By: Ahmed Eljada

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Khadijah: The First Muslim Woman
Az-Zahra' FatimahBint Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Zaynab the Elder, Daughter of the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him)
Satiyah bint 'Abdul Muttalib
A'ishah bint As-Siddiq
Hafsah bint Al-Faruq
Umm Salamah bint Zad Ar-Rakb
Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan
( Zaynab bint Jahsh: The Qur'anic Woman
Asma': The Lady of the Two Girdles
Sumayah: The First Martyr
Nasibah bint Ka'b (Umm 'Imarah)

Islambasics Library: Noble Women Around The Messenger

'A'ishah bint As-Siddiq

'A'ishah belonged to a prestigious family in the tribe of Quraysh named Banu Taym. The members of this family were known for their generosity, good manners, and good treatment of women.


The families lived in a realm of love and peace. The most outstanding member of Banu Taym was Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafa, 'A'ishah's father. He was a well-to- do merchant who was kind and easy to talk to. His acquaintance with the people of Quraysh extended to all of them, and his knowledge of the tribe's history and that of other tribes, as well as poetry and genealogy, was, profound. Abu Bakr's wisdom led him to respond quickly to his friend Muhammad's call for Islam. He did not hesitate to believe in the new religion or to do his best to support it.


Before the revelation came, Abu Bakr was an honorable man. After it, and having believed in it, his honorability only multiplied, as he was the second man in the Muslim community and was later elected for his trustworthiness as the caliph after the Prophet (peace be upon him).


Abu Bakr was married to a woman named Umm Ruman, who belonged to the tribe of Kinanah. She was also of good manners and sincere in her faith like her husband. The Prophet (peace be upon him) made reference to her when he said, "Whoever is pleased to see one of the maidens of Paradise (houri), let him look at Umm Ruman."


It was with the cherishing nature of such great parents that 'A'ishah was brought up. She was more privileged than others because when she was born, her parents were already Muslim. From the time she first opened her eyes she saw her parents praying and working in da'wah. When she could first hear, she heard the voices of her parents reading Qur'an. Her father recited Qur'an in such a touching manner that he or his listener would be induced to cry. The Quraysh were afraid lest his recitation should impress people, so they endeavored to stop him from reading aloud.


Abu Bakr's family was honored by the Prophet's frequent visits. He (peace be upon him) used to visit Abu Bakr daily to discuss the issues of da'wah while 'A'ishah would watch and listen. It was precisely the way her parents showed respect and reverence to the Prophet (peace be upon him) that nurtured a deep love and respect for him in her heart.


The Prophet (peace be upon him) also showed a notable interest in 'A'ishah, as he saw signs of intelligence in her from her early days. He often said to her mother, "Take good care of 'A'shah, Umm Ruman."


Those brief words showed his admiration of 'A'ishah.


Allah blessed that amiable child by having her brought up in a home of the Quraysh, full of honor and culture that was the second household to embrace Islam after the Prophet's. But she was endowed with a nobler status when she was chosen by Allah to be the wife of His Prophet while she was still a child. Thus, her life was set as an example for Muslim families.


The life of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was like an open book in which no secret was kept from any of the Muslims. He was the ideal example to follow. Even in the most intricate details of his life they followed him in worship, jihad, social and family affairs, and other aspects. Consequently, his life with 'A'ishah was for the knowledge of everybody.


The first lesson was the marriage. She married the Prophet (peace be upon him), the noblest of nobles, yet in a very humble house, if it could even be called that. It was a single room built of unbaked bricks and palm leaves, with a leather curtain for a door. The furniture was made of leather stuffed with felt and placed on a rug. That was the house of the bride who was the Mother of the Faithful and the wife of the last Messenger; a house of unbaked bricks, palm leaves, and leather bedding stuffed with felt! In fact, Allah directed His Messenger to such a humble life.


