ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr (Arabic: عائشة, c. 613/614 – c. 678 CE), also transcribed as Aisha, was Prophet Muhammad's third and youngest wife.
Aisha was a mature woman and not a child as some people claim when she got married with Prophet (SAWA). What is famous among our Sunni brothers according to some of their books, that she was seven or nine years old girl. This is among many famous things which have no authentic evidence as it said in Arabic رُبَّ مشهور لا أصلَ له
They wanted to create a virtue for Aisha by claiming that she was very young when she got married to the Prophet (SAWA). This claim of her very young age contradicts with facts mentioned in their own Sunni books which mentioned the age of her sister Asmaa' Bint Abi Bakr who was ten years older than her.
First fact: Asmaa' Bint Abi Bakr was born 27 years before the Bi'thah of the Prophet (The start of Islam). This fact has been mentioned in many prominent Sunni books like:
Mo'jam Al-Zawaa'id , v.9, p.260.
Omdatol Qaari, 2:93.
al-Mo'jam Al-Kabeer by al-Tabaraani , 24:77.
Tareekh Dimishq by Ibn Asaakir 69:9.
Osd Al-Ghaabah, 5:392.
al-Isaabah , 8:14.
Second fact: Aisha was ten years younger than her sister Asmaa'. This fact has been mentioned in many Sunni books like :
al-Sunan Al-Khubra by Al-Bayhaqi 6:204
Siyar A'laam Al-Nubalaa' 2:295
Tahtheeb Al-Tahtheeb 2:398
Tareekh Al-Islam by al-Thahabi 5:354
al-Bidayah wal Nihayah 8:381
Osd Al-Ghaabah 5:392
These two facts lead to the fact of the age of Aisha. She was born seventeen years before the Bi'thah. The Prophet remained in Makkah for 13 years the migrated to Madinah. This means that Aisha was thirty years old when the prophet migrated to Madina. The marriage took place two years after migration which means that Aisha was thirty two years old when the marriage was consummated.
Many Sunni scholars have rejected the narrations in their own books about the small age of Aisha despite being narrated in Bukhari book.
Many enemies of Islam have attacked the Prophet because of the claimed very young age of Aisha which is claimed by some Muslims.
'We have authentic evidence as you can read above that Aisha was never a child, but was over thirty years.
The marriages of the Prophets are never for sexual desires but for purpose of serving the message of Allah (SWT) including avoiding expected bigger harm on the message and testing the degree of the faith of the people especially after the Prophet's life. Prophet Noah and Prophet Lut got married with wives who were away from obeying Allah and obeying them as Allah has mentioned them in Quran as the example of non believers (Sura 66, verse 10) despite being wives of prophets. This confirms that the degree of a person is not by relation but by sincere faith and obedience to Allah and His messenger. The marriage of the Prophet (SAWA) with Aisha was because of the demand of Abu Bakr , her father, likewise the marriage with Hafsa was by a demand from her father Umar. The Prophet (SAWA) wanted to avoid the harm which can happen to the newly established Muslim society in Madinah.
The very important aim of distinguishing between real believer and superficial one, was achieved when Aisha stood and fought against Imam Ali (AS) the real successor of the Prophet (SAWA) and she was followed by those Muslims who were not concrete in their faith. Wife of Prophet Musa (AS) did similar when she led an army to fight against the successor of Musa. History repeats itself.
'Such persons attract those who carry the name and claim but don't really follow the teachings of the Prophet. Allah says in Quran: Allah will never leave the believers in the state in which you are now until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. (Sura 3, verse 179).
It is important to remember that people have always had choices. That is the reason why we hold those accountable who committed misdeeds, because they chose to do so. They were not born to play the part of villains.
It is not as if God had determined that Fadak must be usurped and that someone must be created who will do so.
It is also not the case that God had determined that a wife of the Prophet (s) must fight Imam 'Ali (a) and so she was put out there in the world of creation to fulfil that role.
Think of it this way. It was entirely possible for the first caliph and his daughter not to commit the misdeeds that they did. So why ought they have been punished before they could even be tested with that choice?
Did not Abu Bakr have another child, and Ayesha a brother, who was the most devoted Shi'a of Imam 'Ali (a) and fought against his own sister in defence of Imam 'Ali?
He was not predestined to be the good person in a pre-planned drama, like some kind of an angelic robot. He also made choices in his life. And so we remember him with affection and praise.
I believe that the nature of knowledge given by God to the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a) must be understood with the above in mind.
