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Ayesha's Role in Islam

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 Letter 11
: Uselessness of Shia/Sunni Discussions & Article about Ayesha

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ترجمے کے لئے یہاں جائیں


As said in previous articles, the Shias have great respect and reverence for wives of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the Ummul momineen, wives such as Hz Khadija and Hz Umme Salammah. Ayesha however has been a source of great dispute between the different Islamic Schools of thought.

Does this conflict in views regarding Ayesha and the hype due to the fact that she was Abu Bakr's daughter or it is due to the fact that she was one of the eleven wives of the Prophet? Ayesha no doubt was a wife of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and thus she is the one of the Ummul momineen, or Mother of the believers. Where does the arguement lie?

Sunnis claim,

Thus love and respect for Ayesha is compulsory. The sunni brethren conclude that any insult or disrespect against Ayesha is a disrespect to the Prophet.

The Shias however say that;

I in no way want to disrespect anyone's feelings. But you must realize where should our loyalty lie. Being emotionally linked with a non-divine personality may result in transgression against those who are the blessed and the chosen people of Allah.

First thing first,

The Prophet is closer to the believers than themselves, and his wives are their mothers. And blood relations among each other have closer personal ties in the decree of Allah than the believers and the Muhajirin, except that you do kindness to those brothers. This has been written in the Book
Quran [33:6]

On the basis of the special relationship mentioned above, another characteristic of the Holy Prophet is that his wives are forbidden to the Muslims just like their own real mothers although their adopted mothers are in no sense their real mothers. This thing is peculiar only to the person of the Holy Prophet and of no other man in the world. In this connection, one should also know that the wives of the Holy Prophet are mothers of the believers only in the sense that the Muslims are under obligation to have reverence and respect for them, and no Muslim could marry them. As for other matters they are not like the mothers. For example, apart from their real relatives, all other Muslims were non-mahram for them from whom they had to observe Purdah; their daughters were not like real sisters for the Muslims, so that no Muslim could marry them; their brothers and sisters were not like the maternal uncles and aunts for the Muslims; they could not be inherited by a Muslim, unless a close relative, as a mother is inherited by her son. Another noteworthy point in this connection is that according to the Qur'an, this status accrues to all the wives of the Holy Prophet among whom Hadrat 'A'ishah is also included. But, when a section (of the Muslims) made Hadrat `AIi and Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with them) and their children the centre of their Faith and made the whole system of religion revolve around them, and made Hadrat `A'ishah also, along with many other Companions, the target of curse and abuse, this verse became a hindrance for them, for according to it every person who claims to be a believer has to acknowledge her as his mother.
Tafheem ul Quran by Abul ala Maududi, Tafseer of Surah 33 verse 6

As claimed by Maududi, this verse which declares Ayesha to be the mother of believers was only to prohibit all Muslims marrying her after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). She however was not the real mother thus the law of inheriting from your son (the whole Ummah in this case) would not be applicable to her. Similarly, she would have to observe proper Hijab infront of everyone else even though she was our mother where as a real mother is free from this obligation in front of her children.

Thus the title of "Mothers of believers" was only to stop muslims marrying the wives of Prophet (SAW) after his demise.

Maududi goes on to claim that this verse nullifies the Shia way of criticizing Ayesha for her evil. This will be discussed later on.

As far as being the mother of believers is concerned, the hardcore Ibne Kathir backs this claim,

(and his wives are their mothers.) means, they are unlawful for marriage. In terms of honor, respect and veneration, it is not permissible for them to be alone with them, and the prohibition of marriage to them does not extend to their daughters and sisters, according to scholarly consensus.
Tafsir Ibne Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 33, verse 6

People who claim that criticism against Ayesha is wrong because she is the mother of believers, I do not see a link.

Is it wrong to criticize your mother's wrong actions? Is being our mother mean being infallible? Or does it give Ayesha the liberty to do anything, good or bad, yet entitled to the same respect you should show towards the infallibles?

I am a Muslim. If my mother starts to abuse Hz Ali, for example, shouldn't i try to rectify her actions or distant myself from her or make her stop her blasphemous act? If my mother is thief, shouldn't i try to help her follow the right path or if she continues her evil action, shouldn't i show my disgust at her evil? I am not relating such actions with Ayesha. The point is doing evil, transgressing against the Limits set by Allah and disobeying the Prophet. If my mother kills her friend intentionally, should i still see her as a sin-free woman? Should i still respect her and should i praise her for her actions wether they are unjust?

