- Armpit or pubic hair
- Mature external genitalia
- First menstruation"
Indeed, there have been many cases of early puberty. For instance, Lina Medina gave birth at the age of 5 years, 7 months and 21 days. Encyclopaedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Medina ) says:
"Lina Medina (born September 27, 1933 in Paurange, Peru) gave birth at the age of 5 years, 7 months and 21 days and is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history. This world record is closely followed by a similar case in Russia."
When Aisha had reached puberty the marriage was consummated, as Karen Armstrong writes in her book Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, Harper San Francisco, 1992, page 157:
"Tabari says that she was so young that she stayed in her parents' home and the marriage was consummated there later when she had reached puberty."
Therefore it is not surprising if Aisha (RA) reached puberty at an early age. The marriage was consummated when Aisha (RA) reached puberty. Her maturity from ahadiths certainly dictates this. In addition, let us not forget that in olden times, marriage at puberty was nothing strange.
Vital Benefits of the Marriage
In addition, Aisha (RA) was exceedingly intelligent and had a formidable memory. She had profound knowledge of Quran and Sunnah She narrated over 2,000 hadith (at least 2,210). Abdul-Hamîd Siddiqî writes in a book entitled Sahih muslim (English-translation of Sahih Muslim, Volume 2, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, page 715.):
"She [Aisha] developed into a spiritual teacher and scholar, since she was remarkably intelligent and wise. Her qualities help support the Prophet's work and further the cause of Islam. Aishah, the Mother of the Believers, was not only a model for wives and mothers, but she was also a commentator on the Qur'ân, an authority on hadîth and knowledgeable in Islamic Law. She narrated at least 2,210 ahâdîth that give Muslims valuable insights into the Final Prophet's daily life and behaviour, thus preserving the Sunnah of Muhammad(P)."
Abu Musa al-Ash'ari says:
"Never had we (the companions) had any difficulty for the solution of which we approached Aisha and did not get some useful information from her". -- Sirat-I-Aisha, on the authority of Trimidhi, p. 163.
Thus the contribution of Aisha was vital, without her perhaps much of the sunnah would have been lost. In addition the marriage also refuted the notion that a man could not marry the daughter of a man who he had declared to be his "brother" (even in the religious sense). Since the Prophet and Abu Bakr had declared each other to be "brothers", this notion was done away with. This is demonstrated in the following hadith:
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, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 18)
This is another teaching, which the marriage portrayed. The marriage also strengthened the relationship between Abu Bakr and Prophet Muhammed. Let us bear in mind that Abu Bakr was the first Caliph.
Pedophilia and lust for women?
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998, definition of Paedophile is:
"Pedophile: also spelled PAEDOPHILIA, psychosexual disorder in which an adult's arousal and sexual gratification occur primarily through sexual contact with prepubescent children. The typical paedophile is unable to find satisfaction in an adult sexual relationship and may have low self-esteem, seeing sexual activity with a child as less threatening than that with an adult." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998.
Apart from Aisha, all his wives were more than 16 (The Prophet of Islam, the Ideal Husband (Lahore: Kazi Publications), pp. 10-12), which at those times was considered as a mature age. Indeed, his first wife was twice widowed before and was older than him by 15 years. All his wives except Aisha and Marya were widows. Therefore, it is evident that Prophet's marriage with Aisha was not a norm and Prophet did indeed find adult relationship. Prophet also did not have low self-esteem, as it is evident from his Seerah.
In addition, Harold I. Kaplan et al. (Synopsis of Psychiatry, 5th ed. [Williams and Wilkens, 1988], p. 360) writes:
"In addition to their paedophilia, a significant number of paedophiles are concomitantly or have previously been involved in exhibitionism, voyeurism, or rape". (Voyeurism is the recurrent preoccupation with fantasised or acts that involve seeking out or observing people who are naked, or are engaged in grooming or in sexual activity).
It is commonly accepted by Muslims and non-muslims (un-biased) that Prophet in no sense indulged in "exhibitionism, voyeurism, or rape" or even came close to it. There is not a single reference to indicate that prophet was involved in any such act. In addition, Prophet waited for Aisha to mature and reach Puberty before the marriage was consummated, this obviously is contrary to the characteristics of a paedophile.
Hypocrisy of Jews & Christians
It is quite hypocritical of Jews and Christian to criticize the marriage of Aisha. Talmud (Jewish scripture) says:
"Marrying off one's daughter as soon after she reaches adulthood as possible, even to one's Slave. (From the Talmud, Pesachim 113a)"
As we discussed, in biblical times adulthood could refer to the age of Puberty or even younger age.
Regarding the Marriage of Mary to Joseph, Catholic Encyclopaedia ( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08504a.htm), says:
"When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, "the Lord's brother"). A year after his wife's death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age, Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place."
Note: That article on Catholic Encyclopaedia obtains its information from early