When it comes to the tarbiyyah of Muslim men, proper upbringing does not just happen with male role models. Just like growing up without a father figure has strong negative consequences for women, men who grow up without a maternal figure also suffer from negative effects. Two of the greatest Muslim men in history, Abdullah ibn Zubair and ‘Urwah ibn az-Zubair, were raised in large part by one of the greatest Muslim women in history–their aunt, Aisha (ra). Although she needs no introduction as every Muslim knows her, few people realize the impact she had on the upbringing of these two men. In fact, Aisha (ra) was known by the kunya “Umm Abdullah” because of how involved she was in raising her nephew.  The following poem, written in Islamic Spain centuries after her death, is a praise for her and defense against the attacks of the Shi’a.

ما شَانُ أُمِّ المؤمنين وشَاني”=”هُدِيَ المُحِبُّ لها وضَلَّ الشَّاني

What’s the case with the mother of the believers and her hater?

Guided is her lover, and astray is her hater


إِنِّي أَقُولُ مُبيِّناً عَنْ فَضْلِها”=” ومُتَرْجِماً عَنْ قَوْلِها بِلِسَاني

Truly, I am saying this, clarifying her high position

And it is as if she is speaking through my tongue


يا مُبْغِضِي لا تَأتِ قَبْرَ مُحَمَّدٍ”=”فالبَيْتُ بَيْتي والمَكانُ مَكاني

O my hater, don’t come near the grave of Muhammad,

For that house is my house, and the place is mine


إِنِّي خُصِصْتُ على نِساءِ مُحَمَّدٍ”=”بِصِفاتِ بِرٍّ تَحْتَهُنَّ مَعاني

I was chosen above the wives of Muhammad,

By way of special attributes, [each] carrying many meanings


وَسَبَقْتُهُنَّ إلي الفَضَائِلِ كُلِّها”=”فالسَّبقُ سَبقي والعِنَانُ عِنَاني

And I surpassed them in all the good

So the advance is mine and it is as far as the sight reaches


مَرِضَ النَّبِيُّ وماتَ بينَ تَرَائِبي”=”فالْيَوْم يَوْمي والزَّمانُ زَماني

The Prophet fell ill and passed away on my chest

So that is my day and that moment is exclusively mine


زَوْجي رَسولُ اللهِ لَمْ أَرَ غَيْرَهُ”=”اللهُ زَوَّجني بهِ وحَبَاني

My husband is the messenger of Allah, never have I been with someone else

Allah is the One Who married me to him and gave me this privilege


وأتاه جبريل الكريم بصورتي =  وأحبني المختار حين رآني


And Jibreel, the Trustowrthy, came to him with my portrait

Whereupon the Chosen One fell in love with me when he saw me.


أنا بِكْرُهُ العَذْراءُ عِنْدي سِرُّهُ”=”وضَجيعُهُ في مَنْزلي قَمَرانِ

I am his virgin and with me are his secrets

and I am his partner, in my house are two moons  (Abu Bakr and Umar)


وتَكلم اللهُ العظيمُ بحُجَّتي”=”وبَرَاءَتِي في مُحكمِ القُرآنِ

And Allah the Supreme spoke [in my case] with overwhelming proof

[speaking out] my innocence in the clear [verses] of the Quran


واللهُ حَفَّرَني وعَظَّمَ حُرْمَتي”=” وعلى لِسَانِ نبِيِّهِ بَرَّاني

And Allaah defended me and praised my chastity

And through the tongue of His prophet He declared me innocent

والله في القرآن قد لعن الذي بعد البراءة بالقبيح رماني

And Allah in the Qur’an cursed one who

After my exoneration, continues to attribute bad things to me.


واللهُ وبَّخَ منْ أراد تَنقُّصي”=”إفْكاً وسَبَّحَ نفسهُ في شاني

And Allah rebuked who wanted to defame me

[with] forged lies! And [Allah] glorified Himself in my case


إني لَمُحْصَنةُ الإزارِ بَرِيئَةُ”=”ودليلُ حُسنِ طَهارتي إحْصاني

Surely, I am chaste, pure and modest

And the proof of my pureness is my [continuous] marriage (with the Prophet till his death)


واللهُ أحصنَني بخاتِمِ رُسْلِهِ”=”وأذلَّ أهلَ الإفْكِ والبُهتانِ

And Allah secured my honor through my marriage with the seal of prophets

And He humiliated the people of lies and slander


وسَمِعْتُ وَحيَ الله عِندَ مُحمدٍ”=”من جِبْرَئيلَ ونُورُه يَغْشاني

And I heard the revelation of Allah while I was with Mohammed

From Jibreel while his noor  encompasses me


أَوْحى إليهِ وكُنتَ تَحتَ ثِيابِهِ”=”فَحَنى عليَّ بِثَوْبهِ وخبَّاني

He revealed to him [the Prophet] while I was under the same blanket

And he [the Prophet] came near covering me gently and hiding me


مَنْ ذا يُفاخِرُني وينْكِرُ صُحبتي”=” ومُحَمَّدٌ في حِجْره رَبَّاني؟

So who can boast like me or deny my companionship?

