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ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr (Arabic: عائشة‎ [ˈʕaːʔɪʃa], c. 613/614 – c. 678 CE),[a] also transcribed as Aisha (/ˈɑːiːʃɑː/,[2][3] also US: /-ʃə, aɪˈiːʃə/,[4] UK: /ɑːˈ(j)iːʃə/)[5] or variants,[b] was Muhammad's third and youngest wife.[7][8] In Islamic writings, her name is thus often prefixed by the title "Mother of the Believers" (Arabic: أمّ المؤمنين‎, romanized: ʾumm al-muʾminīn), referring to the description of Muhammad's wives in the Qur'an.[9][10][11] Aisha had an important role in early Islamic history, both during Muhammad's life and after his death. In Sunni tradition, Aisha is portrayed as scholarly and inquisitive. She contributed to the spread of Muhammad's message and served the Muslim community for 44 years after his death.[12] She is also known for narrating 2210 hadiths,[13] not just on matters related to Muhammad's private life, but also on topics such as inheritance, pilgrimage, and eschatology.[14] Her intellect and knowledge in various subjects, including poetry and medicine, were highly praised by early luminaries such as al-Zuhri and her student Urwa ibn al-Zubayr.[14] Her father, Abu Bakr, became the first caliph to succeed Muhammad, and after two years was succeeded by Umar. During the time of the third caliph Uthman, Aisha had a leading part in the opposition that grew against him, though she did not agree either with those responsible for his assassination nor with the party of Ali.[15] During the reign of Ali, she wanted to all of a sudden, avenge Uthman's death after demanding Uthman's killing herself,[16] which she attempted to do in the Battle of the Camel. She participated in the battle by giving speeches and leading troops on the back of her camel. She ended up losing the battle, but her involvement and determination left a lasting impression.[11] Because of her involvement in this battle, Shia Muslims have a generally negative view of Aisha. Afterwards, she lived quietly in Medina for more than twenty years, took no part in politics, became reconciled to Ali and did not oppose caliph Mu'awiya.[15] Some traditional hadith sources state that Aisha was betrothed to Muhammad at the age of 6 or 7;[17] other sources say she was 9 when she had a small marriage ceremony;[18] some sources put the date in her teens; but both the date and her age at marriage and later consummation with Muhammad in Medina are sources of controversy and discussion amongst scholars. (CLOSE)
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