Aisha after the demise of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

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June 21, 2021
The Demise of Sayyidah Aisha
June 21, 2021

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Aisha after the demise of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

 

The demise of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was a devastating blow to the Muslims. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha recounts those gloomy moments when the news of the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise reached the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, as well as the manner Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala kept Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu steadfast, despite the devastation of the shock upon him, as his close friend and the most beloved of creation to him left this temporary world. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu held the hands of the Muslims and helped them overcome this difficult stage. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha describes what had transpired between the Muslims and how they reached the unanimous decision to appoint Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as khalifah of the Muslims. She reports:

 

إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مات وأبو بكر بالسنح—قال إسماعيل يعني بالعالية—فقام عمر يقول والله ما مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت وقال عمر والله ما كان يقع في نفسي إلا ذاك وليبعثنه الله فليقطعن أيدي رجال وأرجلهم فجاء أبو بكر فكشف عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقبله قال بأبي أنت وأمي طبت حيا وميتا والذي نفسي بيده لا يذيقنك الله الموتتين أبدا ثم خرج فقال أيها الحالف على رسلك فلما تكلم أبو بكر جلس عمر فحمد الله أبو بكر وأثنى عليه وقال ألا من كان يعبد محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم فإن محمدا قد مات ومن كان يعبد الله فإن الله حي لا يموت وقال إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُمْ مَّيِّتُوْنَ وقال وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِنْ مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَنْ يَّنْقَلِبْ عَلىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِيْنَ فنشج الناس يبكون

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away while Abu Bakr was in Sunh—Ismail clarifies: in the extension of Madinah. ‘Umar stood up and announced, “By Allah, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not pass away.—’Umar explained [later], “By Allah, this was the only thing that came to my mind.”—Allah will most certainly revive him and he will most definitely sever the hands and legs of some men.”

Abu Bakr then arrived. He uncovered the face of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and kissed him, commenting, “May my parents be sacrificed for you! You are handsome, when alive and when deceased. By the Being who controls my life, Allah will never make you taste death twice.”

He then exited and yelled, “O swearer on oath, take it easy!” As soon as Abu Bakr spoke, ‘Umar sat down. Abu Bakr began with praising and glorifying Allah before announcing, “Harken! Whoever used to worship Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (should realise) that Muhammad is deceased. On the other hand, whoever worshipped Allah (should have conviction) that Allah is Ever-Living and will never die.”

He then recited: Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die.[1] And: Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So, if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.[2]

Upon this, the people wept loudly.[3]

 

Another narration reads:

 

أن أبا بكر رضي الله عنه أقبل على فرس من مسكنه بالسنح حتى نزل فدخل المسجد فلم يكلم الناس حتى دخل على عائشة فتيمم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو مغشى بثوب حبرة فكشف عن وجهه ثم أكب عليه فقبله وبكى ثم قال بأبي أنت وأمي والله لا يجمع الله عليك موتتين أما الموتة التي كتبت عليك فقد متها قال الزهري حدثني أبو سلمة عن عبد الله بن عباس أن أبا بكر خرج وعمر بن الخطاب يكلم الناس فقال اجلس عمرفأبى عمر أن يجلس فأقبل الناس إليه وتركوا عمر فقال أبو بكر أما بعد فمن كان منكم يعبد محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم فإن محمدا قد مات ومن كان منكم يعبد الله فإن الله حي لا يموت قال الله وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ إلى قوله الشَّاكِرِيْنَ وقال والله لكأن الناس لم يعلموا أن الله أنزل هذه الآية حتى تلاها أبو بكر فتلقاها منه الناس كلهم فما أسمع بشرا من الناس إلا يتلوها

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu approached on a horse from his apartment in Sunh. He alighted and entered the Masjid. Without speaking to anyone, he entered the home of Aisha and focused his attention on the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who was covered with a striped[4] sheet. He uncovered his face, bent over, and kissed him while crying. He then commented, “May my parents be sacrificed for you. By Allah, Allah will never combine two deaths upon you. As for the death decreed for you, you have tasted it.”

Al Zuhri says—Abu Salamah narrated to me—from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas: Abu Bakr came out while ‘Umar was speaking to the people. The former told the latter, “Sit down, O ‘Umar!” ‘Umar refused to sit. The people turned their attention towards him and left ‘Umar. Abu Bakr announced, “After praise and salutation, whosoever among you would worship Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (should realise) that Muhammad has passed on. Whosoever among you worshipped Allah (should have conviction) that Allah is Ever-Living and will never die. Allah stated: Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.[5]

By Allah, it appeared as if people never knew that Allah revealed this verse until Abu Bakr recited it, after which they all learnt it from him. I heard each and every one reciting it.[6]

 

He narrates:

واجتمعت الأنصار إلى سعد بن عبادة في سقيفة بني ساعدة فقالوا منا أمير ومنكم أمير فذهب إليهم أبو بكر وعمر بن الخطاب وأبو عبيدة بن الجراح فذهب عمر يتكلم فأسكته أبو بكر وكان عمر يقول الله ما أردت بذلك إلا أني قد هيأت كلاما قد أعجبني خشيت أن لا يبلغه أبو بكر ثم تكلم أبو بكر فتكلم أبلغ الناس فقال في كلامه نحن الأمراء وأنتم الوزراء فقال حباب بن المنذر لا والله لا نفعل منا أمير ومنكم أمير فقال أبو بكر لا ولكنا الأمراء وأنتم الوزراء هم أوسط العرب دارا وأعربهم أحسابا فبايعوا عمر أو أبا عبيدة بن الجراح فقال عمر بل نبايعك أنت فأنت سيدنا وخيرنا وأحبنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأخذ عمر بيده فبايعه وبايعه الناس

The Ansar gathered by Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah in Saqifah Bani Sa’idah. They suggested, “A leader from us and a leader from you.”

Abu Bakr, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, and Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah went to them. ‘Umar wanted to speak but Abu Bakr silenced him. ‘Umar would explain, “By Allah, the only thing was that I had prepared a speech which delighted me, and I feared that Abu Bakr would not be able to express it.”

Abu Bakr spoke, and he expressed himself as the best orator. He said in his address, “We are the leaders and you are the viziers.”

“No, by Allah,” remonstrated Hubab ibn al Mundhir, “we will not do that! A leader from us and a leader from you.”

