Refuting Tijani’s criticism of Sayyidah Aisha, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife

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Chapter Nine

Tijani’s criticism of Sayyidah Aisha, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife

 

One of the most trying times during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life was when his wife, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, Mother of the Believers, was accused of acts from which we shudder to mention. During this period the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam experienced great incertitude, anxious for Divine intervention. Eventually the gloomy clouds were replaced by verses brighter than the sun in clearing her name, rebuking those who participated in the gossip and testifying to the sincerity of her faith. Allah says:

 

إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يَرْمُوْنَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوْا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ

Indeed, those who [falsely] accuse chaste, believing women who are unaware [of such indecency], are cursed in this world and the Hereafter; and they will have a great punishment![1]

 

We would like to draw attention to the fact that Allah described her as a believing, chaste woman, unaware of the indecency she had been accused of. In this regard Allah has rebuked those who speak ill of her, warning them of being cursed, while attesting to her sincerity of faith and chastity.

Prior to these verses Allah reaffirms the high status of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha by reminding the believers that they faced a severe punishment for speaking ill of her, were it not for Allah’s prevailing grace and mercy. He says:

 

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيْ مَا أَفَضْتُمْ فِيْهِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ

Yet were it not for the Grace of Allah upon you, and His Mercy in this world and in the Hereafter a great torment would certainly have afflicted you for that [gossip] in which you have indulged![2]

 

Such is the rank of al Siddiqah in the Sight of Allah, that He threatened anyone who dared to speak ill of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha after this. Allah says:

يَعِظُكُمُ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَعُوْدُوْا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Allah admonishes you never to repeat the likes of this if you are truly believers![3]

 

The status that she enjoyed in the eyes of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exceeds the limitations of our vocabulary. She had once lost a necklace on a journey with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He halted the entire army in a place without water. As a result Allah revealed the verses that permit dry ablution, Tayammum.

 

حدثنا عبد الله بن يوسف قال أخبرنا مالك عن عبد الرحمن بن القاسم عن أبيه عن عائشة زوج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت خرجنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بعض أسفاره حتى إذا كنا بالبيداء أو بذات الجيش انقطع عقد لي فأقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على التماسه وأقام الناس معه وليسوا على ماء فأتى الناس إلى أبي بكر الصديق فقالوا ألا ترى ما صنعت عائشة أقامت برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والناس وليسوا على ماء وليس معهم ماء فجاء أبو بكر ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم واضع رأسه على فخذي قد نام فقال حبست رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والناس وليسوا على ماء وليس معهم ماء فقالت عائشة فعاتبني أبو بكر وقال ما شاء الله أن يقول وجعل يطعنني بيده في خاصرتي فلا يمنعني من التحرك إلا مكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على فخذي فقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين أصبح على غير ماء فأنزل الله آية التيمم فتيمموا فقال أسيد بن الحضير ما هي بأول بركتكم يا آل أبي بكر قالت فبعثنا البعير الذي كنت عليه فأصبنا العقد تحته

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha says, “We went out on a journey with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and when we came to a place called al Bayda’ or Dhat al Jaysh, a necklace of mine fell off. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stopped to look for it and the people stopped with him. There was no water nearby and the people were not carrying any with them, so they came to Abu Bakr al Siddiq and said, ‘Don’t you see what Aisha has done? She has made the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the people stop when there is no water nearby and they are not carrying any with them.’”

Aisha continued, “Abu Bakr came whilst the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sleeping with his head on my thigh. Abu Bakr said, ‘You have made the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the people stop when there is no water nearby and they are not carrying any with them!’

Abu Bakr reprimanded me and said whatever Allah willed him to say, and began to poke me in the waist. The only thing that stopped me from moving was that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had his head on my thigh. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam slept until morning without water. Allah then revealed the verses of Tayammum, so they did Tayammum.”

Usayd ibn Hudayr said, “This is not the first of your blessings, O family of Abu Bakr.”

Aisha added, “We roused the camel I had been on, and found the necklace under it.”[4]

 

The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fondness for Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is a matter which is beyond dispute. ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu was commissioned by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to lead the expedition of Dhat al Salasil. Due to the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam interaction with him he assumed that there was no one more beloved to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than him. He says:

 

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعثه على جيش ذات السلاسل قال فأتيته فقلت أى الناس أحب إليك قال عائشة‏ ‏قلت من الرجال قال‏ أبوها قلت ثم من قال ‏عمر‏ فعد رجالا

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deputed me to lead the Army of Dhat al Salasil. I came to him and said, “Who is the most beloved person to you?”

He said, “Aisha.”

I asked, “Among the men?”

He said, “Her father.”

I said, “Who then?”

He said, “Then ‘Umar ibn al Khattab.”

He then named other men.

 

Similarly the position she occupied in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heart was so well-known that people would send gifts to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the days that he was at the home of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, knowing how jubilant he would be when visiting her.

 

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها أن نساء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كن حزبين فحزب فيه عائشة وحفصة وصفية 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 بها 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 إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هدية فليهده 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

The wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were in two parties. One party consisted of Aisha, Hafsah, Safiyyah, and Sawdah; and the other party consisted of Umm Salamah and the other wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Muslims were well aware of the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam love for Aisha, so if any of them had a gift for the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they would delay it until it was Aisha’s turn. That is when they chose to send gifts, knowing that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would be in her home.

The party of Umm Salamah discussed the matter together and decided that Umm Salamah should request the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to tell the people to send their gifts to him at the home of whichever wife he was at. Umm Salamah conveyed to him what they had said, but he did not reply. Later they asked Umm Salamah about what transpired and 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 inconvenience me regarding Aisha as Revelation has never come to me under the sheets of anyone besides Aisha’s.” On that Umm Salamah said, “I seek Allah’s repentance for inconveniencing you.”

So the party of Umm Salamah called Fatimah, the Prophet’s daughter, and sent her to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to tell him, “Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on equal terms.” Fatimah conveyed the message to him. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded, “O my daughter! Do you not 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 firm words saying, “Your wives request you to treat them and the daughter of Ibn Abi Quhafah on equal terms.” On that she raised her voice and reprimanded Aisha to her face so much so that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam looked at Aisha to see whether she would respond. Aisha started replying to Zainab until she silenced her. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then looked at Aisha and said, “She is certainly the daughter of Abu Bakr.”[5]

 

It is Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha about whom the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

فضل عائشة على النساء كفضل الثريد على سائر الطعام

The superiority of Aisha over all (other) women is like the superiority of Tharid[6] over all other foods.[7]

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said:

 

Death was made easy for me as I was shown that you (referring to Aisha) are my wife in Jannat.

 

Notwithstanding the status of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha before Allah, His Messenger, and the entire Ummah; Tijani saw it fit to find fault with the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife, indirectly faulting the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam judgment.

In his attacks on the Sahabah in general Tijani accused Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha of corrupting the religion, with specific reference to salah. This accusation has been dealt with in a fair amount of detail earlier in the book. To avoid unnecessary repetition I refer the esteemed reader to the earlier response to that issue.[8]

 

1. Tijani accuses Aisha of sedition and provoking rebellion

 

Tijani says:

 

We may ask a few questions about the war of al Jamal, which was instigated by Umm al Mumineen Aisha, who played an important role in it. How could Umm al Mumineen Aisha leave her house in which Allah had ordered her to stay, when the most High said:

 

وَقَرْنَ فِيْ بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى

And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as (was) the display of the former times of ignorance.[9]

 

We may also ask, how could Aisha allow herself to declare war on the caliph of the Muslims, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was the master of all Muslims? As usual, our scholars, with some simplicity, answer us that she did not like Imam Ali because he advised the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to divorce her in the incident of al Ifk. Seemingly these people are trying to convince us that that incident – if it was true – namely Ali’s advice to the Prophet to divorce Aisha, was sufficient for her to disobey the orders of her God and her husband, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. She rode a camel that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forbade her from riding and warned her about the barking of al Hawab’s dogs, she travelled long distances from al Medinah to Mekka then to Basrah, she permitted the killing of innocent people and started a war against the commander of the believers and the Companions who voted for him, and she caused the deaths of thousands of Muslims, according to the historians. She did all that because she did not like Ali who advised the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to divorce her. Nevertheless the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not divorce her so why all this hatred towards Imam Ali?[10]

 

Our response:

The veneer of academic rigour in Tijani’s arguments have long been peeled off, all that remain exposed now are the untidy cracks. The cyclic internal inconsistencies are reappearing with rapid succession. However, before addressing these, it would be prudent to summarise the criticism presented by Tijani.

