There isradhiAllahuanha a connection between the story of Umm Haram and Umm Sulaym because they were sisters, brought together by their Islaam and Eemaan, as well as their love for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Their life after Islaam is a testimony to this fact and proves their selfless sacrifice in the way of their love for Islaam. Furthermore, they were among the most prominent women of Madeenah in terms of virtue and piety.

Their house, which is referred to as being “Milhan’s house”, was one of the dearest houses to the Prophet (peace be upon him). We have already seen this in the biography of Umm Sulaym and how it was highly respected by the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) as well as the Companions. This was due to many reasons, such as the fact that she gave her son in service to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and her participation in the battlefields of Jihaad.

We also looked at the life Umm al-Fadhl, the mother of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas and her services towards the Noble family of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

Now we will inshaa'Allah study the life of Umm Haram. Allah Willing, we will realise that like her sister, she too was very active in her service of Islaam.

No wonder the Prophet (peace be upon him) commended these sisters when he referred to them as being, “The Believing Sisters.”

Her Husband

Umm Haram (may Allah be pleased with her) was married to the great companion ‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit (may Allah be pleased with him).

‘Ubaadah was one of the first Ansari men to participate in the Pledge of ‘Aqabah. He was one of the chiefs of his clan and he was one of those who took part in the Battle of Badr. Such was his love for Islaam that he never failed to attend any battle or campaign with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He was also one of the shining heroes in the battle of Apostasy and later fell a martyr in the Battle of Yarmook.

‘Ubadah was the first teacher and judge in Palestine; a position Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with her) had wisely appointed him to. He witnessed the conquest of Egypt and was the leader of one quarter of the contingent.

His first marine war was in order to conquer Cyprus. It was in this war that Umm Haram participated. Inshaa’Allah, we will mention how she participated in this war in a little while.

Her Personality

datesBefore we mention Umm Haram’s (may Allah be pleased with her) participation in Jihaad, I would like to give you a brief glimpse of her personality and her role around the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

The family house of Milhan was in Quba. They lived among palm dates and plantations, springs of palatable water and pleasant breezes and lived an honourable life and upright life.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived in Qubaa from Makkah, people were competing with one another to host the the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in their homes. He stayed for some days in the dwellings of Banu ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf while his mosque, the first mosque in Islaam was being built.

Quba was therefore the first place the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) halted at when he was travelling towards Madeenah as an emigrant. Therefore, he had an attachment to this place and while living in Madeenah would visit it every now and then.

Whenever the Messenger of Allah visited Quba, he would visit the houses of his companions and take a siesta there. He would hold discussions with them and teach them. All of them would rush to serve him and present different types of food and sweet to him.

Milhan’s house, which was the house of Umm Sulaym and Umm Haram, was a familiar house to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard. We have already mentioned that whenever he would be asked about his frequent visits to their house he would respond by stating that he did so as a consolation for the family, and would add, “Their brother was killed while fighting on my side.” It was therefore out of a sense of obligation by the Prophet (peace be upon him) that these visits were made.

Here, I feel it is necessary to mention the how their brother Haram ibn Milhan (may Allah be pleased with him) was martyred. This is because from this event we can come to see the high level of eemaan the members of this household possessed.

Haram was among the delegates of reciters that were treacherously killed by ‘Amar ibn at-Tufayl on the day of Bi’r Ma’oonah. These reciters were seventy in number, and were all enclosed and killed. They were among the greatest companions of the Prophet in terms of knowledge and piety. Their martyrdom caused the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) much grief as Haram (may Allah be pleased with him) was a man of great faith, courage, decency and knowledge. We can see this in his response towards martyrdom. When he was going to be struck by swords and spears, he screamed as loud as he could,

“I won, by the Lord of the Ka’bah!”

It is as he was undergoing a very difficult test, or as if it was a market in which he was selling, purchasing and gaining profits. When some of the polytheist asked each another about what Haram meant by his statement, someone answered,

“He meant Paradise.”

This is why it is not strange that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was the first person to visit their household, acknowledge its right, appreciate its virtue and console its inhabitants.

During one of his visits, Umm Haram cheerfully received the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). She then served him his favourite food after which the Prophet (peace be upon him) then went to a section of her home to take a siesta. After a short nap he awoke smiling. Umm Haram asked him as to why he was smiling to which he replied,

“Some people among my followers were shown to me riding over the green sea like kings over their thrones.”

Umm Haram, wisely taking hold of the opportunity made a request:

“O Messenger of Allah invoke Allah that He makes me one of them.”

The Messenger of Alalh (peace be upon him) said, “You will be among the first.”

After this many years passed and Umm Haram continued to wait, knowing full well that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never lied.


mountainblue Umm Haram accompanied her husband Ubadah ibn as-Samit - the great companion and the knowledgeable Mujaahid -wherever he went. Especially since he had joined the Syrian army under the command of Abu ‘Ubaydah and ‘Amar ibn Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah, ‘Ubadah took part prominently in all the battles until the Muslims conquered the entire Syrian territories.

Then a request came to Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) from the people of Palestine. They need a scholar who could teach them the matters of their religion and a judge who could arbitrate between them and settle their disputes. In order to demonstrate his confidence in ‘Ubaadah and show his recognition of his virtues, knowledge and status, ‘Umar appointed him as the teacher and judge for the Palestinians.

‘Ubadah and his wife Umm Haram then began living in Palestine. ‘Ubadah discharged his duties in the best manner, which made him a popular and well-known Sahaabi. The people highly respected his views and his decision-making.

Throughout this period, Umm Haram was a righteous wife to a righteous husband. She was never moved by the position of her husband neither was she deluded by this world and its beauties. Rather, she remained as she was when she came out of her humble home in Quba.

Oftentimes, she would remember the dream that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had had when taking a siesta in her home and his supplication for her to be one of the first ones to ride over the green sea, fighting in the way of Allah and holding-high the banner of Islaam.

She would deeply reflect, imagine and anticipate the coming of that momentous day. She would then snap-back to reality, waiting for Allah’s decree and the actualisation of Prophet’s (peace be upon him) prophecy.

‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas left Palestine to conquer Egypt as the presence of the Romans there was becoming a great threat to the Muslims in Syria. He consulted the leader of the faithful ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and the latter issued his consent.

‘Amr went deep into the land of Egypt and fought the Roman army in a number of wars and defeated them. When he came to the Babylon fortress in old Egypt, he laid siege on it and the siege lasted for a long time.

At one point, ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) had to request the leader of the faithful, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) for reinforcements. An army was sent as a reinforcement, a fourth of which was commanded by ‘Ubaadah.

Umm Haram accompanied her husband in this battle. The chivalrous ‘Ubaadah was put to a meritorious test in the land of Egypt, strategically moving about, fighting in the way of Allah until the Romans were defeated and driven out. After the victory ‘Ubaadah went to Damascus, which is situated in Syria and began living there.

Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan (may Allah be pleased with him) was then its governor. He became worried about the bays of Damascus which were being intermittently attacked by the Roman army. Mu’aawiyyah knew that the Cyprus Island was the marine station for Roman ships which were attacking Syrian harbours. He sent a message to the Caliph ‘Umar explaining the situation to him and asking permission to invade Cyprus and conquer it. ‘Umar refused the request, for he opposed jeopardizing the lives of Muslims, who may have to plunge into the sea.

Then when ‘Uthmaan became caliph, Mu’aawiyyah repeatedly make the same request. Mu’aawiyyah was encouraged in doing so by his blood relationship with ‘Uthmaan, for both of them were from the Umayyad clan.

Finally, ‘Uthmaan gave in to Mu’awiyyah’s persistent requests and permitted him to launch the offensive. But he warned him that he should not force any Muslims under his control to participate in the war, rather the participation must be optional.

skybluishWith the help of experts, Mu’aawiyyah began getting the necessary ships ready for the war until he had amassed a large army. He then called out to the people and made an announcement, as a way of encouraging the people, that both he and his wife were going to lead the marine campaign to Cyprus.

In those days Damascus, the headquarters of the Syrian governorate was full of different civilizations and cultures. It was hugely populated by people, especially the Prophet’s companions. These companions didn’t seek luxury or enjoyment but only knowledge and guidance. They were only interested in spreading the teachings of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him). Some of these eminent companions were Aboo Dharr, ‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit (the husband of Umm Haram), as well as others.

Hardly had the announcer of the governor announced Hayya ‘ala al-Jihaad (come unto Jihad!) that the Muslims started jamming into the ships, glorifying Allah and proclaiming His oneness, hoping for His reward and not fearing anything other than Him.

The peerless Companions of the Messenger of Allah left their places in the Masjid, bade farewell to their homes and joined the flag of Islaam.

Throughout the journey Umm Haram was full of energy, ambition and youthfulness. She was excited and overjoyed to be able to join this great battle. Before leaveing, she busied herself getting the necessary things ready.

She remembered the face of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) smiling, gladdening her and supplicating for her to be one of the first to mount the green sea to fight in the cause of Allah.

On the appointed day she saw people gathering like sea waves at the seaport, bidding farewell to the Mujaahidoon and waving at them. They were invoking Allah to make them victorious and to return them home safe and sound.

Umm Haram was there, standing at the edge of the ship, her eyes full of tears which rolled down her cheeks. She was whispering to herself,

“You said the truth, O Messenger of Allah!”

imagesMu’aawiyyah Ibn Abi Sufiyan (may Allah be pleased with him) then commanded the army to sail on. The ships were detached from the anchors and sailed through the waves in the Name of Allah. The Sahaabah were like kings over their thrones!

It was just how the Messenger of Allah had described, those who would board ships and with whom the ships would storm the waves while they would be aboard like kings over their thrones!

Umm Haram had a beautiful feeling. While aboard the ship, she would sometimes see herself as if she was in a high place looking down at the bottom of a mountain, and sometimes she would see the waves rising high above her, all of which was within moments and in succession. She kept saying to herself,

“You said the truth, O Messenger of Allah!”

O Messenger! May the please and blessing of Allah be upon you! You did not see what you prophesied with your eyes, neither did you study it from a book; you did not receive the knowledge of it from a scholar or a teacher! Glorified be He who taught you the knowledge of the earlier and later generations! Glory be to the One who made you say the truth!

The ship finally arrived at the Cyprus coasts. The soldiers surged out, unloaded their luggage and prepared themselves for Jihaad, after already having defeated a Roman guard-boat which had tried to impede their way. The Muslims then began planning how to creep into the heart of the Island.


Umm Haram had lead a momentous life in Madeenah and different parts of the world, such as Hijaaz, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and then back to Syria and lastly in Cyprus. It was a life full of thrilling events, an extensive life full of long journeys.

It all started with a testimony that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah and ended with martyrdom in the path of Allah! Yes, It was a life that began with the Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith) and ended with Shahaadah (Martyrdom). What a beautiful life and what an excellent death!!

While in Cyprus, Umm Haram was riding on an animal. The horse shied, was extremely frightened and then jumped violently. Umm Haram fell off of it and died shortly thereafter smiling and was buried where she fell. May Allah be pleased with her and please her!

Today, centuries after this memorable event, the grave of Umm Haram, the righteous and martyred Muslim woman, still stands in the land of Cyprus for all to see. There is a Masjid nearby testifying that Umm Haram was really one of the first (i.e. to die there) and that indeed the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said the truth!


radhiAllahuanha‘O our Lord! Keep Muhammad alive for us, so that I may see him become an adolescent, then a leader.

Suppress his enemies and those who are envious of him, and give him an everlasting glory!”

The above is a poetic supplication that Shayma would sing to Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he was a child and whenever she would hold him for awhile.

Shayma and her family lived in the desert and had taken the responsibility of wet-nursing this special child. Shayma would help her mother Halimah in performing the household chores as well as in the fields. All of this was before the Prophet (peace be upon him) had even began walking. At that time Shayma was about four or five years old and was somewhat old enough to observe the changes in her family’s conditon from poverty to comfort and abundance, and from hardship to ease. She realized that this change was caused by the blessing of this young boy who was brought to their midst. Hence she would express her love for him with this poetic supplication that spontaneously flowed from her tongue.

A report mentions that whenever Abu ‘Urwah al-Azdi would repeat and remember this song he would say,

“How excellent is Allah’s response to her supplication!”

Shayma or Shama was the nickname given to this Sahaabiyyah, which became more dominantly mention than her real name. Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr mentioned that her real name was Hadh-dhaqah.

Ibn Ishaq reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had four foster siblings, namely: ‘Abdullah, Aniyah, Hudhafah of Banu Harith and Hadh-dhaqah, popularly known as Shayma.

For the four years that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) spent at Banu Sa’d’s home, the life of al-Harith’s family took a dramatic transformation. The personality of the Messenger (peace be upon him) was undoubtedly the focal point around which these changes revolved.

But there is an important question concerning the family of Haleemah, the Prophet’s foster mother:

Why didn’t this family hasten to embrace Islaam after the Prophet Muhammad’s messengership and prophethood, either in Makkah before Hijrah or in Madinah after Hijrah, despite the fact that they knew many of the Prophet’s extraordinary characteristics? Why hadn’t they rushed to Muhammad (peace be upon him), in whose childhood they saw things which they had never witnessed in other children and in spite of the great love that was between her family and this noble boy?

Why did this family delay embracing Islaam until after the battle of Hunayn which took place in the 8th year after Hijrah?!


clouds3After the conquest of Makkah, the tribes of Hawazin, Thaqeef, Banoo Bakr and others converged together to fight against Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was the zeal of the time of ignorance which deluded them into thinking that they would be the successors of the Quraysh in leadership and that none besides them deserved that enviable position.

They brought together a contingent of more than thirty thousand men who came out with their weapons, women, children and animals, in response to the demand of their leader Maalik ibn ‘Awf. They then converged at the valley of Hunyan between Taa’if and Makkah. It was there that the fierce battle took place between both them and the Muslims.

Allah describes this event in the following words:

{Truly Allah has given you victory on many battlefields, and on the day of Hunain when you rejoiced at your great number, but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight. Then Allah did send down his Sakeenah (peace and tranquility) on the Messenger and on the believers, and sent down forces which you saw not, and punished the disbelievers. Then after that Allah will accept the repentance of whom he wills and Allah is oft-Forgiving, most Merciful.}

It was on this day that some of the Muslims were proud of their great number and said, “We can never be outnumbered after this day!” Their mistake was that they failed to attribute victory to the one in whose hand the reins of the heavens and the earth is in. Thus they were defeated at the beginning of the battle and were severely shaken into disarray.

The hero of this day, who reclaimed the victory for eemaan against disbelief was a single person alone. He taught people what is steadfastness upon the truth, in spite of all dangers and regardless of whatever the situation may be like. This person was the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) who, while he was on his mule, proclaimed to the people aloud: “I am the Prophet without lying; I am the son of ‘Abdul-Muttalib.”

At times horses might be frightened by the clang of weapons and as a result retreat. As for mules, they impetuously dart off towards wherever their rider directs them. The one who rides a mule, rather than a horse, on the battlefield is clearly a courageous warrior. The Prophet (peace be upon him) courageously rode on a mule, rather than a horse.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) remained steadfast, and hundreds of his companions rallied around him, calling on one another to fight off the enemy. Allah (‘azza wa jall) then supported the believers over their enemy and made them triumphant.

The polytheists scattered in confusion. Many of them were killed and others were taken as captives. The Muslims were blessed with many spoils of war.

Shayma, who had also set out with her tribe against the Muslims, at Ji'ranah came seeking permission to see the Messenger of Allah and hoping for favour from him. He allowed her in, although he didn't recognise her. She said, “Messenger of Allah, I am your foster sister!” He said, “How can you prove that?” She said, “A bite that you bit me on my back while I was placing you on my hip!”

This incident reminded the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) of his childhood days and he began to vividly remember his days with the tribe of Banu Sa’d, in spite of the fact that decades had passed since his stay with them. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) confirmed the truthfulness of what she said.

The following words of Allah Almighty amply describe the Prophets character, and the way he dealt with others,

{Verily, there has come unto you a messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He is anxious over you for the believers full of pity, kind and merciful.}

And this was how he was to deal with his sister Shaymaa’.

While Shayma was still standing in front of him asking for his amnesty, the Messenger of Allah spread his garment out of honour for her and said to her, “Come here”. He then made her sit down beside himself. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her, “If you like, you can stay with me and always be loved and honoured, and if you like, I will cater for you and then send you back to your people.”

She (may Allah be pleased with her) said confidently, “I want you to provide for me and send me back to my people!”

Here, the puzzle over the delay in the embracement of Islaam by the family of Haleemah is solved.

Obsessive tribalism was a governing factor within the lives of the Arabs and their Bedouin societal setup. Very few of them grew out of this mentality, which was an impediment in their path towards becoming Muslims.

Shayma, in spite of her acceptance of Islaam, did not want to stay with the Messenger of Allah to be always loved and honoured. Rather, she preferred to be given provision and sent back to her people. From here we can see how the Bedoins stuck by each other and keenly kept to their allegiances.

Shayma’s being around the Messenger of Allah in his early childhood days within an atmosphere of compassion, love and kindness resulted in her freedom, in this life and the next. She reaped the fruits for being his foster sister when she became old, after many years.

May Allah have mercy on Shayma and be pleased with her!

May he honour her abode and place of rest. Aameen!


radhiAllahuanha When Allah revealed the verse {And warn your tribe of near kindred}, Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him) went out, and ascended the mountain of as-Safa.

He then proclaimed, “Wa Sabaahah!” The people said, “Who is that?” and became worried as this was usually announced when an impending attack was sighted. They then gathered around him and he said, “Do you see? If I inform you that cavalrymen are proceeding up the side of this mountain, will you believe me?” They said, “We have never heard you telling a lie.” He then said, “I am a plain warner to you of the coming of a severe punishment.” Abu Lahab said, “May you perish! You gathered us only for this reason?” Abu Lahab then went away.

Allah Almighty then revealed: {Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet) and perish he! His wealth and his children will not benefit him! He will be burnt in a Fire of blazing flames! And his wife, too, who carries wood (thorns of Sadan which she used to put on the way of the Prophet or used to slander him). In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad [palm fiber].} (Quran 111: 1-5)

The Ansaari poet has the following to say about the rope of Abu Lahab’s wife:

“What it is this rope that all the people see in the middle of Hell and which is not hidden to anyone?

All other ropes are made of animal fur, but the rope of Abu Lahab’s wife is made of palm fiber.”

When Umm Jameel, Abu Lahab’s wife, heard of these verses which were revealed concerning her, she came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as he was sitting down in the vicinity of the Ka’bah with Abu Bakr beside him. She was holding a small rock by which to injure the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). She was blinded by Allah from seeing the Prophet (peace be upon him) and could only see Aboo Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him).

Angrily she asked,

“Aboo Bakr, where is your companion? I was told that he disparaged me. By Allah, if I had found him I would have struck his mouth with this rock. By Allah, I am a poetess."

She then recited a poetic verse to deride the Prophet (peace be upon him), the meaning of which goes as follows:

“We disobey Mudhammam (which is the opposite meaning of Prophet’s name 'Muhammad' and means ‘the reprimanded, instead of ‘the praised’); we rejected his affair and we renounce his religion.”

Then she went away, not realising that it was her who was to be censured and reprimanded by the unchanged verses of Allah till the Day of Judgement!

Thereupon Aboo Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Messenger of Allah, do you think that she saw you?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “She did not see me. Allah blinded her eyes from seeing me.”


The above was just a preamble and an introduction to our discussion of Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom respectively.

 Ruqayyah was born after her sister Zaynab and was also a source of happiness for her noble parents. Soon afterwards, Umm Kulthoom was born, and both of them grew-up together as if they were twins. Their closeness to one another increased especially after their eldest sister Zaynab was married and moved away. They then became even closer and attached to one another. In fact, both of them had been destined to the same fate from the beginning to the end.

The books of Seerah testified to this unique closeness which existed between them; all historical narrations agree that these two sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom, shared almost everything in common.purplescenerywithpinkcolor

After Zaynab had been married to Abul-‘Aas ibn Rabee and Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom neared marriage age, Aboo Talib, who was the Prophet’s uncle, came to him seeking the hand of Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom in marriage to the sons of his brother, ‘Abdul-Uzza ibn ‘Abdul-Mutallib, otherwise known as Aboo Lahab. It must be remembered that this was before the advent of Islaam.

Aboo Talib said,

“We have come seeking the hands of our daughters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom in marriage. We hope that you will not make their marriage difficult to your cousins, ‘Utbah and ‘Utaybah, the sons of ‘Abdul-Uzza.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked for some time so as to speak to his daughters about what they thought. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then discussed this marriage proposal with them and took the advice of his family.

Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) remained silent for sometime, pondering and contemplating. This was because she knew Umm Jameel, the wife of Abu Lahab and the mother of ‘Utbah and ‘Utaybah very well. She knew that she was a hard-hearted and brutal woman. Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) also knew that she was sharp-tongued and foolish. Therefore, she was concerned about her girls going into the home of such a woman. But she did not to break her husba/nd’s ties of kinship with his family, for she was a righteous, wise and dutiful wife. She therefore remained silent, hoping in her Lord for only good.


The marriage contract took place in an atmosphere mixed with anxiety. The affectionate father prayed for blessings for his daughters and left them in the care of Allah.

In Makkah, a light gleamed that illuminated the city and removed its darkness. This was when Muhammad (peace be upon him) was commissioned a Prophet and Messenger.

Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) then thought of her daughters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom and what their fate was most likely going to turn out to be in the house of  Umm Jameel and her compliant husband.

The Quraysh met and conspired on how to deal with Muhammad (peace be upon him). One of them said:

“You have saved Muhammad from his distress (i.e. by keeping his daughters)! Send his daughters back to him and keep him preoccupied with them!”

The two young ladies returned to their father’s home with great distress and sorrow.

After this, Aboo Lahab and his wife, the wood carrier, still did not stop bothering the Muslims and harming them. Aboo Lahab would incessantly attack the Prophet (peace be upon him) at every gathering and even in the streets. He would abuse and insult him without caring for their blood ties. This is because Allah had removed all sense of goodness and righteousness from his heart and from the heart of his vicious wife, who used to collect harmful thorns and throw them in the Messenger’s (peace be upon him) path.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then announced to his loving and sincere wife, “The time for sleep is over, O Khadeejah!”

The vicious attack against him and his Companions had been intensified, especially against the weak ones.

Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom began feeling a great change in their father’s home as it had now become the main target for persecution, torment and mocking.

Yet Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom persevered throughout this time and endured this difficult situation hand-in-hand with their parents, hoping for their reward from Allah Almighty. It is amazing how they persevered through such pain, hardship and sacrifice. In fact, these tribulations further refined both of their characters.

Ruqayyah’s Marriage

flower-under-night-skyAllah (ta’aala) willed it such that Ruqayyah was to be married to one of the best and dearest Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He was to be the love of her life, the one she was always in a way anticipating the arrival of, as she had not had a loving relationship with her former husband. The Quraysh were utterly disappointed over the marriage of Ruqayyah (may Allah be pleased with her) to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan ibn Abul-‘Aas ibn ‘Abd Shams (may Allah be pleased with him).

The Messenger of Allah’s trust in his Lord did not let him down. He was wise in that he did not grieve over his daughters being sent back to him and being divorced from their husbands. Indeed, Allah soon compensated him with a husband for his beloved daughter who was better than the first two husbands. Allah Almighty compensated him with a righteous, dignified, gracious, highborn, abundantly rich, modest and amiable husband for his daughter. Yes, ‘Uthman was one of the most gracious Quraysh youths when it came to lineage, prestige and wealth.

In fact, the mothers of Quraysh had a well-known lullaby which they would sing to their children. The lullaby solely revolved around Uthman and went as follows:

“By Allah, I love you as the Quraysh love 'Uthman.”

But after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had given his daughter Ruqayyah to ‘Uthman in marriage the lullaby changed to:

“The best two persons who met each other were Ruqayyah and her husband, 'Uthman.

It became a traditional song upon every tongue which was free of malice and hatred for this blessed couple.

Az-Zubayr reported in a Hadeeth that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent a man with a gift for ‘Uthman and Ruqayyah. The man then came back late. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to the man, “Shall I inform you of what delayed you?”

The man answered is the affirmative. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, “You stood there looking at 'Uthman and Ruqayyah admiring their beauty.” This was before the verses on Hijaab were revealed.

The First Migration

When the Quraysh’s persecution of the Muslims intensified, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) permitted his companions to migrate to Abyssinia. He said to them:

“If only you would go to Abyssinia, for there is a king there who does not allow for anyone to be wronged in his presence and it is the land of truth. If only you would go there until Allah provides a way out for you.”

‘Uthman migrated in the company of his wife Ruqayyah. She had her fears, yet continued on with strong faith and a stamina that could even shake the mountains. Yet, they were sad at having to leave their families and friends behind for a foreign and distant land.

Ruqayyah (may Allah be pleased with her) said to ‘Uthman,

“Allah is indeed with us and with those we are leaving behind in the vicinity of the Ancient House.”

desert1_optThe emigrants departed from Makkah and went towards Jeddah’s sea coast. It was from there that they boarded a ship towards Abyssinia’s seacoast. They disembarked at the shore and travelled towards the inland until they arrived at the palace of king Negus. They informed him of their migration to his land and their refugee status.

The distant between Makkah and Abyssinia was not short! Even today there is dry sand, scorching sun, deep sea, deserts and jungles between the two lands. In addition to being far, the roads were and are also intractable and full of hardships. Because of this long and difficult journey some of the emigrants fell ill and others passed away.

Back home in Makkah, the Quraysh found out about the emigration of the Muslims and sent a delegation after them so as to somehow bring them back. This delegation was led by ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Rabee’ah. ‘Amr was a close friend of the Negus and would visit him every now and then with special gifts for him.

‘Amr brought with him many valuable gifts for his friend - the Negus. He especially brought tanned leather with him as he knew that the Negus loved it and would be delighted to see it. ‘Amr entered and presented these gifts to him, in turn the Negus was very happy to receive his gifts and gave his old Arab friend a rousing welcome.

Then ‘Amr, cleverly choosing his moment, spoke to the Negus and informed him about how he had come to repatriate the Quraysh people, as they had escaped from Makkah to follow a religion that was different from their fathers’ and had disrupted their own people’s lives. He added that it was necessary that a just punishment be meted out on them for the evils that they had perpetrated.

The Negus, however, rejected this demand because he was a king that respected himself and his covenant. He was a just ruler who did not condone injustice or persecution and did not betray the lives of any person he had promised to give protection to. He was a wise, sensible and religious man.

‘Amr felt disappointed and being an expert in trickery, he informed the Negus about how these Qurayshi men had not only abandoned the religion of their ancestors but were also saying disrespectful things about Jesus and his mother.

It was then that the Negus became very angry and asked that these fugitive Arabs be brought to his court so that he could hear what they had to say. He decided that if ‘Amr’s accusation was true, he would surrender the fugitives to him.

When the guards came to the Sahaabah and demanded that they follow them to the King’s palace, the Sahaabah were surprised and became worried because they thought that they had fallen into hands of their enemy, namely ‘Amr and his companions.

It was then that Ja’far stood up courageously and strengthened the resolve of the Sahaabah. He asked them to allow him to speak on their behalf, the Sahaabah agreed and placed their trust in Allah.

At the Palace

courtroomJa’far stood up in front of the Negus; his fellow Muslims watched on as they saw Ja'far's head raised high and his heart pumping with full trust in Allah the Exalted. In front of him stood ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and his companion; the Christian bishops and priests of Abyssinia were also standing beside them.

The Negus asked Ja’far about the allegation that ‘Amr had accused them of and whether it was true that they had renounced the religion of their forefathers and that they had disrupted their own society’s stability and prosperity thereby.

In response to this allegation, Ja’far informed the Negus about the truth of this change in his religion and way of life. He informed him how they had previously been in error and how Allah had then guided them. He told him how they used to be ignorant and when they saw the truth, they followed it and believed in it. He added that they used to commit adultery and fornication, drinking of intoxicants, gambling, worshipping idols, burying female new-born babies alive and committing other socials vices lightly, without any fear of Allah. It was then that Allah sent a Messenger from among them whose name is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (peace be upon him), with the Message of truth and light and thus did Allah guide them to the straight path. Ja'far (may Allah be pleased with him) also informed the Negus about how Muhammad (peace be upon him) forbade them from worshipping idols and commanded them to worship Allah alone.

The Negus was relieved and his face brightened up with joy when he heard this excellent presentation delivered by Ja’far. But suddenly he began frowning as he if he had remembered something. He then asked Ja’far:

“What do you say about Jesus and his mother? Do you have with you something of what Muhammad has brought?”

Ja’far answered:

“We believe Jesus, peace be upon him, was a word of Allah which He directed to the Virgin Mary and a soul created by a command from Him. We believe that he was a Servant and Messenger of Allah."

He then recited the beginning of Soorah Maryam.

Throughout the recitation of these verses, the Negus was listening and shaking his head out of admiration. He also shed tears out of humility and submission to the truth which he now realised and recognised.

When Ja’far finished reciting, the Negus said:

“Indeed, this and what Jesus brought come from the same source.”

He then dissolved the assembly and announced that he would never surrender these refugees to those who came to repatriate them. ‘Amr stood dumbfounded!

When he came out of the Negus’ palace, he then went to visit some of the influential church leaders of Abyssinia and attempted to entice them with gifts so that they could help him change Negus’s stance. Some of them accepted ‘Amr’s bribes and accompanied him to the Negus. They entered the palace of Negus in the company of ‘Amr once again. They attempted to convince him and mount pressure on him but they failed because the Negus was adamant on his stand to give refuge to the Muslims and to protect them.

Thus ‘Amr went back to Makkah empty-handed, and the Muslims continued to enjoy security and peace in Abyssinia.

An Attempt to Overthrow the Negus

tearsSuddenly one day, the environment of peace changed for the Sahaabah in Abyssinia. The pleasant air of peace unexpectedly turned into a violent storm that nearly swept them away.

A nephew of the Negus who had some supporters and followers attempted to violently seize his throne. This nephew had been extremely hostile towards the Muslims and had always wanted to get rid of them.

A war broke out between the Negus and this nephew of his, and the hearts of the Muslims were with the Negus as they were fervently hoping for his victory. Yet, they remained in their homes and did not participate in the war. However, they could not wait for the war to end. They feverishly waited to know who would be the victor and who would be the vanquished, as their fate in Abyssinia relied on that.

Though they couldn’t see what was happening in the battleground because of the river Nile, the brave and courageous Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwaam volunteered to attain information about the events of this war, even though, unfortunately, he could not swim. The question arose: how will he cross the river nile?

They filled up two water skins with air and put them under his armpits. With these, he was able to swim to the other side of the river. He came out of the water and stood at the top of the hill that overlooked the battle ground. He remained for a long time observing the war with a mixture of anxiety and hope. The war ended with the defeat of the Negus’s nephew and his followers, and the victory was for the Negus!

Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him) immediately returned to his people and gave them the good news of the victory. The Muslims were celebrated so much that one would think that one of them was getting married!

In this way, the emigrants to Abyssinia witnessed both great events and a lot of difficulties during their stay there. They never became a burden on anyone for their sustenance, and never even asked the king who had given them shelter for anything. They worked and earned for themselves and every one of them took up a profession or job. In fact, some of them had brought money with them from Makkah and spent it on themselves and their families in Abyssinia.

‘Uthman and Ruqayyah’s return

kabahshareefThe Sahaabah in Abyssinia spent many days, months and even years of their life yearning to go back to their homeland, despite the security, peace and freedom that they enjoyed in Abyssinia.

When they heard of the acceptance of Islaam by Hamzah ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib and ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them), they were over the moon. Some of them hastily returned to Makkah hoping to take part in the Muslim efforts to establish Islaam in Makkah and to once again reunite with their loved ones, who they hadn’t met for a very long time. Others opted to stay in Abyssinia until the Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted them to come back to Makkah, such as Ja’far ibn abi Taalib. Whereas ‘Uthman and Ruqayyah agreed with the previous group and so decided to return home.

When they finally reached their homeland in which they had spent their childhood and when they finally once again saw their homes, tears of joy began to flow from their eyes. But they were disappointed when they came to learn that the Quraysh had actually worsened, rather than improved. But the saddest of them was Ruqayyah, the wife of ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with her). This was because her mother Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) had passed away while Ruqayyah was in Abyssinia. Her mother’s warmth now no longer engulfed her parent’s home.

Ruqayyah wept profusely but accepted Allah’s decision and decree submissively, just as a Muslim should.

A Lie Refuted

Shaykh Muhammad al-Khudari wrote in his book, "Noor al-Yaqeen fee Seerah Sayyid al-Mursaleen":

“Some people narrate a story which they believe to be the reason for the return of the Sahaabah from Abyssinia. This story mentions that information reached the emigrants in Abyssinia that their people had accepted Islaam in Makkah when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had read Soorah an-Najm to them, saying nice things about their idols. They said that when Allah revealed the following verse: {Have you then considered al-Lat,and al Uzza [two idols of the pagans Arabs] and Manat [another idol of the pagan Arabs], the other third?} (Qur’an 53:23)

They Prophet (peace be upon him) had added, ‘These are the high–ranking angels and their intercession is sought for’. It was then that the polytheists prostrated in honour and Joy!”

In fact, this is a false story propagated by those who lack sincerity and knowledge. Both textual and logical proofs falsify these story altogether. The chain of narration for this narration, as well as the text, are fabricated. Qaadhi ‘Iyaadh has mentioned that none of the compilers of the authentic Prophetic Narrations (ahaadeeth) reported this narration, neither does it have a sound chain.

If we read the complete verse in Surah an-Najm, then we will also agree that this claim is unfounded: {They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority!} (Qur’an 53:23)

The Second Migration

madinah-954640‘Uthman and Ruqayyah (may Allah be pleased with them) did not stay in Makkah for long. The Muslims migrated to Yathrib because the Ansaar, who were the Aws and Khazraj, had given the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) their allegiance that they would support and help him in his mission. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) later joined the Ansaar in Madinah.

It was after two years in Madinah that Ruqayyah gave birth to her only child with ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him). They named him ‘Abdullah and loved him dearly as he was their only child.

But, Allah (‘azza wa jall) had Willed it such that he was to test them once again.

Allah Almighty says: {(Allah) Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed……} (Qur’an 67: 2)

One day, while ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Uthmaan was sleeping in his cradle, a rooster pecked him in his eyes. This led to an infection which caused him to die two or three days latter. Ruqayyah, as a mother, was deeply moved by the death of her only child and soon later fell victim to a fever.

From this point on we come to really see how much ‘Uthmaan loved his wife Ruqayyah. For, he did not leave her side and with much love and affection nursed and looked after her. He was so attached to her that he was continuously asking Allah Almighty to cure her from her illness. But it was at this time that a call for Jihaad was made and the Muslims were rushing to comply to this command as the caravan of the Quraysh, which was coming from Syria, was to be intercepted due to all the harm they had caused the Muslims and which was later to result into the Battle of Badr. Even though ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) willingly responded to the call for Jihaad but the Prophet (peace be upon him) told him to stay with Ruqayyah and look after her.

The Departure

corpse1The Struggle between life and death was fierce. Eventually,Ruqayyah gave up and surrendered to Allah’s Will.

While ‘Uthmaan was crying, kissing his wife’s forehead and hands, the voice of the bearer of victory was heard from outside announcing the Muslim’s Victory in the Battle of Badr. The Prophet (peace be upon him) entered his daughter’s home, her presence not to be found. Sadness filled his heart as he prayed for her. He consoled her sister Faatimah, and compassionately wiped away the sadness from her heart by his comforting presence.

At this time women began sobbing loudly out of grief. When ‘Umar wished to stop them, as he felt that this may not be liked by Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) held his hand and desisted him from doing so.

It was at this moment that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said his famous words:

‘Whatever tears the eyes shed and however much the heart grieves, it is from Allah. It is the motions of the hands and words uttered by the tongue that come from Satan”.

The Farewell

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) performed the funeral prayers over Ruqayyah and followed her funeral procession to Baqee’ where she was buried.

Thereafter, he returned to the struggle of delivering the message of Islaam to mankind.

May Allah be pleased with Ruqayyah, the Prophet’s daughter, the lady of the two emigrations and the wife of the owner of lights!

May He reward her for her faith, struggle, tribulations, and perseverance with the best reward! Aameen.


radhiAllahuanhaThe Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told her,

“Khadeejah, here is the (angel) Gabriel. He commanded me to say Salaam to you and to give you the glad tidings of a home (made out) of pearl in paradise, in which there will be no toil or hardship.”

She replied,

“Allah is the giver of Salaam (peace). Peace be upon Gabriel and peace and mercy of Allah be upon you.”

Khadeejah had previously been married before her marriage to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). But these marriages did not work out as she was widowed. This is why she had to begin conducting the affairs of her life alone and had to shoulder huge responsibilities all by herself. She was a wealthy woman who had wide commercial holdings. This is in addition to her being beautiful, very famous and pure-mannered, a quality that won her the accolade of being ‘The Pure Woman’.

All these qualities and qualifications made her attractive to many Qurayshi men who wished to marry her. But it seemed that her first marriage caused her to refuse their proposals. Her preoccupation in her business and other obligations may also have yet been another reason for these refusals. She thus remained unmarried until she was much older and was approaching the age of forty.

Because of the popularity of the name of the Trustworthy one, Muhammad (peace be upon him), Khadeejah came to hear about him and his good conduct through her servant Maysarah. He informed her about Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) excellent manners and trustworthy nature in buying and selling and how he made a huge profit for her in their last business trip to Syria. This caused her to be interested in him for marriage, she then sent someone to him in order to indirectly express her interest in marrying him.

The marriage took place and the marriage was a successful one. Their hearts grew in respect, love and admiration for one other.

pinkwithskyWithin the years they lived together as husband and wife, the marriage was blessed with pleasant children. The first of them was al-Qaasim, with which his famous acronym of ‘Aboo al-Qaasim’ is associated. They were also blessed with ‘Abdullah at-Tayyib, who was otherwise known as at-Taahir. Due to Divine Wisdom all of them died in their infancy, before he was commissioned as a Prophet.

After the Prophet (peace be upon him) was commissioned as a Prophet he was blessed with girls successively in the following order: Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Faatimah (may Allah be pleased with all of them).

The amazing personality of our Mother Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) was shown when her husband was commissioned as a Prophet. We can see how dearly loved she was and the respect she had gained in her family by the tears her daughters shed after her parting and the sorrow of the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) by her death. For, she was his first love, his life partner and a solid, unwavering support.

While she was still alive, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) began to love seclusion and the staying away from people and their materialistic world for the purpose of reflection and meditation over the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth) This seclusion led to the elevation of his soul and further purity in his being. He became prepared to receive the great news of Prophethood and its huge responsibility.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to visit the cave of Hira on the Mountain of Mercy (Jabal ar-Rahmah). He would take with him food and drink, which his wife Khadeejah had prepared for him. He would spend in seclusion many days and nights there, particularly during the month of Ramadhan.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) returned home one day after the first revelation had been sent down. He returned home to convey the following divine words to Khadeejah:

{Read! In of the name of your lord Who has created [all that exists]. He has created man from a clot [a piece of thick coagulated blood]. 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.} (Quran [96: 1-5])

Khadeejah's Reaction

It is what at his pivotal and memorable point that the first signs of Khadeejah’s (may Allah be pleased with her) greatness manifested.

Yes! She unhesitantly believed in her husband and thus accepted Islaam immediately. This historians and writers of the biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him) unanimously agree over this.

There is however a question: “Was her acceptance of Islaam and her faith done just to follow her husband so that their relationship could continue or was it done for noble and sublime reasons that transcended such a materialistic and sentimental feeling?”

What happened next answers this question for us:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) returned home to his wife, Khadeejah while his heart was trembling. He began saying, “Cover me, cover me.” She covered him until his fear and terror had subsided. He told Khadeejah, after having informed her of his experience in the cave of Hira’, “I fear that something might happen to me.”

Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) responded with full conviction and assurance,

“Never!  By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, serve your guests generously, help the poor and the destitute and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

This statement is undoubtedly a sign of awareness, wisdom, maturity and a deep understanding of the situation. It is also an unwavering expression of support.

'Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was once sitting with Khadeejah. He then saw a person between the heaven and the earth, he then informed Khadeejah of what he saw. She asked him to move closer. When he moved closer she asked him if he still saw the person and he answered in affirmative. She then told him to put his head under her garment and asked him if he still saw him, he answered in the negative. She then said,

“Relax, this is Allah’s angel. Had he been a devil he would not have been ashamed of looking at you (under the cover of a woman’s garment).”

With such decisive words and with her supportive action Khadeejah eased the Prophet's (peace be upon him) worry and strengthened him. This great love later transformed into what is greater: belief in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).

One day, the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned home after Jibreel (‘alyhis-salaam) had taught him how to pray. He informed her of this and she said,

“Just teach me how he taught you.”

He then taught her how to pray as Jibreel had taught him. She then performed ablution as he did and prayed alongside him, and then said,

“I testify that you are really the Messenger of Allah.”

Ibn Hajar said in his book 'al Isabaah':

“This is the most correct narration I came across concerning her Islaam.”

Ibn Ishaaq said:

"Khadeejah was the first person to believe in all that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had brought… The Prophet (peace be upon him) never heard any unpleasant thing from her whenever she spoke to him."

And the journey continued...

The ship of faith continued throughout the storms and waves of the darkness of ignorance, while its unwavering captain Muhammad (peace be upon him) was directing its passengers with wisdom, patience and reliance on Allah. Whenever he sensed tiredness in himself or sensed an aggression in the violent winds he turned his eyes to the heaven and also sought support from his companion and life partner – the Lady Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her). In turn, she would compassionately smile towards him, with a truthful, assuring and reinforcing word. In this way he would be strengthened in his mission to carry out the command of Allah and His order.

This great support given to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by Khadeejah was adequately awarded by the Lord of Majesty. The angel Jibreel (‘alayhis-salaam) was sent to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to give her the glad tiding of a home made out of pearls in Paradise, wherein there would be no hardship or tiredness.

For, not only had she supported the Prophet (peace be upon him) emotionally, but she had also invested all her wealth in the cause of Allah. She generously spent without making any mention of what she had spent, especially during the years of sanction in the valleys of Makkah.

She spared the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) the trouble of labour. His only occupation was calling unto the way of Allah. Allah reminded him of this favour when He revealed:

{And He found you poor and made you rich [self-sufficient with self-contentment?} (Qur’an 93: 8)

She also showed kindness to the weak and poor Muslims and was very generous towards them. Thus she is deservedly entitled as being the ‘Mother of Faithful’. Yes, she was the first of the Mothers of the Faithful in every sense of the word.



(The Names of the Wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Click here to enlarge or download.)

She enjoyed such a high status in the heart of the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) that ‘Aa’ishah became jealous of her because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) frequently mentioned her, praised her, remembered his days with her and missed her.

‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) rarely went out of the house without mentioning Khadeejah. One day he spoke of her and I became very jealous and said to him, ‘Was she not an old lady whom Allah has replaced you for with a better woman?” He became angry and said,

‘No, by Allah! Allah did not replace her with any better woman. For she believed in me when people disbelieved, she consoled me with her wealth when people denied me their money and Allah blessed me with children from her while I was denied children by other women.'

‘Aa’ishah then said, ‘And I said in my mind,

‘Never shall I speak unfavourably of her again.”

Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) came out of the sanction physically weakened. Her beloved husband and daughters took care of her, consoled her and tried to alleviate her suffering to the best of their ability. But as Allah Willed, no remedy or cure was able to heal her, and she finally surrendered her soul to Allah and left this world for the Highest Company.

Her death was one of the saddest experiences the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) faced in this world.

Khawlah bint Hakeem asked the Prophet, “Messenger of Allah! It seems you have been afflicted since the death of Khadeejah.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied, “Yes, she was the mother of the household and the caretaker of the family.”

This saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) shows us the inevitable gap her death brought about in the household of the Prophet (peace be upon him), in the real sense of the word. When seeing his daughters he would be reminded of their absent mother. The atmosphere of sorrow and distress in his home would remind him of his beloved wife and best friend, whose heart used to unwaveringly flourish with love and faith in him.

May Allah be pleased with her, for she was a role model for women in all times and places.


Fatimah bintradhiAllahuanha al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that she heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, “My Ummah shall continue to be blessed as long as the love of this world does not prevail among them, and as long as there is no prevalence of corrupt scholars, ignorant reciters of the Qur’aan and tyrants. If all this prevails among them, I fear that Allah may include them all in (his) punishment.”

But who has the reliable narrator of this profound hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him)?

Her brother was 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph of Islaam. One of the meritoriousnesses of Fatimah bint al-Khattab is that her story is always mentioned whenever the story of her brother 'Umar’s Islaam is narrated. Whenever the name of her husband, Sa’eed ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him), a great companion and one of the ten who were given the glad tidings of the paradise is mentioned, her name is also mentioned. Whenever the name of Khabbaab ibn al-Aratt, a great companion, famous reciter and teacher of the Muslim, is mentioned, her name also mentioned. Whenever Surah Ta-Ha is recited, Fatimah bint al-Khattab is remembered. Her mention reminds us of the perfect harmony that existed between the recitation of this Surah and her courageous bravery that mysteriously changed ‘Umar’s satanic anger into the acceptance of Islaam. This is due to the grace of Allah, and the Prophet’s invocation: “O Allah! Strengthen Islaam by the one who is dearer to you from the two ‘Umars: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and ‘Amr ibn Hishaam.”

To properly understand her role around the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) we must backtrack a little bit into the annals of history in order to understand the foundations upon which one of the earliest households of Islaam within Makkah was built, the house of Fatimah bint al-Khattaab.

Her Husband's Father

Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl, who was Sa’eeds’s father, was the origin from which the blooming and fruitful branch, namely Fatimah, originated from. During the pre-Islamic era, he was not upon the way of Quraysh, for he set out for himself a straight path that kept him away from all of Quraysh’s reprehensible beliefs and conducts.

‘Asmaa' bint Abi Bakr said that she saw Zayd ibn 'Amr ibn Nawfal reclining his back on the Ka’bah saying,

“O Quraysh! By Him in whose hand is my soul! None from among you is upon the religion of Ibraheem except me.”

Al-Bukhaari, an-Nasaai and al-Baghawi also reported that Zayd would save the new born baby girls from being buried alive and would say to whoever wanted to kill his daughter,

“Do not kill her, I will pay for the expenses for raising her.”

Ibn Ishaaq added: And he would say,

“O Allah if I had known the dearest face to you, I would have worshiped you through it. But I do not know. He would then prostrate upon his palm.”

Moosa ibn U’qbah said in al-Maghazi:

“I heard one of those I am pleased with saying that Zayd ibn Amr used to reproach the Quraysh for slaughtering animals for others beside Allah.”

Al-Bukhaari reported on the authority of Saleem ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, who narrated from his father, that he said: “Zayd ibn ‘Amr went to Syria asking about the (true) religion. The Jewish and Christian scholars informed him that the true religion is the religion of Ibraheem and (at that time) Zayd was neither a Jew nor a Christian. He held up his hand and said,

“O Allah! I make you my witness that I am upon the religion of Ibraheem.’”

UHe also narrated the hadeeth about his famous meeting with a Jew who told him: “Do not follow our religion lest you have a share of Allah’s wrath”, and his meeting with the Christian who told him, “Do not follow our religion lest you have a share of the curse of Allah”.

Al–Fakihi also reported on the authority of 'Amr ibn Rabee’ah that he said: “I met Zayd ibn ‘Amr while he was outside Makkah heading towards Hira, and he said,

“Amr I have parted ways with my people and followed the religion of Ibraheem and Ismaa’eel. Ibraheem used to pray facing that house (meaning the Ka’bah). And I am expecting a Prophet from the descendants of Ismaa’eel and then from the descendents of ‘Abdul-Muttalib. I do not think that I will remain alive till his emergence so that I can believe in him and testify to his truthfulness and that he really is a Prophet.”

'Amr ibn Rabee’ah added, “When I embraced Islaam, I conveyed his salutation to the Prophet (peace be upon him). He returned the salutation and invoked Allah to bless him. He then said, “I saw him in Paradise dragging his coat tails.”

Al–Baghawi reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar who said that Saeed ibn Zayd and ‘Umar asked the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon hi) as to whether it was permissible to invoke Allah’s forgiveness for Zayd ibn 'Amr and he answered in the affirmative.

