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Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa R.A



Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) was a prominent and influential figure in early Islamic history. She was the third wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and one of the most knowledgeable and respected women of her time. Her life story is a significant part of Islamic history and has been a source of inspiration for many Muslims.


Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) was born in Mecca in 613 CE, making her one of the earliest converts to Islam. She was the daughter of Abu Bakr Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him), a close friend and companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).


Ayesha, who gained the title of Siddiqa, the surname of Humairah, and the patronymic appellation (kunniyat), is Umme Abdullah, also addressed as the Mother of Believers. She had no children, and her patronymic appellation (kunniyat) was based on the name of Abdullah; he was her sister Asma's son. Arabs considered Kunniyat a mark of nobility, so she adopted him. She was Quraish Taymia through her father and her mother, a Quraish Kinanya. Through her father, her genealogy meets that of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the seventh or the eighth generation and through her mother in the eleventh or twelfth generation.


The Prophet's first wife was Hazrat Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), who lived with the Prophet for twenty-five years until her death at sixty-five. At that time, the Holy Prophet was fifty years of age. After the death of such a loving and supporting companion, the Holy Prophet's life had become very sad. His faithful followers were worried about him. Khola, the wife of Usman bin Mazun, a companion of the Prophet, approached him and advised him to contract another marriage. He asked with whom he should be married. Khola said that widows and maidens are available and mentioned Ayesha, daughter of Abu Bakr, among the girls, and Sawdah, daughter of Zambia, among widows. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) authorized her to carry out the mandatory negotiations. Khola first approached Abu Bakr Siddiq, who consented to the marriage.


Before marriage with Ayesha, the Prophet had a dream where an angel had presented something wrapped up in silk. The Holy Prophet had asked the angel what it was, and the angel said it was his wife. When Allah's Apostle removed the silken cover, he saw that it was Ayesha.


Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) was married to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when she was very young, typically believed to be around the age of 6 or 7, and the marriage was consummated when she was around 9 or 10 years old. This was a common practice during that time and culture, and it's important to understand it in its historical context. After the marriage, Ayesha stayed with her parents for three years, from two to three months spent in Makkah and nine months in Madina after the immigration.


Among the Quraish, Abu Bakr was an expert in genealogy and poetry. Ayesha had acquired these arts from her father as her family inheritance, but her natural upbringing began after her marriage. She started learning to read and write and could read the Qur'an in a short time. However, reading and writing are only external manifestations of education. The standard of authentic learning and teaching is much higher. It encompasses, to its extent, the development of human values, knowledge of the essentials of religion, the perfection of conduct, the sacred law, the commands and injunctions of the Prophet, and the knowledge of the word of Allah. Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) was initiated in all these and gained high proficiency. Apart from religious learning, she gained knowledge of history, literature, and some medicine. She learned history and literature from her father and medicine from the numerous physicians of Arabia who visited the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). She had become familiar with the descriptions of various diseases and their remedies.


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to deliver his sermons daily near the apartment of Ayesha, where she became an avid listener. Whenever she could not understand anything, she consulted the Prophet after his lectures. She used to give weekly lessons to ladies gathering at her house. Day and night, she heard the precepts of religion from the Holy Prophet and then posed problems before the Prophet for solutions, not content until the matter became clear.


Besides these discussions and questions, the Prophet kept an eye on what Ayesha used to do, and if she ever made a mistake, he would correct her. Once, some Jews came to the Prophet, and Instead of saying As-Salam Alaikum (Mercy on you), they told As-Sam Alaika (death on you). The Prophet replied, Wa-Alaikum (on you also). Ayesha was listening and could not control herself and said, 'Death and curse on you.' The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised her to show gentleness, for Allah loves gentle treatment to all. Once, the Prophet prayed, 'O' Allah, keep me needy in this world, grant me death in that state, and raise me among the poor on the Day of Resurrection.' Ayesha Siddiqa inquired about the reason for such a prayer. The Prophet said, 'The needy and the poor will enter paradise forty years ahead of the rich. O' Ayesha! Do not refuse a beggar even if you have only a date to offer. Love the poor and give them a place near to you.' Besides these counsels relating to good behavior, the Prophet used to teach her prayers, supplications, and other spiritual matters. She listened to them avidly and observed them all.


There was not much that had to be done for running the household. I could not cook even food daily. Hazrat Ayesha says that there were hardly any three consecutive days when the Prophet's family enjoyed full meals. There was no fire for months, and everyone had to live on only dates and water. After the conquest of Khayber, the Prophet had fixed annual allowances for each of his wives, which consisted of eighty 'was' of dates and twenty 'was' of barley due to self-sacrifice and generosity, which did not last throughout the year.


Though there was a maidservant, Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) used to do most of the household chores herself. She would grind the grain, knead the dough, and cook the food. She would make the bed and store water for ablution, comb the hairs, wash the clothes and tooth stick of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and rub scent on his clothes. She would also entertain guests.