Allah, The Glorious, tests the followers of the prophets to distinguish between the sincere from the insincere. Allah(SWT) made the Prophet Noah (AS) marry a woman who turned to be disobedient then from the people of hellfire, same was the wife of Prophet Lut (AS). Allah (SWT) aims to examine the faith of people who claim being followers of the Prophet (SAWA) as we read in Quran:
1. (Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now until He distinguish the bad from the good). Sura Aal Imran, verse 179.
2. (In order that Allah may distinguish the bad persons from the good persons ) Sura Al-Anfaal, verse 37.
Having a disobedient wife among good wives and insincere companion among sincere companions makes the bad persons follow the bad, while sincere persons keep on following the Prophet (SAWA) and his successors.
This narration about the small age of Ayesha when she got married to the Prophet (SAWA) is fabricated by a person called Hishan Ibn 'O'rwah who claimed narrating from Ayisha but he was born on 61 Hijri, years after the her death on 57 or 58 Hijri. Sunni and Shia Scholars have enough evidence that her age was between twenty and thirty or even more.
The Shia put the companions into different categories just like the Quran does.
Among the companions, were the pious believers who sacrificed their wealth, lives and even fought against their own relatives in battles. These Sahaba will be those we can consider in jannah and who we want to follow.
On the other hand, we had companions of the Prophet Mohammad (sawa) who were hypocrites and had their own worldly interests.
Some of these companions also insulted the Prophet as well as oppressed his progeny after his martyrdom.
We also have some companions that we aren’t sure about or whose names didn’t reach us. Therefore it is imperative to search through history to determine which companions remained steadfast upon the correct path.
With regard to the wives of the Prophet, we also look through their biographies individually to see if they were pious or not. Allah The Exalted states in the holy Quran:
O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any of the [other] women, provided that you taqwa (consciousness of God)...
- Quran 33:32.
This verse is clear in giving a condition to the wives of the holy prophet that they will be respected if they remain pious. The verse is a clear evidence in showing that the wives of the prophet are not immune from going astray and must attain their status through maintaining piety.
Whilst Shias love and respect wives of the prophet such as Lady Khadijah, Umm Salama and Māriyah, we have a negative view on other wives such as Aisha. This isn’t due to personal reasons, rather it is down to clear proofs within the Quran and sunnah of her actions. Below, I will provide some summarised points about Aisha according to the Shia opinion and you may research further inshallah.
- Aisha was one of the wives severely condemned in the Quran chapter 66 of the holy Quran for her actions against the Prophet.
- She led a war against the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (peace be upon him) which resulted in the deaths of 30,000 Muslims
- She fabricated thousands of Hadiths and falsely attributed them to the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family. This besmirched the Prophet’s reputation, degraded his personality and “opened a door of verbal attacks” against him by non-Muslims.
There are many more reasons one can search to get a clear picture of why Aisha is viewed negatively by the Shia Muslims.
May Allah grant you success.
There is a false but famous narration in some Sunni books which claims that
Ayesha was a child ( between six and nine years) when she got married
with the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). This narration is fabricated even
according to many Sunni scholars because of :
1. The narrator is just one single person who is Hisham Ibn O'rwah Ibn
al-Zubair who claimed narrating from Ayesha. Ayesha died on year 57 or
year 58 after Hijra, while Hisham Ibn O'rwah was born in year 61 after
Hijra. How can he claim narrating from her when she dies few years
before his his birth?
2. Hisham Ibn O'rwah is not an authentic narrator according to many
Sunni scholars including Al-Soyooti who included his name with the
list of Mudalliseen ( those who mix and hide the reality in their
narrations) ( Asmaa' al- Mudalliseen). Other leading Sunni scholars
like Malik Ibn Anas , Al-Midyani and many others refuse the narrations
of Hishan Ibn O'rwah.
3. There are certain historic facts in Sunni books prove that the age
of Ayesha was between 20 to 30 or even more when her marriage with the
Proohet (SAWA) took place:
3A. Asmaa' Bint Abi Bakr , the elder sister of Ayesha was elder then
her at least few years. Some Sunni scholars said few years and said
ten years. Asmaa' Bint Abi Bakr was born 27 years before the Bi'thah
of the Prophet (SAWA) ( Majma' al-Zawa'id, V. 9, P. 260, Omdatul Qaari
Fi Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari, V. 2, P. 93, al-Majma' al-Kaberi by
Al-Tabarani , V. 24, P. 77 and many others. This means that when the
Prophet (SAWA) migrated from Makkah to Madinah after 13 years , the
age of Asmaa' Bint Abi Bakr was 40 years. As the of Ayesha was few
years ( or maximum ten years ) younger than her sister Asmaa', then
the age of Ayesha when the Prophet ( SAWA) migrated to Madina was not
less than thirty years.