While Muhammad in his house brought me up!


وأخذتُ عن أبوي دينَ محمدٍ”=”وهُما على الإسلامِ مُصطَحِبانيِ

And I took from my parents the religion of Muhammad

And they both are of the earliest to believe in it


وأبي أقامَ الدِّين بَعْدَ مُحمدٍ”=”فالنَّصْلُ نصلي والسِّنان سِناني

And my father strengthened Islam after Muhammad

So I have a share in the struggle, [his victory] is also my victory


والفَخرُ فخري والخلافةُ في أبي”=” حَسبي بهذا مَفْخَراً وكَفاني

And the honor is mine, and the Khilafah was for my father

This in itself is sufficient an honor for me


وأنا ابْنَةُ الصِّديقِ صاحبِ أحمدٍ”=”وحَبيبهِ في السِّرِّ والإعلانِ

And I am the daughter of as-Siddeeq the companion of Ahmad!

His best friend in secret and in public


نصرَ النبيَّ بمالهِ وفِعاله”=”وخُروجهِ مَعَهُ من الأوطانِ

He aided the Prophet with his wealth and deeds

and in going out with him to so many lands


ثانيه في الغارِ الذي سَدَّ الكُوَى”=”بِردائهِ أكرِم بِهِ منْ ثانِ

The second of two in the cave, the one who filled the holes

with his clothes, honoring the one who deserves this [honor]


وجفا الغِنى حتى تَخلل بالعبا”=”زُهداُ وأذعانَ أيَّما إذعانِ

And he exhausted his wealth for this religion so long as he lived

ascetic, and all the things he did are beyond amazing


وتخللتْ مَعَهُ ملائكةُ السما”=”وأتتهُ بُشرى الهِ بالرضوانِ

And [even] the angels of the heaven kept him company

And gave him the glad tidings of Allah’s Pleasure


وهو الذي لم يخشَ لَومةً لائمٍ”=”في قتلِ أهلِ البَغْيِ والعُدوانِ

And he is the one who never feared the blame of the pointing fingers

[Even when he made] his decision to fight against the tyrants and transgressors


قتلَ الأُلى مَنَعوا الزكاة بكُفْرهم”=” وأذل أهلَ الكُفر والطُّغيانِ

He waged war against those who refused to pay Zakat out of their Kufr

And he humiliated the unbelievers and tyrants


سَبقَ الصَّحابةَ والقَرابةَ للهدى”=”هو شَيْخُهُم في الفضلِ والإحسانِ

He surpassed the companions and family members in the guidance

He is their role model in good and virtues


واللهِ ما استبَقُوا لنيلِ فضيلةٍ”=”مَثلَ استباقِ الخيل يومَ رهانِ

And by Allah, nobody comes even near his virtue

It’s like the winning horse during the day of the horserace


إلا وطارَ أبي إلي عليائِها”=” فمكانُه منها أجلُّ مكانِ

Nothing was accepted, except that my father flew to the highest

His abode [in Paradise] is one of the most honored places


ويلٌ لِعبدٍ خانَ آلَ مُحمدٍ”=” بعَداوةِ الأزواجِ والأختانِ

Woe to a servant who betrays the family of Muhammad

[by] showing enmity to the wives and the two sisters (Aisha and Asma)


طُُوبى لمن والى جماعةَ صحبهِ”=” ويكون مِن أحبابه الحسنانِ

Glad tidings for the one who allies the companions

and becomes someone who loves them and wishes good for them (alternatively, becomes someone who loves the two Hasans, i.e. Hasan and Husain)


بينَ الصحابةِ والقرابةِ أُلْفَةٌ”=” لا تستحيلُ بنزغَةِ الشيطانِ

Between the companions and Ahl Bayt is such a [strong] love

The shaytan cannot break it or come between it


هُمْ كالأَصابعِ في اليدينِ تواصُلاً”=” هل يستوي كَفٌ بغير بَنانِ؟

[For] they are like the fingers on the two hands, connected

Is this then like a hand who has no fingers?


