THE WIVES OF THE PROPHET (saw)
The Prophet (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) provided mankind with most equitable and human laws to build family relationship and to cement them with feelings of mutual love, affection and kindness. They have taken into consideration the natural instincts of both husband and wife and given them appropriate and reasonable opportunities to obtain the satisfaction of their natural desires within the lawful ties of marriage and forbidden all possible sources of temptation and also means of gratification of self outside the fortress of marriage. At the same time, it has tried to protect the lawful interests of both the parties in wedlock on the basis of justice, without favoring any one party, and provided sufficient safeguards for each against exploitation and aggression by the other party. Thus, it has made every effort to enable them to lead a good and peaceful life in marriage. But, if in spite of all efforts, the two parties find it impossible to live together as husband and wife, it has given them the way to leave the fortress of marriage without injuring or harming the interests or feelings of the other party. In this matter also, it has treated them equally with justice and benevolence. Both of them are equipped with the proper means to leave their marital relationship with mutual agreement or through the intervention of the Islamic Shari'ah, thus giving full consideration to their interests in marriage and in separation, without unduly burdening either of them against their natural desires.
UMMAHAT AL-MU’MININ (THE WIVES OF THE PROPHET).
Keeping in view the general remarks made above, let us now mention the wives of the Holy Prophet one by one and describe their behavior towards the Prophet. We shall see that each one of them had been a good woman, perfectly devoted and resigned to Allah and His Messenger. They had complete faith in the Prophet and in his sayings about Allah, and His Attributes and about the eschatological realities. They were true believers and they never swerved in their views. They were devout and prayerful, and earnestly punctual in the observance of religious obligations. If ever they happened to miss any of the duties, they were ready to seek forgiveness of the Lord. They were penitent. They were obedient wives, and they carried out all the instructions that the Prophet gave them. They imitated him in his habits, especially in his generosity. They gave away to the needy all that came to them. They did not hoard coins, gold or silver, or victuals. They adored Allah. They worshipped Him alone, and meticulously they obeyed all of His Commands in letter and in spirit, considering them ~s a ~t of worship. Like the Prophet himself, they fasted not only during Ramadan but also on other days. He had a special predilection for fasting in Sha'ban; and the views helped him in his missionary ventures. They always gave him moral support, and never refrained from offering financial aid if and when required.
1.KHADIJAH (radiallahu ‘anhaa)
She was Khadijah bint Khuwailid ibn Asad ibn 'Abd al-'Uzza ibn Qusay ibn Kilab (from one of the notable clans of the Quraish). Her mother was Fatima bint Za'ida who was descended from another of the clans of the Quraish:The genealogists of the Arabs describe the Prophet as Muhammad ibn'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf ibn Qusay ibn Kilab. He was therefore one of her cousins, or more precisely, one of her nephews, through a mutual great-grandfather Qusay ibn Kilab. Since the Prophet belonged to the younger generation and lived in a quarter of Makkah far removed from hers, she was unacquainted with this young man, who had only in the recent past started his career as a trader and commission agent.
Khadijah was herself a lady of dignity and opulence. From two of her husbands she had inherited much wealth and many commercial banking houses. She sometimes lent money to reliable Quraish merchants on a profit-sharing basis. Sometimes she invested the capital of her creditors in trade caravans.
In fact, Khadijah had heard of the honesty, trustworthiness, high moral character and clean habits of Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). She also realized something of his spiritual capacities, and, as we may unmistakably say, these attracted her. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) was popularly known as al-Amin (the Trust-worthy), and also by another fitting title al-Sadiq (the Truthful).
She belonged to a respectable upper middle-class family of Makkah, and that in the past she had been married to two men. Khadijah was a lady of middle age, just forty. She had never taken the risk of entrusting her fleet of camels to someone that might disappear with it into the deserts of Syria and never be heard of any more. To look after domestic affairs, she kept a slave-girl; and a slave called Maysara was also in her service.
She was a true believer and steadfast. She was devout. She performed all the rituals of Islam. She observed the stipulated Salat with Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). She was always the first to learn the Qur'an and Commandments of Allah. She fasted as Muhammad did. She gave alms. She gave in the cause of Allah all the wealth she had. On no occasion did she think of retaining the slightest bit of wealth for herself. She had, in fact, sacrificed her ease and comfort for the sake of Allah and His Messenger.
Khadijah was a typical Makkan lady of the Quraish, fair and modest in her general demeanour and meticulously submissive and obedient to her husband. She was a devoted wife. She loved Muhammad. She had a great attachment to him. She admired his genuinely transcendental qualities. She revered him for his superb and sublime thoughts. She adored him for having been blessed with divine achievements. With full earnestness, she recognised the awe-inspire. atmosphere that hallowed his personality. She acted accordingly. She looked after him. She took care of him. She helped him. She cooperated with him. She made all types of sacrifices for him. Yet she was able to console and comfort him in distress in his early days of prophethood.
KhadIjah, the First of the Believers When the Prophet came home after receiving the revelation and told her about the story, she calmed him, and then she took her overgarment and set forth to her cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal. There she related to him all that her husband Muhammad had told her of what he had seen and heard. "Quddus, quddus (grand, grand!)-, exclaimed Waraqa, "O Khadijah, it is a very good news! Certainly by Him in Whose Hand is Waraqa's soul, if what you have related to me is true, O Khadijah, there has, after all, come unto him the Great Namus (Jibril or Gabriel) who came to Moses. And certainly he is the Prophet of this people. Congratulate him. Let him now be steadfast". With this message, Khadijah hurried back home and told her husband what Waraqa had said. This calmed his fears somewhat. Khadijah was now a convinced believer. She was a true believer. She was a devoted believer. She was indeed the first believer.
Most of the biographers of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) dismiss the early period of the "Call" in a few pages. In fact, this period is intimately associated with the sagacity of Khadijah and her faith in Allah and His Messenger and also with the unremitting encouragement that she gave to Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). The history of the early Revelations is rich in information about the mutual relationship between Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) and his first wife, Khadijah. By simply putting together scraps of source material, as they occur in the various exegetical works (i.e., Tafsir literature) and the compilations of traditions, we can easily evolve an image of the personality of Khadijah.
Khadijah falls ill and dies The period of boycott, during which the Hashmites (Bani Hashim) remained almost shut away from the outer world, was a period of great ordeal. The conditions to which they had been subjected told upon the general health of the women and children. Khadijah who had already been worn down by the hardships in Shi'b Abi Talib, to which she had never been used, fell ill. It was some time in December, 619 A.D. that she died after a brief illness of three days.
This was Khadijah, whom Muhammad always remembered with feelings of love and affection, even when he was later the Sole ruler of Arabia and had many beautiful wives around him at Medinah.
