Concerning the Qur’anic command to the Prophet's wives to "stay in your houses" (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:33), the Hadith reports that two women of the Prophet's household, Sawda bint Zam'a and Zaynab bint Jahsh, opted for complete confinement and immobility after the Farewell Pilgrimage at which the Prophet is said to have commanded his wives to stick to "the backs of the mats" (zuhur al-husur) (ibid., p. 150). Muhammad ibn Umar and others report that the Prophet said on this occasion: "She among you who fears God and does not commit a manifest abomination [fahisha mubayyina] and sticks to the back of her mat [zahr hasiriha] is my wife in the hereafter" (ibid., p. 150). Thereupon, Sawda stayed home, "sitting in [her] house as God commanded (her) to do." She and Zaynab never again went on either the greater or the lesser pilgrimage [hajj or 'umrah] (ibid., p. 150), saying that "no mount would move [them] about after the death of the Messenger of God" (ibid., pp. 37-38,150).
The most notable exception to such righteous immobility on the part of the Mothers of the Believers is, of course, A'isha's well-established active involvement in public affairs after the Prophet's death, which culminated in the Battle of the Camel. A'isha's behavior was clearly outside of the norms reportedly observed by the Prophet's other widows. Here it is noteworthy, however, that the Hadith overall refrains from having others censure A'isha for her role in the "affair of the lie" or the Battle of the Camel. Instead it was she herself who is said to have regretted her part in these events most bitterly; reportedly, she passed her final days in self-recrimination, sighing that she wished she had been "a grass, a leaf, a tree, a stone, a clump of mud ... not a thing remembered" (Ibn Sa'd, Nisa', pp. 51-52).
The Hadith also credits the Mothers of the Believers with extending the principle of their segregation from life into death when it reports that Zaynab bint Jahsh was placed into her grave by blood relatives, and that the Prophet's widows prevented Umar, then the caliph of Islam, from descending into her tomb, "as only he may descend to whom it was lawful to look at her while she was alive" (ibid., p. 79).
The righteousness of Muhammad's wives, however, went beyond their role as precedent-setting exemplars of juridic norms put forth in the legalistic reports just quoted. The Hadith, indeed, finds the ideal spirit of a polygamous household embodied in the daily dealings of Muhammad's wives (later, his widows) who coexisted with one another in mutual love and compassion, unified by an intense esprit de corps. The women called each other "sister" (Ibn Sa'd, Nisa', p. 78) and praised each other's uprightness, devotion, and charity (ibid., p. 73). When Zaynab bint Jahsh fell ill, it was Muhammad's other widows who nursed her, and when she had died, it was they who washed, embalmed, and shrouded her body (ibid., pp. 78-79). The Prophet's wives are also credited with that true piety which, in ascetic self-sacrifice, foregoes even lawful pleasures. Of A'isha, for instance, it is said that she fasted continuously (ibid., p. 51), provided freewill alms (sadaqa) at the expense of her own already meager food supply (ibid., p. 46), and lived in voluntary poverty that meant only threadbare clothes, which she had to mend with her own hands (ibid., p. 50). According to a tradition, this frugality was in obedience to the Prophet's words: "A'isha, if you want to be joined with me, take of this world [as little as] a rider's provisions, beware of associating with the rich, and do not deem a garment worn out until you have patched it" (ibid., 53). Of Maymuna it is reported that she picked up a pomegranate seed from the ground with the words "God does not approve of waste" (ibid., p. 99). It is especially Zaynab bint Jahsh, "the refuge of the poor."  Of whom the Hadith reports that she gave away all her wealth (ibid., p. 81), including her yearly pension of 12,000 dirhams which the caliph Umar sent her for personal expenses (ibid., pp. 77-78). Indeed, Zaynab regarded this wealth as fitna ("temptation," "source of corruption") and screened herself from the money with a garment before she instructed her servant to distribute it in handfuls to relatives, orphans, and the poor (ibid., pp. 77-78). A'isha is said to have given away in charity the five camel loads of gold (180,000 dirhams) obtained from the Umayyad caliph for the sale of her house by the Medinah Mosque (ibid., p. 117).
