Aisha Siddiqa (رضي الله عنها)
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was the daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq (رضي الله عنه), the first Caliph of Islam and one of the earliest Muslims. Her mother was Umm-e-Ruman. Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was also known by the title Siddiqa.
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was born after Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) and his wife Umm-e-Ruman had accepted Islam. So she had grown up in an Islamic environment right from the time of her birth.
She once said: ”From the time I was old enough to understand, I was conditioned by seeing my parents practicing only Islam.”
So, from a very young age Aisha (رضي الله عنها) became firm in her faith in Islam, had a keen spirit of sacrifice and quested for the truth, Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was very observant and always asked intelligent questions.
If any ayah (verses) of the Quran were recited in her presence, she would quickly memorize them. In other words, she was an extremely gifted child with a remarkable memory. Read more: Maymunah (رضي الله عنها) Wife of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the One Who Devoted Herself for Islam
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لَا يَخْشَعُ وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ لَا تَشْبَعُ وَمِنْ دَعْوَةٍ لَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهَا
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from a heart that knows no humility, from a soul that is never satisfied, from the knowledge that is of no use and from a prayer that is not answered.
A Gift Wrapped in Silk
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was married to the prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in the 10th year of his prophethood. It has been reported that after the death of Khadija, one night, an angel appeared to the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in a dream and presented him with a gift wrapped in silk. Read more: What happened on the 12th day of ramadan throughout history
The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) asked the angel, ”What is this?” The angel told him, ”This is your wife!” When he unwrapped the silk, he saw an image of Aisha (رضي الله عنها). When he woke up, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to himself, ”If this is from Allah, it will surely be!”
The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) discussed the matter with Khawla bint Hakim, the wife of a friend, Uthman ibn Maz’oon. Khawla approached Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه)with the marriage proposal. But Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was already engaged to Jubayr, the son of Mut’im, and it was not in the character of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) to dishonor a pledge. Read more: Umm-e-Habiba (رضي الله عنها) Wife of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
When this difficulty was reported to the prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), he said Allah would himself provide a way out of the difficulty.
A few days later, Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) went to visit Mut’im and asked them about the marriage of Aisha (رضي الله عنها). But Mut’im and his wife decided to break the engagement, fearing that Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) would try to convert their son to Islam after the marriage.
A few days later, Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was married to the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in a very simple ceremony conducted by Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) himself. But Aisha (رضي الله عنها) did not go to the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) house at that time. She continued to live with her parents for the next three years. Read more: Daughters of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم
O Allah! Restorer of the lost thing, Guide of those who are in error. You guide from deviation to the right path. Restore my lost thing with your power and might. For it was out of your gift and bount.
Migration to Madinah
When the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) migrated to Madinah along with Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) in 622 C.E., their families stayed behind.
After some time, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) sent a few men to bring their families from Makkah. Abu Bakr’s (رضي الله عنه) son, Abdullah, accompanied his mother and two sisters, Aisha (رضي الله عنها) and Asma, on their journey to Madinah. Read more: What happened on the 4th day of ramadan throughout history
Due to the change in climate, many immigrants, including Aisha (رضي الله عنها), fell ill in Madinah. Her illness was so severe that she lost her hair. When Aisha (رضي الله عنها) had recovered fully, Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) suggested to the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that it was time for him to take her his home. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told her that he had no money to give her for her Mahr (dowry).
Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) then offered to give him a loan of 500 Dirham, which he accepted and sent it to Aisha (رضي الله عنها). Her going away ceremony was simple. Thus, she entered the blessed house of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and became a Mother of the Believers. Read more: Fatima bint Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم
She was a devoted wife who took care of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and at the same time received moral and spiritual training day and night directly from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) himself. Read more:
I seek refuge or you in the perfect words of Allah from every Satan, every harmful creature and from every evil eye.
Hardships in Life
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was born into a highly respectable wealthy family, but she patiently bore the hardships, simplicity and ascetic lifestyle of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) due to her loyalty to Allah and her devotion to the Prophet and his cause.
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was the youngest of the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wives at the time of her marriage. Her room was about 10 feet long with mud walls and floor.
The roof was thatched with date leaves and the household items consisted of one bed, a mat, a pillow stuffed with date fibers, a water pitcher, a bowl, and two earthen jars to store dates and flour. Aisha (رضي الله عنها) suffered many hardships yet, she was content and didn’t complain.
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) once told Urwa ibn Zubayr, her nephew,
‘Sometimes, for three long months, we never cooked anything in our house because we did not have anything during that period.
‘He then asked,’ How did you survive without it?’ She replied, ‘ We used to eat dates and drink water or sometimes some of our neighbors would send us some food and milk.’
After the death of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), ‘Aisha (رضي الله عنها) Continued to live an ascetic existence dedicated to fasting, prayers, charities, and to the care of orphans and the destitute.
أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا وَٱرْحَمْنَا ۖ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ ٱلْغَٰفِرِينَ
وَٱكْتُبْ لَنَا فِى هَٰذِهِ ٱلدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ إِنَّا هُدْنَآ إِلَيْكَ
You are our Protector, so forgive us and have mercy upon us, and You are the best of forgivers. And decree for us in this world [that which is] good and [also] in the Hereafter; indeed, we have turned back to You. (Al-Araf 7:155-156)
The Intelligence of Aisha (رضي الله عنها)
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was gifted with extraordinary intelligence. She followed and noted the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) every action and word. She had a sharp intellect and was not a passive learner.
What was special about her was her critical mind which never stopped asking questions. At every opportunity, she would question the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and ask him to make things clear to her. Read more: Importance of 13th day of Ramadan throughout History
When the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) found out she had followed him in disguise on his trip to the graveyard to pray for departed Companions in the middle of the night, he asked her,
“Why did you do this? Did your devil visit you?” Aisha (رضي الله عنها) retorted “Does every person have a devil following him or her around?” When he replied to the affirmative, she asked, “Are you included in this?”
The Prophet answered, “Yes. I am included in this; but my Lord has helped me against him. Thanks to this he has become a Muslim (i.e., he has surrendered and thus does not command anything but good!)”
اِنِّىۡ وَجَّهۡتُ وَجۡهِىَ لِلَّذِىۡ فَطَرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ حَنِيۡفًا وَّمَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِكِيۡنَ ۚ
Behold, I have turned my face in exclusive devotion to the One Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am certainly not one of those who associate others with Allah in His divinity. (Al-An’am 6:79)
When Aisha (رضي الله عنها) lost her necklace
When the Muslims were returning from the Banu Mustaliq campaign, Aisha (رضي الله عنها), who was accompanying the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), lost her necklace. She went off in search of it and was delayed by this for quite a while.
When she eventually found the Necklace, the Muslim party had left carrying her palanquin, thinking she was inside it. She thought it better to stay where she was rather than move ahead on her own in the desert. So she went to sleep at the place where the Muslims had set up their camp the night before.
There she was spotted by a companion, Safwan ibn al-Mu’attal, who had been out of camp on an errand in the desert. Safwan brought his camel and asked the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wife, Aisha (رضي الله عنها), to mount it. Safwan, holding the reins of the camel, rushed as fast as he could towards Madinah and brought Aisha (رضي الله عنها) back to Madinah.
When they reached home, there were certain hypocrites who used this episode to spread false scandals about Aisha (رضي الله عنها).
The rumor reached all corners of Madinah and the Muslims were very disturbed at this. Aisha (رضي الله عنها) went to her parents and waited for Allah to prove her innocence. Finally, Allah sent a revelation to the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) which proclaimed the innocence of Aisha (رضي الله عنها). The Muslims in Madinah were happy at this.
رَبَّنَآ اَفۡرِغۡ عَلَيۡنَا صَبۡرًا وَّثَبِّتۡ اَقۡدَامَنَا وَانۡصُرۡنَا عَلَى الۡقَوۡمِ الۡکٰفِرِيۡنَؕ
“Our Lord! Shower us with patience, and set our feet firm, and grant us victory over this unbelieving people.” (Al-Baqarah 2:250)
God Does not Like Pride in His Servants
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) tells the story of how one day a poor woman came to see her. The Prophet Muhammad was also present at that time. The poor woman wanted to give Aisha (رضي الله عنها) some gift, but out of pity for her circumstance, Aisha preferred not to accept it.
The Prophet later told Aisha (رضي الله عنها) that she should have accepted it, and then given her something in return.
The Prophet said to Aisha (رضي الله عنها): ”I think you were looking down on her. Be humble, Aisha (رضي الله عنها), for God likes those who are humble and has the greatest aversion for those who are proud.”
O Allah, Lord of the people, remove all harm, give a cure, for You are the one who cures. There is no curing except Your curing- a curing that leaves no illness.
God is Gentle
In Madinah, one day, a group of people came to the Prophet and when they entered, instead of giving the normal ‘Assalamu’alaykum’ (Peace be upon you) greeting, they said,’Assamu’alaykum’, meaning ”Death to you”.
Aisha (رضي الله عنها), the Prophet’s wife, heard this, and was not able to contain herself ”Death to you instead”, she said, ”May God damn you!”
The Prophet told her not to answer back in this manner. ”God is Gentle”, he said, ”and He likes gentleness in every matter.”
In truth, there is no more effective method of winning a person’s heart than by returning soft words for harsh. It is possible to withstand an armed onslaught, but noble conduct is a force in itself that no one can resist. It is sure to prevail in all situations.
رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّنَاۤ اٰمَنَّا فَاغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ۚ
اَلصّٰـبِرِيۡنَ وَالصّٰدِقِـيۡنَ وَالۡقٰنِتِـيۡنَ وَالۡمُنۡفِقِيۡنَ وَالۡمُسۡتَغۡفِرِيۡنَ بِالۡاَسۡحَارِ
‘Our Lord! We do indeed believe, so forgive us our sins and keep us safe from the chastisement of the Fire’; men who are steadfast, truthful, obedient, spend (in the way of Allah) and implore the forgiveness of Allah before daybreak. (Al-Imran 3:16-17)
Teacher of the Teachers
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) served as a teacher of the teachers after the Prophet. She would correct those teachings in the Prophet’s mosque and answer those who came to her seeking rulings, advice and opinions based on her expert knowledge.