 

Summary of Tijani’s argument

Tijani asserts that Umm al Mu’minin, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, led a rebellion against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which resulted in open war at Jamal. Furthermore he accuses her of disregarding the Quranic verse which describes the appropriate behaviour for the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives. Then he ascribes—without reference—an explanation of these events to the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah; citing the underlying cause as a family squabble whose roots lie in a suggestion made by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during the incident of Ifk. He goes on to imply that the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah do not simply justify her ‘rebellion’ but implicitly acknowledge that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was at fault on some levels.

The discerning reader will easily realise that he is building a straw man argument. If she was prepared to ‘break the law’ by riding on a camel and call for a rebellion wherein ‘thousands’ lost their lives then this suggests a more sinister agenda and not a trivial matter, such as to merely settle a ‘score’ with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for suggesting that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is free to marry whom he wishes.

 

Underlying principles

Not only is Tijani’s conclusion misleading, but his premise is anything but sound. To begin with, the framework within which he proposes that we think it is flawed because it suffers from a black-or-white dilemma. He proposes that we think only within a framework where either ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is upon truth, and his opposition are destined for Hell, or they are upon truth, which leaves ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu compromised. Tijani disregards any other possible alternative.

As a point of departure the Ahl Sunnah view all the Sahabah favourably. The highest tier of virtue and merit, after the Prophets, is accorded to the four Khalifas; in order of their Caliphate. Thereafter those who remain from the ten who were given glad tidings of Jannat by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The next tier belongs to Ahl al Badr (the participants at Badr). The Ahlus Sunnah considers all of them destined for Jannat. Similarly, the Ummahat al Mu’minin (Mothers of the Believers), Aisha and the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam other wives, are all considered from those destined for Jannat.

The Ahlus Sunnah also acknowledge that being destined for Jannat does not result in infallibility. Therefore, it is possible that some of the Sahabah committed sins, sometimes major sins. However they have all repented and will thus enter Jannat. We have found that most incidents where the Sahabah’s behaviour appears to be less than optimum have no historical basis. For those where the historical accuracy has been proven their conduct was the result of discretion in the form of Ijtihad, whilst an alternate view was shown to be closer to the truth. None of these detract from the status given to them by Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Having acknowledged that, the esteemed reader will certainly agree that the framework for discourse within the Sunni paradigm is much more accommodating for a faithful representation of history.

The stage in history where Muslims began fighting each other, often referred to as the first great Fitnah, is certainly a period in history which Muslims are not proud of. We find that the historical portrayal of what transpired can be accounted for through the framework referred to above. A great deal of what has been attributed to the Sahabah during this period is forged; whereas that which has been correctly reported of them was the result of Ijtihad.

 

The purpose of Aisha’s departure was for reconciliation and not battle

The claim that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was the instigator behind the Battle of the Camel is simply untrue. We have historical evidence that proves that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha did not leave Makkah for Basrah for the purpose of fighting. On the contrary, she left with the hope of bringing about reconciliation as well as seeking retribution for ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder. Her Ijtihad led her to the conclusion that leaving for Basrah would be in the best interest of the Muslims.[11] She certainly did not leave to fight ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrived with his army later on. How could she have sought to fight him if he was not in Basrah to begin with? If she intended to fight ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, she needn’t go as far as Basrah. She could have merely gone to fight him in Madinah.

The aftermath of the Battle of the Camel made her realise that it would have been more suitable had she returned to Madinah from Makkah as she had not planned for any of this to happen. This is the reason for her weeping. She has been accurately quoted as having said, “I wish I was a branch [on a tree] and I did not undertake this journey.”[12]

Even if we were to assume that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, along with Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, left with the purpose of fighting this is simply reduced to a case of Ijtihad. It does not compromise their faith since Allah said:

 

وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ اقْتَتَلُوْا فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِنْ بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرٰى فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِيْ تَبْغِيْ حَتّٰى تَفِيْءَ إِلٰى أَمْرِ اللّٰهِ فَإِنْ فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوْا إِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِيْنَ إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ

And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers.[13]

 

Allah refers to the two parties that fight each other as believers, despite their fighting. If two fighting parties of general Muslims are considered believers according to the Qur’an, certainly it applies to a greater extent to the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Tijani accuses Aisha of adopting the ways of Jahiliyyah

Tijani asserts that by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha departing from her home she has disregarded the Quranic injunction and adopted the way of Jahiliyyah. This is evident in his statement

 

“How could Umm al Mu’minin Aisha leave her house which Allah commanded her to remain in with His words, ‘And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.’[14]

 

In response to that I say:

This verse was revealed prior to the verses on Hijab. The meaning of the verse did not change during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime, nor did it change after his departure from this world. Having taken that into consideration the incident of Ifk occurred after the verses of Hijab were revealed. We know this because Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha acknowledges this when she describes the moment Safwan radiya Llahu ‘anhu realised she had been left as he had seen her prior to the revelation of the verses of Hijab.[15] If the instruction to remain within their houses was that of absolute obligation how did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam take her along with him? We learn that the verse is not as direct as Tijani would like us to believe. The second part of the verse implies the underlying rationale for this reasoning and that is Tabarruj [adornment]. This verse prohibits the adornment of the days of Jahiliyyah. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, however, was properly clad, travelled with her nephew—’Abdullah ibn al Zubair, and undertook the journey with a religious motive in mind. None of this is in contravention of the verse of Surah al Ahzab.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah says:

 

The command to remain at home is not in conflict with the permissibility of leaving home for a legitimate reason recognised by the Shari’ah like Hajj or ‘Umrah. She undertook these journeys with her husband after this verse was revealed. Likewise the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam travelled with his other wives subsequent to its revelation. For example, he travelled with Aisha and his other wives for Hajjat al Wada. Similarly, he sent her with her brother, ‘Abd al Rahman, and he placed her behind him (on his conveyance) and allowed her to perform ‘Umrah from Tan’im. The Hajjat al Wada’ occurred less than three months before the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise, and was definitely after the revelation of this verse. It is for that reason that the Prophet’s wives performed Hajj after his demise just as they performed it with him. During ‘Umar’s Caliphate, he entrusted ‘Uthman and ‘Abd al Rahman with their caravan. Therefore, it was permitted for them to travel where some benefit was anticipated. Thus, Aisha believed that undertaking this journey was a decision with the best interests of the Muslims in mind and that is how she interpreted the situation.[16]

 

Tijani asserts that Aisha held a grudge against ‘Ali

Tijani’s carefully constructed straw man argument is that the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah account for what transpired between Aisha and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib as nothing more than a personal grudge. She held a grudge against him after he advised the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to divorce her when the incident of Ifk occurred.

 

Our response:

a. The evidence of Tijani’s deception in this regard is his failure to produce a single reference to substantiate his allegation. Tijani resorted to a false cause whilst assuming the mandate representation of the Ahlus Sunnah by saying ‘Our scholars…’ Tijani’s position on this issue is nowhere close to the view that represents the Ahlus Sunnah fairly.

b. The other matter brought up in Tijani’s loaded accusation is the hadith of Ifk. In these verses Allah absolves Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha from any indecency. In a portion of a lengthier hadith, the Prophet sought consultation with some of his Sahabah about Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, and ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu view is reproduced below:

 

لم يضيق الله عليك والنساء سواها كثير وسل الجارية تصدقك‏

Allah has not restricted you. There are many women besides her. Ask the servant she will tell you the truth![17]

 

‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu words were not explicit in that he advised the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to divorce Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha because of suspicion of immorality; we seek Allah’s protection from such thoughts! Instead, he implied that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam consider taking another wife, due to the anxiety he experienced as a result of the delay in revelation. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu assumed that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would be more at ease if he parted ways with Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, though he could return to her if she were exonerated. Therefore, he suggested that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam enquire from Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha servant if there was anything in her behaviour that might indicate something different. Ibn Hajar says:

 

This statement made by ‘Ali is the result of his preference for the well-being of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was motivated to say that on account of what he saw in the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in terms of anxiety and dejection from what had been said (about Aisha). The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was fiercely protective (over his wives) and ‘Ali thought that if he divorced her the anxiety he was experiencing would subside on account of it; until her innocence was ascertained and he could then take her back. The principle of ‘perpetrating the lesser harm in order to avoid the greater harm’ is inferred from it.[18]

 

Al Nawawi says:

 

‘Ali’s statement was correct as far as he was concerned. He took the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam goodwill into consideration. This is because he noticed the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam uneasiness and anxiety as a result of this situation. He therefore intended to bring relief to the Prophet’s heart and that was more important than anything else.[19]

 

Abu Muhammad ibn Abi Jamrah says:

 

‘Ali was not overly assertive in his suggesting divorce as he followed it up with his statement, “Ask the servant! She will tell you the truth.” Rather, he entrusted the matter to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It was as if he said, “If you want to give your heart some peace then divorce her! If you do not want that then search for the truth until you uncover her innocence,” as it was confirmed that Barirah only informed him about what she knew and all she knew was Aisha’s general innocence.[20]

 

Was Aisha responsible for bloodshed?