I fail to see where does the merit lie in being the mother of believers. Please show me from Quran, authentic Sunnah of Prophet (SAW), or your own logic, that;

If you cannot prove any of the above, then let us ask ourselves, which is a bigger merit, being a mother of the believers or being a wife of the Prophet.

Allah sets forth an example to those who disbelieve the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut: they were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them so they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said: Enter both the fire with those who enter.
Quran [66:10]

(The wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut. They were under two of our righteous servants,) means, they were the wives of two of Allah's Messengers and were their companions by day and night, eating with them and sleeping with them, as much as any marriage contains of interaction between spouses. However, (they both betrayed them.) meaning, in the faith, they did not adhere to the faith sent through their husbands nor accepted their message. Therefore, all the intimate knowledge of their husbands neither helped them nor prevented punishment, hence Allah's statement, (So, they availed them not against Allah) means, because their wives were disbelievers
Tafsir Ibne Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 66, verse 10

The answer, is none. Neither being a mother of the believers, nor being the wife of a Prophet is a merit, and true merit lies in actions. Any wife of Prophet Muhammad if sinned to transgressed against the limits set by Allah will be punished doubly by Allah for her actions and we are free to criticize them for their sin.

O wives of the prophet! whoever of you commits an open indecency, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly; and this IS easy to Allah. And whoever of you is obedient to Allah and His Messenger and does good, We will give to her her reward doubly, and We have prepared for her an honorable sustenance.
Quran [33:30-31]

Please read about Tabarra to know better what i mean by criticism, love and hate.

So now coming to the facts. What wrong did Ayesha do?

Narrated 'Aisha: I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija (although) she died before he married me, for I often heard him mentioning her, and Allah had told him to give her the good tidings that she would have a palace of Qasab (i.e. pipes of precious stones and pearls in Paradise), and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would send her women-friends a good share of it
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 164

Narrated 'Aisha: I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and when ever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija. When I sometimes said to him, "(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija," he would say, "Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 166

This not only proves that Ayesha was jealous of Hz Khadija but also that Hz Khadija was the most favorite wife of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I felt jealous of the women who offered themselves to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Then when Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, revealed this:" You may defer any one of them you wish, and take to yourself any you wish; and if you desire any you have set aside (no sin is chargeable to you)" (xxxiii. 51), I ('A'isha.) said: It seems to me that your Lord hastens to satisfy your desire. 
Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3453

Her jealousy was not only limited to Hz Khadija but also to women who proposed the Prophet (SAW) for marriage. Her dislike for such women can also be seen from the rhetorical comment she passes at the end of the narration.

Narrated 'Ubaid bin 'Umar: I heard 'Aisha saying, "The Prophet used to stay for a long while with Zanab bint Jahsh and drink honey at her house. So Hafsa and I decided that if the Prophet came to anyone of us, she should say him, "I detect the smell of Maghafir (a nasty smelling gum) in you. Have you eaten Maghafir?' " So the Prophet visited one of them and she said to him similarly. The Prophet said, "Never mind, I have taken some honey at the house of Zainab bint Jahsh, but I shall never drink of it anymore." So there was revealed: 'O Prophet ! Why do you ban (for you) that which Allah has made lawful for you . . . If you two (wives of Prophet) turn in repentance to Allah,' (66.1-4) addressing Aisha and Hafsa. 'When the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to some of his wives.' (66.3) namely his saying: But I have taken some honey."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 63, Number 192
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 63, Number 193
Sahih Muslim Book 009, Number 3496

Note that Ayesha disliked the Prophet's stay at the house of Zainab and thus she plotted a lie against the Prophet to force him not to stay/go there for long. I ask those who claim to love and revere Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Is this not disrespect to the Prophet himself?

