f. Her Knowledge of Language, Poetry, and Rhetoric

e. Her Knowledge of History
August 6, 2021
g. Her Knowledge of Medicine and Treatment
August 6, 2021

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f. Her Knowledge of Language, Poetry, and Rhetoric

Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was on a lofty pedestal of rhetoric and eloquence and had plenty knowledge of poetry. Musa ibn Talhah[1] says:


ما رأيت أحدا أفصح من عائشة

I have not seen anyone more articulate than Aisha.[2]


Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu submits:


ما رأيت خطيبا قط أبلغ ولا أفصح من عائشة

I have never ever seen a lecturer more articulate and eloquent than Aisha.[3]


Her expressiveness and rhetoric become apparent when her feelings and emotions are awoken; her speech ascends and becomes magnificent, as if it is emanating from her core refinement and her vast knowledge. At the demise of her father, she lamented in elegiac poetry unveiling her lofty rhetoric.[4] She radiya Llahu ‘anha said:


رحمك الله يا أبة لقد قمت بالدين حين وهي شعبه وتفاقم صدعه ورحبت جوانبه وبغضت ما أصغوا إليه وشمرت فيما ونوا عنه واستخففت من دنياك ما استوطنوا وصغرت منها ما عظموا ولم تهضم دينك ولم تنس غدك ففاز عند المساهمة قدحك وخف مما استوزوا ظهرك حتى قررت الرؤوس على كواهلها وحقنت الدماء في أهبها يعني في الأجساد فنضر الله وجهك يا أبة فلقد كنت للدنيا مذلا بإدبارك عنها وللآخرة معزا بإقبالك عليها ولكأن أجل الرزايا بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رزؤك وأكبر المصائب فقدك فعليك سلام الله ورحمته غير قالية لحياتك ولا زارية على القضاء فيك

Allah have mercy upon you, O beloved father! You established Din when its branches grew weak, its cracks reached alarming proportions, and its sides became spacious; and you disliked what they inclined to. You were entrenched in it while they moved away from it. You took a paltry amount of the world which they chose for permanent settlement and you regarded as trivial what they glorified. You did not treat your Din with injustice and you never forgot your tomorrow. Your arrow was, thus, successful in battle. The burden they placed on your back became light until you awarded contentment to heads from their burdens and you spared blood in their bodies. May Allah, thus, brighten your face, O beloved father.

You humiliated the world by turning away from it and conferred honour to the Hereafter by aspiring for it. As if the greatest of calamities after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is your calamity[5] and the greatest catastrophe is your loss. May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon you, without me detesting your life nor finding fault with the decision about you.[6]


Muhammad ibn Sirin[7]—from al Ahnaf ibn Qais who relates:


سمعت خطبة أبي بكر الصديق وعمر بن الخطاب وعثمان بن عفان وعلي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنهم والخلفاء هلم جرا إلى يومي هذا فما سمعت الكلام من فم مخلوق أفخم ولا أحسن منه من في عائشة رضي الله عنها

I heard the sermons of Abu Bakr al Siddiq, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and the Khalifas thereafter up to this day. However, I have not heard a speech from the mouth of any creation more magnificent and beautiful than from Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha mouth.[8]


Therefore, it comes with no surprise that she narrates a hadith like the hadith of Umm Zar’, which contains various aspects, verities of eloquence, and admirable speech, including refined words, profound meanings, appropriate rhythm, and systematic well-coordinated prose. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sat listening to her. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reports:


جلس إحدى عشرة امرأة فتعاهدن وتعاقدن أن لا يكتمن من أخبار أزواجهن شيئا قالت الأولى زوجي لحم جمل غث على رأس جبل لا سهل فيرتقى ولا سمين فينتقل قالت الثانية زوجي لا أبث خبره إني أخاف أن لا أذره إن أذكره أذكر عجره وبجره قالت الثالثة زوجي العشنق إن أنطق أطلق وإن أسكت أعلق قالت الرابعة زوجي كليل تهامة لا حر ولا قر ولا مخافة ولا سآمة قالت الخامسة زوجي إن دخل فهد وإن خرج أسد ولا يسأل عما عهد قالت السادسة زوجي إن أكل لف وإن شرب اشتف وإن اضطجع التف ولا يولج الكف ليعلم البث قالت السابعة زوجي غياياء أو عياياء طباقاء كل داء له داء شجك أو فلك أو جمع كلا لك قالت الثامنة زوجي المس مس أرنب والريح ريح زرنب قالت التاسعة زوجي رفيع العماد طويل النجاد عظيم الرماد قريب البيت من الناد قالت العاشرة زوجي مالك وما مالك مالك خير من ذلك له إبل كثيرات المبارك قليلات المسارح وإذا سمعن صوت المزهر أيقن أنهن هوالك قالت الحادية عشرة زوجي أبو زرع فما أبو زرع أناس من حلي أذني وملأ من شحم عضدي وبجحني فبجحت إلي نفسي وجدني في أهل غنيمة بشق فجعلني في أهل صهيل وأطيط ودائس ومنق فعنده أقول فلا أقبح وأرقد فأتصبح وأشرب فأتقنح أم أبي زرع فما أم أبي زرع عكومها رداح وبيتها فساح ابن أبي زرع فما ابن أبي زرع مضجعه كمسل شطبة ويشبعه ذراع الجفرة بنت أبي زرع فما بنت أبي زرع طوع أبيها وطوع أمها وملء كسائها وغيظ جارتها جارية أبي زرع فما جارية أبي زرع لا تبث حديثنا تبثيثا ولا تنقث ميرتنا تنقيثا ولا تملأ بيتنا تعشيشا قالت خرج أبو زرع والأوطاب تمحض فلقي امرأة معها ولدان لها كالفهدين يلعبان من تحت خصرها برمانتين فطلقني ونكحها فنكحت بعده رجلا سريا ركب شربا وأخذ خطيا وأراح علي نعما ثريا وأعطاني من كل رائحة زوجا وقال كلي أم زرع وميري أهلك قالت فلو جمعت كل شيء أعطانيه ما بلغ أصغر آنية أبي زرع قالت عائشة قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كنت لك كأبي زرع لأم زرع

Eleven women sat (at a place) and promised and contracted that they would not conceal anything of their husbands.

The first one said, “My husband is like the meat of a weak[9] camel which is kept on the top of a mountain, neither easy to climb, nor is the meat fat, so that one might put up with the trouble of fetching it[10].”[11]

The second one said, “I shall not broadcast[12] my husband’s news, for I fear that I may not spare him[13]. If I describe him, I will mention all his external imperfections[14] and internal deficiencies[15].”[16]

The third one said, “My husband is too tall[17] and foolish. If I describe him (and he hears of that) I will be divorced, and if I keep quiet, I will be kept hanging (neither divorcing me nor treating me as a wife).”[18]

The fourth one said, “My husband is (moderate in temper) like the night of Tihamah[19]: neither hot nor cold. I am neither afraid[20] of him, nor discontented[21] with him.”[22]

The fifth one said, “My husband, when entering (the house) is a leopard[23] (he sleeps a lot), and when going out, is a lion (he boasts a lot). He does not ask about whatever he left [by me].”[24]

The sixth one said, “When my husband eats, he eats too much[25] (leaving the dishes empty); when he drinks, he leaves nothing[26]; when he sleeps, he rolls himself[27] (alone in our blankets); and he does not insert his palm to inquire about my feelings[28].”

The seventh one said, “My husband is impotent or powerless[29] and foolish. All defects are present in him.[30] He may injure your head or break your bone or do both[31].”

The eighth one said, “My husband is soft to touch like a rabbit and smells like a zarnab[32] (a kind of good smelling grass).”[33]

The ninth one said, “My husband has tall pillars (i.e. he is of noble descent) and wears a long strap for carrying his sword (i.e. he is tall in stature). His ashes are abundant (i.e. he is generous to his guests) and his house is near to the people.”[34]

The tenth one said, “My husband is Malik. And what is Malik?[35] Malik is greater than whatever I say about him. Most of his camels are kept at home (ready to be slaughtered for the guests) and only a few are taken to the pastures.[36] When the camels hear the sound of the flute[37] they realize that they are going to be slaughtered[38] [for the guests].”

The eleventh one said, “My husband is Abu Zar’. What is Abu Zar’ (i.e., what should I say about him)? He has drooped my ears with jewellery[39] and filled my arms with fat[40]. He has pleased me, and I have become so happy that I feel proud of myself.[41] He found me with my family who owned few sheep and lived in poverty[42] and brought me to a [respected] family owning horses and camels, and threshing (grain) and [slaves] purifying grain[43]. Whenever I speak in his presence, I am not rebuked.[44] When I sleep, I sleep till late in the morning.[45] And when I drink, I drink to my fill.[46] The mother of Abu Zar’. And what may one say in praise of the mother of Abu Zar’? Her saddle bags are always full of provision[47] and her house is spacious[48]. As for the son of Abu Zar’, what may one say of the son of Abu Zar’? His bed is as narrow as an unsheathed sword[49] and an arm of a kid (of four months) satisfies his hunger[50]. As for the daughter of Abu Zar’, what about the daughter of Abu Zar’? She is obedient to her father and dutiful to her mother. She has a fat well-built body[51] and that arouses the jealousy of her husband’s other wife[52]. As for the slave girl of Abu Zar’, what may one say of the slave-girl of Abu Zar’? She does not disclose our secrets[53] and does not waste our provisions[54] and does not leave the rubbish scattered everywhere in our house[55].”

