Aisha

Muhammad's wife
Muhammad and Aisha freeing the daughter of a tribal chief.

Āishah bint Abī Bakr (613/614 – 678 CE; Arabic: عائشة‎‎, also transcribed as A'ishah, Aisyah, Ayesha, A'isha, Aishat, Aishah, or Aisha) was one of Muhammad's wives. In Islamic writings, her name is thus often prefixed by the title "Mother of the Believers" (Arabic: أمّ المؤمنين umm al-mu'minīn), per the description of Muhammad's wives in the Qur'an.

Her other name was Hadisa. Aisha had an important role in early Islamic history, both during Muhammad's life and after his death. In Sunni tradition, Aisha is thought to be scholarly and inquisitive. She contributed to the spread of Muhammad's message and served the Muslim community for 44 years after his death. She is also known for narrating 2210 hadiths, not just on matters related to the Prophet's private life, but also on topics such as inheritance, pilgrimage, and eschatology. Her intellect and knowledge in various subjects, including poetry and medicine, were highly praised by early luminaries such as al-Zuhri and her student Urwa ibn al-Zubayr.

QuotesEdit

  • يَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَفْضَلِ الْعِبَادَةِ: التَّوَاضُعِ
  • People are paying no attention to the best act of worship: Humility.
    • Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah (13/360) Ibn Hajr graded this Athar as being Saheeh.

In the HadithEdit

  • Narrated 'Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers): Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Messenger "O Allah's Messenger! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?" Allah's Messenger replied, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says." 'Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet (ﷺ) being inspired divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).
    • Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 2
  • Narrated `Aisha: Allah's Messenger said, "If anyone of you feels drowsy while praying he should go to bed (sleep) till his slumber is over because in praying while drowsy one does not know whether one is asking for forgiveness or for a bad thing for oneself."
    • Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Hadith 211
  • Narrated Aisha: The Prophet said, All drinks that produce intoxication are Haram.
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Hadith 243
  • Narrated Aisha: The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junub. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me. While in I`tikaf, he used to bring his head near me and I would wash it while I used to be in my periods (menses).
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Hadith 298
  • Narrated `Aisha (the wife of the Prophet): We set out with Allah's Messenger on one of his journeys till we reached Al- Baida' or Dhatul-Jaish, a necklace of mine was broken (and lost). Allah's Messenger stayed there to search for it, and so did the people along with him. There was no water at that place, so the people went to Abu- Bakr As-Siddiq and said, "Don't you see what `Aisha has done? She has made Allah's Apostle and the people stay where there is no water and they have no water with them." Abu Bakr came while Allah's Messenger was sleeping with his head on my thigh, He said, to me: "You have detained Allah's Messenger and the people where there is no water and they have no water with them. So he admonished me and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of pain) but the position of Allah's Messenger on my thigh. Allah's Messenger got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the Divine Verses of Tayammum. So they all performed Tayammum. Usaid bin Hudair said, "O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours." Then the camel on which I was riding was caused to move from its place and the necklace was found beneath it.
    • Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 7, Hadith 330
  • Narrated Aisha: Whenever Allah’s Messenger saw the rain, he used to say, O Allah! Let it be a strong fruitful rain.
    • Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 17, Number 142
  • Narrated Aisha: Whenever Allah's Apostle wanted to go on a journey, he would draw lots as to which of his wives would accompany him. He would take her whose name came out. He used to fix for each of them a day and a night. But Sauda bint Zam'a gave up her (turn) day and night to 'Aisha, the wife of the Prophet in order to seek the pleasure of Allah's Apostle (by that action).
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 47, Hadith 766
  • Narrated Aisha:. . . That night I kept on weeping and could not sleep till morning. In the morning Allah's Apostle called Ali bin Abu Talib and Usama bin Zaid when he saw the Divine Inspiration delayed, to consul them about divorcing his wife (i.e. 'Aisha). Usama bin Zaid said what he knew of the good reputation of his wives and added, 'O Allah's Apostle! Keep you wife, for, by Allah, we know nothing about her but good.' 'Ali bin Abu Talib said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Allah has no imposed restrictions on you, and there are many women other than she, yet you may ask the woman-servant who will tell you the truth.' On that Allah's Apostle called Buraira and said, 'O Burair. Did you ever see anything which roused your suspicions about her?' Buraira said, 'No, by Allah Who has sent you with the Truth, I have never seen in her anything faulty except that she is a girl of immature age, who sometimes sleeps and leaves the dough for the goats to eat.' . . .
  • I was a young girl and did not have much knowledge of the Quran. I said. 'I know, by Allah, that you have listened to what people are saying and that has been planted in your minds and you have taken it as a truth. Now, if I told you that I am innocent and Allah knows that I am innocent, you would not believe me and if I confessed to you falsely that I am guilty, and Allah knows that I am innocent you would believe me.
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 48, Hadith 829
  • Narrated Aisha: The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Hadith 234
  • Narrated 'Aisha: That the Prophet said to her, "You have been shown to me twice in my dream. I saw you pictured on a piece of silk and some-one said (to me). 'This is your wife.' When I uncovered the picture, I saw that it was yours. I said, 'If this is from Allah, it will be done."
