Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says in the Qur’an:
إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُّسْرًا
Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.
We have already discussed the enormous grief and difficulty experienced by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the ‘year of sorrow’, wherein he lost both, his uncle as well as his loving and supportive spouse, Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha. The grief was such that some feared that it may destroy him. Perhaps the pinnacle of sorrow had been reached; hence there was a need for some ease. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala chose, as a means of ease and happiness for His Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—along with Sayyidah Saudah radiya Llahu ‘anha—Aisha bint Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anha. Below, we will shed some light on the life of this sparkling gem, who was chosen by Allah to bring joy to the heart of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was born to Abu Bakr al Siddiq and Umm Ruman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in the seventh year of nubuwwah. They had both accepted Islam by then. Hence she says, “I did not see my parents except that they were adherents of Islam.”
Upon the demise of Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Khawlah bint Hakim radiya Llahu ‘anha suggested to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he should marry Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent her with the proposal to the family of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, after which the marriage was concluded. However, Khawlah radiya Llahu ‘anha was not the only one who suggested the marriage. Al Bukhari reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
أُرِيتُكِ فِي الْمَنَامِ مَرَّتَيْنِ أَرَى أَنَّكِ فِي سَرَقَةٍ مِنْ حَرِيرٍ وَيَقُولُ هَذِهِ امْرَأَتُكَ فاكشِف عَنْهَا فَإِذَا هِيَ أَنْتِ فَأَقُولُ إِنْ يَكُ هَذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ يُمْضِه
You were shown to me twice in my dream; you were wrapped in a silken cloth and he (the angel) said, “This is your wife.” When I moved the cloth, I saw that it was you. I said, “If this is from Allah, he will let it be.”
At the time of her marriage, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was six years old. Regarding this, a few important points are worthy of note:
It needs to be remembered that many medieval widows were not old. Important heiresses were often married between the ages of 5 and 10 and might find themselves widowed while still in their teens.
Professors Richard Wortley and Stephen Smallbone write:
In Medieval and early modern European societies, the age of marriage remained low, with documented cases of brides as young as seven years, although marriages were typically not consummated until the girl reached puberty.
Hence, no objections can be raised against the marriage of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, even by the irreligious. If there is anything against which objections may be raised, it is the modern-day mindset which promotes the delaying of marriage and the acceptance of all types of promiscuity, ranging from pornography (to which many children are exposed) to homosexuality. These are unnatural practices which have destroyed the fabric of society. Nonetheless, the fact that Allah chose her for His Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at such an early stage in her life indicates that she was way above the ordinary.
It is reported that Zaid ibn Harithah and Abu Rafi’ were sent by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to bring his family to Madinah. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent with the two of them ‘Abdullah ibn Urayqiz. When they reached Makkah they found Talhah, who was preparing to do hijrah along with the family of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Thus, Zaid and Abu Rafi’ accompanied Fatimah, Umm Kulthum, Saudah, and Umm Ayman radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Eventually all of them met up and undertook this great journey together.
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began living with Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha after his return from the Battle of Badr. Despite her young age and liberty to spend time with her friends who would visit her, she fulfilled her household chores and served Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam diligently. She would knead the dough for bread, put in place the water for Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wudu’, oil his hair, wash his clothes, etc. One can well imagine the place she earned herself in the heart of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by doing all of this.
When Sayyidah Saudah radiya Llahu ‘anha feared that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam might divorce her, she approached him and asked him to keep her as a wife so that she may be raised with him as his wife on the Day of Qiyamah. As far as her turn was concerned, she gifted it to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha,  knowing that this would earn her the pleasure of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Al Bukhari reports from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
The Muslims were well-aware of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam love for Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Consequently, if one of them had a gift which he wished to give to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he would delay (the giving of it) until Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in the house of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, whereupon they would send it. Thus, the other wives requested Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha to speak to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and say to him that he should address the people and say to them, “Whoever wishes to give a gift to Rasulullah, he should do so, wherever he may be.”
Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha complied with their request, but Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not reply to her. The other wives asked her (on her return) as to what had happened.
She replied, “He did not say anything to me.”
Thereupon, they asked her to speak to him a second time.
Hence, when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam visited her (as it was her turn), she spoke to him, but he did not respond to her. They again asked her as to what had transpired.
She replied, “He did not say anything to me.”
They persisted, “Speak to him.”
When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam visited her again, she spoke to him.
