Islam / Cultic personalities /
¢ā'isha bint abī bakr
(Ca. 614-678) Third wife of Islam's prophet Muhammad, and his favourite wife.
When A'isha married Muhammad at the age of 9, she brought along her toys, and a close relationship was tied between the two as Muhammad often joined her in her games.
Among A'isha's main enemies following the death of Muhammad were Ali, who had been among the ones believing that A'isha had been unfaithful, as accused in 628.
A'isha can appear as manipulative and cruel upom occasion, as when, for example, she intervened in the politics of the young Muslim state. But A'isha was a part of the political structures of the state, and she was no more manipulative than any of the other strong personalities.
A'isha was often consulted in theological matters, and by many contemporaries considered a learned woman. In Sunni Islam she is considered a transmitter of hadith. There are 1,200 traditions reported to have origin in her sayings. Much of her contemporary reputation was due to an assertion that she was in the possession of a special copy of the Koran.
Shi'is generally view A'isha as a jealous and spiteful opponent of Ali and his wife Fatima. Some go so far as to consider her an enemy of God.
From some liberal Muslims, and Western Islam-apologetics, it can at times be alleged that Muhammad did not have sexual intercourse while she was a young girl. From Bukhari, the hadith-teller considered most reliable, this is read
Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62
64 Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years [Muhammad's death].
Ca. 614: Born in Mecca, the daughter of Abu Bakr and Umm Ruman. A'isha was also called Umm Abdallah after her nephew.
622: Muhammad marries A'isha, after her father had come to terms with his initial objections.
623: The marriage is consummated, A'isha is 9 years old.
628: As A'isha is seen together with a young man, she is suspected of adultery. Muhammad consulted Ali on what he should do in this situation, and Ali advised him to repudiate A'isha. Other advisors argued for A'isha's innocence, and Muhammad exculpated her following a Koranic revelation stating that nobody can be convicted for adultery unless there are at least 4 witnesses.
632: Muhammad dies. A'isha is 18 years old. She never remarried.
656: A'isha is central in the coalition against Caliph Uthman, that leads to his assassination.
December: An army backed by A'isha combats an army of caliph Ali in Mesopotamia, but is defeated. Ali permits A'isha to return to Madina, thereby exhibiting his power.
A'isha tries to ally with Ali, but Ali refuses.
669: Following Hassan's defeat and death in the fight for the caliph throne, A'isha refused to let him be buried next to Muhammad. She claimed that the tomb was her property.
678 July 17: Dies a natural death in Madina, where she was buried.