“When the Prophet confided unto one of his wives a matter, but when she divulged it (unto others) and God apprised him therefore, he made known a part of it and avoided a part; so when he informed her of it, said she: ‘Who informed thee of this?’ He said: ‘Informed, me, the All-Knowing, the All-Aware’.  If you both (women) repent to Allah, (it is better for you), for your hearts have swerved from the right path and if you supported each other against the Prophet, you should know that Allah is his Protector, and after Him Gabriel and the righteous believers and the angels are his companions and helpers. Happily his Lord if he divorceth you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, repentant, prayerful, observers of fast, widows and virgins.
Quran [66:3-5]

All scholars agree that these verses were for Ayesha and Hafsa.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: I intended to ask 'Umar so I said, "Who were those two ladies who tried to back each other against the Prophet?" I hardly finished my speech when he said, They were 'Aisha and Hafsa."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 436

Narrated 'Umar: The wives of the Prophet out of their jealousy, backed each other against the Prophet, so I said to them, "It may be, if he divorced you all, that Allah will give him, instead of you wives better than you." So this Verse was revealed. (66.5)
Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 438

The word tazahur means to cooperate mutually in opposition to another person, or to be united against another person. Shah Waliyullah has translated this sentence, thus: "If you mutually join together to cause distress to the Prophet. " Shah 'Abdul Qadir's translation is: "If you both overwhelm him." Maulana Ashraf 'AII Thanwi's translation urns: "And if you both continued to work thus against the Prophet. " And Maulana Shabbir Ahmad 'Uthmami has explained it thus: ,"lf you two continued to work and behave thus (against the Prophet)."
Tafheem ul Quran, by Abul ala Maududi, Tafseer of Surah 66, Verse 4

As per the Quranic verses stated above, we get to know that;

And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and goes beyond His limits, He will cause him to enter fire to abide in it, and he shall have an abasing chastisement.
Quran [4:14]

The disobedience to prophet (SAW) by anyone, be it you, me, his companions or his wives, without sincere repentance, the end result is the hell fire. Any sort of disobedience to Prophet (SAW) should be highly criticized for our love for Prophet (SAW) forces us to show disgust at people who troubled him.

Now coming to the issue of fitnah. 

Ibn 'Umar reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) stood by the door (of the apartment of) gafsa and, pointing towards the east, he said: The turmoil would appear from this side, viz. where the horns of Satan would appear, and he uttered these words twice or thrice and Ubaidullah b. Sa'ld in his narration said. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had been standing by the door of 'A'isha.
Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6939

Ibn Umar reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came out from the house of 'A'isha and said: It would be from this side that there would appear the height of unbelief, viz. where appear the horns of Satan. i. e. cast.
Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6941

Remember The Surah where two wives of Prophet (SAW) are ordered to repent or face the consequences?

If you two turn in repentance to Allah, your hearts are indeed so inclined; but if you help one another against him, then verily, Allah is his Protector, and Jibril, and the righteous among the believers; and after that the angels are his helpers
Quran [66:4]

Layth bin Abi Sulaym said from Mujahid: and the righteous among the believers; includes `Ali bin Abi Talib also
Tafsir Ibne Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 66, Verse 4

Thus if the two specific wives of Prophet, namely Ayesha and Hafsa did not repent to Allah, and continued to back each other against the Prophet of Allah, then they will first have to face Allah, Jibrael (AS), angels and the righteous amongst the believers as these are the protectors of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). As inclusion of Mawla Ali in the group of believers is agreed by Shias and Sunnis alike, we can also say that if Ayesha and Hafsa continued their transgression, they will have to first face the protectors of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), which includes Ali ibn Abu Talib as well.

Ayesha's battle against Imam Ali in the battle of Jamal, irrespective of the circumstances which caused it, can be termed as the predefined show-down between the Protector of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and  the wife of Prophet (SAW) which did not repent. This how ever is theoretical. This is my belief, because i have pledged my allegiance to the son of Abu Talib.

But it doesn't change the fact. The fact that Ayesha did come out of her  house, to wage war against Ameer ul Momineen, Imam ul Mutaqeen, Sahabi e Muhammad, Khalifa e Rashid, brother and cousin of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Mawla Ali (AS).

If i curse or abuse a companion of the Prophet, let us say Umer for an example, my actions will enrage every muslim, Sunnis atleast. Similarly, if i abuse or Curse Mawla Ali (AS), it will again enrage every Muslim. This is because we love/revere or claim to love/revere such personalities. So if my verbal curse/abuse against such a personality can give birth to emotions of hatred against me, shouldn't actions of physical assault on such personalities give birth to the same emotions against people who intended to kill Imam Ali? Because fighting, physical attacks and intentions to kill is a greater disrespect than verbal criticism.

