Wifes of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid

Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him): Jibril (Gabriel) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said: "O Allah's Messenger! This is Khadijah, coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a palace made of Qasab in Paradise, wherein there will be neither any noise nor any toil, (fatigue, trouble, etc.)." [Al-Bukhari]
'Abdullah bin 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that one day the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) drew four lines on the earth and asked his Companions if they understood what these lines stood for. They respectfully replied that he knew better. He then told them that these lines stood for the four foremost ladies of the universe. They were Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Maryam bint Imran, the mother of the Prophet Issa and 'Asia bint Muzahim (the wife of the Pharaoh).
She was the first person to have an abiding faith in the utterances of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and to accept Islam as her religion and her way of life. She was blessed with the distinction of having been greeted with Salam (greetings) by Allah and the Angel Jibril.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was born in Makkah in the year 556 CE. Her mother's name was Fatimah bint Zayd, and her father's name was Khuwaylid bin Asad. He was a very popular leader among the tribe of Quraysh, and a very prosperous businessman who died while fighting in the famous battle of Fujjar. Khadijah thus grew up in the lap of luxury. She married Abu Halah Malak bin Nabash bin Zarrarah bin At-Tamimi and bore him two children, Halah and Hind. She wanted to see her husband prosper and financed him in setting up a big business. But unfortunately he passed away. Some time later the young widow married 'Atique bin 'Aith bin 'Abdullah Al-Makhzumi, and she had a daughter by him as well named Hindah, but the marriage soon broke up on grounds of incompatibility. After this all her attention was devoted to the upbringing of her children, and building up the business she inherited from her father. Her astuteness and business ability made her business one of the most widespread businesses among the Quraysh.
Her policy was to employ hard working, honest and distinguished managers to deal on her behalf as a lot depended on the integrity of the employees who traveled far and wide on her behalf. She exported her goods to far away markets like Syria, and her managers bought goods from those markets to be sold at home.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) had heard of the integrity, honesty and principled behavior of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and sent a job offer to him to head her trading caravans. He gladly accepted the offer and started working for her. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with him) sent him on a business trip; her old and trusted slave Maysarah being delegated to accompany and serve him.
Maysarah was impressed by the Prophet's integrity, strength of character, adherence to principles, his amicable dealings and his business abilities. On the way back from Syria, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lay down under a tree to rest for a while. Nestora, a Jewish monk, noted for his knowledge of religion and for his insight saw him and asked Maysarah who he was. Maysarah told him all about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his reputation for honesty and intelligence. Nestora then told him that this man would be elevated to Prophet hood in the future, as no man had ever rested under that particular tree but Prophets.
Tradition has it that Maysarah also saw two angels bearing a cloud over Prophet's head to protect him from the glare and heat of the sun.
When he returned home Maysarah reported to Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) all that had taken place on the trip to Syria. She was deeply moved and impressed, and started thinking of proposing marriage to Muhammad. But how could she express her thoughts to him? She already rejected several proposals of marriage from men belonging to some of the noblest families of the Quraysh. How would her tribe react? What would her family say? And what was more, would her proposal be acceptable to this young, yet unmarried man of the tribe of Quraysh?
As she pondered over these questions and debated within herself, one night she dreamt that the shining sun had descended from the heavens into her courtyard, radiating her home. When she woke up she went for the interpretation of this wonderful dream to her cousin, Waraqah bin Nawfal, a blind man noted for his skill in interpreting dreams, and for his depth of knowledge, particularly of the Torah and the Injil. When he heard her dream, he gave a serene smile, and told her not to worry, as this was a very promising dream. The glorious sun she saw descending into her courtyard indicated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) whose advent had been predicted in the Torah and the Injil was to grace her home and she would gain from his presence in her life.
After this meeting with Waraqah she became stronger in her desire to marry Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). One of her very close friends, Nafisah bint Manbah knew of her inclination and she went to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and requested his permission to ask him a very personal question. When he said he had no objection, she asked why he had not yet got married. He said he did not have the financial resources. Then she asked him if he would be willing to marry a beautiful lady from a noble and wealthy family, who was inclined towards marriage with him. He asked whom she was referring to; when he learnt her identity he said that he was willing, provided she was willing to marry him. Khadijah' was overjoyed.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was then twenty-five years of age and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was forty years old. (According to one tradition, she was twenty-eight). The two uncles of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Hamzah and Abu Talib approached her uncle, 'Umar bin Asad, with the formal proposal. It was accepted and the two families began preparing for the wedding. Halimah As-Sa'diyyah who nursed the Prophet in his infancy was specially invited for the wedding and traveled to Makkah from her village. When she left after the festivities, Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) presented her with household goods, a camel and forty goats as an expression of gratitude to the lady who had taken such good care of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in his infancy.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was very blessed in the marriage, and had six children. First two sons, Qasim and 'Abdullah; then followed the daughters, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah. It was a very happy, peaceful and content household, but Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) felt something was missing, and he was extremely restless. He would retire for a month once a year to the cave of Hira to dedicate himself entirely to prayer and meditation. One day he felt the presence of another being who held him in his arms in a tight embrace. Then he loosened his hold and asked him to read; Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) answered that he was illiterate. But the person repeated the same act and the phrase again and again. Then finally he read these Ayat which are the first revelation of the Quran. They are from Surah Iqra or Al-'Alaq.
"Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not."[Noble Quran 96:1-5]
Then the being disappeared. This was such an awesome experience that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) returned home sweating and shaking. He called out to Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) asking her to cover him with a sheet or a blanket. When he had calmed down to some extent, he told his wife that he feared for his life, and narrated the whole incident to her. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), a picture of loyalty and serenity consoled him saying that Allah would surely protect him from any danger, and would never allow anyone to revile him as he was a of man of peace and reconciliation and always extended the hand of friendship to all. He never lied, always hospitable, carried the burdens of others and helped those who were in trouble. These soothing and encouraging words of sympathy and understanding from Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) gave him immeasurable strength and confidence. She then took him to meet her cousin, Waraqah bin Nawfal, who immediately guessed the identity of the being in the Cave of Hira as the Angel Jibril the Messenger of Allah who had visited Moses as well. Waraqah who was very old wished that he could live to see the time when the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) would be forced into exile by his people. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was very surprised and asked if his people would really do this to him. Waraqah assured him that it was typical of human beings that they would never appreciate or follow a Prophet who rose among them. Waraqah added that he wished he were alive at that time and be able to help him. He added that if what he had been told were true then surely it meant that her husband was the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) whose advent had been mentioned in the scriptures.
The four daughters grew up to be faithful and courageous daughters of Islam. They all migrated to Al-Madinah, with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Zaynab was married to Abu 'Aas bin Rabi'ah, Ruqayyah was married to 'Uthman. When she passed away he married her sister Umm Kulthum; Fatimah was married to 'Ali bin Abi Talib. The first three daughters died during the lifetime of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his beloved daughter Fatimah lived just six months after he passed away.
When the disbelievers saw that Islam was attracting more and more followers in spite of all their tactics, they decided to declare an open and total political and economic boycott of the tribe of Banu Hashim. This took place in the seventh year after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared himself the Messenger of Allah. This is also known in Islamic history as the Shi'ab Abi Talib.
It was so severe that innocent children faced starvation and hunger, and adults survived eating the leaves of trees. Yet the firm followers of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did not turn away from their true religion and they came out of the ordeal stronger and purer than before.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) who had been brought up in luxury in her wealthy father's home now faced the economic hardships with patience and courage, which are a necessary part of any siege. Khadijah's (may Allah be pleased with him) nobility of character and conduct pleased Allah, so much that He sent special greetings for her.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the ideal wife and mother. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lived in her house which became a blessed place due to his presence and the fact that Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him) came often to visit him there with Quranic revelations. It became the centre of Islam, where all the Companions male and female visited often to partake of the hospitality of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his wife.
After the Hijrah (migration) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to Al-Madinah, the house was occupied by the brother of 'Ali. Later Mu'awiyah bin Abu Sufyan who transcribed some of the Divine Revelations purchased this house and built a mosque. Thus the site of the house of Khadijah became a place of prayer and worship for all time. She had been used to praying two Rak'as of Salat (prayer), mornings and evenings with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), even before prayers were made compulsory by Allah. After accepting Islam she became more contemplative and inclined towards worship; she found a blessed feeling of peace in prayer.
Afif Kindi relates that 'Abbas bin 'Abdul Muttalib was a great friend of his and he used to visit him often in Yemen in connection with his business in perfumes. On one occasion when they were standing and chatting in Mina, they saw a handsome young man approach. He carefully washed his hands and feet and then stood respectfully with his arms crossed on his breast. Soon a dignified lady of noble bearing and a young handsome young lad joined him. 'Afif asked 'Abbas what they were doing and whether this was a new form of exercise. 'Abbas replied that the youth was his brother 'Abdullah's son, and the lady was his wife. She was a woman of great wealth and virtue, and an ideal wife and mother. The lad was his brother Abu Talib's son. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had announced that he was a Messenger of Allah and had started preaching a new religion called Islam. In due course 'Afif accepted Islam, but he always regretted the fact that he had not joined the Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions in their prayers and supplication on that memorable day in Mina, when he had first heard of Islam.
Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) passed away just three years before the Hijrah, or the Prophet's (peace and blessings be upon him) migration to Al-Madinah. She died at the age of sixty-five, having given almost twenty-five years to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the cause of Islam. When Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) saw her in the throes of death he consoled her saying Allah had so ordained it, and that the thing she was dreading, would prove favorable for her. Her eyes lit up and as she gazed at her beloved husband, her soul left its earthly body.
Her grave was prepared at a place called Hujjun, near Makkah. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stepped into it to see that everything was as it should be, and with his own hands lowered her gently into it. Thus passed away the 'Mother' of all Muslims, the one who had sacrificed her all for Islam, the lady who was the greatest supporter of Islam in its earliest days. She who was the mother of Fatimah, the First Lady of Paradise, the grandmother of the beloved grandchildren of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Hasan and Hussein (may Allah be pleased with them) who are to be the foremost of the youths in Paradise.
When she passed away, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was heartbroken at the loss of a dedicated companion who stood by him during the most difficult period of his life.
One of the ladies of the Quraysh, Khawlah bint Hakim, visited the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to console him, and saw his state of depression and grief and remarked on it. He replied it was only natural that he should be touched by her absence, as she had been a loving mother to his now neglected children; she had been a loyal and sympathetic wife who shared his secrets. It was only human and natural that he should feel her loss as she was there for him during his most difficult times. Whenever he was abused by the disbelievers she had provided moral support and unflagging faith.
A Companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) narrates that whenever any gift was brought to him he would immediately send it to some lady who had been a friend of Khadijah(peace and blessings be upon him). Ayshah, a favorite wife of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says that whenever a goat was slaughtered the Prophet it would send some meat to Khadijah's friends; when she remarked about this on one occasion he told her, 'I have great regard for her friends, as she has a special place in my heart.' Ayshah said she never experienced such a feeling of natural feminine jealousy for any other wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as she did for Khadijah. She also narrates that whenever Muhammad spoke of her he would talk at great length and praise her qualities, and pray for her forgiveness.
Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that whenever the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) talked about Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), it was in terms of the highest praise. One day her innate feminine envy overtook her sense of decorum and she spoke in disparaging terms of her, wondering why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) missed her when he was blessed with a better, younger wife by Allah. This displeased him, but forbearing as he was, he just sighed and answered,
"I have not yet found a better wife than her. She had faith in me when everyone, even members of my own family and tribe did not believe me, and accepted that I was truly a Prophet and a Messenger of Allah. She converted to Islam, spent all her wealth and worldly goods to help me spread this faith, and this too at a time when the entire world seemed to have turned against me and persecuted me. And it is through her that Allah blessed me with children."
As Allah says in Surah Al-Fajr in the Noble Quran that it will be said to the pious believers:
"O the one in complete rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord — well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing (unto Him)! Enter you then among My (honored) servants, and enter you My Paradise."[Noble Quran 89:27-30]