At one of the halts on the way back, the Holy Prophet directed the army to march early morning. With the Prophet in the expedition, Ayesha had gone some distance to ease herself. The bearers of her litter, thinking she would be inside, put it on her dromedary, and the army marched off. Ayesha was late in her return, for the necklace chain had broken and had fallen. Having noticed the loss, she had gone back in search of it. The army had, meanwhile, marched away. Stranded, she lay down on the ground, hoping that she would soon discover her loss and someone would come to her rescue. Now Safwan bin al-Muattal Al-Sulami, who had been left behind at daybreak, asked if anything had been left. He saw Ayesha and said, by Allah, the Apostle's wife. He seated Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) on his dromedary, took hold of its halter, and briskly walked to catch up with the army. By the next halt, Safwan overtook the army. Nobody noticed the incident, which was not unusual for caravans trekking the vast emptiness of the Arabian wilderness.


Abdullah bin Ubayy came to know about it and wanted to use it for his end. He found an excuse to slander the Prophet and his family and erode the sentiments of love, affection, and admiration the Muslims had for the Prophet of Allah and his household. He started a defamation campaign, and three gullible Muslims lent an ear to the slander.


When Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) came to know about the campaign, she was bewildered and plunged into deep sorrow. The scandal was more distressing to the Apostle of Allah. Ascending the mosque's pulpit, he said, 'O' you believers, who would punish the man, who has come to know, has caused this trouble to my family? What I know of my family is no but good, and what they say concerning a man, I have known only good about him.'


The people of the Banu Aws were filled with rage at the contempt. They said we are prepared to behead the man who has given tongue to this slander whether he belongs to tribe Aws or Khazraj. Abdullah bin Ubayy belonged to Khazraj. Saad bin Ubaidah took it as an insult to the honor of his tribe. He told Saad bin Muadh; I would have spoken about my tribe. You cannot kill the man. You do not have that power. A cousin of Saad bin Muadh said: What is this hypocrisy? You are siding with the hypocrites. Feelings ran high, and the dying persons of the tribal feud were likely to be rekindled, but the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) soothed both of them, and the matter ended there. When Safwan learned that Hassan had composed a derogatory couplet, he took out his sword, searched for Hassan, and attacked him, saying, now receive this cut. I am a warrior but not a poet. He was caught and brought in front of the Prophet, who had Hassan compensated.


Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) was confident that Allah would protect her honor and put the slanderers to shame. Still, she could not imagine that Allah would send a revelation to attest her purity and to safeguard the innocence of pious women of all times, which would read in mosques and prayers to the end of time. She had not to wait long when the revelation came to prove her innocence. There are many occasions on which verses of the Quran are revealed because of Ayesha Siddiqa. Allah revealed verses 11-21 of Surah An-Nur in her defense.


Eighty lashes have been given to each of the three leading culprits. Hassan was ashamed, and he composed a wonderful poem to eulogize Ayesha. Bukhari reports that he recited the poem before Ayesha.


The Prophet fell ill in 11 AH. As his condition worsened, he could not lead the prayers in the mosque. Therefore, Abu Bakr was asked to lead the prayers. Hazrat Ayesha pointed out that his father was too kind-hearted and might burst into tears when reciting the prayers, but the Apostle overruled her. When his death approached, the Holy Prophet remembered keeping some gold coins with Ayesha. They were given away in charity on his direction, for the Prophet did not like to meet his Lord in the state where he possessed some worldly wealth. His death came as a terrible shock to his family and the whole Muslim community. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) was buried in the apartment of Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), who became a widow at the age of eighteen.


During the Holy month of Ramadhan 58 AH, Ayesha was not yet sixty-seven years of age when she fell ill. Whenever people enquired about her health, she would say she was well. Her illness lasted for only a few days. Once Ibn Abbas spoke to her, your name has been Mother of Believers from eternity. You were the favourite wife of the Prophet. You are shortly going to leave us. Because of you, Allah revealed the Verse of Tayammum. Many verses of the Holy Qur'an refer to you, which are recited daily in every mosque; Ayesha Siddiqa replied, 'Spare me of this eulogy. I wish I had been extinct.' At the time of her death, the Mother of Believers wanted to be buried in the common graveyard near other wives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She died on the night of the seventeenth of Ramadhan 58 AH. Large numbers of people accompanied her bier. The acting governor of Madina, Abu Hurairah, led the funeral prayers.


Ayesha is a role model for women today and an excellent example who wishes to use their vibrant personality to better the Ummah—leaving a valuable pattern for millions of women to follow her way of life, devotion to Allah, exposition, advocacy of spiritual ideals, elucidation of the tenets of religion and Shariah and Islamic laws and regulations governing them. Her death plunged the whole of Madina into gloom because still another light of the Prophet's family had been extinguished.


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