If i enter a battle field with horses, swords and an army, i am either stupid or i am hiding my true intentions if i claim that my purpose is not to kill/fight the opposition. The men who gathered in Basra, against Imam Ali (AS), were a part of rebellion against the very Mawla.

As this is the same Ali who is included in the Ahlulbayt, who is told to be loved and who is the Mawla of everyone who consider Prophet (SAW) as their Mawla, it is my love and respect, my loyalty and reverence for this man which forces me to dislike the people who fought him, including Ayesha.

Thus those who claim to love all the Sahaba of Prophet (SAW) and also all the wives of Prophet (SAW) are liars, because you cannot love two people who are intending to kill each other. If you love one, you must hate his enemies. Ayesha's rebellion against Imam Ali, irrespective of the circumstances, is highly criticizable and against the orders of Quran and Prophet (SAW). For Quran prohibits wives of Prophet (SAW) to not leave their houses after his (SAW) demise and the Prophet declares Haqq or Truth to turn wherever Ali turns.

According to the Hadith, Umm Salama is known to have said that Muhammad said:

Ali is with the Truth (haqq) and the Qur'an, and the Truth and the Qur'an are also with Ali, and they will be inseparable until they come upon me at Kawthar.
al-Bahrani's Ghâyat al-marâm wa-hujjat al-hisâm, page 539

The above reference recounts the hadith in fifteen versions from Sunni sources and eleven versions from Shi'a sources.

In some versions of the hadith of the pond of Khumm there is an extra sentence that is the Prophet had said;

Wa dara al-haqq ma'ahu haithu dar
"And the truth (the right path) turns with him (i.e. Ali) wherever way he turns."
Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, under the commentary of "al-Bismilah"

Similarly in Sahih al-Tirmidhi, it is narrated that:

The Messenger of God said: "O God, have Thy Mercy on Ali. O God, make the right and the truth with Ali in all situations."
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, Volume 5, page297

Thus the Haqq will always be with Ali, which makes his opponents Baatil, irrespective of who they are.

(O wives of Prophet) And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger…………………
Quran [33:33]

(And stay in your houses,) means, stay in your houses and do not come out except for a purpose. One of the purposes mentioned in Shari`ah is prayer in the Masjid, so long as the conditions are fulfilled, as the Messenger of Allah said: (Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from the Masjids of Allah, but have them go out without wearing fragrance.) According to another report: (even though their houses are better for them.) (and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Tabarruj of the times of ignorance,) Mujahid said: "Women used to go out walking in front of men, and this was the Tabarruj of Jahiliyyah.'' Qatadah said: (and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Taburruj of the times of ignorance,) "When they go out of their homes walking in a shameless and flirtatious manner, and Allah, may He be exalted, forbade that.'' Muqatil bin Hayyan said: (and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Tabarruj of the times of ignorance,) "Tabarruj is when a woman puts a Khimar on her head but does not tie it properly.'' So her necklaces, earrings and neck, and all of that can be seen. This is Tabarruj, and Allah addresses all the women of the believers with regard to Tabarruj.
Tafsir Ibne Kathir, Tafseer of Surah 33, Verse 33

The word qarna in the original is derived from qarar according to some lexicographers and from waqar according to others. In the first sense, it will mean: `Settle down, stick firmly;" and in the second sense: "Live peacefully, sit with dignity." In both the cases the verse means to impress that the woman's real sphere of activity is her home; she should carry out her functions within that sphere peacefully, and she should come out of the house only in case of a genuine need. This meaning is clear from the words of the verse itself and the Holy Prophet's Ahadith also impress it even more forcefully.....

