Aisha bint Abi Bakr (r.anha)

The virtues and merits of Hz. Aisha, who was the blessed wife of the Prophet, the mother of the believers and the daughter of Hz. Abu Bakr, who was the most loyal Companion of the Prophet, are too many to be counted.

Hz. Aisha, who was unique in terms of knowledge, ethics and taqwa, was an exceptional person who was outstanding in terms of issues like fiqh, hadith and interpretation of the Quran.

Hz. Aisha was born four years after the sun of prophethood started to illuminate the horizons of Makkah. Her father, Hz. Abu Bakr was a noble and clean man who did not worship idols unlike the majority of Makkans. He was engaged in trade. He was quite well off and he was one of the notables of Makkah. He was one of the followers of Hz. Ibrahim's religion of Hanif, the last remnants of the religion of tawhid. Her mother, Umm Ruman was one of the first believers in the Prophet.

Hz Aisha was born in such a noble and clean family, in a home illuminated by the light of oneness. Her childhood passed in a period when the struggle between the Muslims and the polytheists was the most severe.

Despite all kinds of cruelty and oppression of the polytheists, the light of the prophethood started to shine. About 10 years passed after the struggle between belief and unbelief. Hz. Aisha was a little girl aged six. She was cute, intelligent and beautiful. She was educated and brought up by a great Companion, Hz. Abu Bakr. Both the education given by such a father and the intelligence and talents Allah gave her showed that she was a candidate for a great duty.

The 10th year was the "Year of Sorrow" for the Prophet. For, he lost two great people, whom he loved a lot and who helped and protected him at hard times. One of them was his uncle Abu Talib and the other was his wife Hz. Khadijah.

It was impossible for him not feel sorry. Abu Talib was one of the most influential people of Quraysh. He protected his nephew and prevented the polytheists from harassing him more. Hz. Khadijah was old but she set an example of unique fidelity and gratitude by showing great loyalty, obedience and devotion to him. At those hard times when everybody denied the Messenger of Allah and kept away from him, she became the first one to believe in him; she showed compassion to him and protected him. She consoled him when he was in trouble and shared his sorrow and happiness.

In this year of sorrow, in which Hz. Khadijah died, Jibril arrived and consoled the Messenger of Allah. He showed the Prophet the image of Hz. Aisha and said, “O Messenger of Allah! This girl will be your wife instead of Khadijah, eliminating your sorrow and loneliness.”[1]

The Messenger of Allah often went to the house of Hz. Abu Bakr and consulted him about the expansion of Islam. When he was there once, he said to Umm Ruman, Abu Bakr's wife, “I advise you to take care of Aisha and treat her well.” Knowing that there is definitely some wisdom behind each word of the Messenger of Allah, her mother and father started to take care of her more.

Once, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) went to Hz. Abu Bakr’s house. He saw little Aisha crying; she was very sad. This crying affected the Messenger of Allah. He asked her why she was crying. She said she was crying because of her mother. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah said to Umm Ruman, “Did I not tell you to treat Aisha well?” Umm Ruman felt embarrassed and promised that she would not treat Aisha badly again.

After this incident, Hawla, Uthman bin Maz’un’s wife, went to the Prophet and offered him to marry Aisha. The Prophet lived alone at that time. He accepted her offer and asked her to be his deputy.

Hawla went to Hz. Abu Bakr’s home happily. Umm Ruman opened the door. Hawla gave her the good news. Umm Ruman became happy but she could not say anything because Hz. Abu Bakr was not at home.

After a while, Abu Bakr arrived. He felt very happy and excited when he heard it. However, he had a concern: He became brothers with the Messenger of Allah. According to the Arab customs, a person could not marry the daughter of a person with whom he became brothers. Would Aisha be permissible for the Prophet? He asked Hawla to find out about it.

