For the billions of us who were not raised from infancy to accepted The Prophet’s idiosyncrasies, Muhammad is a troubling role model. Would Almighty God choose such a person to be His messenger? Are we to emulate a man who had twelve or so wives? Or the smooth-talking camel herder who “married up” by wedding a wealthy merchant woman fifteen years his senior? Or the Muhammad who married his second wife when she was six years old?
Muslim apologists assure us that the 53-year-old Muhammad did not consummate his marriage to A’isha until she was nine years old. Muslim tradition tells us that she brought her childhood toys with her when she was summoned to the marriage bed. A recent biography of Muhammad by the Muslim apologist Abdul Hameed Siddiqui praises the Prophet’s revolting behavior because “the bride is immediately introduced and accustomed to moderate sexual intercourse.”