He replied, “Do not cause me grief regarding Aisha, for revelation does not descend upon me when I am under the (same) sheet with any woman except Aisha.”
Umm Salamah replied, “I repent to Allah from causing you any inconvenience, O Rasulullah.”
Thereafter, they sent Fatimah bint Rasulillah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
She said (to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Your wives are demanding equality in the matter of the daughter of Abu Bakr.”
After she spoke, Rasulullahsalla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O my beloved daughter, do you not love those whom I love?”
She replied, “Definitely!”
Rasulullahsalla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Then love Aisha.”
She then returned to them and informed them (of the conversation). They asked her to go back, but she refused.
Umm Salamah was asked whether Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would kiss his wives whilst fasting. She replied in the negative. Her student then informed her that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was teaching to the contrary. Her response to this was:
Perhaps he could not hold back from her, out of his love for her. As for me, he would not (kiss me whilst fasting).
Al Tirmidhi reports:
قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَيُّ النَّاسِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ عَائِشَةُ قِيلَ مِنْ الرِّجَالِ قَالَ أَبُوهَا
The question was posed, “O Rasulullah, who is the most beloved person to you?”
He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Aisha.”
It was asked, “From the men?”
He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Her father.”
During one of the journeys, in which Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha accompanied Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, she lost her necklace. Thus, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well the rest of the travellers stopped and searched for it. This resulted in the Muslims being without water (at the time of salah). Some of the Companions complained regarding this to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who in turn scolded Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. However, a little while later, great joy was experienced as the verse of Tayammum was revealed. Expressing his joy, Sayyidina Usayd ibn Hudayr said to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
This is not the first of your blessings, O family of Abu Bakr.
The narration of al Bukhari has the following addition:
May Allah grant you the best of rewards. By Allah, no matter which you dislike ever came upon you, except that Allah brought some goodness out of it.
Just as we are witnessing today, the enemies of Islam resort to foul tactics when they fail on all other fronts to halt the progress of Islam. A glaring similarity between the enemy of yesterday who slandered Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and the enemy of today who slanders her is that they are too hypocritical to voice their enmity for Islam and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam openly. Thus, behind different banners and veils, they launch attacks on Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; sometimes by attacking the one who was most beloved to him, sometimes by attacking his successors and sometimes by mocking his teachings which were preserved by his noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Nonetheless, we present to you the details of the slander, all of which are reported from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha herself.
Whenever Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended to go out on a journey, he would draw lots between his wives. Whoever’s name was drawn would be taken along. Prior to one of the battles, he drew lots between us and my name came out.
Thus I went out (with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) whilst being carried in a canopy, as the law of hijab had been revealed. When the battle ended and we were returning to Madinah. (After a pausing for a while) Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced at night that we will resume with the journey. At that moment, I stood up (to relieve myself) and walked until I was away from the entire army. After relieving myself, I headed back to my conveyance. However, I noticed that my necklace was missing, so I went to look for it.
In the meantime, those who were travelling with me were ready to go. They lifted my canopy and placed it on my camel, thinking that I was inside. They did not find it to be too light, as the women back then were quite thin (as they would eat very little food) and I was a young girl. They sent the camel forward and began travelling. On the other hand, I found my necklace and made my way back to the place where they were, but I found nobody there. I looked for the exact place where I was (before the departure) and thought to myself that they will discover my absence and return. Whilst sitting there, my eyes got the better of me and I fell asleep.
Safwan ibn Mu’attal was travelling at a certain distance behind the army. As he was travelling, he saw the figure of a sleeping human, so he came to me. He recognised me upon seeing me, as he had seen me prior to the revelation of the law of hijab, so he proclaimed, “To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.” When I heard him, I immediately woke up and covered my face with my jilbab. By the oath of Allah, he did not say anything else until he made his camel sit and I mounted it. Thereafter, he began steering the camel on foot until we reached the rest of the army.
Thereupon, some were destroyed (by starting and spreading the slander). The one who started the slander was Ibn Salul. (The hypocrites spread the rumour that (Allah forbid) Safwan radiya Llahu ‘anhu had committed zina with Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha)
After a while, we reached Madinah. I was ill for an entire month after returning to Madinah. The masses were getting caught in the speech of the slanderers but I knew nothing about it. However, I found it quite strange that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not showing me the affection that he would usually show me when I was ill. He would merely enter, greet me, ask “How are you?” and thereafter depart. This disturbed me but I did not think that anything evil was taking place. One day, when I felt a little better, I went out to the toilets accompanied by Umm Mistah radiya Llahu ‘anha, the maternal aunt of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Upon our return, she slipped and spontaneously said, “May Mistah be in difficulty!”
