[Friday Series] Aishah bint Abi Bakr-Part 7: An Example for Muslim Women

When Aishah (RA) first got married, it was the second year of Hijra and the beginning of Islamic Jurisprudence, Fikh. This was another reason for her being married so young and at that specific time. The knowledge that she gained at the beginning of Fikh helped her lead in making fatwas and resolving issues after the death of the Prophet ﷺ. Aishah (RA) lived 47 years after the death of the Prophet ﷺ and in those 47 years, she devoted her time to spreading and teaching Islam from the knowledge she gained during her nine years of marriage.

When it comes to relating the most hadith, Aishah (RA) comes in fourth at 2210 hadith (Abu Hurairah is first with 5374 hadith). However, the difference between her hadith and that of the other Companions was that hers were of personal incidences and conversations with the Prophet ﷺ and were unique to her while the Companions sometimes would relate the same hadith that they had heard while sitting in a group. This is one of the things that distinguished Aishah’s (RA) knowledge from the companions.

Another thing that distinguished her hadith were that they contained almost 90% of the ‘action’ sunna, for example how to make wuduu. These were things that she witnessed the Prophet ﷺ doing at home that other people did not see all the time. She knew the small personal details that no one else knew. This was important for us to know how to act. For example, one time Aishah (RA) heard a man say that the three things that will break your prayer/wuduu are dogs, donkeys, and women. Aishah (RA) became enraged and said, “Are you comparing women to dogs and donkeys?! I used to sleep in my apartment with my feet in the direction of the Qibla while the Prophet ﷺ was praying and when he would make sujood, he would tap my leg and I would bend it until he finishes sujood then stretch it out again.”

Aishah (RA) was a great scholar and she opened the first ever school of Fikh (jurispudence) in Islam. She had over 100 students over the course of the years of all ages, men and women. In fact, Aishah (RA) highly encouraged women to get educated and she had a greater number of women students over men. Among her students were also Umar ibn Al Khattab, Abu Huraira, Imam Bukhari and many other Companions including the family of the Prophet ﷺ. In fact, Aishah (RA) was the number one source for the Companions when they differed in opinion on a subject. Abu Burda bin Abu Musa Al Asharee reported that his father said, “There was never a problem which we – the Companions of Mohammed ﷺ-were unable to solve and referred to Aishah (RA) except that we found knowledge of it from her.”

Aishah’s (RA) nephew Urwah bin Az-Zubair said, “I have not seen anyone with greater knowledge of the Quran, its obligations, the lawful and unlawful (halal and haram), poetry, sayings of Arabs, or genealogy than Aishah (RA).” Aishah (RA) was also skilled in medicine. Her nephew said that he understood how she was skilled in Islamic studies but asked her how did she come about to be so skilled in medicine. She replied that near the end of his life, the Prophet ﷺ used to get sick a lot and she would learn from the nurses how to take care of him. Abu Umar bin Abdul Barr said, “Aishah (RA) was unique in her time being knowledgeable in three sciences: the science of Islamic jurisprudence, the science of medicine, and the science of poetry.

In addition to all of that, Aishah (RA) was skilled in mathematics and the calculation and science of inheritance. Masrooq ibn Al Ajda said, “I saw the elders among the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ asking her about the law of inheritance.”

Aishah (RA) also use her incredible knowledge to declare fatwas. Al Hakim said in his book Al Mustadrak, “One fourth of the rule of Shari’ah was narrated on the authority of Aishah (RA).” (this was also written in Fathul Bari  which was an explanation of Sahih Bukhari written by Ibn Hajar al Asqalani). Adh Dhahabi said, “Aishah (RA) was the most knowledgeable woman in Islamic jurisprudence in the whole Muslim nation.”

Aishah’s (RA) knowledge was known and admired among everyone. Az Zuhri said, “If the knowledge of Aishah was compared with the knowledge of all the other wives of the Prophet ﷺ and with all women, the knowledge of Aishah (RA) would be greater.” He also said, “The first person to remove distress from the people and explain to them the Sunnah regarding that was Aishah (RA).” Ata bin Rabah said, “Aishah (RA) was the best of all people in Islamic Jurisprudence, the most knowledgeable of all people and the best of them in giving opinions in general.” Al Miqdad bin Al Aswad said, “I did not know anyone among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ who had more knowledge of poetry or religious obligations than Aishah.”

