Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Jamadi Thani / Rajab 1425 H July 2004
Volume 17-07 No : 211
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Ummul Momineen Ayesha Siddiqui RA
Koftas and Cookery Contests

Ummul Momineen Ayesha Siddiqui RA

Hazrath Ayesha (RA) was brilliant even as a child and remembered her entire childhood vividly

By Dr. Ejaz Begum Ansari

Her name was Ayesha, but she was also known as Humera and was popularly known as “Umme Abdullah”. She belonged to the famous clan of Quresh known as Banu Thyeh, daughter of Abu Bakr Siddique (RA), the Prophet’s childhood friend and his trustworthy Companion. Her mother was Umme Rumman binth Amir, who also had attained great heights. She was born in the month of Shawwal four years after Mohammad had attained Prophethood. Her childhood, she spent under the able and loving guide -her father. She was brilliant even as a child and remembered her entire childhood vividly. It is said that no other companion was as clever as she was. As a child, she was busy playing with her toys when the Prophet passed by. He stopped by her, amused, picked up a toy horse with wings and asked, “Ayesha what is this?” Its a horse” she answered. “But horses don’t have wings” he smiled. “Why Ya Rasool Allah, the horses of Soloman had wings.” The Prophet was both amazed and pleased with her reply. She was engaged to Jabir bin Matham. He did away with the engagement for the simple reason that Abu Bakr and all his family had embraced Islam. After this, at the suggestion of Khaula binth Hakeem, the Prophet sent his proposal for her hand to Abu Bakr Siddiqui (RA). He at once agreed and there at the age of six, the little Ayesha (RA) was wedded to the Prophet (Pbuh) in the month of Shawwal. Abu Bakr himself read the Nikah and her dowar was 500 dirhams. The month of Shawwal, was in those days considered inauspicious - but the trend was broken, when Ayesha was married in Shawwal and few years later, when she left her’ home to join the Prophet.

Three years after his marriage to her, the Prophet, along with Abu Bakr Siddiqui RA migrated to Madinah. Once safe there, both sent Zaid bin Haris, Abu Rafey RA and Abdullah bin Arkhath to Makkah to fetch their families. With Zaid went Fathma Zahra RA, Umme Kulsoom RA, Sauda binth Zama RA, Umme Ameen RA and Usama bin Zaid RA, with Abdullah bin Arkhath were Abdullah RA bin Abu Bakr, Umme Rumman RA, Ayesha Siddiqui RA and Asma Ra binth Abu Bakr. When she reached Madinah, she stayed with her father in the locality of Banu Haris. Trials were borne by the Muhajareens in this new land, and not accustomed to the climate, Abu Bakr was indeed ill. Ayesha cared for him tenderly and when at last he recovered, she herself fell ill, so ill that, she lost her beautiful hair, but Allah spared her life. Then Abu Bakr requested the Prophet to take her home - but the Prophet replied. “I have no money to pay her dower” At this, Abu Bakr lent him five hundred dirhams- this the Prophet presented to Ayesha and in the month of Shawwal, the 1st H, the Prophet took his little wife home. She was then nine years old and according to some twelve. In the third year of the Hijra, at the battle of Uhud, news went wild that the Prophet (Pbuh) was martyred. Ayesha RA, Fathma Zahra RA, Sufuya RA and other women, mad in their love and devotion for the Prophet, ran to the battle-field. There they found the Prophet alive, but wounded. They fell prostrate in prayer, thanking the Lord, for sparing his life. They cleaned and dressed his wounds and then fetched drinking water for the wounded, thirsty Muslims and tendered to them. When the other companions returned to the Prophe, they returned to Madinah. It is said by Imam Ahmed bin Hambal that even during the battle of Khandaq, Ayesha would steal out of the fort to watch the battle. Even during the other wars she sought the Prophet’s permission to join him, but he refused. Four incidences during her life time occurred, which became famous 1. Ifak 2. Aila 3. Tahrim and 4. (Thakhaiyyar.)

Ifak : While travelling, during the war of Musthalakh, she was with the Holy Prophet. They camped during the night and to answer nature’s call, she had wandered away a little too far. There she lost her necklace - the one she had borrowed from her sister Asma RA which she realised when she returned to the Caravan.

Afraid of what she had lost, she went searching for it, thinking she would return before the Caravan left. When she did return at last, she found to her dismay, that they had moved away. She was worried, and too young to understand the implications. She therefore covered herself with her sheet and fell asleep. Sufyan RA, bin Mathul who was following the Caravan and was delayed, noticed her. He recognised her having seen her in her childhood, before the Ayat on Purdah was revealed. At first he thought she was dead and read “Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilahi Rajioon” but finding her alive, he heard her story then mounted her on his camel and leading the camel on foot, joined the Caravan at mid-day.

The famous tormentor of the Muslims, Abdullah bin Abi got wind of this incident, and he related it aloud to one and all embellishing it with many a lie, saying that Ayesha RA, had lost her chastity. Some devout Muslims too, became a prey to this doubt - The Prophet too was in a turmoil for he knew the pious and godly Ayesha – and also his companion Sufyan RA, who he knew would never stoop to such depths - But he was human, and Ayesha realising what gossip was being circulated and knowing what the Prophet must be feeling, became gravely ill. Days on end she wept uncontrollably - till Allah in His mercy revealed the Ayat from Surah Noor. “When you heard this, why did you not think well of the momin men and women? And why did you not say this is a rumour!” When this Ayath-ul Baraath was revealed, the unbelievers were non-plussed and the Muslims who had in moment of weakness, listened to such gossip, hid their faces in shame. They implored the forgiveness of Allah and their Rasool. Ayesha held her head high -”I thank only Allah - I am not indebted to anyone else,” she said.

(To be continued)

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Koftas and Cookery Contests

By Seema Saleem

Hyderabad: Cooking is an art and Hyderabadi women always have a yearning to learn and excel in this art. And when free cookery classes are organised every year they do not miss this chance for anything. By the joint effort of Siasat Urdu daily and hotel ITC Grand Kakatiya, a week long free cookery class sessions were held recently at Sana garden function hall located near Charminar, which was attended by over 3000 enthusiastic women.

Under the guidance of executive chef of Grand Kakatiya, O.P. Khantwal, chef Haji Mohd Farooq demonstrated dum pukht pakwan which included bhoora gosht, tawa paneer, dakhni saag,dum ka karela and chui mui kofta.

Muslim women in Hyderabad completed their household chores soon after Fajr namaz, so that they could be on time to participate in the classes. On the last day of the show, a cookery contest was conducted in which 1080 women participated. Tables were laid with beautifully decorated lipsmacking dishes and it was a tough time for the judges to decide the winners. The first prize, an LG refrigerator went to Saman Begum, an intermediate student who had made a huge Kofta of the size of a watermelon which weighed 2 kg. It was presented with Chutney and Warqi Paratha. She later disclosed that it was prepared using 51eggs, egg yolks and egg whites were separately boiled and then given the shape of an egg, later it was covered which cooked minced meat and then it was deep fried. It took ten hours of hard work and kept all the family members awake the whole night, but it paid off. The executive chef named it Kofta-e-Azam.

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