Wives of the Prophet ﷺ
The Patient Emigrant
She was a leader among the women, Ramlah bint Abi Sufyan bin Harb. She is one of the female cousins of Allah’s Messenger. None of his wives was closer to him in lineage than her. None of his wives had a more expensive dowry. There was also none (of his wives) whose residence was farther than hers at the time of marriage.
She was married to him at Al-Habasha (Abyssinia) and the king of Habasha gave her as her dowry on his behalf, four hundred dinars and also furnished her with many things. The words of Allah were revealed at her instance and that of other wives of the Prophet specifically that: “Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, 0 members of the family (of the Prophet ﷺ).” (Al-Ahzab:33)
Imam Adh-Dhahabi said: “Umm Habibah had esteem and majesty especially during the reign of her brother. It was because of her they referred to him (i.e. Mu’awiyah) as ‘maternal uncle’ of the believers.”
The Prophet’s Marriage to Her
When she accepted Islam, she emigrated with her husband Ubaidullah bin Jahsh to Al-Habasha but he apostatized and became a Christian. Her trial was aggravated and her home sickness was compounded by the apostasy of her husband and estrangement from her homeland. When the Prophet knew of her situation, he sent a message to Najashi asking him to seek her hand in marriage and to pay her dowry on his behalf as a compassion for her situation and a recompense for her steadfastness and struggle.
Strangely, when Abu Sufyan heard of this marriage, in spite of his deep-rooted hostility against the Prophet of Allah and the believers, he said boastfully: “That stallion will not be tamed.”
Urwah reported from Umm Habibah that she used to be under Ubaidullah and that Allah’s Messenger married her at AIHabasha. An-Najashi married her on his behalf and her mahr was four hundred thousand dirham and she was sent with Shurahbil bin Hasanah and all her furnishing was from the presence of Najashi.
A Lasting Incidence
Az-Zuhri said: “When Abu Sufyan arrived in Madinah, at the time when the Prophet intended to invade Makkah, Abu Sufyan wanted to negotiate an extension of the truce which was not accepted from him. Then he rose and went in to see his daughter, Umm Habibah. When he wanted to sit on the bed of the Prophet, she pulled it from underneath him. He said: “My daughter, do you consider this bed unfit for me (i.e. my status) or me unfit for it?” She said: “It is the bed of Allah’s Messenger and you are an unclean polytheist.” He said: “My daughter, you have been afflicted with evil after (you left) me.”
Before Meeting Allah
Auf bin Al-Harith reported: I heard ‘A’ishah say; “Umm Habibah sent for me at the point of her death and said: ‘What usually occurs between rivals have occurred between us. May Allah forgive me and you over what happened in that regard.’ So I said: ‘May Allah forgive you all of that and may He exonerate you from all that.’ Then she said: ‘You made me happy, may
Allah make you happy.’ She invited Umm Salamah and said a similar thing to her.”
This is a Virtuous Prophetic Sunnah
Al-Bayhaqi reported that Allah’s Messenger addressed (the people) in his last illness prior to his death: “0 people, I praise Allah beside Whom there is none worthy of worship (in truth). Whoevers’ back I have whipped, here is my back so let him retaliate. Whoevers’ reputation I have smeared, here is my reputation so let him retaliate. Begrudging anyone is not the nature of my character. The most beloved of you to me is the one who takes his right from me, if he has any and relieves me of it so that I may meet Allah with a clear conscience.” She died in the year 44 AH during the Khilafah of Mu’ awiyah. Allah be pleased with her.
SAFIYYAH – The Mother of The Believers
By Allah, She is Truthful
She is the daughter of Huyayy bin Akhtab from the descendants of the Messenger of Allah Harun, peace be upon him. Before her acceptance of Islam, she was married to Salam bin Al Haqiq. After that Kinanah bin AI-Haqiq took her over. They were both poets of the Jews. Kinanah was killed at the battle of Khaybar and she was captured. She fell to the lot of Dihya Al Kalbi. It was said to the Prophet regarding her: “It is not fitting for her to be for anybody other than you.” So he took her away from Dihya and replaced in lieu of her seven heads (of slaves).”
Thereafter, after she became pure, the Prophet married her and made her emancipation her mahr.
Anas bin Malik R.A. narrated: “The Prophet took Safiyyah from Dihya Al-Kalbi in lieu of seven heads and then entrusted her to Umm Sulaim so that she may embellish and prepare her (for marriage). Her walimah was clarified butter, cheese and dates.”
She was noble, intelligent and a woman of noble descent, beauty and pious. She was gentle and dignified.