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Hadith 235, See Also Sahih Bukhari 9:87:140
  • Narrated 'Aisha (the wife of the Prophet): I never remembered my parents believing in any religion other than the true religion (i.e. Islam), and (I don't remember) a single day passing without our being visited by Allah’s Apostle in the morning and in the evening."
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Hadith 245
  • Narrated Aisha: A necklace of mine was lost at Al-Baida' and we were on our way to Medina. The Prophet made his camel kneel down and dismounted and laid his head on my lap and slept. Abu Bakr came to me and hit me violently on the chest and said, "You have detained the people because of a necklace." I kept as motionless as a dead person because of the position of Allah's Apostle ; (on my lap) although Abu Bakr had hurt me (with the slap). Then the Prophet woke up and it was the time for the morning (prayer). Water was sought, but in vain; so the following Verse was revealed:-- "O you who believe! When you intend to offer prayer.." (5.6) Usaid bin Hudair said, "Allah has blessed the people for your sake, O the family of Abu Bakr. You are but a blessing for them."
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith 132
  • Narrated Aisha: ...That night I kept on weeping the whole night till the morning. My tears never stopped, nor did I sleep, and morning broke while I was still weeping, Allah's Apostle called 'Ali bin Abi Talib and Usama bin Zaid when the Divine Inspiration delayed, in order to consult them as to the idea of divorcing his wife. Usama bin Zaid told Allah's Apostle of what he knew about the innocence of his wife and of his affection he kept for her. He said, "O Allah's Apostle! She is your wife, and we do not know anything about her except good." But 'Ali bin Abi Talib said, "O Allah's Apostle! Allah does not impose restrictions on you; and there are plenty of women other than her. If you however, ask (her) slave girl, she will tell you the truth." 'Aisha added: So Allah's Apostle called for Barira and said, "O Barira! Did you ever see anything which might have aroused your suspicion? (as regards Aisha). Barira said, "By Allah Who has sent you with the truth, I have never seen anything regarding Aisha which I would blame her for except that she is a girl of immature age who sometimes sleeps and leaves the dough of her family unprotected so that the domestic goats come and eat it.".. . She said, "I do not know what to say to Allah's Apostle." Still a young girl as I was and though I had little knowledge of Quran, I said, "By Allah, I know that you heard this story (of the Ifk) so much so that it has been planted in your minds and you have believed it. So now, if I tell you that I am innocent, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you will not believe me; and if I confess something, and Allah knows that I am innocent of it, you will believe me. By Allah, I cannot find of you an example except that of Joseph's father: "
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith 274
  • Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Hadith 64
  • Narrated Aisha: When the Prophet married me, my mother came to me and made me enter the house (of the Prophet) and nothing surprised me but the coming of Allah's Apostle to me in the forenoon.
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Hadith 90
  • Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet was screening me with his Rida' (garment covering the upper part of the body) while I was looking at the Ethiopians who were playing in the courtyard of the mosque. (I continued watching) till I was satisfied. So you may deduce from this event how a little girl (who has not reached the age of puberty) who is eager to enjoy amusement should be treated in this respect.
    • Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Hadith 163
  • Narrated Aisha: I bought a cushion having pictures on it. When Allah’s Apostle saw it, he stopped at the gate and did not enter. I noticed the signs of hatred (for that) on his face! I said, "O Allah’s Apostle! I turn to Allah and His Apostle in repentance! What sin have I committed?" He said, "What about this cushion?" I said, ‘I bought it for you to sit on and recline on." Allah’s Apostle said, "The makers of these pictures will be punished (severely) on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said to them, ‘Make alive what you have created.’" He added, "Angels do not enter a house in which there are pictures."
    • Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 844
  • Narrated 'Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.)
  • Narrated Aisha: The Prophet entered upon me while there was a curtain having pictures (of animals) in the house. His face got red with anger, and then he got hold of the curtain and tore it into pieces. The Prophet said, "Such people as paint these pictures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection."
    • Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 130
  • Allah's Apostle said, "O Aisha! This is Gabriel sending his greetings to you." I said, "Peace, and Allah's Mercy be on him." 'Aisha added: The Prophet used to see things which we used not to see.
    • Narrated 'Aisha, in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 220
  • Narrated 'Aisha: I asked the Prophet, "O Allah's Messenger! Should the women be asked for their consent to their marriage?" He said, "Yes." I said, "A virgin, if asked, feels shy and keeps quiet." He said, "Her silence means her consent."
  • Allah's Messenger said (to me), "You were shown to me twice in (my) dream. Behold, a man was carrying you in a silken piece of cloth and said to me, "She is your wife, so uncover her,' and behold, it was you. I would then say (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen."
    • Narrated `Aisha, in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 139
  • Aisha said, "The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old." (The narrator Sulaiman said: "Or six years."). "He had intercourse with me when I was 9 years old.
    • Sunan Abu Dawud 2116 (Ahmad Hasan Ref)
  • A’ishah said : I used to play with dolls. Sometimes the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) entered upon me when the girls were with me. When he came in, they went out, and when he went out, they came in."
