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| birth_name =ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr| birth_date = {{c.}} 613/614 CEMecca, Hejaz, Arabia{{smaller|(present-day Saudi Arabia)}}}}| death_date= {{circa}} 13 July 678 / 17 Ramadan 58 AH (aged around 64)Medina, Hejaz, Arabia{{smaller|(present-day Saudi Arabia)}}}}Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Hejaz, Arabia{{smaller|(present-day Saudi Arabia)}}}}Abu Bakr {{smaller>(father)}}Umm Ruman {{smaller|(mother)}}


Muhammad ({{abbr>m.|married}} 620; died 8 June 632)}}ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr ( {{IPA-ar|ˈʕaːʔɪʃa|}}, {{circa}} 613/614 – {{circa}} 678 CE),{{efn|This is the generally accepted date, although the actual date of birth is not known for certain.}} also transcribed as Aisha ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|ɑː|iː|ʃ|ɑː}},AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, Aisha, 6 May 2019, WEB,weblink Aisha, Collins English Dictionary, HarperCollins, 6 May 2019, also {{IPAc-en|US|-|ʃ|ə|,_|aɪ|ˈ|iː|ʃ|ə}},MERRIAM-WEBSTER, Āishah, 6 May 2019, {{IPAc-en|UK|ɑː|ˈ|(|j|)|iː|ʃ|ə}})"Ayesha" (US) and OXFORD DICTIONARIES, Ayesha, 6 May 2019, or variants,{{efn| Other variants are Ā’ishah, A’ishah, Aisyah, Ayesha, A’isha, Aishat, or Aishah."Aisha" {{Webarchive|url= |date=6 January 2015 }}. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.}} was Muhammad's third and youngest wife.{{harvnb|Spellberg|1994|p=3}} In Islamic writings, her name is thus often prefixed by the title "Mother of the Believers" (), referring to the description of Muhammad's wives in the Qur'an.QUR'AN, 33, 6, nosup, {{harvnb|Brockelmann|1947}}Aisha had an important role in early Islamic history, both during Muhammad's life and after his death. In Sunni tradition, Aisha is portrayed as scholarly and inquisitive. She contributed to the spread of Muhammad's message and served the Muslim community for 44 years after his death.BOOK, AuthorHouse, 9781434323576, Aleem, Shamim, Prophet Muhammad(s) and His Family: A Sociological Perspective, 2007, 130, She is also known for narrating 2210 hadiths,Islamyat: a core text for students not just on matters related to Muhammad's private life, but also on topics such as inheritance, pilgrimage, and eschatology.BOOK, Cambridge University Press, 9781107031586, Sayeed, Asma, Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam, 2013-08-06, 27–9, Her intellect and knowledge in various subjects, including poetry and medicine, were highly praised by early luminaries such as al-Zuhri and her student Urwa ibn al-Zubayr.Her father, Abu Bakr, became the first caliph to succeed Muhammad, and after two years was succeeded by Umar. During the time of the third caliph Uthman, Aisha had a leading part in the opposition that grew against him, though she did not agree either with those responsible for his assassination nor with the party of Ali. During the reign of Ali, she wanted to all of a sudden, avenge Uthman's death after demanding Uthman's killing herself,al-Nihaya by Ibn Athir v5 p.80 which she attempted to do in the Battle of the Camel. She participated in the battle by giving speeches and leading troops on the back of her camel. She ended up losing the battle, but her involvement and determination left a lasting impression.{{harvnb|Abbott|1942}} Because of her involvement in this battle, Shia Muslims have a generally negative view of Aisha.Afterwards, she lived quietly in Medina for more than twenty years, took no part in politics, became reconciled to Ali and did not oppose caliph Mu'awiya.Some traditional hadith sources state that Aisha was betrothed to Muhammad at the age of 6 or 7;{{harvnb|Spellberg|1994|pp=39–40}} other sources say she was 9 when she had a small marriage ceremony;{{harvnb|Armstrong|1992|p=157}} some sources put the date in her teens; but both the date and her age at marriage and later consummation with Muhammad in Medina are sources of controversy and discussion amongst scholars.