According to another tradition that Bazzar and Tirmidhi have related on the authority of Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas`ud, the Holy Prophet said: `The woman must remain veiled and concealed. When she comes out of her house, Satan stares at her. And she is closer to Allah's mercy when she is inside her house." In the presence of such a clear and express command of the Qur'an, it is not at all permissible that the Muslim women should seek membership of the councils and parliaments; that they should run after social activities outside the house; that they should work side by side with men in the government offices, should get education along with boys in the colleges, serve as nurses in the male wards of hospitals, should be employed as hostesses in the aeroplanes and rail cars, and should be sent abroad for education and training. The greatest argument that is given in support of the permissibility of the women's outdoor activities is that Hadrat 'A'ishah had taken part in the Battle of the Camel. But the people who present this argument perhaps do not know what was Hadrat `A'ishah's own opinion in this regard. `Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal has related in his Zawa id az-Zuhd and Ibn Mundhir, Ibn Abi Shaibah and Ibn Sa'd in their own books the tradition from Masruq, saying that when Hadrat `A'ishah during her recitation of the Qur'an would reach this verse (wa qarna fi buyut-i kunna), she would start crying involuntarily; so much so that her head-wrapper would become wet, for this reminded her of the error that she had committed in the Battle of the Camel. In this verse two important words have been used, which must be understood for the proper understanding of its intention. They are tabarruj and jahiliyyat al-ula. The word tabarruj in Arabic means to become manifest and appear openly before others. The Arabs use the word baraj for every conspicuous and elevated object.....
Tafheem al Quran, By Abul Ala Maududi, Tafseer of Surah 33 Verse 33

According to the Ayah of the Quran, it addresses the wives of the Prophet (SAW) and tells them to

O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep you have Taqwa, then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner
Quran [33:33]

Quran has made it clear that the wives of Prophet (SAW) are not like ordinary women and thus they are liable to certain specific and special merits as well as commandments which might not be applicable to other women. One of the example is to remarry after their husband dies. The wives of Prophet (SAW) cannot marry after the his demise but Muslim women are free to marry after the death of their husbands.

Thus the wives of the Prophet are ordered to stay inside their homes unconditionally and not to display their fineries like the women of period of ignorance would. However, both the commentators, Ibn Kathir and Maududi attribute the order of staying inside their homes to all women, which does not make sense.

Maududi goes on to declare that all Muslim women cannot perform any outdoor duty. He then counters his own declaration by the fact that Ayesha went out of her house in the battle of Jamal. He again counters this argument by claiming that Ayesha realized her mistake/sin/error of disobedience to this Quranic order which caused her to shed tears every time she read the verses.

Both Ibn Kathir and Maududi say that although a muslim women is not allowed to leave her house, she is permissible to do so if the task she is performing is important and special.

When Hadhrath Saudah (RA), wife of the Prophet (s), was asked why she did not perform Hajj and Umrah (regularly) like other wives of the Prophet (s)? Saudha (RA) said, "I have performed Hajj and Umrah (before) and Allah has given me the order to stay at home. By God I will not leave home until my death." The narrator added "by God, Saudah (RA) did not leave her home after the Prophet (s) until her death, when her funeral was taken out".
Tafsir Durre Manthur Volume 5 page 196, Tafseer of Surah 33 Verse 33

This verse came down exclusively for the wives of Rasulullah (s) and in the commentary of this verse we can see that Hadhrath Sauda deemed it as a clear injunction for her to remain at home.

Rasulullah (s) had told his wives during Hajjatul Wida (final pilgrimage) that this WAS their first and last Hajj and that in future they were to remain within their homes. Ibne Kathir states that;

"During the Farewell Hajj, Prophet (s) had told his wives that "This is your last Hajj, after that you have to pray on floor mats". The narrator then added that except for Zainab bint e Jahsh (RA) and Saudah(RA) all other wives used to go for Hajj but these two used to say that "nothing shall move us".
Bidaya wa al Nihaya Volume 7 page 104, under the Chapter "Zainab binte Jahsh"

Why did Ayesha leave her house? She wanted Mawla Ali to punish the killers of Uthman and  claimed Ali was protecting them. Thus Jamal was a cry for social justice for some people.

For me, i consider Ali to be nafs-ur-Rasool (Mubahila). For me, fighting Ali is sufficient for me to dissociate myself from them irrespective of the circumstances and intentions. For the sake of argument, i will provide with a Unanimous view of what happened.

Imam Ali (as)'s letter to Hadhrath Ayesha testifies to her being on the wrong path.

