Passion for Spending on the Poor

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(Sayyidah ‘Aaishah [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part Six)

As previously discussed, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was extremely generous and loved spending on the poor. Hence, whenever she received any wealth, she would begin to spend it on the poor.

On one occasion, the dear and beloved nephew of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), became concerned over the large amounts of wealth that she was spending in charity, and thus mentioned, “Her spending must be curtailed.”

When Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) heard about this, she was greatly disappointed that her nephew wished to restrict her in spending on the poor. In fact, her disappointment was so much that she took a vow to cease speaking to Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma).

When Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) could not bear being separated and cut off from his beloved aunt for such a long time, he requested many people to intercede on his behalf. However, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was not prepared to break her vow.

Eventually, when the separation became too much to bear, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) approached Sayyiduna Miswar bin Makhramah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Sayyiduna ‘Abdur Rahmaan bin Aswad (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and asked them to intercede on his behalf and assist him to gain an audience with Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) would show a lot of consideration to these Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) on account of them being relatives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Accordingly, they went to the home of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) where Sayyiduna Miswar bin Makhramah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Sayyiduna ‘Abdur Rahmaan bin Aswad (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked permission to enter. Not knowing that Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was with them, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) gave them all permission to enter.

They entered the home and remained behind the screen which separated them from her, while Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) seized the opportunity and went to the other side of the screen, hugging his aunt, weeping and begging her to forgive him. At the same time, Sayyiduna Miswar bin Makhramah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Sayyiduna ‘Abdur Rahmaan bin Aswad (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) interceded for Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), urging Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to speak to him once again. Finally, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallah ‘anha) agreed and recommenced speaking to her nephew.

However, as compensation for breaking her vow, she thereafter freed forty slaves. Furthermore, whenever she would think of the vow that she broke, she would weep profusely, to the extent that her clothing would become wet with her tears, as she had taken a vow in the name of Allah Ta‘ala and thereafter broke the vow.

(Saheeh Bukhaari #3503, #3505 & #6073 and Fat-hul Baari vol. 10, pg. 605)

Lessons:

1. Generally, when one person becomes upset with another person and ceases speaking to him, it is because he was insulted, offended, hurt or his ego was dented. In other words, it is generally due to a personal grievance and a trivial matter. However, in the case of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), her displeasure was for the sake of Deen, as she could not tolerate that her nephew wished to restrict the amount that she spent in charity.

2. Whereas it would have sufficed Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to free one slave as compensation, she freed forty slaves. The reason is that the vow was made in the name of Allah Ta‘ala, and she thus viewed breaking the vow as an extremely serious offence. Hence, instead of freeing one slave, which was the requirement, she ‘went the extra mile’ and freed forty slaves. Furthermore, due to her fear of accountability in the court of Allah Ta‘ala, she continued expressing her regret and remorse by weeping profusely when recalling the incident.  

3. When Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) realised that he had made a mistake, he immediately tried his best to rectify it and repair the relationship with his aunt, even going to the extent of asking others to intercede for him and gain him an audience with her. In the same way, if we make a mistake or damage our relationship with some person, then we should try our best to make amends and repair the damage.

4. Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was blessed by Allah Ta‘ala to be one of the blessed wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). Hence, she was privileged to witness, first hand, the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) conducted himself in the home, as well as other dimensions of the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) which were not before the public. She thus possessed important knowledge of Deen which others required, due to which many people would come and learn Deen from her. However, when imparting this knowledge of Deen, she ensured that she remained behind a curtain where non-mahrams could not see her. Accordingly, in the incident above, it was only her nephew who went behind the curtain.