lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) is what this humanity possesses of bright mind, sharp wit, and abundant knowledge. additionally, for her effective role in serving the islamic thought through relating prophet muhammad's (pbuh) hadiths (narrations); interpreting a lot of the aspects of the prophet's (pbuh) life and her juristic deductions.
she is also a woman who exceeded the boundaries of her role as a woman to become a teacher for a whole nation that is the islamic nation.
may allah be pleased with her was one of the skilful people in qur'an, hadith and islamic jurisprudence, thus urwah- bin al- zubair said:'' i have never seen someone who knows more of the qur'an and its commandments, nor al-hallal (lawfulness), or haram( sinful deeds), or poetry, or arabs oratory or backgrounds than aisha.''
in this researchable point i have raised three domains in which lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) has been distinguished in, and they are:
1-her knowledge and teachings.
2-the oratorical interpreter lady.
3-the lady faqiha (islamic jurist).
i have chosen these domains for their importance and obvious influence on the islamic community and thought, lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) with her knowledge and her knowingness contributed in amending the concepts, and the orientation to follow the messenger of allah's sunnah (prophet's tradition), that's why the intellectuals used to go to her to grasp from her abundant knowledge ,thereby she became an illuminative source (lamp) that sheds its light on the people of science and its students . that is lady aisha bint- abi- bakr- al- siddiq- abdullah –bin- othman (may allah be pleased with them) prophet muhammad's wife and the most proficient islamic jurist of the women of islam and the most knowledgeable of qur'an, the hadith (the prophet's tradition); and jurisprudence.
she was born in makkah in the eighth year before al- hijra. prophet muhammad (pbuh) married her the second year of a.h, she was the most relaying of his hadiths amongst his women.
she was one of the prophet's most beloved women, she talks about it and say:'' i was superior to the wives of prophet muhammad (pbuh) in ten with no pride, i was the dearest to his heart; my father was the dearest to him ;he married me a seven year old and consummated the marriage when i was nine years old ; the proof of my innocence has been revealed by allah (meaning the slander incident ). prophet muhammad (pbuh) took permission from his other wives during his sickness saying:' i have no strength to come to you frequently ,so permit me to stay at some of you, so um- salamah said:'' we knew who you want ,you want aisha, you have our permission.'' ; his last meal in this world was my saliva/spittle ; so he cleaned his teeth with my (siwak) toothpick; he died between my lap and my bosom; and was buried in my house.'' may allah be pleased with her died in fifty-eighth a.h.
her knowledge and teachings
lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) is considered one of the senior intellectuals and jurisprudent (fiqhan) women of the world, she had known of all that relates to al-din (religion), quran, hadith; interpretation; and jurisprudence. she (may allah be pleased with her) was a reference to the prophet's (pbuh) companions when they encountered a difficult matter they used to take her islamic opinion and find solution from her for what had been problematic for them . abu musa al-ashari said:'' never had we (the companions of the prophet) encountered any difficulty regarding hadith and we asked aisha about it, but got useful information from her.''
lady aisha's status among muslims was the status of the teacher amongst his students, if she heard inaccurate narrations from the muslim intellectuals and the companions of the prophet (pbuh), she would correct them for them and clarify what was unknown to them, so she was famous for that, and everyone who had a suspicion regarding a relation came to her asking.
lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her ) has been distinguished by her refine knowledge for enabling factors which made her reach this status , some of the most important factors are;
-her sharp intelligence in addition to her formidable memory, that's because she narrated a lot of the hadiths of the prophet (pbuh).
-her marriage to the prophet (pbuh) in an early age and her upbringing in the prophethood household, so she became " the student of prophet-hood."
-the many times in which the prophet (pbuh) received divine revelation (alwahy by gabriel) while he was in her room and in that she had superiority over the other wives of the prophet (pbuh).
- her passion for knowledge and science, she would ask and inquire if she had no knowledge of something or if she encountered a difficulty in a case, that's why ibn-abi-malikah said:'' she never heard something - which she had no recollection of - but revised till she memorize.''
as a result of her knowledge and jurisprudence, her blessed quarter became the scholars' destination till this quarter became the first school of islam and the greatest influence in the history of islam, furthermore, she used to install a veil as a separator (curtain) between her and her students, that's when masrouk said:''i heard her clapping hands from behind the separating veil.''
lady aisha(may allah be pleased with her) followed refined techniques in her teachings following the prophet's (pbuh) steps, the ones he used in teaching his companions (al sahabah) .
one of these techniques is not hurrying in speech, instead talking slowly so the learner would comprehend. urwa said that lady aisha said in denunciation :'' abu- huraira came once and sat beside my quarters relaying of the prophet (pbuh) making me listen to it. at that time i was praying (glorifying allah), consequently he left before i had finished my rosary. had i caught up with him i would have replied, that the prophet (pbuh) did not narrate al- hadith the way you narrate it.''
another teaching techniques she used as well, teaching in a practical way, in order to clarify the arbitrations of the practical legitimacies such as ablution (wudhou'). applying
she was never embarrassed in answering the person who came to her asking about the legal opinions issued by islam (fatwa) in any of the issues concerning religion even if it was of one's most specific personal issues.