At–Tayalisi reported in his Musnad that Sa’eed ibn Zayd asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “My father is as you have already seen and been informed. Can I ask Allah to forgive him?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said “Yes, and he will be resurrected on the day of judgement as a nation in himself.”

Asmaa' and Sa'eed

It was from this pleasant and noble origin that Sa’eed emerged as a pure jewel.

He was one of the forefront men who were sincere to Allah and sacrificed their wealth and souls in the way of Allah seeking his pleasure.

Fatimah bint Al–Khattab had a pure heart that was free from the filth and deviations of the age of ignorance. Her purity met with Saeed’s and then the two noble elements were joined together in marriage that gave birth to a pure Islamic home with untainted seeds of Eeman that in turn produced ripe fruits.

It is enough of an honour and glory for her and her husband that Allah made them the cause of 'Umar’s acceptance of Islam. Truly, Allah guides whomever he wills to the straight path.

We are not going to go through the whole story but we will pay attention to some points therein. This is because Umar’s acceptance of Islaam was not an ordinary event.

'Umar's Acceptance of Islaam

He accepted Islaam a few days after Hamzah (the Prophet’s uncle) did so. Some historians strongly believe that it was three days after Hamzah’s Islaam and others opined that it was slightly more than three days.

When someone has a cardiac ailment that stops the heart from functioning or pulsating, he is given high frequencies of electrifying jolts to bring back the heart beat and blood circulation around his body. Sometimes the attempt succeeds and sometimes it fails, which leads to the patient’s death. This is because in the latter case, the situation reached a hopeless state.

In our view, Umar and Hamzah’s embrace of Islaam had shaken the Quraysh. But the satanic jolt that had taken root in the deepness of their hearts made them increase in disbelief, aversion, misguidance and evil.

kabahgraphic‘Umar was sitting down in the company of some Qurayshi chiefs in deep discussion within the courtyard of Ka’bah. They were troubled by the spread of Muhammad’s call, the increase of his followers and their steadfastness. They hated them for not believing in their idols, such as al-Laat, al-‘Uzza, al-Manaat and others. ‘Umar, then a non-Muslim, became extremely enraged. He stood up from the gathering and decided there and then to kill Muhammad and spare the Quraysh from the embarrassment that his religion had caused them.

On his way to the Prophet a man from Banoo Makhzoom met him and saw the rage in his face. He asked ‘Umar where he was going. ‘Umar answered, “To Muhammad ibn 'Abdillah! I want to kill him and free the Arabs from his trial!”

The man then told him,

“Do think that the clan of ‘Abd al-Manaaf would leave you if you kill him?!... Put your own house in order first!”

‘Umar asked in utter amazement and extreme rage, “What do you mean and whom do you mean?”

The man answered,

“Your sister Fatimah and your brother-in-law Sa’eed ibn Zayd. They have followed Muhammad.”

‘Umar then said, “Woe onto them from me!”

He then changed his direction and headed for the house of his sister Fatimah, holding his sword and raging like a furious bull and roaring like a lion.

Until that moment the call to Islaam was done secretly, except for a few companions who used to pronounce their Islaam openly, such as Abu Bakr, the young ‘Ali, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, and as-Zubayr ibn al-Awwaam, may Allah be pleased with all of them. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) allowed this secrecy in order to protect the faith, safeguard the lives of the new Muslims and prevent anything that may impede the progress of Da’wah. This was because it was necessary for the success of the movement.

qurangreyOne of these conveyers of the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was Khabbaab ibn Al-Aratt. He was in charge of contacting Sa’eed and Fatimah. He would gather knowledge from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and would teach them from whatever he had learnt.

When ‘Umar arrived at the house of his sister and brother-in–law, at the entrance he heard some murmuring but could not understand its wordings properly. He violently knocked on the door and shouted.

Khabbaab quickly ran towards a corner of the house and hid. Faatimah hid the script of the Qur’aan that they were reading and her husband rushed to open the door for ‘Umar. They had realised that it was 'Umar by his violent knocking and they recognised in his voice signs of imminent danger and confrontation.

He asked, “What was this murmuring I heard?”

They denied that there was any murmuring.

He then addressed them harshly and threatened them of terrible consequences if he found out that they were really following the religion of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

It was then that Fatimah confronted him boldly and said in a loud and clear voice without fear that she and her husband had accepted Islaam and testified that there is no deity worthy of being worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

All of a sudden ‘Umar began beating Sa’eed and threw him onto the floor. When Fatimah ran to defend her husband,’ Umar gave her a brutal slap on her face and she began bleeding.

It was the sight of his sister’s blood that brought about a illuminated ray of light into Umar’s heart and removed the veil of disbelief from his heart.

quran1000He went to Sa’eed and lifted him off of the floor and then moved towards his sister and wiped the blood off her face.

He then began speaking to Sa’eed and his sister in a friendly way until she brought out the script which contained the beginning of Surah Ta Ha, Chapter 67.

When ‘Umar wanted to hold this script, she prevented him and asked him to cleanse himself first. He quickly did as she requested.

Fatimah’s brave and courageous stand, the purity of her soul and conscience revealed to us her strong personality, especially in the way she faced ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab.

‘Umar then asked, “Where is Muhammad?”

Fatimah and Sa’eed felt some fear within themselves, as even the possibility that ‘Umar may still be insistent on harming the Prophet was too much of a chance to take. But ‘Umar allayed their fear and convincingly explained to them that he only wanted to embrace Islaam in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) presence. Fatimah and Sa’eed then told him that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was in the House of Arqam at Safa.

It was then that the Khabbaab came out of hiding and told Umar,

“Rejoice, O 'Umar! You have been blessed with the Prophet’s invocation. I heard him invoking Allah to strengthen Islaam by you.”

This increased Umar’s faith, confidence and love for the Prophet (peace be upon him). His sister, who had been for a long time wishing for his guidance and support for Islaam, was also extremely happy.

desert1_optOne point that I would like to clarify here is that many people think that Khabbaab (may Allah be pleased with him) ran into hiding because he was scared. Yet, nothing is further from the truth. Rather, it was to avoid revealing the teaching and propagation of Islaam, which was then a fundamental factor in the Da’wah movement. I urge all of you to read the life of this great man, Allah willing you will come to see what a daring and patient man he was. For example, al-Baroodi reported that Khabbaab (may Allah be pleased with him) was the 6th person to embrace Islaam and the first person to proclaim his Islaam in public, for which he was severely tortured. He was neither a coward nor feeble; he was the great Companion of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

‘Umar then left for the house of Arqam. His destiny was going to take a huge turn, from being the enemy of Islaam to the 2nd Caliph of Islaam! ‘Umar reached the House of Arqam and knocked on the door. One of the Companions looked through a crack in the door and became terrified and worried. In utter confusion and worry he said, “Messenger of Allah, it is the son of al-Khattaab!”

The Messenger of Allah perceived the truth of the situation by the light of Prophethood, as he had just recently made a sincere invocation in favour of one of the two ‘Umars. Allah Almighty says:

{And when my slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.} (Qur’aan, 2:186)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then commanded that the door be opened for ‘Umar. When the door was opened by the courageous Ibn ‘Abbaas, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) walked towards ‘Umar, while all those who were present moved back. He grabbed ‘Umar by the collars of his garment, pulled at it strongly and said, “O, son of al-Khattaab! What are you waiting for? It is time you embraced Islaam!”

‘Umar, with humility and submission attested,”I testify that there is no deity worthy of being worshipped except Allah and that you, Muhammad, are the Messenger of Allah.”

The Muslims who were present there were so happy that they raised their voices in Takbeer which resonated throughout the house and the echo of which reached even those who were near the Ka’bah at that time.

Umar’s Islam was a victory for the Muslims. Allah strengthened him with Islaam, and Islaam by him. With Umar’s acceptance of Islaam the call of Islaam came out from secrecy into public and Allah made a clear distinction between truth and falsehood. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then titled 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) with the title of "al-Faarooq" (The Distinguisher) and gave him the nick name Abu Hafs.

May Allah be pleased with Fatimah bint al-Khattab and please her. For indeed, Allah chose her to be the means by which her brother accepted Islaam. Her home became the starting point for this great man’s change of heart.

Let’s say, as did the Muslims at that time, Allahu Akbar!


‘‘Hey!radhiAllahuanha Khanas!’’ -That was how the Prophet (peace be upon him) hailed Khansa and encouraged her to recite more poems! It is normal for Arabs to shorten names in this manner, just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to address ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) as ‘Aa’ish.

Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) was not a poet, and never composed poetry like poets, as an Arab he was able to appreciate good and well composed poetry. Indeed, he had Companions who were distinguished poets and he wouldn’t discourage them from reciting their poetry, especially since they had now adopted a new method in which there was no foolishness or straying which used to be characterised in the poetry of the time of ignorance.

One such distinguished poet among the Companions was Hassaan ibn Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with him) who devoted his poetry for the defence of Islam, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and in support of the truth. He was so popular in this regard that he was conferred with the highest and noblest title of being, ‘The Messenger’s Poet’.

It was reported that he once wanted to refute the Quraysh’s poets’ and their false accusations against the Muslims after the Battle of Badr. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked him: “How can you ridicule them while I am one of them?” Hassan said,

“I will thread my way through them (with my satire) as a hair is carefully removed from the dough!!!”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, “Say (what you have to say of poetry), may the Holy Spirit (i.e. Gabriel) support you!”

In this way we can come to see how the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) knew and appreciated the positive impacts of poetry and its impressive nature upon the minds of men. Therefore, he allowed Hassaan, Ka’b ibn Maalik and Abdullah ibn Rawaahah to make excellent use of their accurate and unfailing weapons of poetry in the battle between truth and falsehood.

It was also reported that ‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah recited a poem in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) during ‘Umrah al-Qada’ when he was about to enter Makkah. He was reported to have recited among other things, the following:

“O children of disbelievers! Keep off his (meaning the Prophet) way;

Today we are going to strike so hard that a head will be removed from its base and a man will be frightened away from his friend!

We are the ones who fought you over the interpretation of its meaning (i.e. the Qur’an), as we have fought you over its revelation!

Allah has revealed in His Book that the best way to die is to be killed in His cause!

O Allah! I Believe in the Prince (with whom You sent the Book), and I believe that the only true way is to accept him!”

When ‘Umar heard this, he flew into a rage and wanted to stop 'Abdullah from reciting more poems. He rebuked him saying,

“O son of Rawahah, are you reciting poems in the presence of Allah’s Messenger and in the sanctuary of Allah?!”

‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was worried that this maybe disliked by Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him).

But the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied to him and took away his worry with his fine words: “Leave him alone ‘Umar. For, his poems hurt the disbelievers more than the throwing of arrows.”

Now that we have come to see how Islamic poetry was liked by the Prophet (peace be upon him), let’s now explore the life of the poetess: al-Khana’ (may Allah be pleased with her).


Who was al-Khansa and what was her stance around the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?

Al-Khansa belonged to the tribe of Banoo Sulaym. She was extremely beautiful, well mannered and very eloquent. She started reciting poems at a young age. Initially, she wouldn’t say more than two or three lines of poetry but it was her sorrow over the death of her brother Sakhr that refined and brought out her innate talent to recite long verses of poetry. After his death, she began reciting long, emotional and extremely stylish poems to eulogize Sakhr, as well as her brother Mu‘aawiyah.

The scholars of poetry and language unanimously agree that no other woman other than al-Khansa ever attained the level of poetry al-Khansa’ recited, neither before nor after her.

In her eulogy for her brother she said (what means):

“O’ my eyes, shed tears generously! Will you not weep for Sakhr, the generous?!

Will you not shed tears for the audacious, tall and handsome young man

who possessed qualities of leadership and who lead his people?!”

madiinah67Al-Khansa came to Madeenah along with a delegation from Banoo Sulaym. She then embraced Islaam and became a good Muslimah. She pledged her allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and remained truthful to it. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard her recite poetry and asked her to recite more, as has been mentioned earlier. He liked her poemsand addressed her warmly. This was the first manifestation of her being around the Messenger (peace be upon him).

Al-Khansa was of the noblest plants in terms of origin, growth and fruits. But her nobility in these aspects reached its peak in the Battle of Qaadisiyah. For, it was on the day of this great Islamic conquest that al-Khansa attained prominence for being one of the leading Muslim women of all times.

This prominence revolved around two things:

1) Her admonition to her four Mujaahid sons and

2) The statement she made after their martyrdom.

O mothers of today! O Muslim women! In al-Khansa’ there is am exemplary role-model for all of you. Perhaps, after reading her biography you will realise the reality of your role in this transient life and your weighty responsibility of building the true Muslim family, which in turn will bring about a strong Ummah.

Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr reported in his book al-Istee‘ab:

“Al-Khansa’ bint ‘Amr witnessed the battle of Qaadisiyah with her four sons. She addressed them right at the eve of the battle saying,

‘My sons! You embraced Islaam and migrated willingly. By Allah, besides whom there is no other diety worthy of being worshiped, you are all sons of one man as you are sons of one woman. I have never cheated on your father. Never have I brought disgrace upon your uncle, disparaged your esteem or altered your lineage. You know the great and abundant reward that Allah has set aside for the Muslims who fight against the disbelievers. Know that the everlasting abode is better than this transient one. Allah (ta’aala) says: {O you have believe! Endure and be more patient [than your enemy], and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allah, so that you may be successful.}
When you wake up tomorrow morning, Allah willing sound and healthy, go and fight against your enemy with conviction and seek Allah’s help over His enemies. When you see that the war has become tense, engage yourselves in the fight gallantly and resiliently that you may attain treasures and honour in the Abode of Eternity.’”

After this statement made by al-Khansa’ I have nothing better to say neither can I add anything. This is because her statement is beyond comment as it is comprehensive in the whole sense of the word.

The narrator proceeds:

“Her sons then left having accepted her admonition and were determined to implement her words. When the morning came, they set out early towards the battlefield and they all fought both gallantly and courageously until they were martyred, one after another."

The news of their martyrdom was swiftly approaching al-Khansa’! What was her reaction? What was she going to say?


Here is where the greatness of al-Khansa truly manifested. When she heard of this great news she forgot her poetry, her beauty, her place among her people and all other things. She remembered nothing but Allah’s promise and the transient nature of this world. She (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

“All praise is due to Allah who honoured me with their martyrdom. And I hope that my Lord will make me join them in the Abode of His Mercy!”

It is noteworthy to add that the commander of the faithful, namely ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, used to give al-Khansa’ the entitlement of her four martyred sons annually which was two hundred dirhams until she died.

May Allah have mercy on al-Kahnsa’, the poetess! May Allah be pleased with this believing and patient lady! May Allah raise her ranks, just as she raised such pious, god-fearing and courageous sons. Aameen!


“StradhiAllahuanhaay in your home, Allah will bless you with martyrdom.”

This prophecy of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was to come true in the future, for he was the most truthful of people. In truth, the story of Umm Waraqah, the Martyr, is certainly one of the most evident proofs of the veracity of the Prophet Muhammad’s messengership.

Umm Waraqah was one of the Ansaari female companions. She was of a high, noble and prestigious lineage and was blessed with much wealth. When she came across the truth of Islaam she embraced it and believed in the words of her Lord. She would devote much of her attention to the Noble Qur’aan reading it, memorising it and following its teachings and rules. The Qur’aan became her main concern in all aspects of her private and public life and for her everything resolved around it. She attained a high and commendable status in this respect.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) called upon the Muslims to go out to the Battle of Badr in order to intercept a caravan of the Quraysh which was being led by Abu Sufiyaan and Sakhr ibn Harb. The caravan was on its way back from Syria and was carrying valuable commercial commodities. This was done, hoping that Allah may transfer the caravan to them, especially to the Muhaajireen from whom the Quraysh had seized their houses, properties and wealth. Umm Waraqah wanted to go out with the Prophet (peace be upon him), therefore she went to him and explained her ardent wish and intension.

She came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said,

“O Messenger of Allah, allow me to go out with you so that I may nurse the sick ones from among your Companions and perhaps, Allah will bless me with Martyrdom.”

From that day onward, she was called and referred to with the prestigious title of, ‘the Martyr’.

Umm Waraqah was in fact fascinated by the concept of martyrdom, which is a contract of allegiance between the creator, High and Exalted and His believing servants. Allah says:

{Verily Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for [the price] that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill [others] are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Tawrah [Torah] and the Injeel [Gospel] and the Qur’an. And who is truer to His covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.} (Qur’an 9: 111)

quranblueUmm Waraqah, in a worldly sense, attained much success; she had a lot of wealth, fame, noble lineage, high status and all that the seeker of this world would want to have. Yet still, she never strived for the beauty of this world. She realized that one day this world will come to an end and what is with Allah will remain.

She was amazed by the descriptions of Paradise and its bliss, which will never change nor come to an end. She was equally moved when she heard about what Allah Almighty has prepared in Paradise for its dwellers of enjoyment. Such enjoyments that are unseen by the eye, unheard of by the ears, and that which no human heart can ever imagined. But she knew that much of this, in its best sense, was especially prepared for the martyrs.

Umm Waraqah stayed in her home and devoted much of her time to the scripts in which Soorahs of the Qur’aan were written, reciting their verses with humbleness and devotion. In this way, with the passing of each day, she increased in her closeness to Allah and excelled in her piety.

But why was she referred to by the Companions as being ‘the Martyr’, even though she lived on for years after the Battle of Badr? Dear Sisters, let's turn towards the amazing incident which occurred between her and the Prophet (peace be upon him).


One day she came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) seeking permission to have a caller to prayer (muadh-dhin) in her home.  He granted her the request; she then made a section of her home into a praying area, in which she would lead some of the Muslim women of her family, relatives and friends who would especially gather in her home for prayers. She tasted the sweetness of faith, love of Allah and spirituality as she worshipped her Lord amidst a group of believing women. By days the numbers increased, as did their love and devotion. She would fast much and pray often; she only sought her reward from Allah in the abode of the hereafter.

Although Umm Waraqah was not married and neither did she have any children, she was not living alone in her big house. She had a housemaid and a male servant who would serve her. In turn, she treated them as a mother would treat her own children, with love and affection. In her will she clearly stated that if she died her housemaid and servant would be set free. This made them so happy and they began anxiously anticipating for that day to come.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) passed away; the mantle of leadership fell onto the shoulders of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). When Abu Bakr passed away, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was made the Caliph over the Muslims. Throughout this period, Umm Waraqah was still alive, albeit aging as she continued in her acts of worship. She keenly awaited for the time when she would meet Allah as a pure Muslimah. Little was her sleep, and long were her hours of worship within the darkness of the night as she beseeched Allah for his forgiveness and worshiped Him humbly. She would pray and recite the Qur’aan with much attention and consideration.

One day the winds of fate called out to her,

“Come to martyrdom, O Umm Waraqah! The time has come and your appointment with death is here! The earth has become confined for you despite its vastness! What is with Allah is best and lasting! You certainly will have nearness to Allah and a place of good return!”

This is because satan was whispering into the heart of her servant and maid... he was telling them, “It has been too long, what are you then waiting for? Come to freedom! It is only Umm Waraqah’s life that lies between you and her freedom. Come on!”

Thus it was that both of them strangled her to death. They then wrapped her up in a piece of cloth, placed her in one side of the house, and fled.

The commander of the faithful, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) woke up for the Fajr prayer and realized something which made him restless. When he finished performing the prayer he said to the people,

“By Allah! I did not hear the recitation of my aunt Umm Waraqah last night!!”

He then went to her house in the company of some brothers just to see if she was alright. When they entered they found the house empty, and could not see nor sense any movement. It was then that ‘Umar realised that something was not right…Suddenly they found her wrapped up in a piece of cloth and dead. ‘Umar then said,

“Allah and His Messenger said the truth!”

Then those who were with him also exclaimed,

“Allah and His Messenger said the truth!”

quran-illumunatedAnd we should also say, even though we came centuries and generations after them, “Allah and His Messenger have said the truth!”

Umm Waraqah eventually did gain martyrdom, he ardent wish
and desire!

‘Umar returned to the Masjid, ascended the pulpit and informed the Muslims of what had happened. He then commanded that the two servants who had run away be pursued and justice must be done. Both of them had not as yet left Madeenah; they were captured and dragged to ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Having confessed to their crime, they were crucified. Allah Almighy says:

{The recompense of those who  wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is but that they should be killed or crucified and their hands or feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world and a great torment is theirs in the hereafter.} (Qur’aan, 5:33)

Umm Waraqah began flying within the hearts of green birds, in the paradise she had so long awaited for.

May Allah be pleased with her. Aameen!


radhiAllahuanhaHer name was ‘Aatikah bint Khaalid al-Khuza’iyyah and Umm Ma’bad was her nick name. We find her name mentioned and connected to one of the greatest event in the Prophet’s life, the Hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madeenah.

She was a famous, chaste, strong and courageous woman and had a camp in Qudayd. She would sit down in the courtyard of her camp wrapped-up in her garment, generously providing food and drink to the travellers who passed by.

The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his companions Abu Bakr, ‘Amar ibn Fuhayrah, a freed slave of Abu Bakr and their guide, ‘Abdullah ibn Urayqit (who was then a polytheist), once rested in her camp. This was at a time when people were suffering from a severe drought.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his companions had stopped to ask her for some milk, meat or date, which they were even willing to pay for. Sadly she was unable to provide any of these things to them and apologetically said,

“By Allah, if we had anything we would not lack in showing (all of you) hospitality.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then saw a lonely goat within the shaded side of the camp, which was being kept away from other sheep due to its weakness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked Umm Ma’bad, “Does this goat have any milk?” Umm Ma’bad answered, “She is too weak to have any.” He then said, “Would you allow me to milk her?” The woman replied, “May my father and mother be ransomed for you, if you see any milk in her you may milk her.”

milkThe Prophet (peace be upon him) then called for the goat and placed her legs between his own shank and thigh. He then stroked her udder with his hand and mentioned the name of Allah. The udder suddenly swelled and flowed forth milk. He then called for a vessel, big enough to carry milk for the entire group and squeezed a lot of milk into it. He then gave Umm Ma’bad and his Companions its milk until everyone was satiated, after which he also drank and explained, “The cup-bearer drinks last.”

He then milked the goat one more time and once again offered it to all of them. This time they drank slowly and took their time, unlike previously when they had quickly gulped it down due to severe thirst. The third time he milked the goat exclusively for Umm Ma’bah and afterwhich he and his Companions mounted their camels and moved on.

After they had left, Umm Ma’bad’s husband, Aktham ibn Abi al-Jawn al-Khuza’i came herding his emaciated flock of sheep. When he saw the milk or its remanants in the vessel he asked quite surprised, “Umm Ma’bad what is this? Where did you get this milk from... there is no goat with milk here?!” His wife answered,

“A blessed man passed by us.”

The word ‘blessed’ slipped out of her mouth spontaneously, as she was still emotionally influenced from what she had seen. Abu Ma’bad asked his wife, “Describe him.” She then explained and described to him what had happened in detail.

Before we read Umm Ma'bad's description of the Prophet (peace be upon him), it is important to note that even though many of the companions have described the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), such as ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib’s comprehensive and detailed description of him (bearing in mind that he had enjoyed the companionship of the Prophet for a lengthy period of time and that he was very eloquent), no-one matched Umm Ma'bad's description of him.


Umm Ma’bad described the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to her husband in the most eloquent, precise and befitting manner. This is because out of wonderment she had observed the Prophet (peace be upon him) meticulously, as a result of which she had fully retained his picture in her mind.

The following is Umm Ma'bad's description of the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

“I saw a man who is distinctly handsome and of a beautiful countenance. He is well-built, neither blemished by a big belly nor disfigured by an unusually small head. The pupils of his eyes are very dark, his eyelashes are very long and the area around the pupils is extremely white. His eyebrows are perfectly close. He has very dark hair, a rather long neck and a thick beard.

When he remains silent he is ever contemplative and when he speaks, eminence and splendour exhibit in his words. His words are like sliding stringed pearls. He is a gifted orator whose words are neither too few nor too many. He has the clearest wand and the most audible voice as he speaks. When you look at him from afar, he is the most handsome of all people, and when you move closer to him, he is the most pleasant of them.

You will never be tired of looking at him. He is like a branch between two branches.

He is the most handsome of the three and the most important of them. He has companions who honour him; when he speaks they listen to his words and when he commands they hasten to carry out his order. They serve and gather around him. He neither frowns or nags.”

Abu Ma’bad exclaimed, “By Allah! This is the man of Quraysh! If I see him I will follow him.”

In another narration he said, “I intend to follow him, if I am able to.”

This actually happened. Umm Ma’bad and her husband went to Madeenah, embraced Islaam, swore allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and stayed in his company as much as possible. With them was Umm Ma'bad's brother, known as Khunays (or Hubaysh) ibn Khalid, who reported this narration. He was honored with martyrdom on the day of the conquest of Makkah.

There are some noteworthy observations surrounding the story of Umm Ma’bad:

One: The tribe of Khuza’ah, to which Umm Ma’bad and her husband belonged, were allies of ‘Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophet’s grandfather before the advent of Islaam. When the light of Islaam illuminated into their hearts, they thus inclined toward the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). After which they were sincere to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

When the truce of Hudaibiyyah was concluded, they became the Prophet’s allies and the tribe of Banoo Bakr entered into an alliance with the Quraysh. The Banoo Bakr violated this truce by attacking Banu Khuzay’ah (the tribe of Umm Ma’bad). ‘Amar ibn Saleem al-Khazaa’i then came to Madeenah seeking the support of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). ‘Amr recited a long poem to him,

“O Allah! I am imploring Muhammad,

In the name of the inherited and time-honoured alliance that is between his father and our father!”

To this the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) answered him, “You will indeed be helped, O ‘Amar ibn Saleem!”

This incident later led to the great conquest of Makkah.

Two: According to a report narrated by al-Waqidi and many others, the goat that the Prophet (peace be upon him) milked that day lived for a long time providing abundant milk. This is not surprising as Allah Almighty blessed the Prophet’s presence among the Companions.

Three: May Allah bless Umm Ma'bad, a woman who may have been considered an ‘illiterate Bedouin woman’, yet was a real daughter of the desert! Her eloquence was such that up until this day her words and expressions are studied at universities. This is despite the fact that she herself did not graduate from any university or go through any formal education. Even then, many Arabs have to pick up their dictionaries in hope of understanding her profoundly eloquent and subtle expressions.

Umm Ma’bad was therefore from among those people who are loved by Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him).

May Allah be pleased with Umm Ma’bad and please her! Aameen.


Umm Kulthoom was a noble branch, which shot out from an ignoble radhiAllahuanhatree. She was a bird who was made to fly alone, outside of her flock. She was a rose exuding fragrance, surrounded by poisonous thorns!

Her father ‘Uqbah ibn Abi al-Mu’eet was among the sinful and evil men who waged war against Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the call to Islaam. His friends were Aboo Jahl, Aboo Lahab and Ubayy ibn Khalaf, the leaders of disbelief, obstinacy, arrogance, aggression and injustice and the staunch enemies of the Messenger of Allah and his noble Companions.

Umm Kulthoom was the al-Mumtahanah (the Woman who Complained), after whom the chapter of the Qur’aan, ‘al-Mumtahanah’ (chapter 60) was named. It was her case which prompted the revelation of these divine verses. Hence, her migration from Makkah to Madeenah and her company with Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) turned out to be a great blessing and asset for her, as well as the Ummah at large. This is because these verse from chapter 60 of the Qur’aan cover the ordinances pertaining to marital relationships between couples of different faiths and the laws concerning the women who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), among other divine injunction.

Allah Almighty says:

{O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them; Allah knows best as to their faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful [wives] to the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful [husbands] for them. But give the disbelievers [that amount of money] which they have spent [as their dowry] to them. And their will be no sin on you to marry them if you have paid their dowry to them. Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives, and ask for [the return of] that which you have spent [as dowry] and let them the disbelievers ask back for that which they have spent. That is the judgement of Allah. He judges between you. And Allah is All-Knowing and All-Wise.

And if any of your wives have gone from you to the disbelievers [as apostates and you ask them to return back your dowry but they refused] – then you went out for a Ghazwah [military expedition against them and] gained booty; then pay from that booty to those whose wives have gone, the equivalent of what they have spent [on their dowry]. And fear Allah on whom you believe.

O Prophet! When believing women come to you to give you the Bay’ah [pledge], that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit any illegal sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood [i.e. by making illegal children belonging to their husbands], and that they will not disobey you in Ma’roof [Islamic Monotheism and all that which Islam ordains], then accept their Bay’ah [pledge], and ask Allah to forgive them, Verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the wrath of Allah [i.e. Jews]. Surely they have despaired of [receiving any good in] the Hereafter just as the disbelievers have despaired of those [buried] in graves [that they will not be resurrected on the day of resurrection].} (Qur’an 60: 10-13)

Now that you have come across a glimpse of the greatness of this female Companion of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), let’s now uncover who exactly she was. Let us start with the life of Umm Kulthoom (may Allah be pleased with her) from the beginning.



She was one of the few early reverts to Islaam in Makkah and hence one of the very first Muslims. At that time she wasn’t married, although she was mature enough to realise where the truth is. Unlike many of the other Muslims, she was not persecuted nor did she show weakness to the non-Muslim, for none among her relatives dared coerce her or inconvenience her. She remained in Makkah for some time until the day of the Truce of Hudaibiyyah. That day was a decisive day for Umm Kulthoom in particular and a unique day for the Muslims in general.

When she learnt of the conditions of the truce, she realised that the truce offered her the opportunity to migrate to Madinah and finally join Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and her fellow Muslim brethren in Madeenah.

With a heart full of eemaan and conviction she set out towards Madinah, the city of the Noble Messenger Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Ibn Sa’d wrote:

“She was the first person to migrate to Madeenah after the Prophet’s migration. We do not know of any other Muslim Qurayshi woman who left her parents house and migrated to Allah and His Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) except Umm Kulthoom. She left Makkah alone and only (later) travelled in the company of a man from Banoo Khuza’ah tribe until she arrived at Madeenah."

Her brothers, ‘Ammarah and al-Waleed, came after her. They arrived at al-Madeenah on the second day of her arrival. They went to Allah’s Messenger and told him, ‘O Muhammad, fulfil your obligation to us!’

They were referring to the condition of the truce which stipulated that he (the Prophet) must send back anyone from among the Quraysh who came to him as a migrant, even if that person was upon his religion (i.e. Islaam).

Umm Kulthoom immediately interjected,

‘O Messenger of Allah I am a woman. And women are naturally weak I fear that (if I am sent back) they may try and take me away from my religion and I may not be able to bear that.’

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) rejected the request of ‘Ammarah and al-Waleed. It was on this occasion that Allah revealed His saying, {O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them}

The question remains: How did the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) examine the truth of her claim of faith and belief?

The Companion Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) was once asked about how the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon) examined the emigrant women and he answered:

Tell me by Allah! Did you migrate because you don’t like your husband? Tell me by Allah, did you migrate just because you want to abandon a land for another? Tell me by Allah did you migrate because of the material of this world that you wish to attain? Tell me by Allah you did not migrate but for your love of Allah and His Messenger?”


Al-Bazzaar narrated that the one who made the migrant women swear by these questions by the order of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him).

Umm Kulthoom was examined therewith and she passed the exam! Her examination in fact inculcated many tests and not just this. One of them took place on the day of the Truce of Hudaybiyyah and another after the Battle of Badr.

Perhaps the greatest test that Umm Kulthoom faced was the day her father, ’Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’eet was killed in captivity after the Battle of Badr as a captive. When brought forth for execution no ransom was accepted on his behalf, as a recompense for the evil transgressions he had committed against Allah Almighty and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Perhaps Umm Kulthoom cried when the she heard of her father’s death because he died as a disbeliever. Nevertheless his death did not affect her faith in Islaam, not even in the slightest!

This is because...

She did not migrate in order to escape from an oppressive husband!

She did not migrate in search of wealth!

And she did not migrate in search of worldly gain or for a husband she could marry!

Umm Kulthoom belonged to the Banoo Umayyah tribe, one of the leading tribes of Quraysh. She was of noble birth, yet she was pleased to marry a freed slave, Zayd ibn Haarithah, which was her first marriage after her migration to Madinah. After the martyrdom of Zayd in the Battle of Mu’tah, she married Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwaam from whom she had a daughter named Zaynab. But she was later widowed due to the the death of Zubayr.

After the death of Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), she married ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, in accordance with the Prophet’s instruction. This is evident by a narration reported by Ibn Mandah in which ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab asked Umm Kulthoom, “Did the Messenger of Allah ask you to marry the leader of the Muslims, ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf?” To which she replied in the affirmative.

From ‘Abdur-Rahmaan she had two sons, Humayd and Ibraaheem. When ‘Abdur-Rahmaan passed away, ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas married her. Only after a month of their marriage she passed away.

Her marriages after Zayd’s martyrdom indicate that she was much sought for because of her religiosity, good morals and high standing. This is in addition to the fact that Arabs used to feel a sense of obligation towards their deceased friends' family and one of the ways they would fulfil this sense of obligation was by marrying their widows.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May He be pleased with her and please her. Aameen!


Umm Haani’ was Fakhitah bint Abi Talib, 'Alee ibn Abi Taalib’s sister and Nab’ah was her AbyssinianradhiAllahuanha maid. I have mentioned both of them together, rather than separately, because the hadeeth concerning the Prophet’s Night Journey (al-Israa’) on the 27th night of Rajab in the 11th year after the Prophet’s migration revolves around both of them.

Al-Israa’ (the Night Journey) is one of the most important and fundamental events in the course of Da’wah. It is the event that attracts the attention of many among those whom Allah endowed with knowledge and understanding and who wish to derive lessons from it.

There are a number of narrations concerning al-Israa’, transmitted from a number of Companions. Among these Companions are: Anas ibn Maalik, Buraydah ibn al-Khaseeb al-Aslami, Jaabir ibn ‘Abdillah, Hudayfah ibn al-Yamaan, Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, Shaddad ibn Aws, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, Abu Hurairah and 'Aa’ishah, Mother of the Faithful.

But it is the narration of Umm Haani’ which comes with numerous chains, each of which only have slight differences in their wording. Also, Muhammad ibn Ishaaq al-Muttalib - the leading scholar of the Seerah of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) - used the hadeeth narrated by Umm Haani’ in his Seerah and he is an authority in this field. Even other great scholars like Ibn Hishaam and Ibn Katheer chose the hadeeth narrated by her concerning the Night Journey. One of the reasons for this is because none of the contemporaries of Umm Haani’ from among the companions nor their followers disputed her narration.

As for Nab’ah, the Abyssinian maid servant of Umm Haani’, Abu Moosa mentioned her in adh-Dhayal. Aboo Moosa mentioned the narration through al-Kalbi from Aboo Salih the freed slave of Umm Haan’i bint ‘Abdul Muttalib concerning the Prophet’s Israa’ that Umm Haani’ said,

"The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was taken for the night journey while he was sleeping in my house that night. He performed the Ishaa prayer then slept and we also slept. When it was just before Fajr prayer, we awoke for Fajr and prayed behind him. He then said, “Umm Haani’! I prayed Ishaa with you, as you have witnessed, I then went to the Bayt al-Maqdis (in Jerusalem) and prayed there. I then returned so as to pray Fajr with you’.”


When the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was about to leave her house, Umm Haani’ said,

“O Prophet of Allah, do not tell people this, lest they disbelieve you and harm you.”

But he said, “By Allah, I will tell them.”

Umm Haani’ then told an Abyssinian maid-servant, known as Nab’ah to follow him and listen to what he informs the people and how he responds to their queries.

When the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) informed the people regarding his miraculous night journey and ascension, they were surprised and said, “What is the evidence for that, O Muhammad?!”

He (the narrator) then mentioned how the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) described Bayt al-Maqdis and how Abu Bakr attested to his description by saying,

“You have said the truth.”

This is when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon) said to Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), “O Abu Bakr! Allah has named you as-Siddeeq (the truthful).”

Ibn Hajr comments on this by saying,

“This is more correct than al-Kalbi’s report. For there in Kalbi’s report (it mentions) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed ‘Ishaa and Fajr with them, while the prayers were only ordained during the ascension to the heaven (in the night of Israa’). Also the report that he slept at Umm Haani’s house is not correct. What is correct is that he slept in the masjid.”

Umm Haani'

Umm Haani' was married by her father to Hubayrah ibn ‘Amr, who was from the Banoo Makhzoom clan.

She embraced Islaam, believed in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and followed the guidance. Sadly, her husband remained a polytheist and so she stayed with her husband and children in Makkah and did not migrate (this was before it was revealed that Muslim women are not allowed to be married to non-Muslim men).

On the day of the conquest of Makkah, one of the polytheists escaped to her house, seeking her protection and fearing for his life. ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him), who was her brother, followed this refugee to her home. But Umm Haani’ stood in front of him, preventing him from hurting the man. This caused an argument between Umm Haani’ and her brother ‘Alee and almost resulted in a fight. The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then arrived and when he heard of her protection, he honoured her right of giving protection and said,

“We have given protection to those you have given protection to, Umm Haani’.”

She then felt relieved by the comforting words of the Noble Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).


As we learnt earlier, Nab’ah was an Abyssinian maid. She possessed a comprehending heart, sharp listening skills and a retentive memory. She is famously remembered for her truthfulness, sincerity and precision in narrating the conversation which took place between the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and a group of the Quraysh regarding the Night Journey.

May Allah be pleased with both and please both - the safeguarders of the narration pertaining to the Israa' wal Mi'raaj. Aameen!


TheradhiAllahuanhare are some people who aren’t very popular even though an extensive and detailed study of their lives maybe available. Yet there are others who are famous only because of one incident, a single event or just because of an aspect of their life. This event, in spite of its short period, may well be more memorable than decades of other events.

Rufaydah al–Aslamiyah falls into this second category.

‘Rufaydah’s tent’ has become a title that is always mentioned alongside her name throughout the course of Islamic history. The first mention of her within Islamic history is made in the incident of the battle of the Trench (otherwise known as the battle of the Confederates) when Mu’aadh (may Allah be pleased with him) was struck with a spear in his arm’s vein, which turned into a severe wound. It was at this time when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Let him stay in Rufaydah’s tent in the Masjid until I soon return.”

Thereafter Rufaydah and her tent became popular. SubhaanAllah! Even the place where the tent was situated became famous! The companions became aware of this Sahaabiyyah and respected her for her care of the sick and wounded. This was because she sincerely treated them by whatever means possible to her. She was in fact considered a medical doctor of her time because of her knowledge and experience of medicine, the treatment of wounds and broken bones. What is amazing is that she became qualified in a very short period of time! She was indeed a clever woman.

Rufaydah (may Allah be pleased with her) actually spent out of her own pocket on her patients, seeking the reward of Allah Almighty. Therefore, she did not take any consultation or medical fees. Rather, she spent generously and hoped to get her reward from Allah alone. She was present and ever-ready within many of the battles that the Sahaabah fought in and so it was that ‘Rufaydah’s tent’ moved from one battleground to another.

(An example, not the original:)

When we read history, especially the Prophet’s biography, we find that there were a number of female companions who went out into the battlefields to take care of the wounded and give water to the thirsty. Yet it was Rufaydah’s tent which specifically specialised in this expertise and it was her tent which facilitated places for the injured to lye down and rest in. In Rufaydah's (may Allah  be pleased with her) tent surgical equipment of the time was at-hand, as well as bandages for dressing wounds, special foods, availability of nurses, who were of course the righteous female companions. The Sahaabiyaat served the wounded and took care of them while hand-in-hand protecting their honor, safety, respect and covering (Hijaab and Jilbaab).

All this was under the supervision of Rufaydah (may Allah  be pleased with her) and her personal participation. Rufaydah’s tent can be compared to what is known as field hospital in modern military terms.

May Allah be pleased with her and please her - the medical doctor of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Aameen!



Talhah ibn 'Ubaydullah (may Allah be pleased with him) was an astute and successful merchant who travelled widely to the north and south of the Arabian peninsula. It is said that after one of his trips to Hadramawt, he had profits amounting to some seven hundred thousand dirhams. His nights would be anxious and worried on account of this vast wealth. On one such night, his wife, Umm Kulthum the daughter of Abu Bakr, said to him:

"What's wrong with you, O father of Muhammad? Perhaps I have done something to hurt you?"

"No," replied Talhah. "You are a wonderful wife for a Muslim man. But I have been thinking since last night: How can a man think of his Lord and Sustainer when he goes to sleep with this wealth in his house?"

"Why should it bother you so much," remarked Umm Kulthum. "What about all the needy ones in your community and all your friends? When you get up in the morning share it out among them."

"God bless you. You are really marvellous, the daughter of a marvellous man," said Talhah to his wife.

In the morning, Talhah gathered up the money in bags and distributed it among the poor Muhaajireen and Ansaar.

May Allah be pleased with her, for she was a woman of intelligence and generosity.


radhiAllahuanha'Umar was a headstrong young man of great determination. He saw Islaam as a threat to the Quraysh and became most violent and unrestrained in his attacks on Muslims. He finally decided that the only way to put an end to the trouble was to eliminate the man who was its cause. Goaded on by blind fury he took up his sword and headed for the Prophet's house. On his way he came face to face with a secret believer in the Prophet who seeing' Umar's grim expression asked him where he was going. "I am going to kill Muhammad..."

There was no mistaking his bitterness and murderous resolve. The believer sought to dissuade him from his intent but 'Umar was deaf to any arguments. He then thought of diverting 'Umar in order to at least warn the Prophet of his intentions.

"O Umar," he said, "Why not first go back to the people of your own house and set them to rights?"

"What people of my house?" asked Umar.

"Your sister Fatimah and your brother-in-law Sa'id. They have both forsaken your religion and are followers of Muhammad in his religion..."

'Umar turned and made straight for his sister's house. There he called out to her angrily as he approached. Khabbab ibn al-Aratt who often came to recite the Qur'aan to Sa'id and Faatimah was with them then. When they heard 'Umar's voice, Khabbab hid in a corner of the house and Fatimah concealed the manuscript. But 'Umar had heard the sound of their reading and when he came in, he said to them, "What is this haynamah (gibbering) I heard?"

They tried to assure him that it was only normal conversation that he had heard but he insisted: "Hear it I did," he said, "and it is possible that you have both become renegades."

"Have you not considered whether the Truth is not to be found in your religion?" said Sa'id to 'Umar.

He was trying to reason with him. Instead, 'Umar set upon his brother-in-law hitting and kicking him as hard as he could and when Fatimah went to the defence of her husband, 'Umar struck her a blow on her face which drew blood.

"O Umar," said Fatimah, and she was angry. "What if the Truth is not in your religion! I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God."

Fatimah's wound was bleeding, and when 'Umar saw the blood he was sorry for what he had done. A change came over him and he said to his sister:

"Give me that script which you have that I may read it." Like them 'Umar could read, but when he asked for the script, Fatimah said to him:

"You are impure and only the pure may touch it. Go and wash yourself or make ablutions."

Thereupon Umar went and washed himself, and she gave him the page on which was written the opening verses of Surah Ta-Ha. He began to read it and when he reached the verse, 'Verily, I alone am God, there no deity but me. So, worship Me alone, and be constant in Prayer so as to remember Me.'

He then said: "Show me where Muhammad is."

'Umar then made his way to the house of al-Arqam and declared his acceptance of Islaam and the Prophet and all his companions rejoiced.

Said and his wife Fatimah were thus the immediate cause which led to the conversion of the strong and determined 'Umar and this added substantially to the power and prestige of the emerging faith.


radhiAllahuanhaUmm Kulthum bint 'Uqba was the daughter of 'Uqba ibn Abu Mu'ayt and sister of Walid ibn 'Uqba.

At the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Umm Kulthum bint 'Uqba, daughter of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) enemy 'Uqbah bin Abu Mu'ayt, sought asylum with the Muslims when she learned that a revelation (60:10) had said that women seeking the Prophet did not have to be returned to their families and men, unlike the custom for male escapees.

First, she married Zayd ibn Harithah (may Allah be pleased with him). After Zayd was killed in battle of Mu'ta she married Az-Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him) who divorced her after a while. Then she married Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf (may Allah be pleased with him) and bore him two sons, Ibraheem and Hameed. After Abd al-Rahman's (may Allah be pleased with him) death she married 'Amr ibn al-'Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) and died after one month of the marriage.

Source: at-Tabakat al-Kubraa of Ibn Sa'd.


The most painful and difficult separaradhiAllahuanhation

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) performed the farewell Hajj and firmly established the pillars of Islaam. Allah perfected the religion of Islaam and completed the divine revelation with the following words:

{... This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion..} (Qur’an, [5]: 3)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then fell ill. When Fatimah visited him during his illness he smiled towards her cheerfully. He then took her hand, drew her close and told her something in confidence that made her cry. After this he again told her another secret that made her smile!

‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “I have never seen a day in which joy was so close to sorrow as I have seen today. I wanted to know the reason so asked Fatimah to tell me what made her cry and then smile. But she said:

‘I cannot reveal the secret of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).’

After the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) death, ‘Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) once again to tell her that secret. She replied,

‘Now I can tell you. He said:

"Angel Jibreel used to revise the Qur’an with me once every year, but this year he reviewed over it with me twice. I interpret this that the end of my life in this world is near.” That was why i began crying.

He then told me, “You will be the first of the members of my household to join me; and I am an excellent predecessor for you.” That was the reason why i began smiling.’

The Prophet’s pain increased and Fatimah’s sorrow increased over the imminent departure of the best father in the world and the most honourable Prophet (peace be upon him).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then departed for the Highest Companionship. Fatimah could only repeat the following sorrowful and painful words:

“My father! My father!

He answered the call of his Lord,

Paradise is his abode,

How close he is to his Lord!”

She was extremely grief-stricken, shedding painful tears.

’Ali was also greatly distressed, seeing his noble Prophet, his beloved cousin and father-in-law dying. He wept bitterly and eulogized him with the following words:

“O Allah’s Messenger! May my father and mother be your ransom! Your death has put end to what did not end with the death of other Prophets. With your death, there will be no more divine revelations. You are so special that you are enough a consolation for the loss of any other person or thing. You are so general (towards people) that all people are equal in your estimation. Had it not been that you have enjoined patience and prohibited anguish, we would have cried our eyes out and the disease and grief would have been prolonged. But we could not resist it (i.e. grief).”

Az-Zahrah’ – Fatimah – also cried profusely. And all the Muslims cried for the death of their Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). But they remembered the saying of Allah:

{Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed [many] Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels [as disbelievers]? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.} (Qur’an, [3]: 144)

And His saying:

{And We granted not to any human being immortality before you [0 Muhammad]. Then if you die, would they live forever?} (Qur’an, [21]:34)

Her Death

intheheavensThe Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had given his daughter, Fatimah glad tiding that she would be the first among surviving members of his household to join him. She found solace in this glad tiding.

Days passed by while Fatimah took care of her home, managed the affairs of her husband and continued fulfilling her obligations towards her children.

About six months after the Prophet’s death, she was taken ill and joined her father. Her pure soul departed to its Lord where it met the souls of her father, mother and sisters in the ‘Illiyeen, in the company of the souls of the Prophets, the sincere servants of Allah, martyrs and the righteous. And indeed, excellent are they as companions.

Her husband, ‘Ali and her uncle ‘Abbas performed funeral prayers on her. She was buried at Baqee’ on Tuesday night, 3rd of Ramadan 11 A.H at the young of twenty-nine.

The Two Axes

When studying the life of Fatimah az-Zahraa' (may Allah be pleased with her), we can sum up her life by saying it revolved around two major axes:

  1. Islam and Eemaan (faith)
  2. Daughterhood, motherhood and sisterhood

pinkgreenOne: Fatimah opened her eyes to eemaan at a very young age. She began understanding the world at the same time that her father was being commissioned as a Prophet. For, she was only five years old when the first revelation was revealed to her father from Allah, the Most High.

She opened her eyes to a new world amidst the Quraysh of Makkah and the Arabs. Her soul embraced Islaam and Eemaan (faith) while the verses of the Qur’an were being revealed unto the heart of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). She memorised, understood and absorbed.

She lived through and witnessed difficult times, such as rejection and denial of the message that her father was carrying, the detention, persecution, banishment and expulsion of the Muslims. She also saw her father’s steadfastness, seeking of Allah’s help and his contempt towards the evil plans of the enemy.

The above events greatly impacted her personality, making her into an example for all women, of a believing and patient woman who only seeks Allah's reward. This is because she received Islaam and Eemaan from the purest source, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). From which she abundantly drew from his spring of faith and resolve.

Two: Fatimah was the fourth daughter of her mother, Khadeejah. She enjoyed a deep love of her parents without pampering or discrimination.

It is reported that, of all her sister she physically resembled her father the most, as Zaynab was the one who bore the greatest resemblance to their mother, Khadeejah.

Fatimah’s love for her father was intense. Of all her sisters, she accompanied him the most. And she always kept her father’s company until Allah called him to Himself. With regards to her love for her mother, this manifested during days of tribulation when the Muslims were boycotted at the valley of Aboo Taalib and her mother fell ill. Fatimah was an excellent helper for Umm Kulthoom in taking care of their ailing mother. It was since that period that she started feeling a sense of responsibility, even though she was only five years old. Then her mother Khadeejah died of an illness due to the evil boycott. Khadeejah’s death left its impact particularly on the Prophet’s household and generally on the entire Muslim community.

Fatimah felt the vacuum and she felt the pain of a deep injury in her heart with the death of her mother. But the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) filled that void with what Allah permitted of love and affection as he indeed played the role of a father and mother at the same time.

These trials moulded and prepared her to be able to deal with what was coming her way in the future: the hardships she was to face in her future husband's home. This made her an exemplary wife who acknowledged her husband’s full rights. She realised that her husband fully deserved to be loved, obeyed and served and she had the stamina to fulfil this great obligation. Rarely did she annoy her husband, ‘Ali. She bore the difficulties of life with him and took excellent care of her children, Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab and Umm Kulthoom.

As for Hasan, he inherited from her deliberation, wisdom, deep faith, truthfulness of Islaam, shunning of the adornments of this world and satisfaction with the great reward that is with Allah.

All these qualities manifested in him the day he deemed himself far above the frivolities of this world, the day he protected the blood of the Muslims from being shed on account of positions of authority, however high they might be. The prophecy of his grandfather, the Prophet (peace be upon him) materialised, whe he had said the following about him,

“Indeed, Allah will use this son of mine to make peace between two warring Muslim groups.”

Hasan’s cession of the position of caliph to Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan was a manifestation of Eemaan, Islaam and gallantry.

clouds3Then came the role of Husayn, the chief of the youth of Paradise. He was also an apex in demonstration of Islamic teachings and faith by refusing to be humiliated by the covetousness of Yazeed ibn Mu’aawiyah. He had not set out from Hijaaz to Koofah (which is in Iraq) in pursuit of leadership. Rather, it was done so to correct the path that the Muslims had then taken, which had made them deviate from the path of the Hereafter towards the path of this world.

He set out hoping to attain martyrdom in the way of Allah and seeking His pleasure with all his efforts. He had recorded in the pages of human history the most sincere example for those who want to accomplish the truth and defeat falsehood.

As for Zaynab, she was the fortress of the Prophet’s household after the martyrdom of Husayn among a group of some of his children, nephews, relatives and followers. She was the one who stood bravely against Yazeed without any fear.

Zaynab won the admiration and respect of scholars and jurists. They would visit her home in Egypt and draw from her abundant knowledge and benefit from her truthful faith.

As for Umm Kulthoom, in addition to the noble oasis from which she originated, she also attained glory through her marriage to the commander of the believers, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, the just leader and one of the best rulers within history. ‘Umar asked her father, ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) for her hand in marriage. This was because ‘Umar dearly wanted to have the tie of marriage with a member of the Prophet’s household. ‘Ali acceded to ‘Umar’s request and gave Umm Kulthoom in marriage to him. She bore him children and was an excellent and righteous wife.

May Allah be pleased with Fatimah az-Zahra, the Prophet’s favourite daughter, the wife of ‘Ali, who the leader of the pious.

May Allah be pleased with the mother of Hasan and Husayn — father of the martyrs, and Zaynab the heroine of Karbala! May He be pleased with and please them all!

In the course of the past few pages, we together spent some time with an aromatic flower that originated from the household of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

And all Praise, at the beginning and at the end, is for Allah (the Mighty, the Glorious) alone.


radhiAllahuanhaThe Emigrant

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) married Sawdah (may Allah be pleased with her) after the death of his wife Khadeejah. This lent further helping and support to young Fatimah.

After the death of the Prophet's uncle Aboo Taalib and his wife Khadeejah, the onslaught and persecution against the Prophet and his Companions intensified. The Pledge of ‘Aqabah took place, followed by migration of the Muslims to Madeenah, the abode of the Ansaar - the protectors of Islaam. Fatimah migrated with her sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom, and her step-mother, the Mother of the Faithful, Sawdah bint Zam’ah (may Allah be pleased with them).

During the actual hijrah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from Makkah to Madinah his family did not accompany him. Rather, he took Aboo Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) as his companion and left his family in Makkah, as they were to join him later on. In fact, many Muslim women who did not migrate with their husbands and fathers, such as members of Abu Bakr’s household (i.e. his wife, Umm Rooman and his daughters: ‘Aa’ishah, whom the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had proposed marriage to before his migration, and Asmaa’.) While he was away from them, they were seriously worried for him. They only felt peace of mind when they heard of his safe arrival at Madeenah.

One night, Zayd ibn Haarithah knocked the door of the Prophet’s household while they were still in Makkah. He was sent by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to bring them to Madeenah. They became jubilated and prepared themselves for the journey. None of the polytheists knew of Zayd’s arrival in Makkah. Zayd took them out of Makkah under the dark cover of the night, putting his trust in Allah and heading for the blessed city of Madeenah, with the blessed family of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

At that time, Fatimah was an eighteen-year old young lady, full of energy and burning with passion. Her main preoccupation was to see the face of her beloved father and hear his sweet recitation and words. Keeping these thoughts in mind, she would not mind the arduous journey and the hardships which came with it. Although she did want time to swiftly pass, as she was eager to arrive at Madeenah even if that risked her life.

Zayd would halt at appropriate places for them to rest. Fatimah was so eager to swiftly reach the long-awaited Madinah that she was hesitant to stop. Yet she obeyed her sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom, aswell as the mother of the faithful, Sawdah.

Arrival of the convoy

The convoy entered the city of Madeenah through one of its sections. Fatimah, out of her keenness, was finding her camel too slow. She wished she could just leap out of her hawdaj (camel litter), and into the arms of her loving, and much missed, father. (Dear reader, if you feel that I may have given free rein to my imaginations, then i do so only out of my love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his family.)

And they met!

The eyes spoke to each other, instead of the tongues; and the tears were tears of happiness. It is known that tears actually give better expression to sincere feelings, rather than just words from the tongue.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) received them honourably, embraced them with his loving heart and thanked Zayd for the great task that he had accomplished.

With this blessed journey, Fatimah bid farewell to Makkah, her beloved city that witnessed her childhood and youth age for she was then an eighteen-year old young lady. After that, she did not set her eyes on Makkah until the 8th year of Hijrah - the day of the conquest of Makkah.

‘Ali and Fatimah

After thepurty_flower_400 Prophet’s marriage to ‘Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), prominent Companions of the Messenger (peace be upon him) came forward asking for the hand of his daughter Fatimah.

Aboo Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and then ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) successively asked for Fatimah’s hand in marriage. But the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gently and graciously asked both of them to excuse him for not being able grant their request. ‘Umar then suggested to ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) to come forward and win the honor of being the Prophet’s son-in-law.

'Ali asked himself:

“Do you think that the Messenger of Allah will accept your proposal after he had refused the proposals of his two Companions, Aboo Bakr and ‘Umar?!”

When he finally was going to ask, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gently looked at him with a smiling face and then asked him, “What is the matter, son of Aboo Taalib?”

'Ali replied in a very low voice, due to extreme shyness,

“I am asking for the hand of Fatimah, the daughter of Allah’s Messenger in marriage.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) responded with a bright face saying, “Welcome!”

'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) couldn’t believe his ears! When people began asking him what happened, he told them:

“I spoke to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about the matter and he said, ‘Welcome!’”

On the following day, ‘Ali went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and repeated the same request, just to confirm that what his ears had heard was infact true.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked him whether he had anything to give for the dowry. He answered in the negative. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then asked him, “Where is your khatami (armoured plate) that I gave to you?” He replied that it was still with him.

He went and brought it; the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then asked him to sell it so that he could get the bride prepared with its price.

‘Uthman bought the armour plate from him for four hundred and seventy dirhams. ‘Ali in turn gave the money to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave part of the money to Bilal to buy some perfume and gave the rest to Umm Salamah to buy things that the bride might need.

He looked at ‘Anas, his helper, and told him, “Go and call Aboo Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, Talhah, Zubayr and a number of the Ansaar.”

He then went in to inform his daughter that ‘Ali had come forward to ask for her hand in marriage. Fatimah shyly kept silent, and that was the sign of acceptance.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came out and found the elder Companions present. He then addressed them.

"All praise is due to Allah, Who is praised for His blessings, worshipped by His might and obeyed by His authority. He is the only Protector against His own punishment, and the only One Whose command is implemented in the heaven and in the earth. He created the creature with His power and gave them glory through the adherence to His religion. He honoured them by His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Indeed, Allah has made the relationship of marriage the means of maintaining human progeny. He connects, through marriage, the kinship and makes joining the ties of kinship obligatory upon mankind. Allah says:

{And it is He Who has created man from water, and has appointed for him kindred by blood, and kindred by marriage. And your Lord is Ever All-Powerful to do what He wills.} (Qur’an 25:54)

And for every matter there is a Decree. Allah blots out what He wills and confirms what He wills. And with Him is the Mother of the Book.

Indeed, Allah has commanded me to give Fatimah in marriage to ‘Ali, and I take you as witnesses that I have done so upon a bridal gift of four hundred dirhams, if ‘Ali agrees to that.

This is the established Sunnah and an obligation. May Allah join them together in peace and make their children gateways of mercy, treasures of wisdom and source of security for the Ummah.

This is what I have to say and beseech (Allah) to forgive me and you.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then ordered that a tray of dates be presented to the guests, and he told them to pass it around.

Suddenly, ‘Ali appeared to them. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) smiled and told him, "‘Ali, Allah commanded me to give Fatimah to you in marriage. And I have done so upon four hundred dirhams.”

‘Ali said,

“I agree, Messenger of Allah.”

Then ‘Ali prostrated in gratitude to Allah. When he raised his head the Messenger of Allah addressed him,

“May Allah bless you and bless your efforts. May He bring out of you many pleasant offspring.”

The invocation was accepted, for it was an invocation of a Prophet, rather an invocation of the leaders of the Messengers of Allah.

That was the marriage of ’Ali and Fatimah, which was witnessed by a group of eminent Companions.

A night blessed by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him)

moondarknightOn the night of Fatimah and ‘Ali’s marriage, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked Umm Salamah to take the bride to ‘Ali’s house and to wait for him there.

When the Messenger of Allah had performed the ‘Isha prayer, he went to ‘Ali’s house. When he arrived there, he asked for water, made ablution and made the following supplication:

“O Allah! Bless them and bless their offspring.”

He then advised his daughter to honour her husband. He also advised ‘Ali with the following words:

“’Ali, do not get angry, and when you get angry sit down. Remember Allah’s power over the servants and His tolerance of their sins. If you are advised to fear Allah, abandon your anger and go back to deliberation.”

All the Muslims were happy with Fatimah’s marriage to ‘Ali. It was reported that Hamzah bought two rams which he slaughtered and distribute their meat to the inhabitants of Madeenah.

‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him)

In order to fully understand Fatimah’s marriage to ‘Ali, we would like to tell the readers something about ‘Ali –though he was popularly known to all.

‘Ali was the son of Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle. His mother was Fatimah bint ‘Asad, the first Hashimite woman born to a Hashimite man.

‘Ali is one of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of Paradise, the first young boy to accept Islaam and one of the six members of the Shooraa (advisory) Council.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said regarding him, “He who I regard a friend is also a friend of ‘Ali. O Allah! Treat as a friend whoever regards ‘Ali a friend and treat as enemy whoever regards him an enemy.”

He also told him, “None loves you but a believer and none hates you but a hypocrite.”

Abu Nu’aym (the biographist) introduced him as follows:

“He is the leader of the people, ardent follower of the Prophet and the Creator’s beloved. He is the door of knowledge and sciences, the standard of the rightly-guided, light for the obedient, friend of the righteous and the leader of the just rulers. He was among the earliest ones to respond to the call of Islaam, the strongest of them in justice and certainty, the greatest of them in intelligence and the fullest of them in knowledge. He is the adornment of the knowledgeable and the model of the pious.

He taught the realities of Tawheed. He had an intelligent mind, the inquisitive tongue, a comprehending ear and fulfilled the covenant.

He repelled the perfidious, subdued the unjust and defeated the apostate.”

‘Ali was born ten years before the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was commissioned a Prophet. He grew up in his house, so his mental faculties responded to the reality of Prophethood and its greatness, and he learnt from the Prophet (peace be upon him) truthfulness in words, strong heart and eloquence. He thus took after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in his lofty and sublime qualities.

When the noble Prophet was commissioned, ‘Ali was among the first persons to benefit from this divine light. He was very happy with this gracious call, and he was the first Muslim to pray with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

Since the beginning of Prophetic mission, signs of wisdom started to manifest in the personality of ‘Ali. He played a heroic role on the day of the Prophet’s migration to Madeenah. He was also among the frontline fighters in the way of Allah, holding the standard in every battle.

On the day of the Battle of Badr, he played an extremely laudable role. He did the same during the Battle of Uhud. In the Battle of Khandaq (the Trench), he killed the hero of the polytheists, ‘Umar ibn Wudd al-‘Amiri. ‘Ali was the hero of the war in the Battle of Khaybar.

He was rightly titled, ‘Judge of the Ummah’ and ‘Hero of Islaam’.

Fatimah, on her part, was an exemplary wife. She had to be because she had the honour of being the daughter of Muhammad, whom Allah praised in the glorious Qur’an with the following words: {And verily, you [0’ Muhammad] are on an exalted standard of character.}

She also had the honour of being the daughter of the leader of all women, Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid.

Fatimah was content with the financial situation of ‘Ali, who was very poor. She lived with him in protection of the honour of her husband and with patience, seeking the reward of her Lord. She would perform the household chores and carry out her obligations as a responsible mother. She was always pleased with little food and drink. And not only that, she was also satisfied with tasteless food.

Although, it did happen that when she was still quite young, in a moment of difficulty she complained to her husband about the difficulties she had to face in household chores. The complaint was not a show of displeasure or discontent. It was only to express her feelings. ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) told her to go to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and explain her situation to him so that he may provide her with help and assistance by providing her with a house-maid.

quran.2The Qur’an and the Cure

Fatimah went to her father and complained to him of her difficult and hard situation. She showed her palms to which, which had cracked due to excessive hand-milling.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), who loved her so dearly, looked towards her with great affection. He placed his noble hands on her shoulder. He then taught her to repeatedly read the Soorahs al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq and an-Naas and explained to her that they indeed were of the best help.

Fatimah returned home with this great provision from the Messenger of Allah and greater confidence in Allah that He would gave her immense reward for her patience.

A poor man, an orphan and a captive

Some scholars of Tafseer explain to us the reason behind the revelation of the following verse:

{And they give food, in spite of their love for it [or for the love of Him], to the Miskeen [the poor], the orphan, and the captive [saying], “We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish from you nor thanks.”} (Qur’an 76: 8-9)

They say, ‘Ali and Fatimah were observing fast one day and to break their fast they had prepared a kind of food that contained some butter.

When the sun set, they sat down in order to break their fast. They heard a knock on their door. ‘Ali stood up and asked, ‘Who is it?’ A voice answered,

‘A hungry poor man.’

‘Ali went back inside his home and brought their Iftaar food in a bag and gave it to the poor man. He inturn thanked and supplicated for him. 'Ali and Fatimah then had to break their fast on only bread and water.

The following day, at the same time again, when ‘Ali and his wife Fatimah were about to open their fast, there was a knock on the door. ‘Ali stood up and asked, "Who is it?” A voice came from outside,

"An orphan who is displaced and starving.”

‘Ali did as he did the day before; he carried their food in a bag to that orphan. He and his wife again broke their fast with bread and water, without feeling any inconvenience or displeasure.

The incident repeated itself on the third day, but this day the man knocking answered that he was a captive. ‘Ali gave him the food they were about to have and with which he and his wife were going to break their fast with. And as they had done the two previous days, they broke their fast on only bread and water.

Do you think that the person who knocked the door on those three days was the same person, or different persons; a poor man, an orphan and a captive? Narrations of the scholars of Tafseer indicate that the knocker was Angel Gabriel who came to test the faith and patience of ’Ali and Fatimah!

For, after that, Jibreel came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and informed him of the incidence. He gave him good tiding that ‘Ali and Fatimah would have a carriage of silver in Paradise as a suitable reward.

Blessed offspring

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Allah created the progeny of every Prophet from his own self, but created my progeny from 'Ali.”

A year after ‘Ali and Fatimah’s marriage, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was blessed with his first grandson from Fatimah. He was named al-Hasan and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was jubilant. He himself performed the Tahneek for him with a date, slaughtered a sacrifice and named him. After Hasan, Husayn, father of the martyrs and the hero of the war of Karbala, was born.

After sometime, Fatimah also gave birth to another boy named Muhsin, but he died very young. Then Allah blessed this noble household with the flower of Banoo Haashim, Zaynab.

Zaynab was married to her exceptionally generous cousin, ’Abdullah ibn Ja’far. She witnessed the Karbala massacre of 60 A.H. with all its horrible phases. She played a great role in preserving the progeny of al-Husayn and the Prophet’s descendants.

Fatimah was blessed with another flower, named after her aunt Umm Kulthoom, who was to be later married to ‘Umar while he was the commander of the believers. She gave birth to Zayd and Ruqayyah.

The Prophet’s Household

When the following noble verse was revealed:

{... Allah wishes only to remove ar-Rijs [evil deeds and sins] from you, O members of the family [of the Prophet] and to purify you with a thorough purification.} (Qur’an 33:33)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was with Umm Salamah when he called ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and covered them with a garment. He then said:

“O Allah, these are members of my household and my special ones. O Allah, remove from them the impurity of sins and give them an extensive, thorough purification.” He said this three times.

He then said: “O Allah, give Your blessings and favours to the family of Muhammad as You have done for the family of Ibraheem. Indeed, You are Praiseworthy and Honourable.”

Prophet’s love for Fatimah

Fatimah enjoyed the love of her father. He would shower great affection and compassion on her, for she was his only daughter alive as his other daughters had died. Therefore, she deserved great love, favour and joy.

In spite of this great love, the Messenger of Allah would explain that good deeds and piety were indispensable. One day, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up and proclaimed:

“O people of Quraysh! Buy (i.e. save) yourselves (from the Hellfire) as I cannot save you from Allah’s Punishment; O Bani ‘Abd Manaf! I cannot save you from Allah’s punishment, O Safiyah bint ‘Abdul-Muttalib! I cannot save you from Allah’s Punishment, O Fatimah bint Muhammad! Ask me anything from my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah’s Punishments.”

On another occasion, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) made it clear that his love for his beloved daughter could not prevent him from implementing Allah’s ordained punishment among the people.

It is reported in the books of Seerah that a Qurayshi woman committed theft. Members of her family came to Usaamah ibn Zayd, the Prophet’s favourite and the son of his favourite, requesting him to intercede with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) on behalf of the woman who committed theft.

Usaamah went to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) requesting him not to cut the hands of that woman. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied angrily, “Usamah! Are you interceding concerning one of His ordained punishment?!”

He then rose up and addressed the people. After he had praised Allah, as He is worthy, then he said:

“People! The nations before you were destroyed because if a noble person committed theft they would leave him, but if a weak person among them committed theft, they used to inflict the legal punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatimah, the daughter of    Muhammad, committed theft, I will cut off her hand!”

This was despite the great love the Prophet (peace be upon him) had for is daughter. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) expressed his love for his dear daughter one day when he said to her, “Indeed Allah is pleased with your pleasure and He is angered if you are angry.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also once said: “The best women from among mankind are four: Maryam, Aasiyah, Khadeejah and Fatimah.”

Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani said:

“Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came back from a journey or war he would first visit the masjid, in which he would pray two rak’ahs. He would then visit his daughter, Fatimah. And finally, he would visit his wives.”

Fatimah: A part of me

I have mentioned afore that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Fatimah is a part of me. Whatever hurts her hurts me!”

This statement from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was to underline the loving status she occupied in his heart. In fact, the reason why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said this was because once ‘Ali wanted to marry another wife and Fatimah came to her father crying and complaining. She told him what her husband, ‘Ali, wanted to do.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) set her mind at rest. He then depicted to ‘Ali how he felt by saying, “Fatimah is a part of me. Whatever hurts her hurts me!”

‘Ali understood the Prophet’s intention and kept that to himself. He then examined himself, reviewed his stand with Fatimah, the Prophet’s daughter, and cast a retrospective look towards the burdens of life which she had carried with him, her patience upon difficulties, her love and selflessness, and her sincere faith.

He then decided to withdraw from taking another wife while Fatimah was still with him. 'Ali was a gallant, earnestly enthusiastic Muslim and a truthful believer. How could he then hurt the dearest person to him and the noblest creature in the sight of Allah?!

It was reported that ‘Ali never married any other woman other than Fatimah while she was alive. It was only after her death that he married other women and had many more children.

Miswar ibn Makhramah narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say on the pulpit, ‘Fatimah is a part of me, whoever hurts her hurts me!”

Exemplary Role-Model for all Women

Fatimah has laid down for us an exceptional example in her marital life, with her neighbours and relatives and in her role as a mother. She gave her children proper Islamic education, even though she had faced a very difficult time in completing her house-chores.

At the same time she was keen at doing deeds that could make her attain Allah’s pleasure by obeying Him and His Messenger (peace be upon him). She performed her prayers at their prescribed times. She spent a great part of her efforts and wealth in the way of Allah. She was always truthful in her words and emulated the exemplary qualities of her father.

Thus, she became a righteous model for any Muslim woman, a woman who was a knowledgeable struggler in the way of Allah.

‘Aa'ishah (may Allah  be pleased with her) said,

“I have never seen anyone who was more like the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), in speech and walk, than Fatimah.”

Whenever Fatimah visited her father, he would hold her hand, sit her beside himself and welcome her in the most beautiful manner.


radhiAllahuanhaThe Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Fatimah is a part of me…”

Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the only remaining child of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The other children had died during the lifetime of their father. That is why all his fatherly love was then directed towards Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her). No wonder she was the delight of his eyes.

There was a connected circle around the Prophet (peace be upon him), formed by Khadeejah – her mother, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom, 'Abdullah, Taahir and al-Qaasim. Whenever she came in front of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) with her beautiful and smiling face, he felt as if all of they were standing before him.

Her birth

A great event that shook the entire city of Makkah and that almost caused a war among its different tribes occurred at the same time that Fatimah was born. Yes, it was the rebuilding of the Ka’bah. The Quraysh had resolved to rebuild the House after it had been affected by torrential rainfall that threatened the very foundations of its walls.

They started to rebuild the House enthusiastically and everyone participated in the honour of building it with whatever they could afford of money and effort.

They had hardly just started putting al-Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone) back into its place when an argument started as to who should have the honor of carrying it. The disagreement almost led to an open war and members of the tribes actually unsheathed their swords.

The elders of Makkah were concerned about this impending war, and they began thinking of a way to avert this crisis, which may result in severe destructions.

After a long deliberation, Umayah ibn al-Mugheerah, who was one of the wise elders suggested:

“O men of Quraysh! Appoint an arbitrator from among you who will settle for you regarding that which you are disagreeing about. Let him be the first person to enter the sacred mosque.”

They are all pleased with this suggestion and they said, “We agree!”

They all began looking towards the gate awaiting the first person to enter the sacred Masjid.

While they were waiting, Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was known to them as ‘the trustworthy one’, appeared in his splendour, steady and balanced steps. He was then a thirty-five year old young man. When they saw him, they shouted in joy,

‘Here is the trustworthy one, Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullah! We agree that he be the one, Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullah!  We agree that he be our arbitrator!'

Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) wisdom

orangeThe ‘trustworthy one’ listened to their argument- they then asked him to be their arbitrators.

He remained silent for sometime pondering until he was inspired with a solution. He then spread out his garment, put the Black Stone in the middle of it and said,

“Let the leaders of every group hold the edge of the garment and let them all lift it together.”

So they all lifted it until they brought the Stone to its place. The Messenger of Allah then took it with his noble hand and put it in its place.

The news spread all over the city of Makkah and the people were happy that the problem was solved and they were delighted by the trustworthy Muhammad’s wisdom. The happiness of the Arabs about this great event was expressed in poetry and recorded in history. Among the poetic passages composed regarding this event were those of Abu Wahab al-Makhzoomi, the meaning of which goes as follows:

“The tribes quarrelled with one another regarding a best plan,

and this quarrel almost caused a misfortune after happiness.

Because of this, mutual hatred replaced mutual love and the fire war was kindled

When we noticed that the matter was getting worse,

and the people were unsheathing their swords against each other,

we agreed that arbitration should be given -

to the first person who entered with no prior arrangement;

The first person to suddenly enter was Muhammad, the trustworthy. Then we said:

‘We are pleased with Muhammad, the trustworthy.’

kabahgraphicThe entire city of Makkah felt that Muhammad (peace be upon him) put an end to their disagreement and made the leaders of every clan participate in the honour of carrying the Black Stone. This is one of the proofs of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) wisdom and excellent conduct.

The trustworthy Muhammad (peace be upon him) returned to his house, happy to have solved this problem that had occupied their minds and had almost caused bloodshed among them.

When he entered, he was met with the news of the birth of his fourth daughter, Fatimah. His face brightened up and he quickly went to his gracious wife with happiness showing all over his face. He congratulated her on her safe delivery, and he showed how happy he was regarding the birth of their beautiful daughter, who was born on a noble day, in which blood-shed was prevented, swords were sheathed, yet peace and security prevailed — due to Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) wisdom.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) named her Fatimah, after his grandmother who bore the same name. And he nicknamed her az-Zahraa’. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saw in her an auspicious appearance and signs of both blessings and prosperity.

The new baby girl strikingly resembled and looked like her father, which made her even more loved by her parents.

Her up-Bringing

Fatimah enjoyed the great love of her parents and sisters, especially her sister Zaynab, who always pampered her and played with her.

Fatimah grew up as an adolescent in a compassionate Prophetic home, under the Prophet’s care and attention. She therefore started her life with great purity, enjoying abundant refinement, affection and appropriate instructions from her parents.

When Zaynab and Ruqayyah, who had long been caring for her, married and moved to their matrimonial home, she felt an immense loneliness. It was reported that Fatimah wept when Ruqayyah was married, and when her mother asked as to why she was crying, she said:

“Do not allow anybody to take me away from you and my father. I can not bear leaving you!”

Her mother then smiled gently and lovingly and then said, “You will never leave us except if you wish to!”

That was how Fatimah became even more attached to her parents and so very loved by them. Hence Fatimah grew up with great love from her father and abundant compassion from her mother. She saw the great Prophetic quality that her father enjoyed, for his Lord had refined him and did so excellently. She was also greatly impacted by her mother’s pure qualities and praiseworthy attributes. She endeavoured to grow up upon noble character, taking her father as the highest model in all her actions. Allah says:

{Indeed in the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad] you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for [the Meeting with] Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.} (Qur’an 33: 21)

This is how Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) grew up upon perfect chastity, self-dignity, love of good deeds and excellent conduct. She drew her character from the teachings of the Prophet of the nation, the Messenger of mercy, the best teacher and educator and the one who guided mankind to the straight path.

Early responsibility

Hardly had Fatimah reached the age of five when she started noticing that her father loved being in seclusion and worshipping in the Cave of Hiraa’. It was then that the following great verses were revealed to him:

{Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created [all that exists] He has created man from a clot [a piece of thick coagulated blood]. 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.} (Qur’an, 96: 1)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) announced that Allah had sent him to the entire mankind as a witness, giver of good tiding, a warner, caller unto His way by His permission and an illuminating lamp.

The Qur’anic verses started coming down successively as revelation from Allah, the Exalted. Allah says:

{O’ you [Muhammad] enveloped [in garments}? Arise and warn! And magnify your Lord [Allah]! And purify your garments! And keep away from ar-Rujz [the idols]. And give not a thing in order to have more [or consider not your deeds of Allah’s obedience as a favour to Him]. And be patient for the sake of your Lord [i.e. perform your duty to Allah]! (Qur’an, 74; 1-7)

Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) was witnessing this historic and everlasting development in the life of her father. Her father had now assumed a great responsibility of leading and carrying the message of truth to his Ummah. He was to lead a civilization that was the seal for all civilizations, the fundamentals of which are universal and the teachings of which are humane.

Fatimah now felt this new atmosphere in the house of her father; an atmosphere redolent with divine revelation and surrounded by the heavy burden of calling people to the way of Allah in the face of ferocious, unjust and hostile opposition from the Quraysh.

Fatimah also suffered from the evil plans of the disbelievers against her great father. Often times, she wished that she could sacrifice her life for her father’s sake and prevent the Quraysh from harming him. But how could that be possible, while she was still a very young girl?!

There she was, looking at her mother standing beside her father, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) after revelation had come to him in the Cave of Hiraa’. He had returned home with a trembling heart; Khadeejah told her husband, allaying his fears:

“Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, serve your guests generously, help the poor and the destitute and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) then supported her husband with her life and wealth, sharing with her husband all the difficulties he faced in course of delivering the message of His Lord.

This glorious and everlasting stand of Khadeejah could not go unnoticed by Fatimah, though she was then a young girl. It rather stirred her thoughts and reactions and she began to follow in the same footsteps as her mother.


It was a great responsibility - and this was what Allah willed and whatever He wills He does - Fatimah, the Prophet’s young daughter, had to utter the statement of Tawheed, declaring the oneness of Allah, during the first years of her life and to grow up pure and purified from the filth of idols. She had to follow the religion of Islaam, the pure and straight religion, which Allah has chosen for His servants.

{So set you [O’ Muhammad] your face towards the religion [of pure Islamic Monotheism] Haneef [worship none but Allah Alone],-Allah’s Fitrah [i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism] with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalqillah [i.e. the religion of Allah – Islamic Monotheism]:  that is the straight religion...} (Quran, 30:30)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) started calling his people to Islaam with resolution and power of faith. He patiently bore the persecution of the disbelievers and their denying of him because he found strength, support and assurance in the verses of the glorious Qur’an. He also found in his beloved wife a demonstration of great faith and enormous support that helped him to fulfil the message for which Allah (the Mighty, the Glorious) selected him and assigned him to deliver to mankind.

We have mentioned earlier that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his Companions were being daily persecuted by the Quraysh. Fatimah also experienced pain due to the polytheists’ denial of her father whom she greatly loved.

The greatest pain she experienced at the beginning of the Da’wah was the vicious boycott in which the Muslims were boycotted, along with members of Banoo Haashim clan, in the valley of Aboo Taalib. The boycott shows its toils on her health; the resultant hunger and pain made her physically weak throughout her life.

A great calamity

In spite of her tender age, Fatimah suffered a great calamity that filled her heart with sorrow and distress. Soon after she came out of the tormenting boycott, her mother suddenly fell ill and became bed-ridden. She was completely taken-aback and affected by the suffering which afflicted the purest and the noblest of all mothers.

It did not take long before Khadeejah died in her illness. Fatimah and her sisters were severely grieved by the death of their mother. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was also immensely grieved by the death of his precious, supporting and dutiful wife.

The Makkan period of thirteen years was extremely hard upon the Muslims generally and the Prophet’s household particularly. Young Fatimah witnessed many of the events of those years. She witnessed the migration of her sister, Zaynab and her sister's husband ‘Uthman along with many Muslims to Abyssinia.

She witnessed the disbelievers placing harmful and dirty things on her father while she was crying and screaming, her father telling her, “My daughter, do not cry, for certainly, Allah will protect your father!”

She witnessed the revelation of the verses of the Qur’an, by she would become extremely happy. Especially when she would hear clear verses of Allah’s Book being soothingly recited by her father, it would lighten her pain and sorrow.

After the death of her mother, she found herself amid great responsibilities towards her father while he was facing difficult and bitter situations in his call to the way of Allah. It was with Umm Kulthoom, her sister, that she shared these great responsibilities as she tried to ease things for young Fatimah. We must not forget to mention here the household of the Prophet’s uncle, ‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib. For, they helped the young Fatimah alot. His wife, Umm al-Fadhl was among the women who had embraced Islaam and believed in Allah and His Messenger. She was indeed like a compassionate mother towards the Prophet’s daughters.

Fatimah was very patient and forbearing. She doubled her efforts, bore the difficult events with patience and endured, hoping her reward from Allah. She stood beside her father, so as to try and compensate him for what he lost by the death of her mother. In turn the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave his daughter Fatimah abundant love, affection, compassion and care. For, which heart was more loving than Muhammad’s (peace be upon him), and which compassion was greater than his?!


radhiAllahuanhaWriting about Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) is multidimensional. Incidences which mention her presence around the Prophet (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) are many. Yet they all revolve around solely one thing: her deep love for Allah and His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Keeping in mind this great love, which emanated and implemented into action, will actually make it easier for us to understand the personality of Umm Sulaym and cast light on her exceptional qualities as a Muslim woman.

While I present her life, I - with due humility and respect to my Sisters- beseech Allah to inspire our Sisters by the example of Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha), so that they arise from the abyss of stagnation and insolence to a high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams... Then the Muslim women, who are the half of society, will no longer remain captive to blind imitation and vain desire.

Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) was an Ansaari woman from Madeenah. She embraced Islaam with the early Muslims. The historians disagree over her real name; some said her name was Sahlah, some said it was Rumaylah, others say it is Maleekah and some say it is Ghumaysa or Rumaysah. Perhaps this difference over her name was caused due to the popularity of her nick name, Umm Sulaym.

When Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) embraced Islaam she was married to Maalik ibn Nadr; he disagreed with her regarding Islaam and continued in his polytheism. He blocked his heart from guidance and his eyes from seeing the light of Islaam. This led to their separation, for how can a Muslim woman share the deep union of marriage with a disbelieving man?

That was the first stand of Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) for Islaam after she embraced Islaam. The love of Allah and His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was more precious to her than the love for marital and family relations, even if the person concerned was her husband, her close relative and the father of her only son, Anas.

Maalik did not only divorce his wife, Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha), but also left Madeenah. It was unbearable for him to live in Madeenah in the presence the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam). So he headed for Syria where he died after a short while as a lonely refugee. He was not only exiled from his homeland, but also from Allah’s mercy.

This stand of Malik reminds me of a saying of Allah’s Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam), “Indeed, Madeenah expels (bad) persons as a furnace removes the impurities of iron.” Truly, the Messenger of Allah said the truth.

Umm Sulaym proceeded in her way to Allah. If every step and breath she took and every progress she made indicated anything, it is no more than her overwhelming love for Allah and her wish to attain and excel to the highest degree.

After her divorce from Maalik and his departure for exile, the rich Abu Talhah al-Ansaari came to ask for her hand in marriage, although he was then still a polytheist.

What was the response of Umm Sulaym, who preferred the love of Allah and His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) above the love of husband and the father of her only child?

She said with faith and certainty,

“Aboo Talhah, don’t you know that your deity that you worship grew from the earth?”

He answered in the affirmative. She said,

“Are you then not ashamed of worshipping a tree?”

After this severe rebuke of the wooden deity, without fearing Abu Talhah who was known for his bravery, strength and position among his people, Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) then spoke gently and said,

“I have embraced Islaam and I do not want any sadaq (bridal gift) more than your acceptance of Islaam.”

Abu Talhah said, “Let me think over it.”

He came back after a while and said, “I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!”

Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) then told her young son Anas,

“Anas give me in marriage to Aboo Talhah.”

And the marriage took place.

Umm Sulaym was the first Muslim woman to accept a suitor’s testimony of faith as mahr (bridal money). This was a new, memorable and commendable trend, and it is one of stances recorded in Umm Sulaym’s (radhiAllahu ‘anha) great and glorious record. It is undoubtedly a manifestation of her great love for Allah and His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

The spring of pure love continued to gush forth copiously and abundantly. She actually brought her son, Anas who was only a ten-year old boy to the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and said,

“O Allah’s Messenger! This is Anas, I brought him to serve you!”

The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) excellently received him and accepted him into his household.

Anas (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) remained with the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) serving him throughout the ten years which the Prophet spent in Madeenah after his migration from Makkah until he died. Never did he leave his company whether he was at home or on a journey. No wonder that he was able to memorize many aHaadeeth (Prophetic Narrations) about the Prophet’s (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) deeds and sayings. He was in fact, an authority and a treasure of this blessed knowledge.

Her Home

Milhan’s house which was also the home of Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) and Umm Haram (radhiAllahu ‘anha) was the only house that the Prophet (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to enter besides the apartments of his wives, for which there was a reason. Anas (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) spoke about this when he said,

“The Prophet (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would visit Umm Sulaym who would present him with something she specially made for him.” He added, “The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not use to enter any house except that of Umm Sulaym, and of course, those of his wives. When he was asked of that he said, “Her brother was killed while he was fighting on my side.”

Ibn Hajar said in al-Isabah:

“And I say that the reason for his visiting Umm Haram and her sister, Umm Sulaym, is that both sisters lived in the same apartment.”

Dear reader, these blessed visits of Allah’s Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would ofcourse take place in the presence of mahram(s). For, it is illogical that the Prophet of mercy, guidance, excellent morals and pure laws could have visited women who were not members of his household in the absence of their mahram(s). He was as described by Allah:

{Indeed in the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad] you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for [the meeting with] Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much} (Qur’an 33: 21)

Her Wisdom and Patience

We worangeill now learn a new lesson of faith from this great Sahaabiyyah. It is a lesson that is full of wisdom and an understanding of the fundamentals of the marital relationship, which should be built on tranquillity, love and affection. Allah says:

{And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.} (Qur’an 30: 21)

It is authentically reported that a son of hers born to Abu Talhah (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) who died. He had been sick and was being treated. When Abu Talhah (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) came back from a journey she requested members of the household that they must not inform him of the death of his son until she herself had done so. When Abu Talhah (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) came and he asked of the boy, she said,

“He has never been as relaxed and quiet as he is now.”

Abu Talhah was happy to hear this apparent improvement in his health and stood up and ate his food.

After that, Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) adorned herself for her husband and wore perfume and he had relations with her. When it was morning, she told him,

“Seek your reward from Allah. Your son is now with Allah!”

Abu Talhah (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) went to the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhu wasallam), sorrow visible and apparent from  his face. He informed him of what had happened. Upon that, the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “May Allah bless your night for you both!”

Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) then became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy named ‘Abdullah ibn Abu Talhah. Abdullah was blessed with many children, ten of whom memorised the Qur’an completely!

The Islamic home in its social and family context is the foundation stone for building the Ummah and its strong and solid structure. Women like Umm Sulaym are successful and wise in achieving this.

Participation in Battles

The Historians and writers of Seerah unanimously agree that Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) used to participate with the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the Muslims in their battles. She struggled and fought in the way of Allah and strove with all her abilities and capabilities. Her great love for Allah and His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was the driving force behind the great feats she performed, which can be seen in a number of battles, although her participation in the battle of Hunayn is the most famously mentioned.

The Battle of Hunayn chronologically took place after the conquest of Makkah and before the Battle of Ta’if. Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) was among the Muslim army throughout the Battle and hard journey.

Ibn Sa’d narrated with a authentic chain of transmission that Umm Sulaym (radhiAllahu ‘anha) took a dagger in the Battle of Hunayn. When Abu Talhah (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) saw her he went to the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and told him, “Allah’s Messenger here is Umm Sulaym holding a dagger!” To which she retorted,

“I am taking it to rip the belly of one of the polytheists with it!”

A Narrator of Hadeeth

A number of the Prophet’s companions related Prophetic Narrations from her. Among these companions were:

  • Her son Anas,
  • Ibn 'Abbaas,
  • Zayd ibn Thaabit,
  • Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan

as well as many others.

My dear Sisters! Her footsteps await your succession.

May Allah be pleased with Umm Sulaym and please her!


There was calmness, peacefuradhiAllahuanhalness and magnanimity in her nature and she was one of the early Muslims.

She migrated with her husband, 'Ubaydullah Ibn Jahsh to Abyssinia. She preferred the love of Allah and His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) above the house of her father Abu Sufiyan, the Quraysh leader and above his wealth, influence and affluence. She endured the pain of being away from Makkah, her hometown and the difficulty of life in a strange land with poverty.

Her husband then became a Christian, indulged in drinking alcohol and then died. But who was better than the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in healing the huge wound inflicted on the heart of Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha)?

{The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their [believers] mothers...} (Qur’an 33:6)

When the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) heard of Umm Habeebah’s loneliness and difficulty, he sent word to her asking for her hand in marriage. She willingly and happily accepted the proposal.

Here, dear reader, many people may read this event without taking a deep and reflective stance, especially in respect to the Negus, the Abyssinia King who paid the mahr (bridal gift) and witnessed the marriage contract. The gesture of the Negus was of high indeed!

We must nor forget that Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) was the daughter of the Quraysh chief and leader. She was the daughter of Abu Sufyan who became the leader of Quraysh after the death of Abu Jahl. And the suitor was Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Yet, Abu Sufyan was happy when he heard that his daughter had married Muhammad, the noble.

This reflects the psyche of Abu Sufyan in some aspects: One, implied psychological satisfaction with what had happened, and two verbal acknowledgement of the Prophet’s (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) wisdom and far-sightedness when he (Sufyan) said, “He is a stallion whose nose should not be cut off.”

Years passed until Khaybar was conquered and Ja'fr returned with Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) in his company. The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) then consummated the marriage with her and gave her an apartment. He (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would visit her and would express happiness in meeting her. Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) was a good role-model and good companionship.

Throughout more than fifteen years which Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) spent in the foreign land of Abyssinia, she did not see, hear nor sit with the Prophet (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Instead, like fellow migrants, she received the new verses of the Qur'an from others and then memorized and understood them. News of events came to them successively, therefore they were in constant contact with and aware of the Da’wah movement happening in Makkah and Madinah.

Dear reader, i began mentioning Umm Habeebah's (radhiAllahu ‘anha) biography by mentioning that she was naturally calm, peaceful and magnanimous and that her heart was firm in faith, just like high towering mountains. Such a praise should not be taken lightly. You will come to see how true these words are, as she was indeed endowed with unique faith.

Her Dream

Her dream regarding her separation from her husband, 'Ubaydullah Ibn Jahsh and the Prophet’s (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) marriage proposal to her testifies to this. She narrates:

“I saw my husband in a worst figure in my dream and I was frightened. When I woke up in the morning I found out that he had become a Christian. I informed him of the dream and he disregarded it and became addicted to alcohol until he died.

Someone then came to me in my dream and said, ‘O mother of the faithful’, and I was frightened. And as soon as I finished my waiting period, a female messenger of the Negus whose name is Abrahah came to me and said, ‘The King said, ‘Appoint someone as your guardian in marriage.’ So I sent for Khalid ibn Sa’eed ibn al-As ibn Umayyah and I appointed him as my guardian, and I gave Abrahah two bracelets of silver.’”

In the evening, the Negus commanded Ja'far ibn Abi Talib (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) (to deliver a speech on his behalf). Ja'far (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) then praised Allah, extolled Him and read statements of testimony. He then said,

'To proceed; the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) sent a message to me requesting the hand of Umm Habeebah in marriage.’

So I granted his request.The Negus said:

'I am giving four hundred dinaar as bridal money (mahr) on behalf of the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam).'”

The Negus then poured the money. Khalid then said,

“I have accepted what the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his wife Umm Habeebah called to.”

He therefore accepted the money. The Negus threw a banquet for them and they ate.

Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) said,

“When the money came to me, I gave Abrahah fifty dinaar therefrom. She returned the money and said that the King had commanded her to do so. She also returned what I had given her before.

On the following day, she came to me with aloes, wars, and ambergris, and many ziyad. I brought all of them with me when I came to the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam).”

This purity of faith transformed her into another person during the time of her confrontation with polytheism.  It is as if she was in a battlefield. Her weapon was the word of the truth that served like a sharp and stern sword. She feared no harm or difficulty, even with her closest relation.

The first thing Abu Sufiyan did when he arrived at Madeenah was that he headed for the apartment of his daughter, Umm Habeebah who he had not seen for many years. She coldly received him. When he wanted to sit on the Prophet’s (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) bed, she folded it up and did not allow him to sit on it.

He asked her astonishingly and sadly, “Daughter, do you love this bed more than me or do you love me more than this bed?!”

She answered resolutely, sincerely and courageously, without being influenced by any family sentiment:

“No! It is the Prophet’s bed and you are a filthy polytheist!”

Abu Sufiyan then said, “You have been afflicted by evil after me.” She resorted,

“No, I have rather been blessed with all goodness.”

Hgreenwhitee then left of her apartment. What Umm Habeebah had just done was just like what had happened in the battle of Badr; an encounter between father and son, a man and his brother and members of the same kith and kin. Such examples show that the bond of faith and the glory of Islaam are more sublime and stronger. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: {The believers are nothing else than brothers...} (Qur’an 49:10)

Allah also says: {You [O’ Muhammad] will not find any people who believe in Allah and the last day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred [people]. For such He has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh [proofs, lightandd true guidance] from Himself. And He will admit them to gardens [Paradise] under which rivers flow to dwell therein [forever]. Allah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Verily, it is the party of Allah that will be successful.} (Qur’an 58:22)

In Badr Abu Bakr (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) and his son 'Abdur Rahman had confronted each other, Abu 'Ubaydah (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) and his father faced each other and 'Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) and his maternal uncle had met head-on. There are more similar examples in which Islaam was the deciding factor between these confrontations. In the same way it was as if the mother of the faithful, Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) was raising the sword of Islaam in the face of her father, Abu Sufiyan.

Indeed, there is a lesson in this for those who are wise and there is, surely, in that a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while his mind is present.

Yet some may ask: was there extremism in her behaviour? Was there any rigidity? Or was she just adhering to the truth?

Allah indeed prevents the true believers from befriending those who challenge Allah and His Messenger even if they are their fathers, brothers or kindred. There is no friendship with disbelief; there is no truce with polytheism.

In spite of the few years that Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) spent with the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam), she memorised and narrated a considerable number of ahaadeeth. Those who heard from her narrated to us a number of narrations from the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam). She therefore faithfully and trustworthily took part in enriching the noble sunnah.

Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) lived for a while after the death of the Prophet (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam). The most authentic narration is that she died in the year 44 after Hijrah.

She witnessed the crisis in which the commander of the faithful 'Uthman ibn 'Affaan (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) was martyred but she took no part in the conflict neither with an opinion nor with a stand. In spite of her family ties with 'Uthmaan (radhiAllahu ‘anhu), she kept herself away from the furnace of the crisis.

She also witnessed the crises that occurred between the leader of the faithful, 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib (radhiAllahu ‘anhu), and her brother, Mu'aawiyah (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) but she did not take part in it.

Umm Habeebah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) was indeed a noble woman. She had always wanted to meet Allah while her heart was free from malice against any Muslim. She was extremely delicate and sensitive. Her pure faith is rarely equalled.

Let's look towards one of her final actions in this world, just before she was about to leave this world: Aa’ishah said (radhiAllahu ‘anha): “Umm Habeebah called me when she was about to die and said,

‘There might have been between me and you what usually happens between rivals. Will you please absolve me?’

So I absolved her and asked Allah to forgive her. She then said,

‘You have made me happy.’

And she sent the same message to Umm Salamah.”

But where is Habeebah, her only child? There was a report that Umm Habeebah migrated to Abyssinia while she was pregnant with Habeebah and that she gave birth to her there. Habeebah was married to Dawood ibn Urwah ibn Masood ath-Thaqafi.

May Allah be pleased with Umm Habeebah, the mother of the faithful!

May He also please her and make her abode honourable!

May He let us join her among His righteous slaves! Aameen.


radhiAllahuanhaAboo Sufyan ibn Harb could not conceive of anyone among the Quraysh who would dare challenge his authority or go against his orders. He was after all, the sayyid or chieftain of Makkah who had to be obeyed and followed.

His daughter, Ramlah, known as Umm Habibah, however dared to challenge his authority when she rejected the deities of the Quraysh and their idolatrous ways. Together with her husband, Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh, she put her faith in Allah alone and accepted the message of His prophet, Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah.

Abu Sufyan tried with all the power and force at his disposal to bring back his daughter and her husband to his religion and the religion of their forefathers. But he did not succeed. The faith which was embedded in the heart of Ramlah was too strong to be uprooted by the hurricanes of Abu Sufyans fury.

Abu Sufyan remained deeply worried and concerned by his daughter's acceptance of Islaam. He did not know how to face the Quraysh after she had gone against his will and he was clearly powerless to prevent her from following Muhammad. When the Quraysh realized though that Abu Sufyan himself was enraged by Ramlah and her husband, they were emboldened to treat them harshly. They unleashed the full fury of their persecution against them to such a degree that life in Makkah became unbearable.

In the fifth year of his mission, the Prophet, peace be on him, gave permission to the Muslims to migrate to Abyssinia.  Ramlah, her little daughter Habibah, and her husband were among those who left.

Abu Sufyan and the Quraysh leaders found it difficult to accept that a group of Muslims had slipped out of their net of  persecution and enjoying the freedom to hold their beliefs and practice their religion in the land of the Negus. They therefore send messengers to the Negus to seek their extradition. The messengers tried to poison the mind of the Negus against the Muslims but after examining the Muslims beliefs and listening to the Qur'an being recited, the Negus concluded:

"What has been revealed to your Prophet Muhammad and what Jesus the son of Mary preached came from the same source."

The Negus himself announced his faith in the one true God and his acceptance of the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be  on him. He also announced his determination to protect the Muslim muhaajireen.

The long journey on the road of hardship and tribulation had finally led to the oasis of serenity. So Umm Habibah felt. But she  did not know that the new-found freedom and sense of peace were later to be shattered. She was to be put through a test  of the most severe and harrowing kind.

One night, it is related, as Umm Habibah was asleep she had a vision in which she saw her husband in the midst of a  fathomless ocean covered by wave upon wave of darkness. He was in a most perilous situation. She woke up, frightened.  But she did not wish to tell her husband or anyone else what she had seen.

moondarknightThe day after that ominous night was not yet through when 'Ubaydallah ibn Jahsh announced his rejection of Islaam and his  acceptance of Christianity. What a terrible blow! Ramlah's sense of peace was shattered. She did not expect this of her  husband who presented her forthwith with the choice of a divorce or of accepting Christianity. Umm Habibah had three  options before her. She could either remain with her husband and accept his call to become a Christian in which case she  also would commit apostasy and - God forbid - deserve ignominy in this world and punishment in the hereafter. This was  something she resolved she would never do even if she were subjected to the most horrible torture. Or, she could return to  her father's house in Makkah - but she knew he remained a citadel of shirk and she would be forced to live under him,  subdued and suppressing her faith. Or, she could stay alone in the land of the Negus as a displaced fugitive - without  country, without family and without a supporter.

She made the choice that she considered was the most pleasing to God. She made up her mind to stay in Abyssinia until  such time as God granted her relief. She divorced her husband who lived only a short while after becoming a Christian. He  had given himself over to frequenting wine merchants and consuming alcohol, the "mother of evils". This undoubtedly helped  to destroy him.

Umm Habibah stayed in Abyssinia for about ten years. Towards the end of this time, relief and happiness came. It came from  an unexpected quarter.

One morning bright and early, there was a loud knocking on her door. It was Abrahah, the special maid-servant of the Negus. Abrahah was beaming with joy as she greeted Umm Habibah and said:

"The Negus sends his greetings and says to you that Muhammad, the Messenger of God, wants you to marry him and that he has sent a letter in which he has appointed  him as his wakeel to contract the marriage between you and him. If you agree, you are to appoint a wakeel to act on your behalf."

Umm Habibah was in the clouds with happiness. She shouted to herself: "God has given you glad tidings. God has given you  glad tidings." She took off her jewelry- her necklace and bracelets - and gave them to Abrahah. She took off her rings too  and gave them to her. And indeed if she had possessed all the treasures of the world, she would have given them to Abrahah at that moment of sheer joy. Finally she said to Abrahah:

"I appoint Khaalid ibn Said ibn al-'Aas to act as wakeel on my behalf for he is the closest person to me."

In the palace of the Negus, set in the midst of beautiful gardens and luxuriant vegetation and in one of the lavishly  decorated, sumptuously furnished and brightly lit halls, the group of Muslims living in Abyssinia gathered. They included Ja'far  ibn Abi Talib, Khaalid ibn Said, Abdullah ibn Hudhafah as-Sahmi and others. They had gathered to witness the conclusion of  the marriage contract between Umm Habibah, the daughter of Abu Sufyaan, and Muhammad, the Messenger of God. When  the marriage was finalized, the Negus addressed the gathering:

"I praise God, 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 tidings to Jesus the son of Mary.

The Messenger of God, peace be on him, has requested me to conclude the marriage contract between him and Umm  Habibah the daughter of Abu Sufyan. I agreed to do what he requested and on his behalf I give her a mahr or dowry of four  hundred gold dinaars."

He handed over the amount to Khalid ibn Said who stood up and said:

"All praise is due to God. I  praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness and I turn to Him in repentance. I declare that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger whom He has sent with the religion of guidance and truth so that it might prevail over all other forms of religion even if the disbelievers were to dislike this.

I have agreed to do what the Prophet, peace be upon him, has requested and acted as the wakeel on behalf of Umm Habibah, the daughter of Abu Sufyan. May God bless His Messenger and his wife. Congratulations to Umm Habibah on account of the goodness which God has ordained for her."

Khaalid took the mahr and handed it over to Umm Habibah. The Sahaabah thereupon got up and prepared to leave but the  Negus said to them:

"Sit down for it is the practice of the Prophets to serve food at marriages."

There was general rejoicing at the court of the Negus as the guests sat down again to eat and celebrate the joyous  occasion. Umm Habibah especially could hardly believe her good fortune and she later described how she was eager to share her happiness. She said:

"When I received the money as mahr, I sent fifty mithqals of gold to Abrahah who had 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.'

Shortly afterwards, Abrahah came to me and returned the gold. She also produced a case which contained the necklace I  had given to her. She returned that to me and said:

'The King has instructed me not to take anything from you and he his  commanded the women in his household to present you with gifts of perfume.'

On the following day, she brought me ambergris, safron and aloes and said:

'I have a favor to ask of you.'

'What is it?' I  asked.

'I have accepted Islaam ,' she said, 'and now follow the religion of Muhammad. Convey to him my salutation of peace  and let him know that I believe in Allah and His Prophet. Please don't forget.'

She then helped me to get ready for my journey to the Prophet.

"When I met the Prophet, peace be on him, I told him all about the arrangements that were made for the marriage and about my relationship with Abrahah. I told him she had become a Muslim and conveyed to him her greetings of peace. He was filled with joy at the news and said: 'Wa alayha as-salam wa rahmatullahi was barakatuhu (and on her be peace and the mercy and blessings of God).'"


radhiAllahuanhaHis name was unusual and incomplete. Julaybib means "small grown" being the diminutive form of the word "jalbaab". The name is an indication that Julaybib was small and short, even of dwarf-like stature. More than that, he is described as being "dameem" which means ugly, deformed, or of repulsive appearance.

Even more disturbing, for the society in which he lived, Julaybib's lineage was not known. There is no record of who his mother or his father was or to what tribe he belonged. This was a grave disability in the society in which he lived. Julaybib could not expect any compassion or help, any protection or support from a society that placed a great deal of importance on family and tribal connections. In this regard, all that was known of him was that he was an Arab and that, as far as the new community of Islaam was concerned, he was one of the Ansaar. Perhaps he belonged to one of the outlying tribes beyond Madinah and had drifted into the city or he could even have been from among the Ansaar of the city itself.

The disabilities under which Julaybib lived would have been enough to have him ridiculed and shunned in any society and in fact he was prohibited by one person, a certain Abu Barzah of the Aslam tribe, from entering his home. He once told his wife:

"Do not let Julaybib enter among you. If he does, I shall certainly do (something terrible to him)."

Probably because he was teased and scoffed at in the company of men, Julaybib used to take refuge in the company of women.

Was there any hope of Julaybib being treated with respect and consideration? Was there any hope of his finding emotional satisfaction as an individual and as a man? Was there any hope of his enjoying the relationships which others take for granted? And in the new society emerging under the guidance of the Prophet, was he so insignificant as to be overlooked in the preoccupation with the great affairs of state and in the supreme issues of life and survival which constantly engaged the attention of the Prophet?

Just as he was aware of the great issues of life and destiny, the Prophet of Mercy was also aware of the needs and sensibilities of his most humble companions. With Julaybib in mind, the Prophet went to one of the Ansaar and said, "I want to have your daughter married." "How wonderful and blessed, O Messenger of God and what a delight to the eye (this would be)," replied the Ansari man with obvious joy and happiness. "I do not want her for myself," added the Prophet. "Then for whom, O Messenger of God?" asked the man, obviously somewhat let down. "For Julaybib," said the Prophet.

The Ansari must have been too shocked to give his own reaction and he merely said, "I will consult with her mother." And off he went to his wife. "The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, wants to have your daughter married," he said to her. She too was thrilled. "What a wonderful idea and what a delight to the eye (this would be)." she said. "He doesn't want to marry her himself but he wants to marry her to Julaybib!" he added. She was flabbergasted. "To Julaybib! No, never to Julaybib! No, by the living God, we shall not marry (her) to him." she protested.

As the Ansaari was about to return to the Prophet to inform him of what his wife had said, the daughter who had heard her mother's protestations, asked,

"Who has asked you to marry me?"

Her mother told her of the Prophet's request for her hand in marriage to Julaybeeb. When she heard that the request had come from the Prophet and that her mother was absolutely opposed to the idea, she was greatly perturbed and said,

"Do you refuse the request of the Messenger of God? Send me to him for he shall certainly not bring ruin to me."

This was the reply of a truly great person who had a clear understanding of what was required of her as a Muslim. What greater satisfaction and fulfillment can a Muslim find than in responding willingly to the requests and commands of the Messenger of God! No doubt, this companion of the Prophet, whose name we do not even know had heard the verse of the Quran: "Now whenever God and His Apostle have decided a matter, it is not for a believing man or believing woman to claim freedom of choice in so far as they themselves are concerned. And he who disobeys God and His Prophet has already, most obviously, gone astray." (The Qur'aan, Surah al-Ahzaab, 33:36).

This verse was revealed in connection with the marriage of Zaynab bint Jahsh and Zayd ibn al-Harithah which was arranged by the Prophet to show the egalitarian spirit of Islam. Zaynab at first was highly offended at the thought of marrying Zayd a former slave and refused to do so. The Prophet prevailed upon them both and they were married. The marriage however ended in divorce and Zaynab was eventually married to the Prophet himself. It is said that the Ansari girl read the verse to her parents and said,

"I am satisfied and submit myself to whatever the Messenger of God deems good for me."

The Prophet heard of her reaction and prayed for her, "O Lord, bestow good on her in abundance and make not her life one of toil and trouble."

Among the Ansaar, it is said there was not a more eligible bride than she. She was married by the Prophet to Julaybib and they lived together until he was killed.

And how was Julaybib killed? He went on an expedition with the Prophet, peace be on him, and an encounter with some mushrikeen ensued. When the battle was over, the Prophet asked his companions, "Have you lost anyone?" They replied giving the names of their relatives of close friends who were killed. He put the same questions to other companions and they also named the ones they had lost in the battle. Another group answered that they had lost no close relative whereupon the Prophet said, "But I have lost Julaybib. Search for him in the battlefield."

They searched and found him beside seven mushrikeen whom he had struck before meeting his end. The Prophet stood up and went to the spot where Julaybib, his short and deformed companion, lay. He stood over him and said, "He killed seven and then was killed? This (man) is of me and I am of him."

He repeated this two or three times. The Prophet then took him in his arms and it is said that he had no better bed besides the forearms of the messenger of God. The Prophet then dug for him a grave and himself placed him in it. He did not wash him for martyrs are not washed before burial.

Julaybib and his wife are not usually among the companions of the Prophet whose deeds are sung and whose exploits are recounted with reverence and admiration as they should be. But in the meagre facts that are known about them and which have here been recounted we see how humble human beings were given hope and dignity by the Prophet where once there was only despair and self-debasement.

The attitude of the unknown and unnamed Ansaari girl who readily agreed to be the wife of a physically unattractive man was an attitude which reflected a profound understanding of Islaam. It reflected on her part the effacement of personal desires and preferences even when she could have counted on the support of her parents. It reflected on her part a total disregard for social pressures. It reflected above all a ready and implicit confidence in the wisdom and authority of the Prophet in submitting herself to whatever he deemed good. This is the attitude of the true believer.

In Julaybeeb, there is the example of a person who was almost regarded as a social outcast because of his appearance. Given help, confidence and encouragement by the noble Prophet, he was able to perform acts of courage and make the supreme sacrifice and deserve the commendation of the Prophet:

"He is of me and I am of him."


radhiAllahuanhaHabib grew up in a home filled with the fragrance of imaan (faith), and in a family where everyone was imbued with the spirit of sacrifice. Habib's father, Zayd ibn Asim, was one of the first persons in Yathrib to accept Islaam and his mother, the celebrated Nusaybah bint Kab known as Umm Ammarah, was the first woman to bear arms in defence of Islam and in support of the blessed Prophet.

Habib, still at a tender age, was privileged to go with his mother, father, maternal aunt and brother to Makkah with the pioneering group of seventy five who pledged fealty to the Prophet at 'Aqabah and played a decisive role in shaping the early history of Islaam.

At 'Aqabah, in the darkness of the night, the young Habib stretched out his small hand and pledged loyalty to the Prophet. From that day, the Prophet, peace and blessings of God on him, became dearer to Habib than his own mother or father and Islaam became more important to him than any care for his personal safety.

Habib did not participate in the Battle of Badr because he was too young. Neither did he have the opportunity to take part in the battle of Uhud because he was still considered too young to bear arms. Thereafter, however, he took part in all the engagements which the Prophet fought and in all he distinguished himself by his bravery and willingness to sacrifice. Although each of these battles had its own importance and was demanding in its own way, they served to prepare Habib for what was to prove the most terrible encounter of his life, the violence of which is profoundly soul-shaking.

Let us follow this awesome story from the beginning. By the ninth year after the Hijrah, Islaam had spread widely and had become the dominant force in the Arabian peninsula. Delegations of tribes from all over the land converged on Makkah to meet the Messenger of God, peace be upon him, and announce before him, their acceptance of Islaam.

Among these delegations was one from the highlands of Najd, from the Banoo Hanilab. At the outskirts of Makkah, the members of the delegation tethered their mounts and appointed Musaylamah ibn Habib as their spokesman and representative. Musaylamah went to the Prophet, peace be upon him. and announced his people's acceptance of Islam. The Prophet welcomed them and treated them most generously. Each, including Musaylamah, was presented with a gift.

On his return to Najd the ambitious and self-seeking Musaylamah recanted and gave up his allegiance to the Prophet. He stood among the people and proclaimed that a prophet had been sent by God to the Banoo Haneefah just as God had sent Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah to the Quraysh.

For various reasons and under a variety of pressures, the Banoo Hanilab began to rally around him. Most followed him out of tribal loyalty or asabiyyah. Indeed one member of the tribe declared,

"I testify that Muhammad is indeed truthful and that Musaylamah is indeed an imposter. But the imposter of Rabiah (the tribal confederation to which the Banu Hanilab belonged) is dearer to me that the genuine and truthful person from Mudar (the tribal confederation to which the Quraysh belonged)."

Before long, the number of Musaylamah's followers increased and he felt powerful, powerful enough to write the following letter to the Prophet, peace be upon him,

"From Musaylamah, the messenger of God to Muhammad, the messenger of God. Peace be on you. I am prepared to share this mission with you. I shall have (control over) half the land and you shall have the other half. But the Quraysh are an aggressive people."

Musaylamah despatched two of his men with the letter to the Prophet. When the letter was read to the Prophet, he asked the two men, "And what do you yourselves say about this matter?" "We affirm what the letter says," they replied. "By God," said the Prophet, "were it not for the fact that emissaries are not killed I would have smitten both your necks." He then wrote to Musaylamah:

"In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Compassionate. From Muhammad the Messenger of God, to Musaylamah the imposter.

Peace be upon whoever follows the guidance. God will bequeath the earth to whosoever of His servants He wishes and the final triumph will be for those who are careful of their duty to God."

He sent the letter with the two men.

Musaylamah's evil and corrupting influence continued to spread and the Prophet considered it necessary to send another letter to him inviting him to abandon his misguided ways. The Prophet chose Habib ibn Zayd to take this letter to Musaylamah. Habib was by this time in the prime of his youth and a firm believer in the truth of Islaam with every fibre of his being.

Habib undertook his mission eagerly and proceeded as quickly as he could to the highlands of the Najd, the territory of the Banoo Hanilab. He presented the letter to Musaylamah.

Musaylamah was convulsed with bitter rage. His face was terrible to behold. He ordered Habib to be put in chains and to be brought back before him the following day.

On the following day, Musaylamah presided over his assembly. On his right and on his left were his senior advisers, there to further his evil cause. The common people were allowed to enter. He then ordered Habib, shackled in his chains, to be brought before him.

Habib stood in the midst of this crowded, hate-filled gathering. He remained upright, dignified and proud like a sturdy spear firmly implanted in the ground, unyielding.

Musaylamah turned to him and asked, "Do you testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God?"

"Yes," Habib replied. "I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God."

Musaylamah was visibly angry. "And do you testify that I am the Messenger of God?" He was almost insisting, rather than questioning.

"My ears have been blocked against hearing what you claim," replied Habib.

Musaylamah's face changed color, his lips trembled in anger and he shouted to his executioner, "Cut off a piece of his body."

With sword in hand, the menacing executioner advanced towards Habib and severed one of his limbs.

Musaylamah then put the same question to him once more and Habib's answers were the same. He affirmed his belief in Muhammad as the Messenger of God and at the expense of his own life he refused to acknowledge the messengership of any other. Musaylamah thereupon ordered his henchman to cut off another part of Habib's body. This fell to the ground beside the other severed limb. The people looked on in amazement at Habib's composure and steadfastness.

Faced with Musaylamah's persistent questioning and the terrible blows of his henchman, Habib kept on repeating:

"I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God."

Habib could not survive this torture and these inhuman atrocities much longer and he soon passed away. On his pure lips, as his life-blood ebbed away, was the name of the blessed Prophet to whom he had pledged loyalty on the night of Aqabah, the name of Muhammad, the Messenger of God.

News of Habib's fate reached his mother and her reaction was simply to say,

"It was for such a situation that I prepared him... He pledged allegiance to the Prophet on the night of Aqabah as a small child and today as an adult he has given his life for the Prophet. If God were to allow me to get near to Musaylamah, I would certainly make his daughters smite their cheeks and lament over him."

The day that she wished for was not long in coming. After the death of the Prophet, peace be on him, Abu Bakr declared war on the imposter. With the Muslim army that went out to confront the forces of Musaylamah were Habib's mother, Nusaybah, and another of her courageous sons, 'Abdullah ibn Zayd.

At the Battle of Yamamah which ensued, Nusaybah was seen cutting through the ranks of fighting men like a lioness and calling out,

"Where is the enemy of God? Show me the enemy of God!"

When she eventually reached Musaylamah, he had already perished. She looked at the body of the vain imposter and cruel tyrant and felt serene. A grave threat to the Muslims had been removed and the death of her beloved son, Habib, had been avenged.

At Habib's death, the noble Prophet had commended him and his entire family and had prayed,

"May God bless this household.
May God have mercy on this household."

Moments of Married Love… The Untold Story

radhiAllahuanhaIs love about dying for the one you love or living every breath with him?

Swapping love notes… exchange roses in Valentine's day is what real love is all about?

We all have a certain image of lovers, a star-crossed pair, love at first sight, living happily ever after…

Normally, we associate these ideas of love with couples who meet, date, and fall head over heels for each other. Very rarely do we relate these images to married couples.

Moreover, we almost never connect this perception to Muslim couples, who marry according to purely Islamic customs. Although this link is quite rare, there actually exists an example in Islaam's own history, which not only depicts this kind of love but goes far beyond it.

This is the pure, married love between the Prophet Muhammad and his beloved, Lady 'Aa'ishah.

The two came together in circumstances that are a stark contrast to today's conventional love story. He was a devoted Messenger of God, embarking on the third year of prophethood; she was the daughter of his best friend and companion, Abu Bakr.

Infusing Romance

The compassionate nature of the Prophet made a tremendous impact on the strong woman 'Aa'ishah went on to become.

The early years of their marriage began quite innocently. Although 'Aa'ishah was a young bride, she was in the standard marriageable age that the Arabian culture approved of and encouraged at that time.

There is clear evidence that 'Aa'ishah had already been engaged to another man before her engagement to the Prophet.

Though 'Aa'ishah was ready for marriage life, the Prophet preferred to grant her extra support in her transition to life as a married woman. She carried on with the many joys of childhood and fortunate for her, as she had a husband gentle and kind enough to understand this.

Rather than throwing all the responsibilities of a wife on her at once, the Prophet made the marriage and its duties a gradual process for Aishah and ensured that she made a smooth transition into her new life. The compassionate nature with which he nurtured 'Aa'ishah in her early years as a wife made a tremendous impact on the strong woman she went on to become.

Racing with the Prophet.

purty_flower_400As the so called "honeymoon period" between the couple came to an end, many challenges and trying moments began to arise. In the midst of all the mayhem, this blessed couple still took time out for simple fun and laughter.

Aishah fondly recalls memories of racing with the Prophet and even winning the race when she was young and fit (Ibn Al Jawzi, 68).

They enjoyed these races so much that the couple even raced to the Battle of Badr which was one of the most important battles in the Islamic history.

'Aa'ishah would take a sip and then the Prophet would do so from the same spot her lips touched.

The romance in this marriage was not limited to just fun and games. As their marriage continued, intimacy was ultimately inter-woven in their daily affairs.

They would sit and eat together and 'Aa'ishah would take a sip and then the Prophet would do so from the same spot her lips touched.

She would have some meat or chicken, and then he would eat from the same spot she ate from. This is just one of many ways they infused romance and affection in even the simplest of acts. These small gestures show that in this marriage, romance was not a superficial bouquet of roses. Rather, it was natural and existed in their everyday life.

Love has several expressions. However, it is known to all and sundry that for a woman, nothing expresses love like the words a man simply speaks from his heart.

The Prophet was most forthcoming in expressing his love for 'Aa'ishah and this is evident in multiple sayings (ahaadeeh) in which he publicly declares that 'Aa'ishah is the most beloved to him.

Such profound love he held for his wife that he referred to her as one with the complete qualities of a believing woman. This is a clear sign of the kind of respect he held for his wife.

This respect was possible because he actually put forth the time and effort in getting to know and understand his wife enough to recommend her as an example for other women to follow.

Brilliant Student & Great Teacher

A crucial dimension to their equation was the student-teacher relationship they shared. 'Aa'ishah's enthusiastic and inquisitive nature made her one of the foremost students of the Prophet.

'Aa'ishah was a woman of substance who was never afraid to stand up for truth and justice.

Sent as a teacher to mankind, the Prophet implemented this role most effectively in his very own home. The Islamic virtues and way of life 'Aa'ishah learned and carried out were essentially through watching the Prophet and keenly observing his behavior and mannerisms.

He led by example and his beloved wife testifies to this in stating that the manners of the prophet were a living example of the Qur'aan. (At-Tirmidhi)

Far from being meek and oppressed, 'Aa'ishah was a woman of substance who was never afraid to stand up for truth and justice — whether that meant defending herself or her beloved husband. She participated in battles when she was able to and played whatever role she could in supporting the Prophet in his endeavors.

Surviving Hardships

There was something quite distinct about 'Aa'ishah which drew the Prophet so close to her.

Her quality of being content regardless of circumstances helped her overcome many challenges she faced as the Prophet's wife.

There was a time in the Prophet's home, when they had no fire or food for cooking and they simply lived off of dates and water. Yet 'Aaishah went through this hardship and showed the mark of a true companion — one who can offer unrelenting support even under the most trying circumstances.

A truly dynamic woman, complete with the qualities of virtue, intelligence and even possessiveness over her husband — there was something quite distinct about 'Aa'ishah which drew the Prophet so close to her.

Passing On Her Husband's Legacy

intheheavensThe Prophet and his beloved connected as soul mates, as he received divine revelations often when he was with her. The fact that God blessed and ordained this marriage is evident in that the Prophet confessed to 'Aa'ishah that before marrying her, he saw her twice in his dreams.

Both times, Angel Gabriel carried her to him in a silk cloth and said to him, that 'Aa'ishah would be his wife in this world and in the Hereafter (Al-Bukhari). Their blessed companionship came to a peaceful end after nine years, when the Prophet drew his last breath in 'Aa'ishah's arms.

Upon the Prophet's demise, 'Aa'ishah's youth gave her the capacity to continue to preach Islam's message.

The Prophet's demise may have ended their companionship in this world. However, it did not put a stop to his mission nor did it end 'Aa'ishah's role in carrying out her beloved's message.

It was after the Prophet's demise that one can truly see the divine purpose behind this marriage. Because she spent the most formative years of her life with the Prophet, she was able to learn and imbibe all of his teachings.

This became a tremendous asset after the Messenger passed away and was only possible because of 'Aa'ishah's age. Upon his demise, 'Aa'ishah's youth gave her the capacity to continue to preach Islaam's message for the many years she lived thereafter.

Many companions of the Prophet and new followers of Islaam would come to Lady Aishah for advice on various Islamic matters. Her contribution in relating numerous sayings of the Prophet and providing clarification on questions related to faith soon catapulted her to the status of a prominent Islamic scholar.

The love story between the Prophet Muhammad and Lady 'Aa'ishah provides a realistic perception of how true love can be found within a marriage.

'Aa'ishah's role in this marriage was one that God destined in order to ensure that the teachings of Islaam will be successfully transmitted to coming generations even after the Prophet passed away.

The love story between the Prophet Muhammad and Lady 'Aa'ishah may not be what epic romances are made of, but it certainly provides a more realistic perception of how true love can be found within a marriage.

The sole purpose of marriage in Islaam is to fulfill an individual's need for companionship and true love. Islaam emphasizes and encourages this fulfillment but only within the bond of marriage.

The Prophet's marriage to 'Aa'ishah shows that intimacy and romance is not necessarily limited to rosy-eyed young dating couples. This blessed couple exemplified that the true love and companionship we all seek, is entirely possible within marriage and moreover, within the Islamic way of life.

Today, this is a marriage which many may choose to slander or demean. Yet one needs only to take a look at the evidence Prophet Muhammad and Lady 'Aa'ishah left behind, in the form of numerous sayings they related, which testify so dearly to the love and intimacy they shared.

The most famous love stories in this world are those that were a figment of someone's imagination. Yet this is a love which actually existed.

It was a love created and destined by God himself.

Works Cited

  • Ibn Al-Jawzy, Gamal Aldin. Safwat Al Safwah Vol. I.
  • Ural, Ali. "AISHAH: Lover of the Beloved." Accessed 30 Mar. 2008.
  • Webb, Suhaib. Mothers of the Believers: Lives of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad.


Umm SradhiAllahuanhaalamah! What an eventful life she had! Her real name was Hind. She was the daughter of one of the notables in the Makhzoom clan nicknamed "Zaad ar-Rakb" because he was well known for his generosity partlcularly to travellers. Umm Salamah's husband was 'Abdullah ibn Abdul-Asad and they both were among the first persons to accept Islaam. Only Abu Bakr and a few others, who could be counted on the fingers of one hand, became Muslims before them.

As soon as the news of their becoming Muslims spread, the Quraysh reacted with frenzied anger. They began hounding and persecuting Umm Salamah and her husband. But the couple did not waver or despair and remained steadfast in their new faith.

The persecution became more and more intense. Life in Makkah became unbearable for many of the new Muslims. The Prophet, peace be upon him, then gave permission for them to emigrate to Abyssinia. Umm Salamah and her husband were in the forefront of these muhaajiroon, seekers of refuge in a strange land. For Umm Salamah it meant abandoning her spacious home and giving up the traditional ties of lineage and honour for something new, with hope in the pleasure and reward of Allah.

Despite the protection Umm Salamah and her companions received from the Abyssinian ruler, the desire to return to Makkah, to be near the Prophet and the source of relevation and guidance persisted.

News eventually reached the muhaajiroon that the number of Muslims in Makkah had increased. Among them were Hamzah ibn 'Abdulmuttalib and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. Their faith had greatly strengthened the community and the Quraysh they heard, had eased the persecution somewhat. Thus a group of the muhaajiroon, urged on by a deep longing in their hearts, decided to return to Makkah.

The easing of the persecution was but brief as the returnees soon found out. The dramatic increase in the number of Muslims following the acceptance of Islaam by Hamzah and 'Umar only infuriated the Quraysh even more. They intensified their persecution and torture to a pitch and intensity not known before. So the Prophet gave permission to his companions to emigrate to Madinah. Umm Salamah and her husband were among the first to leave.

The hijrah of Umm Salamah and her husband though was not as easy as they had imagined. In fact, it was a bitter and painful experience and a particularly harrowing one for her.

Let us leave the story now for Umm Salamah herself to tell.


When Abu Salamah (my husband) decided to leave for Madinah, he prepared a camel for me, hoisted me on it and placed our son Salamah on my lap. My husband then took the lead and went on without stopping or waiting for anything. Before we were out of Makkah however some men from my clan stopped us and said to my husband:

"Though you are 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 pounced on him and snatched me away from him. My husband's clan, Banoo Abdul-Asad, saw them taking both me and my child. They became hot with rage.

"No! By Allah," they shouted, "we shall not abandon the boy. He is our son and we have a first claim over him."

They took him by the hand and pulled him away from me. Suddenly in the space of a few moments, I found myself alone and lonely. My husband headed for Madinah by himself and his clan had snatched my son away from me. My own clan, Banoo Makhzoom, overpowered me and forced me to stay with them.

From the day when my husband and my son were separated from me, I went out at noon every day to that valley and sat at the spot where this tragedy occurred. I would recall those terrible moments and weep until night fell on me.

I continued like this for a year or so until one day a man from the Banoo Umayyah passed by and saw my condition. He went back to my clan and said:

"Why don't you free this poor woman? You have caused her husband and her son to be ta ken away from her."

He went on trying to soften their hearts and play on their emotions. At last they said to me,

"Go and join your husband if you wish."

But how could I join my husband in Madinah and leave my son, a piece of my own flesh and blood, in Makkah among the Ban oo Abdul-Asad? How could I be free from anguish and my eyes be free from tears were I to reach the place of hijrah not knowing anything of my little son left behind in Makkah?

Some realised what I was going through and their hearts went out to me. They petitioned the Banoo Abdul-Asad on my behalf and moved them to return my son.

I did not now even want to linger in Makkah till I found someone to travel with me and I was afraid that something might happen that would delay or prevent me from reaching my husband. So I promptly got my camel ready, placed my son on my lap and left in the direction of Madinah.

I had just about reached Tan'eem (about three miles from Makkah) when I met 'Uthmaan ibn Talhah. (He was a keeper of the Ka'bah in pre-Islamic times and was not yet a Muslim.)

"Where are you going, Bint Zad ar-Rakib?" he asked.

"I am going to my husband in Madinah."

"And there isn't anyone with you?"

"No, by Allah. Except Allah and my little boy here."

"By Allah, I shall never abandon you until you reach Madinah," he vowed.

He then took the reins of my camel and led us on. I have, by Allah, never met an Arab more generous and noble than he. When we reached a resting place, he would make my camel kneel down, wait until I dismounted, lead the camel to a tree and tether it. He would then go to the shade of another tree. When we had rested he would get the camel ready and lead us on.

This he did every day until we reached Madinah. When we got to a village near Quba (about two miles from Madinah) belonging to Banoo 'Amr ibn 'Awf, he said,

"Your husband is in this village. Enter it with the blessings of God."

He turned back and headed for Makkah.

Their roads finally met after the long separation. Umm Salamah was overjoyed to see her husband and he was delighted to see his wife and son.

Great and momentous events followed one after the other. There was the battle of Badr in which Aboo Salamah fought. The Muslims returned victorious and strengthened. Then there was the battle of Uhud in which the Muslims were sorely tested. Abu Salamah came out of this wounded very badly. He appeared at first to respond well to treatment, but his wounds never healed completely and he remained bedridden.

Once while Umm Salamah was nursing him, he said to her:

"I heard the Messenger of God saying that whenever a calamity afflicts anyone he should say, "Surely from Allah we are and to Him we shall certainly return." And he would pray, 'O Lord, give me in return something good from it which only You, Exalted and Mighty, can give.'"

Aboo Salamah remained sick in bed for several days. One morning the Prophet came to see him. The visit was longer than usual. While the Prophet was still at his bedside Aboo Salamah passed away. With his blessed hands, the Prophet closed the eyes of his dead companion. He then raised these hands to the heavens and prayed:

"O Lord, grant forgiveness to Abu Salamah. 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. Widen his grave and make it light for him."

Umm Salamah remembered the prayer her husband had quoted on his deathbed from the Prophet and began repeating it,

"O Lord, with you I leave this my plight for consideration . . ."

But she could not bring herself to continue . . . "O Lord give me something good from it", because she kept asking herself,

"Who could be better than Abu Salamah?"

But it did not take long before she completed the supplication.purpleflowerwater

The Muslims were greatly saddened by the plight of Umm Salamah. She became known as "Ayyin al-Arab" the one who had lost her husband. She had no one in Madinah of her own except her small children, like a hen without feathers.

Both the Muhaajiroon and Ansaar felt they had a duty to Umm Salamah. When she had completed the 'Iddah (three months and ten days), Aboo Bakr proposed marriage to her but she refused. Then 'Umar asked to marry her but she also declined the proposal. The Prophet then approached her and she replied:

"O Messenger of Allah, I have three characteristics. I am a woman who is extremely jealous and I am afraid that you will see in me something that will anger you and cause Allah to punish me. I am a woman who is already advanced in age and I am a woman who has a young family."

The Prophet replied: "Regarding the jealousy you mentioned, I pray to Allah the Almighty to let it go away from you. Regarding the question of age you have mentioned, I am afflicted with the same problem as you. Regarding the dependent family you have mentioned, your family is my family."

They were married and so it was that Allah answered the prayer of Umm Salamah and gave her better than Aboo Salamah. From that day on Hind al-Makhzoomiyyah was no longer the mother of Salamah alone but became the mother of all believers, as she was now entitled Umm al-Mu'mineen.


radhiAllahuanhaEven before Islaam was introduced to Yathrib, Rumaysa was known for her excellent character, the power of her intellect and her independent attitude of mind. She was known by various names including Rumaysa and Ghumaysa, but these were possibly nicknames. One historian says that her real name was Sahlah but later she was popularly known as Umm Sulaym.

Umm Sulaym was first married to Malik ibn an-Nadhr and her son by this marriage was the famous Anas ibn Malik, one of the great companions of the Prophet.

Umm Sulaym was one of the first women of Yathrib to accept Islaam. She was influenced by the refined, dedicated and persuasive Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr who was sent out as the first missionary or ambassador of Islaam by the noble Prophet. This was after the first pledge of 'Aqabah. Twelve men of Yathrib had gone to 'Aqabah on the outskirts of Makkah to pledge loyalty to the Prophet. This was the first major break through for the mission of the Prophet for many years.

Umm Sulaym's decision to accept Islaam was made without the knowledge or consent of her husband, Malik ibn an-Nadhr. He was absent from Yathrib at the time and when he returned he felt some change had come over his household and asked his wife: "Have you be en rejuvenated?"

"No," she said, "but I (now) believe in this man (meaning the Prophet Muhammad)."

Malik was not pleased especially when his wife went on to announce her acceptance of Islaam in public and instruct her son Anas in the teachings and practice of the new faith. She taught him to say laa ilaaha illaa Allah and ash hadu anna Muhammada-r Rasulullah. The young Anas repeated this simple but profound declaration of faith clearly and emphatically.

Umm Sulaym's husband was now furious. He shouted at her: "Don't corrupt my son."

"I am not corrupting him," she replied firmly.

Her husband then left the house and it is reported that he was set upon by an enemy of his and was killed. The news shocked but apparently did not upset Umm Sulaym greatly. She remained devoted to her son Anas and was concerned about his proper upbringing. She is even reported to have said that she would not marry again unless Anas approved.

When it was known that Umm Sulaym had become a widow, one man, Zayd ibn Sahl, known as Aboo Talhah, resolved to become engaged to her before anyone else did.

He was rather confident that Umm Sulaym would not pass him over for another. He was after all a strong and virile person who was quite rich and who possessed an imposing house that was much admired. He was an accomplished horseman and a skilful archer and, moreover, he belonged to the same clan as Umm Sulaym, the Banu Najjaar.

Aboo Talhah proceeded to Umm Sulaym's house. On the way he recalled that she had been influenced by the preaching of Mus'ab ibn Umayr and had become a Muslim.

"So what?" he said to himself. "Was not her husband who died a firm adherent of the old religion and was he not opposed to Muhammad and his mission?"

Aboo Talhah reached Umm Sulaym's house. He asked and was given permission to enter. Her son Anas was present. Aboo Talhah explained why he had come and asked for her hand in marriage.

"A man like you, Aboo Talhah," she said, "is not (easily) turned away. But I shall never marry you while you are a kaafir, an unbeliever."

Aboo Talhah thought she was trying to put him off and that perhaps she had already preferred someone wealthier and more influential. He said to her:

"What is it that really prevents you from accepting me, Umm Sulaym? Is it the yellow and the white metals (gold and silver)?"

"Gold and silver?"

she asked somewhat taken aback and in a slightly censuring tone. "Yes," he said.

"I swear to you, Abu Talhah, and I swear to God and His Messenger that if you accept Islaam, I shall be pleased to accept you as a husband, without any gold or silver. I shall consider your acceptance of Islaam as my mahr."

Abu Talhah understood well the implications of her words. His mind turned to the idol he had made from wood and on which he lavished great attention in the same way that important men of his tribe venerated and cared for their personal idols.

The opportunity was right for Umm Sulaym to stress the futility of such idol worship and she went on:

"Don't you know Aboo Talhah, that the god you worship besides Allah grew from the earth?"

"That's true," he said.

"Don't you feel stupid while worshipping part of a tree while you use the rest of it for fuel to bake bread or warm yourself? (If you should give up these foolish beliefs and practices) and become a Muslim, Abu Talhah, I shall be pleased to accept you as a husband and I would not want from you any sadaqah apart from your acceptance of Islaam."

"Who shall instruct me in Islaam?" asked Aboo Talhah.

"I shall," Umm Sulaym replied.


"Utter the declaration of truth and testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Then go to your house, destroy your idol and throw it away."

Aboo Talhah left and reflected deeply on what Umm Sulaym had said. He came back to her beaming with happiness.

"I have taken your advice to heart. I declare that there is no god but Allah and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

Umm Sulaym and Aboo Talhah were married. Anas, her son, was pleased and the Muslims would say:

"We have never yet heard of a mahr that was more valuable and precious than that of Umm Sulaym for she made Islaam her mahr."

Umm Sulaym purty_flower_400was pleased and delighted with her new husband who placed his unique energies and talents in the service of Islaam. He was one of the seventy three men who swore allegiance to the Prophet at the second Pledge of 'Aqabah. With him, according to one report, was his wife Umm Sulaym. Two other women, the celebrated Nusaybah bint Ka'b and Asma bint 'Amr witnessed 'Aqabah and took the oath of allegiance to the Prophet.

Aboo Talhah was devoted to the Prophet and took enormous delight in simply looking at him and listening to the sweetness of his speech. He participated in all the major military campaigns. He lived a very ascetic life and was known to fast for long periods at a time. It is said that he had a fantastic orchard in Madinah with date palms and grapes and running water. One day while he was performing Salaah in the shade of the trees, a beautiful bird with brightly colored plumage flew in front of him. He became engrossed in the scene and forgot how many rak'ats he had prayed. Two? Three? When he completed the Prayer he went to the Prophet and described how he had been distracted. In the end, he said:

"Bear witness, Messenger of Allah, that I hand over this orchard as a charity for the sake of Allah, the Exalted."

Abu Talhah and Umm Sulaym had an exemplary Muslim family life, devoted to the Prophet and the service of Muslims and Islaam. The Prophet used to visit their home. Sometimes when the time of Prayer came, he would pray on a mat provided by Umm Sulaym. Sometimes also he would have a siesta in their house and, as he slept, she would wipe the perspiration from his forehead. Once when the Prophet awoke from his siesta, he asked: "Umm Sulaym, what are you doing?"

"I am taking these (drops of perspiration) as a barakah (blessing) which comes from you," she replied.

At another time, the Prophet went to their house and Umm Sulaym offered him dates and butterfat but he did not have any of it because he was fasting. Occasionally, she would send her son Anas with bags of dates to his house.

It was noticed that the Prophet, peace be on him, had a special compassion for Umm Sulaym and her family and when asked about it, he replied: "Her brother was killed beside me."

Umm Sulaym also had a well-known sister, Umm Haram, the wife of the imposing 'Ubaadah ibn as-Samit. She died at sea during a naval expedition and was buried in Cyprus. Umm Sulaym's husband, Aboo Talhah, also died while he was on a naval expedition during the time of the third Caliph, 'Uthman, and was buried at sea.

Umm Sulaym herself was noted for her great courage and bravery. During the Battle of Uhud, she carried a dagger in the folds of her dress. She gave water to and tended the wounded and she made attempts to defend the Prophet when the tide of battle was turning against him. At the Battle of Khandaq, the Prophet saw her carrying a dagger and he asked her what she was doing with it. She said:

"It is to fight those who desert."

"May God grant you satisfaction in that," replied the Prophet. In the face of adversity, Umm Sulaym displayed a unique calmness and strength. One of her young sons (Umayr) fell sick and died while her husband was away looking after his orchards. She bathed the child and wrapped him in shrouds. She told others at her home that they should not inform Aboo Talhah because she herself wanted to tell him.

Umm Sulaym had another son whose name was Abdullah. A few days after she gave birth, she sent Anas with the baby and a bag of dates to the Prophet. The Prophet placed the baby on his lap. He crushed the dates in his mouth and put some in the baby's mouth. The baby sucked the dates with relish and the Prophet said: "The Ansaar are only fond of dates."

'Abdullah eventually grew up and had seven children all of whom memorized the Qur'aan.

Umm Sulaym was a model Muslim, a model wife and mother. Her belief in God was strong and uncompromising. She was not prepared to endanger her faith and the upbringing of her children for wealth and luxury, however abundant and tempting.

She was devoted to the Prophet and dedicated her son Anas to his service. She took the responsibility of educating her children and she played an active part in public life, sharing with the other Muslims the hardships and the joys of building a community and living for the pleasure of God.


radhiAllahuanhaFatimah was the fifth child of Muhammad and Khadijah. She was born at a time when her noble father had begun to spend long periods in the solitude of mountains around Makkah, meditating and reflecting on the great mysteries of creation.

This was the time, before the Bithah (the dawn of Prophethood), when her eldest sister Zaynab was married to her cousin, al-'Aas ibn ar Rabi'ah. Then followed the marriage of her two other sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum, to the sons of Abu Lahab, a paternal uncle of the Prophet. Both Abu Lahab and his wife Umm Jameel turned out to be flaming enemies of the Prophet from the very beginning of his public mission.

The little Fatimah thus saw her sisters leave home one after the other to live with their husbands. She was too young to  understand the meaning of marriage and the reasons why her sisters had to leave home. She loved them dearly and was sad and lonely when they left. It is said that a certain silence and painful sadness came over her then.

Of course, even after the marriage of her sisters, she was not alone in the house of her parents. Barakah, the maid-servant  of Aaminah, the Prophet's mother, who had been with the Prophet since his birth, Zayd ibn Harithah, and 'Ali, the young son of Aboo Taalib were all part of Muhammad's household at this time. And of course there was her loving mother, the lady Khadijah.

In her mother and in Barakah, Fatimah found a great deal of solace and comfort. in 'Ali, who was about two years older than  she, she found a "brother" and a friend who somehow took the place of her own brother al-Qaasim who had died in his  infancy. Her other brother 'Abdullah, known as the Good and the Pure, who was born after her, also died in his infancy.  However in none of the people in her father's household did Fatimah find the carefree joy and happiness which she enjoyed  with her sisters. She was an unusually sensitive child for her age.When she was five, she heard that her father had become Rasoolullah, the Messenger of God. His first task was to convey the good news of Islaam to his family and close relations. They were to worship God Almighty alone. Her mother, who was a tower of strength and support, explained to Fatimah what her father had to do. From this time on, she became more closely attached to him and felt a deep and abiding love for him. Often she would be at his side walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Makkah, visiting the Kabah or attending secret gatherings of the early Muslims who had accepted Islaam and pledged allegiance to the Prophet.

One day, when she was not yet ten, she accompanied her father to the Masjid al-Haraam. He stood in the place known as  al-Hijr facing the Ka'bah and began to pray. Fatimah stood at his side. A group of Quraysh, by no means well-disposed to the  Prophet, gathered about him. They included Aboo Jahl ibn Hishaam, the Prophet's uncle, Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, Umayyah ibn  Khalaf, and Shaybah and Utbah, sons of Rabi'ah. Menacingly, the group went up to the Prophet and Abu Jahl, the ringleader,  asked:

"Which of you can bring the entrails of a slaughtered animal and throw it on Muhammad?"

Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, one of the vilest of the lot, volunteered and hurried off. He returned with the obnoxious filth and threw  it on the shoulders of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, while he was still prostrating. 'Abdullah ibn  Mas'ood, a companion of the Prophet, was present but he was powerless to do or say anything.

Imagine the feelings of Fatimah as she saw her father being treated in this fashion. What could she, a girl not ten years old,  do? She went up to her father and removed the offensive matter and then stood firmly and angrily before the group of  Quraysh thugs and lashed out against them. Not a single word did they say to her. The noble Prophet raised his head on  completion of the prostration and went on to complete the Salaah (Prayer). He then said, "O Lord, may you punish the Quraysh!" and repeated this imprecation three times. Then he continued, "May You punish Utbah, Uqbah, Abu Jahl and Shaybah." (These whom he named were all killed many years later at the Battle  of Badr)

On another occasion, Fatimah was with the Prophet as he made tawaaf (circumambulated) around the Ka'bah. A Quraysh mob gathered around  him. They seized him and tried to strangle him with his own clothes. Fatimah screamed and shouted for help. Aboo Bakr rushed to the scene and managed to free the Prophet. While he was doing so, he pleaded,

"Would you kill a man who says, 'My Lord is God?'"

Far from giving up, the mob turned on Abu Bakr and began beating him until blood flowed from his head and face.

Such scenes of vicious opposition and harassment against her father and the early Muslims were witnessed by the young  Fatimah. She did not meekly stand aside but joined in the struggle in defence of her father and his noble mission. She was  still a young girl and instead of the cheerful romping, the gaiety and liveliness which children of her age are and should  normally be accustomed to, Fatimah had to witness and participate in such ordeals. Of course, she was not alone in this. The whole of the Prophet's family suffered from the violent and mindless Quraysh. Her sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum also suffered. They were living at this time in the very nest of hatred and intrigue against the Prophet. Their husbands were Utbah and Utaybah, sons of Abu Lahab and Umm Jameel. Umm Jameel was known to be a hard and harsh woman who had a sharp and evil tongue. It was mainly because of her that Khadijah was not pleased with the marriages of her daughters to Umm Jameel's sons in the first place. It must have been painful for Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum to be living in the household of such inveterate enemies who not only joined but led the campaign against their father.

As a mark of disgrace to Muhammad and his family, Utbah and Utaybah were prevailed upon by their parents to divorce their  wives. This was part of the process of ostracizing the Prophet totally. The Prophet in fact welcomed his daughters back to his home with joy, happiness and relief. Fatimah, no doubt, must have been happy to be with her sisters once again. They all wished that their eldest sister, Zaynab, would also be divorced by her husband. In fact, the Quraysh brought pressure on Abul-'Aas to do so but he refused. When the Quraysh leaders came up to him and promised him the richest and most beautiful woman as a wife should he divorce Zaynab, he replied:

"I love my wife deeply and passionately and I have a great and high esteem for her father even though I have not entered  the religion of Islaam."

Both Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were happy to be back with their loving parents and to be rid of the unbearable mental  torture to which they had been subjected in the house of Umm Jameel. Shortly afterwards, Ruqayyah married again, to the  young and shy 'Uthmaan ibn 'Affaan who was among the first to have accepted Islaam. They both left for Abyssinia among the first muhaajireen who sought refuge in that land and stayed there for several years. Fatimah was not to see Ruqayyah again until after their mother had died. The persecution of the Prophet, his family and his followers continued and even became worse after the migration of the first Muslims to Abyssinia. In about the seventh year of his mission, the Prophet and his family were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in a rugged little valley enclosed by hills on all sides and defile, which could only be entered from Makkah by a narrow path.

To this arid valley, Muhammad and the clans of Banoo Haashim and al-Muttalib were forced to retire with limited supplies of  food. Fatimah was one of the youngest members of the clans - just about twelve years old - and had to undergo months of  hardship and suffering. The wailing of hungry children and women in the valley could be heard from Makkah. The Quraysh  allowed no food and contact with the Muslims whose hardship was only relieved somewhat during the season of pilgrimage.  The boycott lasted for three years. When it was lifted, the Prophet had to face even more trials and difficulties. Khadijah, the faithful and loving, died shortly afterwards. With her death, the Prophet and his family lost one of the greatest sources of comfort and strength which had sustained them through the difficult period. The year in which the noble Khadijah, and later  Aboo Taalib, died is known as 'The Year of Sadness'. Fatimah, now a young lady, was greatly distressed by her mother's death. She wept bitterly and for some time and was so grief-striken that her health deteriorated. It was even feared she might die of grief.

Although her older sister, Umm Kulthum, stayed in the same household, Fatimah realized that she now had a greater  responsibility with the passing away of her mother. She felt that she had to give even greater support to her father. With  loving tenderness, she devoted herself to looking after his needs. So concerned was she for his welfare that she came to be  called Umm Abeehaa (the mother of her father). She also provided him with solace and comfort during times of trial, difficulty  and crisis.

Often the trials were too much for her. Once, about this time, an insolent mob heaped dust and earth upon his gracious  head. As he entered his home, Fatimah wept profusely as she wiped the dust from her father's head.

"Do not cry, my daughter," he said, "for God shall protect your father." The Prophet had a special love for Fatimah. He once  said: "Whoever pleased Fatimah has indeed pleased God and whoever has caused her to be angry has indeed angered God.  Fatimah is a part of me. Whatever pleases her pleases me and whatever angers her angers me."

He also said: "The best women in all the world are four: the Virgin Mary, Aasiyaa the wife of Pharoah, Khadijah Mother of the  Believers, and Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad." Fatimah thus acquired a place of love and esteem in the Prophet's heart  that was only occupied by his wife Khadijah.

Fatimah, may God be pleased with her, was given the title of 'Az-Zahraa' which means 'the Resplendent One'. That was  because of her beaming face which seemed to radiate light. It is said that when she stood for Prayer, the mihraab (prayer niche: a private recess in a room, indicating the direction of prayer) would reflect the light of her countenance. She was also called 'Al-Batool' because of her asceticism. Instead of spending her time in the company of women, much of her time would be spent in Salaah, in reading the Qur'aan and in other acts of 'ibaadah (worship).

Fatimah had a strong resemblance to her father, the Messenger of God. 'Aa'ishah, the wife of the Prophet, said of her:

"I have not seen any one of God's creation resemble the Messenger of God more in speech, conversation and manner of sitting than Fatimah, may God be pleased with her. When the Prophet saw her approaching, he would welcome her, stand up and kiss her, take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting."

She would do the same when the Prophet came to her. She would stand up and welcome him with joy and kiss him.

Fatimah's fine manners and gentle speech were part of her lovely and endearing personality. She was especially kind to poor  and indigent folk and would often give all the food she had to those in need even if she herself remained hungry. She had no  craving for the ornaments of this world nor the luxury and comforts of life. She lived simply, although on occasion, as we shall see, her circumstances seemed to be too much and too difficult for her.

madinah88999She inherited from her father a persuasive eloquence that was rooted in wisdom. When she spoke, people would often be  moved to tears. She had the ability and the sincerity to stir the emotions, move people to tears and fill their hearts with  praise and gratitude to God for His grace and His inestimable bounties. Fatimah migrated to Madinah a few weeks after the Prophet did. She went with Zayd ibn Harithah who was sent by the  Prophet back to Makkah to bring the rest of his family. The party included Fatimah and Umm Kulthum, Sawdah, the Prophet's wife, Zayd's wife Barakah and her son Usaamah. Travelling with the group also were 'Abdullah, the son of Abu Bakr, who accompanied his mother and his sisters, 'Aa'ishah and Asmaa'.

In Madinah, Fatimah lived with her father in the simple dwelling he had built adjoining the mosque. In the second year after the Hijrah (migration), she received proposals of marriage through her father, two of which were turned down. Then 'Ali, the son of Aboo Taalib, plucked up courage and went to the Prophet to ask for her hand in marriage. In the presence of the Prophet, however, 'Ali became over-awed and tongue-tied. He stared at the ground and could not say anything. The Prophet then asked, "Why have you come? Do you need something?" 'Ali still could not speak and then the Prophet suggested, "Perhaps you have come to propose marriage to Fatimah."

"Yes," replied Ali.

At this, according to one report, the Prophet said simply, 'marhaban wa ahlan' (welcome into the family), and this was taken by 'Ali and a group of Ansaar who were waiting outside for him as indicating the Prophet's approval. Another report indicated that the Prophet approved and went on to ask 'Ali if he had anything to give as mahr (dowery). 'Ali replied that he didn't. The Prophet reminded him that he had a shield which could be sold. 'Ali sold the shield to 'Uthmaan for four hundred dirhams and as he was hurrying back to the Prophet to hand over the sum as mahr, 'Uthman stopped him and said:

"I am returning your shield to you as a present from me on your marriage to Fatimah."

Fatimah and 'Ali were thus married most probably at the beginning of the second year after the Hijrah (migration from Makkah). She was about nineteen years old at the time and 'Ali was about twenty one. The Prophet himself performed the marriage ceremony. At the waleemah, the guests were served with dates, figs and hais (a mixture of dates and butter fat). A leading member of the Ansaar donated a ram and others made offerings of grain. All of Madinah rejoiced.

On her marriage, the Prophet is said to have presented Fatimah and Ali with a wooden bed intertwined with palm leaves, a  velvet coverlet, a leather cushion filled with palm fibre, a sheepskin, a pot, a waterskin and a quern for grinding grain.

Fatimah left the home of her beloved father for the first time to begin life with her husband. The Prophet was clearly anxious  on her account and sent Barakah with her should she be in need of any help. And no doubt Barakah was a source of comfort  and solace to her. The Prophet prayed for them: "O Lord, bless them both, bless their house and bless their offspring."

In Ali's humble dwelling, there was only a sheepskin for a bed. In the morning after the wedding night, the Prophet went to Ali's house and knocked on the door.

Barakah came out and the Prophet said to her: "O Umm Ayman, call my brother for me."

"Your brother? That's the one who married your daughter?" asked Barakah.

She said such somewhat incredulously as if to say: Why should the Prophet call 'Ali his "brother"? (He referred to 'Ali as his brother because just as pairs of Muslims were joined in brotherhood after the Hijrah, so the Prophet and 'Ali were linked as "brothers".)

The Prophet repeated what he had said in a louder voice. 'Ali came and the Prophet made a du'a (supplication), invoking the blessings of God on him. Then he asked for Fatimah. She came almost cringing with a mixture of awe and shyness and the Prophet said to her: "I have married you to the dearest of my family to me." In this way, he sought to reassure her. She was not starting life with a complete stranger but with one who had grown up in the same household, who was among the first to become a Muslim at  a tender age, who was known for his courage, bravery and virtue, and whom the Prophet described as his "brother in this world and the hereafter".

Fatimah's life with 'Ali was as simple and frugal as it was in her father's household. In fact, so far as material comforts were  concerned, it was a life of hardship and deprivation. Throughout their life together, 'Ali remained poor because he did not store material wealth. Fatimah was the only one of her sisters who was not married to a wealthy man.

In fact, it could be said that Fatimah's life with 'Ali was even more rigorous than life in her father's home. At least before  marriage, there were always a number of ready helping hands in the Prophet's household. But now she had to cope virtually  on her own. To relieve their extreme poverty, 'Ali worked as a drawer and carrier of water and she as a grinder of corn. One  day she said to 'Ali,

"I have ground until my hands are blistered."

"I have drawn water until I have pains in my chest," said 'Ali and went on to suggest to Fatimah: "God has given your father  some captives of war, so go and ask him to give you a servant."

Reluctantly, she went to the Prophet who said: "What has brought you here, my little daughter?"

"I came to give you  greetings of peace," she said.

For in awe of him she could not bring herself to ask what she had intended.

"What did you do?" asked 'Ali when she returned alone.

"I was ashamed to ask him," she said.

So the two of them went together but the Prophet felt they were less in need than  others.

"I will not give to you," he said, "and let the Ahl as-Suffah (poor Muslims who stayed in the mosque) be tormented with  hunger. I have not enough for their keep..."

'Ali and Fatimah returned home feeling somewhat dejected but that night, after they had gone to bed, they heard the voice  of the Prophet asking permission to enter. Welcoming him, they both rose to their feet, but he told them:

"Stay where you are," and sat down beside them. "Shall I not tell you of something better than that which you asked of me?" he asked and when they said yes he said: "Words which Jibreel (Gabriel) taught me, that you should say 'Subhaan Allah' (Glory be to God) ten times after every Prayer, and ten times 'Al hamdu lillah' - (Praise be to God), and ten times 'Allahu Akbar' (God is  Great). And that when you go to bed you should say them thirty-three times each."

'Ali used to say in later years,

"I have never once failed to say them since the Messenger of God taught them to us."

There are many reports of the hard and difficult times which Fatimah had to face. Often there was no food in her house. Once the Prophet was hungry. He went to one after another of his wives apartments but there was no food. He then went to Fatimah's house and she had no food either. When he eventually got some food, he sent two loaves and a piece of meat to  Fatimah. At another time, he went to the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansaari and from the food he was given, he saved some for  her. Fatimah also knew that the Prophet was without food for long periods and she in turn would take food to him when she  could. Once she took a piece of barley bread and he said to her,

"This is the first food your father has eaten for three days."

Through these acts of kindness she showed how much she loved her father and he really loved her in return.

Once he returned from a journey outside Madinah. He went to the mosque first of all and prayed two rakaats (units of prayer) as was his custom. Then, as he often did, he went to Fatimah's house before going to his wives. Fatimah welcomed him and kissed his face, his eyes and cried.

"Why do you cry?" the Prophet asked.

"I see you, O Rasool Allah," she said, "Your color is pale and sallow and your clothes have become worn and shabby."

"O Fatimah," the Prophet replied tenderly, "don't cry for Allah has sent your father with a mission which He would cause to affect every house on the face of the earth whether it be in towns, villages or tents (in the desert) bringing either glory or humiliation until this mission is fulfilled just as night (inevitably) comes." With such comments Fatimah was often taken from the harsh realities of daily life to get a glimpse of the vast and far-reaching vistas opened up by the mission entrusted to her noble father.

Fatimah eventually returned to live in a house close to that of the Prophet. Together they shared in the joys and the triumphs, the sorrows and the hardships of the crowded and momentous Madinah for days and years.

In the middle of the second year after the Hijrah (migration), her sister Ruqayyah fell ill with fever and measles. This was shortly before the great campaign of Badr. 'Uthmaan, her husband, stayed by her bedside and missed the campaign. Ruqayyah died just before her father returned. On his return to Madinah, one of the first acts of the Prophet was to visit her grave.

Fatimah went with him. This was the first bereavement they had suffered within their closest family since the death of  Khadijah. Fatimah was greatly distressed by the loss of her sister. The tears poured from her eyes as she sat beside her  father at the edge of the grave, and he comforted her and sought to dry her tears with the corner of his cloak.

The Prophet had previously spoken against lamentations for the dead, but this had lead to a misunderstanding, and when  they returned from the cemetery the voice of 'Umar was heard raised in anger against the women who were weeping for the  martyrs of Badr and for Ruqayyah.

"Umar, let them weep," the Prophet said and then added: "What comes from the heart and from the eye, that is from God and His  mercy, but what comes from the hand and from the tongue, that is from Satan." By the hand he meant the beating of  breasts and the smiting of cheeks, and by the tongue he meant the loud clamor in which women often joined as a mark of  public sympathy.

'Uthmaan later married the other daughter of the Prophet, Umm Kulthoom, and on this account came to be known as 'Dhun-  Noorayn' (The Possessor of the Two Lights). The bereavement which the family suffered by the death of Ruqayyah was followed by happiness when to the great joy of all the believers Fatimah gave birth to a boy in Ramadhan of the third year after the Hijrah (migration to Madinah). The Prophet spoke the words of the Adhaan (call to prayer) into the ear of the new-born babe and called him 'Al-Hasan' which means the Beautiful One.

One year later, she gave birth to another son who was called 'Al-Husayn', which means 'little Hasan' or 'the little beautiful one'. Fatimah would often bring her two sons to see their grandfather who was exceedingly fond of them. Later he would take them to the Masjid and they would climb onto his back when he prostrated. He did the same with his little granddaughter Umaamah, the daughter of Zaynab.

In the eighth year after the Hijrah, Fatimah gave birth to a third child, a girl whom she named after her eldest sister Zaynab  who had died shortly before her birth. This Zaynab was to grow up and become famous as the 'Heroine of Karbala'. Fatimah's fourth child was born in the year after the Hijrah. The child was also a girl and Fatimah named her Umm Kulthoom after her sister who had died the year before due to an illness.

It was only through Fatimah that the progeny of the Prophet was perpetuated. All of the Prophet's male children had died in  their infancy and the two children of Zaynab named 'Ali and Umaamah died young. Ruqayyah's child 'Abdullah also died when he was not yet two years old. This is an added reason for the reverence which is accorded to Fatimah.

Although Fatimah was so often busy with pregnancies and giving birth and rearing children, she took as much part as she  could in the affairs of the growing Muslim community of Madinah. Before her marriage, she acted as a sort of hostess to the  poor and destitute of Ahl as-Suffah. As soon as the Battle of Uhud was over, she went with other women to the battlefield and wept over the dead martyrs and took time to dress her father's wounds. At the Battle of the Ditch, she played a major  supportive role together with other women in preparing food during the long and difficult siege. In her camp, she led the  Muslim women in prayer and on that place there stands a Masjid named 'Masjid Fatimah', one of seven mosques where the  Muslims stood guard and performed their devotions.

Fatimah also accompanied the Prophet when he made 'Umrah (minor pilgrimage) in the sixth year after the Hijrah after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. In the following year, she and her sister Umm Kulthoom, were among the mighty throng of Muslims who took part with the Prophet in the liberation of Makkah. It is said that on this occasion, both Fatimah and Umm Kulthoom visited the home of their mother Khadijah and recalled memories of their childhood and memories of Jihaad, of long struggles in the early years of the Prophet's mission.

In Ramadhan of the tenth year just before he went on his Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet confided to Fatimah, as a secret  not yet to be told to others:

"Jibreel recited the Quran to me and I to him once every year, but this year he has recited it with me twice. I cannot but think that my time has come."

On his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet had become seriously ill. His final days were spent in the apartment of  his wife 'Aa'ishah. When Fatimah came to visit him, Aa'ishah would leave father and daughter together.

One day he summoned Fatimah. When she came, he kissed her and whispered some words in her ear. She wept. Then again  he whispered in her ear and she smiled. 'Aa'ishah saw and asked:

"You cry and you laugh at the same time, Fatimah? What did the Messenger of God say to you?" Fatimah replied:

"He first told me that he would meet his Lord after a short while and so I cried. Then he said to me: 'Don't cry for you will be  the first of my household to join me.' So I laughed."

Not long afterwards the noble Prophet passed away. Fatimah was grief-striken and she would often be seen weeping  profusely. One of the companions noted that he did not see Fatimah, may God be pleased with her, laugh after the death of  her father.

One morning, early in the month of Ramadhan, just less than five month after her noble father had passed away, Fatimah  woke up looking unusually happy and full of mirth. In the afternoon of that day, it is said that she called Salma bint Umays,  who was looking after her. She asked for some water and had a bath. She then put on new clothes and perfumed herself.  She then asked Salma to put her bed in the courtyard of the house. With her face looking to the heavens above, she asked  for her husband 'Ali.

He was taken aback when he saw her lying in the middle of the courtyard and asked her what was wrong. She smiled and  said:

"I have an appointment today with the Messenger of God."

'Ali cried and she tried to console him. She told him to look after their sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn and advised that she  should be buried without ceremony. She gazed upwards again, then closed her eyes and surrendered her soul to the Mighty  Creator.

She, Fatimah the Resplendent One, was just twenty nine years old.

We do not know precisely how the young Abyssinian girl ended up for sale in MaradhiAllahuanhakkah. We do not know her 'roots', who her mother was, or her father or her ancestors. There were many like her, boys and girls, Arabs and non-Arabs, who were captured and brought to the slave market of the city to be sold.

A terrible fate awaited some who ended up in the hands of cruel masters or mistresses who exploited their labor to the full and treated them with the utmost harshness.

A few in that inhuman environment were rather more fortunate. They were taken into the homes of more gentle and caring people.

Barakah, the young Abyssinian girl, was one of the more fortunate ones. She was saved by the generous and kind 'Abdullah, the son of 'Abd al-Muttalib. She became the only servant in his household and when he was married, to the lady Aaminah, she looked after her affairs as well.

Two weeks after the couple were married, according to Barakah, 'Abdullah's father came to their house and instructed his son to go with a trading caravan that was leaving for Syria. Aaminah was deeply distressed and cried:

"How strange! How strange! How can my husband go on a trading journey to Syria while I am yet a bride and the traces of henna are still on my hands."

'Abdullah's departure was heartbreaking. In her anguish, 'Aaminah fainted. Soon after he left, Barakah said:

"When I saw Aminah unconscious, I shouted in distress and pain: 'O my lady!' Aminah opened her eyes and looked at me with tears streaming down her face. Suppressing a groan she said: "Take me to bed, Barakah."

Aaminah stayed bedridden for a long time. She spoke to no one. Neither did she look at anyone who visited her except 'Abd al-Muttalib, that noble and gentle old man. Two months after the departure of 'Abdullah, Aaminah called me at dawn one morning and, her face beaming with joy, she said to me:

"O Barakah! I have seen a strange dream."

"Something good, my lady?" I asked.

"I saw lights coming from my abdomen lighting up the mountains, the hills and the valleys around Makkah."

"Do you feel pregnant, my lady?"

"Yes, Barakah," she replied. "But I do not feel any discomfort as other women feel!"

"You shall give birth to a blessed child who will bring goodness," I said.

kabahshareefSo long as 'Abdullah was away, Aaminah remained sad and melancholic. Barakah stayed at her side trying to comfort her and make her cheerful by talking to her and relating stories. Aaminah however became even more distressed when 'Abd al-Muttalib came and told her she had to leave her home and go to the mountains as other Makkans had done because of an impending attack on the city by the ruler of Yemen, someone called Abrahah. Aminah told him that she was too grief-striken and weak to leave for the mountains but insisted that Abrahah could never enter Makkah and destroy the Ka'bah because it was protected by the Lord. 'Abd al-Muttalib became very agitated but there was no sign of fear on Aminah's face. Her confidence that the Ka'bah would not be harmed was well-founded. Abrahah's army with an elephant in the vanguard was destroyed before it could enter Makkah.

Day and night, Barakah stayed beside Aminah. She said:

"I slept at the foot of her bed and heard her groans at night as she called for her absent husband. Her moans would awaken me and I would try to comfort her and give her courage."

The first part of the caravan from Syria returned and was joyously welcomed by the trading families of Makkah. Barakah went secretly to the house of 'Abd al-Muttalib to find out about 'Abdullah but had no news of him. She went back to Aaminah but did not tell her what she had seen or heard in order not to distress her. The entire caravan eventually returned but not with 'Abdullah.

Later, Barakah was at 'Abd al-Muttalib's house when news came from Yathrib that 'Abdullah had died. She said:

"I screamed when I heard the news. I don't know what I did after that except that I ran to Aminah's house shouting, lamenting for the absent one who would never return, lamenting for the beloved one for whom we waited so long, lamenting for the most beautiful youth of Makkah, for 'Abdullah, the pride of the Quraysh.

When Aminah heard the painful news, she fainted and I stayed by her bedside while she was in a state between life and death. There was no one else but me in Aminah's house. I nursed her and looked after her during the day and through the long nights until she gave birth to her child, "Muhammad", on a night in which the heavens were resplendent with the light of God."

When Muhammad was born, Barakah was the first to hold him in her arms. His grandfather came and took him to the Ka'bah and with all Makkah, celebrated his birth. Barakah stayed with Aaminah while Muhammad was sent to the baadiyah (desert) with lady Halimah who looked after him in the bracing atmosphere of the open desert. At the end of five years, he was brought back to Makkah and Aaminah received him with tenderness and love. Barakah welcomed him "with joy, longing and admiration".

When Muhammad was six years old, his mother decided to visit the grave of her husband, 'Abdullah, in Yathrib. Both Barakah and Abd al-Muttalib tried to dissuade her. Aaminah however was determined. So one morning they set off - Aaminah, Muhammad and Barakah huddled together in a small hawdaj mounted on a large camel, part of a huge caravan that was going to Syria. In order to shield the tender child from any pain and worry, Aaminah did not tell Muhammad that she was going to visit the grave of his father.

The caravan went at a brisk pace. Barakah tried to console Aminah for her son's sake and much of the time the boy Muhammad slept with his arms around Barakah's neck.

The caravan took ten days to reach Yathrib. The boy Muhammad was left with his maternal uncles of the Banu Najjaar while Aaminah went to visit the grave of 'Abdullah. Each day for a few weeks she stayed at the grave. She was consumed by grief.

On the way back to Makkah, Aminah became seriously ill with fever. Halfway between Yathrib and Makkah, at a place called al-Abwa, they stopped. Aaminah's health deteriorated rapidly. One pitch dark night, she was running a high temperature. The fever had got to her head and she called out to Barakah in a choking voice.

Barakah related: "She whispered in my ear:

'O Barakah, I shall depart from this world shortly. I commend my son Muhammad to your care. He lost his father while he was in my abdomen. Here he is now, losing his mother under his very eyes. Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him.'

My heart was shattered and I began to sob and wail. The child was distressed by my wailing and began to weep. He threw himself into his mother's arms and held tightly onto her neck. She gave one last moan and then was forever silent."

Barakah wept. She wept bitterly. With her own hands she dug a grave in the sand and buried Aaminah, moistening the grave with whatever tears were left in her heart. Barakah returned with the orphan child to Makkah and placed him in the care of his grandfather. She stayed at his house to look after him. When 'Abd al-Muttalib died two years later, she went with the child to the house of his uncle Aboo Taalib and continued to look after his needs until he was grown up and married the lady Khadijah.

Barakah then stayed with Muhammad and Khadijah in a house belonging to Khadijah.

"I never left him and he never left me," she said.

One day Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called out to her and said: "Ya Ummaah!" (He always called her "Mother".) Now I am a married man, and you are still unmarried. What do you think if someone should come now and ask to marry you?" Barakah looked at Muhammad and said:

"I shall never leave you. Does a mother abandon her son?"

Muhammad smiled and kissed her head. He looked at his wife Khadijah and said to her: "This is Barakah. This is my mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family."

Barakah looked at the lady Khadijah who said to her:

"Barakah, you have sacrificed your youth for the sake of Muhammad. Now he wants to pay back some of his obligations to you. For my sake and his, agree to be married before old age overtakes you."

"Whom shall I marry, my lady?" asked Barakah.

"There is here now 'Ubayd ibn Zayd from the Khazraj tribe of Yathrib. He has come to us seeking your hand in marriage. For my sake, don't refuse."

Barakah agreed. She married 'Ubayd ibn Zayd and went with him to Yathrib. There she gave birth to a son whom she called Ayman and from that time onwards people called her "Umm Ayman" the mother of Ayman.

Her marriage however did not last very long. Her husband died and she returned once more to Makkah to live with her "son" Muhammad in the house of the lady Khadijah. Living in the same household at the time were 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hind (Khadijah's daughter by her first husband), and Zayd ibn Haarithah.

Zayd was an Arab from the tribe of Kalb who was captured as a boy and brought to Makkah to be sold in the slave market. He was bought by Khadijah's nephew and put in her service. In Khadijah's household, Zayd became attached to Muhammad and devoted himself to his service. Their relationship was like that of a son to a father. Indeed when Zayd's father came to Makkah in search of him, Zayd was given the choice by Muhammad of either going with his father or staying with him. Zayd's reply to his father was:

"I shall never leave this man. He has treated me nobly, as a father would treat his son. Not a single day have I felt that I am a slave. He has looked after me well. He is kind and loving towards me and strives for my enjoyment and happiness. He is the most noble of men and the greatest person in creation. How can I leave him and go with you?...I shall never leave him."

Later, in public Muhammadpinkwithsky proclaimed the freedom of Zayd. However, Zayd continued to live with him as part of his household and devoted himself to his service.

When Muhammad was blessed with prophethood, Barakah and Zayd were among the first to believe in the message he proclaimed. They bore with the early Muslims the persecution which the Quraysh meted out to them.

Barakah and Zayd performed invaluable services to the mission of the Prophet. They acted as part of an intelligence service exposing themselves to the persecution and punishment of the Quraysh and risking their lives to gain information on the plans and conspiracies of the mushrikoon.

One night the mushrikoon blocked off the roads leading to the House of al-Arqam where the Prophet gathered his companions regularly to instruct them in the teachings of Islaam. Barakah had some urgent information from Khadijah which had to be conveyed to the Prophet. She risked her life trying to reach the House of al-Arqam. When she arrived and conveyed the message to the Prophet, he smiled and said to her:

"You are blessed, Umm Ayman. Surely you have a place in Paradise." When Umm Ayman left, the Prophet looked at his companions and asked: "Should one of you desire to marry a woman from the people of Paradise, let him marry Umm Ayman."

Ali the companions remained silent and did not utter a word. Umm Ayman was neither beautiful nor attractive. She was by now about fifty years old and looked rather frail. Zayd ibn al-Harithah however came forward and said:

"Messenger of Allah, I shall marry Umm Ayman. By Allah, she is better than women who have grace and beauty."

Zayd and Umm Ayman were married and were blessed with a son whom they named Usaamah. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved Usaamah as his own son. Often he played with him, kissed him and fed him with his own hands. The Muslims would say: "He is the beloved son of the beloved." From an early age Usaamah distinguished himself in the service of lslaam, and was later given weighty responsibilities by the Prophet.

madiinah67When the Prophet migrated to Yathrib, henceforth to be known as al-Madinah, he left Umm Ayman behind in Makkah to look after certain special affairs in his household. Eventually she migrated to Madinah on her own. She made the long and difficult journey through the desert and mountainous terrain on foot. The heat was killing and sandstorms obscured the way but she persisted, borne along by her deep love and attachment for Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. When she reached Madinah, her feet were sore and swollen and her face was covered with sand and dust.

"Yaa Umm Ayman! Ya Ummi! (O Umm Ayman! O my mother!) Indeed for you is a place in Paradise!" exclaimed the Prophet when he saw her.

At Madinah, Umm Ayman played her full part in the affairs of the Muslims. At Uhud she distributed water to the thirsty and tended the wounded. She accompanied the Prophet on some expeditions, to Khaybar and Hunayn for example.

Her son Ayman, a devoted companion of the Prophet was martyred at Hunayn in the eighth year after the Hijrah. Barakah's husband, Zayd, was killed at the Battle of Mutah in Syria after a lifetime of distinguished service to the Prophet and Islaam. Barakah at this time was about seventy years old and spent much of her time at home. The Prophet, accompanied by Aboo Bakr and 'Umar often visited her and asked: "Ya Ummi! Are you well?" and she would reply:

"I am well, O Messenger of Allah so long as Islaam is."

After the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had died, Barakah would often be found with tears in her eyes. She was once asked, "Why are you crying?" and she replied:

"By Allah, I knew that the Messenger of Allah would die but I cry now because the revelation from on high has come to an end for us."

Barakah was unique in that she was the only one who was so close to the Prophet throughout his life from birth till death. Her life was one of selfless service in the Prophet's household. She remained deeply devoted to the person of the noble, gentle and caring Prophet. Above all, her devotion to the religion of Islaam was strong and unshakable. She died during the caliphate of 'Uthmaan.

Her roots were unknown but her place in Paradise was assured.


Asmaa' bint Abu Bakr belonged to a distinguished Muslim family. HeradhiAllahuanhar father, Abu Bakr, was a close friend of the Prophet and  the first Caliph after his death. Her half-sister, 'Aa'ishah, was a wife of the Prophet and one of the Ummahaat al-Mu'mineen (Mothers of the Faithful). Her  husband, Zubayr ibn al-'Awwaam, was one of the special personal aides of the Prophet. Her son, 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, became well known for his incorruptibility and his unswerving devotion to Truth.

Asmaa', herself, was one of the first persons to accept Islaam. Only about seventeen persons including both men and women  became Muslims before her. She was later given the nickname Dhat an-Nitaaqayn (the One with the Two Waistbands) because of an incident connected with the departure of the Prophet and her father from Makkah on the historic hijrah (migration) to  Madinah.

Asmaa' was one of the few persons who knew of the Prophet's plan to leave for Madinah. The utmost secrecy had to be maintained because of the Quraysh plans to murder the Prophet. On the night of their departure, Asmaa' was the one who  prepared a bag of food and a water-container for their journey. She did not find anything though with which to tie the containers and decided to use her waistband or nitaaq. Abu Bakr suggested that she tear it into two. This she did and the  Prophet commended her action. From then on she became known as "the One with the Two Waistbands".

When the final emigration from Makkah to Madinah took place soon after the departure of the Prophet, Asmaa' was pregnant. She did not let her pregnancy or the prospect of a long and arduous journey deter her from leaving. As soon as she reached Qubaa' on the outskirts of Madinah, she gave birth to a son, 'Abdullah. The Muslims shouted Allahu Akbar (God is  the Greatest) and Laa ilaaha illa Allah (There is no God but Allah) in happiness and thanksgiving because this was the first child to be born to the muhaajireen (sahaabah from had migrated from Makkah to Madinah) in Madinah.

Asmaa' became known from her title and noble qualities and for the keenness of her intelligence. She was an extremely  generous person. Her son 'Abdullah once said of her,

"I have not seen two women more generous than my aunt 'Aa'ishah and  my mother Asmaa'. But their generosity was expressed in different ways. My aunt would accumulate one thing after another until she had gathered what she felt was sufficient and then distributed it all to those in need. My mother, on the other hand, would not keep anything even for the morrow."

Asmaa's presence of mind in difficult circumstances was remarkable. When her father let Makkah, he took all his wealth,  amounting to some six thousand dirhams, with him and did not leave any for his family. When Abu Bakr's father, Abu Quhaafah (he was still a mushrik - polytheist) heard of his departure he went to their house and said to Asmaa':

"I understand that he has left you bereft of money after he himself has abandoned you."

"No, grandfather," replied Asmaa, "in fact he has left us much money."

She took some pebbles and put them in a small  recess in the wall where they used to put money. She threw a cloth over the heap and took the hand of her grandfather--he was blind--and said,

"See how much money he has left us".

Through this stratagem, Asmaa' wanted to allay the fears of the old man and to forestall him from giving them anything of his  own wealth. This was because she disliked receiving any assistance from a mushrik (polytheist), even if it was her own grandfather.

She had a similar attitude to her mother and was not inclined to compromise her honor and her faith. Her mother, Qutaylah,  once came to visit her in Madinah. She was not a Muslim and was divorced from her father in pre-Islamic times. Her mother  brought her gifts of raisins, clarified butter and qaraz (pods of a species of sant tree). Asmaa' at first refused to admit her into her home or accept the gifts. She sent someone to 'Aa'ishah to ask the Prophet, peace be upon him, about her attitude to her mother and he replied that she should certainly admit her to her house and accept the gifts. On this occasion, the following  revelation came to the Prophet:

{God forbids you not, with regard to those who do not fight you because of your faith nor drive you out of your homes, from  dealing kindly and justly with them. God loves those who are just. God only forbids you with regard to those who fight you  for your Faith, and drive you from your homes, and support others in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and  protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances) that do wrong.} (Surah al-Mumtahanah 6O: 8-9).

For Asmaa' and indeed for many other Muslims, life in Madinah was rather difficult at first. Her husband was quite poor and  his only major possession to begin with was a horse he had bought. Asmaa' herself described these early days:

"I used to provide fodder for the horse, give it water and groom it. I would grind grain and make dough but I could not bake  well. The women of the Ansaar used to bake for me. They were truly good women. I used to carry the grain on my head from az-Zubayr's plot which the Prophet had allocated to him to cultivate. It was about three farsakh (about eight kilometers)  from the town's center. One day I was on the road carrying the grain on my head when I met the Prophet and a group of  Sahaabah. He called out to me and stopped his camel so that I could ride behind him. I felt embarrassed to travel with the  Prophet and also remembered az-Zubayr's jealousy, he was the most jealous of men. The Prophet realized that I was embarrassed and rode on."

Later, Asmaa' related to az-Zubayr exactly what had happened and he said,

"By God, that you should have to carry grain is far more distressing to me than your riding with (the Prophet)".

Clealry, Asmaa' was a person of great sensitivity and devotion. She and her husband worked extremely hard together until their situation of poverty gradually changed. At times, however, az-Zubayr treated her harshly. Once she went to her father and complained to him about this. His reply to her was:

'My daughter, have sabr (patience) for if a woman has a righteous husband and he dies and she does not marry after him, they will be brought together again in Paradise."

Az-Zubayr eventually became one of the richest men among the Sahabah but Asmaa' did not allow this to corrupt her  principles. Her son, al-Mundhir once sent her an elegant dress from Iraaq made of fine and costly material. Asmaa' by this time was blind. She felt the material and said,

"It's awful. Take it back to him".

Al-Mundhir was upset and said, "Mother. it was not transparent. "

"It may not be transparent," she retorted, "but it is too tight fitting and shows the contours of the body."

Al-Mundhir bought another dress that met with her approval and she purty_flower_400accepted it.

If the above incidents and aspects of Asmaa's life may easily be forgotten, then her final meeting with her son, 'Abdullah,  must remain one of the most unforgettable moments in early Muslim history. At that meeting she demonstrated the keenness of her intelligence, her resoluteness and the strength of her faith.

'Abdullah was in the running for the Caliphate after the death of Yazid ibn Mu'aawiyah. The Hijaz, Egypt, Iraq, Khurasan and  much of Syria were favorable to him and acknowledged him as the Caliph. The Ummayyads however continued to contest the Caliphate and to field a massive army under the command of Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi. Relentless battles were fought between the two sides during which 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr displayed great acts of courage and heroism. Many of his supporters however could not withstand the continuous strain of battle and gradually began to desert him. Finally he sought  refuge in the Sacred Mosque at Makkah. It was then that he went to his mother, now an old blind woman, and said:

"Peace be on you, Mother, and the mercy and blessings of God."

"Unto you be peace, Abdullah," she replied. "What is it that  brings you here at this hour while boulders from Hajjaj's catapults are raining down on your soldiers in the Haram and shaking the houses of Makkah?"

"I came to seek your advice," he said.

"To seek my advice?" she asked in astonishment. "About what?"

"The people have deserted me out of fear of Hajjaj or being tempted by what he has to offer. Even my children and my family have left me. There is only a small group of men with me now and however strong and steadfast they are they can only resist for an hour or two more. Messengers of the Banoo Umayyah (the Umayyads) are now negotiating with me, offering to  give me whatever worldly possessions I want, should I lay down my arms and swear allegiance to 'Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. What do you think?"

Raising her voice, she replied:

"It's your affair, 'Abdullah, and you know yourself better. If however you think that you are right and that you are standing up for the Truth, then persevere and fight on as your companions who were killed under your flag had shown perseverance. If however you desire the world, what a miserable wretch you are. You would have destroyed yourself and you would have destroyed your men."

"But I will be killed today, there is no doubt about it."

"That is better for you than that you should surrender yourself to Hajjaj voluntarily and that some minions of Banu Umayyah  should play with your head."

"I do not fear death. I am only afraid that they will mutilate me."

"There is nothing after death that man should be afraid of. Skinning does not cause any pain to the slaughtered sheep."

'Abdullah's face beamed as he said: "What a blessed mother! Blessed be your noble qualities! I have come to you at this hour to hear what I have heard. God knows that I have not weakened or despaired. He is witness over me that I have not stood up for what I have out of love for this world and its attractions but only out of anger for the sake of God. His limits have been transgressed. Here am I, going to what is pleasing to you. So if I am killed, do not grieve for me and commend me to God."

"I shall grieve for you," said the aging but resolute Asmaa, "only if you are killed in a vain and unjust cause."

"Be assured that your son has not supported an unjust cause, nor committed any detestable deed, nor done any injustice to a Muslim or a Dhimmi (a non Muslim under the protection of the Islamic government, upon whom taxs are levied) and that there is nothing better in his sight than the pleasure of God, the Mighty, the Great. I do not say this to exonerate myself. God knows that I have only said it to make your heart firm and steadfast."

"Praise be to God who has made you act according to what He likes and according to what I like. Come close to me, my son, that I may smell and feel your body for this might be the last meeting with you."

'Abdullah knelt before her. She hugged him and smothered his head, his face and his neck with kisses. Her hands began to  squeeze his body when suddenly she withdrew them and asked:

"What is this you are wearing, 'Abdullah?"

"This is my armor plate."

"This, my son, is not the dress of one who desires martyrdom. Take it off. That will make your movements lighter and quicker. Wear instead the sirwaal (a long under garment) so that if you are killed your 'awrah (private part) will not be exposed."

'Abdullah took off his armor plate and put on the sirwaal. As he left for the Haram (Holy Sanctuary i.e. The near land in the which the Ka'bah is) to join the fighting he said: "My mother, don't deprive me of your du'aa (prayer)."

Raising her hands to heaven, she prayed:

"O Lord, have mercy on his staying up for long hours and his loud crying in the darkness of the night while people slept... O Lord, have mercy on his hunger and his thirst on his Journeys from Madinah and Makkah while he fasted... O Lord, bless his righteousness to his mother and his father...O Lord, I commend him to Your cause and I am pleased with whatever You decree for him. And grant me for his sake the reward of those who are patient and who persevere."

By sunset, 'Abdullah was dead. Just over ten days later, his mother joined him. She was a hundred years old.

Age had not made her infirm nor blunted the keenness of her mind.


radhiAllahuanhaThe life of 'Aa'ishah is proof that a woman can be far more learned than men and that she can be the teacher of scholars and experts. Her life is also proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership. Her life is also proof that the same woman can be totally feminine and be a source of pleasure, joy and comfort to  her husband.

She did not graduate from any university there were no universities as such in her day. But still her utterances are studied in faculties of literature, her legal pronouncements are studied in colleges of law and her life and works are studied and researched by students and teachers of Muslim history as they have been for over a thousand years.

The bulk of her vast treasure of knowledge was obtained while she was still quite young. In her early childhood she was brought up by her father who was greatly liked and respected for he was a man of wide knowledge, gentle manners and an agreeable presence. Moreover he was the closest friend of the noble Prophet who was a frequent visitor to their home since the very early days of his mission.

In her youth, already known for her striking beauty and her formidable memory, she came under the loving care and attention of the Prophet himself. As his wife and close companion she acquired from him knowledge and insight such as no woman has ever acquired.

'Aa'ishah became the Prophet's wife in Makkah when she was most likely in the tenth year of her life but her wedding did not  take place until the second year after the Hijrah when she was about fourteen or fifteen years old. Before and after her  wedding she maintained a natural jollity and innocence and did not seem at all overawed by the thought of being wedded to  him who was the Messenger of God whom all his companions, including her own mother and father, treated with such love  and reverence as they gave to no one else.

About her wedding, she related that shortly before she was to leave her parent's house, she slipped out into the courtyard  to play with a passing friend:

"I was playing on a see-saw and my long streaming hair was dishevelled," she said. "They came and took me from my play  and made me ready."

They dressed her in a wedding-dress made from fine red-striped cloth from Bahrain and then her mother took her to the  newly-built house where some women of the Ansaar were waiting outside the door. They greeted her with the words, "For  good and for happiness may all be well!" Then, in the presence of the smiling Prophet, a bowl of milk was brought. The  Prophet drank from it himself and offered it to 'Aa'ishah. She shyly declined it but when he insisted she did so and then offered the bowl to her sister Asmaa who was sitting beside her. Others also drank of it and that was as much as there was of the simple and solemn occasion of their wedding. There was no wedding feast.

Marriage to the Prophet did not change her playful ways. Her young friends came regularly to visit her in her own apartment.

"I would be playing with my dolls," she said, "with the girls who were my friends, and the Prophet would come in and they  would slip out of the house and he would go out after them and bring them back, for he was pleased for my sake to have  them there."

Sometimes he would say "Stay where you are" before they had time to leave, and would also join in their  games. 'Aa'ishah said:

"One day, the Prophet came in when I was playing with the dolls and he said: 'O 'Aa'ishah, what game is this?' 'It is Solomon's horses,' I said and he laughed."

Sometimes as he came in he would screen himself with his cloak so as not to disturb 'Aa'ishah and her friends.

'Aa'ishah's early life in Madinah also had its more serious and anxious times. Once her father and two companions who were  staying with him fell ill with a dangerous fever which was common in Madinah at certain seasons. One morning 'Aa'ishah went to visit him and was dismayed to find the three men lying completely weak and exhausted. She asked her father how he was  and he answered her in verse but she did not understand what he was saying. The two others also answered her with lines  of poetry which seemed to her to be nothing but unintelligible babbling. She was deeply troubled and went home to the  Prophet saying:

"They are raving, out of their minds, through the heat of the fever."

The Prophet asked what they had said and was somewhat reassured when she repeated almost word for word the lines they had uttered and which made sense although she did not fully understand them then. This was a demonstration of the great retentive power of her memory which as the years went by were to preserve so many of the priceless sayings of the Prophet.

Of the Prophet's wives in Madinah, it was clear that it was 'Aa'ishah that he loved most. From time to time, one or the other of his companions would ask:

"O Messenger of God, whom do you love most in the world?"

He did not always give the same answer to this question for he felt great love for many for his daughters and their children, for Abu Bakr, for 'Ali, for Zayd and his son Usamah. But of his wives the only one he named in this connection was 'Aa'ishah. She too loved him greatly in return and often would seek reassurance from him that he loved her. Once she asked him:

"How is your love for me?"

"Like the rope's knot," he replied meaning that it was strong and secure. And time after time thereafter, she would ask him: 

"How is the knot?"

and he would reply: "Ala haalihaa." (in the same condition)

As she loved the Prophet so was her love a jealous love and she could not bear the thought that the Prophet's attentions  should be given to others more than seemed enough to her. She asked him:

"O Messenger of God, tell me of yourself. If you were between the two slopes of a valley, one of which had not been grazed  whereas the other had been grazed, on which would you pasture your flocks?"

"On that which had not been grazed," replied the Prophet.

"Even so," she said, "and I am not as any other of your wives. Everyone of them had a husband before you, except myself."

The Prophet smiled and said nothing. Of her jealousy, 'Aa'ishah would say in later years:

"I was not, jealous of any other wife of the Prophet as I was jealous of Khadijah, because of his constant mentioning of her  and because God had commanded him to give her good tidings of a mansion in Paradise of precious stones. And whenever he sacrificed a sheep he would send a fair portion of it to those who had been her intimate friends. Many a time I said to him:

"It is as if there had never been any other woman in the world except Khadijah."

Once, when Aishah complained and asked why he spoke so highly of "an old Quraysh wpinkgreenoman", the Prophet was hurt and  said: "She was the wife who believed in me when others rejected me. When people gave me the lie, she affirmed my  truthfulness. When I stood forsaken, she spent her wealth to lighten the burden of my sorrow.."

Despite her feelings of jealousy which nonetheless were not of a destructive kind, 'Aa'ishah was really a generous soul and a patient one. She bore with the rest of the Prophet's household poverty and hunger which often lasted for long periods. For days on end no fire would be lit in the sparsely furnished house of the Prophet for cooking or baking bread and they would live merely on dates and water. Poverty did not cause her distress or humiliation; self-sufficiency when it did come did not corrupt her style of life.

Once the Prophet stayed away from his wives for a month because they had distressed him by asking of him that which he  did not have. This was after the Khaybar expedition when an increase of riches whetted the appetite for presents. Returning  from his self-imposed retreat, he went first to 'Aa'ishah's apartment. She was delighted to see him but he said he had received Revelation which required him to put two options before her. He then recited the verses:

{O Prophet! Say to your wives: If you desire the life of this world and its adornments, then come and I will bestow its goods  upon you, and I will release you with a fair release. But if you desire God and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, then verily God has laid in store for you an immense reward for such as you who do good.}

'Aa'ishah's reply was:

"Indeed I desire God and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter,"

and her response was followed by the same response from all the other wives of the Prophet.

She stuck to her choice both during the lifetime of the Prophet and afterwards. Later when the Muslims were favored with  enormous riches, she was given a gift of one hundred thousand dirhams. She was fasting when she received the money and  she distributed the entire amount to the poor and the needy even though she had no provisions in her house. Shortly after, a maidservant said to her: "Could you buy meat for a dirham with which to break your fast?"

"If I had remembered, I would have done so," she said.

The Prophet's affection for 'Aa'ishah remained to the last. During his final illness, it was to 'Aa'ishah's apartment that he went at the suggestion of his wives. For much of the time he lay there on a couch with his head resting on her chest or on her lap. She it was who took a toothstick from her brother, chewed upon it to soften it and gave it to the Prophet. Despite his weakness, he rubbed his teeth with it vigorously. Not long afterwards, he lost consciousness and 'Aa'ishah thought it was the onset of death, but after an hour he opened his eyes.

'Aa'ishah it is who has preserved for us these dying moments of the most honoured of God's creation, His beloved Messenger  may He shower His choicest blessings on him.

When he opened his eyes again, 'Aa'ishah remembered the words of the Prophet that he had once said to her:

"No Prophet is taken by death until he has been shown his place in Paradise and then offered the choice, to live or die."

"He will not now choose us," she said to herself.

Then she heard him murmur: "With the supreme communion in Paradise,  with those upon whom God has showered His favor, the Prophets, the martyrs and the righteous..." Again she heard him murmur: "O Lord, with the supreme communion," and these were the last words she heard him speak. Gradually his head grew heavier upon her chest, until others in the room began to lament, and 'Aa'ishah laid his head on a pillow and joined them in lamentation.

In the floor of 'Aa'ishah's room near the couch where he was lying, a grave was dug in which was buried the Seal of the  Prophets amid much bewilderment and great sorrow.

'Aa'ishah lived on almost fifty years after the passing away of the Prophet. She had been his wife for a decade. Much of this  time was spent in learning and acquiring knowledge of the two most important sources of God's guidance, the Qur'aan and the Sunnah of His Prophet. 'Aa'ishah was one of three wives (the other two being Hafsah and Umm Salamah) who memorized the Revelation. Like Hafsah, she had her own script of the Qur'aan written after the Prophet had died.

So far as the Prophetic Narrations or sayings of the Prophet are concerned, 'Aa'ishah is one of four persons (the others being Abu Hurayrah, 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, and Anas ibn Malik) who transmitted more than two thousand sayings. Many of these pertain to some of the most intimate aspects of personal behavior which only someone in 'Aa'ishah's position could have learnt. What is most important is that her knowledge of Hadeeth was passed on in written form by at least three persons including her nephew 'Urwah who became one of the greatest scholars among the generation after the Companions.

Many of the learned companions of the Prophet and their followers benefitted from Aishah's knowledge. Abu Musa al-Ashari  once said:

"If we, the companions of the Messenger of God, had any difficulty on a matter, we asked 'Aa'ishah about it."

Her nephew Urwah asserts that she was proficient not only in Islamic Jursiprudence but also in medicine (tibb) and poetry. Many of the senior companions of the Prophet came to her to ask for advice concerning questions of inheritance which required a highly skilled mathematical mind. Scholars regard her as one of the earliest scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence of Islaam along with persons like 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, 'Ali and 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas. The Prophet referring to her extensive knowledge of Islaam is reported to have said (the narration is weak, but the meaning is sound): "Learn a portion of your religion (deen) from this red colored lady." "Humayra" meaning "Red-coloured" was an epithet given to 'Aa'ishah by the Prophet.

