Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 71 and 72

Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 69 and 70
March 4, 2021
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Letter 71

 

Safar 10, 1330

 

I. Why Reject the Hadith of the Mother of Believers and the best among the Prophet’s Consorts?

 

Why did you – may Allah forgive you – turn away from the mother of believers and the best of the Prophet’s consorts and discarded her hadith, leaving it to oblivion, while her statement is the final and just judgment? In spite of this, you may give us your own viewpoint to consider,

 

Wassalam.

 

Sincerely,

S

 

Letter 72

 

Safar 12, 1330

 

I. She Was Not the Best of the Prophet’s Consorts

II. The Best is Khadija

III. A General Hint to the Reason Why her Hadith was Discarded

 

1) The mother of the believers ‘Ayesha enjoys a special status, and she has her own contribution standing to her credit, but she is not the best of the Prophet’s wives. How can she be the best since one authentic hadith quotes her saying, “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, once mentioned Khadija, and I objected by saying: ‘She was an old woman, and such and such, and Allah has granted you someone better than her [meaning herself].’

He said: ‘Not at all; Allah has not granted me better than her; she believed in me when people denounced me, and she believed in me when people called me a liar; she shared her wealth with me when people deprived me, and Allah blessed me with children by her while depriving me of the children of all others'”?

‘Ayesha is also reported as having said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, never left home before mentioning Khadija and praising her. One day, he mentioned her, and I felt jealous. I said: ‘Was she but an old woman, while Allah has blessed you with someone better than her?’ He became so offended that his front hair shook in anger, then he said: ‘No, by Allah! Allah did not bless me with anyone better than her! She believed in me when people disbelieved; she held me truthful when people called me a liar; she gave me an equal share of her wealth when people deprived me, and Allah blessed me with children by her while depriving me the children of other women.'”1

 

2) The best of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam consorts, therefore, is Khadija al Kubra, the truthful of this nation, the foremost in believing in Allah and His Book, and in solacing His Prophet. Allah has inspired His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to convey the good news to her that she had in Paradise a house built of stalks of gold and silver,2 and that she had been a favourite of Allah.

The Almighty said of her: “The best of the women of Paradise are Khadija daughter of Khuaylid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad, Asiya daughter of Muzahim, and Mary daughter of ‘Umran (Amram).” He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: “Among all the women of the world, commended are Khadija daughter of Khuaylid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad, Asiya daughter of Muzahim, and Mary daughter of ‘Umran.” There are other ahadith which are among the most authentic and reliable emphasizing the same.3

It cannot also be said that ‘Ayesha was the best among the mothers of believers save Khadija. Reliable traditions and recorded events refuse to favour her over the others, as is obvious to the wise. She probably thought of herself as being superior to all others, and the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, did not agree with her self­assessment.

The same happened with Safiyya daughter of Huyay when the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, entered her room once and found her weeping. He asked her: “What grieves you?” She answered: “I have come to know that both ‘Ayesha and Hafsa speak ill of me and say that they are better than me.” He, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: “Couldn’t you have told them: ‘How can you be better than me, since my father is Aaron, my uncle is Moses, and my husband is Muhammad?'”4

Whoever traces the mother of the believers ‘Ayesha in her deeds and statements will find her as we indicate here.

 

3) The reason why we have discarded her hadith regarding the will is due to the fact that it does not constitute an argument, and please do not ask me to elaborate on this point, Wassalam.

 

Sincerely,

Sh

 

Footnotes:

  1. This hadith and the one that follows it are among detailed ahadith narrated by Sunnis. Refer to them in the discussion of Khadija al Kubra ‘alayh al Salam in the Isti’ab, and you will find them as we have quoted them here verbatim. They are quoted by al Bukhari and Muslim in their sahihs in almost similar wording.
  2. As narrated by al Bukhari in his chapter on women’s jealousy and sentimentality, near the conclusion of his treatise on marriage, page 175, Vol. 3, of his Sahih.
  3. We have quoted it in the second paragraph of our celebrated statement, and anyone who wishes to research is referred thereto.
  4. This is quoted by al Tirmithi from Kinanah, slave of the mother of believers Safiyya, and it is transmitted by Ibn ‘Abdul Birr in his biography of Safiyya in the Isti’ab, Ibn Hajar in her biography in Al Isabah, by Sheikh Rashid Rida at the end of page 589, Vol. 12, of his Manar, in addition to many other traditionists.

