Sunni and Shi’i Forces that Defined the History of Aisha Bint Abi Bakr
Dr. Shauna Huffaker
November 10, 2011
Word Count: 2273
Aisha Bint Abi Bakr is arguably the most controversial historical Islamic female figures. Her life conducted much scandal and disagreement within the Islamic community, however, it also allowed the believers to more clearly define themselves amongst one another. In Denise A. Spellberg's Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha Bint Abi Bakr, the opposing forces of Sunni and Shi'i give shape to the life of Aisha. Spellberg illustrates defining moments in Aisha’s life regarding her role as both wife and widow as projected through those who wrote them down. Her place in Islamic history affected the development of the community, yet varies depending on the intention of the transmitter. Through the path of her life Aisha’s actions have a direct affect on the Islam, although it is through interpretations and historical memory that Aisha’s legacy takes form.
Aisha Bint Abi Bakr was the daughter of Abu Bakr, known as the most beloved companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Abu Bakr and Aisha’s mother were both muhajirun, those who took part in the Hijra with Muhammad, securing them as the elite group of Muslims in early Islamic society. His daughter’s marriage to the Prophet “suggests a new basis for communal relationships forged in faith rather than blood,” as had been the case in pre-Islamic tribal law. In marrying the Prophet, Aisha assumed the title as one of the “mothers of the believers,” and was promised a place with Muhammad and his other wives in paradise. The importance of marital ties would assist in defining the authority of later leaders of the Islamic empire. Shi’i Muslims rejected the first four caliphs in favour of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet’s cousin. They believed Ali’s rightful successors to be his descendants, providing an example of the pre-Islamic tribal customs of blood relationships over ones of faith. Sunni Muslims favour the Islamic tradition of marital ties to be of importance. The first five caliphs had all been related to Muhammad through marriage. Through Aisha’s claim to importance within the Islamic community, we are shown the developing ties that would hold the new religion together. Following the new Islamic tradition, Aisha’s genealogy and marital ties made her an impossible female figure to ignore.
Aisha’s relationship to her Abu Bakr defined them as complimentary forces. Regarded as Muhammad’s most beloved person, and most beloved man, they were able to profit from one another. Abu Bakr was widely respected, even by Shi’ites, for his devotion to the Prophet and his profound asceticism while acting as the first caliph. His place in Islamic society helped to establish Aisha’s place as well. Of the many names Aisha gained throughout her lifetime, attributed to her father was al-siddiqa bint al-siddiq, “the truthful woman, daughter of the truthful man.” Aisha’s prestige as the most beloved wife of Muhammad “also promoted her father Abu Bakr's remembrance as the first legitimate political successor to the Prophet." However, the importance of the duo threatened that of Ali and his wife and daughter of the Prophet, Fatima. To legitimize Shi’i belief in Ali as the true successor to Muhammad, followed by his descendants, there must be no one more respected than Ali and Fatima. It is on this basis that Shi’ites had no choice but to reject all things positive about the life of Aisha.
It is in regard to this rejection of Aisha by Shi’ism, that her closeness to the Prophet and divine intervention are questioned. Aisha had claimed herself to be the most beloved of all of the thirteen wives of Muhammad. In her biography written by Ibn S’ad more than one hundred and fifty years after her death, Aisha supposedly provides nineteen arguments to prove why she is the most beloved. Among these are her closeness to the...
...Aishabint 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, the first Caliph, who had embraced Islam before she was born. Thus, she was not influenced by the former polytheistic religious tradition of pre-Islamic Arabia, and its stance for gender inequality. Aisha was also the third and favourite wife of the Prophet Muhammad, to whom she was divinely revealed:
“I saw you in my dreams three times. The angel brought you to me and you were clad in white silk.” (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p285)
Over the course of history, A’isha has been given the titles of “Mother of All Believers” and “Lover of the Lover God”. She was present at and bore witness to many key events during the foundation period of Islam and was believed to be of ‘divine grace’ that gave her credence, after all she was a mere woman in Arab society. A’isha...