In addition to all of that, Aishah was an excellent and eloquent public speaker. One of the Companions was known to have said, “I have heard many khutbahs from great Companions like Umar ibn Al Khattab, Ali bin Abu Talib, Uthman bin Affan and Muawiyah, but none so eloquent and electrifying as Aishah (RA).”

Despite all of that, and despite the immense respect and admiration she had from all, she was also the most humble. She did not just talk the talk but she walked the walk. She was the embodiment of a good Muslim in every way. She prayed and fasted way more than what was obligatory. She was also so generous and lived up to the vow that she made to the Prophet ﷺ that she would rather choose Allah, his Prophet ﷺ and the hereafter than this life and continued to live in poverty. Whenever she did get gifts, she would give them all away to those who were in need. In one incident, she was fasting and gave away all the food she had and that which she had received as gifts. Her servant came later and asked her why she had not left herself anything to break her fast with. Aishah (RA) replied that she wished she had reminded her because she had forgotten she was fasting.

Whenver Aishah (RA) would donate money she would first place the dirhams in a bowl of misk (perfume) and then donate it. When asked why she did that, she said she wanted it to smell good for Allah because all donations and zakah pass through Allah first.

Aishah (RA) was so humble. One time a relative of the Prophet ﷺ wanted to visit her but she was worried that he would give her so much flattery and it would affect her ego. Sure enough when he came he started to complement her so much that she said, “ ya rait mitu kabla hatha wa kunti nasyan manseeyan (I wish I died before this and was forgotten).”

These are just some of the many traits of Aishah (RA). Aishah’s (RA) knowledge and hadith. She took the love and knowledge she gained from her husband and turned it into something beneficial and proactive for the Muslim Ummah.

Aishah (RA) passed away at the age of 66 in the 17th day of Ramadan in the year 58 Hijri. She was buried at night per her request and Abu Hurairah led the funeral. Aishah (RA) was buried in Al Baqee with the other wives instead of in her house with her father and the Prophet (PBUH) for fear of being thought to be superior to the other wives. She remained humble even in her death wish.


Aishah’s (RA) knowledge and hadith are so many that there are volumes of books just about her knowledge so as you can imagine I cannot begin to cover everything in this blog. However, I hope in these seven parts you were able to get an idea of the incredible person that she was. Aishah (RA) was a wife, a lawyer, a scholar, a nurse, a poet, a teacher, an administrator, a counselor and much more. She is the best example of how Muslim women should be today which is knowledgeable members of their community and contributing to their society in some way.

*When people today say that Islam does not give rights to women they do not realize what Aishah (RA) was to Islam. Aishah’s (RA) position in Islamic history was that of which no man could accomplish in equality. Even the Companions and the men of her time used to seek her for knowledge. What an incredible honor that Islam has given to a woman. And from that we get the example of women in Islam. Her position in history could have been given to any number of the Companions but it was purposely given to a woman to prove how respected and the high regard they are held in.

*You hear many people who say that there are no women in Islam today who give fatwa. That is not true, if they only did their research they would find many. Are there greater numbers of men that give fatwa? Yes, that is true. However, how many women, of those who complain about this, do you see dedicating their lives to bridge the gap? There is a difference between saying, ‘I don’t see enough women giving fatwa so I will dedicate my life to gain the knowledge I need to have that honor,’ versus, ‘there are not enough women in Islam that give fatwa which is so typical.’ The second one is complaining for the sake of complaining and not contributing in any way, and if you are not contributing you are adding to the problem. We see many people on Facebook and in conversations giving each other fatwa left and right without seeking the proper knowledge and reference. Aishah (RA) not only memorized the whole Quran and its tafseer (she had her own Quran with her hand written tafseer in it) but she related hadith that she had witnessed herself. Today, people who are qualified to give fatwa study their whole lives to be able to come to the right decision and you find many sheikhs who have studied for decades and they will tell you they are still not qualified to give fatwa. So why is it that in our time, people just give each other fatwa left and right or we look to someone who is not properly educated to give us fatwa. We need to go back to giving respect to the educated scholars and getting our fatwas and advice from the right people.

