Exoneration of Aisha

After migration of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other companions to Medina the light of Islam starting spreading at a greater pace. People of Makka were worried at this development of the Muslims. In order to have their political influence over Medina they entered into a war-pact with Jews of Medina and arranged to make the tribes their allies that were living in the suburbs of Medina. This arrangement obstructed the trade caravans to bring to or take goods from Medina and Medina was put under economic siege. In the next phase of their planning, the leader of Hypocrites, with the connivance of Quraish, incited the people of Banu Mustalaq to attack the Muslims so that Mohammad could be brought out of Medina and the Muslims of Medina could be put to sword in his absence and when if he would return at all in a war torn condition would be easy to eliminate once and for ever.

When Holy Prophet (PBUH) came to know of this conspiracy, in order to save the Muslims and himself, he ordered to take the precautionary measures and to engage Banu Mustalaq sent a contingent of thirty youths to their tribe. Banu Mustalaq were not prepared to deal with that situation, so they were defeated and the whole tribe was arrested as prisoners of war.

Yet in another counter move Holy Prophet (PBUH) appointed AbduIlah Bin Ubai leader of a contingent and ordered him to accompany him to the battlefront and thus the hypocrites were also left without their leader so the plan of inviting the tribe to attack was foiled very wisely.

The people that were arrested included the daughter of the leader of the tribe. At the time of division of the prisoners of war and booty, she started crying that she would not become a maid slave to anyone. Holy Prophet (PBUH) paying her ransom money from his pocket set her free. She was then married to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to take the exalted position of Um-ul-Momeneen. In history her name is given as Birra and Jawariya Bint Harris. All the people of Banu Mustalaq were relatives of Jawariya: keeping this relation in view Muslims set all the prisoners of Banu Mustalaq free because now they were their relatives as well.

The liberated people of Banu Mustalaq were greatly noted when they had a chance to see the Muslims closely and their kind treatment and nice manners impressed them and they all embraced Islam.

The Islamic Army was still camping there when an argument took place between an Ansari and a Muhajir Muslims. Abdulah Bin Abi taking advantage of this situation started fanning the emotions. He approached Ansars and said, “It would have been better for me to die before seeing this day in my life. I have never lived a day more disgracing than today. You provided shelter to these Muhajirs, spent your money on them, suffered economic difficulties because of them and now you have been rewarded in this way that you have become a minority in Medina and now they are bullying us. We should beat them up and throw them out of Medina so that they should know what they are.”

When he faced stern looks from Ansaris and they refused to pay heed to his provocative suggestions, he approached the Muhajir contingent and said, “You left your home, suffered the torments of an arduous journey, migrated in the cause of Islam and abandoned the comforts of life and now you are being pushed away. Not only all this but now you have been also deprived of your share of the booty. Ansars have everything. They have houses, farms and other means of earnings and if they don’t receive their share of the booty, they can live through but most of the Muhajirs are poor and hate to depend upon Ansars and the loss that you have suffered has no comparison with that of theirs.” And to incite them against Holy Prophet (PBUH) he blasphemed, “Mohammad has established his relation with the leader of the imprisoned tribe and you all were forced to release the prisoners without having anything as ransom. This isn’t fair. When now you are returning to Medina, you are as penniless as were before embarking upon this arduous journey.”

When Holy Prophet (PBUH) came to know of the blasphemous activities of Abdullah Bin Ubai he felt sorry for him. He preached brotherhood and fraternity and ordered to move the caravan.

On their way, the caravan camped at a place for the night, Ayesha, who was accompanying Holy Prophet (PBUH) in this journey, got down her camel. In the meantime the caravan started moving and she was left behind unnoticed.

Sufwan Bin Muatal who was assigned the duty to follow the craavan from a distance, when reached the place where the caravan had camped, he found Ayesha. She told him that she had got down her camel and she didn’t informed anyone that she in getting down so they should have waited, the caravan was gone when she reached there. Sufwan made her to ride his camel and started walking taking the rein of the camel. When they reached Medina the caravan had already reached there. When the Jews and Hypocrites saw Ayesha coming alone with Sufwan, they gossiped about the scandal and the whole city started echoing with the gossip about Ayesha. Jews did everything, which they could do to spread the story of fighting between Ansars and Muhajirs and the scandalous gossip to malign the character of Ayesha, the dearest wife of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

When Holy Prophet (PBUH) was told all this he felt very hurt. It is stated that this situation prevailed for about one month and all this time Ayesha remained under great tension and mental stress. One day Holy Prophet (PBUH) came to her and said, “Do you know what the people are talking about you?” Ayesha with tears rolling down her eyes could only say, “O the Prophet of God! All that is said about me is a lie and untrue!”

At the very same site  God revealed the following Verses of Sura Noor upon the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

“Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourself; think it not to be an evil to you, on the contrary, it is good for you; to every man among them will come the punishment of the sin that he earned and to him who took on himself the lead among them will a penalty grievous. Why did not the Believers men and women, when you heard of the affair, put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, ‘This charge is an obvious lie.’?

Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of God stand forth themselves as liars’ Were it not for the grace and mercy of God on you in this world and the Hereafter, a grievous penalty would have seized you in that ye rushed gubly into this affair. Behold ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye bad no knowledge, and ye thought it to be a light matter while it was most serious in the sight of God. And why did ye not, when ye heard it, say, It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander! God doth admonish you, that ye may never repeat much conduct, if ye are true Believers. And, God makes the signs plain to you; for God is full of knowledge and wisdom.”

It was indeed a great honor for Ayesha to have her position clarified by God. This incident not only establishes the high priority given to the women talk in Islam but also clarifies that, men and women are given the equal rights. If the holy Quran, on the one hand, clarifies the position of Joseph, then, on the other, verses to exonerate Ayesha from slanderous accusation are revealed upon the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

“Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of stories and events. And, God hath full power and control over His affairs, but most among mankind knows it not. When Joseph attained his full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge, thus do we reward those who do right. But she in whose house he was, sought to seduce him from his true self. She fastened the doors and said, ‘Now come thou!’ He said, ‘God forbid!’ Truly thy husband is my lord; he made my sojourn agreeable! Truly to no good come those who do wrong. And, with passion did she desire him and he would have desired her, but that he saw the evidence of his Lord; thus did We order that We might turn away from him evil and shameful deeds for he was one of Our servants sincere and purified. So thy both faced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back; they both found her lord near the door. She said, “What is the fitting punishment for one who formed an evil design against thy wife but prison or a grievous chastisement?” He said, “It was she that sought to seduce me from my true self.”

And, one of her household saw this and bore witness thus, “If it be that his shirt is rent from the front, then is her tale true and he is a liar! But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then is she the liar and he is telling the truth!” So when he saw his shirt that it was torn at the back her husband said, “Behold! It is a snare of you women, truly mighty is your snare. O Joseph! Pass this over! O wife! Ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly thou hast been at fault.”     (S: 12, V: 21-29)

“O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you. And, God has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things.”     (S: 49, V: 13)

“For Muslim men and Muslim women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity and for men and women who engage much in God’s praise, for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward.”     (S: 33, V: 35)

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