Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Boğaç Ergene


History, Social Media, Religion, Islam, Women, and Gender


Many believe Aisha bin Abu Bakr married Muhammad, Islam’s Prophet, when she was only 6 years old. During their decade of marriage, Aisha witnessed the community of Muslims grow and strengthen under Muhammad’s leadership. After his death, she helped guide those he left in his wake. Aisha’s legacy continues to influence modern Muslims today as it did 1,400 years ago. As a critical female figure, her legacy informs gender roles and construction in Islam. This research analyzes the intersection between Aisha’s legacy and modern perspectives on gender in Islam through social media posts as my primary source material.

Social media contains a low barrier to entry, global span, and direct avenue for connection among users. It accesses voices traditionally unrepresented in academic enterprises. These communal perspectives better reflect the Muslim World as a community, but they also provide key insight not elsewhere captured concerning Aisha.

In this thesis, I first compared different perspectives on gender established in Islamic studies. I then conducted a discourse analysis of social media posts to categorize Aisha’s legacy into themes. These emergent themes were rape and age disputes, comparison to contemporaries, quality of marriage, and personal custom. Finally, I placed the two in conversation with one another. Here, I identified where Aisha’s legacy qualifies, challenges, or supports established conceptions about gender and what these developments may indicate.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.