Alhamdulillah, I arrived at this provincial Jitra, Kedah safe and sound albeit the traffic in PLUS highway was congested and vehicles were thronging along the highway. Anyway, it feels good to be welcomed back by the tranquil green pastures of newly-planted paddies. You feel the authentic calmness when you see the vast panorama; and with several white storks flying across the sapphire sky, you know it’s a real Monsoon Dream!
Today, I decided to Qadha’ (‘pay back’) my fasting days which were skipped last year due to the bad Tonsillitis I had. It’s also been ages since I devote myself into reading; so I thought that having a light-reading would be great. Perused my little-library at home and found an old book given by my late Al-Quran guru, Arwah Mak Cik Nen (May Be Peace Upon Her) entitled “Kisah Wanita Islam Terbilang” (Stories of Renowned Moslem Women). It’s nice to be immersed with all these amazing stories which chronicle about perseverances, motivation and filial piety. Anyway, I would like to share about Aisha R.A. – one of Prophet Muhammad’s SAW wife.
Aisha R.A. was the daughter of the Moslem’s first caliph- Abu Bakr As-Siddiq; who also happened to be Prophet Muhammad SAW’s best friend. She was 9 years old when she got married with Prophet Muhammad SAW. This marriage however is perceived as ‘horrifying’ by the modernized sceptical ideas as they perceived that marriage at the tender age of 9 years old is scandalous and abusive; nonetheless, they have forgotten that it was a normal customary amongst the Bedouin communities at that time and also from the point of view of sociology and anthropology, American scholar Colin Turner indicated that children in those days matured faster than in modern west; thus the idea of a 9 years old maiden AT THAT TIME to be consummated into a marriage ISN’T ABNORMAL and ridiculous to be paedophile-classified. Nonetheless, critics of Islam refuse to acknowledge this and of course, keep bantering on the ‘poor’ character of Prophet Muhammad SAW; due to the pre-conceived loathe and hatred, I say.
Anyway, as one of “Ummul Mukminin” (Mother of The Believers), Aisha R.A. exhibited extraordinary traits; albeit she was not a perfect one. There are so many lessons that can be learned from her life – a mirror to say that even pious soul could sometimes be led astray. We, human are always born with flaws and defects.
As a young girl, Aisha R.A. had outstanding growth in comparison to her peers. Her biological as well as spiritual maturities were not in par with her greenhorn age. Her intelligences was mesmerizing and her words of wisdom were beyond her childlike features. As a child, Aisha R.A. enjoyed playing with toys and one of the favourite was a winged-horse toy. One day, Prophet Rasulullah SAW passed by and when she saw him, she hide the toy due to her respect towards him. Rasulullah SAW asked her :
“Why did you stop playing with the toy? Is that a winged-horse? Why it has wings? Isn’t it awkward for a horse to have wings?”
Aisha R.A. valiantly replied :
“O Rasulullah! Why not? Is it not that Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon)’s horse was a winged one?”
Aisha R.A. was undoubtedly someone who still possessed infantile traits despite her biological maturity and vast knowledge. It was said that when a thief stole her things, Aisha R.A. went verbally rampage cursing the thief. To her, Rasulullah SAW merely softly said, “Don’t you be in a sinful way by taking the sins from the bad deed done by others. You are throwing your virtues of righteousness (‘Pahala’) by cursing others.” It was through these indirect lessons that Aisha R.A. began to equipped herself with.
Besides this, there was the incident of framing-to-commit-adultery. Rasulullah SAW went for war against the Mustaliq and Aisha R.A. accompanied him. On the way back to Medina during night time, Aisha needed to ease herself. She went out without acknowledged to anyone because she thought it would only be of short stint. To her horror, a pendant borrowed to her by her sister, Asma’ had lost! Aisha R.A.searched the pendant for a while and when she went back to the camp, the entourage already left without her! She was panicked but remained poised believing that a help would be sent later. The next day, a man named Safwan was scouting the trail of the Moslem entourages. He was the marshal of the entourage; just to make sure that there would be no things left behind. He bumped into Aisha R.A. and helped her.
Upon the arrival to the entourage, some Munafiqs (Moslem pretenders) spread slanders that Aisha R.A. had committed adultery with Safwan! The news spread throughout Medina. Aisha R.A. noticed the changes in Rasulullah SAW as well as her parents. But she didn’t say anything up until Rasulullah SAW hinted to her:
“O, Aisha. If you had committed sin, then do admit and repent to Allah SWT because He is The Most Merciful. But if you are in the righteous position, then Allah SWT will proclaim your innocence.”
Aisha R.A. was flabbergasted and mortified. Her husband, The Chosen One doubted her! She cried to both her parents who happened to be in the same room.
“Father, mother. Please answer! Why do you keep quiet??”
“With Allah SWT, we do not know how to answer!”
Aisha R.A. knew that no one believed her even her parents. She braved herself and said :
“Allah SWT knows what’s right. I do not need to repent to Him for things I did not commit. But even if I am innocent, who will believe me? I am now in the same position as Prophet Yaakub (Jacob), who said that patience is the jewel of virtue.”
Aisha R.A.’s answer was like a lightning struck. At that moment, a revelation came upon Rasulullah SAW (An-Nur “The Light”, Verse 11) declaring that Aisha R.A. was innocent and also punishment for accusers who spread slander revolving adultery upon innocent people.
“Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) the wife of the Prophet ) 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.”
Apart from these significant commotions in Islam pertaining Aisha R.A., the “Story Of Honey” also play important red-letter event. There is various alternative versions to the incident but all rendition involved Aisha R.A. and Rasulullah SAW’s wives. The most famous would be that Aisha R.A. and Hafsa R.A. conspired with each other to stop Rasulullah SAW from spending too much time at Ummu Salamah R.A’s house because she was given a skin filled with honey and Rasulullah SAW loved savouring the sweet honey. Both Aisha R.A. and Hafsa R.A. conspired to tell Rasulullah SAW that his mouth smelt of bad breath because of the honey. Rasulullah SAW believed it was true when both his wives told him and swore that He won’t be savouring the honey no more. Upon the incident, a revelation (Al-Tahreem “Prohibition”, Verse 1) was bestowed:
“O you Prophet, why do you prohibit what GOD has made lawful for you, just to please your wives? GOD is Forgiver, Merciful.”
The following verses asked both Aisha R.A. and Hafsa R.A. to repent for their misdemeanour. Rasulullah SAW felt so sad and avoided his wife for a month. In this period, the wives learned their lesson and humbled themselves with harmony.
Aisha R.A.’s life was indeed full with events. It was also because of the incident where she had asked the Moslem entourage to stop because her pendant had lost again that Moslems are given alternative to replace Ablution with Tayammum; if there is no source of water found. It was in a vast desert and Subuh prayer was approaching but there was no water source to be found. The entourage members began to put blame on Aisha R.A. and with that, a revelation descended (Al-Maidah “The Table Spread”, Verse 6) that Moslems can use clean dust and debris as Tayammum to replace water for ablution. Amazing, Subhanallah!
These show that even the pious soul can sometimes be goaded into Negativity. And sometimes, setback comes as bless in disguise. And this is a lesson to be learned from the life of Aisha R.A., one of the Mother of The Believers.