The following is a response to the article on RevisitingtheSalaf.org entitled: A’isha Punished On The Day Of Judgement? The article was published on 31st of August, 2012, and can be viewed here.
RTS, in this article, starts off by quoting evidences that A’isha started hitting herself when the Messenger (pbuh) died.
Narrated Abdullah narrated my father narrated Yaqoob narrated my father from Ibn Ishaq he said narrated to me Yahya ibn Abbad ibn Abdilleh ibn Al-Aubair from his father Abbad he said I heard A’isha saying: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) died between my chest and neck….. so I put his head on a pillow and stood up with women and started hitting my chest and face.”
Footnote: Hadeeth is ‘Hasan’ (Reliable) by Shuayb Al-Arnaoot.
When we examine the text of the narration, we realize that A’isha feels guilty for what she had done. This is evident in her saying that she did this “due to my foolishness and due to me being young,” Do note that this particular section of the narration with not translated by RTS. This statement is understood by the objective reader that this particular action was prohibited in her view and that she felt guilty performing it.
However, RTS then argues that Aisha has not repented from this action.
Consider the well known conditions for repentance:
1) Leaving the sin.
2) Remorse over having committed the sin.
3) Never to return to the sin.
If these conditions are truly met, then one can expect one’s sins to be forgiven. Did A’isha repent or did she repeat these actions without any remorse? As a matter of fact, she not only wailed upon the Prophet (saw) but also her father Aboo Bakr also.
First of all, the repeating of an action more than once does not necessarily mean that one has no remorse over committing a sin. One can fall into a sin, feel guilt, repent, fall into the same sin once again, and still repent. Thus, third condition of “never to return to the sin” is incorrect, and rather, it should be “the intention to not return to the sin”.
However, even if we were to accept that A’isha did fall into the same sin again, we can still say for a fact that she regarded such an action as foolish, and was due to her young age, since Abu Bakr only died a couple of years after the Prophet (pbuh). A’isha, on the other hand, is expressing her guilt at least ten years after the fact. This is evident when we notice that the narrator from her is Abbad bin Abdullah bin Al-Zubair, whose narration from Omar is considered to be disconnected (see his biography in Tahtheeb Al-Tahtheeb 2/279, Mu’asasat Al-Risala, 1429, first edition). Omar’s death being on the 23rd AH means that Abbad did not hear this narration from Aisha at least until that year, which means that A’isha has expressed regret after, and not before, she (supposedly) hit herself upon the death of Abu Bakr.
Carrying on, RTS quotes the narration:
Narrated Younus from Ibn Wahab from Younus Ibn Yazid from Al-Zahri from Sa’eed Ibn Mosayyib who said: ‘When Aboo Bakr died, A’isha held a mourning gathering for him in which eulogies had been read. Umar was informed of it, so he came to her door and forbade them of mourning on Aboo Bakr. They (women) refused, so he (Umar) said to Hisham Ibn Al-Walid: “Enter and bring out for me daughter of Abi Qohafa sister of Abi Bakr.” When A’isha heard this, she said to Hisham: “I forbid you from entering into my house!” Umar said to Hisham: “Enter, I allow you to do that!” So Hisham entered and brought out Umme Farwa sister of Abi Bakr to Umar, so Umar started beating her with his whip for a while. When the mourners heard this they escaped.
Source: Tarikh Al-Tabari. Vol. 3, Pg. # 423.
However, the chains of all these narrations are disconnected, since Sa’eed bin Al-Musayab was not around at the name, and his narration from Abu Bakr is disconnected. In fact, he was born two years after the death of Abu Bakr. (Tahtheeb Al-Tahtheeb 3/45)
Either way, Aisha died in the year 57 AH, over forty years after the death of the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr. So, to disregard her guilt, which is evident in the first narration, and to assume that she stayed upon her sin, or to have continued performing such an action for the next forty years without having any evidence, is an absurd position.