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There is a glaring virtue of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in the incident of ifk. It also reveals her sublime character and noble reformed disposition, coupled with her soft heart, and pure inner. Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam words describing the inmates of Jannat aptly apply to her:
يدخل الجنة أقوام أفئدتهم مثل أفئدة الطير
People whose hearts are like the hearts of birds will enter Jannat.
Many factors in this wonderful hadith point this out:
بهن فلول من قراع الكتائب
و لا عيب فيهم غير أن سيوفهم
They have no shortcoming, besides their swords
Have jags from striking the battalions
فجئت أبوي فقلت لأمي يا أمتاه ما يتحدث الناس قالت يا بنية هوني عليك فوالله لقلما كانت امرأة قط وضيئة عند رجل يحبها و لها ضرائر إلا كثرن عليها قالت قلت سبحان الله أولقد تحدث الناس بهذا
So I came to my parents and said to my mother, “O beloved mother, what are people speaking?” She said, “O my beloved daughter! Take it easy upon yourself. By Allah, very seldom is a pretty woman with a man who loves her, and she has co-wives, except that they take advantage of her.” I exclaimed in utter amazement, “Purity belongs to Allah! Are people actually discussing this?”
This chaste and decent soul never imagined that people would get involved in such a vile vilification.
The verses of the Qur’an point out this quality of our mother Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, in the Sublime’s words:
إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يَرْمُوْنَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوْا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ
Indeed, those who [falsely] accuse chaste, unaware and believing women are cursed in this world and the Hereafter; and they will have a great punishment.
Al Ghafilat (unaware) here means:
السليمات الصدور النقيات القلوب اللاتي ليس فيهن دهاء و لا مكر
Women who possess innocent dispositions and pure hearts, are not shrewd, nor cunning.
This was the quality of our mother Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.
و هي التي كانت تساميني من أزواج رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فعصمها الله بالورع
And she was the same one to compete with me from the wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. But Allah safeguarded her due to her cautiousness and piety.
Moreover, her praise for Sayyidina Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and mention of his righteousness and excusing his error by asserting that it was due to tribalism, without attacking his iman or belittling his status. She reports:
فقام سعد بن عبادة و هو سيد الخزرج و كان قبل ذلك رجلا صالحا و لكن احتملته الحمية
Upon this, Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah stood up, the head of the Khazraj – and he was a righteous man prior to this. However, tribalism seized him.
This can only be spoken by one who one possesses an honourable and magnanimous soul.
Coupled with the illness that pained her body, were incessant tears which did not stop due to the slander, and the severity of the heartache. The ache afflicted the inner self to the extent that she says after learning about the slander:
فبكيت تلك الليلة حتى أصبحت لا يرقأ لي دمع و لا أكتحل بنوم حتى أصبحت أبكي
I cried that whole night until morning; my tears were incessant and I never had a wink of sleep. Next morning, I was still weeping.
She narrates a little while later:
فأصبح أبواي عندي و قد بكيت ليلتين و يوما لا أكتحل بنوم و لا يرقأ لي دمع يظنان أن البكاء فالق كبدي قالت فبينما هما جالسان عندي و أنا أبكي فاستأذنت علي امرأة من الأنصار فأذنت لها فجلست تبكي معي
My parents came to me next morning. And now I had cried for two nights and a day; I had not a wink of sleep and my tears flowed incessantly. They thought that weeping will rapture my liver.
While they were sitting beside me, and I continued crying, a woman from the Ansar sought permission to enter and I acceded to her request. She sat down and cried with me.
10. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was perplexed, confused, and alarmed after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke to her, after not speaking to her for an entire month. The reason for this concern was that the first words spoken to her show neutrality. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not express her innocence in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, but instead invited her to repent and seek forgiveness, had she committed the crime – May Allah forbid. This sudden perplexity stopped her eyes from tearing and tongue from speaking. This is a manifest evidence of her innocence from the slander, because it shows that she never imagined it.
Suddenness displays the previous ignorance of what man is suddenly confronted with and his unmindfulness of the same. Basically, he never expected what happened to happen.
Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was unable to tolerate listening to neutrality from the mouth of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. She thought that he knew about her innocence with unswerving conviction.
She thus stopped crying and realised that her grief was more enormous than her tears. She expresses this in the words:
فلما قضى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مقالته قلص دمعي حتى ما أحس منه قطرة
When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam completed his address, my tears dried up to the extent that I could not even sense a drop.
