‘Aa’ishah: the mother of the believers

When the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) emigrated from Makkah to Al-Madeenah he was accompanied by Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, (‘Aa’ishah’s father) who had the most knowledge about the Quraysh — both the good and bad aspects. He was a well-known honorable merchant to whom people came to seek and gain more knowledge.

‘Aa’ishah’s mother, may Allah be pleased with her, was called Umm Rummaan bint ‘Umayr bin ‘Amer coming from the sons of Al-Haarith bin Ghanam bin Ka’ab, and she was among the first group who embraced Islam. She had been married to ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abdul-Asad before she married Abu Bakr, and she had a son from her first husband called At-Tufayl, and she gave birth to ‘Aa’ishah and ‘Abdur-Rahmaan from Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. She emigrated to Al-Madeenah after the establishment of Islam there. When she died, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "O Allah! You know best how Umm Rummaan was hurt for Your sake and the sake of Your Prophet ."

The Prophet used to entrust ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, to Umm Rummaan’s charge and say: “O Umm Rummaan, be kind to ‘Aa’ishah and be mindful of me by this kindness.”

In fact, the Prophet used to love the clean and pure household of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, because the man of the house — Abu Bakr — was a man who needed no introduction; his character and lineage were not something to inquire about.

The Messenger of Allah thought about proposing to ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, for marriage when Khawlah bint Haakim Al-Aslamiah, may Allah be pleased with her, said to him: “What do you say about marrying ‘Aa’ishah the daughter of Abu Bakr?”; he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam then moved his head in the affirmative, saying yes. Then Khawlah went to Umm Rummaan to tell her the news and said: “O Umm Rummaan, you cannot imagine how Allah has blessed your house!”

Khawlah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Messenger of Allah sent me to seek ‘Aa’ishah for marriage.” Umm Rummaan, may Allah be pleased with her,  said: “Wait for Abu Bakr, he is coming soon.”

When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, came back, Khawlah told him the news and he said: “Is she suitable for him? She is his niece.” Khawlah then went back to the Prophet and told him what Abu Bakr had told her, and he said: “Go back and tell Abu Bakr that he is my brother in Islam and I am his, and his daughter is good enough for me.”

Abu Bakr thought deeply about this and then went to Mut’am bin ‘Uday, who had proposed ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, for marriage to his son Jubayr. These people were still disbelievers. When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, entered their house, they said: “O son of Abu Quhaafah, we fear that if our son married your daughter ‘Aa’ishah, then she would convince him of Islam and we do not want this to happen.”

Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, did not answer, but on the contrary he was very pleased with that. In this way he was freed of their promise and he could give his full agreement for the blessed marriage.

‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated how she became married to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘‘alayhi wa sallam, and said: “The Prophet came to our house, and many people gathered there to meet him. Then my mother came to me while I was playing, she took me to the door where the Prophet was sitting. I was so embarrassed and I melted in shyness. Then my mother put me beside the Prophet and said: “This is your wife, may Allah bless her for you, and bless you for her.” People then left the room, and at that night nothing was slaughtered for me and I was nine years old at that time.” Although she was young, she was a mature girl who had reached puberty. People described ‘Aa’ishah on her wedding day and said: “She was a nimble, wide-eyed bride, with curly hair and a shiny face.”

Whereas Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, was already a wise and mature woman when she married the Prophet Muhammad ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was a spirited young girl who still had a great deal to learn when she married the Prophet . However, she was very quick to learn, for she had a clear heart, a quick mind and an accurate memory. She was not afraid to talk back in order to find out the truth or make it known, and whenever she beat someone else in argument, the Prophet would smile and say: “She is the daughter of Abu Bakr!”

Moosaa bin Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him, once said: “I have not seen anyone more eloquent than ‘Aa’ishah.” ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, became so wise that one of her contemporaries used to say that if the knowledge of ‘Aa’ishah were placed on one side of the scales and that of all other women on the other, ‘Aa’ishah’s side would outweigh the others. She used to sit with the other women and pass on the knowledge that she had received from the Prophet . She was a source of knowledge and wisdom for both women and men long after the Prophet died and as long as she lived. Abu Moosaa, may Allah be pleased with him, once said: “Whenever a report appeared doubtful to us (the Companions of the Prophet) and we asked ‘Aa’ishah about it, we always learned something from her about it.”

In addition to being extremely intelligent, ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, became a very graceful young woman. When she first came to live in the Prophet’s household as a young girl, a strong and lasting friendship grew up between her and Sawdah, and Sawdah, may Allah be pleased with her, took care of her along with the rest of the household. When ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her,  grew up, Sawdah, who was by then an old woman, gave up her share of the Prophet’s time in favor of ‘Aa’ishah and was content to manage his household and be Umm al Mu’mineen  ‘The Mother of the Believers’ — a title of respect that was given to all the wives of the Prophet which confirmed what the Quran clearly states that no man could marry any of them after they had been married to the Prophet :

{The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are (in the position of) their mothers.} [Quran 33:6]

During the nine years that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was married to Prophet Muhammad she witnessed many of the great events that shaped the destiny of the first Muslim community of Al-Madeenah al Munawarra: It was during the course of their marriage that the direction of the Qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to Makkah, thereby distinguishing the Muslims more clearly from Jews and Christians. It was during the course of their marriage that she must have listened to many of the Jews, Christians and idol worshippers who came not to listen to the Prophet but to argue with him, in the hope that they could find a plausible excuse to justify their rejection of him. It was through exchanges such as these that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, learned to distinguish what was true from what was false.

As the prophetic guidance continued to be revealed through the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Aa’ishah’s way of life, along with that of all the Muslims, was gradually reshaped and refined. It was during the course of their marriage that drinking alcohol was finally forbidden, it was made clear what food was allowed (Halaal) and what was prohibited (Haraam), it became necessary for women to wear the Hijab in public and while praying, guidance regarding how to fast was revealed, paying the Zakat became obligatory on all Muslims and all rites of Hajj were purified and clarified.

In fact, every aspect of life — from birth to death and everything that happens in between — was illuminated by the way in which the Prophet behaved.  It was this way of behavior (the Sunnah), that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, helped to preserve and protect, not only by embodying it herself, but also by teaching it to others.

The life of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, is proof that a woman can be far more learned than men and that she can be the teacher of scholars and experts. Her life is also a proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership . Her life is also proof that the same woman can retain her feminity and be a source of pleasure, joy and comfort to her husband.

‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, spent her life with the Prophet until he died in her lap, whereupon she said: “He died between my chest and my neck, then I put his head on a pillow when people became very quiet while I was mourning and suffering deep sadness.”

2017-12-14T12:36:06+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Beliefs, Islam|