If you do not know who Ayesha Bint Abi Bakr was, her nephew and student Urwa Ibn Zubair described her as follows, “I did not see anyone more knowledgable in Fiqh, medicine or poetry than Ayesha. And there is no woman or man, other than Abu Hurairah, who narrated more Hadiths from the messenger than her. May Allah be pleased with her.” (Today she is ranked fourth from the narrators among the Sahaba)
Ataa ibn Abi Rabaa said about her, “Ayesha was the best jurist among the people, and the most knowledgable of people, and the best of people in her opinions generally.” (Bidaya Wa Nihaya, Vol: 8 pp. 263-264)
When this great scholar and our beloved mother, Ayesha Bint Abi Bakr was in her final illness, another great scholar Abdullah Ibn Abbas went to visit her. After seeking permission to see her, Ibn Abbas entered her room in which her nephew Abdullah Ibn Abdur Rahman was with her.
She lay in bed at the age of sixty two getting ready to return to her Creator. Ibn Abbas told Ayesha, “Glad tidings to you,” She replied, “Why?”
He answered, “There is nothing between you and meeting Muhammad (peace be upon him) and your loved ones except the leaving of your soul from your body. You were the most beloved of women to the messenger of Allah, and the messenger only loved that which is pure.
And your necklace fell on the night of Abwaa then the messenger stopped and he remained in that place and he people stopped too, even though they did not have any water, so Allah revealed the verses of tayammum, and that was because of you, otherwise Allah might not have revealed that concession for this ummah.
And Allah revealed your innocence from above the seven heavens (in Surah Noor), the Noble Angel brought it and there is not a Masjid from the Masjids of Allah except that these verses are recited in it day and night.”
She replied, “Please leave me, Oh Ibn Abbas. By the one in whose Hand is my soul, I wish I was gone and forgotten,” (Narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad with a Hassan chain, Quoted by Ibn Kathir in Bidaya Wa Nihaya, Vol: 8, pp. 265-266)
Lessons we learn from Ibn Abbas’s statements:
1) The high status that Ayesha has in our history
2) The high status a woman of this ummah can reach
3) The importance of focusing on Allah’s Mercy and on hope at the time of death
4) The scholars among the Sahaba looked up to Ayesha
5) High Status in the sight of Allah is equally attainable to men and women
Lesson we learn from the response of Ayesha:
The righteous predecessors were not concerned with status, fame or the amount of their deeds and virtues. Their concern was the pleasure of Allah and His acceptance. Upon hearing all her virtues so close to her death, Ayesha was afraid of Riya and Pride, and preferred to have died before hearing all that. Such was the piety and sincerity of the Sahabah.
May Allah guide us to follow in their footsteps and emulate their amazing qualities.
MODESTY OF OUR BELOVED FATIMA RADIALLAHO ANHA
When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was in his last moments, Fatima (radiallahu anha) sees him in his state of illness and begins to cry. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) calls her to him and whispers something to her and she cries further.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) tells her to come back down, he wants to tell her something else and he whispers to her again and she begins to laugh. The people were amazed.
A’isha (radiallahu anha) asked Fatima (radiallahu anha) what it was that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) told her. Eventually, giving in, she said, “My father told me the first time that he would not survive this illness. And then he called me back and told me that I will be the first one to join him.” She laughed at death. Four to six months after the death of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) Fatima (radiallahu anha) passes away from sickness.
During the time of burial it was also common practice to place a sheet over the Kafan (the burial shroud). As the Kafan is tied closely to the body the sheet helps conceal the contours of the body. However, sometimes the shape of the body can still be seen, even with a sheet placed on top.
When Fatima radiallahu anha became acutely ill and feared that she may soon pass away she asked Asma bint Umais radiallahu anha to suggest a method of burial through which modesty would be conserved the most.
Asma radiallahu anha said that in Habasah, the practice was to cover the body in the Kafan, then to place date palm branches over the Kafan, and then to drape a sheet over the branches.
Asma (radiallahu anha), the wife of our beloved Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu) was the one to do Fatima’s (radiallahu anha) ghusl. This royal woman had asked Asma that when she does her ghusl and when she does her janazah to do it at night so that the people will not see the shape of her body. Fatima (radiallahu anha) was known for her modesty. She is the daughter of the most modest (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The leader of the women on Jannah paid such close attention to her modesty that she chose to remain hidden from the glance of strangers during her life time and was anxious that no person should see even her dead body wrapped in the shroud. Fatima (radiallahu anha) will enjoy such a status on the day of resurrection that a herald will announce, “Oh People! Lower down your gaze so that Fatima (radiallahu anha) the daughter of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) may pass from here”.
(Usdul Ghaba, V: 5, P: 524)