Chapter 4: Aa’isha and her interpretations
73. The prayer of Aa’isha in travel
Allah has legislated shortening the four rak’as prayers in travel through His holy Book and via His Messenger through the sacred Sunna. The umma has agreed on this unanimously with no disagreement save that of Othman and Aa’isha, who have offered full prayers in travel.
This was despite the saying of Aa’isha herself “First the prayer has been legislated as two rak’as and then the prayer in travel has been fixed (as two rak’as) whereas the prayer in residence has become full (four rak’as).” 1
74. The marriage of Asma’ with the Prophet
Hamza bin Abu Usayd as-Sa’idy narrated that his father, who was one of the Prophet’s companions of Badr, had said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) got married to Asma’ bint an-Nu’man al-Jowniyya and he sent me to bring her. Hafsa 2 said to Aa’isha: “You dye her hair (with henna) and I will comb it.” They did so and then one of them said to Asma’: “The Prophet (S) likes his wife, when coming in to him (for the first time), to say to him: “I seek the protection of Allah from you!!”
When she came in to the Prophet (S) and he closed the door and loosened the curtain, he stretched his hand towards her. She said to him: “I seek the protection of Allah from you.” The Prophet (S) hid his face with his sleeves and said: “I have sought the protection of Allah” three times. Then he went out to Abu Usayd and said to him: “O Abu Usayd, take her back to her family and give her two dresses.” And so the Prophet (S) divorced her. After that Asma’ often said: “Call me the unhappy one!” Ibn Umar said from Hisham bin Muhammad that Zuhayr bin Mo’awiya al-Ju’fi had said: “She died of sadness.” 3
75. Fabrications against the Prophet’s wife
Lies had been fabricated against Ibraheem, the Prophet’s son, and his mother Maria, the Prophet’s wife.
After that the Prophet (S) came to Aa’isha carrying his son Ibraheem, who looked like his father, and asked her about the reason behind that fabrication. She said: “It was jealousy that led me, as with many women, to say that I have not found him looking like his father.” She wanted to confirm the lies of the fabricators by her saying but Allah has shown the innocence of Ibraheem and his mother by virtue of Imam ‘Ali (as). 4
76. The day of Maghafeer 534
Al-Bukhari mentioned in his Sahih 5 that Aa’isha had said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) often drank honey with Zaynab bint Jahsh (his wife) and stayed with her. One day I and Hafsa 6 plotted that when the Prophet (S) came to any of us, we would say to him: “Have you eaten maghafeer?” One of them said to him so and he said: “No, but I drank honey with Zaynab bint Jahsh. I will never do that again but you tell no one of that!”
77. Aa’isha and Hafsa were ordered to repent
Allah revealed to the Prophet (S): “If ye two turn in repentance to Him..” (Qur’an 66”4) concerning his two wives; Aa’isha and Hafsa and this did mean that they disobeyed the orders of Allah because repentance would not be required except from guilty ones. After that Allah said: “..your hearts are indeed so inclined..” meaning that their hearts had inclined to other than the obligations and duties they had to submit to.
78. Backing up against the Prophet (S)
Allah has said:
“..and if you back up each other against him, then surely Allah it is Who is his Guardian, and Gabriel and the believers that do good, and the angels after that are the aiders. Maybe, his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers, fasters, widows and virgins” (Qur’an 4-5).
Al-Bukhari mentioned in his Sahih 7 that Ubayd bin Hunayn had heard Ibn Abbas saying: “I spent one year intending to ask Umar bin al-Khattab about a verse of the Qur'an but I could not ask him respecting his position until he went to offer the hajj and I went with him. While we were coming back, he went behind some trees to relieve himself. I waited until he finished his need and then I walked with him. I asked him: “O Ameerul Mo'mineen, who were the two that had backed up against the Prophet (S) from among his wives?” Umar said: “They were Hafsa and Aa’isha…” The tradition is long. You may refer to it and ponder on the Qur’anic verse to see how much the Prophet (S) has suffered from these two wives and how much Imam ‘Ali (as), after the Prophet (S), has suffered from them.
79. The great example
Allah has said:
“Allah sets forth an example to those who disbelieve the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut: they were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them so they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said: Enter both the fire with those who enter. And Allah sets forth an example to those who believe the wife of Firon (Pharaoh) when she said: My Lord, build for me a house with Thee in the garden and deliver me from Firon and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people” (Qur’an 66:10-11).
In this way Allah has set forth an example to them (Aa’isha and Hafsa) to warn them of what they had done and to make them know that just being a wife of a prophet or a tyrant would not benefit or harm. What would benefit or harm was one’s doing.
80. Engagement of Shiraf
When the Prophet (S) wanted to engage Shiraf, the sister of Dahiyya al-Kalbi, he sent Aa’isha to see her. When Aa’isha came back, the Prophet (S) asked her: “What did you see (how was the girl)?” Aa’isha said: “There is no use.” The Prophet (S) said: “In fact, there is a use! You have seen a mole that made you shiver!” She said: “O Messenger of Allah, no secret can be hidden from you. No one can hide anything from you.” 8
81. She quarreled with the Prophet (S)
Aa’isha said: “Once I quarreled with the Prophet (S) before (my father) Abu Bakr. I said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, be just!” Abu Bakr slapped me on my cheek and said: “Do you say to the Messenger of Allah “be just”? My nose began bleeding.” 9
82. Being impolite to the Prophet (S)
One day she became impolite to the Prophet (S). From among what she had said to him on that day was her saying: “… you who pretend that you are the Messenger of Allah!!!” 10
83. Criticizing Othman and ordering him to be killed
All the historians have mentioned that Aa’isha often criticized Othman, faulted him and asked people to kill him. The traditions talking about this matter were true and recurrent and were mentioned by all the scholars of Hadith.
Ibn Abul Hadeed said in his book Sharh Nahjul Balagha: 11 “All the historians have mentioned that Aa’isha had great grudge against Othman. One day she took out one of the Prophet’s dresses and spread it in her house. She said to whoever came in to her: “This is the dress of the Messenger of Allah. Before it ragged out, Othman had ragged the Sunna of the Prophet (S).”
The historians said that the first one, who had called Othman as Na’thal, 12 was Aa’isha. She often said: “Kill Na’thal! May Allah kill Na’thal!” Al-Mada’ini mentioned in his book al-Jamal: “When Othman was killed, Aa’isha was in Mecca. When she was informed of that, she thought, with no doubt, that Talha was behind this matter. She said: “Away with Na’thal!”
When Othman was killed, Talha took the keys of the treasury and he took the camels of Othman which were in his house but when he failed (to be the caliph) he gave them to Imam ‘Ali (as). Abu Makhnaf said in his book: “When Aa’isha knew that Othman was killed while she was in Mecca, she hastened (towards Medina) saying: “Ah you, the one of the finger! How great of you! They found that Talha was the qualified one for it (the caliphate).”
Qays bin Abu Hazim narrated that he had gone to offer the hajj with Aa’isha in the year when Othman had been killed. He heard her saying in the way: “Ah, the one of the finger!” When she mentioned Othman, she often said: “Away with him!” When she heard that Othman had been killed, she said: “Away with him! His guilt has killed him. Allah has punished him for his deeds. O people of Quraysh, let the murder of Othman not distress you. The worthiest one of this matter (the caliphate) is the one of the finger (Talha).”
But when the news came saying that the people had paid homage to ‘Ali (as) as the caliph, she said: “Woe to them! The matter (caliphate) will never come back to Taym 13 at all.”