Abu Bakr emphasised, “No, rather, we are the leaders and you are the viziers. They (the Quraysh) are the middle of the Arabs in location and enjoy the best pedigree in Arab lineage. So pledge allegiance to ‘Umar or Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah.”

‘Umar said, “In fact, we will pledge allegiance to you for you are our leader, the best of us, and the most beloved of us to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

‘Umar then took his hand and pledged allegiance to him, and the people followed suit.”[7]

 

Aisha in the Reign of Abu Bakr

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu held the reins of caliphate after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam following the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum swearing their allegiance to him.

Meanwhile, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha remained confined to her room after the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise, comforting herself with the close proximity of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Her academic role which became manifest later had not yet become evident to the people due to few factors, viz. the recent demise of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the burdensomeness of his departure, coupled with the engagement of the Muslims in the Wars of Apostasy.

Nevertheless, when the wives of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended to send Sayyidina ‘Uthman[8] radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to request for their share of inheritance of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reminded them:

أوليس قد قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا نورث ما تركناه فهو صدقة

Did the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not state, “We are not inherited from. Whatever we leave behind is charity.”[9]

 

Moreover, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would consult Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in those Shar’i affairs which he was unsure of. One such incident is the hadith of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha documented by al Bukhari and Muslim:

 

دخلت على أبي بكر فقال في كم كفنتم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت في ثلاثة أثواب بيض سحولية ليس فيها قميص ولا عمامة وقال لها في أي يوم توفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت يوم الاثنين قال فأي يوم هذا قالت يوم الاثنين

I entered the presence of Abu Bakr who asked, “In how many sheets did you shroud the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

She answered, “In three white sahuliyyah[10] sheets, not consisting of a throbe nor turban.”

He asked her, “On which day did the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam pass away?”

“Monday,” she answered.

“What is today?”

“Monday.”[11]

 

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would play her part in answering those who posed questions during the era of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr[12] radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reports:

 

كانت عائشة قد استقلت بالفتوى في خلافة أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان وهلم جرا إلى أن ماتت يرحمها الله

Aisha was independent in passing verdicts during the caliphate of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman. This continued until she passed away, may Allah shower mercy upon her.[13][14]

 

The caliphate of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu never lasted long. It only stretched for two years, three months, and ten nights.

The illness of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu lasted for fifteen days. People would visit him in this period and Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha nursed him. During this time, she would comfort herself by reciting some lines of poetry. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would instruct her, while in the throes of death, to switch to recitation of Qur’anic verses. As death loomed, she recited one of Hatim’s lines:

إذا حشرجت يوما وضاق بها الصدر

لعمرك ما يغني الثراء عن الفتى

By your life, affluence will not benefit a young man,

when it (death) rattles in the throat one day and the chest becomes constrained due to it.

 

He said:

لا تقولي هكذا يا بنية ولكن قولي وَجَاءَتْ سَكْرَةُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْحَقِّ ذٰلِكَ مَا كُنْتَ مِنْهُ تَحِيْدُ

Do not speak such, O my daughter. Rather recite: And the intoxication of death will bring the truth; that is what you were trying to avoid.[15][16]

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anha bequeathed to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to be buried at the side of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After passing away, a grave was dug for him in her home and his head was placed in line with the shoulders of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. His grave was attached to the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam grave.[17] The grave of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was made level like the grave of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and water was sprinkled over it.[18]

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu selected his daughter Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, from all his children, to execute his bequest. One of the things he told her was:

 

إني قد كنت نحلتك حائطا—بستانا—وإن في نفسي منه شيئا فرديه إلى الميراث قالت نعم فرددته فقال أما إنا منذ ولينا أمر المسلمين لم نأكل لهم دينارا ولا درهما ولكنا قد أكلنا من جريش طعامهم في بطوننا ولبسنا من خشن ثيابهم على ظهورنا وليس عندنا من فيء المسلمين قليل ولا كثير إلا هذا العبد الحبشي وهذا البعير الناضح وجرد هذه القطيفة فإذا مت فابعثي بهن إلى عمر وأبرئي منهن ففعلت فلما جاء الرسول عمر بكى حتى جعلت دموعه تسيل في الأرض ويقول رحم الله أبا بكر لقد أتعب من بعده رحم الله أبا بكر لقد أتعب من بعده

“I had gifted you an orchard[19] but feel uneasy about it. So kindly return it to the estate.” She agreed and returned it.

He then submitted, “Behold, since we assumed responsibility of the affairs of the Muslims, we have not eaten a gold or silver coin of theirs. However, we have filled our bellies with their crushed[20] grain and wore their course clothes on our bodies. We do not possess much of the Fay’ of the Muslims except this Abyssinian slave, this irrigating[21] camel, and this old sheet[22]. After I pass away, send them to ‘Umar and absolve me of them.” She did just that.

When the messenger came to ‘Umar, the latter cried profusely until his tears rolled down onto the ground. He commented, “May Allah have mercy upon Abu Bakr. He has exhausted those after him. May Allah have mercy upon Abu Bakr. He has exhausted those after him.”[23]

 

Aisha in the Reign of ‘Umar

The lofty academic station Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was stationed at began to appear in the reign of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When Sayyidina ‘Umar and other senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum would be faced with a problematic matter, especially private and personal matters, they would enquire from Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

 

فعن محمود بن لبيد قال 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

Mahmud ibn Labid[24] reports:

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 Sunnah.[25]

 

Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had great concern for the Ummahat al Mu’minin and paid special attention to them. He would check on them regularly. On the occasion of distributing Khaybar, he gave the wives of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the option between apportioning a piece of land for them or taking the responsibility of [sending to them] 100 wasaq [of dates] every year. Sayyidah Aisha and Sayyidah Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were among those who chose the dates.[26] Due to his great concern for them, his interest in their comfort, and his honour for their status, when they requested him to perform Hajj, he sent Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and Sayyidina ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to escort them with the command that one should travel in front of the Ummahat al Mu’minin while the other will travel behind them and no one else should accompany them. He instructed:

 

فإذا نزلن فأنزلوهن شعبا ثم كونا على باب الشعب لا يدخلن عليهن أحد ثم أمرهما إذا طفن في البيت ألا يطوف معهن أحد إلا النساء

“When they wish to alight, ensure that they alight in a ravine. You should be stationed at the entrance of the ravine and ensure that no one enters it.” He then commanded them that when they circumambulate the House, only women should accompany them.

