Hazrat Aa’ishahHazrat Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها)
The learned Mother of Believers
She was the beloved wife of Rasulallah (s.a.w) and the daughter of Sayyidina Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A). Her mother’s name was Umm e Rooman, whose line of descendants joined with that of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
She was the only spinster wife of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
The Sacred Marriage
Three years after the tragic and painful death of Hazrat Khadija (R.A), Hazrat Khawla, the wife of Hazrat Usman Mazoun, suggested that Rasulallah (s.a.w) should remarry.
In reply, Rasulallah (s.a.w) asked, “Who should I marry?” upon which she presented two names; one was that of Hazrat Aisha, and the other was that of Hazrat Sawda, a mother & 30 year old widow.
Rasulallah (s.a.w) then sent Hazrat Khawla with marriage proposals to both families, and they both gave their consent.
When news reached Hazrat Abu Bakr, in his immense joy, he wished to clarify a point so he said to Rasulallah (s.a.w), “I am your brother.”
Rasulallah (s.a.w) then replied, “You are my brother as far as the religion and book of Allah is concerned, and she is legitimate for me.” (Bukhari)
Hearing this reply, the happiness of Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddique was clearly visible and he gave his consent.
Hazrat Aisha, at this time, was pre-pubescent but she did not join the auspicious household of Rasulallah (s.a.w) till maturity.
The relationship between Rasulallah (s.a.w) and Hazrat Aisha was friendly, kind & loving. Of all the blessed wives, she was the closest & most favoured.
She also took pride as the daughter of the first Caliph of Islam, and the only virgin wife of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
Impact of marriage
This holy marriage holds a significant place in the history of Islam. For one, it reinforced the friendship between Rasulallah (s.a.w) and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique, who had always stood by his friend in hours of distress.
In addition to this, a lady of rare qualities was blessed with Rasulallah (s.a.w)’s presence, and the opportunity to spend her youth with in the auspicious household of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
An intellectual scholar
In interpreting religious issues, and as a jurist of Sunnah, Hazrat Aisha was & still is at the forefront.
· Imam Zuhri said, “Hazrat Aisha was the most learned person amongst the people. Senior & learned companions used to consult her.”
· Hazrat Musa ibne Talha said, “I did never see anyone more eloquent than Aisha.” (Tirmidhi, Vol 2, page 228)
· Hazrat Abu Musa Ashari said, “We faced no difficulty whose solution was not with Aisha.” (Tirmidhi, Vol 2, page 228)
· Imam Zuhri said, “If the knowledge of all men and wives of Rasulallah (s.a.w) was put together, the knowledge of Aisha would exceed the knowledge of them all.”
Thousands of Ahadith have been reported by her, and she even conveyed her decision on religious matters during the reign of the first 3 Caliphs of Islam.
In Islamic jurisprudence, the distinguished theologians & jurists like Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Bukhari followed her principles.
Her Elevated Status
Many Ahadith demonstrate her exalted position amongst other women in Islam. Here are a few:
· Rasulallah (s.a.w) said, “You had been shown to me for three successive nights in a dream. An angel brought you wrapped in a piece of white silk and said, ‘it is your wife’. I exposed your face and there you were. Then I said, ‘if this dream is from Allah, He will fulfil it.’” (Bukhari, Muslim)
· Hazrat Aisha herself reports that Rasulallah (s.a.w) said, “O Aisha! This is Jibreel who greets you. Aisha replied, ‘be salutations & Mercy of Allah upon him.’” (Bukhari, Muslim)
· Another Hadith in the same context:
”Aisha has such superiority over women as ‘sareed’ (a kind of food) has over other foods.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
· Another Hadith also confirms her prestigious status.
Hazrat Amr bin Aas said: I submitted, “O Allah’s Messenger! Who amongst all the people is the dearest to you?” He said, “Aisha”. I asked, “Out of the men?” He said, “Her father.” (Tirmidhi)
· Rasulallah (s.a.w) said, “By Allah, revelation has not been revealed to me in the quilt of any of my wives except hers (Aisha).”