 

Discussions

It is ironic that someone who professes that the matter of Wasiyyah does not require any evidence or argument, and that Wijdan is sufficient to establish ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointment, now rejects the Hadith narrated by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha under the pretext that it does not even constitute an argument. Rejecting the Hadith of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha does not provide any remedy from the narrations about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being unaware of any Wasiyyah!

The actual reason for rejecting the Hadith of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is no different from the reason any Hadith is rejected by the Shia: it undermines the doctrine upon which their faith is based. There has not been a single objective reason for setting aside this Hadith.

‘Abdul Hussain’s initial propriety is shortlived. He could not even wait for the next round of communication to malign Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The pretence is revealed when he accuses her of self-aggrandizement. His repeated appeal to ‘reliable traditions’ have continuously failed him in the past. Why should his assertion that “reliable traditions and recorded events refuse to favour her over the others,” be taken seriously now? The irony is that he says this off the back of having just rejected an objectively reliable report!

The astute ready will easily recognize this is as a precursor to what will eventually result in an ad hominem attack on Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. His strategy is to lower her rank among the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives which, in his fevered mind, will pave the way for his tirade. At its core the issue under review is unmistakeably sinister. Not only is he smearing a wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but he is also developing a strategy by which he can evade any narration he wishes. Consider the consequences if Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha reputation is damaged; what difference does it make after that if any of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are dragged through the mud, or accused of horrendous crimes? We seek refuge in Allah for these blasphemous allegations! Objectivity demands that the discourse remains within the limits of the transmitted evidence within a universally acceptable framework.

Let it be known that infallibility, according Ahlus Sunnah, is exclusively applicable to the Prophets ‘alayh al Salam. For this Ummah the potential for oversight is acknowledged for anyone besides the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Having aknowledged the potential for oversight on the part of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Ahlus Sunnah holds all of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions in high esteem, and acknowledge all their merits and virtues considering them morally upright.

It is in light of these merits and accolades that their actions, words, and emotions are positively interpreted. They are human in every respect, but they occupy a status worthy of reverence and emulation. Only a true Muslim will see their merits through the smoke that bellows from the fires of Fitnah. The incident with Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha, which will be discussed later, ought to be viewed through this lens as well.

 

Who is Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha

 

ٱلۡخَبِيثَٰتُ لِلۡخَبِيثِينَ وَٱلۡخَبِيثُونَ لِلۡخَبِيثَٰتِۖ وَٱلطَّيِّبَٰتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَٱلطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَٰتِۚ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَۖ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٞ وَرِزۡقٞ كَرِيمٞ ٢٦

Evil women are [only] for evil men, and evil men are [only] for evil women. And pure women are [only] for pure men, and pure men are [only] for pure women. Those [pure people] are declared innocent of what the slanderers say. For them is forgiveness and noble provision[1]

 

The verse above concludes a series of 15 successive versus which have been revealed in the context of the false accusations made against the Mother of the believers, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Pause for a moment to reflect on the fact, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has taken it upon Himself to defend her against those slanderous accusations. In the preceding verses she is referred to as a chaste woman, a person exonerated of all accusations, and most of all, a believer. Consider her prestige: her iman is endorsed by the Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala! Is it even imaginable that such a believing woman, one whose iman is confirmed by Allah, that she would deliberately lie to set in motion a political conspiracy which, according to the Shia narrative, would alter the course of history for this Ummah?

Consider it from a different perspective; would Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala whose knowledge is perfect and All-Encompassing endorse the iman of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha knowing all along that she would ‘deliberately mislead the Ummah’?

The esteemed reader is invited to view the ordeal of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in an attempt to gain her perspective of the events as they transpired.