Prior to the Battle of Jamal he [Imam Ali] wrote a letter to Ayesha in which he said 'by leaving your home you have opposed the order of Allah (swt) and his Rasul (s)"
al Tadkhirath al Khawwas page 38
Matalib al Sa'ul page 112

Ayesha had demonstrated open opposition to Imam 'Ali (as), a refusal to accept his authority and a challenge to him to stop her opposition party. Ayesha's defiant reply to Imam Ali letter proves it;

Son of 'Abu Talib, the difference between us is irreconcilable, time is running out, and we shall not submit to your authority, whatever you wish to do, do it.
Matalib al Sa'ul page 116
Fusul ul Muhimma page 72

Imam 'Ali (as) hence was left with no other choice but to quash the opposition. Ayesha had made clear that her intention was that of open defiance and disobedience to the Imam of the time. Letter of Ummul Momineen Hadhrath Umme Salmah to stop Hadhrath Ayesha from participating in the Battle of Jamal is concrete evidence that Hazrat Ayesha was in error.

However Ayesha's intentions were not to avenge Uthman's murder, for she herself was one of his biggest critics. This will be discussed later on. Ayesha wanted to install herself as the Imam over the nation.

The narrator states: I was walking through Jamal and witnessed a man on the ground rubbing his heels and reciting poetry, another narrators states that someone asked (the same man) 'Who are you?' to which he replied 'I am in that woman's army who intends to become Ameerul Momineen".
Tadkhirath al Khawwas page 43 Chapter "Dhikr Jamal"

Rasulullah (s) condemned women at the helm of a people.

Narrated Abu Bakra: During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."
Sahih al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 219

Furthermore, the barking of the dogs of Al-Hawab at Ayesha is proof enough that she was the wife, the Prophet (SAW) had warned about before his demise. The story goes as;

“Isma’eel narrated from Qays who said, ‘When Aysha approached the waters of Bani A’amir, she heard some dogs barking. Aysha asked, ‘What is the location of these waters?’ She was answered, ‘This is the waters of the Howab.’ Then she said, ‘I am going back!’ Some of the people with her said, ‘No, you should go on. Then the Muslims would see you and Allah would make peace between them.’ Then she said again, ‘I heard that the prophet peace be upon him said, ‘Then what would you (the wives of the prophet) do when you hear the barking of Al-Howab dogs?’’ "

The authenticity of the narration is is not doubted by the Sunnis.

The story of the dogs of Howab is not narrated in the nine Sunni books (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Al-Nisa’ei, Ibn Majah, Al-Turmithi, Abu Dawood, Mowati’a Imam Malik, Musnad Ahmed and Al-Darumi) except in Musnad Ahmed. Ahmed narrated two versions of the story. Also, the story is found in Saheeh Ibn Habban, Al-Mustadrik by Al-Hakim, and in history books. This hadeeth is authentic and true.

Thus we know that before the demise of Prophet (SAW), he prophesized about the dogs of Al-Hawab barking at one of his wives, a wife who would be on the wrong and a wife who would earn the displeasure of Prophet (SAW). This explains Ayesha's reactions when she wanted to return but later on continued with the march against Ali (AS).

Sunnis try to defend this event by claiming that her intentions were clean. What her real intentions were will be uncovered by Imam Ali (AS) later on. Anyone who opposes Imam Ali is like opposing the Prophet (SAW) himself.

Ali was

And we do not see intentions when opposition to Allah, his Prophet (SAW) or his Ahlulbayt is concerned.

It is important to know from Imam Ali's own words what he thought about the battle of Jamal, the murder of Uthman and Ayesha's false claim to avenge the murder of Uthman.

Beware! Satan has certainly started instigating his forces and has collected his army in order that oppression may reach its extreme ends and wrong may come back to its position. By Allah they have not put a correct blame on me, nor have they done justice between me and themselves. They are demanding of me a right which they have abandoned, and a blood that they have themselves shed. If I were a partner with them in it then they too have their share of it. But if they did it without me they alone have to face the consequences. Their biggest argument (against me) is (really) against themselves. They are suckling from a mother who is already dry, and bringing into life innovation that is already dead. How disappointing is this challenger (to battle)? Who is this challenger and for what is he being responded to? I am happy that the reasoning of Allah has been exhausted before them and He knows (all) about them. The threat to Wage War against them, If they refuse (to obey) I will offer them the edge of the sword which is enough a curer of wrong and supporter of Right.  It is strange they send me word to proceed to them for spear-fighting and to keep ready for fighting with swords. May the mourning women mourn over them. I have ever been so that I was never frightened by fighting nor threatened by clashing. I enjoy full certainty of belief from my Allah and have no doubt in my faith.
Peak Of Eloquence (Sermon 22): Regarding Those Who Blamed Ali for Uthman’s Murder