Early life

Aisha was born 613 or early 614.{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=1}}{{harvnb|Ibn Sa'd|1995|p=55}} i.e., the year 613–614 She was the daughter of Umm Ruman and Abu Bakr of Mecca, two of Muhammad's most trusted companions.{{harvnb|Esposito}} No sources offer much more information about Aisha's childhood years.{{harvnb|Watt|1961|p=102}}{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=7}}

Marriage to Muhammad

The idea to match Aisha with Muhammad was suggested by Khawlah bint Hakim after the death of Muhammad's first wife, Khadija bint Khuwaylid.{{harvnb|Ahmed|1992}}{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=3}} After this, the previous agreement regarding the marriage of Aisha with Jubayr ibn Mut'im was put aside by common consent. Abu Bakr was uncertain at first "as to the propriety or even legality of marrying his daughter to his 'brother'." British historian William Montgomery Watt suggests that Muhammad hoped to strengthen his ties with Abu Bakr; the strengthening of ties commonly served as a basis for marriage in Arabian culture.{{harvnb|Sonbol|2003|pp=3–9}}

Age at marriage

{{See also|Criticism of Muhammad#Age of 3rd wife Aisha|Historicity of Muhammad|Islam and children#Marriage|Child marriage}}There was no official registration of births at the time that Aisha was born, so her date of birth, and therefore date of marriage, cannot be stated with certainty.NEWS, The Guardian,weblink Myriam, Francois-Cerrah, 14 February 2019, The truth about Muhammad and Aisha, 17 September 2012,weblink 24 January 2019, Her age is not mentioned in the Qur'an. All discussions and debate about her age at marriage rely on, firstly, the various ahadith, which are regarded by most Muslims as records of the words and actions of Muhammad and as a source for religious law and moral guidance, second only to that of the Qur'an. Unlike the Qur'an, not all Muslims believe that all ahadith accounts are divine revelation, and different collections of ahadith are given varied levels of respect by different branches of the Islamic faith.Aisha Y. Musa, The Qur’anists, Florida International University, accessed May 22, 2013. Sunni, various branches of Shia (such as Ismaili and Twelver), Ibadi and Ahmadiyya Muslims all regard different sets of ahadith as "strong" or "weak" in the power of their evidence, depending on their perceived provenance.The Future of Muslim Civilisation by Ziauddin Sardar, 1979, page 26.Neal Robinson (2013), Islam: A Concise Introduction, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0878402243}}, Chapter 7, pp. 85-89Aisha's age at the time of her marriage is frequently mentioned in Islamic literature. According to John Esposito, Aisha was married to Muhammad in Mecca in 624CE, after Hegira to Medina and the Battle of Badr.WEB,weblink A'ishah: 614–678: Third wife of Muhammad, Esposito, John,, en, 30 January 2019,weblink" title="">weblink 4 September 2018, live, dmy-all, Extracted from BOOK, The Islamic World: Past and Present, Esposito, John, 978-0397512164, 2004,
Several scholars interpret this to indicate that she reached puberty at this age,{{harvnb|Watt|1960}}{{harvnb|Barlas|2002|pp=125–126}}BOOK, A.C. Brown, Jonathan, Jonathan A.C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy, 2014, Oneworld Publications, 978-1780744209, 143–4,weblink although her age at the time is the subject of dispute. Al-Tabari says she was nine at the time her marriage was consummated.{{harvnb|al-Tabari|1987|p=7}}, {{harvnb|al-Tabari|1990|p=131}}, {{harvnb|al-Tabari|1998|p=171}} Sahih al-Bukhari's hadith says "that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old;"Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:62:64 other sources differ on the age of marriage, but agree that the marriage was not consummated at the time of the marriage contract.BOOK, A.C. Brown, Jonathan, Jonathan A.C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy, 2014, Oneworld Publications, 978-1780744209, 316. n° 50, Evidence that the Prophet waited for Aisha to reach physical maturity before consummation comes from al-Ṭabarī, who says she was too young for intercourse at the time of the marriage contract;,weblink
