Aishah (Īˈshə, äˈĭshäˌ) [key], c.614–678, third and favorite of the nine wives of Muhammad the Prophet. Her father was Abu Bakr, who became first caliph after the Prophet's death. She was married to the Prophet soon after the Hegira, his only wife that was neither a widow nor a divorcee. A brilliant, astute woman, she was devoted to her husband and his teachings, and after his death she exerted considerable influence, especially against Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law. She took part in an unsuccessful armed revolt during Ali's tenure as caliph (656) and was exiled to Medina. Her name also appears as Ayesha or Aisha.

See N. Abbott, Aishah, the Beloved of Mohammed (1942, repr. 1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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