    • Sunan Abu Dawud 4913 (Ahmad Hasan Ref)
  • Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: "The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) married me when I was seven or six. When we came to Medina, some women came. according to Bishr's version: Umm Ruman came to me when I was swinging. They took me, made me prepared and decorated me. I was then brought to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him), and he took up cohabitation with me when I was nine. She halted me at the door, and I burst into laughter."
    • Sunan Abu Dawud 41:4915
  • ‘With good fortune.’ She (Umm Ruman) entrusted me to them. They washed my head and redressed me. No one came to me suddenly except the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) in the forenoon. So they entrusted me to him.
    • Sunan Abu Dawud 41:4916
  • Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: When we came to Medina, the women came to me when I was playing on the swing, and my hair was up to my ears. They brought me, prepared me, and decorated me. Then they brought me to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) and he took up cohabitation with me, when I was nine.
    • Sunan Abu Dawud 41:4917
  • The tradition mentioned above has also been transmitted by Hisham b. ‘Urwah through a different chain of narrators. This version adds: I was swinging and I had my friends. They brought me to a house ; there were some women of the Ansar (Helpers). They said : With good luck and blessing.
    • Sunan Abu Dawud 4918 (Ahmad Hasan Ref)
  • ‘A’ishah said : We came to Medina and stayed with Banu al-Harith b. al-Khazraj. She said : I swear by Allah, I was swinging between two date-palms. Then my mother came, and made me come down; and I had my hair up to the ears. The transmitter then mentioned the rest of the tradition."
    • Sunan Abu Dawud 4919 (Ahmad Hasan Ref)
  • Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours that is not part of it, will have it rejected.
    • Hadith 5 Sunan Ibn Majah
  • The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Ten things are connected to the Fitrah: trimming the moustache, letting the beard grow, using the tooth stick, rinsing out the nostrils with water, clipping the nails, washing the joints, plucking the armpit hairs, shaving the pubic hairs, washing the private parts with water. (One of the narrators) Zakariyya said: Musab said: I have forgotten the tenth thing, but it may have been rinsing out the mouth.
    • Hadith 293 Sunan Ibn Majah
  • The Messenger of Allah commanded that places of prayer be established in villages, and that they be purified and perfumed.
    • Hadith 759 Sunan Ibn Majah
  • The Messenger of Allah said: If the people knew what there is in the Isha prayer and Fajr prayer, they would come even if they had to crawl.
    • Hadith 796 Sunan Ibn Mājah
  • ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) is reported to have said: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) contracted marriage with me while I was (yet) a six years [sic] old girl. Then we arrived at Medina and stayed with Banu Harith b. Khazraj. I fell victim to fever; then my hair (of the head fell off (and became scattered). Then they became plenty and hanged down upto [sic] the earlobes. My mother ‘Umm Ruman came to me while I was (playing) in a swing alongwith [sic] my play-mates. She (the mother) called me loudly. I went to her and I did not know what he [sic] wanted. She seized my hand and stopped me at the door of the house and I was hearing [sic] violently until the agitation of my heart was over. Then she took some water and wiped it over my face and head. Then she admitted me to the house when some woman [sic] of Ansar were present in the house. They said, "You have entered with blessings and good fortune." Then she (the mother) entrusted me to them. So they embellished me and nothing frightened me but Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (when he came there) in the morning and they (the women) entrusted me to him. On that day, I was a nine years old girl."
    • Ibn-i-Majah vol.3:1876
  • It was narrated that 'Aishah said: "I used to play with dolls when I was with the Messenger of Allah, and he used to bring my friends to me to play with me." (Sahih)
    • Sunan Ibn Majah 3:9:1982
  • Asma (daughter of Shakal) asked the Messenger of Allah about washing after menstruation. He said: Everyone amongst you should use water (mixed with the leaves of) the lote-tree and cleanse herself well, and then pour water on her head and rub it vigorously till it reaches the roots of the hair. Then she should pour water on it. Afterwards she should take a piece of cotton smeared with musk and cleanse herself with it. Asma' said: How should she cleanse herself with the help of that? Upon this he (the Messenger of Allah) observed: Praise be to Allah, she should cleanse herself. 'A'isha said in a subdued tone that she should apply it to the trace of blood. She (Asma) then further asked about bathing after sexual intercourse. He (the Holy Prophet) said: She should take water and cleanse herself well or complete the ablution and then (pour water) on her head and rub it till it reaches the roots of the hair (of her) head and then pour water on her. 'A'isha said: How good are the women of Ansar (helpers) that their shyness does not prevent them from learning religion.
    • Sahih Muslim, Book 3, Hadith 649
  • .. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was 'A'isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?..."
    • Sahih Muslim 4:2127
  • 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine. She further said: We went to Medina and I had an attack of fever for a month, and my hair had come down to the earlobes. Umm Ruman (my mother) came to me and I was at that time on a swing along with my playmates. She called me loudly and I went to her and I did not know what she had wanted of me. She took hold of my hand and took me to the door, and I was saying: Ha, ha (as if I was gasping), until the agitation of my heart was over. She took me to a house, where had gathered the women of the Ansar. They all blessed me and wished me good luck and said: May you have share in good. She (my mother) entrusted me to them. They washed my head and embellished me and nothing frightened me. Allah's Messenger (, may peace be upon him) came there in the morning, and I was entrusted to him.
