'On that day the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, ascended the pulpit and requested that somebody support him in punishing ‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy ibn Salool. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said, 'Who will support me to punish that person (‘Abdullaah ibn Ubayy ibn Salool) who has hurt me by slandering the reputation of my family? By Allaah, I know nothing about my family but good, and they have accused a person about whom I know nothing except good, and he never entered my house except in my company.'
Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aath got up and said, 'O Messenger of Allaah! by Allaah, I will relieve you from him. If that man is from the tribe of the Aws, then we will chop his head off, and if he is from our brothers, the Khazraj, then order us, and we will fulfill your order.' On that Sad ibn 'Ubaadah, the chief of the Khazraj and before this incident, he had been a pious man, got up, motivated by his zeal for his tribe and said, 'By Allaah, you have told a lie; you cannot kill him, and you will never be able to kill him.' On that Usaid ibn Al-Hadir got up and said (to Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubaadah), 'By Allaah! you are a liar. By Allaah, we will kill him; and you are a hypocrite, defending the hypocrites.' On this the two tribes of Aws and Khazraj got excited and were about to fight each other, while the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, was standing on the pulpit. He got down and quietened them till they became silent and he kept quiet. On that day I kept on weeping so much so that neither did my tears stop, nor could I sleep.
In the morning my parents were with me and I had wept for two nights and a day, till I thought my liver would burst from weeping. While they were sitting with me and I was weeping, an Ansari woman asked my permission to enter, and I allowed her to come in. She sat down and started weeping with me. While we were in this state, The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, came and sat down and he had never sat with me since the day they forged the accusation. No revelation regarding my case came to him for a month. He recited Shahaadah (i.e. None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah and Muhammad is His Messenger) and then said, 'O ‘Aa’ishah! I have been informed such-and-such about you; if you are innocent, then Allaah will soon reveal your innocence, and if you have committed a sin, then repent to Allaah and ask Him to forgive you, for when a person confesses his sin and asks Allaah for forgiveness, Allaah accepts his repentance.' When The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, finished his speech my tears ceased completely and there remained not even a single drop of it. I requested my father to reply to the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, on my behalf. My father said, By Allaah, I do not know what to say to the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him,.' I said to my mother, 'Talk to the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, on my behalf.' She said, 'By Allaah, I do not know what to say to the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him.
I was a young girl and did not have much knowledge of the Quran. I said. 'I know, by Allaah, that you have listened to what people are saying and that has been planted in your minds and you have taken it as a truth. Now, if I told you that I am innocent and Allaah knows that I am innocent, you would not believe me and if I confessed to you falsely that I am guilty, and Allaah knows that I am innocent you would believe me. By Allaah, I do not compare my situation with you except to the situation of Yusoof's (i.e. Joseph) father (i.e. Jacob) who said, 'So (for me) patience is most fitting against that which you assert and it is Allaah (Alone) whose help can be sought.' Then I turned to the other side of my bed hoping that Allaah would prove my innocence. By Allaah I never thought that Allaah would reveal Divine Inspiration in my case, as I considered myself too inferior to be talked of in the Noble Quran. I had hoped that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, might have a dream in which Allaah would prove my innocence. By Allaah, the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, had not got up and nobody had left the house before the Divine Inspiration came to the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him. So, there overtook him the same state which used to overtake him, (when he used to have, on being inspired divinely). He was sweating so much so that the drops of the sweat were dropping like pearls though it was a (cold) wintry day. When that state of The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, was over, he was smiling and the first word he said, ‘Aa’ishah! Thank Allaah, for Allaah has declared your innocence.' My mother told me to go to the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him. I replied, 'By Allaah I will not go to him and will not thank but Allaah.' So Allaah The Almighty revealed: "Verily! They who spread the slander are a gang among you . . ." (24.11)
When Allaah gave the declaration of my Innocence, Abu Bakr, who used to provide for Mistah ibn Uthaathah for he was his relative, said, 'By Allaah, I will never provide Mistah with anything because of what he said about ‘Aa’ishah.' But Allaah The Almighty later revealed: --
"And let not those who are good and wealthy among you swear not to help their kinsmen, those in need and those who left their homes in the Cause of Allaah. Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Verily! Allaah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (Quran 24: 22) After that Abu Bakr said, 'Yes ! By Allaah! I like that Allaah should forgive me,' and resumed helping Mistah whom he used to help before.
The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, also asked Zainab bint Jahsh (i.e. the Prophet's wife about me saying, 'What do you know and what did you see?' She replied, 'O Messenger of Allaah! I refrain to claim hearing or seeing what I have not heard or seen. By Allaah, I know nothing except goodness about ‘Aa’ishah." ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with him, further added "Zainab was competing with me (in her beauty and the Prophet's love), yet Allaah protected her (from being malicious), for she had piety."
(1) Reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari No. (2518) and Saheeh Muslim (2770).