we noticed as well that lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her ) used to use the scientific technique joined with evidence from the quran or al-sunnah , that's obvious in massrouks' narration when he said:'' abu bakr (may allah be pleased with him) was leaning at aisha's. she said :o father of aisha ,three whoever speaks of, slanders greatly to allah. he said :what are they? she said: who alleged that the prophet(pbuh) saw allah has greatly slandered to allah. abu bakr said: i was leaning then sat down and said: await me and do not haste me, did not allah the almighty say:(and indeed he (the prophet) already saw him on the evident horizon .and indeed he did already see him (during) another descent). al-takweer81:2), (an-najm53:13)
thus she said :i am the first of this nation to ask the prophet(pbuh) of this and he said:( it is but the angel jibril( gabriel), i have not seen his true image ,the one he was created by, except these two times, i saw him descend from the sky blocking by his mighty image what's between the sky and earth. so she said :haven’t you heard that allah says :( beholdings (i.e., eyesights) cannot perceive him, and he perceives be holdings and he is the ever-kind, the ever-cognizant. (103, al-anaam)
haven’t you heard that allah says :( and in no way is it feasible for a mortal that allah should speak to him, except by revelation or from beyond a curtain, or that he should send a messenger; then he reveals whatever he decides, by his permission. surely he is ever-exalted, ever-wise. (al-shura: 51:42)
she said: and whoever claims that the prophet hid something from allah's book (the quran) did slander greatly on allah and allah says :( o you messenger, proclaim whatever has been sent down to you from your lord; and in case you do not perform (that), then in no way have you proclaimed his message.(al-maedah:5:67)
and she said whoever speaks of tomorrow (the unseen) has greatly slandered and allah says : ( say, "none knows the unseen in the heavens and the earth except allah. (an-naml27:65)
thus it becomes obvious to us that lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) was a stronghold of the islamic thought, in addition, a siraj (source) that illuminates on the students of science.
prophet muhammad (pbuh) loved her and preferred her for her cleverness and her love for knowledge thereby; said:'' a lot of men have been perfect, and none of the women were perfect except asia -pharaohs' wife- and mariam bint- umran, and the superiority of aisha to other women is like the superiority of "tharid" (that is a meat and bread dish that was the best to eat at these times) to other meals.''
the orator interpreter lady
lady aisha was a proficient scientist interpreter and orator, teaching the women believers, in addition, a lot of the prophet's companions asked her in issues of al-din (religion). allah has destined for her all the means that made her one of the pioneers of the interpretation (tafsir) realm.
if we go through her great role in interpretation we will find that being the daughter of abu- bakr- al -siddiq is one of the reasons that enabled her to occupy this status in the realm of interpretation. as a child she heard the quran from her father as siddiq, moreover her cleverness and her formidable memory were additional reasons. we notice that from her saying:'' it was revealed to the prophet (pbuh) in makkah and i was running and playing: (no indeed, (but) the hour is their appointment, and the hour is more calamitous and more bitter.)(al-qamar54:46); never had surat al bakara and an-nisaa' been revealed unless i was with him).
one of the many important reasons is that she used to witness the descending of the revelation (al-wahy) on the messenger of allah ,and she used to ask the prophet (pbuh) about the meanings of the verses of the quran once she hears them, hence fore, she combined the honor of receiving the quran from the prophet (pbuh) as soon as it is revealed and getting its meanings from the prophet (pbuh) as well. she has accumulated besides all that all what the interpreter must have, like being perfect in the arabic language, her eloquence and the excellency of her exposition.
lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) was careful in interpreting the holy quran following the principles and creeds of religion, and that is obvious in what urwah said asking lady aisha regarding allah's saying:''
(they were reprieved) until, when the messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied (by their people), then came to them our help, and whomsoever we willed were delivered.
urwah was confused in understanding the word " denied" and whether they were denied by people or by allah. aisha said: "allah forbids, the messengers did not think that of their lord (allah)". urwah said: so what does this verse mean? she said: the followers of the messengers believed in their lord (allah), and believed them, but when the victory was delayed, the messengers were finally in despair from their people and thought that their followers had counted them liars. finally allah's victory came to them at that point.''
moreover, in another situation it is revealed to us that lady aisha used to be eager to show how the verses of the quran are related through explaining and interpreting the quran using quran. and by that lady aisha has paved the way for all who came after her the most idealistic ways in understanding the quran.
as for being one of the greatest who memorized and narrated al-sunnah "the prophet's sayings" between the companions, she has occupied the fifth place in memorizing and interpreting the prophet's hadiths, she came after abi- huraira ,ibn- omar, anas- bin- malek, and ibn- abbas (may allah be pleased with them). nevertheless, she was distinguished in that because most of the sayings which she narrated, she heard directly from the prophet(pbuh)himself. in addition, a lot of the hadiths which she narrated had included actual sunan that's because the blessed quarters became the first school of hadith where the scholars goes to in order to visit the prophet and receive al sunnah from the lady who was the closest person to the prophet, she never held back her knowledge from any of them, that's why the number of the narrators who narrated on her behalf were huge.