Tijani blames Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha for the shedding of Muslims blood at Jamal [The Battle of the Camel]. In an earlier chapter he accused her of being the mastermind behind ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder. What motive would she have for wanting ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu killed? She would have known that the most prominent candidate to succeed ‘Uthman would be ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. If she had such a terrible relationship with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as Tijani suggests why would she undergo all the trouble to hand the Caliphate over to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? Keep these questions in mind while reading through Tijani’s words once again.

He says:

 

As usual, our scholars, with some simplicity, answer us that she did not like Imam Ali because he advised the Messenger of Allah to divorce her in the incident of al Ifk. Seemingly these people are trying to convince us that that incident – if it was true – namely Ali’s advice to the Prophet to divorce Aisha, was sufficient for her to disobey the orders of her God and her husband, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. She rode a camel that the Messenger of Allah forbade her from riding and warned her about the barking of al Hawab’s dogs, she travelled long distances from al Medinah to Mekka then to Basrah, she permitted the killing of innocent people and started a war against the commander of the believers and the Companions who voted for him, and she caused the deaths of thousands of Muslims, according to the historians.

 

In his footnote Tijani cites the following historians as reference: al Tabari, Ibn al Athir, al Mada’ini, and others besides them who documented the events of the year thirty-six A.H.[21]

 

Our response:

We have referred to Tarikh al Tabari which documents the events of the year thirty-six A.H. As expected, the version of events described by Tijani, do not match what has been narrated about the Battle of the Camel. Not only do al Tabari’s narrations expose the fraudulent referencing of Tijani, but it confirms that Aisha, Talhah, and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum set out for Basrah seeking reconciliation. Al Tabari relates that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent Qa’qa ibn ‘Amr to the people of Basrah to inquire about the reason for their coming. The narration goes as follows:

 

Then Qa’qa’ left until he arrived in Basrah. He first went to Aisha. He greeted her and said, “O mother (of the believers)! What has brought you to this city?”

She said, “The intention of reconciling the people.”

He said, “Send for Talhah and Zubair so that you may hear our conversation!”

She then sent for Talhah and Zubair and they arrived.

He said, “I asked the Mother of the Believers what has brought her to these cities and she replied, ‘in order to reconcile the people’. What do the two of you say? Do you follow her (in her goal) or do you oppose her?”

They said, “We follow her.”[22]

 

This narration confirms that Aisha, Talhah and al Zubair are innocent of any charge of sedition. We learn that those responsible for the death of thousands of Muslims were the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those who were aligned with their underground movement.

He says:

 

When the people had settled down and became content ‘Ali came and Talhah and Zubair came. They agreed and spoke about their differences and they could not find a better solution than reconciliation and stopping the fight when they saw the unity (of the Ummah) being put at risk and that it could not be brought together (easily again). They departed agreeing to function as a single unit ‘Ali went to his camp and Talhah and Zubair went to their camp. That night ‘Ali sent ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas as a spokesperson to Talhah and Zubair, and they sent Muhammad ibn Talhah to ‘Ali as a spokesperson to speak to his companions and they all agreed to unity.

When they went to sleep— that was during Jumad al Akhirah—Talhah and Zubair sent word to the prominent figures among their companions and ‘Ali did the same. They all went to sleep that night having resolved all misunderstanding. It was to be a peaceful night, the like of which they had not experienced for a long time. They were relieved that they could reconcile without military engagement. However, those who incited the rebellion against ‘Uthman experienced the worst night; they were on the verge of failure. They discussed the situation the entire night until they all agreed to cause havoc in secret in order that their sinister motives come to pass. They left at dusk without those around them realising and infiltrated secretly while it was still dark. The Mudari went to the Mudari, and the Raba’i went to the Raba’i, and the Yamani went to the Yamani, and placed weapons amongst them. Then each group revolted against those they suspected…[23]

 

Al Tabari also says:

 

Aisha said, “O Ka’b! Leave the camel, and move forward with the Book of Allah, and call them to the Book of Allah, and she handed a Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an) over to him.” Then he faced the people who were being led by the Saba’iyyah (followers of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’), who feared a peace treaty (between the two groups). Ka’b faced them with the Mushaf and ‘Ali was behind them restraining them but they insisted on advancing. When Ka’b called them (to the Book of Allah) they opened fire upon him all at once and killed him. They also shot (their arrows) at Aisha and hit her carriage. She started yelling, “O my sons! Fear Allah! Fear Allah! Remember Allah and the Day of Reckoning!” But they insisted on advancing. The first thing she did when they refused (to listen to her) she said, “O People! Curse ‘Uthman’s killers and their supporters!” She started supplicating (against the killers of ‘Uthman) and the people of Basrah wept loudly upon hearing her supplication. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (also) heard the noise and asked, “What is this clamour?” They said, “It is Aisha supplicating and they (the people) are supplicating with her against ‘Uthman’s killers.” Then ‘Ali started supplicating and saying, “O Allah! Curse ‘Uthman’s killers and their supporters!”[24]

 

This is also what Ibn al Athir documents in his Tarikh. I did not, however, find Kitab al Mada’in. When one considers what is described here, we realise that Tijani either lied about what happened at ‘Uthman’s murder, or he lied about what happened at Jamal. Tijani cannot plea for ignorance in both cases.

The authentic narrations confirm that Aisha, Zubair, and Talhah, as well as ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not intend to fight one another. It is for that reason that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha regretted that journey of hers and remarked, “I wish I was a branch [on a tree] and I did not take this journey.”[25] She also said, “I prefer to have lost ten children like al Harith ibn Hisham than to have taken this journey with Ibn Zubair.”[26]

If she wanted war and not peace then why regret? If she wanted war and not peace why did she go to Basrah when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in Madinah? If she wanted war why did she encourage pledging allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? The incoherence in Tijani’s reasoning is evident and requires very little elaboration.

 

Tijani lies about Aisha hating ‘Ali

He says:

 

History has recorded some aggressive stances against Ali that could not be explained and these are some of them. When she was on her way back from Mekka Aisha was informed that Uthman was killed, so she was delighted, but when she learnt that people had voted for Ali to succeed him she became very angry and said, “I wish the sky would collapse on the earth before Ibn Abi Talib succeeds to the caliphate.” Then she said, “Take me back.” Thus she started the civil war against Ali, whose name she never liked to mention, as many historians agree.

 

Our comment:

Tijani’s lie is exposed on account of a sound narration wherein al Ahnaf ibn Qays met Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in Makkah after ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder and asked whom he ought to align with. In no uncertain terms she instructed him to pledge his allegiance to ‘Ali.[27]

Tijani’s comment on Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha rejoicing at the death of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu reveals the extent to which Tijani lies as none of the historians mention that. Rather, they confirm that Aisha came to Basrah seeking retribution for ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu from his killers. This begs the question: If Aisha was elated about ‘Uthman’s death then why did she set out in the first place? Did she set out to prevent ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib from taking control of the Caliphate? If so, then why did she instruct al Ahnaf ibn Qays— who was in Madinah when all the commotion happened and came all the way to Makkah to seek her counsel—to pledge allegiance to ‘Ali? Why did she go to Basrah and not al Madinah?

Tijani says that she disliked ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate and attempted to prevent him from taking control. When he is asked about the reason for that he says it is because she disliked him on account of his advising the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to divorce her. This time he does not say ‘Our scholars,’ so it refers to his independent view, or that of his real scholars, the Rafidah. The simple response to this incredibly trivial reasoning is that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, if she disliked ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu because he suggested that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam divorce her, how do you explain the thousands who joined her? Does Tijani have a logical reason to explain why these people stood by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha? Is it because ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu suggested they get divorced as well?