I asked her, “How unpleasant is that which you are saying, are you saying cursing one who witnessed Badr?”
She replied, “O you! Have you not heard what he said?”
I asked, “What did he say?”
She informed me of the entire slander, whereupon my sickness worsened.
When I got to my house and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came, he greeted and asked, “How are you?”
I replied, “Will you allow me to go to my parents?”
At that point, I wished to get confirmation of the story from them. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam granted me permission. Thus, I went to my parents.
I asked my mother, “O my beloved mother, what are the people saying?”
She replied, “My dear daughter, let it be easy upon you. By the oath of Allah, it is very rare that a beautiful woman is married to a man who loves her and has other wives who do not cause trouble for her.”
I exclaimed, “Allah is free from all blemish! Are people really saying this?”
I wept the entire night, without getting even a wink of sleep. I continued weeping during the day.
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would ask Zainab bint Jahsh regarding my matter.
She would reply, “I safeguard my hearing and my sight. I know nothing but good (regarding her).”
She (Zainab radiya Llahu ‘anha) was the one who would compete with me the most.
Since revelation had not come down to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he consulted ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhuma seeking their counsel as to whether he should divorce his wife.
Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “O Rasulullah (she is) your wife, and we do not know anything (regarding her) but goodness.”
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, putting everything into perspective, replied, “Allah did not make things difficult for you. There are many other women besides her. (However if you wish to know the truth) Ask the slave-girl about her, she will tell you the truth.”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called Barirah radiya Llahu ‘anha—the slave-girl—and asked her, “O Barirah, did you ever see anything that could have raised suspicion?”
She replied, “By the oath of the One who sent you with the truth, no. I have not seen anything in her that I dislike more severe than the fact that she is a young girl who sometimes sleeps while the dough for her family is left outside and then eaten by the goat.”
On the very same day, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood up and announced, “O gathering of Muslims, who will relieve me of a man who has hurt me regarding my Ahlul Bayt (family)? By the oath of Allah, I do not know except virtue regarding my family. Also, the man who they have accused is one who I have only known to be a good man. He would not enter the presence of my family except when he was with me.”
I continued weeping the entire day and night. Neither would my tears stop, nor would my eyes get any bit of sleep. My parents came to me, after two nights and a day of non-stop weeping, which was so severe that I thought my liver would burst on account of it. Whilst they were sitting with me, a lady from the Ansar sought permission to enter and then sat with me. She also began weeping. Whilst we were in this condition, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entered upon us greeted and took a seat. It was the first time that he sat with me since the rumour started. An entire month passed, but no revelation was revealed regarding my matter.
Thereafter, he recited the shahadatayn and said, “O Aisha, such and such has reached me regarding you. If you are innocent, Allah will prove your innocence, and if you committed the sin, then repent and turn to Allah. When a slave (of Allah) admits the sin and turns to Allah, Allah forgives him.”
As soon as he ended his speech, my tears dried up, until I could not feel a single tear. I said to my father, “Respond to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding that which he said.”
He replied, “By Allah, I do not know what to say to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
I then asked my mother, “Respond to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam”
She replied, “I do not know what to say to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
Hence, I said, “By Allah, I know that you people have heard this tale (so many times) that it has now settled in your hearts and you have believed it. If I say to you that I am innocent—and Allah knows that I am innocent—you will not believe me, and if I admit to it—whereas Allah knows that I am innocent—you will believe me. By Allah, I do not find any example of me and you except the statement of the father of Yusuf, “So patience is most fitting.”
Thereafter, I turned around and went to lie on my bed, knowing that I was innocent and Allah will reveal my innocence. By Allah, I did not have the slightest hope that Allah would reveal revelation that will be recited regarding my matter. I regarded myself far too inferior for Allah to speak in the recited revelation regarding me. My expectation was that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would see a dream in which Allah would declare my innocence.
By Allah, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not stand, nor did anybody from the family leave until revelation descended upon him. After the revelation stopped, he smiled and the first words that he said were:
يا عائشة اما و الله لقد برأك الله
O Aisha, listen! By the oath of Allah, He has declared your innocence!
