No, Prophet Muhammad (s) did not marry Lady Aisha when she was a child. When discussing such questions, it is important to note that hadith like these have untrustworthy narrators attributed to the Bani Ummayah (Al-Qazwini, 2015). Such hadith were used to defame the Prophet (s) (Al-Musawi, 2019) and are commonly referenced to elevate the status of Aisha (Al-Qazwini, 2015).
This false claim is linked to a fabricated hadith that places her at the age of six or nine years upon marriage. As the year of Aisha’s birth is unknown, circumstances linked to her life allow us to better gauge her age and indicate that she was at least a teenager of 15 or 16 years when she married the Prophet (s), an age common for marriage in many cultures at the time. We can draw this conclusion by comparing these circumstances to the year of Aisha’s marriage, which took place either in 1 AH, 2 AH, or 4 AH, according to various hadith. (Al-Musawi, 2019; Al-Qazwini, 2015; Masterton, 2020).
One way to establish Aisha’s age at the time of her marriage to the Prophet (s) is by comparing her age with that of her elder sister, Asma bint Abu Bakr. Asma was 10 years older than Aisha. Given that traditions state that she died at 100 years old in 73 AH, Asma was 27-years-old at Hijra. This means that Lady Aisha was 17 years old at Hijra and could have been between 18-21 years at the time of her marriage. (Al-Qazwini, 2015).
Another event to consider is the age of Aisha when she converted. According to the prominent scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah, Aisha accepted Islam during the first year of the mission of the Prophet, while she was a child. This has been mentioned in Ibn Hisham’s version of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rashul Allah, the earliest surviving biography of Muhammad. If she was about 7 years at that time, she would be between 21-24 years at the time of her marriage (Al-Qazwini, 2015). Even if she was only 5 years old at the time of her conversion, she would be between 19-23 years at the time of her marriage.
Yet another event worthy of consideration is her age when Surah al-Qamar (The Quran, 54) was revealed. According to al-Bukhari Aisha is reported to have said that at the time that sura was revealed, ‘I was a young girl’. The 54th Surah of the Qur’an was revealed nine years before Hijrah (Masterton, 2020). If we consider a ‘young girl’ being about 7 years (could be older), at the time of her marriage she would be at least 17 years old.
It is thus logical to conclude that the Prophet (s) did not marry Lady Aisha when she was a child. As for Aisha’s exact age at the time of her marriage, Allah knows best.
Al-Musawi, S. M. (2019, November 24). What was the age of Hadrat Ayesha when our Prophet (SAW) married her? Al-Islam.org. https://www.al-islam.org/ask/what-was-the-age-of-hadrat-ayesha-when-our-prophet-saw-married-her/sayyed-mohammad-al-musawi
Al-Qazwini, M. H. H. (2015, June 4). How Old Was A’yshah When She Married The Prophet Muhammad? (A. N. Al-Tabrizi, Trans.). Al-Islam.org. https://www.al-islam.org/articles/how-old-was-ayshah-when-she-married-prophet-muhammad-ayatullah-muhammad-husayn-husayni-al
Masterton, R. (2020, March 14). Was Aisha married to the Prophet Muhammad (s) at the age of six? If yes, what was the Divine wisdom behind it? Al-Islam.org. https://www.al-islam.org/ask/was-aisha-married-to-the-prophet-muhammad-s-at-the-age-of-six-if-yes-what-was-the-divine-wisdom-behind-it/rebecca-masterton