The Demise of Sayyidah Aisha

Aisha after the demise of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
June 21, 2021
Chapter 3 – Aisha’s Qualities, Academic Position, and Persuasive Invitation
July 8, 2021

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The Demise of Sayyidah Aisha

Death approached our mother Sayyidah Aisha al Siddiqah radiya Llahu ‘anha after illness—the terminal illness—had incapacitated her. She knew that she was about to journey to the Afterlife. She submits with total humility and humbleness, despite promising herself previously to be buried in her home:

إني أحدثت بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حدثا ادفنوني مع أزواجه

I did something major after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Bury me with his wives.[1]

 

She is referring to the tragic incident of Jamal and her interpretation of the situation. Owing to this, she bequeathed to Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

لا تدفني معهم وادفني مع صواحبي بالبقيع لا أزكى به أبدا

Do not bury me with them. Instead, bury me with my co-wives in Baqi’. I will never ever be praised and glorified.[2]

 

A few Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum visited her during her fatal illness. Ibn Abi Mulaykah reports:

 

أن ابن عباس استأذن عليها وهي مغلوبة فقالت أخشى أن يثني علي فقيل ابن عم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ومن وجوه المسلمين قالت ائذنوا له فقال كيف تجدينك قالت بخير إن اتقيت قال فأنت بخير إن شاء الله زوجة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ولم يتزوج بكرا غيرك ونزل عذرك من السماء فلما جاء ابن الزبير قالت جاء ابن عباس وأثنى علي ووددت أني كنت نسيا منسيا

Ibn ‘Abbas sought permission to enter her home while she was incapacitated[3]. She submitted, “I fear that he will praise me.”

She was told, “The cousin of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and one of the distinguished Muslims.”

“Permit him,” she submitted.

He said, “How are you feeling?”

She said, “Well, if I adopt taqwa.”

“Then you are well, by Allah’s will,” said Ibn ‘Abbas. “[You are] the wife of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he never married a virgin besides you, and your innocence was revealed from the sky.”

When Ibn al Zubair came, she submitted, “Ibn ‘Abbas was here and he praised me. I wished that I was in oblivion, forgotten.”[4]

 

Another report reads:

 

استأذن ابن عباس على عائشة في مرضها الذي ماتت فيه فأبت أن تأذن له فلم يزل بها حتى أذنت له فسمعها وهي تقول أعوذ بالله من النار قال يا أم المؤمنين إن الله عز وجل قد أعاذك من النار كنت أول امرأة نزل عذرها من السماء

Ibn ‘Abbas sought permission to enter Aisha’s home during her fatal illness but she refused to permit him. He persisted until she consented. He heard her supplicating, “I seek refuge in Allah from Hell.”

He comforted her, “O Mother of the Believers! Indeed, Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—has granted you refuge from the Fire. You were the first woman whose innocence was revealed from the Heavens.”[5]

 

Another narration states:

أن عائشة اشتكت فجاء ابن عباس فقال يا أم المؤمنين تقدمين على فرط صدق على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم و على أبي بكر

Aisha fell ill. Ibn ‘Abbas arrived and proclaimed, “O Mother of the Believers, you are approaching a truthful predecessor[6], the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr.”[7]

 

This illuminating proclamation from the lips of Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma—a member of the Ahlul Bayt and one of the most knowledgeable Sahabah—crowned this sublime life. He speaks on behalf of every believer of this blessed Ummah from the time of the reputable Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum until the Day of Qiyamah.

When she would be questioned on how she is feeling, she would exclaim:

 

صالحة الحمد لله

Good, and all praise belongs to Allah.[8]

 

Whoever would visit her would give her glad tidings, yet she would submit:

 

يا ليتني كنت حجرا يا ليتي كنت مدرة

I wish I was a rock. I wish I was a clod of earth[9].[10]

 

Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha passed away in the Prophetic City, on Monday night, 17th of Ramadan 58, 57, or 59 A.H. during the caliphate of Sayyidina Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[11]

The residents of Madinah mourned bitterly over her. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ubaid ibn ‘Umair said very aptly:

أما إنه لا يحزن عليها إلا من كانت أمه

Behold! None will mourn over her besides the one for whom she is a mother.[12]

 

ولما سمعت أم سلمة رضي الله عنها الصرخة على عائشة أرسلت جاريتها انظري ماذا صنعت فجاءت فقالت قد قضت فقالت يرحمها الله والذي نفسي بيده لقد كانت أحب الناس كلهم إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلا أبوها

When Sayyidah Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha heard the cry for help over Sayyidah Aisha, she sent her slave girl saying, “See what has happened to her!” The slave girl returned and informed her that Aisha had passed on[13] hearing which Umm Salamah remarked, “May Allah have mercy on her. By the being in whose hands lies my life, she was the most beloved of all people to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, besides her father.”[14]

 

In another narration, she prays:

أذهب عنك يا عائشة فما كان على ظهر الأرض نسمة أحب إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم منك ثم قالت أستغفر الله غير أبيها

 