The eleventh lady added, “One day it so happened that Abu Zar’ went out at the time when the milk was being milked from the animals[56], and he saw a woman who had two sons like two leopards playing from under her hip with two pomegranates[57]. He divorced me and married her. Thereafter I married a noble man[58] who used to ride a fast tireless horse[59] and keep a spear[60] in his hand. He gave me plenty camels[61] coupled with a pair of every kind of wealth[62] and said, ‘Eat (of this), O Umm Zar’, and give provision to your relatives.’”

She added, “Yet, if I gather everything which he gave me, it will not fill the smallest container of Abu Zar’’s.”[63]

Aisha then said: Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me, “I am to you as Abu Zar’ was to his wife Umm Zar’.”[64]


No one disputes over Sayyidah Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha eloquence and articulacy. She memorised and transmitted poetry. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would enjoy listening to her reciting it and would request her to recite more. Her proficiency in poetry was inherited from her father would memorised poetry and set aright the rhythms and her brother Sayyidina ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who arranged it. She would advise people to teach poetry to their children so that their tongues becomes sweet. Whenever something momentous happened to her, she would burst out with poetry.[65]


عن أبي الزناد قال ما رأيت أحدا أروى لشعر من عروة فقيل له ما أرواك يا أبا عبد الله قال وما روايتي من رواية عائشة ما كان ينزل بها شيء إلا أنشدت فيه شعرا

Abu al Zinad[66] admits: I have never seen anyone more luxuriant in poetry than ‘Urwah. He was told: “How magnificent you are, O Abu ‘Abdullah.”

He commented, “I only transmit the narratives of Aisha! Whenever something would descend upon her she would erupt with poetry.”[67]


وعن عروة بن الزبير قال كانت عائشة أروى الناس شعرا وكانت تنشد قول لبيد ذهب الذين يعاش في أكنافهم وبقيت في خلف كجلد الأجرب ثم تقول كيف بلبيد لو أدرك من نحن بين ظهرانيه

‘Urwah ibn al Zubair reports: Aisha was the most luxuriant in poetry. She would quote the couplet of Labid:

Those under whose shadow and protection life is lived have departed.

And I remain behind among the successors like the skin of one afflicted by mange.

She would then comment, “What would be Labid’s condition if he saw those we live amidst?”[68]


وعن الشعبي أن عائشة قالت رويت للبيد نحوا من ألف بيت

Al Sha’bi reports that Aisha said, “I transmitted approximately a thousand couplets of Labid.”[69]


Abu ‘Ali al Hassan ibn Rashiq al Qayrawani[70] says:


إن عائشة رضي الله عنها كانت كثيرة الرواية للشعر يقال إنها كانت تروي جميع شعر لبيد

Certainly, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would transmit poetry in great abundance. It is said that she transmitted all the poetry of Labid.[71]


One of her reports on poetry or quoting it as an example is the following:


أن أبا بكر رضي الله عنه تزوج امرأة من كلب يقال لها أم بكر فلما هاجر أبو بكر طلقها فتزوجها ابن عمها هذا الشاعر الذي قال هذه القصيدة رثى كفار قريش

من الشيزى تزين بالسنام

وماذا بالقليب قليب بدر

من القينات والشرب الكرام

وماذا بالقليب قليب بدر

وهل لي بعد قومي من سلام

تحيي بالسلامة أم بكر

وكيف حياة أصداء وهام

يحدثنا الرسول بأن سنحيا

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu married a woman from the Kalb tribe, called Umm Bakr. When Abu Bakr emigrated, he divorced her after which her cousin married her, the poet who said the following poem lamenting the infidels of Quraysh:

What is there kept in the well, the well[72] of Badr?

The owners of ebony trays[73] of roasted camel humps[74]?

What is there kept in the well, the well of Badr?

The owners of lady singers[75] and friends of the honourable companions who used to drink (wine) together.[76]

Umm Bakr greets us with the greeting of peace.

But can I find peace after my people have gone?

The Messenger tells us that we shall live again.

But what sort of life will owls and skulls[77] live?[78]


She reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded:


اهجوا قريشا فإنه أشد عليها من رشق بالنبل فأرسل إلى ابن رواحة فقال اهجهم فهجاهم فلم يرض فأرسل إلى كعب بن مالك ثم أرسل إلى حسان بن ثابت فلما دخل عليه قال حسان قد آن لكم أن ترسلوا إلى هذا الأسد الضارب بذنبه ثم أدلع لسانه فجعل يحركه فقال والذي بعثك بالحق لأفرينهم بلساني فري الأديم فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تعجل فإن أبا بكر أعلم قريش بأنسابها وإن لي فيها نسبا حتى يلخص لك نسبي فأتاه حسان ثم رجع فقال يا رسول الله قد خلص لي نسبك والذي بعثك بالحق لأسلنك منهم كما تسل الشعرة من العجين قالت عائشة فسمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لحسان إن روح القدس لا يزال يؤيدك ما نافحت عن الله ورسوله وقالت سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول هجاهم حسان فشفى واشتفى قال حسان

هجوت محمدا فأجبت عنه

وعند الله في ذاك الجزاء

هجوت مباركا برا حنيفا

رسول الله شيمته الوفاء

فإن أبي ووالده وعرضي

لعرض محمد منكم وقاء

ثكلت بنيتي إن لم تروها

تثير النقع من كنفي كداء

يبارين الأعنة مصعدات

على أكتافها الأسل الظماء

تظل جيادنا متمطرات

تلطمهن بالخمر النساء

فإن أعرضتمو عنا اعتمرنا

وكان الفتح وانكشف الغطاء

وإلا فاصبروا لضراب يوم

يعز الله فيه من يشاء

وقال الله قد أرسلت عبدا

يقول الحق ليس به خفاء

وقال الله قد يسرت جندا

هم الأنصار عرضتها اللقاء

لنا في كل يوم من معد

سباب أو قتال أو هجاء

فمن يهجو رسول الله منكم

ويمدحه وينصره سواء

وجبريل رسول الله فينا

وروح القدس ليس له كفاء

وكان حسان بن ثابت يدخل عليها ينشدها من الشعر

“Ridicule the Quraysh for indeed it is more severe upon them than shooting arrows.”

He called Ibn Rawahah and commanded, “Ridicule them,” to which he complied but he (the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was not pleased.”

He then called Ka’b ibn Malik and thereafter Hassan ibn Thabit. When he entered into the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam presence, Hassan said, “The time has certainly come for you to call this lion which assaults with its tail[79].” He then stuck out his tongue[80] and began shaking it and then proclaimed, “By the being who sent you with the truth, I will most certainly shatter their honour with my tongue like how leather is ripped apart[81].”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Do not be hasty. Abu Bakr is indeed the most knowledgeable of the lineages of the Quraysh and I have a lineage therein, so let him first explain to you my family ancestry in detail.”

Hassan approached him after which he returned and said, “O Messenger of Allah! He has explained your ancestry to me in detail. By the Being Who sent you with the truth, I will extricate you from them just how a strand of hair is taken out from flour.”

Aisha continues, “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informing Hassan, ‘Certainly, Ruh al Quds (Jibril ‘alayh al Salam) continues supporting you as long as you defend Allah and His Messenger.”

She says, “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam affirming, ‘Hassan ridiculed them thereby healing and comforting the hearts of the Muslims.’”

Hassan said:

You derided Muhammad and I answered on his behalf.

And this will secure great reward by Allah.

You ridiculed the blessed, pious, and orthodox.

The Messenger of Allah whose characteristic is loyalty.

Undoubtedly, my father, his father, and my honour,

are a shield protecting the honour of Muhammad from you.

May my daughter be bereaved if you do not see her,

lifting up dust and scattering it on the flanks of Kada’.

Resembling bridles while approaching

carrying thirsty spears on their shoulders.

Our steeds begin racing one another

And women wipe them with their veils.

If you turn away from us, we will perform ‘Umrah.

The Conquest will occur and the covering will be removed.

Otherwise, await the epic battle of a glorious day,

wherein Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will grant honour to whomsoever He wishes.

Allah has declared: “I have sent a servant,

who speaks the truth in which there is no ambiguity.”

And Allah has announced: “I have mobilized an army.

They are the Ansar whose objective is an encounter [on the battlefield].”

Each day, each one of us is ready,

to swear, ridicule, and fight.

Thus, whoever ridicules the Messenger of Allah from you

and praises him and helps him: it is equal.

Jibril is the messenger of Allah among us.

And Ruh al Quds for whom there is no comparable.

