Short Biography of ‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha)

Who is ‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha)?

aisha‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was born in 614 CE, she had claims to noble birth from both sides of the family. Her mother was Umm Roman and her father was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, a true friend of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

She was the 3rd wives of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), after Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) and Sawdah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha).

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concluded a marriage contract with her ‘the truth verifier’, when she was six of age, in Shawwal 619, at the same year when Islam was being introduced to Arabian tribes and individuals, but consummated his marriage with her in Shawwal, the year 1 A.H. in Madinah when she was nine. That was in the eleventh year of Prophethood, a year after his marriage to Sawdah, and two years and five months before Al-Hijra.

She was intelligent on religious and historical matters since childhood. And at the age of 8 years, she experienced an historic move, when the first Islamic state was on rise, she was able to recall all the minor details. Next year she joined the household of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

She (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) said that there were nine blessings of Allah which distinguished her from all other women in the world except Maryam bint ‘Imran, the mother of ‘Issa (alayhissallam).

The Angel Jibril had presented her portrait wrapped in green silk to Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and told him that this was the picture of the lady chosen by Allah, to be his consort both in this world and the next. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15 & 57)

She (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was the only virgin to have become the wife of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and the most beloved creature to him.

She enjoyed the constant company of the Prophet for about eight and a half years, until he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed away. He was resting in her lap and was buried in her apartment.

Many times angels encircled her apartment with love and respect. Very often divine revelation would come to Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when they were lying together resting in peace and tranquility.

She was very charitable, generous, and having simple lifestyle.

She left this earthly existence for Paradise in the year 58 Hijrah on the 17th of Ramadan at the age of 66. (It’s written that she died in 5 7/676 at the age of 65, in the book of ‘Fundamental of Hadeeth’ by Dr. Bilal Philips).

She was buried in Jannatul Baqi’. with Abu Hurairah leading the funeral prayers.

The Fitnah

In the month of Sha’ban, ‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) accompanied Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who led the Muslim army towards Qadid, where a minor battle started with tribe of Banu Mustalaq. Several hypocrites were also part of the army during this particular battle. She had borrowed a necklace from her sister Asma’. On the way back the army camped in the desert, and Ayshah went far into desert to relieve herself. Suddenly she realized that the necklace dropped along the way. She found it after a long search. When she reached the site, the caravan had left, the normal procedure was that the ladies, who were segregated from the men folk, would get into their litter and draw the curtains. Then the camel drivers would place the litter on the camel’s back. Since ‘Ayshah was very light no one realized her absence. She lay down, waiting for her companions to return.

Safwan bin Mu’attil had the responsibility of checking the camp site for things which might have been left behind, at daybreak he arrived to find someone lying down in a Jilbab. When ‘Ayshah heard him she woke up, and got on to the camel. He then walked leading the camel by the bridle.

At noon when the caravan had just reached the next camp site to rest, they saw ‘Ayshah arriving with Safwan. Madinah was flooded by loose talk that ‘Ayshah was a loose woman and her character was suspect, led by ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. Hasan bin Thabit, Hamnah bint Jahash, and Mastah bin Athathah who joined the hypocrites. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was extremely disturbed when he heard this talk, but ‘Ayshah was blissfully ignorant of all this.

But then, the Ayat announcing her innocence were revealed,

“Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you….” (see Al Quran, Chapter 24, Verses 11-21)

This episode is known in Islamic History as the Event of Al-Ifk. After this incident the Prophet’s respect for ‘Ayshah increased even more.

The Role of ‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) in spreading hadith and Islamic knowledge

‘Ayshah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) attained a lofty status because of her knowledge. Everyone consulted her on the finer points of religion. Many Hadiths originated from her 2210 in number.  She was among the top seven companions who narrated thousands of Hadiths, and occupies the fourth place among the Mukaththiroon, after Aboo Hurayrah, ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umar, and Anas Ibn Malik (radiyAllaahu ‘anhum).

She was naturally endowed with a retentive memory and a developed criticalfaculty, having memorised a large number of the ancient Arab poems, on which she was a recognised authority.

During her lifetime she was also honoured for her expertise in medicine and in Islamic law. Regarding the Hadith, she had not only learnt a large volume of these from her husband, she also showed a critical appreciation of them, and corrected the mistakes in understanding of many Companions. When, for instance, Ibn ‘Umar related that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had said that the dead are punished in their graves on account of the wailing of their relatives, she pointed out that the Prophet had said that while the dead are punished in their graves for their sins, their relatives wept for them.

It was on account of her extensive knowledge of Hadith and Islamic law that even the most important Companions sought her advice on legal problems. A long list of those who related Hadith on her authority may be found in Ibn Hajar’s book Tahtheeb at- Tahtheeb. As a woman she was the most learnèd woman in jurisprudence.

During the time of Khulafa-u-Rashidin, her Fatwas were accepted. Once someone asked Masruq if ‘Ayshah had mastery over Shari’ah laws regarding inheritance. He swore that he had seen Companions asking her questions about the finer points of the laws of inheritance. ‘Urwah bin Zubayr, her sister Asma’s son often visited her to discuss religious issues with her. Other Companions envied him as he could freely approach her at any time.

Al-Mubarakpuri, S.R. (2002) Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar). Darussalam Publication, Riyadh.
Philip, B. (2003) The Fundamentals of Hadeeth Studies. Preston University, Ajman.
Ghadanfar, M.A (2001) Great Women of Islam. Ayshah bint Abu Bakr (R.A.) [Online].

Posted on October 4, 2013, in Great Women of Islam, Inspiring Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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