...HistoryDefinedHistory is the explanation of change over time. A constant characteristic of history is that it is grounded in fact and actuality. However, the re-telling of concrete events must be perfectly crafted to provide meaning and efficiently relay experiences. Such crafting requires a number of various artistic literary aspects. History is not so much glorious as it is concrete and faithful- if a given event has occurred than it is possible, but if it has not yet occurred, it is not certain. Various philosophers have assorted opinions of what makes history distinct; however, each agrees in one steady characteristic of history: that it discerns truth while being constrained by facts. Author Norma Thompson believes history's purpose is to describe any given event, not to recount the event itself. Thompson agrees that is it the "responsibility of historians to extract from their retellings of events any traces of myth." Therefore, historians necessitate the discipline to extract. This obedience can be perceived as a rare art form. Author Jacqueline de Romilly understands Greek history as the rise and fall of men. She writes that the history of the Greeks follows a cyclic pattern that is strictly factual and logically methodical. De Romilly goes on to comment that the rise and fall of man was mingled in those who wrote about...
...Paper - I
1. Sources: Archaeological sources:Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments Literary sources: Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature. Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.
2. Pre-history and Proto-history: Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (paleolithic and mesolithic); Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic).
3. Indus Valley Civilization: Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.
4. Megalithic Cultures: Distribution of pastoral and farming cultures outside the Indus, Development of community life, Settlements, Development of agriculture, Crafts, Pottery, and Iron industry.
5. Aryans and Vedic Period: Expansions of Aryans in India. Vedic Period: Religious and philosophic literature; Transformation from Rig Vedic period to the later Vedic period; Political, social and economical life; Significance of the Vedic Age; Evolution of Monarchy and Varna system.
6. Period of Mahajanapadas: Formation of States (Mahajanapada): Republics and monarchies; Rise of urban centres; Trade routes; Economic growth; Introduction of coinage; Spread of Jainism and Buddhism; Rise of Magadha and Nandas. Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact.
7. Mauryan Empire: Foundation of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta, Kautilya and Arthashastra; Ashoka;...
...AishaBint Abi Bakr
Known For: Her extensive knowledge of Islam and Islamic jurisprudence; hadith transmitter; her knowledge of social and military leaders of the Muslim community.
The life of Aisha is proof that a woman can be far more well informed than men and that she was the teacher of scholars and experts. Her life is also proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women as well as provide them with inspiration and leadership. She did not graduate from any university, there were no universities as such in her day, but her utterances are still studied in the faculties of literature, her legal pronouncements are studied in colleges of law and her life and works are studied and researched by students and teachers of Muslim history as they have been for over thousands of years. The majority of her immense treasure of knowledge was obtained while she was still quite young. In her early childhood she was brought up by her father who was greatly praised and respected for being a man of wide knowledge, gentle manners and an agreeable presence. Moreover he was the closest friend of the Prophet who was a frequent visitor to their home since the very early days of his mission. Aisha in her youth, already known for her outstanding beauty and her impressive memory, she came under the loving care and attention of the Prophet himself. Before and after her...
...University of Phoenix Material
Influences on the Constitution Table
Write one or two paragraphs in each section. Include citations for your sources.
