The Sahabah Series: ‘Aisha, The Daughter of Abu Bakr, The Mother of The Believers
In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
‘Aisha, along with all the other wives of the Prophet, upon him be peace, are known as the Mothers of the Believers. This is based on the verse of Quran in which Allah describes the Messenger and his wives, saying, ‘The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers.’ Although she had no children of her own, she was known as Umm ‘Abdullah, the mother of Abdullah because of her closeness to her nephew ‘Abdullah bin Zubayr whose mother, ‘Asmâ, was ‘Aisha’s sister. May Allah be pleased with them all.
She was the daughter of the Prophet’s best friend, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. The Prophet’s servant, Anas, related that the Messenger, upon him be peace, was once asked, ‘who is the most beloved person to you?’
‘’Aisha,’ he replied.’ He was then asked, ‘and from among the men?’
‘Her father,’ he replied.
As her grandfather also embraced Islam, the family of Abu Bakr was the only family to have four generations of Companions.
There are several features which distinguish her from the other wives of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them. She was the only wife that was not previously married and she was the only one upon whose bed the Messenger, upon him be peace, received revelation.
‘Aisha was born in a state of Islam, eight years before the Migration to Madina.
She used to worship intensely, fasting the ‘perpetual fast’, that is, fasting every day except the feast days on which it is prohibited to fast. She had little concern for this temporal world or wealth. Whenever she received presents, she would either distribute among the wives of the Messenger, upon him be peace, as she did with a gift of gold coins from the Khalifa Mu’âwiyya or among the whole community as she did with a large gift from ‘Abdullah bin Zubayr.
She was very knowledgeable, eloquent and succinct in her speech. ‘Urwa said that he did not know anyone more knowledgeable about poetry than ‘Aisha. The ruler, Mu’âwiyya, once asked her to write some advice on which to base his system of government. She wrote:
Whoever holds to the pleasure of people while angering Allah, Allah will leave him to them. Whoever holds to the pleasure of Allah while angering people, He will save him from their ploys.
Abû Musa said that there was no saying of the Messenger that was problematic to any one of us except that when we referred it to ‘Aisha she knew about it. Atâ said she was the most knowledgeable person in our community and always had the best and most learned opinion of all people. When Marwân used to relate hadith from her, he would say ‘the Truthful One, daughter of the Truthful One, the Beloved of the Beloved of Allah relayed to us …’ She related 1210 hadith.
She died in the month of Ramadan in the year 58H. Abû Hurairah led the prayers over her and her nephews buried her in the Baqî cemetery in Madina.
(Sources: Ibn Hajr, al-Isâba fi Tamyîz al-Sahâba, al-Qurtubi, al-Istiâb fi ma’rifatul ashâb and Muhammad al-Jardâni al-Dimyâti, al-Jawâhir al-Lu’luwiyya)
Surah al-Ahzâb 33:6.