Tijani claims that the historians documented that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha did not want to even hear the mention of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This begs the question: Who are these historians? If Tijani named a single historical reference to substantiate the claim he could avoid being called a liar yet again.

However, the truth is, and this is well known, that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha herself mentioned ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in a company of people. Shurayh ibn Hani says:

 

I asked Aisha about the Mash (wiping) over the socks and she said, “Go to ‘Ali! He is more knowledgeable than me.”

He says that ‘Ali said, “The Prophet used to instruct us to wipe over the leather socks for a day and a night, (if resident) and three days for the traveller.”[28]

 

Muslim narrates with his chain to Shurayh ibn Hani, who said:

 

أتيت عائشة أسألها عن المسح على الخفين فقالت عليك بابن أبي طالب

I went to Aisha asking her about the Mash over the socks and she said, “Go to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.”[29]

 

The famous hadith in Sahih Muslim[30], where the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum all under his woollen shawl and supplicated for their protection, is narrated by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

 

Tijani asks why Aisha ignored ‘Ali’s merits

He asks why she held a grudge against him whereas the Ansar recognised the hypocrites by their hatred for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. I reproduce his words:

 

Had Aisha heard the saying of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Loving Ali is believing and hating him is hypocrisy?” To the extent that some of the Companions used to say, “We recognized the hypocrites by their hatred of Ali.” Had Aisha not heard the saying of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: Whoever accepts me as his master, then Ali is his master? Undoubtedly she heard all that, but she did not like it, and she did not like mentioning his name, and when she learnt of his death she knelt and thanked Allah.[31]

 

Our comment:

This is marvellous. ‘Why?’ The esteemed reader might ask. Well, it’s a self-confirmation on how these narrations ought to have been understood. It is a clear demonstration of Tijani’s self-contradictory reasoning. Why single Aisha out for criticism in the wake of Jamal; whereas she ought to be condemned from the time of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate for not accepting ‘Ali as the destined successor? Why condemn her based on the stance of the Ansar if he does not approve of the Ansar pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr at the beginning? Their understanding of these narrations is either correct, which would validate Tijani’s argument against Aisha if it can be proven true from Aisha; or their understanding is incorrect, which Tijani attempted to prove in the earlier chapters of this book, and in which case he has no argument to present as it is illogical to build an argument on a false premise.

Self-contradictions aside, let us focus on whether Aisha hated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. ‘Abdullah ibn Shaddad came to visit Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha soon after ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu assassination. The following conversation ensued, and was witnessed by a group of people:

 

Aisha enquired, “What were the remarks of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon learning of their rebellion as claimed by the People of Iraq?”

He said, “I heard him saying, ‘Allah and His Messenger have spoken the truth.’”

Aisha asked him for a second time to reassure if he really heard him saying only that. “These were the only words I heard him uttering,” he replied.

Upon this she remarked, “May Allah be pleased with him and may he shower his mercy upon him. This was his expression. Whenever he observed something strange he used to say, ‘Allah and His Messenger have spoken the truth,’ and now the people of Iraq have begun fabricating things and ascribing it to him and adding from their own side to what he said.”[32]

 

We can now safely state that she held him in a position of endearment and esteem but she disagreed with him. Her disagreement was for no reason other than requesting immediate retribution for ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murderers. She did not go to Basrah to fight him. Rather, she went there to bring back a sense of stability. Also, she went there because she was encouraged by people to attempt reconciliation. Ibn ‘Imad says in Shadharat al Dhahab:

 

When ‘Ali reached Basrah he went to Aisha and said, “May Allah forgive you,” and she replied, “May Allah forgive you too. I did not come except for reconciliation.”[33]

 

Ibn al ‘Arabi explains this:

 

As for her coming out to the Battle of the Camel, she did not come out for war but the people attached themselves to her and complained to her about what they were heading towards civil strife [Fitnah] as people were in a state of confusion and suspicion. They hoped for her blessing in bringing about reform by process of reconciliation and they hoped that people would feel a sense of shyness if she stood up with the people (against ‘Uthman’s conspirators) and she thought the same. It was for that reason that she came out in adherence to the words of Allah:

 

لَا خَيْرَ فِيْ كَثِيْر مِنْ نَجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوْفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍۢ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَنْ يَّفْعَلْ ذٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللّٰهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيْهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيْمًا

No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah — then We are going to give him a great reward.[34]

 

وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ اقْتَتَلُوْا فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِنْ بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرٰى فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِيْ تَبْغِيْ حَتّٰى تَفِيْءَ إِلٰى أَمْرِ اللّٰهِ فَإِنْ فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوْا إِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِيْنَ

And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.[35]

 

Ibn Hibban narrates:

 

Aisha wrote to Abu Musa al Ash’ari while he was the governor of Kufah by ‘Ali’s appointment, “You are well aware of ‘Uthman’s situation. Indeed, I have come for the benefit of the people. Therefore, instruct those from your side to remain in their homes and to be pleased with their good health until the news of what you seek comes to you in terms of rectitude in the affairs of Muslim.”

 

This was the reason for Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha emergence. It was not because she hated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Claiming that she hated him is nothing more than a baseless lie.

 

As for his statement,

In fact, when she heard about his death she prostrated to Allah in gratitude to him.

 

He cited al Tabari, Ibn al Athir, al Fitnah al Kubra, and all the historians who documented the events of the year forty after the hijrah, as his source for this allegation.[36]

We have consulted al Tabari, and Ibn al Athir in the section of the events of the fortieth year after the Hijrah and could not find a trace of evidence for this claim. What a liar he is! This is further compounded when we take into consideration that she supplicated for him, invoking Allah’s mercy for him, in the incident with ‘Abdullah ibn Shaddad which we quoted earlier.

 

يَعِظُكُمُ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَعُودُوا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

Allah admonishes you never to repeat the likes of this [lying against Aisha] if you are truly believers![37]

 

Who was wrong?

Tijani reveals the black-or-white dilemma:

 

The same question crops up again. Who was right and who was wrong? Either, Ali and his followers were wrong or Aisha and her followers and Talhah and al Zubair and their followers were wrong. There is no third possibility. But I have no doubt that the fair researcher would take Ali’s side and dismiss Aisha and her followers who instigated the civil war that devastated the nation and left its tragic marks to the present day.

For the sake of further clarification and for the sake of my own satisfaction I mention here what al Bukhari had to say in his book about the civil war. When Talhah, al Zubair and Aisha travelled to Basrah, Ali sent Ammar ibn Yasir and al Hassan ibn Ali to al Kufah. On their arrival, they went to the mosque and addressed the congregation, and we heard Ammar saying, “Aisha had gone to Basrah… and by Allah she is the wife of your Prophet in this life and the life hereafter, but Allah, the Most High, is testing you to know whom you obey: Him or her.”[38]

 

Our comment:

Contrary to what Tijani is cornering us into believing, there is a third possibility, and that is that both sides used their scholarly discretion in order to arrive at the truth and that neither of the two sides was the oppressor. The Fitnah of ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder polarized the Ummah into two sides. The one side—which included the likes of Talhah, Zubair, and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhum—held the opinion that it was necessary to execute ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu killers immediately. The other side also felt it necessary to seek retribution for ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu by bringing his killers to justice but insisted on adopting a cautious approach bearing in mind the extent of the conspiracy. This view is the view of ‘Ali and his companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

These killers were the cause of the Battle of the Camel and neither of the two groups had any part in igniting the flame of war, as explained previously.

Tijani seeks comfort in the statement of ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he announced to the people that Allah is testing people with Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to see whether they would obey Him or her. This has been taken beyond the context in which it was said, which is no surprise. Tijani has overlooked the fact that in the hadith ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu testifies that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is the Prophet’s wife in the world and the Hereafter (in Jannat). Is there an honour greater than that?

The context of ‘Ammar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu statement, being from the party of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, was that he wanted to encourage the people to join ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, they displayed hesitancy because the opposite party included great Sahabah, specifically Umm al Mu’minin, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Therefore, ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu sought to explain to them that since ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the Khalifah they were duty-bound to follow him. This right is in accordance with what Allah prescribed in terms of obedience to one’s leader. This was before they learnt that Umm al Mu’minin only demanded justice against ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu killers.

