The Relationship Between Aisha and ‘Ali
In the previous pages light was shed upon the relationship that existed between Aisha and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Now I shall throw light on how Aisha and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma displayed confidence in each other in matters of knowledge and on the manner in which they revered one other
1. Aisha Approbates the Verdicts of ‘Ali
Imam Ahmed ibn Hambal rahimahu Llah has cited the coming narration in several places in his book, Musnad Ahmed. Imam Muslim has likewise made mention of it in his Sahih:
عن شريح ابن هانئ قال سألت عائشة رضي الله عنها عن المسح علي الخفين فقالت سل عليا فإنه أعلم بهذا مني كان يسافر مع رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم قال فسالت عليا فقال قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم للمسافر ثلاثة أيام ولياليهن وللمقيم يوم وليلة
Shurayh radiya Llahu ‘anhu states: “I inquired of Aisha regarding masah upon leather socks. She referred me to ‘Ali and said, ‘Ask ‘Ali in this regard, he has more knowledge than me for He accompanied Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on his journeys. I thus went and asked him about the ruling. He said: ‘Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has stipulated three days and nights for a traveller and one day and one night for one who is at home.’”
Another issue in which Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha displayed confidence in ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, was the issue of fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ (10 Muharram). ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu instructed the people to fast on this day. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha inquired of who had passed this ruling and she was told that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had. She thereupon said: “He is well acquainted with the sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Below the Arabic text is cited for the benefit of the readers:
عن جبير قال قالت عائشة رضي الله عنها من أفتاكم بصوم عاشوراء قالوا علي. قالت علي؟ أما إنه لأعلم الناس بالسنة.
عن حسرة بنت زجاجة قالت قيل لعائشة: إن عليا أمر بصيام يوم عاشوراء قالت هو أعلم من بقي بالسنة.
It is clear from these reports that there was no grievance between Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They were conscientious when it came to respecting one another. They would never have displayed such reverence for one another had hatred tainted their lives, as is the claim of the Shia.
One should also bear in mind the narration of Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq in which mention is made of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha referring the question of how much should a woman cover herself during salah to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anha, and her approval of his answer when informed of it. This narration appears on page 128 in the third volume of the above mentioned book.
2. Another Example of Rendering Assistance to Each Other
Prior to this many narrations pertaining to ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu wife were quoted. Now a narration with regards to his mother’s final moments and her death will be presented.
‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu mother’s name was Fatimah bint Asad. She was blessed with the good fortune of accepting Islam and migrating to Madinah Munawwarah. She passed away during the lifetime of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. At the time of her demise just as other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum proffered a helping hand to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, so did Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma assist him as well. Al Tabarani has made mention of this narration in his books Mujam al Kabir and Mujam al Awsat. Al Haythami has cited this narration eliciting it from the works of al Tabarani in his book Majma’ al Zawa’id and so has the author of Jam’ al Fawa’id:
عن أنس رضي الله عنه قال لما توفيت فاطمة بنت أسد (أم علي رضي الله عنه) دخل عليها النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فجلس عند رأسها فقال رحمك الله يا أمي كنت أمي بعد أمي ……….. ثم خلع قميصه فألبسها إياه وكفنها ببرد فوقه ثم دعا أسامة وأبا أيوب الأنصاري وعمربن الخطاب وغلاما أسود يحفرون فحفروها فلما بلغ اللحد حضره صلي الله عليه وسلم بيده وأخرج ترابه بيده فلما فرغ دخل فاضطجع فيه ثم قال الله الذي يحيي ويميت هو حي لا يموت اللهم اغفرلأمي فاطمة بنت أسد ولقنها حجتها ووسع عليها مدخلها بحق نبيك والأنبياء الذين قبلي فإنك أرحم الراحمين وكبر عليها أربعا وأدخلها اللحد هو العباس وأبوبكر الصديق
Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that when the mother of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Fatimah bint Asad radiya Llahu ‘anha, passed away then the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came and set by her head and said: “You were a mother to me after my mother… he had taken his garment off and given it for her so that she may be enshrouded with before burial. He thereafter summoned Usamah, Abu Ayub al Ansari, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab and a dark skinned slave to dig a grave. Hence they dug a grave for her. As they were digging the grave, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam removed some of its sand and took it in his hands. When they had completed digging the grave, he descended into the grave and sat in it for a while supplicating to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala: “O Allah, the Being Who gives life and death, the One who will live forever and will never taste death, forgive Fatimah bint Asad, inspire her with the correct answers and widen her grave for her by means of my blessings and the blessings of the prophets before me. O the Most Merciful.” Subsequent to that he performed her funeral prayer and then he himself together with ‘Abbas and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma lowered her into the grave.
Deductions from This Narration
- Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam performed her funeral prayer with four takbir’s and the four khalifas were present.
- ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had assisted in digging the grave.
- Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had helped in lowering her into the grave.
All of the above mentioned aspects speak volumes of the sound milieu of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Those who endeavour to prove hostility, disillusionment and grievances amidst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum try to do so by citing such which contain the following discrepancies:
1. They are narrated by inveterate liars, deceitful narrators whose narrations have been discarded by the scholars of hadith and narrators who narrate reprehensible material.