As the marriage took place two years after Hijra, then the age of
Ayesha was then more than thirty years.
4. It is also worth mentioning that the well known Sunni Historian
Muhammad Ibn Sa'ad in His famous book Al-Tabaqaat al-Kubra (8: 9)
narrated from Abdullah Ibn Maleekah that when the Prophet ( SAWA)
proposed to Ayesha, Abu Baki ( her father) told him: I have given her
for marriage to Jubair Ibn Mut'im, so, let me take her back from him,
and he took her back from him by divorce, then gave her to the Prophet
( SAWA) for marriage.
It is also mentioned in history that Ayesha had a son from her first
marriage called Abdullah, that is why she was called by the Prophet by
the name of her son Abdullah as Umm Abdillah. ( Sunan Abi Dawood).
Sunni scholars in Islamic Studies Centre in Cairo have refuted the widely spread narration about A'isha age and said that the age of Aisha when she got married to the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was not less than 19 years. (Al-Yawm Al-Saabi' 10-10-2008).
According to the Sunni website Discovering Islam, Aisha was older than six years old:
We find evidence in both Hadith books and history books that indicates Aisha must have been older than nine when she got married:
According to a hadith in Bukhari and Muslim, Aisha is said to have joined Muhammad on the raid that culminated in the Battle of Badr, in 624 CE. However, because no one below the age of fifteen was allowed to accompany raiding parties, Aisha should have been at least fifteen in 624 CE and thus at least thirteen when she was married following the Hijra in 622 CE.
Ibn Hisham’s version of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rashul Allah, the earliest surviving biography of Muhammad, records Aisha as having converted to Islam before Umar ibn al-Khattab, during the first few years of Islam around 610 CE. In order to accept Islam she must have been walking and talking, hence at least three years of age, which would make her at least fifteen in 622 CE.
Tabari also reports that Abu Bakr’s four children were all born during the Jahiliyyah (Pre-Islam Period), which has ended in 610 CE, making Aisha at least twelve in 622 CE.
According to the generally accepted tradition, Aisha was born about eight years before Hijrah (Migration to Medina). However, according to another narrative in Bukhari (Kitaab al-Tafseer) Aisha is reported to have said that at the time Surah Al-Qamar, the 54th chapter of the Qur’an , was revealed, “I was a young girl”. The 54th Surah of the Qur’an was revealed nine years before Hijrah. According to this tradition, Aisha had not only been born before the revelation of the referred Surah, but was actually a young girl, not even only an infant at that time. So if this age is assumed to be 7 to 14 years, then her age at the time of marriage would be 14 to 21.
According to almost all the historians, Asma the elder sister of Aisha, was ten years older than Aisha. It is reported in Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb as well as in Ibn Kathir's Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah that Asma died in the 73rd year after migration of Muhammad when she was 100 years old. Now, obviously if Asma was 100 years old in the 73rd year after Migration to Medina, she should have been 27 or 28 years old at the time of migration. If Asma was 27 or 28 years old at the time of hijrah, Aisha should have been 17 or 18 years old at that time. Thus, if Aisha got married in year 1 AH or 2 AH (after Migration to Medina), she must have been between 18 to 20 years old at the time of her marriage.
According to many Ahadith in Bukhari, it is believed Aisha participated in the both of Badr and Uhud battles. Furthermore, in Bukhari's Kitabu’l-Maghazi, Ibn `Umar states: "The Prophet did not permit me to participate in Uhud battle, as at that time, I was 14 years old. But on the day of Khandaq battle, when I was 15 years old, the Prophet permitted my participation". So, since it was not allowed for Muslims younger than 15 years old to participate in Uhud battle, Aisha, who participated in Uhud, must have been at least 15 years old in those battles; thus her age was at least 13 to 14 at the time of her marriage.
According to Shi‘i scholar Sayyid Ja'far Murtada al-‘Amili, the early historian Muhammad ibn Ishaq says that Aisha was approximately the nineteenth person to convert to Islam after the commencement of the Holy Prophet (s)’s mission. Even if she had been just seven at this time, she would then have been seventeen by the time she was married and twenty at the time of Hijra.
This claim came from a narration in some Sunni books from ‘Urwah Ibn al-Zubair from his aunt Aisha that the Holy Prophet (SAWA) passed away while he was putting his head on the chest of Aisha. This narration is a fabricated narration and it contradicts with authentic narrations in Sunni and Shia books . Ibn Abbas, the well known companion, denied and refuted this narration.
as it is in Tahtheeb al-Tabaqaat al-Kubra (page 402) : Abu Ghatfan asked Ibn-Abbas, “did you see the Prophet when he passed away putting his head on the chest of anyone?”
