Academic Competence

Chapter 3 – Aisha’s Qualities, Academic Position, and Persuasive Invitation
July 8, 2021
Extensive Knowledge of Various Sciences
July 9, 2021

BACK Return to Table of contents

 

Academic Competence

 

Aisha was the most knowledgeable of people. Senior Sahabah would consult her.

– Qabisah ibn Dhu’ayb

 

Testimonials of the Scholars on her Academic Competence

Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha holds a very lofty academic rank. She is recognised as a distinguished scholar of her era. She was the unique academic authority when matters became obscure or difficult for them to solve; matters pertaining to Qur’an, hadith, or fiqh. They would find a satisfactory answer to all their queries and questions by her.[1]

When the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum faced difficulty in any issue of Din, they would consult her and find the appropriate knowledge by her. There are numerous reports from an abundance of Sahabah and scholars highlighting her academic competence.

 

  1. Abu Musa al Ash’ari[2] (d. 50 A.H)

Sayyidina Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu acknowledges:

 

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

No hadith was ever challenging for us—the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—and we asked Aisha, except that we found knowledge of it by her.[3]

 

  1. Qabisah ibn Dhu’ayb[4] (d. 86 A.H)

Sayyidina Qabisah ibn Dhu’ayb radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports:

كانت عائشة أعلم الناس يسألها أكابر الصحابة

Aisha was the most knowledgeable of all people. Senior Sahabah would consult her.[5]

 

  1. ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair

‘Urwah ibn al Zubair rahimahu Llah affirms:

 

ما رأيت أحدا أعلم بكتاب الله ولا بسنة عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا بشعر ولا فريضة من عائشة رضي الله عنها

I have never seen anyone more knowledgeable of the Book of Allah, the practice of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, poetry, or inheritance than Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.[6]

 

A detailed narration reads:

 

لقد صحبت عائشة  رحمها الله حتى قلت قبل وفاتها بأربع سنين أو خمس لو توفيت اليوم ما ندمت على شيء فاتني منها فما رأيت أحدا قط كان أعلم بآية أنزلت ولا بفريضة ولا بسنة لا أعلم بشعر ولا أروى له ولا بيوم من أيام العرب ولا بنسب ولا بكذا ولا بكذا ولا بقضاء ولا بطب منها فقلت لها يا أمه الطب من أين علمتيه فقالت كنت أمرض فينعت لي الشيء ويمرض المريض فينعت له فينتفع فأسمع الناس بعضهم لبعض فأحفظه قال عروة فلقد ذهب عني عامة علمها لم أسأل عنه

I sat in the company of Aisha—may Allah have mercy upon her—to the extent that four to five years before her demise, I admitted, “If I had to pass away today, I will not regret over anything that I missed of hers. I had never seen anyone more knowledgeable about a verse revealed, inheritance, sunnah, more acquainted with poetry, a greater transmitter of the same, or any of the significant events of the Arabs, lineage, this and that, judgement, or medicine than her.”

I asked her, “O mother, where did you learn medicine from?”

She replied, “I would fall ill and something would be prescribed for me and someone would fall ill and a medicine would be prescribed for them and they would benefit from it. I would hear people speaking to one another and memorise that.”

‘Urwah laments, “Majority of her knowledge has missed me which I had not asked about.[7]

 

  1. Mahmud ibn Labid (d. 97 A.H)

Sayyidina Mahmud ibn Labid radiya Llahu ‘anhu states:

 

كان أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يحفظن من حديث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كثيرا ولا مثلا لعائشة وأم سلمة وكانت عائشة تفتي في عهد عمر وعثمان إلى أن ماتت يرحمها الله وكان الأكابر من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وعمر وعثمان بعده يرسلان إليها فيسألانها عن السنن

The wives of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had memorised plenty ahadith of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; however, there was no match to Aisha and Umm Salamah. Aisha would pass verdicts in the era of ‘Umar and ‘Uthman until she left this world, may Allah have mercy upon her. The senior Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, including ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, would send messengers to her to ask her about the Sunan.[8]

 