Hassan ibn Thabit would go to her and recite some poetry. [82]


Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would not accept every type of poetry. She only accepted good poetry and rejected all other types. She set the rule for its acceptance saying:

الشعر منه حسن ومنه قبيح خذ بالحسن ودع القبيح ولقد رويت من شعر كعب بن مالك أشعارا منها القصيدة فيها أربعون بيتا ودون ذلك

Poetry: some of it is good and some of it is evil. Take the good and discard the bad. I have narrated some couplets of the poetry of Ka’b ibn Malik of which one qasidah (kasida) consists of forty couplets and less.[83]


Owing to her strict concern for refinement of language and power of speech, and since she—as was the trend of the people of her era—considered faulty language on the tongue of the speaker a defect which negatively impacts dignity and blemishes awe, it is well-known that she would get extremely upset when hearing a person err in speech. She would not hold back from scolding him and would not hesitate to rebuke him. She would be extremely offended by ungrammatical speech and could not tolerate it nor accept its unpleasant taste. This stance only discloses her elevated position in eloquence and a remarkable position above the throne of literature and expressiveness. Ibn Abi ‘Atiq declared:


تحدثت أنا والقاسم عند عائشة رضي الله عنها حديثا وكان القاسم رجلا لحانة وكان لأم ولد فقال له عائشة ما لك لا تحدث كما يتحدث ابن أخي هذا أما إني قد علمت من أين أتيت هذا أدبته أمه وأنت أدبتك أمك قال فغضب القاسم وأضب عليها فلما رأى مائدة عائشة قد أتي بها قام قالت أين قال أصلي قالت اجلس قال إني أصلي قالت اجلس غدر إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لا صلاة بحضرة الطعام ولا هو يدافعه الأخبثان

Qasim and I had a chat by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Qasim spoke ungrammatical Arabic and was the son of an Umm Walad. Aisha said to him, “What is wrong with you that you do not speak like how this nephew of mine speaks? Behold, I know exactly where you come from. This man has been nurtured by his mother and you have been nurtured by your mother.” At this, Qasim became infuriated and harboured feelings of hatred against her.[84] When he saw Aisha’s tablecloth (laden with food) being brought, he stood up.

“Where you off to,” she asked.

“I am performing salah,” he answered.

She told him, “Sit down.”

He said, “Indeed, I am performing salah.”

She said, “Sit, O treacherous[85]! I have indeed heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘There is no salah in the presence of food nor does it eliminate the call of nature.’”[86][87]


NEXT⇒ g. Her Knowledge of Medicine and Treatment

[1] He is Musa ibn Talhah ibn ‘Ubaid Allah, Abu ‘Isa al Qurashi. The Imam, the leader. He was termed al Mahdi (the Saviour). He was among the eloquent and articulate yet would remain silent for lengthy periods and was deeply saddened and grieved. It is said that he witnessed the Battle of Jamal with his father and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He passed away in 103 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 364; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 567.

[2] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3884; Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 876, Hadith: 1646; al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 23 pg. 182, Hadith: 19246; al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 12. Al Tirmidhi labels it hassan sahih gharib. Al Haythami remarks in Majma’ al Zawa’id, vol. 9 pg. 246, “The narrators are the narrators of Sahih al Bukhari.” Al Albani classified it sahih in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi.

[3] Al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 23 pg. 183, Hadith: 19252. Al Haythami comments in Majma’ al Zawa’id, vol. 9 pg. 246, “The narrators are the narrators of Sahih al Bukhari.”

[4] ‘Abdul Mun’im al Hafni: Mawsu’at Umm al Mu’minin Aisha, pg. 20, 21, with slight variation.

[5] Al raz’: calamity. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 2 pg. 218.

[6] Abu Bakr al Dinawari: al Mujalasah wa Jawahir al ‘Ilm, vol. 6 pg. 94; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 443; Muhibb al Din al Tabari: al Riyad al Nadirah fi Manaqib al ‘Asharah, vol. 1 pg. 265.

[7] He is Muhammad ibn Sirin, Abu Bakr al Basri. The freed slave of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The spiritual Imam. He was a Jurist, an Imam, rich in knowledge, reliable, credible, most knowledgeable in interpretation of dreams, and a leader in piety. He passed away in 110 A.H. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 606; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 139.

[8] Al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 12; Sharh I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah, vol. 8 pg. 1522, Hadith: 2767. The isnad of the narration contains Ahmed ibn Sulaiman al Faqih and ‘Ali ibn ‘Asim. They are truthful. The latter, nonetheless, has been classified da’if by some. Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 1 pg. 101; al Dhahabi: al Kashif, vol. 2 pg. 42; Ibn Hajar: Taqrib al Tahdhib, pg. 403.

[9] Ghathth: weak.

[10] Fayuntaqal: She means that due to the leanness of this meat, people do not take it to their homes. They discard it out of aversion for it.

