Aisha (Radhiallaho Anha) was a divisive figure all throughout her life and remains so even now, fourteen hundred years after her death.
In modern times, the question of Aisha’s age at marriage has become a moral stick with which to beat Muslims and to question the virtues of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). However, this is far from her first rodeo.
In her early life, while the Prophet (pbuh) was still alive, she was slandered by people who questioned her fidelity and chastity. She was absolved by Qur’anic revelation and it is thought much of An-Nisa is dedicated to her.
After the death of the Prophet (pbuh), Aisha (RA) was a prolific provider of hadith. It is thanks to her we have details about how to pray and laws on inheritance. She is also partly to thank for the banning of forced marriages. During the time of the four Caliphs, she became active politically. However, much to her chagrin, she was not always afforded the respect she was entitled to.
As it is with most women in power, their achievements and qualities are marred by the smear campaigns which were designed to acquiesce them. Instead of focusing on the fact that she was charitable, intelligent, a diplomat and a scholar, we remember her for a civil war and the mud that has been slung at her. And we remember that she was young. We imagine she is powerless and dislike her when she is powerful. Though, personally, I have never been moved to starting a war, with four older brothers I feel a great sense of empathy for this woman who was a vessel for so much prophetic knowledge but was constantly put down and disregarded by the powerful men around her. Her passion for justice may have ultimately been her downfall in this life, but her generosity, curiosity and her love for the Prophet (pbuh) are what will take her comfortably into the next.”
May Allah the Almighty allow us to follow in her noble footsteps, Ameen.
By Sister Farhana.
Farhana is an active volunteer involved with mentoring, nurturing and befriending new members of the religion. If you would like to help reverts, please join Help for Reverts as a volunteer.