Soon you will see her sayings and doings about the killing of Othman and the homage of Imam ‘Ali (as) which have bolted the ears and opposed the Shari’ah with its clear texts of the Book and the Sunna and opposed all the evidences whether rational or traditional!
84. Some of her traditions about the Prophet (S)
Aa’isha often narrated from the Prophet (S) (ascribed to him) traditions that could not be true in any way.
Al-Bukhari and others mentioned in their Sihah that she had said: “The first thing that was revealed to the Prophet (S) at the beginning of his prophethood was good visions. Every vision he had seen in his sleep became real like the light of morning. Then privacy was made beloved to him. He always became alone in the cave of Hira’. The angel came to him with the revelation. The Prophet (S) said: “I said: “I cannot read.” He took me to him and pressed me until I became too tired and then he let me free and said to me: “Read!” I said: “I can not read.” He took me and pressed me for the second time until I became too tired. Then he let me free and said:
“Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honorable” (Qur’an 96:1-3).
Aa’isha said: “The Prophet (S) went back with these words while his heart was shivering. He came to Khadeeja bint Khuwaylid (his wife) and said: “Wrap me! Wrap me!” She wrapped him. He said to Khadeeja after telling her what had happened: “I feared for myself.” Khadeeja said: “No, Allah will never disgrace you at all. You are too kind to your relatives; you assist the tired, help the needy, entertain the guests and support the oppressed.”
Aa’isha added: “Khadeeja went with him to her cousin Waraqa bin Nawfal, who had been a Christian. He had written many chapters of the Bible in Hebrew. He was an old man and he was blind. Khadeeja said to him: “O cousin, listen to your nephew!” 14 The Prophet (S) told him of what he had seen. Waraqa said: “This is the law that Allah has revealed to Moses. I wish I was young! I wish I was alive when your people would drive you away!” The Prophet (S) said: “Will they drive me away?”…” 15
This tradition showed that the Prophet (S) - Allah forbid - was suspicious of his prophethood after it had determined and suspicious of the angel after he had come to him and of the Qur'an after it had been revealed to him. The tradition showed that the Prophet (S) was so frightened that he was in need of his wife to encourage him and to quiet his heart and that he was in need of Waraqa, the blind Christian to strengthen his heart and to tell him about his future where his people would drive him away. All that was impossible!
We pondered on the saying that the angel took the Prophet (S) and pressed him twice until he became too tired and exhausted and his heart began shivering with fright and we find that it does not fit Allah the Almighty nor His angels or His Messengers especially the last of His Messengers. It has never been mentioned that such a thing had ever happened to any one of the prophets at all. Some of the scholars have discussed such things when explaining this tradition mentioned in Sahih of al-Bukhari. 16
We pondered on the dialogue that had occurred between the angel and the Prophet (S) -according to this stupid tradition - and we found that the Prophet (S) had not understood the intention of the angel when asking him: “Read!” where the Prophet (S) had said: “I cannot read.” The angel had intended the Prophet (S) to repeat after him what he would recite but the Prophet (S) had understood that he had had to read while he had not known reading. As if the Prophet (S) had thought- Allah forbid - that the angel of Allah had asked him to do what he had not been able to do. All of that was impossible and it was just fabrication.
Was it possible for a prophet not to understand what the angel said to him? Was it fit for the angel to be unqualified to carry out the revelation of Allah? Allah, His angels and His prophets are far above such raving!
The tradition was null due to its content and was null due to its series of narrators. It was a mursal tradition. The event had taken place some years before Aa’isha was born. She was born four years before the advent of the Prophet’s mission at least.
Where had she been at the advent of the revelation and where had she been when the angel had come down to the Prophet (S) in the cave of Hira’?
You may say: she could ascribe the tradition to the Prophet (S) if she had heard it from some one who had been there at the beginning of the revelation.
We say: she could do that but then the tradition would not be as an evidence nor would it be considered as a true tradition. It would be mursal. The narrators had to be known and their reliability had to be proved because the hypocrites were too many at the time of the Prophet (S) and among them were some whom Aa’isha had not known. In fact the Prophet (S) himself had not recognized some of the hypocrites. Allah has said:
“And from among those who are round about you of the dwellers of the desert there are hypocrites, and from among the people of Medina (also); they are stubborn in hypocrisy; you do not know them; We know them” (Qur’an 9:101).
The holy Qur'an has confirmed that there were many hypocrites at the time of the Prophet (S). Our Sunni brothers agree with us on this matter but they say that all the companions after the Prophet (S) were fair and just! As if the existence of the Prophet (S) among them required the hypocrisy of those hypocrites and when the Prophet (S) left to the better world and the revelation stopped, those hypocrites became sincere and fair Muslims, who all in all became within a day and a night fair, just, reliable and loyal mujtahids, who could not be blamed for whatever they did even if they contradicted the divine texts and annulled their verdicts!
This tradition was just one from among many such mursal traditions of Aa’isha.
85. Her rising against Imam ‘Ali (as)
She had waged a war against Imam ‘Ali (as) revenging Othman, whom she often criticized and incited people to rise against him. She often abused Othman and said bad things about him. 17
Allah has said in the Qur'an concerning His orders to the wives of the Prophet (S):
“And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger”. (Qur’an 33:33)
But Aa’isha rose against Imam ‘Ali (as) after he had been paid homage by all the Muslims as the caliph and the first ones, who had paid him homage, were Talha and az-Zubayr, who, with Aa'isha, had formed that great army against Imam ‘Ali (as).
She went out of her house, which Allah had ordered her to stay in. She went out riding on a camel and leading three thousands of the rabbles, among whom, unfortunately, were Talha and az-Zubayr who had broken their homage to Imam Ali (S). She led her army through mountains and valleys and she covered deserts and plains until she arrived at Basra, whose wali was Othman bin Hunayf al-Ansari who had been appointed by Imam ‘Ali (as).
Blood was shed, honors were violated and many horrible disasters had taken place. The historians had called this event as the minor event (battle) of al-Jamal (the camel). It had taken place at the last of Rabee’ ath-Thani 18 in the year thirty-six A.H. before Imam ‘Ali (as) and his army reached Basra.
When Imam ‘Ali (as) came to Basra, Aa'isha with her followers got ready to defend Basra against him. Imam ‘Ali (as) refrained from fighting and invited her to peace with great and convincing speech but she insisted on the war and she began fighting. Then Imam ‘Ali (as) could not do but to follow the saying of Allah:
“And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them; but if one of them acts wrongfully towards the other, fight that which acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah's command” (Qur’an 49:9).
Imam ‘Ali (as) scored victory after great jihad, in which the believers had proved themselves brave. This battle was called the major battle of al-Jamal. It was on the tenth of Jumada al-Aakhira, 19 thirty-six A.H. These two events were successive like the battles of Siffeen and an-Nahrawan and like Badr, Uhud and al-Ahzab. These two events have been detailed by the historians, who have recorded the events of the year thirty-six of hijra. 20 They have also been mentioned by the historians, who have written biographies on the lives of Imam ‘Ali (as) and Aa'isha and the lives of the companions who were with both of Imam ‘Ali (as) and Aa'isha. 21
About this tragedy
The historians said - as Ibn Abul Hadeed mentioned in Sharh Nahjul Balagha - 22 that Aa'isha had disliked Othman so much that once she had took out one of the Prophet’s dresses and spread it in her house and she said to whoever came to her: “This is the dress of the Messenger of Allah. It has not been ragged yet while Othman has ragged his (the Prophet’s) Sunna.” The historians mentioned that the first one who had called Othman as Na’thal, was Aa'isha. She often said: “Kill Na’thal! May Allah kill Na’thal! Kill Na’thal for he has disbelieved!”
