Is it true that Islam allows 9 year olds to be married?


Salaam alaikum,
Is it true that Islam allows 9 year olds to be married? How legible is the consent of the 9-year-old? and likewise if she were forced to marry, that would be wrong.
I know that this doubt comes from the Prophet's marriage to Aisha, but my question is not about Aisha. I know her marriage was social reasons and it was recommended by a woman, infact. But was it just for that, or does this prove that it is ok for a child to get married?
Saudi is generally defamed for this too, because certain clerics there are quite outspoken for their support for such practises and claim that denying them is unjust to the girl child being married! Even if they weren't that known, the media definitely publizises them.
I want a clear answer from a knowledgeable Muslim - is getting girls as old as 9 permissible in Shariah?


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Islam does not set a specific age for eligibity for marriage. The eligibility, however, is based on puberty and discretion. The marriage of 'Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, cannot be considered as a rule or indication that Islam allows marriage of under-age children, for even her age at the time of marriage is subject to some debates among historians and jurists. Some scholars even argue that her age was 18 based on some historical evidences. But even if we were to argue she was 9, she was still eligible based on the two above-mentioned criteria.

Having said this, contexualizing the texts of the Qur'an and Sunnah is very important. Nowadays girls even up to the age of 15 may not be eligibile for the responsibilities of marriage, and therefore this should be taken into consideration.

Allah Almighty knows best.