Sheikh: You always fault the
actions of the Sunnis but do not care about the ways of the Shias.
You unjustly defend them although their actions are depraved.
Well-Wisher: I am accustomed
to defending the truth. Our Imam, Amiru'l-Mu'minin, exhorted his
sons, particularly Hasan and Husain, in these words: "Always
speak the truth and perform your deeds in light of the hereafter.
Be hostile to the oppressor and help the oppressed. "
If I have found fault with the opponents or defended the Shias,
I have done so in support of the truth. What I complained of was
based on logical reasoning. I will listen to your charges concerning
wrongdoing of the Shias.
Sheikh: The worst thing that
the Shias are guilty of is that they accuse Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha
of adultery. It is an acknowledged fact that she had the honor
of sexual intercourse with the Holy Prophet of Allah and that
she was his loving wife. They do not realize what this slanderous
accusation leads to. Have they not read sura an-Nur (Light) of
the Holy Qur'an? Allah says: "Bad women are for bad men and
bad men are for bad women. Good women are for good men and good
men are for good women." (24:26)
Well-Wisher: First the charge
that the Shias accuse Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha of immoral actions
and adultery is absolutely false. Never has such a thing been
said by Shias. This assertion is a blatant calumny circulated
centuries ago by the Nawasib and Khawarij in order to instigate
confusion. They attributed to the Shias what they themselves said.
Subsequently others, without making inquiries, attacked the Shias
as you are now doing. If you would study Shia books, you would
not find anywhere that Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha has been accused
If you read the Shia histories and commentaries, you will see how they have defended Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha from the charges of adultery. The fact is that such reports were made by a group of hypocrites during the time of the Holy Prophet. Some of those involved were Mista Bin Uthatha, Hasan Bin Thabit and Abdullah Bin Ubayy. Concerning A'yesha's exoneration from the false charges of the hypocrites, seven verses were revealed in the Holy Qur'an. Shias believe that to make a false charge of adultery or immoral action against any Muslim is unlawful, not to mention a wife of the Holy Prophet, whether she is A'yesha or Hafsa.
Second, the holy verse you have recited does not mean what you
have said. It is not necessarily so that if a husband is a virtuous
believer and worthy of Paradise that his wife will be the same.
There are many instances which prove that spouses may attain different
levels of virtue.
Allah says in the Sura Tahrim (The Prohibition): "Allah sets
forth an example to those who disbelieve, the wife of Noah and
the wife of Lot: they were both under two of Our righteous servants,
but they were unfaithful to them, so they availed them nothing
against Allah, and it was said: 'Enter the fire with those who
enter.' And Allah sets forth an example to those who believe,
the wife of Pharaoh when she said: 'My Lord! build for me a house
with Thee in the Garden and deliver me from Pharaoh and his doing,
and deliver me from the unjust people.'" (66:10-11)
Sheikh: It is strange that during
this short period there appears to be a clear inconsistency in
Well-Wisher: Please tell me
what you see as inconsistent.
Sheikh: At one point you say
that accusing anybody of adultery is unlawful but at another you
say that Noah's and Lot's wives were unfaithful to their husbands.
Are these two sentences not inconsistent with each other? Is it
not unbecoming of you to accuse the wives of the prophets of adultery
Well-Wisher: I am sure you know
you are adopting a deceptive manner. You know very well what "faithlessness"
means in the holy verse referred to earlier.
It is strange of you that you mistake faithlessness to mean adultery
though there is a vast difference between the two. The wives of
the prophets were absolutely free from adultery. Here the discussion
is about their faithlessness. First, if a wife of a prophet acts
against the instructions of her husband, she is certainly faithless.
Second, I am not the one who says that they proved faithless.
The Qur'an itself states it: "They were unfaithful to their
husbands," and unfaithfulness was not adultery. As I have
said earlier, the wives of the prophets were free from this kind
of unfaithfulness. So the meaning of their unfaithfulness was
The Prophet Noah's wife was opposed to her husband and used to
insult him in public. She said: "My husband is mad. Since
I am associated with him all day and night, I know his true state.
Do not be deceived by him." The Prophet Lot's wife used to
inform the people of every guest that came to his house. She used
to create mischief by disclosing the secrets of the house to his
According to Qur'anic commentators and also according to the statements
of the infallible ones, the meaning of the verse of the sura an-Nur
(Light) from which you make your point is that impure women deserve
impure men and impure men are inclined towards them. Pure women
deserve pure men and pure men are inclined towards them. In the
same chapter in the preceding verse Allah says: "The fornicator
shall not marry any but a fornicatress or idolatress and (as for)
the fornicatress, none shall marry her but a fornicator or an
In short, the holy verse "impure women are for impure men..."
in no way proves your point.
The criticism of A'yesha is not due to prejudice. It is because
of her wrong conduct. She committed misdeeds which no other wife
of the Holy Prophet, including Hafsa, daughter of Umar, did. Moreover,
the Shias' criticism is strictly within the bounds of the comments
made by your owns ulema, who have reported that this anxious woman
committed serious wrongs.
Sheikh: Is it proper for a noble
man like you to make such charges against Ummu'l-Mu'minin?