she used to believe that it is imperative to keep the words of the hadiths as they are. we have noticed that from the narration of urwa bin az-zubair when aisha said to him:'' o nephew it came to my knowledge that abdullah- bin- amr is passing by on his way to the pilgrimage (al hajj). meet him and ask him to tell you some of the prophet's sayings, for he took from him great knowledge. urwa said:" i have met him and asked him about things he heard from the prophet. when i reported one of the hadiths i've heard from him to aisha, she was astonished and said: "did he tell you that he heard the prophet saying this?" ".
later, aisha asked urwah again to ask bin amr about the hadith he had mentioned to him, when bin amr reached madienah.
urwah said:" i met him therefore and asked him to retell the hadith. he mentioned it to me the same way he mentioned it the first time. when i told aisha that, she said :"i don’t think but he uttered the truth, i can see that he didn't add to it nor did he decrease.'' "
this is why some narrators of the hadith came to her and made her listen to some of the hadiths so they would verify its authenticity. in addition, if they disagreed on a certain matter they would refer to her. from all of this it becomes obvious to us the role of lady aisha, and her preference in transmitting the prophethood sunnah and spreading it between people ,additionally, only if allah did not make her fit for that, a great part of the actual sunnah would have been lost in the prophet's household.
the jurist lady
lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) was one of the senior knowledgeable, jurisprudent women in the world. one of the senior intellectual jurist companions of the prophet (pbuh).
moreover, as we have mentioned before that the companions of the prophet used to take her legal opinions based on islam (yastaftonaha) and she would give it to them (fataftihem). it was mentioned by al-qasem –bin –muhammad that lady aisha has been working in giving her fatwa( legal opinion based on islam) since the succession of abu bakr in handling the muslims issues till she died. furthermore, she did not stop at what she has learnt from the prophet but rather deducted juristically in extracting laws for the incidents which did not have a verdict in the quran or al-sunnah. if she was asked of a verdict of a certain issue she would look it up in the quran and hadith, if she didn’t find any she would deduct juristically to extract the verdict, till it was said that a quarter of the islamic laws and verdicts are transmitted by her. as an example, her confirming the unlawfulness of what is called "pleasure marriage" taking evidence from allah's saying:( and they are the ones who preserve their private parts, except with their spouses or what their right hands possess; then surely they are not blameworthy (literally: other than being blameworthy). yet, whoever inequitably seeks (anything) beyond that, then those are the ones who are the aggressors-(al-maarij70:29,30,31)
lady aisha has some specific islamic jurisprudence opinions in which she contradicted the opinions of the companions, some of these opinions are:
1- the legality of praying supererogatory (voluntary) prayers -nawafel-after the afternoon (al- asr) prayer, saying that prophet muhammad never left the two supererogatory prayers after al- asr prayer.'' and despite the fact that it is known that praying supererogatory prayers after al- asr is not preferable, some of the scholars (islamic jurists) said that praying extra prayers after al- asr prayer is of the prophet's privacies.
2- she has also seen that the number of ramadan's voluntary prayers are eleven (raka'at) with al-witr (the odd prayer) taking evidence from the prophets prayer, and that’s when abu- sallamah bin abdur-rahman asked her :'' how was prophet muhammad's(pbuh) prayer during ramadan(the fasting month)? she said :the prophet did not exceed in ramadan nor at any other time than eleven units of prayer, praying four raka'at ,don’t ask of their goodness and length ,then prays another four, don’t ask of their goodness and length, then prays three. i said :o messenger of allah :do you sleep before praying al-witr (the odd)? so he said:(o aisha my eyes sleep but my heart never sleeps).''
in spite of that the companions used to pray 20 (rak'at) and this is not against what the prophet did.
thus, lady aisha has accumulated the excellency of her exposition in addition to her minds' temperance, till al-ata' said about her: "aisha was the most jurist of people in addition, her opinion of the common was better than all the people.''
lady aisha (may allah be pleased with her) died at the age of sixty- six , after leaving the deepest impact on the islamic jurisprudence ,social and political life of muslims .additionally, she kept for them some few thousands of prophet muhammad's (pbuh) authentic hadiths.
may allah be pleased with her had outlived prophet muhammad (pbuh) to correct people's opinion of the arabic woman, thus she had accumulated (may allah be pleased with her) between all the aspects of the islamic sciences, for she is the lady intellectual, interpreter, narrater, jurist. moreover, as we have mentioned earlier she is the one whom prophet muhammad (pbuh) said about:'' the superiority of aisha to other women is like the superiority of tharid (meat and bread dish) to other meals.'' as if she was superior to women.
urwah said of her:'' i haven’t seen a more knowledgeable person in jurisprudence, or medicine, or poetry than aisha.'' abu-omar bin-abdulbar said of her the same.
furthermore, thus we feel the deepest influence of lady aisha who was considered a luminous source on scholars and intellectuals, because she was the closest companion to the teacher of the nation and the most beloved prophet muhammad, and who took a lot from him and benefited the islamic society. for that she is considered an extension of the messenger of allah (pbuh).