Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha describes the furniture of her room:
إنما كان فراش رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الذي ينام عليه أدما حشوه ليف
She only had one bedding in the initial stages. The following narration of hers testifies to this fact:
سئلت أكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يضاجعك وأنت حائض قالت نعم إذا شددت علي إزاري ولم يكن لنا إذ ذاك إلا فراش واحد فلما رزقني الله عز وجل فراشا آخر اعتزلت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
She was asked, “Would the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sleep next to you while you were menstruating?”
She replied, “Yes. In such an instance, I would fasten my trouser. At that stage, we only had one bedding. After Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—favoured me with another bedding, I slept separate from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (while menstruating).”
Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha thereafter added some pillows to the furniture of her home. She reports:
كان في بيتي ثوب فيه تصاوير فجعلته إلى سهوة في البيت فكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي إليه ثم قال يا عائشة أخريه عني فنزعته فجعلته وسائد
I had a fabric covered with images in my home which I placed over an alcove of the house. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would pray facing it. Later he told me, “O Aisha, move it away from me.” Consequently, I removed it and made pillows with it.
There was no lamp in her home. We learn of this from the following narration:
كنت أنام بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ورجلاي في قبلته فإذا سجد غمزني فقبضت رجلي فإذا قام بسطتهما قالت والبيوت يومئذ ليس فيها مصابيح
I would sleep in front of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with my feet towards the direction he was facing. As he would go into sajdah, he would touch me and I would fold my legs in. After he would stand, I would stretch them out again. She continues: Houses never had lamps in those days.
ولما أرسل إليها أبو بكر بقائمة شاة ليلا أمسكتها وقطعها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت هذا على غير مصباح فقيل لها يا أم المؤمنين على غير مصباح فقالت لو كان عندنا دهن مصباح لأكلناه
Abu Bakr sent to her a leg of a sheep one night. She kept it and the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sliced it. She says, “This was done without a lamp.”
She was asked, “O Umm al Mu’minin, without a lamp?”
She commented, “If we had lamp oil, we would have eaten it.”
Her room was on the eastern side of the Masjid, the door of which would open into al Masjid al Nabawi from the left. As if al Masjid al Nabawi became the courtyard of her room.
The width of the room was six or seven arms. The walls were of clay. The roof was of palm branches stripped of their leaves; low, in the sense that every standing person could reach it. It was covered from the top with date fibres to shelter from rain. The single leaf door was of stone pine or Indian oak. At the side of the room was an elevated room. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lived there for one month during the ila’ period.
This is the room in which Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha lived for close to fifty years.
These are some ahadith which describe the life of the Ummahat al Mu’minin radiya Llahu ‘anhunna with the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is one of them. She describes how life was during the era of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to her nephew ‘Urwah:
ابن أختي إن كنا لننظر إلى الهلال ثم الهلال ثم الهلال ثلاثة أهلة في شهرين وما أوقدت في أبيات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نار فقلت يا خالة ما كان يعشيكم قالت الأسودان التمر والماء إلا أنه قد كان لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جيران من الأنصار وكانت لهم منائح وكانوا يمنحون رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من ألبانهم فيسقينا
“O my nephew! We would observe the crescent, then another and another; three crescents equalling two full months. During this period, no fire was lit in the homes of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
I said, “O aunt, what would you survive on.”
“Al aswadan, dates and water,” she replied. “Moreover, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had Ansari neighbours who possessed milk giving animals. They would provide some of that milk to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who would give it to us to drink.”
ما شبع آل محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم منذ قدم المدينة من طعام بر ثلاث ليال تباعا حتى قبض
The family of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not fill their bellies with wheat for three consecutive days since he arrived in Madinah till his soul was taken.
ما أكل آل محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم أكلتين في يوم إلا إحداهما تمر
The family of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not eat two meals in a day, except that one of them was dates.
توفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وما في بيتي شيء يأكله ذو كبد إلا شطر شعير في رف لي فأكلت منه حتى طال علي فكلته ففني
When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, there was nothing in my home which a living being could survive on besides some barley kept in my shelf from which I ate for a long period. After measuring it, it came to an end.