حصرتْ صُدورُ الكافرين بوالدي”=”وقُلوبُهُمْ مُلِئَتْ من الأضغانِ

The chests of the unbelievers constricted because of my father

And their hearts were filled with poisoned hate and envy


حُبُّ البتولِ وبعلها لم يختلِفْ”=”مِن مِلَّة الإسلامِ فيه اثنانِ

There is no difference in the loving of Ahlul Bayt and the companions

From the Islamic perspective, it includes both


أكرم بأربعةٍ أئمةِ شرعنا”=”فهُمُ لبيتِ الدينِ كالأركانِ

Honored with four Khulafa

They are for the house of our religion like a strong pillar


نُسجتْ مودتهم سدىٍ في لُحمةٍ”=”فبناؤها من أثبتِ البُنيانِ

Their love and alliance is like a strong wall

It’s building is [one of] the strongest building


اللهُ ألفَ بين وُدِّ قلوبهم”=”ليغيظَ كُلَّ مُنافق طعانِ

Allah is the One Who brought their hearts together with mutual love

That it may anger every slandering hypocrite


رُحماء بينهمُ صفت أخلاقُهُمْ”=”وخلت قُلُوبهمُ من الشنآن

‘Merciful among themselves’ is their description [in the Quran]

And their hearts are empty of hating and envy


فدُخولهم بين الأحبة كُلفةٌ”=”وسبابهم سببٌ إلي الحرمان

Entering the [community of the] beloved ones is the sign of true love

And cursing them is risking exclusion (from the Mercy of Allah)


جمع الإلهُ المسلمين على أبي”=”واستُبدلوا من خوفهم بأمان

God gathered the Muslims under my father

And replaced their fear with security and protection


وإذا أراد اللهُ نُصرة عبده”=”من ذا يُطيقُ لهُ على خذلانِ

And when Allah wants and decrees victory for His servant

Who is it then who can stop that with betrayal?


من حبيني فليجتنب من سبني”=”إن كانَ صان محبتي ورعاني

Who loves me should shun who curses me [and keep distance from him]

If his love for me is true and he really cares about me and defends me


وإذا محبي قد ألظَّ بمُبغضي”=”فكلاهما في البُغض مُستويانِ

And if my lover still keeps sticking to my hater

Then they are both carriers [of the sin] of hating me


إني لطيبةُ خُلقتُ لطيب”=”ونساءُ أحمدَ أطيبُ النِّسوان

Truly, I am a good woman created for [a] good [man]

And the wives of Ahmad are the best women


إني لأمُ المؤمنين فمن أبى”=”حُبي فسوف يبُوءُ بالخسران

Verily, I am the mother of the believers, so who refuses

to love his mother will soon meet loss


اللهُ حببني لِقلبِ نبيه”=”وإلي الصراطِ المستقيمِ هداني

Allah gave me a place of love in the heart of His prophet

And to the straight Path He guided me


واللهُ يُكرمُ من أراد كرامتي”=”ويُهين ربي من أراد هواني

And Allah honors who keeps up my honor

And He disgraces the one who want to bring me down


والله أسألُهُ زيادة فضله”=”وحَمِدْتُهُ شمراً لِما أولاني

And Allah is the One Whom I ask for more favors

And I praise Him and thank Him for the position He gave me


يا من يلوذُ بأهل بيت مُحمد”=” يرجو بذلك رحمةَ الرحمان

O you who hides behind the Ahlul Bayt (family of Muhammad)

Hoping thereby to attain the Mercy of the most Merciful


صل أمهاتِ المؤمنين ولا تَحُدْ”=”عنَّا فتُسلب حُلت الإيمان

Uphold your ties with the mothers of the believer and don’t exclude us

otherwise the sweetness of Imaan may be snatched from you


إني لصادقة المقالِ كريمةٌ”=”أي والذي ذلتْ له الثقلانِ

Really, I am honest in what I am saying, dignified

No doubt, by the One to Who the two (Jinn and mankind) submitted


خُذها إليكَ فإنما هي روضةٌ”=”محفوفة بالروح والريحان

Take it! For it is a beautiful garden

Full of Pleasants, peace and scent


صلَّى الإلهُ على النبي وآله”=”فبهمْ تُشمُّ أزهرُ البُستان

God send his blessings upon the prophet and his family

For by them the flowers [in your] garden give smell


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: