Extensive Knowledge of Various Sciences

Academic Competence
July 9, 2021

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Extensive Knowledge of Various Sciences

a)  Knowledge of ‘Aqidah

The effort the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam devoted to entrenching ‘aqidah in the souls of the believers is unconcealable. He invited to Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala Oneness and the extermination of ascribing partners to Him until this ‘aqidah settled firmly in the hearts of his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha enjoyed a complete share in this. She had obtained this ‘aqidah from its purest source, owing to her proximity and closeness to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, listening to him directly, and her profuse questions on aspects unclear to her. Add to this, she was nurtured in a Muslim home and her ‘aqidah was never tarnished with any aspect of shirk or the deviance of the period of ignorance. Marvel at her affirmation of the quality of hearing for Allah—the Mighty and Majestic. She declared with a heart brimming with iman:

 

الحمد لله الذي وسع سمعه الأصوات لقد جاءت خولة إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تشكو زوجها فكان يخفى علي كلامها فأنزل الله عز وجل قَدْ سَمِعَ اللهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِيْ تُجَادِلُكَ فِيْ زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِيْ إِلَى اللهِ وَاللهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَا الآية

All praise belongs to Allah Whose Hearing encompasses all sounds. Khawlah approached the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam complaining about her husband. Her conversation was concealed from me. Yet, Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—revealed: Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue.[1][2]

 

She supports some articles of belief with proof, like denying [the possibility of] seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the world with physical eyes, the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam conveying the message of his Rabb [i.e. the Qur’an] in its entirety, and Allah’s exclusivity with knowledge of the unseen. She pronounces:

 

ثلاث من تكلم بواحدة منهن فقد أعظم على الله الفرية … من زعم أن محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم رأى ربه فقد أعظم على الله الفرية

There are three statements; whoever utters any one of them has fabricated the greatest lie against Allah. Whoever believes that Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw his Rabb has fabricated a great lie against Allah.

 

She supports it with Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declaration:

 

لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيْفُ الْخَبِيْرُ

Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.[3]

 

And Allah’s declaration:

 

وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُوْلًا فَيُوْحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيْمٌ

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.[4]

 

She continues:

 

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

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.[5]

 

She adds:

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

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.”[6] [7]

 

Another example of this is when she was asked about al Kawthar in the verse:

 

إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ

Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al Kawthar[8]

 

She expounded:

نهر أعطيه نبيكم صلى الله عليه وسلم شاطئاه عليه در مجوف آنيته كعدد النجوم

A river bestowed to your Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, on the banks of which are hollowed pearls, and its utensils are as numberless as the stars.[9]

 

She would affirm the excellence and high position of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and reject those who curse them or trivialise their high rank. 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, while 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.[10]

 

Despite acknowledging their excellence, she would not exceed the limits and raise them to a platform higher than the one they are stationed at. It appears in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that when Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was told that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the wasi (undisputed successor of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), she objected:

 

متى أوصى إليه وقد كنت مسندته إلى صدري أو قالت حجري فدعا بالطست فلقد انخنث في حجري فما شعرت أنه قد مات فمتى أوصى إليه

When did he appoint him a successor? I had supported him [the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] on my chest—or lap. He called for a dish. His limbs then became numb[11] while resting in my lap and I did not even realise that he had passed away. At what point exactly did he appoint him a successor?[12]

 

Likewise, she has narrated plenty ahadith on ‘aqidah which the scholars continuously rely upon as proof in various chapters and aspects of ‘aqidah.

 

b) Knowledge of Qur’an and its Sciences

Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is reckoned as a senior Mufassir of her era. Listening to the Glorious Qur’an from a young age contributed to this. She recalls:

لقد أنزل على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بمكة وإني لجارية ألعب بَلِ السَّاعَةُ مَوْعِدُهُمْ وَالسَّاعَةُ أَدْهىٰ وَأَمَرُّ وما نزلت سورة البقرة والنساء إلا وأنا عنده

The following verse was revealed upon Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Makkah. At the time, I was a young girl playing: Better yet, the Hour is their appointed time—and the Hour will be most catastrophic and most bitter.[13] Surah al Baqarah and al Nisa’ were only revealed when I was with him.[14]

 

Her marriage to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and living in his shade enabled her to have the great fortune and privilege of being present at the revelation of plenty verses of the Glorious Qur’an. She lived nine years in the Descent of Revelation. Revelation would not descend upon the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while he was under the sheet with any of his wives besides her.[15]

Many verses were revealed because of her, for example, the Verses of Slander and the Verse of Tayammum. She would observe the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when Jibril ‘alayh al Salam descended with revelation. She goes on to describe the condition of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during this time, saying:

 

لقد رأيته ينزل عليه الوحي في اليوم الشديد البرد فيفصم عنه وإن جبينه ليتفصد عرقا

I definitely observed him when revelation descended upon him on an extremely cold day. By the time it terminated[16], his forehead was dripping with perspiration[17].[18]

 

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha did not suffice on simple memorisation. Whenever anything was difficult for her to comprehend, she would not hesitate to bring it to the attention of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to comprehend fully the meanings of the Qur’anic verse and Allah’s—the Mighty and Majestic—purport. For that reason, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reports:

 

سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن هذه الآية وَالَّذِيْنَ يُؤْتُوْنَ مَا آتَوْا وَّقُلُوْبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ قالت عائشة أهم الذين يشربون الخمر ويسرقون قال لا يا بنت الصديق ولكنهم الذين يصومون ويصلون ويتصدقون وهم يخافون أن لا تقبل منهم أُولٰئِكَ يُسَارِعُوْنَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَهُمْ لَهَا سَابِقُوْنَ

I enquired from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the meaning of this verse: And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful.[19]

Aisha asked, “Are they the ones who consume liquor and steal?”

“No, O daughter of al Siddiq,” he replied. “Rather, they are the ones who fast and perform salah and give charity; yet are afraid that it will not be accepted from them. It is those who hasten to good deeds, and they outstrip [others] therein.[20][21]

 

When any aspect of revelation was obscure or intricate for her, she hastened to question the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about it to remove her difficulty. This is what upgraded Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to attain complete understanding of the Glorious Qur’an; the reasons behind the revelation [of various verses], themes, and decisions.[22]

Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman announces:

 

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 with a verse for which it was revealed, or inheritance than Aisha.[23]

 

Thus, we observe her referring to the Book of Almighty Allah before everything else in finding a solution to every problem, major or minor; resolving a tafsiri riddle, or answering a question posed to her in this connection. It was her first reference in all matters. She would revert to the Qur’an, not only in issues of ‘aqa’id, fiqh, or Shar’i laws. Rather, in all matters; including the biography of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, expounding on his character and behaviour, as well as aspects concerning history and the past.

Once, some people approached her to enquire from her about the mannerism of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to which she replied:

 

ألست تقرأ القرآن فإن خلق رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان القرآن قال حدثيني عن قيام الليل قالت ألست تقرأ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ

“Do you recite not the Qur’an? Undoubtedly, the character of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the Qur’an.”

He said, “Narrate to me about qiyam al layl (night prayer).”

She answered, “Do you not recite the Qur’an, O you who wraps himself [in clothing]!”[24][25]

 

She summarised the difference between Makki and Madani Surahs and the theme of each of them. While the Makki Surahs focus on aspects of ‘aqidah, we find the Madani Surahs concentrating most of the time on laws, halal, and haram. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reports:

 

إنما نزل أول ما نزل منه سورة من المفصل فيها ذكر الجنة والنار حتى إذا ثاب الناس إلى الإسلام نزل الحلال والحرام ولو نزل أول شيء لا تشربوا الخمر لقالوا لا ندع الخمر أبدا ولو نزل لا تزنوا لقالوا لا ندع الزنا أبدا لقد نزل بمكة على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وإني لجارية ألعب بَلِ السَّاعَةُ مَوْعِدُهُمْ وَالسَّاعَةُ أَدْهىٰ وَأَمَرُّ وما نزلت سورة البقرة والنساء إلا وأنا عنده

The opening revelations of the Qur’an were from the Mufassal which contain mention of Jannat and Jahannam. After people rushed into Islam, aspects of halal and haram were revealed. If at first: Do not consume liquor was revealed, they would have protested, “We will never ever discard liquor,” and if do not fornicate was revealed, they would have protested, “We will never discard fornication ever.” The following verse was revealed upon Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Makkah. At the time, I was a young girl playing: Better yet, the Hour is their appointed time—and the Hour will be most catastrophic and most bitter.[26] Surah al Baqarah and al Nisa’ were only revealed when I was with him.[27]

