There is a famous narration in Sahih Bukhari confirming that Sayyidatuna ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) got married at the age of six, and she began to live with Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) at the age of nine.
However, some people have rejected the narration because they said it conflicts with this one:
‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) narrates:
‘I had seen my parents following Islam since I attained the age of puberty. Not a day passed but the Prophet visited us, both in the mornings and evenings. My father Abu Bakr thought of building a masjid in the courtyard of his house and he did so. He used to pray and recite the Quran in it. The pagan women and their children used to stand by him and look at him with surprise. Abu Bakr was a softhearted person and could not help weeping while reciting the Quran. The chiefs of the Quraysh became afraid of that [i.e. that their children and women might be affected by the recitation of Quran].’
The people say that Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was one of the first Muslims, and by the time Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) married ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) at age of fifty three (53) that would put ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) well into her twenties (20s).
The second Hadith suggests she attained puberty in Makkah, and not Madinah. This is narrated by ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) herself.
How do we reconcile the two narrations together, how do we comment and interpret the second one?
This is based on a misunderstanding (and subsequent mistranslation) of the narration. To then go on further and discredit an authentic Hadith (the one establishing her age to be six at the time of nikah) is reckless and irresponsible!
The portion of the Hadith that has been put in bold and italics, is incorrect.
The words used by Sayyidah ‘Aishah (radiyallahu’anha) in the original text are: لم أعقل أبوي which correctly translate as: ‘I never knew [or remember] my parents’ following another religion…
(See ‘Umdatul Qari, Tuhfatul Bari & Irshadus Sari, all under Hadith: 476. فإنهم فسروا قولها ؛لم أعقل ب: لم أعرف)
All this means is that Sayyidah ‘Aishah (radiyallahu’anha) was born in a Muslim home. She never saw the period her parents spent before Islam.
This does not confirm anything regarding her age.
There is therefore no contradiction between these Hadiths. Both are correct and both appear in Sahih Bukhari.
One should be wary of misrepresentations of the blessed Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam). Such misrepresentations are either deliberate by the deviants sects, or the deed of those who are illiterate in Islamic sciences. The path of either is extremely detrimental!
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar