The Muslims of today are living in an era of unprecedented discrimination against Islām. Their religion is constantly vilified and attacked because the theological beliefs it propagates are seen to be counterproductive to Western society. The Prophet of Islām (sall Allāhu alayhi wasallam) has been the major target of these attacks by orientalists, liberals and modernists alike, all of whom have done so under the guise of freedom of speech in order to promote their own personal and political interests.
Amongst the barrage of insults and false accusations levelled against the Prophet (sall Allāhu alayhi wasallam), is the claim that he was a paedophile because he consummated his marriage to ‘Ā’isha bint Abu Bakr (radi Allāhu anha) when she was 9 years old. Due to the nonsensical and unsubstantiated nature of the allegation, the author feels that any attempt to refute it using evidence will give this ill contrived accusation a sense of legitimacy. For this reason, it should be ignored and thus confined to the aisles of history as another feeble attempt to defame a man who was known, even by his greatest enemies, to epitomise the best of morals and character. Instead, this article will free the Prophet from the lies attributed to him, by exposing the hypocritical actions of individuals who have conveniently appeared in the last century to criticise the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) and his marriage to ‘Ā’isha. This in turn, will help expose the agenda of some in the West that have championed, the ludicrous belief that they are the rule by which all moral standards (throughout all of history) should be judged.
It should first be made clear that Islām does not support paedophilia or child abuse in any shape or form. In fact, the Qur’ān clearly stipulates that marriage can only take place between individuals who have matured in their biological and psychological development (puberty).  On the other hand, modern age restrictions on marriage in the West are not based on evidence, but on arbitrary numbers that contradict the biological and social development of individuals that they seek to safeguard.
It is also imperative to understand without any qualms or hesitation, that the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) married ‘Ā’isha (radiAllāhu anha) when she was 6 years old, and they consummated the marriage when she reached puberty at the age of 9.  This is the only explicit piece of evidence that has directly identified the age of ‘Ā’isha (radiAllāhu anha) when she married the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam). On the other hand, the reports that suggest she was older are implicit, and derived from very tenuous assumptions based on events that occurred during her life. 
With this in mind, many academics have successfully refuted the allegation of paedophilia against the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) using evidences that clearly disassociate him from such a label     . However, this has led to a further onslaught of similar claims against him that have repeatedly been refuted by Muslims and non-Muslims alike , illustrating that a clear agenda exists to defame the Prophet even though his accusers are well aware that the slanderous claims they attribute to him are false. This is supported by the primitive nature of these allegations because their single objective is not to prove that he is guilty, but rather to tar his name with these iniquitous ideas, thus attempting to create hatred in the hearts and minds of society towards the religion he founded. Therefore, it is felt that disproving this false charge using evidence will produce nothing but a never-ending cycle of accusations that will only end once the antagonists have achieved their objectives. Thus, to prove that the Prophet is free from the allegations he is accused of, the claims brought forward by Western polemics will be refuted based on the very same standards that the Western world have used to measure their own moral behaviour, and thus prove that their opposition to the Prophet is steeped in hypocrisy.
Firstly, Islamaphobes judge the actions of the Prophet using a moral compass that is only applicable to modern society. In order to justify their Islamophobic sentiments, they seek to impose moral judgments that are only relevant in the present, on practices that occurred 1400 years ago, where rules and cultural norms were different to the norms and customs of today. This is something that anthropologists who study cultural phenomena warn against, because it is unacceptable to judge previous cultures and civilisations based on modern standards of living. Instead, a society and people must be judged by the rules and cultural norms that existed in their era. Therefore, if marriage to a 9 year old was a normative practice throughout various civilisations over 14 centuries ago, then it is just as valid as current legislation in the UK, which states that people cannot be married until they reach the age of 16.
Secondly, it is interesting to note that these accusations against the Prophet were only brought forward during the last century. Before 1905, no such claims against the Prophet existed and were only introduced and popularised by David Margoliouth, a British historian who was affiliated with the Zionist movement. This was because 100 years ago in many countries around the world (including the USA), the general age of consent for marriage was 10 years old, and in one state it was even lower at 7 years old. 
