A picture of a young girl wearing a white gown and headscarf standing next to an elderly man has gone viral on social media. It is being circulated with the claim that the elderly man is the girl’s husband. Some users add that Muhammad married Aisha along with the viral image. Also some question and mock the Islam religion. You can view related posts with similar claims here, here, and here.
An adorable little girl. Why is she wearing traditional Islamic wedding attire? Is that her father or her husband? pic.twitter.com/uILMQqHhxx
— Jont Trubek (@JontTrubek) December 30, 2023
What’s the truth?
Upon a simple Google reverse image process, we found an article published by a Turkey-based news outlet called Milliyet carrying the same viral image. The article was titled “The photos shared by the kindergarten are very talked-about!” and posted on 20 May 2016. According to the article, “photos and videos of children receiving Quran education, is celebrated as a ceremony and held for the successful children. It is noteworthy that girls are brought to the ceremony dressed in costumes such as wedding dresses.”
As we searched a bit further, we came across a tweet from May 19, 2016, that included four images of the same office space. The caption for this tweet states that it is an image of Elazig Kindergarten and shows the old man with many other girls.
Elazığ / Lalegül anaokulu pic.twitter.com/2T19rk9BB8
— gülev yıldırım (@glvyldrm) May 19, 2016
The same incident was also covered by the Turkish newspaper SoL on May 20, 2016. This report claims that a kindergarten in Elazig held a Quran reading ceremony during which the girls wore headscarves and wedding costumes. The photo taken of the school’s robed and turbaned principal with the girls for the “transition to the Quran” ceremony shows the celebration ritual.
The aforementioned details make it clear that the viral photo does not depict an Islamic marriage between the young girl and the elderly man.
Thus, we deduce that the picture that went viral is from a play school in Turkey, where the elderly man and the girl are the headmaster and student, respectively. In actuality, the headmaster gave the girl recognition for her recital of the Quran.