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Ayshah bint Abu Bakr

 Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) was born in 614 CE, she had claims to noble birth from both sides of the family. Her mother was Umm Roman and her father was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him).

She said that there were nine blessings of Allah which distinguished her from all other women in the world except Maryam bint 'Imran, the mother of 'Isa (peace be upon him).
The Angel Jibril had presented her portrait wrapped in green silk to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and told him that this was the picture of the lady chosen by Allah, to be his consort both in this world and the next.
She was the only virgin to have become the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) passed away, he was resting in her lap and was buried in her apartment.
Many times angels encircled her apartment with love and respect.
Very often divine revelation would come to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) when they were lying together resting in peace and tranquility.
She was the daughter of a true friend of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him).
Ayat had descended from the heavens from Allah proving her innocence.
She was born a Muslim and had been brought up in a pure environment, and spent her formative years with the best of creatures, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Allah, the Lord, the Sustainer of the Universe promised her Divine Forgiveness and abundant bounties.
As a girl she used to play with dolls, Once Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) visited her father, he saw her playing with a winged horse; she was barely five years old at the time. When he inquired she said it's a horse. He smiled and answered that horses didn't have wings! She promptly retorted that the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) had winged horses, which showed even at this tender age she was intelligent on religious and historical matters. At the age of 8 years, she experienced an historic move, when the first Islamic state was on rise, she was able to recall all the minor details. Next year she joined the household of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Small rooms were constructed around the Prophet's Mosque, and Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) occupied one of these, on the eastern side of the Mosque it had earthen walls with a roof made of leaves and twigs. It was covered with a blanket to prevent rainwater from seeping through and the roof was so low that a person standing upright could touch it. The door never closed and a blanket hung as curtain. Close to the room, on a slightly higher level was another small room. A mat, a thin mattress, a pillow filled with the bark of trees, a water bag, a small plate for dates and a glass for drinking water were all the things in the room. This sparse little room was filled with spiritual treasures.
When the whole of Arabia was under authority of Islam, huge quantities of grain and cash flowed into the central treasury. But on the day that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) passed away, there was not even food for a single day in his household. Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her)  maintained this tradition up to her last days.
Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) was very charitable, all money that came her way was given away as soon as possible One day a beggar came to her and asked for food. She told her maid to give the lady the piece of bread they had. The maid answered that there was nothing else with which she could break her fast. 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) said help the hungry woman and the evening would take care of itself. By the blessings of Allah in the evening someone sent her a dish of cooked meat; She also sold the house she owned to give the price in charity.
She loved her sister's son, 'Abdullah bin Zubayr, very deeply. He loved her and always looked after her needs. Once he remarked that her generosity needed to be restrained. 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was upset when she heard this; she swore she would never to talk to him. Finally, when she calmed down and made up with him, she freed several slaves as penance for breaking her oath.
'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) was soft-hearted. On one occasion when a beggar carrying two children came to her door; Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) had only three dates in the house. These she gave her; the woman gave one each to the children and started eating one herself. One of the children ate his share quickly and started looking at his mother eating her date. The woman could not bear her child's hunger and took the date from her mouth, broke it into two halves, and gave a piece to each of the children. When 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) saw this heart-rending scene she could not control her tears.
In the month of Sha'ban, Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) accompanied Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) who led the Muslim army towards Qadid, where a minor battle started with tribe of Banu Mustalaq. Several hypocrites were also part of the army during this particular battle. She had borrowed a necklace from her sister Asma'. On the way back the army camped in the desert, and Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) went far into desert to relieve herself. Suddenly she realized that the necklace dropped along the way. She found it after a long search. When she reached the site, the caravan had left, the normal procedure was that the ladies, who were segregated from the men folk, would get into their litter and draw the curtains. Then the camel drivers would place the litter on the camel's back. Since 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) was very light no one realized her absence. She lay down, waiting for her companions to return.
Safwan bin Mu'attil had the responsibility of checking the camp site for things which might have been left behind, at daybreak he arrived to find someone lying down in a Jilbab. When 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) heard him she woke up, and got on to the camel. He then walked leading the camel by the bridle.
At noon when the caravan had just reached the next camp site to rest, they saw 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) arriving with Safwan. Madinah was flooded by loose talk that 'Ayshah was a loose woman and her character was suspect, led by 'Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. Hasan bin Thabit, Hamnah bint Jahash, and Mastah bin Athathah who joined the hypocrites. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was extremely disturbed when he heard this talk, but 'Ayshah was blissfully ignorant of all this.
One night when she went out with the mother of Mastah bin Athathah. The lady tripped and started cursing her son. 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) said that he was a Companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who fought in the Battle of Badr and deserved respect. The old lady retorted that 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) was ignorant of the fact that he was involved in an awful plot; she revealed what had been taking place behind her back. On returning home, she took the permission of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and went to visit her parents. She was heartbroken, her sympathetic and loving parents advised her to be patient and everything would be cleared up. But she could not accept the fact that people could descend to such cruel depths. After two days and nights of continuous weeping she fell ill.
On the third morning, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to see her. He told her very gently that if she erred she should ask Allah for His forgiveness. She said to her husband that if she denied she was guilty, nobody would believe her; but she was innocent and only Allah knew it. The best answer to these accusations was to quote the answer of the father of Yusuf,
"So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allah Whose help can be sought against that (lie) which you describe."[Noble Quran 12:18]
At precisely this moment, the Ayat announcing her innocence were revealed. When the revelation ended he then turned to 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) with a smile and started reciting the Ayat,
"Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment. Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (the slander), think good of their own people and say:
"This (charge) is an obvious lie?" Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allah they are the liars. Had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy unto you in this world and in the Hereafter, a great torment would have touched you for that whereof you had spoken. When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great. And why did you not, when you heard it, say: "It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allah)! This is a great lie." Allah forbids you from it and warns you not to repeat the like of it forever, if you are believers. And Allah makes the Ayat plain to you, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not. And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, (Allah Would have hastened the punishment upon you). And that Allah is full of kindness, Most Merciful. O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytan, then, verily, he commands Al-Fahsha' (illegal sexual intercourse), and Al-Munkar (evil and wicked deeds). And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies (guides to Islam) whom He wills, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower."[Noble Quran 24:11-21]
Her parents were proud and relieved; pride that their daughter had been honored with a Quranic revelation, and relief that she was acquitted of any wrongdoing. They asked their daughter to rise and thank her husband, 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) promptly replied that she was grateful to her Allah for He had revealed Quranic Ayat in her honor. This episode is known in Islamic History as the Event of Al-Ifk.
After this incident the Prophet's respect for 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) increased even more. 'Amr bin 'Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) once asked Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) who he loved most in this world, and he replied that he loved 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) more than anyone else. Then he asked him about the men folk. And the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered that he loved Ayshah's father the most. On one occasion 'Umar told his daughter Hafsah not to try and compete with 'Ayshah as Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) valued her very highly.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) loved to listen to 'Ayshah talking and always smiled when she spoke. On one 'Eid day there were some Africans displaying their skill with spears; 'Ayshah wanted to watch, so the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stood in front of her so she could enjoy and not be seen. And he did not move until she tired of it.
But all this pleasant entertainment could not distract Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) from his duty to Allah. When the Mu'adthin's call to prayer would be heard, he immediately would rise and prepare to go the mosque, the love for Allah had priority over all other affections and interests.
Once they camped at a place in the desert and again 'Ayshah's necklace fell off. Some of the companions were sent to find it. When the call for morning prayers was given, there was no water for ablution. The Companions were worried about the morning prayers, and held Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) responsible. Her father rebuked his daughter for creating a situation, which might lead to the prayers being missed. Exactly at this moment this Ayat was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him),