Talha and az-Zubayr were the greatest in inciting people against Othman. Al-Mada’iny said in his book al-Jamal: “When Othman was killed, Aa’isha was in Mecca. When she was informed of that, she thought, with no doubt, that Talha was behind this matter. She said: “Away with Na’thal! Oh, the one of the finger! Oh, Abu Shibl! Oh, cousin! As if I look at his finger while he is paid homage (to be the caliph)”.
When Othman was killed, Talha took the keys of the treasury and he took the camels of Othman which were in his house but when he failed (to be the caliph) he gave them to Ali bin Abu Talib (S).
At-Tabari 23 mentioned that Asad bin Abdullah had narrated from some scholars that: “When Aa'isha arrived at Sarf on her way from Mecca, she met the slave of Ibn Umm Kalam, who had been the slave of Ibn Umm Salama. She asked him: “What is there?” He said: “They have killed Othman and remained for eight days without a caliph.” She asked: “What did they do then?” He said: “The people of Medina undertook the matter and they came to the best of ends. They agreed unanimously on Ali bin Abu Talib.”
She said: “O my God! Let the heaven cover over the earth if this matter comes to your man! Take me back! Take me back!” She went back to Mecca saying: “By Allah, Othman has been killed unjustly. By Allah, I will revenge his blood.” Ibn Umm Kilab said to her: “You often said: “Kill Na’thal! He has disbelieved.” She said: “They made him repent and then they killed him. I said and they said and my last saying is from my first one.”
When she arrived at Mecca, she stopped at the gate of the mosque and then she went to the Rock (of the Kaaba). People crowded around her. She said: “O people, Othman has been killed unjustly. By Allah, I will revenge his blood.” She caused a great sedition just to revenge on Imam ‘Ali (as), the Prophet’s brother. Imam ‘Ali (as) was neither the killer of Othman nor had he incited people to kill him nor was he content with the murder of Othman.
Ibn al-Atheer mentioned in al-Kamil 24 that Aa'isha had said: “The rabbles of the countries, the mobs of the villages and the slaves of Medina have gathered together against this man and killed him unjustly. They denied his appointing young men in the high positions of the state whereas the ones before him have appointed young men like them and they opposed him that he had taken his relatives as his close companions. He repented and gave up what they had denied.
When they did not find any excuse against him, they attacked him and shed the inviolable blood in the inviolable country and in the inviolable month and they seized the prohibited property. By Allah, a finger of Othman is better than thousands of thousands like them. By Allah, if the thing, for which they have attacked him, was guilt, he would be purified of it as gold purified of its refuse or as a dress purified of its dirt. They washed him as a dress washed with water.” Abdullah bin Aamir al-Hadhrami, who was the emir of Mecca appointed by Othman, said: “I am the first one who will revenge (Othman).” The Umayyads, who had fled from Medina to Mecca after Othman had been killed, followed him.
Umm Salama’s stand regarding this sedition
The historians mentioned as in Sharh Nahjul Balagha 25 that Aa'isha had come to Umm Salama 26 deceiving her into rising to revenge Othman. She said to Umm Salama: “O daughter of Abu Umayya, you are the first emigrant from among the Prophet’s wives and you are the eldest one among them. The Prophet (S) distributed our rights in your house and Gabriel more often came down (to the Prophet (S)) in your house.” Umm Salama said to her: “You have said this for some reason!” Aa'isha said: “People asked Othman to repent and when he repented they killed him while he was fasting in the inviolable month. I have intended to go to Basra. With me there are az-Zubayr and Talha. Please come with us that Allah may fix this matter by us.”
Umm Salama said: “A little time ago you incited people against Othman and said bad things about him. You did not call him except with Na’thal. You have known well the position of Ali near the Messenger of Allah!” Aa'isha said: “Yes!”
Umm Salama said: “Do you remember when once the Prophet (S) and we have been in travel and when we arrived at Qadeed, the Prophet (S) was alone with Ali and when they took a long time together, you wanted to intrude on them and I forbade you from doing that but you disobeyed me and intruded on them. A little later you came back crying.
“I asked you what the matter was with you and you said to me: “I came to them while they were communing with each other. I said to Ali: “I have only one day with the Messenger of Allah from every nine days. O Ibn Abu Talib, will you not let me be with him in my day?” The Messenger of Allah (S) turned to me angrily and said: “Go back! By Allah, no one hates him (Ali) unless he will be out of faith.” Then you came back with regret and anger.” Aa'isha said: “Yes, I remember.”
Umm Salama said: “I remind you of something else; one day you and I were with the Messenger of Allah (S) when he said to us: “Which of you will be the woman of the hairy camel when the dogs of al-Haw’ab 27 will bark at her and she will be deviated from the right path?” We said: “We resort to Allah and His Messenger not to do so!” He patted on your back and said: “Beware O you Humayra’ (Aa'isha)! Do not be that woman!” Umm Salama said: “I have warned you of that!” Aa'isha said: “I remember that.”
Umm Salama said: “Do you remember when you and I were with the Messenger of Allah (S) in a travel when Ali undertook mending the shoes of the Prophet (S) and washing his clothes? When the shoe of the Prophet (S) was torn, Ali took it and sat under a tree to mend it. Your father (Abu Bakr) and Umar came and we came into our tent. They came in to the Prophet (S) and began talking with him until they said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, we do not know how long you will be with us. Would you please tell us who will be the caliph after you so that we will resort to him?” He said to them: “I know well his place but if I tell you who he is, you will part from him as the Israelites parted from Aaron.” They kept silent and went out.
“Then we came to the Messenger of Allah. You said to him and you were the most daring one among us before the Prophet (S): “O Messenger of Allah, whom you will appoint as the caliph after you?” He said: “He is the mender of the shoe.” We looked and we saw Ali there. I said: “O Messenger of Allah, I do not see save Ali.” He said: “It is him.”
Aa'isha said: “Yes, I remember.” Umm Salama said to her: “Then how will you rise against him after all that?” Aa'isha said: “I just want to achieve reform for people.”
Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Muslim bin Qutayba mentioned in his book Ghareeb al-Hadeeth that Umm Salama had come to Aa'isha again after that and forbidden her from rising against Ali with severe words. Umm Salama said to Aa'isha from among a long speech:
“The pillar of Islam will not be straightened by women if it inclines and will not be patched by them if it splits. Women should lower their gaze and protect their honor. What should you say if the Prophet (S) saw you in some of these deserts moving from a place to another? By Allah, if I do what you will do and then it will be said to me “Enter into Paradise” I will be ashamed to meet Muhammad after exceeding the limits he has determined for me…” 28 to the end of her speech which Aa'isha had not listened to.
Then Umm Salama wrote a letter from Mecca to Imam Ali (S). She said in the letter: “Talha, az-Zubayr and their deviant followers have intended to rise with Aa'isha and Abdullah bin Aamir against you claiming that Othman had been killed unjustly. Allah will do away with them with His might and power. If Allah has not ordered us (the Prophet’s wives) to keep to our houses besides that you will not be pleased with our going out, I would join you to invite for support to you. But I am sending you my son Umar bin Abu Salama, who is as dear to me as my soul, to fight with you. O Ameerul Mo'mineen, take care of him.” When Umar came to ‘Ali (as), he honored him. Umar bin Abu Salama remained with Imam ‘Ali (as) until he participated in all his battles.