    • Sahih Muslim 8:3309
  • 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.
    • Sahih Muslim 8:3310
  • 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
    • Sahih Muslim 8:3311
  • 'A'isha reported that she used to play with dolls in the presence of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and when her playmates came to her they left (the house) because they felt shy of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), whereas Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent them to her.
    • Sahih Muslim 31:5981
  • I used to enter the building in which the Messenger of Allah and my father were buried while I was dressed lightly, saying: ‘These are just my husband and father.’ However, when Umar was buried, by Allah, I never entered this building except that my clothing was wrapped tightly around my body, out of shyness from Umar.
    • al-Hakim 'Mustadrak (4/7), and he declared it authentic
  • The actions which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved most were those which were done most constantly.
    • Muwatta hadith 92
  • The Prophet said: Prayer in congregation is twenty-five levels better than a prayer offered on one’s own.
    • Nasai hadith 840
  • Narrated 'Urwah: It was narrated from 'Urwah, that 'Aishah said: "The Messenger of Allah married me in Shawwal and my marriage was consummated in Shawwal." --'Aishah liked for her women's marriages to be consummated in Shawwal --"and which of his wives was more beloved to him than me?" (Sahih)
    • Sunan an-Nasa'i 4:26:3238
  • It was narrated that 'Aishah said: "The Messenger of Allah married me when I was seven years old, and he consummated the marriage with me when I was nine." (Sahih)
    • Sunan an-Nasa'i 4:26:3258
  • It was narrated that Abu 'Ubaidah said: "Aishah said: 'The Messenger of Allah married me when I was nine and I lived with him for nine years.'" (Sahih)
    • Sunan an-Nasa'i 4:26:3259
  • It was narrated from 'Aishah that the Messenger of Allah married her when she was nine and he died when she was eighteen years old. (Sahih)
    • Sunan an-Nasa'i 4:26:3260
  • It was narrated that 'Aishah said: "The Prophet married me in Shawwal, and he consummated the marriage with me in Shawwal, and which of his wives find more favor with him than me?" (Sahih)
    • Sunan an-Nasa'i 4:26:3379

About AishaEdit

  • "If the Prophet Muhammad went to bed with a nine-year-old, then according to Dutch law he is a pedophile."
  • The popular misconception as to Aishah’s age may be removed here. That she had not attained majority is clear enough, but that she was not so young as six years of age is also true. In the first place, it is clear that she had reached an age when betrothal could take place in the ordinary course and must therefore have been approaching the age of majority. Again, the Isabah, speaking of the Prophet’s daughter Fatimah, says that she was about five years older than ‘Aishah. It is a well-established fact that Fatimah was born when the Ka’bah was being rebuilt, i.e., five years before the Call or a little before it, and so ‘Aishah was certainly not below ten years at the time of her marriage with the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in the tenth year of the Call. This conclusion is borne out by the testimony of ‘Aishah herself who is reported to have related that when the chapter entitled ‘The Moon’ (the 54th chapter) was revealed she was a girl playing about and that she remembered certain verses then revealed. Now the fifty-fourth chapter could not have been revealed later than the fifth year of the Call, and therefore the report which states her to have been six years old in the tenth year of the Call when her marriage ceremony was gone through cannot be correct, because this would show her to have born about the time of the revelation of the 54th chapter. All these considerations show her to have been not less than ten years old at the time of her marriage. And as the period between her marriage and its consummation was not less than five years, because the consummation took place in the second year of the Fight, it follows that she could not have been less than fifteen at that time. The popular account that she was six years at marriage and nine years at the time of consummation is decidedly not correct, because it supposes the period between the marriage and its consummation to be only three years, while this is historically wrong.
  • There was no impropriety in Muhammad’s betrothal to Aisha. Marriages conducted in absentia to seal an alliance were often contracted at this time between adults and minors who were even younger than Aisha. This practice continued in Europe well into the early modern period. There was no question of consummating the marriage until Aisha reached puberty, when she would be married off like any other girl.
  • The so-called Muslim women’s movement is predicated on the idea that Muslim men, not Islam, have been responsible for the suppression of women’s rights. For this reason, Muslim feminists throughout the world are advocating a return to the society Muhammad originally envisioned for his followers. Despite differences in culture, nationalities, and beliefs, these women believe that the lesson to be learned from Muhammad in Medina is that Islam is above all an egalitarian religion. Their Medina is a society in which Muhammad designated women like Umm Waraqa as spiritual guides for the Ummah; in which the Prophet himself was sometimes publicly rebuked by his wives; in which women prayed and fought alongside the men; in which women like Aisha and Umm Salamah acted not only as religious but also as political—and on at least one occasion military—leaders; and in which the call to gather for prayer, bellowed from the rooftop of Muhammad’s house, brought men and women together to kneel side by side and be blessed as a single undivided community.
