Household Members of the Prophet ﷺ
The Aunt of Allah’s ‘Messenger
She is Sayyidah Safiyyah bint’ Abdul-Muttalib A1-Hashimiyyah. She is the full sister of Hamzah and the mother of the disciple of the Prophet, Az-Zubayr bin Al-Awwam. A1-Harith Abu Sufyan’s brother married her but he died. Then Al-Awwam who was a brother to the leader of women, Sayyidah Khadeejah hint Khuwailid married her and she bore for him Az-Zubayr, Sa’ib and’ Abdul Ka’bah.
Adh-Dhahabi said: “What is authentic is that none of the aunts of Allah’s Messenger accepted Islam except her.”
She came upon the remains of her brother, Hamzah and she was patient and sought Allah’s reward thereby. She was also from those who took part in the first migration.
‘A’ishah is reported to have said: “When the Verse: ‘And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred.’ (AshShu’rah:214), was revealed, the Prophet stood and said: ‘ O Fatimah bint Muhammad, 0 Safiyyah bint ‘Abdul-Muttalib, 0 sons of’ Abdul-Muttalib! I do not have any power with Allah on your behalf. Ask me whatever you want of my wealth.“‘
On the day of the Battle of Khandaq she was in the fortress of Hassan bin Thabit. She narrated: “Hasan remained in the fortress. A spy (who was a jew) came close to the fortress trying to spy. Meanwhile the Muslims were at the front line facing their enemy.” She continues the hadith (saying) that she stealthily descended from the fort and killed the spy with a pole.
Ibn Asakir said: Regarding what happened about the matter of Safiyyah, Hassan and the spy, it reached us that they mentioned the incident to the Prophet ﷺ Safiyyah said: “So Allah’s Messenger laughed so much that his molars became visible. I never saw him laugh at anything as much as that.”
Shaykh Al-Ghazali said: “The cross-bearer will not be broken along with their symbol except with this treasure trove of lman that is enlivened in the hearts of men and women alike.”
As for the ignorant women they are adept at crying over what they have missed and wail over yearnings that were not met but they know nothing whatsoever about the issues of the deen (religion) and dunya (the world).
Safiyyah died in the year 20 AH and she was buried at AI Baqi. She lived for over seventy years.
FATIMAH BINT ASAD
The Prophet Laid in Her Grave and Praised Her
She was the noble female Companion, Fatimah bint Asad bin Hisham bin’ Abdul-Manaf, Al-Hashimiyyah, Ali bin Abi Talib’s mother. She was an aunt to Fatimah (the daughter of Allah’s Messenger).
She accepted Islam and was amongst the first emigrants. She was the first Hashimite woman to give birth to a Hashimite.
His Care for the Prophet
When’ Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophet’s grandfather, saw that his death was approaching, he advised his son Abu Talib to protect his nephew, Muhammad bin’ Abdullah. Perhaps Abdul Muttalib intended by that the young boy of Aminah should reside in the house of Abu Talib and that he, with his wife Fatimah, take good care of Muhammad. Fatimah would wrap him in her care. She earned a great honor along with her husband due to him. She used to see blessings descend on her children’s food whenever Muhammad ate with them.
She, Allah be pleased with her, used to give Muhammad special devotion over and above the rest of her own children.
In As-Sfrat Al-Halabiyynh (1/189), its author mentions the condition of the Prophet in his uncle’ s house when he said: “While other children would wake up unkempt and with eye discharge, Allah’s Messenger would wake up with eyes laced with antimony.”
The Prophet’s Eulogy at Her Death
Anas bin Malik, Allah be pleased with, said: “When Fatimah bint Asad bin Hisham, the mother of Ali R.A. died, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ enter upon her and sat by her head and said: ‘May Allah have mercy on you, 0 my mother, you, after my mother, went hungry while you fed me. You were short of clothes while you clothed me. You denied yourself nice things while you provided me (with them) seeking by that the countenance of Allah and the Home of the Hereafter.’ Thereafter he ordered that she be washed three times. When they got to the point of using the water in which there is camphor, Allah’s Messenger poured it with his own hand and then he removed his shirt and dressed her in it and he shrouded her in a garment he was wearing. Then the Messenger of Allah called Usamah bin Zayd, Abu Ayyub AlAnsari, ‘Umar bin AJ-Khattab and two young black boys to dig her grave. When they got to the point of excavating the lahd, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ dug it himself and scooped out sand with his own hands. When Allah’s Messenger ﷺ finished, he entered the grave and lay in it and said: ‘0 Allah Who gives life and takes it, He is the living who never dies, forgive my mother, Fatimah bint Asad, and insh·uct her proof, and widen her enhance, by the right of Your Prophet and all the Prophets before me for You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.’ He made four takbir over her (i.e. during the funeral prayer) and he lowered her into her laid along with Al-Abbas and Abu Bakr As-Siddiq. May Allah be pleased with them.”
Ibn Abbas said: “When Fatimah, the mother of’ Ali, died, the Prophet ﷺ dressed her in his shirt and lay with her in her grave so the people said: ‘We’ve never seen you do this, 0 Messenger of Allah!’ He replied: ‘ There was no one who took greater care of me, after Abu Talib, than she. I have dressed her in my shirt so that she may be dressed in the cloth of Paradise. I lay with her in her grave so that they may be easy on her.”‘
May Allah be pleased with Fatimah bint Asad and may she find pleasure.
She Cried at the Cessation of Revelation
She was from Abyssinia, the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger and his nurse. He inherited her from his father and emancipated her when he married Khadeejah. She was from those who made the first hijrah. Her actual name was Barakah.
She had been married to Ubayd bin Al-Harith Al Khazraji and she bore for him Ayman. Ayman also obtained (the virtue) of hijrah and martyrdom. He was martyred on the Day of Hunayn. Then Zayd bin Harithah married her a few nights after the Prophet was raised (as a prophet) and she bore for him Usamah bin Zayd, a beloved of Allah’s Messenger.
Her Status in the Sight of Allah
‘Uthman bin Qasim said: “When Umm Ayman made hijrah, she was detained at Al-Munsarif below Ar-Rawha’. She became thirsty but did not have any water. She was fasting. Thirst was hard for her and then a bucket of water descended from heaven with a white feather. She took it and drank from it w1til her thirst was quenched. She used to say, ‘No thirst afflicted me after that. I had been known for thirst when fasting on a hot day and yet I never felt thirsty.”‘
She Cried at the Cessation of Revelation
Anas R.A.,, narrated that Umm Ayman cried when the Prophet died. It was said to her: “Why are you crying?” and she said: “By Allah, I had known that he would die but I am crying because of the revelation that will cease to come to us from the heavens.”
She also cried the day ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab was killed. Tariq narrated: When ‘Umm· was killed, Umm Ayman cried and said: “Today, Islam is weakened.” She died, Allah be pleased with her, durng the reign of ‘Uthman bin Affan.
Harmalah, the freed slave of Usamah bin Zayd narrated that while he was sitting with Ibn ‘Umar, Al-Hajjaj bin Ayman entered and offered a prayer in which he neither completed its ruku’ (bowing) not its sujud (prostration). So Ibn ‘Umar called him and said: “Did you consider that you have prayed? Certainly you have not. So go back and repeat your· salat.” When he went away, Ibn ‘Umar asked: “Who is he?” and I replied, “He is Al Hajjaj bin Ayman bin Umm Ayman.” Then he said: “If Allah’s Messenger had seen him, he would have loved him.”
Peace, mercy and blessing be upon you, people of the household.
Her name is Lubabah bint al-Harith al-Hilaliyah. She is the wife of ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophet’s uncle. She is also the sister of Maymoonah, the mother of the faithful. May Allah be pleased with all of them! According to Ibn Sa’d, she was one of the first women who embraced Islam after Khadeejah.
She and Maymoonah had two other half sisters: Asma’ and Salama daughters of ‘Umays.
It was these four sisters that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ described as, “The believing sisters!”
Umm al-Fadl was a regular visitor of Khadeejah; and she would often meet with the Prophet ﷺ and acquire the knowledge of religion from him. This is in addition to her ability to keep secrets, her fulfilment of covenant and her sincerity for this pure religion, in spite of her husband’s farness from Islam, Eeman and his failure to join the cause of da ‘wah.
She dealt with her husband as a mistress of the household and a dutiful wife would and she saw a wonder in him!
‘Abbas sympathized with his nephew [Muhammad ﷺ] and defended him though he was not yet a Muslim; perhaps it was tribalism of the time of ignorance that spurred him to do so, On one hand, he would like to preserve his status that he inherited from Abu Talib among the Quraysh, and on the other hand, he would stand in support of his nephew defending the kinship.
Amid all this, Umm al-Fadl was expecting the decision of Allah concerning ‘Abbas’s acceptance of Islam, eagerly wishing that that would take place soonest. She was also hoping that he would stop eating up people’s wealth unlawfully, for he used to be among those who dealt in usury. He was well-known for that as he was well known for his love for money.
Umm al-Fadl was very astonished the day she saw ‘Abbas witnessing the allegiance of ‘Aqabah and having a say in the whole thing as he was the guardian of his nephew!
