At some point in life, every human being comes down to a state where he/she stands on a crossroad, confused about life. People have been pondering upon the meaning of life since ages. They have been trying to reach the pinnacle of success or attempting to decode the true essence of life.
The story of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) seems to me the most striking example, as she really understood the meaning of life through vast knowledge and was truly devout to the way that brings peace and tranquility in life.
Aisha (ra) was the youngest wife of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the daughter of his beloved companion, Abu Bakr (ra). She was known for her intelligence, her generosity, and her unwavering devotion towards Allah, the Merciful.
One of the best things we learn from her is the devotion towards Allah, and the firm belief that the Sustainer would provide for her and look after her affairs and prevent her from getting wronged.
Once a beggar came to the house of Aisha (ra) and her slave Barira (ra) opened the door. The beggar said, “O family of the Messenger of Allah, give me something.” Barira (ra) said, “We have nothing.” Listening to this, Aisha (ra) asked, “Who is it?” Barira (ra) said, “It’s a beggar and all we have is a handful of barley for you to break your fast with.”
It was the time of Asr (the evening prayer), yet Ai’sha (ra) said, “Give it, Allah will provide.” And she gave it.
Came Maghrib time (the sunset prayer and time to break the fast) and there was no food. Aisha (ra) opened her fast with some water and stood for Maghrib prayer. Right then, a man knocked the door, and gave a goat as a gift.
After Aisha (ra) completed her prayer, she asked, “O Barira, who was it?” And she said, “It is a man who lives in the area. By Allah, he has never ever given us before, but today he brought us a goat!”
Aisha (ra) replied, “Oh Barira, isn’t that goat better than the handful of wheat that you had?” And then she said something which really signifies the faith that she had. She said, “I swear by Allah, none of you can be a true believer until his trust in Allah is stronger than that which he sees and has in the palm of his hands.”
That is a lesson for each and every one of us to try to attain that level of devotion towards Allah, to know that whenever we are going through rough times in life, Allah, the Best of Planners, is the best disposer of affairs. And to learn from this is to be generous, no matter what state you are, rich or poor; that even if you are blessed with meager wealth, you can give it up for the sake of Allah, knowing too well that you will be rewarded, either in this life or the hereafter.
The most awe-inspiring quality about Aisha (ra) was how she had become such an eminent personality in the history of Islam from a very young age. She was known for her extensive knowledge of Islam and Islamic jurisprudence; as a very authentic transmitter of narrations; and as a social leader and military general of the Muslim community in the later part of her life. She was considered second to none in the matters of jurisprudence, and the Caliphs used to regularly consult her. Her greatest asset was her piety, extraordinary generosity, ability to record the sayings and behavior of the Prophet (pbuh), her accurate memory, and her intimate knowledge of the Qur’an. She also had abundant knowledge of poetry and medicine. She absorbed knowledge like a sponge, and this ability made her the educator and transmitter of the sacred knowledge to all men and women. A scholar so said: “Among all the Prophet’s wives and all the women in the world, no-one’s more knowledgeable than Aisha (ra).”
She is a role model to all the women out there, to excel in education, both worldly and spiritual, such that they should gain education, such that they also become authorities on religious knowledge and texts. They shouldn’t just stop there, but also implement it and share it and fight for the truth. She is an inspiration that women shouldn’t be stopped from being educated or for women to harbor the thoughts that education is only for men.
She should be an ideal for each and every one of us. We should reflect on her life and aspire to become like her. She is not only a motivation to all the women that they can be esteemed and respected in a society if they work for it, but also, she is an example for the youngsters, that right from a very young age, they can contribute for a greater cause, and that age is not a constraint to become distinguished and influential in society. She is the quintessence of how an individual should utilize the abilities and potential that they are blessed with, no matter what age they are.
Aisha (ra) is a paragon of womanhood based on her chastity, her marital life and her widowhood (at a young age). Aisha (ra) left behind a legacy, which in each and every aspect, is an inspiration to all of us.