'Aa'ishah not only possessed great knowledge but took an active part in education and social reform. As a teacher she had a  clear and persuasive manner of speech and her power of oratory has been described in superlative terms by al-Ahnaf who  said:

"I have heard speeches of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali and the Khulafaa' up to this day, but I have not heard  speech more persuasive and more beautiful from the mouth of any person than from the mouth of 'Aa'ishah."

Men and women came from far and wide to benefit from her knowledge behind a screen. The number of women is said to have been greater than that of men. Besides answering enquiries, she took boys and girls, some of them orphans, into her custody and trained them under her care and guidance. This was in addition to her relatives who received instruction from her. Her house thus became a school and an academy.

Some of her students were outstanding. We have already mentioned her nephew 'Urwah as a distinguished reporter of Hadeeth (Prophetic Narrations). Among her women pupils is the name of 'Amrah bint 'Abdur-Rahman. She is regarded by scholars as one of the trustworthy narrators of hadith and is said to have acted as 'Aa'ishah's secretary receiving and replying to letters addressed to her. The example of 'Aa'ishah in promoting education and in particular the education of Muslim women in the laws and teachings of Islaam is one which needs to be followed.

After Khadijah al-Kubra (the Great) and Fatimah az-Zahraa' (the Resplendent), 'Aa'ishah as-Siddiqah (the one who affirms the  Truth) is regarded as the best woman in Islaam. Because of the strength of her personality, she was a leader in every field in  knowledge, in society, in politics and in war. She often regretted her involvement in war but lived long enough to regain  position as the most respected woman of her time.

She died in the year 58 AH in the month of Ramadhaan and as she instructed, was buried in al-Baqi, in the City of Light, beside other Companions of the Prophet.


Umm Salamah is Hind, the daughter of Zaad ar-Raakib, Hudhayfah ibn al-Mugheera al-MradhiAllahuanhaakhzoomi. She is both from the noble clan of Makhzoom and of the gracious tribe of Quraysh.

Zaad ar-Raakib is a nickname by which her father, Abu Umayyah, Hudhayfah ibn al-Mugheerah was known because of his generosity. He was one of the most famously generous men of the pre-Islamic era who lived in the Arabian Peninsula. Their leader was Haatim at-Ta’ee to whom the Hatimic generosity is attributed and about whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “He loved all noble qualities.”

But why was Hudhayfah, Umm Salamah’s father, called ‘provision of the traveller’? It was said that whenever he travelled, no one who travelled in his company would be allowed to bring their provision with them. He would rather be responsible for that however much their number was and however long the journey would be.

It was therefore in the firm-rooted home where there was gallantry and generosity that Hind was born and raised. She drew from it’s pure spring until she was satiated and she flourished as a blooming and sweet-smelling branch, bearing a delicious fruit. She was clever and wise, beautiful in appearance and conduct.

Both her and her husband, 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul-Asad, are among the earliest Muslim, and performed together the first migration to Abyssinia. She was also said to be the first woman to migrate.

She remained in Abyssinia until the news that Hamzah ibn 'Abdul Mutallib and 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab had embraced Islaam reached them. Some of the emigrants then strongly yearned to return to their homeland and meet the Messenger of Allah, believing that Islaam had being strengthened by the conversion of the two unique men, Hamzah and 'Umar.

Umm Salamah returned to Madeenah along with those who returned; she had already given birth to her first child, Salamah the son of Abu Salamah. But the Qurayshi persecution did not stop nor abated nor was it concealed.

After the conclusion of pledge of 'Aqabah between the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and the Ansar (the Aws and Khazraj tribes) of Madeenah, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave permission to his companions to migrate to Madeenah. That was the beginning of the great transformation in the course of the Prophet’s mission. And ofcourse, Umm Salamah was one of the first emigrants.

Before we start talking about the second stand of Umm Salamah with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his message, we should allow her to tell us the circumstances of the great event and how it happened. She said:

“When Abu Salamah decided to leave Madeenah, he equipped a camel of his and carried me along with my son Salamah. He then led his camel out. When men of Banu al-Mugheera (Umm Salamah’s clan) saw him, then went to him and told him,

‘There is nothing we can do to prevent you from going wherever you want but as for this sister of ours, we cannot leave you roaming about in the land with her.’

They then seized the bridal of the camel from him and took me away from him.

When Banu ‘Abdul-Asad (Abu Salamah’s clan) heard of that, they got angry and aimed for Salamah saying,

‘By Allah we are not going to leave our son with her since they have snatched her away from our brother.’

They then took my son Salamah away from me.

The men of Banu Abdul-Asad went away and Banu al-Mugheera held me in their custody. And my husband proceeded in his migration until he reached Madeenah. That was how they separated between me, my husband and my son!”

Dear reader! If it were possible, I would have added more than one exclamation and question mark at the end of the speech of Umm Salamah, without any exaggeration. This is because this great and impressive position is beyond what any knowledge, intellect or imagination can adequately express. It is the most difficult separation in the cause of Allah, with whom no good deed is lost. Allah says: {...Indeed, We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his [righteous] deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost.} (Qur’an 18: 30)

What righteousness is greater than to sacrifice one’s self in the way of Allah, The owner of the Splendid Majesty? Did we – regardless of our different categories, the old and the young, men and women, the callers and the called, the leaders and the led – learn any lesson from Abu Salamah and Umm Salamah? Did we take, as the centre of our Islaam, our message and the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger? Or did we just severe every link that is between us and our history to the extent that whenever we mention our history we just regard it as a mere story? For instance, we celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Badr on 27th of Ramadhan every year as communities, organizations and groups. We play around with the words and memory but sooner than later the matter ends there, as if we are talking of one of the battles of Antara or one of the adventures of Abu Zayd al-Hilali!

Do we really feel the state of ignominy in which we are living today?

Is there still any link between us, as a nation, and Allah, the Exalted?

The answer is: as individuals, yes and as a nation, no! Here lies the problem...!

Perhaps, the remaining part of the story of Umm Salamah’s migration and the surrounding events will give us a definite and a clear-cut answer to our questions and doubts.


Umm Salamah had vowed to dedicate herself to Allah since she embraced Islaam. She faced the most difficult and the most horrible situation, but Allah was with her. He encompasses the disbelievers from behind; He is the best Helper for whoever relies on Him and returns to Him in repentance.

Umm Salamah said:

“I used to go out every morning and sit down at al-Abtah, and I would cry until the evening. I did this for nearly seven days, until a man among my cousins came by and saw that was on my face. He then told Banu al-Mugheera (my clan), won’t you let this poor woman go?! You have separated between her and her husband and son?! They then said,

'Go and join your husband if you like.’

Then the men of Banu ‘Abdul-Asad (my husband’s clan) gave my son back to me.

I then prepared my camel, held my son to my chest and set out to join my husband in Madeenah; and no one was with me and that was the most difficult situation I confronted. When I reached Tan’eem I met Uthman ibn Talhah of Banu ad-Dar clan. He asked me,

‘Where are you going, daughter of Abu Umayyah?’

I said, ‘I want to join my husband in Madeenah!’ He said,

‘Is anybody with you?’

I said, ‘No, By Allah, it is only Allah and my son that are with me.’ And he said,

‘By Allah, you shall not be left alone.’

He then held the bridle of my camel and led me off. By Allah I have never been in a company of an Arab man more gracious than him. If he arrived at a place he would halt for me to rest and he would move to a nearby tree and lie down beneath it. When it was time to move on, he would bring forth the camel and move a bit far from me and say, ‘Mount!’ when I had mounted and settled on the camel he would come, hold its bridle and lead me on until we arrived at the next halting place. He continued in this way until we arrived at Madeenah. When he saw the village of Banu ‘Amar ibn ‘Awf at Quba, he said,

‘Your husband is in this village.’

And truly Abu Salamah was residing there.”

The small family – rather the big family – was then brought back together. It is small in terms of the number of its members and big in terms of its Jihaad and historical movement and its echo throughout all corners of the world.

Umm Salalmah went out of Makkah alone in the company of no one except her child, Salamah, upon her chest. But Allah the exalted protected her in a journey that took days and nights, and in a remote and expansive desert interspersed with mountains, lowlands and sand hills and in which predatory animals and reptiles are waiting for their preys.

She was neither afraid nor worried “...And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out [from every difficulty]. And He will provide him from [sources] he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” (Qur’an 65: 2-3)

Akabahgraphicllah, the All-Powerful, provided for her a way out of her distress. He sent 'Uthmaan ibn Talhah to her to accompany her until she reached her place of security. In spite of his being a disbeliever, Umm Salamah testified to his good conduct, noble-mindedness and excellent companionship. All this was later to serve as a treasure for him on the day of the conquest of Makkah.

The key of the Ka’bah was with him, for he was the clan of the Banu ‘Abd-adDaar who were the keepers of the Ka’bah and who were the holders of its key. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) took the key from them and gave it to the Prophet (peace be upon him) . But the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned the key back to 'Uthman repeating the saying of Allah: “Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due...” (Qur’aan 4: 58)

He then told 'Uthmaan ibn Talhah, “Uthmaan take it. Today is the day of probity and fulfilment. It is only the unjust person that will attempt to take it away from you.” 'Uthmaan later accepted Islaam and he was a good Muslim.

All this was a result of blessing of that great day in which he accompanied Umm Salamah from Makkah to Madeenah. It was definitely planned and decreed by Allah.

I hope that we have really grasped the situation, realized the wisdom and given due estimation to its role in history.

Abu Salamah

As Umm Salamah was the daughter of the Prophet’s aunt, Abu Salamah was also the son of Barrah bint Abdul-Mutallib, who was a Prophet’s aunt as well. He had an additional merit: he was a foster brother of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Abu Salamah was among the favourite companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), because of his early acceptance of Islaam, his endurance of immigration and Jihaad in the way of Allah and his firm eemaan, bravery, worship and righteousness. He therefore occupied a place in the eyes of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), who had appointed him a leader of some contingents. He sent him to Banu Asad in the month of Safar, 4 A.H. and be succeeded in his mission and fulfilled the trust.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) attested to his righteousness when he said, “The first person that will be given his record of deeds (on the day of resurrection) is Abu Salamah ibn Abdul-Asad.” Further, he had participated in the battle of Badr and had played a prominent role in it. He then participated in the battle of Uhud and was among those who remained firm. He suffered a serious injury in this from which he healed but not completely. For, after some time, the wound decayed and decayed and deteriorated until it was the cause of his death.

He once came to his wife, Umm Salamah and told her,

“I heard a statement from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that is dearer to me than so and so. I heard him say:

“No one is afflicted by a calamity and then make istirjaa (by saying innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'oon – to Allah we belong and to him we are returning) and after that say,

‘O Allah! It is from you that I seek the reward of this calamity of mine.
O Allah provide a better substitute for me’,

except that Allah will give him that.”

Ziyad ibn Maryam narrated that Umm Salamah told Abu Salamah,

“I heard if the husband of a woman dies and he is one of the inhabitants of paradise and his wife did not remarry after him, Allah will join them together in paradise. The same thing applies to the man.”

Abu Salamah then told his wife,

“I am making a pledge with you that I will not marry after you and you will not marry after me.”

He then asked her,

“Will you obey me?”

Umm Salamah said, “If I did not want to obey you I would not have consulted you.” Abu Salamah changed his mind and said,

“If I do (die) you should remarry.”

He then said,

“O Allah! Provide for Umm Salamah after me a man who is better than me and who will not disgrace her or harm her.”

Umm Salamah said, “When he died I said, ‘Who is that man that will be better than Abu Salamah?’ Then after a while, the Messenger of Allah completely married me.”


Umm Salamah now entered a new role in her life by being the wife of the Noble Messenger and the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). Before I begin discussing her new role as the Prophet's wife, I would like to mention how ‘Aa'ishah described Umm Salamah.

Ibn Sa’d reported on the authority of 'Urwah from 'Aa'ishah that she said:

“I was very sad when Messenger of Allah married Umm Salamah because of the news of her beauty that had reached us. I had taken the matter lightly until I saw her and I saw that she was even more beautiful than I was told... I then realized that I was only feeling jealous.”

Ibn Sa’d said about Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her),

“Umm Salamah was said to possess great beauty, extra ordinary intelligent and correct judgement.”

It must be kept in mind that it wasn't sexual passion or beauty that spurred the Prophet (peace be upon him) to marry Umm Salamah. His very life strongly refutes that. For example, his marriage to Sawdah Bint Zam'ah after the death of Khadeejah is a strong proof of this. Rather, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon) was encouraged to marry Umm Salamah due to two reasons:

One: The Arab custom of supporting the wife of a friend by marrying her after the death of her husband.

Two: The prayer of Abu Salamah that Allah should provide his wife with a husband who would be better than him after his death.

Umm Salamah herself informs us of this:

“When Abu Salamah died, I did not feel comfortable to ask Allah to substitute him for me with someone who is better than him (as a Muslim must say when afflicted with a calamity). And I said, 'Who is better than Abu Salamah? Had he not done this and that? Was he not so and so?’ When I finished the waiting period, the Messenger of Allah sent (someone) to me (to ask for my hand in marriage) and (then) married me.”

An-Nasaa'i narrated this incident in detail:

“When Umm Salamah finished her waiting period after the death of her husband, Abu Bakr proposed marriage to her but she did not accept the proposal. Instead the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent her word, proposing marriage to her. She said to the person sent to her,

‘Tell the Messenger of Allah that I am a jealous woman, I have children and none of my guardians is present.’

He sent back to me, ‘Tell her that: as for your jealousy, I will ask Allah to remove it and as for you having children, I will take care of them and as for the fact that none of your guardians are present, none of them, (whether) present or absent, will oppose your marriage to me.’

She then asked her son ‘Umar,

'Get up and marry (me) to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).’

And he married her to him.”

In another narration by An-Nasaa'i (rahimahullah) it says:

“When I gave birth to Zaynab, the Messenger of Allah came and proposed marriage to me. I said,

‘I am not fit for marriage (i.e. i am old), I am (a) jealous (person by nature) and have children.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, ‘I am older than you; as for your jealousy, Allah will remove it and as for the children, Allah and His Messenger will take care of them.’

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then married her, and he would come to her and ask, “Where is the Zaynab?”

By entering the household and family of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as one of the Mothers of the Faithful, she started another phase and role that had its own significance and impact, especially since she was highly intelligent and had a good sense of judgement.

She had made her apartment a comfortable place which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) frequented and took as a place for rest. Perhaps she reminded him – with her maturity, wisdom, affection, big heart, the sweetness of her smile, her pleasant reception and her pure companionship of Khadeejah. It is true that 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the dearest wife of Prophet (peace be upon him) , but Umm Salamah’s status as one of the Mothers of the Faithful had made for her a new place and grounded status in the heart of the Prophet (peace be upon him). She was the mediator among the Prophet’s wives; all of them honoured her and respected her status.

An Unforgettable and Memorable Stance

pinkwithskyHistory has recorded her for an unforgettable stance she took. This stance has been unanimously praised in all narrations which mention this incident.

After the truce of Hudaybiyah, many Companions of Prophet (peace be upon him) felt frustrated and disappointed. 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab was the most upset and did not agree with the truce. Abu Bakr admonished 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) to abide by the Prophet’s decision, but 'Umar strongly disagreed and turned away from the advise of Abu Bakr.

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to them after the truce he told 'Umar, “I am indeed the Messenger of Allah and He will not neglect me.”

The truce of Hudaybiyyah apparently implied the superiority of Quraysh as it gave them many concessions. Though implicitly it was full of wisdom and far-sightedness. Subsequent events revealed this fact.

It was enough of a glad tiding that Allah referred to the truce ‘a clear victory’ in His book when He said: {Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad) a manifest victory.} (Qur’aan 48: 1) The Surah in which this verse can be found has also been named ‘Surah of victory’, although sadly many people aren't aware of this.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had brought the sacrificial animals with him. But since the Quraysh had prevented him from completing his rites, he decided to terminate his ihraam and commanded the people to do the same due to the truce concluded between them . However, the Companions failed to comply; this was a dangerous phenomenon!

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) visited Umm Salamah for it was her turn to go with him on that day. She saw that he was distressed and sad. She gently asked him for the reason behind his sadness; he narrated what had happened. While speaking to the Prophet (peace be upon him) gently and pleasantly in a manner full of love and care, in a prudent, wise and mature manner she advised him to go out, call his barber and have his head shaven publicly.

He did so and suddenly people started shaving and cutting their hair. They were shoving and pushing each other so much so that they nearly killed each other. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was so happy and smiled so much so that his molar teeth were visible. The problem was hence solved and satan, who wanted to cause dissension between the Muslims was defeated. All this is due to Allah’s mercy and grace, in that He gave Umm Salamah the sensibility in providing the correct advice to His Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) at the correct time. In this is a lesson for our Muslim Sisters: sometimes the correct advice, given at the right time, may endear you to your husband even more and raise you in his eyes and respect.

After the Prophet's Demise

After the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Umm Salamah lived for many years, so much so that she was the last of the Prophet’s wives to die. Umm Salamah hence later witnessed some of the sad and heart-breaking events the Muslims experienced. There is no doubt that the crises that emanated from the martyrdom of 'Uthman ibn 'Affaan was a great trial and tribulation for the Muslims. Umm Salamah remained neutral throughout this crisis and did not partake in the bloodshed. Infact, she, according to many reports, called out for harmony and mutual love among the Muslims.

One of the most prominent deeds attributed to her during these crises was that she did not criticise 'Aa'ishah after the Battle of the Camel. The love for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and the love of the Prophet’s household had occupied the loving heart of Umm Salamah.

May Allah be pleased with her!

May He honour her abode!

May our Sisters, Mothers and Daughters follow her worthy example.

Indeed, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Responding.


radhiAllahuanhaZaynab bint Khuzaymah was the stepsister of both Umm al-Fadhl and the Mother of the Faithful, Maymoonah. They were from the same mother, yet had different fathers.

She was fortunate, in that she embraced Islaam in the early days of the Prophetic Mission. She then married 'Abdullah ibn Jahsh and migrated with him to Abyssinia due to the difficulties and persecution the Muslims were facing in Makkah.

Zaynab was of fine and noble origin. This, along with her pure religion, blossomed and produced in her great fruits, the most outstanding of which was piety. The fragrance of her piety still spreads with her name and whenever she is mentioned. The pleasant fruits of this piety would flow abundantly forth from her hands towards the poor and the needy in the form of unlimited gifts and charity. She was so charitable that she was known as and given the title of being the 'mother of the poor'. Indeed, she was following the way of the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said in a supplication: "O Allah, make me live as a poor person, cause me to die as a poor person and resurrect me amidst the group of poor people!"

'Abdullah was a cousin of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), his mother namely being Umaamah bint 'Abdul-Muttalib. Zaynab's life with 'Abdullah was a clear example of love, obedience and self-sacrifice in fulfilling her marital obligations towards him. The personality of her husband was so outstanding that it drove her to be even more humble than she already was and more sincere in her love for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Humility, as we will come to see, was a prominent quality of Zaynab's personality. In actual fact she was an emblem of humbleness.

intheheavensThe Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) appointed her husband as the leader of the first contingent. The Prophet said the following words to the Companions regarding her husband, "I will certainly send a man who is most enduring of hunger and thirst among you."

It was on a momentous Sunday in the third year after the Hijrah when 'Abdullah was martyred. There are great lessons contained within this incident for all those who wish to struggle and fight in the cause of Allah, be they men or women.

Al-Baghawi reported on the authority of Ishaaq ibn Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqaas that he said:

"My father informed me that 'Abdullah ibn Jahsh said to him on the day of Uhud,

'Wouldn't you come so that we can supplicate?'

He said, 'Then we moved into a corner and Sa'd made a supplication saying, 'O my Lord! When we meet (the enemy) today let me come into confrontation with a man who is sternly furious whom I will fight for Your cause. Then let me overcome him so that I can kill him and seize his weapons.'

'Abdullah ibn Jahsh said Aameen to this supplication and then said,

'O Allah! Let me meet a sternly furious man whom I will fight in Your cause and let him take hold of me and cut my nose and ears, so that when I meet You I will say, 'This is in Your cause and in the cause of Your Messenger' and You will say, 'You have said the truth.'

Sa'd said, "The supplication of 'Abdullah was better than mine. I saw him later on that day with his nose and ears hanging in a thread."

Az-Zubayr ibn Bakkar narrated:

"‘Abdullah ibn Jahsh used to be called 'the one who was mutilated in Allah's cause.' His sword was broken in the Battle of Uhud and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave him a thin dry rod which turned into a sword while in his hand. Thereafter he was nicknamed 'the thin dry rod.' This sword was still in existence until it was sold to Bagha, the Turkish, for two hundred dinaars."

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to know of the pain that Zaynab was suffering as a widow after the death of her husband. In order to properly support and look after her he proposed marriage to her. She jubilantly welcomed and accepted the proposal and henceforth was known as the Mother of the Faithful, which is indeed a high and noble status, an honour that is greater than all other honours. She entered his household with a new title of respect other than just being the 'Mother of the Poor'.

Eight months after the marriage of Zaynab, the mother of the faithful and the mother of the poor, to the Prophet (peace be upon him) she became seriously ill. This illness turned out to be the cause of her death.

She was the only wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who died during his lifetime other than Khadeejah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was very sad at her departure. He invoked Allah to forgive her and he always remembered her for her patience and perseverance.


radhiAllahuanhaDear reader, prefacing this article with clear verses from the Qur’an does n ot in any way mean that I am going to write a full and elaborate exegesis of the following verses, as that is an entirely different field. The aspect of the verses that concerns us here is to understand the marriage of Zaynab to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in an unbiased and clear way. For truly, Allah says the truth and He guides to the correct way.

Allah says: “Allah has not put for any man two hearts inside his body. Neither has he made your wives whom you declare to be like your mothers backs, your real mothers. (Adh-Dhihar is saying of a husband to his wife, ‘You are to me like the back of my mother’ i.e. you are unlawful for me to approach), nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your statements with your mouths. But Allah says the truth, and He guides to the (right) way. Call them adopted sons by (the names of) their fathers: that is more just with Allah. But if you know not their fathers (names, call them) your brothers in faith and Mawaaleekum (your freed slaves). And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is ever oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 33: 4-5)

Allah also says: “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and his Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed stayed in a plain error. And (remember) when you said to him (Zayd ibn Haarithah)- the freed slave of the Prophet) on whom Allah has bestowed Grace (by guiding him to Islaam) and you (O Muhammad too) have done favour (by maintaining him), keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah. But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allah has already made known to you and He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., their saying that Muhammad married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), we gave her to you in marriage, so that in future there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them([i.e. they have divorced them). And Allah’s command must be fulfilled. There is no blame on the Prophet in that which has made legal for him. That has been Allah’s way with those who have passed away of (the Prophets of) old. And the command of Allah is a decree determined.” (Qur’an 33: 36-38)

Personalities and events are interwoven with rules and ordainments which are revealed in accordance with mankind needs. Anybody who wishes to write or speak about the Mother of the Faithful, Zaynab Bint Jahsh, should take this into consideration before we proceed.

Zayd Ibn Harithah

The story of Zayd’s life in the house of Khadeejah is well-known and does not need elaborate discussion here. What we are concerned with in this article is the Prophet’s adoption of Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him).

Adoption was a very popular custom during the time of ignorance. Zayd’s father, Haarithah Ibn Shuraheel, came to finally know that his dear son was in Makkah in the house of Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah, the husband of Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid. He quickly rushed towards Makkah with one of his brothers, wanting to take his son back and inturn pay as much ransom as needed to free him from bondage.

From the poems Zayd's father used to repeat in expression of his sorrow regarding Zayd's capture is the following:

“I wept over Zayd for I didn’t know what happened to him,
Is he still alive or he has been seized by death?!
By Allah! I don’t know if I will ever ask him,
"Were you snatched by the even ground or were you snatched by the mountain?"
If only I knew whether you will come back,
For, it is sufficient for me in this world that you return back to me quickly.
Whenever the sun rises it reminds me of him,
And when the rain falls, the memory of him comes to me.
When the wind blows, it again stirs his memory,
How often is my sorrow and fear for him!
I will take the camel over land with great effort
And I shall not relent in roaming about the land (in search of him) until the camel becomes weary and tired,
Or until the death takes over me.
For, every man will die even if he is deluded by hope.”

The above poem shows us how much Haarithah missed and suffered for his son Zayd. Every word, rather every letter of this poem indicates how distressed he was. I take Allah as my witness that each time I read these lines (which are originally in Arabic) I am seized with sadness and I begin to share with Haarithah his feelings...and tears inevitably fall from my eyes.

Haarithah and K'ab entered the house of Muhammed (peace be upon him) and addressed as follows:

"O son of 'Abdul-Muttalib, O son of the leader of his people! You are from the inhabitants of Allah’s Sacred City. You give relief to the sufferer and you feed the captive. We come to you because of our son who is your slave. Grant us a favour and show kindness to us in his ransom.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked, “Who is this (i.e. who you are asking for)?”

They said, “It is Zayd ibn Haarithah.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Is there anything other than that (i.e do you have any other request)? Call him (Zayd) and let him choose. If he chooses to go with you that is better for you and I will not take any ransom from you. And if he chooses to stay with me, by Allah, I am not going to prefer taking ransom above someone who chooses to stay with me.”

They said, “You have increased us in justice.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then called Zayd and asked him whether he knew these two men. Zayd said,

“Yes, this is my father and this is my uncle.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, “I am as you know me and you have witnessed my companionship with you. So choose between them and me.”

Zayd said,

“I am not going to prefer anyone to you. You are to me like a father and an uncle.”

Zayd’s father and uncle then said, “Are you going to prefer slavery to freedom and are you going to prefer others over your family?”

Zayd said,

“Yes, I have seen in this man something which will not make me prefer anyone over him.”

Zayd son of Muhammad!

kabahgraphicWhen the Messenger of Allah saw Zayd's response he took Zayd out to a place near the black stone and said, “I take all of you as witnesses that Zayd is my son. He can inherit me and I can inherit him.” When Zayd’s father and uncle saw this, they became happy and returned.

Let us ponder alittle over Haaritha and his brother’s statement, “You have increased us in justice.”

Fairness is justice. History testifies that Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave both of them more than fairness when he gave Zayd the freedom of choice in whether he preferred to go with his father or stay with him and also in that he refused to take any ransom for freeing him.

In truth, Muhammad (peace be upon him) had shown Zayd the highest level of justice and fairness when he took a group of Qurayshites as witnesses in the precincts of the sacred mosque that he had adopted Zayd as a son and the fact that he then abided by the implications of this adoption in all matters relating to a father and his son is not a small matter, especially in those times. Although, noble people who possessed qualities of justice keenly abided by it and were proud of it, not only in the case of adoption but in many other matters as well. But when the dawn of Islaam appeared and its illuminating light beamed through the minds and hearts of the rightly guided, eliminating the darkness of the age of ignorance, the concept of fairness then became defined by the just divine law.

With the revelation of the aforementioned verses upon the heart of the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him), the system of adoption as a custom and tradition was abrogated. In truth it was only an emotional feeling free of fundamentals.

Zayd then returned to the originality of his lineage and reverted from Zayd ibn Muhammed to Zayd ibn Haarithah. Ater this the most important link, the link of religion and faith remained between the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him).

Zayd's Marriage to Zaynab

photos-of-Breaking-Through-the-Clouds-at-Sunset-picturesThe Prophet then chose Zaynab bint Jahsh al-Asadiyyah as a wife for his freed slave Zayd ibn Haarithah.

Zaynab was a Qurayshi girl, beautiful and of noble lineage. A great number of young Qurayshi men wanted to marry her but she rejected all of them out of pride of her origin and high lineage. This was because she was from the highest branch of the clan of Banoo Asad. Her mother was Umaymah, the daughter of 'Abdul-Muttalib, the chief of Quraysh. She therefore only wanted to marry a noble man of social and family prestige. This was the complexity in her life, a remnant from the days of ignorance which lingered in her heart.
When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) informed her of his intention she became objected angrily. She informed her brother ‘Abdullah of what had happened. 'Abdullah them came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in order to present his sister's view, even though the family of Banoo Jahsh had all embraced Islaam and faith had penetrated into their hearts, this was somthing difficult to swallow.

‘Abdullah asked the Prophet (peace be upon him),

“Are you pleased that Zaynab should marry Zayd?”

The Messenger of Allah said, “Yes.”

‘Abdullah then said,

“We are pleased with what pleases you O Messenger of Allah and we shall not disobey your command.”

Zaynab was also satisfied... albeit reluctantly.

She acceded in response to the command of Allah: “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” (30:36)

Thus did the marriage of Zaynab to Zayd take place and a dark chapter in the journey of history was closed and a new and bright page was opened. This new page spoke the truth as the saying of Allah Almighty: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa (i.e. the Muttaqoon). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (49:13)

And the inspired words of the Prophet (peace be upon him), “There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab or for a non-Arab over an Arab except in piety.”

The boat of life was to take them through a fathomless sea...


Zayd was one of the favourites of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and the dearest of all people to him. He was always in the Prophet's company and followed him about like a shadow. He was the one who was his companion during his difficult mission to Taa’if. And it was he whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) had entrusted to bring his family from Makkah to Madeenah during the migration. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also made Zayd the commander for a number of contingents in missions against the polytheists. Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

“Had Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) been alive (i.e. present) on the day the Prophet's (peace be upon him) death he would have assigned him a responsibility.”

Zayd undoubtedly had great energy of faith. This is why he was able to endure the difficulties provoked by the violent winds of Zaynab, and he tried as much as he could to bring peace and tranquility to their marriage. But Zaynab was a perpetual and unquiet storm. Many a time she had hurt Zayd's heart by constantly reminding him of her higher nobility.

quran_bxvmWhen Zayd could no longer bear it he went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and complained by opening his heart to him and asking for a way out from this sticky situation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) sincerely persuaded him to keep Zaynab. The complaint was made repeatedly, to which the answer was the same. The Qur'aan relates this incident to us. Allah says in clear verses: “And (remember) when you said to him (Zayd ibn Haarithah- the freed slave of the Prophet) on whom Allah has bestowed Grace (by guiding him to Islaam) and you (O Muhammad too) have done favour (by manumitting him), keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.’ But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allah has already made known to you and He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., their saying that Muhammad married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him...” (Qur'aan: 33:37)

"So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), we gave her to you in marriage, so that in future there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter has no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And Allah’s command must be fulfilled.” (Qur’aan 33:37)

Since adoption was then the order of the day and a trend of pre-Islamic culture which infact opposed reality, marrying the divorced wife of one's adopted son was regarded as a taboo since it was regarded as marrying the wife of one’s son, even though it wasn't really ones blood son.

In order to understand this properly, as it should be understood, we turn to the one who has the greatest right to establish the truth and put it into its rightful place, the one who removes all difficulty (in legislation), the one to whom the Message was sent and who has the greatest right to be followed.

Allah Almighty says, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow...” (Qur’an 33:21)

Before we continue, we must bear in mind that the Arabs in the time of ignorance were governed by false deities of all colours and forms:

  • False deities of idols and statues
  • False deities of casting lots and divination by arrows
  • False deities of masters and slaves and disregarding the humanity of manFalse deities of money and usury
  • False deities of intoxicants, adultery, burying female newborns alive
  • False deities of fortune-telling and sorcery
  • False deities of tribalism, war and looting.

qur'aan345The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) relentlessly lived his Prophetic life striving to destroy all these false deities. Infact he provided a practical example in himself and his close relatives in order that the balance of truth be erected without prejudice and partiality. The purpose of Zayd’s marriage to Zaynab was therefore to destroy the false deity of racial discrimination and for the abolition of the racial segregation, which was fully ingrained within the Arab culture at that time.

The divorce then took place between Zayd and Zaynab and the Prophet (peace be upon him) married her, “And Allah’s command must be fulfilled”.

Revelation came from the heaven that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) should marry Zaynab, to complete the legislation pertaining to the obliteration of such a custom and in order to remove this heavy burden that had been placed on the people.

The event, from beginning to end, is resplendent with laws and verses which are recited until this very hour, nay every second in time. No other companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is mentioned by his name in the book of Allah – in spite of many rules being revealed due to them – except Zayd alone and there is no mention of Zaynab's name therein.

It was reported that Ibn 'Abbaas said,

“When Zaynab heard the news of her divorce from Zayd and her engagement to the Prophet (peace be upon him) she prostrated to Allah (out of gratitude).”

Zaynab as a Mother of the Believers


Zaynab then happily lived in the house of the Prophet as a mother of the faithful to the believers. She was a pious worshipper, fasting much and praying during the night. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would visit her frequently. SubhaanAllah, often she would mention her superiority over the other wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) without intending to hurt them.

She once said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “O Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, I am not like your other wives, whose father, brother or family had married her off to you. For it is Allah from above the heaven who married me to you.”

Whenever 'Aa'ishah (radhiallahu 'anha) remembered her, she would invoke Allah’s mercy on her and especially mention her for the stance she took when 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was being slandered,

“Allah protected her by (her) abstention (i.e she abstained from indulging in the slander).”

'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) also mentioned that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "The most immediate of you to join me is the one with longest hand.”

She then mentioned how the Prophet’s wives began to stretch their hands up onto a wall in order to know which of them had the longest hand.

It would be noted that Zaynab was not tall but she was the first of the Prophet’s wives to die after him. It was then understood what the Prophet (peace be upon him) had meant by "long hand", indeed it referred to the characteristics charity and generosity.

'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) also said:

"Zaynab was very proud of Allah’s Messenger. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would frequently visit her. She performing much fasting and prayer. She was a skilled craftswoman and would give charity with the proceeds of her own hand.”

Ibn Sa’ad reported on the authority of al-Qaasim ibn Muhammed that Zaynab (may Allah be pleased with her) stated on her death bed,

“I have prepared my own shroud, though 'Umar is going to send a shroud for me. Give one of them in charity and if you are can also give (away) my loin cloth in charity - if you can do so.”

'Amrah bint 'Abdur-Rahmaan al-Ansaariyyah reported the following:

“Umar sent five Harranee cloths, each one of them was incensed with which she was shrouded. Her sister, Hamnah gave in charity the shroud which she (Zaynab) had prepared for her own burial.”

'Amrah (rahimahallah) narrated that she heard 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) saying,

“The praisworthy woman, the devoted worshipper and the refuge of the orphans and the widow has now gone (i.e. passed away).”

Muhammed ibn K'ab al-Quradhi said:

“Zaynab bin Jahsh’s annual grant was twelve thousand, which she took only once, (after which) she began saying,

“O Allah! Do not let this money be with me next year because it is a trial!”

She then distributed among both her kith and kin, aswell as the needy. When 'Umar heard of this he said of her, ‘This is a blessed woman.’ He then sent greetings to her and the message of, ‘The news regarding what you have done has reached me.’ He then sent her one thousand dirhams that would be sufficient for her needs. She treated the money in the same way as she had done previously.”

Zaynab died in the year 20 AH at the age of 53. 'Umar (radhi Allahu 'anhu) performed her funeral prayer.

May Allah be pleased with her and she with her Lord.


Her full name was Lubaabah bint al-HaaritradhiAllahuanhah al-Hilaaliyyah. She was the wife of 'Abbaas ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophet’s paternal uncle and the Mother of 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbaas, the great Companion and Commentator of the Qur’aan. She was also the sister of Maymoonah, the mother of the faithful and the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him). According to Ibn Sa’d, she was also one of the first women to embrace Islaam after Khadeejah.

Both Umm al-Fadhl and Maymoonah had two other stepsisters, namely Asmaa' and Salamah who were the daughters of Umays. It was these four sisters that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) described as, “The believing sisters!” What a praise, and what a truly great one!

Umm al-Fadhl performed many duties and chores for the noble household of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which behind the scenes helped and contributed greatly to the call of Islaam. This was because Umm al-Fadhl was a regular visitor of Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her) and hence often also met the Prophet (peace be upon him). In this way it was more easier for her to acquire knowledge of her new faith from him.

Umm al-Fadhl had a great ability to keep secrets and fulfil promises with deep sincerity and for the sole interest of Islaam. This was an amazing trait as her husband was far far away from Islaam at the time and only accepted Islaam much later on. In fact he was the opposite of Umm al-Fadhl when it came to the initial days of the Da'wah movement and did not help the Muslims at all. Even though Umm al-Fadhl's husband was far away from the deen at that time, she was still dutifully patient towards him, the fruit of which she was to see in the future...for one day something wondrous and amazing was to occur.

Ibn 'Abbaas's worker witnessed mistreatment towards the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) by Aboo Jahl. As his uncle, he became enraged and rushed to defend him even though he was not a Muslim at that time. Perhaps it was his love for tribalism that spurred him to act as he did. When this incident was taking place he had a quick decision to make: either to preserve his high status among the Quraysh or stand in support of his nephew and defend his blood-tie with him.

fullmoon_in_mediterranean_seaAmid all this, Umm al-Fadhl was expecting the decision of Allah concerning ‘Abbaas’s acceptance of Islaam. She eagerly wished that her beloved would see the light soon, before it was too late. She was also hoping that he would stop indulging in people’s wealth unlawfully, for he was of those who dealt in usury. In fact, he was well known for this, just as he was well known for his love of money.

Umm al-Fadhl was amazed and jubilant on the day ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) witnessed the allegiance of 'Aqabah and played an active role in it. Infact, he also acted as a guardian for his nephew Muhammad (peace be upon him). But when she saw her husband go out with the Quraysh in order to fight the Muslims in the battle of Badr, her pain and worry knew no bounds. "Why was he doing this?", "Why didn't he come out openly and proclaim his faith?", she wondered. Her worry only deepened and intensified when she saw her husband being taken as a captive after the Muslims had been helped by Allah and were victorious on that day. Yet, the Prophet's (peace be upon him) generosity was such that he released his uncle.

It was at this point in time that the light of eemaan (faith) began to creep into the heart of of 'Abbaas ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib as the darkness of arrogance began to drift away. All praise is due to Allah alone! The Battle of Badr infact turned out to be an even greater victory because the Prophet's (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) dear uncle accepted Islaam. What a blessed household! None remained among them who disbelieved in the message of the Final Messenger, infact they became his ardent supporters. Umm Fadhl had always wanted ‘Abbaas to acceptance Islaam and now Allah Almighty had given her her hearts desire and the greatest gift for a Muslim Wife.

flower-under-night-skyUmm al-Fadhl was so generous that she made her home a place of refuge for the weak and poor who could not afford to migrate and join the Muslims. This was because she knew that these needy Muslims were still at war with the enemies of Allah and that even though they had been denied the opportunity of confronting the enemy physically, they were fighting a war of perseverance in Makkah against the hostile Quraysh.

Among the greatest days of joy for Umm al-Fadhl and ‘Abbaas was when they heard of the victory of Khaybar. This was because on that day Allah gave victory to His Messenger (peace be upon him) over the Jews and the Muslims rightfully won Khaybar's booties and treasures. But it happened to be so that Umm al-Fadhl and 'Abbaas did not find out about Khaybar's conquest until later on. This is how the incident unfolded:

Hajjaaj ibn ‘Allat as-Sullami sought the Prophet’s permission to go to Makkah and recover his money and debts which were owed to him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted him to go and also permitted him to say whatever he needed to as a strategic method by which Hajjaaj could retrieve his wealth from the Quraysh. Hajjaaj went to Makkah and began to spread the news that the Jews had killed Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that the Muslims had been defeated. He also told them that Muslims had been killed in great numbers and their women had been taken as captives by the Jews and the Quraysh actually believed him! In this way he retrieved all of his wealth and debts owed to him and he headed back to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in Madeenah.

kabahshareef‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib, who was present in Makkah at that time, approached Hajjaaj and asked him about the reality of the situation, for he was he was very very sad and worried to hear that his beloved nephew had been killed. Hajjaaj informed him of the truth but requested him to conceal the truth for three days. ‘Abbaas conceded and promised to do so. When Hajjaaj told ‘Abbaas the truth he was overjoyed to hear that the Muslims had won and the Jews had actually been defeated! He returned home and informed his wife Umm al-Fadhl about the truth of the matter and requested her to keep this news confidential. Her husband 'Abbaas trusted her because she was a woman of her word and a woman who was known to have the ability to keep secrets. After three days ‘Abbaas came out in public wearing his best attire, emanating of perfume, which his wife had applied on him.

He went out into the courtyard of the Ka’bah where the Quraysh leaders and public usually gathered. When they saw him dressed in this fashion, exuding perfume and shining with happiness, they began to mock him. They said, “Is that how one should show patience over a calamity, O Abul-Fadhl?!” They were referring to the supposed defeat the Muslims had suffered at Khaybar. Their mocking did not upset 'Abbaas; he simply informed them of the truth and how Hajjaaj had fooled them all so as to retrieve his money and the debts which people owed him.

‘Abbaas then added,

‘And Muhammad, my nephew, is now the husband of the daughter of the Jewish king, Huyay ibn Akhtab!’

The news came as a strong chilling wind towards them! They stood in utter shock and disbelief, feeling that they were now soon to be handicapped from the power and authority they once so injustly enjoyed. How true their feelings were.


Hajj_Tawaf1Umm al-Fadhl remained in Makkah with her husband ‘Abbas until after the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Makkah with his Companions to perform the ‘Umrah of Qadhaa’ (of expiation, because they had been previously prevented from performing 'Umrah) they stayed in Makkah for three days. He then proposed marriage to Maymoonah, Umm al-Fadhl’s sister, a widow whose husband (Abu Rahm ibn ‘Abdul-‘Uzza) had died as a polytheist. Before Maymoonah's marriage to the Prophet (peace be upon upon him) she was living in the house of her sister Umm al-Fadhl and under the protection of ‘Abbas.

After all of the pilgrims left Makkah, ‘Abbaas and Umm al-Fadhl also migrated to Madeenah with their entire family.

In Madeenah Umm al-Fadhl was a frequent visitor to the Prophet’s house. She would either come to visit her sister Maymoonah or in order to visit the other wives of the Prophet. Her character was such that all of them enjoyed her company and acknowledged her excellence.

One night, Umm al-Fadhl had a dream; surprised and confused, she went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon) seeking the interpretation of her dream. Umm al-Fadhl explained to the Prophet (peace be upon him),

“Messenger of Allah, I saw in my dream that a part of your body was in my house!”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then interpreted, “Fatimah (my daughter) will give birth to a boy who you will nurse with the milk of Quthm (meaning her son)."

madinahimissThis famous Prophetic Narration shows us how Allah Almighty had blessed his Prophet (peace be upon him) with special knowledge. Indeed, before Faatimah had even given birth, by the will of Allah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) prophesied that it would be a boy. This was in fact just one of the manifestations of revelations and prophesies which Allah had endowed his trustworthy Messenger and the seal of His Prophets, blessing and peace be upon him, with.

Fatimah gave birth to Husain and Umm al-Fadl nursed him along with her son Quthm. When Husain (may Allah be pleased with him) was only a few months old, Umm al-Fadhl brought him to his grandfather. The Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) then sat him down on his lap; the boy urinated on the Prophet (peace be upon him), for which Umm al-Fadl smacked him between his shoulders. The Prophet (peace be upon him) rebuked her for this, “You have hurt my son! May Allah have mercy on you!”

In this way Umm al-Fadhl visited the household of the Prophet (peace be upon him) just as a family member does. She was a woman who looked out for the Prophet’s household and played an important role in running, looking after and maintaining it.

She also possessed deep insight about the Deen. There are authentic narrations which clearly indicate her understanding and comprehension of the religion of Allah. For example, she performed the farewell pilgrimage with the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the company of her husband 'Abbaas and her children. SubhaanAllah! How lucky she was and what an honourable company to have in such an honorable place!  What made this honour even greater is the fact that this was on the blessed day of ‘Arafah. But on this day people where debating over a matter which they were unsure of. They were asking one another: “Is the Prophet (peace be upon him) fasting or not?”

milkUmm al-Fadhl performed an outstanding act to dispel this rumour when she took a vessel of milk and brought it to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). The Prophet took it from her and drank all of it in full view of the people. The people then realised that he was not fasting and so those of the Companions who were fasting broke their fasts.

There is no doubt that Umm al-Fadhl had indeed previously heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that it isn't permissible for the pilgrim to fast on the day of ‘Arafah. With her intelligence and wisdom she was able to clarify the confusion surroundiing this issue without having to speak unnecessarily before the men.

Not only is Umm al-Fadhl (may Allah be pleased with her) remembered for her great feats but also for the fact that she was the mother of the great Companion, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas, the learned of the Ummah, the interpreter of the Qur’aan and the scholar among the companions.

May Allah be pleased with her and please her! Aameen.

The radhiAllahuanhacircumstances surrounding how Safiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) became one of the Mothers of the Faithful is of great significance and strongly related to the historical progress of the Dawah of Islaam. Therefore, we will cover and elaborate on these circumstances along the way.

Her father Huyay ibn Akhtab was one of the most malicious, treacherous and dangerous Jewish leaders of his time towards Islaam and the Muslims. This was very dangerous for the Muslims as he was the leader of Banoo Nadheer, one of the largest of the three Jewish tribes living in Madeenah at that time. The other two major tribes were Banoo Qaynuqaa' and Banoo Quraydhah.

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Madeenah, he began organizing the new Muslim society and had to enter into pacts and treaties with different Jewish clans. But it was not long before they broke their treaties. Banoo Qaynuqaa' were the first to act treacherously, followed by the Banoo Nadheer.

One day the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to them with a group of his Companions seeking to pay the blood­money (diyah) of two people who were killed mistakenly. He did so because of the alliance that was between them. Outwardly, they welcomed him and even stood up with pretentious respect. Their leader, Huyay ibn Akhtab then inconspicuously suggested to them that they should seize this excellent opportunity to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him), as the Prophet did not have many of his Companions with him. Most of them agreed to his suggestion and began to plot the Prophet's assassination. It was then that Angel Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and informed him of what was being planned against him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stood up and then quietly left.

madiinah67As a punishment for their treacherous act, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded the Jews of Banoo Nadheer to evacuate Madeenah and then gave them a specific period of time to do so. They refused to leave and instead fortified themselves within their forts. The leader of the hypocrites in Madeenah, 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salool, supported them and promised to help the Jews against the Prophet and his Companions.

When the period of grace expired, the army of Islaam besieged them and the hypocrite Ibn Salool disappointed the Jews and let them down. Due to their treachery, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had to force them to evacuate Madeenah.

Allah Almighty says, “He it is Who drove out the disbelievers among the people of the Scripture (i.e. the Jews of the tribe of Banoo an-Nadheer) from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think that they would get out. And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But Allah's (torment) reached them from a place whereof they expected it not, and He cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers. Then take admonition, O you with eyes (to see). And had it not been that Allah had decreed exile for them, He would certainly have punished them in this world, and in the Hereafter theirs shall be the torment of the Fire.” (Qur'aan, 59: 2-3)

Thus they left the city of Khaybar despised, detested and hated for their treachery towards the Noble and sincere Prophet of Allah. From here it was that Huyay ibn Akhtab began spreading openly his malicious propaganda against the Muslims. He began arousing, inciting and instigating the polytheists anger against the Prophet (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) by shuttling between Khaybar, Makkah and Madeenah. These efforts of Huyay brought about the Battle of the Confederates, otherwise known as the Battle of the Trench. This was followed by the Battle with the Banu Quraydhah, as they had allied themselves with the polytheists and also broken the treaties they had made to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam).

The presence of Huyay ibn Akhtab in the midst of Banu Quraydhah was coincidentally in time with when the Muslims were at war against them. He was this killed alongside the fighters afer Sa'd ibn Mu'adh passed the judgment that they should be killed. They themselves appointed Sa'd as the arbitrator between themselves and the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) hoping that he (Sa'd) would be lenient towards them because he was their former ally but he passed a judgement against them. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) then said to Sa'd (may Allah be pleased with him), "You have indeed judged concerning them with the judgment of Allah from above the seven heavens."

pinkgreenKhaybar was conquered. In spite of severe hardships and the difficulty of the battle and so it eventually fell into the hands of the Muslims. It was then that Safiyyah bint Huyay became a captive and was a part of the share of Dihyah ibn Khaleefah al-Kalbi. She was amazingly beautifully and was also the daughter of the king of Banu Nadheer and the wife of Khaybar’s chief, Kinanah ibn Abi al-Huqayq,

The Messenger of Allah proposed to her and kindly offered that if she were to accept Islaam, he would set her free. She accepted this offer and they were married. Safiyah (may Allah be pleased with her) was now blessed to be one of the Mother of the Faithful.


