Jamaat al-Muslimeen International Press Release

From Br. Kaukab Siddique

Anniversary of Greatest Woman of Islam: ‘Ayesha Siddiqa (r.a.), Leader, Teacher, Orator, Poet
Sura 24 was Revealed for her, sanctifying Women's rights Greatest Hadith Narrator
Hadith on Daughter's Honor, Love, Respect Narrated by her
[Also Hadith on staying away from meetings of the Rich]

‘Ayesha (r.a.) passed away on Ramadan 17, 58th year of Hijra, on Wednesday night when she was 66 years old. She was buried at night in Baqi'. So many people came out for her funeral as were never seen there, including so many women as you see only on Eid. The prayer was lead by Abu Huraira (r.a.).[Ibn Sa'ad's Tabqat.]

The blessed daughter of Abu Bakr (r.a.), the most beloved wife of the Prophet (pbuh), has too many qualities and achievements to be summed up in any book, let alone a brief email such as this. [For an introduction, see article "The Example of ‘Ayesha (r.a.)" in my book ISLAM AND REVOLUTION, published 1981.]

Allah Almighty Himself honored ‘Ayesha the Exalted (r.a.) by revealing Sura Noor (Light), chapter 24 of the Qur'an when the hypocrites of Madina tried to slander her. Imam Bukhari's SAHIH as well as just about every Tafseer of the Qur'an (for example Ibn Kathir's Tafseer) gives the details of this incident.)

The attempt to slander ‘Ayesha (r.a.) turned into a defeat for the hypocrites as Sura Noor came down to protect the rights of women. The Qur'an, chapter 24, laid down the law against those who try to slander innocent young women who are sometimes indiscreet or careless. The Qur'an says:

"And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with 80 stripes, and reject their evidence ever after, for such men are wicked transgressors ...." [24:4]

The sura, important for Islamic law, also brought equality in punishment for men and women caught in fornication. [In the Age of Ignorance, men were not punished.] The sura rejected the unilateral right of a husband to be judge and jury in case he believes his wife has transgressed his sexual rights (a movement forward from or in abrogation of a part of 4:34) and condemned slander against women (which men often use as a weapon to put down women).

All narrators agree that one who insults ‘Ayesha (r.a.) even in his mind and dirty soul cannot be a Muslim. From the specific case of ‘Ayesha (r.a.), the Qur'an moves to the general rule:

"Those who slander chaste, indiscreet and believing women are cursed in this life and in the Herafter: for them is a grievous chastisemen- on the Day when their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions." [24:23-24]

The Prophet's (pbuh) wisdom in marrying ‘Ayesha (r.a.) when she was very young bore fruit because she lived for many years after him. She became the leader of men and women, teaching and directing them to the purity of Islam transmitted to her by the Prophet (pbuh) himself in his own home. She became one of the greatest narrators of Hadith. Most scholars agree that her Hadith narrations are essential to a proper understanding of the Qur'an.

Al-Imam al-Hafiz, Jalaluddin Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr as-Siyuti (died 911 H) writes in his MUSNAD Ummul Mumineen ‘Ayesha, radi Allah ‘unha min jawamah al-kabeer fil hadith:
"All the scholars of Hadith, both the early ones and the later ones, absolutely agree that the Mother of the Believers, ‘Ayesha Siddiqa, daughter of the Caliph, Abu Bakr Siddiq, Allah be pleased with him, was among the among those sahaba (companions) of the Prophet (pbuh) who are considered senior and scholars of analytical ability. In fact the Sahaba themselves used to come into her Presence to inquire about deep issues of the religion and to find answers to matters which required solutions in matters of the faith." He goes on to quote Hadith proving ‘Ayesha's leadership in Islam and concludes: "She was comprehensive in her knowledge, unique in her understanding, and a mujtahid (one who breaks new ground in religious teaching) in Islamic issues. She was indeed the epitome of learning and teaching."

"‘Ali ibn Mashar narrates: I did not see anyone who knew more than ‘Ayesha, r.a., of the Qur'an, faraid (obligations), halal and haram, poetry, Arabic literature and geneology."

[Remember, dear readers, that ‘Ali was narrating this at a time when Islamic knowledge was at its height.]
AN IMPORTANT HADITH from ‘Ayesha (r.a.) relates to the honor, love and respect the Prophet (pbuh) gave to his daughter Fatima (r.a.) which teaches us how all good Muslims should treat their daughters:

"I have not seen a person more similar to the Prophet's appearance, conduct, guidance and speech, whether sitting or standing, than Fatima. When she enters (his home), the Messenger of Allah STANDS UP, kisses and welcomes her, then takes her hand and asks her to sit in his place." [Jami' Tirmidhi]

As a lowly servant of Allah, I am blessed to be enlightened by ‘Ayesha (r.a.) of the honor Islam gives to women. I will conclude by quoting a revolutionary Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) narrated by ‘Ayesha (r.a.):

"O ‘Ayesha! If you want to meet me (in the Hereafter) then think of the world only as a traveler's respite and DO NOT SIT IN THE MEETINGS OF THE RICH and do not consider clothes old till they are worn out ...." (Ibn Sa'ad's Tabqat)
I urge Imams and teachers to speak of the leadership and scholarship of ‘Ayesha the blessed in this purifying month of Ramadan so that the evil of male chauvinism and gender superiority may be exorcised.

2002-11-20 Wed 00:08ct