[11] She describes her husband as being lacking in goodness and his detachment from goodness with scarcity, like a despised thing on the top of a mountain, difficult to climb, which cannot be obtained except through exertion.

[12] Abuththubathathtu al khabar abuththuhu: to broadcast and make public.

[13] La atharahu: I will not spare him.

[14] Al ‘ujar: the veins knotted together in the body to the extent that they are seen externally. [Referring to his external imperfections.]

[15] Al bujar: same except that it is specifically with the stomach. [Referring to his internal defects.]

[16] She means: I will not get involved in speaking of him for if I do, I fear that I will humiliate him and enumerate all of his defects. Al ‘ujar and al bujar refer to his external and internal defects.

[17] Al ‘ashannaq: very tall. It is said: ugly.

[18] She means: due to his ill manners, if I do speak of them, he will divorce me and if I keep silent, he will leave me hanging, neither a widow nor one with a proper husband, totally miserable. On the tall meaning, generally it is a sign of stupidity. What she mentions is the action of foolish people and those who have no [mental] stability.

[19] Ka layl Tihamah: pleasant, moderate. She likens him to it due to its freedom from harm and undesirability as heat and cold are harmful.

[20] La makhafah: he does not possess qualities to be afraid of him.

[21] La sa’amah: he does not detest me making my companionship boring.

[22] She describes him as moderate and balanced in character.

[23] Fahida: She describes him with plenty sleep as leopards sleep a lot.

[24] She means that he does not worry about his wealth that has been spent and is not concerned about the flaws of the house, for he is asleep and does not investigate anything. This is what is meant by he does not ask about whatever he left by her.

[25] Laffa: abundance in eating with insanity so that nothing remains.

[26] Ishtaffa: drinking everything in the vessel.

[27] Iltaffa: covering oneself and not leaving any area open.

[28] He does not insert his palm to investigate my severe illness. Originally, al baththa means severe grief. She means that he shows no compassion to her. When he sees her ailing, he does not insert his hand into her garment to feel her, to understand how ill she is—which is the case of distant people—not spouses. It is said that she means that he does not inspect about her private affairs and those things she keeps secret from him. He does not act like those who poke around their noses into everything to inspect. In this case, she is describing him with kindness and disregard and not delving into things she intends keeping secret from him.

[29] It is reported with an ‘ayn and ghayn. With an ‘ayn; ‘ayaya’: impotent, one who cannot have sexual relations with women due to impotency. With a ghayn, ghayaya’ – which is unlikely, the meaning is far-fetched, distant unless it comes from al ghiyabah: darkness; meaning incapable of doing anything as if he is in darkness, unable to see a path to tread.

[30] Kullu da’in lahu da’un: it is possible that lahu da’un is the predicate of kullu, meaning that every ailment known in people is present in him. Another probability is that lahu is the adjective of da’un which is the predicate of kullu i.e. every disease in her husband is the limit; as is said: Indeed, Zaid is the man and this horse is a real horse.

[31] Shajjakial shajj: injury to the head by cracking it. Fallakial fall: to break. She means that he beats her mercilessly. Whenever he beats her, he injures her head or breaks her bone or wounds her head and breaks her bone, and this is intended by aw jama’a kullan laki i.e. both head injury and broken bone.

[32] Zarnab: good smelling grass. It is said that it refers to a well-known type of perfume.

[33] She means that he has a soft nature and is easy-going just like a rabbit in its soft touch, and in the pleasantness of his perspiration and the smell of his clothes, like a zarnab. In short, she means that he has a soft temperament and a pleasant body smell.

[34] Rafi’ al ‘imad, tawil al najad, azim al ramad: she alluded to his lofty family lineage with the tallness of his pillars. She alluded to his long stature with the length of his sword belt, because when it is long, it shows the length of his stature. She alluded to his abundance of meals for guests with the abundance of his ashes, for one who feeds food in great abundance burns more fire, and more fire means more ashes. Al nadi: the assembly area of the people. He brought his house close to the meeting area to notify people of his residence so that they may turn to him and proceed to him.

[35] Wa ma Malik: What is Malik? This is to magnify his affair and personality. He is better than the praises articulated about him.

[36] Kathirat al mubarik: he has many camels that kneel in his courtyard, ready for the arrival of guests. No sooner a guest arrives, they are not absent, but close to him. That is why she says qalilat al masarih: he does not send them to graze during the day except a little so that he may present their milk and meat quickly to the guests who arrive.

[37] Al mizhar: it is a flute used for singing.