  1. Al Sha’bi[9] (d. 103 A.H)

Al Sha’bi rahimahu Llah would speak of her and express amazement at her fiqh and knowledge. He would then remark:

 

ما ظنكم بأدب النبوة

What is your view on the etiquette of nubuwwah?[10]

 

  1. Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman[11] (d. 104 A.H)

Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman rahimahu Llah asserts:

 

ما رأيت أحدا أعلم بسنن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا أفقه في رأي إن احتيج إلى رأيه ولا أعلم بآية فيما نزلت ولا بفريضة من عائشة

I have not seen anyone more versed with the practices of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, more understanding in a view—if his view is needed, more knowledgeable about the details of a verse for which it was revealed, or inheritance than Aisha.[12]

 

  1. Al Zuhri[13] (d. 125 A.H)

Al Zuhri rahimahu Llah remarks:

لو جمع علم عائشة إلى علم جميع النساء لكان علم عائشة أفضل

If Aisha’s knowledge is compared with the knowledge of all women, Aisha’s knowledge will be superior.

 

Another narration contains the wording:

لو جمع علم نساء هذه الأمة فيهن أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان علم عائشة أكثر من علمهن

If the knowledge of the women of this Ummah—among whom are the wives of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—was collected, Aisha’s knowledge would be greater than theirs.[14]

 

  1. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr[15] (d. 463 A.H)

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr rahimahu Llah declares:

أنها كانت وحيدة عصرها في ثلاثة علوم علم الفقه وعلم الطب وعلم الشعر

She was unequalled in her era in three sciences viz. fiqh, medicine, and poetry.[16]

 

  1. Al Dhahabi (d. 748 A.H)

Al Dhahabi rahimahu Llah confesses:

لا أعلم في أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بل ولا في النساء مطلقا امرأة أعلم منها

I do not know in the Ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in fact among all females, a woman more knowledgeable than her.[17]

 

  1. Ibn Kathir (d. 774 A.H)

Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah states:

ولا يعرف في سائر النساء في هذه الأمة بل ولا في غيرها أعلم منها ولا أفهم

No woman more knowledgeable and more understanding than her is known among all the women of this Ummah, in fact not even among the other nations.[18]

He also said:

وقد تفردت أم المؤمنين عائشة بمسائل عن الصحابة لم توجد إلا عندها وانفردت باختيارات أيضا وردت أخبارا بخلافها بنوع من التأويل

Umm al Mu’minin Aisha has a sole opinion on some verdicts, a view held by her only. She has some of her own views as well and has refuted narrations opposing these with some form of interpretation.[19]

 

Students

A large number of Sahabah and Tabi’in studied by Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. They would come to her from various areas like Iraq, Sham, and the corners of al Jazirah. Hereunder is a list of some of her distinguished students.

Family:

  • Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, her nephew
  • ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, her nephew
  • ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, son of her sister Asma’
  • ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, son of her sister Asma’
  • ‘Abbad ibn Hamzah ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair

Sahabah:

  • Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Sayyidina Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Sayyidina Zaid ibn Khalid al Juhani radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma
  • Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma
  • Sayyidina Rabi’ah ibn ‘Amr al Jurashi radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Sayyidina Sa’ib ibn Yazid radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Sayyidina Harith bin ‘Abdullah ibn Nawfal radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Others

Senior Tabi’in:

  • Sa’id ibn al Musayyab[20]
  • ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah
  • ‘Alqamah ibn Qais[21]
  • ‘Amr ibn Maymun
  • Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Shikhkhir
  • Masruq ibn al Ajda’
  • ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah
  • Many many others

Females:

  • Asma’ bint ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, her niece
  • Hafsah bint ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, her niece
  • Buhayyah, the freed slave of Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu
  • Khayrah Umm al Hasan al Basri
  • Zainab bint Abi Salamah, the stepdaughter of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
  • Safiyyah bint Abi ‘Ubaid, the wife of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma
  • Aisha bint Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah
  • ‘Amrah bint ‘Abdur Rahman[22]
  • Qamir, the wife of Masruq ibn al Ajda’
  • Musaykah al Makkiyyah, the mother of Yusuf ibn Mahik
  • Muazah al ‘Adawiyyah
  • Others[23]

