Is it true that the Prophet beat his wife Hz. Aisha because she followed him?

Details of the Question

- Is it in compliance with ethics for Hz. Aisha to follow the Prophet?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

1. The narrations regarding the issue are as follows:

Hz. Aisha narrates:

"When it was my turn for the Prophet (pbuh) to spend the night with, he took off his mantle and his shoes and placed them near his feet. He spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down on his side. After a while, he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly. He opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper. Then I went out following his steps.  

He reached the cemetery of Baqi. He stood there for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times. Then, he turned right and walked. I also turned right and walked. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I ran too. I ran faster than him and arrived home. As soon as I lay down in the bed, he entered the house. He said,

- What is the matter? O Aisha! You are out of breath. I said,

- O Messenger of Allah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Then I told him the whole story. He said,

- Was it the darkness of your shadow that I saw in front of me?  I said: Yes. He gave me a nudge on the chest and said,

- Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? I said:

- Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said,  

"Yes." Then, he added:

- Gabriel (Jibril) came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you because he would not come near you as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you might be frightened to be left alone. Gabriel said to me:

- Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi and beg pardon for them. I asked,

- O Messenger of Allah!  What should I say when I visit them?

He said: Say as follows:

"Peace be upon you O people who are in the land of believers and Muslims! May Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you." (Muslim, Janaiz 103; Ahmad, Musnad, 6/221)

2. The Prophet did not beat any of his wives.

The phrase “He gave me a nudge on the chest” in the hadith does not mean beating “touching her chest with the hand”.

This touching is a prophetic act of charm to eliminate the delusion in her and to drive Satan, who caused this delusion, away. As a matter of fact, it is known that the Prophet (pbuh) also hit/touched some other Companions on the chest to eliminate similar delusions.

It is also written in hadith resources that the Prophet touched the same place when he prayed for the painful places of ill people and that he advised it to his ummah.

An example:

Jarir narrates:

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has never refused to admit me since I embraced Islam, and whenever he saw me, he would smile. I complained to him that I could not sit upon the horse with firmness. Thereupon, he struck my chest with his hand and prayed as follows:

"O Allah! Make him steadfast and rightly-guided." (Bukhari, Manaqibul-Ansar 21; Muslim, Fadailus-Sahaba 35)

3. Hz. Aisha’s following the Prophet originates from two possibilities:

a. Hz. Aisha is the person that the Messenger of Allah loved the most in the world. This love is due to her taqwa and her service to Islam based on her knowledge. The Prophet (pbuh) saw her future services to Islam with her fatwas and hadith narrations and he gave a special importance to this feature of Hz. Aisha given to her by Allah.

As it is understood from the explanations above, all of the feelings and faculties of Hz. Aisha were very active. With those active feelings, she did not want to miss the slightest blessings, manifestations and secrets of prophethood. With this position of Hz. Aisha, it is not a normal curiosity but a curiosity related to learning divine and prophetic secrets for her to want to learn what is behind the Prophet’s leaving the bed and going out secretly at midnight, which is something extraordinary.

b. The second possibility: Hz. Aisha is very jealous of the Prophet, with whom she is in love both materially and spiritually. As a human being, she might have thought that the Prophet (pbuh) went to one of his wives and started to follow him with this feeling involuntarily. It is impossible for her mind and belief to think of another possibility.  

The Prophet (pbuh)’s statement, Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?” strengthens this possibility. This statement also indicates the following fact: The Prophet does not do anything without the permission of Allah.

If the Prophet had allocated the night she had allocated for Hz. Aisha to one of his other wives, he would have done so only with the permission of Allah. In that case, Allah and His Messenger would have dealt unjustly with her – God forbid. The Prophet indicated that something like that was not possible by mentioning Allah: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?”

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