إني لأعلم أنها زوجته في الدنيا و الآخرة و لكن الله ابتلاكم لتتبعوه أو إياها
I know very well that she is his wife in the world and the Hereafter. However, Allah has tested you to see if you follow Him or her.
1. This is proof against them as this hadith compliments Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, and does not censure her. This is how the Huffaz have understood it. Accordingly, Imam al Bukhari and his student Hafiz al Tirmidhi have documented it under the chapter concerning the virtues of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.
What further supports this correct understanding is that a man once disparaged Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in the presence of Sayyidina ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu who scolded,
اغرب مقبوحا منبوحا أتؤذي حبيبة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم
Get away, ridiculed and derided. Are you ridiculing the beloved of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
Is there any accolade greater than her being Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife in this world and the Hereafter?
Hafiz Ibn Hajar comments:
فكان ذلك يعد من إنصاف عمار و شدة ورعه و تحريه قول الحق
This is considered as the fairness of ‘Ammar, his absolute cautiousness, and diligence is speaking the truth.
Ibn Hubayrah says:
في هذا الحديث أن عمارا كان صادق اللهجة و كان لا تستخفه الخصومة إلى أن ينتقص خصمه فإنه شهد لعائشة بالفضل التام مع ما بينهما من الحرب
This hadith shows that ‘Ammar was truthful in speech. Conflict did not steer him to ridiculing his opponent. He testified to Aisha’s lofty virtue despite the conflict between them.
This is the understanding the ‘Ulama’ have of this testimony. It indicates her virtue, not vice.
2. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha personally met Sayyidina ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the incident of Jamal. He said to her after the battle was over:
يا أم المؤمنين ما أبعد هذا المسير من العهد الذي عهد إليك قالت أبو اليقظان قال نعم قالت والله إنك ما علمت قوال بالحق قال الحمد لله الذي قضى لي على لسانك
“O Mother of the Believers, how far-fetched is this journey from the position assigned to you?”
She asked, “Abu al Yaqzan is it?”
He replied in the affirmative.
She commented, “By Allah, as far as I know, you certainly voice the truth.”
He said, “All praise belongs to Allah who has decreed my praise on your tongue.”
This is a distinguished honour which Sayyidina ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu paid attention to. He asserted the statement in her presence, so she in turn testified that he habitually voices the truth. May Allah be pleased with them both.
3. The Rawafid latch on to ‘Ammar’s statement:
لكن الله ابتلاكم لتتبعوه أو إياها
However, Allah has tested you to see if you follow Him or her.
This also reveals her superiority and exalted status among the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The reason for this is that his statement means that Allah tested them to see whether they will obey Him or obey the wife of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who is honoured by them. Sayyidina ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu wished to state that the truth lies with Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He also understood that the nature of man is to lean towards the view of someone honoured in one’s sight. Therefore, he informed the people that he believes in her superiority and her being Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife. However, this superiority she enjoys which they acknowledge should not force them to incline towards her viewpoint and thereby abandon the truth.
Similar to this is the following response of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to ‘Urwah who presented the view of Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to the former:
أراهم سيهلكون أقول قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و يقول نهى أبو بكر و عمر
I feel that they will soon be destroyed. I am saying: Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said whereas he says: Abu Bakr and ‘Umar prohibited.
Al Khatib says:
قد كان أبو بكر و عمر على ما وصفهما به عروة إلا أنه لا ينبغي أن يقلد أحد في ترك ما ثبتت به سنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم
Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were as ‘Urwah presented them. However, it is inappropriate to follow anyone in abandoning the established Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
‘Allamah al Mu’allimi has a lengthy discussion in al Tankil which corroborates the above sentiments and has additional benefits. He says:
أكثر الناس مغرون بتقليد من يعظم في نفوسهم و الغلو في ذلك … فإن زاد المنكرون فأظهروا حسن الثناء على ذلك المتبوع كان أشد لغلو متبعيه خطب عمار بن ياسر في أهل العراق قبل وقعة الجمل ليكفهم عن الخروج مع أم المؤمنين عائشة فقال والله أنها لزوجة نبيكم في الدنيا و الآخرة و لكن الله تبارك و تعالى ابتلاكم ليعلم إياه تطيعون ام هي أخرجه البخاري في الصحيح من طريق أبي مريم الأسدي عن عمار و أخرج نحوه من طريق أبي وائل عن عمار فلم يؤثر هذا في كثير من الناس بل روي أن بعضهم أجاب قائلا فنحن مع من شهدت له بالجنة يا عمار
Majority of people are prompted to follow someone respectable in their eyes. And there is extremism in this field.
If those who oppose express praise for the one followed (i.e. principal), it intensifies the extremism of his followers.
‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu addressed the inhabitants of Iraq prior to the Battle of Jamal in order to prevent them from joining Umm al Mu’minin Aisha. He said: “By Allah, she is your Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife in the world and the Hereafter. However, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has tested you to see if you obey Him or her.”
Al Bukhari documented it in his Sahih al Bukhari from the chain of Abu Maryam al Asadi from ‘Ammar. He also documents a similar report from the chain of Abu Wa’il from ‘Ammar.