Hawla told the Messenger of Allah about the concern of Hz. Abu Bakr. The Prophet had been appointed by Allah to eliminate the wrong customs and replace them with true ones. He said to Hawla,

“Go to Abu Bakr and tell him that my brotherhood with him is not biological brotherhood but Islamic brotherhood. Therefore, there is no drawback to my marriage with his daughter.”[2]

Hawla conveyed this answer to Hz. Abu Bakr at once. Thus, the concern of Hz. Abu Bakr was eliminated. Then, the Prophet got engaged with Hz. Aisha. However, Hz. Aisha was six years old then. Therefore, they remained engaged for three years.

The migration from Makkah to Madinah was very sorrowful. The believers who had to leave their hometown started to migrate alone or with their families. As it is known, Hz. Abu Bakr migrated together with the Prophet but his family remained in Madinah. Afterwards, Hz. Abu Bakr’s son, Abdullah set off for Madinah with her mother and two sisters. On the way, the camel that Hz. Aisha was on started to run very fast toward the desert and disappeared. It nearly made little Aisha fall off. Her mother felt very sad and was afraid that something bad would happen to her. However, the camel calmed down a bit later and returned to the caravan.

Hz. Aisha settled in the district of Banu Khazraj in Madinah with her mother and sister and stayed there for eight months.

Most of the muhajirs became ill in Madinah since they were not accustomed to the weather and water of Madinah. Hz. Abu Bakr and his daughter Aisha became ill, too.

When they recovered and life returned to normal, Hz. Abu Bakr asked the Messenger of Allah why he did not take Hz. Aisha. The Messenger of Allah said he did not have the mahr to give her. Thereupon, Hz. Abu Bakr said he was ready to lend him the amount of mahr. The Prophet accepted it. He married Hz. Aisha and took her to his house. Hz. Aisha was nine years old then.

We would like to deal with a question that can come to mind here:

1400 years ago, according to Arab customs, a girl married when she was ten or nine years old. A girl who was older than ten or twelve was regarded as a spinster.

On the other hand, it is necessary not to forget that girls flourish more quickly in hot countries. Thus, the Prophet married Hz. Aisha when she was at an age that was regarded as normal and tolerable at that time in accordance with the customs of that time and place. That Hawla who offered the Prophet to marry Hz. Aisha, who was six years old then, and that her father asked the Prophet to take her when she became nine years old are signs showing that it was normal.

Hz. Aisha’s weeding took place in the month of Shawwal. Up to that time, the Arabs did not have weddings in the month of Shawwal. For, there was a plague epidemic in the month of Shawwal in the past, which made them regard it as unlucky. With the marriage of Hz. Aisha, this wrong belief was also eliminated.

Hz. Aisha advised people to marry in the month of Shawwal. She showed her marriage as an example and said that she was the most beautiful, fortunate and luckiest woman.

One of the superstitions that was eliminated thanks to this wedding was taking the bride by making a fire in front of her.

With this marriage, the Prophet got closer to Hz. Abu Bakr, who was the first male Muslim and a loyal Companion.

The greatest wisdom behind this marriage of the Prophet is the service of Hz. Aisha to Islam with the knowledge and virtues she obtained in the nine-year period in which she was married to the Prophet. It was possible for the Companions to see and know the apparent religious decrees but the decrees about the family life in Islam were not like that. An intelligent and shrew woman like her was necessary to inform the ummah about them.[3]

A person who was a candidate for such a duty had to be under the control of the Messenger of Allah beginning from a very early age. For, a person can be brought up for a certain purpose only by directing his talents toward that purpose.

As a matter of fact, while Hz. Aisha was fulfilling this duty as a woman, Anas bin Malik was educated similarly by the Messenger of Allah beginning from a very early age as a man; he conveyed many hadiths to the ummah.

Hz. Aisha, who spent her youth, the most effective era of her life, with the Messenger of Allah, learned a lot of things from him.

Hz. Aisha had a different place in the eye of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah loved her very much and expressed this frequently. Once, the Messenger of Allah was asked, “Who is the most beloved person to you?” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Aisha.” They asked, “Among men?” He said, “Her father.”[4]

Hz. Aisha herself stated that she was more virtuous than the other wives of the Prophet as a means of gratitude: “Nobody got married to the Prophet at a very young age like me. No wives of the Prophet had muhajir parents. My decree was sent down from the sky by Allah. Jibril showed the Prophet my image in Harira and said to him, ‘Marry her because she is your wife.’ We had a bath from the same receptacle with the Messenger of Allah. He did not do it with the others. When the Prophet performed a prayer, I would perform next to him. The other wives could not stand like that. Jibril came to him when he was with me but not when he was with his other wives. Allah removed his spirit when his head was resting on my bosom. He died in my room and he was buried in my room.”[5]

As Hz. Aisha mentioned, she had the honor of seeing Jibril. Hz. Aisha narrates this incident as follows:

Once, I saw Jibril from my room. He was on a horse. The Messenger of Allah was calling out to him. When the Messenger of Allah entered the house, I asked him, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who were you calling?’ He asked,

“Did you see him?” I said,

“Yes, I did.”

“Who did you liken him to?”


“You definitely saw something good. H e was Jibril.”

After a while, he said, “O Aisha! Jibril sends his greetings to you." I replied to his greeting. [6]

Hz. Aisha had a sensitive temperament. She sometimes got angry and furious. When she was angry, it would be clear from the way she addressed the Prophet. Once, the Messenger of Allah said to her, “O Aisha! I know when you are angry and when you are pleased. Hz. Aisha said, “O Messenger of Allah! How do you know?” The Prophet said, “When you are pleased, you swear by saying, ‘By the Lord of Muhammad’. When you are angry, you swear by saying, ‘By the Lord of Ibrahim’.” Hz. Aisha answered as follows, rejoicing the Prophet and expressing her respect to him:

“O Messenger of Allah! Yes, you are right. When I am angry, I do not utter your name but your love is always in my heart.”[7]

The Messenger of Allah always treated her well. He always fulfilled her wishes. He even raced with her. Once, Hz. Aisha won the race. In the second race, Hz. Aisha lost because she got a bit fat. The Messenger of Allah said, “We got even now.”[8]

The Messenger of Allah returned from the expeditions of Tabuk and Khaybar. There was a cloth at the front part of his house. The wind had blown and removed the cloth. Hz. Aisha's toys from her childhood appeared behind the cloth. The Messenger of Allah asked Hz. Aisha,

“O Aisha! What are they?”

“My daughters.”

There were also two horses with wings among the toys. The Messenger of Allah asked,

“What is that?”

“It is a horse.”

“What is on it?”

“Its wings.”

“Can a horse have wings?”

“Did you not hear? Hz. Sulayman had horses with wings.”

Upon this answer, the Messenger of Allah grinned.[9] This was an answer that indicated the intelligence and culture of Hz. Aisha.

Hz. Aisha became distinguished with her knowledge and intelligence. She became the person whom the Companions applied after the death of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

Hz. Aisha answered the questions the Muslims asked her about hadith, fiqh and other religious issues. While mentioning her level about hadith, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari stated the following: “Whenever we, the Companions of the (pbuh), had a dispute over a hadith, we would ask Hz. Aisha and see that she definitely knew about that hadith.”

She gave decrees on her own about some religious issues, becoming one of the fiqh scholars among the Companions.

Hz. Aisha’s main service to the religion of Islam was related to the issues private questions and some issues that were very difficult for the ummah to learn. First, she felt ashamed when private issues were asked in the presence of the Messenger of Allah. However, she realized in the course of time that there was no need to feel ashamed about conveying the decrees of the religion.

Once Umm Sulaym went to the Prophet and asked the following question:

"O Messenger of Allah! Is ghusl necessary for a woman when she has a sexual dream?

Hz. Aisha was also there. She said to Umm Sulaym, "You humiliated the women."Upon this the Messenger of Allah said to Hz. Aisha , "No. You humiliated the women." Then, he said to Umm Sulaym, "Yes, she needs to make ghusl." When Umm Sulaym later narrated this incident, she said she felt ashamed. [10]

Masruq, one of the Tabiun scholars who reported hadiths from Hz. Aisha, went to her once and greeted her. Then, he said, “I want to ask you something but I feel ashamed.” Thereupon, Hz. Aisha said, “I am your mother and you are my son.” Thereupon, Masruq asked, “What parts of a woman are halal for her husband when she is menstruating. Hz. Aisha said, “All kinds of kissing and playing except sexual intercourse.”