 

عن عروة قال قالت عائشة كان عمر بن الخطاب يبعث إلينا بأحظائنا من الأكارع والرؤوس

‘Urwah reports from Aisha:

‘Umar ibn al Khattab would send to us our share of trotters and heads [of slaughtered animals].[27]

 

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha enjoyed an additional speciality in the sight of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anha. He had allocated 10 000 silver coins for the Ummahat al Mu’minin and an additional 2000 specifically for Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha commenting:

 

إنها حبيبة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

She is the beloved of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[28]

 

On one occasion, a drawer from Iraq containing a precious jewel reached Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, seeing which he asked his comrades:

 

تدرون ما ثمنه قالوا لا ولم يدروا كيف يقسمونه فقال تأذنون أن أبعث به إلى عائشة لحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إياها فقالوا نعم فبعث به إليها فقالت ماذا فتح الله على ابن الخطاب بعد رسول الله اللهم لا تبقني لعطيته لقابل

“Do you know its value?”

They replied in the negative and they were unsure as to how they would divide it.

‘Umar suggested, “Do you permit me to send it to Aisha, owing to the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intense love for her?”

They replied in the affirmative after which he sent it to her.

Upon receiving it, she remarked, “What has Allah not allowed ‘Umar to conquer after the Messenger of Allah? O Allah, do not keep me alive for his gift next year.”[29]

 

Likewise, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha revered and respected Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In her Musnad, there are plenty ahadith which she reports from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the virtues and excellences of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent his son, ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, after being stabbed, to ask her approval of him being buried at the side of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, she favoured him above herself and allowed this saying:

كنت أريده لنفسي فلأوثرنه اليوم على نفسي

I desired it for myself. Today, I will certainly prefer him over myself.[30]

 

Consider Sayyidina ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu esteem for Umm al Mu’minin despite him being on his deathbed. He tells his son, ‘Abdullah:

 

انطلق إلى عائشة أم المؤمنين فقل يقرأ عليك عمر السلام ولا تقل أمير المؤمنين فإني لست اليوم للمؤمنين أميرا وقل يستأذن عمر بن الخطاب أن يدفن مع صاحبيه فسلم واستأذن ثم دخل عليها فوجدها قاعدة تبكي فقال يقرأ عليك عمر بن الخطاب السلام ويستأذن أن يدفن مع صاحبيه فقالت كنت أريده لنفسي ولأوثرن به اليوم على نفسي فلما أقبل قيل هذا عبد الله بن عمر قد جاء قال ارفعوني فأسنده رجل إليه فقال ما لديك قال الذي تحب يا أمير المؤمنين أذنت قال الحمد لله ما كان من شيء أهم إلي من ذلك فإذا أنا قضيت فاحملوني ثم سلم فقل يستأذن عمر بن الخطاب فإن أذنت لي فأدخلوني وإن ردتني ردوني إلى مقابر المسلمين

“Go to Aisha, the Mother of the believers, and submit, ‘‘Umar sends his greetings to you.’ Do not say, ‘Amir al Mu’minin,’ because today I am not the leader of the believers. Submit, ‘‘Umar ibn al Khattab asks permission to be buried with his two companions (i.e. the Prophet, and Abu Bakr).’”

‘Abdullah greeted and asked for permission to enter after which he entered and found her sitting and weeping.

He submitted, “‘Umar ibn al Khattab sends his greetings and asks permission to be buried with his two companions.”

She remarked, “I wished to have this place for myself, but today I certainly prefer ‘Umar above myself.”

When he returned, ‘Umar was told, “‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar[31] has arrived.”

‘Umar said, “Make me sit up.”

Somebody supported him against his body and ‘Umar asked (‘Abdullah), “What news do you have?”

He said, “O Leader of the Believers! It is as you wish. She has given the permission.”

‘Umar whispered, “Praise be to Allah, there was nothing more important to me than this. When I pass away, take me, then greet Aisha and say, ‘‘Umar ibn al Khattab asks permission (to enter).’ If she awards permission, bury me there. If she refuses, then take me to the graveyard of the Muslims.”[32]

 

Aisha in the Reign of ‘Uthman

The Islamic State expanded during the reign of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and numerous nations and tribes entered Islam. This state of affairs witnessed people’s great need to benefit from the knowledge and understanding of Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. They, thus, converged from every valley and hill[33] at her feet.

Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not less concerned of the Ummahat al Mu’minin radiya Llahu ‘anhunna and their affairs. He arranged Hajj for the Ummahat al Mu’minin like Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu accompanied them, as he had previously, and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed the eminent Sahabi Sayyidina Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his position, with one leading the caravan and the other at its rear.

There is no doubt that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was most acquainted with the virtues and excellences of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his exalted position in the sight of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. She is responsible for narrating plenty ahadith of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu virtues and merits which emphatically indicates her reverence for him.

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is responsible for narrating the hadith of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructing Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to never abandon the caliphate if he assumes the position when they demand this from him. She reports:

 

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يا عثمان إن ولاك الله هذا الأمر يوما فأرادك المنافقون على أن تخلع قميصك الذي قمصك الله فلا تخلعه يقول ذلك ثلاث مرات قال النعمان بن بشير فقلت لعائشة ما منعك أن تعلمي الناس بهذا قالت أنسيته

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bequeathed, “O ‘Uthman! If Allah appoints you in authority over this affair one day and the hypocrites demand you to remove the throbe that Allah clothed you[34] with, then never remove it.” He repeated this thrice.

Al No’man ibn Bashir[35] says: I asked Aisha, “Why did you not inform the people of this?”

“I was made to forget it,” she surrendered.[36]

 

She reports that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said during his final illness:

 

وددت أن عندي بعض أصحابي قلنا يا رسول الله ألا ندعو لك أبا بكر فسكت قلنا ألا ندعو لك عمر فسكت قلنا ألا ندعو لك عثمان قال نعم فجاء فخلا به فجعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يكلمه ووجه عثمان يتغير قال قيس بن أبي حازم راوي الحديث عن عائشة فحدثني أبو سهلة مولى عثمان أن عثمان بن عفان قال يوم الدار إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عهد إلي عهدا فأنا صائر إليه وفي رواية فأنا صابر عليه قال قيس فكانوا يرونه ذلك اليوم

“I wish that one of my Companions are by me.”

We said, “O Messenger of Allah, should we call Abu Bakr?”

He remained silent.

“Should we call ‘Umar?”

He remained silent.

“Should we call ‘Uthman.”

He replied positively.

‘Uthman came and sat in seclusion with him. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke to him while the face of ‘Uthman began changing in appearance.

Qais ibn Abi Hazim[37], the narrator of the hadith from Aisha, reports: Abu Sahlah, the freed slave of ‘Uthman, narrated to me that ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan said on the Day of the House, “Certainly, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took a covenant from me and I am moving towards it,” Another narration has the wording, “I am persevering over it.”

Qais comments, “They believe he was referring to that very day.”[38]

 

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha continued loving and honouring Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu till he was killed as a martyr. She was the first to demand revenge for his murder and take vengeance from his killers and those who instigated his murder. This will shortly appear, Allah willing. Likewise, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anha continued loving, revering, caring, and honouring her, and the other Ummahat al Mu’minin, up to the end of his life.

The hooligans and gangsters[39] gained control of Madinah al Munawwarah. Their impudence and nerve reached the miserable low ebb that they transgressed against Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Umm Habibah radiya Llahu ‘anha when she attempted to deliver water to Sayyidina Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu while he was besieged in his home, after they had prevented water from reaching him. She came riding upon a mule. They cut the girdle of the mule which caused it to flee[40] and it almost dropped her off. She was almost killed, had it not been for the people who reached her in time and held her conveyance. The matter was extremely grave. When this was the shameful state of affairs, people understood it as a weighty matter and majority of them remained indoors. As the season of Hajj approached, Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha left for Hajj. She was told:

أنك لو أقمت كان أصلح لعل هؤلاء القوم يهابونك فقالت إني أخشى أن أشير عليهم برأيي فينالني منهم من الأذية ما نال أم حبيبة

“If you remain here, it will be more suitable. Probably, these people will fear you.”

She replied, “I fear that I will indicate to them my opinion and they will harm me the way they harmed Umm Habibah.”[41]

 

She learnt of Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder while returning to Madinah. At once, she went back to Makkah without saying a word. She alighted at the door of the Masjid and went straight to the Hijr where she covered herself. People gathered around her. She address them saying:

 

يا أيها الناس إن الغوغاء من أهل الأمصار وأهل المياه وعبيد  أهل المدينة اجتمعوا أن عاب الغوغاء على هذا المقتول بالأمس الإرب واستعمال من حدثت سنه وقد استعمل أسنانهم قبله ومواضع من مواضع الحمى حماها لهم وهي أمور قد سبق بها لا يصلح غيرها فتابعهم ونزع لهم عنها استصلاحا لهم فلما لم يجدوا حجة ولا عذرا خلجوا وبادروا بالعدوان ونبا فعلهم عن قولهم فسفكوا الدم الحرام واستحلوا البلد الحرام وأخذوا المال الحرام واستحلوا الشهر الحرام والله لإصبع عثمان خير من طباق الأرض أمثالهم ووالله لو أن الذي اعتدوا به عليه كان ذنبا لخلص منه كما يخلص الذهب من خبثه أو الثوب

O People! The hooligans of the various cities and water-wells and the slaves of the people of Madinah have gathered. The hooligans have found fault in this smart[42] man, murdered just yesterday; concerning him appointing young men to office—whereas young men their like were appointed before—and lands used as pastures which he had designated as such. These are matters which have been experienced foretime and nothing else would be beneficial in such cases. He listened to them and removed from them for their benefit, to keep peace with them. When they could not find any proof or excuse against him, they became deranged[43], rushed with hatred and animosity, and their action was in polarity[44] with their statement. They, thus, spilled sacred blood, desecrated the sacred city, stole sacred wealth, and violated the sacred month. By Allah, one finger of ‘Uthman is far superior to the earth filled with their like. And by Allah, had his actions for which they transgressed upon him been sins, he would have come out pure of it like how gold or cloth exits pure from filth.[45]

 

This was her first address after Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder. It indicates her honour for Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and her complete innocence from all the accusations people levelled against her. Yes, at times she would express some views which were contrary to Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu view. This is from well-wishing and good counsel. She would express her advice and opinion, considering the fact that she is Umm al Mu’minin and acting upon the announcement of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

الدين النصيحة

Din is well wishing.[46]

 

Each of them was a mujtahid who intended the truth. The recompense of a mujtahid is between one or two rewards.

 

Aisha in the Reign of ‘Ali

Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu assumed the position of khalifah after the murder of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. There existed nothing between him and Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha before him assuming the caliphate which would incite her to oppose him or rebel against him. Rather, they enjoyed a relationship based on love and honour. Undoubtedly, Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the most acquainted of all of the elevated rank of Umm al Mu’minin and her lofty position in the sight of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Equally, she realised Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu lofty position and value by the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his close relationship to him, and him being his son-in-law coupled with his virtue, jihad, bravery, and precedence.[47]

She viewed him as the most befitting individual to assume caliphate after Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Tabari[48] documents from al Ahnaf ibn Qais[49] who says:

 

حججنا فإذا الناس مجتمعون في وسط المسجد يعني النبوي فلقيت طلحة والزبير فقلت إني لا أرى هذا الرجل يعني عثمان إلا مقتولا فمن تأمراني به قالا علي فقدمنا مكة فلقيت عائشة وقد بلغنا قتل عثمان فقلت لها من تأمريني به قالت علي قال فرجعنا إلى المدينة فبايعت عليا ورجعت إلى البصرة

We performed Hajj. After returning to Madinah, we found people gathered in the middle of the Masjid—Masjid al Nabawi. I met Talhah[50] and Zubair and submitted, “The way I see things, this man (i.e. ‘Uthman) will be killed. Who do you command me to obey?”

“‘Ali,” was their reply.

We then arrived in Makkah and I met Aisha after news of the murder of ‘Uthman had reached us. I asked her, “Who do you command me to obey?”

She replied, “‘Ali.”