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha relates:

 

بكيت يومي ذلك لا يرقأ لي دمع ولا أكتحل بنوم ثم بكيت ليلتي المقبلة لا يرقأ لي دمع ولا أكتحل بنوم وأبواى يظنان أن البكاء فالق كبدي فبينما هما جالسان عندي وأنا أبكي استأذنت على امرأة من الأنصار فأذنت لها فجلست تبكي – قالت – فبينا نحن على ذلك دخل علينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فسلم ثم جلس – قالت – ولم يجلس عندي منذ قيل لي ما قيل وقد لبث شهرا لا يوحى إليه في شأني بشىء – قالت – فتشهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين جلس ثم قال ‏”‏ أما بعد يا عائشة فإنه قد بلغني عنك كذا وكذا فإن كنت بريئة فسيبرئك الله وإن كنت ألممت بذنب فاستغفري الله وتوبي إليه فإن العبد إذا اعترف بذنب ثم تاب تاب الله عليه ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قالت فلما قضى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مقالته قلص دمعي حتى ما أحس منه قطرة فقلت لأبي أجب عني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما قال ‏.‏ فقال والله ما أدري ما أقول لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت لأمي أجيبي عني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالت والله ما أدري ما أقول لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت وأنا جارية حديثة السن لا أقرأ كثيرا من القرآن إني والله لقد عرفت أنكم قد سمعتم بهذا حتى استقر في نفوسكم وصدقتم به فإن قلت لكم إني بريئة والله يعلم أني بريئة لا تصدقوني بذلك ولئن اعترفت لكم بأمر والله يعلم أني بريئة لتصدقونني وإني والله ما أجد لي ولكم مثلا إلا كما قال أبو يوسف فصبر جميل والله المستعان على ما تصفون ‏.‏ قالت ثم تحولت فاضطجعت على فراشي – قالت – وأنا والله حينئذ أعلم أني بريئة وأن الله مبرئي ببراءتي ولكن والله ما كنت أظن أن ينزل في شأني وحى يتلى ولشأني كان أحقر في نفسي من أن يتكلم الله عز وجل في بأمر يتلى ولكني كنت أرجو أن يرى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في النوم رؤيا يبرئني الله بها

I spent the whole day in weeping, my tears would not cease from flowing, and even the night I could not get a wink of sleep, my tears would not stop. My parents thought that this constant weeping of mine would break my heart. I wept and they sat beside me. In the meanwhile a woman of the Ansar came to see me. I permitted her to see me and she also began to weep. And we were in this very state that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came and he greeted me and then sat down. It had been a month since he last sat with me; when this rumour was spread, and there was no revelation (about) my case. the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited Tashahhud and then said, “As for what follows, Aisha, this is what has reached me about you and if you are innocent, Allah would Himself vindicate your honour, and if accidentally there has been a lapse on your part seek forgiveness of Allah; He will pardon you. When a slave makes a confession of his fault and turns (to Him) in repentance, Allah also turns to him (mercifully) accepting his repentance.”

When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam talked, my tears dried up and not even a single drop of tear could be perceived.

I said to my father, “You give a reply to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on my behalf.”

He said, “By Allah, I do not know what I should say to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

I then said to my mother, “Give a reply to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on my behalf,” but she said, “By Allah, I do not know what I should say to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

I was a young girl at that time and I had not read much of the Qur’an (but I said), “By Allah, I realise that you have heard about this and it has settled down in your minds and you might even believe it to be true, so if I say to you that I am quite innocent, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you would never believe me, and if I were to confess to (the alleged) lapse before you, whereas Allah knows that I am completely innocent (and I have not committed this sin at all), in that case You might well believe it. By Allah, I, therefore, find no recourse for me and for you except that what the father of Yusuf said, ‘(My recourse is) a beatiful patience. And Allah it he Whose help is sought in that (predicament) which you describe.’”

After this I turned my face to the other side and lay down on my bed. By Allah, I was fully aware of this fact that I was innocent but I did not expect that Allah would descend Wahi that would be recited in my case as I did not think myself so important that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, would speak in this matter in words to be recited. I only hoped that Allah would give an indication of my innocence to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the form of a dream…[2]

 

It would be blasphemous for any Muslim to claim that the Qur’an is limited to any period in time. Contrary to the Shia doctrine of Bada’,  the rest of the Muslims believe in the encompassing knowledge of Allah. He knows what happened in the past as well as every future event; His knowledge even encompasses that which shall not happen and were it to happen how it would happen! Is it in anyway conceivable that He would praise her in this manner—having comprehensive, encompassing knowledge—except that she is eternally deserving of such merit? Moreover, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had been prohibited from seeking forgiveness for any of the hypocrites. Is it comprehendable that an evil person would be praised to this extent; whilst the hypocrites were effectively exposed in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam society? The only acceptable conclusion is that she is to be held in high esteem until eternity.

