Hadith Database – Hadith of Aisha on Allah Fulfilling the Desires of Prophet Muhammad
Originally posted on the Quran and Bible Blog
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“Narrated Aisha: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and I used to say, “Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).’ (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.””
Source: Sahih Bukhari, 6:60:311, https://sunnah.com/urn/44660
Explanation: This hadith is often misused by Christian apologists to criticize Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and imply that he “faked” revelations that were beneficial to him and thus “prove” that he was a false prophet.
As the hadith indicates, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was jealous of the other wives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), especially when he would marry a woman and thus spend some time with her, even though it would have been the turn of one of the other wives. This is of course a natural feeling, and it shows that Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) truly loved the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. But the hadith also shows that this was just her feeling and does not serve as “proof” that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “faking” revelations to provide benefits for himself.
In fact, other ahadith narrated by the Sahaba (including Aisha) show that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) underwent great hardships that were only required of him and no one else. If he was “faking” revelations, then why not fake one that absolved him of any difficulties? Here are some examples:
“A’isha reported that when Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) occupied himself in prayer, he observed such a (long) qiyam (posture of standing in prayer) that his feet were swollen. A’isha said: Allah’s Messenger, you do this (in spite of the fact) that your earlier and later sins have been pardoned for you? Thereupon, he said. A’isha should I not prove myself to be a thanksgiving servant (of Allah)?”
“Al-Mughirah bin Shu’bah narrated: “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) performed Salat until his feet were swollen, so it was said to him: ‘You burden yourself like this, while your past and future sins have been forgiven?’ He said: ‘Shouldn’t I be a grateful worshipper?'””
“Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with both of them) said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade uninterrupted fasting. They (some of the Companions) said: You yourself fast uninterruptedly, whereupon he said: I am not like you. I am fed and supplied drink (by Allah).”
“Narrated Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) forbade Al-Wisal out of mercy to them. They said to him, “But you practice Al-Wisal?” He said, “I am not similar to you, for my Lord gives me food and drink. “”
These ahadith demonstrate that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prayed and fasted for longer periods of time and forbade his followers from doing the same so as not to burden them. Why would a false prophet do that?
Another hadith narrated by Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) demonstrates the austere living standards of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
“I visited Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), and he was lying on a mat. I sat down and he drew up his lower garment over him and he had nothing (else) over him, and that the mat had left its marks on his sides. I looked with my eyes in the store room of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). I found only a handful of barley equal to one sa’ and an equal quantity of the leaves of Mimosa Flava placed in the nook of the cell, and a semi-tanned leather bag hanging (in one side), and I was moved to tears (on seeing this extremely austere living of the Holy Prophet), and he said: Ibn Khattab, what wakes you weep? I said: Apostle of Allah, why should I not shed tears? This mat has left its marks on your sides and I do not see in your store room (except these few things) that I have seen; Caesar and Chosroes are leading their lives in plenty whereas you are Allah’s Messenger. His chosen one, and that is your store! He said: Ibn Khattab, aren’t you satisfied that for us (there should be the prosperity) of the Hereafter, and for them (there should be the prosperity of) this world?”
Yet these austere standards were not required for other Muslims. In fact, on many occasions, the Sahabah offered to make more comfortable beds for the Prophet, but he always turned them down, saying:
“What do I have in common with worldly comforts? My example is that of a traveler who after walking, stops under the shadow of a tree for a while to rest, and after sitting a while continues on his way.”
On one occasion, a woman from the Ansar made a bed with wool and sent it to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who asked Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) to return it. This incident shows that the luxuries that Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not indulge in himself were not forbidden for his followers.
This austerity is further demonstrated in a hadith from Malik bin Dinar (may Allah be pleased with him) mentioned in Shamaa’il Tirmidhi that the Prophet:
“…never filled his stomach with meat and bread, except at the time of dafaf [eating together with people]…”
So, while he did occasionally indulge in eating meat and bread together when in the company of other people, he never indulged by himself. Once more, this demonstrates that he placed austere standards of living on himself, but not on his followers. In fact, often times, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his family would suffer from hunger, to the point that they had to tie stones around their abdomens to alleviate the pangs of hunger. In some cases, he would buy some food with a payment that was to be made at a later time, and would put up something from his belongs as collateral, as shown in the following hadith:
“It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘The Messenger of Allah died when his shield was in pledge with a Jew for thirty Sa’s of barley for his family.’”
Why would a false prophet live in such conditions, especially when he had considerable power?
Another example that proves that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sincere in his claim to be a prophet, and could not possibly have faked revelations, we can consider the following hadith:
“Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu`ba: “The sun eclipsed in the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the day when (his son) Ibrahim died. So the people said that the sun had eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or life (i.e. birth) of someone. When you see the eclipse pray and invoke Allah.””
When his son Ibrahim died, the Prophet was obviously grieving. On the same day, it just so happened that a solar eclipse occurred, leading some people to conclude that this was a sign pertaining to the death of Ibrahim. Now if Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a false prophet and was faking revelations, would this not have been the perfect time to fake a revelation? Why not concoct a fake revelation that says that the sun and moon indeed eclipse when someone important dies? Or that the sun and moon eclipse to honor Muhammad and his family? Why wouldn’t a fake prophet take advantage of the people’s gullibility to elevate his own status?
