Can you prove that A’isha and Hafsa assassinated the Prophet?

Can you prove that A’isha and Hafsa assassinated the Prophet?

Can you prove that A’isha and Hafsa assassinated the Prophet? 834 469 The Office Of His Eminence Sheikh al-Habib


Can you provide evidence from reliable historical sources supporting your claim that A’isha and Hafsa were involved in the assassination of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him and his pure family)?


In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.

There are several narrations in both Shi’a and ‘Sunni’ sources concerning the involvement of A’isha and Hafsa in the assassination of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure family). However, before we discuss these narrations, it might be helpful to look at the following verse first: 

And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him; if then he died or is killed, will you then turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will reward the grateful.

The part, ‘’if he died or is killed’’, in the verse confirms that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his pure family) did not die a natural death. In the Arabic language, the term ‘’or’’ is used to indicate uncertainty and impart correction. In this context, the conjunctive ‘’or’’ means ‘’rather’’ since It would not be logical to assume that Allah is uncertain about how the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) dies. Accordingly, the meaning of the verse is: ‘’If he died, rather, he is killed, you turn upon your heels.’’

Allah has predicted that the Prophet shall be killed, and his assassination was to be followed by turning back and apostasy, which later occurred, in favour of the rebels who seized power. The verse was addressed to figures who were followers of Islam at the time of the Prophet and not to the Jews who were no longer a threat in Medina, as the ‘Sunnis’ believe. 

How then was the Prophet killed? And who were those involved in such a crime? Was it the poison that the Jewish woman, Zainab Bint al-Harith, fed the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) after the battle of Khaibar four years before his death, as A’isha claimed?

The following narration is reported by Bukhari of A’isha regarding the Prophet’s death:

Allah’s Prophet told me on his deathbed, ‘’A’isha, since I consumed that poisoned food after the Khaibar battle, I have been in pain. Now it is the time for my heart to stop beating because of that poison.
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol V, Page 137.

As we can see, A’isha is claiming that the poison that killed him was the one he was fed after Khaibar. The battle took place in the seventh year of Hijra, while the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) died in the eleventh year, so how is it possible for a person to die of poisoning from the food he had consumed four years ago? Even if we were to assume that the poison takes a significant amount of time to cause death, it would take months – at the most – not four whole years. Even if we assume that tale is accurate, it is expected that the victim will suffer from deteriorating health in the years before his death. Still, historical records do not show the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his pure family) showing any signs of deteriorating health during that period. He even participated in battles in the intervening period, and nothing ill was reported about his health.

In fact, with such a ridiculous claim, A’isha has only managed to raise doubts about her involvement in this crime. One can only wonder why such a claim was necessary in the first place; could it have been an attempt by A’isha to conceal something far more sinister?

We cannot trust A’isha’s claim about the Prophet’s poisoning for three important reasons:

Firstly, A’isha was an infamous liar. Al-Bukhari reported A’isha saying:

Allah’s Prophet was eating honey at Zainab Bint Jahsh place. So Hafsa and I agreed to tell him, upon his return, that he smelled of Maghafeer
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 6, Page 68.

(Maghafeer is a substance extracted from a tree. It has a sweet taste but a very foul smell).

A’isha knew that the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) was fed honey by his other wife, Zainab Bint Jahsh. Being jealous of her, she agreed with her friend, Hafsa, to hurt the Prophet by claiming that he smelled foul when he consumed that honey. Thereby, he would stop eating it and consequently stop visiting his wife, Zainab. That was a lie. A woman, who would not refrain from lying to the noblest Prophet, would not refrain from lying to ordinary people, either. Therefore, the Hadiths reported by her cannot be trusted. 

Secondly, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) had described A’isha as “The spearhead of disbelief and the horn of Satan”. Ahmed Ibn Hanbal and other famous scholars of the ‘Sunni’ Sect related:

The Prophet, (peace be upon him), emerged from A’isha’s room saying this is the spearhead of disbelief! It is from here that Satan’s horn emerges
Musnad Ahmed, Vol II, Page 23.