Not only did she display humility during her ordeal and contrast it with ‘Abdul Hussain’s claim of self-aggrandizement.

Moving on from the incident of the Ifk. She was the wife of Allah’s final Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until his demise. It was in her arms that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam breathed his last in this temporal abode. How could anyone claiming to be a Muslim question her integrity when she was shown to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as his wife in this world and the next?

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha relates that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told her:

 

عن عائشة، قالت قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أريتك في المنام مرتين، إذا رجل يحملك في سرقة حرير فيقول هذه امرأتك، فأكشفها فإذا هي أنت، فأقول إن يكن هذا من عند الله يمضه

You have been shown to me twice in (my) dreams. A man was carrying you in a silken cloth and said to me, “This is your wife.” I uncovered it; and behold, it was you. I said to myself, “If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.”[3]

 

Furthermore, Abu Wa’il relates:

 

عن الحكم، سمعت أبا وائل قال: لما بعث علي عمارا والحسن إلى الكوفة ليستنفرهم خطب عمار فقال إني لأعلم أنها زوجته في الدنيا والآخرة، ولكن الله ابتلاكم لتتبعوه أو إياها‏

When ‘Ali sent ‘Ammar and Hassan to (the people of) Kufah to urge them to fight, ‘Ammar addressed them saying, “I know that she (Aisha) is the wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this world and in the Hereafter, but Allah has put you to test, whether you will follow Him (i.e. Allah) or her.”[4]

 

Pay attention to the civil manner in which ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu differed with her. He acknowledged her status is the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife both in this world and the next; then he expressed his difference with her on this crucial matter of state. ‘Ammar is among the handful of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions who was spared the accusation of apostacy by the Rafidah.

Al Tirmidhi cites a similar narration without mentioning the incident at Kufah:

 

عن عبد الله بن زياد الأسدي، قال سمعت عمار بن ياسر، يقول هي زوجته في الدنيا والآخرة ‏.‏ يعني عائشة رضى الله عنها ‏.‏ قال هذا حديث حسن صحيح ‏.‏ وفي الباب عن علي بن أبي طالب

‘Abdullah ibn Ziyad al Asadi relates that he heard ‘Ammar bin Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying, “She—meaning Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha—is his wife in the world and in the Hereafter.”

Al Tirmidhi says: This Hadith is Hasan Sahih and a similar narration is found by way of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[5]

 

We learn that her prestigeous status is attested to by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well. Who could be bothered with ‘Abdul Hussain’s alleged ‘reliable traditions’ after the narration from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also confirms her to be a believer, and the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife in the next life.

This narration in the Sunan of Abu Dawood demonstrates the manner in which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sought permission to be nursed at the home of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

عن عائشة، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعث إلى النساء – تعني في مرضه – فاجتمعن فقال ‏إني لا أستطيع أن أدور بينكن فإن رأيتن أن تأذن لي فأكون عند عائشة فعلتن ‏‏فأذن له ‏

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent for his wives during his illness. When they got together, hesalla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I am unable to visit all of you. If you accept, allow me to stay with Aisha would you do so.” So they permitted him (to stay with Aisha).[6]

 

Ibn Sa’d has narrated by way of ibn Shihab al Zuhri that the person to suggest that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam be nursed at the home of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam beloved daughter, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.[7] The incident of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam seeking permission to be at the home of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is also narrated by way of Muhammad al Baqir.[8]

Not only did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam want to be at the home of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha during his final illness, but it was predestined that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have departed from this world on the day he was meant to be with her radiya Llahu ‘anha. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha relates:

 

عن عائشة ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يسأل في مرضه الذي مات فيه‏ أين أنا غدا أين أنا غدا يريد يوم عائشة، فأذن له أزواجه يكون حيث شاء، فكان في بيت عائشة حتى مات عندها‏.‏ قالت عائشة فمات في اليوم الذي كان يدور على فيه في بيتي، فقبضه الله، وإن رأسه لبين نحري وسحري، وخالط ريقه ريقي‏.‏

During his fatal illness, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to ask his wives, “Where shall I stay tomorrow? Where shall I stay tomorrow?” He was looking forward to Aisha’s turn. So all his wives allowed him to stay where he wished, and he stayed at Aisha’s house till he died there.

