Why is Hz. Aisha’s innocence narrated in ten verses in the Quran?

Details of the Question

- Why is it narrated in more than 10 verses in the Quran that Hz. Aisha was innocent and that she did not cheat on the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)?

- What is the wisdom behind it? In what way is it useful to us?

- I know that Lord does not do anything in vain. I want to find out the reason.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We want to remind you a rule first:

“That the reason for a decree – as the revelation of a verse or the utterance of a hadith – is specific does not prevent it from being a general decree that is valid for everybody.”

Therefore, there are so many messages, lessons and decrees to be taken from the verses sent down related to the “Incident of Ifk”. As a matter of fact, when the expressions in the verses are examined carefully, it will be seen that similar incidents take place all the time.

Thus, that the reasons for the revelation of the verses are specific does not prevent the decrees in the verses from being valid in general.

The topic of those verses is the slander of fornication put forward about Hz. Aisha, who remained behind due to her need while returning from the Expedition of Sons of Mustaliq and who caught up with the military unit with the help of a Companion; it is stated in the verses that it was “a big slander”. This slander, which was a plan of munafiqs, aimed to disturb the inner peace of the Islamic community of Madinah, which was only five years old, to harm the feeling of reliance among Muslims, etc.

It is emphasized in the verses in question that it is necessary to be careful about those issues, that the family of Hz. Abu Bakr, who was offended by the rumors, was asked to forgive those who acted wrongly and it was stated that this virtuous act would be a means of attaining divine forgiveness. (Tabari, the interpretation of verses in question)

The translation of the verses in question:

11. Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourselves: think it not to be an evil to you; On the contrary it is good for you: to every man among them (will come the punishment) of the sin that he earned, and to him who took on himself the lead among them, will be a penalty grievous.

12. Why did not the believers - men and women - when ye heard of the affair,- put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, "This (charge) is an obvious lie"?

13. Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars!

14. Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, in this world and the Hereafter, a grievous penalty would have seized you in that ye rushed glibly into this affair.

15. Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah.

16. And why did ye not, when ye heard it, say? - "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allah! this is a most serious slander!"

17. Allah doth admonish you, that ye may never repeat such (conduct), if ye are (true) Believers..

18. And Allah makes the Signs plain to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

19. Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and ye know not..

20. Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, and that Allah is full of kindness and mercy, (ye would be ruined indeed). (an-Nur, 24/11-20)

Those verses, which were sent down so that we will understand and realize better the family life of the Prophet (pbuh) and his relationship with his close relatives, and to show the believers how to act in the face of a slander, which is seen a lot in the communities that gave importance to chastity and honor, refer to an expedition in which Hz. Aisha also took part and a slander made up by some munafiqs making use of this expedition.   

There are great lessons in the famous incident of slander, which is mentioned in order to prevent this immoral act, which shakes the life of the community, ends friendships, causes tragedies in the family and leads to murders, and in order to educate the believers.

Thanks to those verses, those who slander, those who are accused and those who hear the slander are taught and advised about what to do in the face of a slander; the important principles of Islamic ethics are reminded once more thanks to this occasion. Meanwhile, the veils of the munafiqs who infiltrated among Muslims fell; a few believers who were overcome by their bad feelings or who believed in the rumors underwent a hard test; they were cleaned by repenting.

The incident of slander caused great distress but it was good for the believers in that it brought about spiritual gains.

“Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourselves: think it not to be an evil to you; On the contrary it is good for you..." (an-Nur, 24/11)

Immorality spreads due to immoral acts, mentioning and talking about those immoral acts without criticizing such talks as if they were ordinary incidents; many bad deeds spread and settle in the community because people do not react in time and sufficiently. 

In a virtuous community, only virtuous deeds are talked about openly and by appreciating them; bad deeds are mentioned only when they are necessary; they are evaluated based on the criteria of virtue and ways of correcting them are discussed.

The spread of immorality in a community can be prevented by the attitude of the people in the face of virtue and immorality, not by prohibitions and penalties. 

“Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and ye know not. Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, and that Allah is full of kindness and mercy, (ye would be ruined indeed).” (an-Nur, 24/19, 20)

The rule “following up a bad deed with a good deed” exists in Islamic ethics.

This is one of the ways of correcting the people whose basic humane virtues have not been spoiled and including them in the virtuous community again. Hz. Abu Bakr broke his oath and said he would continue to help.

Only Allah knows the ghayb (the unseen). The Messenger of Allah cannot know the ghayb and everything. However, he knows only what he is informed. (The Messenger of Allah did not know about the trueness of the slander. He searched the issue himself since no revelation was sent down for a month regarding the issue.)

It was shown us as a lesson how the foundations of the Islamic community were undermined as a result of planned and programmed inner threats and those who supported them, and how the Islamic brotherhood (Ansar and Muhajir, Aws and Khazraj), which was established as a result of great efforts and hard work, could be broken into pieces with careless words and rumors.   

“Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah. (an-Nur, 24/15)

It became clear what a great crime it was to slander a chaste woman. It is a reason for being punished to talk about things that we do not know and to spread them. The harms of blabbing and gossiping were shown. There is sin and penalty for those who laugh, keep silent, listen to gossips, spread them and talk about them for fun to the extent that they commit them, along with those who slander. 

“Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars! Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, in this world and the Hereafter, a grievous penalty would have seized you in that ye rushed glibly into this affair." (an-Nur, 24/13,14)

Allah answered those who had questions about the cleanliness of His messenger and his family and those who wanted to talk about them in the future with His verses; thus, He prevented those kinds of aspersions from being cast.  

“And Allah makes the Signs plain to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom." (an-Nur, 24/18)

There is definitely goodness and reward at the end of patience. Not all incidents of slander have happy endings like this incident. We may face a slander; what we need to do then is to show patience and expect the reward from Allah.  

Even if a person cannot acquit himself in this world, everybody will get his due in the hereafter. When we face such an incident of slander, it does not have to be related to chastity; it can be related to, theft, mugging, etc. What we need to do in that case is to try to do our best to acquit and then to show patience as it is stated in the chapter of Yusuf “…(for me) patience is most fitting...” (Yusuf, 12/18) and as Hz. Aisha did.

for more information, please click on the links given below;

The Incident of Ifk

Will you give information about those who spread the incident of ifk / slander about Hz. Aisha?

How did the event of ifk (slandering Aisha, the Prophets wife) take place? How was Aisha declared by God Almighty to be innocent?

How was the attitude of the Prophet toward Hz. Aisha related to the incident of Ifk?

Will you please give information about the incident of Ifk?

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