‘Aa’ishah’s mother (Radhi-allahu-anha) was called Umm Rummaan bint ‘Umayr bin ‘Amer coming from the sons of Al-Haarith bin Ghanam bin Ka’ab, and she was among the first group who embraced Islam. She had been married to ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abdul-Asad before she married Abu Bakr, and she had a son from her first husband called At-Tufayl, and she gave birth to ‘Aa’ishah and ‘Abdur-Rahmaan from Abu Bakr (Radhi-allahu-anhu) . She emigrated to Al-Madeenah after the establishment of Islam there. When she died, Abu Bakr said: “O Allaah! You know best how Umm Rummaan was hurt for Your sake and the sake of Your Prophet .”
The Prophet , used to entrust ‘Aa’ishah to Umm Rummaan’s charge and say:
In fact, the Prophet , used to love the clean and pure household of Abu Bakr because the man of the house — Abu Bakr — was a man who needed no introduction; his character and lineage were not something to inquire about.
The Messenger of Allaah , thought about proposing to ‘Aa’ishah for marriage when Khawlah bint Haakim Al-Aslamiah said to him: “What do you say about marrying ‘Aa’ishah the daughter of Abu Bakr?”; he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam then moved his head in the affirmative, saying yes. Then Khawlah went to Umm Rummaan to tell her the news and said: “O Umm Rummaan, you cannot imagine how Allaah has blessed your house!”
Khawlah said: “The Messenger of Allaah , sent me to seek ‘Aa’ishah for marriage.” Umm Rummaan said: “Wait for Abu Bakr, he is coming soon.”
When Abu Bakr came back, Khawlah told him the news and he said: “Is she suitable for him? She is his niece.” Khawlah then went back to the Prophet , and told him what Abu Bakr had told her, and he , said: “Go back and tell Abu Bakr that he is my brother in Islam and I am his, and his daughter is good enough for me.”
Abu Bakr thought deeply about this and then went to Mut’am bin ‘Uday, who had proposed ‘Aa’ishah for marriage to his son Jubayr. These people were still disbelievers. When Abu Bakr entered their house, they said: “O son of Abu Quhaafah, we fear that if our son married your daughter ‘Aa’ishah, then she would convince him of Islam and we do not want this to happen.”
Abu Bakr did not answer, but on the contrary he was very pleased with that. In this way he was freed of their promise and he could give his full agreement for the blessed marriage.
‘Aa’ishah narrated how she became married to the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘‘alayhi wa sallam, and said: “The Prophet , came to our house, and many people gathered there to meet him. Then my mother came to me while I was playing, she took me to the door where the Prophet , was sitting. I was so embarrassed and I melted in shyness. Then my mother put me beside the Prophet , and said: “This is your wife, may Allaah bless her for you, and bless you for her.” People then left the room, and at that night nothing was slaughtered for me and I was nine years old at that time.” Although she was young, she was a mature girl who had reached puberty. People described ‘Aa’ishah on her wedding day and said: “She was a nimble, wide-eyed bride, with curly hair and a shiny face.”
In addition to being extremely intelligent, ‘Aa’ishah became a very graceful young woman. When she first came to live in the Prophet’s household as a young girl, a strong and lasting friendship grew up between her and Sawdah, and Sawdah took care of her along with the rest of the household. When ‘Aa’ishah grew up, Sawdah, who was by then an old woman, gave up her share of the Prophet’s time in favor of ‘Aa’ishah and was content to manage his household and be Umm al Mu’mineen ‘The Mother of the Believers’ — a title of respect that was given to all the wives of the Prophet , which confirmed what the Quran clearly states that no man could marry any of them after they had been married to the Prophet :
“The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are (in the position of) their mothers.” [Quran 33:6]
During the nine years that ‘Aa’ishah was married to Prophet Muhammad , she witnessed many of the great events that shaped the destiny of the first Muslim community of Al-Madeenah al Munawarra: It was during the course of their marriage that the direction of the Qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to Makkah, thereby distinguishing the Muslims more clearly from Jews and Christians. It was during the course of their marriage that she must have listened to many of the Jews, Christians and idol worshippers who came not to listen to the Prophet , but to argue with him, in the hope that they could find a plausible excuse to justify their rejection of him. It was through exchanges such as these that ‘Aa’ishah learned to distinguish what was true from what was false.
As the prophetic guidance continued to be revealed through the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Aa’ishah’s way of life, along with that of all the Muslims, was gradually reshaped and refined. It was during the course of their marriage that drinking alcohol was finally forbidden, it was made clear what food was allowed (Halaal) and what was prohibited (Haraam), it became necessary for women to wear the Hijaab in public and while praying, guidance regarding how to fast was revealed, paying the Zakaat became obligatory on all Muslims and all rites of Hajj were purified and clarified.
In fact, every aspect of life — from birth to death and everything that happens in between — was illuminated by the way in which the Prophet behaved. It was this way of behavior (the Sunnah), that ‘Aa’ishah helped to preserve and protect, not only by embodying it herself, but also by teaching it to others.
The life of ‘Aa’ishah is proof that a woman can be far more learned than men and that she can be the teacher of scholars and experts. Her life is also a proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership . Her life is also proof that the same woman can retain her feminity and be a source of pleasure, joy and comfort to her husband.