*The only duaa (supplication) in the Quran which asks for an increase in something is {Wa qul rabi zidni elman; Oh Allah increase my knowledge}. The gaining of knowledge is so important in Islam and it should not end once you get your degree. Through all the stages of your life youth, marriage, parenthood and old age you should be continuously seeking knowledge and reading, in both topics of dunya and deen. The mind needs to be continuously engaged and exercised or it becomes weak.

*Subhannallah how humble Aishah (RA) was. And how humble Umar and Ali and the other Companions were to come to her to get knowledge. They didn’t look at themselves as the big Companions but were humble enough to know that she might have some knowledge that they don’t. I found it so interesting how Aishah (RA) wanted to avoid speaking to the man who would complement her. It seems today everyone is fishing for complements but subhanallah at that time, they used to worry it would increase their ego.

*I love love loved what Aishah (RA) used to do with the money she used to donate! How wonderful is that? And it is such a reminder that once you give Zakat or a donation it goes to Allah, then Allah distributes it, even though you might give it to the person yourself, it still goes through that process somehow subhanallah. You know, sometimes you hear people saying ‘oh we donated them money and look at what they bought’ and ‘they are spending our money on stuff they don’t need’ and such and such. Subhanallah once you donate money it is no longer yours and you have no say in how it is spent. Plus, nobody knows that the needs of anybody else are so its best not to say anything. But Mashallah I think perfuming the money is such a sweet idea!

What did you all think of Aishah’s(RA) story?

Read the rest of the series:

Part 1: Discussing the issues behind Aishah’s age

Part 2: The Ideal Marriage

Part 3: The Ideal Marriage cont..

Part 4: The Incidence of Slander

Part 5: The Incidence of Slander cont..

Part 6: The end is only the beginning

Qub, Muammad ʻAlī. Women around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print.

Ghadanfar, Mahmood Ahmad., Jamila Muhammad. Qawi, Sheikh Safiur-Rahman. Al-Mubarakpuri, Muhammad Ayub. Sapra, and Muhammad Farooq. Great Women of Islam: Who Were given the Good News of Paradise. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2001. Print.

Darussalam. The Honorable Wives of the Prophet, Peace Be upon Him. 1st ed. 2004. Print.

“Assayida Aisha 3- Amr Khalid.” YouTube. YouTube, 29 July 2009.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJCV9YpaBR0&feature=relmfu&gt;.
“Suhaib Webb / Mothers Of The Believers (Wives of Prophet Mohammed) / AISHA BINT ABU BAKR / Pt11.” YouTube. YouTube, 20 Mar. 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xLyJqtt_rU&feature=relmfu&gt;.

“Suhaib Webb / Mothers Of The Believers (Wives of Prophet Mohammed) / AISHA BINT ABU BAKR / Pt12.” YouTube. YouTube, 20 Mar. 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDRgHHEh580&feature=relmfu&gt;.
“Suhaib Webb / Mothers Of The Believers (Wives of Prophet Mohammed) / AISHA BINT ABU BAKR / Pt13.” YouTube. YouTube, 20 Mar. 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtgEG85bbjc&feature=relmfu&gt;.

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7 Responses to “[Friday Series] Aishah bint Abi Bakr-Part 7: An Example for Muslim Women”
  1. Zainab says:

    I loved this series about Aeisha. I keep thinking as I was reading what a wonderful young person she was and how lucky we are to have someone with such dedication to pass down her knowledge for us to learn from.

  2. Lina says:

    “The gaining of knowledge is so important in Islam and it should not end once you get your degree. Through all the stages of your life youth, marriage, parenthood and old age you should be continuously seeking knowledge and reading, in both topics of dunya and deen. The mind needs to be continuously engaged and exercised or it becomes weak.”

    In regards to this, I just came out of a Lifespan Development class that teaches us over and over again how important it is to exercise your mind.

    In psychology, it is seen that older people (85 years and older) who are relatively healthy and living as if they are 50 are able to do so because they have not stopped learning and exercising their minds, which has allowed them to keep a clear mind at old age. A 92-year-old gave a lecture in class last week telling us that exercising your mind is the number one way to live longer and live healthier followed by exercising your body.

    So basically, this is yet another piece of information that Allah swt has revealed to us hundredssssss of years ago that scientists are only just finding out about right now! 🙂 subhanallah

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