The stand of Hafsa
Aa'isha sent for Hafsa and the other wives of the Prophet (S) asking them 29 to rise with her to Basra. No one of them responded to her except Hafsa (Umar’s daughter) but her brother Abdullah bin Umar came to her and insisted on her to give up going with Aa'isha and then she submitted to her brother after she had got ready to leave. 30
The stand of Malik bin al-Ashtar
Malik wrote from Medina to Aa'isha, who was in Mecca, saying to her: “You are the wife of the Messenger of Allah (S). He has ordered you to keep to your house. If you do, it will be better for you but if you refuse save to take your stick, throw away your veil and show people your hair, I will fight you until I take you back to your house; the place which Allah has chosen for you.”
General leadership in this sedition
The general leadership in this sedition was in the hand of Aa'isha. She gave orders, managed the armies, appointed emirs, deposed whomever she liked, 31 sent her messengers with her books to the Muslims inciting them against Ameerul Mo'mineen (Ali) and inviting them to support her. Some people submitted to her and other people of understanding denied her invitation. The Umayyads had tried their best and spent their monies to assist this sedition. They had joined Aa'isha from everywhere. Marwan bin al-Hakam was among the army of Aa'isha but sometimes he threw his arrows against the army of Aa'isha and sometimes he threw his arrows against the army of ‘Ali (as) saying: “Which of them I hit, it will be success!” It was said that he had killed Talha.
Aa'isha rises from Mecca to Basra
When Aa'isha had determined to march towards Basra, she gathered the Umayyads and their followers to consult with them upon the matter. Some of them said: “We go to fight Ali.” Aa'isha and some others said: “We cannot stand against the people of Medina.” Some of them said: “Let us go to Sham.” Aa'isha and some others said: “Mo’awiya suffices in Sham. We move towards Basra and Kufa. Talha has followers in Kufa and az-Zubayer has followers in Basra.” They agreed on that.
Abdullah bin Aamir offered much money and many camels and Ya’la bin Umayya offered four hundred thousand (dirhams or dinars) and gave sumpters to seventy men of the army. He gave Aa'isha a camel called Askar, which was great and strong. When she saw it, she admired it. The cameleer began talking to Aa'isha about the strength and tolerance of the camel and he often called it, through his speech, Askar. When Aa'isha heard this name, she sighed and said: “Take it back. I do not need it.” She remembered that the Prophet (S) had mentioned to her this name and forbidden her to ride on it.
Then people looked for another camel but they did not find any one looking like this camel. They changed its covers and said to her: “We found to you another one which is greater and stronger than that one.” She became calm and became pleased with the camel. 32 She did not leave Mecca until she got all the possible support of the Umayyads.
The well of al-Haw’ab
Issam bin Qudama narrated from Akrima that Ibn Abbas had said: “One day the Messenger of Allah had said to his wives, who were all with him: “Which of you will be the woman of the hairy camel at whom the dogs of al-Haw’ab will bark? Many people will be killed at her right and her left; all of them will be in Hell and she will escape death after she will have plotted.” 33
The historians have mentioned: “When Aa'isha (and her army) arrived at al-Haw’ab, in which there was a well of Bani Aamir bin Sa’sa’a, the dogs began barking at them until the camels ran away. One of Aa'isha’s companions said: “How many the dogs of al-Haw’ab are and how much their barking is!” Aa'isha held the reign of her camel and said: “They are the dogs of al-Haw’ab!!! Get me back! Get me back! I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying…” She mentioned the tradition.
Someone said to her: “Wait a little! May Allah have mercy upon you. We have passed al-Haw’ab.” 34 She kept on her way until she arrived at Hafr Abu Musa near Basra.
The stand of Abul Aswad ad-Du’ali
When Aa'isha and her army arrived at Hafr Abu Musa, Othman bin Hunays, the wali of Imam ‘Ali (as) in Basra at that time, sent Abul Aswad ad-Du’ali to Aa'isha and her people to see what they had come for. He came to Aa'isha and asked her about her intention. She said: “I have come to revenge Othman’s blood.” He said to her: “No one of the killers of Othman is in Basra.” She said: “You are right but they are with Ali bin Abu Talib in Medina and I have come to Basra to arouse its people to fight against Ali. Is it possible to revenge you on the whip of Othman and it is not possible to revenge Othman on your swords?”
He said to her: “What is your business with the whip and the sword? You are the captive of the Messenger of Allah. He has ordered you to keep to your house and to recite the Book of Allah. Women have neither to fight nor have they to revenge blood. Ameerul Mo'mineen (Ali) is worthier of Othman than you and closer in kinship to him than you. They both are the sons of Abd Manaf.” 35 She said: “I will not give up until I do what I have come to do. O Abul Aswad, do you think that there is one who may fight me?” He said: “By Allah, we will fight you violently.”
Then Abul Aswad came to az-Zubayr and said to him: “O Abu Abdullah, people have known well that on the day when Abu Bakr was paid homage, you raised your sword and said: “No one is worthier of this matter (the caliphate) than Ali bin Abu Talib. What difference is between your situation now and yours then!” Az-Zubayr mentioned the blood of Othman and said: “You and your friend (Ali) are responsible of Othman’s blood as we have been informed.” Then Abul Aswad came to Talha and he found him insisting on his error and insisting on the war and sedition. Abul Aswad came to Othman bin Hunayf and said to him: “It is the war. Get ready for it!”
Aa'isha and Ibn Souhan
Aa'isha wrote, while she was in Basra, to Zayd bin Souhan al-Abdi: “From Aa'isha, the mother of the believers, the daughter of Abu Bakr and the wife of the Messenger of Allah, to her loyal son Zayd bin Souhan; stay at home and discourage people from joining Ali bin Abi Talib. Let me hear good news about you because you are the most reliable one among my people to me.”
He replied: “From Zayd bin Souhan to Aa'isha bint Abi Bakr; Allah has ordered you with something and has ordered us with something. He has ordered you to stay at your house and He has ordered us to fight (for the sake of Him). Your letter has reached me ordering me to do unlike what Allah has ordered me. If I obey you, I will do what Allah has ordered you to do whereas you have done what Allah has ordered me to do. I do not obey your order and I have no reply to your letter.”
Jariya bin Qudama and Aa'isha
At-Tabari mentioned 36 that al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr had said: “Jariya bin Qudama as-Sa’di came to Aa'isha and said to her: “O Ummul Mo’mineen, 37 By Allah, killing Othman is lesser evil than your leaving your house on this cursed camel to be liable to weapons. Allah has given you a shelter and sanctity but you have torn your shelter and lost your sanctity. He, who has encouraged you to fight, has led you to be killed. If you have come to us obediently, go back to your house and if you have come unwillingly, ask people to help you.”
A young man from bani Sa’d
A young man from bani Sa’d scolded Talha and az-Zubayr for waging the war. He said to them through a poem:
“You have protected your women there, but you have led your mother (Aa'isha), I swear that this is not fair.
She has been ordered to keep to her house, But she has come out covering the deserts, And letting her sons fight for her
with arrows, spears and swords.”
A young boy from Juhayna
One day a young boy from the tribe of Juhayna came to Muhammad bin Talha and asked him: “Tell me about the killers of Othman!” Muhammad bin Talha said: “The blood of Othman is divided into three thirds; a third is on the woman of the camel (Aa'isha), a third is on the man of the red camel (Talha) and a third is on Ali ibn Abi Talib.” The young boy of Juhayna laughed and joined ‘Ali (as).
Al-Ahnaf bin Qays and Aa'isha
Al-Bayhaqi mentioned 38 that al-Hasan al-Basri had said: “On the day of al-Jamal, al-Ahnaf bin Qays said to Aa'isha: “O Ummul Mo’mineen, has the Messenger of Allah entrusted you with this matter?” She said: “By Allah, no, he has not.” He asked her: “Have you found it in the Book of Allah?” She said: “We recite (the Qur'an) as you recite.” He said to her: “Have you seen the Messenger of Allah asking for the help of his wives when the Muslims were few while the polytheists were too many?” She said: “No, by Allah, I have not.” Al-Ahnaf said: “Then what is our guilt?”