All biographical information on Muhammad and his companions was first recorded over a century after his death,BOOK, Heaven on Earth, Kadri, Sadakat, 30, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2012, but the ahadithPlural of hadith. and sīra (traditional Islamic biographies of Muhammad) provide records of early Islam through an unbroken chain of transmission. Various ahadith stating that Aisha was either nine or ten at the time of her consummation come from collections with sahih status, meaning they are regarded as reputable by most Sunni Muslims.Sahih Muslim 8:3309 Some other traditional sources also mention Aisha's age. The sīra of Ibn Ishaq edited by Ibn Hisham states that she was nine or ten years old at the consummation.BOOK, The Life of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq, A. Guillaume, 792, He married A'isha in Mecca when she was a child of seven and lived with her in Medina when she was nine or ten., The historian al-Tabari also states that she was nine.BOOK, History of al-Tabari, Vol 6: Muhammad at Mecca, al-Tabari, Abu Jafar, Ismail K Poonawala, 131, Marriage at a young age was not unheard of at the time, and Aisha's marriage to Muhammad may have had a political connotation, as her father Abu Bakr was an influential man in the community.{{harvnb|Afsaruddin|2014}} Abu Bakr, on his part, may have sought to further the bond of kinship between Muhammad and himself by joining their families together in marriage via Aisha. Leila Ahmed notes that Aisha's betrothal and marriage to Muhammad are presented as ordinary in Islamic literature, and may indicate that it was not unusual for children to be married to their elders in that era.BOOK, Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate, Ahmed, Leila, 1992, 51–54, 978-0300055832, Yale University Press,weblink Aisha's age at marriage has been a source of controversy and debate, and some historians, scholars and writers have revisited the previously-accepted timeline of her life.BOOK, Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith and Jurisprudence, Ali, Kecia, 2016, OneWorld, 173–186, 978-1780743813, Some writers have calculated Aisha's age based on details found in some biographies, eschewing the traditionally-accepted ahadith. One hadith recorded in the works of some medieval scholars, including al-Dhahabi,WEB,weblink al-Dhahabi, 3 September 2018, Siyar a'lam al-nubala', IslamWeb, قال عبد الرحمن بن أبي الزناد : كانت أسماء أكبر من عائشة بعشر . (Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi al-Zunad said: Asma was older than Aisha by ten years, states that Aisha's older sister Asma was ten years older than her. This has been combined with information about Asma's age at the time of her death and used to suggest that Aisha was over thirteen at the time of her marriage.BOOK, Asma, Barlas, 2012, "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an, University of Texas Press, 126, On the other hand, however, Muslims who calculate 'Ayesha's age based on details of her sister Asma's age, about whom more is known, as well as on details of the Hijra (the Prophet's migration from Mecca to Madina), maintain that she was over thirteen and perhaps between seventeen and nineteen when she got married. Such views cohere with those Ahadith that claim that at her marriage Ayesha had "good knowledge of Ancient Arabic poetry and genealogy" and "pronounced the fundamental rules of Arabic Islamic ethics., "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an, Gibril Haddad criticizes this approach as relying on a single narrator, and notes that a hadith from the same narrator gives a broader range for the age difference between the sisters.WEB,weblinkweblink dead, 15 May 2012, 3 September 2018, Gibril F Haddad, Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet, SunniPath, Muhammad Niknam Arabshahi, an Iranian Islamic scholar, has considered six different approaches{{clarify|date=May 2017}} to determining Aisha's age and concluded that she was engaged in her late teens.{{harvnb|Tarikh Sahih Islam|Muhammad Niknam Arabshahi|volume 1| page 197}} Using reports on the birth year of Fatimah as a reference point, the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement scholar Muhammad Ali has estimated that Aisha was over ten years old at the time of marriage and over fifteen at the time of its consummation.{{harvnb|Ali|1997|p=150}}Noting the references to Aisha's age as either nine or ten at the age of consummation, American historian Denise Spellberg states that "these specific references to the bride's age reinforce Aisha's pre-menarcheal status and, implicitly, her virginity". She notes that Aisha herself seemed to promote the fact that she was a virgin prior to her marriage to Muhammad, as a way to distinguish herself from his other, non-virginal wives. This was of great importance to those who supported Aisha's position in the debate of the succession to Muhammad. These supporters considered that as Muhammad's only virgin wife, Aisha was divinely intended for him, and therefore the most credible regarding the debate.{{harvnb|Spellberg|1994|pp=34–40}}