Abu Hurairah reported that Gabriel came to the Prophet and said, "Allah's Messenger, here is Khadijah who has come bringing a vessel containing food. When she comes, give her a greeting from her Lord and from me, and give her the good news that in Paradise she will have a house of brilliant pearls". (Bukhari and Muslim).
The intensity of the Prophet’s love and regard for Khadijah is shown by the following incident. A'isha reported that once she hurt his feelings on this issue and he replied, "Allah has blessed me with her love." On another occasion A'isha asked him if she had been the only woman worthy of his love, and Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) replied in an honest burst of tenderness." She believed in me when nobody else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me and she helped me and comforted me when there was none to lend me a helping hand."
This incident is described by Carlyle in these words: "He never forget this good Khadijah. Long afterwards, A'isha, his young and favorite wife, a woman who indeed distinguished herself among the Muslims by all manner of qualities through her whole life; this young and brilliant A'isha was, one day, questioning him. Now am I not better than Khadijah? She was a widow; old, and had lost her looks; you love me better than you did her? 'No, by God!' answered Muhammad, she believed in me when none else would believe. In the whole world I had but one friend, and she was that. "2 He adds, "He seems to have lived in a most affectionate, peaceable, wholesome way with this wedded benefaction, loving her truly, and her alone. "2
There are many incidents in the books of hadith and tarikh which throw some light on the depth of the feeling of natural love and affection between Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) and Khadijah. It is narrated by A'isha that the sister of Khadijah, Halah bint Khuwailid, asked for permission to see the Prophet. (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). He remembered the act of permission of Khadijah for he recognised her voice which resembled that of Khadijah. He was pleased and said that was Halah bint Khuwailid. A'isha said that, hearing that, she felt envious and remarked," Do you mean one of the women of the Quraish, whose legs were lean and who died long ago? Allah has given you a better companion instead." (Muslim). She also reported that when the Quraish of Makkah paid compensation to free their captives from the battle of Badr, the Prophet's daughter Zainab also made arrangements to free her husband, Abu Al-As. She sent some cash which also contained a necklace given to her by her mother Khadijah in her wedding gifts. Seeing this necklace of Khadijah, the prophet was deeply moved and asked his companions, "If you consider it proper, you may release her husband for her sake and also return her necklace. They all accepted this with pleasure and released Abu Al-A’as and also returned the necklace to Zainab.
2. SAUDAH BINT ZAM'A (radiallahu ‘anhaa)
Just as Muhammad married Khadijah through an initiative on her part, likewise, after her death, Saudah was married to him through the efforts of some of his friends. Saudah was one of the earliest converts to Islam and had suffered much since she embraced Islam. She had migrated to Abyssinia with her husband, who died there. Muhammad was worried after the death of Khadijah, as he was going on a mission to al-Ta'if and there was no one to look after the small children, Khaulah bint Hakim suggested to him that he needed some affectionate and sincere companion who could also look after his children. She proposed Saudah, who was also in need of help. She was about fifty years old when she was married to Muhammad in 2 A. H./620 A. D. Marriage was solemnized by her father, and four hundred dirham dowry (mahr) was paid to her by Muhammad. (Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd). All scholars of Seerah are of the opinion that the Prophet married Saudah after the death of Khadijah and before he married A'isha. (Tabari).
She was very obedient and dutiful and, in this respect, she surpassed all the other wives of the Prophet. She was also very generous, like the Prophet, and more so than any of his wives except A'isha. Her generosity is shown by an incident which happened in the caliphate of 'Umar. He sent one sack full of dirhams to her but she distributed it as soon as she received it. When she became very old, she gave her turn (of a visit of the Prophet) to A'isha. A'isha reported that Saudah bint Zam'a gave up her turn to her, and so the Prophet used to give A'isha both her day and the day of Saudah. (Bukhari and Muslim). She died in the last year of 'Umar's caliphate. (about 23 A.H.)'
3. A'ISHA BINT ABI-BAKR AL-SIDDIQ.
A'isha was the daughter of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq and was married to the Prophet in the tenth year of prophethood when she was six years old, but the marriage was only consummated when she was nine years old. The initiative for this marriage was taken by Khaulah bint Hakim. Her father, Abu Bakr, solemnized the marriage with a dowry of four hundred dirhams. But according to A'isha, her dowry was five hundred dirhams. She also said that the amount paid to the Prophet's wives was usually five hundred dirhams. (Muslim and Ahmad). In view of the great service rendered by A'isha to Islam by spreading its teaching and the practice of the Holy Prophet long after his death.
There is a difference of opinion among scholars as to when this marriage was solemnized. But what is most authentic is that A'isha was married after the death of Khadijah when she was six year old and the marriage was consummated after the Hijrah to Medinah when she was nine years old. She remained with him for nine years.
Once on Eid day some men were displaying their arms in the yard of the mosque. They were performing with their spears and A'isha wanted to see this display. The Prophet stood there supporting her for a long time so that she could watch the show from behind his shoulders. (Bukhari). On another occasion they had a race. It is reported by A'isha that when she was with Allah's Messenger on a journey she raced with him on foot and beat him, but when she grew fat she raced again with him and he beat her. And he said, "This makes up for that beating." (Abu Dawud).
As explained above, she was extremely jealous of other women. A'isha reported that once when Allah's Messenger left her during the night she was jealous regarding him. Then when he came and saw what she was doing he said, "what is the matter with you, A'isha. Are you jealous?" She replied, "Why should one like me not be jealous regarding one like you?" He said, "Your devil has come to you." She asked, "Allah's Messenger, have I a devil?" He told her that she had, and when she asked him whether he had one, he replied, "Yes, but Allah has helped me against him so that I may be safe." (Muslim). On another occasion, A'isha said that, being jealous of women who offered themselves to Allah's Messenger, she asked, "Does a woman offer herself?" Then when Allah Most High revealed,
"You may defer any of them you wish and take to yourself any you wish, and if you desire any you have set aside no sin is chargeable to you."[Qur'aan 33:51]
She said, "It seems to me that your Lord hastens to satisfy your desire." (Bukhari and Muslim).
A'isha narrated that once she asked him, "O Allah's Messenger! Suppose you landed in a valley where there was a tree of which something had been eaten and then found trees of which nothing had been eaten, on which tree would you let your camel graze?-He said that he would let his camel graze on the tree of which nothing had been eaten. The sub-narrator added that A'isha meant that Allah's Messenger had not married a virgin besides herself. (Bukhari).
The Prophet's love for A'isha was because of her physical attraction and beauty as it was the case with the other wives who were equally, if not more, beautiful and charming than her, e.g. Zainab, Safiyah and Juwairiyah. There are many hadith in the books of Seerah and hadith in praise of their physical attractions and charm. In addition, they were also young. But excepting for a couple of incidents, there are few words about A'isha's beauty and charm.
The fact is that A'isha was very intelligent, able and alert and gained immense knowledge of multifarious problems from the Prophet.
Some hadith reveal the close relationship between the Prophet and A'isha through their hearty and good-humored remarks about each other. However, these remarks should be seen as between husband and wife and not as between a Prophet and his follower. Once A'isha (complaining of a headache) said,~"Oh, my head!" Allah's Messenger said, "I wish that had happened while I was still living, for then I would ask Allah's forgiveness for you and invoke Allah for you." A'isha said in distressed voice, "By Allah, I think you want me to die, and if that should happen, you would spend the last of the day sleeping with one of your wives!" The. Prophet said, "Nay, I should say, "Oh my head!" (the Prophet smiled).(Bukhari).
A deep study of this relationship shows that it was basically a spiritual and intellectual relationship, because the Prophet found A'isha was at a very high level of spiritual attainment and intellectual understanding, possessing a very deep insight into the significance of Tawheed and the knowledge of Islam.
Some hadith reveal the close relationship between the Prophet and A'isha through their hearty and good-humored remarks about each other. However, these remarks should be seen as between husband and wife and not as between a Prophet and his follower. Once A'isha (complaining of a headache) said,"Oh, my head!" Allah's Messenger said, "I wish that had happened while I was still living, for then I would ask Allah's forgiveness for you and invoke Allah for you." A'isha said in distressed voice, "By Allah, I think you want me to die; and if that should happen, you would spend the last of the day sleeping with one of your wives!" The Prophet said, "Nay, should say, "Oh my head! " (The Prophet smiled). (Bukhari)
In spite of this strong relation between the two, this relation was confronted by a severe test, which is called the incident of slander in which, the Prophet, A’isha, and her parents experienced a very hard time, had a great suffering, and lived a lengthy time, which lasted more than a month. The result was very great for every body and a revelation of her innocents and purification was sent from Allah the almighty. This incident, which had been organised, initiated and spread by the hypocrites, can be summarized in the coming lines:
A'isha (radiallahu ‘anhaa) narrates: "Whenever the Holy Prophet went out on a journey, he decided by lots as to which of his wives should accompany him. Accordingly, it was decided that I should accompany him during the expedition to Banu Mustaliq. On the return journey, the Holy Prophet halted for the night at a place, which was the last stage on the way back to Medinah. It was still night when they began to make preparations for the march. So I went outside the camp to ease myself. When I returned and came near my halting place, I noticed that my necklace had fallen down somewhere. I went back in search of it but, in the meantime, the caravan moved off and I was left behind all alone. The four carriers of the litter had placed it on my camel without noticing that it was empty. This happened because of my lightweight, which was due to lack of food in those days.
I wrapped myself in my sheet and lay down in the hope that when it was found that I had been left behind, a search party would come back to pick me up. In the meantime, I fell asleep. In the morning, when Safwan ibn Mu'attil As-Salami passed that way, he saw me and recognised me for he had seen me several times before the Commandment about Purdah (hijab) was sent down. No sooner did he see me than he stopped his camel and cried out spontaneously: "How sad! The wife of the Holy Prophet has been left here!" At this, I woke up suddenly and covered my face with my sheet. Without uttering another word, he made his camel kneel by me and stood aside, while I climbed on to the camel's back. He led the camel by the nose-string and we overtook the caravan at about noon, when it had just halted and nobody had yet noticed that I had been left behind. I learnt afterwards that this incident had been used to slander me and Abdullah ibn Ubayy was the foremost among the slanderers. When I reached Medinah, I fell ill and stayed in bed for more than a month.
Though 1 was quite unaware of it, the news of the slander was spreading like a scandal in the city, and had also reached the Holy Prophet. Anyhow, I noticed that he did not seem as concerned about my illness as he used to be. He would come, but, without addressing me directly, would enquire from others how I was and leave the house. Therefore it troubled my mind that something had gone wrong somewhere. So I took leave of him and went to my mother's house for better nursing. While I was there, one night I went out of the city to ease myself in the company of Mistab's mother, who was a first cousin of my father. As she was walking along, she stumbled over something and cried out spontaneously "May Mistab perish!' To this I retorted, 'What a good mother you are that you curse your own son — the son who took part in the Battle of Badr.' She replied, 'My dear daughter, are you not aware of his scandalmongering?' Then she told me everything about the campaign of slander. Hearing this horrible story, my blood curdled, and I immediately returned home and passed the rest of the night crying over it.
"During my absence, the Holy Prophet took counsel with Ali and Usamah ibn Zaid about this matter. Usamah said good words about me to this effect: 'O Allah's Messenger, we have found nothing but good in your wife. All that is being spread about her is a lie and calumny.' As regards Ali, he said, 'O Allah's Messenger, there is no dearth of women; you may, if you like, marry another wife. If however, you would like to investigate the matter, you may send for her maidservant and enquire into it through her. Accordingly, the maidservant was sent for and questioned. She replied, 'I declare on oath by Allah, Who has sent you with the Truth, that I have never seen any evil thing in her, except that she falls asleep when I tell her to look after the kneaded dough in my absence and a goat comes and eats it’..."Rumors about this slander went on spreading in the city for about a month, which caused great distress and anguish to the Holy Prophet. I cried from helplessness and my parents were sick with mental agony. At last, one day, the Holy Prophet visited us and he sat near me, which he had not done since the slander started. Feeling that something decisive was going to happen that day,
Abu Bakr and Umm Ruman (A'isha's mother) also sat near us. The Holy Prophet started the conversation, saying: 'A'isha, I have heard this and this about you: if you are innocent, I expect that Allah will declare your innocence. But if you have committed a sin, you should offer repentance, and ask for Allah's forgiveness; when a servant (of Allah) confesses his guilt and repents, Allah forgives him.' Hearing these words, the tears dried in my eyes. I looked up to my father expecting that he would reply to the Holy Prophet, but he said, 'Daughter, I do not know what I should say. Then I turned to my mother, but she also did not know what to say. At last, I said, 'You have all heard something about me and believed it. Now if I say that I am innocent—and Allah is my witness that I am innocent—you will not believe me; and if I confess something which I never did—and Allah knows that I never did it—you will believe me. 'At that time, I tried to call to memory the name of Prophet Yakub but could not recall it. Therefore, in view of the predicament that I was placed in, I said, 'I cannot but repeat the words, which the father of Prophet Yusuf has spoken:
"I will bear this patiently with good grace."[Qur'aan 12:83]
Saying this, I lay down and turned to the other side but in the meantime suddenly, the state of receiving Revelation appeared on the Prophet, when pearl-like drops of perspiration used to gather on his face, even in severe winter weather. We all held our breath and sat silent. As for me I was fearless, but my parents seemed to be struck with fear; they did not know what the Divine Revelation would be. When the Revelation was over, the Holy Prophet seemed to be very pleased. Overjoyed with happiness, the first words he spoke were: 'Congratulations, A'isha, Allah sent down proof of your innocence, 'and then he recited these ten verses(24:II-21). At this, my mother said to me, 'Get up and thank the Prophet,' I said, 'I shall neither thank him nor you two, but thank Allah, Who has sent down my absolution. You did not even so much as contradict the charge against me.1"(Summary of hadith found in various books of Hadith). (The meaning of the Quran)
This was the first time 'when the hypocrites took part in any expedition with the Prophet in large numbers (Ibn Sa'd, Al-Magazi). They were always planning against the Muslims, but when they failed miserably on all other fronts, they tried to inflict a defeat on them on the moral front, which was the Muslims' real field of superiority and responsible for their victory on every other front against the opponents. By such mean and immoral tactics, they wanted to dishonour the Prophet and his household, undermine the high moral superiority which was the greatest asset of the Islamic Movement and ignite civil war between the Muhajirin and the Ansar on one side, and between Aus and Khazraj on the other. However Allah defeated all their designs and these proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Muslims.
