This is Khan's Translation of Sahih Bukhari Vol 3 Book 51 Chapter 8 Hadith 2581

Narrated Urwa from Aisha: The wives of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) were in two groups. One group consisted of Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). The Muslims knew that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) loved Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), he would delay it, till Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) had come to Aisha's home and then he would send his gift to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife's house he was. Um Salama told Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, "He did not say anything to me." They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, "Talk to him till he gives you a reply." When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, "Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, as the Divine Inspirations do not come to me on any of the beds except that of Aisha." On that Um Salama said, "I repent to Allah for hurting you." Then the group of Um Salama called Fatima, the daughter of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and sent her to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) to say to him, "Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on equal terms." Then Fatima conveyed the message to him. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "O my daughter! Don't you love whom I love?" She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused. They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him and used harsh words saying, "Your wives request you to treat them and the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa on equal terms." On that she raised her voice and abused `Aisha to her face so much so that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) looked at Aisha to see whether she would retort. Aisha started replying to Zainab till she silenced her. The Prophet (ﷺ) then looked at Aisha and said, "She is really the daughter of Abu Bakr."

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَخِي، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّ نِسَاءَ، رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كُنَّ حِزْبَيْنِ فَحِزْبٌ فِيهِ عَائِشَةُ وَحَفْصَةُ وَصَفِيَّةُ وَسَوْدَةُ، وَالْحِزْبُ الآخَرُ أُمُّ سَلَمَةَ وَسَائِرُ نِسَاءِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، وَكَانَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ قَدْ عَلِمُوا حُبَّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَائِشَةَ، فَإِذَا كَانَتْ عِنْدَ أَحَدِهِمْ هَدِيَّةٌ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُهْدِيَهَا إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَخَّرَهَا، حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي بَيْتِ عَائِشَةَ بَعَثَ صَاحِبُ الْهَدِيَّةِ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي بَيْتِ عَائِشَةَ، فَكَلَّمَ حِزْبُ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، فَقُلْنَ لَهَا كَلِّمِي رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ، فَيَقُولُ مَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يُهْدِيَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم هَدِيَّةً فَلْيُهْدِهِ إِلَيْهِ حَيْثُ كَانَ مِنْ بُيُوتِ نِسَائِهِ، فَكَلَّمَتْهُ أُمُّ سَلَمَةَ بِمَا قُلْنَ، فَلَمْ يَقُلْ لَهَا شَيْئًا، فَسَأَلْنَهَا‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ مَا قَالَ لِي شَيْئًا‏.‏ فَقُلْنَ لَهَا فَكَلِّمِيهِ‏.‏ قَالَتْ فَكَلَّمَتْهُ حِينَ دَارَ إِلَيْهَا أَيْضًا، فَلَمْ يَقُلْ لَهَا شَيْئًا، فَسَأَلْنَهَا‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ مَا قَالَ لِي شَيْئًا‏.‏ فَقُلْنَ لَهَا كَلِّمِيهِ حَتَّى يُكَلِّمَكِ‏.‏ فَدَارَ إِلَيْهَا فَكَلَّمَتْهُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهَا ‏"‏ لاَ تُؤْذِينِي فِي عَائِشَةَ، فَإِنَّ الْوَحْىَ لَمْ يَأْتِنِي، وَأَنَا فِي ثَوْبِ امْرَأَةٍ إِلاَّ عَائِشَةَ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ فَقَالَتْ أَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ أَذَاكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ ثُمَّ إِنَّهُنَّ دَعَوْنَ فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَرْسَلْنَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَقُولُ إِنَّ نِسَاءَكَ يَنْشُدْنَكَ اللَّهَ الْعَدْلَ فِي بِنْتِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ‏.‏ فَكَلَّمَتْهُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ يَا بُنَيَّةُ، أَلاَ تُحِبِّينَ مَا أُحِبُّ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ بَلَى‏.‏ فَرَجَعَتْ إِلَيْهِنَّ، فَأَخْبَرَتْهُنَّ‏.‏ فَقُلْنَ ارْجِعِي إِلَيْهِ‏.‏ فَأَبَتْ أَنْ تَرْجِعَ، فَأَرْسَلْنَ زَيْنَبَ بِنْتَ جَحْشٍ، فَأَتَتْهُ فَأَغْلَظَتْ، وَقَالَتْ إِنَّ نِسَاءَكَ يَنْشُدْنَكَ اللَّهَ الْعَدْلَ فِي بِنْتِ ابْنِ أَبِي قُحَافَةَ‏.‏ فَرَفَعَتْ صَوْتَهَا، حَتَّى تَنَاوَلَتْ عَائِشَةَ‏.‏ وَهْىَ قَاعِدَةٌ، فَسَبَّتْهَا حَتَّى إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيَنْظُرُ إِلَى عَائِشَةَ هَلْ تَكَلَّمُ قَالَ فَتَكَلَّمَتْ عَائِشَةُ تَرُدُّ عَلَى زَيْنَبَ، حَتَّى أَسْكَتَتْهَا‏.‏ قَالَتْ فَنَظَرَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى عَائِشَةَ، وَقَالَ ‏"‏ إِنَّهَا بِنْتُ أَبِي بَكْرٍ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ الْبُخَارِيُّ الْكَلاَمُ الأَخِيرُ قِصَّةُ فَاطِمَةَ يُذْكَرُ عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ عَنْ رَجُلٍ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ‏.‏ وَقَالَ أَبُو مَرْوَانَ عَنْ هِشَامٍ عَنْ عُرْوَةَ كَانَ النَّاسُ يَتَحَرَّوْنَ بِهَدَايَاهُمْ يَوْمَ عَائِشَةَ‏.‏ وَعَنْ هِشَامٍ عَنْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ، وَرَجُلٍ مِنَ الْمَوَالِي، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ بْنِ هِشَامٍ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ كُنْتُ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاسْتَأْذَنَتْ فَاطِمَةُ‏.‏

I found this strange, considering the word appears 8 times in the Quran and in his translation, he never translates it as "bed".

