Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Umar and Women: Ayesha and Umar

Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Umar and Women: Ayesha and Umar

The raid on al-Mustaliq led to another unfortunate episode which was a cause of great concern to the Holy Prophet and his companions for some time. Each time the Holy Prophet went on a campaign, one of his wives accompanied him, and the decision was always taken by the drawing of lots. On the occasion of the raid of Mustaliq, Ayesha accompanied the Holy Prophet. On return from the campaign she traveled on the back of a camel in a closed litter. On account of the regrettable behaviour of Abdullah bin Ubayy, there was considerable tension in the atmosphere. As the caravan travelled at an unusual time, there was considerable upsetting of the programme. The party halted for the night at some distance from Madina. At early dawn the call to move was given. Ayesha went to the desert to answer the call of nature, and on return occupied her litter. There she noticed that the necklace of Yemenite agates which she wore was no longer around her neck. Hurriedly she left the litter, and went to the desert where she found the necklace. When she returned to the camp the spot was deserted, and the caravan had left. The men in charge of her camel, seeing the litter closed, and thinking it occupied, had placed it on the camel and departed with it. Ayesha called aloud, but no one responded to her call. She decided to sit down, hoping that some body would come to fetch her. Soon she fell asleep, wrapped in her cloak.

"We belong to God and to Him we return." These words fell on the ears of Ayesha, and she awoke with a start. A young man stood before her holding a camel by its reins. Safwan bin Al-Muthal following the army in the rear had notice a young woman asleep in the desert, and upon approaching her, recognised her as the wife of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him). Ayesha quickly covered herself with her veil. Safwan adjusted the camel's saddle-girth and made the beast kneel. Ayesha thereupon mounted the camel. Holding the camel by the bridle, Safwan resumed the road. After a tiring journey they reached Madina at noon, a few hours after the arrival of the Holy Prophet. That provided an opportunity to Abdullah bin Ubbay and some other hypocrites to whip up a campaign of slander against Ayesha. The Holy Prophet consulted his friends about divorcing Ayesha. Ali advised that Ayesha should be divorced. When Umar was consulted he said, "O Prophet of God, I know for certain that the hypocrites are speaking malicious lie." The Holy Prophet asked Umar as to the grounds with him for holding that the hypocrites were speaking lies, Umar said:

"By reason of God not allowing a fly to settle upon thy blessed skirts, because it alights also on impure things and soils its feet. How then would He not preserve thee and thy name from a worse defilement?"

Umar further said that he was sure that God Himself would cause the innocence of the young lady to become manifest." He further said:

"If God does not allow thy shadow to fall upon the ground, lest it might be polluted, or a person step thereon, will He not restrain thy honoured spouse from committing impropriety?"

Later, as anticipated by Umar, the Holy Prophet had a revelation in which God Himseif bore witness to the purity and innocence of Ayesha. When the ordeal was over, the Holy Prophet thanked umar for his support during the crisis. Ayesha paid for this kindness many years later when she allowed Umar to be buried in her chamber by the side of the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr.