Mallory Ortberg at The Toast has a whole series about the dirtbags (especially the teenage ones) of history, fiction, and mythology: Zeus, Teddy Roosevelt, Lord Alfred Douglas (as in Oscar Wilde’s Bosie), Anne of Green Gables, John Milton, and Hamlet, to name a few.
I humbly posit that Aisha, a woman mostly known as Muhammad’s child bride, had something of the teenage dirtbag to her.
This isn’t to say that she was a bad person. Far from it. This is more to say that she had quite a spark to her.
The following modern translations — or paraphrases, if you will — of things that Aisha has said are not as liberal with their source materials as you might image.
She Knows Just How Special She Is
Aisha: Muhammad saw me in a dream, you know. God told him to marry me in his special dream that was all about me. Would you doubt the word of one of the Mothers of the Believers? If you were really a believer, you’ll respect your mother. Paradise is at my feet.
She Gets What She Wants
Aisha: I’m gonna play horses with my friends. I’m inviting them over.
Muhammad: Sure, go ahead.
Aisha: But someone said that Allah doesn’t allow dolls, so they’ll freak out when they see you watching them play with dolls. It’s embarassing.
Muhammad: Oh, no, no, it’s fine for you. It doesn’t count. Not for you.
Aisha: See, I told them it was fine. What a bunch of babies.
She Calls Out the Prophet Himself
Muhammad: I was going to keep on keeping on, but I have to do what Allah says.
Aisha: And what Allah says to do is what you want to do, but not what I want you to do.
Aisha: And it’s Allah that’s saying this. Also that ladies are all bitches.
Aisha: Thought so.
Now, let me grant that it is entirely possible that elements of the stories told about her, or even everything about her, are fabrications. I’m going to run with Islamic canon. Sunni canon, to be exact.
Why not that of the Shia? They aren’t exactly fans of Aisha. It goes all the way back to Muhammad’s cousin, Ali, who was probably a bit of a dirtbag himself.
Muhammad: So what should I do about this Aisha business?
Ali: Well, can I be honest?
Muhammad: You’re my cousin. I trusted you with my favorite daughter.
Ali: Well, you know what they say. There are many pebbles on the beach. Or fish in the sea.
Ali: You could start again with someone else. Easy.