"And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your face and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving."[Noble Quran 4:43]
The people expressed their thanks for such a great favor Allah granted because of her. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) had not realized until that moment how pleased Allah was with her.
By the ninth year after Hijrah, Islam had spread over most of Arabia. Madinah became a flourishing state. Some wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) requested a increase in allowances.
This disturbed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and he declared that for one month he would separate himself from his wives, and he went into seclusion.
After 29 days he came to 'Ayshah's apartment, and told her to make a choice after consulting her parents; choose him and a life of hardship, or leave him and lead a life of ease. 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) had no doubt in her mind; she immediately answered that she and her parents would sacrifice their lives for him if need arose, there was no need to consult her parents and she would prefer life with him to the world and its attractions. A beautiful smile lit his face. And then Allah revealed the following,
"O Prophet Say to your wives: 'If you desire the life of this world, and its glitter, them come! I will make a provision for you and set you free in a handsome manner (divorce). But if you desire Allah And His Messenger, and the Home of the hereafter, then verily, Allah has prepared for the good-doers among you an enormous reward."[Noble Quran 33:28-29]
All the wives took the same decision as 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her).
In two recorded incidents Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) saw Jibril (peace be upon him) personally.
On one occasion, 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) saw the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) talking to a rider of a horse. When she inquired about the stranger, he was surprised that she saw him and told her it was the Angel Jibril (peace be upon him)as human and sent greetings to you. She prayed that Allah give reward to the honored guest and to noble host.
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: Once Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was praying in 'Ayshah's apartment, she saw someone standing outside the door. When he finished his prayers she informed him. It was angel Jibril. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) invited him inside but he replied that they don't enter where there were dogs or pictures. When Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) looked around he saw a puppy in a corner of the room; when he was chased out then the angel entered.
'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) attained a lofty status because of her knowledge. Everyone consulted her on the finer points of religion. Many Hadiths originated from her 2210 in number. She was among the top seven companions who narrated thousands of Hadiths.
Imam Dthahabi wrote that she was a theologian of the highest order. She imbibed divinely inspired knowledge and wisdom from the very fountainhead of Prophethood and an eyewitness to problems and their answers by divine revelations. Her apartment was the centre where Ayat were revealed by the divine Mercy of Allah. Thus she was given the title of 'Horizon of the Ladies of Islam'.
During the time of Khulafa-u-Rashidin, her Fatwas were accepted. Once someone asked Masruq if 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) had mastery over Shari'ah laws regarding inheritance. He swore that he had seen Companions asking her questions about the finer points of the laws of inheritance. 'Urwah bin Zubayr, her sister Asma's son often visited her to discuss religious issues with her. Other Companions envied him as he could freely approach her at any time.
Once the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) were not feeling well. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that if she died before him he would bathe her and shroud her and lower her into her grave and pray for her. She light heartedly replied that it seemed as if he would celebrate her death; and she told him that in case she died before him, he should bring a new wife into her apartment. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) smiled at this.
Her brother, 'Abdur-Rahman (may Allah be pleased with him) came in during his last moments with a Siwak in his hand; the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) looked longingly at it. 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) understood and asked him if she could offer one to him. When he nodded, she took it and softened it with her teeth and offered it to him. He cleaned his teeth; and dipping his hand frequently in water, he kept wiping his face again and again, repeating the words,
"There is none worthy of worship but Allah. Verily, death has pains."Then he pointed upward with his hand and said, "Toward the best friend"
Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her) once had a dream that three moons descended into her apartment. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) passed away he was buried in her apartment. Her father told her that part of her dream came true that day - the first moon irradiated her apartment. Later, her father and then Umar Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with them) was buried next to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) which fulfilled the prophesy of her dream.
Imam Dthahabi quoted a saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that a Prophet's soul leaves its body in the place that it likes the best. Thus it is proven he died in his favorite place, the apartment of 'Ayshah (may Allah be pleased with her).
She left this earthly existence for Paradise in the year 58 Hijrah on the 17th of Ramadhan at the age of 66.
She was buried in Jannatul Baqi'. with Abu Hurairah leading the funeral prayers.

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MARIA al-Qibtiyya

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.

 MAYMUNA bint al-Harith


Maymuna bint al-Harith, (may Allah be pleased with her), married the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 7 AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and she was thirty six years old. Maymuna's sister, Umm al-Fadl Lubaba, was the mother of Abdullah ibn Abbas, the son of one of the uncles of the Prophet and the one of the wisest of his Companions. Umm al-Fadl was one of the earliest Companions of the Prophet. Once Abu Lahab, the enemy of Allah and the Messenger of Allah, entered the house of his brother, al-Abbas, and proceeded to attack Abbas client, Abu Rafi, because he had embraced Islam. Abu Lahab knocked him to the ground and knelt on him, continuing to beat him. Umm al Fadl grabbed a post that was there and cracked it across Abu Lahab's head, saying, "Will you victimize him because his master is absent?" He treated in shame and died a week later.
Zaynab bint Khuzayma, Umm al Muminin, was also her half-sister. Her other sisters included Asma bint Umays, the wife of Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, who later married Abu Bakr, and Salma bint Umays, the wife of Hamza, the "Lion of Allah". Her full sisters were Lubaba, Asma and Izza. Maymuna was thus one of the 'Ahlul- Bayt' , 'the people of the House', not only by virtue of being a wife of the Prophet, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) but also because she was related to him. Zayd bin Arqam related that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "I implore you by Allah! The People of my House!" three times. Zayd was asked who were the People of the House, and he said, "The family of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the family of Jafar ibn Abi Talib, the family Aqil ibn Abi Talib, and the family of Al Abbas ibn Abdal Muttalib."
Maymuna or Barra as she was then called, yearned to marry the Prophet. She went to her sister, Umm al Fadl to talk to her about that and she, in turn, spoke to her husband, al-Abbas. Al-Abbas immediately went to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with Maymuna's offer of marriage to him and her proposal was accepted. When the good news reached her, she was on a camel, and she immediately got off the camel and said, "The camel and what is on it is for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)." They were married in the month of Shawwal in 7 AH just after the Muslims of Medina were permitted to visit Mecca under the terms of the treaty of Hudaybiyya to perform umra. Allah Almighty sent the following ayat about this:
Any believing woman who dedicates herself to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her, that is only for thee and not for the believers. (Quran 33:50)
The Prophet gave her the name, Maymuna, meaning "blessed", and Maymuna lived with the Prophet for just over three years, until his death. She was obviously very good natured and got on well with everyone, and no quarrel or disagreement with any of the Prophet's other wives has been related about her. 'A'isha said about her, "Among us, she had the most fear of Allah and did the most to maintain ties of kinship." It was in her room that the Prophet first began to feel the effects of what became his final illness and asked the permission of his wives to stay in A'isha's room while it lasted.
After the Prophet's death, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Maymuna continued to live in Medina for another forty years, dying at the age of eighty, in 51 AH, (may Allah be pleased with her), being the last but one of the Prophet's wives to die. She asked to be buried where had married the Prophet at Saraf and her request was carried out. It is related that at the funeral of Maymuna, Ibn Abbas said, "This is the wife of Allah's Messenger, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so when you lift her bier, do not shake her or disturb her, but be gentle." It is also related by Ibn Abbas that he once stayed the night as a guest of Maymuna, who was his aunt, and the Prophet, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) They slept on their blanket lengthways and he slept at the end, crossways. After they had all slept for awhile, the Prophet rose in the middle of the night to pray the tahajjud prayer, and Ibn Abbas joined him.
They both did wudu, and he prayed eleven rakats with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Then they both went back to sleep again until dawn. Bilal called the adhan, and the Prophet did another two short rakats, before going into the mosque to lead the Dawn Prayer.
Ibn Abbas said that one of the dua'ahs that the Prophet made during this night was : "O Allah, place light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my hearing, light on my sight, light behind me, light in front of me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me; place light in my sinew, in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; place light in my soul and make light abundant for me; make me light and grant me light."
It is commonly agreed that it was after the Prophet had married Maymuna, giving him now nine wives (A'isha, Sawda, Hafsa, Umm Salama, Zainab bint Jahsh, Juwayriyya, Umm Habiba, Safiyya and Maymuna), that the following ayat was revealed:
It is not lawful for you (O Muhammad, to marry more) women after this, nor to exchange them for other wives, even though their beauty is pleasing to you, except those whom your right hand possesses (as maid servants); and Allah is always watching over everything. (Quran 33:52)
After this, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not marry again. When however, the Christian ruler, or Muqawqis, of Egypt, sent him two Christian slave girls 0 who were sisters as a gift (in response to the Prophet's letter inviting him to embrace Islam), along with a fine robe and some medicine the Prophet, accepted one of the slave girls, Maria, into his household; he gave her sister Serene, to a man whom he wished to honor, namely Hassan ibn Thabit; he accepted the robe; and he returned the medicine with the message, "My Sunna is my medicine!" This occurred in 7 AH, when the Prophet wassixty years old and Maria was twenty years old.

