Aisha bint Abubakar: A great scholar of Islam
Aisha is the daughter of the first Caliph Abu-Bakr and the youngest, most favorite wife of the Prophet (PBUH).She was born into a Muslim family in Makah the year 607CE. Her mother’s name is Umm Rumman. She had a very retentive memory as she had memorized the whole Quran and its Tafseer.
She had narrated more than 2000 hadiths. She was very intelligent, knowledgeable and had access to politics and awareness of the Muslim community. Aisha passed away in 58AH at the age of 67 on 17 Ramadan. Her contributions to Islam has earned her special status among the “Mothers of the Believers,” a term of honor given to all the wives of the Prophet (PBUH).
Factors that led to her success
1. Personality and character;
She was very vast in her worship; fasting, prayers, charity and Hajj. She was very generous as she granted free access to her school in medina to orphans and the needy. She was very sensitive to other people’s needs. She was curious, had a good sense of humor and a critical thinker.
She had gained knowledge in three aspects; Theology kalam, Medicine, and Poetry. She was married to the prophet for 10 years and lived 50 years after his death so she gathered so much knowledge. She had a thirst for knowledge and her family were full of knowledge so that led her to be a renounced scholar. If scholars had a disagreement they used to go to Aisha for clarification. She even contributed to the debates arising from the Quranic verses.
“She was also a brilliant orator, al-Ahnaf said, ‘I have heard speeches of Abu Bakr and Omar, Uthman and Ali and the Khalifa up to this day, but I have not heard speech more persuasive and more beautiful from the mouth of any person than from the mouth of Aisha”
“She had a sound knowledge of Mathematics In addition 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.”
Aisha (RA) also used her incredible knowledge to declare fatwas. Al Hakim said in his book Al Mustadrak, “One fourth of the rule of Sharia was narrated on the authority of Aisha (RA).” (This was also written in Fathul Bari which was an explanation of Sahih Bukhari written by Ibn Hajar al Asqalani).
Adh Dhahabi said, “Aisha (RA) was the most knowledgeable woman in Islamic jurisprudence in the whole Muslim nation.”
Ata bin Rabah said, “Aisha (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 Aisha.”
A slander of adultery had been made against Aisha R.A and she was very patient about it. A revelation was made to clear Aisha. It was God that defended her. This shows that she is a woman of status.
“Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against 'Aisha, the wife of the Prophet SAW) are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment” (Nur 24:11)
Also because of this incident the ruling on adultery was stipulated
“Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (the slander) think good of their own people and say: "This (charge) is an obvious lie? Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allah they are the liars” (Nur 24:12-13)
4. Role model to women
Her title ‘Mother of Believers’ proves she had a responsibility she must shoulder for the entire Muslim community. Because of Aisha R.A, the status of women is raised. She has shown the importance of education in a woman’s life. She also taught females and encouraged them to seek knowledge she taught more than 50 women. She displayed the importance of education to women and eradicated all the bad customs and habits of the Jahiliyyah period. She established the very first women Islamiyya School.
“Her closeness to the Messenger of God, her knowledge of the Quran, and her amiable attitude toward the troubles of women both before and after her marriage, were an advantage” (Haylamaz 2012 p 25)
5. Her Legacy
Aisha (RDA) travelled across to spread Islam after the death of the prophets (s). She was visited by leading scholars Umar Ibn Khattab, Abu Hurayra and many more. Eighty-eight renowned scholars learnt from her. She was the scholar of scholars.
6. First and Second Caliphate Roles
Aisha being the wife and daughter of Prophet Mohammad (s) and Abu Bakr (RDA) raised her status high. Her father Abu Bakr was very dedicated to Islam which led Aisha have honorable titles. For example, Al-Siddiqi Bint Al-Siddiq, meaning 'the truthful woman, daughter of the truthful man was a title given to her. During the second caliphate. She was a consultant in political matters.
7. Political Influence
Aisha took a predominant role in politics which helped in the promotion of her father to the caliphate. She engaged into debates with male companions. She had made clarifications to the false statements regarding the prophet and promoted Islamic law. This increased her political influence. Aisha (RA) was a great scholar and she opened the first ever school of Fiqh. She taught over a 100 students of all genders and ages over the years.
“Aisha’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 Aisha (RA).”
People nowadays claim Islam has not granted rights to women. Aisha R.A is a deal breaker here because no man can accomplish what she did because even the men of her times used to seek clarification from her. This is truly an incredible honor given to women. Her position shows that Islam has a very high regard for women.
Abu Talib, K. (2013), “Ayesha's Occupation of Basra (War in Basra)", pp.12-31.
Asma, B. (2002) “Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an”, pp. 126.
Guillaume, A. (1995), “The Life of Muhammad”, pp. 25-32.
Munir, B. (2002), “Islamic sciences and research academy ISRA; Aisha the scholar of scholars”. Pp. 13-40.
Muhammad, R. M. (1980), “Random House reprint of English translation”, pp. 34-40.
Muhammad, Q. (2007), “Women around the Messenger”, pp. 15-70.
Saeed Akhtar, R. (1971), “The Life of Muhammad The Prophet”, pp. 25-54.
Spielberg, D.A. (1994) “Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: the Legacy of Aisha Bint Abi Bakr”, pp. 25-30.