Well-Wisher: All the wives of
the Holy Prophet except Ummu'l-Mu'minin Khadija, are of equal
rank. Umme Salma, Suda, A'yesha, Hafsa, Maimuna, and the others
in our view all are Ummu'l-Mu'minin. But A'yesha's conduct and
her words were certainly different from those of the other women.
Again, this is not merely my version, but your own prominent ulema
have written that her life was blemished. The good and bad actions
of people cannot remain hidden forever. Eventually truth reveals
Sheikh: Assuredly, because she
opposed Ali, you find fault with her regarding insignificant matters.
Well-Wisher: We do not find
fault regarding insignificant matters. A'yesha's opposition to
Amiru'l-Mu'minin, Imam Hasan, Imam Husain, and the Ahle Bait is
a separate issue. But the foundation of the ugly history of her
life had been laid during the period of the Holy Prophet himself.
She used to vex and torment him.
Sheikh: It is strange that you
consider Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha, the beloved wife of the Holy
Prophet, so morally debased that you dare to say that she vexed
the Holy Prophet. How can we accept your assertion when Ummu'l-Mu'minin
had definitely read the Holy Qur'an and the following verse: "
Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Apostle,
Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter, and he
has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace."
So it is possible for her to vex the Holy Prophet so that she
could be cursed by Allah? This is definitely one of the slanders
of the Shias.
Well-Wisher: No it is not a
lie! Regarding these holy verses, I admit that not only Ummu'l-Mu'minin
A'yesha must have read them, but her father Abu Bakr and other
eminent companions must have also read them. In the light of those
reports and hadith which I have mentioned in previous nights,
many truths may be revealed to us provided that we are just.
The fact that A'yesha grieved the Holy Prophet is not only related
by Shia ulema, but by your own eminent ulema. Imam Ghazali in
his 'Ihya'u'l-Ulum, vol. II, ch. 3, Kitab-e-Adabu'n-Nika, p. 135,
has reported many hadith condemning A'yesha's conduct. Among them
is her quarreling with the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr's intervention.
This event is also narrated by Mulla Ali Muttaqi in Kanzu'l-Ummal,
vol. VII, p. 116; Abu Yala in his Musnad and Abu'sh-Sheikh in
his Kitab-e-Amthal. They write that when Abu Bakr went to see
his daughter, he found that there was a grievance between A'yesha
and the Holy Prophet. The decision was left in Abu Bakr's hands.
A'yesha used insulting language in her remarks. In the course
of her conversation, she asked the Holy Prophet to be fair in
his attitude. This insolent remark made Abu Bakr so indignant
that he slapped her so severely in her face that blood flowed
down her clothes.
Also Imam Ghazali in the same Chapter on Marriage and others,
too, have narrated that once, when Abu Bakr reached his daughter's
house, he found that the Holy Prophet was displeased with A'yesha.
He asked them to tell him what was the cause of their grievance
so that he might bring about reconciliation. The Holy Prophet
asked A'yesha if she should begin telling it. She replied, 'You
may begin but you should speak the truth.' In her next sentence
she added, 'You are a man who really thinks himself to be a Prophet!'
These remarks show that A'yesha did not believe that the Holy
Prophet was the divinely appointed Prophet. Such degrading remarks
are reported in your books in large numbers. They were the cause
of great anguish to the Holy Prophet.
You will note that the ulema and historians of both the sects
have not recorded such things about the other wives of the Holy
Prophet. They have not attributed such things even to Hafsa, daughter
of Umar. It was only A'yesha's behavior which led to her indignity.
We related only as much as your prominent ulema have said about
her. Have you not studied Imam Ghazali's books, the histories
by Tabari, Mas'udi and Ibn A'tham Kufi etc. which report that
all your eminent ulema have described her as disobedient to the
Holy Prophet. Still, you complain because I have criticized Ummu'l-Mu'minin's
conduct. Can there be any clearer blot on one's character than
transgression against the order of Allah and His Prophet and revolution
against the Caliph of the Holy Prophet?
In the sura of al-Ahzab (The Clans), Allah has addressed the wives
of the Holy Prophet: "And stay in your houses and display
not your finery like the display of the ignorance of yore."
Of course the other wives of the Holy Prophet complied with this
order and never left their houses without an urgent reason. Even
A'mash has reported this fact.
It is reported in the Sahih and other books of your traditionists
and historians that people asked Suda, wife of the Holy Prophet,
why did she not perform the Hajj and the Umra. She replied, "It
is compulsory for me to perform one Hajj and Umra and no more.
And He says: 'And stay in your houses.' So in obedience to this
command, I shall not go out of my house; rather, my intention
is that I will not, as far as possible, go out of the room in
which the Holy Prophet of Allah had placed me until I die."
In fact she did this and it was her dead body which was taken
out of the room.
Suda, A'yesha, and Umme Salma, were wives of the Holy Prophet
and were mothers of the believers. Of course they differ from
one another because of their conduct.
According to the community, A'yesha and Hafsa are worthy of respect,
not because they were the daughters of Abu Bakr and Umar, though
you respect them on that score, but because they were the wives
of the Holy Prophet. But the wives of the Holy Prophet deserve
honor when they are devout, as it is clearly stated in the Holy
Qur'an. "O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any of
the other women." (33:32)