Hence, we cannot trust her Hadiths. 

Thirdly, how could we believe A’isha when she gave contradicting statements about the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family)?

In another narration, she states that the Prophet died of a disease and not the poison she claimed caused his death. According to Abu Yoalla, A’isha said that:

Allah’s Prophet, (peace be upon him), died of an ailment called Dhatul Janb
Masnad Abu Yoalla, Vol. VIII, Page 258

(Dhadul Janb is an internal tumour that forms on a man’s side. It leads to death when it explodes). 

Our Imams (peace be upon them) confirmed that their grandfather, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family), had been poisoned in his last days by A’isha and Hafsa, at the behest of their fathers, Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah curse them). One of the best-known ancient Shi’a interpreters of The Qur’an, Ali Ibn Ibrahim Al-Qummi, who lived in the days of Imam al-Hassan al-Askari (peace be upon him), reported this narration by the Imams regarding the assassination of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family):

The Prophet said to Hafsa: ‘I will tell you a secret. If you divulge it, Allah, His Angels and people will curse you.’ ‘So, what is it?’ wondered Hafsa. The Prophet said: ‘Abu Bakr will be able to seize the Caliphate and power after me and will be succeeded by your father, Umar.’ Hafsa wondered: ‘Who informed you of this?’ ‘Allah, the Omnipresent, the Omniscient informed me.

On the same day, Hafsa divulged the secret to her friend, A’isha. In turn, A’isha divulged the secret to her father, Abu Bakr. So, Abu Bakr came to Umar and said: ‘My daughter A’isha told me a secret reported by Hafsa, but I cannot always trust what A’isha says. So, you ask your daughter Hafsa, make sure and tell me.

Umar went over to Hafsa and asked her. In the beginning, she was startled and denied it. But, Umar said to her: ‘If you have indeed heard this secret, then, tell us so we can immediately seize power and get rid of Muhammad’. So, Hafsa said: ‘yes, he told me that.’ At this point, those four got together and conspired to poison the Prophet
Tafseer al-Qommi, Vol II, Page 367, Bihar-ul-Anwar by Allama al-Majlisi, Vol XXII, Page 239.

Another great ancient scholar, Muhammad Ibn Massoud al-Ayashi, a ‘Sunni’ who later converted to Shi’a Islam, reported:

Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) was sitting with a group of his followers, and asked them: ‘Do you know whether the Prophet died a natural death or was murdered? Allah the Almighty says: “if then he died or is killed”. The truth is that the Prophet was poisoned in his last days before he died at the hands of A’isha and Hafsa.’ Upon hearing this, the Imam Sadiq’s followers said that they and their fathers were among the worst villains ever created by Allah.
Tafseer al-Ayashi, Vol I, Page 200; Bihar-ul-Anwar, by Allama Al-Majlisi, Vol XXII, Page 516.

Al-Ayshi reports another narration attributed to Imam Al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) in which he says:

al-Hussein Ibn Munther asked Imam Al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) about Allah’s words ‘if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels’ Does it mean that the Prophet died a natural death or was murdered? Imam Al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: ‘In this verse, Allah refers to the Prophet’s companions who committed the misdeed
Tafseer Al Ayash, Vol I, Page 200; Bihar-ul-Anwar, By Allama Al-Majlisi, Vol XX, Page 91. 

These narrations confirm, beyond any doubt, that the Supreme Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) was poisoned in his last days by the treacherous companions, Abu Bakr and Umar, with the aid of their daughters A’isha and Hafsa.  

Evidence from ‘Sunni’ sources also indicates the involvement of the traitors named in our sources.  For example, in Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others, we find narrations in which A’isha confesses that when the Prophet was asleep during his illness, she put a strange substance into his mouth with the help of the other wives. 

