Age of Puberty in Ancient Arabia
we have provided categorical proof that such early marriages took place in all ancient (and not so ancient) civilizations, including the jewish, christian, hindu, roman, greek, russian, african, native american, mongolian, chinese, indian, egyptian, and australian civilizations, among others. but perhaps the most relevant is the seventh century arabian civilization, so here we shall cite proof that sexual maturity took place very early in the days of the prophet (peace be upon him). ustadh ayman bin khaled cited a number of examples in bassam zawadi’s article, as follows.
imam al-shafi’i said in siyar a’lam al-nubala’ (vol.10, p.91):
during my stay in yemen, i have come across girls at the age of nine whom menstruated…
imam al-bayhaqi also narrated the words of imam shafi’i in sunan al-bayhaqi al-kubra (vol.1, p.319):
i have seen in the city of sana’a a grandmother while she was twenty-one. she menstruated at the age of nine and gave birth at the age of ten.
ibn al-jawzi narrated similar stories from ibn u’qail and u’bad al-mahlby in his tahqeeq fi ahadith al-khilaf (vol.2, p.267). so the fact is that girls were sexually active at the age of nine, and they were turning into grandmothers before most people alive today would have their own children! therefore, because this was the cultural norm back then, no blame can be put on prophet muhammad (peace be upon him). it is unacceptable to judge an ancient figure based on today’s standards; we must judge him based on what was the norm back then.