Sahih Muslim Book 37, Hadith Number 6673.
Sa’id b. Musayyib, ‘Urwa b. Zubair, ‘Alqama b. Waqqas and ‘Ubaidullah b. Abdullah b. ‘Utba b. Mas’ud–all of them reported the story of the false allegation against ‘Aisha, the wife of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him). And they (the slanderers) said what they had to say, but Allah exonerated her of this charge and all of them reported a part of the hadith and some of them who had better memories reported more and with better retention, and I tried to retain this hadith (listening) from every one of them that they reported to me and some of them attested the other. (The summarised substance of the false allegation is this): ‘Aisha said: Whenever Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) intended to set out on a journey he cast lots amongst his wives and he took one with him in whose favour the lot was cast. It so happened that he cast lots amongst us while setting out on a battle and it was cast in my favour, so I set out along with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him). This relates to the period when the revelation concerning the commands of veil had been made. I was carried in a haudaj and I was brought down where we had to stay. In short, when we set out for return journey from the expedition and our caravan was near Medina, Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) commanded one night to march forward. I also got up when the command for the march was given and moved on until I went out of the encampments of the army and after relieving myself I came to my place. I touched my chest and found that my necklace which had been made of the stones of zafar had been broken. I retraced my steps and tried to search my necklace and this detained me there. The group of people who saddled my ride and placed my haudaj carrying me upon the camels marched on. They were under the impression that I was in it. The women in those days were light of weight and they did not wear much flesh, as they ate less food; so they did not perceive the weight of my haudaj as they placed it upon the camel as I was a young girl at that time. So they drove the camel and set out and I found my necklace after the army had marched. I came to my place and there was none to call and none to respond (the call). I waited at my place under the impression that when the people would riot find me they would come back. So I kept sitting at my place. I was overpowered by sleep and slept. Safwan b. Mu’attal Sulami Dhakwini, who had lagged behind the army because of taking rest came to my place walking in the latter part of the night and he saw the body of a person who was asleep. He came to me and recognised me as he had seen rue before it was enjoined to observe purda. I got up by his voice as he recited Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un [we are for Allah and to Him we have to return.] and I covered my head with my headdress. By Allah, he did not speak to me a word and I did not hear a word from him except Inna lillahi. He made his camel kneel down and I amounted the camel as he pressed the camel’s foreleg and he moved on leaning the camel by the nose string on which I was riding until we came to the army where it had encamped for rest because of extreme heat. Woe be upon those who harboured doubts about me and the most notorious among them was ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy, the great hypocrite. We came to Medina and I fell sick for a month. The people had been deliberating over the statements of those who had brought these calumnies against me. I was absolutely unaware of anything concerning that. This, however, caused doubt in my mind that I did not see Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him.) treating me with such kindness with which he treated me as I fell ill before this. The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) would come and greet me with Assalam-o-‘Alaikum and only ask me how I was. This caused doubt in my mind, but I was unaware of the evil. I wept outside despite my failing health and there went along with me Umm Mistah and she said the daughter of Abu Rhm b. Muttalib b. ‘Abd Manaf and his mother was the daughter of Sakhr b. ‘Amir, the sister of the mother of Abu Bakr Sidiq and his son was Mistah b. Uthatha b. ‘Abbad b. Muttalib. I and the daughter of Abu Rahm set towards the direction of my house. Something got into the head dress of Umm Mistah and she said: Woe be upon Mistah. And I said. Woe be upon what you say. Do you curse people who had participated in Badr? She said: Innocent woman, have you not heard what he said? I said: What did he say? She conveyed to me the statement of those who had brought false allegations against me. So my illness was aggravated. I went to my house and Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) came to me and he greeted me and then said: How is that woman? I said: Do you permit me to go to the (house) of my parents? She (further) said: I had at that time made up my mind to confirm this news from them. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) permitted me. So I came to (the house of) my parents and said to my mother: Mother, do you know what the people are talking about? She said: My daughter, you should not worry. By Allah, if there is a handsome woman who is loved by her husband and he has co-wives also they talk many a thing about her. I said: Hallowed be Allah, what are the people talking about? I wept during the whole night until it was morning and I did not have a wink of sleep and I wept even in the morning. As the revelation was delayed (in regard to this matter), so Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) called ‘Ali Ibn Abi ‘Talib and Usama b. Zaid in order to seek their advice in regard to the separation of his wife. Usama b. Zaid told Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) about the innocence of his wives and what he knew about his love for them. He said: Allah’s Messenger, they are your wives and we know nothing else about them but goodness. And as for ‘Ali b. Abu Talib, he said: Allah has not put any unnecessary burden upon you (in regard to your wives). There are a number of women besides her and if you ask that maidservant (Barira) she will tell you the truth. So, Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) called Bailra and said: Barira, did you see anything in ‘Aisha which can cause doubt about her? Barira said: By Him Who sent thee with the truth, I have seen nothing objectionable in her but only this much that she is a young girl and she goes to sleep while kneading the flour and the lamb eats that. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) mounted the pulpit and sought vindication against ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy b. Salul, and he further said: Who would exonerate me from imputations of that person who has troubled (me) in regard to my family? By Allah, I find nothing in my wife but goodness and the person whom the people have mentioned in this connection is, according to my knowledge, a thoroughly pious person, and he did never get into my house but along with me. Sa’d b. Mu’adh stood up and said: Allah’s Messenger, I defend your honour against him. If he belong to the tribe of Aus we would strike his neck and if he belongs to the tribe of our brother Khazraj and you order us we would comply with your order. Then Sa’d b. ‘Ubada stood up. He was chief of the Khazraj tribe. He was otherwise a pioas man but he had some what tribal partisanship in him and he said to Sa’d b. Mu’adh: By the everlasting existence of Allah. you are not stating the fact, you will not be able to kill him and you will not have the power to do so. Thereupon, Usaid b. Hudair stood up, and he was the first cousin of Sa’d b. Mu’adh and said to Sa’d b. ‘Ubada: By the everlasting existence of Allah, you are not stating the fact. We would kill him. You are a hypocrite and so you argue in defence of the hypocrites, and thus both the tribes Aus and Khazraj were flared up, until they were about to fall upon one another and Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) kept standing upon the pulpit and Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) tried to subside their anger until they became silent and thus there was silence. ‘Aisha further reported: I spent the whole day in weeping and even the night and could not have a wink of sleep even next night. My parents thought that this constant weeping of mine would break my heart. I wept and they sat beside me. In the meanwhile a woman of the Ansar came to see me. I permitted her to see me and she also began to weep. And we were in this very state that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) came and he greeted me and then sat down. He had never sat with me since a month when this rumour was afloat, and there was no revelation (to clarity) my case. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) recited Tashahhud (there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Apostle) and then said: Coming to the point, ‘Aisha, this is what has reached me about you and if you are innocent, Allah would Himself vindicate your honour, and if accidentally there has been a lapse on your part sock forgiveness of Allah; He will pardon thee for when a servant makes a confession of his fault and turns (to Him) penitently, Allah also turns to him (mercifully) accepting his repentance. When Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) talked, my tears dried up and not even a single drop of tear was perceived by me (rolling out of my eyes). I said to my father: You give a reply to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on my behalf. He said: By Allah, I do not know what I should say to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him). I then said to my mother: Give a reply to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on my behalf, but she said: By Allah, I do not know what I should say to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him). I was a small girl at that time and I had not read much of the Qur’an (but I said): By Allah, I perceive that you have heard about this and it has settled down in your mind and you have taken it to be true, so if I say to you that I am quite innocent, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you would never believe me to be true, and if I confess to (the alleged) lapse before you, whereas Allah knows that I am completely innocent (and I have not committed this sin at all), in that case You will take me to be true and, by Allah, I, therefore, find no other alternative for me and for you except that what the father of Yousuf said:,(My course is) comely patience. And Allah it is Whose help is to be sought for in that (predicament) which ye describe” (xii 18). After this I turned my face to the other side and lay down on my bed. By Allah, I was fully aware of this fact that I was innocent but I did not expect that Allah would descend Wahy Matlu (Qur’anic Wahy) in my case as I did not think myself so much important that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, would speak in this matter in words to be recited. I only hoped that Allah would in vision give an indication of my innocence to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) during his sleep. And, by Allah, Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had not moved an inch from where he had been sitting and none from the members of my family had gone that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, descended revelation upon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) there and then and he felt the burden which he used to feel at the time of receiving revelation. He began to perspire because of the burden of words of Allah as they descended upon him even during the winter season and there fell the drops of his sweat like silvery beads. When this state of receiving revelation was over, the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) smiled and the first words which he spoke to me were that he said: ‘Aisha, there is glad tidings for you. Verily, Allah has vindicated your honour, and my mother who had been standing by me said: Get up (and thank him, i.e. the Holy Prophet). I said: By Allah, I shall not thank him and laud him but Allah Who has descended revelation vindicating my honour. She (‘Aisha) said: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, revealed: “‘Verily, those who spread the slander are a gang among you” (and) ten (subsequent) verses in regard to my innocence. She further said: Abu Bakr used to give to Mistah (some stipend) as a token of kinship with him and for his poverty and he (Abu Bakr) said: By Allah, now I would not spend anything for him. ‘Aisha said: It was upon this that Allah the Exalted and Glorious revealed this verse: “And let not those who possess dignity and ease among you swear to give to the near of the kin” up to “Yearn ye not that Allah may forgive you?” Hibban b. Musa’ said that ‘Abdullah b. Mubarak used to say: It is a verse contained in the Book which most (eminently) brightens the hope. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I wish that Allah should pardon me. I shall never stop this stipend. So he continued to give him the stipend which he had withdrawn. ‘Aisha said that Allah’s Messenger (way peace be upon him) asked Zainab, daughter of Jahsh, the wife of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him), about me what she knew or what she had seen in me, and she said: Allah’s Messenger, I shall not say anything without hearing (with my ears) and seeing with my eyes. By Allah, I find nothing in her but goodness. (And she stated this in spite of the fact) that she was the only lady who amongst the wives of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) used to vie with me but Allah saved her in bringing false allegation against me because of her God-consciousness. Her sister Hamna bint Jahsh, however, opposed her and she was undone along with others.