Critical Analysis: Muhammad’s Wives
Based on several Ahadith, Muhammad married Aisha when she was six years old and they consummated the marriage when she was nine. Muhammad was 51/54 at the time of the marriage.
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).
Narrated 'Aisha:Allah 's Apostle died when he was sixty-three years of age.
I’ve been exposed to several speculative rationalizations that often contradict one another and each of these rationalizations presents a different set of theological issues.
One of the apologetic arguments that Muhammad was not a pedophile was that he only had one child-marriage, but this shows that he was considering a 2nd.
(Suhayli, ii.79: In the riwaya of Yunus I.I recorded that the apostle saw her (Ummu’l-Fadl) when she was baby crawling before him and said, ‘If she grows up and I am still alive I will marry her.’ But he died before she grew up and Sufyan b. al-Aswad b. Abdu’l-Asad al-Makhzumi married her and she bore him Rizq and Lubaba….(ref.10, p. 311)Elsewhere, we note that even Hazrat Omor or Umar (spelling variation) married Umm Kulthum, the four years old half-sister of Bibi A’isha! How fantastic!
Apologists have argued that Aisha was a scholar to justify Muhammad’s marriage to a six-year-old. Such arguments imply that Allah was incapable of finding another way to spread Islam than for Muhammad to marry Aisha (other possibilities include opening a university or document his teachings)
The American Psychiatric Association defines Pedophilia:
A pedophile is a person who over at least a 6 month period has recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (age 13 years or younger). The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children. Not to include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12 or 13 year old (straight or gay). Individuals with pedophilia generally report an attraction to children of a particular age range. Some individuals prefer males, others prefer females, and some are aroused by both males and females. Pedophilia involving female victims is reported more than pedophilia involving male victims.Reference; Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, American Psychiatric Association, 1994.
65:4 shows that the Quran allows a girl that hasn’t yet menstruated to be divorced, implying that such a girl could be married. Given that the Quran doesn’t forbid child-marriage and that Islam encourages following Muhammad’s example, child-marriage is supported by Islam.
Some Muslims deny the several Hadith regarding Aisha’s age. But if those Hadith are false, perhaps many other Hadith are also false. Some Muslims argue that child marriage was acceptable in the 7th century but not today. But such arguments can undermine many other Hadith as well as undermine the premise that Muslims should follow Muhammad’s example.
"Understanding the Hadith: the sacred traditions of Islam" by Ram Swarup discusses some of Muhammad's marriages: Safiyya
In any case, many people were butchered, and many others were taken prisoners. "We took Khaibar by force, and there were gathered the prisoners of war," according to Anas. Safiyya, the daughter of Huyayy b. Akhtab, the chief of the Quraiza and al-Nazir was one of them. Her husband, Kinana, was put to a cruel death (Sahih Muslim 3325). ... Anas adds that people "praised her in the presence of Allah's messenger and said: ’We have not seen the like of her among the captives of war’” (SM: 3329). Muhammad...even took her to his bed the same night her husband was killed, in violation of his own command, which enjoined the believers to wait until the beginning of the next menstrual cycle in their captive women. Kinana (Safiyya's husband) was tortured in order to make him reveal his hidden treasure. "Torture him until you extract what he has," Muhammad ordered al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam. The latter "kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head" (Sirat Rasul Allah p 515). …When the prophet was passing the night with Safiyya in a tent, Abu Ayyub took it upon himself to guard him. In the morning, Muhammad saw him and asked him what he was doing there. He replied: "I was afraid for you with this woman for you have killed her father, her husband, and her people..." (Sirat Rasul Allah p517)