In another tradition al-Ahnaf said to her: “O Ummul Mo’mineen, I will be severe to you in my requests so do not be angry with me.” She said: “Ask and I will listen to you.” He said: “Have you had a covenant from the Messenger of Allah about your rising?” She said: “No, I have not.” He said to her: “Have you had a covenant from him showing that you are infallible?” She said: “No, I have not.” He said: “Allah has determined Medina to be your abode but you have chosen Basra and He has ordered you to keep to the house of His prophet (S) but you have resided in the house of one of Bani Dhubba. O Ummul Mo’mineen, please tell me; have you come for war or peace?” She replied painfully: “For peace.”
He said to her: “By Allah if you have come and there is nothing between the people except beating with shoes and throwing with stones, they will not come to peace at the hands of you so how will it be while the swords are on their shoulders?” He embarrassed her and then she said: “To Allah I complain of the disobedience of my children.”
Abdullah bin Hakeem and Talha
Abdullah bin Hakeem at-Tameemi came to Talha and said to him: “O Abu Muhammad, is this not your letter to us?” Talha said: “Yes, it is.” Abdullah said: “A little ago you have written to us inviting us to depose Othman and to kill him and after you have killed him you came to us revenging his blood! I swear that this is not your belief. You just want this worldly life (the rule). Wait! Wait! Why have you agreed to pay homage to Ali? You have paid homage to him willingly and contentedly and then you broke your homage and came to involve us in your sedition.”
He said: “Ali invited me to pay homage to him after the people had paid homage to him. 39 I knew that if I did not accept his offer (to pay homage), I would not be safe and then he would incite his companions against me.”
A wise man advising the people of Basra
When Aa'isha and her army had arrived at Mirbad, 40 a wise man from Bani Jashm made a speech to the people of Basra, who had crowded there. He said: “These people have come to you. They are afraid whereas they have come from the place, in which birds and beasts feel safe. If they have come to you revenging the blood of Othman, let them know that the killers of Othman are other than us. O people, obey me and force them to go back to where they have come from. If you do not do, you will not be safe from a fierce war and dark sedition.” Some people of Basra, whose tendency was with Aa'isha and her followers, threw stones on the man. 41
The speech of Aa'isha to the people of Basra
Aa'isha came on her camel Askar and called loudly: “O people, do not speak and keep silent!” The people kept silent. She said: “O people, Ameerul Mo'mineen Othman had changed many things of the Sunna but he purified that with repentance. He was killed unjustly after having repented. They denied his beating with the whip, appointing the young men as emirs and keeping the pasture of (al-Ghamam) for himself only. 42
“They killed him while he was in the clothes of the hajj in the inviolable month and in the inviolable country. They slaughtered him like a camel. The people of Quraysh threw their aim with their arrows and wounded their mouths with their hands. They did not get by killing him anything nor did they achieve their aim. By Allah, they will meet great disasters that will shake standing ones and will make the sitting ones stand up. Allah will let tyrants overcome them with no mercy pouring on them great torment.
“O people, Othman had not committed a sin that permitted shedding his blood. They rinsed him as rinsing a dirty dress and then they killed him after his repentance and after being free from his guilt. They paid homage to Ali bin Abi Talib unjustly without consulting with the public. Do you think that I revenge you on the whip and the tongue of Othman and I do not revenge Othman on your swords? Othman has been killed unjustly and you are to revenge him on his killers. When you catch them, you are to kill them and then you are to let the matter of the caliphate among the group that Ameerul Mo'mineen Umar bin al-Khattab has chosen. Do not let those who have participated in killing Othman, be among the group of the Shura.”
The people got excited and they disagreed. Some of them said: “Ummul Mo’mineen is right.” Some others said: “She has no right to intervene in such matters. She is a woman that has to stay at home.” Noises and nonsense became loud until the people began beating each other with shoes and throwing stones at each other and then they became two parties; one party with Othman bin Hunayf and the other with Aa'isha and her companions. 43
Getting ready to fight
The two parties got ready to fight each other. Othman bin Hunayf invited Aa'isha by the name of Allah and Islam and he reminded Talha and az-Zubayr of their homage to Imam ‘Ali (as). They said: “We revenge the blood of Othman.” He said to them: “It is not your matter! Where are his children? Where are his cousins, who are worthier of him than you? No! But you have envied Ali because all the people have agreed on him whereas you have looked forward to this matter (the caliphate) and you have prepared to get it. Was there anyone severer to Othman than you?” They abused him and his mother obscenely.
Then he said to az-Zubayr: “It was Safiyya 44 and her position to the Prophet (S) that had taken you near the shadow.” He said to Talha: “I know well what to do to you.” Then he said: “O Allah, I have advised them!”
Then people began fighting each other violently and then they separated and made peace among them on certain conditions that had been detailed by the historians. They put off the matter until Imam ‘Ali (as) would arrive at Basra. The two parties made Allah the witness on the covenant of peace they had written and they took strong oath to keep to the covenant. The book of the treaty was signed by the two parties.
Aa'isha, Talha and az-Zubayr decided to write to the tribes to attract the Arabs and especially the notables and the chiefs in a way that the emir Othman bin Hunayf and his companions would not know. When the people of al-Jamal (Aa'isha and her followers) had prepared their affairs, they marched in a dark, rainy and stormy night wearing armors under their clothes to conceal their intention. They arrived at the mosque at the time of Fajr prayer. Othman bin Hunayf had come to the mosque before them. Othman advanced to lead the people in offering the prayer but the companions of Talha and az-Zubayr prevented him and let az-Zubayr advance to lead the prayers.
The policemen and the guards of the treasury came and took az-Zubayr out and advanced Othman to lead the prayers then the companions of az-Zubayr could put Othman aside to advance az-Zubayr. They still did so until the sun was about to rise. The people in the mosque shouted at them: “Do you not fear Allah, O you the companions of Muhammad?” The sun shone and az-Zubayr succeeded to lead the prayers.
When az-Zubayr finished the prayer, he ordered his armed companions to capture Othman bin Hunayf. They beat him very severely until he was about to die. They plucked out his beard, moustache, eyebrows, eyelashes and every hair in his head and face. They arrested the policemen and the guards of the treasury, who were seventy faithful men of the followers of Ali (as). They took them with Othman bin Hunayf to Aa'isha, who said to Abban bin Othman (the son of the killed caliph): “Go to him (Othman bin Hunayf) and behead him because the Ansar have killed your father.”
Othman bin Hunayf called out: “O Aa'isha, Talha, Zubayr! My brother Sahl is the emir of Ali on Medina. I swear by Allah that if I am killed, he will let his sword slaughter your families and tribes without leaving anyone.” They gave up killing him but Aa'isha ordered az-Zubayr to kill the policemen and the guards. She said to him: “I was told about what they had done to you.” Az-Zubayr slaughtered them as if he slaughtered sheep. His son Abdullah undertook killing them. They were seventy men.
Some guards remained guarding the treasury and said: “We do not hand it over to you until Ameerul Mo'mineen (Ali) comes.” Az-Zubayr with his soldiers went to them at night. He killed some of them and captured fifty men of them and then he killed the captives. This was the first treason in Islam and the policemen and guards, who were killed, were the first Muslims who were killed after being captured. They were one hundred and twenty men and it was said - as in Sharh Nahjul Balagha - 45 that they were four hundred men.