Finally, the Hadith emphasizes that the Prophet's wives' righteousness included profound knowledge of matters of the faith and also complete truthfulness in transmitting traditions. For instance, Ibn Zubayr, when transmitting a tradition from A'isha, reportedly said: "By God, she never tells lies about the Prophet of God!" (ibid., p. 47). Indeed, A'isha is said to have been so knowledgeable about the “Fara'id of Islam'' that very old men who had been Companions of the Prophet came to seek her counsel and instruction (ibid., p. 45). This truthfulness theme is, perhaps, especially meaningful where the women's exemplary behavior is reported on their own authority, that is, in traditions ascribed to one of their group.
To conclude the present section, it may be useful to return to a theme presented above. The elite status of the Prophet's wives, established in Qur'anic revelation and historically realized during their lifetime, was turned into a legal paradigm when Muslim scholarly consensus, and not just pious veneration, established the Prophet's consorts as models for emulation (sources of Sunnah). The latter process unfolded after the women's lifetime, when their historical presence had become but a memory. Its main stages belong into the formation of Islamic law and jurisprudence whose framework was the newly expanded (now multiethnic and multicultural) Islamic realm of the eighth and early ninth centuries where indigenous patriarchal structures predating the Islamic conquests had been retained and strengthened with the emergence of a Muslim urban middle class. Thus, the traditions presented above that extol the Prophet's wives' virtues again signify themselves (the memory of some outstanding women) and also something else (a cultural model of or for Muslim female morality formulated by the medieval urbanized and acculturated scholars of Islam). Main components of their paradigm in this context are: segregation and quiet domesticity; modest comportment, indeed, invisibility through veiling; ascetic frugality; devout obedience to God and His Prophet. Insofar as the latter was these women's husband, special emphasis is also placed on wifely obedience as an important dimension of female righteousness.
 Cf Qur'an Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:30; Surah An-Nisa’, 4: 19; Surah At-Talaq, 65: 1.
 It is not certain that these conditions formed part of the Prophet's Farewell Address. The Hadith, however, reports that the second caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab forbade the Prophet's wives to perform the hajj until year 23 after the hijra, at which time he is said to have given in to their pleas. "He ordered their equipment and they were carried in litters covered in green, accompanied by Abd al-Rahman ibn Auf and Uthman ibn Affan, the latter riding in front of them and the former behind, so that the women were inaccessible. At night they camped with Umar at all stops" (Ibn Sa'd, Nisa', p. 150). This pattern of concealing the women from the glances of all onlookers continued during Uthman's caliphate (ibid. pp. 150-153). In light of extensive traditions "advising against" women's participation in public prayer, the traditions on the Prophet's wives' righteous immobility after the Farewell Pilgrimage may perhaps signify an early Islamic, but post-Muhammadan, attempt to exclude women from participation in the pilgrimage. Injunctions of this kind, however, were not carried by consensus and were not included in Shari’ah legislation.
 This battle, instigated in part by A'isha bint Abi Bakr and fought against Ali ibn Abi Talib, centered and surged around A'isha's camel. It occurred in 656 A.D.
 These traditions of repentance, as it were, salvage A'isha's status as sunnah providing model in the face of historical evidence that would otherwise cast a shadow on her qualifications for this role as formulated by medieval Islamic legal-theological consensus.
 Other traditions report that A'isha used perfume (ibn Sa'd, Nisd, p. 50), henna dye (p. 50), wore silk and leather (pp. 48-49), a number of red garments, both chemises and also cloaks (pp. 48-50), and had gold rings (p. 48). She forbade the use of fake hair but was in favor of hair dyes to darken the color (p. 357). These and many others, equally diverging traditions reflect the elevation of the Prophet's wives to sources of sunnah as indicated above. They also show the proliferation of categories of halal (lawful) and baram (forbidden) behavior debated in early Islamic law.
 Another wife, Zaynab bint Khuzayma, who died eight months after the marriage with the Prophet, was known as "mother of the poor" (Ibn Sa'd, Nisa', p. 82); the Hadith may have confused the two Zaynabs.
 Surely it was this theme of avoidance of the temptations of wealth that Muslim piety heralded as a note of warning in the newly money-rich Islamic community of the wars of conquest, and also during Islam's imperial phase.
 Here in the general meaning of "the religious duties," not the specific meaning of "distributive shares" (Islamic estate law).
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