· This Hadith emphasises the connection between Rasulallah (s.a.w) and Hazrat Aisha:
Jibreel said, “This (Hazrat Aisha) is your wife in this world and the hereafter.” (Tirmidhi)
Migration & title of Muhajir
Almighty Allah has further elevated the status of those Blessed Companions who migrated from Makkah to Madinah Sharif. The Holy Qur’an says:
”And those who left their homes and hearths in the way of Allah being oppressed. We shall surely give them good place in the world. And undoubtedly, the reward of the Hereafter is much greater; anyhow, people would have known.”
(Holy Qur’an 16:41 Kanzul Iman)
When Rasulallah (s.a.w) migrated from Makkah to Madinah Sharif, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) left his family in Makkah to accompany Rasulallah (s.a.w). When peace reigned over the lands of Madinah Sharif, he then sent Hazrat Abdullah to bring Hazrat Umm e Rooman, Hazrat Asma and Hazrat Aisha to Madinah Sharif.
Hence, these people are also included on the list of the Muhajir (or emigrants).
Daughter of the first Caliph of Islam
One of her excellences is that she is the daughter of the first Caliph of Islam, the intimate friend (Khalil) of Rasulallah (s.a.w), Sayyidina Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A).
It was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) who paid ransom to release Sayyidina Hazrat Bilal, Hazrat Amir bin Tahira and five other Muslims from slavery.
It was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) who accompanied Rasulallah (s.a.w) in the cave of Thawr on the night of migration.
It was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) who is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an as Rasulallah (s.a.w)’s companion.
It was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) who was appointed as the Imam of prayers before Rasulallah (s.a.w)’s passing away.
It was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) who was the successor & Caliph of our beloved Rasulallah (s.a.w).
It was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) who passed the command to gather the Holy Qur’an into one book form.
Hazrat Aisha was very audacious and a brave lady who never feared being face-to-face with her problems. She was so courageous that even the horrible scenes of the Battle of Uhud did not dampen her spirits in helping the Muslim soldiers.
Hazrat Anas bin Malik (R.A) says that during the battle, he saw her carrying a leather bag full of water and satiating the thirst of the Muslims. (Bukhari)
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal writes that during the Battle of the Trench, Hazrat Aisha, ignoring the dangers and perils, would leave the castle and witness the plight of battle.
Generosity and selflessness
Hazrat Aisha was equally renowned for her generosity. Hazrat Urwa bin Zubair reports that once she got seventy thousand dirhams. He witnessed her giving the entire amount in charity, and leaving nothing at all for herself.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair, her nephew, sent her one Lakh (10,000) dirhams which she gave in the way of Allah within a day. On that day, she was also observing fast. At night, her house maid served her leaf and suggested that it would have been better if she has brought some meat out of that money, with which she could have broken her fast. At this, Sayyida Hazrat Aisha said, “You might have reminded me of it then.” (Mustadrak-e-Hakim, Vol 4)
This shows how Hazrat Aisha hardly thought of her own needs, and always put others before herself.
It is written in Moatta Imam Malik that once Hazrat Aisha was fasting and there was nothing at home to eat besides a loaf of bread. Meanwhile, a beggar woman called out for help. Hazrat Aisha told her maid to give the woman the loaf of bread. The maid said, “With which thing will you break your fast?” The mother of believers replied, “First give it to her.”
In the evening, someone sent mutton to her as a gift. Then Sayyida Aisha said to her maid, “Look! Allah has sent something better than a loaf of bread.”
Mutual Love & Respect
Hazrat Aisha loved Rasulallah (s.a.w) to such an extent that she would feel like a fish out of water in his absence. The following incidence throws great light on this:
Sayyida Aisha and Sayyida Hafsa were both accompanying Rasulallah (s.a.w) on a journey. On the way, Sayyida Aisha and Sayyida Hafsa exchanged camels.
