What is the School of the Pure Wives of the Prophet (Azwaj at-Tahirat)?
The period of Madinah was a period when Islamic judgments and decrees were sent down intensively and were taught to the ummah by the Prophet. Male Companions could see the Prophet in Masjid an-Nabawi and ask him about their questions and problems. They learnt from him what, why and how to do. However, it was not so easy for women. They also had questions to ask. Therefore, the women asked the Prophet to allocate one day of the week to them in his house. The Messenger of Allah accepted their offer. Thus, the women started to go to the house of the Prophet and ask their questions about the religion and received answers. During such a meeting, an interesting event took place. At a moment, the women started to talk among themselves loudly. They were chatting. Meanwhile, Hazrat Umar who was passing by was disturbed by the women talking loudly in the presence of the Messenger of Allah and knocked on the door. When he opened the door, the women saw him and stopped talking at once. Hazrat Umar was disturbed when he saw the situation. He could not help warning them and said, "Ladies! You are scared of me, but you are not scared of talking loudly in the presence of the Messenger of Allah!” Thereupon, the women said sincerely, “Oh Umar! You are hard-hearted and strict, but the Prophet is not"
Hazrat Umar, who had sacrificed all of his property for the sake of the Messenger of Allah, was not pleased that he was not like the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah noticed it and said,
"Oh Umar! If you walked on a wide street and if the devil saw you coming, he would change his way” to console him. The home of the Prophet was a kind of school for women. Especially the wives of the Prophet were regular students and in a sense teachers of this school. Prof Raşit Küçük, of Marmara University, Faculty of Theology, explains the issue as follows:
"The judgments and decrees of Islam involve both men and women. However, there are some judgments and decrees that involve only men or women. Hazrat Prophet did not have any difficulty in teaching the judgments and decrees that involved both men and women or only men because men were the same gender as him. He had to address women regarding teaching and practicing the issues that involved women and answering the questions of women. The wives of the Prophet, who were at different ages and who had different abilities, acted like teachers for the believing women. That process of teaching continued and even increased after the death of the Prophet." (1993, İzmir, Ebedî Risalet Sempozyumu Tebliği)
As a matter of fact, Allah’s Messenger’s school, which was near Masjid an-Nabawi, consisted of two parts. One of them was the School of Ashab as-Suffa, which consisted of male Companions, and the other was the School of Pure Wives, which consisted of women.
In fact, the rooms of the Pure Wives was like a school and the wives of the Prophet were both like students and teachers of that school because they learned the judgments and decrees of Islam directly from the Messenger of Allah and taught them to the ummah. That duty continued after the death of the Prophet as it was mentioned above. One of the most regular and best students of the School of Ashab as-Suffa was Abu Hurayra, who devoted his life to the preservation of the hadiths of the Prophet and who received the prayer of the Prophet for the strengthening of his memory in order to carry out this duty better; on the other hand, the best student of the School of Pure Wives was Hazrat Aisha, who had superior abilities like intelligence, memory and understanding and who was the unique wife of the Prophet. As a matter of fact, the first one of the "Mukthirun" (people who narrated the most hadiths) was Abu Hurayra, who was the best student of the School of Ashab as-Suffa who narrated 5374 hadiths; Hazrat Aisha, who was the best student of the School of Pure wives was the fourth of the Mukthirun; she narrated 2210 hadiths.
Yes, Islam has brought judgments and decrees involving all levels of life with various levels of importance as the last and perfect religion. The determination, teaching and application of those judgments and decrees was the primary and most important duty of the Era of Bliss because the style and form that Allah would consent to, that is the religion itself, was being determined in every moment and level of life.
When we look at the resources to understand this truth, we see a magnificent treasure of judgments, decrees and secrets. And the duty of presenting this treasure to the ummah becomes manifest as the unerring purpose of those marriages.
We can say that if we excluded those women and especially Hazrat Aisha, who had a special place among them, about half of the decrees and judgments of the religion of Islam would disappear!