    • Reza Aslan as quoted in Joseph, Suad, ed. (2007). Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures: Volume 5 Practices, Interpretations and Representations. Brill Online. p. 227
  • On the other hand, however, Muslims who calculate 'Ayesha's age based on details of her sister Asma's age, about whom more is known, as well as on details of the Hijra (the Prophet's migration from Mecca to Madina), maintain that she was over thirteen and perhaps between seventeen and nineteen when she got married. Such views cohere with those Ahadith that claim that at her marriage Ayesha had "good knowledge of Ancient Arabic poetry and genealogy" and "pronounced the fundamental rules of Arabic Islamic ethics."
  • A'ishah was the third and youngest wife of the Prophet Muhammad. Born in Mecca, she was the daughter of Abu Bakr, one of the Prophet's most important supporters. Muhammad married her in 624 after the battle of Badr. A'ishah's intelligence, courage, and personal charm established her as his favorite spouse, and she sometimes accompanied her husband on his travels.
    • John Esposito (2004). The Islamic World: Past and Present, Volume 1, p. 17.
  • In my opinion, the age of Ayesha (ra) has been grossly mis-reported in the ahadith. Not only that, I think that the narratives reporting this event are not only highly unreliable, but also that on the basis of other historical data, the event reported, is quite an unlikely happening. Let us look at the issue from an objective stand point. My reservations in accepting the narratives, on the basis of which, Ayesha's (ra) age at the time of her marriage with the Prophet (pbuh) is held to be nine years are: Most of these narratives are reported only by Hisham ibn `Urwah, reporting on the authority of his father. An event as well known as the one being reported, should logically have been reported by more people than just one, two or three.
  • "An Arabian author cited by Maracci, says that Abubeker was very averse to the giving him his daughter [Ayesha, who was then but seven years old] so young, but that Mohammed pretended a divine command for it; whereupon he sent her to him with a basket of dates, and when the girl was alone with him, he stretched out his blessed hand (these are the author’s words), and rudely took hold of her clothes; upon which she looked fiercely at him, and said, “People call you the faithful man, but your behaviour to me shows you are a perfidious one.” And with these words she got out of his hands, and, composing her clothes, went and complained to her father. The old gentleman, to calm her resentment, told her she was new betrothed to Mohammed, and that made him take liberties with her, as if she had been his wife."
    • Simon Ockley. The History of the Saracens (Life of Mohammed, Part I). 6th Edition. London: Henry G. Bohn. 1857
  • Her special knowledge of significant acts of prayer, ablution, and cleanliness performed by the Prophet Muhammad made her an especially valued source of ritually significant information for the Sunni Muslim community, who in all matters looked to the Prophet’s human example in the performance of their daily life.
    • Denise A. Spellberg (1994). Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha Bint Abi Bakr. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 37. 
  • "child marriages continue to be practiced, and the fact that the Prophet himself married Aisha when she was only nine and he was fifty-three encourages Muslim society to continue with this iniquitous custom."

In the Hadith and other Islamic textsEdit

  • Narrated Urwa bin Al-Musayyab, Alqama bin Waqqas and Ubaidullah bin Abdullah: About the story of 'Aisha and their narrations were similar attesting each other, when the liars said what they invented about 'Aisha, and the Divine Inspiration was delayed, Allah's Apostle sent for 'Ali and Usama to consult them in divorcing his wife (i.e. 'Aisha). Usama said, "Keep your wife, as we know nothing about her except good." Buraira said, "I cannot accuse her of any defect except that she is still a young girl who sleeps, neglecting her family's dough which the domestic goats come to eat (i.e. she was too simpleminded to deceive her husband)." Allah's Apostle said, "Who can help me to take revenge over the man who has harmed me by defaming the reputation of my family? By Allah, I have not known about my family-anything except good, and they mentioned (i.e. accused) a man about whom I did not know anything except good."
    • Sahih Bukhari 3:48:805
  • Allah's Apostle said, "The superiority of 'Aisha over other women is like the superiority of Tharid to other meals."
    • Narrated Anas bin Malik, in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 57, Number 114
  • Narrated 'Ursa: The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry."
    • Sahih Bukhari 7:62:18
  • He married ‘A’isha in Mecca when she was a child of seven and lived with her in Medina when she was nine or ten. She was the only virgin that he married. Her father, Abu Bakr, married her to him and the apostle gave her four hundred dirhams.
  • Yahya b. Abbad b. Abdullah b. al-Zubayr from his father told me that he heard Aisha say: "The apostle died in my bosom during my turn: I had wronged none in regard to him. It was due to my ignorance and extreme youth that the apostle died in my arms.
    • Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah (The Life of Muhammad), translated by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, tenth impression 1995]
  • Yunus b. Bukayr stated, from Hisham b. ‘Urwa, from his father who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) married ‘A’isha three years after (the death of) Khadija. At that time (of the contract) ‘A’isha had been a girl of six. When he married her she was nine. The Messenger of God (SAAS) died when ‘A’isha was a girl of eighteen. "
  • Al-Bukhari had related, from ‘Ubayd b. Isma‘il, from Abu Usama, from Hisham b. ‘Urwa, from his father, who said, "Khadija died three years before the emigration of the Prophet (SAAS). He allowed a couple of years or so to pass after that, and then he contracted marriage with ‘A’isha when she was six, thereafter consummating marriage with her when she was nine years old."