There is no doubt that Umm al Mu’minin, and Talhah and Zubair also, genuinely believed that demanding action against ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu killers was a priority and took precedence over standing down on the command of the Khalifah ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as he was restricted in his decisions since he was surrounded by the troublemakers. She explained this to ‘Uthman ibn Hanif when he sent message to her asking her the reason for her journey and she said:

 

By Allah! It is not befitting someone like me to travel with a hidden agenda and to conceal information. Indeed, the ruffians from the cities have attacked the Holy Sanctuary of the Messenger, they have innovated and given shelter to the innovators, they have brought the curse of Allah and the curse of his Messenger by killing the Imam of the Muslims without care, and for no reason. They have desecrated it by legitimising his blood, they have plundered wealth which is sacred, and they have made (forbidden things) permissible in the Sacred City and in the Sacred Month. They have violated peoples’ honour and lives. They have settled in the homes of a people who disliked their settling. They are uncivilised and harmful, they are not beneficial and are not conscious (of Allah), they are unable to desist and they are not trustworthy. Therefore, I have come out amongst the Muslims to inform them about what these people are doing and about the condition of those behind us and what we require to bring about reform of this situation.

Then she recited:

 

لَا خَيْرَ فِيْ كَثِيْرٍ مِّنْ نَجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوْفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ ۢ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَنْ يَّفْعَلْ ذٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللّٰهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيْهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيْمًا

No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah—then We are going to give him a great reward.[39]

 

(She said:) We rise up for reform on account of the command of Allah and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for the young and the old, and the male and the female, this is our matter. We call towards good, and we forbid the evil, and we encourage you to change it.[40]

 

Added to that is the fact that these disreputable people were the first to nominate ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for the Caliphate and that they were in ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army. If we take all of the above facts into fair consideration, the rational outcome that explains both stances is that each of the two sides believed the truth to be with them, and that they interpreted the ‘mistake’ of the other side with the most noble of interpretations. We know that each of the two groups sought rectitude though it be by different approach, as we have explained. Furthermore we are certain that both groups did not intend to fight each other but it happened nonetheless. In matters such as these the Ummah usually holds back from conducting an analysis of the events as it is a very trying period in Muslim history. However, when Tijani, and others like him, insist on opening old wounds the potential for infection is too great and that is what brings us to write about what happened between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

 

Tijani’s slanderous comments

Tijani’s stockpile of criticisms extend beyond the incident of Jamal. His hatred for Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha has brought about context-blindness. We are not entirely convinced that Tijani had examined all the evidence that he cites since the references that he provides rarely reflect what he quotes, forget substantiating his claim. He goes on to say:

 

Also al Bukhari wrote in his book a chapter about what went on in the houses of the Prophet’s wives: Once the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was giving a speech, and he indicated the house where Aisha was living, then said, “There is the trouble … there is the trouble … there is the trouble … from where the devil’s horns come out…”[41]

 

Our response:

The English edition of ‘Thumma ihtadayt’ contains the abridged translation of Tijani’s actual allegation. In the Arabic text, Tijani speaks about opening Sahih al Bukhari under ‘Kitab al Shurut’ (The Chapter of Conditions). After reading “The Chapter of Conditions” from Sahih al Bukhari in its entirety we can conclude that this hadith does not appear in this chapter. Instead it appears in the chapter under the heading “The Chapter of Khumus.”

The significance of bringing up this point—which some might argue is trivial—is to point out the fallacy in Tijani’s claim of having studied the evidences first hand and considered both sides. What appears to be the case here is Tijani merely borrowed the objection from the books of those scholars who enamoured him in Najaf. It is not fair on Tijani to speculate, but it would not be farfetched if one had claimed that Tijani’s work relies completely on those books; without verifying the Sunni perspective from original sources or seeking clarification from the erudite Sunni scholars. We reiterate that we do not make this claim.

Tijani cites this hadith as proof against Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. He alleges, in light of it, that she is the source of the fitan (strife). This claim is easily defused since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not point to the home of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that it would be the source of trouble. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was indicating that trouble would emanate from the East i.e. from that direction, not from the home of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Had that been the case the narrator of the hadith would have phrased the narration using the word ila (to) and the not the word nahw (in the direction). The version of this hadith which is narrated in Sahih Muslim by way of Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reads as follows:

خرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من بيت عائشة فقال رأس الكفر من ها هنا من حيث يطلع قرن الشيطان يعنى المشرق

The Messenger came out from Aisha’s house and said, “The main source of disbelief is from there, from where the horns of Shaytan rise,” in other words the East.[42]

 

A similar narration is transmitted from Ibn ‘Umar:

 

أنه سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو مستقبل المشرق يقول ألا إن الفتنة ها هنا ألا إن الفتنة ها هنا من حيث يطلع قرن الشيطان

He heard the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – whilst he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was facing the direction of the East – saying, “Indeed, the source of fitnah is from there! Indeed, the fitnah is from there, where the horns of Shaytan emerge.”[43]

 

If Tijani actually resorted to the original texts he would have realised that this narration, also from Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, appearing in Sahih Muslim, relates that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood at the door of Hafsah’s house, and in another narration at the door of Aisha’s house, waving his hand to the direction of the East, saying:

 

الفتنة ها هنا من حيث يطلع قرن الشيطان قالها مرتين أو ثلاثا

“The fitnah is from there, where the horns of Shaytan emerge!” he said this twice or thrice.[44]

 

After considering all these narrations we are left with only two possible outcomes. Unlike Tijani’s analysis of the Battle of Jamal, there is no third alternative here. Tijani either studied these narrations first-hand, in which case he blatantly twisted the meaning of the hadith and deliberately lied about their purport; or he was fed these narrations by way of the books he was gifted by the Shia clergy of Najaf and he accepted the contents of those books blindly, not bothering to refer to the Sunni references. In either scenario his claim of impartiality is fraudulent, it is only a matter of whether it was deliberate misrepresentation on his part, or the result of inadequate research wherein he merely relied on the evidences of one side and ignored those of the other.

He goes on to say:

 

Al Bukhari wrote many strange things in his book about Aisha and her bad manners towards the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the extent that her father had to beat her until she bled.[45]

 

Our comment:

Tijani has loosely attributed this allegation to al Bukhari. He expends absolutely no effort in identifying where this information is to be found. The onus is upon Tijani to furnish the reference for this outrageous claim. We have learnt that even when he provides references those do not support his accusations. Are we going to accept an accusation now, without a reference?

He writes further, ascribing these incidents to al Bukhari:

 

He also wrote about her pretention towards the Prophet until Allah threatened her with divorce… and there are many other stories but we are limited by space[46]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah maintain that none besides the Prophets salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are infallible. As such the latent potential for sin exists. However, the doors of repentance and forgiveness are open as well. It is a reflection of the darkness in a person’s heart if they condemn another on account of a sin from which they have repented.

Only a person with a darkened heart would dare condemn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for proposing to marry Abu Jahl’s daughter while he was married to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha whereupon the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam became angry and said:

 

إن بنى هشام بن المغيرة استأذنوني أن ينكحوا ابنتهم علي بن أبي طالب فلا آذن لهم ثم لا آذن لهم ثم لا آذن لهم إلا أن يحب ابن أبي طالب أن يطلق ابنتي

Indeed, Banu Hashim ibn al Mughirah has sought my permission to marry their daughter to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib; I do not grant them permission. Indeed, I do not grant them permission! Indeed I do not grant them permission! Unless, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib wishes to divorce my daughter.[47]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah are consistent in that they do not condemn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They acknowledge that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sought forgiveness for his behaviour towards the daughter of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Similarly, the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sought forgiveness from their behaviour towards the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Tijani’s statement that Allah threatened Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha with divorce and replacement, is not accurate. Al Bukhari narrates by way of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

 

واجتمع نساء النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الغيرة عليه فقلت لهن عسى ربه إن طلقكن أن يبدله أزواجا خيرا منكن‏ فنزلت هذه الآية

The wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam behaved in a possessive manner towards him and I said to them, “It is possible that if he divorces you, his Lord will replace him with wives better than you,” and this verse was revealed.[48]

 

If one considers this verse carefully it appears to be a choice from Allah given to his Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to divorce his wives, rather than a threat. It also explains why the verse is traditionally called Ayat al Takhyir (the verse of choice). That is in addition to the fact that the verse does not single out Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha but includes the rest of his wives.