Both of these two (Talhah and az-Zubayr) wishes the Caliphate for himself, and is drawing towards himself as against the other fellow. They do not employ any connection for getting access to Allah nor proceed towards Him through any means. Both of them bear malice against the other. Shortly his veil over it will be uncovered. By Allah, if they achieve what they aim at, one of them will kill the other, and one will finish the other. The rebellious party has stood up. Where are the seekers of virtue; for the paths have already been determined and they have been given the news. For every misguidance there is a cause and for every break of pledge there is a misrepresentation. By Allah, I shall not be like him who listens to the voice of mourning, hears the man who brings news of death and also visits the mourner yet does not take lesson.
Peak Of Eloquence (Sermon 148): About Talha, Zubair And Jamal

Whoever can at this time keep himself clinging to Allah should do so. If you follow me I shall certainly carry you, if Allah so wills, on the path of Paradise, even though it may be full of severe hardship and of bitter taste. As regards a certain woman, she is in the grip of womanly views, and malice is boiling in her bosom like the furnace of the blacksmith. If she were called upon to deal with others as she is dealing with me she would not have done it. (As for me), even hereafter she will be allowed her original respect, while the reckoning (of her misdeeds) is an obligation on Allah.
Peak Of Eloquence (Sermon 156): Regarding Malice Of Ayesha

Praise be to Allah from whose view one sky does not conceal another sky nor one earth another earth. .... O' my Allah! I seek Thy succour against the Quraysh and those who are assisting them, because they are denying me (the rights of) kinship, have lowered my high position, and are united in opposing me in the matter (of the caliphate) which is my right, and then they said, "Know that the rightful thing is that you have it and also that you may leave it." They (Talhah, az-Zubayr and their supporters) came out dragging the wife of the Messenger of Allah (the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants) just as a maidslave is dragged for sale. They took her to Basrah where those two (Talhah and az-Zubayr) put their own women in their houses but exposed the wife of the Messenger of Allah to themselves and to others in the army in which there was not a single individual who had not offered me his obedience and sworn to me allegiance quite obediently, without any compulsion. Here in Basrah they approached my governor and treasurers of the public treasury and its other inhabitants. They killed some of them in captivity and others by treachery. By Allah, even if they had willfully killed only one individual from among the Muslims without any fault, it would have been lawful for me to kill the whole of this army because they were present in it but did not disagree with it nor prevented it by tongue or hand, not to say that they killed from among the Muslims a number equal to that with which they had marched on them.
Peak Of Eloquence (Sermon 172): About Caliphate, Umer and Jamal

As for me, I would never be frightened of fighting or be made to fear striking because I am satisfied with Allah's promise of support to me. By Allah, Talhah has hastened with drawn sword to avenge `Uthman's blood for fear lest the demand for `Uthman's blood be made against himself, because the people's idea in this matter is about him, and, in fact, he was the most anxious among them for his killing. Therefore, he has tried to create misunderstanding by collecting forces in order to confuse the matter and to create doubt. By Allah. he did not act in either of three ways about `Uthman. If the son of `Affan (`Uthman) was in the wrong, as Talhah believed, it is necessary for him to support those who killed him or to keep away from his supporters. If `Uthman was the victim of oppression. then Talhah should have been among those who were keeping (the assaulters) away from him or were advancing pleas on his behalf. If he was in doubt about these two alternatives, then it was incumbent upon him to leave him (`Uthman) and retire aside and leave the men with him (to deal with him as they wished). But he adopted none of these three ways, and came out with a thing in which there is no good, and his excuses are not acceptable.
Peak Of Eloquence (Sermon 174): Regarding Talha And Zubair Before Jamal

The following is the letter sent by Imam Ali (AS) through Imam Husayn (AS) and Ammar Yasir to the people of Kufa before he proceeded to Basra for the Battle of Jamal.