2. Even if they are, hypothetically, considered to be sound narrations transmitted by reliable narrators, they are not to be accepted, for these people alter the actual meanings of such narrations. The proverbs:
كلمة حق اريد به الباطل
Slogans of truth chanted for evil reasons.
توجيه القول بما لا يرضي به قائله
Interpretations of the verdicts of others which they themselves would not accept (if they were to become aware of it)
fits this category of people like a glove.
3. At times a narration’s chain of transmission is sound and the text is also fine, but the narrators at times make additions to these narrations. These additions can only be identified by the experts in hadith. These additions at times soil the meaning of the rest of the narration and hence render it unacceptable.
When narrations depicting the Sahabah to be antagonistic towards one another are cited by those who revile them, one should not hasten in believing them, rather one should contemplate over the Word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in which he commends the Sahabah and portrays them to be brothers to one another. These distorted narrations and historical facts hold no weight when compared to the flawless Book of Allah, the Almighty.
3. Aisha Commends ‘Ali and Supplicates for him
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha on a particular occasion praised ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The details of this are mentioned in the fourth coming narration which appears in Musnad Ahmed. The narrator of this narration reports that ‘Abdullah ibn Shaddad came to visit Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, and many others including him were present. ‘Abdullah ibn Shaddad had come in the days when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had just been assassinated:
قالت فما قول علي حين قام عليه لما يزعم أهل العراق قال سمعته يقول صدق الله ورسوله قالت هل سمعته منه أنه قال غير ذلك قال اللهم لا! قالت أجل صدق الله ورسوله يرحم الله عليا رضي الله عنه إنه كان من كلا مه لايري شيئا يعجبه إلا قال صدق الله ورسوله فيذهب أهل العراق يكذبون عليه ويزيدون عليه في الحديث
Aisha said: “I am going to ask certain questions regarding the assassins of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, I demand you to answer them with all honesty.” He replied: “Most definitely. I shall answer with utmost honesty.” Thereupon she said: “Relate some of his incidents.” Ibn Shaddad said: “When ‘Ali and Muawiyah decided to negotiate and they appointed two persons, one from each of their parties, as arbitrators, eight thousand people at the time separated and decided to go their own way. They proceeded to Harura’ and established an opposition camp there. Eventually they were subdued through war.” He mentioned many more details as well. Aisha further enquired: “What were the remarks of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon learning of their rebellion?” He said: “I heard him saying: “Allah and his Rasul have spoken the truth.” Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha asked him for a second time to reassure if he really heard him saying only that. “These were the only words I heard him uttering,” he replied. Upon this she remarked: “May Allah be pleased with him and may he shower his mercy upon him. It was his habit to make such remarks whenever he noticed something extraordinary or peculiar cropping up. The people of Iraq have now started to fabricate things and ascribe them to him and they have likewise begun distorting his narrations and making additions therein.”
This narration has made it clear in no uncertain terms that ‘Ali and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma cherished and venerated one another. The amazing thing though is that this happened in those times when conflict was on the rise in the ummah; the Battles of Siffin and Jamal took place in these very times. Therefore there remains not the slightest of possibilities of them being hostile towards one another.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas Gives Glad Tidings to Aisha
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was the cousin of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and was an renowned personality of the Banu Hashim. In the final illness of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha he visited her and brought to her glad tidings. She supplicated for him in return. The details are mentioned in the following narration:
عن ابن عباس أنه استاذن علي عائشة في مرضها فأرسلت إليه إني أجد غما وكربا فاصرف! فقال للرسول ما أنا الذي ينصرف حتي أدخل فقالت إني أجد غما وكربا وأنا مشقفة مماأخاف أهجم عليه فقال لها ابن عباس فوالله لقد سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول عائشة زوجتي في الجنة وكان رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم أكرم علي الله من أن يزوجه جمرة من جمرة جهنم فقالت فرجت عني فرج الله عنك
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma sought permission from Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to visit her in her fatal ailment. “I am in a lot of distress and pain therefore please leave,” was the response she conveyed. He said: “I am not going to leave till I am granted permission to come in.” Hence she allowed him to enter. She then said: “I am in a lot of distress and am very afraid of what is to happen after I pass away.” In an effort to console her he said: “I have heard Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘Aisha will be my spouse in Jannat.’ The status of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is beyond this that Allah would give in marriage to him a flame from the flames of Jahannam.” “You have alleviated my concern, may Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala alleviate yours as well,” was her reply.
This happened after the Battle of Jamal. Therefore it is obvious proof of the fact that they accepted each other’s virtues and merits, and recognised the status of each other.
 Musnad Ahmed vol. 1 pg. 96, Muslim vol. 1 pg. 135, Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq vol. 1 pg. 203
 Al Isti’ab vol. 3 pg. 40, Kanz al ‘Ummal vol. 4 pg. 343, quoting Ibn Jarir Tabari
 Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 256, 257, Jam’ al Fawa’id vol. 2 pg. 408
 Musnad Ahmed vol. 1 pg. 86, 87
 Jami’ Masanid al Imam al A’zam vol. 1 pg. 215, Musnad Imam Abi Hanifah pg. 179Back to top