The Thirteenth Narration
Abu ‘Uthman reported:
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
Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the commander of the troops of Dhat al Salasil. ‘Amr ibn al As said, “On my return I came to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “Who do you love the most?”
He replied, “‘Aisha.”
I said, “From amongst the men?”
He replied, “Her father.”
I said, “Who after him?”
He replied, “‘Umar.”
Then he mentioned the names of many men, and I became silent for fear that he might regard me as the last of them.”
Imam al Bukhari has recorded this narration. It is considered Mawsul by the scholars of Hadith even though it is the form of a Mursal narration here. This is established by the statement of ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “I came to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said.”
Imam Muslim has narrated it from Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah — from Khalid al Hadha’ — from Abi ‘Uthman who said, “‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu informed me…”.
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. There is great virtue for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration; he is the most beloved of all men to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
2. Similarly, there is great virtue for ‘Aisha Siddiqah radiya Llahu ‘anha in this narration; she is the most beloved of all women to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
3. Furthermore, there lay great virtue for ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu being only second to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in status.
What depravity leads some people then to hate and revile the most beloved individuals to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
4. This narration holds much praise for ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave him command over the army at Dhat al Salasil. This army had some of the great Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Ten given glad tidings of Jannat, and those who participated in Badr radiya Llahu ‘anhum all formed part of this army under the command of ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
5. Question: Why did ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu ask Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam this question?
Answer: When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave him command of the army in which there were the most noble Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, he thought that perhaps he was the most beloved to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He asked this question to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so he may know without a doubt if it were true or not. This reasoning is understood from the narration of al Bayhaqi in al Dala’il.
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then answered him, impressing on him that receiving a post of higher status does not equate total higher status over those who believed in the initial stages of the faith.
The narration of Ibn Abi-Shaybah, Tahawi, and Tabarani record his reason for asking the question, his fervour to love those whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam loves. Both reasons can be simultaneously implied.
6. Another great accolade to the name of ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu is his appointment as general of an army whilst only having accepted the faith recently. This illustrates the confidence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in him together with his true belief. Only those who are true in faith and hold exemplary virtues can be given a position afforded to ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
7. The unhesitating conformity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to the commands of the Shari’ah can be understood from this incident. The great Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum accepted the decision of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam of appointing ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu as their leader without any reservations even though he had only recently accepted Islam. According to other narrations they obeyed him even in those matters where their opinion differed with his. They listened and obeyed him as their leader; a sign of their submission to the command of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
8. Imam al Zarkashi writes in al Ijabah, whilst mentioning the virtues particular to Umm al Mu’minin ‘Aisha al Siddiqah radiya Llahu ‘anha:
جوب محبتها على كل أحد ففي الصحيح: لما جاءت فاطمة رضي الله عنها إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لها: (ألست تحبين ما أحب)؟ قالت: بلى قال: فأحبي هذه يعني عائشة وهذا الأمر ظاهره الوجوب وتأمل قوله لما حاضت عائشة: ( إن هذا شيء كتبه الله على بنات آدم) وقوله: لما حاضت صفية: ((عقرى حلقى أحابستنا هي؟) وفرق عظيم بين المقامين ولعل من جملة أسباب المحبة كثرة ما بلّغته عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم دون غيرها من النساء
The obligation to love her is on every person. When Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha came to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he said to her, “Don’t you love whom I love?” She replied in the affirmative. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “So then love this one.” Meaning, ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. This command of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam apparently implies obligation. Furthermore, ponder over the difference in tone of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha got her menses in Hajj Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “This is something which Allah has ordained for all the daughters of Adam.” However, when Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha got hers Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “You will delay us.”
9. Similarly, he further writes:
إن من قذفها فقد كفر لتصريح القرآن الكريم ببراءتها
قال الخوارزمي في الكافي من أصحابنا في كتاب الردة: (لو قذف عائشة بالزنى صار كافراً بخلاف غيرها من الزوجات لأن القرآن نزل ببراءتها). هـ وعند مالك: (أن من سبها قُتل) قال أبو الخطاب ابن دحية في أجوبة المسائل: (وشهد لقول مالك كتاب الله فإن الله إذا ذكر في القرآن ما نسبه إليه المشركون سبح نفسه لنفسه قال تعالى: ( وقالوا اتخذوا الرحمن ولداً سبحانه) والله تعالى ذكر عائشة فقال: ( لولا إذا سمعتموه قلتم ما يكون لنا أن نتكلّم بهذا سبحانك هذا بهتانٌ عظيم) فسبح نفسه في تنزيه عائشة كما سبح نفسه لنفسه في تنزيهه)) حكاه القاضي أبوبكر ابن الطيب
Whoever slanders her will leave the fold of Islam due to the explicit texts of the Qur’an that speak of her innocence.
Al Khawarizmi writes, “If one slanders ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha with the allegation of adultery, he will become a disbeliever contrary to him doing the same to the other Wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as the Qur’an explicitly mentions her innocence.”
Imam Malik says, “One who reviles her will be executed.”
Abu al Khattab ibn Dihyah writes in Ajwibah al Masa’il, “The statement of Imam Malik is supported by the Qur’an. When Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala references the false statements of polytheists regarding Him in the Qur’an, He mentions His own purity. Similarly, when referencing ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha he mentions His purity. When the polytheists placed allegations on Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, He revealed His purity and when allegations were leveled against ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, He revealed His purity.
10. This narration shows the permissibility of having one lower in status as a leader over one higher in status. Especially when the former has abilities specific to the task at hand.
11. The farsightedness of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam becomes apparent in giving the post of leadership to ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Muslims were victorious in this battle by his leadership and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam later made him the governor of Oman. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, during his reign gave him the governorship of Egypt. In both places he governed with due diligence.
12. This narration establishes the desirability of displaying the deep connection and love shared by spouses when there is a need.
13. The responsibility of the Imam to contain and embrace men with abilities of leadership, especially in times of need, thereby leaving the ummah with opportunities for its future.
14. This narration establishes the weakness of the following tradition recorded by al Hakim and al Tirmidhi:
كان أحب إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فاطمة ومن الرجال علي
The most beloved of people to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was Fatimah and from the men ‘Ali.
The chain of this narration has Jami’ ibn ‘Umair who narrates Manakir (conflicting reports).
15. It is the responsibility of the Imam to elect a strong, brave, and tactical leader in times of war even though there may be others that may be more pious or enjoy a higher status than him. In times of battle and war, strength, bravery, and tactical know how is more important. If piety was the criterion for electing leaders in battle, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have appointed Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, or others that enjoyed a higher status radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4100.
 Sunan al Nasa’i, Hadith: 3944.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 305.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6157.
 Al Ijabah, pgs. 45-54.