|Documents |Summary |What was its influence on the Constitution? |
|Magna Carta |Issued by King John of England in 1215 when Englishmen went to the colonies they were given |This was used as a template 575 years later in the Bill of |
| |charters that guaranteed them and their heirs would “have and enjoy all liberties and |Rights toward the fifth amendment. The fifth amendment |
| |immunities of free and natural subjects.” The document clearly stated that no free man could|guarantees “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or |
| |be prosecuted by any means other than the law of the land. |property, without due process of law.” |
| | | |
...wRGEARJGNEJRLK HREJKH ERN GREKGERgkwergwEGJ WJRE GWKJER GWKERGKWERJG KW EJRGKJEW GEWKJG WJKEW tgkjE WGWEwejk GREJkgerkah earh jkearherakjh earkjh earkjh eraljherajl heral jhreajl heraj lheralj heralj her jlheraljh earh erah teh eat haahearh erah eath eath eta heth urhgqaehg isodghsdouihgaeuhwrg rwlnslnsdlgnetlnlsnrlgneorignerg eth yrh yr wehfb ygrwugy wrghrGrigirGW BER GBR TB AD B ADB RTAH ART HBAED TH ATEH ERTA HET AH RTH AER G ERAG ERA GE RAG REA GYA ER TRE HG R gera ha terh aerh brt h erag er yht hqrajgkjjern jkwrbn rejk bkrjw r wgj rg hgr kgh jurghurghrgr guhrg uh rg huri i hur uh o rgoh h hgeohuwfeuhwf hewouu rwoeqoiew uowefh uwrugowfeugwfe ugo wefugo uwegf ugowfe guoewfugwfe guwegufew guwfe ugefw ug feguw geufw guwefguwefgufewugewfgufgukdgdask g jksdjkwgjhwerjkt jhwjkwget kwettw t y wu u 7jae ga efv SD Gf hh eahr hreh tthr th ht he her rherhe erh rhejt rtjr jy kuu kku yu kkty j j ht gr gr gr gr RE REAHT EAHA ERT HET YH TE JTE AJ TAE J TE JA ETJ TE HE TAH ET J EATJ ET HA ET HAE TH AER AERH RE H AE HRER AH EAHLTRKE ALJHB KJB HK VFR DFF J UIJI IOH UHU IO I KIVNJK RERUUHGRE NTHENMTHE KT THT HTTJT Over the years, many have arisen to become what is commonly known as, a leader. Traits of a leader vary from being dedicated and altruistic to having courage and making sacrifices. All of those who step up to be a leader have a certain goal that they are trying to achieve. However, not all are successful in reaching what they aim for. This is what separates the true...
Today one of the most cherished ideologies of America is the fact that everyone is and should be created equal. With this cherished ideology bringing a sense of pride and diversity to America we must keep in mind that this cherished ideology did not always exist. Since 1865 various individuals and groups have not been able to receive and express their rights to full equal status in the United States. These different individuals and groups have seemingly fought for their rights in equality and have become pioneers in the fight for evolution for equality.
In 1865 African Americans in the United States under the 13th amendment were freed from the terrible burden of slavery. Through the 14th amendment they were given the right to citizenship and the right to equal protection. The 15th amendment gave them the right to vote regardless of their skin color race or any other type of servitude. These amendments were meant to be enforced and make a serious change in the everyday life of the average American.
With these amendments passing in 1865 they were meant to make a serious change towards the evolution of equality. These changes did not seem to happen right away and African Americans were still not being treated with equality. The average African American at this time were being denied there newly given rights every day making life extremely hard to stay...
Final Exam Part 2
On this world map, indicate the following features:
The Ring of Fire
The Mississippi River
The Gobi Desert
II. Graphic Organizer
Fill in the table below about these five major world religions. Do not fill in the shaded boxes.
Name at least
one Holy Text
How do you achieve
Describe their view about the afterlife.
Do good deeds to get good karma until you break the samsara or cycle of reincarnation and reach enlightenment
Believe the Four Truths are true and real, follow the Eightfold Path, meditation is one of the major steps to reach enlightenment
God promised the Jews, people of Israel, paradise and those who hate the Jews and mistreat them are going to go to Hell
People who believe in all the five pillars and do them and do righteous deeds go to heaven while the disbelievers and those who sin are punished and go to Hell
III. Short Answer
1. Explain the role of river valleys in the development of civilizations. Name at
least two river valleys as examples. (10 points)
Rivier valleys first and foremost provided water, a basic necessity for humans. It also provided fertile soil for agriculture, which led to settlements and brought hunting and gathering to an end....