A’isha did it intentionally despite Prophet’s prohibition. When the Prophet woke up, he saw the residuals of the substance they had put into his mouth. He angrily asked what it was and who had disobeyed his orders. A’isha and her collaborators justified their action saying that it was just a medication. Following that, they accused the Prophet’s uncle, Al-Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib, of instructing them to feed him this ‘’medicine’’. However, the Prophet acquitted his uncle and ordered that those with him in the room are punished by having the same substance. A’isha narrates:

When Allah’s Prophet contracted the terminal disease, he told us: ‘Don’t put the medicine in my mouth.’ But we disobeyed him because every patient dislikes medication. So, we put the substance in his mouth. When he regained his senses, he wondered: ‘Who did that? Did I not prohibit you from doing that?’ So, we said: ‘It is your uncle Al-Abbas who thought that you might have contracted a lateral tumour!’ The Prophet said: ‘The Devil causes this disease. I cannot contract it.’ The Prophet ordered that everyone in the house must put the same substance into their mouths, except Al-Abbas, as the Prophet said: He was not with you.

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol VIII, Page 42; Sahih Muslim, Vol VII, Page 42; Masnad Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Vol VI, Page 53; Prophet’s Biography by Ibn Kathier, Vol. IV, Page 446. 

Interestingly, this narration (which the ‘Sunnis’ consider authentic) is yet another classic case of A’isha attempting to conceal the truth by fabricating nonsensical lies. Indeed, in many cases, A’isha is simultaneously her greatest defender and worst enemy, constantly managing to debunk her lies while making them. Much is wrong with this narration, but suffice to say that to clear her name of any wrongdoing, if news gets out that she fed the Prophet something against his wishes, she resorted to lying by claiming:

  1. yes, he prohibited us from giving him any medicine, but he is sick, and no ill person likes to take medication. In other words, The Prophet, The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his pure family), instructions amount to nothing because he is ill and ill people are sometimes delusional. Essentially, A’isha claims that the Prophet was not mentally fit to give instructions; therefore, disobeying him was justified. 
  1. That it was al-Abbas who instructed them to feed him this so-called medicine. She admits, in the very same narration, to lying to the Prophet as he later told them ‘’He was not with you.’’
  1.  A’isha clearly states that he was furious with them for disobeying his orders, forcing them to take the same ‘’medicine’’ they made him consume. A clear sign that he did not trust them. 

One must not doubt that A’isha is capable of wrongdoing and sins so great that the Qur’an described her and her lackey, Hafsa, as sinful wrongdoers whose hearts deviated from the true path in Chapter 66:04. Also, the so-called companions are not the just, loyal followers the ‘Sunnis’ make them out to be, so they are perfectly capable of betrayal. It is their most authentic books of Hadith that prove this. 

Al-Bukhari narrates:

On doomsday, when I will be at the water pond delivering water to those who will be thirsty among my followers, a group of my followers will come to drink, but the angels will drive them away and take them to Hell! And I’ll say: Oh, God! They are my companions! But God will tell me: You do not know what they did after your death. They degraded themselves to apostasy ….. Thus, only a small number of my companions will remain, like deserted camels in the desert (emphasising how few of them will be spared)
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol VII, Page 206.

No one can claim that Abu Bakr cannot be among those who will be driven to Hell, since the Prophet himself did not exempt him from that. Malik Ibn Anas narrates that the Prophet stated that the Muslim martyrs of Uhud would go to Heaven. 

“So, Abu Bakr wondered: ‘Are we not their brothers who have submitted to Islam just as they did, and fought in jihad just as they did; so, why don’t you give us the good news that we will go to heaven?’ The Prophet said:

It is true that you are their brothers, but I do not know what you will do after my death
Al Muatta of Malik Ibn Anas, Vol II, Page 642.

Therefore, we cannot exempt Abu Bakr and Umar from the crime of having taken the life of the Prophet based on some weak and false justifications, especially when they had tried to kill him before when he was on his way back from the city of Tabuk.
Refer to Al Mohalla of Ibn Hazm, Vol. IX, Page 224).

In conclusion, we say that we can now be sure that Abu Bakr and Umar indeed wanted to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family). Although their plan after Tabuk failed, their next plan with the aid of their daughters succeeded and the rightful successor, Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him), was ousted.

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The Office Of His Eminence Sheikh al-Habib