SAFIYYA bint Huyayy

 

Safiyya bint Huyayy, (may Allah be pleased with her) married the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 7 AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and she was seventeen years old. As in the case of juwayriyya bint Harith, this marriage occurred after one of the Muslims' decisive battles, in this case, the battle of Khaybar. After the battle of Khaybar in which the Muslims defeated the Jews, two women were brought before the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by Bilal, the black mu'adhdhin of Medina whose beautifully piercing voice constantly called the Muslims to prayer right up until the Prophet's death- after which he could not bring himself to call the adhan anymore, until he was present at the surrender of Jerusalem to the khalif Umar in 17 AH. They had passed by those who had been killed in the fighting. One of the two women was shrieking and screaming, and rubbing dust in her hair, while the other was mute with shock.
The silent one was Safiyya, the daughter of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of the Banu Nadir who had all been expelled from Medina in 4 AH after plotting to kill the Messenger of Allah by dropping a stone on his head as he sat talking with their leaders. The noisy one was Safiyya's cousin. Safiyya could trace her lineage directly back to Harun, the brother of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon them). The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked someone to look after the woman who was screaming and then took off his cloak and placed it over the shoulders of Safiyya, whose husband had been killed in the battle. It was a gesture of pity, but from that moment she was to be honored and given great respect in the Muslim community. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) turned to Bilal and said, "Bilal, has Allah plucked mercy from your heart that you let these two women pass by those of their menfolk who have been killed?" This was considered a severe reprimand, for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) rarely criticized the behavior of those who served him. Anas ibn Malik, for example once said, "I served the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for eight years. He never once scolded me for something that I had done or for something that I had not done."
Like Umm Habiba, Safiyya was the daughter of a great chief. The only person who could save her from becoming a slave after having enjoyed such a high position was the Prophet. Although her father had planned to assassinate Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) after the battle of Uhud, and had conspired with the Banu Qurayza to exterminate all the Muslims during the battle of al-Khandaq, it was characteristic of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he did not bear any grudges. For those who did wrong, he felt pity rather than anger, and for those who had done no wrong, he had even greater compassion. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) invited Safiyya to embrace Islam, which she did, and having given her, her freedom, he then married her. Some people may have wondered how it was that Safiyya could accept Islam and marry the Prophet when her father had been his bitter enemy, and when bloody battles had taken place between the Jews and the Muslims. The answer may be found in what she has related of her early life as the daughter of the chief of the Banu Nadir.
She said, (may Allah be pleased with her): "I was my father's favorite and also a favorite with my uncle Yasir. They could never see me with one of their children without picking me up. When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Medina, my father and my uncle went to see him. It was very early in the morning and between dawn and sunrise. They did not return until the sun was setting. They came back worn out and depressed, walking with slow, heavy steps. I smiled to them as I always did, but neither of them took any notice of me because they were so miserable. I head Abu Yasir ask my father, 'Is it him?' 'Yes, it is.' 'Can you recognize him? Can you verify it?' 'Yes, I can recognize him too well.' 'What do you feel towards him?' 'Enmity, enmity as long as I live.'
The significance of this conversation is evident when we recall that in the Torah of the Jews, it was written that a Prophet would come who would lead those who followed him to victory. Indeed before the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Medina, the Jews used to threaten the idol worshippers of Yathrib, as it was then called, that when the next Prophet came to the believers were going to exterminate them, just as the Jews had exterminated other tribes who refused to worship God in the past. As in any case, of the Prophet Jesus, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who had been clearly described in the Torah - but rejected by many of the Jews when he actually came - the next and last Prophet was accurately described in the Torah, which also contained signs by which the Jews could easily recognize him. Thus Ka'b al-Ahbar, one of the Jews of that time who embraced Islam, relates that this Prophet is described in the Torah as follows:
'My slave, Ahmad, the Chosen, born in Mecca, who will emigrate to Medina (or he said Tayyiba - another name given to Yathrib); his community will be those who praise Allah in every state.'
And 'Amr ibn al-'As said that it also says in the Torah:
'O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, a bringer of good news and a warner and a refuge for the illiterate. You are My slave and My messenger. I have called you the one on whom people rely, one who is neither coarse nor vulgar, and who neither shouts in the markets nor repays evil with evil, but rather pardons and forgives. Allah will not take him back to Himself until the crooked community has been straightened out by him and they say, "There is no god but Allah." Through him, blind eyes, deaf ears and covered hearts will be opened.'
It was thanks to these descriptions in the Torah, that the most learned rabbi of the Jews, 'Abdullah ibn Salam, had embraced Islam on seeing Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and it was because of these descriptions that Huyayy ibn Akhtab was also able to recognize him. However Huyayy, like most of the other Jews, was deeply disappointed that the last Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a descendant of Isma'il and not of Ishaq, (the two sons of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon them), since the Jews of that time claimed exclusive descent from Ishaq, through the twelve sons of his son Ya'qub (who was also known as Israel), from whom the twelve tribes of Israel had originated. Not only did Huyayy resent the fact that the last Prophet had appeared amongst the Arabs, but also he did not want to lose his position of power and leadership over his people.
It was for these reasons that Huyayy secretly decided to oppose and fight the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) while in public he and the other leaders of the Jews made peace treaties with the Muslims and the Jews broke as soon as it seemed a favorable time to do so. Although Safiyya was Huyayy's daughter, she had a pure heart and had always wanted to worship her Creator and Lord, the One who had sent Moses, to whom she was related, and Jesus, and finally Muhammad, may Allah be pleased with all of them. Thus as soon as the opportunity arose, not only to follow the last Prophet, but also to be married to him, she took it. Although Safiyya had in Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a most kind and considerate husband, she was not always favorably accepted by some of his other wives, especially when she had first joined the Prophet's household. It is related by Anas that on one occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) found Safiyya weeping. When he asked her what the matter was, she replied that she heard thHafsa had disparagingly described her as 'the daughter of a Jew'.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) responded by saying, "You are certainly the daughter of a Prophet (Harun), and certainly your uncle was a Prophet (Moses), and you are certainly the wife of a Prophet (Muhammad), so what is there in that to be scornful towards you?" Then he said to Hafsa, "O Hafsa, fear Allah!"
Once the Prophet was accompanied on a journey by Safiyya and Zaynab bint Jahsh when Safiyya' s camel went lame. Zaynab had an extra camel and the Prophet asked her if she would give it to Safiyya. Zaynab retorted, "Should I give to that Jewess!" The Prophet turned away from her in anger and would not have anything to do with her for two or three months not to show his disapproval of what she had said. Some three years later, when Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was in his final illness, Safiyya felt for him deeply and sincerely. "O Messenger of Allah," she said, "I wish it was I who was suffering instead of you." Some of the wives winked at each other which made the Prophet cross and he exclaimed, "By Allah, she spoke the truth!"
She still underwent difficulties after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Once a slavegirl she owned went to the Amir al Muminin Umar and said, "Amir al Muminin! Safiyya loves the Sabbath and maintains ties with the Jews!" Umar asked Safiyya about that and she said, "I have not loved the Sabbath since Allah replaced it with Friday for me, and I only maintain ties with those Jews to whom I am related by kinship." She asked her slavegirl what had possessed her to carries lie to Umar and the girl replied, "Shaytan!" Safiyya said, "Go, you are free."
Safiyya was with the Prophet for nearly four years, She was only twenty-one when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) died, and lived as a widow for the next thirty-nine years, dying in 50 AH, at the age of sixty (may Allah be pleased with her).