“May He remove from you [difficulty], O Aisha! There was no soul on the face of the earth more beloved to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than you.” She continued, “I seek Allah’s forgiveness, besides her father [who was more beloved].”[15]

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah[16] led her Salat al Janazah in the centre of the graveyard of al Baqi’. He was, at the time, the deputy of Marwan ibn al Hakam—the governor of Madinah from the side of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Marwan journeyed for Hajj and appointed Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his deputy.[17]

She was buried at night after the Salat al Witr. The night was extremely dark so those escorting her found no alternative but to carry pieces of cloth[18] drenched in olive oil and set on fire to illuminate the pathway to the graveyard. People crowded and assembled around the bier[19] and no night with more people was witnessed. The people living in the surroundings[20] came down to Madinah.[21]

Five members of the family of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu descended into her grave viz. ‘Abdullah and ‘Urwah—the sons of Sayyidina Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam from her sister Sayyidah Asma’ bint Abi Bakr; Qasim and ‘Abdullah—the sons of her brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr; and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhum. She was buried in al Baqi’ cemetery.[22] May Allah be pleased with her and make her happy.

 

NEXT⇒ Chapter 3 – Aisha’s Qualities, Academic Position, and Persuasive Invitation


[1] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 74; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 193; al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 7. Al Hakim comments, “It is sahih according to the standards of al Bukhari and Muslim but they have not documented it.”

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1391. She bequeathed that fire should not accompany her bier and that she should not be carried on a red velvet. Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 73, 76.

[3] Maghlubah: illness had overpowered her and debilitated her from movement. Kashf al Mushkil min Hadith al Sahihayn, vol. 2 pg. 387; ‘Umdat al Qari, vol. 19 pg. 87.

[4] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4753.

[5] Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 872.

[6] Al farat: then one who goes ahead of those coming and prepares for them what they need. Here it comes in the meaning of forerunner in reward and intercession. Muqaddamat Fath al Bari, pg. 166.

[7] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3771.

[8] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 75.

[9] Madarah: singular of al madr: clod of earth. Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 4 pg. 30.

[10] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 74.

[11] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 78; al Isti’ab, vol. 4 pg. 1885; al Muntazam fi Tarikh al Muluk wa al Umam, vol. 5 pg. 303; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 7 pg. 186; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 342; al Wafi bi al Wafiyyat, vol. 16 pg. 343; al Isabah, vol. 8 pg. 235.

[12] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 78; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 185.

[13] Qadat: she completed her time. In the same meaning is the statement of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala:

فَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ قَضىٰ نَحْبَهُ

Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death] i.e. completed his time.

The word qada in literature has many meanings, the root is termination, completion, detachment. Ma’ani al Qur’an wa I’rabihi, vol. 4 pg. 222; Tafsir al Raghib al Asfahani, vol. 1 pg. 302; Mashariq al Anwar, vol. 2 pg. 189; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 7 pg. 223.

[14] Musnad Abi Dawood al Tayalisi, vol. 3 pg. 185, Hadith: 1718; Hilyat al Awliya’, vol. 2 pg. 44. The isnad has been declared sahih by al Busiri in Ithaf al Khiyarah al Maharah, vol. 7 pg. 248.

[15] Ibn Abi ‘Asim: al Sunnah, Hadith: 1234.

[16] He is ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Sakhr, Abu Hurairah al Dawsi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The eminent Sahabi. He has memorised the most of ahadith and is the most prolific narrator among all the Sahabah. He was a Hafiz [of hadith], verifier, and Mufti. He stood in prayer and fasted regularly. ‘Umar appointed him governor over Bahrain and he served as governor over Madinah for a brief period. He passed away in 57 A.H. and some say thereafter. Al Isti’ab, vol. 2 pg. 70; al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 425.

[17] Al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 5; Tarikh al Islam, vol. 4 pg. 164.

[18] Al khiraq: plural of khirqah: it is a piece of torn cloth. Jamharat al Lughah, vol. 1 pg. 590; al Sihah, vol. 4 pg. 1468.

[19] Al na’sh: the bier of the deceased. Al Sihah, vol. 3 pg. 1022; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 6 pg. 355.

[20] Al ‘awali: the plural of ‘aliyah. It refers to all areas in the direction of Najd from Madinah, including villages and towns. The closest of them to Madinah is at a distance of 4 miles and the furthest in the direction of Najd is at a distance of 8 miles. Mashariq al Anwar, vol. 2 pg. 108; al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 3 pg. 295; al Mughrab fi Tartib al Mu’rab, pg. 327.

[21] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 76; Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 11 pg. 602; al Mustadrak, vol. pg. 5.

[22] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 77; Tarikh Ibn Abi Khaythamah, vol. 2 pg. 58; al Isti’ab, vol. 4 pg. 1885; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 7 pg. 186; al Muntazam fi Tarikh al Muluk wa al Umam, vol. 5 pg. 303; Tarikh al Islam, vol. 4 pg. 249; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 342; al Isabah, vol. 8 pg. 235.

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