Misconceptions about Sayyidah Aisha concerning the Ahlul Bayt – Aisha harboured enmity for ‘Ali

Misconception: Sayyidah Aisha created doubts about the Prophethood of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and abused Safiyyah
February 28, 2018
Misconception: Sayyidah Aisha prevented Sayyidah Fatimah from inheriting from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
February 28, 2018

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Misconceptions about Sayyidah Aisha concerning the Ahlul Bayt

 

Aisha harboured enmity for ‘Ali

 

The Rawafid use the following narration to prove that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha harboured enmity for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

مرض رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في بيت ميمونة فاستأذن نساءه أن يمرض في بيتي فأذن له فخرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم معتمدا على العباس و على رجل آخر و رجلاه يخطان في الأرض و قال عبيد الله فقال ابن عباس أتدري من ذلك الرجل هو علي بن أبي طالب و لكن عائشة لا تطيب له نفسا

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fell ill in Maimunah’s house. Consequently, he sought permission from his wives to be nursed in my home and they all gave permission. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam thus exited while being supported by ‘Abbas and another man, and his feet were making lines on the earth.

‘Ubaidullah said, “Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘Do you know who this man was? It was ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. However, Aisha was not pleased with him.’”[1]

 

The Rawafid claim that she neither loved Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, nor desired good for him, nor took his name on her tongue.[2]

The more common narration which does not contain this addition appears with the following words from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

لما ثقل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و اشتد به وجعه استأذن أزواجه أن يمرض في بيتي فأذن له فخرج بين رجلين يخط رجلاه في الأرض بين عباس بن عبد المطلب و بين رجل آخر قال عبيد الله فأخبرت عبد الله بالذي قالت عائشة فقال لي عبد الله بن عباس هل تدري من الرجل الآخر الذي لم تسم عائشة قال قلت لا قال ابن عباس هو علي

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fell ill and his illness intensified, he sought permission from his wives to be nursed in my house and they all gave permission. He left with the support of two men while his feet were making lines on the earth, between ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib and another man.

‘Ubaidullah said, “I informed Ibn ‘Abbas about what Aisha said. He said to me, ‘Do you know who the other man whose name Aisha did not take?’ I replied in the negative. He said, ‘It was ‘Ali.’”[3]

 

Murtada al Hussaini records this narration under the chapter he titled:

 

باب أن عائشة تبغض عليا و تحسده و قد سرت بقتل علي عليه السلام

Chapter: Aisha harboured enmity and jealousy for ‘Ali and was pleased with his murder

 

He then quotes the hadith of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha which appears above and the hadith of Sayyidina No’man ibn Bashir radiya Llahu ‘anhu who reports:

 

استأذن أبو بكر على رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فسمع صوت عائشة عاليا و هي تقول والله لقد عرفت أن عليا أحب إليك من أبي و مني مرتين أو ثلاثا فاستأذن أبو بكر فدخل فأهوى إليها فقال يا بنت فلانة ألا أسمعك ترفعين صوتك على رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

Abu Bakr sought permission to enter Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dwelling. He overheard Aisha raising her voice and saying twice or thrice, “By Allah, I have realised that ‘Ali is more beloved to you than my father and I.”

Abu Bakr sought permission to enter and thereafter entered. He then turned to her and admonished her saying, “O daughter of so and so! Did I hear you raising your voice at Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”[4]

 

He then quotes a narration which mentions that when the news of Sayyidina ‘Ali’s demise reached Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, she recited the following couplet:

كما قر عينا بالإياب المسافر

فألقت عصاها و استقرت بها النوى

 She threw her staff and settled in her destination, just like a traveller is joyful after returning home.

 

This Shia then asserts:

 

و هذا البيت مما يضرب به المثل إذا حصلت الراحة بعد الشدة و الفرج بعد الكرب و المشقة فتمثل عائشة به مما ينبئ بل هو صريح في سرورها بمقتل علي عليه السلام

This couplet is proverbial when ease is attained after difficulty or an opening is made after hardship and adversity. So Aisha’s usage of it indicates – nay clearly shows her happiness over ‘Ali’s death.[5]

 

Answer

Firstly, the addition in the first hadith, “However, Aisha was not pleased with him” is shadh (obscure) and not authentic. Al Bukhari and Muslim not mentioning this addition and the absence of unanimity among the students of al Zuhri creates reservations in the heart about it. Sufyan, ‘Aqil, and Shu’aib did not mention this addition in the hadith. On the other hand, Ma’mar mentioned it and Ibn al Mubarak quoted it from Ma’mar and Yunus, and combined them in one narration. Al Bukhari and Muslim have not recorded the addition despite them narrating the hadith from the chain of Ibn al Mubarak from Ma’mar. Add to this that Musa ibn Abi Aisha did not corroborate al Zuhri in this addition.