Personal life

Relationship with Muhammad

(File:Mohammed and his wife Aisha freeing the daughter of a tribal chief. From the Siyer-i Nebi.jpg|thumb|Muhammad and Aisha freeing the daughter of a tribal chief)In many Muslim traditions, Aisha is described as Muhammad's most beloved or favored wife after his first wife, Khadija bint Khuwaylid, who died before the migration to Medina took place.{{harvnb|Ahmed|1992|p=51}}{{harvnb|Roded|1994|p=36}}{{harvnb|Roded|2008|p=23}}{{harvnb|Joseph|2007|p=227}}{{harvnb|McAuliffe|2001|p=55}} There are several hadiths, or stories or sayings of Muhammad, that support this belief. One relates that when a companion asked Muhammad, "who is the person you love most in the world?" he responded, "Aisha."{{harvnb|Mernissi|1988|p=65}} Others relate that Muhammad built Aisha's apartment so that her door opened directly into the mosque,{{harvnb|Mernissi|1988|p=107}}{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=25}} and that she was the only woman with whom Muhammad received revelations.{{harvnb|Roded|1994|p=28}}{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=46}} They bathed in the same water and he prayed while she lay stretched out in front of him.{{harvnb|Shaikh|2003|p=33}}There are also various traditions that reveal the mutual affection between Muhammad and Aisha. He would often just sit and watch her and her friends play with dolls, and on occasion he would even join them.{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=8}}{{harvnb|Lings|1983|pp=133–134}}{{harvnb|Haykal|1976|pp=183–184}} Additionally, they were close enough that each was able to discern the mood of the other, as many stories relate.{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|pp=67–68}}{{harvnb|Lings|1983|p=371}} It is also important to note that there exists evidence that Muhammad did not view himself as entirely superior to Aisha, at least not enough to prevent Aisha from speaking her mind, even at the risk of angering Muhammad. On one such instance, Muhammad's "announcement of a revelation permitting him to enter into marriages disallowed to other men drew from her [Aisha] the retort, 'It seems to me your Lord hastens to satisfy your desire!'"{{harvnb|Ahmed|1992|pp=51–52}} Furthermore, Muhammad and Aisha had a strong intellectual relationship.{{harvnb|Mernissi|1988|p=104}} Muhammad valued her keen memory and intelligence and so instructed his companions to draw some of their religious practices from her.{{harvnb|Mernissi|1988|p=78}}{{harvnb|Ramadan|2007|p=121}}

Accusation of adultery

The story of accusation of adultery levied against Aisha can be traced to sura (chapter) An-Nur of the Qur'an. As the story goes, Aisha left her howdah in order to search for a missing necklace. Her slaves mounted the howdah and prepared it for travel without noticing any difference in weight without Aisha's presence. Hence the caravan accidentally departed without her. She remained at the camp until the next morning, when Safwan ibn al-Mu‘attal, a nomad and member of Muhammad's army, found her and brought her back to Muhammad at the army's next camp. Rumours that Aisha and Safwan had committed adultery were spread, particularly by Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy, Hassan ibn Thabit, Mistah ibn Uthatha and Hammanah bint Jahsh (sister of Zaynab bint Jahsh, another of Muhammad's wives). Usama ibn Zayd, son of Zayd ibn Harithah, defended Aisha's reputation; while Ali ibn Abi Talib advised "Women are plentiful, and you can easily change one for another." Muhammad came to speak directly with Aisha about the rumours. He was still sitting in her house when he announced that he had received a revelation from God confirming Aisha's innocence. Surah 24 details the Islamic laws and punishment regarding adultery and slander. Aisha's accusers were subjected to punishments of 80 lashes.The story is told multiple times in the early traditions, nearly all of the versions being ultimately derived from Aisha's own account. Typical examples can be found in {{Hadith-usc|Bukhari|usc=yes|5|59|462}}, {{Hadith-usc|Muslim|usc=yes|37|6673}} and {{harvnb|Guillaume|1955|pp=494–499}}.

Story of the honey

After the daily Asr prayer, Muhammad would visit each of his wives' apartments to inquire about their well-being. Muhammad was just in the amount of time he spent with them and attention he gave to them.WEB,weblink Great Women of Islam – Zaynab bint Jahsh, 7 December 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 15 October 2012, live, dmy-all,
Once, Muhammad's fifth wife, Zaynab bint Jahsh, received some honey from a relative which Muhammad took a particular liking to. As a result, every time Zaynab offered some of this honey to him he would spend a longer time in her apartment. This did not sit well with Aisha and Hafsa bint Umar.
}}Soon after this event, Muhammad reported that he had received a revelation in which he was told that he could eat anything permitted by God. Some Sunni commentators on the Qur'an sometimes give this story as the "occasion of revelation" for At-Tahrim, which opens with the following verses: }} Word spread to the small Muslim community that Muhammad's wives were speaking sharply to him and conspiring against him. Muhammad, saddened and upset, separated from his wives for a month. ‘Umar, Hafsa's father, scolded his daughter and also spoke to Muhammad of the matter. By the end of this time, his wives were humbled; they agreed to "speak correct and courteous words"{{harvnb|Ibn Sa'd|1995|pp=132–133}} and to focus on the afterlife.{{Hadith-usc|Bukhari|usc=yes|3|43|648}}