Hz. Aisha, who was educated by the Messenger of Allah himself, was very pious. When she performed prayers, she put on a gown, a loose dress and a scarf that hung down to her chest.[11]

The following incident showing her degree of taqwa is also exemplary:

“And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance.”[12] When she heard the verse above, she would cry so much as to wet her garment, remembering the terrible situation of the women of Jahiliyya Era.[13]

Hz. Aisha, who was very careful about tasattur, warned those who came near her about the issue. Once, Hafsa, who was her brother Abdurrahman's daughter, came near her. She was wearing a transparent dress. When Hz. Aisha saw it, she warned her not to wear that dress and said to her, “Do you not know what Allah states in the chapter of an-Nur?”[14]

Once, during the hajj season, some women came to Hz. Aisha and told her they wanted to visit Hajar al-Aswad together. Hz. Aisha said to them, “You can go. I cannot visit it together with men. She performed circumambulation after the large crowd of people left.[15]

Hz. Ishaq, who was from Tabiun, was blind. When he came to talk to Hz. Aisha, she would cover her face. Once Ishaq said to Hz. Aisha, “They say you cover your head when I am with you though I am blind. It is impossible for me to see you.” Hz. Aisha said, “Yes, you do not see me but I see you.”

Hz. Aisha did not hurt or wrong anybody. Although she narrated thousands of hadiths, she did not say any bad things about anybody.

Hz. Aisha spent most of her time worshipping. She performed tahajjud prayers with the Messenger of Allah at night. It is narrated that she kept performing tahajjud prayers after the death of the Messenger of Allah, too. Once, while she was performing tahajjud prayer, her nephew Qasim arrived. He asked her what prayer she was performing. She said she was performing tahhajjud prayer that the Messenger of Allah had performed.

When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) returned home one day, he saw that Hz. Aisha had a terrible headache. Hz. Aisha was groaning and saying, “O my head!” Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah said to her jokingly, “It is not important, Aisha. If you die before me, I will prepare your dead body for the funeral and perform your prayer.” Hz. Aisha said, “Do you want me to die?” Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “O Aisha! Your headache is temporary. The real headache is mine. I will not get rid of it.” Thus, he informed her that he would die.[16] Then, he asked permission from his other wives to stay in Hz. Aisha’s room. He died by resting his head on her bosom. He was buried in her room.

After the death of the Messenger of Allah, everybody showed respect to Hz. Aisha and asked her about the things they did not know. Taking pride in her, Hz. Abu Bakr expressed her feeling toward her on his deathbed as follows:

“O my daughter! I am not leaving you a wealth lovelier than you after me. I do not know poverty worse than losing you.”[17]

Hz. Aisha educated students in hadith and fiqh. Some women became distinguished thanks to the knowledge they learned from her. The most famous ones among them were Aisha bint Talha, Amra bint Abdurrahman, Hafsa bint Shirin. Aisha bint Talha answered the gifts and letters that came to Hz. Aisha; she acted as Hz. Aisha’s secretary. Umar bin Abdulaziz said for her, “There is nobody knowing Hz. Aisha’s hadiths better than her."

There were also some notables of Tabiun who reported hadiths from Hz. Aisha. The most famous ones among them were Said bin al-Musayyab, Alqama bin Qays, Masruq bin al-Ajda.

Once Masruq went into the presence of Hz. Aisha. He asked her, “Will you tell me about the ethics of the Messenger of Allah?” Hz. Aisha said, “Are you not an Arab who reads the Quran” He said, “Yes, I am.” She said, “His ethics was the Quran.”[18]

Amra, one of her female students, asked her, “How was the Messenger of Allah at home?” Hz. Aisha answered her as follows:

“He was like your men but he was the most lenient and best one; he also smiled a lot.”[19]

Hz. Aisha never complained about bad straits though she underwent many hard and troubled days. She did not have welfare in the house of the Prophet but she always wanted the welfare of others and preferred an abstemious life to everything.

