From the day the Prophet (S.A.W) reached Madina his health began to decline. In the beginning it was felt that the fatigue of a long and tiresome journey had made him sick and feeble but as days went by his weakness grew and it became difficult for him to move out of his house. The month of Moharram passed without any improvement and the month of Safar began made him more serious. He was having fever and headache continuously. He could not sit in bed on his own. When he found it difficult to visit the houses of his wives which were just in a row and next to each other, he called them and requested them to allow him to stay with any one of them. All the wives gave their consent and asked him to stay where he likes but Aisha insisted that she will take him to her house and that he will now stay there. As the condition of the Prophet (S.A.W) was serious no wife objected. Though the wives were divided in two distinct groups. One led by Aisha and Hafsa, daughter of Umar Ibnul Khattab and the other led by Umme Aiman and Umme Salma. Aisha and Hafsa never talked to these ladies nor did they talk to Ali (A.S.) and Fatema (S.A.) nor ever gave any respect to them. The malice borne by Aisha towards Fatema (S.A.) and Ali (A.S.) was so much that the door which the Prophet (S.A.W) had fixed between his house and the house of Fatema (S.A.) so that he could visit her often as he could was sealed by the Prophet (S.A.W) on the request of Fatema (S.A.). (The Prophet (S.A.W) had made it a practice of always going out of his house or coming in through this door so that he could visit his daughter as many times and Aisha did not like it).
The hatred of Aisha for Ali (A.S.) and Fatema (S.A.) was so bitter that history cannot recall a single incident where Aisha either spoke good of them or even talked to them. She always quarrelled or abused. The declaration of the Prophet (S.A.W) that Fatema (S.A.) is a part of his body and whoever harms her harms him had no effect on her. She never took the name of Ali (A.S.) while narrating any incident or quoting any tradition. Whenever she spoke of Ali (A.S.) she used the words, "that man." It was she who went to the extent of going to the battlefield to fight with Ali (A.S.) in the war of Jamal, knowing fully well that Islam has prohibited women from going to war.
When the Prophet (S.A.W)s wives agreed to allow him to shift to the room of Aisha, Ali (A.S.) and Fazal Ibne Abbas, another cousin of the Prophet (S.A.W), physically carried him to her room. In Aishas room neither Ali (A.S.) and Fatema (S.A.) nor the wives of the Prophet (S.A.W) were free to stay with the Prophet (S.A.W) all the time. They used to come in the morning and go away in the evening.
At this juncture history reveals something which is not only surprising but also shocking. A Prophet (S.A.W) who is so seriously ill that he cant get up on his own, who cant move from one room to the other and take permission of all the wives to stay at one place suddenly decides to send the entire Muslim population of Madina to go as far as Rome to fight the Romans who had killed Zaid Bin Harsa a trusted lieutenant of his, Jafar-e- Tayyar his relative and many other Muslims. He has no money for the expedition he borrows the money from a Jew, though there is no urgency no fear of an attack, still surprising is the decision to send each and every person for the expedition except Ali (A.S.) who was always the flag bearer and commander of the Muslim army. Ali (A.S.) is being asked to stay back in Madina and in his place Osama Bin Zaid a seventeen year old son of a slave is ordered to be the commander of the army knowing fully well that he is ordering all those people to go under the command of Osama who had earlier refused to go under the command of his father Zaid Bin Harsa only because he was a slave.
The Prophet (S.A.W) doesnt stop here, he himself comes out of the house though he cannot walk himself and takes the support of Fazl Ibne Abbas, he decorates the flag of Islam himself and gives it to Osama saying, "O Osama ! Lead the army of Islam and wage a war against the Romans who have killed your father. Go to the place where he was killed and crush the army of your fathers killers. I am appointing you as my armys commander. Attack the army of Ahle Abna early morning and reach before the news of your arrival reaches them. Take such people with you who may guide you and send the spies before you go." After giving these instructions the Prophet (S.A.W) turns back to see that each and every Muslim goes with Osama. Though the Prophet (S.A.W) is so weak that even speaking a few sentences makes him unconscious he calls people by their names and orders Abu Bakr you go, Umar you go, Abu Obaida, Talha, Zubair you all go. On reaching home the Prophet (S.A.W) continued to ask from his bed whether all the Muslims had left Madina?
Osama taking the flag left Madina and camped at Jerfan outskirt of Madina, waiting for the Muslims to join him. But many of the Muslims did not leave Madina. Some felt insulted because Osama was the son a of slave. Some were aggrieved because Osama was much younger to them. When the Prophet (S.A.W) learned about it he became very sad. He came to the mosque supported by Ali (A.S.) and Fazl Ibne Abbas. Mounting the pulpit he said, "Your objection to my appointing Osama is not new. Similar objections were raised when I had appointed Osamas father Zaid as my commander. By Allah Osama and his father deserved to be made commanders. Curse of Allah be upon those who do not go with Osama." Then turning to Osama he said, "Leave Madina with the name of Allah." Osama pleaded with the Prophet (S.A.W) to allow him to stay in Madina till such time the Prophet (S.A.W) is all right but the Prophet (S.A.W) did not agree and asked Osama to leave at once. Osama again begged, "If I leave you in this condition I will feel very much disturbed." But the Prophet (S.A.W) insisted and ordered him to march. Osama murmured "My heart will always be in Madina and I will be asking every traveller about your health." But the Prophet (S.A.W) did not pay any heed, and Osama left Madina and waited at Jerf for the Muslims to join him but none came [Kitabul Melal Wan Nehal by Allama Sharistani].
Next morning Bilal came to the Prophet (S.A.W) and requested him to lead the morning prayer. The Prophet (S.A.W) had such a high fever and headache that he could not follow what Bilal had said. Aisha and Hafsa who were in the house asked Bilal to go and tell Abu Bakr (Aisha took Abu Bakrs name while Hafsa took Umars name) to lead the prayers. The Prophet (S.A.W) on hearing this got angry on both the wives and said, "Do not speak such things. You are like the women who tried to misguide Yusuf (the Prophet (S.A.W))." Ali (A.S.) and Fazl Ibne Abbas who had come by then helped the Prophet (S.A.W) to go to the mosque. The Prophet (S.A.W) was so weak that inspite of his putting his both the hands on the shoulders of Ali (A.S.) and Fazl Ibne Abbas his feet were dragging on the floor. He had also tied a band on his fore head to control the headache.
By the time the Prophet (S.A.W) could reach the mosque Abu Bakr had already taken his place and was leading the prayers. The Prophet (S.A.W) ordered him to stop the prayer and leave his place. Abu Bakr moved and the Prophet (S.A.W) taking his place sat down and led the prayer from the beginning in the sitting posture.
After finishing the prayers the Prophet (S.A.W) went home and summoned Abu Bakr and Umar. When they came, the Prophet (S.A.W) asked them as to why they were still in Madina when he had ordered them to go with Usama. Abu Bakr said that he had actually left Madina but the desire to see him once again brought him back. Umar explained that he too had left but the replies of the travellers about his (Prophet (S.A.W)s) health did not satisfy him and he had to come again. The Prophet (S.A.W) ordered them again to go and join Osama and said, "Curse be upon those who do not go with Osama." Repeating the curse three times the Prophet (S.A.W) became unconscious. But nothing moved Abu Bakr and Umar. Abu Bakr instead of going to Jerf went away to Sakh a village three miles from Madina where his new wife lived and Umar continued to stay near the Prophet (S.A.W)s house.