It definitely raised A'isha's stature and character as a woman of great integrity and knowledge whose love for Allah's Din was beyond doubt and question. It also revealed her love for the Prophet, for she suffered great agony and pain but did not say anything. It also showed the great love of the Prophet for her because, when he received the Revelation, he was more overjoyed and excited than anyone else except A'isha, and broke the good news in great excitement.
A'isha died at the age of fifty seven in the Caliphate of Mu'awiyah, forty nine years after the death of the Prophet. She was buried in Jannat-al-Baqi' according to her will. Abu Hurairah, who was the Governor of Medinah at that time, led her funeral prayer.
At the time of the Prophet's death, A'isha was just eighteen years old. Her kunya, Umm'Abd Allah was given her by the Prophet after the name of her nephew 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubair.
A'isha always remained a sacred personage, popularly respected and revered by the Muslim world. She is reported to have handed over to the Community not less than 2210 hadith directly from the lips of the Prophet. She continued preaching and giving instructions in the precepts of Islam to men, women, children and slaves— Companions of the Prophet and their tabi'un (successors). She was a distinguished traditionist, and was often consulted on theological and juridical subjects, for she had the advantage of having been in the society of the Prophet for a long period and she had always been keen to learn things from the Prophet. She is highly praised for her talents. She knew by heart several of the long poems of the Jahiliya period. She could read and write. Ibn Abi Dawud said that she had a special copy of the Qur'an.
'A'isha prided herself on being the only virgin that the Prophet ever married, and that she had been shown to him by Gabriel. It was only in her case that Revelation was sent to the Prophet while he lay by her in a sheet.
After the death of the Prophet, she lived in the same apartment. She daily attended to the tomb. She was the custodian of the grave. In fact she called it her property.
Her virtues: It seems likely that the marriage with A’isha was effected by Divine Inspiration. It is reported by A'isha herself that Allah's Messenger told her that she had been shown to him in a dream and for three successive nights an angel brought her picture wrapped up in a silk cloth and said, "This is your wife." He also said, "When the garment was removed from her face, it was you yourself." Then he said, "If this is from Allah let Him carry it out." (Bukhari and Muslim) And Tirmizi transmitted it from A'isha in these words, "Gabriel brought a picture of me on a piece of green silk to Allah's Messenger and said, "This is your wife in this world and the next."
A'isha's love and devotion to Muhammad and his cause made her excel over his other wives in many ways. Abu Musa reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "A'isha's superiority over other women is like the superiority of tharid (a food) over other foods." (Bukhari and Muslim). Once, when 'Umar Ibn Al-As returned from Gazwa That As-Salasal, he asked Allah's Messenger, "Who do you love most in this world?" He said, "A'isha." He said, "O Allah's Messenger, the question is about men." He said, "A'isha's father."
Urwah ibn Zubair was of the opinion that he did not find any greater scholar than A'isha in the Qur'an, fara'id (Inheritance), halal and haram (lawful and unlawful things), fiqh (jurisprudence), poetry, medicine, (which she learned from al-A’araab – Bedouins –who was showing there medicine to the Prophet), Arabic history and knowledge of genealogy. Another testimony of Imam Zahri goes like this. "If the knowledge of all men and the wives of the Prophet were put together, the knowledge of A'isha would exceed it all." She is counted among the mujtahidin, companions of the Prophet, and her name can be mentioned without any doubt along with that of 'Umar, Ali, Abdullah ibn Masud and Abdullah ibn Abbas. She used to give judgement (fat'wa) during the time of Abu Bakr, 'Umar and Uthman. She narrated two thousand two hundred and ten hadith of the Prophet. According to some scholars, one fourth of the injunctions of the Shari'ah are narrated by her.
Above all, the fact that the Prophet requested the other wives to allow him to stay with A'isha in his last days and that he died in A'isha's lap is evident testimony of her excellence and superiority over the other wives. A'isha reported that in his fatal illness, Allah's Messenger asked his wives, "Where shall I stay tomorrow? Where shall I stay tomorrow?" In fact, he was looking forwards to A'isha's turn and wanted permission from his wives to stay with her. So all his wives allowed him to stay where he wished, and he stayed at A'isha's house till he died there. A'isha added that he died on the day of her usual turn at her house. Allah took him to Himself while his head was between her chest and neck and his saliva was mixed with her saliva (for she chewed a green miswak (tooth stick) and gave it to him). (Bukhari) It is another addition to the excellence of A'isha that the Prophet died in her compartment and was buried in a corner of the same compartment.
4. HAFASAH BINT 'UMAR.
Hafsah bint 'Umar Hafsah the daughter of 'Umar ibn alKhattab, had first been married to Khunais ibn Hudhafa. Khunais died as a martyr at Badr, leaving no issue. He was also among those who had migrated to Abyssinia.
About the same time, Ruqayya, the daughter of the Prophet, who was the wife of 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, died after a protracted illness. 'Umar thought it might be a good idea if 'Uthman could now marry Hafsah. But 'Uthman declined the suggestion made by 'Umar himself, perhaps because he had already heard of the irritable nature of Hafsah. 'Umar then approached Abu Bakr and asked him if he would be happy to accept Hafsah. Abu Bakr evaded the issue, and when 'Umar insisted, he asked for a respite. This annoyed 'Umar very much, and in a rage he rushed to the house of the Prophet and threatened that he would teach 'Uthman and Abu Bakr a good lesson. The Prophet tried to calm 'Umar and said: "Perhaps Hafsah is reserved for something better!" 'Umar was still very impatient. The Prophet at last told him: "Don't worry. O 'Umar, I shall marry her myself".
This was indeed a very happy news for 'Umar. In the meantime, the Prophet engaged his own daughter Umm Kulthum to 'Uthman, and on Friday 13 Shawwal 3 A.H./ 28 March 625 A.D. he consummated his marriage with Hafsah.
She was known for her devotion in prayer and fasting. She was called Sawwama and Qawwama.