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UMM HABIBA

Umm Habiba Ramla bint Abu Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with her, in fact married the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 1 AH, although she did not actually come to live with him in Medina until 7 AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and she was thirty-five. Umm Habiba was the daughter of Abu Sufyan, who for some of his life was one of the most resolute enemies of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) spending much of his great wealth in opposing the Muslims, and leading the armies of the kafirun against the Muslims in all the early major battles, including the battles of Badr, Uhud and al-Khandaq. Indeed it was not until the conquest of Mecca, when the Prophet generously pardoned him, that Abu Sufyan embraced Islam and began to fight with the Muslims instead of against them.
Umm Habiba and her first husband, who was called Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh, the brother of Zaynab bint Jahsh, were among the first people to embrace Islam in Mecca, and they were among those early Muslims who emigrated to Abyssinia in order to be safe. Once in Abyssinia, however, Ubaydullah abandoned Islam and became a Christian. He tried to make her become Christian, but she stood fast. This put Umm Habiba in a difficult position, since a Muslim woman can only be married to be a Muslim man. She could no longer live with her husband, and once they had been divorced, she could not return to her father, who was still busy fighting the Muslims. So she remained with her daughter in Abyssinia, living a very simple life in isolation, waiting to see what Allah would decree for her.
One day, as Umm Habiba sat in her solitary room, a stranger in a strange land far from her home, a maidservant knocked on her door and said that she had been sent by the Negus who had a message for her. The message was that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had asked for her hand in marriage, and that if she accepted this proposal that she was to name one of the accepted this proposal then she was to name one of the Muslims in Abyssinia as her wakil, so that the marriage ceremony could take place in Abyssinia even though she was not in the same place as the Prophet. Naturally Umm Habiba was overjoyed and accepted immediately. "Allah has given you good news! Allah has give you good news!" she cried, pulling off what little jewelry she had and giving it to the smiling girl. She asked her to repeat the message three times since she could hardly believe her ears.
Soon after this, all the Muslims who had sought refuge in Abyssinia were summoned to the palace of the Negus to witness the simple marriage ceremony in which the on the Prophet's behalf and her wakil, Khalid ibn Sa'id ibn al-As, acting on her behalf. When the marriage was finalized, the Negus addressed the gathering with these words:
"I praise Allah, the Holy, and I declare that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger and that He gave the good news to Jesus the son of Mary.
"The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) requested me to conclude the marriage contract between him and Umm Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufyan. I agreed to do what he requested, and on his behalf I give her a dowry of four hundred gold dinars." The Negus handed over the amount to Khalid ibn Sa'id who stood up and said:
"All praise is due to Allah. I praise Him and I seek His help and forgiveness and I turn to Him in repentance. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger whom He has sent with the deen of guidance and truth so that it may prevail over all other religions, however much those who reject dislike this. "I agreed to do what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) requested and acted as the wakil on behalf of Umm Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufyan. May Allah bless His Messenger and his wife. Congratulations to Umm Habiba for the goodness which Allah has decreed for her."
Khalid took the dowry and handed it over to Umm Habiba. Thus although she could not travel to Arabia straight away, she was provided for by the Prophet, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from the moment and that they were married. The Muslims who had witnessed the marriage contract were just about to leave, when the Negus said to them, "Sit down, for it is the practice of the Prophets to serve food at marriages." Joyfully everyone sat down again to eat and celebrate the happy occasion. Umm Habiba especially could hardly believe her good fortune, and she later described how eager she was to share her happiness, saying: "When I received the money as my dowry, I sent fifty mithqals of gold to the servant girl who had first brought me the good news, and I said to her, 'I gave you what I did when you gave me the good news because at that time I did not have any money at all.'
"Shortly afterwards, she came to me and returned the gold. She also produced a case which contained the necklace I had given to her and gave it to me, saying, 'The Negus has instructed me not to take anything from you, and he has commanded the women in his household to present you with gifts of perfume.'
"On the following day, she brought me ambergris, saffron and aloes wood oil and said, 'I have a favor to ask of you.'
'"What is it?' I asked.
'"I have accepted Islam,' she replied, 'and now I followed the deen of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Please convey my greetings of peace to him, and let him know that I believe in Allah and His Prophet. Please do not forget.'"
Six years later, in 7 AH, when the emigrant Muslims in Abyssinia were finally able to return to Arabia, Umm Habiba came to Medina and there the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who had just returned victorious from Khaybar, warmly welcomed her. Umm Habiba relates: "When I met the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), I told him all about the arrangements that had been made for the marriage, and about my relationship with the girl. I told him that she had become a Muslim and conveyed her greetings of peace to him. He was filled with joy at the news and said, 'Wa alayha as salam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh' - 'And on her be the peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessing.'"
The strength of Umm Habiba' s character can be measured by what happened shortly before the conquest of Mecca, when her father, Abu Sufyan, came to Medina after the Quraish had broken the treaty of Hudaybiyya, in order to try and re-negotiate a fresh settlement with the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims. He first went to Umm Habiba's room and was about to sit down on the blanket on which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) slept when Umm Habiba, who had not seen her father for over six years, asked him not to sit on it and quickly folded it up and put it away. "Am I too good for the bed, or it is the bed too good for me?" he asked. "how can the enemy of Islam sit on the bed of the Holy Prophet?" she replied.
It was only after Abu Sufyan had embraced Islam, after the conquest of Mecca, and had become the enemy of the enemies of Islam, that Umm Habiba accepted and loved him again as her father. When she received the news that her father and brother Mu'awiya, who later became the Khalif of the Muslims, had become Muslims after the conquest, she fell down in prostration to Allah out of thankfulness. Umm Habiba spent four years of her life with the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and lived for another thirty-three years after he had died, dying at the age of seventy-two in 44 AH, may Allah be pleased with her.
Like all the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Umm Habiba spent much of her time remembering Allah and worshipping Him. She has related that once the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to her, "A house will be built in the Garden for anyone who, in the space of a day and a night, prays twelve voluntary rak'ats;" and she added, "I have never stopped doing this since I it from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessinof Allah be upon him).

JUWAYRIYYA bint al-Harith

Juwayriyya bint Harith, may Allah be pleased with her, married the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 5 AH, when the Prophet was fifty-eight years old and she was twenty, not long after his marriage to Zaynab bint Jahsh, and as a result of the Muslims ' successful campaign against the Banu Mustaliq who were swiftly defeated after the Prophet's surprise attack. Among the captives taken in this campaign was the beautiful Juwayriyya, the daughter of al-Harith, who was the chief of the Banu Mustaliq. She was afraid that once the Muslims realized who she was, they would demand an exorbitant ransom for her safe release. After the Muslims had returned to Medina with their booty and prisoners, she demanded to see the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) hoping that he would help to prevent what she feared. Seeing how beautiful she was, A'isha was not keen on her seeing the Prophet.
But she persisted, and eventually she was permitted to see the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and was taken to him while he was with A'isha. After she had finished speaking, the Prophet thought for a moment, and then said, "Shall I tell you what would be better than this?"
He then asked her to marry him, and she immediately accepted. Although Juwayriyya was young and beautiful and of noble lineage, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was thinking of how to save her and all her tribe from an ignoble fate. By marrying Juwayriyya, the Banu Mustaliq would be able to enter Islam with honor, and with the humiliation of their recent defeat removed, so that it would no longer be felt necessary by them to embark on a war of vengeance that would have continued until one of the two parties had been annihilated. As soon as the marriage was announced, all the booty that had been taken from the Banu Mustaliq was returned, and all the captives were set free, for they were now the in laws of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Thus A'isha once said of Juwayriyya, "I know of no woman who was more of a blessing to her people than Juwayriyya bint al-Harith." After they were married, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) changed her name was Barra to Juwayriyya.
It has been related by Juwayriyya that early one morning the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) left her room while she was doing the dawn prayer. He returned later that morning and she was still sitting in the same place. "have you been sitting in the same place since I left you?" he asked. "Yes," she replied. Whereupon the Prophet said, "I recited four phrases three times after I left you, and if these were to be weighed against what you have been reciting since dawn, they would still outweigh them. They are: 'Glory be to Allah and Praise be to Him as much as the number of his creations, and His pleasure, and the weight of His Throne, and the ink of His words.'" Which reminds us of the following ayat of the Qur'an:
Say: 'If the sea were the ink for the words of My Lord, truly the sea would be used up before the words of my Lord were completed, and even if We used the same again to assist. (Qur'an 18:109)
Juwayriyya was married to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for six years, and lived for another thirty-nine years after his death, dying in 50 AH at the age of sixty-five, may Allah be pleased with her.
 