My mother said, “Stand up and go to him.”
I said, “I will not stand to go to him, rather I will (first) praise Allah.”
الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ ۖ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ ۖ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ
Unchaste women are for unchaste men and unchaste men are for unchaste women. (Similarly) chaste women are for chaste men and chaste men are for unchaste women. Such people are free from what they (the slanderers) say about them. For them is forgiveness and noble sustenance.
The present-day enemies of Islam and those who have fallen prey to their propaganda wish to emulate Ibn Salul in the manner in which he caused pain to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thus, we find the commentaries of the Shia differing with regards to the purport of these verses. Some hesitantly admit that they refer to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, whilst others produce a tale regarding Mariyah Qibtiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha, in which the integrity and judgment of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as well as Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is insulted. This is no occasion to discuss the paucity of their claims. We will suffice upon the statement that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha made regarding their predecessors who slandered her:
فهلك من هلك
Thereupon, some were destroyed (by starting and spreading the slander).
If that is not enough, we present the words of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
و الله ما علمت على أهلى الا خيرا
By the oath of Allah, I do not know except virtue regarding my family.
Muslim reports from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would give me a bone which I would clean. Thereafter, he would take it and place his mouth on the exact spot where I placed my mouth.
Upon the demise of Jafar ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, a man came to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—who was already sad on account of the death—to complain regarding the manner in which the womenfolk were crying. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed him to stop them (from crying in a manner that was not in accordance to the shari’ah). The man went to them, but returned and complained that they did not listen to him. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told him to go for a second time and stop them. Once again, he returned and complained that they overpowered him. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then instructed him to throw some sand towards them. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, who was standing at the door, was infuriated and scolded the man saying, “May Allah put you through something that does not please you. You neither managed to do (what you were told) nor did you stop inconveniencing Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
A group of Jews once entered the presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and greeted him saying, “May death be upon you.”
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha responded, “No! Rather curses and death be upon you people.”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then calmed her down saying, “O Aisha, Allah loves gentleness in all matters.”
Before recounting the incident of takhyir (making a choice), the following clarification is necessary. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sent Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as a perfect role model for humanity until the Day of Qiyamah, as stated in the Qur’an. Hence, he did not just teach the ummah by word of mouth. Rather, he was a practical example for the ummah. Amongst the sublime teachings of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was that man should tolerate the inconvenience caused to him by his wife. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
Be good towards women, as women were created from the rib. The most curved portion of the rib is the upper-most portion. If you try to straighten it, you will break it and if you leave it, it will remain curved, so be good to women.
Despite the lofty and esteemed rank enjoyed by the spouses of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they were after all, his wives. Allah chose them as the co-tutors in the task of demonstrating to the ummah the manner in which a husband should react to his wife’s intrinsic behaviour. Therefore, we find two or three reports in which they relate to the ummah the manner in which they tested the patience of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The enemies of Islam try to exploit these narrations and paint a negative picture of the beloved wives Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Their claims are easily dismissed by the comparatively abundant narrations in which their merits have been mentioned. The handful of narrations in which their disputes with Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appear should be understood in light of the above explanation.
Nonetheless, one of these rare occasions was the incident after which takhyir took place. The Muslims were gaining victory and there was now access to wealth. The wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, upon seeing this, began asking for an increase in their allowance. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not impressed by this and did not pay attention to it. However, they insisted that he should increase their allowances. Thereupon, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam went into seclusion for a period of twenty-nine days, after which verses were revealed regarding the matter.
The wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were addressed and told to make a choice between one of two things; choosing a life of wealth in this world along with separation from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in an amicable manner, or persevering upon the difficulties and remaining in his wedlock. The first wife to whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam presented these options was Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. He addressed her saying:
I will mention to you something, but do not be hasty in making a decision, until you consult your parents.
Thereafter Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited the verse:
O Nabi, say to your wives, “If you should desire the worldly life and its adornment, then come, I will provide for you and give you a gracious release. But if you should desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the hereafter—then indeed, Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward.”
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha replied:
Should I consult my parents regarding this? I desire Allah, His Messenger, and the abode of the hereafter.
Tharid was the best dish that the Arabs would eat. It was made up of meat, bread, and gravy. Hence, it was not only the tastiest of their dishes, but it was the most nutritious and beneficial dish as well. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
إنَ فَضْل عَائِشَة عَلَى النِّسَاءِ كَفَضْلِ الثَّرِيدِ عَلَى سَائِرِ الطَّعَام
The superiority of Aisha over all women is like the superiority of tharid over all other dishes.