 

Surah al Baqarah and Surah al Nisa—which Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is speaking about—were revealed only in Madinah. They tackle the topic of dialogue with the Jews since the Jews were residing in Madinah. Given that the Islamic Invitation reached completion in Madinah al Munawwarah, laws were revealed there and the style of laws and verdicts were adopted in them with al fawasil (short verses) being reduced. She affirms that Surah al Qamar was revealed in Makkah. This was the beginning stage of Islam, so this Surah contains mention of Qiyamah. It also deals with rejection and rebuttal of the mushrikin since they were the ones being confronted. Al fawasil were adopted for it leads to deep influence in style and eloquence.[28]

 

The Method of Tafsir according to Umm al Mu’minin Aisha

1. Tafsir of the Qur’an with the Qur’an

Commentary of the Qur’an with the Qur’an is the most genuine method of tafsir. The first to interpret the Qur’an with the Qur’an is the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself. Undoubtedly, it is the most authentic style. What is mentioned briefly at one place is elucidated on at another. ‘Urwah reports one such example from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

أنه سأل عائشة عن قول الله وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوْا فِي الْيَتَامىٰ فَانْكِحُوْا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ قالت يا ابن أختي هي اليتيمة تكون في حجر وليها تشاركه في ماله فيعجبه مالها وجمالها فيريد وليها أن يتزوجها بغير أن يقسط في صداقها فيعطيها مثل ما يعطيها غيره فنهوا أن ينكحوهن إلا أن يقسطوا لهن ويبلغوا بهن أعلى سنتهن من الصداق وأمروا أن ينكحوا ما طاب لهم من النساء سواهن قال عروة قالت عائشة ثم إن الناس استفتوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد هذه الآية فيهن فأنزل الله عز وجل وَيَسْتَفْتُوْنَكَ فِي النِّسَاءِ قُلِ اللهُ يُفْتِيْكُمْ فِيهِنَّ وَمَا يُتْلىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ فِيْ يَتَامَى النِّسَاءِ اللَّاتِيْ لَا تُؤْتُوْنَهُنَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُنَّ وَتَرْغَبُوْنَ أَنْ تَنْكِحُوْهُنَّ قالت والذي ذكر الله تعالى أنه يتلى عليكم في الكتاب الآية الأولى التي قال الله فيها وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوْا فِي الْيَتَامىٰ فَانْكِحُوْا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ قالت عائشة وقول الله في الآية الأخرى وَتَرْغَبُوْنَ أَنْ تَنْكِحُوْهُنَّ رغبة أحدكم عن اليتيمة التي تكون في حجره حين تكون قليلة المال والجمال فنهوا أن ينكحوا ما رغبوا في مالها وجمالها من يتامى النساء إلا بالقسط من أجل رغبتهن عنهن

He asked Aisha about Allah’s statement: And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four.[29]

She expounded, “O nephew, she refers to the orphan girl in the care of her guardian. She shares in his wealth and he is amazed by her wealth and beauty. Her guardian wishes to marry her without being just in her dowry and gives her what others give her. They were prohibited from marrying them except if they deal justly with them and give them the highest dowry suitable for them. They were commanded to marry other women that pleased them besides these [orphan girls] [if they were unable to deal justly with them in respect of their dowry.]”

Aisha continues: “Thereafter, people enquired from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after the revelation of this verse about these girls upon which Allah—the Mighty and Majestic revealed: And they request from you, [O Muhammad], a [legal] ruling concerning women. Say, Allah gives you a ruling about them and [about] what has been recited to you in the Book concerning the orphan girls to whom you do not give what is decreed for them and [yet] you [do not] desire to marry them.’[30]” She explained, “By what has been recited to you in the book, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is referring to the first verse in which Allah declared: And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women.[31] And Allah’s statement in the other verse: and [yet] you [do not] desire to marry them.[32] One’s disinclination from an orphan girl in his care who has little wealth and beauty. They were, thus, prohibited from marrying those orphan girls in whose wealth and beauty they were interested except with justice due to their disinclination from them [i.e. those with little wealth and beauty].[33]

 

2.  Tafsir of the Qur’an with the Sunnah

The Sunnah is definitely an interpreter and exegesis of the Qur’an. This manifests the importance of the interpretation of the Qur’an with the Sunnah. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha obtained a complete share of this owing to the extensiveness of her ahadith reports coupled with the many questions she posed to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asking about aspects obscure to her. Consider her commentary of these verses:

 

وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ بِالْأُفُقِ الْمُبِيْنِ وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرىٰ

And he has already seen him in the clear horizon.[34] And he certainly saw him in another descent.[35]

She explained:

 

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

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.”

