The Intelligent Woman: Aishah (RA)

By Shaykh Sulaiman Moola

We marvel at our honourable mother ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her). We have the utmost regard for the beloved of the Messenger ﷺ who greatly contributed to Islam through her intelligence and generosity.

 كَانَتْ عَائِشَة رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا أرْوى النَّاسِ للشِعْر

ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) was one of the most fluent amongst people, in [meaningful] poetry. 

إنَّ الذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا بِالْإفْكِ عُصْبَة إلَى قَوْلِه والطّيِّبُوْنَ لِلطَّيّبَاتِ وَهِيَ سَبْع عَشر آيَة نزَلَتْ فِي بَرَاءَةِ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَنْها

Seventeen verses of the Qurʿān were revealed proving the innocence of ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) [when she was slandered].

قَالَ بَعْضُ أَهْلِ التَّحْقِيْقِ إِنَّ يُوْسُفَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ لَمَّا رُمِيَ بِالْفَاحِشَةِ بَرَّأَهُ اللهُ عَلَى لِسَانِ صَبِيٍّ فِيْ الْمَهْدِ وَإِنَّ مَرْيَمَ لَمَّا رُمِيَتْ بِالْفَاحِشَةِ بَرَّأَهَا اللهُ عَلَى لِسَانِ اِبْنِهَا عِيْسَى صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإنَّ عَائِشَةَ لَمَّا رُمِيَتْ بِالْفَاحِشَةِ بَرَّأَهَا اللهُ تَعَالَى بِالْقُرْآنِ فَمَا رَضِيَ لَهَا بِبَرَاءَةِ صَبِيٍّ وَلَا نَبِيٍّ حَتَّى بَرَّأَهَا اللهُ بِكَلَامِهِ مِنَ الْقَذْفِ وَالْبُهْتَانِ

Some of the [Islamic] researchers have stated that when [the Prophet] Yūsuf (peace and blessings upon him) was accused of immorality, then Allāh exonerated him on the tongue of a child in the cradle, [likewise] when the virgin Mary (Maryam – peace and blessings upon her) was slandered,  the Almighty declared her innocence on the tongue of her son, ʿIsā (peace and blessings upon him) however when ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her– the righteous spouse and noble consort of Muḥammad ﷺ) was accused of promiscuity, Allāh revealed her chastity in the Qurʿān. [In essence] the Almighty was not pleased to announce her purity and bashfulness via the medium of an infant or messenger, but rather chose to exonerate her through His Divine Speech, from the smear campaign against her. 

  عَنْ مُوسَى بْن طَلْحَةَ قَال مَا رَأيْتُ أَحَداً أَفْصَحَ مِنْ عَائِشَةَ

Mūsā bin Ṭalḥa (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “I never saw anyone more eloquent than ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her).”  

قَالَ عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَير مَا رَأَيْتُ أَحَداً أَعْلَمَ بِالْقُرآن  وَلَا بِفَرِيضَة وَلَا بِالحَلَالِ وَلَا بِالْحَرام وَلَا بِفِقْهٍ وَلَا بِطِبٍّ وَلَا بِشِعْرٍ وَلَا بِحَدِيْثِ الْعَرَبِ وَلَا بِنَسبٍ مِنْ عَائِشَةَ

ʿOrwah bin Zubayr (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “I have never seen anyone more knowledgeable in regards to the Qurʾān, its regulations, the permissible, the prohibited, jurisprudence, medicine, poetry, the history of the Arabs and their lineage than ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her).” 

Abū Mūsā Ashʿarī (may Allāh be pleased with him) said,  

مَا أَشْكَل عَلَيْنَا أَصْحَابُ رَسُوْلِ الله صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ حَدِيْثٍ قَطّ فَسَأَلْنَا عَائِشَةَ إِلّا وَجَدْنا عِنْدَهَا مِنْهُ عِلْمًا

“Whenever we, the companions, faced complexity in understanding ḥadīth, we would ask ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) and find the answer with her.” 

  كَانَتْ عَائِشَةُ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا تقسِمُ فِي الْيوْمِ سَبْعينَ ألْفًا 

At times ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) would distribute 70,000 coins in a single day [for charity].

It is mentioned in Tafsīr al Ṣāwī:

بَعَثَ مُعَاوِيَةُ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ إِلَى السَّيِّدَةِ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا بِمَالٍ قَدْرُهُ مِائَة وَثَمَانُوْنَ أَلْفَ دِرْهَمٍ فَأَخَذَتْ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا تُقَسِّمُ الْمَالَ وتُوَزِّعُهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ حَتَّى تَصَدَّقَتْ بِهِ كُلَّهُ وَكَانَتْ صَائِمَةً فَأَمَرَتْ جَارِيَتَهَا أَنْ تَحْضُرَ لَهَا الطَّعَامَ لِتُفْطِرَ فَأَحْضَرَتْ لَهَا الْجَارِيَةُ خُبْزًا وَزَيْتًا وَقَالَتْ لَهَا أَمَا اسْتَطَعْتِ فِيْمَا قَسَّمْتِ اليَوْمَ أَنْ تَشْتَرِيَ لَنَا لَحْمًا بِدِرْهَمٍ لِنُفْطِرَ عَلَيْهِ وَهَكَذَا تَصَدَّقَتْ بِهَذَا الْمَبْلَغَ الْكَبِيْرَ وَنَسِيَتْ أَنْ تبْقِيَ دِرْهَمًا تَشْتَرِيْ بِهِ طَعَامًا لِإفْطَارِهَا

Muʿāwiyah (may Allāh be pleased with him) gifted [our mother] ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) an amount of wealth totaling 80 000 dirhams. She began distributing the amount to the needy among the people, until she distributed the entire amount [in one gathering]. ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) was fasting that day, thus instructed her slave girl to bring some provisions to open her fast. She brought some oil and bread. ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) told her, “Did you not purchase some meat with the money, so that we could open our fast with [additional food items]?” [She replied in the negative]. In this manner, she distributed this large amount and did not spare anything for her own ifṭār (opening the fast).

Indeed, ʿĀʾishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) is an inspiration for both men and women.

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