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As the Wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

As the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Safiyah played an important role in the personal life of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) and in the course of his calling people to Islaam. We can therefore derive important lessons from her biography, some of which are:

One: When the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) commanded Bilaal to bring her, he brought her in the company of a female cousin of hers. Bilal made them pass by the killed Jews. When her cousin saw the dead she struck her face, screamed and heaped soil on her head. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard her and said, "Keep this female devil away from me." He then rebuked Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him), "Was mercy removed from your heart that you make the women pass by their killed people?" He said this because indeed he was the Prophet of mercy. You will never find his equal among men, even until Allah inherits the earth and all that is in it.

Two: When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saw Safiyah's (may Allah be pleased with her) eyes and that they were green (i.e. bruised), he asked her why this was so, to which she responded,

"When I was the wife of Kinanah ibn Abi al-Huqayq, I saw the sun (in a dream and it was) as if it had descended on my chest. I told my husband and he slapped me very hard and said, 'Are you wishing to be the wife of the king of the Arabs?'"

This should remind us of Prophet Yoosuf's dream when he (peace be upon him) said: "Verily, I saw [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon - I saw them prostrating themselves to me.” (Qur'aan, 12: 4)

This confirms what the Jews used to discuss within their secluded assemblies regarding the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), and that many of them knew about the truth of his message. The story of their Rabbi 'Abdullah ibn Salaam embracing Islaam is a clear example of this.

sunyellowredAlso, the symbolic fall of the sun onto our Mother Safiyah's (may Allah be pleased with her) chest has its own indications. For, she has yearning in her heart which was full of Eemaan for the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him). She was not coerced into this marriage, as some may mistakenly or ignorantly presume. Certainly, the life of Safiyah during the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and even after his death confirms the great love and affection she had for him and her deep faith in Allah Almighty and the Messengership of his Prophet (peace be upon him).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not leave Khaybar until Safiyah had finished menstruating. He placed her behind him on a mount and when he arrived at a place six miles away from Khaybar he wanted to consummate their marriage. She refused, and this annoyed him as she herself had chosen to be his wife without being coerced or forced into taking this decision. When he arrived at Saliba', a place a few miles away from Khaybar, he halted again. Umm Sulaym combed Safiyyah’s hair and perfumed her. Umm Sinan al-Aslamiyah said:

"Safiyah was the fairest of all women. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) consummated the marriage with his wife. In the morning, I asked her about what the Prophet (peace be upon him) had said to her and she replied, 'He asked me: 'What made you refuse to halt and lodge in the first place?' And I said,

'I feared for you, for the Jews were near that place.'”

Undoubtedly, this answer increased the Prophet's (peace be upon him) respect and admiration for her.

This was Safiyyah, whose father had been killed in captivity during the Battle of Banoo Quraydhah. Whose husband, Kinaanah ibn Abi al­Huqayq, was killed during the campaign of Khaybar and who had seen her people being killed. EVEN THEN she feared for the life of the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him). This was because of nothing but the emanation of the light of faith which filled her heart and overwhelmed her being.

Co-Wife Jealousy

Ibn Sa'd narrated on the authority of ‘Ata ibn Yasar that he said:

"When Safiyah arrived from Khaybar (i.e. to Madinah), she stayed in a house belonging to Haarithah ibn an-Nu'man. The women of the Ansaar heard of this and came to see her beauty. 'Aa'ishah also came wearing her face veil. When she left, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked her, 'What did you see?' She said,

'I saw a Jewish woman!!'

He then said to her, 'Do not say that. For, she has embraced Islaam and practices it perfectly.'"

It wasn’t only 'Aa'ishah who was upset, some of the Prophet's other wives were also jealous of her. Ibn Sa'd narrated on the authority of 'Aa'ishah that:

"The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was on a journey and a camel of Safiyah's fell ill. Zaynab bint Jahsh had an extra camel, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked her, 'Safiyah's camel is ill, can you please give her a camel?' Zaynab said,

'Should I give my (camel) to that Jewish woman?'”

In fact, it was also reported that the Prophet's wives used to say many other things about her too.

Her servant Kinaanah narrated that she (Safiyyah) said: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) entered my house when it had reached me that 'Aa'ishah and Hafsah used to say they were dearer to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) than me and that they were his wives and cousins." When she mentioned this to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) he said to her, 'You should have told them, 'How can you be better than me when my husband is Muhammad and my father is Bon and my uncle is Moses?""

Safiyyah’s Remarkable Intelligence

Some of Safiyyah's most prominent qualities were her qualities of intelligence, forbearance and nobility. A maid of her once plotted against her and went to 'Umar lying about how Safiyyah loved Saturday and that she was kind to the Jews. 'Umar sent for her and asked her about this statement. She said,

"As for Saturday I no longer love it since Allah has substituted Friday over it for me. As for the Jews, I still have kith and kin among them, so I have to be kind to them."

Safiyyah knew that it was her maid who had plotted against her and asked,

"Why did you do that?"

The maid said, "It was Satan." Safiyyah then told her,

"Go, you are free."

I believe that Safiyyah freed her maid because she had said the truth and asserted that the cause of this plot was Satan. This act of Safiyah is an indication of her forbearance and excellence. Also, this maid may have once again succumbed to the temptations of Satan, in this way Safiyyah also cleverly safeguarded herself from such an incident occurring once again.

The Truthful Lady

"She is truthful" was the testimony made by the Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) regarding our mother Safiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her). Yes, a testimony from the Truthful One, the one who never spoke out of his own desire.

Ibn Sa'd reported with a sound chain of transmitters on the authority of Zayd ibn Aslam who said: "The Prophet's wives gathered (around him) when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was in his sickness, (the same sickness) due to which he passed away. Safiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

'O Prophet of Allah! I wish I was suffering from that which you are suffering from!'

Upon hearing this, the Prophet's wives began winking towards each other. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded them, 'Go and rinse your mouths.' They said, 'From what?!' He said,

'Because of your winking at one another in order to mock her. By Allah! She is truthful (in what she said)."

Even after the Prophet's death, Safiyyah lived among the believers as one of the Mothers of the Believers, honored and abundantly respected.

She died in the year 52 A.H. during the caliphate of Mu'aawiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan. She had memorized many ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which she would narrate and the people inturn narrated from her.

May Allah be pleased with her and please her. Aameen!


purpleflowersthreeThe Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) didn't take another wife while he was married to Khadeejah (may Allah be pleased with her), neither before Prophethood nor after until his beloved wife Khadeejah passed away.

Before we begin speaking about Sawdah and ‘Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with them), we need to know who Khawlah Bint Hakeem was. She was a woman whose deep faith and strong love for the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) pushed her into helping, interfering and contributing to the Prophet’s private family affairs. In fact, she played an excellent role in this regard.

Khawlah was the wife of Uthman ibn Math'oon. Both of them were among the first people to embraced Islaam, afterwhich they lived for Islaam because Islaam began moving within their limbs and veins like blood. Therefore, their hearts pulsed out of love for this heavenly and divine religion.

Khawlah Bint Hakeem Helps the Prophet (peace be upon him)

It was Khawlah who saw in the face of the Noble Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) signs of deep sorrow, just as the other female companions did. She was the bravest of them all and the most daring in that she went to the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said,

“Messenger of Allah, it seems that you have been afflicted by need since the death of Khadeejah.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied “Yes, she was the mother of the household and the care-taker of the family.” Khawlah, an experienced and mature lady, due her love and compassion and while observing the need of the Prophet’s noble household employed her maturity, farsightedness and deep faith to look out for a spouse for the Prophet.

After much deliberation, contemplation and reflection she suggested to the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him),

“If you like, you can marry an older woman, and if you like you can marry a virgin, O Messenger of Allah.”

He asked her who she was referring to. She replied that the older woman was Sawdah bint Zam’ah and the virgin was ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr, the daughter of the Prophet’s most beloved friend.

Perhaps, Khawlah suggested Sawdaa’, who was an experienced woman, so that she could take care of the Prophet’s family and cater for his household, and suggested ‘Aa’ishah, who was a young woman, so that his broken heart would be mended and that 'Aa'ishah could also be a means by which to the strengthen the relationship between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr.

The Messenger of Allah (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) then said to Khawlah, “Mention me to them.” Khawlah began her efforts in doing so and the efforts were successful for both proposals. The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married Sawdaa’ and consummated the marriage. ‘Aa’ishah was engaged to him and at that point the marriage was not consummated as she was too young.

This is how Sawdah enter the household of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as one of the Mothers of the Faithful.


Sawdaa’ (may Allah be pleased with her) was previously a widow. After her marriage to the Prophet (peace be upon him) she began taking care of Umm Kulthum and managing the affairs of the Prophet’s household. She was very dark in complexion, slow and fat. But she had a clean heart and was one of the truthful believers. In spite of being slow and fat, she was amiable and humorous, dispelling the Prophet’s worries with her humor like an essential, effective and timely remedy.

It was reported that one day she saw that the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was pale and distressed and so she jokingly said to him,

“O Messenger of Allah! I prayed behind you yesterday and you prolonged the prostration for so long that I felt like my nose was bleeding.”


The Prophet (peace be upon him) laughed so much so that his molar teeth were visible and the sadness which was on his face disappeared.

This is how Sawdaa’ spent her days and years, recognizing the limits of her status in this great household and striving hard to be a Mother of the Faithful. This the greatest position she sought in her worldly life and she sought nothing beside that. When Sawdaa’ started feeling that she was becoming a liability, she voluntarily gave up the day and night which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had apportioned her to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) instead. The reason why she chose ‘Aa'ishah out all the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was because ‘Aa'ishah had been her good friend from the beginning and also because ‘Aa'ishah was the most beloved of all of the Prophet’s wives.

Sawdaa’ was a pious worshipper and a generous in giving charity, just as ‘Aa’ishah has described her. It was in the Caliphate of U'mar (may Allah be pleased with her) that she passed away. Sawdaa’ left a clean mark within the period in which she lived within the household of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for thirteen years and concluded the remaining years of her life in piety and worship.

Let's now turn to the life of the Mother of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) and her mother Umm Roomaan.

Umm Roomaan

purty_flower_400‘Aa’ishah’s personality is interwoven with that of her mother Umm Rooman's. Umm Rooman played an important role in the life of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who was the husband of her daughter and the intimate friend of her husband Abu Bakr, and what an intimate friend!

Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) had been the Prophet’s umbrageous shade, never leaving his side. He supported him with his own money and his very being. Abu Bakr never lacked in generosity; he was so generous that he spent, as is famously known, all his money in the way of Allah Almighty.

This is why the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) frequented her home every day. Umm Rooman would receive the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a courteous manner and graciously welcomed him whenever he visited. She tried her best to provide him with all of the means of comfort at her disposal.

Umm Rooman's Life

Umm Rooman (may Allah be pleased with her) was formerly married to al-Haarith Ibn Abdullah al-Azdi, who brought her to Makkah. Her former husband entered into alliance with Abu Bakr but died soon thereafter. Then Abu Bakr married her as a sign of respect for that alliance, neighborliness and friendship which was between him and her former husband. She had two children from Aboo Bakr, namely ‘Abdur- Rahmaan and ‘Aa’ishah. Abu Bakr also had two children from his other wife and they are ‘Abdullah and Asma’.

As for her faith in Allah and His Messenger, then it is wondrous. Here, only one statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) should suffice us. It was his testimony for her on the day when she died and was to be buried. He said while lowering her grave,

“Let him who wants to see a woman (who will be) from amongst the beautiful women of paradise who have wide and lovely eyes look at Umm Rooman.” In another narration, he said, “Let him look at this (woman).”

Umm Rooman was naturally endowed with qualities that qualified her to be among the wide-eyed beautiful women of paradise. For, she was an embodiment of purity, sincerity, modesty and honesty. From the following incidents and facts we can realise this even more:

One: The day the proposal of the Prophet (peace be upon him) came for ‘Aa’ishah (her daughter) through Khawlah bint Hakeem, Umm Roomaan she was jubilant as realized that this would bring about great blessings for her family in this world and the hereafter. She did not say anything about ‘Aa’ishah being too young or that there was a wide age gap between her daughter and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), nor did she bring up any other worldly concerns. All she wisely said was,

“Speak to Abu Bakr about this.”

She said this because she knew that his consent was important to finalize the matter as the husband must be the major reference point in matters like this since it is he who is the head of the family. Expectedly, she took a positive and encouraging stance while this matter was being presented to Abu Bakr. The matter was then concluded as Umm Rooman had willed and ‘Aa’ishah was engaged to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). They decided that the marriage was to be consummated after the Hijrah.

Months passed by, but the Messenger of Allah was too concerned with the new situation the Muslims faced in Madeenah. Some of his preoccupations at that time were: construction of his Masjid, forming brotherhood between the immigrants and the helpers, entering into pacts and treaties between Jews of Madeenah and firmly establishing the new Muslim society upon solid foundations, in accordance with the revelations that were being revealed.

Umm Rooman, the Wife of the Truthful (Abu Bakr) and the Mother of the Truthful (‘Aa'ishah) did not bring up this issue at such a time when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was so seriously preoccupied. It was only on a certain day, after there was relative stability in Madinah that Umm Rooman spoke to her husband Abu Bakr and reminded him of ‘Aa’ishah’s engagement to the Prophet. Abu Bakr went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and asked in a modest manner regarding his marriage to ‘Aa’ishah. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) smiled and said, “Surely, and upon the blessing of Allah.”

Before the marriage was consummated, ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had been affected by the weather in Madeenah and as a result had become so weak that her face had a pale look on it. Umm Roomaan, the caring mother that she was, took care of ‘Aa’ishah’s (may Allah be pleased with her) health until she regained herself even more than before. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

“My mother was looking after me so that I’d become plump, grooming me for the house of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him). She did not succeed in doing so until she made me eat cucumber with fresh dates, then I became plump in the best form that one can be."

What an excellent mother Umm Roomaan was! She wanted the best for her daughter and hence guided her daughter to the goodness of this life and more importantly, the next. This is because she was aspiring for the pleasure of Allah and the love of His Messenger (peace be upon him).

Two: During the days of slander.

The false slander, the news of which was swiftly spreading in Madinah was a great trial for the family of Aboo Bakr, especially for ‘Aa’ishah, Umm Roomaan’s beloved daughter. Allah Almighty tested the Muslims so as to separate the good from the evil and the evil from the good. This was a test so as to distinguish the believers from the hypocrites and the hypocrites from the believers. This was truly a great trial for the victim ‘Aa’ishah and her parents, Abu Bakr and Umm Rooman. The trial was like a violent storm that nearly destroyed everything, if it wasn’t for Allah’s benevolence, care and mercy.

‘Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) herself mentions this painful incident:

desert1_opt“Whenever Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) intended to go out on a journey, he used to draw lots among his wives and take with him the one on whom (i.e. in whose favor) the lot had fallen. Once he drew lots when he wanted to undertake an expedition, and the lot came in my favor. I hence proceeded with Allah’s Messenger after Allah’s order of veiling (of the women) had been revealed.  I was carried in my hawdaj (on a camel) and dismounted while still in it. We carried on in our journey, until Allah’s Messenger finished his expedition and we were returning and approaching Madeenah.

Allah’s Messenger ordered to proceed at night and so the army was ordered to resume the home-ward journey, I got up and walked till I left the army camp behind. When I had answered the call of nature, I went towards my hawdaj, but behold! A necklace of mine made of Jaz Dhufar (a kind of black bead) was broken and I looked for it and my search for it kept me behind. The group of people who used to carry me came and carried my hawdaj unto the back of my camel on which I was riding, considering that I was therein. At that time women were light in weight and were not fleshy for they used to eat little (food). Thus the people did not feel the lightness of the hawdaj while raising it up because I was still a young lady, so they drove away the camel and proceeded.

After I had found my necklace and the army had gone, I came to their camp but found nobody therein so I went to the place where I used to stay, thinking that they would miss me and come back in search of me. While I was sitting at my place I felt sleepy and slept. Safwaan ibn al-Mu’attil as-Sulami adh-Dhakwani was behind the army. He had started in the last part of the night and reached my stationing place in the morning and then he found the figure of a sleeping person. He came to me and recognized me on seeing me because he used to see me before veiling (i.e. before the command for veiling had been issued). I got up because of him saying, ‘Innaa Lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon,’ which he had uttered when he had recognized me. I covered my face with my garment, and by Allah he did not say to me a single word except ‘Innaa Lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon,’ till he brought the camel and I mounted it.

Safwaan then set out while leading the she camel which was carrying me till we met the army as they were resting during the hot midday. Then whoever was to fall into destruction fell into destruction, and the leader of the Ifk (forged statement, slander) was ‘Abdullah ibn Ubay ibn Salool. After this we arrived at Madeenah and I became ill for one month while the people were spreading the forged statements of the people of the Ifk, and I was not aware of anything thereof. But what aroused my doubt was that while being sick, I was no longer receiving from Allah’s Messenger the same kindness as I used to receive when I used to fall sick. Allah’s Messenger would come to me, say a greeting and add, ‘How is that (lady)?' and then depart. This aroused my suspicion in me, but I was not aware of the propagated evil till I recovered from my ailment.

I went out with Umm Mistaah to answer the call of nature towards al-Manasi, the place where we used to relieve ourselves, and we wouldn't go out for this purpose except from night to night (i.e. some nights), and that was before we had lavatories close to our homes. This habit of ours was close to the habit of the old Arabs (in the deserts or in the tents) concerning the evacuation of the bowels, for we considered it troublesome and harmful to take lavatories in the houses. So I went out with Umm Mistaah, who was the daughter of Abi Ruhm ibn ‘Abd Manaf, and her mother was the daughter of Sakhr ibn ‘Amir, who was the aunt of Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, and it was her son who was Mistaah ibn Uthatha.

When we had finished, Umm Mistaah and I came back towards my house. Umm Mistaah stumbled over her robe, whereupon she said,

‘Let Mistaah be ruined!’

I said to her, ‘What a bad word you have said! Do you abuse a man who has taken part in the battle of Badr?’ She said,

‘O you there! Didn’t you hear about what he has said?’

I said, ‘And what did he say?' She then told me the statement of the people of Ifk (forged statement), this added to my ailment. When I returned home, Allah’s Messenger came to me, and after greeting me said, ‘How is that (lady)?’ I said, 'Will you allow me to go to my parents?’

At that time I intended to be sure of the news through them. Allah’s Messenger allowed me and I went to my parents and asked my mother, ‘O my mother! What are the people talking about?’ My Mother said,

‘O my daughter! Take it easy, for by Allah, there is no charming lady who is loved by her husband and has co-wives as well, but that those wives would find fault in her.’

I said, ‘Subhaan Allah! Did the people really say that?’”

Here, dear reader, we would like to pause for a while and later continue with ‘Aa’ishah’s story inshaaAllah.

Let us ponder over how motherly and wise Umm Roomaan was. Look at how she controlled her anger and how truthful she was in her reliance in Allah because of her deep faith that equals high mountains in solidity and firmness, for she said:

“Take it easy...!”

Indeed, she knew that Allah is the one who can relieve every distress and that He is a supporter in the face of every injustice and the disapprover and falsifier of every false accusation. That is Allah the True Lord, the Glorified.

‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) continued:

“That night I incessantly wept the whole night till the morning. My tears wouldn’t stop, nor did I sleep, and even morning broke while I was still weeping. Allah’s Messenger called ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and Usaamah ibn Zayd when the divine inspiration was delayed so as to consult them over the idea of divorcing his wife (i.e. 'Aa'ishah). Usaamah ibn Zayd told Allah’s Messenger of what he knew about the innocence of his wife and of his affection for her. He said,

‘O’ Allah’s Messenger! She is your wife, and we do not know anything about her except good.’

But ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said,

‘O’ Allah’s Messenger! Allah does not impose restrictions on you and there are plenty of women other than her. If you however ask (her) slave girl she will tell you the truth.'

‘Aa’ishah added:

'So Allah’s Messenger called for Bareerah and said, ‘O’ Bareerah! Did you ever see anything which may have aroused your suspicion (with regards to ‘Aa’ishah)?’ Bareerah said,

'By Allah who has sent with the truth, I have never seen anything regarding ‘Aa’ishah which I would blame her for except that she is a girl of immature age who sometimes sleeps and leaves her families' dough unprotected so that the domestic goats come and eat it.’

Then Allah’s Messenger got up and addressed the people and asked for somebody to take revenge on ‘Abdullah ibn Ubay ibn as-Salool. Allah’s Messenger, while standing on the pulpit said,

‘O’ Muslims! Who will help me against a man who has hurt me by slandering my family [Arabs refer to their wife as 'family']? By Allah, I know nothing except good about my family, and people have blamed a man of whom I know nothing except good, and he never used to visit my family [i.e. come to my home] except with me.'

Sa’d ibn Mu’adh al-Ansari got up and said,

‘O’ Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, I will relieve you from him. [Even] if he be from the tribe of (Bani) al-Aws I will (still) chop his head off; and if he be from our brethren, the Khazraj, then you give us your order and we will obey it.’

On that Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah got up, who was the chief of the Khazraj, and before this incident he had been a pious man but he was incited by his zeal for his tribe. He said to Sa’d (ibn Mu’aadh),

'By Allah the Eternal, you have told a lie! You shall not kill him and you will never be able to kill him!’

Due to this Usayd ibn Hudayr, the cousin of Sa’d (Ibn  Mu’adh), got up and said to Sa’d Ibn Ubadah,

‘You are a liar! By Allah the Eternal, we will surely kill him; you are a hypocrite and defending the hypocrites!’

So the two tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj became upset till they were at the point of fighting each other while Allah’s Messenger was standing on the pulpit. Allah’s Messenger quietened them down until they became silent, whereupon he became silent too.

On that day I kept on weeping so much that neither did my tears stop, nor could I sleep. In the morning my parents were with me and I had wept for two nights and a day without sleeping and with incessant tears till they thought that my liver would burst from weeping. While they were with me and I was weeping, an Ansaari woman asked permission to see me. I admitted her and she sat and began weeping with me. While I was in this state, Allah’s Messenger came to us, greeted (us) and sat down. He hadn’t sat with me at all since the day what had been said [was said]. He had stayed a month without any receiving Divine Inspiration concerning my case. Allah’s Messenger recited the Tashahhud after which he sat down and then said, ‘Thereafter ‘O’ A’ishah! I have been informed such and such a thing about you, and if you are innocent, Allah will reveal your innocence, and if you have committed a sin, then ask for Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him, for when a slave confesses his sin and then repents to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance.' When Allah’s Messenger had finished his speech, my tears ceased completely so that I could no longer feel a drop thereof. I then said to my father:

‘Reply to Allah’s Messenger on my behalf as to what he said.’

Continue Reading...


radhiAllahuanhaShe was the mother of Az-Zubair ibn Al-'Awwaam and the full sister of Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib. It was said that she was the Prophet’s only paternal aunt who actually embraced Islam and migrated.

She had a strong personality and was therefore inclined towards sternness and harshness.

Her first marriage was to Al-Harith ibn Umayyah, who was Abu Sufyaan’s brother. He then died before they had had any children together. She was then married to Al-'Awwam ibn Khuwaylid, who was our Mother Khadeejah’s (may Allah be pleased with her) brother. She gave birth to two of his children: As-Sa’ib and Az-Zubayr. When he passed away, Safiyah devoted all her attention to her two orphaned sons, especially the younger one. Whenever he came home complaining of being bullied by children of his age, she would sternly rebuke him, tie him and beat him up so as to make him strong and firm.

When one of the members of her husband’s family once passed by her while she was treating her son in this way, he requested her to be kind to the poor orphan. She replied that she wants to make a man out of her son; a man that would be undefeatable and insuppressible, a man that would never surrender to any of Allah’s creatures.

It was reported that Az-Zubayr engaged in a duel with someone who slandered him and Az-Zubayr was so strong, that he broke the hand of the slanderer and severely beat him up. This man, with his pains was brought to Safiyah and she asked him what had happened to him, to which was told,

“He fought with Az-Zubayr and he [Az-Zubayr] did to him that which you can see.”

When she heard thise, she proudly recited the following poetical verses :

How did you find Zubayr?

Did you find him a cottage cheese or a date fruit?

Or did you find him a raving falcon?

He is not as simple to overcome or an easy food that be eaten effortlessly!

Safiyah achieved what she wanted; Az-Zubayr grew strong in body and soul, with no lassitude or sluggishness.

Her Son Accepts Islaam


Az-Zubayr had accepted Islaam before her; Safiyah would argue with him staunchly over his reversion. Yet, Az-Zubayr had passed the stage of childhood to manhood by then and became independent in his personality and opinion. She thus had no control over him, although he was dutiful and compassionate with her. Safiyah did not embrace Islam until the day her brother accepted Islaam. Hence, she accepted Islaam later on, after her sons had already accepted Islaam.

Safiyah had many commendable and praiseworthy roles, which are mentioned within the Seerah of the Messenger of Allah (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). One of these is the role she took during the Battle of the Trench (otherwise known as the Battle of the Confederates).

During the Battle of the Trench

The Messenger of Allah (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) put women and children in fortresses for protection against the confederates and the Jews of Banu Qurayzah. Safiyah was in a fortress, known as Fari’ under the supervision of Hassan ibn Thabit. Hassan was assigned to look after the women and he did not go out to fight.

Safiyah said:

“When the Messenger of Allah (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) went out to the Battle of the Trench, he put the women of his household in a fortress called Fari’ and assigned Hassan ibn Thabit to look after us. A Jewish man then came and climbed the fortress until he was able to see us. I asked Hassan to rise up and kill him but he said that if he could do so, he would have been with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and would not have been assigned to look after the women. I then rose up and killed him and cut his head off. I then asked Hassan to drag the head of the invader to the Jews who were at the bottom side of the fortress. He swore by Allah that he would not do so. So I took the head and threw it at them. The Jews then said, ‘We know that this man [meaning the Prophet (peace be upon him)] would not leave behind his family without someone to look after them.' So they dispersed….”

Yoonus ibn Bukhayr said,

“She was the first Muslim woman to kill a polytheist.”

Dear reader, this incident clearly shows Safiyah's (may Allah be pleased with her) strong character and personality, her strong faith and her defense of her and the Muslim Womens' self-dignity.

The Battle of Uhud

On the day of Uhud, she had more than one remarkable input. When people felt defeated she moved forward, and when people retreated she advanced!

Hammad narrated on the authority of Hisham that ‘Urwah said:

“Safiyah came on the day of (the battle of) Uhud while the Muslims were vanquished holding a spear in her hand and striking the faces of the polytheists with it. When the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam] saw her, he called her son to take hold of her lest she be harmed, for she was his [i.e. the Prophet’s] aunt.”

When Safiyah heard of the martyrdom of her brother Hamzah, whom she dearly loved, she advanced to look at him and see how he was mutilated with a pierced-open belly, a cut-off nose and severed ears... Zubayr stood in her way out of concern for her and told her, “My mother, Allah’s Messenger is ordering you to go back!” It is here that Safiyah is distinguished from other women and it is here that the personality of this strong, believing and persevering woman is vividly manifested. She told her son Zubayr,

“Why should I go back since I have heard that my brother was mutilated in the cause of Allah? We are not pleased with what has happened but I will bear it with patience and I hope to get the reward from Allah, if He so Wills.”

Az-Zubayr came back to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) and informed him of what she had said. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, “Let her go [to see her brother].” She then went to Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with him) and stood beside his corpse. She shed tears, sought Allah’s forgiveness and said:

"Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raaji'oon [Certainly we belong to Allah and to Him we are to return]."

For, she was a believing slave of Allah who knew:

{And certainly We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tiding to as-Sabiroon [the patient]. Who when afflicted by calamity, say, 'Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those on whom are the salawaat [i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven] from their Lord, and [they are those who] receive His mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.} (Qur’an 2: 155-157)

The Prophet's (peace be upon him) Death

Due to her strong faith, she did not utter a single word of eulogy for the death of any of her dear ones except when the Prophet (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) died. At-Tabarani reported that when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) died, Safiyah came out waving her garment saying:

Many occurrences have taken place after you,
If you were alive and had been witness to them, calamities would not have reached to such a proportion.

Ibn Ishaaq has also reported some verses of poetry with which Safiyah had eulogized the Prophet (peace be upon him). A part of which goes as follows:

The day we miss the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is here!
O eyes, shed abundant and plentiful tears!

She was also reported to have said:

The day of your death is certainly a day,
In which the sun is wrapped up in darkness though it is shining!

None of the historians dispute over the attribution of these poetic verses to Safiyah. This is because Safiyah lived till the time of the caliphate of 'Umar.

It was in the caliphate of 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that she passed away.

May Allah be pleased with her, radhi Allaahu ‘anha.


After thradhiAllahuanhae truce of Hudaybiyyah which took place in the month of Shawwal of the year 6 A.H., the Mes senger of Allah (peace be upon him) invited the kings and rulers of the world to Islaam and warned them against delaying their response to his call. The question as to: 'Why didn't the Prophet (peace be upon him) invite them to Islaam at the beginning of his mission?' needs one to ponder of the biography of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

The struggle in the early days of Islaam between the Muslims and the leaders of the Quraysh was both intense and difficult. The Muslims stayed firm and strong upon the truth and endured the persecutions patiently without physically retorting with fighting and aggressiveness. This was because at that time the laws pertaining to Jihaad hadn't been revealed and weren’t going to be revealed until much later on. That is why for thirteen years in the Meccan period Muslims suffered patiently.

Then Allah Almighty decreed it such that the migration to Madeenah took place after the pledge of the Ansaar, Aws and Al- Khazraj to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), which is referred to as the pledge of ‘Aqabah. They pledged to the Prophet (peace be upon him) their full support and that they were ready to fight anyone and everyone for Islaam and the Prophet's (peace be upon him) protection. This is when Allah revealed the verse:

{Permission to fight [against disbelievers] is given to those [believers] who are fought against because they have been wronged. And surely, Allah is able to give them [believers] victory.} (Qur’aan, 22:39)

Now Muslims were allowed to defend themselves and stand up for their rights. They were now able to do so as they had now founded an Islamic state, with its own geographical boundaries, people and system. This situation is corroborated by the agreements the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered into with the Jews of Madeenah: Banu Qaynuqa, Banu Nadeer and Banu Quraydhah. Both the texts and articles of these agreement testified to this. They were agreements of alliance, non-aggression and acknowledgement of each party’s authority over its followers. However, the aversive Quraysh - who turned away from the truth and guidance and instead inclined towards ignorance, error and desire - were still hostile towards Islaam, its' Messenger and the Muslims. They engaged the Muslims in battles from Badr to Uhud and even the battle of the Trench! Their hostility towards the Muslims continued on until the day of Hudaybiyyah. It was in Hudaybiyyah that a truce took place between the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and the Quraysh represented by Suhayl ibn ‘Amr.

This truce recognized the political entity of the Muslims and the Messenger of Allah’s leading authority, but did not recognize him to be a Prophet and Messenger. We can observe this in Suhayl’s rejection of the expression: 'Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah' when the truce was being drafted. He said,

'If we had acknowledged you as being the Messenger of Allah, we would not have waged war against you. You should therefore instead write your name and the name of your father!'

Even though they didn't accept the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a Messenger of Allah, nevertheless the result of this truce was that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was acknowledged by the Quraysh as the leader of an Islamic State.

madinah67The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) henceforth was ready to address letters to the leaders of the nations. No doubt, although he was greater and nobler than the need for a mere political title, it was a necessity for international relations.

Dear reader, this introduction is of historical necessity when discussing Maariyah, the Copt, and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) was a blessing for her, as had it not been for the Prophet’s letter to Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt, there would not have been any mention of Maariyah in the history of Islaam.

Muqawqis was based in Alexandria, as he had taken this city as his headquarters. He held the religious and political leadership over the Egyptian Copts, in spite of the Roman occupation of their land and their usurpation of the Egyptian people for years. The church was divided into groups as far as belief, conducts and rituals were concerned: The Western Church, under the leadership of the Romans and the Eastern Church, under the leadership of its patriarchs and bishops. The Muqawqis belonged to the latter group.

It was Haatib ibn Abi Baltah who was sent with the Prophet’s letter to the Muqawqis. It should be remembered that all letters that were sent to the various kings and rulers were of the same content. The Muqawqis received the letter of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and read it. He hosted the envoy and honored him but did not accept the Message of Islaam. He then sent some gifts with the envoy to the Messenger of Allah. The gifts were:

  • Mariyah and her sister Seereen.
  • A mule named Dudul.
  • A donkey named Ya’foor.
  • An old eunuch known as Ma’boor. Some said he was Mariyah’s brother but the correct view is that he was her relative.
  • 1000 mithqal of gold.
  • Twenty-five cloths

Who Was She?

purpleflowerwaterMariyah was a Copt girl from a village situated in upper Egypt and her name was Ansana. She was fair-complexioned and beautiful with curly hair. It was said that her mother was of Roman descent and this is why she had such white skin. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) kept her as his right-hand-possessed. But in spite of this she fully covered, as was the command for the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave her sister Seereen as a gift to Hassaan ibn Thaabit.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) first sheltered her in the apartments of his wives, but this made his other wives very jealous of her. He then took her to a place in the outskirts of Madeenah called 'Al-Aliyah' and would visit her there. Mariyah embraced Islaam and practiced the religion excellently.

Maariyah then became pregnant and none of the Prophet’s other wives had become pregnant since he had migrated to Madinah. She gave birth to a boy and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)) named him Ibraaheem after his ancestor, the Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then said about Mariyah,

“Her son has set her free.”

This is an Islamic legal rule concerning the right-hand-possessed. If they deliver a child to their master, they become free. In this aspect, we can say that Maariyah’s presence in the Prophet’s household not only freed her and gave her a totally new life, but also enriched Islamic jurisprudence and the different forms of social relations.

Ibraaheem was born in the 8th year of Hijrah, which was the year of the conquest of Makkah in which the Ancient House was purified from the filth of statues and in which the last bastion of polytheism was eradicated from the Arabian Peninsula. It was an occasion in which the veil of polytheism, which had overwhelmed the Quraysh for generations since their deviation from the pure monotheism of Prophets: Ibraaheem and Ismaa’eel was removed.

The Prophet’s joy at the birth of his son Ibraheem has been clearly recorded. He would visit Maariyah's house in order to see his son Ibraheem and would affectionately carry him and give him a lot of love. Indeed the Prophet (peace be upon him) was father unlike any other and is truly a role model for all of mankind!

Let’s not also forget about how he would take time out of his busy schedule to play with his granddaughter Umamah, the daughter of Zaynab and how he would carry her on his back while he was praying. Let's recall the love and affection he had for Hasan and Husayn, the sons of Faatimah and he descended from the pulpit when he saw Husayn entering the Masjid just so that he could carry him in his hands!

In light of all the above memorable incidences, we should realise how strongly the Prophet (peace be upon him) must have been attached to his son Ibraheem, especially in that he had lived for eighteen months! Yes! He was the warmth of his heart and his only son to survive! But...

{Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last [end] of the Prophets...} (Qur’an 33:40)

Though this verse was revealed for a specific reason relating to Zayd ibn Haarithah it still heralds a divine rule: The seal of the Prophets would not have any sons of his own who would live after him.

When Ibraaheem was eighteen-months old, he was afflicted by a fever. The remedies they tried on him were of no avail. He breathed his last in the hands of his father as his soul departed towards its Creator. The women wept, as did the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

Later, the Prophet's (peace be upon him) eyes were overflowing with tears at the grave of his son, but he did not say anything other than,

“The eyes shed tears and the heart grieves. We are saddened by your departure, O Ibraheem. And we shall not say except that which pleases Allah.”

When Ibraaheem died an eclipse occurred, which wasn't due to the death of the Prophet’s Ibraheem. Rather, it was coincidental and merely an orbital movement. Thereupon some people said,

“The sun eclipsed for the death of Ibraheem!”

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard this he announced,

“The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse due to the death or life of anyone.”

Maariyah lived for many years after the death of Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him). Abu Bakr used to pay for her maintenance, and ‘Umar did so after Abu Bakr and in the year 6 A.H, she passed away.

Al-Waqidi said,

“She died in Muharram, the 6th year of Hijrah. ‘Umar gathered people to witness her funeral. He led the prayer on her [i.e. her funeral prayer] after which she was buried in al-Baqee’.”

May Allah be pleased with her and make the highest level of paradise her abode!


The Mother of the Faithful ‘Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) once said,

“I do not know of a woman who brought greater blessing to her people more than Juwayriyah.”

Her Name


"Juwayriyah" is the diminutive form for the term Jaariyah. The diminutive form in Arabic language can be used for two opposing purposes. It can either be used as an expression of praise, commendation and to show love or it can be used to show disdain and derogation.

As for her name "Juwayriyah", the Prophet (peace be upon him) named her so. Before this, her name was Barrah, which was the name her father had given to her. Changing the names of his companions was a known habit of the Prophet (peace be upon him), whether male or female. He did this so that his Companions would shun anything which was related to the time of ignorance. As for why he changed the name of a number of his female Companions from ‘Barrah’ to another name, then there are different opinions in this regard, some of which related to the individuals and some are due to the intended meaning.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) disliked that a person should praise himself and the name ‘Barrah’ is derived from the term birr, which means righteousness. How then can a person openly be called "righteous" by the usage of such a name, where is the modest"y and humility?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also disliked for a person to say: “He just left the house of ‘Barrah’ (which means: a righteous woman).”

Who Was She?

Juwayriyah was the daughter of the chief of Banoo al-Mustaliq al-Haarith ibn Abi Diraar. She was married to Mani ibn Safwaan, one of their leaders and most influential men.

Banoo al-Mustaliq was one of the tribes which waged war against Islaam, wanting to extinguish the light of Allah by both their mouths and hands. They stubbornly remained on the state of ignorance and paganism and gathered weapons to prepare their attack on Madeenah.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), with the capabilities and extraordinary leadership qualities he was endowed with, had appointed highly qualified men among his companions to monitor the movement of the enemy so that he could accurately estimate their situations and plan accordingly. This is how the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to know of Banoo al-Mustaliq’s intentions and their coordinated preparations - through one of the Prophet’s intelligence.

As an experienced commander, the Prophet (peace be upon him) decided to launch a sudden attack on them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions arrived near them, near a well called al-Muraysee. There he attacked them and put an end to their hopes and dreams.

Dear reader it is from here that Juwayriyah entered the company of the women around the Messenger (peace be upon him). And it is from here that she attained the great honor and title of being the ‘Mother of the Faithful’.

Let’s listen to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) as she explains to us what happened on that momentous day:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took the women of Banoo al-Mustaliq as captives. He them took out one fifth of them and divided the remaining ones among his companions, giving the cavalry soldiers two shares and the infantry soldiers one share.

Juwayriyah fell into the share of Thaabit ibn Qays al-Ansaari. She was formally married to a cousin of hers known as Mani ibn-Safwan ibn Maalik ibn Judaymah, who is also known as Dhu Ash-Shafra. She was bereaved of him and so agreed with Thaabit ibn Qays to buy her freedom with nine Ooqiyah.”

A’ishah describes her saying, “She was a pleasant woman. No one saw her except he became captivated by her. While the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was sitting, suddenly Juwayriyah entered asking him concerning her ransom agreement (with Thaabit). By Allah, as soon as I saw her, I disliked her entering in front of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) for I knew that he would see what I saw in her.

She then started addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him),

‘O’ Messenger of Allah! I am Juwayriyah, the daughter of al-Haarith - the leader of his people. You are not oblivious of what has happened to me. I fell in the share of Thaabit ibn Qays and agreed with him to ransom myself with nine Ooqiyah. So help me to free myself.’

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, ‘Do you want what is better than that?'

She said,

‘What is it?’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘I will pay on your behalf and then marry you.’

She said,

‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, ‘I have done that.’"


This event leads us to a brief discussion about some of the Prophet’s marriages. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is in all of his marriages an excellent example for all men. His desire for any woman was only in accordance with the natural inclination that Allah had created in him as a human being, though the desire was not the dominating factor behind his marriages.

There are many harmonious evidences for this since his first marriage to Khadeejah was when he was in the prime of his youth, active and energetic, while Khadeejah was forty years old and close to menopause. Then he married Sawdah, a rather overweight woman. She was, however, one of the earliest Muslims and immigrants and was also one of the believing women who devotedly worshipped and emigrated in the way of Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then married ‘Aa’ishah and the command to marry her had come from above the heavens, but he did not consummate their marriage until after more than two years of contracting the marriage. Even this was when her father, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) reminded him to do so. It should be remembered that there was a strong relationship between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr’s household. Strengthening this relationship was a necessity as ties should be kept alive, especially in a tribal society which was still impacted with clan inclinations. This was to help the cause of Islamic propagation and foster harmony among its supporters.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also joined ties with the Ummayyad household when he successively married his two daughters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom, to ‘Uthmaan, who was one of the leading Umayyads in status, wealth and influence.

Consider also, his marriage to Umm Habeebah, who was suffering from loneliness, widowhood, emigrations and great tribulations. She was a daughter of Abu Sufiyaan, an heir to the Quraysh’s leadership in politics and war and the chief of the Banu Umayyah. We have already mentioned the statement that he made when he heard of the Prophet’s marriage proposal to his daughter, and his acknowledgement of the Prophet’s farsightedness and wisdom.

Giving solace is a human tendency and strengthening relationships is one of the necessities of promoting the cause of Islaam. These two were the major factors behind the Prophet's (peace be upon him) marriages.

Let us now go back to our discussion regarding Juwayriyah and of her being around the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).


We saw that the first statement with which she addressed the Prophet (peace be upon him) with was,

“O Messenger of Allah!”

This statement indicated her belief in Islaam.

She then added, “I am Juwayriyah, the daughter of al-Haarith who is the leader of his people and I have been affected with something (captivity) that is known to you. For, I fell into the share of Thabit ibn Qays and I have agreed with him to ransom myself with nine Ooqiyah. So help me to free myself.”

She came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) seeking that which is good but returned with something much better and greater.

There is no doubt that this action of the Prophet (peace be upon him) had left its impacts and far-reaching effects on her heart and in the hearts of her family and hence by extension on her tribe.

‘Aa’ishah said: “When the news of this marriage came to the people they began saying,

‘Will the Prophet's in-laws be held as captives?!’

Then the people freed all the captives that were with them from the tribe of Banoo al-Mustaliq, and the number of those who were freed reached one hundred households because of the Prophet’s marriage to Juwayriyah.”

It was at this point that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

“I know of no other woman who brought greater blessing to her people than Juwayriyah. And that was when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was returning from the Battle of Muraysee’.”

Her Faith

She had yet another credit which demonstrated her excellence in adherence to the teachings of Islaam and the truthfulness of her Eemaan (faith). This was because she was in the household of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and in a place where Allah’s clear verses were being revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Ibn Abbas narrated that Juwayriyah’s name was ‘Barrah’, So the Messenger of (peace be upon him) named her Juwayriyah. He then said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed the Fajr prayer and then left her apartment. He stayed out until forenoon and then came back while she was still at her place of prayer. She told him,

‘I have stayed here since you left.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) thereupon told her, ‘I have recited four words three times after I left you and if these were to be weighed against what you have recited since morning, (then) these words would outweigh them and (these words) are, ‘Praise be to Allah according to the number of His creation and according to the pleasure of His Self and according to the weight of his Throne and according to the ink (used in recording) words (for His Praise)’.’”

Her Knowledge

In addition to her great piety and deep worship, she was also a treasure-chest as she had memorized many narrations of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

An example of one such Hadeeth narrated from her is the one narrated by Abu Ayyob al-Atakee, which he narrated from Juwayriyah who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) visited her on a Friday while she was fasting. He asked her, “Did you fast yesterday?” She said, “No.” He said, “Are you going to fast tomorrow?” She said, “No.” Thereupon he said, “Then break you fast.” There are other aHaadeeth narrated from her wherefrom Islamic legal rulings are derived, be they in acts of worship or in social interactions. Such aHaadeeth are considered by the erudite scholars to be important and fundamental sources of Fiqh.

Even with the issue of coitus interruptus, which is a subject of wide controversy as some scholars support it and others oppose it, was elaborated on by the Prophet (peace be upon him) after the Battle of Banu al-Mustaliq of which Juwayriyah was one of its major personalities.

Bukhaari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri who said, “We went out with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) for the campaign of Banoo al-Mustaliq and received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired woman and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. When we intended to do coitus interruptus, we said (i.e. asked each other), ‘How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) who is present among us (i.e. with regards to its ruling)?’ We asked (him) about it and he said, ‘It is better for you not to do it, for if any soul (till the day of resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.’”

The Prophet’s statement, “If any soul (till the day of resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist” means: Whether you practice coitus interruptus or not, it is the same in this regard. For some sperms may sneak into the women before the withdrawal and unwanted conception may still occur. The fact that this incident took place during the Battle of Banu al-Mustaliq is the correct opinion.

Juwayriyah's Father

madiinah67Juwayriyah’s father, al-Haith ibn Abi Diraar knew of his daughter’s movements, from the possession of Thaabit ibn Qays to the house of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that she had become one of the Prophet’s wife. He decided to go to Madeenah to ransom her with one hundred camels, hoping that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would accept this ransom from him.

When he came close to Madeenah, he looked at his camels and those that impressed him. He made up his mind to put aside the ones he liked so that they wouldn't be among those camels which he was going to offer for his daughter's ransom. He set the best of them aside, tied them up in a safe place and assigned some guards to watch over them.

He then entered into the presence of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) while the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sitting in the Masjid, he then greeted him and begged him to accept the ransom and return his daughter back to him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) welcomed him and asked him with a smile, “What about the two camels you set aside and tied up in such and such a place?”

He suddenly became speechless and was visibly amazed. His tongue was unable to lie. He then said:

“I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you, Muhammad are a Messenger of Allah! By Allah! No one knows of this matter except Allah alone.”

Following al-Haarith’s Islaam, all of the members of Banoo al-Mustaliq tribe also embraced Islaam after he informed them about what had happened and invited them to Islaam. This is a clear manifestation of Allah’s blessing on Juwayriyah and her tribe through His Messenger (peace be upon him).

Juwayriyah lived for fifty years after the Hijrah. It is said that she was sixty-five when she died. Marwaan ibn al-Hakam, the governor of Madinah at that time performed the funeral prayer and then she was buried in al-Baqee.’

May Allah be pleased with her and please her.

May He also honor her abode and place of rest. Aameen!


The custom of breastfeeding babieradhiAllahuanhas by women who weren’t their biological mothers and of allowing these very women to take their breastfed children to the desert was regarded as signs of nobility and high status among the Arabs of the pre-Isla mic era.

That year Haleemah came from the desert all the way to Makkah in the company of some women from the clan of Banoo Sa'd, hoping to find babies to nurse. Each woman except Haleemah succeeded in finding a child to nurse...

Haleemah said, "There wasn’t any woman among us who wasn’t offered the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and as soon as a woman was told that he was an orphan she would reject him. We would say, 'What is his mother going to give us?' For, we only expected recompense from the baby's father. By Allah, each of my friends was able to get a nursling except me. When I did not succeed in getting any (baby) for myself, I told my husband, al-Haarith ibn 'Abdul-'Uzza,

'By Allah, I would not like to be the only one from among my friends who’ll go back home without a nursling. I am going to take that orphan boy.'

My husband said,

'You can go and take him. Perhaps, Allah will bless us through him.'

I went and took the boy. By Allah, I only took him because I couldn’t find any other."

Haleemah continued: "As soon as I took him and brought him to my riding animal, I breast-fed him as much as Allah would permit and he drank until he was satiated. His (foster-) brother (her own son who was of the same age as the Prophet) also drank until he was satiated. My husband then went to our old camel and milked her and both of us drank until we were satiated. We then passed a good night.

In the morning, my husband said to me,

"Haleemah, by Allah, I can see that you have accepted a blessed child. Can't you observe the blessings we have been witnessing since we took him, and (how) Allah has continued to increase us in blessing?!"

We set out to begin the journey back to our village. By Allah, my donkey was so fast that none of my friends could catch up with it. Surprised at this, they said, "Daughter of Abu Dhu'ayb! Was this not your donkey on which you set out with us?!" I said,

"Yes, by Allah, it is!"

