Aisha Essay

1413 Words Feb 11th, 2013 6 Pages

Analyse the impact of Aisha bint Abu Bakr on the development and expression of Islam.

Aisha bint Abu Bakr was a leader, a woman, a wife, a theologian, a scholar and a political activist. She was precocious, loyal, brave and remarkably intelligent. These aspects of her humble life have allowed her to make a powerful impact on the development and expression of Islam that “no woman [has] reached”[1]. Not only did she influence the position of women in Islamic society, Islamic ethics, and the understanding and interpretation of the Qur’an, but she also modelled these qualities for the men, women and children of Islam. As a woman in Islamic society, Aisha carried a particularly high status. She was the daughter of Abu Bakr,
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Thus, she helped to preserve the Islamic faith, including the sayings and behaviour of Muhammad, by teaching it to others.

“It is the claim of Islamic scholars that without Aisha, half of the Ilm-I-Hadith (understanding and knowledge of the Hadith and Islam) would have perished.” 4

This also contributed to the spread of Islam, as many of her students came from places around the world. Therefore, Aisha established the importance of education in the Islamic tradition by modelling it and educating others. Another active role Aisha played in the development and expression of Islam was as a political activist. Due to her close companionship with the Prophet Muhammad, Aisha gained sufficient knowledge of warfare to be able to participate in battles. An example of this is the Battle of the Camel, in which Aisha led opposition forces against the newly appointed caliph, Ali. The fact that after their defeat, Ali “captured Aisha but declined to harm her”12 suggests that her bravery and leadership was highly regarded, by both men and women. Such actions that were undertaken by Aisha, as a political activist, gives inspiration to all Muslims experiencing hardship, in that she was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and surrender to Allah, which is a fundamental part of belonging to Islam (‘submission to Allah’). Through the qualities of precocity, loyalty, bravery and

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