ZAYNAB bint Jahsh

Zaynab bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with her, married the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 5 AH, when she was thirty-five and the Prophet was fifty-eight, but only after her pervious marriage, which had been arranged by the Prophet himself, had ended in divorce. As with all the marriages of the Prophet Muhammad, there was much for all the Muslims to learn from it. Zaynab bint Jahsh was the Prophet Muhammad's cousin, her mother Umayma being the daughter of Abdul Muttalib, Muhammad's grandfather, who, while he was alive, had ensured the safety of his grandson, thanks to his position as one of the most respected leaders of the Quraish. Thus Zaynab bint Jahsh came from one of the noblest families of the Quraish, and everyone expected her to eventually marry a man with the same high social status.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was well aware that it is a person's standing in the eyes of Allah that is important, rather than his or her status in the eyes of the people. He wanted her to marry a young man called Zayd ibn Harith, whose background was very different to that of Zaynab bint Jahsh. Zayd had been taken prisoner while he was still a child during one of the inter-tribal wars that had been common before the coming of Islam. He had been sold as a slave to a nephew of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) who had given Zayd to her as a gift. In turn, Khadijah had given him to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the days before the revelation of the Qur'an had begun, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had given him his freedom and adopted him as his own son, at the age of eight.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had watched both Zayd and Zaynab grow up, and thought they would make a good couple, and that their marriage would demonstrate that it was not who their ancestors were, but rather their standing in the sight of Allah, that mattered. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked for her hand on behalf of Zayd, Zaynab had her family were shocked at the idea of her marrying a man who in their eyes was only a freed slave. Moreover, Zaynab had wanted to marry the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself and in fact he had already been asked by her family whether or not he would like to marry her. At first both she and her brother refused, but then the following ayat was revealed:
It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any say in their decision; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has most clearly gone astray. (Quran 33:36)
When Zayd, who had also had misgivings about the proposed match, and Zaynab realized that there was no difference between what the Prophet wanted and what Allah wanted, they both agreed to the marriage, the Prophet providing a handsome dowry for Zaynab on Zayd's behalf. The marriage, however, was not a success. Although both Zaynab and Zayd were the best of people, who loved Allah and His Messenger, they were very different and in the end they could not overcome their incompatibility. Zayd asked the Prophet's permission to divorce Zaynab more than once, and although he was counseled to hold onto his wife and to fear Allah, in the end the divorce took place. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then was ordered by Allah to marry Zaynab bint Jahsh, while he did in 5 AH, when he was fifty-eight years old, and she was thirty-five years old. In doing so, he demonstrated beyond doubt that in Islam an adopted son is not regarded in the same light as a natural son, and that although a father may never marry a woman whom his natural son has married and then divorced, the father of an adopted son is permitted to marry a woman who was once, but is no longer, married to that adopted son. Furthermore, by marrying Zaynab, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also confirmed that it is permissible for cousins to marry, and , at the same time, Zaynab was given her heart's desire to be married to the Best of Creation.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) received the command to marry Zaynab while he was with A'isha. After he had received the revelation, he smiled and said, "Who will go and give Zaynab the good news?" and he recited the ayat that he had received. Some say that it was Zayd himself who told her the good news. When Zaynab heard the news, she stopped what she was doing and prayed to thank Allah. Afterwards, she was fond of pointing out that her marriage had been arranged by Allah. It was at this point that the Prophet changed her name from Barra to Zaynab.
Zaynab's wedding feast was also the occasion for another ayat of Qur'an to be sent down. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sacrificed a sheep and then commanded his servant, Anas, to invite the people to partake of it. After they had eaten, two men remained there after the meal chatting. The Messenger of Allah went out and said goodnight to his other wives and then came back and the two men were still there chatting. It was very hard on the Prophet who did not like to criticize people directly, and so he waited patiently until they left. Then Allah sent down the following ayat which is known as "The Ayat of Hijab":
O you who believe! Do not go into the Prophet's rooms except after being given permission to come and eat, not waiting for the food to be prepared, However, when you are called, then go in and when you have eaten, then disperse, and do not remain wanting to chat together. If you do that, it causes injury to the Prophet though he is too reticent to tell you. But Allah is not reticent with the truth. When you ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a screen. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. It is not for you to cause injury to the Messenger of Allah nor ever to marry his wives after him. TO do that would be something dreadful in the sight of Allah. Whether you make something known or conceal it, Allah has knowledge of all things. There is no blame on them regarding their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their brothers' s sons or their sisters' s sons or their women or those their right hands own. Have fear of Allah. Allah is witness over everything. Allah and His angels pray blessings of the Prophet. O you who believe! Pray blessings on him and ask for peace for him. (Quran 33:53-56)
Zaynab was a woman who was constantly immersed in the worship of Allah. It is related by Anas ibn Malik that once the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) entered the mosque and found a rope hanging down between two of the pillars, and so he said, "What is this?" He was told, "It is for Zaynab. She prays, and when she loses concentration or feels tired, she holds onto it." At this time the Prophet said, "Untie it. Pray as long as you feel fresh, but when you lose concentration or become tired, you should stop."
Zaynab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for six years, and lived for another nine years after his death, dying at the age of fifty, in 20 AH, and thus fulfilling the Prophet's indication that she would be the first of his wives to die aftehim. Zaynab bint Jahsh, like Zaynab bint Khuzayma before her, was very generous to the poor, and indeed the Prophet said, when speaking of her to his other wives, "She is the most generous among you."
It has been related by A'isha that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) once said to his wives, "The one who has the longest hands among you will meet me again the soonest." A'isha added, "They use to measure each other's hands to see whose as longest, and it was the hand of Zaynab that was the longest, because she used to work by hand and give away (what she earned) in charity." The Messenger of Allah said to Umar, "Zaynab bint Jahsh is one who is full of prayer." A man said, "Messenger of Allah, what is that?" He said, "The one who is humble and earnest in prayer." A'isha also said that Zaynab, "I have never seen a woman so pure as Zaynab, so God-fearing, so truthful, so attentive to family ties, so generous, so self-sacrificing in everyday life, so charitable, and thus so close to Allah, the Exalted."
Several years after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had died, when Umar was the khalif, great wealth came to the Muslims as a result of their victories in fighting the Persians. The immense treasures of Chosroes, the Persian Emperor, fell into their hands, and when Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) sent Zaynab a pile of gold as her share of the treasure, she called her maid servant and told her to take a handful of it to so-and-so, naming one of the poor people of Medina. One after another, she named all the poor people whom she knew, until they had all received a share of the treasure. Then she told her maidservant to see what was left. All that remained of the large pile of gold was eighty dinars, and this she accepted as her share, thanking Allah for it; but, because she believed so much money was a temptation, she asked Allah that she would never witness such a large distribution of wealth again.
By the time a year had passed, when Umar again came to distribute money amongst those wives of the Prophet who were still alive, her prayer had been granted for she had already passed away, may Allah be pleased with her.

