We are often introduced to the people around the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) through his life and perspective.
While there is a good reason for this, it can also be of great benefit to learn about the companions of the Messenger as individuals.
They were the people who Allah (SWT) calls in the Quran,
“[…] the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.” (Qur’an 3:110)
It can be especially important to look to the lives of the honorable and honored wives of the Prophet (PBUH) to understand that they too were human beings who lived, ate, laughed, and struggled to please Allah (SWT).
After the Prophet, can there be a better example for us than the mothers of the believers who were all promised paradise?
Continuing on our journey to find out if our mothers were funny, sensitive, outgoing, introspective, self-doubting, or fearless, we take a look at Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wife, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her).
Among the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wives, Aisha was the youngest.
As she grew older, she became a scholar, a stateswoman, and a resource to all Muslims, even to this day.
Aisha Was Very Intelligent
Aisha (RA) was a very bright young girl who grew into one of the foremost scholars of Islam.
At the time of her death, she was an expert in the interpretation of the Quran, commentary of the Quran, hadith, and jurisprudence. Her rulings could fill volumes of books. In fact, “much of the Book of Tafsir in Sahih Muslim contains narrations from her.” [i]
She was not shy about her quick wit, even as a child.
While visiting Abu Bakr’s home, the Prophet (PBUH) “saw [Aisha] playing with a winged horse; she was barely five years old at the time. He asked her what it was; she replied that it was a horse. He smiled and answered that horses did not have wings! She promptly retorted that the Prophet Sulaiman (PBUH) had winged horses!”. ¹
In this instance, Aisha demonstrated her budding knowledge and willingness to convey it no matter who the audience was.
The Prophet himself (PBUH) was often heard laughing in surprise at her quick and cutting wit.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was blessed with an astounding memory and never forgot something once she heard it.
She is said to have narrated 2210 ahadith (plural for hadith- narrations of the Prophet’s life and sayings) in her lifetime. As such, she was one of the most prolific muhadditha (hadith narrators). ¹
All who knew her respected her great intellect.
Abu Musa al-Ashari (may Allah be pleased with him), a companion of the Prophet (PBUH) once said: “If we companions of the Messenger of God had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aisha about it.”[ii]
Aisha Was Hot-Blooded
Along with being highly intelligent, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was a passionate person whose emotions ran hot and cold.
She could not help but be prone to jealousy. She loved her husband (PBUH) so much that she did not like it when he spoke highly of other women.
“I was not jealous of any other wife of the Prophet as I was jealous of Khadijah, because of his constant mentioning of her and because God had commanded him to give her good tidings of a mansion in Paradise of precious stones. And whenever he sacrificed a sheep, he would send a fair portion of it to those who had been her intimate friends. Many a time I said to him: ‘It is as if there had never been any other woman in the world except Khadijah’“. [iii]
But Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) never let her jealousy leave her heart. She never acted on it and was, despite her emotions, very generous and trusting.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was easily angered and just as easily forgiving.
Despite her deep attachment to her nephew ‘Abdullah bin Zubair, she became very angry with him when she heard that he thought that her generosity needed to be suppressed.
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She “swore she would never talk to him. She asked who on earth thought that he could stop her from spending in the way of Allah (SWT). She asked how he could even dare to say such a thing. And finally, when she calmed down and made up with him, she freed several slaves as penance for breaking her oath.” ¹