Death of Muhammad

Aisha remained Muhammad's favorite wife throughout his life. When he became ill and suspected that he was probably going to die, he began to ask his wives whose apartment he was to stay in next. They eventually figured out that he was trying to determine when he was due with Aisha, and they then allowed him to retire there. He remained in Aisha's apartment until his death, and his last breath was taken as he lay in the arms of Aisha, his most beloved wife.{{harvnb|Ahmed|1992|p=58}}{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=69}}{{harvnb|Lings|1983|p=339}}{{harvnb|Haykal|1976|pp=502–503}}{{harvnb|Guillaume|1955|p=679 and 682}}

Political career

After Muhammad's death, which ended Aisha and Muhammad's 14-year-long marriage, Aisha lived fifty more years in and around Medina. Much of her time was spent learning and acquiring knowledge of the Quran and the sunnah of Muhammad. Aisha was one of three wives (the other two being Hafsa bint Umar and Umm Salama) who memorized the Qur'an. Like Hafsa, Aisha had her own script of the Quran written after Muhammad's death.WEB,weblink Aishah bint Abu Bakr,, 2013-12-31,weblink" title="">weblink 26 July 2011, live, dmy-all,
During Aisha's life many prominent customs of Islam, such as veiling and seclusion of women, began.
Aisha's importance to revitalizing the Arab tradition and leadership among the Arab women highlights her magnitude within Islam. Aisha became involved in the politics of early Islam and the first three caliphate reigns: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman. During a time in Islam when women were not expected, or wanted, to contribute outside the household, Aisha delivered public speeches, became directly involved in war and even battles, and helped both men and women to understand the practices of Muhammad.{{Additional citation needed|date=August 2016}}

Role during caliphate

Role during first and second caliphates

After Muhammad's death in 632, Abu Bakr was appointed as the first caliph. This matter of succession to Muhammad is extremely controversial to the Shia who believe that Ali had been appointed by Muhammad to lead while Sunni maintain that the public elected Abu Bakr.{{harvnb|Spellberg|Aghaie|pp=42–47}} Abu Bakr had two advantages in achieving his new role: his long personal friendship with Muhammad and his role as father-in-law. As caliph, Abu Bakr was the first to set guidelines for the new position of authority.{{harvnb|Spellberg|1994|pp=4–5}}Aisha garnered more special privilege in the Islamic community for being known as both a wife of Muhammad and the daughter of the first caliph. Being the daughter of Abu Bakr tied Aisha to honorable titles earned from her father's strong dedication to Islam. For example, she was given the title of al-siddiqa bint al-siddiq, meaning 'the truthful woman, daughter of the truthful man', a reference to Abu Bakr's support of the Isra and Mi'raj.{{harvnb|Spellberg|1994|p=33}}In 634 Abu Bakr fell sick and was unable to recover. Prior to his death, he appointed ‘Umar, one of his chief advisers, as the second caliph. Throughout ‘Umar's time in power Aisha continued to play the role of a consultant in political matters.