[38] Ayqanna annahunna hawalik: she means that her husband’s habit is to feed guests, slaughter animals for them, give them to drink, and bring musical instruments to honour them. His camels have realised that at the sound of the musical instruments, he slaughters them for his guests. Hence, whenever they hear the musical instruments, they are convinced of destruction i.e. slaughter.

[39] Anasa min huliyy udhunayyal naws: the movement of something hanging (dangle). She means that the jewellery (earrings and pendants) he gave me have drooped my ears.

[40] Mala’a min shahm ‘adudayy: he fattened me with his kindness and care. She specified the arms because when they get fat, the entire body gets fat.

[41] Bajjahani fabajihat ilayya nafsibajjaha bi al shay’: when one is happy with something. She means that he pleased me and made me happy with his continuous favours towards me until happiness filled me with joy. It highlights his position by me. Or my soul became happy and displayed its happiness.

[42] Ghunaymah bi shiqq – the muhaddithin recite a kasrah on the shin: difficulty. With a fathah: the name of an area. She means that he found her with her family who lived in a difficult area or they owned few sheep and lived in destitution and difficulty.

[43] Sahil wa atit wa da’is wa munaqqal sahil: the neighing of a horse. Al atit: the grunting of a camel. Al da’is: threshing grain to remove it from its ears. Al munaqqi – with a fathah on the nun: one who purifies grain and takes care of its cleansing. She means that he transported her to a family, owners of horses, camels, plantations, and servants.

[44] Aqul fa la uqabbah: I am not told may Allah disgrace you. My speech is accepted.

[45] Arqud fa atasabbah: she sleeps properly by him. He does not force her to wake up early and sleep less to serve and work. It is from subhah: sleep in the first part of the day.

[46] Ashrab fa atanaqqahal tanaqquh: drinking more than one’s fill. It is said: qanahtu min al sharb aqnahu qunuhan: when I force myself to drink.

[47] ‘Ukumuha radahal ‘ukum plural of ‘ikm: a sack which has provisions. Al radah: big and heavy.

[48] Baytuha fasah – from al fasih: spacious. Similarly whoever narrated it as fayah: spacious.

[49] Ka masall shatbal shatbah: sword and it is said: ringworm. Al masall: the masdar mimi (root word beginning with mim) in the meaning of al sall, substitute for al maslul: unsheathed. The meaning is: like an unsheathed sword. She means unsheathed from its covering and sheathe. She describes him with thinness and little flesh.

[50] Dhira’ al jafrahal jafrah: female lamb: it is said: kid goat when it reaches four months and is weaned off milk. She describes him with mild eating.

[51] Mil’ kisa’iha: she is fat so she fills her garment.

[52] Ghayz jaratihaal jarah: cowife. Due to her splendour, she angers her cowives who are jealous of her.

[53] La tabuththu hadithana tabthithan – this narration comes with a ba’ from al bath: disclose and reveal speech. When narrated with a nun, from al nath, it comes in the same meaning. She describes her of not disclosing their secrets.

[54] Tunaqqithu miratana tanqithanal mirah: the food and other items the Bedouin moves to and from the cities. Al naqth and al naql have the same meaning: to move. Al tanqith is the root word of naqqatha and has been given a tashdid to show abundance. It refers to hastening something. She means that she is trustworthy with protecting our food. She does not take it and transport it elsewhere.

[55] La tamla’u baytana ta’shishanal ta’shish: from the nest of a bird i.e. she does not conceal anything in our house. The concealed items have been likened to the nest of a bird. It is said that she cleans and sweeps the house and does not leave it like the nest of a bird in the sense of uncleanliness.

[56] Al awtab tumhadal awtab, plural of watab: milk skin. Makhd: extricating cream from the milk by mixing it.

[57] Rummanatayn: she means that one of them was throwing the pomegranate to his brother and the other was throwing it to him under her rear.

[58] Sariyyan: one who possesses nobility and grandeur. It is said al sarw: generosity in manliness.

[59] Shariyyan: a fast horse, who is tireless in its run i.e. it enters its energetic realm and perseveres. It is said that it refers to high bred stallions.

[60] Akhadha khattiyyanal khatti: one of the names of a spear. It is called this because it comes from al Khat which borders Bahrain and Oman so it is attributed to it.

[61] Na’aman thariyyanal na’am: camels. Al thari: plenty. It is said: athra banu fulan when they have an abundance of wealth.

[62] Ra’ihah: various types of wealth from which comfort is experienced. Meaning: he gave me a multiplied share from every type of wealth.

[63] The explanation of this hadith was extracted from Ibn al Athir: Jami’ al Usul, vol. 6 pg. 507, with adaptation.