Hafsah was also the rightful custodian of the original prototype copy of the Qur'an compiled by Zaid ibn Thabit under orders from the Caliph Abu Bakr. First this codex remained in the custody of the first Caliph Abu Bakr, after whose death it passed into the possession of 'Umar. 'Umar finally bequeathed it to his daughter Hafsah, thinking that the Codex would remain safe in her hands as she was not easy to approach.
She died in the Caliphate of Mu'awiyah in the year 45 A.H. Marwan, Governor of Medinah, offered her funeral prayer. At her death, she called Abdullah bin 'Umar and left a will that her property in Ghabbah given to her by 'Umar should be given in charity. (Zarqani Vol. III). Sixty hadith are reported from her.
Zainab, Umm al-Masakin Zainab was the daughter of Khuzaimah ibn Abdullah. As she was very generous and charitable and fed the poor and the needy with generosity, she came to be called Umm al-Masakin. She was first married to Abdullah ibn Jahsh who was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. She was married to the Prophet in the same year but died after a few months. She was the only wife of the Prophet, after Khadijah, who died in his lifetime. The Prophet offered her funeral prayer himself and buried her in the Jannat al-Baqi'. She was thirty years old when she died.
6. UMM SALAMAH .
Umm Salamah She was Hind bint Abi Umayya ibn al-Mughira. On her marriage with the Prophet, she was to stay in the house of Zainab bint Khuzaimah. There she found a jar full of barley, a hand-mill, some macaroni, and a pot containing a little butter. She milled some barley and prepared a meal for the Prophet and herself. That was all they took as a wedding-feast.
She was popularly known by the name of Umm Salamah because of her son Salamah from her first husband Abdullah ibn Asad. She embraced Islam with her husband and is considered to have been one of the earliest Muslims. She first migrated to Abyssinia with her husband and from there she came to Makkah.
Some time later, when people started to migrate to Medinah, her husband, Abu Salamah, also decided to proceed to Medinah. He saddled his camel, and mounted his wife on it, together with their son Salamah who was then only a child. Then he set out, leading the camel. The relatives of Umm Salamah intercepted him and snatched the camel's rope from him and drove it back to Makkah. In the meantime, the relatives of Abu Salamah fell upon the little boy Salamah and dragged him between them, till they dislocated his shoulder. Abu Salamah was let go his way to Medinah. Umm Salamah was left alone with her relatives. She wept day and night for about a year, till one of her cousins saw her plight. He took pity on her. He interceded. Her son was restored to her. She was later allowed to go away to Medinah. Umm Salamah was wise and brave. She saddled her camel and set forth to join her husband in Medinah. The mother and the child were soon on the path leading to the City of the Prophet. At Tan'im she met 'Uthman ibn Talha. He was astonished to find her going all alone, risking herself to any freebooters on the way.
'Uthman could not face this situation. He got down from his camel and led the camel of Umm Salamah by the halter. 'Uthman was a chivalrous Arab. At every stop or watering-place he would make her camel kneel for her, and then withdraw and allow her to alight with convenience. He would then tie the camel to a tree, and himself would go a little away from her and lie down under another tree. After a few days they were in Quba' (Madinah). He said to Umm Salamah: "Your husband lives in this village. So enter it with the blessing of Allah! "'Uthman then left her and went back to Makkah.
Whenever Umm Salamah thought of her sufferings, she used to proclaim: "By Allah, never have I seen a family in Islam which suffered what the family of Abu Salamah did. Nor have I ever seen a nobler man than 'Uthman ibn Talha! " (Ibn Hisham, pp.213-14).
She lived with her husband Abu Salamah in Quba', till, in the Battle of Uhud, he was mortally wounded. This was a great blow! Now she was left alone, with two children, Salamah and Zainab.
After the completion of the waiting period, when the Prophet proposed to her, she offered three excuses (a) I am a very jealous (gayur) woman (for she deeply loved her husband Abu Salamah); (b) I have children; and (c) I am old. The Prophet said that his age was more than hers; Allah and His Messenger would look after her children and, as for her jealousy, he would pray to Allah to remove that from her. She was married in the year 4 A.H. and her dowry was some goods worth ten dirhams.
Earlier, at Hudaibiyah, when the Prophet had commanded the people to slaughter their sacrificial animals and get their heads shaved, and the people were sulking in distress for nothing, he came into his tent. He was feeling indignant. In utter disgust, he said to Umm Salamah: "Thrice have I commanded the people to slaughter their animals and shave their heads. But look how listless and indolent they are!" Here came the feminine intuition to the rescue. She softly said: "O Prophet of Allah, you can't make these fifteen hundred men do what they don't want. Just do your own duty, which Allah has imposed on you. Go ahead and perform your own rites yourself—in an open place so that every one of them can see you."
The Prophet realised the sense of this advice. He stepped out of the tent. He saw that the sun had risen and it was bright everywhere in the vast desert. He went up to the herd. Everybody was now watching him. Even the polytheists of Makkah who had stayed there overnight saw him picking up for himself the Abu Jahl's camel, which had a white, shining, silver nose-ring. He brought it out into the open. He hobbled it and slaughtered it, pronouncing: "Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!…”
Then in a short time he called Khirash ibn Umayya al-Khuza'i, who came up and shaved his head. When the Muslims saw what the Messenger had done, they leapt up and followed him in slaughtering the animals and shaving their heads.
She had heard from the Prophet that if any Muslim was in trouble, he should say this prayer: "O Allah keep my reward for this trouble and make a better alternative for me than this." She said that when Abu Salamah died, she remembered that hadith which he used to tell her and began to say it. When she wanted to say, "O Allah, give me a better replacement," her heart used to say, "Who could be better than Abu Salamah?" But when she began that prayer the Prophet was the replacement of Abu Salamah. (Nasai).
Umm Salamah reports that she was with Allah's Messenger along with Maimunah when Ibn Umm Maktum came into their house. The Prophet told them to veil themselves. She said, "Allah's Messenger, is he not blind and unable to see us?" He replied, "Are you blind and unable to see him?" (Ahmad, Tirmizi and Abu Dawud).
Though all the wives of the Prophet were learned women and possessed great knowledge, A'isha and Umm Salamah had no rivals. Mahmud ibn Labid said, "The wives of the Prophet were treasuries of hadith but A'isha and Umm Salamah had no equal. " (Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd) Marwan ibn Hakim enquired about problems from them and openly said, "Why should we ask others while the wives of the Prophet are among us?" (Musnad). Abu Hurairah and Ibn Abbas, in spite of their own wide knowledge, came to them for certain things and a huge group of tabi'in (followers of the companions) benefited from their advice. (Musnad).
She could read the Qur'an in the style of the Prophet. Once someone asked, "How did the Prophet read the Qur'an?" She said, "He read each verse separately from the other," and then showed how by reading the Qur'an herself. (Musnad). She narrated 378 hadith and is included in the third degree of companion narrators of hadith (Sahabah Muhaddethiin). She was very much interested in listening to hadith.