Similarly, Ibrahim ibn Sa’d quoted it from al Zuhri without the addition. His narration appears in al Tabaqat[6].

Al Bayhaqi reports the hadith in al Dalail[7] from the Maghazi of Ibn Ishaq with the narration of Yunus ibn Bukair (which is the chain of Ibn Hajar of al Maghazi). Ibn Ishaq narrated it from Ya’qub from ‘Utbah from al Zuhri without the addition. And Ibn Ishaq clearly mentioned tahdith (i.e. the narrator above him narrated it directly to him without any intermediary).

Ibn Ishaq narrated it directly from al Zuhri without any intermediary without the addition as well. This narration appears in Musnad Abi Yala[8].[9] His isnad is jayyid. Ibn Ishaq also clearly mentions tahdith here.

Therefore, the narrators who narrate the hadith without the addition are: Sufyan ibn ‘Uyainah, Shu’aib, ‘Aqil, Ibrahim ibn Sa’d, Ya’qub ibn ‘Utbah, and Ibn Ishaq. Mamar is the only one to mention the addition.

Al Bukhari and Muslim record the hadith and both have not mentioned the addition notwithstanding the fact that they both narrate it from the chain of Ma’mar. This makes it apparent that these words are not part of the actual narration in the first place.[10]

Secondly, if we hypothetically agree to the authenticity of this addition, then too there are many answers.

It is highly possible that the second man was obscure from the sight of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and was not visible from a distance. In addition the narrations inform us that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sometimes supported by Sayyidina Fadl and sometimes by Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[11]

If we pause for a moment and consider, what is the objective of Sayyidah Aisha’s narration? It is obvious that it is to desribe the final moments of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which was and still is an emotional and traumatic event. In such instances one usually recalls details relating to the actual objective and all other inconsequential details are overlooked and often not even noticed by some but observed by another. Furthermore, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha not mentioning the name of the other person supporting the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam — whether it was ‘Ali or Fadl ibn ‘Abbas — does not result in any form of renunciation or disavowal. If Sayyidah Aisha truly wished to conceal the virtues of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then she would have omitted his name from the following narration:

 

عن صفية بنت شيبة قالت قالت عائشة خرج النبي صلى الله عليه و آله و سلم غداة و عليه مرط مرحل من شعر اسود فجاء الحسن بن على فادخله ثم جاء الحسين فدخل معه ثم جاءت فاطمة فادخلها ثم جاء على فادخله ثم قال إِنَّمَا یُرِيْدُ اللهُ لِیُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ یُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا

Safiyyah bint Shaibah relates that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha said, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left in the morning wearing a striped cloak made from black (camel’s) hair. Hasan ibn ‘Ali came and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wrapped him under it, followed by Hussain who entered with him. Then Fatimah came and he took her under it, then came ‘Ali and he also took him under it. He thereafter recited:

إِنَّمَا یُرِيْدُ اللهُ لِیُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ یُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا

Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.”[12][13]

 

With regards to the second hadith from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha wherein it is mentioned that she said:

 

والله لقد عرفت أن عليا أحب إليك من أبي و مني مرتين أو ثلاثا

By Allah, I have realised that ‘Ali is more beloved to you than my father and I.[14]

 

This is an addition regarding which al Haithami said:

 

رواه أبو داود غير ذكر محبة علي رضي الله عنه

Abu Dawood reported it without mention of the part of love for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[15]

 

The problem lies with Yunus ibn Abi Ishaq who observed much negligence.

Yunus ibn Abi Ishaq

  • Ahmed says, “There are additions in his hadith over the hadith of others.”
  • ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed quotes his father saying, “His hadith is mudtarib (contradictory).”[16]
 

Even we hypothetically accept the authenticity of this addition, there is no evidence therein that she harboured enmity for him. Had this been the case, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not have endorsed it. It is very likely that Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu was more beloved to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in some aspects just as the latter was more beloved than the former to him in other aspects.

With regards to her happiness and singing the couplet over Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu martyrdom, al Tabari records this in his Tarikh without any isnad. On the other hand, Abu al Farj al Isfahani records an isnad in his book Maqatil al Talibiyin. He says:

 

حدثنا محمد بن الحسين الأشناني قال حدثنا موسى بن عبد الرحمن المسروقي قال حدثنا عثمان بن عبد الرحمن قال حدثنا إسماعيل بن راشد بإسناده قال لما أتى عائشة نعي علي أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام تمثلت الحديث

Muhammad ibn al Hussain al Ashnani narrated to us saying, Musa ibn ‘Abdul Rahman al Masruqi narrated to us saying, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Abdul Rahman narrated to us saying, Ismail ibn Rashid narrated to us with his isnad saying, “When the news of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu demise reached Aisha, she recited …”[17]

 

Abu al Farj al Isfahani is a Shia and ‘Alawi.[18]

Abu al Farj al Asfahani

  • Al Khatib quotes with an isnad from Abu Muhammad al Hasan ibn al Hussain al Nawbakhti[19], “Abu al Farj al Asfahani was the worst of liars. He would enter the bookmarket when it was crowded and the stores filled with books. He would then buy many manuscripts and take it home. All of his narrations were from these.”[20]

This isnad could be from these books too since it mentions that Ismail ibn Rashid quotes from Aisha with his isnad. However, I have not found any mention of this Ismail, neither positively nor negatively; nor when he passed away, nor any mention of the narrators between him and Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

 

Moreover, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Abdul Rahman al Tara’ifi narrates from him.

Uthman ibn Abdul Rahman al Taraifi

  • He narrates mainly from weak and unknown narrators. For this reason, he has been declared unreliable to the extent that Ibn Numair attributed lying to him.[21]
 

One of the deceptions of al Isfahani is that he did not mention ‘Uthman’s origin, so that he might be unrecognisable and passed off as a reliable narrator since many reliable narrators have the same name. After studying the teachers and students of al Tara’ifi and Ismail ibn Rashid, it is manifest that Ismail ibn Rashid is intended. His presence in the isnad is sufficient to render it useless.

 

NEXT ⇒ Misconception: Sayyidah Aisha prevented Sayyidah Fatimah from inheriting from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam


[1] Musnad Ahmed vol. 6 pg. 34 Hadith: 24107. The hadith is also found in Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 198 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 418 without the addition, “However, Aisha was not pleased with him.”

[2] Ma’alim al Madrasatayn pg. 232; al Ghadir of al Amini vol. 9 pg. 324; Fas’alu Ahl al Dhikr of Muhammad al Tijani al Simawi pg. 323; Khulasat al Muwajahah of Ahmed Hussain Ya’qub pg. 111; Difa’ min Wahy al Shari’ah of Hussain al Raja pg. 327

[3] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 198; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 418

[4] Musnad Ahmed vol. 4 pg. 275 Hadith: 18444; al Sunan al Kubra vol. 5 pg. 139 Hadith: 8495; Musnad al Bazzar vol. 8 pg. 223 Hadith: 3275; Sharh Mushkil al Athar vol. 13 pg. 333. Al Haythami says in Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 129, “His narrators are the narrators of Sahih al Bukhari.” Ibn Hajar in Fath al Bari vol. 7 pg. 32 and al Sakhawi in al Ajwibah al Mardiyyah vol. 2 pg. 764 declared its isnad as sahih.

[5] Al Sab’ah min al Salaf pg. 169, 170

[6] Al Tabaqat al Kubra vol. 2 pg. 231

[7] Dala’il al Nubuwwah vol. 7 pg. 169

[8] Musnad Abi Ya’la vol. 8 pg. 57

[9] Ahmed ibn ‘Ali ibn al Muthanna, Abu Ya’la al Mawsili. The Imam, Hafiz, Sheikh al Islam, and Muhaddith of Mowsil. He was born in 210 A.H. He met with the luminaries and travelled in his youth to the different cities. He was a good writer. Al Musnad is one of his renowned works. He passed away in 307 A.H. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 14 pg. 174; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 11 pg. 130)

[10] These hadith extracts are taken from the musharakat of Hisham ibn Bahram from Multaqa Ahl al Hadith

[11] Fath al Bari vol. 2 pg. 156

[12]  Surah al Ahzab: 33

[13]  Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah, bab fada’il Ahl Bayt al Nabi hadith no. 2424.

[14] Musnad Ahmed vol. 4 pg. 275 Hadith: 18444; al Sunan al Kubra vol. 5 pg. 139 Hadith: 8495; Musnad al Bazzar vol. 8 pg. 223 Hadith: 3275; Sharh Mushkil al Athar vol. 13 pg. 333. Al Haythami says in Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 129, “His narrators are the narrators of Sahih al Bukhari.” Ibn Hajar in Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 32, and al Sakhawi in al Ajwibah al Mardiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 764, declared its isnad as sahih.

[15] Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 127

[16] Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 11 pg. 381

[17] Maqatil al Talibiyin vol. 1 pg. 55

[18] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 16 pg. 202

[19] Al Hasan ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali, Abu Muhammad al Nawbakhti. A Rafidi and Mu’tazili. His listening was correct. He was reliable in his hadith. He passed away in 452 A.H. (Mizan al I’tidal vol. 1 pg. 485; Tarikh Baghdad vol. 7 pg. 299)

[20] Tarikh Baghdad vol. 11 pg. 398

[21] Taqrib al Tahdhib vol. 1 pg. 662)

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