Aisha bint Abu Bakr (RA), the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the dearest person to our Nabi (SAW). She was trustworthy, generous, modest, pure, tender-hearted and broke into tears easily. She was bright, smart, observant and had a good memory, quick wit and an inquisitive mind. She could easily remember exact speech and where she heard it from. She spoke to everyone and did not look down on anyone. She enjoyed questioning and contemplation. These gifts from Allah, she used to memorise and interpret the Qur’an and help propagate the Deen of Allah. She was also learned in Medicine, Geneology, Arabic language, Fiqh, Shariah, Sunnah and even poetry. After the death of the Messenger of Allah (SAW), companions would go to her about matters that they did not understand or they differed.
She had amazing willpower. Neither the people around her or the changing times were able to change her from the path of truth and goodness. She never based her actions on the wrongdoings of others.
She chose minimalism over a life of luxury. She had two options laid out to her by the Prophet (SAW) – either stay with him and live a life of hardship and near starvation or leave him and lead a life of comfort and ease. Without a doubt, She chose him.
O Prophet, 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 home of the Hereafter – then indeed, Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward.” [33:28-29]
Their house was so small that when the Prophet (SAW) stood, his head almost touched the ceiling and when Aisha (RA) laid down to rest, the area remaining was not enough for prostrating. Though physically small, spiritually this room was large enough to enlighten the entire world.
Her generosity knew no bounds. She lived for others. Once she saw needy people, she forgot her needs and gave whatever she had to them. One evening, she received a lot of dirhams from Amir Mu’awiyah (RA) and by nightfall, she had given it all to charity and had nothing to break her fast with.
Another day, they sacrificed an animal and Aisha gave the meat from the entire animal until only its shoulder blade remained. When the Prophet (SAW) came home, he asked, “what did you do with the animal? what remains for us?” She replied, “I distributed all of it, only the shoulder blade remains”. He said, “No dear Aisha, every part of it except the shoulder blade remains (as an eternal reward)”.
She was a devout worshipper. She spent her day in fasting, seeking repentance and asking forgiveness from Allah(SWT) and her night in prayer. She followed the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) and attempted to put his examples into practice. Anyone who intended to wait for the end of Aisha’s prayer should expect to wait for a very long time. Her wealth was in her piety.
Al-Qasim bin Muhammad said that ‘A’ishah would fast in the intense heat, and he was asked: “What drove her to do this?” He replied: “She would take advantage of the days before death.” And some of the righteous women would choose the hottest days and fast them, saying: “If the price is low, everyone will buy,” meaning that she wanted to do those actions that only a few were capable of due to how hard it was to do them, and this is indicative of the high aspirations these women had.
– Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali
The revelation of some Ayahs of the Qur’an was associated with events surrounding her
They were on a journey and she lost her sister’s necklace and so they were delayed looking for it. Time for Salah came and they had no water to perform wudhu, Allah (SWT) revealed,
“O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving”. [4:43]
When she was slandered and her chastity was questioned. Allah revealed,
Indeed, those who came with falsehood are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather it is good for you. For every person among them is what [punishment] he has earned from the sin, and he who took upon himself the greater portion thereof – for him is a great punishment. Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”?Why did they [who slandered] not produce for it, four witnesses? And when they do not produce the witnesses, then it is they, in the sight of Allah, who are the liars. And if it had not been for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy in this world and the Hereafter, you would have been touched for that [lie] in which you were involved by a great punishment. When you received it with your tongues and said with your mouths that of which you had no knowledge and thought it was insignificant while it was, in the sight of Allah, tremendous. And why, when you heard it, did you not say, “It is not for us to speak of this. Exalted are You, [O Allah ]; this is a great slander”? Allah warns you against returning to the likes of this [conduct], ever, if you should be believers. And Allah makes clear to you the verses, and Allah is Knowing and Wise. Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicized] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know. And if it had not been for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy… and because Allah is Kind and Merciful. O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan – indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing. [24:11-21]
She was an advocate for education. She believed everyone should be educated and encouraged women to not let their shyness stop them from asking questions. They came to her with their problems and returned home with solutions. She is believed to have reported the most number of hadiths of the Prophet (SAW) and due to her close association to him, we were able to get information about his character at home.
Aisha (RA) was a daughter, wife, scholar, teacher, soldier, devout slave of Allah and more. She was the mother of the believers but never bore children ( 🤔 A Muslim woman isn’t less a Muslim woman if she has no children). Wherever she went, the place came to life.
Her life is one worth emulating. We may have the same name but I pray to be at least a fraction of the greatness she lived. She is proof that being a woman is enough.
Haymalaz R. (2014). Aisha: The wife, the companion, the scholar. Tughra books. New jersey.
Ghadanfar M.A. (2001). Great women of Islam. Who were given the good news of Paradise. Darussalam Riyadh.
Until next time,