After that they drove Othman bin Hunayf away and he joined Imam ‘Ali (as). When he saw Imam ‘Ali (as), he cried and said: “When I left you, I was an old man. Now I come back to you with neither beard nor hair.” Imam ‘Ali (as) said: “We are Allah’s and to Him we shall return!” He said that three times.
Imam ‘Ali (as) has suffered a great pang in this tragedy. He often complained his pain and sadness to Allah when saying from above the minbar: “O Allah, I resort to You to be my supporter against the people of Quraysh and their followers. They have killed my kin, belittled my high position and agreed on fighting me for something which is mine…there is something of the truth that one has to take and something one has to leave.”
Then he mentioned the people of al-Jamal (the camel) and said: “…they come out dragging the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah (his wife Aa'isha) as a bondmaid dragged when being bought. They brought her (Aa'isha) towards Basra whereas they (Talha and az-Zubayr) had kept their women in their houses. They brought the preserved woman of the Messenger of Allah out to themselves and to their army, every one of whose men had paid homage to me willingly and obediently. They came to my officers and the keepers of the treasury of the Muslim and other people in it (Basra). They killed some of them after being captives and killed others treacherously…”
The stand of Hakeem bin Jabala
When Hakeem bin Jabala knew about what the followers of Aa'isha had done to Othman bin Hunayf, the keepers of the treasury and other people of Basra, he rose with three hundred men from the tribe of Abdul Qays, of which he was the chief. The army of Aa'isha put her on a camel and came to meet Hakeem and his men. That day was called the minor (event of the) camel whereas the day of Aa'isha against Imam ‘Ali (as) was called the major (event of the) camel. The two parties fought each other with the swords.
Hakeem and his men had proved themselves brave in this fight. A man from the army of Aa'isha attacked Hakeem. He struck Hakeem and cut his leg. The man himself fell off his horse. Hakeem knelt, took his cut leg and struck the man with it then he moved to him and killed him by strangling him. Hakeem was one of the famous Arab heroes and one of the brave Muslims who had believed in Ahlul Bayt (as). His son al-Ashraf, three of his brothers and all his three hundred companions were killed with him in this fight.
When Aa'isha, Talha and az-Zubayr overcame Basra after killing Hakeem and his men and after driving Othman bin Hunayf away, Talha and az-Zubayr disagreed on the prayer; each one of them wanted to lead the people in offering the prayers because each one of them thought that if he offered the prayer behind the other, it would mean that he submitted to him and accepted him as the leader. Aa'isha intervened and reconciled Talha with az-Zubayr. She made Abdullah bin az-Zubayr lead people one day and Muhammad bin Talha the other day.
When they entered the treasury in Basra and found the great monies in it, az-Zubayr became very delighted and he recited:
“Allah has promised you many gains that ye shall acquire, and He has given you these beforehand” (Qur’an 48:20)
and then he said: “We are worthier of this wealth than the people of Basra.”
Imam Ali arrives at Basra
After that Imam ‘Ali (as) with his army arrived at Basra. Aa'isha and her army marched towards him to prevent him from entering Basra. Imam ‘Ali (as) refrained from fighting them. He tried as much as he could to avoid the war and to remove the enmity between the two parties. He wanted to end the matter in peace in a way that would please Allah and His Messenger.
Ibn Jareer at-Tabari said 46: “On that day Ali sent for az-Zubayr and reminded him of a word that the Prophet (S) had said “Your aunt’s son will fight you unjustly.” Az-Zubayr said: “I will never fight you.” He left and came back to his son Abdullah. He said to him: “I have no will in this war.” His son said to him: “When you have come, you have had a will but when you saw the banners of Ali bin Abu Talib and knew that death would be under them, you became coward.” His son made him too angry until he began shouting. He said to his son: “I have taken an oath that I would never fight him.” His son said: “Expiate (breaking) your oath by setting your slave Sarjas free.” He set his slave free and joined the warriors.
At-Tabari added: “Ali said to az-Zubayr: “Do you revenge Othman’s blood on me whereas you have killed him? May Allah punish the one of us (me and you), who has been severer to Othman, with what he hates.” 47
Then Ali sent for Talha and said to him: “O Talha, you have brought the wife of the Messenger of Allah to fight by her and you have hidden your wife in your house. Have you not paid homage to me?” Talha said: “I have paid homage to you unwillingly.” Talha insisted on war.
Ali went back to his companions and said to them: “Which of you will show them this Qur'an 48 with what it has in it? If his hand is cut, he should hold it by the other hand and if the other hand is cut, he should catch it with his teeth.” A young man said: “I will do.” Imam ‘Ali (as) asked all his companions to do that but not one of them accepted it save that young man.
Imam ‘Ali (as) said to the young man: “Put forth this Qur'an and say to them: It is between us and you from its beginning to its end. For the sake of Allah spare our blood and your blood!”
When the young man came towards the army of Aa'isha carrying the Qur'an in his hand, they attacked him and cut his hands. He took the Qur'an with his teeth until he was killed. Then Imam ‘Ali (as) said to his companions: “You are permitted to fight. Attack them!”
The woman of the camel came to the battle and her head was agitating with arrogance and disdain. She became more daring than a lion. She aroused enthusiasm in her army pushing them towards death for the sake of her camel. She turned left and said: “Who are the people on my left?” Sabra bin Shayman replied: “We are your children; Bani Azd.” She said: “O Aal 49 Ghassan, keep your brave fighting today as we have heard your poet saying:
“The people of Ghassan fought bravely with their swords. So did Ka’b, Ouss and Shabeeb.”
The people of Azd took the dung of the camel, smelt it and said: “It is the dung of our mother’s camel. Its smell is like the smell of musk.”
She turned right and said: “Who are the people on my right?” They said: “We are from the tribe of Bakr bin Wa’il.” She said: “About you the poet has said:
“They came to us with their weapons and glory, as if they were Bakr bin Wa’il.”
She came near a battalion and asked: “Where are you from?” they said: “We are Bani Najiya.” She said: “How excellent! Qurashi 50 swords!” As if she set fire of zeal inside them. The bearers of the banners devoted themselves to her camel. They recited:
“O mother, the wife of the Prophet, the wife of the blessed and guided one, we are Bani Dhubba.
We do not flee even if we see our skulls falling down, from which red blood flows.”
She still aroused their enthusiasm until her camel was killed after forty men had been killed under its reign. It was the defeat by the will of Allah! If Imam ‘Ali (as) himself did not protect her, she would face what could not be even imagined as a result of this dark sedition she had caused and the separation and disagreement among the Muslims she had brought about which would last until the Day of Resurrection. All the events that took place later on were by consequence of this sedition; Siffeen, an-Nahrawan, the tragedy of Kerbala…even the disaster of Palestine in our present age.
The brother of the Prophet (S) and the father of the two grandsons of the Prophet (S) himself kept close to the camel, by whose death the sedition was put out. As the camel fell down with its howdah, in which Aa'isha was, Imam ‘Ali (as) hastened towards it to protect the wife of the Prophet (S). He ordered Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, Aa'isha’s brother, and some faithful women to accompany Aa'isha back to Medina. Imam ‘Ali (as) gifted his warriors with what made them pleased and he set free the captives of his bitter enemies. He surrounded Aa'isha with respect and regard due to his high morals, exalted virtues and deep wisdom.
This event has been called the event of the major camel. It has taken place on Thursday, the Tenth of Jumada al-Aakhira in thirty-six A.H.
Thirteen thousands of the children of Aa'isha, among whom were az-Zubayr and Talha unfortunately, were killed and about one thousand of Imam Ali’s followers were martyred.
