In the hadith of Umm zara’ in Bukhari, Muslim & Tirmidhi reveals 11 women describing their husbands. Aishah narrated the hadith:
The story is told by the Prophet to Aishah or vice versa?
It is told that they would not reveal their stories – then would not relating the story betray their trust esp. if told by Aishah;
Why the prophet did not rebuke their backbiting? As his silence means it is allowable, that makes some people to say that it is o.k. for a group of women to backbite their husbands. True?
Many compliers of the traditions dealing with the life history and sayings of the Holy Prophet (sws) have recorded the narrative. A study of all the traditions dealing with the subject reveals that the Prophet narrated the story to Hazrat Ayeshah. The women did not come to the Prophet (sws) and reveal secrets of their husbands rather it was a story which the Prophet (pbuh) came to know and related to Hazrat Ayeshah. Some of the reports clearly mention that during the Jahiliyya (ignorance) period there were eleven women who vowed to reveal characteristics of their husbands without a single exception. It looks more like a legendary folk tale rather than a particular incident. The woman and their husbands are not historical personalities. Therefore there is no question of drawing Prophet’s (sws) approval for backbiting or otherwise from such a narrative.
Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
February 13, 2003