After the death of the Messenger of Allah, many places were conquered and people became wealthier thanks to booties. However, Hz. Aisha did not deviate from the life she had at the time of the Messenger of Allah at all and continued living abstemiously.

Once, Umran bin Zayd went into her presence and greeted her by saying, “Salamun alaykum; O mother!” After saying, “Alaykum as-salam”, Hz. Aisha started to cry. Umran asked, “O mother! What makes you cry?” Hz. Aisha answered as follows:

“I have heard that some of you eat all kinds of food as much as they can and they find it nice. I have remembered your Prophet. That is why I am crying. For, he did not fill his stomach with two different kinds of food in a day. He sometimes ate dates but did not eat bread. When he ate bread, he did not eat dates. That is what makes me cry. ”[20]

Hz. Aisha spent most of her days fasting. Once, she was fasting on a scorching day of arafah. She fainted due to heat. When her brother, Abdurrahman saw her, he told her to break her fast. Hz. Aisha answered her brother as follows:

“I heard the following from the Messenger of Allah: If a person fasts on the day of arafah, his sins of one year are forgiven.”[21]

Hz. Aisha narrated 2. 210 hadiths, becoming the fourth Companion among the seven Companions that narrated the most hadiths. Some of the hadiths narrated by her are as follows:

“Try to marry the best women. Marry the women that are equal to you; ask the hands of the girls whose parents are equal to you in marriage.”[22]

“The Messenger of Allah did not beat any of his servants or wives.”[23]

“Allah likes treating others mildly.”[24]

“A woman is like a rib; you may break her while trying to straighten her.”[25]

Hz. Aisha led an ideal life that serves as a model for Muslim women. She passed away like all ephemeral beings and rejoined the Messenger of Allah.

It was about the last years of the period of Muawiyah. Hz. Aisha, who saw and underwent several troubled incidents and whose name was involved in some issues, passed away on the 17th month of the month of Ramadan at the age of 66 after the witr prayer.

While visiting her when she was ill, Ibn Abbas praised her by saying, “Aisha has been the mother of the believers since the beginning. She is the most beloved wife of the Prophet. The decree about tayammum was sent down due to her. The verses of the Quran that were sent down thanks to her are read in mosques." Hz. Aisha interrupted him and said, “O Ibn Abbas! Keep me away from this kind of praise!”

Her death caused a great sadness among the ummah. A very large group of people took part in her funeral. His janazah prayer was led by Abu Hurayra, who was the vice governor of Madinah at that time. She was buried in the Cemetery of Baqi. The Companions expressed their sorrow by saying, “Another torch of the family of the Prophet went out.”

May Allah have mercy on her!


[1] Tabaqat, 8: 63.
[2] ibid, 8: 59.
[3] Mektubat, p. 26.
[4] Tabaqat, 8: 67.
[5] ibid, 8: 64.
[6] Muslim, Fadailu’s-Sahaba: 13.
[7] ibid
[8] Abu Dawud, Jihad: 68.
[9] ibid, Adab: 54; Bukhari, Adab: 81.
[10] Muslim, Hayd: 29.
[11] Tabaqat, 8: 71.
[12] al-Ahzab, 33.
[13] Tabaqat, 8: 81.
[14] ibid, 8: 71.
[15] Bukhari, Hajj: 64.
[16] Tabaqat, 2: 226.
[17] ibid, 3: 195.
[18] Tabaqat, 1: 364.
[19] ibid, 1: 365.
[20] ibid, 1: 406.
[21] Musnad, 6: 128.
[22] Ibn Majah, Nikah: 48.
[23] ibid, 51; Musnad, 6: 232.
[24] Bukhari, Isti’dhan: 22; Musnad, 6: 37, 85, 199.
[25] Musnad, 6: 279.

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