 

Another example is the commentary of Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement:

 

وَمِنْ شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ

And from the evil of darkness when it settles.[36]

 

She reports:

أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نظر يوما إلى القمر لما طلع وقال يا عائشة استعيذي بالله من شر هذا فإن هذا هو الغاسق إذا وقب

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam looked at the moon one day when it appeared and remarked, “O Aisha, seek Allah’s protection from the evil of this for it is the darkness when it settles.”[37]

 

3.  Benefitting from Reasons behind Revelation in Understanding the Tafsir of Qur’an

Knowing the reason behind revelation is extremely essential in the commentary of the Qur’an, explaining its meanings, and removing misconceptions which could surface in the understanding of some verses. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was well-versed and had a vast overview of the reasons of revelation, especially since she lived and witnessed the descent of revelation, thus becoming aware of the reasons behind its revelation. In fact, she was the reason behind the revelation of some verses. ‘Urwah’s report indicates to this. He says:

 

سألت عائشة فقلت لها أرأيت قول الله تعالى إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيْمٌ فوالله ما على أحد جناح أن لا يطوف بين الصفا والمروة قالت بئس ما قلت يا ابن أختي ولكنها أنزلت في الأنصار كانوا قبل أن يسلموا يهلون لمناة الطاغية التي كانوا يعبدونها عند المشلل فكان من أهل يتحرج أن يطوف بين الصفا والمروة فلما أسلموا سألوا رسول الله عن ذلك فأنزل الله تعالى هذه الآية

I asked Aisha, “Have a look at Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement: Indeed, al Safa and al Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘Umrah, there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good, then indeed, Allah is Appreciative and Knowing.[38] By Allah, there is no blame upon anyone for not walking between al Safa and al Marwah.”

“Evil indeed is what you said, O my nephew,” she scolded. “Rather, it was revealed addressing the Ansar. Before embracing Islam, they would don the ihram at Mushallal[39] for the idol Manat which they worshipped. They, who donned ihram [for Manat], would be critical of walking between al Safa and al Marwah. After embracing Islam, they asked the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concerning this upon which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala revealed this verse.”[40]

 

Another example of this comes from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَافَتْ مِنْ بَعْلِهَا نُشُوْزًا أَوْ إِعْرَاضًا قالت هي المرأة تكون عند الرجل لا يستكثر منها فيريد طلاقها ويتزوج غيرها تقول هي أمسكني ولا تطلقني ثم تزوج غيري فأنت في حل من النفقة علي والقسمة لي فذلك قول الله تعالى فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَنْ يَصّٰلَحَا[41] بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحًا وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ

And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion.[42] She explains, “It is a woman in the wedlock of a man who does not take much benefit from her and, thus, desires to divorce her and marry someone else. She says, ‘Keep me and do not divorce me. Then get married to someone else. You are free from spending upon me and allocating a night for me.’ This is Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement: There is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them, and settlement is best.[43] [44]

 

Further elucidation of this appears in yet another report wherein Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha tells ‘Urwah:

 

يا ابن أختي كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يفضل بعضنا على بعض في القسم من مكثه عندنا وكان قل يوم إلا وهو يطوف علينا جميعا فيدنو من كل امرأة من غير مسيس حتى يبلغ إلى التي هو يومها فيبيت عندها ولقد قالت سودة بنت زمعة حين أسنت وفرقت أن يفارقها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يا رسول الله يومي لعائشة فقبل ذلك رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم منها قالت نقول في ذلك أنزل الله تعالى وفي أشباهها أراه قال وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَافَتْ مِنْ بَعْلِهَا نُشُوْزًا…

O my nephew, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not prefer some of us over others in allocating his stay by us. He visited us all nearly every day. He became intimate with each wife without intercourse, until finally he reached the one who’s turn it was and spent the night by her.