UMM SALAMA HIND bint Abi Umayya

Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya, may Allah be pleased with her, was married to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 4 AH at the age of twenty nine, after her first husband, Abdullah ibn Abdul Asad, had died from the wounds he had received while fighting at the battle of Uhud. Umm Salama and Abdal Asad had been among the first people to embrace Islam in the early days of the Muslim community in Mecca. They had suffered at the hands of the Quraish who had tried to force them to abandon their new faith, and had been among the first group of Muslims to seek refuge under the protection of the Negus in Abyssinia. When they had returned to Mecca, believing that the situation of the Muslims had improved, they had found instead that if anything it was worse. Rather than return to Abyssinia, Abdal Asad and Umm Salama had received the Prophet's permission to immigrate to Medina, but this proved not to be as easy as they might have imagined.
In the words of Umm Salama: "When Abu Salama (my husband) decided to leave for Medina, he prepared a camel for me, lifted me up onto it and put my son Salama on my lap. My husband then took the lead and went straight ahead without stopping or waiting for anything. Before we were out of Mecca, however, some men from my tribe, the Banu Mahkhzum, stopped us and said to my husband: "Although you may be free to do what you like with yourself, you have no power over your wife. She is our daughter. DO you expect us to allow you to take her away from us?' They then grabbed hold of him and snatched me away from him. Some men from my husband's tribe, the Banu Abdul Asad, saw them taking both me and my child and became hot with rage: "No, by Allah!' They shouted. 'We shall not abandon the boy. He is our son and we have a rightful claim over him.' So they took him by his arm and pulled him away from me. Suddenly, in the space of a few minutes, I found myself all alone. My husband headed out towards Medina by himself; his tribe had snatched away my son from me; and my own tribe had overpowered me and forced me to stay with them. From the day that my husband and my son were parted from me, I went out at noon every day and sat at the spot where this tragedy had occurred. I would remember those terrifying moments and weep until nightfall.
"I continued like this for a year or so until one day a man from the Banu Umayya passed by and saw my condition. He went to my tribe and said, 'Why don't you free this woman? You have caused both her husband and her son to betaken away from her.' He went on like this, trying to soften their hearts and appealing to their emotions, until at last they said to me, 'Go and join your husband if you wish.' But how could I join my husband in Medina, and leave my son, part of my own flesh and blood, in Mecca among the Banu Abdul Asad? How could I remain free from anguish, and my eyes free from tears, if I were to reach the place of hijrah not knowing anything of my little son left behind in Mecca?
"Some people realized what I was going through and their hearts went out to me. They approached the Banu Abdul Asad on my behalf and persuaded them to return my son. I had no desire to remain in Mecca until I could find someone to travel with me, for I was afraid that something might happen that would delay me or stop me from reaching my husband. So I immediately prepared my camel, placed my son on my lap, and set out in the direction of Medina. I just had just reached Tan'im (3 miles from Mecca) when I met Uthman ibn Talha (He as in charge of looking after the Ka'ba, but did not embrace Islam until the Conquest of Mecca). "'Were are you going, Bint Zad ar Rakib?' he asked. 'I am going to my husband in Medina.' 'And isn't there anyone going with you?' 'No, by Allah, except Allah and my little boy here.' 'By Allah,' he vowed, 'I will not leave you until you reach Medina.'
He then took the reins of my camel and led us on our way. By Allah, I have never met an Arab more generous and noble than he. Whenever we reached a resting-place, he would make my camel kneel down, wait until I had dismounted and then lead the camel to a tree and tether it. Then he would go and rest in the shade of a different tree to me. When we had rested, he would get the camel ready again and then lead us on our way. This he did every day until we reached Medina. When we reached a village near Quba (about two miles from Medina), belonging to the Banu Amr ibn Awf, he said, 'Your husband is in this village. Enter it with the blessings of Allah.' Then he turned round and headed back to Mecca."
Thus after many difficult months of separation, Umm Salama and her son were reunited with Abu Salama, and in the next few years that followed, they were always near the heart of the growing Muslim community of Medina al Munawarra. They were present when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) arrived safely from Mecca, and at the battle of Badr Abu Salama fought bravely. At the battle of Uhud, however, he was badly wounded. At first his wound appeared to respond well to treatment, but then his wounds re opened after an expedition against the Banu Abdul Asad, and after that they refused to heal and he remained bedridden. Once while Umm Salama was nursing him, he said to her, "I once heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that whenever a calamity afflicts anyone he should say what Allah has commanded him to say: 'Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un!' 'Surely we come from Allah and surely to Him we return!' and then he should say, 'O Lord, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in return, which only You, the Exalted the Mighty, can give.'"
Abu Salama remained sick in bed for several days. One morning the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to see him. The visit was longer than usual, and while the Prophet was still at his bedside, Abu Salama died. With his blessed hands, the Prophet closed the eyes of his dead Companion and then raised them in prayer. "O Allah, grant forgiveness to Abu Salama; elevate him among those who are near to You; take charge of his family at all times; forgive us and him, O Lord of the worlds; make his grave spacious for him and fill it with light. Amin."
Once again Umm Salama was alone, only now she had not one child, but several. There was no one to look after her and them. Recalling what her husband had told her while she was looking after him, she repeated the dua'a that he had remembered: "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un!" "Surely we come from Allah and surely to Him we return!" she repeated. "O Lord, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in return, which only You, the Exalted and Mighty, can give." Then she thought to herself, "What Muslim is better than Abu Salama whose family was the first to emigrate to the Messenger of Allah?" All the Muslims in Medina were aware of Umm Salama's situation, and when her idda period of four months and ten days were over, Abu Bakr proposed marriage to her, but she refused. Then Umar asked her to marry him, but again she refused. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself asked for her hand in marriage. "O Messenger of Allah," Umm Salama replied, "I have three main characteristics: I am a woman who is extremely jealous and I am afraid that you will see something in me that will make you angry and cause Allah to punish me; I am a woman who is already advanced in age; and I am a woman who has many children."
"As for your jealousy," answered the Prophet, "I pray to Allah the Almighty to take it away from you. As for your age, I am older than you. As for your many children, they belong to Allah and His Messenger."
The Prophet's answered eased her heart, and so they were married in Shawwal, 4 AH, and so it was that Allah answered the prayer of Umm Salama and gave her better than Abu Salama. From that day on, Umm Salama was not only the mother of Salama, but also became the 'Mother of the Believers' 'Umm al Muminin'.
Umm Salama was not the only wife to have been widowed as a result of the battle of Uhud, and thanks to this marriage, many of the Companions followed the Prophet's example, marrying widows and thereby bringing them and their children into the circle of their families, instead of leaving them to struggle on their own.
A'isha said, "When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married Umm Salama, I felt very unhappy when he mentioned her beauty to us. I waited until I saw her and she was even more beautiful than her description." She was also from a very noble family and known for her keen intelligence. On more than one occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked her advice in tricky situations.
Like A'isha and Hafsa, Umm Salama learned the whole of the Qur'an by heart, and an indication of her high station with Allah can be found in the fact that she was permitted to see the angel Jibril in human form: It has been related by Salman that Jibril came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) while Umm Salama was with him, and had a conversation with him. After Jibril had left, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Umm Salama, "Do you know who that was?" and she replied that it was a man called Dihya al Khalbi. "By Allah," said Umm Salama, "I didn't think it was anyone else until the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told me who it really was."
She also had a home for her four children: Salama, Umar, Zaynab, and Durra who ere the foster children of the Prophet. Once she was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with her daughter Zaynab when Fatima came with al Hasan and al Husayn. He embraced his two grandsons and said, "may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you, People of the House. He is Praiseworthy, Glorious." Umm Salama began to weep and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) looked at her and asked tenderly, "Why are you weeping?" She replied, "O Messenger of Allah, you singled them out and left me and my daughter!" He said, "You and your daughter are among the People of the House." Her daughter Zaynab grew up in the care of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and become one of the most intelligent women of her time. Once Zaynab came in while the Prophet was bathing and he splashed water in her face. Afterwards face retained its youthfulness even into her old age.
Her son Salama later married Umama, the daughter of Hamza, the martyred uncle of the Prophet. Umm Salama was married to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for seven years until his death in 10 AH and accompanied him on many of his expeditions: Hudaybiyya, Khaybar, the Conquest of Mecca, the siege of Ta'if, the expedition against Hawazin and Thaqif, and the Farewell Hajj. She continued to live for a long time, outliving all the other wives of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them, until she died in 61 AH, at the age of eighty four, may Allah be pleased with her, and Abu Hurairah said the funeral prayer over her.

ZAYNAB bint Khuzayma

 

Zaynab bint Khuzayma, may Allah be pleased with her, was married to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in Ramadan, 4 AH, soon after his marriage to Hafsa when he was fifty-six years old and she was thirty years old. After she had been made a widow when her husband was martyred at Badr, she offered herself in marriage to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who accepted her proposal and married her. Zaynab bint Khuzayma was so generous to orphans and the poor that she came to be known as the 'Mother of the Poor'. She died only eight months after her marriage, may Allah be pleased with her, and although not a great deal is known about her today, there will be many who will testify to her generosity on the Last Day.