If one were to assume that this verse applies to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha specifically and Allah has indeed threatened Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha with divorce, the simple response is to ask whether there is any condemnation of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam threatened him with getting Fatimah divorced? Therefore whatever criticism is attributed to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha applies to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well. Likewise the excuse presented by Tijani for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this instance, apply to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha as well.

 

Why respect Aisha?

Tijani is long past the stage where he conceals his hatred and animosity towards Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. He writes:

 

After all that I ask how did Aisha deserve all that respect from the Sunnis; is it because she was the Prophet’s wife? But he had so many wives, and some of them were better than Aisha, as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself declared.[49]

Or perhaps because she was Abu Bakr’s daughter! Or maybe because she played an important role in the denial of the Prophet’s will for Ali, and when she was told that the Prophet recommended Ali, she said, “Who said that? I was with the Prophet supporting his head on my chest, then he asked me to bring the wash bowl, as I bent down he died, so I cannot see how he recommended Ali.”[50]

 

Our response:

The Ahlus Sunnah recite the Qur’an in which they believe. They regard it as Allah’s divine speech. When Allah says:

 

الْخَبِيْثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيْثِيْنَ وَالْخَبِيْثُوْنَ لِلْخَبِيْثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِيْنَ وَالطَّيِّبُوْنَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ أُولٰئِكَ مُبَرَّءُوْنَ مِمَّا يَقُوْلُوْنَ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَّرِزْقٌ كَرِيْمٌ

Evil women are for evil men, and evil men are for evil women. And good women are for good men, and good men are for good women. Those (good people) are declared innocent of what they (i.e. slanderers) say. For them is forgiveness and a noble provision.[51]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah believe that Allah is telling them that she is pure, the wife of the pure Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Taking that into consideration the Ahlus Sunnah believe that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha deserves all that honour, respect and more.

This verse was understood to apply to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, from the earliest period already.

 

Ibn Kathir writes in his Tafsir:

 

Mujahid, ‘Ata’, Sa’id ibn Jubayr, Sha’bi, Hassan al Basri, Habib ibn Abi Thabit, and Dahhak, say it was revealed about Aisha and the incident of the Ifk (slander). This is (also) the opinion of Ibn Jarir al Tabari.[52]

As for the words, “Those are innocent of what they say,” in other words, they are distant from what the slanderers and people of enmity are saying.[53]

 

As mentioned earlier, the Ahlus Sunnah believe in the Qur’an that they recite, and these verses from Surah al Nur put Tijani in an awkward position. How does one reconcile belief in these verses with the attempt to prove that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was ‘evil’? If that is not bad enough, is this not a criticism of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? How can it not be when Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, “Evil women are for evil men.”?

We respect Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha because she is our mother in iman, Allah says:

 

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلٰى بِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ

The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves and his wives are (in the position of) their mothers.[54]

 

Tijani’s statement

…is it because she was the Prophet’s wife? But he had so many wives, and some of them were better than Aisha, as the Prophet himself declared.

 

He references this to al Tirmidhi, al Istiab and al Isabah.[55]

 

Our comment:

We referred to al Tirmidhi, under “the chapter of Fada’il (merits)” this is what we found under “the chapter of the merits of Aisha”:

 

كان الناس يتحرون بهداياهم يوم عائشة قالت فاجتمع صواحباتي إلى أم سلمة فقلن يا أم سلمة إن الناس يتحرون بهداياهم يوم عائشة وإنا نريد الخير كما تريد عائشة فقولي لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يأمر الناس يهدون إليه أينما كان فذكرت ذلك أم سلمة فأعرض عنها ثم عاد إليها فأعادت الكلام فقالت يا رسول الله إن صواحباتي قد ذكرن أن الناس يتحرون بهداياهم يوم عائشة فأمر الناس يهدون أينما كنت فلما كانت الثالثة قالت ذلك قال يا أم سلمة لا تؤذيني في عائشة فإنه ما أنزل علي الوحي وأنا في لحاف امرأة منكن غيرها قال أبو عيسى هذا حديث حسن غريب وقد روى بعضهم هذا الحديث عن حماد بن زيد عن هشام بن عروة عن أبيه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

People used to seek out Aisha’s day with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when giving their gifts. Aisha says, “Therefore, my co-wives went to Umm Salamah and said, ‘O Umm Salamah! Indeed the people are seeking out Aisha’s day (with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when giving their gifts and we want the good in the same manner that Aisha wants the good. Go and speak to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so that he may instruct the people to give their gifts wherever he might be.’ Umm Salamah mentioned that (to the Prophet) and he avoided her. Then he returned and she repeated herself and said, ‘Indeed, my co-wives have mentioned that the people are seeking out Aisha’s day (with you) for their gifts. Instruct the people to present their gifts wherever you may be!’ On the third day (that he came to her) she said that (again) and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘O Umm Salamah! Do not harm me with regards to Aisha for indeed revelation was not sent to me while I was in any of your beds besides hers!’”[56]

 

‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استعمله على جيش ذات السلاسل‏ قال فأتيته فقلت يا رسول الله أى الناس أحب إليك قال عائشة‏ قلت من الرجال قال أبوها

The Messenger placed him in charge of the army of Dhat al Salasil. He said, “I went to him and asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, who is the most beloved person to you?’ and he said, ‘Aisha.’

I asked, ‘and from amongst the men?’ he replied, ‘her father.’”[57]

 

Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated:

 

قيل يا رسول الله من أحب الناس إليك قال‏ عائشة‏ قيل من الرجال قال‏ أبوها

It was asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Who is the most beloved person to you?” He said, “Aisha.” It was asked, “And from amongst the men?” He said, “Her father.”[58]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Ziyad al Asadi narrates:

 

عبد الله بن زياد الأسدي قال سمعت عمار بن ياسر يقول هي زوجته في الدنيا والآخرة ‏ يعني عائشة رضى الله عنها

I heard ‘Ammar ibn Yasir saying, “She is his wife in the world and the Hereafter,” referring to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.[59]

 

Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated:

 

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال وفضل عائشة على النساء كفضل الثريد على سائر الطعام

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The superiority of Aisha over other women is like the superiority of Tharid over all other foods.”[60]

 

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha said:

 

قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏إن جبريل يقرأ عليك السلام فقلت وعليه السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me, “Indeed, Jibril sends greetings upon you,” and I said, “And may the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon him.”[61]

 

Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

ما أشكل علينا أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حديث قط فسألنا عائشة إلا وجدنا عندها منه علما

Never did we, the Companions of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, find difficulty in understanding a hadith and then we asked Aisha about it except that she had some knowledge about it.[62]

 

Musa ibn Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

I did not meet anyone more eloquent than Aisha.[63]

 

Then we referred to “the chapter concerning the merits of the Prophet’s wives” and found this hadith from Safiyyah bint Huyay, she said:

 

دخل على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وقد بلغني عن حفصة وعائشة كلام فذكرت ذلك له فقال‏‏ ألا قلت فكيف تكونان خيرا مني وزوجي محمد وأبي هارون وعمي موسى وكان الذي بلغها أنهم قالوا نحن أكرم على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم منها‏ وقالوا نحن أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وبنات عمه

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam visited me after some statements from Aisha and Hafsah had reached me, and therefore I mentioned that to him. Then he stood up and said, “Why did you not say, ‘How can you be better than me when my husband is Muhammad, and my father is Harun, and my uncle is Musa?’”

It had reached her that they said, “We are dearer to the Messenger than her, and we are the wives of the Messenger and the daughters of his uncles.”[64]

 

These are the ahadith which have been transmitted about the merits of Aisha and Safiyyah and thus we say:

  1. There is no doubt that after Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was the best of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives because of the abundance of narrations in this regard. Many of them recorded in books such as al Bukhari and Muslim.
  2. In reference to the hadith of Safiyyah, there is nothing in it which proves that she is better than Aisha or Hafsah. The Prophet’s words were meant as a response to them, not intrinsic superiority over them. This hadith ought to be understood in light of the abundant sound narrations in which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphasised the superiority of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha over all other women.
  3. The authenticity of Safiyyah’s hadith is called into question. Al Tirmidhi, after quoting the hadith, states:

This is a gharib[65] hadith. We only recognise it from the narration of Hashim al Kufi and its chain is not all that good.[66]

 

In al Istiab, Ibn ‘Abd al Barr mentions the same hadith, above, under Safiyyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha biography. He does not mention anything besides that;[67] whereas under Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha biography he mentions many merits, and confirms that she was the most knowledgeable of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives. He narrates from Zuhri:

 

If Aisha’s knowledge was to be compared with the knowledge of the other wives of the Prophet and the knowledge of all (other) women, Aisha’s knowledge would be greater.[68]

 

Then he quotes the hadith of ‘Amr ibn ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu confirming that she is the best of women, and the best of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives. He also narrates the two narrations from Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu which have previously been mentioned.[69]

Besides the hadith of Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha which we have presented earlier, there is not a single narration which clearly proves Safiyyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha superiority over Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in al Isabah. This is notwithstanding the authenticity of the narrations quoted.[70]

Our question is where did Tijani find what he claims?

 

Tijani’s insolence

As for his statement,

 

Or maybe because she played an important role in the denial of the Prophet’s will for Ali, and when she was told that the Prophet recommended Ali, she said, “Who said that? I was with the Prophet supporting his head on my chest, then he asked me to bring the wash bowl, as I bent down he died, so I cannot see how he recommended Ali.”

 

Our response:

Tijani is referring to a narration appearing in Sahih al Bukhari wherein Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is responding to a claim that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as his successor. The argument that she makes is that it was not known until his final illness that he had appointed a successor. During his final illness he was being nursed in the home of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Had anything been said regarding succession she would have known as she had been the last person to see him alive. On this point Tijani accuses her of concealing the fact that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam nominated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his successor.

 

عن الأسود قال ذكر عند عائشة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أوصى إلى علي فقالت من قاله لقد رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وإني لمسندته إلى صدري فدعا بالطست فانخنث فمات فما شعرت فكيف أوصى إلى علي

Al Aswad relates that it was mentioned in the presence of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had appointed ‘Ali as successor by bequest. Thereupon she said, “Who said so? I saw the Prophet, while I was supporting him against my chest. He asked for a tray, and then fell on one side and expired, and I did not feel it. So how (do the people say) he appointed ‘Ali as his successor?”

 

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha did not play the major role in denying the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instatement of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah as Tijani claims. If the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam indeed instated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah, Aisha would not have been able to deny it in the face of the entire Ummah. However, what she said was in light of her knowledge and that was that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was ill and passed away while with her, and she did not hear anything about that. Let alone her, even ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not know about it.[71]

Al Bukhari narrates with his chain to al Zuhri

 

عن الزهري قال أخبرني عبد الله بن كعب بن مالك الأنصاري وكان كعب بن مالك أحد الثلاثة الذين تيب عليهم أن عبد الله بن عباس أخبره أن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه خرج من عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في وجعه الذي توفي فيه فقال الناس يا أبا حسن كيف أصبح رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال أصبح بحمد الله بارئا فأخذ بيده عباس بن عبد المطلب فقال له أنت والله بعد ثلاث عبد العصا وإني والله لأرى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سوف يتوفى من وجعه هذا إني لأعرف وجوه بني عبد المطلب عند الموت اذهب بنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلنسأله فيمن هذا الأمر إن كان فينا علمنا ذلك وإن كان في غيرنا علمناه فأوصى بنا فقال علي إنا والله لئن سألناها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فمنعناها لا يعطيناها الناس بعده وإني والله لا أسألها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

Al Zuhri related from ‘Abdullah ibn Ka’b ibn Malik—and Ka’b ibn Malik was one of the three whom Allah pardoned—that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas informed him that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib emerged from the [home of the] Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during his final illness and the people said, “O Abu al Hassan; How is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam this morning?”

He said, “All praise be to Allah, he is well this morning.”

‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al Muttalib took him by the hand and said to him, “I swear by Allah, in three days’ time you will be a subject. By Allah, I think that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will die of this illness. I recognise the look of death in the faces of the Banu ‘Abd al Muttalib when they are dying. Let us go to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ask him who will take charge over this matter (Caliphate). If it is for us, then we will know that, and if it is for someone other than us, we will know and he can advise him to look after us.”

‘Ali replied, “By Allah, if we ask him for it and he refuses us, then the people would never give it to us afterwards. By Allah, I will not ask it from the Messenger of Allah.”[72]

 

Furthermore, had the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended to instate someone as the khalifah it would have been necessary to do so publicly and he would not have satisfied himself with mentioning to his wife alone. Tijani claims that the evidences that prove that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah are abundant and well-known. He has mentioned some of them in his book. He also claims that they are clear in nominating ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the leader after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If that were the case Tijani is facing a conundrum. Why accuse Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha of playing the major role in denying the instatement of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah? If Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha played a major role by concealing such important information, what does that say about the ‘clear’ proofs that Tijani has presented?

 

Tijani is not done venting. He says:

 

Or is it because she fought a total war against him and his sons after him, and even intercepted the funeral procession of al Hassan – Leader of the Heaven’s youth – and prevented his burial beside his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and said “Do not allow anybody that I do not like to enter my house.”

She forgot, or maybe ignored the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sayings about him and his brother, “Allah loves those who love them, and Allah hates those who hate them,” Or his saying, “I am at war with those who fight against you, and I am at peace with those who appease you.” And there are many other sayings in their honour. No wonder, for they were so dear to him![73]

 

And he states further at another place:

 

Fatimah al Zahra, as I mentioned earlier, stated in her will that she should be buried secretly; therefore, she was not buried beside her father. But what about her son, al Hassan, why was he not buried beside his grandfather? Aisha (Umm al Mumineen) prevented that. When al Hussain brought his brother to bury him by his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, Aisha rode a mule and went around saying, “Do not bury someone I do not love in my house.” Then, the houses of Bani Umayya and Hashim stood opposite each other ready to fight, but al Hussain told her that he would only take the coffin of his brother around the grave of their grandfather then he would bury him in al Baqi’. That was because Imam al Hassan requested from his brother, that no blood should be shed for his sake. Ibn Abbas said a few verses regarding this event:

She rode a camel, she rode a mule, if she had lived longer, she would have ridden an elephant, you have the ninth of the eighth, and you took everything.[74]

 

Our comment:

Tijani’s proven track record for falsifying evidence obviates the need to repeatedly demonstrate his forgery. By this point any unsubstantiated quotation is to be ignored. If he lies when he cites references, what can be expected of those allegations which are bereft of any reference? Despite this we have attempted to find some mention of the accusations that he casts. We could not find a trace of it in any of the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. Instead, the opposite is to be found.

Ibn al Athir describes Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu passing:

Hussain sought permission from Aisha to bury his brother and she permitted him.[75]

 

Ibn ‘Abd al Barr writes in al Istiab:

When Hassan passed away, Hussain went to Aisha and requested that and she said, “Yes! It is an honour!”[76]

 

In al Bidayah it says:

Hussain sent someone to Aisha seeking permission and she permitted him.[77]

 

Compare this to what Tijani has written!

 

Hassan’s true enemies are those who claim to be his supporters. They are among the most wretched and corrupt people. This is attested to by the Twelver Shia themselves. Abu Mansur al Tabarsi, a Twelver scholar, quotes Hassan ibn ‘Ali:

 

By Allah! I believe that Muawiyah is better for me than these people who claim to be supporters. They desire my death, and they are wary of my faults, and they take my wealth. By Allah! For me to make a covenant with Muawiyah by which I protect my blood and the blood of my family is better for me than for them to kill me and consequently my family and household are ruined.[78]

 

These are the true enemies of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, not Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha! This is recorded by the Shia, not the Ahlus Sunnah!

The lines of poetry attributed to Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu lack poetic flair and fluency. These factors alone call into question their reliability, notwithstanding what he said about her at the time of her death.

Ahmed narrates in al Fada’il—from Dhakwan, Aisha’s freed slave:

 

He asked Aisha permission for Ibn ‘Abbas to enter at the time of her death while her nephew, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al Rahman, was with her.

He said, “Ibn ‘Abbas is here seeking permission to visit you and he is of the best of your sons.”

She said, “I have no need of Ibn ‘Abbas, or your recommendation of him!”

Then ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al Rahman said to her, “He is a reciter of the Book of Allah and knowledgeable of the din of Allah. Permit him to visit you so that he may greet you and bid you farewell!”

