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ʿĀʾisha bint Abī Bakr

ʿĀʾisha bint Abī Bakr (d. 678 CE (AH 59)). Daughter of Abu Bakr, born in Mecca about 614 CE, and wife of Muḥammad. She was married to him not long after the death of his first wife Khadīja, and he admitted freely that she was his favourite wife of all those he subsequently married.

At Muḥammad's death in 632, ʿĀʾisha was only about 18 years old, and played no part in political life until towards the end of the reign of ʾUthmān, the third Caliph, when she joined the growing opposition party. In 656, ʿUthmān was assassinated; ʿĀʾisha, together with Ṭalḥa and al-Zubayr, took control of Baṣra, and in Dec. 656 fought against ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, the successor of ʿUthmān. This event was known as the Battle of the Camel, because the camel-litter carrying ʿĀʾisha was in the thick of the fighting. Ṭalḥa and al-Zubayr were killed, but ʿĀʾisha survived, and from then on kept to her house in Madīna, where she died in 678. She was said to be both pious and learned, and is quoted as the source for many (1,210) ḥadīth, especially those concerning Muḥammad's personal life.

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