We, thus, returned to Madinah and I pledged allegiance to ‘Ali subsequent to which I returned to Basrah.[51]

 

After Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was sworn in as khalifah, the heart of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha did not change. She remained firmly on her stance about him, wishing well for his Bay’ah. Ibn Abi Shaybah[52] documents the following hadith with a good chain from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abza[53]:

 

انتهى عبد الله بن بديل ابن ورقاء الخزاعي إلى عائشة يوم الجمل وهي في الهودج فقال يا أم المؤمنين أتعلمين أني أتيتك عندما قتل عثمان فقلت ما تأمريني فقلت الزم عليا فسكتت

‘Abdullah ibn Budayl ibn Warqa’ al Khuza’i reached Aisha on the Day of Jamal while she was seated in the carriage[54]. He submitted, “O Umm al Mu’minin, do you remember me coming to you after ‘Uthman was killed and enquiring from you whom to obey and you advocating ‘Ali?”

She remained silent.[55]

 

She had a difference of opinion with Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu with regards to the killers of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, similar to the difference of opinion between Sayyidina Talhah, Sayyidina Zubair, and other Sahabah with Sayyidina ‘Ali and those who supported him—may Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with them all—while maintaining love and recognising one another’s virtue. A detailed breakdown of this matter will appear when discussing the hadith of the Battle of Jamal as well as what transpired between Sayyidah Aisha and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and the misconceptions the Rawafid have attached to this incident.

The Khawarij sect reared its ugly head during the caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. She had a determined stance against them and their misguidance. The residents of Iraq and Egypt would vilify Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu on one end, the residents of Sham would vilify Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the other end, and the Khawarij would vilify them both. When Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was notified of this, she commented:

أمروا أن يستغفروا لأصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فسبوهم

They were commanded to seek forgiveness for the Companions of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but instead they vilified them.[56]

 

Imam al Nawawi clarifies:

 

قولها أمروا أن يستغفروا لأصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فسبوهم قال القاضي الظاهر أنها قالت هذا عندما سمعت أهل مصر يقولون في عثمان ما قالوا وأهل الشام في علي ما قالوا والحرورية في الجميع ما قالوا

Her statement: “They were commanded to seek forgiveness for the Companions of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but instead vilified them.”

Al Qadi explains, “It is apparent that she made this statement after hearing the people of Egypt vilifying ‘Uthman, the people of Sham vilifying ‘Ali, and the Haruriyyah vilifying both.”[57]

 

After the Khawarij extricated themselves from obedience to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they camped at Harura’[58]. Owing to this, they are called Haruriyyah.

A woman approached her and enquired:

 

أتجزي إحدانا صلاتها إذا طهرت فقالت أحرورية أنت كنا نحيض مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فلا يأمرنا به أو قالت فلا نفعله

“Will any of us [females] repeat her salah after attaining purity [from menses]?”

She responded, “Are you a Haruriyyah? We would go through our menstrual cycles during the lifetime of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he would not command us to perform the same—or she said: we would not perform it.[59]

 

Her statement, “Are you a Haruriyyah?” indicates that she despised this sect, condemned them, and considered them distant from the Sunnah.

 

Aisha in the Reign of Muawiyah[60]

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was deeply affected by the Battle of Jamal. In relation to it, she was in a unique emotional state of heartbreak and anxiety. She was afflicted by the frustration of resolute hope. She had left seeking to unite the break in the Ummah and unifying them. The conflict worsened and the crack broadened, unfortunately. The Muslim fought and their blood spilled before her eyes. Consequently, she remained glued to her home and secluded herself for worship, distributing her night and day between salah, fasting, seeking forgiveness, giving charity, disseminating knowledge, and explaining the Sunnah.

Her relationship with Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not like her relationship with the Rightly Guided Khalifas. Nothing transpired before him assuming the caliphate which would spoil their relationship. Instead, Sayyidina Muawiyah and other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum revered Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. In fact, he agreed with Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu in demanding vengeance for the unjust murder of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was very keen on strengthening his relationship with Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha after assuming the caliphate. Few incidents had taken place, during this period, which sought to spoil their relationship.[61]

One incident was the murder of her brother, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, in Egypt in the year 38 A.H. He had served as governor on behalf of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu over Egypt. The supporters of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu attacked him under the leadership of Muawiyah ibn Hudayj al Sakuni[62] radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Furthermore, Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu dispatched in their direction a huge army as reinforcements led by Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The outcome of the battle was the defeat of the army of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, who was killed in the conformation. The news of his death caused Sayyidah Aisha immense grief. The family of Muhammad was then brought to her. Thus, Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr[63] was among her dependants.[64]

Muawiyah ibn Hudayj’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu killing of her brother did not prevent her from praising him when his good behaviour towards his populace reached her. She asked ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Shumasah when he came to her:

 

ممن أنت قال رجل من أهل مصر فقالت كيف كان صاحبكم لكم في غزاتكم هذه فقال ما نقمنا منه شيئا إن كان ليموت للرجل منا البعير فيعطيه البعير والعبد فيعطيه العبد ويحتاج إلى النفقة فيعطيه النفقة فقالت أما إنه لا يمنعني الذي فعل في محمد بن أبي بكر أخي أن أخبرك ما سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول في بيتي هذا اللهم من ولي من أمر أمتي شيئا فشق عليهم فاشقق عليه ومن ولي من أمر أمتي شيئا فرفق بهم فارفق به

“Where are you from?”

He replied, “From the people of Egypt.”

She said, “How did your leader treat you in this war?”

He replied, “We did not disapprove any action of his. If any of our men’s camel died, he would give him a camel. If a slave died, he would give him a slave. If anyone needed money, he would give him the same.”

She said, “Harken! His treatment of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr my brother will not prevent me from informing you of what I heard from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which he pronounced in this house of mine, ‘O Allah, whoever gains authority of any portion of my Ummah and is harsh towards them, then display harshness towards him. And if anyone gains authority of any portion of my Ummah and treats them compassionately, then treat him with compassion.”[65]

 

Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu visited her hoping to mend their relationship which had turned sour due to the killing of her brother, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. She advised and counselled him.[66]

Another incident was Marwan ibn al Hakam[67]—the governor of Madinah from the side of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu at the time—preventing Sayyidina Hassan ibn ‘Ali[68] radiya Llahu ‘anhuma from being buried in the noble room after Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha awarded permission for the same.