  • "Al-Hajjaj related to us, that Hammad related to him, from Hisham b. ‘Urwa, from his father, from ‘A’isha, who said, ‘The Messenger of God (SAAS), contracted marriage with me (after) Khadija’s death and before his emigration from Mecca, when I was six years old. After we arrived in Medina some women came to me while I was playing on a swing; my hair was like that of a boy. They dressed me up and put make-up on me, then took me to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and he consummated our marriage. I was a girl of nine.’"
    • Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Volume II, translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Muneer Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, first paper edition, 2000], pp. 93-94
  • Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Sawdah feared that the Messenger of Allah might divorce her and she said, `O Messenger of Allah! Do not divorce me; give my day to `A'ishah.' And he did, and later on Allah sent down,And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no sin on them both." Ibn `Abbas said, "Whatever (legal agreement) the spouses mutually agree to is allowed." At-Tirmidhi recorded it and said, "Hasan Gharib." In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `A'ishah said that when Sawdah bint Zam`ah became old, she forfeited her day to `A'ishah, and the Prophet used to spend Sawdah's night with `A'ishah. There is a similar narration also collected by Al-Bukhari. Al-Bukhari also recorded that `A'ishah commented: And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, that it refers to, "A man who is married to an old woman, and he does not desire her and wants to divorce her. So she says, `I forfeit my right on you.' So this Ayah was revealed."
    • The Ruling Concerning Desertion on the Part of the Husband Tafsir Ibn Kathir [1]
  • During the same year that followed Khadijah’s death, the Prophet dreamed that he saw a man who was carrying someone wrapped in a piece of silk. The man said to him: "This is thy wife, so uncover her." The Prophet lifted the silk and there was ‘A’ishah. But ‘A’ishah was only six years old, and he had passed his fiftieth year. Moreover Abu Bakr had promised her to Mut‘im for his son Jubayr. The Prophet simply said to himself: "If this be from God, He will bring it to pass."...
    • Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources [Inner Traditions, International, Ltd.; Rochester Vermont, 1983], pp. 105-106
  • 'Urwah narrated from 'Aishah: that when Saudah bint Zam'ah grew old, she gave her day to 'Aishah, and the Messenger of Allah went to 'Aishah on Saudah's day. (Sahih)
    • Sunan Ibn Majah 3:9:1972
  • Aisha said she was nine years old when the act of consummation took place and she had her dolls with her.
    • Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 2, p 77
  • Jabir b. 'Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) came and sought permission to see Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). He found people sitting at his door and none amongst them had been granted permission, but it was granted to Abu Bakr and he went in. Then came 'Umar and he sought permission and it was granted to him, and he found Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) sitting sad and silent with his wives around him. He (Hadrat 'Umar) said: I would say something which would make the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) laugh, so he said: Messenger of Allah, I wish you had seen (the treatment meted out to) the daughter ofKhadija when you asked me some money, and I got up and slapped her on her neck. Allah's Messenger (mav peace be upon him) laughed and said: They are around me as you see, asking for extra money. Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) then got up went to 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) and slapped her on the neck, and 'Umar stood up before Hafsa and slapped her saying: You ask Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) which he does not possess. They said: By Allah, we do not ask Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) for anything he does not possess. Then he withdrew from them for a month or for twenty-nine days. Then this verse was revealed to him:" Prophet: Say to thy wives... for a mighty reward" (xxxiii. 28). He then went first to 'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) and said: I want to propound something to you, 'A'isha, but wish no hasty reply before you consult your parents. She said: Messenger of Allah, what is that? He (the Holy Prophet) recited to her the verse, whereupon she said: Is it about you that I should consult my parents, Messenger of Allah? Nay, I choose Allah, His Messenger, and the Last Abode; but I ask you not to tell any of your wives what I have said He replied: Not one of them will ask me without my informing her. God did not send me to be harsh, or cause harm, but He has sent me to teach and make things easy.
    • Sahih Muslim 9:3506
  • Sa'id b. Musayyib, 'Urwa b. Zubair, 'Alqama b. Waqqas and 'Ubaidullah b. Abdullah b. 'Utba b. Mas'ud--all of them reported the story of the false allegation against 'A'isha, the wife of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him).. . . So, Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called Bailra and said: Barira, did you see anything in 'A'isha which can cause doubt about her? Barira said: By Him Who sent thee with the truth, I have seen nothing objectionable in her but only this much that she is a young girl and she goes to sleep while kneading the flour and the lamb eats that. . . .When Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) talked, my tears dried up and not even a single drop of tear was perceived by me (rolling out of my eyes). I said to my father: You give a reply to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on my behalf. He said: By Allah, I do not know what I should say to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I then said to my mother: Give a reply to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on my behalf, but she said: By Allah, I do not know what I should say to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I was a small girl at that time and I had not read much of the Qur'an (but I said): By Allah, I perceive that you have heard about this and it has settled down in your mind and you have taken it to be true, so if I say to you that I am quite innocent, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you would never believe me to be true, and if I confess to (the alleged) lapse before you, whereas Allah knows that I am completely innocent (and I have not committed this sin at all), in that case You will take me to be true and, by Allah, I, therefore, find no other alternative for me and for you except that what the father of Yousuf said:, (My course is) comely patience.