At night, Rasulallah (s.a.w) went to the camel which Hazrat Hafsa was riding. Hazrat Aisha could not bear the separation, and when they reached the terminal, she dismounted the camel, stood on the grass and said, “Oh my Lord! Send any scorpion or serpent to bite me up. And he is thy Prophet, I cannot say anything about him.” (Muslim)
Another incidence testifies to the fact that all the blessed wives of Rasulallah (s.a.w) cherished him to a great degree. All fascination and charms of this world could not shake the love they had for Rasulallah (s.a.w).
The following verse was revealed to Rasulallah (s.a.w):
“Oh Communicator of the Unseen! Say to your wives, if you wish the life of the world and its adornment, then come, I provide you with wealth and leave you in a well manner. And if you wish for Allah & His Messenger, and the home of the Hereafter then undoubtedly Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward.”
(Holy Qur’an 33:28-29 Kanzul Iman)
Rasulallah (s.a.w) first of all recited these verses to Hazrat Aisha and asked her to consult her parents before giving her opinion.
Hazrat Aisha, without any hesitation, replied:
“There is no room for consulting the parents in this matter. I opted myself for Allah, His Messenger & the home of the Hereafter.” (Muslim, Kitabul Talaaq)
In this way, she set precedence for the rest of the blessed wives to follow in the same direction.
Importance of the Veil
Hazrat Aisha herself narrates:
”I would enter my house where Rasulallah (s.a.w) was buried, without observing my veil, thinking ‘here are my husband and father’, but when Umar was buried beside them, by Allah, due to my shame from Umar, I would enter covering my head properly.” (Mishkat)
Clarification of doubts
Nowadays it is more evident that western critics, out of sheer prejudice, hostility and ignorance, criticise the marriage between Rasulallah (s.a.w) and Hazrat Aisha, declaring it to be a marriage based on lust – Allah forbid!
Here, it should be mentioned that Rasulallah (s.a.w) did not marry Hazrat Aisha just to appease a desire. As a young man of 25 years, with stunning beauty & captivating charms, any beautiful young girl could have been chosen as his wife.
Many beautiful women from honourable families proposed marriage to Rasulallah (s.a.w) but he declined. Instead, when he was only 25 years of age he married a widow who had children from her previous marriage. Considering the fact that he was the most handsome person that Allah has created, many women desired him in marriage. Had he followed his desires, there was no obstacle for him to do so. In his youth, he could have had many beautiful women, but he married a widow 15 years his senior.
It should also be noted that after his marriage to Hazrat Khadija, he did not marry again until he reached the age of 50.
Another point is that if the marriage was the outcome of lustful desires (astaghfirullah), why did he not marry any other spinster after his marriage to Hazrat Aisha. On the contrary, he married widows and divorcees during his 10 year stay in Madinah Sharif, and never preferred any young girl although opportunities were always available.
Hence, these fallacies have no basis and are the result of ignorance and spite.
The actual reasons are as follows:
1. The wives of Rasulallah (s.a.w), with the exception of Hazrat Aisha, were all of advanced age, and thus could neither share the feelings of the younger generation, nor could they properly appreciate their point of view.
The difference of age always stood as a barrier between them and ladies of younger ages. The only lady with whom a young girl could identify with and confide in, was none else by the young Hazrat Aisha.
Thus, the marriage of Rasulallah (s.a.w) with Hazrat Aisha was a great necessity, as it was through her that instructions could successfully be imparted to the young girls who had newly entered into the fold of Islam.
2. This marriage clarified the belief that it stood against religious ethics to marry the daughter of a man whom one declared as his brother. Rasulallah (s.a.w) showed to the people that there is a great difference between a brother in faith, and a brother by blood.
The marriage which is forbidden in Islam is not that with the daughter of one who is a brother by faith, but with one who is one’s niece in blood.
Journey to the Heavens
This distinguished lady of great piety and rare character passed away at the age of sixty-five on the 17th of Ramadan 57 AH.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah led her funeral prayers, and the blessed learned Mother of Believers was buried in Jannatul Baqi, where she is enjoying a deep sleep under the skies of peace and tranquillity to this day.
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