 

The Factors behind her Academic Competence

There are many factors that allowed Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to assume this lofty academic position. The most significant of them are listed hereunder:

  1. Her striking intelligence, strong memory, and powerful retention. Sufficient proof for this is the abundance of her transmissions from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Add to that the great abundance of poetry and proverbs she would cite at every appropriate occasion.
  2. Her marriage to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at an early age and living in his care and consideration for eight years and five months. During this time, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam behaved affectionately towards her and had great concern for teaching and guiding her.
  3. The abundance of revelation in her room to the extent that it was termed: the Descent of Revelation.
  4. Her enquiring tongue. Whenever she heard anything she could not fathom or see anything she did not recognise, she sought clarification and elucidation. She is famous for this to the extent that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said about her:

 

كانت لا تسمع شيئا لا تعرفه إلا راجعت فيه حتى تعرفه وأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال من حوسب عذب قالت عائشة فقلت أوليس يقول الله تعالى فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَابًا يَسِيْرًا فقال إنما ذلك العرض ولكن من نوقش الحساب يهلك

She would not hear anything she was unfamiliar with, except that she would examine it critically until she became familiar with it.

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated, “The one whose reckoning is taken will be punished.”

Aisha asked, “Does Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala not say: He will be judged with an easy account.[24]

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained, “This is just a glimpse. The one who is examined in reckoning is destroyed.”[25]

 

Another example:

 

سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن قوله عز وجل يَوْمَ تُبَدَّلُ الْأَرْضُ غَيْرَ الْأَرْضِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ فأين يكون الناس يومئذ يا رسول الله فقال على الصراط

I questioned the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about Allah’s—the Mighty and Majestic—statement: [It will be] on the Day the earth will be replaced by another earth, and the heavens [as well],[26] “Where will people be on that day, O Messenger of Allah?”

He replied, “On the Bridge.”[27]

 

She asked him:

يا رسول الله ابن جدعان كان في الجاهلية يصل الرحم ويطعم المسكين فهل ذاك نافعه قال لا ينفعه إنه لم يقل يوما رب اغفر لي خطيئتي يوم الدين

“O Messenger of Allah, Ibn Jud’an would maintain family ties and feed the poor during the Ignorance, will this be of any avail to him?”

“It will not avail him,” he replied. “Not one day did he ever submit, ‘O my Rabb, forgive my sin on the Day of Judgement.’”[28]

 

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam swore that he will not visit his wives for a month:

 

فلما مضت تسع وعشرون ليلة دخل على عائشة فبدأ بها فقالت له عائشة يا رسول الله إنك قد أقسمت أن لا تدخل علينا شهرا وإنما أصبحت من تسع وعشرين ليلة أعدها عدا فقال الشهر تسع وعشرون فكان ذلك الشهر تسع وعشرين ليلة قالت عائشة ثم أنزل الله تعالى آية التخيير

After twenty-nine nights had passed, he entered upon Aisha and commenced from her.

Aisha said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, you had taken an oath that you will not come to us for a month and you have entered the morning after completing twenty-nine nights. I have kept strict count of them.”

He said, “The month is twenty-nine (nights).” That month consisted of twenty-nine nights.

Aisha continues: Thereafter, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala revelated the Verse of Takhyir.[29]

 

استأذن على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رجل فقال ائذنوا له فبئس ابن العشيرة أو بئس أخو العشيرة فلما دخل ألان له الكلام فقالت عائشة يا رسول الله قلت ما قلت ثم ألنت له في القول فقال أي عائشة إن شر الناس منزلة عند الله من تركه أو ودعه الناس اتقاء فحشه

A man sought permission to enter the presence of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said, “Award him permission for he is an evil man of the tribe or an evil brother of the tribe.” After he entered, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke politely to him.

Aisha enquired, “O Messenger of Allah, you made a negative statement and then spoke politely to him.”

He explained, “O Aisha, indeed the worst ranking being in the sight of Allah is one who is discarded by people out of fear for his vulgarity.”[30]

 

She would praise the Ansari women for their plenty questions about aspects of their Din. She proclaimed:

 

نعم النساء نساء الأنصار لم يمنعهن الحياء أن يتفقهن في الدين

What excellent women are the Ansari women! Shyness did not prevent them from acquiring deep understanding of Din.[31]

 

When she found an opportunity to learn something—even when severely gripped by protective jealousy—she would set aside her possessiveness and focus on learning.

فعن عروة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم خرج من عندها ليلا قالت فغرت عليه فجاء فرأى ما أصنع فقال ما لك يا عائشة أغرت فقلت وما لي لا يغار مثلي على مثلك فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أقد جاءك شيطانك قالت يا رسول الله أو معي شيطان قال نعم قلت ومع كل إنسان قال نعم قلت ومعك يا رسول الله قال نعم ولكن ربي أعانني عليه حتى أسلم

‘Urwah reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left at night from her place. She says: I felt jealous over him. He returned and saw what I was doing so he said, “What is wrong with you, O Aisha? Are you jealous?”

She replied, “Why should someone like me not feel jealous over someone like you?”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Did your shaitan come to you?”

She asked in surprise, “O Messenger of Allah, do I have a shaitan?”

“Yes,” he affirmed.

I probed, “And with every human?”

“Yes.”

“Even with you, O Messenger of Allah?”

“Yes. However, my Rabb has assisted me over it and he submitted[32].”[33]

 

She benefitted the Ummah tremendously with her questions to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, her verifications, and her seeking elucidation on some Shar’i aspects. One of them is as follows:

 

أنها سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن الجارية ينكحها أهلها أتستأمر أم لا فقال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نعم تستأمر فقالت عائشة فقلت له فإنها تستحي فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فذلك إذنها إذا هي سكتت

She enquired from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about a girl whose family gets her married, will she be consulted or not? The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told her, “Yes, she will be consulted.”

Aisha continues: I remarked, “She is shy [so she will not speak].”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam clarified, “Her silence is sufficient as permission.”[34]

 

Undoubtedly, as Mujahid[35] declares:

لا يتعلمه مستح ولا مستكبر

Knowledge is not learnt by a shy or proud person.

 

This distinguishing feature made her unique in transmitting an abundance of excellent prophetic ahadith which none besides her heard from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The senior Sahabah were fearful of asking the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

وكان يعجبهم كما قال أنس أن يجيء الرجل من أهل البادية والعاقل فيسأله ونحن نسمع

It would please them—as stated by Sayyidina Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu—when an intelligent Bedouin would come and ask him questions while they listen.[36]

 

Characteristics of the Academic Approach according to Aisha

Firstly: Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would follow an academic methodology with manifest characteristics. One of the aspects was verification of masa’il by what appears in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Indication to this is the following report.

When she was told that Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma says:

 

ما أحب أن أصبح محرما أنضح طيبا لأن أطلى بقطران أحب إلي من أن أفعل ذلك

I do not wish to enter the state of ihram while perfume exudes from me. For me to be coated with tar[37] is more pleasing to me than to do this.

 

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha remarked:

أنا طيبت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عند إحرامه ثم طاف في نسائه ثم أصبح محرما

I myself perfumed the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before him entering into ihram, subsequent to which he visited all his wives. He entered ihram the next morning.[38]

 

She declares:

وسنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أحق أن تتبع

The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is more deserving to be followed.[39]

 

وعن مسروق قال كنت متكئا عند عائشة فقالت يا أبا عائشة ثلاث من تكلم بواحدة منهن فقد أعظم على الله الفرية قلت ما هن قالت من زعم أن محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم رأى ربه فقد أعظم على الله الفرية قال وكنت متكئا فجلست فقلت يا أم المؤمنين أنظريني ولا تعجليني ألم يقل الله عز وجل وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ بِالْأُفُقِ الْمُبِيْنِ وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرىٰ فقالت أنا أول هذه الأمة سأل عن ذلك رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إنما هو جبريل لم أره على صورته التي خلق عليها غير هاتين المرتين رأيته منهبطا من السماء سادا عظم خلقه ما بين السماء إلى الأرض فقالت أولم تسمع أن الله يقول لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيْفُ الْخَبِيْرُ أولم تسمع أن الله يقول وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُوْلًا فَيُوْحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيْمٌ قالت ومن زعم أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كتم شيئا من كتاب الله فقد أعظم على الله الفرية والله يقول يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُوْلُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَّبِّكَ وَإِنْ لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ قالت ومن زعم أنه يخبر بما يكون في غد فقد أعظم على الله الفرية والله يقول قُلْ لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللهُ

Masruq narrates:

I was resting at the home of Aisha. She said, “O Abu Aisha, there are three statements; whoever utters any one of them has fabricated the greatest lie against Allah.”

“What are they,” I enquired enthusiastically.

She expounded, “Whoever believes that Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw his Rabb has fabricated a great lie against Allah.”

Masruq says: I was resting and sat up on hearing this.

I submitted, “O Umm al Mu’minin, give me some time and do not rush me. Did Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—not state: And he has already seen him in the clear horizon.[40] And he certainly saw him in another descent.[41]

She clarified, “I was the first being of this Ummah to ask the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about this. He explained, ‘It is only Jibril. I never saw him [Jibril] in his original form except on these two occasions. I saw him descending from the sky, blocking the space between the sky and earth with his enormous bodily structure.’ Have you not heard Allah declaring: Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.[42] Have you not heard Allah declaring: And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills, He is Most High and Wise.[43]

She continued: “Whoever believes that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concealed anything from the Book of Allah has fabricated a great lie against Allah whereas Allah declares: O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message.[44]

She added: “And whoever believes that he informs of what will take place tomorrow has fabricated a great lie against Allah whereas Allah declares: Say, None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah.[45][46]

 

Secondly: Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha refrained from speaking without knowledge.

 

فعن شريح بن هانئ قال أتيت عائشة أسألها عن المسح على الخفين فقالت عليك بابن أبي طالب فسله فإنه كان يسافر مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فسألناه فقال جعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثلاثة أيام ولياليهن للمسافر ويوما وليلة للمقيم

Shurayh ibn Hani’ recalls:

I approached Aisha to inquire from her about passing wet hands over [leather] socks. She told me, “Go to Ibn Abi Talib and ask him for he would travel with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

We enquired from him and he explained, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stipulated three days and nights for a traveller and one day and night for a resident.”[47]

 

Thirdly: She would rely upon collecting proofs, understanding the objectives of the Shari’ah, and the knowledge of Arabic linguistics. Hence, coupled with memorisation of the ahadith, she had sound and deep understanding of the same, complemented with ijtihad. One example of this is narrated by Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman:

 

دخلت على عائشة فقلت يا أمتاه إن جابر بن عبد الله يقول الماء من الماء فقالت أخطأ جابر إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إذا جاوز الختان الختان فقد وجب الغسل

I entered the presence of Aisha and submitted, “O beloved mother! Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah[48] announces, “Liquid is from liquid [i.e. ghusl is mandatory upon one who ejaculates.]

She responded, “Jabir has erred. Undoubtedly, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared, ‘When the circumcised genitalia enter each other, ghusl becomes compulsory.’”[49]

 

Fourthly: She was well acquainted with the decorum to be observed when there exists disagreement and difference of opinion. Why should it not be such when she learnt from the Nabi and teacher of this Ummah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Ponder over the upcoming incident and learn this respect from her.

 

عن عروة بن الزبير  قال كنت أنا وابن عمر مستندين إلى حجرة عائشة وإنا لنسمع ضربها بالسواك تستن قال فقلت يا أبا عبد الرحمن أعتمر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في رجب قال نعم فقلت لعائشة أي أمتاه ألا تسمعين ما يقول أبو عبد الرحمن قالت وما يقول قلت يقول اعتمر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في رجب فقالت يغفر الله لأبي عبد الرحمن لعمري ما اعتمر في رجب وما اعتمر من عمرة إلا وإنه لمعه قال وابن عمر يسمع فما قال لا ولا نعم سكت

‘Urwah ibn al Zubair reports:

Ibn ‘Umar and I were reclining against [the wall of] Aisha’s room. We could even hear her brushing her teeth with the miswak.