Aa'isha was one of the most aware people of that ‘Ali (as) was the brother, the guardian and the heir of the Prophet (S) and that he loved Allah and His Messenger and Allah and His Messenger loved him and that he was to the Prophet (S) as was Aaron to Moses except for prophethood. She had heard the Prophet (S) saying: “O Allah, be a supporter of whoever supports him (Ali) and an enemy of whoever opposes him, and help whoever helps him and betray whoever betrays him. May Allah have mercy upon Ali! O Allah, turn the truth with him wherever he turns.”
She had witnessed the “farewell hajj” with the Prophet (S) and she had seen him on the day of the great hajj declaring the virtues of ‘Ali (as) and ordering his umma one time to keep to the two weighty things; the Book of Allah and the Prophet’s progeny and another time to follow his guardian ‘Ali (as) warning his umma of deviation if it would not submit to the Book of Allah and Ahlul Bayt (as) together.
On the day of al-Ghadeer she had seen the Prophet (S) ascending the minbar to declare his covenant to ‘Ali (as) and to entrust him with leadership of the umma after him before the sight and the hearing of the thousands of Muslims who had come back after offering the last hajj with the Prophet (S).
She had seen the Prophet (S) looking at Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn and saying to them: “I am war against whoever fights you and peace to whoever makes peace with you.” 51
She had seen the Prophet (S) covering Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn with his garment and saying: “I am at war against whoever fights them and at peace with whoever makes peace with them and enemy to whoever opposes them.” 52 Besides many other true traditions like these ones that Aa'isha had known well for she had been said to be as the bag of traditions.
A poet said about her:
“She has memorized forty thousand traditions, But she has forgotten a verse of the holy Book.”
It sufficed her that her father Abu Bakr had said: “One day I saw the Messenger of Allah pitching a tent 53 and then he leant on an Arab bow while Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn were inside the tent. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “O people, I am peace with whoever makes peace with the people of the tent, at war against whoever fights them and a supporter to whoever supports them. Those who loves them are lucky and of pure births and those who hate them are unlucky and of bad births.” 54
Had Ummul Mo’mineen Aa'isha, when rising against Imam ‘Ali (as), intended to fight for the sake of Allah, His Messenger and the afterlife? Had she been one of the loyal believers seeking after the reward that Allah had promised the wives of the Prophet (S) when saying:
“O Prophet! Say to your wives: If you desire this world's life … and if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the latter abode, then surely Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a mighty reward” (Qur’an 33:28-29)?
Had she thought that there was leniency between Allah and her permitting her to do what Allah had prohibited all the human beings from doing? She committed against Imam ‘Ali (as) a great crime as if she had been safe from the threat of Allah who said:
“O wives of the prophet! Whoever of you commits an open indecency, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly; and this is easy to Allah” (Qur’an 33:30).
Had she found her rising against Imam ‘Ali (as) as worshipping Allah and being obedient to Him and to His Messenger and doing good as Allah had said:
“And whoever of you is obedient to Allah and His Messenger and does good, We will give to her her reward doubly, and We have prepared for her an honorable sustenance” (Qur’an 33:31).
Had she considered the house of Ibn Dhabba as her house, which Allah had ordered her to stay in? Had she found her leading the armies as a pavilion that Talha and az-Zubayr had erected for her to protect her from (the display of finery of the time of ignorance) or to make her free to obey Allah and His Messenger and to offer prayers and to pay zakat?
Had she found, after doing all that, that she had carried out the order of Allah when saying:
“And stay in your houses. Display not your finery with the display of the Time of Ignorance; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger” (Qur’an 33:33)
What would she or her followers say about the saying of Allah when addressing her and her friend (Hafsa) in this verse:
“If you both turn to Allah, then indeed your hearts are already inclined (to this);55 and if you back up each other against him, then surely Allah it is Who is his Guardian, and Gabriel and the believers that do good, and the angels after that are the aiders.56 Maybe, his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers, fasters, widows and virgins” ( Qur’an 66;4-5)?
It was enough as an evidence against them both the great example that Allah had mentioned in the sura of Tahreem when saying:
“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 acted treacherously towards them so they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said: Enter both the fire with those who enter. And Allah sets forth an example to those who believe the wife of Firon (Pharaoh) when she said: My Lord! Build for me a house with Thee in the garden and deliver me from Firon and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people” (Qur’an 66:10-11).
How great the verses of the poet of Ahlul Bayt (as) were when saying:
“O Aa'isha, what could we say about your war,
when you have followed the way of dangers?
Sufficed you not the tradition of “the house”
Mentioned by al-Bukhari? 57
It has been said that you (Aa'isha) have repented and Ali has been wronged!
Then why did you prostrate yourself to thank Allah when he (Ali) was killed? 58
Why did you ride the mule on the day of al-Hasan to light the fire of seditions?” 59
Here we want to discuss the matter of the Prophet’s house, in which Aa'isha had lived, whether it was her pure possession or not that she had the right to allow whoever she liked to enter into it and to prevent whoever she liked from entering it. An owner has the right to deal with his ownership as he likes. Had the Prophet (S) sold his house or donated it to Aa'isha?
Certainly not! No one has ever said that. Yes, the Prophet (S) had given her one of the rooms to live in as he had given his other wives a room each. A husband has to house his wife in his house as one of her rights on her husband. Housing a wife is one of the obligatory duties of a husband towards his wife and when a wife lives in her husband’s house it does not mean that the house becomes her own possession. The actual ownership of the house is still the husband’s.
If we supposed that Aa'isha had possessed her room because it was in her hand, then why could Fadak not be Fatima’s possession for the same reason? There is a great difference between the two hands; between the daughter who deals with the possessions of her father and before his sight and hearing which is a sign of ownership no doubt especially if the daughter is going from her father’s house to her husband’s and between the wife who has a hand over a room in her husband’s house. We ask the human traditions to judge between these two hands!
The caliph Abu Bakr (Aa'isha’s father) might have made his daughter the owner of the Prophet’s house due to his general guardianship and this could be but we hoped that he would treat the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (concerning Fadak which was in her hand) in the same way as he had treated his daughter. If he had done so, it would have lead to unite the umma and to save it from separation. But there is no power save with Allah, the Exalted, the Almighty.
- 1. Sahih of Muslim, vol.1 p.258.
- 2. The Prophet’s wife. She was Umar’s daughter.
- 3. It has been mentioned by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, vol.4 p.37, by Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, vol.8 p.104, by Ibn Jareer and others.
- 4. Mustadrak of al-Hakim, vol.4 p.39, Talkhees al-Mustadrak by ath-Thahabi. Refer to them to see the wonders!!
- 5. Vol.3 p.136.
- 6. Aa’isha and Hafsa were also the Prophet’s wives.
- 7. Vol.3 p.136, 137.
- 8. Kanzol Ummal, vol. 6 p.294, Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d, vol.8 p.115.
- 9. Kanzol Ummal, p.116, Ihya’ul Quloob by al-Ghazali, vol.2 p.35, Mukashafatul Quloob by al-Ghazali, p.238.
- 10. Ihya’ul Quloob by al-Ghazali, vol.2 p.35, Mukashafatul Quloob by al-Ghazali, p.238.
- 11. Vol.2, p.77.
- 12. Na’thal was the surname of Othman near his mother.
- 13. Taym was the tribe of Abu Bakr.
- 14. The Prophet (S) was not the nephew of Waraqa bin Nawfal but the Arabs often used such terms of address.
- 15. Irshad as-Sari fee Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.1 p.171.
