Lady Khadija and ‘A’ysha; both are mothers of believers (Ummul Mo-mineen). From this aspect, both these ladies are deserving of respect by the Muslims. But the difference of both these mothers of believers will be apparent from their personal circumstances. The following discussion is worthy of attention:
Lady Khadija was related to the Holy Prophet (S). The respected lady was wealthy and the Prophet used to manage her business. During that time, the Prophet used to carry Meccan goods for trading in Syria. Upon his return, he used to give the accounts to the owners. He used to perform these duties with such honesty and integrity that the people of Mecca called him by the title of Ameen (trustworthy).
Along with other goods, he used to carry the goods of Khadija also for trading. The gentle and honest nature of the Prophet affected Khadija and she desired to marry him. Nothing could prevent this marriage, because Lady Khadija was a noble lady of Mecca and the Prophet was equal in class. Thus, his uncle and benefactor, Abu Talib also liked the proposal and Lady Khadija was married to the Messenger of Allah (S). At the time of this marriage, the age of the
Prophet was twenty-five years and Lady Khadija was forty years old. Though there was a vast difference between their ages, their marriage proved to be a very happy union. May Allah make the marriages of all the people so happy and blessed.
Though Lady Khadija was fifteen years senior to the Holy Prophet (S), he was very much attached to her. The proof of his affections for her is clear from the fact that during the lifetime of Lady Khadija, the Prophet did not take another wife. If he had done so, it would not have been against religion and tradition. The reason for not doing so was that the Prophet had a spiritual relationship with Lady Khadija. He had not married her only for physical relationship. The Prophet used to respect Lady Khadija a great deal, and he loved her all his life. Even after her death, he never forgot her and he remembered her with the same love and affection.
The greatest reason for this love was that Khadija (s.a.) had great respect for the Messenger of Allah (S). She did nothing that would even slightly displease the Prophet. She at once understood that the Messenger of Allah (S) was a true Prophet. Indeed, she was the first lady to bring faith on the Messenger of Allah (S). Lady Khadija was an accomplished and cultured lady. She possessed all the superior qualities of womanhood. Though it is an honor for a woman to be called a perfect woman, Lady Khadija also qualified to be the most superior woman by her spirituality. Her spirituality was obvious from the fact that ‘the Lady of Judgment Day’ and rather, ‘the Chief of the Ladies of the world’ was to be born from her womb. And she was the lady who became the wife of Ali (a.s.) and from whose womb were born Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (a.s.) and then from the progeny of Imam Husayn (a.s.) were born nine purified Imams, one after the other.
On the basis of those excellences, the Messenger of Allah (S) loved Lady Khadija (s.a.) so much. Indeed, without spiritual superiority, the husband can never love his wife so much. Lady Khadija passed away at Mecca itself before the Hijrat (migration) of the Messenger of Allah (S). The Prophet was so aggrieved due to her demise that he could not forget his dear wife for the rest of his life. After emigrating from Mecca to Medina, the Holy Prophet (S) married ‘A’ysha. And after that he married a number of ladies. But whatever Khadija had, was taken with her to the grave. It is worthy to note that at the age of 25, he married Khadija and spent his youth and a part of his middle age with her. The love of the Holy Prophet (S) to Khadija increased day by day and never decreased. The cause of such a love has spiritual aspects and is restricted to the selected ones of Allah.
Now, the writer shall mention some facts about ‘A’ysha. ‘A’ysha was the daughter of Abu Bakr. She married the Prophet at a very young age. Her young age is proved from the fact that at the time of the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S) she was only 18 years old. She married in Medina and she was widowed only after a few years.
After his marriage to ‘A’ysha, the Prophet married a few times more. ‘A’ysha was beautiful and the Prophet appreciated this quality of hers. In spite of her beauty and attraction, ‘A’ysha could not create such a respect in the heart of the Prophet as Khadija was having, because ‘A’ysha was not bestowed with those spiritual qualities. And how could it be? Because Providence did not intend that a daughter like Fatima should be born from her and should marry a person like Ali (a.s.), and that such sons should be born from her, who are mentioned in Taurat and those who would all be the true Caliphs of the Messenger of Allah (S).