Fervency of Her Love for the Prophet
Zayd bin Aslam said that: “When the Prophet was in his last illness (prior to his death) his wives gathered around him. Safiyyah bint Huyayy said: ‘By Allah, 0 Prophet of Allah, I wish it was I who was suffering instead of you.’ The wives of the Prophet winked at that and the Messenger of Allah looked at them and said, ‘Rinse out your mouths!‘ They said: ‘For what?’ He said: ‘Because of your winking at her. By Allah, she spoke truthfully.”‘
The Prophet’s Concern for Her
Anas R.A.’ narrated : ” We were returning with Allah’s Messenger; myself, and Abu Talhah. Safiyyah was riding behind him. His camel tripped and he fell and she fell too. Abu Talhah jumped from his horse and rushed to the Prophet. He said: “0 Prophet of Allah, are you hurt?” He said: “No, take care of the lady.” Abu Talhah drew his cloth over his face and went toward her. He threw a cloth on her and supported her on to his camel. She rode and the Prophet also rode.”
Observe this lofty manner. Abu Talhah covering his face, throwing a cloth on her so that he does not touch her directly with his hands. We are in no need of anything more than these kinds of manners at a time when manners are comatose and putrefied characters became manifest in its most base pictures and shapes.
She died in the 50th year (of Hijrah). It is also said that she died in the 52nd yeal’ of llijrah and it is also said that her date of death is other than that. She was buried at Al-Baqi.
JUWAYRIYYAH BINT HARITH
The Woman who Brought the Greatest Blessing upon Her People
She was the Mother of the Believers: Juwayriyyah bint AlHarith bin Abu Dharar Al-Mustaliqiyyah. She was captured in the Battle of Al-Muraysi’ in the fifth year of hijrah. Her name originally was “Barrah” but the Prophet ﷺ changed it to Juwayriyyah. She was one of the illustrious women.
‘A’ishah related: “Juwayriyyah, daughter of Al-Harith bin Al-Mustaliq, fell to the lot of Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas, or to her cousin. She entered into an agreement to purchase her freedom. She was a very beautiful woman, most attractive to the eye.” ‘A’ishah said: “She then came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ asking him for the purchase of her freedom. When she was standing at the door, I looked at her with disapproval. I realized that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would look at her in the same way that I had looked.
She said: Messenger of Allah, ‘I am Juwayriyyah, daughter of Al-Harith, and something has happened to me, which is not hidden from you. I have fallen to the lot of Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas, and I have entered into an agreement for the purchase of my freedom. I have come to you to seek assistance for the purchase of my freedom.’
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Are you inclined to that which is better?’
She asked: ‘What is that, Messenger of Allah?’ He replied: ‘ I shall pay the price of your freedom on your behalf, and I shall marry you.’
She said: ‘I shall do this.’
She (‘A’ishah) said: ‘The people then heard that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had married Juwayriyyah.
They released the captives in their possession and set them free, and said: ‘They are the relatives of the Messenger of Allah by marriage.’ One hundred families of Banu Al-Mustaliq were set free on account of her. We did not see any woman greater than Juwayriyyah who brought blessings to her people.”
When Banu Mustaliq witnessed the elevation, amnesty and honor that had been brought upon them, they all accepted Islam with a firm belief in Allah and His Messenger.
Clearly, the ultimate interest of the Prophet ﷺ was the success and spread of his call amongst men. Such impeccable wisdom and deep thought was unprecedented amongst the most acclaimed wise men. None other than the Messenger could come up with such deep thought and great wisdom which made foreheads bow to Allah who taught him what he did not know.
Ibn Hajar also mentioned (in Al-Isabah 2/160): that her father, Al-Harith came to the Prophet ﷺ and accepted Islam as well.
The Messenger Taught Her Words With Comprehensive Meaning
Juwayriyyah reported that the Prophet ﷺ left her apartment in the morning as she was busy observing her dawn prayer in her place of worship. He came back in the forenoon and she was still sitting there. The Prophet ﷺ said: “You have been in the same place since I left you?“
She said, “Yes.”
Thereupon the Prophet ﷺ said: “I recited four words three times after I left you and if these were to be weighed against what you have recited since morning these would outweigh them, and these words are:
“Subhauallah wa bilwmdihi ‘adada khalqihi wa rida’ nafsihi wa zinata ‘arshihi wa midada kalimatihi”
(Glory be to Allah and praise is due to Him to the extent of the number of His creation and to the extent of His pleasure and to the extent of the weight of His Throne and to the extent of ink used in recording words for His Praise).”‘
After her noble soul concluded its blessed sojourn under the banner of Islam, she died in the year 50 AH. May her pure soul find rest and tranquillity in nearness of her Lord.
SAUDAH BINT ZAM’AH
“I Desire to be Raised Among Your Wives”
She is the Mother of the Believers, Saudah bint Zam’ah bin Qays Al-Quraishiyyah Al-Amiriyyah. She was the first woman the Prophet married after Khadeejah. She was a dignified lady and noble. She was first married to As-Sukran bin Amr and she migrated with him to Abyssinia. Her family was angered by this migration. When she returned from her hijrah, her husband died, Allah have mercy on him. He was among the most sincere helpers of the Messenger. When he died, his wife, Saudah remained without a helper and family. So the Prophet married her and that occurred when she was 55 years of age.
What Do You Desire?
After a while, Saudah accompanied the Prophet. It occurred to him to divorce her. So what happened?