Once she was doing her hair, when the Prophet stood to deliver the Khutbah (address) and said, "O people!" She at once tied up her hair and stood up and listened to the Khutbah.(Musnad). Once the companions asked her about the Prophet's inward (basin) condition. She said, "His outward and inward (condition) is the same." When the Prophet came and was told of this, he said, "You have done well. " (Musnad). She was very simple and lived a very pious life. Once she wore a necklace containing some portion of gold, but the Prophet avoided her so she broke the necklace. (Musnad). The Prophet was in her house when he called Fatimah, Hasan and Husain and put a blanket over them and said, "O Allah! These are my household; remove impurity from them and purify them." Umm Salamah heard this prayer and said, "O Allah's Messenger, am I included among them?" He said, "You are in your own position and (you are) good." (Tirmizi).
She was the last of the wives of the Prophet to die. She died at the age of eighty four in the year 63 A.H., after the martyrdom of Husain. Abu Hurairah offered her funeral prayer and she was buried in the Jannat al-Baqi.
7. ZAINAB BINT JAHSH.
She was Zainab bint Jahsh ibn Ri'ab alAsadiya. Her original name was Barra, which the Prophet changed when she embraced Islam. She was the daughter of Umaima bint 'Abd al-Muttalib and was therefore one of the first cousins of the Prophet.
In the year 3 A.H., she was married to Zaid ibn Haritha ibn Sharahil, the freed slave of Muhammad and his adopted son. The people of her family were averse to this match, and were not willing to give her in marriage to a freed slave.
In fact, Muhammad had come to abolish the inequality between free-men and slaves. With the Arabs, a slave was always a slave. But the Prophet knew that ,
"In the sight of Allah, the noblest of men is the one who is the most pious of them"[Qur'aan 49:13]
This was an occasion when the Prophet could exert his personal and wholesome influence and practically abolish the unjust rules as to the inequalities among men.
Thereupon, Zainab and her brother agreed on this marriage and she was married to Zaid, but within a year or so, he found it difficult to maintain his marriage relation with her.
Zaid had divorced Zainab. This was soon confirmed by the revelation:
"And remember when you said to him to whom Allah had been Gracious and on whom you also had conferred favours: Keep your wife to yourself and fear Allah, and you, of course, concealed that in your mind which Allah had determined to discover; and you indeed fear men, whereas it was just that you should fear Allah. But when Zaid had determined the matter (concerning Zainab) and (had resolved to divorce her), we joined her in marriage to you, lest a crime should be (charged) on the true believers in marrying (any of) the wives of their adopted (sons), when they have determined the matter concerning them, and the command of Allah is to be performed" [Qur'aan 33:37]
This verse was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the presence of A'isha.
The Prophet sent this proposal to Zainab after her waiting period was completed through Zaid, but she said that she could not give any reply without consulting her Lord (i.e., istikhara). Then she prostrated and, according to some reports, offered two rak'at prayer and prayed: "O Lord, if I am worthy of him, give me in marriage to him." It is reported that then the above verse was revealed and the Prophet sent a message to Zainab that she was given to him in marriage by his Lord. When she heard this news, she took off all her jewellery and gave it to the slave-girl, Salamah, who had brought the good news, fell prostrate and vowed to do two month's fasting.
It is said that the Prophet gave a grand feast of Walimah at the marriage of Zainab such as he never gave for any other wife. A goat was slaughtered and about 300 men enjoyed this feast. The verses of hijab were revealed on this occasion as some people stayed unnecessarily late in his house, which caused him and his household great inconvenience for there was only one room. The Qur'an mentions this in these words:
"O you who believe! Enter not the house of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless permission be granted to you. But if you are invited, enter, and when your meal is ended, then disperse. Linger not for conversation. Surely that would cause annoyance to the Prophet, and he would be shy of asking you to go; but Allah is not shy of the Truth. And when you ask of them (the wives of the Prophet) anything, ask it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts."[Qur'aan 33:53]
Umm Salamah spoke highly of the virtues and good qualities of Zainab. She said, "Zainab is a beautiful woman and the Prophet comes to her very often. She is a pious woman, keeps fast, engages in prayer at night and spends all her wealth on the needy and the poor. Zainab herself said, "When I received the message of marriage from the Prophet, I vowed to fast for two months. When the Prophet was with me, at home or on a journey, I could not fast, but when I was alone I fasted. (Tabaqat). A'isha said, "l have not seen any woman more religious, pious, truthful, generous, charitable or engaged in the Pleasure of Allah than Zainab. She was slightly hot-tempered but quickly repented for it." (Muslim).
In piety and tagwa (fear of Allah), she was at a very high level. When slanderous rumors were heard about A'isha and Zainab's sister Hamnah was involved, the Prophet asked her about A'isha's morals and she said, "I know nothing but good of A'isha." A'isha recognised her truthfulness and righteousness.
It is narrated by A'isha that when Zainab died, the poor and the orphans of Medinah were very upset and worried. (Ibn Sa'd). It is reported that she was very contented and generous by temperament. She made her living by her own hand and spent it all in the Way of Allah. Umrat reported, "I heard A'isha saying (after the death of Zainab) that a praise worthy and unique lady had gone, who was a protection for orphans and widows." (Tabaqat).
'Umar had fixed an annual allowance of twelve thousand dirhams for her, but when she received it for the first time she distributed it all among the poor, the needy and some of her needy relatives. When she received this allowance, she said, "O Allah! 't/mar's allowance shall not find me after this year." When 'Umar found that she had distributed it all, he said, "She is such a lady that she should be treated more liberally." Then he went to her and sent his compliments to her while standing at the door and said, "I am told that you have distributed all your wealth." He gave her one thousand dirhams for her personal expenses but she distributed that as well. She died in the same year and did not live to see the second allowance of 'Umar. It is reported that she died in the yaer 20 A.H. 'Umar offered her funeral prayer and she was buried in Jannat al-Baqi.
When A'isha heard the news of her death she said, "A good-natured, benefit-giving women who was the guardian of orphans and widows has gone from the world.'5
An incident is related regarding her death. A'isha reported, "When some of the Prophet's wives asked him which of them would join him the soonest. He Replied that it would be the one with the longest arm. So they took a rod and measured, and Saudah was the one among them who had the longest arm. They later came to know that charity (sadaqa) was the meaning of the length of the arm, for Zainab bint Khuzaimah was the one who joined him the soonest, and she was fond of giving charity." (Bukhari and Muslim).
Zainab was not tall. She was excellent in handwork. With her own hands she used to cure skins and tan them. She was also good at cobbling. All things that she manufactured at home were sold, and the money that accrued therefrom was distributed among the poor and needy.