Thus, by using the moral index of the West, it appears that the Prophet is free from the accusations that are levelled against him because the very nations that accuse him of despicable crimes 1400 years ago, allowed the same acts to take place within their own societies only 100 years ago. This has clearly exposed the double standards that exist in Western society and shown how certain individuals have purposely tried to damage the reputation of the Prophet for the sole reason of achieving their aims and objectives.
So the question remains, why have certain individuals in the West remained silent about non-Muslims who married prepubescent girls between the ages of 7 and 10, but have chosen to single out the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) in their attacks? It is because these attacks have been used to push public opinion against Islām and thus given certain figures in the West the opportunity to achieve their political objectives.
To further prove their hypocrisy, Islamaphobes fail to mention that in the US, the current minimum legal age for marriage in New Hampshire is 13 . Where is the grievance there? The same modern rules by which Islamaphobes seek to judge the practices of seventh century Arabia dictate that children should be a lot older and mature before they can be given the choice to marry. So why does the charge of paedophilia not enter the discussion when individuals marry children at the age of 13 today in the state of New Hampshire? In fact, why is the state law system not put under the same scrutiny for not stipulating—as Islām does—that puberty is a condition for consummation of marriage? This is another example of the hypocrisy that exists in individuals who attack Islām because they pick and choose what they publicise. Will accusations of paedophilia be leveled at individuals who openly practice marriage with 13-year-old children, who may not have reached puberty yet, or are these attacks only limited to Islām and the Prophet?
To further outline the hypocrisy of individuals who accuse the Prophet of paedophilia, they conveniently choose to ignore cases where central figures of other religions married children under the age of 12. For example, those who contest the Prophet’s marriage to ‘Ā’isha have never mentioned that the last of the ten saints in Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, married a 12-year-old girl called Mata Sundari.  Now unlike with ‘Ā’isha, it was never established whether Mata Sundari reached puberty before she consummated her marriage with Guru Gobind Singh. Also, it is well known that from the Christian understanding, Mary married Joseph when she was between the age of 12-14 and Joseph was 90.  Why is this fact left out during debates about underage marriage in religions? Furthermore, according to Judaic traditions, 3-year-old prepubescent girls were forced to have sex with men under the guise of Mosaic Law.  However, under Islamic traditions, such claims against Prophet Mūsa (alayhi salām) are completely rejected and are falsely attributed to him by the corruption of other faiths. Additionally, Jewish law states that the age of consent for girls to marry is 12, regardless of whether they have reached puberty or not.  Yet we find that Islām and the Prophet have been slandered for a practice that carefully considered the rights of females when it was undertaken. The fact that these individuals conveniently overlook the above-mentioned issues proves that their accusations are fuelled not by a moral opposition to the Prophet’s (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) marriage to ‘Ā’isha, but by a dislike for Islām and its Prophet, as well as the need to achieve their political objectives.
These facts have clearly exposed the hypocrisy of those who attack the Prophet for marrying ‘Ā’isha because while they have opted to vilify a man who married a young girl in accordance with the biological and social framework of his time, they have voiced no concerns or disagreements regarding practices that existed in other major traditions. Additionally, the height of their hypocrisy is palpable in their silence on clear-cut examples of paedophilia that are being practiced around the world and in Western countries today. Therefore, before such people make false accusations against the Prophet, it would be far more appropriate for them to address the problems that exist in their own cultures first. They may benefit from pondering over the clearly more sensible conditions of biological and psychological maturity that Islām requires for marital relations to occur, compared to the plucking of an arbitrary minimum age out of the air for many societies today. In doing so, Islām—uniquely—prevents harm to pre-pubescent children as well as the plethora of societal ills that result when human beings are prevented from fulfilling their biological needs in a safe and honourable way, when the minimum age is too high for an individual.
Thus, it is not difficult to see that the basic premise of the attack against the Prophet is a flawed one, as it is illogical to apply the incidental tastes and moral standards of today to seventh century Arabia. It has clearly been proven that the disparaging claims directed at the Prophet are false because they are built on unconvincing and dubious foundations, in order to suppress the increasing support and growth of Islām that the world has witnessed during the last century. The aspersions cast against the Prophet are borne out of hypocrisy and double standards because the very nations that first created and spread the accusations allowed the same practices to take place in their own societies just over a century ago. Moreover, the paedophilic crimes that have taken place within other religions are not criticised but are met with silence, which not only forces one to question the intentions behind the attacks against the Prophet, but also frees him from the accusations that are levelled against him for his marriage to ‘Ā’isha. Therefore, since these accusations only surfaced a century ago, it is no exaggeration to say that they were and still are, fuelled by a desire to tarnish the name of the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam), and to promote the personal and political agendas of those who fabricated them.