She then turned to her father and mother to defend her, but they were unable to do so, which increased her agony. She now realised that she has to speak. The earth was constrained upon her and her chest became constrained due to grief and worry and her eyes could not shed a tear. She found nought but to resort to Allah, the Master of the Universe, for help and share her agony and grief with Him. She says:
فقلت و أنا جارية حديثة السن لا أقرأ كثيرا من القرآن إني والله لقد علمت لقد سمعتم هذا الحديث حتى استقر في أنفسكم و صدقتم به فلئن قلت لكم إني بريئة والله يعلم أني بريئة لا تصدقوني بذلك و لئن اعترفت لكم بأمر والله يعلم أني منه بريئة لتصدقني والله ما أجد لكم مثلا إلا قول أبي يوسف قال فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيْلٌ وَاللَّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلىٰ مَا تَصِفُوْنَ
So I said, and I was young and of tender age; I would not recite much Qur’an, “Certainly, by Allah, I know that you have listened to this rumour until it has settled in your hearts and you have believed it. If I say to you that I am innocent – And Allah knows that I am innocent – you will not believe me. On the other hand, if I attest before you to something, and Allah knows that I am innocent from it, you will believe me. By Allah, I do not find any example for you except the statement of Yusuf’s father:
So patience is most fitting. And Allah is the one sought for help against that which you describe.”
Only a tongue connected to a pure heart can utter such words. A pure heart is burdened by statements that never crossed the mind, leave alone getting involved in the same.
11. Despite Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha being the mother of the believers and enjoying superiority, a lofty position, and high status in the sight of Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, she did not lean to anything of this, but rather humbled herself before Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and displayed her meekness to Him. She did not see any importance of herself – and she was only 14 years old at the time.
Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, at this tender age, expresses clearly her realisation of her insignificance and her humbleness before Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, coupled with her good thoughts and firm conviction in Him. This is manifest from her description:
و أنا حينئذ أعلم أني بريئة و أن الله مبرئي ببراءتي و لكن والله ما كنت أظن أن الله منزل في شأني وحيا يتلى و لشأني في نفسي كان أحقر من أن يتكلم الله في بأمر يتلى و لكن كنت أرجو أن يرى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في النوم رؤيا يبرئني الله بها
At that moment, I was convinced of my innocence and that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will exonerate me. However, by Allah I did not think for a split second that Allah will reveal concerning me Qur’an which will be recited. I viewed myself unworthy of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala speaking about me in the Qur’an that will be recited. Yet, I hoped that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will see a dream wherein Allah will exonerate me.
The opening was closer to her than expected. It was greater, nobler, more effective, and more valuable than she ever imagined. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala the Almighty Creator revealed verses to His Messenger to exonerate her which will be recited, memorised in the hearts, and documented in the pages of the Qur’an. Her everlasting gift surpasses time, place, and space. The chastity and purity of our blessed mother has been verified and endorsed by The Most Just, the All-Knowing and the Almighty Creator of the universe.
12. Her sincere conviction in the oneness of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This is owing to her complete truthfulness and pure heart. She did not turn to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but instead praised Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, sincere praise free from turning to any of the creation, and exempt from seeing oneself. When she was told to stand up to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, she said:
لا والله لا أقوم إليه و لا أحمد إلا الله عز و جل
By Allah, I will not stand up to him. I will only praise Allah – the Mighty and Majestic.
This shows her sincerity to Allah in tawhid, and also her loving gesture of displeasure at Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Imam Ibn al Jawzi explains:
إنما قالت ذلك إدلالا كما يدل الحبيب على حبيبه
She only said that out of pride, like how a lover boasts over his beloved.
Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah comments on this behaviour of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha after revelation was withheld from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for a month. He expounds on the wisdom behind this:
و لتتم العبودية المرادة من الصديقة و أبويها و تتم نعمة الله عليهم و لتشتد الفاقة و الرغبة منها و من أبيوها و الافتقار إلى الله و الذل له و حسن الظن به و الرجاء له و لينقطع رجاؤها من المخلوقين و تيأس من حصول النصرة و الفرج على يد أحد من الخلق و لهذا وفت هذا المقام حقه لما قال لها أبواها قومي إليه و قد أنزل الله عليه براءتها فقالت لا والله لا أقوم إليه و لا أحمد إلا الله هو الذي أنزل براءتي
In order that servitude be accomplished which was intended from Siddiqah and her parents. So that Allah’s favour be completed upon them. And so that her and her parent’s desire and yearning, subjugation to Allah, humbleness before Him, having good thoughts about Him, and hoping in Him increase, and that all hope be lost from the creation. So that she becomes despondent from gaining help or an opening at the hands of any of the creation. Therefore, she done full justice to the situation by stating after her parents told her to stand up to him, “By Allah, I will not stand up to him. I will only praise Allah,” as He revealed my innocence.