When Zainab fell ill, only the wives of the Prophet were allowed to nurse her. They alone were required to wash her dead body. Zainab had kept a shroud ready. But when 'Umar sent a shroud, the one that Zainab had kept was given away in alms. 'Umar led the funeral prayer. Only her near relatives, such as Usama ibn Zaid and Muhammad ibn 'Ubaid Allah ibn Jahsh were allowed to lift her body and place it in the grave to repose. When she died it was a hot summer day. The sun shone scorching in the sky, and the grave was being dug in the Baqi' cemetery. 'Umar ordered that a large canopy be pitched on the spot.
Zainab's marriage had certain special features which distinguish her from other wives of the Prophet. Her marriage (nikah) was performed by Allah and a Revelation was sent to this effect to the Prophet which is read by all Muslims. Other wives marriages were contracted by their guardians or fathers. As her marriage was conducted by the Command of Allah, there was no dowry for it and Allah stood guarantee on behalf of the Prophet for Zainab. The Marriage was solemnized through another Revelation of the Qur'an which guaranteed security of privacy to the Prophet's household in these words:
"O you who believe! Enter not the house of the Prophet for a meal.... "[Qur'aan 33:53]
Then her walimah feast was celebrated as a great occasion such as no other wife of the Prophet had the honour of at her marriage. Zainab used to boast of this over other wives of the Prophet. (Tirmizi).
8. JUWAIRIYAH .
Juwairiyah (radiallahu ‘anhaa)(Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) In Sha'ban 5 / January 627, the Prophet (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) received the news that the people of Banu 1-Mustaliq were gathering together against him, and that their chief al-Harith ibn Abi Dhirar was making plans of attack. With a strong troop the Prophet went out, and met Banu l-Mustaliq at a watering place called al-Muraisi'. There they staged a fight, and Allah put Banu 'I-Mustaliq to fight. Some of their men were killed, and their women and children were made captives. Then property was taken as spoils. This included 200 camels, 5,000 goats and captives of about two hundred families. Al-Harith however made good his escape.
It is related on the authority of A'isha that when the Prophet distributed the captives of Banu 1-Mustaliq, Juwairiyah, whose original name was Barra, fell to the lot of Thabit ibn Qais ibn Shammas. Juwairiyah, who was by then known as Barra bint al-Harith ibn Abi Direr, gave Thabit a Mukataba (deed for her redemption). She was a most beautiful young lady. She captivated every man who saw her. She finally came to the Prophet to seek his help in her redemption. A'isha said, "As soon as I saw her at the door of my apartment, I took a dislike to her, for I knew that the Prophet would see her as I saw her. She came in and introduced herself to the Prophet as a daughter of the chief of Banu 1-Mustaliq al-Harith ibn Abi Dhirar, and prayed: 'You can appreciate the plight in which I have been landed. I fell to the lot of Thabit ibn Qais, and have given him a Mukataba for my redemption. I have now come to seek your help in the matter.' The Prophet said: 'Would you like something better than this? I shall discharge your debt and marry you'. She promptly accepted this proposal."
She was a very devoted worshiper and rememberer of Allah (Zakirah). Juwairiyah was a devoted Muslim lady. Once in the early hours of the day the Prophet visited her. She was praying the nawafil (supererogatory) prayer. He calmly retreated. A little before noon he again passed by her room, and found her still on her prayer-carpet busy in prayer. He stepped in and stayed for some time. Then he said: "Juwairiyah, are you continually praying from the morning?" "Yes, O Prophet of Allah!" said she. "Let me tell you,", said the Prophet, "a formula, which, if you pronounced it, will fetch you more blessings than the nawafil of the whole day." He gave her the formula.
Six traditions of the Prophet were narrated by her. She died in the year 50 A.H. When she was sixty-five years old. Her funeral prayer was offered by Marwan, Governor of Medinah. It is aid that she used to fast three days a month. The Prophet (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) loved her and often used to go to the house. One day he went to her house and said, "Is there anything to eat?" She said, "My maid gave me some meat of Sadaqah which is kept here. There is nothing besides this." He said, "Bring it to me for Sadaqah has reached whom it was given." (Muslim)
9. UMM HABIBAH RAMLA BINT ABI SUFYAN IBN SAKHR.
Umm Habibah Towards the end of the year 6 A.H. early 628 A.D., Umm Habibah Ramla bint Abi Sufyan ibn Sakhr was married to the Prophet (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him), and the Negus of Abyssinia acted as his proxy, while Khalid ibn Sa'id ibn al-'As represented her legal guardian.
Previously 'Ubaid Allah ibn Jahsh had married her, and became a Muslim. Then they proceeded to Abyssinia in the second batch. After some time,'Ubaid Allah converted to Christianity. Umm Habibah was a good Muslim so she left him. She was a lady of dignity and could live alone, and she lived alone, till one day, on the initiation of the Prophet, the Negus sent one of his maids called Abraha to Umm Habiba. Abraha was the Superintendent of the Royal Cosmetic Room, and was responsible for the dressing of the princesses. Abraha communicated the message seeking her agreement to marry Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). Umm Habibah was immensely pleased to hear the message. She at once took off her silver bangles and rings, and made a gift of them to Abraha. The marriage was soon solemnised in absentia. Khalid ibn Sa'id was present at the ceremony. The Negus himself read out the Khutba, and Khalid ibn Sa'id also made a speech in reply. On behalf of the Prophet, the Negus offered a dowry of four hundred dinars to Khalid. The Negus also gave a Walima (wedding feast) on behalf of the Prophet. He was courteous enough to send some musk and ambergris to the bride through Abraha. Later, he made arrangements to send her to Medina by boat. Shurahil ibn Hasana accompanied her.
She was one of the earliest converts to Islam and a very good and sincere believer.
She was very virtuous, of the highest character, charitable and of great courage She was very greatly attached to the person of the Prophet (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). About sixty-five Hadith were narrated by her in the books of hadith.
She died in the year 40 or 44 A.H. during the Caliphate of her brother, Mu'awiyah, and was buried in al-Baqi cemetery.
10. SAFIYAH BINT HUYEIY IBN AKHTAB.
Safiyah was born in Medinah. She belonged to the Jewish tribe of Banu 'I-Nadir. When this tribe was expelled from Medinah in the year 4 A.H, Huyaiy was one of those who settled in the fertile colony of Khaibar together with Kinana ibn al-Rabi' to whom Safiyah was married a little before the Muslims attacked Khaibar. She was then seventeen. She had formerly been the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, who divorced her.