 Qur’an 4:6
 Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88
 The marriage took place at a time when the greatest enemies of the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) were extremely hostile towards him. The Quraysh scrutinised his every move, and they did not waste any opportunity to insult and spread slanderous propaganda against him by fabricating claims that he was a liar, a soothsayer and someone who was mentally ill. However, despite all the false claims made against the Prophet, they never questioned the age of ‘Ā’isha (radiAllāhu anha) when the marriage was consummated.
 ‘Ā’isha was engaged to Jubair ibn Mut’im before she chose to marry the Prophet, thus proving it was a customary practice and a cultural norm of the people at that time in Arabia and different parts of the world to marry young girls, as they were biologically and psychologically considered adults once they reached puberty.
 The idea of marrying ‘Ā’isha was not conceived by the Prophet but was suggested to him by Khawlah bint Hakim (radiAllāhu anha), a woman who was well respected for her character and morals in Madinah. Therefore, it becomes inconceivable that she publicly suggested that the Prophet take part in a marriage that was immoral and purely for the sake of fulfilling his desires.
 From a medical perspective, paedophilia is defined as an exclusive sexual attraction towards individuals that have not physically reached puberty . Therefore, such an accusation cannot be applied to the Prophet, as he waited three years until ‘Ā’isha reached puberty before he consummated the marriage with her . To support this claim, ‘Ā’isha stated that she was a woman when she reached the age of 9 and suffered symptoms of premenstrual syndrome before the marriage was consummated.  
 As the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) waited three years for ‘Ā’isha to reach puberty before the marriage was consummated, it illustrates that he was aware of the importance of physical and psychological maturity before marital relations could take place between a husband and wife. This level of self-control is not characteristic of paedophiles because they lack the ability to control their impulses, thus are unable to control their sexual urges for prepubescent children. In fact, ‘Ā’isha documented that the Prophet was not characterised by this problem because he had the ability to control his desires like no other person  . Additionally, paedophiles lack the ability to adopt a sexual demeanour towards adults or those of their own age or older . This was not true in the case of the Prophet (sall Allāhualayhi wasallam) as he had many adult wives, all of whom he spent a lot of time with.
 Islamaphobes use a very tenuous argument by stating that ‘Ā’isha took dolls to her new families home. This is a ridiculous claim especially since the BBC produced a documentary proving that adult women above the age of 18 still play with dolls and stuffed animals.  This claim was also supported in the New York Times, which stated that there was an increase in the number of white, conservative, Christian adult women who play with dolls.  It is also widely accepted that sexually active female adults love to receive dolls and stuffed animals as an expression of love between them and their partners. Furthermore, it has also been documented that dolls were produced for adults and children before the year 1700 . This is supported by evidence that ‘Ā’isha played with dolls that were permitted for adults. 
Additionally, if one investigates the social environment where ‘Ā’isha lived it becomes evident that different varieties of entertainment that are accessible today were not available. Therefore, dolls would have been the only way for individuals of her age to spend their time, despite their level of maturity. Taking this into consideration the fact that ‘Ā’isha played with dolls when her marriage was consummated does not prove that she had not reached puberty.
 Arthur Siccan – ‘What’s Wrong in America: A Look at Troublesome Issues in Our Country’
 D. D. Dhillon (1988). Sikhism Origin and Development. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors.
 Charles Souvay – St. Joseph – (1910) The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company
 World Health Organisation, 2007
 Sharh Muslim, 9/206
 Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Nikah
 Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234
 Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 299
 Sahih Muslim Book 6, Number 2439
 L. J. Cohen, & I. Galynker, (2009). Psychopathology and Personality Traits of Pedophiles. Psychiatric Times.
 http://www.today.com/id/26970782/ns/today-today_news/t/bogus- baby-boom-women-who-collect-lifelike-dolls/#.UuKdv2TFKX0
 Majmoo Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen, 2/277-278