Role during the third caliphate

After ‘Umar died, ‘Uthmān was chosen to be the third caliph. He wanted to promote the interests of the Umayyads. Aisha had little involvement with ‘Uthmān for the first couple years, but eventually she found a way into the politics of his reign. She eventually grew to despise ‘Uthmān. Narrations state that Aisha became angry with ‘Uthman after he refused to give her money stating that she did not have any right to that. Aisha agitated the Muslim community to kill ‘Uthman saying: Kill this old fool (Na‘thal) for he has disbelieved.History of Ibn al-Athir, v3, p206Lisan al-Arab, v14, p141al-Iqd al-Farid, v4, p290Sharh Ibn Abil Hadid, v16, pp 220-223As time continued issues of antipathy towards ‘Uthmān continued to arise. Another instance of opposition arose when the people came to Aisha, after Uthmān ignored the rightful punishment for Walid idn Uqbah (Uthmān's brother). Aisha and Uthmān argued with each other, Uthmān eventually made a comment on why Aisha had come and how she was "ordered to stay at home".{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=111}} Arising from this comment, was the question of whether Aisha, and for that matter women, still had the ability to be involved in public affairs. The Muslim community became split: "some sided with Uthmān, but others demanded to know who indeed had better right than Aisha in such matters".The caliphate took a turn for the worse when Egypt was governed by Abdullah ibn Saad. Abbott reports that Muhammad ibn Abi Hudhayfa of Egypt, an opponent of ‘Uthmān, forged letters in the Mothers of the Believers' names to the conspirators against ‘Uthmān. The people cut off ‘Uthmān's water and food supply. When Aisha realized the behavior of the crowd, Abbott notes, Aisha could not believe the crowd "would offer such indignities to a widow of Mohammad".{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=122}} This refers to when Safiyya bint Huyayy (one of Muhammad's wives) tried to help ‘Uthmān and was taken by the crowd. Malik al-Ashtar then approached her about killing Uthmān and the letter, and she claimed she would never want to "command the shedding of the blood of the Muslims and the killing of their Imām"; she also claimed she did not write the letters.{{harvnb|Abbott|1942|p=123}} The city continued to oppose ‘Uthmān, but as for Aisha, her journey to Mecca was approaching. With the journey to Mecca approaching at this time, she wanted to rid herself of the situation. ‘Uthmān heard of her not wanting to hurt him, and he asked her to stay because of her influence on the people, but this did not persuade Aisha, and she continued on her journey.

First Fitna

File:First Fitna map blank.svg|thumb|350px|Domains of Rashidun Caliphate under four caliphs. The divided phase relates to the Rashidun Caliphate of Ali during the First Fitna.{{legend|#00ff00|Strongholds of the Rashidun Caliphate of Ali during the First Fitna}}{{legend|#ef1000|Region under the control of Muawiyah I during the First Fitna}}{{legend|#5200FA|Region under the control of Amr ibn al-As during the First FitnaFirst FitnaIn 655, Uthman's house was put under siege by about 1000 rebels. Eventually the rebels broke into the house and murdered Uthman, provoking the First Fitna.See:
  • {{harvnb|Lapidus|2002|p=47}}
  • {{harvnb|Holt|1977|pp=70–72}}
  • {{harvnb|Tabatabaei|1979|pp=50–57}}
  • {{harvnb|al-Athir|1231|p=19}}P.19 After killing Uthman, the rebels asked Ali to be the new caliph, although Ali was not involved in the murder of Uthman according to many reports.{{harvnb|Holt|1977|pp=67–68}}{{harvnb|Madelung|1997|p=107 and 111}} Ali reportedly initially refused the caliphate, agreeing to rule only after his followers persisted.
When Ali could not execute those merely accused of Uthman's murder, Aisha delivered a fiery speech against him for not avenging the death of Uthman, although she was the first one to demand the killing of Uthman.Sharh ibn Abil Hadid v6 p215Al-Imamah wa al-Siyasa by Ibn Qutayba al-dinuri v1 p71 The first to respond to Aisha was Abdullah ibn Aamar al-Hadhrami, the governor of Mecca during the reign of Uthman, and prominent members of the Banu Umayya. With the funds from the "Yemeni Treasury" Aisha set out on a campaign against the Rashidun Caliphate of Ali.{{citation needed|date=February 2014}}Aisha, along with an army including Zubayr ibn al-Awam and Talha ibn Ubayd-Allah, confronted Ali's army, demanding the prosecution of Uthman's killers who had mingled with his army outside the city of Basra. When her forces captured Basra she ordered the attack on the guards, and the capture of the bayt al-mal.Siyar a'lam al-nubalaa v1 p322 She subsequently ordered the execution of 600 Muslims and 40 others, including Hakim ibn Jabala, who were put to death in the Grand Mosque of Basra.WEB,weblink Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib – Ayesha's Occupation of Basra (Hakim b Jabala),, 2013-12-31,weblink" title="">weblink 2013-11-15, live, JOURNAL, Ishaq, Mohammad, none, Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, 3, Part 1, {{harvnb|Razwy|2001}} Aisha's forces are also known to have tortured and imprisoned Othman ibn Hunaif a Sahabi and the governor of Basra appointed by Ali.WEB,weblink Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib – Ayesha's Occupation of Basra (War in Basra),, 2013-12-31,weblink" title="">weblink 2013-11-15, live, (File:Muhammad's widow, Aisha, battling the fourth caliph Ali in the Battle of the Camel.jpg|thumb|Aisha battling the fourth caliph Ali in the Battle of the Camel)Ali rallied supporters and fought Aisha's forces near Basra in 656. The battle is known as the Battle of the Camel, after the fact that Aisha directed her forces from a howdah on the back of a large camel. Aisha's forces were defeated and an estimated 10,000 Muslims were killed in the battle,{{harvnb|Glubb|1963|p=320}} considered the first engagement where Muslims fought Muslims.{{harvnb|Goodwin|1994}}After 110 days of conflict the Rashidun Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib met Aisha with reconciliation. He sent her back to Medina under military escort headed by her brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, one of Ali's commanders. She subsequently retired to Medina with no more interference with the affairs of state. She was also awarded a pension by Ali.{{harvnb|Muir|1892|p=261}}Although she retired to Medina, her forsaken efforts against the Rashidun Caliphate of Ali did not end the First Fitna.{{harvnb|Black|1994|p=34}}