She said, “Permit him then.”

He says, “Then I permitted him and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas entered, greeted, sat, and then said, ‘Glad tiding O Mother of the Believers! The only thing between you and all harm and tiredness leaving you, and meeting your beloved ones, Muhammad and his Companions, is for your soul to separate from your body.’ And Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘You were the most beloved wife of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he only loved what was pure. Also, Allah revealed your innocence from above the seven heavens and therefore, there is not a Masjid on the earth except that it is read during the nights and days. And your necklace fell the night of Abwa and the Prophet remained at that station with the people in search of it and the people woke up the next morning without water and Allah revealed, ‘Then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands (with it)’[79], and in that was a concession for all people on account of you. By Allah! You are blessed!’ She said, ‘Leave me, O Ibn ‘Abbas! By Allah, I wish I was in oblivion, forgotten.’”[80]

 

Also, in his debate with the Khawarij he argued against them saying:

 

I (Ibn ‘Abbas) said, “As for you statement, ‘He fought but he did not take booty and he did not take slaves,’ would you take your mother, Aisha, as a slave and make her permissible as you make others permissible when she is your mother? If you say, ‘We make her permissible like we make others besides her permissible,’ then you have turned apostate! And if you say that, ‘She is not our mother,’ then you have turned apostate as Allah says, ‘The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves and his wives are (in the position of) their mothers.’ Therefore, you are between two deviations. So find a way out!” I said, “Are you leaving this?” and they said, “Yes…”[81]

 

These authentic narrations refute Tijani’s dubious narration. Who knows, it might be in Tijani’s imagination where it can be found!

 

Tijani accuses Aisha of lying

Tijani accuses her of fabricating narrations to yield support for her father:

 

The virtues of Abu Bakr that have been mentioned in historical books were narrated either by his daughter Aisha, whose position vis-a-vis Ali is well documented, and she tried hard to support her father, even by fabricating sayings.[82]

 

Our response:

Considering the sheer extent of his forgeries one wonders if Tijani knows what a Sahih (authentic) narration looks like. One of the consequences of a fabricator of hadith is that all their narrations are rejected.

If Aisha narrates fabricated ahadith then how can we know that ‘Ali, Fatimah, and her two sons are also included under the ambit of the Verse of Tathir?[83] How do we know that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha actually demanded her share of her father’s inheritance? All of these are what Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha narrates.[84]

If she was guilty of forging hadith how could she be accused of concealing the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instating ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu if she was unreliable to begin with? Why does Tijani cite all these ahadith narrated by Aisha, acknowledge them, then claim that she narrates fabricated ahadith? Also, how is it that Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi, a prominent Shia scholar, accepts her ahadith in his book al Khisal? Such double-standards!

  

NEXT ⇒ Chapter 10 – Refuting Tijani’s Criticisms of Talhah and Zubair


[1] Surah al Nur: 23

[2] Surah al Nur: 14

[3] Surah al Nur: 17

[4] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi, hadith no. 3672; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Hayd, Bab al Tayammum, hadith no. 714

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Hibah, hadith no. 2581

[6]  A meal in which bread is broken up into small pieces and meat and gravy are poured over it.

[7]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Bab Fadl Aisha, Hadith: 3559, from Anas ibn Malik.

[8]Refer to Chapter 5

[9]  Surah al Ahzab: 33

[10]Then I was guided, p. 117-118

[11] Tarikh al Tabari vol. 4 p. 498

[12] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 8, Kitab al Jamal fi Masir ‘Aisha, p. 718.

[13]  Surah al Hujurat: 9-10

[14]  Surah al Ahzab: 33

[15] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Shahadat, hadith no. 2661

[16]Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 317-318

[17]  A portion of a hadith narrated by al Bukhari, Kitab al Tafsir, Surah al Nur, Hadith: 4473, vol. 4.

[18]Fath al Bari, vol. 8, p. 324, Kitab al Tafsir.

[19]Muslim with its commentary, Kitab al Tawbah, p. 162-163.

[20]Fath al Bari, vol. 8, p. 324, Kitab al Tafsir.

[21]Then I was guided, p. 117-118.

[22]Tarikh al Tabari,vol. 3, p. 29, the year 36 A.H; Also Ibn al Athir, vol. 3, p. 122-123, the year 36 A.H.

[23]  Ibid, vol. 3, p. 39, the year 36 A.H.

[24]  Op. cit. vol. 3, p. 43, the year 36 A.H.

[25]  Mentioned previously in This Post

[26]Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 8, Kitab al Jamal, p. 716

[27] Tarikh al Tabari vol. 4 pg. 497, ibn Hajar graded this chain as sound in Fath al Bari vol.13 pg. 38

[28]Fada’il al Sahabah by Ahmed, vol. 2, p. 702, Hadith: 1199.

[29]Sahih Muslim with its commentary, Kitab al Taharah, Bab al Tawqit fi al Mash ‘ala al Khuffayn, Hadith: 276.

[30] Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, hadith no. 2424

[31]Then I was guided, p. 118.

[32] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 86, hadith 656

[33]Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 42, See examined version of Mawaqif al Sahabah, vol. 2 p. 115.

[34]  Surah al Nisa’: 114

[35]  Surah al Hujurat: 9

[36]Then I was guided, p. 118 (In the footnote).

[37] Surah al Nur: 17

[38]Then I was guided, p. 119.

[39]  Surah al Nisa’: 114

[40]Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 3, p. 14, the year 36 A.H.

[41]Then I was guided, p. 119.

[42]Sahih Muslim with its commentary, Hadith: 2905, Kitab al Fitan, Bab al Fitnah min al Mashriq min hayth Yatla’ Qarna al Shaytan, vol. 18.

[43]Muslim with its commentary, Hadith: 2905; al Bukhari, Kitab al Fitan, Hadith: 6680.

[44]  Ibid, Refer to the rest of the ahadith mentioning the East!

[45]Then I was guided, p. 120.

[46]Then I was guided, p. 120.

[47]  Cited previously in Chapter 6

[48]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Tafsir (al Tahrim), Hadith: 4632.

[49] He references that claim to Tirmidhi, al Isti’ab and al Isabah

[50]Then I was guided, p. 120.

[51]  Surah al Nur: 26

[52]Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 3, p. 288, Surah al Nur.

[53]Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 3, p. 289, Surah al Nur.

[54]  Surah al Ahzab: 6.

[55]Then I was guided, p. 119.

[56] Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 5, Kitab al Manaqib, Bab Fadl Aisha, Hadith: 3879.

[57]Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3886; Bukhari, Hadith: 3462.

[58]  Ibid, Hadith: 3890

[59]  Ibid, Hadith: 3889

[60]  Ibid, Hadith: 3887

[61]  Ibid, Hadith: 3882

[62]  Ibid, Hadith: 3883

[63]  Ibid, Hadith: 3884

[64]  Ibid, Hadith: 3892

[65] A hadith which is reported only by a single narrator in any point of tis chain.

[66]Da’if Sunan al Tirmidhi by Albani, Hadith: 816

[67]Al Isti’ab, vol. 4, the letter Sad, p. 1872.

[68]Al Isti’ab, vol. 4, the letter ‘Ayn, p. 1883.

[69]  Ibid.

[70]  Refer to al Isabah, vol. 7, p. 739-742.

[71] Sahih al Bukhari , Kitab al Maghazi, hadith no. 4459

[72] Sahih al Bukhari , Kitab al Maghazi, hadith no. 4182

[73]Then I was guided, p. 120.

[74]  Ibid, p. 139-140.

[75] Al Kamil by Ibn al Athir, vol. 3, p. 315, the year 49 A.H.

[76]Al Isti’ab, vol. 1, p. 392, the letter Ha, Hassan ibn ‘Ali

[77]Al Bidayah wa l-Nihayah by Ibn al Kathir, vol. 8, p. 46, the year 49 A.H.

[78]Al Ihtijaj by al Tabarsi, vol. 2, p. 290

[79]  Surah al Nisa’: 43

[80]Fada’il al Sahabah by Ahmed, vol. 2, Hadith: 1639, the examiner says, “Its sanad is reliable.”

[81]Khasa’is Amir al Mu’minin by Nasa’i, Hadith: 185, the examiner say, “Its sanad is reliable.”

[82]Then I was guided, p. 141.

[83]Then I was guided, p. 119.

[84]  Ibid, p. 114.