Another incident was the incident between Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and Marwan ibn al Hakam. Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu intended to appoint his son, Yazid, as khalifah and to establish his authority. Accordingly, he wrote to Marwan his governor over Hijaz who gathered the people and addressed them and campaigned for Yazid’s Bay’ah. Sayyidina ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu told him:

 

أجئتم بها هرقلية تبايعون لأبنائكم فقال مروان خذوه فدخل بيت عائشة فلم يقدروا عليه فقال مروان إن هذا الذي أنزل الله فيه وَالَّذِيْ قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا أَتَعِدَانِنِيْ فقالت عائشة من وراء الحجاب ما أنزل الله فينا شيئا من القرآن إلا أن الله أنزل عذري

“Are you turning it into kingship, pledging allegiance for your sons?”

Marwan instructed, “Seize him.”

He quickly entered Aisha’s home and they could not get hold of him.

Marwan remarked, “Certainly, this is the same individual concerning whom Allah revealed: But one who says to his parents, ‘Uff to you; do you promise me …’”[69]

Aisha shouted from behind the veil, “Allah did not reveal anything about us in the Qur’an besides my innocence.”[70]

 

Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu sought her happiness and would send her large amounts of money and plenty gifts to achieve this purpose. ‘Urwah relates:

 

ما كانت عائشة تستجد ثوبا حتى ترقع ثوبها وتنكسه ولقد جاءها يوما من عند معاوية ثمانون ألفا فما أمسى عندها درهم قالت لها جاريتها فهلا اشتريت لنا منه لحما بدرهم قالت لو ذكرتيني لفعلت

Aisha would not wear new clothes[71] until her garment was torn and turned around[72]. One day, 80 000 silver coins came to her from Muawiyah and not a single of those survived the evening.

Her slave girl told her, “Why did you not purchase some meat with one silver coin for us?”

She replied, “Had you reminded me, I would have.”[73]

 

He would send letters to her seeking advice and counsel. He wrote to her:

 

أن اكتبي إلي كتابا ولا تكثري علي فكتبت عائشة رضي الله عنها إلى معاوية سلام عليك أما بعد فإني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من التمس رضاء الله بسخط الناس كفاه الله مؤونة الناس ومن التمس رضاء الناس بسخط الله وكله الله إلى الناس والسلام عليك

“Write to me a letter and keep it concise.”

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha wrote to Muawiyah, “Peace be upon you. After praises and salutations, I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declaring: ‘Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah at the expense of the wrath of people, Allah will handle the people’s pressure. On the other hand, whoever seeks the pleasure of people at the expense of the wrath of Allah, Allah releases him to the people.’ And may peace be upon you.”[74]

 

We have not come across any aspect which indicates her opposition to Sayyidina Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu caliphate. That being said, she did censure some of his actions and her condemnation of the killing of Hujr ibn ‘Adi was quite severe.[75]

Sayyidina Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu rule extended over 20 years of which Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha lived 18 years. She passed away two years before the end of his reign.

 

NEXT⇒ The Demise of Sayyidah Aisha


[1] Surah al Zumar: 30.

[2] Surah Al ‘Imran: 144.

[3] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3667.

[4] Al habir: garments which have embroidery and stripes. Gharib al Hadith, vol. 2 pg. 432.

[5] Surah Al ‘Imran: 144.

[6] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4452.

[7] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3667.

[8] He is ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan ibn Abi al ‘As, Abu ‘Amr al Qurashi al Umawi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The eminent Sahabi, the Amir al Mu’minin, Dhu al Nurayn (Possessor of Two Lights), one of the first forerunners, one of the four rightly guided Khalifas, and one of the ten promised Jannat. He emigrated on both occasions. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married two of his daughters to him. Khurasan, [North] Africa, and other areas were conquered during his rule. He was killed unjustly in the year 35 A.H. Tarikh al Islam, vol. 3 pg. 303; al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 456.

[9] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6730; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1758.

[10] Al sahuliyyah – with a fathah or dammah on the sin, the fathah being more common: pure white garments made only from cotton. Ibn Qutaybah said: white clothes, without specifying cotton. Others say: it is attributed to Sahul, a village in Yemen, where it is manufactured. Sharh Muslim, vol. 7 pg. 8.

[11] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1387; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 941.

[12] He is Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, Abu al Qasim al Qurashi al Madani al Taymi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was born in the end of the year 10 A.H. He participated in Jamal and Siffin alongside ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who subsequently sent him to Egypt as governor. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu would praise and compliment him. He was a worshipper and mujtahid. He was killed in 38 A.H. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 425; al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 245.

[13] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 375; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 49 pg. 165. Both authors have reported it from Qasim ibn Muhammad.

[14] Mawsu’ah Fiqh Aisha Umm al Mu’minin, pg. 55.

[15] Surah Qaf: 19.

[16] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 196; Shu’ab al Iman, vol. 7 pg. 366, Hadith: 10600.

[17] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 209.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Nahaltuka ha’itan: I gifted you an orchard. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 3 pg. 104.

[20] Al jarish: crushed grain etc. and course flour. Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 6 pg. 272; al Mu’jam al Wasit, vol. 1 pg. 117.

[21] Al nadih: camels used to irrigate date palms and plantations. Fath al Bari, vol. 2 pg. 200.

[22] The Arabs’ statement jard qatifahal jard: worn out and al qatifah: garment with fibres. The interpretation will be to attribute the quality to its category i.e. something worn out from the category of garments. This is an example of attaching a quality to the qualified in a genitive construction. ‘Abdul Ghani al Daqar: Mu’jam al Qawa’id al ‘Arabiyyah, pg. 64.

[23] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 196.

[24] He is Mahmud ibn Labid ibn Rafi’, Abu Nuaim al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He lived in the time of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and had the privilege of seeing him. He is one of the scholars. He passed away in 96 or 97 A.H. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 430; al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 42.

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

[26] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1551. The hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[27] Muwatta’ Malik, Hadith: 927; Ibn Zanjuyah: al Amwal; al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 302.

[28] Al Muhamili: al Amali, Hadith: 242; al Khara’iti: I’tilal al Qulub, Hadith: 25; al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 9. Al Hakim comments, “It is sahih according to the standards of al Bukhari and Muslim but they have not documented it due to the irsal of Mutarrif ibn Turayf.”