Saudah bint Zam’ah told him after reaching old age and fearing that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam might separate from her, “O Messenger of Allah, my day is for Aisha.” The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted this from her. We would say that in this regard—and in women of her like I assume—did Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala reveal: And if a woman fears from her husband contempt [45] [46]

 

4. Linguistic Tafsir

The Qur’an was revealed in the clear and perfect Arabic language. One of the methods of tafsir is interpretation based on the Arabs’ understanding of the language. Sayyidah Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha linguistic prowess, awareness of the literary usage of the Arabs in their poetry and prose, coupled with her eloquence, fluency, and clarity of expression enabled her to make this type of tafsir. One example is her commentary of the word al quru as purity not menstrual cycles[47] in Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement:

وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنْفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوْءٍ

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods.[48]

 

The word al qar is a contranym. Purity or menstrual cycle is intended by it.[49]

 

5.  Al Tafsir al Ijtihadi

For example her interpretation of Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوْهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُوْنَ

O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Shaitan, so avoid it that you may be successful.[50]

 

She declares:

كل مسكر حرام وكل شراب يكون عاقبته كعاقبة الخمر فهو حرام كتحريم الخمر

Every intoxicant is haram[51] and every drink which leads to intoxication is also haram like the prohibition of liquor.

She clarifies: Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala did not prohibit liquor due to its name, but rather due to its consequence.[52]

 

Another example is her commentary of wa ma kasab as offspring. ‘Abdur Razzaq documents from Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that she commentated on Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala words:

مَا أَغْنىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ

His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained.[53]

She says:

ولده كسبه

His offspring are his gain.[54]

 

Another example is her tafsir of Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala words:

 

وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً قالت واجبة

And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously.[55]

She clarified, “compulsorily.”[56]

 


[1] Surah al Mujadalah: 1.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, without an isnad before Hadith: 7386 ; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 46; Sunan al Nasa’i, Hadith: 3460; Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 188. Ibn ‘Asakir classified it sahih in Mu’jam al Shuyukh, vol. 1 pg. 163; Ibn Hajar in Taghliq al Ta’liq, vol. 5 pg. 3339; al Albani in Sahih Sunan al Nasa’i, Hadith: 3460; and al Wadi’i in al Sahih al Musnad, Hadith: 1583.

[3] Surah al An’am: 103.

[4] Surah al Shura: 51.

[5] Surah al Ma’idah: 67.

[6] Surah al Naml: 65.

[7] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 177.

[8] Surah al Kawthar: 1.

[9] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4965.

[10] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 3022.

[11] Inkhanatha: lose movement and bend, due to the looseness of his limbs at the time of death. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 2 pg. 82.

[12] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2741; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1636.

[13] Surah al Qamar: 46.

[14] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4993.

[15] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3775; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2441.

[16] Yafsamu ‘anhu: terminate. Gharib al Hadith, vol. 2 pg. 192, al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 3 pg. 452.

[17] Yatafassadu ‘arqan: flow and drip with perspiration. Tahdhib al Lughah, vol. 12 pg. 104; Mashariq al Anwar, vol. 2 pg. 160.

[18] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2333.

[19] Surah al Mu’minun: 60.

[20] Surah al Mu’minun: 61.

[21] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3157; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 205, Hadith: 25746; al Mustadrak, vol. 2 pg. 427; Shu’ab al Iman, vol. 1 pg. 477, Hadith: 762. Al Hakim comments, “The isnad is sahih, but al Bukhari and Muslim have not documented it.” Ibn al ‘Arabi in ‘Aridat al Ahwadhi, vol. 6 pg. 258, and al Albani in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi have declared it sahih.

[22] ‘Abdullah Abu al Sa’ud Badr: Tafsir Umm al Mu’minin Aisha, pg. 113; al Sayyidah Aisha wa Tawthiquha li al Sunnah, pg. 46 – 48; al Sayyidah Aisha Umm al Mu’minin wa ‘Alimat Nisa’ al Islam, pg. 182; Sa’id Fayiz al Dakhil: Mawsu’ah Fiqh Aisha Umm al Mu’minin wa Hayatuha wa Fiqhuha, pg. 83.

