Shaykh Muḥammad al-Madkhalī:
The questioner asks: “What is the best way to answer a disbeliever when he asks me about the marriage of the Prophet ﷺ to ʿĀʾishah when she was 9 years old?”
Shaykh Muḥammad al-Aqīl:
The Prophet ﷺ is more knowledgeable than us and that disbeliever. It is said to that Western disbeliever: What is the state of your women today?! What is the state of your women O’ miskīn? Cry over yourself O’ miskīn if you wished to cry. Strange statistics show that there are no virgins in secondary schools at all. At all. This is their statistics.
Proverb: “And when I am criticised by a deficient person, this is a testimony of my perfection.”
We put this issue forward to the specialized doctors, and ask: “Does the early marriage harm a girl who reached puberty or not?” Let us see what the doctors say. It is something very normal. When the girl reaches puberty and marries, this does not harm her at all, even if she was nine years old. It does not harm her in anyway.
This is an affair which one should not be embarrassed about, rather, what one should be embarrassed about is obscenity; and that is when the girl brings her lover to her father or mother’s bed without either one of them disapproving this act. This is what one should be embarrassed about. As for what natural disposition is in favor of, and the wise ones agreed upon the permissibility of it occurring and allowing it to occur, then one should not be embarrassed about it.
 [Note] * Even though he was labelled a liar, magician, crazy, bewitched and other vile nicknames by his enemies, not ONE from the Quraysh, the leader of Rome, Persia, or from any neighboring country or city, criticized him for his marriage to ʿĀʾishah at the age of 9.
* In the UK, the age of sexual consent for women has been set at 16 since 1885, from the initial age of 12, and to marry, Peruvian girls need to be only older than 12 and boys older than 14, according to the global police body Interpol’s website. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3699814.stm]
* In 1880, the Age of Consent in Russia, California, New Mexico and many of other places was 10 [Delinquent Daughters: Policing and Protecting Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920].
ONLY A FOOL COMPARES THE CULTURAL NORMS OF 1880 TO THE ONES WE HAVE IN 2012.