  1. No doubt! They did fold up their breasts, that they may hide from Him. Surely, even when they cover themselves with their garments, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Verily, He is the All-Knower of the (innermost secrets) of the breasts 11:5
  2. These! For them will be 'Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens); wherein rivers flow underneath them, therein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine and thick silk. They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good is the reward, and what an excellent Murtafaqa (dwelling, resting place, etc.)! 18:31
  3. These two opponents (believers and disbelievers) dispute with each other about their Lord; then as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling water will be poured down over their heads. 22:19
  4. O you who believe! Let your legal slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before Fajr (morning) prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the 'Isha' (late-night) prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending (helping) you each other. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat (the Verses of this Qur'an, showing proofs for the legal aspects of permission for visits, etc.) to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. 24:58
  5. And as for women past child-bearing who do not expect wed-lock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. 24:60
  6. "And verily! Every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. 71:7
  7. And your garments purify! 74:4
  8. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink. 76:21

Is it possible to translate "ثَوْبِ" as "beds"?

2 Answers 2


The hadith you are referring to is in Sahih al-Bukhari 2581, abridged to the phrase you are concerned about its translation:

لاَ تُؤْذِينِي فِي عَائِشَةَ فَإِنَّ الْوَحْىَ لَمْ يَأْتِنِي وَأَنَا فِي ثَوْبِ امْرَأَةٍ إِلاَّ عَائِشَةَ

Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, as the Divine Inspirations do not come to me on any of the beds except that of Aisha.

— Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 51, Hadith 16

The interpretation is not entirely accurate as it should have been more like "the bed's sheet" or "the bed's cover" or the "the bed's blanket" rather than just "the beds".

As for the examples you have provided of the word thawb (Arabic: ثوب) to mean garment, they are indeed accurate, but not conclusive. The word thawb has a number of meanings in the Arabic language (highlighted), one of them is sheet(s). See Al-Maany and select the different drop-downs:


The cover of the Kaaba (the black decorated sheet of cloth covering the building) is also called thawb as per the reference above:


As for the reason Khan's translation opted for a bed cover rather than a garment, it is the other versions of the hadith that use the word lihāf (Arabic: لحاف), which means bed cover or bed sheet or blanket or duvet. Since Khan was also translating the other versions of the hadith, he would have known which translation was the one that fitted the meaning. Here are the other versions for your reference:

يَا أُمَّ سَلَمَةَ لاَ تُؤْذِينِي فِي عَائِشَةَ، فَإِنَّهُ وَاللَّهِ مَا نَزَلَ عَلَىَّ الْوَحْىُ وَأَنَا فِي لِحَافِ امْرَأَةٍ مِنْكُنَّ غَيْرِهَا

O Um Salama! Don't trouble me by harming `Aisha, for, by Allah, the Divine Inspiration never came to me while I was under the blanket of any woman amongst you except her.

— Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 62, Hadith 122

It was also documented through different narration chains in other books of hadith, e.g., Jami' at-Tirmidhi 1/46/3879, Sunan an-Nasa'i 36/11/3949, and Sunan an-Nasa'i 36/12/3950, all of them using blanket or bed cover explicitly.

  • Lane's lexicon translates the curtain of the Kaaba that surrounds the Kaaba as exactly what it is, a curtain. Plus, other translations of the same hadith use the word garment.
    – aska123
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 7:29
  • Even in the picture you provided we can see that the curtain does not cover the Kaaba.
    – aska123
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 7:30
  • 2
    @aska123, I am not sure what the value of covering the Kaaba is and what Lane's Lexicon says. I provided you with translations from Al-Mu'jam and Al-Ghani to the effect of what is in my answer. Unless you have something else in the question apart from the translation that I missed, is there?
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 11:15

To supplement III-AK-III's answer:

Consider the following hadith for usage of ثوب as a blanket:

ولا يفضي الرجل إلى الرجل في ثوب واحد

a man should not lie with another man under one covering

Sahih Muslim

And, as explained in the other answer, there are variants of the hadith which use a different expressions to further clarify what type of cloth is meant:

والله ما نزل علي الوحي وأنا في لحاف امرأة منكن غيرها

By Allah, the Divine Inspiration never came to me while I was under the blanket of any woman amongst you except her

Sahih Bukhari

لحاف is defined by Lane's Lexicon:

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and from Arabic-Englsih Dictionary by Hans Wehr:

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Also Lane's Lexicon is clear that ثوب is often used to mean sheets of plain cloth, and may be used for any form of covering:

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Similar may be found in the Arabic-Englsih Dictionary by Hans Wehr

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The idea propagated by anti-islamic polemics that clothing specific to the female gender is meant is rebutted by other hadith like:

لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الرجل يلبس لبسة المرأة والمرأة تلبس لبسة الرجل

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed the man who dressed like a woman and the woman who dressed like a man.

Sunan Abu Daud

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