We never compare Lady Khadija to ‘A’ysha because both are mothers of believers for us. But Ahlul Sunnat do a lot of injustice in this regard since the beginning. What type of justice is that ‘A’ysha should be called the most superior of the women, instead of Lady Khadija? But since their religion is based on opposition to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) what else could they have done? The main cause is that ‘A’ysha was the daughter of Abu Bakr. If it had not been so, Ahlul Sunnat would not have acted like that. Indeed, if Pir Dastagir had referred to Khadija as the favorite wife of the Prophet, it would have been all right, but indeed it’s a pity that he calls ‘A’ysha the favorite wife of the Prophet. In the view of the writer, ‘A’ysha had nothing extraordinary except that she was a wife of the Prophet. That alone could not lend her spiritual superiority. It is not difficult to learn about her manners and spiritual position.
On page 284 of Sahih Muslim, we read about the inner feelings of ‘A’ysha. One day Hawla Binte Khuwailid, the sister of Khadija, came to visit the Messenger of Allah (S). The Prophet met her with exceeding good behavior. This made ‘A’ysha jealous. She said: “You continue to remember that old woman whose teeth had fallen off, the redness of whose hair faded and whose thighs had become dry? Allah has now given you a better woman.”
Now we ask the readers: “Does this conversation imply any spirituality? Can any respectable lady talk in this way?” ‘A’ysha is the wife of the Prophet. We cannot express our views about her openly, but suffice it to say what type of manners are these. That one should speak in this way in front of the sister of a late co-wife? Indeed, it was beyond the understanding of ‘A’ysha that how discerning the Prophet was regarding merit and that why he remembered Khadija even after her death in the way he did. It was not without any reason that the Messenger of Allah (S) has made Lady Khadija equal to Lady Maryam and Lady Aasiya.1
Both these ladies also were having a pure soul like Khadijatul Kubra.
In that same tradition, the Prophet has compared ‘A’ysha to a brittle piece of bread whose taste is only material and has no connection with spirituality. ‘A’ysha was having a great friendship with Hafasa due to their similar natures. Hafasa was the daughter of Umar and she had such a nasty temperament that no one was prepared to marry her. When Umar saw that there was no possibility of her marriage, he became very angry and we do not know what would have been the consequences of this, but the Holy Prophet (S), in order to dispel turmoil, married Hafasa. Among men, ‘A’ysha had great hatred towards Ali (a.s.) and the Battle of Jamal was the result of this animosity.
Regarding the death of ‘A’ysha, it is said that Muawiyah had her drowned in a well. Such a thing is not unexpected from Muawiyah. It is very much possible.
We have already mentioned that there was great friendship between ‘A’ysha and Hafasa due the similarity of their natures. Thus, the two of them had confidential conversations and sought advice of each other and also made many policies.
The following incident is an example of this:
The Holy Prophet (S) used to compulsorily visit the houses of all the wives. Sometimes he ate something at one place and sometimes he just drank something. Often he had honey drink at a wife and then came to ‘A’ysha or Hafasa. These two planned to do something, so that the Prophet will not go to the other wives. They decided to tell the Prophet that he was having a foul breath due to something he had drunk at the houses of his other wives. May Allah the Great, give us refuge! The Quran says that ‘A’ysha and Hafasa exposed some secret of the Holy Prophet (S) regarding which, the Almighty Allah informed the Prophet. The verse of Surah Tahrim says:
The Almighty Allah chided ‘A’ysha and Hafasa in the following words, in the same Surah Tahrim:
“If you both turn to Allah, then indeed your hearts are already inclined (to this); and if you back up each other against him, then surely Allah it is Who is his Guardian…”4
In spite of such severe words of the Almighty, Pir Dastagir in his book Ghaniyatu Talibeen, makes ‘A’ysha the most superior of the women. Indeed, it is an enigma of Sunni faith. On one side is the stricture of Allah and on the other side, they consider her most superior of womenfolk. It seems the foundation of Sunni religion is acting against the truth and enmity to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
Indeed, the edifice of a religion based on such a defective foundation will be weak. Now the equitable people should decide, who has the right to be called the superior most, Lady Khadija or ‘A’ysha? In addition to the above verses, there is a verse in Surah Ahzab:
“O Prophet! Say to your wives: If you desire this world’s life and its adornment, then come, I will give you a provision and allow you to depart a goodly departing… And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore…”5
The wives meant herein are ‘A’ysha and Hafasa. So much hurt has been caused by these two that the Holy Prophet (S) had spoken of divorcing ‘A’ysha and had already given revocable divorce to Hafasa.6
All this shows that the Messenger of Allah (S) was not pleased with ‘A’ysha and Hafasa. Obviously, ‘A’ysha cannot claim equality with Lady Khadija, how can she be considered superior to her? O servants of Allah! Your creator has not created you without intellect. At least use your brains. If you don’t beseech Allah to make you the followers of truth, I pray on behalf of you.