Some ‘ulama’ are of the opinion that this comparison excludes Sayyidah Khadijah and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma due to the ahadith regarding them. Other scholars interpret these narrations to mean that their virtues relate to different aspects.
Al Bukhari reports that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
يا عائشُ هذا جبريل يقرئك السلام
O Aisha, this is Jibril, he is greeting you.
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha then replied to his greeting.
Imam Muslim reports in his Sahih that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had a Persian neighbour who excelled at preparing gravy. Once he prepared some for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and then went to him to call him.
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked (referring to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, “And (what about) her?”
He replied, “No.”
Thereupon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam rejected the invitation. This happened for second time. On the third occasion, the man replied, “Yes, (her as well).”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha then stood up and proceed to his house.
After twelve years of a splendid marriage, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was widowed at the age of eighteen. The details are as follows:
One day, both Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well as Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha fell ill. This illness was the prelude to his demise. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha describes these moments:
I said, “O what a severe headache!”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Rather, I am the one who has a severe headache.”
That was the beginning of the illness in which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away.
Thereafter, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “If you pass away before me, you will have nothing to lose, as I will be the one who will wash your body, cover you with a shroud, perform salah for you and bury you.”
When the illness of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam became severe, he would repeatedly ask, “Where will I be tomorrow.” The wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam understood from this that he was hinting that he would like to be in the house of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Thus, they happily agreed that he should remain in her house. Sayed Sulaiman al Nadwi explains the wisdom behind this choice of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He says:
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was gifted with a few special abilities such as; a phenomenal memory, outstanding intelligence, deep understanding, and unsurpassed potential in deducing laws. Thus, it is not far-fetched that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wanted to be in her home so that she could memorise all of his final sayings and actions. The truth of the matter, regarding which there is no dispute, is that the Muslims learnt of most of the happenings of these final moments only through Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha relates:
When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would be afflicted by illness, he would do nafth (reading and then blowing upon oneself) after reciting the protective (supplications). During his final illness, I would do nafth on his hands and then wipe them over his body.
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was resting upon Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha when ‘Abd al Rahman ibn Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered with a miswak in his hand. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began looking at the miswak. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha saw this and she knew that he loved using the miswak. Thus she asked, “Should I take it for you?” He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam indicated that she should do so. When she gave it to him, he found it to be a bit hard so she offered to soften it and then gave it back to him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. She relates:
I then saw him brushing (with it) in the best manner that I had ever seen him brushing.
Shortly thereafter, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he looked towards the roof of the house and said, “O Allah, the Most Lofty Companion!” Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha said, “Now he will not remain with us.”
Thus, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was shown his place in Jannat (as every Nabi is shown his place in Jannat at the time of his death, after which he is given the choice of staying alive or passing away), and he chose to spend his last moments before meeting Allah in the lap of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Added to that, the saliva of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha—as she softened the miswak for him—remained in his mouth at that moment. This is sufficient a virtue for any level-headed person to understand the rank of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Only an outright bigot will still attempt to disparage her. May Allah protect us!
I did not see anyone who resembled Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his ways, mannerisms and etiquettes, more than Fatimah bint Rasulillah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, especially in the manner in which she would stand up and sit down. When she would come to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he would stand up for her, kiss her, and seat her in his place.
She replied, “I will not divulge the secret of Rasulullah.”
After the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha said to her, “I insist, based on the right that I have upon you, that you tell me what Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to you.”
She replied, “As for now, yes (I may tell you). When he whispered to me the first time, he informed me that Jibril would present the Qur’an to him once or twice every year, but right now he presented it to him twice. He said, ‘I do not see except that my death has drawn close, so fear Allah and exercise patience for I am an exemplary predecessor for you.’ Thus you saw me weeping. When he saw my uneasiness, he whispered to me a second time,
يَا فَاطِمَةُ أَمَا تَرضي أَنْ تَكُونِي سَيِّدَةَ نِسَاءِ الْـمُؤْمِنِينَ
O Fatimah, does it not please you that you are the leader of the believing women?
Two important points are learnt from this narration:
She replied, “(I am) well.”
He said to her, “May Allah forgive you.”
She responded, “And you.”