This letter is from the servant and creature of Allah, Ali (a), Amir al-Mu'minin, to Kufiyites who are the leaders of Ansar and respectable persons. After praising Allah and invoking His Blessings on the Holy Prophet (s) I want to throw light on the event of the assassination of Uthman and to make the whole affair as clear as if you were present on the occasion and were witnessing the event yourself. People were dissatisfied with him (Usman) and were accusing and blaming him. Out of the Muhajirs I was the only man who wanted to appease and pacify the people and who did not want to indulge in the activities of those dissatisfied persons, while Talha and Zubayr were instigating the populace in such a way that the least they said was worse than the worst that could be asserted or alleged against Uthman. Their whispering campaign was deadlier than the loudest propaganda which could be carried on; Aisha also exhibited extreme annoyance and anger against him. Under such conditions some persons resolved to kill him and they murdered him. Then everybody (friends and foes alike) came to me and took the oath of allegiance to me. This was done without any desire, instigation, inducement, persuasion or compulsion and force on my part. They came to me of their own free-will, without hesitation, and with pleasure, ecstasy and joy. Let it be known to you that the people of the city towards which the Holy Prophet (s) had migrated (Madina), is being deserted by its inhabitants, they are leaving it, it is seething with discontentment and rebellion. A seditious campaign has started against the Amir. I want you to come to the help of your Amir to fight against his enemies.
Peak Of Eloquence (Letter 1): To Kufa Before Jamal

It should be very clear now that Ayesha's stand against Imam Ali was due to her hatred and jealousy for him rather than her sincerity for Uthman, for she was one of the lead critics of Uthman when he was alive.

To conclude a controversial topic, Ayesha was the wife of Prophet (SAW) but had acted treacherously against the AhlulBayt in many places. Our love and loyalty towards the Ahlulbayt lead us to criticize and dislike certain actions of her.

If Ayesha did repent for her sin in Jamal and will be forgiven by Allah Almighty, then people who criticize her for this action will also be forgiven because it was her actions which lead us to dislike her.

But if Ayesha's actions against Imam Ali were infact disobedience to Allah and Prophet (SAW) and even after knowing the facts, people respect Ayesha for her being the wife of Prophet (SAW) and thus they render respect and neutrality towards her unjust actions against Imam Ali, then remember, that Truth is with Ali. Pick your choice. Given the opportunity, will you fight in the army of Imam Ali (AS) against Ayesha, or will you fight in the army of Ayesha against Imam Ali (AS). Our criticism and dislike for Ayesha is a proof that we have picked our side, our place lies in the army of Mawla Ali (AS).

However, unnecessary abuse, specially infront of people who respect Ayesha, is also damaging to Islam and is not the way of the Shia. Every one has a right to choose, to make his pick. Those who love Ayesha are free to do so and we respect that. Those who do not, should start respecting that. Abusing/Cursing Ayesha will not take you to heaven. Loving Ali will. And if our disliking Ayesha is a part of this love, then verily, following the path of Ali (AS) and his teachings is a bigger part of this love.

I heard sunnis believe that following any of the Sahaba ensures guidance because all are like stars at night?

Narrated Abu Maryam Abdullah bin Ziyad Al-Aasadi: When Talha, AzZubair and 'Aisha moved to Basra, 'Ali sent 'Ammar bin Yasir and Hasan bin 'Ali who came to us at Kufa and ascended the pulpit. Al-Hasan bin 'Ali was at the top of the pulpit and 'Ammar was below Al-Hasan. We all gathered before him. I heard 'Ammar saying, "'Aisha has moved to Al-Busra. By Allah! She is the wife of your Prophet in this world and in the Hereafter. But Allah has put you to test whether you obey Him (Allah) or her ('Aisha)."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 220

So according to Ammar, obeying Allah and obeying Aisha were two different things!? And according to him, the choice of Ali over Aisha was a test for all the companions who were present at that time. When we follow the way of a Sahabi, Ammar (R), you criticize us, when we do not follow the Sahabi, you criticize us. Make up your mind.

And i believe that after reading the Role of Tawalla in Islam, my Sunni brothers will agree to the slogan, May Allah have mercy on those who love Ali and May Allah curse those who hate Ali or bore malice against him.

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