It well known that Lady Khadija was bestowed with al the good qualities. She never troubled the Messenger of Allah (S) for any worldly thing. She put all her wealth at his disposal and herself lived like a poor woman.
Lady Khadija already possessed the praiseworthy qualities herself and the company of the Holy Prophet (S) further enhanced her good qualities. On the other hand, it is seen that the company of the Holy Prophet (S) had no effect on ‘A’ysha. She had no wealth that could have given her contentment.
Thus, whenever war booty arrived, ‘A’ysha used to rush towards it to get her share. In brief, after studying this in an impartial way, we find that Lady Khadija was an incomparable lady, whereas ‘A’ysha was not worth anything in comparison to her. Pir Dastagir said that ‘A’ysha was the most superior of the womenfolk was only on the basis of his love for Abu Bakr. There is intoxication in love and man becomes completely blind in love.
In the end, the writer presents an incident, which is related to the above discussion. This writer had attended a function to commemorate the Prophet’s birthday at a friend’s place. Two reciters of poems after giving their recitations, began to give a speech. In their speech, first they praised the Messenger of Allah (S), then started extolling ‘A’ysha and they did not leave any stone unturned to praise her. The poor audience, most of whom were illiterate and only a few educated, listened with rapt attention.
The writer underwent great torture during the speech, till the speaker alluded to the incident that most Ahlul Sunnat quote to prove the merit of ‘A’ysha. And that is the report that the Holy Prophet (S) took ‘A’ysha upon his shoulder so that she can watch some entertainment program. Now what is so great in that? How does this prove the merit of ‘A’ysha? This does not in any way prove any spiritual connection between ‘A’ysha and the Holy Prophet (S). It is just blindness in the love of Abu Bakr.
Even if we suppose it to be true, though it seems unlikely, it has nothing to prove any good quality of ‘A’ysha, except that being of very young age, she wanted to watch the performance and the Holy Prophet (S) made her perch on his shoulders. This shows that the Holy Prophet (S) was very kind to ‘A’ysha and he would have been kinder if she had not hurt him. The sorrow that she caused him was so intense that he even thought of divorcing her. The function continued for a long time and at last the sane people got release from it.
It is really astonishing that the two poets praised ‘A’ysha no end but none of them even mentioned the name of Khadija. This shows how much Ahlul Sunnat are attached to truth. O Sunni brothers! You must understand that leaving the path of truth is not allowed in any religion. You consider yourself as the sect, which will alone achieve salvation, then why this concealment of facts? Your books are present, wherein you can read about Lady Khadija and also ‘A’ysha.
- 1. Ref. Nawawi
- 2. Surah Tahrim 66:3
- 3. Refer Tafseer Baidhawi, Vol. II, Pg. 373; Tafseer Maalimut Tanzeel, Pg. 919; Tafseer Nishapuri, Vol. III, Pg. 435; Tafseer Kabir, Vol. 4, Pg. 233.
- 4. Surah Tahrim 66:4
- 5. Surah Ahzab 33:28-33
- 6. Ref: Tafseer Nishapuri Vol. II, Pg. 207; Tafseer Maalimut Tanzeel, Pg. 715; Tafseer
Baidhawi, Vol. II, Pg. 79.