By Allah, there was nothing (negative) between me and ‘Ali prior to this (the Battle of the Camel), except those (minor differences) that any woman has with her in-laws. I take an oath by Allah, even though he fought against me, I regard him as one of the best (men).
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded to this by saying:
By Allah, she has spoken the truth. There was nothing (negative) between us besides that. She is most definitely the wife of your Nabi in this world as well as the hereafter.
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala praised Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in the Qur’an, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised her more than once, Jibril greeted her and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu declared that she will be in Jannat with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After all of this, if anyone wishes to speak ill of her, then let him be aware that his statement is not in compliance with the statements of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Jibril, nor ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and he is not backed by any of them. Rather, he is as Allah says:
Those are the party of Satan. Unquestionably, the party of Satan–they will be the losers.
When Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was on her deathbed; Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas visited her and reminded her of some of her merits. Among that which he said to her was:
You were the most beloved wife of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he would not love anything that was not pure.
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is the narrator of the hadith in which it is stated that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam put them under a sheet and referred to them as his Ahlul Bayt.
The son of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali ibn Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu is amongst those who narrate hadith from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.
‘Ammar ibn Yasir and Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were sent by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Kufah. Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu stood on the upper portion of the mimbar and ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu stood on the lower portion. Thereafter, ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:
Aisha has travelled to Basrah and by the oath of Allah, she was the wife of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this world and she will be his wife in the hereafter, but Allah wants to test you to see whether you obey Him or her.
A person once spoke ill of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha in the presence of ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He angrily responded:
Get away O scum! Are you insulting the beloved of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:
We, the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not ask Aisha regarding any hadith that we found difficult except that she had some knowledge regarding it.
‘Urwah radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports regarding Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
She gave seventy thousand in charity whereas she would patch the side of her garment.
Umm Dharrah (her slave-girl) reports:
Ibn al Zubair sent two containers of money to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. The total amount was a hundred thousand (coins). She began distributing it amongst the people.
When the evening came, she asked, “O young girl, please bring my fatur (food that’s partaken after a fast).”
Umm Dharrah replied, “O Umm al Mu’minin, were you not able to buy for us meat with one coin?”
She replied, “Do not scold me, if you reminded me I would have done so.”
Some scholars state that one possible reason why Allah chose Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha as a wife for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, even though the age gap between them was so vast, was so that she may preserve his teachings. The sharpness of memory that a person has in his youth is something that is witnessed and accepted by all. However, this reason gains a lot of strength when one takes a look at the academic legacy of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. To start off with, help was sought from her when the Sahabah could not understand certain ahadith. Secondly, two thousand plus narrations have reached us from her. Some of her prominent students were Sa’id ibn al Musayyib, ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah, Muhammad ibn Sirin and Ibrahim al Nakha’i. Thirdly, she asked Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam certain questions, due to which matters were clarified for the ummah. Below are a few examples:
She enquired, “(How is that the case when) Allah says, ‘He will be judged with an easy account.’”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then explained to her, “That means that (the records) will merely be presented. However, the one whose reckoning will be detailed, he will be destroyed.”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “The best and most beautiful jihad is Hajj, a Hajj Mabrur.”
There are many other examples that can be cited, but the above are sufficient to draw our attention to the manner in which she benefitted the ummah as far as knowledge is concerned.
In a nutshell, Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was an outstanding wife and student of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and she brought great joy to his heart. She was praised by Allah, Jibril, the Ahlul Bayt, as well as prominent Sahabah. Her legacy was one of loving Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam above all else, seeking his pleasure, avoiding his displeasure, and imparting his teachings to his ummah. If her legacy is revived today by the ummah, all of our difficulties will come to an end, as we are either faced with difficulties on account of our lack of zeal for knowledge, or our laxity in practicing upon the knowledge that Allah has blessed us with. May Allah be pleased with her and revive her legacy in the life of every Muslim.
May Allah be pleased with her, reward her abundantly on behalf of the entire Ummah, and make us all her devoted sons who continue to protect and preserve her legacy.
1. Sayyidah Aisha bint Jafar al Sadiq
Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah is regarded by the Shia as the sixth Imam and it is his ‘fiqh’ which they claim to so ardently follow—even referring to themselves as the “Jafar i School”. It would not be without benefit to mention at this juncture one of the sayings of this illustrious Imam regarding Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He said:
In as much as I have hope in the intercession of ‘Ali (on the Day of Qiyamah) I have just as much hope in the intercession of Abu Bakr, my relationship with Abu Bakr is twofold.