[29] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith: 51, 1642; Musnad Ibn Rahawayh, vol. 2 pg. 19; al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 9. Al Hakim comments, “It is sahih according to the standards of al Bukhari and Muslim—if the direct listening of Dhakwan Abu ‘Amr is confirmed—but they have not documented it.” Al Dhahabi comments, “There is irsal in it.” Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 190.

[30] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1392. The hadith of ‘Amr ibn Maymun radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[31] He is ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Qurashi al ‘Adawi radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The Imam, the Ascetic. He was born three years after Nubuwwah and emigrated when he was young. He pledged allegiance under the tree [Bay’at al Ridwan] and emulated minor details of the practices of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He is a prolific narrator of ahadith, an ardent worshipper, and passionate about Hajj. He passed away in 73 or 74 A.H. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 289; al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 564.

[32] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1392.

[33] Al hadab: solid and elevated land. Al sawb: region and area. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 1 pg. 349; Taj al ‘Arus, vol. 3 pg. 213.

[34] Qammasaka: garb you. The purport of throbe is caliphate. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 4 pg. 108.

[35] He is al No’man ibn Bashir ibn Sa’d, Abu ‘Abdullah al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The eminent Sahabi. He served as governor over Kufah and then Hims for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was kind, generous, and a poet. He was born in 2 A.H. and passed away in 65 A.H. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 472; al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 440.

[36] Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 90. Al Albani classified it sahih in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah.

[37] He is Qais ibn Abi Hazim, Abu ‘Abdullah al Bajali al Ahmasi. The name of his father is Hussain ibn ‘Awf. There are other weaker views as well in this regard. He was an ‘Alim, Hafiz, and reliable. He travelled to meet the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but unfortunately the latter passed away while the former was en route. He was accepted as the Muhaddith of Kufah. He passed away in 97 or 98 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 201; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 561.

[38] Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 91; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 51, Hadith: 24298; Musnad Abi Ya’la, vol. 8 pg. 234, Hadith: 4805; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 106. Al Hakim comments, “The isnad is sahih but they have not documented it.” Al Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah; al Wadi’i in al Sahih al Musnad, Hadith: 1608; and Shu’ayb al Arna’ut in Tahqiq Musnad Ahmed have classified it sahih.

[39] Al ghawgha’: mean and despicable people and those who hasten to evil. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 3 pg. 396.

[40] Nadda: to bolt, flee, run away. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 5 pg. 35.

[41] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 209.

[42] Al irb: smartness. It is said: rajul dhu irb i.e. dhu daha’: a smart man. Ibn Qutaybah: Adab al Katib, pg. 314.

[43] Khalaju: the origin of al ikhtilaj: commotion and derangement. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 2 pg. 138.

[44] Naba al shay’ ‘anhu: to withdraw, to lie apart. Mukhtar al Sihah, pg. 644.

[45] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 3 pg. 6.

[46] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 55. The hadith of Tamim al Dari radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[47] Elucidation of this fact will appear when discussing the harmonious relationship between Aisha and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

[48] He is Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid, Abu Jafar al Tabari. The Imam, the Scholar of the Era, and the Mujtahid. He was born in 224 A.H. He was from the unique individuals of the era in knowledge, intelligence, and plenty books. He had mastered some sciences to the exclusion of his contemporaries. Al Tafsir and Tarikh al Umam wa al Muluk are some of his works. He passed away in 310 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 14 pg. 267; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 145.

[49] He is Al Dahhak ibn Qais ibn Muawiyah, Abu Bahr al Tamimi. It is said that his name was Sakhr but the first is more common. He is the Amir, the highbred Scholar, one whose tolerance and sovereignty is proverbial. He lived in the era of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but did not meet him. He was one of the commanders in the army of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the Day of Siffin and conquered Marw al Rawdh. He passed away in 67 A.H. or thereafter. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 7 pg. 93; al Isabah, vol. 1 pg. 187.

[50] He is Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Uthman, Abu Muhammad al Qurashi al Taymi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The distinguished Sahabi, one of the ten promised Jannat, one of the eight who are the forerunners to Islam, and one of the six members of the consultive committee. He displayed great valour on the Day of Uhud, protected Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam singlehandedly, and shielded him with his own body. He passed away in 36 A.H. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 231; al Isabah, vol. 3 pg. 529.

[51] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 3 pg. 34. Ibn Hajar classified the isnad sahih in Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 38.

[52] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, Abu Bakr al ‘Abasi, their freed slave. He is the Imam, the Authority, the leader of the Huffaz, and the author of voluminous books. He was an ocean of knowledge and his memory is proverbial. He began seeking knowledge at a young age. Among his books is al Musannaf fi al Ahadith wa al Athar. He passed away in 235 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 21 pg. 142; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 3 pg. 252.

[53] He is ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abza al Khuza’i, their freed slave. There is a difference of opinion whether he is a Sahabi or not. Majority hold the view that he is a Sahabi. He was a reciter of the Book of Allah and well-versed in inheritance. Nafi’ ibn ‘Abdul Harith had appointed him over the residents of Makkah during the reign of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him governor over Khurasan and he fought alongside ‘Ali in Siffin. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 248; al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 282.

[54] Al hawdaj: a domed carriage placed on the back of a camel for women to sit in. Tahdhib al Lughah, vol. 6 pg. 28; al Mu’jam al Wasit, vol. 2 pg. 976.

[55] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 38986. Ibn Hajar classified its isnad as jayyid (good) in Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 57.

[56] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 3022.

[57] Sharh Muslim, vol. 18 pg. 158.

[58] An area close to Kufah to which the Haruriyyah—a group of the Khawarij—are attributed. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 1 pg. 366.

[59] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 321; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 335.

[60] He is Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan ibn Harb, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Umawi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He is the Amir al Mu’minin and one of the scribes of revelation. He did not pledge allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and fought against him. He managed Sham by himself and announced his caliphate after the demise of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He became the sole khalifah on reaching a compromise with Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon which people united under him. He passed away in 60 A.H. Al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 151; Muhammad al Amin al Shanqiti: al Ahadith al Nabawiyyah fi Fada’il Muawiyah.

[61] Al Sayyidah Aisha Umm al Mu’minin wa ‘Alimat Nisa’ al ‘Alamin, pg. 148, 149, with variations.

