they also agree that Asmaa’ was born 27 years before emigration, i.e. she was 14 years old when the mission began in 610 AD if we consider 13 years of the mission in Mecca before emigration. As Asmaa’ was 10 years older than A’isha, this means that A’isha was 4 years old when the mission began, i.e. she was born 4 years before the mission began i.e. in 606 AD. This means when the apostle married her in the 10th year of the mission she was 14 years old as she was born in 606 AD and married the prophet in 620 AD. He consummated the marriage after 3 years and few months in 624 AD, so she was 18 years old when the prophet got married to her.
This is also assured if we calculate A’isha’s age according to the death of her sister Asmaa’. References agree that Asmaa’ died after a famous known incident, after her son Abdullah Ibn-Azzubayr was killed by Al-Hajjaj in 73 Hijri and she was exactly 100 years old, so at the time of emigration she was 27 years old and A’isha was 17 years old at that time of emigration because Asmaa’ is 10 years older than her, as the prophet consummated marriage at the end of the first year of emigration, so she was 18 years old. This is also assured by what Attabarany narrated in Tareekh Al-Omam that all the children Of Abu-Bakr were born before Islam. So it is clear that the narration of Al-Bukhary is weak because A’isha was born 4 years before the mission.