Imam Jafar al Sadiq here is referring to his maternal ancestry, in other words that of his beloved mother whose maternal and paternal grandfathers are the sons of Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Her paternal grandfather is Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, while her maternal grandfather is ‘Abd al Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, making her ancestry purely Siddiqi. Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would thus be the maternal and paternal grand-aunt of Ummi Farwah — the mother of Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah.
It is no wonder then that Imam Jafar al Sadiq named his daughter Aisha, after the beloved Mother of the Believers.
2. Sayyidah Aisha bint Musa al Kazim
Musa al Kazim, considered to be the seventh Imam by the Shia, also named his daughter after Umm al Mu’minin Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.
3. Sayyidah Aisha bint Jafar ibn Musa al Kazim
The son of Imam Musa al Kazim named his daughter, that is the granddaughter of the illustrious Imam al Kazim rahimahu Llah, Aisha, after the beloved of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
4. Sayyidah Aisha bint ‘Ali al Rida ibn Musa al Kazim
‘Ali al Rida rahimahu Llah is regarded as the eight infallible Imam by the Shia, he too continued the tradition of his fathers before him and named his daughter Aisha.
‘Ali al Hadi rahimahu Llah also named his daughter Aisha after Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah al Siddiqah radiya Llahu ‘anha. It should be borne in mind that ‘Ali al Hadi rahimahu Llah is considered to be the tenth Imam by the Shia Ithna ‘Ashariyyah.
 Surah al Inshirah: 6
 Al Isabah
 Al Bukhari
 Medical researchers today believe that a girl’s puberty could start from the age of nine or ten. For more info, visit www.medicinenet.com/puberty/article.htm
 A Medieval Miscellany pg. 52 (quoted from discover-the-truth.com)
 Internet Child Pornography: Causes, Investigation and Prevention pg. 10
 Refer to factsaboutyouth.com/posts/health-risks-of-the-homosexual lifestyle/ and www.fightthenewdrug.org
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Musnad Ahmed
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Musnad Ahmed
 Al Muwatta
 Al Muraysi’
 Al Tirmidhi
 Surah al Nur: 11
 Taken from al Bukhari
 Surah al Nur: 26
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Surah al Ahzab: 21
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Ibn Majah
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Sirat Sayyidah ‘Aisha
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Under the narration of the other wives seeking justice.
 Ibn Majah. This is reported in Shia books as well. Refer to Ruhama’ Baynahum (www.mahajjah.com/ruhama-baynahum/)
 Ibn Hibban, al Hakim, Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi
 Al Bukhari
 Tarikh al Tabari
 Musnad Ahmed
 Tarikh al Tabari
 For those who insist on rejecting all the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah, here is a quotation from the books of the Shia:
عن جعفر عن أبيه عليه السلام: ” أن عليا عليه السلام لم يكن ينسب أحدا من أهل البغي إلى الشرك و لا إلى النفاق و لكن كان يقول إخواننا بغوا علينا
Jafar (al Sadiq) ‘alayh al Salam reports from his father that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would not attribute shirk or hypocrisy to those who opposed him. He would say, “(They are) our brothers who rebelled against us.” Jawahir al Kalam vol. 12 pg. 338 (quoted from Ummuna ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu by Shayma bint ‘Ali)
 Surah al Mujadilah: 19
 Al Hakim
 Sahih Muslim
 Al Bukhari
 Al Tirmidhi
 Al Tirmidhi
 Al Hakim (quoted from Siyar)
 Surah al Inshiqaq: 8
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 Al Bukhari
 ‘Umdat al Talib p.176, Kashf al Ghummah 2/347, Al Asili p.149
 A’lam al Nisa’ p.132, Lawaqih al Anwar Fi Tabaqat al Akhyar, Nur al Absar Fi Mana Al al Bayt al Mukhtar .
 Kitab al Irshad p.304, ‘Umdat al Talib p.177, al Majdi p.347, Muntaha al Amal 2/292, Anwa al Nu’maniyyah 1/380, Tawarikh al Nabi wa al Al p.125
 ‘Umdat al Talib p.63
 ‘Umdat al Talib p. 128, Kashf al Ghummah 2/267, Bihar al Anwar 49/221
 Kitab al Irshad p.334, Rawd al Mi’tar p.306Back to top