Aisha added: He passed on the day of my usual turn at my house. Allah took him unto Him while his head was between my chest and my neck, and his saliva was mixed with my saliva.[9]

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took comfort during his final moments in the fact that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would be his wife in Jannat.[10]

Umm Salamah complained to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that people habitually send gifts to him on the days that he was at the home of Aisha. Obviously, they realized what a good mood he would be in when he was with her. The co-wifes felt that people favoured Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha by sending their gifts on her days.

 

كان الناس يتحرون بهداياهم يوم عائشة قالت عائشة فاجتمع صواحبي إلى أم سلمة، فقلن يا أم سلمة، والله إن الناس يتحرون بهداياهم يوم عائشة، وإنا نريد الخير كما تريده عائشة، فمري رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يأمر الناس أن يهدوا إليه حيث ما كان أو حيث ما دار، قالت فذكرت ذلك أم سلمة للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت فأعرض عني، فلما عاد إلى ذكرت له ذاك فأعرض عني، فلما كان في الثالثة ذكرت له فقال ‏ “‏ يا أم سلمة لا تؤذيني في عائشة، فإنه والله ما نزل على الوحى وأنا في لحاف امرأة منكن غيرها ‏”

The people used to send presents to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the day of Aisha. Aisha said, “My companions (i.e. the other wives of the Prophet) gathered in the house of Umm Salamah and said, ‘O Umm Salamah! By Allah, the people choose to send presents on the day of Aisha and we too, love the good (i.e. Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cheerfulness) as Aisha does. You should tell the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to tell the people to send their presents to him wherever he may be, or wherever his turn may be.’

Umm Salamah said that to the Prophet  salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he turned away from her, and when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned to her (i.e. Umm Salamah), she repeated the same request, and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam again turned away, and when she told him the same for the third time, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘O Umm Salamah! Don’t cause harm to me when it comes to Aisha, for by Allah, Wahi has never came to me while I was under the blanket of any woman amongst you except her.’”[11]

 

The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives then sought intercession through his most beloved daughter, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, in this matter:

 

عن عائشة ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أن نساء، رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كن حزبين فحزب فيه عائشة وحفصة وصفية وسودة، والحزب الآخر أم سلمة وسائر نساء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وكان المسلمون قد علموا حب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عائشة، فإذا كانت عند أحدهم هدية يريد أن يهديها إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أخرها، حتى إذا كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بيت عائشة بعث صاحب الهدية إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بيت عائشة، فكلم حزب أم سلمة، فقلن لها كلمي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يكلم الناس، فيقول من أراد أن يهدي إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هدية فليهده إليه حيث كان من بيوت نسائه، فكلمته أم سلمة بما قلن، فلم يقل لها شيئا، فسألنها‏.‏ فقالت ما قال لي شيئا‏.‏ فقلن لها فكلميه‏.‏ قالت فكلمته حين دار إليها أيضا، فلم يقل لها شيئا، فسألنها‏.‏ فقالت ما قال لي شيئا‏.‏ فقلن لها كلميه حتى يكلمك‏.‏ فدار إليها فكلمته‏.‏ فقال لها ‏”‏ لا تؤذيني في عائشة، فإن الوحى لم يأتني، وأنا في ثوب امرأة إلا عائشة ‏”‏‏.‏ قالت فقالت أتوب إلى الله من أذاك يا رسول الله‏.‏ ثم إنهن دعون فاطمة بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأرسلن إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تقول إن نساءك ينشدنك الله العدل في بنت أبي بكر‏.‏ فكلمته‏.‏ فقال ‏”‏ يا بنية، ألا تحبين ما أحب ‏”‏‏.‏ قالت بلى‏.‏ فرجعت إليهن، فأخبرتهن‏.‏ فقلن ارجعي إليه‏.‏ فأبت أن ترجع، فأرسلن زينب بنت جحش، فأتته فأغلظت، وقالت إن نساءك ينشدنك الله العدل في بنت ابن أبي قحافة‏.‏ فرفعت صوتها، حتى تناولت عائشة‏.‏ وهى قاعدة، فسبتها حتى إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لينظر إلى عائشة هل تكلم قال فتكلمت عائشة ترد على زينب، حتى أسكتتها‏.‏ قالت فنظر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى عائشة، وقال ‏”‏ إنها بنت أبي بكر ‏”‏‏

The wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam comprised of two parties. One party consisted of Aisha, Hafsah, Safiyyah, and Saudah; and the other party consisted of Umm Salamah and the other wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Muslims were well aware of the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam love for Aisha, so if any of them had a gift for the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they would delay it until it was Aisha’s turn. That is when they chose to send gifts, knowing that Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would be in her home.

The party of Umm Salamah discussed the matter together and decided that Umm Salamah should request the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to tell the people to send their gifts to him at the home of whichever wife he was at. Umm Salamah conveyed to him what they had said, but he did not reply. Later they asked Umm Salamah about what transpired and she said, “He did not say anything to me.” They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, “Talk to him till he gives you a reply.” When it was her turn, she talked to him again.

He then said to her, “Do not inconvenience me regarding Aisha as Revelation has never come to me under the sheets of anyone besides Aisha’s.”

On that Umm Salamah said, “I seek Allah’s repentance for inconveniencing you.”

So the party of Umm Salamah then called Fatimah, the Prophet’s daughter, and sent her to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to tell him, “Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on equal terms.”

Fatimah conveyed the message to him. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded, “O my daughter! Do you not love whom I love?”

She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused.

They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him and used firm words saying, “Your wives request you to treat them and the daughter of Ibn Abi Quhafah on equal terms.”

On that she raised her voice and reprimanded Aisha to her face so much so that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam looked at Aisha to see whether she would respond. Aisha started replying to Zainab until she silenced her. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then looked at Aisha and said, “She is certainly the daughter of Abu Bakr.” [12]

 

What is left to say? Is it not clear as day that she was the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam favourite after Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha? This fact is further confirmed by the following narration from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

عن عمرو بن العاص، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعثه على جيش ذات السلاسل قال فأتيته فقلت أى الناس أحب إليك قال ‏”‏ عائشة ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قلت من الرجال قال ‏”‏ أبوها ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قلت ثم من قال ‏”‏ عمر ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فعد رجالا

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deputed me to lead the Army of Dhat al Salasil. I came to him and said, “Who is the most beloved person to you?”

He said, “Aisha.”

I asked, “Among the men?”

He said, “Her father.”

I said, “Who then?”

He said, “Then ‘Umar bin Al Khattab.”

He then named other men.[13]

 

Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

فضل عائشة على النساء كفضل الثريد علٰى سائر الطعام

The superiority of Aisha over all (other) women is like the superiority of Tharid[14] over all other foods.[15]

 

Her mere presence was a blessing, and a means of concession for the Muslims. She had once lost a necklace on a journey with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam halted the entire army in a place without water. As a result Allah revealed the verses that permit Tayammum.

 

عن عائشة أم المؤمنين، أنها قالت خرجنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بعض أسفاره حتى إذا كنا بالبيداء – أو بذات الجيش – انقطع عقد لي فأقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على التماسه وأقام الناس معه وليسوا على ماء وليس معهم ماء فأتى الناس إلى أبي بكر الصديق فقالوا ألا ترى ما صنعت عائشة أقامت برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وبالناس وليسوا على ماء وليس معهم ماء ‏.‏ قالت عائشة فجاء أبو بكر ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم واضع رأسه على فخذي قد نام فقال حبست رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والناس وليسوا على ماء وليس معهم ماء قالت عائشة فعاتبني أبو بكر فقال ما شاء الله أن يقول وجعل يطعن بيده في خاصرتي فلا يمنعني من التحرك إلا مكان رأس رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على فخذي فنام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى أصبح على غير ماء فأنزل الله تبارك وتعالى آية التيمم فتيمموا ‏.‏ فقال أسيد بن حضير ما هي بأول بركتكم يا آل أبي بكر ‏.‏ قالت فبعثنا البعير الذي كنت عليه فوجدنا العقد تحته ‏

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha says, “We went out on a journey with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and when we came to place called al Bayda’ or Dhat al Jaysh, a necklace of mine fell off. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stopped to look for it and the people stopped with him. There was no water nearby and the people were not carrying any with them, so they came to Abu Bakr al Siddiq and said, ‘Don’t you see what Aisha has done? She has made the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the people stop when there is no water nearby and they are not carrying any with them.’”