Contributions to Islam and influence

After 25 years of a monogamous relationship with his first wife, Khadija bint Khuwaylid, Muhammad participated in nine years of polygyny, marrying at least nine further wives. Muhammad's subsequent marriages were depicted purely as political matches rather than unions of sexual indulgence. In particular, Muhammad's unions with Aisha and Hafsa bint Umar associated him with two of the most significant leaders of the early Muslim community, Aisha's and Hafsa's fathers, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, respectively.{{harvnb|Aslan|2005|pp=58–136}}Aisha's marriage has given her significance among many within Islamic culture, becoming known as the most learned woman of her time. Being Muhammad's favorite wife, Aisha occupied an important position in his life.{{harvnb|Elsadda|2001|pp=37–64}} When Muhammad married Aisha in her youth, she was accessible " the values needed to lead and influence the sisterhood of Muslim women."WEB,weblink History Shows the Importance of Women in Muslim Life, Pacific News Service, Muslims Weekly, April 4, 2005, June 19, 2012, Anwar, Jawed, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 24, 2013, After the death of Muhammad, Aisha was discovered to be a renowned source of hadiths, due to her qualities of intelligence and memory. Aisha conveyed ideas expressing Muhammad's practice (sunnah). She expressed herself as a role model to women, which can also be seen within some traditions attributed to her. The traditions regarding Aisha habitually opposed ideas unfavorable to women in efforts to elicit social change.{{harvnb|Geissinger|2011|pp=37–49}}According to Reza Aslan:{{harvnb|Aslan|2005|p=136}}Not only was Aisha supportive of Muhammad, but she contributed scholarly intellect to the development of Islam. She was given the title al-Siddiqah, meaning 'the one who affirms the truth'. Aisha was known for her "...expertise in the Quran, shares of inheritance, lawful and unlawful matters, poetry, Arabic literature, Arab history, genealogy, and general medicine." Her intellectual contributions regarding the verbal texts of Islam were in time transcribed into written form, becoming the official history of Islam.{{harvnb|Ahmed|1992|pp=47–75}} After the death of Muhammad, Aisha was regarded as the most reliable source in the teachings of hadith. Aisha's authentication of Muhammad's ways of prayer and his recitation of the Qur'an allowed for development of knowledge of his sunnah of praying and reading verses of the Quran.During Aisha's entire life she was a strong advocate for the education of Islamic women, especially in law and the teachings of Islam. She was known for establishing the first madrasa for women in her home.{{Additional citation needed|date=August 2016}} Attending Aisha's classes were various family relatives and orphaned children. Men also attended Aisha's classes, with a simple curtain separating the male and female students.{{Additional citation needed|date=August 2016}}

Political influence

Some{{who|date=June 2014}} say that Aisha's political influence helped promote her father, Abu Bakr, to the caliphate after Muhammad's death.After the defeat at the Battle of the Camel, Aisha retreated to Medina and became a teacher. Upon her arrival in Medina, Aisha retired from her public role in politics. Her discontinuation of public politics, however, did not stop her political influence completely. Privately, Aisha continued influencing those intertwined in the Islamic political sphere. Amongst the Islamic community, she was known as an intelligent woman who debated law with male companions.{{harvnb|Geissinger|2011|p=42}} Aisha was also considered to be the embodiment of proper rituals while partaking in the pilgrimage to Mecca, a journey she made with several groups of women. For the last two years of her life, Aisha spent much of her time telling the stories of Muhammad, hoping to correct false passages that had become influential in formulating Islamic law. Due to this, Aisha's political influence continues to impact those in Islam.