[64] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 5189; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2448. Study the book of Qadi ‘Iyad: Baghyat al Ra’id lima tadammanahu Hadith Umm Zar’ min al Fawa’id to comprehend the various forms of rhetoric in this hadith.

[65] Mawsu’at Umm al Mu’minin Aisha, pg. 20, 21, with variation.

[66] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Dhakwan, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Qurashi al Madani. The Imam, the Jurist, the Hafiz, the Mufti, Amir al Mu’minin in hadith, the Jurist of the people of Madinah. He was eloquent and had a master grasp over the Arabic language. He is a great author and a master of accounting. He served as a scribe for Khalid ibn ‘Abdul Malik in Madinah and passed away in 130 A.H. Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 134; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 5 pg. 445.

[67] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 40 pg. 259; al Isti’ab fi Ma’rifat al Ashab, vol. 4 pg. 1883; al Isabah, vol. 8 pg. 233.

[68] Al Jami’, vol. 11 pg. 246; al Tarikh al Awsat, vol. 1 pg. 56; Abu Dawood: al Zuhd, Hadith: 316; Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, vol. 11 pg. 246; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 8 pg. 514; al Haythami: Baghyat al Bahith ‘an Zawa’id Musnad al Harith from Harith ibn Abi Usamah; al Mujalasah wa Jawahir al ‘Ilm, vol. 8 pg. 143, Hadith: 3453; Mujam al Shuyukh, pg. 103; Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 5 pg. 2422, Hadith: 5924. Al Dhahabi remarks in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 187, “We heard it musalsal (uninterrupted) with this statement with a similar isnad.” Al Busiri said in Ithaf al Khiyarah al Maharah, vol. 6 pg. 145, “The narrators of the isnad are reliable.”

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

[70] He is Hassan ibn Rashiq, Abu ‘Ali al Qayrawani. The ‘Allamah, the Eloquent, the Poet. He was born in 390 A.H. and passed away in 463 A.H. Al ‘Umdah fi Sana’at al Shi’r wa Naqdihi and Tarikh al Qayrawan are his works. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 18 pg. 324; Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 3 pg. 298.

[71] Al ‘Umdah, vol. 1 pg. 30.

[72] Al qalib: a well which is not closed. Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 258.

[73] Al shiza: a tree called ebony or sesame. Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 5 pg. 363.

[74] Al sanam: one of the camel’s humps. Al Sihah, vol. 5 pg. 1954.

[75] Al qaynat – plural of qaynah: singing girl. It is also used to refer to a normal slave girl. Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 258.

[76] Al sharb with a fathah on a shin and sukun on the ra’ – plural of sharib: drinker. Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 258.

[77] Asda’ – plural of sady: male owl. Ham – plural of hamah: owl. Hence, an explanatory apposition. It is said that al sady: a bird that flies at night while al hamah: skull. It is from where the owl emerges according to their belief. The poet intends to deny resurrection by this sentence. As if he says: when a human becomes like this bird, how can he became human again. Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 259.

[78] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3921.

[79] Bi dhanabihi: The ‘Ulama’ explain: his tail here refers to his tongue. He likened himself to a lion in taking revenge and displaying violence when it is angry. At this point, it wags its tail thereby hitting its flanks as Hassan did with his tongue when he let it hang out and began shaking it. He likened himself to a lion and his tongue to its tail. Sharh Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 49.

[80] Adla’a lisanahu: stuck out his tongue. Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 8 pg. 90.

[81] Al adim: hide of any animal. It is said that it refers to red or tanned hide. Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 12 pg. 8. Afra al adim: tear it apart to destroy it. The meaning is: I will shatter their honour like how leather is torn apart. Mukhtar al Sihah, pg. 503; Sharh Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 49.

[82] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2490; Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4146; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2488.

[83] Al Adab al Mufrad, Hadith: 866. Ibn Hajar classified the isnad hassan in Fath al Bari, vol. 10 pg. 555, while al Albani classified it sahih in Sahih al Adab al Mufrad, Hadith: 665.

[84] Adabba ‘alayha: harboured feelings of hatred. Sharh Muslim, vol. 5 pg. 47.

[85] Ghudar: O treacherous one. The linguists explain: Treachery is the discarding of loyalty. One who commits treachery is called ghadir and ghudar. Mostly, it is used to address a person with a curse. She only called him ghudar because he was commanded to honour her since she is the Mother of the believers, his paternal aunt, elder than him, and she was only advising and nurturing him. It was binding upon him to tolerate her and not get upset with her. Sharh Muslim, vol. 5 pg. 47.

[86] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 560.

[87] Fahd al ‘Arrabi al Harithi: Qal Ibn ‘Abbas Haddathatna Aisha, pg. 267.

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