Aisha continued, “Abu Bakr came whilst the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sleeping with his head on my thigh. Abu Bakr said, ‘You have made the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the people stop when there is no water nearby and they are not carrying any with them!’

Abu Bakr reprimanded me and said whatever Allah willed him to say, and began to poke me in the waist. The only thing that stopped me from moving was that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had his head on my thigh. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam slept until morning without water. Allah then revealed the verses of Tayammum, so they did Tayammum.”

Usayd ibn Hudayr said, “This is not the first of your blessings, O family of Abu Bakr!”

Aisha added, “We roused the camel I had been on, and found the necklace under it.”[16]

 

Contrary to ‘Abdul Hussain’s statement, it was over the matter of assigning her preference over Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha where the scholars have differed. Our preferred stance is that we refrain from assigning preference either way. Both Khadijah and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma served the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and supported him in different ways. There is no disagreement, however, on the fact that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha had the highest status amongst the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives who were widowed after his passing.

 

The incident of Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha

The Arabic term for a co-wife in a polygynous marriage is Darrah, which shares the same etymological root of the word which means harm. Rivalry amongst co-wives is a natural human phenomenon. Having contextualized this, the question that ought to be asked is whether Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was a party to this incident.

The narration which ‘Abdul Hussain cited about our Mother, Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, is narrated by way of Muhammad ibn Bashshar — ‘Abdul Samad ibn ‘Abdul Warith — Hashim ibn Said al Kufi — Kinanah — Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha.[17]

After narrating this Hadith, al Tirmidhi states: “This is a Gharib Hadith. We are only aware of it being transmitted by way of Hashim al Kufi from Safiyyah. Its chain is not very good.”[18] Al Tirmidhi often uses the term Gharib in isolation to refer to an unreliable Hadith.

Hashim ibn Said al Kufi has been discredited by Ibn Ma’in, ‘Ali ibn al Madini, Abu Zur’ah, and ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi among many others.[19]

The correct version of this Hadith is narrated by way of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu and recorded by al Tirmidhi two narrations later.[20] Al Tirmidhi grades this version Hasan Sahih. Incidentally, there is no mention of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in this version.

‘Abdul Hussain’s defamation of Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha character was hinged entirely on this narration. Since the sound version only mentions Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha and excludes the mention of Aisha we learn two important facts:

  • The version with the chain to Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha is anomolous and in contradiction of the sound version which is narrated by way of Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  • He has no argument to detract from the status of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

This, however, is by no means the last of his attempts at disparaging Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. The following series of letters will reveal such horrendous accusations which any God-fearing Muslim would feel ashamed to even read!

 


[1] Surah al Nur: 26.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Tafsir, Hadith no: 4750; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Tawbah, Hadith no: 2770.

[3] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Nikah, Hadith no: 5078; Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith no: 2381.

[4] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3772.

[5] Al Tirmidhi, Kitab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 4262.

[6] Abu Dawood, Kitab al Nikah, Hadith no: 2137.

[7] Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 232-233.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Nikah, Hadith no: 5217.

[10] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 41 pg. 519 Hadith no: 25076.

[11] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3775.

[12] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Hibah, hadith no. 2581

[13] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,Hadith no: 3662.

[14] Tharid is a dish in which bread is broken up into small pieces with meat and gravy poured over it.

[15] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Bab Fadl Aisha, Hadith: 3559.

[16] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi, hadith no. 3672; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Hayd, Bab al Tayammum, hadith no. 714

[17] Al Tirmidhi, Kitab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3892

[18] Ibid.

[19] Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 30 pg. 128.

[20] Al Tirmidhi, Kitab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3894.

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