Sayyidina Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:
أنه مشى إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بخبز شعير وإهالة سنخة ولقد رهن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم درعا له بالمدينة عند يهودي وأخذ منه شعيرا لأهله ولقد سمعته يقول ما أمسى عند آل محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم صاع بر ولا صاع حب وإن عنده لتسع نسوة
He walked to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with barley bread and smelling fat. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had mortgaged his armour with a Jew in Madinah in place of some barley he took on credit for his family. I heard him declaring, “A sa’ of wheat or a sa’ of grain never passed the night at the family of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,” whereas he had nine wives.
It is reported in another narration:
أن جارا لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فارسيا كان طيب المرق فصنع لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم جاء يدعوه فقال وهذه لعائشة فقال لا فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا فعاد يدعوه فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهذه قال لا قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا ثم عاد يدعوه فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهذه قال نعم في الثالثة فقاما يتدافعان حتى أتيا منزله
The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had a Persian neighbour who cooked a tasty gravy. He prepared gravy for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and then came to invite him. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “and her?” referring to Aisha. He replied in the negative so the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declined. He came a second time to invite him. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “and her?” He replied in the negative so the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declined. He then returned a third time to invite him. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “and her?” “Yes,” he replied. They stood up and walked behind each other until they reached his apartment.
 Al adam: noun, plural of adim: a skin which has been tanned. Al Matrizi: al Mughrab fi Tartib al Mu’rab, vol. 1 pg. 33; Taj al ‘Arus, vol. 31 pg. 192.
 Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2082. Qadi ‘Iyad remarks:
فيه جواز اتخاذ الوسائد والاتكاء عليها والارتفاق بها واتخاذ الفراش للنوم محشوا واستعمال الأدم وهي الجلود في كل ذلك
This hadith permits the production of pillows, leaning on them, and their utilisation; as well as the production of stuffed bedding to sleep upon and the usage of leather in these items. Ikmal al Mu’lim Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 6 pg. 303.
 Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 91, Hadith: 24650. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr comments in al Tamhid, vol. 3 pg. 168, “We only know of it being reported from Ibn Lahi’ah and he is not proof.”
 Al sahwah: a small room slightly lowered into the ground resembling a chamber and vault. It is said: resembling a shelf and niche in which items are placed. ‘Umdat al Qari, vol. 12 pg. 40.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 5959; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2107. The wording is Muslim’s.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 382; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 512.
 Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 217, Hadith: 25867; al Mujam al Awsat, vol. 8 pg. 360, Hadith: 8872. Al Mundhiri says in al Targhib wa al Tarhib, vol. 4 pg. 171, “The narrators are the narrators of Sahih al Bukhari.” Al Haythami communicates the same examination in Majma’ al Zawa’id, vol. 10 pg. 324. Al Albani classified it sahih in Sahih al Targhib, Hadith: 3276.
 Ibn Abi al Dunya: Qasr al Amal, pg. 162; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 4 pg. 545; Sirat al Sayyidah Aisha, pg. 71.
 ‘Ar’ar: A type of tree and region from stone pine. There are many types which are fit for timberlands and beautification and it has many types. Al Mujam al Wasit, pg. 595.
 Saj: A type of tree which is extremely huge. It grows high and wide and has giant leaves. Al Mujam al Wasit, pg. 460.
 Al Bukhari: al Adab al Mufrad, Hadith: 776. Al Albani classified the isnad sahih in Sahih al Adab al Mufrad, Hadith: 597.
 Mashrubah (with a fathah on the first letter, a sukun on the shin, and a dammah on the ra’, even though a fathah on the ra’ is also correct): an elevated room. Fath al Bari, vol. 1 pg. 488.