Ibn Abbas replied: “the Prophet passed away when his head was on the
chest of Ali ibn Abi Talib”. The narrator asked him, that: “‘Urwah told
me that Aisha said that the prophet passed away when his head was on
her chest.” Ibn Abbas said: “do you have sense? Can you believe it? By
Allah, the messenger of Allah, passed away and his head
was on the chest of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.”
In the well known Sunni book Al Tabaqat al Kubra (vol 2 pg 260) Ibn Sa’ad said: The prophet passed away while his head was on the chest of Ali-ibn-abi-Talib.
Ibn Asaakir, the well known Sunni scholar, narrated in his book
Tareekh Dimashq (vol 3 pg 15 narration number 1028) that the mother of
Jumai’ ibn ‘Omair and his aunt both went to Aisha and asked her about
Ali. Aisha said: “you are asking me about whom? About a man who put
his hand, when the prophet was dying, and the soul of the prophet came
out on his hand and he wiped his face with it.”
This narration has also been mentioned in Majma’ al Zawa’id by al Haythami (vol 9 pg 112)
and also mentioned by al Zamakhshari in Rabi’ al Abraar.
The false narration claiming hat he Prophet put his head on the chest of Aisha was narrated by a well known enemy of Imam Ali (AS), ‘Orwah ibn al Zubair, who fabricated this false allegation because of his enmity against Ali Ibn Abi Talib (AS) . 'Orwah Ibn al Zubair fought against Imam Ali (AS) in the Bttle of Jamal in Basra and tried with his brother Abdullah to kill mam Ali (AS).
How can Muslims believe an enemy of Ali and leave what Ali (AS) himself stated? Ibn Abi Al-Hadeed narrated that Ali (AS) himself said(ولقد قبض رسول الله وان رأسه على صدري ) “verily the Messenger of Allah (SAWA) passed away when his head was on my chest.”
Nahjul Balagah, (sermon 197).
In Musnad Ahmad bin Hambal (vol 6, pg 300) Umm Salama,
one of the wives of the Holy Prophet (SAWA), she said: “I swear by
whom I swear, that Ali was the nearest to the Holy Prophet (SAWA) and
the last person who was with the Holy Prophet (SAWA) when the Holy
Prophet (SAWA) passed away, he was alone with Ali giving him secrets
and talking to him alone.”
This is also mentioned in al Musannaf (vol 7 pg 494) also in Kanz al
Ummal (vol 13 pg 146 Hadeeth number 36459) and also in Tareekh Madinat
Dimashq and also in al Bidaya Wannihaya by ibn Katheer (vol 7 pg 397)
Sunni texts also say that the Holy Prophet (s) died with his head in the lap of Imam 'Ali (as): The following is quoted in Khasa'is of Nasa'i from Umm Salamah: "By Allah, the closest person [to the Prophet] at the time of the Prophet's death was 'Ali. Early on the morning of the day when he was going to die, the Prophet called 'Ali who had been sent out on some errand. He asked for 'Ali three times before his return. However, 'Ali came before sunrise. So, thinking that the Prophet needed some privacy with 'Ali, we came out. I was the last to be out; therefore, I sat closer to the door than the other women. I saw that 'Ali lowered his head towards the Prophet and the Prophet kept whispering into his ears (for sometime). Therefore, 'Ali is the only person who was near the Prophet till the last."
Al-Hakim al-Nasyaburi, moreover, remarks in his Mustadrak that: "the Prophet kept confiding in 'Ali till the time of his death. Then he breathed his last."
The idea that the Prophet (S) passed away in the lap of A'ishah is found in some Sunni texts and is generally not shared by Shi'is. Other texts say that he called Imam 'Ali (A) to him before he passed away, and this view is generally the one adopted by Shi'is. Here is a Shi'i view on his last moments: https://www.al-islam.org/life-muhammad-prophet-sayyid-saeed-akhtar-rizvi/death-and-burial
In any case, it wouldn't have been fair for the Prophet (S) to favour A'ishah above his other wives at that time.
That being said, I don't think there is a lot of benefit in speculating over how much he did or did not love her, at the end of the day they were married and the Prophet (S) had a noble and generous personality and extended love to many people, this was part of what made him special and beloved in turn.
A few years ago I wrote a short piece on this important topic, which would hopefully be useful for you to read:
With prayers for your success.