Nonetheless, this had no impact on majority of the people. In fact, it is reported that some of them responded by saying, “We are with the one you confirmed Jannat for, O ‘Ammar!”
4. Hypothetically if it were to be proven that Sayyidina ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu abused her – and he is exempt from this, to take advantage of such a criticism at the time of civil strife reveals the rancour and hatred this person harbours for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. To search for flaws and pursue errors is not the nature of the Mu’minin who have been described by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in His blessed book as follows:
وَالَّذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ
And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.”
There were disputes between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum which resemble the disputes between brothers. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would simply command them to forgive each other and would not denounce them over this.
Imam Abu Nu’aym al Asbahani has written profound words in this regard. He writes:
و قد كان يجري بين الصحابة رضي الله عنهم بحضرة الرسول و في غيبته فيبلغه من الله تعالى ذلك الخصام و السباب في حال الغضب و الموجدة أشياء فلا يأخذهم به و لا يعيب ذلك عليهم بل يأمرهم بالعفو و يحضهم على التآلف و يطفئ ثائرة الغضب و ثورة البشرية و ذلك مثل ما جرى بين السيدين سعد بن معاذ و سعد بن عبادة و كلاهما من الفضل في الدين بالمحل العظيم
Conflicts would take place between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam presence and absence. These disputes and feuds would be conveyed to him from the side of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the condition of anger and emotion. However, he would not take them to task for it, nor reprove them over it. Rather, he would instruct them to pardon each other and would encourage harmony, thus extinguishing the rage of anger and the outburst of emotions. An example of this is what transpired between the leaders Sa’d ibn Muaz and Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah both of whom were on elevated pedestals of excellence.
This is just one example of many he listed. At the end he says:
فأما حال الغضب و الموجدة فلا اعتبار له و لا حجة فيه
There is no consideration for nor evidence in anger or emotion.
When this is the condition of anger and emotion, then what about one who takes advantage of the time of fitnah and abuses words spoken at such a volatile time in order to criticise the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This reveals the sickness of their hearts. O Allah, we declare our innocence from their evil actions.
 One of the misconceptions of al Tijani. Al Rahili has refuted him in al Intisar li al Sahb wa al Al.
 Qalb al Dalil: To invert a proof in such a way that it impacts negatively against the one who presented it instead of supporting him. (Sharh al Kawkab al Munir vol. 4 pg. 338)
 Sahih al Bukhari vol. 5 pg. 36; Sunan al Tirmidhi vol. 5 pg. 707.
 Sunan al Tirmidhi Hadith: 3888. Al Tirmidhi says, “Hasan.”
 Fath al Bari vol. 13 pg. 58
 Yahya ibn Muhammad ibn Hubayrah, Abu al Muzaffar al Shaybani al Hambali, the Minister, Master, Scholar and Just. Born in 499 A.H., he heard ahadith, recited the seven dialects of Qur’an, and mastered literature. He was a Salafi, and Athari. He was religious, generous, and an ardent worshipper. He became Minister of al Muqtafi. One of his works is: al Ifsah ‘an Ma’ani al Sihah. He passed away in 562 A.H. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 20 pg. 426; Shadharat al Dhahab vol. 4 pg. 190)
 Fath al Bari vol. 13 pg. 59
 Tarikh al Tabari vol. 3 pg. 61. Ibn Hajar ranked its isnad as sahih in Fath al Bari vol. 13 pg. 63
 Musnad Ahmed vol. 1 pg. 337 Hadith: 3121; al Ahadith al Mukhtarah vol. 4 pg. 204.
Ibn Muflih ranked it hasan in al Adab al Shar’iyyah vol. 2 pg. 70 while Ahmed Shakir ranked it sahih in Tahqiq al Musnad vol. 5 pg. 48.
 Al Faqih wa al Mutafaqqih vol. 1 pg. 377.
 ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Yahya ibn ‘Ali, Abu ‘Abdullah al Mu’allimi al Yamani, the Sheikh al Islam, ‘Allamah, and precious gem of his era. He was born in 1313 A.H. and presided over the judges in ‘Asir. He was a caretaker of the library of the haram in Makkah. He had expertise in the science of rijal and would defend the belief of the Salaf. He also investigated and authenticated many books of hadith and rijal and passed away in 1386 A.H. Among his top books is al Tankil. (al A’lam vol. 3 pg. 342)
 Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 7100.
 Al Tankil vol. 1 pg. 190.
 Surah al Hashr: 10
 Sa’d ibn Muaz ibn al No’man ibn Imra’ al Qais, Abu ‘Amr al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The renowned Sahabi and leader of the Aws. He passed judgement against the Jews of Qurayzah and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was pleased with his decision. The ‘Arsh shook upon his demise. He passed away in 5 A.H. (al Isti’ab vol. 1 pg. 181; al Isabah vol. 3 pg. 84)
 Al Imamah wa al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah of Abu Nu’aym al Asbahani pg. 344.
 Ibid pg. 345