- 16. Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol.1, vol.3 when interpreting the sura of Iqra’ (Read), Sahih of Muslim, Sahih of at-Tarmithi and Sahih of an-Nassa’iy when interpreting this sura.
- 17. Here are many holy texts that Aa’isha has contradicted in her dealing with Imam ‘Ali (as) and Othman. The traditions that Aa’isha has contradicted might be more than all the traditions the three caliphs have contradicted. It suffices you, as an example, to refer to her tradition, we have mentioned previously in this book, “First the prayer has been legislated as two rak’as and then the prayer in travel has been fixed (as two rak’as) whereas the prayer in residence has become full (four rak’as)”. She herself had narrated this tradition and then she did the opposite.
- 18. It is the fourth month of the Islamic calendar.
- 19. The sixth month in the Islamic calendar.
- 20. Hisham bin Muhammad al-Kalbi in his book al-Jamal, at-Tabari in Tareekh al-Umam wel Mulook, Ibn al-Atheer in al-Kamil, al-Mada’ini in al-Jamal and others. To see more details, refer Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.77-82, p.496.
- 21. Ibn Abdul Birr in al-Istee’ab, Ibn al-Atheer in Usdol Ghaba, Ibn Hajar in al-Isaba, Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat and others.
- 22. Vol.2, p.77.
- 23. In his book Tareekh al-Umam wel-Mulook, vol.3 p.476.
- 24. Vol.4, p.103.
- 25. vol.2 p.77.
- 26. She was the Prophet’s wife.
- 27. A place between Hijaz and Basra.
- 28. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.79.
- 29. Then they were busy offering the minor hajj as Aa'isha, Talha and az-Zubayr themselves were.
- 30. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.80.
- 31. Ash-Shi’bi narrated from Muslim bin Abu Bakra that his father - as in Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.81 - had said: “When Talha and az-Zubayr came to Basra, I girt myself with the sword intending to support them. I came to Aa'isha. I found her commanding and forbidding. She was the commander there. Then I remembered a tradition that I had heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) “People who are led by a woman will never succeed.” I left them and came back.”
- 32. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.80.
- 33. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.497.
- 34. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.80. The Prophet (S) had warned Aa'isha of riding this camel, passing by al-Haw’ab and the barking of the dogs in a true tradition that had been mentioned by all the Muslims. It was one of the signs of the prophethood of the Prophet (S) and the signs of Islam. It has been well known by the Muslims since that time until nowadays.
- 35. Abd Manaf was the Prophet’s grandfather.
- 36. In his Tareekh, vol.6 p.482 also the story of the young man with Talha and az-Zubayr and the dialogue between al-Juhayni and Muhammad bin Talha.
- 37. Ummul Mo’mineen (mother of the believers) was the title of the wives of the Prophet.
- 38. in his book al-Mahasin wel Masawi’, vol.1 p.35.
- 39. This perfidious liar was the first one who had paid homage to Imam Ali.
- 40. A place in Basra.
- 41. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.2, p.498.
- 42. The pastures that were watered by the rain must be common among all the people.
- 43. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.499.
- 44. The Prophet’s aunt.
- 45. Vol.2, p.501.
- 46. In his book Tareekh al-Mulook wel Umam, vol.3 p.519.
- 47. Tareekh al-Umam wel-Mulook, vol.3 p.520. Allah had responded to Imam ‘Ali (as) when Amr bin Jurmooz killed az-Zubayr on that very day.
- 48. We would like to refer to that Amr bin al-Aas had made the trick of using the copies of the Qur'an in the battle of Siffeen after this event but he had used it wrongly due to his evil tendency.
- 49. Aal means “family of”.
- 50. From Quraysh.
- 51. Musnad of Ahmad, vol2 p.442, Mustadrak of al-Hakim, at-Tafseer al-Kabeer by at-Tabarani. At-Tarmithi has mentioned this tradition from Zayd bin Arqam as in al-Isaba by Ibn Hajar, biography of Fatima (sa).
- 52. As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa by Ibn Hajar chap.11. He added that the Prophet had said: “The war against Ali is a war against me and the peace with Ali is peace with me.”
- 53. This tent might be the garment, with which the Prophet (S) had covered Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn when Allah had revealed to him: “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying”, (33:33).
- 54. Abqariyat Muhammad by Professor Abbas Mahmood al-Aqqad.
- 55. This verse confirms that they (Aa'isha and Hafsa) have committed guilt and that they must repent.
- 56. This is the aim behind all these preparations to defend the Prophet (S) against his two wives (Aa'isha and Hafsa) that if all the inhabitants of the earth have backed up each other against the Prophet (S), Allah would have not prepared more than this to defeat them.
- 57. Al-Bukhari has mentioned in his Sahih, vol.2 p.125 when talking about the houses of the Prophet’s wives that Abdullah had said: “Once the Prophet pointed at the house of Aa'isha and said: “Here is the sedition! Here is the sedition where the (horn of) Satan will appear!” Muslim said in his Sahih, vol.2 p.403 that once the Prophet (S) had gone out of Aa'isha’s house saying: “The head of disbelief comes out from here where the (horn of) Satan will appear.”
- 58. When Aa'isha was told that Imam ‘Ali (as) had been killed, she prostrated herself to thank Allah and when she raised her head, she recited: “She dropped her stick and settled after roving, as a traveler when being delighted after coming back from travel.” Then she asked who had killed him. It was said to her that it was a man from (the tribe of) Murad. She said something bad about Imam ‘Ali (as). Zaynab bint Umm Salama denied that and said to Aa'isha: “O Aa'isha, do you say such a thing about Ali?” Aa'isha said: “I have forgotten. Whenever I forget, you are to remind me.”
- 59. Imam Hasan (as) had warned the Hashemites before his death of a sedition that the Umayyads would cause if the Hashemites wanted to bury him beside the tomb of his grandfather, the Prophet (S). He asked his brother Imam Husayn (as) to avoid dangers (of that sedition) if they would take place and to bury him in al-Baqee’ graveyard beside the tomb of his grandmother Fatima bint Asad (Imam Ali’s mother). He made him swear that he should not shed even a drop of blood for him. When Imam Hasan (as) died, the Hashemites wanted to take his body to (the tomb of) the Prophet (S) (to do the last visit) or they wanted to bury him beside the tomb of the Prophet (S) if they felt that no sedition would happen but the Umayyads got ready with their arms to wage a war. At the head of them were Marwan bin al-Hakam and Sa’eed bin al-Aas. Marwan was calling: “Perhaps a battle is better than ease! Is Ameerul Mo'mineen (Othman) buried outside Medina whereas al-Hasan is buried with the Messenger of Allah?” They brought Aa'isha on a mule. She prevented the Hashemites from entering her house (the Prophet’s house) where the Prophet (S) had been buried.
Abul Faraj al-Isfahani mentioned in his book Maqatil at-Talibiyeen that Ali bin Tahir bin Zayd had said: “When they (the Hashemites) wanted to bury al-Hasan, Aa'isha rode on a mule and asked for the help of the Umayyads, Marwan and their followers. One of the poets said: “…one day on a mule and one day on a camel…”
Al-Mas’oodi, the historian, mentioned that Aa'isha had ridden on a gray mule in her second occasion against Ahlul Bayt (as) and that her nephew al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abi Bakr had come to her saying: “O aunt, we have not washed our heads from the day (the battle) of the red camel yet. Do want people to say ‘the day of the gray mule’?”
One of the poets has said:
“You have ridden on a camel and then on a mule. If you live longer, you will ride on an elephant.
You have a ninth out of the eighth (of the Prophet’s inheritance) but you have seized it all.”