On miles from Khaibar. Here the Prophet married Safiyah. She was groomed and made-up for the Prophet by Umm Sulaim, the mother of Anas ibn Malik. They spent the night there. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari guarded the tent of the Prophet the whole night. When, in the early dawn, the Prophet saw Abu Ayyub strolling up and down, he asked him what he meant by this sentry-go; he replied: "I was afraid for you with this young lady. You had killed her father, her husband and many of her relatives, and till recently she was an unbeliever. I was really afraid for you on her account". The Prophet prayed for Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Ibn Hisham, p. 766)
Safiyah had requested the Prophet to wait till he had gone a stage away from Khaibar. "Why?" asked the Prophet. "I was afraid for you on account of the Jews who still happened to be near at Khaibar!" The next day a Walima (wedding-feast) was arranged on behalf of the Prophet. The feast consisted of hats, a dish of dates, akit (butter-milk) and butter, to which, according to some traditions was added Sawiq (parched barley); and according to another tradition, the Prophet used on this occasion another Mudd and a half of the finest quality of 'Ajwa dates.
The other wives of the Prophet showed their jealousy by making slights upon her Jewish origin. But the Prophet always defended her. Once safiyah was vexed to the extreme by the taunts of all the Arab wives of the Prophet. She took the complaint to the Prophet, who felt great compassion for her. He consoled her. He encouraged her. He equipped her with logic. He said: "Safiyah, take courage and be bold. They are in no way superior to you. Tell them: I am a daughter of the Prophet Harun, a niece of the Prophet Musa, and a wife of the Prophet Muhammad".
When she was brought along with other prisoners-of-war, the Prophet said to her, "Safiyah, your father always maintained enmity with me until Allah made the final decision." She said, "But Allah does not catch one for the sins of another," The Prophet then gave her the choice of joining her people after freedom or accepting Islam and coming into a matrimonial relationship with him. She was very intelligent and gentle and said, "O Allah's Messenger, I had hoped for Islam, and I confirmed you before your invitation. Now when I have the honour to be in your presence, I am given a choice between kufr and Islam I swear by Allah, that Allah and His Messenger is dearer to me than my own freedom and my joining with my people." (Tabaqat). The Prophet then
When Safiyah was married, she was very young, and according to one report she was hardly seventeen years old and was extremely beautiful.
Once A'isha said a few sentences about her short stature, at which the Prophet said, "You have said a thing that if it were left in the sea, it would mix with it (and make its water dirty). " ( Abu Dawud).
She not only deeply loved the Prophet but also greatly respected him as Allah's Messenger, for she heard the conversations of her father and uncle after they went to Medinah. When the Prophet migrated to Medinah, they came to see him and find out whether he was the true Messenger of Allah spoken of in the Scriptures. When they got back and talked together that night, Safiyah was in her bed listening to them. One of them said, "What do you think about him?" He replied, "He is the same Prophet foretold by our Scriptures." Then the other said, "What is to be done?" The reply came that they must oppose him with all their might. So Safiyah was convinced of the truth of the Prophet. She spared no pain to look after him, care for him and provide every comfort that she could think of.
This is evident since she came into his presence after the fall of Khaibar. When a camel was brought for him to ride, the Prophet lifted his thigh to act as steps for Safiyah to get on the camel, but she refused to ride in this way for she thought it against proper decorum. However, she put her knee on his thigh and rode on the camel. The Prophet had a slight grievance against her for she had refused when the Prophet wanted to have privacy with her at the previous stage (of the journey). At the next halt, the Prophet had privacy with her and spent all night with her. When she was asked by Umm Sulaim, "What did you see in Allah's Messenger?" She said he was very pleased with her and did not sleep at all but was talking to her all night. He had asked her, 'Why did you refuse at the first stage when I desired privacy with you?' She had said, 'I was afraid for you because of the nearness of the Jews. "'This thing further increased my merit in his eyes." (Tabaqat).
Safiyah had many good moral qualities.
According to Zarqani, she was intelligent, learned and gentle. In fact, gentleness and patience were. her dominant qualities. She died in the year 50 or 52 A.H. and was buried in al Baqi cemetry. She was then sixty years old. She left property worth one hundred thousand dirhams leaving one-third for her nephew, and the rest was given in charity. (Tabaqat)
11. MAIMUNAH BINT AL-HARITH.
Maimunah (whose original name was Barra) bint al-Harith who was from Banu Sa'sa'a, and the sister-in-law of al! Abbas ibn al-Muttalib, had been divorced by her husband, who was a Thaqafi. Her second husband, Abu Ruhm ibn 'Abd al-'Uzza of the Quraish, died, and she lived as a widow in Makkah. On the initiation of her sister, Umm al-Fadhl, al.'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib proposed to the Prophet (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) that he marry Maimunah. The Prophet accepted this proposal.
A'isha said that Maimunah was the most virtuous and Allah-fearing of them all and was most considerate in treating her relatives well. (Tabaqat).
She died in the year 51 A.H. and at Sarif, where she had been married to the Prophet, and Abdullah ibn Abbas offered her funeral prayer. According to ibn Sa'd, she died in 61 A.H. in the Caliphate of Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah and was the last of the Prophet's wives to die. She was eighty or eighty one at the time of her death, if this report is correct. According to a well-known report, Umm Salamah was the last to die.
Maria al-Qibtiyya (may Allah be pleased with her) is said to have married the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and certainly everyone gave her the same title of respect as the Prophet's wives, 'Umm al Muminin' 'Mother of the Believers'. Maria was born in upper Egypt of a Coptic father and Greek mother and moved to the court of the Muqawqis when she was still very young. She arrived in Medina to join the Prophet's household just after the Prophet returned from the treaty with Quraish which was contracted at al-Hudaybiyya. Maria gave birth to a healthy son in 9 AH, the same year that his daughter Zaynab died, and the Prophet named his new son Ibrahim, after the ancestor of both the Jews and the Christians, the Prophet from whom all the Prophets who came after him were descended. Unfortunately, when he was only eighteen months old, Ibrahim became seriously ill and died. Even though he knew that his small son would go to the Garden, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) could not help shedding some tears. When some of his Companions asked him why he was weeping, he replied, "It is my humanness."
As Ibrahim's body was being buried, the sun was eclipsed and it grew dark and gloomy. Some people thought this was connected with Ibrahim's death, but the Prophet soon clarified this. "The sun and the moon are two of Allah's signs," he said, "they are not eclipsed because of anyone's birth or death. When you see these signs, make haste to remember Allah in prayer." Although the kafirun used to mock the Prophet Muhammad because he had no sons, and say that he was 'cut off' , Allah made it clear in the following surah that the station of the Prophet Muhammad was far above that of any other man;
In the name of Allah, The Merciful, the Compassionate: Surely We have given you AL Khawthar, so pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice. Surely he who mocks you is the one cut off. (Quran 108:1-3)
Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah has knowledge of all things. (Quran 33:40)
Maria was honored and respected by the Prophet and his family and Companions. She spent three years of her life with the Prophet, until his death, and died five years later in 16 AH, (may Allah be pleased with her) For the last five years of her life, she remained a recluse and almost never went out except to visit the grave of the Prophet or her son's grave. After her death, Umar ibn al Khattab led the prayer over her and she was buried in al Baqi.