When Abdullah ibn Umar told of something the Prophet was supposed to have said: ”A person will be punished for his or her family’s crying (lamenting) over his or her death!” Aisha (رضي الله عنها) rejected this saying, ”How would the Prophet have said something like this when Allah say, ”No soul shall bear the burden of another!”
Among the numerous men and women who were taught by her were Abdullah, Qasim, Urwa and Umra bint Abd al-Rahman al Ansariyyah.
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) had a deep knowledge of the Quran. Her answers were based on the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah. She followed both devoutly and that enabled her to make rulings. She confidently held views which contradicted the views of other Companions and scholars.
رَبِّ قَدْ ءَاتَيْتَنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِى مِن تَأْوِيلِ ٱلْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ فَاطِرَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِىِّۦ فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا وَٱلْءَاخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِى مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِى بِٱلصَّٰلِحِينَ
My Lord, You have given me [something] of sovereignty and taught me of the interpretation of dreams. Creator of the heavens and earth, You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the righteous. (Yusuf 12:101)
When Allah desires Good
Aisha (رضي الله عنها), the wife of the Prophet, reports the Prophet as saying: ”When God desires the good of someone in a position of power, he assigns to him an honest counselor, one who reminds him of God’s word when he forgets it, and who assists him when he remembers it.
And when he desires the opposite for anyone, he gives him an evil counselor, one who does not remind him when he forgets and does not assist him when he remembers.”
Once hearing of certain individuals who read the Quran all night, reading it right through once, or even twice in a night, Aisha (رضي الله عنها) remarked, ”What is there in mere recitation?” I used to stay up all night with the Prophet and, in his recitations of the chapters entitled Al-Baqarah, Al Imran, and Al-Nisa, whenever he came to a verse which contained a warning, he would pray to God and seek refuge with him, and whenever he came to a verse bearing good tidings, he would pray to God and express his longing for what was mentioned in the verse.”
تَبَارَكَ اسْمُ رَبِّكَ ذِي الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ
Blessed is the name of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. (Al-Rahman 55:78)
No Hardship in Religion
The Prophet’s wife, Aisha (رضي الله عنها), said that whenever Allah’s Messenger ordered the Muslims to do something, he used to order them to do things which were easy for them to do, according to their strength and endurance. She narrated further:
One day some of the Companions said to the Prophet,”O Allah’s Messenger! We are not like you. Allah has forgiven your past and future sins.” At this, the Prophet became angry, as it was apparent from his face.
And then the Prophet said, ”I am the most Allah fearing, and know Allah better than all of you do.”
On another occasion,’Aisha (رضي الله عنها) said that the Prophet said, ”Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way.
So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will rewarded, and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights.”
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) said that the Prophet never beat a servant, a women or anyone else. To be sure, he fought for what was righteous. Yet, when he had to choose between two alternatives, he would take the easier course, provided it did not involve sin: no one was more careful to avoid sin than he. He never sought revenge on his own behalf for any wrong done to him personally. Only if divine commandments had been broken would he punish for the sake of God.
اللَّهُمَّ أَطْعِمْ مَنْ أَطْعَمَنِي وَاسْقِ مَنْ سَقَانِي
O Allah, feed those who have fed me and satiate those who satiated me.
The Quran Personified
One of the Companions of the Prophet states, ‘I once requested Aisha (رضي الله عنها) to tell me something about the Prophet’s habits and manners. She replied, ‘Don’t you read the Quran?’
He said, ‘Yes, Of course.’
She said, ‘The lift of the Prophet was the Quran personified, which means that whatever was prescribed in the Quran, either to be followed or refrained from him, was what the Prophet used to act upon very strictly.’
After the passing away of the Prophet,’Aisha (رضي الله عنها) performed Hajj every year. Her tent became the most inspiring place during her stay. People from everywhere and even from foreign countries came to get answers to their questions from her. She was the soul of the politeness and would encourage the shy ones, saying, ”You can freely ask me any question that you would ask your own mother.”
She explained and interpreted the complex matters to students and scholars. Many scholars of Hadith directly benefited from her wisdom and knowledge. Even senior Companions, including Umar Farooq, frequently turned to her for rulings on difficult matters.
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) played an important role in carrying on the Prophet’s mission for almost fifty years. She devoted most of her time to the spread of Islam and took an active part in education and social reform.
يٰۤاَيَّتُهَا النَّفۡسُ الۡمُطۡمَـئِنَّةُ
(O soul at peace): “O serene soul!
ارۡجِعِىۡۤ اِلٰى رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرۡضِيَّةً ۚ
Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with your blissful destination), well-pleasing (to your Lord).
فَادۡخُلِىۡ فِىۡ عِبٰدِىۙ
So enter among My (righteous) servants
and enter My Paradise.” (Al Fajr 89:27-30)