I asked, “O Abu ‘Abdur Rahman, did the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam perform ‘Umrah in Rajab.”

“Yes,” he replied.

I shouted to Aisha, “O beloved mother, have you not heard what Abu ‘Abdur Rahman claims?”

“What does he claim,” she asked.

“He says that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam performed ‘Umrah in Rajab.”

“May Allah forgive Abu ‘Abdur Rahman. By my life, he [the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] never performed ‘Umrah in Rajab. And whenever he performed ‘Umrah, he [Ibn ‘Umar] was with.”

Ibn ‘Umar listened to this without affirming or rejecting. He simply remained silent.[50]

 

Fifthly: She had a distinctive methodology of teaching. She would speak calmly in order to facilitate its full comprehension. Equally, she would reprimand those who speak quickly saying:

إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يكن يسرد الحديث كسردكم

Certainly, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not speak quickly like you talk.[51]

 

She would not suffice on theoretical teaching. At times, she would resort to practical demonstrations when it came to the manner of performing wudu’ and ghusl. Her modesty did not prevent her from teaching people important aspects of their Din, even their very private matters. The Rawafid have condemned her due to this as will appear in future. The reality, however, is that she will be rewarded and not taken to task for these matters. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with her and keep her happy.

 

NEXT⇒ Extensive Knowledge of Various Sciences


[1] Jihan Rif’at Fawzi: al Sayyidah Aisha wa Tawthiquha li al Sunnah, pg. 40.

[2] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Qais ibn Sulaim, Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The distinguished Sahabi. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed him governor over part of Yemen and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him over Basrah. He was one of the two arbitrators at Siffin. He recited the Qur’an in an extremely melodious voice. He passed away in 50 A.H or thereafter. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 300; al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 211.

[3] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3883. Al Tirmidhi labels it hasan sahih. Al Dhahabi labels it hasan gharib in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 179. Al Albani on the other hand classified it sahih in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi.

[4] He is Qabisah ibn Dhu’ayb ibn Halhalah, Abu Sa’id al Khuza’i al Madani radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Great Imam, the Faqih. He was born in 8 A.H and it is said 1 A.H. He was reliable, trusted, and a prolific narrator. He saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was in charge of stamping at the office of the Khalifah ‘Abdul Malik. He passed away in 86 A.H or thereafter. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 282; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 537.

[5] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 374.

[6] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 8 pg. 517.

[7] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 67, Hadith: 24425; al Mu’jam al Kabir, vol. 23 pg. 182, Hadith: 295; al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 218; Hilyat al Awliya’, vol. 2 pg. 50; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 183. Al Hakim comments, “The isnad is sahih, but al Bukhari and Muslim have not documented it.”

[8] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 375.

[9] He is ‘Amir ibn Sharahil ibn ‘Abd, Abu ‘Amr al Kufi. The ‘Allamah (erudite scholar) of the Tabi’in. He was born in 17 A.H. or thereafter. He was an Imam, Hafiz, Faqih, Master, reliable, and accurate. He participated in the Battle of Jamajim alongside Ibn al Ash’ath but was spared from the sword of al Hajjaj who forgave him. He assumed the post of judge in Kufah. He passed away in 103 A.H. or around that time. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 294; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 57.

[10] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 197.

[11] He is Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf al Zuhri. It is said that his name was ‘Abdullah or Ismail or that his agnomen was his name. He was a zealous searcher for knowledge, a Faqih, a Mujtahid, and a prolific narrator. He passed away in 94 A.H. or 104 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 5 pg. 88; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 369.

[12]Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 375.

[13] He is Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn Shihab, Abu Bakr al Zuhri. The Imam, the Authority, the Hafiz of his era. He was born in 50 A.H. or thereafter. He was among the most learned Huffaz around whom majority of authentic ahadith rotate. He was extremely generous. He passed away in 125 A.H. or before that. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 5 pg. 326; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 284.

