A common tactic of the Shia is to say that the Ahlus Sunnah says such-and-such and then they will say “it’s in Sahih Bukhari”, without actually showing us the entire Hadith in question. One such instance is the Hadith about Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) teaching two men how to do Ghusl. The Shia will claim that the Sunnis believe that Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) did Ghusl naked in front of two non-mehrem men.
Let us read the Hadith:
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 251:
Narrated Abu Salmah:
Aisha’s brother and I went to Aisha and he asked her about the bath of the Prophet. She brought a pot containing about a Sa’ of water and took a bath and poured it over her head and at that time there was a screen between her and us.
The Hadith was narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Salmah (رضّى الله عنه) who regarded Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) as his aunt by suckling because Aisha’s sister (Bibi Umm Kulthoom [رضّى الله عنها]) suckled Sayyiduna Abu Salmah (رضّى الله عنه). And the other person was Aisha’s brother (رضّى الله عنه).
The Shia propagandists will say things like “why would two men come to a woman to teach them Ghusl?” This is not strange at all, because they did not just come to any woman, but they come to their sister and aunt, respectively. And Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was considered a scholar and she taught many Sahabah (Companions), so there is nothing strange in this.
Therefore, we see that the Hadith in Bukhari talks innocently about Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) showing her brother and nephew (رضّى الله عنهم) how to do Ghusl. There is nothing strange in this. We would like to ask the Shia if they would find it strange if they read somewhere that Bibi Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) taught her son, Sayyiduna Hasan (رضّى الله عنه), how to do Ghusl? The answer is certainly “no,” and we would thus like to ask our Shia brothers to not harbor a different standard for the wife of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), Bibia Aisha (رضّى الله عنها).
Allah (عز و جل) has already warned the Muslims of spreading such slander against Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) in the Quran and this is the famous incident of Al-Ifq in which–according to both Sunni and Shia sources–Allah (عز و جل) says about those who slander Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها): “Allah admonishes you that you should not return to the like of it (slandering Aisha) ever again if you are believers.” (Quran, 24:17).
The Hadith itself clearly states that there was a screen between her and the two men! This refers to Purdah which is very definitive, and in Islam, the Purdah refers to a strict barrier between male and female. Because the Hadith is so crystal clear on the matter that the two were separated by a screen, I do not see how the Shia can actually try to use this Hadith against us!
As any student of the Hadith sciences knows, most incidents have multiple narrations. Some of these narrations are abridged and would not make sense without the entire narration. In fact, this incident mentioned in Sahih Bukhari is also narrated in Sunan Abu Dawood (which narrates the same incident but goes more in depth). Sunan Abu Dawood states that Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) left the room, performed Ghusl behind a screen, came out, and then verbally told them how to do Ghusl. Therefore, it seems to be a complete distortion of facts to claim that Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was indeed naked in front of two men.
How many people learned how to do Wudu and Ghusl from Islamic audio cassettes, videos, and books? It is not imperative that a physical demonstration be done in order to learn how to do Ghusl. After Bibi (رضّى الله عنها) had completed her own Ghusl, then she taught her brother and nephew verbally on the matter of Ghusl.
The Hadith in Al-Bukhari is a summary of the incident, and the detailed explanation is Sunan Abu Dawood. It is the same event, and there is 100% concordance between the two Hadith. Both Hadith say she was behind a screen. Not Bukhari, nor Muslim, nor Abu Dawood, nor any other scholar has ever said that she wasn’t behind a screen and this is only the imagination of Shia who watch pornography and do Mutah left and right.
It may be said, however, that the Hadith doesn’t make sense then if the screen was between the two. Well, there is no room for interpretation since the Hadith itself says there was a screen between them! And all of this in the same sentence, so how can the Shia accept part of the sentence and then ignore the rest of it which says that there was a screen between her and the two men?
The Shia will ask: if Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was doing a demonstration of Ghusl, what benefit would that have if the audience it was directed at did not see her?
When Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) went to perform Ghusl, she never said that this was a demonstration to the men. Otherwise, as has been stated, there would be no need for a screen. The truth of the matter is very simple and straightforward. Bibi Aisha’s brother and nephew (رضّى الله عنهم) wanted to know how to do Ghusl. When they approached Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) about this, she said that she was doing Ghusl herself and then after she did it, then she would teach them how to do it verbally. This view is strengthened and bolstered by the Hadith itself which categorically states that there was a screen between them, and the Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawood which tells us that she left the room to perform Ghusl and only after she came out did she teach them how to do Ghusl. The fact that it is narrated with such detail in Sunan Abu Dawood will, Insha-Allah, clear all doubts regarding this matter.
As can be seen, these accusations (both about the character of Bibi Aisha [رضّى الله عنها] and about the nature of Sahih Bukhari) are baseless. This current slander of Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) is similar to the way the Munafiqoon (the Hypocrites) saw Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) and another man together in the incident of Al-Ifk, so they automatically tried interpreting this in the dirtiest way possible. A similar approach is used by the Shia when they view the Hadith about Bibi Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) teaching her brother and nephew (رضّى الله عنهم) how to do Ghusl.
Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, (abriged)