'A'ishah received a very humble dower of five hundred dirhams despite her noble origin, distinguished beauty, and manners. But that humble dower was merely symbolic. It was not from an ordinary man to an ordinary woman but from the noblest of all humanity and Allah's Messenger to the daughter of an outstanding rich man of Banu Taym and Quraysh.


Why don't men and women of today follow that example of the great Messenger to all people? Why should they exaggerate the dower to such an extent that it hinders young men from marriage or at least delays it till they are financially capable. Marriage has now become like a tax, the colossal rates of dowers resulting in a higher rate of young, unmarried women, which will sooner or later lead society to moral chaos.


Don't we have a more fitting example in the Messenger of Allah? So, why don't we follow it? The Muslim society has suffered as a result of this behavior. When will there be good men and women to reconsider this incongruous habit?


So, how was the wedding party of this noble woman and the Messenger of all humanity? 'A'ishah herself related the events of that day:


Neither a camel nor a sheep was slaughtered for my wedding until Sa'd bin 'Ubadah sent us the dish that he was in the habit of sending to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)


Thus, no camels or sheep were slaughtered especially for the bride. The only fare available was the usual bowl of food that one of the Companions used to present to the Prophet (peace be upon him) every day. The meal was basic. Such simplicity in the wedding and dower should really be an example for us to follow


The family is the cornerstone of the compassionate Muslim society. But as we can see. modern and alien marriage customs can be a real threat to the making of families.


Although 'A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) was the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the daughter of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and Umm Ruman, who was described as the maiden of Paradise, she still had feelings of jealousy shared by all women. She loved her

husband and, in her jealous manner, hated him thinking of any of his other wives. Many accounts of 'A'ishah's jealousy can be traced in her biography.


Allah permitted 'A'ishah's life to be an open book for men to learn how to treat their wives and be patient with their shortcomings. This is taking into consideration that 'A'ishah was higher in morality than any other woman.


We are not going to relate examples of her jealousy of the co-wives who lived in the adjoining rooms, but we will mention her jealousy of the wife she never saw, namely Khadijah.


His love for Khadijah caused the Prophet (peace be upon him) to always speak in her favor and be generous to her friends in honor of her memory. Even many years after her death, he still held the same love and respect for her. But this set 'A'ishah's heart on fire, and one day she lost her self-control and said to him, "What makes you remember one of the old women of the Quraysh with a toothless mouth of red gums who died long ago, and in whose place Allah has given you someone better than her?" (Bukhari, 1575).


She loved her husband and was not to blame for her jealousy, as she had an unrivalled man. But still, her words angered the Prophet (peace be upon him), who replied, "No, by Allah, Allah has not given me one better in her place. She believed in me when people belied me. She comforted me with her money when people deprived me, and from her alone I had children."


Although 'A'ishah regretted her behavior towards the memory of Khadijah, her jealousy was unrelenting. Therefore, men should not blame women for having this jealous trait in them.


During her life in the Prophet's house, she watched him, listened to him, and accompanied him in the battlefields. Everything she saw and heard was understood in the fullest sense and deepened her knowledge in religion.


'A'ishah lived a long time after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). She was an authority to all those Muslims who sought knowledge in many issues of their religion.


Her knowledgeable manner benefited all those around her and the number of hadiths she narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him) exceeded those of all the other Mothers of the Faithful.


Imam Az-Zahri said concerning her, "lf 'A'ishah' knowledge of religion is compared to the knowledge of all the Prophet's wives as well as the knowledge of some women in the world, it will be greater." Her knowledge was not confined to hadith; it extended to poetry and

medicine. Abu Hisham bin 'Urwa narrated from his father, "l have never seen anyone more knowledgeable in jurisprudence, medicine, and poetry than 'A'ishah."


Her house became a destination for students to acquire knowledge and convey it to the different cities. May Allah be pleased with her and have mercy on her, as she faithfully kept the trust of the Prophet (peace be upon him).



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