[14] Al Sunnah, Hadith: 753; al Mu’jam al Kabir, Hadith: 299; al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 12, Hadith: 6734.

[15] He is Yusuf ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad, Abu ‘Umar al Qurtubi al Maliki. The Sheikh of Islam, the Hafiz of the West. He was born in 368 A.H. He searched for hadith, mastered it, and excelled. He was religious, devout, reliable, a proof, an ‘Allamah, deeply-rooted in knowledge, and a strict adherer to the Sunnah. He was the judge of Shabbunah. Al Tamhid is one of his books. He passed away in 463 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 18 pg. 153; Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 3 pg. 313.

[16] Al Ijabah li Irad ma istadrakathu Aisha ‘ala al Sahabah, pg. 34.

[17]Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 140.

[18] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 2 pg. 431.

[19] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 339.

[20] He is Sa’id ibn al Musayyab ibn Huzn, Abu Muhammad al Makhzumi al Madani. The Imam, the Authority, one of the seven Fuqaha’ of Madinah, the leader of the Tabi’in. He had mastered hadith, fiqh, asceticism, worship, and piety. He passed away in 93 A.H or thereafter. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 217; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 335.

[21] He is ‘Alqamah ibn Qais ibn ‘Abdullah, Abu Shibl al Kufi. The Faqih, ‘Alim, Teacher of Qur’an of Kufah, Imam, Hafiz, Master of Tajwid, and Great Mujtahid. He was born during the lifetime of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and resembled Ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his behaviour and mannerism. He participated in Siffin and fought the Battle against Khurasan. He passed away after 60 A.H or 70 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 53; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 174.

[22] She is ‘Amrah bint ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Sa’d al Ansariyyah. Nurtured by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and her pupil. She lived in her room. She was an ‘Alimah, Faqihah, Authority, and possessed plenty knowledge. She passed away in 98 or 106 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 507; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 606.

[23] Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 35 pg. 232, Biography: 7885; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 135; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 12 pg. 384.

[24] Surah al Inshiqaq: 8.

[25] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 103; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2876.

[26] Surah Ibrahim: 48.

[27] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2791.

[28] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 214.

[29] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 5191; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2572.

[30] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6054; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2591.

[31] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 332; al Bukhari reported it without an isnad with words of determination before Hadith: 130.

[32] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2815.

[33] Faysal al Khafash: Aisha Umm al Mu’minin Afqah Nisa’ al Ummah ‘ala al Itlaq, pg. 230.

[34] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6946; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1420.

[35] He is Mujahid ibn Jabr, Abu al Hajjaj al Qurashi al Makhzumi, their freed slave. The Imam, the Sheikh of the Qurra’ and Mufassirin. He passed away in 101 A.H or thereafter. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 449; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 373.

[36] Al Sayyidah Aisha Umm al Mu’minin wa ‘Alimat Nisa’ al Islam, pg. 17.

[37] Al qatiran: a substance that drips from a tree with which camels are coated. Gharib al Hadith, vol. 2 pg. 252.

[38] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 270; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1192.

[39] Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, Hadith: 2938.

[40] Surah al Takwir: 23.

[41] Surah al Najm: 13.

[42] Surah al An’am: 103.

[43] Surah al Shura: 51.

[44] Surah al Ma’idah: 67.

[45] Surah al Naml: 65.

[46] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 177.

[47] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 276.

[48] He is Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Haram, Abu ‘Abdullah al Ansari al Khazraji radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was present at the Second Pledge of ‘Aqabah. He participated in 19 battles alongside the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was among the Huffaz and prolific narrators of hadith. He passed away in 74 A.H or thereafter. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 65; al Isabah, vol. 1 pg. 434.

[49] Al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 374.

[50] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1255; Discussion: Amin No’man al Salahi: Ummuna Aisha Malakat al ‘Afaf (not published); Sirat al Sayyidah Aisha Umm al Mu’minin, pg. 275. The author al Nadwi has listed the masa’il wherein she differed with the Sahabah and the Ummahat al Mu’minin radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

[51] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3568; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2493.

Back to top