Aisha died at her home in Medina on 17 Ramadan 58 AH (16 July 678).{{efn|This is the generally accepted date, although the actual date of death is not known for certain.BOOK, Haylamaz, Resit, Aisha: The Wife, The Companion, The Scholar,weblink 2018-07-11, 2013-03-01, Tughra Books, 9781597846554, 192–193, dmy-all, }} She was 67 years old.{{harvnb|Al-Nasa'i|1997|p=108}} Some such as Sibt ibn al-Jawzi,BOOK, Yusuf ibn Qazghali, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirat al-Khawas, 62, Tazkirat ul Khawas (book), Hakim Sanai,BOOK, Hakim Sanai, Sanai, Hadoiqa Sanai, 65–67, and Khwaja Mehboob Qasim Chishti Muhsarafee QadiriBOOK, Khwaja Mehboob Qasim Chishti Muhsarafee Qadiri, Musharaf al Mehboobeen, 216–218, 616, say that she was murdered by Muawiyah. Muhammad's companion Abu Hurairah led her funeral prayer after the tahajjud (night) prayer, and she was buried at Jannat al-Baqi‘.{{harvnb|Ibn Kathir||p=97}}


Sunni view of Aisha

Sunnis believe she was Muhammad's favorite wife. They consider her (among other wives) to be Umm al-Mu’minin and among the members of the Ahl al-Bayt, or Muhammad's family. According to Sunni hadith reports, Muhammad saw Aisha in two dreamsBOOK, Richard Crandall, Islam: The Enemy, 2008, Xulon Press, 129, BOOK, Kelly Bulkeley, Kate Adams, Patricia M. Davis, Dreaming in Christianity and Islam: Culture, Conflict, and Creativity, 2009, Rutgers University Press, 9780813546100, 87, 6 (Dreaming in the Life of the Prophet Muhammad), in which he was shown that he would marry her.BOOK, M. Fethullah Gülen, Fethullah Gülen, Questions and Answers About Islam Vol. 1, 2014, Işık Yayıncılık Ticaret, 4.4 (Why Was The Prophet Polygamous?), 9781597846189, This is surely why the Prophet was told in a dream that he would marry Aisha., WEB, The Book of Marriage,weblink SahihalBukhari.Com, SalafiPublications.Comlocation=Hadeeth No. 4745 & 4787, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-11-23,

Shia view of Aisha

The Shia view Aisha negatively. They believe that she was a hypocrite, a disbeliever in disguise who wanted to tarnish the image of The Holy Prophet and Islam. They believe she caused so much bloodshed and confusion in the Muslim community.Obscenity the Other Face of Aisha p.207 They also believe battles like the Battle of the Camel is proof for her thirst for blood and greed for power and desire for division in the Muslim Ummah.Kitab Jamal by Shaykh al-Mufid p.426

See also





Cited works

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Further reading

  • BOOK, Afshare, Haleh, Haleh Afshar, Baroness Afshar, Democracy and Islam, Hansard Society, 2006,
  • BOOK, 'Askari, Murtada Sharif, Murtada Sharif 'Askari, Role of Ayesha in the History of Islam, Ansarian, Iran,
  • BOOK,weblink The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Oxford University Press, Bowker, John, 2000, 978-0192800947, 10.1093/acref/9780192800947.001.0001,
  • BOOK, Chavel, Geneviève, Aïcha : La bien-aimée du prophète, Fr, Editions SW Télémaque, 2007, 978-2753300552,
  • BOOK, Rivzi, Sa'id Akhtar, Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi, The Life of Muhammad The Prophet, Darul Tabligh North America, 1971, {{ISBN?}}
  • BOOK, Rodinson, Maxime, Maxime Rodinson, Muhammad, 2002, New Press, 978-1565847521, English, (translated from the French by Anne Carter)

, Biography of Aisha, 2004-11-22, bot: unknown
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