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

[24] Surah al Muzzammil: 1. Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 746.

[25] Sirat al Sayyidah Aisha, pg. 232.

[26] Surah al Qamar: 46.

[27] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4993.

[28] Sirat al Sayyidah Aisha, pg. 290.

[29] Surah al Nisa’: 3.

[30] Surah al Nisa’: 127.

[31] Surah al Nisa’: 3.

[32] Surah al Nisa’: 127.

[33] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2494; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 3018.

[34] Surah al Takwir: 23.

[35] Surah al Najm: 13.

[36] Surah al Falaq: 3.

[37] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3366; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 215, Hadith: 25844; Sunan al Nasa’i, vol. 6 pg. 83, Hadith: 10137; Musnad Abi Dawood al Tayalisi, pg. 208; Musnad Abi Ya’la, vol. 7 pg. 417, Hadith: 4440; al Mustadrak, vol. 2 pg. 589. Al Tirmidhi and al Albani in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3366, labelled it hasan sahih. Al Nawawi, on the other hand, classified it da’if in al Manthurat, Hadith: 292. Ibn Hajar in al Futuhat al Rabbaniyyah, vol. 4 pg. 334, labelled it hasan gharib. Al Zarqani labelled it sahih in Mukhtasar al Maqasid, Hadith: 93, making similar remarks to al Tirmidhi, contrary to al Nawawi. Al Wadi’i labels it hasan in al Sahih al Musnad, Hadith: 1634.

[38] Surah al Baqarah: 158.

[39] Al Mushallal: an area between Makkah and Madinah. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 4 pg. 334.

[40] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1643; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1277.

[41] Yassalaha: Ibn Zanjalah: Hujjat al Qira’at, pg. 214.

[42] Surah al Nisa’: 128.

[43] Surah al Nisa’: 128.

[44] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 5206; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 3021. The wording is al Bukhari’s.

[45] Surah al Nisa’: 128.

[46] Sunan Abi Dawood, Hadith: 2135; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 107, Hadith: 24809 briefly; al Mu’jam al Kabir, vol. 24 pg. 31, Hadith: 81; al Mustadrak, vol. 2 pg. 203; Sunan al Bayhaqi, vol. 7 pg. 74, Hadith: 13816. Muhammad ‘Abdul Hadi labelled the isnad jayyid (good) in al Muharrar, Hadith: 368 and so did Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab in al Hadith, vol. 4 pg. 150. Ibn Kathir comments in Irshad al Faqih, vol. 2 pg. 187, “The isnad is sahih hasan.” Ibn Hajar comments in Fath al Bari, vol. 9 pg. 223, “Ibn Sa’d corroborated him in joining it [the isnad]. Sa’id ibn Mansur, on the other hand, narrated it mursal without mentioning from Aisha.” Al Albani labels it hasan sahih in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawood, Hadith: 2135. Al Wadi’i classified it hasan in al Sahih al Musnad, Hadith: 1629.

[47] Muwatta’ Malik, vol. 4 pg. 830; Sharh Ma’ani al Athar, vol. 3 pg. 61; al Daraqutni: al Sunan, vol. 1 pg. 214; Sunan al Bayhaqi, vol. 7 pg. 415, Hadith: 15779. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr in al Tamhid, vol. 15 pg. 95; and Ibn Hajar in Bulugh al Maram, Hadith: 334 classified the isnad sahih.

[48] Surah al Baqarah: 228.

[49] Sa’ud ibn ‘Abdullah al Fanisan: Marwiyyat Umm al Mu’minin Aisha fi al Tafsir, pg. 99–101; ‘Abdullah Abu al Sa’ud Badr: Tafsir Umm al Mu’minin Aisha, Hadith: 107.

[50] Surah al Ma’idah: 90.

[51] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 7 pg. 463, Hadith: 18836.

[52] Al Sunan, vol. 4 pg. 256; al Sayyidah Aisha wa Tawthiquha li al Sunnah, pg. 51; Tafsir Umm al Mu’minin Aisha, pg. 115.

[53] Surah al Masad: 2.

[54] Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, vol. 9 pg. 130.

[55] Surah al Nisa’: 4.

[56] Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim, vol. 3 pg. 861.

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