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remained silent upon this. This was done in order to please her, and out of consideration for the hurt her heart felt. Anyway, his face was blooming at Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala exoneration of his beloved wife, Siddiqah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
Here we present a viewpoint to remove the slander relying solely on intellectual perceptions with regards to the behaviour of our Mother al Siddiqah radiya Llahu ‘anha, without even considering her virtues and position in the Speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the ahadith of His beloved Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We will present the discussion in brief points – the maxim itself supports her behaviour – to remove misgivings and misconceptions about her. Ultimately, we will prove that undoubtedly this behaviour is not the behaviour of the suspicious but rather the behaviour of the sinless and chaste.
Therefore, her return to that place is a practical proof of her pure intention and innocence from the insults of the slanderers. She relates:
فأممت منزلي الذي كنت به و ظننت أنهم سيفقدوني فيرجعون إلي
I advanced to the station I was present at and thought that they will realise I am missing, so they will return to fetch me.
This is something logically correct. When this is the case, then her returning in broad daylight totally debunks every evil soul’s slander. Had she returned during the night, it would have been suspicious. To the contrary, those with misgivings would have realised her innocence by her appearance in broad sunlight. Therefore, returning at this hour is clear evidence of her innocence and unadulterated intention.
Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah says:
و وقع في حديث ابن عمر بيان سبب تأخر صفوان و لفظه سأل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أن يجعله على الساقة فكان إذا رحل الناس قام يصلي ثم اتبعهم فمن سقط له شيء أتاه به و في حديث أبي هريرة و كان صفوان يتخلف عن الناس فيصيب القدح و الجراب و الإداوة
The reason for Safwan’s lagging behind appears in Ibn ‘Umar’s hadith. His words are, “He requested Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to appoint him as the rearguard. When the army would depart, he would stand up to pray and after a while would follow them. If anyone dropped anything, he would carry it to him.”
Abu Hurairah’s hadith contains the following explanation, “Safwan would stay behind the army and gather cups, bags, and utensils.”
This verifies that it was his general habit which everyone was aware of. It was possible for any Sahabi to join up with Sayyidina Safwan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and accompany him if he lagged behind. Therefore, this was nothing secret, nor anything clandestine. While on the other hand, suspicious folk do not behave normally, but rather act in ways contrary to what people are familiar with about them. They act surreptitious and conceal themselves to carry out their sinister plans. And this is not found in Sayyidina Safwan radiya Llahu ‘anhu so it totally refutes the slander.
This was not the case with our Mother Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. To the contrary, she returned home innocently with a clean heart, and then fell ill. We know that she did not ask about anything, nor found out the news, nor displayed any apprehension or anxiety. In fact, the only thing that filled her thoughts with grief and pain was the absence of the affection of the merciful Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam towards her in her sickness. This was the only thing that bothered her. She narrates:
لا أشعر بشيء من ذلك و هو يريبني في وجعي أني لا أعرف من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم اللطف الذي كنت أرى منه حين أشتكي إنما يدخل علي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فيسلم ثم يقول كيف تيكم ثم ينصرف فذاك الذي يريبني و لا أشعر بالشر حتى خرجت بعدما نقهت
I was totally oblivious of everything. Although, one thing did bother me in my sickness. I did not observe the affection Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would normally display when I was sick. He would just come to me, make salam and ask, “How are you?” Then he would leave. This would worry me. However, I never suspected anything evil. Not until I left the house one day after recovering.
She never sensed anything evil, nor did the thought cross her mind because she did not commit the act, nor go anywhere close to it. No one senses evil, and realises it faster than the actual perpetrator. But to the contrary, she was totally oblivious of everything. We do not find any word in her hadith which suggests hidden fear.
One who perpetrates a crime always seizes the first opportunity that dawns for him to abscond, excused and overjoyed due to the slander being turned away from him outwardly. On the other hand, a noble innocent person after being oppressed – especially when emotionally hurt by an attack on his honour – is thereafter exonerated, he is not overjoyed immediately. The emotional hurt still burdens him. The sudden exoneration does not lessen his burden and does not make him forget the bitterness of the pain. Rather, the pain lasts for a long time and then settles.
Our noble mother’s displeasure and her denial to stand up out of dignity, love, and reproach will not be expressed by a soul broken by the humiliation of sin. It will only be expressed by an innocent noble soul which has been hurt by an attack on its honour. She could not control her displeasure, even in front of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam understood this and welcomed it for he knew that her displeasure is from a sensitive mine associated to the chaste Siddiqah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
People are mines.
As declared by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
These points that we have listed are rational and logical deductions of Sayyidah Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha behaviour. They emphatically establish her purity, chastity, and innocence. Her behaviour itself was sufficient to exonerate her from the calumnies of the slanderers. Then what about when blessed verses were revealed to exonerate her, defend her, and prove her chastity?
Had the slanderers and those who criticised our Mother only utilised their intellect and reflected, sane intelligence and iman would have prevented them from claiming something ludicrous and nonsensical. To the contrary, they contradicted pristine revelation and strong faith.
Ustadh al ‘Aqqad states:
It is in the capacity of the reader to realise the worth of this defamation just by one glance. In reality, it is a baseless worthless slander according to any sane person who also senses behind it the filth of conspiracy and the occurrences sprouting therefrom. It is polluted and infected filth which reeks with the stench of religious and political rancour and the evils of wickedness, lies, and hypocrisy. It is befitting that reservations sprout from every hadith planted between its wicked folds, although they proffer multiple times more evidences and misconceptions they proffered for this useless slander. Whereas there is no evidence or misconception here besides that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha lagged behind en route for a short while after the army proceeded unexpectedly. All the stops and advancements of this entire journey happened all of a sudden.
This lagging behind is not sufficient to suspect an ordinary woman who has gone out for jihad in the presence of the Messenger of Islam. Had every woman who lags behind en route been the target of accusation in her religion and chastity, then levelling accusations against people would be the quickest thing to cross one’s mind.
In fact, had every woman in the caravan besides Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha fell behind, it would be possible for suspicion to arise regarding her delay. On the other hand, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was the only one in the caravan who could be anxious of the fact that those appointed to carry her carriage could have called her name to ascertain her presence. No other woman dreaded observation from the Muslim army as she did. Furthermore, she is the wife of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the daughter of al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu who carried the flag of the Muhajirin in this expedition.
It devolves on the one who accepts such a nonsensical slander to apply his mind into accepting a number of various aspects which are baseless and unsupported. And evidences to the contrary are plenty.
It devolves upon him:
- To believe that Sayyidina Safwan ibn al Mu’attal radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a man who did not believe in Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or the injunctions of Islam.
- To believe that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, despite being the wife of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not believe in him and did not practice her religion.
Whereas there is no proof for either.
To the contrary, there are copious evidences which support the iman of Safwan and the iman of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which are replete in every reference of history.
Safwan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a possessive Muslim who participated in many expeditions and battles and also passed away a martyr. He was never spoken ill about.
Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha believed in every word Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke and retained it with marvellous memory from which blessings can be sought. She was not negligent of the same.
One who accepts such a baseless accusation should ask himself after considering all of the above:
How did this imagined illicit relationship with Safwan begin? On that very night? How could a man be so daring to flirt with the Mother of the Believers whereas they feared calling her name while she was in her carriage?
How could this ever cross his mind whereas he does not doubt her faith in her husband? And he had no prior knowledge of what was hidden in her heart?
If hypothetically we agree that he was daring enough to do this in ecstasy, then how can the brain ever accept that Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife and al Siddiq’s daughter will be ensnared by the first flirter she meets?
A woman who is so immoral, her secrets cannot be hidden. Her secrets would be long exposed, and would not be only disclosed by the hadith of ifk. The hadith would be restricted to Safwan then.
If this imagined illicit relationship arose before this, then how was it concealed from her co-wives, those who were jealous of her, and the hypocrites who speak evil?
Moreover, what made them so daring to take a chance en route? And then to emphasise the disaster by returning to the army in broad daylight?
All this is drivel which a sound mind will never accept.
NEXT⇒ Chapter 6: Verdict against one who insults Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha
 Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2840 – the narration of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
 Diwan al Nabighah al Dhibyani pg. 32.
 Katharna: increase speaking (evil) about her and insulting her. (al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar vol. 4 pg. 153)
 Surah al Nur: 23.
 Al Kashaf vol. 3 pg. 222.
 Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 2661; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2770.
 Surah Yusuf: 18
 Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 4141; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2770.
 Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 2661; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2770.
 Fath al Bari vol. 8 pg. 477.
 Zad al Ma’ad vol. 3 pg. 234.
 Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 2661; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2770.
 Al qadh: a cup. (Mukhtar al Sihah of al Razi pg. 523)
 Al jarab: a bag made from sheep skin in which dry things would be kept. (Lisan al ‘Arab vol. 1 pg. 259)
 Al idawah: a small bag made from leather to carry water. (al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar vol. 1 pg. 33)
 Fath al Bari vol. 8 pg. 461, 462.
 Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 4141; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2770.
 Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 3383; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2378.
 ‘Abbas ibn Mahmud ibn Ibrahim al ‘Aqqad. Born in 1306 A.H. He was an Egyptian Poet, Master of literature, Thinker, and Author. He has written extensively on various sciences of high literacy. Some of his renowned works are: ‘Abqariyyat Muhammad and al Mar’ah fi al Qur’an. He passed away in 1383 A.H. (al A’lam vol. 3 pg. 266)
 Al Siddiqah bint al Siddiq of al ‘Aqqad pg. 78, 81.