    • Sahih Muslim 37:6673
  • 'Aishah bint Abu Bakr: He married her in the eleventh year of Prophethood, a year after his marriage to Sawdah, and two years and five months before Al-Hijra. She was six years old when he married her. However, he did not consummate the marriage with her till Shawwal seven months after Al-Hijra, and that was in Madinah. She was nine then. She was the only virgin he married, and the most beloved creature to him. As a woman she was the most learnèd woman in jurisprudence.
    • Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar) Biography of the Noble Prophet, [Maktaba Dar-us-Salam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition 1995], "The Prophetic Household", p. 485
  • Next, the Prophet… married Um Abdallah, Aishah, as-Siddiqah (the truthful one), daughter of as-Siddiq (the truthful one) Abu Bakr ibn Abi Qu’hafah, whom Allah has exonerated from above the seven heavens. ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr was the beloved wife of the Prophet… The angel showed Aishah… to the Prophet… while she was wrapped in a piece of silk cloth, before he married her, and said to him. "This is your wife." The Prophet… married Aishah… during the lunar month of Shawwal, when she was six, and consummated the marriage in the first year after the Hijrah, in the month of Shawwal, when she was nine. The Prophet… did not marry any virgin, except Aishah… and the revelation never came to him while he was under the blanket with any of his wives, except Aishah.
    • Ibn Qayyim Al-Juaziyyah. Ibn Qayyim Al-Juaziyyah, Zad-ul Ma’ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l ‘Ibad (Provisions for the Hereafter, From the Guidance of Allah’s Best Worshipper), translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando, Fl: First edition, December 2000], Volume I, pp. 157-158
  • According to Abd al-Hamid b. Bayan al-Sukkari - Muhammad b. Yazid - Ismai'il (that is Ibn Abi Khalid) - Abd al-Rahman b. Abi al- Dahhak - a man from Quraysh - Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad: "Abd Allah b. Safwan together with another person came to Aishah and Aishah said (to the latter), "O so and so, have you heard what Hafsah has been saying?" He said, "Yes, o Mother of the Faithful." Abd Allah b. Safwan asked her, "What is that?" She replied, "There are nine special features in me that have not been in any woman, except for what God bestowed on Maryam bt. Imran. By God, I do not say this to exalt myself over any of my companions." "What are these?" he asked. She replied, "The angel brought down my likeness; the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin,no other man having shared me with him; inspiration came to him when he and I were in a single blanket; I was one of the dearest people to him, a verse of the Qur’an was revealed concerning me when the community was almost destroyed; I saw Gabriel when none of his other wives saw him; and he was taken (that is, died) in his house when there was nobody with him but the angel and myself."
  • According to Abu Ja‘far (Al-Tabari): The Messenger of God married her, so it is said, in Shawwal, and consummated his marriage to her in a later year, also in Shawwal.
    • Al-Tabari, Vol. 7, pp. 6-7
  • When the Prophet married Aisha she very young and not yet ready for consummation.
    • Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 128
  • Sa‘id b. Yahya b. Sa‘id al-Umawi- his father- Muhammad b. ‘Amr- Yahya b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Hatib- ‘A’isha: When Khadijah died, Khawlah bt. Hakim b. Umayyah b. al-Awqas, wife of ‘Uthman b. Maz‘un, who was in Mecca, said [to the Messenger of God], "O Messenger of God, will you not marry?" He replied, "Whom?" "A maiden," she said, "if you like, or a non-maiden." He replied, "Who is the maiden?" "The daughter of the dearest creature of God to you," she answered, "‘A’ishah bt. Abi Bakr." He asked, "And who is the non-maiden?" "Sawdah bt. Zam‘ah b. Qays," she replied, "she has [long] believed in you and has followed you." [So the Prophet] asked her to go and propose to them on his behalf.
  • She went to Abu Bakr’s house, where she found Umm Ruman, mother of ‘A’ishah, and said, "O Umm Ruman, what a good thing and a blessing has God brought to you!" She said, "What is that?" Khawlah replied, "The Messenger of God has sent me to ask for ‘A’ishah’s hand in marriage on his behalf." She answered, "I ask that you wait for Abu Bakr, for he should be on his way." When Abu Bakr came, Khawlah repeated what she had said. He replied, "She is [like] his brother’s daughter. Would she be appropriate for him?" When Khawlah returned to the Messenger of God and told him about it he said, "Go back to him and say that he is my brother in Islam and that I am his brother [in Islam], so his daughter is good for me." She came to Abu Bakr and told him what the Messenger of God had said. Then he asked her to wait until he returned.
  • Umm Ruman said that al-Mut‘im b. ‘Adi had asked ‘A’ishah’s hand for his son, but Abu Bakr had not promised anything. Abu Bakr left and went to Mut‘im while his wife, mother of the son for whom he had asked ‘A’ishah’s hand, was with him. She said, "O son of Abu Quhafah, perhaps we could marry our son to your daughter if you could make him leave his religion and bring him in to the religion which you practice." He turned to her husband al-Mut‘im and said, "What is she saying?" He replied, "She says [what you have heard]." Abu Bakr left, [realizing that] God had [just] removed the problem he had in his mind. He said to Khawlah, "Call the Messenger of God." She called him and he came. Abu Bakr married [‘A’ishah] to him when she was [only] six years old.
    • Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 129-130
  • ‘A’ishah states: We came to Medina and Abu Bakr took up quarters in al-Sunh among the Banu al-Harith b. al-Khazraj. The Messenger of God came to our house and men and women of the Ansar gathered around him. My mother came to me while I was being swung on a swing between two branches and got me down. Jumaymah, my nurse, took over and wiped my face with some water and started leading me. When I was at the door, she stopped so I could catch my breath. I was then brought [in] while the Messenger of God was sitting on a bed in our house. [My mother] made me sit on his lap and said, "These are your relatives. May God bless you with them and bless them with you!" Then the men and women got up and left. The Messenger of God consummated his marriage with me in my house when I was nine years old. Neither a camel nor a sheep was slaughtered on behalf of me. Only Sa‘d b. ‘Ubaidah sent a bowl of food which he used to send to the Messenger of God.
  • ‘Ali b. Nasr- ‘Abd al-Samad b. ‘Abd al-Warith- ‘Abd al-Warith b. ‘Abd al-Samad- his father- Aban al-‘Attar- Hisham b. ‘Urwah- ‘Urwah: He wrote to ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan stating that he had written to him about Khadijah bt. Khuwaylid, asking him about when she died. She died three years or close to that before the Messenger of God’s departure from Mecca, and he married ‘A’ishah after Khadijah’s death. The Messenger of God saw ‘A’ishah twice- [first when] it was said to him that she was his wife (she was six years old at that time), and later [when] he consummated she was nine years old.
  • Then the Messenger of God married ‘A’ishah bt. Abi Bakr, whose name is ‘Atiq b. Abi Quhafah, who is ‘Uthman, and is called ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Uthman b. ‘Amir b. ‘Amir b. Ka‘b b. Sa‘d b. Taym b. Murrah: [The Prophet] married her three years before the Emigration, when she was seven years old, and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old, after he had emigrated to Medina in Shawwal. She was eighteen years old when he died. The Messenger of God did not marry any maiden except her.
    • Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, pp. 130-131
  • ‘A’ishah, daughter of Abu Bakr. Her mother was Umm Ruman bt. ‘Umayr b. ‘Amr, of the Banu Duhman b. al-Harith b. Ghanm b. Malik b. Kinanah. The Prophet married ‘A’ishah in Shawwal in the tenth year after the [beginning of his] prophethood, three years before Emigration. He consummated the marriage in Shawwal, eight months after Emigration. On the day he consummated the marriage with her she was nine years old. According to Ibn ‘Umayr [al-Waqidi]- Musa b. Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman- Raytah- ‘Amrah [bt. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Sa’d]: ‘A’ishah was asked when the Prophet consummated his marriage with her, and she said:
  • The Prophet left us and his daughters behind when he emigrated to Medina. Having arrived at Medina, he sent Zayd b. Harithah and his client Abu Rafi’ for us. He gave them two camels and 500 dirhams he had taken from Abu Bakr to buy [other] beasts they needed. Abu Bakr sent with them ‘Abdallah b. Urayqit al-Dili, with two or three camels. He wrote to [his son] ‘Abdallah b. Abi Bakr to take his wife Umm Ruman, together with me and my sister Asma’, al-Zubayr’s wife, [and leave for Medina]. They all left [Medina] together, and when they arrived at Qudayd Zayd b. Harithah bought three camels with those 500 dirhams. All of them then entered Mecca, where they met Talhah b. ‘Ubaydallah on his way to leave town, together with Abu Bakr’s family. So we all left: Zayd b. Harithah, Abu Rafi’, Fatimah, Umm Kulthum, and Sawdah bt. Zam‘ah. Ayd mounted Umm Ayman and [his son] Usamah b. Zayd on a riding beast; ‘Abdallah b. Abi Bakr took Umm Ruman and his two sisters, and Talhah b. ‘Ubaydallah came [too]. We all went together, and when we reached Bayd in Tamanni my camel broke loose. I was sitting in the litter together with my mother, and she started exclaiming "Alas, my daughter, alas [you] bride"; then they caught up with our camel, after it had safely descended the Lift. We then arrived at Medina, and I stayed with Abu Bakr’s children, and [Abu Bakr] went to the Prophet. The latter was then busy building the mosque and our homes around it, where he [later] housed his wives. We stayed in Abu Bakr’s house for a few days; then Abu Bakr asked [the Prophet] "O Messenger of God, what prevents you from consummating the marriage with your wife?" The Prophet said "The bridal gift (sadaq)." Abu Bakr gave him the bridal gift, twelve and a half ounces [of gold], and the Prophet sent for us. He consummated our marriage in my house, the one where I live now and where he passed away.
    • Al-Tabari, Vol. 39, pp. 171-173
  • "Aisha was still a child when Muhammad married her, and she continued to play with her toys."
    • W. Montgomery Watt - Muhammad At Medina (P. 323) - Oxford At The Clarendon Press, 1977, ISBN 9780195773071
  • If the knowledge of 'Aishah were to be gathered up and compared to the knowledge of all the other wives of the Prophet and all other women, 'Aishah's knowledge would be greater.
    • Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, (Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 11)

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