Let us also consider the incident related in Surah Abasa, 80:1–10:
“The Prophet frowned and turned away
Because there came to him the blind man, [interrupting].
But what would make you perceive, [O Muhammad], that perhaps he might be purified
Or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him?
As for he who thinks himself without need,
To him you give attention.
And not upon you [is any blame] if he will not be purified.
But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge]
While he fears [Allah],
From him you are distracted.”
As indicated, one day, the Prophet was preaching to a non-Muslim (“…he who thinks himself free of need”), when a blind Muslim man, Abd Allah ibn Umm Maktum, came to ask some questions about Islam. In the moment, the Prophet’s attention was directed at the non-Muslim, so he became annoyed at Ibn Umm Maktum. Because of this momentary lapse, Allah (Gloried and Exalted be He) sent down these verses to admonish the Prophet. In later years, the Prophet would greet Ibn Umm Maktum by saying, “welcome to him on whose account my Lord rebuked me”. Even the Christian translator George Sale noted the respect that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) showed to Ibn Umm Maktum after the verses were revealed. He even made him governor of Medina twice! But why would a false prophet deliberately concoct some verses admonishing himself? Why not make excuses and admonish Ibn Umm Maktum instead for not having patience or for being rude?
Before closing, let us also discuss the Prophet’s marriages. It is known that he had more wives than the maximum number allowed for other Muslims (Surah An-Nisa, 4:3), but this exception made sense as it allowed him to build familial ties. For example, he married Aisha and Hafsa (may Allah be pleased with them both) to ensure strong familial ties between himself and his two closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both). Indeed, many of his marriages clearly served this purpose. In other cases, he married widows. For example, after the death of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), and around the time the marriage with Aisha was contracted, Muhammad (peace be upon him) married Sawdah bint Zama. According to Taqiuddin an-Nabhani:
“Sawdah was a widow of al-Sukran bin ‘Amr bin ‘Abd Shams, who was one of the Muslims who had migrated to Abbysinia but died on his return to Makkah. Sawdah had embraced Islam with her husband and she had migrated with him. She had suffered the same difficulties and hardships he suffered and faced the same harm he had faced. After the death of her husband he (saw) married her. It has not been reported that Sawdah was beautiful, or that she possessed wealth or social standing, that would make any of the worldly aspects influence the Prophet’s marriage to her. Since the Prophet (saw) had married her after the death of her husband, the only thing we can deduce from this is that he married her to support her and raise her to the position of the mother of the Believers.”
The Prophet also married Zaynab bint Khuzaymah and Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with them both) after they became widows. Zaynab’s husband had been martyred during the Battle of Badr, while Umm Salamah’s husband was martyred after being injured at Uhud. Referring to the marriage to Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, An-Nabhani explains:
“Zaynab was the wife of ‘Ubaydah bin al-Harith bin al-Muttalib who was martyred on the day of Badr: she was not of marked beauty, but she was known for her good nature and kindness, to the extent that she became nicknamed as the ‘mother of the needy.’ She was beyondher youth, but the Messenger of Allah (saw)married her in the second year of the Hijrah, after the battle of Badr and after the martyrdom of her husband.”
Regarding Umm Salamah, he explains that:
“…she was the wife of Abu Salamah, who had a number of sons with her. […] Four months after his death, the Messenger proposed to Umm Salamah herself, but she made excuses that she had a big family and that she had passed her youth. The Prophet, however, persisted until he married her, and he himself saw to her children’s upbringing. So it is clear that the Messenger married those two wives to care for the family of two of his companions after their death.”
These and other examples of his marriages demonstrate that there was a practical reason for the permissibility of marrying more than four wives. In many cases, the reason for marrying was to support widows. In other cases, the marriages served to build strong familial ties.
This analysis has revealed the foolishness and evil hatred that Christian apologists have for the blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They slander the greatest man to ever live with low-level polemics which can be easily refuted but which the slanderers stubbornly repeat. These people do not believe in honest and fair discussions. They would much rather indulge in petty propaganda by twisting the facts.
And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
Al-Wisal was the practice of uninterrupted fasting. As the hadith from Sahih Bukhari states, the Prophet forbid his followers from doing it out of mercy, as it was very difficult, but did it himself. Why would a false prophet burden himself with such difficulties? In the commentary of Riyad As-Salihin, it states the Prophet’s statement “..for my Lord gives me food and drink” means:
“…Allah has bestowed upon him the power of endurance like that of a person who eats and drinks” (https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/1/230).
 As quoted by Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi in his commentary on Shamaa’il Tirmidhi, trans. Muhammad bin Abdurrahmaan Ebrahim (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2010), p. 335.
 Ibid., p. 392.
 The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary, ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (New York: HarperOne, 2015), p. 1474.
 Taqiuddin an-Nabhani, The Social System in Islam (Hizb ut Tahrir, 2003), p. 214, http://www.ht-bangladesh.info/sites/default/files/books/Social%20system.pdf.
 Ibid., p. 218.