Aisha (Aishah)

(c. 614—678)

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Daughter of first caliph, Abu Bakr; youngest and reputedly favorite wife of Muhammad. With Muhammad when he died. Renowned for knowledge of medicine, history, and rhetoric. Important transmitter of hadith. When she was accused of adultery, Muhammad received a revelation vindicating her of the charges. She opposed Ali's bid for the caliphate and led her forces against Ali's in the Battle of the Camel but lost. Because this was first time one Muslim army opposed another, this incident is often cited by conservatives as proof that women should be kept out of politics.

Subjects: Religion.

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