Aisha bint Abu Bakr

Since 2012-12-06

Normally when discussing the marriage of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) to Aisha the first question that is raised is the age of Aisha when she married the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him).

Normally when discussing the marriage of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) to Aisha the first question that is raised is the age of Aisha when she married the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him). As has already been discussed, this doubt is rarely the main doubt that people hold regarding Islam. It is rare to find a person who understands Tawheed fully yet has doubts regarding the marriage of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) to Aisha. If a person believes in Allah, that He alone deserves worship, and to Him we should submit, and that He has chosen the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) and entrusted him with revelation, then he will automatically submit while feeling secure from doubts.

 
 
The doubts that people have regarding Islam generally fall into 2 categories:
·         That which affects peoples’ lives and is related to justice.
·         That which does not affect peoples’ lives and is not related to justice.
 
For example the doubt that people have regarding capital punishment in Islam as a punishment for murder is a doubt of the first type. It is a doubt concerning the human rights of the murderer. However a person questioning why we pray 3 rakah in Maghrib is a doubt of the second type that has no relation to justice. It is from the Mercy of Allah that he has ensured that most doubts that people raise against Islam are of the first type which can be easily explained through reason and rational argument. Let us consider again the case of capital punishment for murder in Islam: Allah said in the Quran:
{And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).} [Surah al-Baqarah 2:179].
 
{وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} البقرة: 179
 
 
Transliteration: Walakum fee alqisashayatun ya olee alalbabi laAAallakum tattaqoona
 
Allah explicitly stated the illa (effective cause) for this ruling as preserving life i.e. by having an effective deterrent against murder the lives of more innocent people are preserved despite the murderer forfeiting his right to life. This is a matter related to justice so we should exert effort into a rational explanation as Allah indeed gave us the rational explanation. At the same time we should strive to always relate the matter back to Tawheed. However doubts of the second type which are not related to justice and do not directly affect peoples’ lives, and may not even have a rational explanation that we can comprehend at present require people to fully understand Tawheed first.
 
Aishah narrated that the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) was betrothed to her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years. [Saheeh al-Bukhari].
 
«أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم تزوجها وهي بنت ست سنين، وبنى بها وهي بنت تسع سنين» رواه البخاري
 
We should exert effort into explaining this matter because it is related to justice and decency with people casting aspirations on the noble character of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him):
 
Allah has absolved the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) of any indecent characteristic when he declared in the Quran:
{And verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) are on an exalted standard of character.} [Surah al-Qalam 68:4].
 
{وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ} القلم: 4
 
 
Transliteration: Wainnaka laAAala khuluqin AAatheemin
 
It is impossible that the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) would perform an indecent act while he is the Messenger of Allah and has been trusted with and is guided by revelation. In the small matter when he turned away from Abdullah ibn Um Maktum while being engrossed in da’wah to the Chiefs of Quraish, an entire Surah was revealed correcting the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him).(i.e. Surah al-Abassa)
 
The Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) would receive revelation guiding him in the smallest of matters so no doubt his marriages were guided by revelation. Allah said in the Quran:
{Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. (3) It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.} [Surah an-Najm 53:3-4].
 
{وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ ﴿٣﴾ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ} النجم: 3-4
 
 
Transliteration: Wama yantiqu AAani alhawa (3) In huwa illawahyun yooha
 
Aisha was engaged to Jubair ibn Mutim before the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) while she was below the age of 6, hence it was the custom of the Arabs to marry the young girls and consummate the marriage at an older age. The tradition still exists in some cultures and while western cultures may frown on the practice, we have no right to belittle it or consider it a form of abuse.
 
Khawla bint Hakeem, was a noble and wise woman who initiated the marriage proposal and she wouldn’t have done so if it was an indecent act.
 
Aminah the mother of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) married Abdullah, the father of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) at the same time as her auntie of similar age married Abdul Muttalib. Abdul Muttalib was an elderly dignitarian demonstrating that this was an acceptable Arab custom.
 
It was the custom of the Arabs, as it is many cultures today to seek to build strong family ties through marriage. In the mutual competition to do this it was not uncommon for girls to be betrothed at a young age and the marriage to consummate when the girl had matured. Hence the Islamic Jurists allow marriage to girls at a very young age but consummation can only take place when women provide a testimony that she is mature enough to consummate the marriage.
 
The mother of Aisha, Um Rumman, was the first to receive the proposal from Khawla and was overjoyed. It is not possible that the marriage was an indecent act and the mother would be a party to this.
 
The Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) was living with Sawdah who was over 50 years old.
 
The Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) waited for over 2 years before consummating the marriage. It was in fact the father Abu Bakr who approached the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) questioning him why he did not have full marital relations. No father would suggest an indecent act to be carried out with his own daughter! Not least the best of creation after the Prophets!
 
The Old and New Testament are full of references to girls who marry at a young age demonstrating it was a culturally acceptable in certain times and places.
 
Aisha matured to become one of the Jurists of the Companions, a prolific narrator of hadeeth and one of the most knowledgeable interpreters of the Quran. It is not conceivable that she would have been abused as a child and then gone on to achieve so much without any mental scares left on her.
 
It was reported in the recent attacks in Beirut that Hizbullah would humiliate Sunni Muslims by insulting the Companions of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him), especially Abu Bakr and his daughter.
 
Aisha was born in Islam. She reports that when she reached an age of awareness she only knew her father and mother to be Muslims. Her nickname was Um Abdullah (as her nephew was Abdullah son of Asmaa). Imam Ath-Thahabee said: “I don’t know of any women better than Aisha and more knowledgeable. I stop at deciding who is better, Aisha or Khadija” [See Siyar 'Alam An Nubalah].
 
Aisha herself narrates that the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) said:
 
“You were shown to me in dream for three nights. The angel brought you wrapped in a silk cloth, saying, 'This is your wife.' I would lift the veil from your face and there you were! I would say, 'If this is from Allàh then He shall make it take place.” [Saheel al-Bukhari].
 
«أريتك في المنام مرتين، إذا رجل يحملك في سرقة من حرير، فيقول: هذه امرأتك، فأكشفها فإذا هي أنت، فأقول: إن يكن هذا من عند الله يمضه» رواه البخاري
 
Abu Salama narrates that:
 
'Aisha said, “Once Allah's Messenger (Peace and Salutations be upon him) said (to me), 'O Aish ('Aisha)! This is Gabriel greeting you.' I said, 'Peace and Allah's Mercy and Blessings be on him, you see what I don't see'” [Saheel al-Bukhari].
 
«يا عائش هذا جبريل يقرئك السلام. قلت: وعليه السلام ورحمة الله، قالت: وهو يرى ما لا نرى» رواه البخاري
 
Amr ibn al-Aas accepted Islam after the Conquest of Makkah. He asked the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) concerning those whom he loved the most, hence the answer was in the later years of the Prophet’s (Peace and Salutations be upon him) life and was therefore an up-to date answer:
 
Allah's Apostle sent 'Amr bin Al As as the commander of the troops of Dhat-us-Salasil. 'Amr bin Al-'As said, "I came to the Prophet and said, 'Which people do you love most?' He replied, 'Aisha.' I said, 'From amongst the men?' He replied, 'Her father (Abu Bakr)'. I said, 'Whom (do you love) next?' He replied, "Umar.' Then he counted the names of many men, and I became silent for fear that he might regard me as the last of them." [Saheeh al-Bukhari].
 
«أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعث عمرو بن العاص على جيش ذات السلاسل، قال: فأتيته فقلت: أي الناس أحب إليك؟ قال: (عائشة). قلت : من الرجال؟ قال: (أبوها). قلت: ثم من؟ قال: (عمر). فعد رجالا، فسكت مخافة أن يجعلني في آخرهم» رواه البخاري
 
Imam Ibn Shihaab Al-Zuhri said: “If the knowledge of ‘Ā’isha were added to the knowledge of all women, the knowledge of ‘Ā’isha would still be better.”
 
The other wives of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) were often jealous of Aisha.
 
The wives of Allah's Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of 'Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah's Apostle. The Muslims knew that Allah's Apostle loved 'Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah's Apostle, he would delay it, till Allah's Apostle had come to 'Aisha's home and then he would send his gift to Allah's Apostle in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah's Apostle to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife's house he was. Um Salama told Allah's Apostle of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, “He did not say anything to me.” They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, “Talk to him till he gives you a reply.” When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, “Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, as the Divine Inspirations do not come to me on any of the beds except that of Aisha.” On that Um Salama said, “I repent to Allah for hurting you.” Then the group of Um Salama called Fatima, the daughter of Allah's Apostle and sent her to Allah's Apostle to say to him, "Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on equal terms." Then Fatima conveyed the message to him. The Prophet said, “O my daughter! Don't you love whom I love?” She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused. They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him and used harsh words saying, “Your wives request you to treat them and the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa on equal terms.” On that she raised her voice and abused 'Aisha to her face so much so that Allah's Apostle looked at 'Aisha to see whether she would retort. 'Aisha started replying to Zainab till she silenced her. The Prophet then looked at 'Aisha and said, “She is really the daughter of Abu Bakr.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 755].
 
«أن نساء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كن حزبين: فحزب فيه عائشة وحفصة وسودة، والحزب الآخر أم سلمة وسائر نساء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وكان المسلمون قد علموا حب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عائشة، فإذا كانت عند أحدهم هدية، يريد أن يهديها إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أخرها، حتى إذا كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بيت عائشة، بعث صاحب الهدية إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بيت عائشة، فكلم حزب أم سلمة، فقلن لها: كلمي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يكلم الناس، فيقول: من أراد أن يهدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هدية، فليهدها إليه حيث كان من بيوت نسائه، فكلمته أم سلمة بما قلن فلم يقل لها شيئا، فسألنها، فقالت: ما قال لي شيئا، فقلن لها : فكلميه، قالت: فكلمته حين دار إليها أيضا فلم يقل لها شيئا، فسألنها فقالت: ما قال لي شيئا، فقلن لها: كلميه حتى يكلمك، فدار إليها فكلمته، فقال لها: (لا تؤذيني في عائشة، فإن الوحي لم يأتني وأنا في ثوب امرأة إلا عائشة). قالت: فقالت: أتوب إلى الله من أذاك يا رسول الله، ثم إنهن دعون فاطمة بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فأرسلت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تقول: إن نساءك ينشدنك الله العدل في بنت أبي بكر، فكلمته فقال: (يا بنية ألا تحبين ما أحب). قالت: بلى، فرجعت إليهن فأخبرتهن، فقلن: ارجعي إليه فأبت أن ترجع، فأرسلن زينب بنت جحش، فأتته فأغلظت، وقالت: إن نساءك ينشدنك الله العدل في بنت ابن أبي قحافة، فرفعت صوتها حتى تناولت عائشة وهي قاعدة فسبتها، حتى إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لينظر إلى عائشة هل تكلم، قال: فتكلمت عائشة ترد على زينب حتى أسكتتها، قالت: فنظر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى عائشة، وقال: (إنها بنت أبي بكر)» رواه البخاري
 
The Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) explicitly spoke of the excellence of Aisha over other women when he said:
 
“Many amongst men attained perfection but amongst women none attained the perfection except Mary, the daughter of Imran and Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh. And the superiority of 'Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. an Arabic dish) to other meals.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari].
 
«كمل من الرجال كثير، ولم يكمل من النساء إلا: مريم بنت عمران، وآسية امرأة فرعون، وفضل عائشة على النساء كفضل الثريد على سائر الطعام» رواه البخاري
 
Aisha narrated her unique qualities that she had over the other wives of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations). She is the only wife who:
Married the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) while she was still a virgin.
Revelation came to the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) while he was in her bed.
Was the Daughter of Siddique.
Allah revealed verses of the Quran to defend her in the incident of the ‘Great Slander’.
The Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) died between her thigh and chest.
The last thing the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) tasted was her saliva through his miswaak which she prepared.
 
Masrooq was a close companion of Aisha. He used to call her, Siddeeqah daughter of Siddique, the Beloved daughter of the Beloved. When ibn Abbas visited her while she was dying, she initially refused for him to enter fearing the praise he would give her, but when people objected on account of him being her nephew so he said: ‘O Mother of the believers you are the most beloved to the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) and O Mother of the Believers Allah promised you Jannah.’
 
Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was once asked regarding Muawiyyah compared to Sufyan ath-Thawree, a question which in fact is a question regarding the status of the Companions. He said “a thread of hair in the nostril of Muawiyyah is better than Sufyan ath-Thawree”. Muawiyyah would send large sums of money to the wives of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) and on one occasion he sent 100,000 dirhams to Aisha, who immediately distributed to the poor, keeping none for herself.
 
We ask Allah, the All-High to place in our hearts a love and reverence for the wives of the Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) and all his Companions. And we ask Allah the Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful to let this love intercede for us on the Day of Judgment – Aameen.
 
 
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