[62] He is Muawiyah ibn Hudayj ibn Jafnah, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Sakuni radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The leader, the commander of battalions, the junior Sahabi. He participated in the Conquest of Egypt. He was the envoy of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Conquest of Iskandariyyah. He assumed governorship over Egypt for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and battled to conquer Morocco. He also participated in the Battle of Yarmuk and passed away in 52 A.H. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 443; al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 147.

[63] He is Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, Abu Muhammad al Qurashi al Taymi. He was born during the caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was reliable, high-ranking, learned, a Faqih, an Imam, an Ascetic, prolific in narrating hadith, and among the most knowledgeable of the hadith of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. He would remain silent most of the time. He passed away in 106 A.H. and there are other weaker views in this regard. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 5 pg. 53; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 528.

[64] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 3 pg. 132; al Nuwayri: Nihayat al Arab, vol. 20 pg. 156.

[65] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1828.

[66] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 183, 186, 187.

[67] He is Marwan ibn al Hakam ibn Abi al ‘As ibn Umayyah, Abu ‘Abdul Malik al Qurashi al Umawi. He was born in 2 A.H. and it is said 4 A.H. He is the son of ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu paternal uncle and served as ‘Uthman’s scribe during his reign. He participated in Jamal and Siffin. He served as governor over Madinah on behalf of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ibn al Zubair dismissed him in the early stages of Yazid’s rule and this was one of the causes that led to the Event of Harrah. He passed away in 65 A.H. Al Isti’ab, vol. 2 pg. 83; al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 257.

[68] He is Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abu Muhammad al Qurashi al Hashimi radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He is the leader of the youth of Jannat, the grandson of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Amir al Mu’minin. He was born in 3 A.H. After ‘Ali was killed, he ruled over the people of Iraq while Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu ruled over the people of Sham. Their armies met—the apprehension of battle was on his mind—so he pledged allegiance to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He passed away in 49 A.H. and some say thereafter. Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 113; al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 68.

[69] Surah al Ahqaf: 17.

[70] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4827.

[71] Istajadda al thawb: wear a new garment. Taj al ‘Urus, vol. 7 pg. 478.

[72] Nakasa al shay’: to turn upside down. Mukhtar al Sihah, pg. 679.

[73] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 67; Abu Nuaim: Hilyat al Awliya’, vol. 2 pg. 47; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 187.

[74] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2414. Ibn Muflih has labelled the isnad jayyid (good) in al Adab al Shar’iyyah and al Albani has labelled it sahih in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi.

[75] Hujr ibn ‘Adi—who is one of the Tabi’in according to the view of the majority—participated alongside ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Battle of Siffin. At a later stage, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed Ziyad over Kufah. Ziyad stood up to address the people one day, and it is said that he lengthened his speech. Frustrated, Hujr ibn ‘Adi stood up during the khutbah and shouted, “salah, salah,” and began pelting Ziyad with stones. He persisted in his crime and the people joined him. As soon as Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu learnt of this, he ordered Hujr’s execution for he believed that this man desires to create fitnah. Probably, he practiced on the hadith:

من أتاكم وأمركم جميع على رجل واحد يريد أن يشق عصاكم أو يفرق جماعتكم فاقتلوه

Whoever comes to you, when you are united on one man, and desires to disunite you or create dissension among you, then kill him.

Ibn al ‘Arabi explains:

فإن قيل فقد قتل حجر بن عدي وهو من الصحابة مشهور بالخير صبرا أسيرا بقول زياد وبعثت إليه عائشة في أمره فوجدته قد فات بقتله قلنا قد علمنا قتل حجر كلنا واختلفنا فقائل يقول قتله ظلما وقائل يقول قتله حقا فإن قيل الأصل قتله ظلما إلا إذا ثبت عليه ما يوجب قتله قلنا الأصل أن قتل الإمام بالحق فمن ادعى أنه بالظلم فعليه الدليل ولو كان ظلما محضا لما بقي بيت إلا لعن فيه معاوية وهذه مدينة السلام دار الخلافة بني العباس وبينهم وبين بني أمية ما لا يخفى على الناس مكتوب على أبواب مساجدها خير الناس بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أبو بكر ثم عمر ثم عثمان ثم علي ثم معاوية خال المؤمنين رضي الله عنهم ولكن حجرا فيما يقال رأى من زياد أمورا منكرة فحصبه وخلعه وأراد أن يقيم الخلق للفتنة فجعله معاوية ممن سعى في الأرض فسادا وقد كلمته عائشة في أمره حين حج فقال لها دعيني وحجرا حتى نلتقي عند الله وأنتم معشر المسلمين أولى أن تدعوهما حتى يقفا بين يدي الله مع صاحبهما العدل الأمين المصطفى المكين وأنتم ودخولكم حيث لا تشعرون فما لكم لا تسمعون

If it is argued: He (Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu) definitely killed Hujr ibn ‘Adi oppressively as a prisoner at the demand of Ziyad, whereas Hujr is among the Sahabah and well-known for goodness. Aisha sent him a letter in this regard and wherein she expressed his shortcoming in Hujr’s execution. We will say: We are all well aware of his execution of Hujr but we have differed. Some say that he killed him oppressively while others say he killed him rightfully. If it is argued: According to the principle, he killed him oppressively except if something is established against him for which he deserved being killed. We say: The original principle is that the Imam killed him rightfully. Whoever claims that it was done wrongfully should produce proof. Had it been pure oppression, no house would remain except that Muawiyah would be cursed therein. This is the city of peace, the capital of the caliphate of the Banu al ‘Abbas—and what exists between them and the Banu Umayyah is not obscure to anyone—yet it is written on the doors of its Masajid: The best after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, then ‘Ali, then Muawiyah—the maternal uncle of the believers, may Allah be pleased with them. Nonetheless, what is said is that Hujr saw some evil aspects in Ziyad on the basis of which he pelted him with stones and tried to remove him and intended to make the people stand for fitnah. Muawiyah considered him to be one who strives to spread anarchy and chaos on land. Aisha spoke to him in this regard when he performed Hajj. He said to her, “Leave me and Hujr alone until we meet by Allah.” It is more deserving for you, O gathering of Muslims, to leave their affair until they stand before Allah in the presence of their companion, the just, the trustworthy, the chosen, the respected. Beware of venturing into areas you are unaware of. What is wrong with you that you do not hear? (Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim, pg. 220)

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