 Ila’: To swear that one will not have relations with one’s wife. (Translator)
 The hadith of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu is recorded in Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1911:
آلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من نسائه وكانت انفكت رجل فأقام في مشربة تسعا وعشرين ليلة ثم نزل فقالوا يا رسول الله آليت شهرا فقال إن الشهر يكون تسعا وعشرين
The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam separated from his wives. His leg was dislocated. He, thus, stayed in the elevated room for 29 nights after which he descended. They said, “O Messenger of Allah, you separated for a month?” “Indeed, a month is (sometimes) 29 days,” he exclaimed.
The report of Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu, recorded in Sunan Abi Dawood, Hadith: 602, contains the following:
ركب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فرسا بالمدينة فصرعه على جذم نخلة فانفكت قدمه فأتيناه نعوده فوجدناه في مشربة لعائشة يسبح جالسا قال فقمنا خلفه فأشار إلينا فقعدنا قال فلما قضى الصلاة قال إذا صلى الإمام جالسا فصلوا جلوسا و إذا صلى الإمام قائما فصلوا قياما ولا تفعلوا كما يفعل أهل فارس بعظمائها
The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mounted a horse in Madinah. The horse threw him off onto the root of a date palm which caused his foot to be dislocated. We came to him to visit only to find him in the elevated room of Aisha, performing salah seated. We stood behind him. He gestured to us, hence, we sat down. After completing the salah, he said, “When the Imam performs salah sitting, you pray sitting and when the imam performs salah standing, you pray standing. Do not behave like how the Persians behave with their notables.”
 Al mana’ih: plural of manihah: a camel cow or ewe from which benefit [milk] is taken and then returned to its original owner. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 4 pg. 364.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2567; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2972.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6454; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2970.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6455; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2971.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3097; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2973. Hafiz Ibn Hajar elucidates:
معنى حديث عائشة أنها كانت تخرج قوتها وهو شيء يسير بغير كيل فبورك لها فيه مع بركة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فلما كالته علمت المدة التي يبلغ إليها عند انقضائها
The meaning of Aisha’s hadith is that she would take out a meagre amount of barley [from the heap of barley] as her daily allocation without measuring it. She was blessed in it coupled with the blessings of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After she measured it, she became aware of the period it would last her for before getting finished. Fath al Bari, vol. 4 pg. 346.
 Al ihalah (with a kasrah on the hamzah and no tashdid on the ha’): melted fat and hind. It is said: it refers to all solid fat. Another weak view is that it refers to fat which is eaten. Sanikhah (with a fathah on the sin, kasrah on the nun, followed by a kha’ with a fathah): the smell of which has changed. Fath al Bari, vol. 5 pg. 141.
 A narration of al Tirmidhi clarifies:
ولقد رهن له درع عند يهودي بعشرين صاعا من طعام أخذه لأهله
His armour was mortgaged by a Jew as guarantee for 20 sa’ of wheat he had taken on credit for his family. Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1215.
Al Albani labels it sahih in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2069.
 Yatadafa’an: one of them walking behind the other. Sharh Muslim, vol. 13 pg. 210.
 Sahih al Muslim, Hadith: 2037. Hafiz Ibn Hajar explains:
كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مخيرا بين إجابته وتركها فاختار أحد الجائزين وهو تركها إلا أن يأذن لعائشة معه لما كان بها من الجوع أو نحوه فكره صلى الله عليه وسلم الاختصاص بالطعام دونها وهذا من جميل المعاشرة وحقوق المصابحة وآداب المجالسة المؤكدة فلما أذن لها اختار النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الجائز الآخر لتجدد المصلحة وهو حصول ما كان يريده من إكرام جليسه وإيفاء حق معاشرته ومواساته فيما يحصل
The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had the choice between accepting or declining the offer, and he chose one of two permissible options, i.e. declining the offer, except if the host permits Aisha as well, due to the hunger etc. she was experiencing. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam disliked eating food alone to her exclusion. This is from beautiful intimacy, the rights of friendship, and the etiquette of social relations which is stressed upon. After she was given permission, the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam selected the other permissible option, since the exigency changed which currently is attainment of what he intended i.e. honouring his neighbour, fulfilling the right of companionship, and supporting him as far as possible. Sharh Muslim, vol. 13 pg. 209.Back to top