Al-Qasirn bin Abi Barah narrates: that the Prophet sent to Saudah a message of divorce. She sat in wait for him on his way and said: “I adjure you by the One Who sent down His Book on you and chose you over His Creation, why do you wish to divorce me? Do you have some ill feelings toward me?” He said: “No.” Then she said: “I adjure you by the like of the first, will you take me back. I do not have any need for men but I desire to be raised up among your wives (on the Day of Resurrection).” So he took her back. She said: “I have given my day to’ A’ishah.”
Yes, 0 Mother of the Believers … is there any honor greater than this? To be resurrected on the Day of Judgment while you are a wife of the seal of the Prophets. May it do you much good.
‘A’ishah never forgot this action (of hers). It is reported from ‘A’ishah that she said: “I never found a woman more beloved to me and like whom I wish I could be than Saudah who was passionate. When she became old, she donated her day with the Prophet to’ A’ishah.”
She died, Allah be pleased with her, at the time of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab.
MAYMU’NAH BINT AL HARITH
The Mother of The Believers
“The most pious of us and the one who joined ties of kinship the most” – ‘ A’ishah R..A
She was Maymunah bint Al-Harith bin Hazn Al-Hilaliyyah. She was one of the wives of the Prophet and the sister of Umm AI-Fadl the wife of Abbas and an aunt to Ibn Al-Waleed as well as an aunt to Ibn Abbas. May Allah be pleased with all of them. She was one of the most respected ladies.
Al-Mujahid said: ” She was first married to Mas’ud bin Amr ath-Thaqafi before Islam and he separated from her. Abu Rahm bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza married her thereafter but he died. The Prophet married her at his conclusion of the Umrah Al-Qada’ in Dhul-Qa’dah in the seventh year (of hijrah).
It is narrated from’ Ali bin’ Abdullah bin Abbas that when the Prophet wanted to leave for Makkah in the year of the Umrah of redemption, he sent Aws bin Khawli and Abu Rafi’ to Al Abbas to many him to Maymunah. Their camels got lost and they remained some days at the flat of Rabigh until the Messenger of Allah caught up with them at Qudayd. They went with him to Makkah. Then he sent to Al-Abbas and mentioned that to him. Maymunah entrusted her affair to Al-Abbas. The Messenger of Allah came to the house of Al-Abbas and asked Al-Abbas for her hand in marriage and he married her to him.
This is the last woman the Messenger of Allah married. She was an ascetic and devoted.
Shaykh Rashid Rida said: “It is reported that it was the Prophet’s uncle Al-Abbas who urged him to marry her and he was the one who conducted the contract with her permission. If Al-Abbas had not seen a great overriding benefit, he would not have roused his interest in this kind of marriage not even for the pleasure of his own wife.”
The overriding benefit in this blessed marriage eventually became effected. The Prophet became close to the Hilali tribe (her people) and consequently, they had for Allah’s Messenger, a great opinion, for this sagacity; protection, assistance and help. Then they turned to entering the religion of Allah in throngs. They supported and aided Allah’s Messenger and went with him wherever he went.
When the Prophet married Maymunah, she was already on the threshold of old age.
Dear readers! do you see any sign of satisfaction of desire or lust in this kind of marriage? Rather the marriages were occasioned by grace, magnanimity, mercy, political expediency and sagacity.
If desire and lust were the reasons for the Prophet’s marriages, then consider with whom he got married among the women, all of them were widows with the exception of ‘A’ishah. He could have married in their stead young full breasted (mature) maidens of equal age. Who could be more loved by people to be his in-laws? He was the beloved of all hearts, respected by everyone. Nevertheless, he was above marrying in response to the call of his desire and lust. Far elevated, greater (above that). Far be he and very far be he a million times from what is said by the slanderers – may Allah sever their vocal cords and frustrate their efforts – for he is the infallible Prophet.
Maymunah at the Battlefront
She participated in battle so as to attain her portion of struggle in the path of Allah willie she was a wife of Allah’s Messenger! Has Allah not said: “Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward.” (An-Nisa:95)
Therefore, she was in need of this huge reward! In the battle of Tabuk, Maymunah was in the ranks of the fighters providing aid to the wounded and nursing the sick and struggling in the cause of Allah in the real sense. It is reported that she was the first to bring together a female medical aid group and attended to the necessities of the fighters on the field of battle. She was once hit by an enemy arrow while she was carrying water to the wounded. She was nearly killed but for the grace of Allah and His benevolence.
‘A’ishah R.A., said after her death: “By Allah, Maymumah is gone. She was the most fearful of Allah of us and the one who joined the ties of kinship most!”
ZAINAB BINT KHUZAIMAH
She was from Bani Hilal bin ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘a. She used to be the wife of ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, who was martyred at Uhud, was married to the Prophet ﷺ in the fourth year of Al-Hijra, but she died two or three months after her marriage to the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ .
Next class we will read about the Daughters of the Prophet ﷺ.