HAFSA bint Umar

Hafsa, may Allah be pleased with her, was the daughter of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al Khattab. She had been married to someone else, but was widowed when she as still very young, only eighteen. Umar asked both Abu Bakr and Uthman ibn Affan, one after another, if they would like to marry her, but they both declined because they knew that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had expressed an interest in marrying her. When Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to complain about their behavior, the Prophet smiled, and said, "Hafsa will marry one better than Uthman and Uthman will marry one better than Hafsa." Umar was startled and then realized that it was the Prophet was asking for her hand in marriage. HE was overcome with delight. They were married just after the battle of Badr, when Hafsa was about twenty years old and the Prophet as fifty-six. By this marriage, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) strengthened the ties between two of his closest Companions, the two who would become the first two rightly guided khalifs after his death. He was now married to the daughter of Abu Bakr, A'isha and to the daughter of Umar, Hafsa.
Two of the other closest Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who would become the third and fourth Rightly guided Khalifs were also connected to the Prophet through marriage. Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) married Ruqayya, then daughter of the Prophet, in Mecca, and then, after her death in Medina, soon after the battle of Badr, he had married Umm Khulthum, also the daughter of the Prophet. It was because he married two of the daughters of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that Uthman was given the title of Dhun Nurayn, which means 'the possessor of two lights'. And Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) had married Fatima, the youngest daughter of the Prophet, shortly before the Prophet had married A'isha.
Hafsa, like A'isha with whom she became close friends, was never at a loss for words, and was not afraid to argue with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who was content to allow her to say what she thought. One day, while speaking to Hafsa's mother Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "I think I shall so and so." Whereupon his wife replied, "But it would be better if you did such and such." "Are you arguing with me, woman?" said Umar who was a fierce man who did not expect his wives to talk back at him. "Why not?" she answered. "Your daughter keeps arguing with the Messenger of Allah until she upsets him for the whole day." Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) immediately put on his cloak and went directly to his daughter's house. "Is it true that you argue with the Messenger of Allah?" he asked. "Indeed I do." She replied. Umar was just about to chastise her for what he considered were bad manners, when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came into the room and would not allow him to even touch her. So Umar went round to visit Umm Salama, to whom Umar was related in order to try and influence Hafsa's behavior through her.
"I wonder at you, Ibn Khattab," she said, after she had listened to him. "You have interfered in everything. Will you now interfere between the Messenger of Allah and his wives?" Sayiduna Umar when relating this incident, continued, "And she kept after me until she mad me give up much of what I thought proper." Some sources say that the Prophet divorced Hafsa with a single divorce and that Umar was heart broken when this happened and began to throw dust on his head.
Then the Prophet took her back after Jibril had descended and said to him. "Take Hafsa back. She fasts and prays and she will be your wife in the Garden." Like A'isha, Hafsa memorized the entire Qur'an by heart. The written copy of the Qur'an which was recorded by Zayd ibn Thabit on Abu Bakr's instructions, and which was then given to Umar for safekeeping, was then given by Umar to Hafsa to look after. When Uthman eventually became the khalif, he instructed several written copies of the Qur'an to be made so that they could be sent to the main centers of the now rapidly expanding Muslim empire, and it was the copy in Hafsa's keeping that was used, after it had been meticulously checked for its accuracy by referring to all the other written records of the Qur'an and to all the Muslims who knew the Qur'an by heart.
Hafsa lived with the Prophet in Medina for eight years, may Allah bless him and grant him peace and lived on for another thirty four years after his death, witnessing with joy the victories and expansion of Islam under her father's guidance, and with sorrow the troubles that beset the Muslim community after the murder of Uthman. She died in 47 AH at the age of sixty-three. May Allah be pleased with her.

SAWDA bint Zam'a

 

Sawda bint Zam'a, may Allah be pleased with her had been the first woman to immigrate to Abyssinia in the way of Allah. Her husband ha died and she was now living with her aged father. She was middle-aged, rather plump, with a jolly, kindly disposition, and just the right person to take care of the Prophet's household and family. So Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave permission to Khawla to speak to Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and to Sawda on the subject. Khawla went straight to Sawda and said, "Would you like Allah to give you great blessing, Sawda?" Sawda asked, "And what is that, Khawla?" She said, "The Messenger of Allah has sent me to you with a proposal of marriage!" Sawda tried to contain herself in spite of her utter astonishment and then replied in a trembling voice, "I would like that! Go to my father and tell him that." Khawla went to Zam'a, ad gruff old man, and greeted him and then said, "Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abdul Muttalib, has sent me to ask for Sawda in marriage." The old man shouted, "A noble match. What does she say?" Khawla replied, "she would like that." He told her to call her. When she came, he said, "Sawda, this woman claims that Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abdul Muttalib has sent me to ask for you in marriage. It is a noble match. Do you want me to marry you to him?" She accepted, feeling it was a great honor. Sawda went to live in Muhammad's house and immediately took over the care of his daughters and household, while Aisha bint Abu Bakr became betrothed to him and remained in her father's house playing with her dolls.
There was great surprise in Mecca that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would choose to marry a widow who was neither young nor beautiful. The Prophet, however, remembered the trials she had undergone when she had immigrated to Abyssinia, leaving her house and property, and crossed the desert and then the sea for an unknown land out of the desire to preserve her deen. During the next two years, the Quraish increased their spiteful efforts to destroy the Prophet and his followers, in spite of the clear signs that confirmed beyond any doubt that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was indeed the Messenger of Allah. Perhaps the greatest of these signs during this period was the Prophet's Mi'raj, his journey by night on a winged horse called the Buraq, through the skies to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem where he led all the earlier Prophets who had lived before him in the prayer, followed by his ascent on the Buraq, accompanied by Jibril, through the seven heavens, and then beyond the world of forms, to the Presence of Allah where he was given the five prayers that all his true followers have done ever since.
When he described this miraculous journey to the people of Mecca, they just laughed at him, even though he accurately described the Al-Aqsa Mosque to them (and they knew that he had never been there before), and even though he described the place where he had stopped for a drink on the way to Jerusalem, and even though he told them how on the way he had told a man where his lost camel was, and even though he told them that he was seen a caravan, which no one knew about, approaching Mecca and that it should arrive later on that day. Even though the Quraish knew that the Prophet's description of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was completely accurate, and even when they eventually saw the caravan arrive, and met the man whom he had helped, and saw the place where he had stopped for a drink, the still refused to believe him.
Only Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, his closest companion and future father in law, accepted the Prophet's account of his miraculous journey immediately: "If he had said this," he said, when some scornful Meccans first gave him the news, "then it is true!"
As the enmity of the Quraish increased, (and while Aisha was still a small girl), Allah prepared the way for the future growth of the Muslim community in a place called Yathrib. During the time of pilgrimage in Mecca one year, twelve men from Yathrib, a small city of two hundred miles to the north of Mecca, secretly pledged allegiance to the Prophet, swearing to worship no gods other than Allah, nor to steal, nor to tell lies, nor to commit adultery, nor to kill their children, nor to disobey the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). They returned to Yathrib, accompanied by a Muslim called Mus'ab ibn Umayr, who taught them all that he had learned from the Prophet.
As a result, the numbers of Muslims in Madina began to increase, and when the time of the pilgrimage came again, this time seventy five people from Yathrib- three of whom were women: Umm Sulaym, Nsayba bint Ka'b and Asma bint Amr - pledged allegiance in Mecca to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) this time also swearing that the would defend and protect him, even to the death if need be. After this, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave his followers permission to emigrate to Yathrib, and slowly but surely, in twos and threes, the Muslims began to leave Mecca. The leaders of the Quraish realized what was happening, and decided to kill the Prophet before he had a chance to join them. However, Allah protected the Prophet, and on the very night before the morning on which they had planned to kill him, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) slipped out of Mecca and hid in a cave called Thawr, which was to the south of Mecca.
Everybody knows what happened when the people who were hunting for them came to the cave: They found a wild dove nesting in the tree that covered the mouth of a cave, across which a spider had spun its web. Anyone entering the cave would have frightened away the dove and broken the spid's web, they thought, so they did and not bother to look inside it. Their pursuers were so close that if one of them had glanced down at his feet, he would have discovered them. By the decree of Allah, the Prophet and Abu Bakr were safe!
Once the Quraish had given up the search, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) circled round the Mecca and rode northwards. Only one man, a warrior called Suraqa ibn Jusham, suspected their whereabouts and set off in hot pursuit, thirsting of the reward that the Quraish had offered to anyone who captured the two men for them. As soon as he as within shouting distance of the travelers, however, his horse suddenly began to sink into the sand, and, realizing that if he did not turn back, then the desert would simply swallow up both him and his steed, he gave up his pursuit, asked them to forgive him and returned home.
After a long, hard journey Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) reached Yathrib amidst scenes of great rejoicing. Their time in Mecca had just come to an end, and their time in Medina had just begun - for Madina is the name that was now given to Yathrib, Madina al Munawarra, which means 'the illuminated city', the city that was illuminated by the light of the Prophet Muhammad and his family and his Companions, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him and on all of them. The journey of the Prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr is usually called the hijrah, and it is at this point that the dating of the Muslims begins, for it was after the hijrah that the first community of Muslims rapidly grew and flowered and bore fruit. When she was older, the prophet was worried that Sawda might be upset about having to compete with so many younger wives, and offered to divorce her. She said that she would give her night to Aisha, of whom she was very fond, because she only wanted to be his wife on the Day of Rising. She lived on until the end of the time of Umar ibn al Khattab. She and Aisha always remained very close.