But she had the greatest surprise in her husband the day she saw him going out with the Quraysh to fight the Muslims during the battle of Badr!!!
She took a little rest when ‘Abbas came back to Makkah after he was taken a captive by the Muslims and then released through the Prophet’s favour. It was then that he felt the faith and Islam and the light started creeping into his heart to remove the darkness that had been residing there. Then the household of ‘Abbas stabilized and became perfectly harmonized; (this is because every member of his household was now a Muslim).
Umm al-Fadl had always been pursuant of ‘Abbas’ acceptance of Islam, though it was Allah Who encompassed all of them from their behind. It was He Who united them upon righteousness and honour.
Umm al-Fadl was pleased to remain in Makkah and make herself and her house a place of refuge for the weak and the poor who could not afford to migrate and join the Muslims.
Among the greatest days of Umm al-Fadl and ‘Abbas, in their confrontation with the Quraysh was the day of the battle of Khaybar. Since Allah has given victory to His Messenger, ﷺ over the enemies and Khaybar was entirely conquered and the Muslims won its booties and treasures, Hajjaj ibn ‘Allat as-Sullami sought the Prophet’s permission to go to Makkah and recover his money and debts owed to him. The Prophet ﷺ permitted him to go and he also permitted him to say whatever he wanted, as a strategic way of making people allow him get his rights.
Hajjaj came to Makkah and spread news among the people that the J e w s had killed Muhammad ﷺ and that the Muslims were roundly defeated. He also told them that many Muslims were killed and that many of their women and children were taken as captives. The Quraysh believed him.
He then retrieved all his wealth and debts that people owed him and headed back to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in Madeenah. ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul-Munalib accosted him on his way and asked him about the actual situation, for he was very concerned and sad about what he had said. Hajjaj told him the truth and requested him to keep the matter secret for three days, and ‘Abbas promised to do so.
‘Abbas was extremely happy about the truth: that the Muslims won and that the enemies were defeated! He came back home and informed his wife Umm al-Fadl about the matter and asked her to keep it a secret.
After three days, ‘Abbas came out in his best attire, and with the help of his wife, wore the best perfume. She was also in an exceptionally high spirit.
‘Abbas went to the courtyard of Ka’bah where the people and the Quraysh leaders used to gather. When they saw him in his adornment and exuding perfume they wanted to mock him. They said, “Is that how to show patience in face of calamity, 0’ Abu al-Fadl?!”
He did not give a hoot to their scorning. He let them know the facts in full and how Hajjaj had fooled them so that he could collect all his money and the debts people owed him and that he had succeeded in doing so and escaped.
‘Abbas then added, “What more! Muhammad, my nephew is now the groom to the daughter of the Jewish king, Huyay ibn Akhtab!”
The news was like a storm to them and they were stupefied! The news then keeps trickling to them to confirm what ‘Abbas had told them, and this increased them in grief and sorrow.
Umm al-Fadl remained in Makkah with her husband ‘Abbas until after the treaty of Hudaybiyah. When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came to Makkah in the company of his Companions to perform the ‘Umrah of Qada for which they stayed for three days in Makkah. He proposed marriage to Maymoonah, Umm al Fadl’s sister, and a widow whose husband (Abu Rahm ibn ‘Abdul-‘Uzza) died in the state of polytheism. She used to live in the house of her sister Umm al-Fadl and under the protection of ‘Abbas.
All of them then left Makkah, and ‘Abbas and Umm al-Fadl migrated to Madeenah with their entire household. In Madeenah, Umm al-Fadl was a frequent visitor to the Prophet’s house. She would either come to visit her sister Maymoonah or any of the Prophet’s wives. All knew her and acknowledged her excellence.
One night, Umm al-Fadl had a dream and came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ seeking his opinion concerning the dream. She said, “Messenger of Allah, I saw it in my dream that a part of your body is in my house.” The Prophet ﷺ then answered her, “Fatimah (my daughter) will give birth to a boy whom you will nurse with the milk of Quthm (meaning her son).“
Fatimah gave birth to Husayn and Umm al-Fadl nursed him along with her son Quthm.
There are authentic narrations indicating her understanding of the religion of Allah. She performed the farewell pilgrimage with the Prophet ﷺ and in the company of her husband ‘Abbas and her children. What a great company and an honourable occasion!
It is enough a pride for Umm al-Fadl (R.A.), and a memory throughout generations, that she was the mother of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, the learned of the Ummah, the interpreter of the Qur’an and the scholar among the Companions! May Allah be pleased with her and please her! May He also be pleased with all the Companions!
Next class we will read about the Wives of the Prophet ﷺ