The appropriate age for marriage

Question: What is the appropriate age for men and women to marry? Some of the young ladies of today do not accept to be married to men older than them and also some of the men do not get married from anyone older than them either. We hope for a response, may Allaah reward you.

Response: I advise the young ladies not to refuse a man because of his older age. Even if he be ten, twenty or thirty years older, this is not a valid excuse.

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) married ‘Aa.ishah when he was fifty-three years old and she was nine years old. Older age is not harmful. There is no problem if the woman is older than the man and there is no problem if the man is older than the woman.

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) married Khadijah when she was forty years old and he was twenty-five years old, before he received his first revelation. That is, she was fifteen years older than him (may Allaah be pleased with her). And ‘Aa.ishah was married when she was a young lady of six or seven years and the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) consummated the marriage when she was nine years old and he was fifty-three years old.

Many of those who talk on the radio or television and speak against having disparaging ages between husband and wife are wrong. It is not permissible for them to say such things. Instead, what must be done, is the woman must look at the prospective husband and, if he be pious and appropriate, she must agree to him even if he is older than her. Similarly, the man must try to marry a woman who is pious and virtuous, even if she is older than him, especially if she is still less than mid life. In any case, age should not be taken as an excuse. It should also not be considered a shortcoming, as long as the man is pious or the woman is pious.

May Allaah make the affairs good for everyone.