They then said, "By Allah, there is something about her!" They were alluding to the change in the donkey which was clearly visible.

When we arrived in the land of Banu Sa'd - and before that, I did not know a land more barren than our land - my sheep would graze and come home satisfied and full of milk. We would milk as much as we wanted, and none of our neighbors were able to have even one drop of milk from their own sheep. Their sheep would go out grazing and would return home with empty stomachs. They would then tell their shepherds, "You should be more vigilant regarding where you graze the sheep." But still their sheep would come back with empty stomachs while mine would come home satisfied, and we would milk them as much as we wanted. In this way Allah continued to shower us with blessings which we could clearly perceive.

Different From Other Children

When the boy, Muhammad (peace be upon him), reached the age of two, we noticed how he was growing up in a way different from other kids. By Allah, he had hardly reached the age of two when he already had strong skin. As the time had come to take him back to his mother, we decided to begin our journey back to Makkah. We were so sad and grieved over having to return Muhammad, as he was the blessing of our household. After his mother saw him, we requested her,

"Please let our son stay with us for another year as we fear the epidemic of Makkah for him."

In this way we continued pleading to her until she agreed.

A Strange Incident

Two or three months after we had brought him back from Makkah, an incidence occurred. He and his foster brother were in the back-yard with our sheep when his brother hurriedly came to us and said:

"That Qurayshi brother of mines was visited by two men clad in white garments. They laid him on his back and opened his belly."

His foster father and I rushed to him. We found him standing with a change of color in his face. His foster father embraced him and said: "My son, what happened to you?" He said, "Two men in white garments came to me. They laid me down and opened my belly. They removed something out and took it away. They then returned it as it was." We took him back home. His father said:

"Haleemah, I fear that my son has been touched by (the Jinn). So, let us take him back to his family before what we fear appears."

Haleemah continued:

"So we took him to his mother. When she saw us, she exclaimed,

'What brought you back, foster parents?! You were taking excellent care of him!' We said,

'By Allah, nothing has happened. It is only that Allah has helped us pay our debts and we fear that some harm or unforeseen things might happen to him. That is why we brought him back.'

But his mother did not believe us. She insisted that we tell her the truth and when we told her what had happened, she said,

'So you fear that he might be touched by Satan?! No, by Allah! Satan will never be able to find his way to him. By Allah, there is something great about this son of mine. Shall I tell you something about him?'

We said, 'Yes.' She said,

'When I was pregnant with him, I never felt like I was carrying anything that was lighter than him. I saw in my dream that a light came out of me which illuminated the palaces of Syria. And when I gave birth to him, his delivery was different from that of other babies… So, leave him alone.'"

This is how Lady Haleemah had to part from her beloved son Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) later on in his life mentioned these incidents of his childhood to the Companions. A number of his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) in this way narrated events of his childhood.

A Reunion

At the end of the Battle of Hunayn, when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) received goods and captives as spoils of war, a delegation from Hawaazin who had already embraced Islaam came to him at a place called Ji'raanah, They said:

"Messenger of Allah, we are a tribal people who had been touched with an affliction that is not unknown to you. Please grant us favor, Allah will grant you favor."

Among the captives was Halima’s daughter, who was the Prophet’s foster sister, by the name of Shaymaa'. Shaymaa’ came to her foster brother Muhammad, asking him to set her free. She reminded him of how when he was a child he would bite his sister Shaymaa’s back. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard this, he laid down his garment for her and made her sit down beside him.

The spokesman of the delegation, Zuhayr ibn Sard then stood up and said:

"Messenger of Allah, your aunts and foster mothers who took care of you are among the captives that are inside the enclosures. If we had nursed Ibn Abi Shammar or Nu'man ibn Mundhir and then what happened to us from your part had happened to us from theirs, we would definitely hope in their reciprocal kindness and sympathy. And you are the best of those nursed by any foster mother."

He then recited a poetic passage in which he implored the Prophet (peace be upon him) to do favor to his foster people.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then said, "As for that which is for me and the children of 'Abdul-Muttalib, it is all for Allah and for you." The Ansaar (the Helpers) then also said,

"Whatever belongs to us is for Allah and His Messenger!"

Indeed that day was a day of reciprocal kindness as the Prophet (peace be upon him) showed them how kind, caring, gentle and loving of a son and brother he was. Surely, the sons and brothers of today have alot to learn from our Prophet (peace be upon him).

May Allah Almighty bless our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and may He be pleased with his foster-mother Haleemah. Aameen!


Hafsah was one of the daughters of the great Companion and Khalifah 'UradhiAllahuanhamar ibn al-Khattaab. She was also one of the Mother of the believers as she was married to the Prophet, peace be upon him.

In Arabic, Hafs is one of the names given to the lion. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), would often address 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) as Abu Hafs (the father of Hafs, i.e. Hafsah).

Her Marriage to the Prophet

Before being married to the Prophet (peace be upon him) she was married to a man known as Hisn ibn Hudhafah. He witnessed the Battle of Badr and then fell ill at Madeenah and died, leaving Hafsah widowed. In those days it wasn’t looked down upon to offer ones daughter or sister in marriage to a man the woman’s guardian approved of. Arabs liked to marry their daughters off at an early age and if they were widowed, to get them married as soon as possible. This is why, when Hafsah became a widow it worried and distressed ‘Umar. One day he walked to the house of Aboo Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and offered his daughter in marriage to him. Aboo Bakr remained silent and did not say a word. ‘Umar left his house quite and upset and confused.

He then went to ‘Uthmaan and thought that since the Prophet’s daughter Ruqayyah, who was ‘Uthmaan’s wife, had passed away, he would probably respond favorably. But 'Uthmaan replied, "I do not want to marry today." This was because ‘Uthmaan was still not over the death of his beloved wife. ‘Umar, clearly upset, left and this was when the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw him and asked him as to why he looked so worried. 'Umar informed him of what had happened and the Messenger of Allah (salallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) said, "Hafsah shall marry someone who is better than 'Uthmaan and 'Uthmaan shall marry someone who is better than Hafsah." ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) left the Prophet’s company relieved, but confused over what the Prophet (peace be upon him) had meant. When ‘Umar met Aboo Bakr he told him about what the Prophet (peace be upon him) had said. Abu Bakr smiled and said,

"I have heard the Messenger of Allah (salallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) mentioning Hafsah. But I did not want to reveal his secret. If he had not shown his interest in marrying her, I would have married her. So do not bear any grudge against me."

'Uthman came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), clearly sad and distressed over his wife’s death. He said to the Prophet (peace be upon him),

"My marriage relationship with you has come to an end with the death of Ruqayyah, 0 Messenger of Allah!"

The noble Messenger (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) sympathized with him and then said, "I have given you her sister, Umm Kulthoom in marriage. If I had ten daughters I would have given them to you in marriage (one after the other)."

That is how the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) married Hafsah and 'Uthmaan married Umm Kulthoom. Hafsah now luckily had the prestigious title of being called the ‘Mother of the Fathful’.

A Pious Woman


Hafsah (may Allah be pleased wih her) was a devote worshipper. She was very pious, fasted during the day and prayed at night. She was closest to 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) from the Prophet’s wives. In fact it was as if both were real sisters! This is because they always agreed and never disagreed.

However, Hafsah’s personality had a tinge of what her name suggested, as she had a strong and tough personality. Perhaps she had taken after her father, ‘Umar al-Faarooq. It was because of this that the Prophet (peace be upon him) divorced her once and then took her back.

Ibn Sa'd recorded that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) divorced Hafsah once and then took her back because the Angel Gabriel said to him,

"Take Hafsah back, for she frequently fasts and prays in the night and she is your wife in Paradise."

Humayd ibn Anas narrated that,

"The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) divorced Hafsah and he was thereafter commanded to take her back, and he did so."

'Uqbah ibn 'Aamir narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) divorced Hafsah, 'Umar's daughter. When 'Umar heard this, he scattered sand over his head and said,

"Allah will no more care about 'Umar and his daughter after she has been divorced [by the Prophet (sallallhu ‘alyhi wa sallam)]."

So Angel Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) the following day and told him,

"Allah commands you to take back Hafsah as a way of showing compassion to 'Umar (her father)."

Abu Saleel, in his version of the narration said, "'Umar entered Hafsah's place while she was crying and asked whether the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) had divorced her. He said to her,

'He divorced you once and has taken you back only because of me. If he divorces you again, I will never speak to you again."

After this, Hafsah was keen never to annoy the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) again until he died.

Here, dear reader, we need to point out the aspects of Hafsah's personality which still make her a great role model for out Muslim sisters.

The Custodian of the Book of Allah

quranpicblueAngel Gabriel described her to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) as frequently performing (voluntary) fasting and night prayers, and that she was to be one of his wives in Paradise. Also, unlike other men and women at that time, she could read and write. This was quality which was very rare among womenfolk at that time, even among the men. Also, it was in her home that the palm branches, slates and other materials upon which the Qur’aan had been revealed were kept.

SubhaanAllah, she was entrusted with the most honorable and greatest thing this world can contain, the words of Allah. She was given this duty because she was worthy and respected by the Companions. She was entrusted with this material in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), right up until the time of ‘Uthmaan. When ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) decided to compile the Qur’aan into a single book form, the verses which were with Hafsah were considered primary resources to be relied upon when undertaking this great and momentous task.

She was thus known as being the custodian of the Book of Allah. She preserved the Qur'aan in her heart, aswell as in her house. Whenever we open a copy of the Qur'aan and before we begin to read it, we should try and remember the Angel entrusted with the Revelation (Gabriel), his reverberating sound, the impact the verses had on the heart of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam) and the scribes of the Revelations, such as 'Ali, Zayd and others. We must remember Abu Bakr and 'Umar and their compilations of the Qur'an and 'Uthman’s resoluteness, trustworthiness and sense of duty and among all these names the name of Hafsah, Ummul-Mu’mineen and her preservation of this Divine Book can’t be forgotten and must be mentioned.

It was at the beginning of the 44 A.H. that the Mother of the Believers Hafsah departed from this world and joined the company of her most dear ones, her Husband and Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Companions.

May Allah be pleased with her and with them all. Aameen.



To be a Muhaajir is a great honor and privilege. Some of the Prophet’s companions had misunderstood that the concept of Hijrah was restricted to migrating from Makkah to Madeenah. They therefore assumed that those who migrated to Abyssinia and stayed there till the day of the battle of Khaybar had no reward for their migration.

This opinion worried and upset Asmaa’ and so she hurriedly went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and asked him regarding what some of the Companions were saying, to which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, “You have two migrations and the people had one.”

The Prophet’s words weren’t merely to make Asma (may Allah be pleased with her) happy. Rather, they were in-line with reality, a clarification concerning an ambiguous matter and a way of preventing a great misunderstanding. They proved that those who left Makkah for Abyssinia to safeguard their religion had really made Hijrah for Allah's sake. Allah Almighty says: “...was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” (Qur’an 4:97)

The people who had made Hijrah to Abyssinia were indeed migrants who yearned to once again be with the Messenger (peace be upon him) and his Companions. When they heard that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had migrated to Madeenah and established a stronghold there, they rushed to once again be in the company of the man they loved the most. When they reached Madeenah, exhausted and tired by the long journey though land and sea, they were informed that Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Companions had set out for Khaybar. Even though they had just been through such an exhaustive journey, their limbs obeyed their hearts and hence all of them began their journey towards Khaybar.

When they arrived, it was too late; the battle had ended and Khaybar had been conquered. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then said, “I do not know for which I should be happier: the conquest of Khaybar or the arrival of Ja’far and his fellow emigrants who have just arrived from Abyssinia!”

Asmaa’ embraced Islaam very early on with her husband Ja’far. In fact, they were just newly-wed when they set out for Abyssinia as emigrants in the way of Allah. Their new marriage did not prevent them from taking this big step as Islaam had overwhelmed their lives. Instead of staying in Makkah and enjoying their first days of marriage, their honeymoon had been in the path of struggle and perseverance. This, according to a sincere believer who really loves Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him), is more rewarding and pleasant experience as it entails the greatest reward.

Asmaa’ had the same level of greatness that manifested in her husband Ja’far. She was equally enduring, understanding and cognizant of her responsibility. The evidence for this can be seen in her pleasant character and deep faith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) even attested to her being one of the ‘believing sisters’.

If one counts the many years the immigrants to Abyssinia spent in a foreign land, among foreign people and if then one were to consider the Quraysh’s conspiracies against them, then we will come to see how strong and patient they were. For, their stay in Abyssinia was not a short one. Rather, Asmaa’ stayed there for fifteen years and it was there that her children were born. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to stay in contact with them by sending emissaries who would convey to them the news of how the Prophet and his Companions were doing. They would also be informed of new revelation and legislation that were revealed. One of these emissaries was the companion Amar ibn Umayyah ad-Damri.

When Asmaa’ left Abyssinia, she did so in the company of her three sons: ‘Abdullah, Muhammad and ‘Awn. Yet, she did not know of the test that was awaiting her in the near future. After some time, the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent her husband to the battle of Mu’tah, he was to take command if the commander Zayd ibn Haarithah was martyred. The battle of Mu’tah was the first of its kind between the Muslims and the Romans in the history of Dawah. The Muslims army consisted of 3000 soldiers while the Romans and their allies far outnumbered them with an army of more than 100,000 soldiers. The reason behind the occurrence of this war was because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent Al-Harith ibn ‘Umayr al Azdi (may Allah be pleased with him) to the king of Basrah with a letter inviting him to Islaam. Al-Harith was attacked and killed by Shurahbeel ibn ‘Amr al–Ghassani, who was an ally of the Romans. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was very upset and distressed by this incident. Thus he called upon the Muslims to set out and avenge the death of al–Harith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed the Muslims that if the first commander was martyred the second should take up responsibility and if the second commander was martyred, the third one should take up the command and that if the third was also killed the Muslims would have to agree to a commander among themselves.

The three commanders were: Zayd ibn Haarithah, Ja’far ibn Abu Talib and Abdullah ibn Rawaahah, may Allah be pleased with them all. All three commanders were martyred, including the husband of Asmaa’. The Muslims then appointed Khaalid ibn al–Waleed as their commander and he was able, through his military ingenuity, to deceive the Romans and their Ghassanids allies. He then brought the Muslims out of this battle, in which the enemy was so large and powerful, victorious.

The Muslim loss was calamitous as three of their commanders were martyred. The battle of Mu’tah was the first (and the last) that Ja’far fought against the enemies of Allah and in the way of Allah.

Just as Ja’far’s performance had been great in Abyssinia, in the presence of the Negus, he had also been great in the battle field. When he realized that his horse was preventing him from moving freely in the battle he dismounted off of it, wounded it (so that the enemy could not use it) and then boldly rushed into the battle. His hand was cut off while he was holding the banner and eventually this is how he was killed as a martyr and is now flying in the hearts of green birds. We know this because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) later informed the Companions that Allah had substituted the hands of Ja’far with two wings by which he could fly as he wished and wherever he wished in Paradise.

The Prophet's (peace be upon him) Support

His wife, Asmaa’ was overwhelmed by the news of the death of her beloved husband. Tears of pain, sadness and parting flowed from her blessed face. They had been companions in the true sense of the word. Asma’s tears never dried and she never ceased crying until Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) visited her on the third day and consoled her. He requested the presence of Ja’far’s sons and they all came.

Abdullah ibn Ja’far (one of the sons of Asma and Ja'far) narrates:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave Ja'far's family some time to mourn over his death and then visited them saying, ‘Do not cry over my brother after this day.’ He then said, ‘Bring the children of my brother to me,’ and we were brought to him like young birds. He then said, ‘Call the barber for me!’ And the barber came and shaved our heads.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then said, “As for Muhammed (one of Ja’far’s brothers), he looks like our uncle Abu Talib, as for ‘Abdullah he resembles me. O Allah! Be the supporter of Ja’far’s family and bless ‘Abdullah (his son) in the transactions undertaken by his hands.” The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, repeated this three times.

Then our mother came and mentioned how her children were now orphans and began crying. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to her, “Asmaa’, are your afraid of poverty for them while I am their guardian in this world and in the hereafter?”

Asmaa’ then devoted all her time in caring for herself and her children. She trained them and raised them well and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never forgot about Asma’ and her sons as he was closer to the believers than their own selves. He would visit them whenever the opportunity arose; he would ask about them and how they were and would also show kindness to them by way of gifts.


Asmaa' Marries Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq

The situation continued in this manner until the day of the battle of Hunayn came. The wife of Abu Bakr, Umm Roomaan, died so the prophet (peace be upon him) married Asmaa’ (Ja’far's widow) to him, according to narrations.

Abu Bakr was the first man to embrace Islaam. He was the second of the two in the cave and the Prophets only Companion who was with him in the cave. He was the first minister and the most trusted Companion of the Prophet, who spent his wealth and his life in the cause of Islaam. Asmaa’ was also one of the early Muslims. She was persevering and knowledgeable and had migrated twice. She had also been the wife of Ja’far, the flying martyr.

Asma’ (may Allah be pleased with her) lived in the house of Abu Bakr as a satisfied, honorable and responsible wife. She knew his rights and fulfilled them dutifully. She had a son from Abu Bakr whose name was Muhammed.

Her Relationship with Aboo Bakr

A manifestation of good companionship that Asma’ enjoyed with her husband Abu Bakr became evident when he was in his final illness which was to cause his death. He ordered that Asmaa’ should wash him when he died. This was clearly a deep demonstration of his love and trust in her.

Her Marriage to 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib

Asmaa' was then married to ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) after the death of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and had a son with him named ‘Awn. Asmaa’ lived in the house of ‘Ali as a noble lady who fulfilled her marital obligations without negligence or sluggishness, in spite of difficult moments.

A Clever Woman

It was reported that her sons Muhammed ibn Ja’far and Muhammed ibn Abu Bakr were boasting to each other one day, each one of them saying to the other that he was better and that his father was better than the others. ‘Ali was present and asked Asmaa’ to judge between them.

The question arises: did ‘Ali want to test her intelligence or did he just want to know whose love and sense of obligation occupied her heart? Here Asma’ demonstrated worthy traits of a Muslim woman and a believing wife! She provided in her answer a lesson for every girl, every wife and every mother. She answered without hesitation or discrimination:

“I have never seen a young man better than Ja’far, and I have never seen a middle-aged man better than Abu Bakr.”

The two boys then went quiet and stopped their bragging.

It was then that ‘Ali jokingly asked, “What have you then left for us?” And of course, she loved him dearly too.


Asmaa’s journey from this world into the next started drawing nearer when the news of the death of her son Muhammed ibn Abu Bakr came to her from Egypt. She went to the prayer place in her house, performed some supererogatory prayers and held back her tears. All this had a negative effect on her body, which was already weak and aging. She then began bleeding from her chest and lost so much blood that eventually she died and her soul moved up high into the heavens.

May Allah be pleased with her and please her! Aameen.


tree-sunlight_smallThe womb of Aaminah bint Wahb was certainly the noblest and the most honorable of all wombs because it was the womb that carried the seal of all the Prophets and the leader of the Messengers. It was in this womb that the noble fetus (Allah's Messenger) settled. This seed had been passed down from the loins of men, generation after generation until Allah in His Divine wisdom decreed that it moved into 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul Muttalib, the youthful Qurayshi who excelled his contemporaries in greatness. 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul Muttalib was ransomed from slaughtering, after his father had vowed to sacrifice him and had sought to fulfill his vow. He was the most precious person the Arabs had ever known.

He was not slaughtered by Allah’s will, so that the Divine choice might be actualized and firmly rooted in the history of mankind, all bearing witness to Allah's absolute Will. There is no change in His Words and there is no preventer against what He has decreed.

"Allah chose Adam, Nooh [Noah], the family of Ibraheem [Abraham] and the family of 'Imraan above the ‘Aalameen [mankind and jinn]. Offspring, one of the other, and Allah is the All-Hearer, All-Knower." (Qur'an 3: 33-34)

'Abdullah went out with his father 'Abdul-Muttalib after he had been saved from being sacrificed. A woman from Bani Asad ibn 'Abdul 'Uzza then saw him beside the Ka'bah and said to him, after having looked into his face,

"You will be given the like of the camels that were sacrificed for your ransom if you cohabit with me now."

This is because she saw something special in him. 'Abdullah replied that it was better for him to die rather than to commit an unlawful thing and that for a noble man to preserve his honor and religion was more worthy. 'Abdul-Muttalib chose Aaminah bint Wahb of the Zuhr clan as a wife for his son 'Abdullah. Aaminah was then the best Qurayshi woman in lineage and status.

A fortune-teller from Tibalah who was known as Fatimah bint Murr al-Khath'amiyah had also seen 'Abdullah. This woman was one of the most beautiful and chast of Arab women. She saw the light of prophethood in the face of 'Abdullah, she then offered herself in marriage to him but he rejected her offer.

The news of a Prophet that would come from the children of Ismaa'eel (peace be upon him), was spreading among the Arabs all over the peninsula. This news was based on what the people of the scripture had narrated and what they were informing from what was recorded in their Torah, both implicitly and explicitly. People were also finding this out from fortune-tellers and astrologers.

Even though 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul Muttalib was a handsome youth, possessing an amazing and lofty upbringing and even though he possessed chastity and high morals and young women had sought him and asked for his hands in marriage, Allah had decreed that Aaminah would be ‘Abdullah's wife.

Aminah's womb soon bore the noble fetus of the Prophet. A few months after the pregnancy had taken place, 'Abdullah undertook a journey to Syria (Syria according to Arab geographical terminology is a region consisting of Palestine, Jordan, present day Syria and Lebanon. The city of Gaza, which is on Palestinian coast was one of the major cities that Qurayshi merchants frequented). But on his way back, he fell ill and stayed with his maternal uncles from the tribe of Bani Najjaar in Yathrib, where they nursed and took care of him. Sadly, he died because of his fatal illness and his young wife was left as a widow

Aminah was traumatized by the death of her beloved husband, who had only lived with her for a few months after their marriage. She wept bitterly and wailed severely as her fetus had already become an orphan before it had even been born. But she pushed herself to stay strong and persevere. She found consolation in 'Abdul-Muttalib who took good care of her and showed her much compassion. Her pregnancy was surprisingly very comfortable and easy.

In her dream one night someone came to her as she was sleeping and said to her,

"You are pregnant with the Leader and the Prophet of this Nation (Ummah)."

He came to her again, just before she was to give birth and said,

"Say after you deliver him, 'I seek protection for him with the One (Allah) from the evil of every jealous person.' Then name him 'Muhammad'."

In this way Aaminah continued to see dreams. More than once her dreams give her glad tidings, strengthened her, encouraged her to be patient, consoled her and indicated the greatness of the child to be born to her.

The delivery day was a great day. It was a dawn which was to remove the darkness of deviation from mankind. Yes! The Prophet (peace be upon him) was born in spring ... after cold hurricanes, the thunders of winter and after the darkness of its clouds. It was in spring, after the heat and scorching difficulties of summer and after the dryness and changes in nature which come with autumn.

Aaminah said,

"When I delivered him, a light came out with him that illuminated all that was between the East and the West. The light illuminated palaces and markets of Syria until I saw the necks of the camels in Basra. I saw three erected flags: one at the East, one at the West and the third over the Ka'bah."

'Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophet's grandfather came and took the boy named Muhammad to the Ka'bah. While circumambulating the Ka'bah he said,

"Praise be to Allah Who gave me this important boy. I seek Allah's protection for him."

Some of the above was narrated by Aminah to Haleemah, the Prophet's wet nurse.

It is here that Haleemah bint Abi Dhu'ayb entered the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as his second mother. But the first taste of milk which entered the Prophet's noble stomach was by a woman named Thuwaybah, the freed maid of his uncle Abu Lahab ('Abdul-'Uzza ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib) who dearly loved his brother 'Abdullah. Abu Lahab was gravely saddened by the death of his brother and when his freed maid Thuwaybah came to him and broke the good news of the birth of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to him, he was so happy that he set her free. That was the habit of the Arab noble men, as a source of pride, happiness and glory by them.

It appeared that Thuwaybah stayed with Aaminah for a few days after she delivered. Thuwaybah had also just given birth, hence she breast-fed the Prophet (peace be upon him) until Haleemah came and took him to the desert.

The role that Haleemah was to play in the Prophet's early childhood was fundamental and important. His stay with her was full of important events.


kabahshareefMuhammad (peace be upon him) was now back in Makkah and was enjoying the warmth of his mother Aminah’s love and the compassionate care of his grandfather, 'Abdul-Muttalib. He was growing fast and his face was different from others as it shone forth illuminated light. His appearance brought splendor, his heart was filled with signs of guidance and transparence and his tongue was characterized with tenderness and sweetness. This was not surprising as he was being nurtured by Allah, the Exalted.

Aminah would often hug and embrace her beloved son. She would feel a unique warmth that she used to feel when she was pregnant with him. His grandfather was also dearly attached to him; 'Abdul-Muttalib - the chief of Quraysh -could not bear Muhammad's absence, and he would never tire from looking towards him. Every morning he would come to visit him at Aminah's apartment and at different times of the day. He would ask her,

"How is my son Muhammad?"

And he would hold him and hug him with the utmost love a grandfather could have for his grandchild. He would see in Muhammad the image of his son 'Abdullah who had died while still a bridegroom and whose death left in him unparalleled sorrow. What made him feel better was when he saw his grandson’s amazing characteristics which increased in him compassion and love for him.

When Muhammad (peace be upon him) reached the age of six, his mother sought permission from 'Abdul-Muttalib to go to Yathrib with her son in order to visit the grave of her beloved husband 'Abdullah and to spend some time with his maternal uncles, the Banu Najjaar. He gave her permission to go and advised her to take good care of herself and her son. Aaminah set out with her son Muhammad and Barakah, who was Aaminah's maid-servant, she used to serve Aaminah and take care of her son Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is why we see in Seerah the Prophet's great love for Barakah (may Allah be pleased with her) and why he regarded her as a member of his household and family.

Aaminah felt great pain and sorrow when she stood beside the grave of her beloved husband. She cried profusely as she clung to her orphan child. It appeared that the fever of Yathrib had affected Aaminah before she left the city. She did not realise this until she was on her way back to Makkah. Her condition became worse and while at a village called Abwa', she succumbed to her illness and breathed her last.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) wept bitterly for his mother as she was never to return. He wasn't left alone, as he had Barakah, the freed slave of his parents. Like a mother would carry her son, Barakah (may Allah be pleased with her) carried Muhammad (peace be upon him) back to Makkah.

If only she knew what a great child she was carrying back to Makkah…


The First Muslim Cavalryman

satanhindersHis companions said about him,

"The first cavalryman to strive in the way of Allaah was Al- Miqdaad Ibn Al-Aswad, our hero, and Al-Miqdaad lbn 'Amr was one and the same person."

The story behind this was that Al-Miqdaad Ibn 'Amr was in alliance with Al-Aswad lbn 'Abd Yaghooth, who therefore adopted Al-Miqdaad. Thus, he was called Al-Miqdaad lbn Al-Aswad until the glorious verse which abrogated adoption descended, and he restored his father's name, 'Amr Ibn Saad.

Al-Miqdaad was one of the foremost Muslims and the seventh of the seven men who announced their
Islaam openly and in public. Therefore, he had his share of the Quraysh's abuse and atrocities. He tolerated them with the courageousness and satisfaction of a devoted disciple.

His attitude during the Battle of Badr will retain its immortal glory. It was an honorable attitude that impressed all those who witnessed it and made each and every one of them wish it were he who had adopted such an attitude. 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood [r], the Companion of Allaah's Prophet (PBUH) said,

"I have seen Al Miqdaad (may Allaah be pleased with him) maintain a firm attitude and I was overtaken by a vicarious feeling to be in his place. This feeling enveloped me to the extent that I wished more than anything in the world that it would come true."

The Day of Badr was a crucial one as the Quraysh marched with all their might, stubborn persistence, and haughtiness against the Muslims. On that day, the Muslims were not only few, but also untried and inexperienced in Jihaad. Their hearts had not been tested in action. Besides, the Battle of Badr was the dawn of their conquests. The Prophet [p] stood there to strengthen the faith of his Companions and test their combat readiness to break through the enemy infantry and cavalry.

Afterwards, the Prophet (PBUH) began to consult them on war tactics. Surely, the Prophet's Companions knew that when he asked their opinion, he demanded their individual free and courageous expression, even if it happened to contradict the majority. He who expressed his opinion would not be reproached or criticized.

Al-Miqdaad [r] was afraid lest one of the Muslims should have reservations about the imminent battle. Therefore, he was careful to have precedence in speech. His concise and decisive words coined the slogan of the battle, yet before he had the chance to open his mouth, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq [r] started talking and by the time he finished his words, Al-Miqdaad's [r] apprehensions had vanished, for Abu Bakr [r] spoke with remarkable eloquence. `Umar Ibn Al-khattaab spoke next and followed suit.

Finally Al-Miqdaad [r] stepped forward and said:

"O Prophet of Allaah! Go ahead with what Allaah has inspired you to do. We will stand by you. By Allaah! We will never say as the Children of Israel said, `So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here.' Instead, we will say, `Go you and your Lord and we will fight with you.' By Allaah, Who has sent you with the truth! If you take us to the end of the world, we will tolerate all hardships until we reach it with you. We will fight on your left, your right, in front of you and behind you until Allaah bestows victory on you."

His decisive words were like bullets that made the righteous believers with them fired up with enthusiasm.

The Prophet's [p] face brightened as he uttered a pious supplication for Al-Miqdaad, whose words were so strong and decisive that they drew the pattern that would be followed by anyone who spoke afterwards. Indeed, Al-Miqdaad's [r] words left their impact on the hearts of the believers. Consequently, S'ad Ibn Mu'aadh [r], a leader of the Ansaar, rose and said:

"O Prophet of Allaah! We have believed in you and witnessed that what has descended on you is the truth. We gave you our allegiance, so go ahead with what you intend to do, and we will stand by you. By Allaah Who has sent you with the truth! If you attempt to cross the sea, we will cross it hand in hand with you. None of us will lag behind or turn his back on you. We are not afraid to meet our enemy tomorrow, for we are given to terrible warfare and we are faithful in our desire to meet Allaah. I pray to Allaah that we do what will make you proud of us. Go ahead with Allaah's blessings."

The Prophet (PBUH) was extremely sanguine on hearing this and said to his Companions, "March forward and be cheerful and confident!" After a while the two armies met in fierce combat. The Muslim cavalry on that day were only three Al-Miqdaad lbn 'Amr [r], Marthid lbn Abi Marthid [r], and Az-Zubair Ibn 'Al Awwaam [r]. The rest of the Mujaahidoon were infantry or riding on camels.

Al-Miqdaad's [r] previous words not only proved his valor but also his preponderant wisdom and profound thought.

Al-Miqdaad [r] was a wise and intelligent man. His wisdom was not expressed in mere words but in empirical principles and a constant unvarying conduct. His experience was the fuel of his wisdom and intelligence.

The Prophet (PBUH) once assigned him to rule one of the governorships, and when he returned the Prophet (PBUH) asked him, "How does it feel be a governor?" He answered with admirable honesty,

"It made me feel as if I were in a silver tower above the rest of the people. By Allaah Who has sent you with the truth! From now on, I will never expose myself to the temptations of governing."

If that was not wisdom, then what else is? If that was not a wise man, then who else is?

This was an honest and straightforward man who was able to detect, unveil, and admit his innermost weakness. His position as a governor made him vulnerable to haughtiness and vainglory. He detected this weakness in himself at once and took a solemn oath to avoid any position or rank that might jeopardize his piety and righteousness. He kept his oath and renounced any influential or controversial situation for the rest of his life.

He cherished and treasured the Hadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH): "He who avoids Fitnah (trials, afflictions, and error) is indeed a happy man."

He realized that because the governorship awakened latent pride and haughtiness in him and exposed him to Fitnah, it was better to avoid any position that might arouse this weakness. His wisdom was manifested in his deliberateness and perseverance in his judgment of men. This was also a trait that Allaah's Prophet (PBUH) instilled in him, for he taught Muslims that the hearts of the children of Adam are incredibly capricious.

Al-Miqdaad was always for delaying his final judgment of a man to the moment of death so as to be absolutely positive that the man concerned would not alter, for death means finality. His wisdom was most conspicuous in the dialogue that was narrated by one of his companions:

One day, we sat with Al-Miqdaad and a man passed by and addressed Al-Miqdaad saying, "All kinds of happiness are for these eyes which have seen Allaah's Prophet (PBUH). By Allaah! We wish that we saw what you have seen and witnessed what you have witnessed." Al-Miqdaad approached him and said:

"Why should anyone wish to witness a scene that Allaah did not wish him to see? He does not know what it would have been like if
he had witnessed it or which party he would have been among if he went back in time. By Allaah! Allaah's Prophet (PBUH) saw people who were thrown right into hell, so you should thank Allaah that you were spared such a trial and were honored by firm belief in Allaah and His Prophet (PBUH)."

Undoubtedly, it is remarkable wisdom. You hardly ever meet a believer who loves Allaah and the Prophet (PBUH) and does not wish to see and live within the Prophet's [p] sight. Yet the insight of the wise and skillful Miqdaad [r] unveiled the missing dimension of this wish. For is it not possible that if this man had lived during those times he might have ended up among the dwellers of Hell? Is it not possible that he might have sided with the disbelievers? Again, is it not far much better for him to thank Allaah Who destined him to live at a time when Islaam is deeply-rooted and fully-fledged, awaiting him to quench his thirst from its inexhaustible pure spring?

Al-Miqdaad's [r] viewpoint was subtly wise and intelligent. He always emerged as the wise and clever man iall his actions, deeds, and words.

Al-Miqdaad's [r] love for Islaam was not only great but also reasonable and wise. A man who has such great and wise love inside him must be raised to a high station, for he does not find pleasure in this love per se, but rather in its responsibilities and obligations. Al Miqdaad [r] definitely was this type of man. His love for the Prophet [p] filled his heart and deepened his feeling of responsibility towards the Prophet's safety. No sooner was a call for an expedition announced than he darted towards the Prophet's house on horseback armed with his sharp sword!

His love for Islaam filled his heart with responsibility for its protections, not only from the plots of its enemies, but also from the errors of its allies.

One day, his army unit went on an expedition, but the enemy troops were able to besiege them. Therefore, their commander gave an order to his soldiers not to graze their camels. One of the Muslim soldiers did not hear his order and, in consequence, disobeyed it. The commander punished him severely, more than he actually deserved. In fact, he did not deserve to be punished at all. Al-Miqdaad [r] passed by this man and found him in tears, so he asked him what was the matter, and the latter told him what had happened. Al-Miqdaad took the man to the commander, where he argued with him until he was convinced of his error of judgment. Then Al-Miqdaad [r] said:

"Now it is the time for retaliation. He must have his Qisaas - the law of equality of punishment!"

The commander yielded to his judgment but the soldier remitted the retaliation. Al-Miqdaad [r] was thrown into ectasy over the greatness of the religion that made it possible for them to reach this power of courageous judgment, admirable submission, and great forgiveness. He said as if he were singing a song:

"I will see Islaam triumphant even if I have to die for it."


Indeed, it was his utmost wish to see Islaam most powerful before he died. His extraordinary effort to make his wish come true made the Prophet (PBUH) say to him, "O Al-Miqdaad, Allaah ordered me to love you and told me that He loves you."

Source: Taken from the book "Men Around The Messenger (pbuh).

radhiAllahanhuIN the second year after Hijrah, when the Muslims were preparing for a showdown with the powerful pagans of Makkah at Badr, a scrawny 11-year-old boy came forward and offered to join the soldiers. He was crestfallen when the Prophet (peace be upon him) declined to include him in the fighting ranks.

A year later at Uhud, when the pagans gathered to avenge their defeat at Badr, several youngsters crowded around the Prophet (peace be upon him) once again, hoping to try their luck. The Prophet (peace be upon him) looked at them apologetically and was about to send them back, when a boy called Rafi’ Bin Khadeej stepped forward with his bow and spear and said:

“I am, as you can see, very good at archery, so please allow me (to join the soldiers).”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) accepted him and another youngster called Samurah Bin Jundub who displayed his swordsmanship excellently, and turned the rest away promising that they would be allowed to join the next battle.

And so, in the Battle of the Trench (5 AH), the youngster who had been turned away twice, yet returned undeterred each time in his eagerness to serve the Muslim army – an orphan from Madina named Zaid Bin Thabit – finally joined the ranks. Having begun memorizing the Qur’an at the age of 11 and proved himself an able fighter later, he was handed the Muslims’ flag in preference to another companion by the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself on the Day of the Battle of Tabuk, with the words:

“It is fitting that the (one who has memorized) Qur’an leads.”

These words set the tone for the rest of Zaid Bin Thabit’s life. He narrates:

“I was taken to the Prophet (peace be upon him) on the outskirts of Madina and introduced to him as being from ‘among the Bani Najjar.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked me to read what I knew from the Qur’an, so I recited 17 Surahs, which pleased him. He asked me to learn the language of the Jews, which I did in less than a month. Later, when he started sending letters to the rulers, he asked me to learn Syriac, and I would write his letters and read out their letters to him.”

Zaid Bin Thabit was the youngest scribe of the Qur’an and was among the handful of Companions who memorized the Qur’an as it was being revealed, the others being Ali Bin Abi Talib, Ubayy Bin Ka’b, Abdullah Bin Mas’ud and Abdullah Bin Abbas. In the year the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed away, he recited the entire Qur’an to the Prophet twice, and his recitation was called the ‘Qira’ah of Zaid Bin Thabit’, which he taught people until he passed away in 51 AH. Among others, prominent companions like Abdullah Bin Abbas, Abdullah Bin Umar, Abu Saeed Al-Khudri and Anas Bin Malik learnt the Qur’an from him.

After the Prophet‘s demise, a number of reciters of the Qur’an died during the Wars of Apostasy and the Battle of Yamamah, and so Caliph Abu Bakr gave Zaid Bin Thabit the onerous task of collecting the Qur’an from “parchment, scapulae, leafstalks of date palms and the hearts of men” onto sheets (Suhuf) and compiling it into a book (Mushaf). He later said,

“When I was commissioned to collect the Qur’an, I felt it would have been easier had I been asked to move a mountain from one place to another.”

Yet, as Umar said, there was no one better suited for the task than this “wise young man, whom people did not accuse (of any wrong).”

During the caliphate of Uthman Bin Affan, Zaid Bin Thabit was asked to make handwritten copies of the Mushaf, which were sent to various provinces as the standard version to prevent the Muslims from differing about the Qur’an, and which continue to be used verbatim even today.

There are many lessons to be taken from the life and personality of Zaid Bin Thabit: he dedicated himself to studies in order to benefit the Muslims, and did not lose his humility even when he was acknowledged as being among the leaders in knowledge of the Qur’an at a remarkably young age.

However, the most outstanding feature of his life is the immense Fadhl (favor) Allah grants the Ahl Al-Qur’an – people who teach, propagate and practice the Qur’an. As Ibn Sireen said:

“Zaid Bin Thabit won over the people by the Qur’an and Fara’idh (obligatory duties).”

Allah enabled him to transcend not just the people of his own era in good deeds, but many others to come until the Last Day – may He grant us the grace to go beyond merely taking inspiration from his life, to action.


radhiAllahanhuAs Umm Salamah was the daughter of the Prophet’s aunt, Abu Salamah was also the son of Barrah bint Abdul-Mutallib, who was a Prophet’s aunt as well. He had an additional merit: he was a foster brother of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Abu Salamah was among the favourite companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), because of his early acceptance of Islaam, his endurance of immigration and Jihaad in the way of Allah and his firm eemaan, bravery, worship and righteousness. He therefore occupied a place in the eyes of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), who had appointed him a leader of some contingents. He sent him to Banu Asad in the month of Safar, 4 A.H. and be succeeded in his mission and fulfilled the trust.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) attested to his righteousness when he said, “The first person that will be given his record of deeds (on the day of resurrection) is Abu Salamah ibn Abdul-Asad.” Further, he had participated in the battle of Badr and had played a prominent role in it. He then participated in the battle of Uhud and was among those who remained firm. He suffered a serious injury in this from which he healed but not completely. For, after some time, the wound decayed and decayed and deteriorated until it was the cause of his death.

He once came to his wife, Umm Salamah and told her,

“I heard a statement from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that is dearer to me than so and so. I heard him say: “No one is afflicted by a calamity and then make istirjaa (by saying innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'oon – to Allah we belong and to him we are returning) and after that say, ‘O Allah! It is from you that I seek the reward of this calamity of mine O Allah provide a better substitute for me’, except that Allah will give him that.”

Ziyad ibn Maryam narrated that Umm Salamah told Abu Salamah,

“I heard if the husband of a woman dies and he is one of the inhabitants of paradise and his wife did not remarry after him, Allah will join them together in paradise. The same thing applies to the man.”

Abu Salamah then told his wife,

“I am making a pledge with you that I will not marry after you and you will not marry after me.”

He then asked her,

“Will you obey me?”

Umm Salamah said, “If I did not want to obey you I would not have consulted you.” Abu Salamah changed his mind and said,

“If I do (die) you should remarry.”

He then said,

“O Allah! Provide for Umm Salamah after me a man who is better than me and who will not disgrace her or harm her.”

Umm Salamah said, “When he died I said, ‘Who is that man that will be better than Abu Salamah?’ Then after a while, the Messenger of Allah completely married me.”


radhiAllahanhu'Amr ibn Al-Aas was a prominent member of the Banoo Sahm section of the Quraysh. His father Al-'Aas ib Waail was the chief of the Banoo Sahm and was a well to do merchant who commanded great influence among the Quraish of Makkah. When the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) announced his mission, Al-'Aas was one of the prominent members of the Quraish who pressed all their influence into service to oppose the Prophet (peace be upon him) and torture the Muslims. Hishaam a brother of 'Amr, however, accepted Islaam in the early years of the mission of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and in spite of the pressure of his father did not recant from Islaam. Hishaam was one of the Muslims to migrate to Abysinnia. 'Amr headed the delegation that the Quraysh sent to Abysinnia to prevail upon the ruler of Abysinnia to turn away the Muslims from his country. The mission failed and the ruler of Abysinnia refused to oblige the Quraysh. After the migration of the Holy Prophet to Madinah 'Amr took part in all the battles that the Quraish fought against the Muslims.

Amr ibn Al-'Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Madinah one year and one month before the Conquest of Makkah. He embraced Islam and swore allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in return for having the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) supplicate for the forgiveness of all of his previous sins. In a hadeeth narrated upon the authority of 'Amr ibn Al-'Aas who said, narrating the story of how he embraced Islam,

"When Allah put Islam in my heart, I went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in order to swear my allegiance to him. When (the Messenger of Allah ) extended his hand to me (to accept my pledge of allegiance) I said,

'O Messenger of Allah, I will not swear my allegiance to you until you seek forgiveness for me for all of my previous sins!'

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, 'O 'Amr, do you not know that migration (from the land of the kuffaar to the land of the Muslims) wipes away all of the sins before it? O 'Amr, do you not know that Islam wipes away all of the sins before it?'"

After that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) put him in command of a military operation to a place called Dhaat-us-Salaasil. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also used him for a mission in 'Omaan and he remained there until the Prophet (peace be upon him) died.

And in another hadeeth, narrated upon the authority of 'Uqbah ibn 'Aamir who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The people have submitted (to Allah) but 'Amr ibn Al-'Aas has believed (in Allah)."

In another hadith, narrated upon the authority of Ibn Abee Malaikah who said that Talha ibn 'Ubayd-Allah said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, "'Amr ibn Al-'Aas is from the righteous people of the Quraysh."

In addition, 'Amr ibn Al-'Aas was amongst the bravest of the Arabs and one of their most skillful champions (may Allah be pleased with him).


IradhiAllahanhun the Battle of Mu'tah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stood to pay his farewell to the departing Muslim army on its way to fight the Romans and to announce the name of the three successive commanders of the army: "Zaid Ibn Haarithah is your first commander, but in case he is wounded, Ja'far Ibn Abi Taalib will take over the command, and if the latter is wounded then `Abd Allah Ibn Rawaahah will replace him."

But who was Zaid Ibn Haarithah. Who was the beloved one of the Prophet (peace be upon him)?

Narrators and historians described his appearance as short, dark swarthy, and snub-nosed. As for his reality, he was truly a great Muslim.

If we go back in time, we will see Haarithah, Zaid's father, just putting the luggage on the camel that was to carry his wife, Su'dah, to her family. Haarithah paid his farewell to his wife who carried Zaid - at that time a young child - in her arms. But every time he was about to leave his wife and child who were going with a caravan, to return to his house and work, he was driven by a mysterious and inexplicable urge to keep his wife and son in sight; yet it was time for them to set out on their way and Haarithah had to pay his last farewell to his wife and head back home. His tears flowed as he said goodbye and stood as if pinned to the ground until he lost sight of them. At that moment he felt broken-hearted.

Su'dah stayed with her family for a while. One day, suddenly her neighborhood was attacked by one of its opposing tribes. Taken by surprise, Bani Ma'n were defeated and Zaid lbn Haarithah was captured along with other war prisoners. His mother returned home alone. When Haarithah heard the sad news, he was thunderstruck. He traveled everywhere and asked everyone about his beloved Zaid. He recited these lines of poetry on the spur of the moment to lament the loss of his son:

My heart was broken when I lost Zaid.
I don't know if he is alive or dead
or if I will ever see him again.
By Allah, I still do not know if he
waskilled on the plain
or slain on the mountain.
His picture comes to the mind's eye
whenever the sun rises or sets.
Even when the wind blows,
it brings along his memory.
Alas, I am shrouded by my sadness,
grief, and fear for him.

At that time, slavery was a recognized and established social fact that turned into a necessity. This was the case in Athens, which had long enjoyed a flourishing civilization, in Rome, and in the entire ancient world, including the Arab Peninsula. When the opposing tribe attacked the Bani Ma'n, it headed to the market of 'Ukaadh, held at that time, to sell its prisoners of war. The child Zaid, was sold to Hakim Ibn Huzaam, who gave him to his aunt Khadiijah as a gift. At that time, Khadiijah was married to Muhammad Ibn 'Abd Allah but the revelation had not yet descended to him. However, he enjoyed all the promising great qualities of Prophets (peace be upon him). Khadiijah, on her part, gave her servant Zaid as a gift to her husband, Allah's Prophet. He was very pleased with Zaid and manumitted him straight away. His great and compassionate heart overflowed with care and love towards the boy.

Later on, during one of the Hajj seasons, a group of Haarithah's tribe ran into Zaid in Makkah and told him about his parents anguish and grief eversince they had lost him. Zaid asked them to convey his love and longing to his parents. He told them,

"Tell my father that I live here with the most generous and loving father."

No sooner did his father know his son's whereabouts than he hastened on his way to him, accompanied by his brother.

As soon as they reached Makkah, he asked about the trustworthy Muhammad. When he met him, he said, "O son of lbn Abd Al-Muttalib! O son of the master of his tribe! Your land is one of security and sanctuary and you are famous for helping the distressed and sheltering the captive. We have come here to ask you to give us back our son. So please confer a favor on us and set a reasonable ransom for him." The Prophet knew the great love and attachment Zaid carried in his heart for him, yet at the same time, he respected Haarithah's parental right. Therefore, he told Haarithah, "Ask Zaid to come here and make him choose between you and me. If he chooses you, he is free to go with you, but if he chooses me then, by Allah, I will not leave him for anything in the world." Haarithah's face brightened, for he did not expect such magnanimity; therefore, he said, "You are far more generous than us." Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) summoned Zaid. When he came he asked him, "Do you recognize these people?" Zaid said,

"Yes, this is my father and this is my uncle."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told him what he had told Haarithah. Zaid replied,

"I will not choose anyone but you, for you are a father and an uncle to me."

The Prophet's eyes were full of thankful and compassionate tears. He held Zaid's hand and walked to the Ka'bah, where the Quraish were holdinga meeting, and cried out, "I bear witness that Zaid is my son, and in case  I die first, he will inherit from me, and in case he dies first, I will inherit from him." Haarithah was overjoyed, for not only had his son been manumitted but he had also become the son of the man who was known by theQuraish as "The Honest and Trustworthy". Moreover, he was a descendant of Bani Haashim and was raised to a high station among his people.

Zaid's father and uncle returned back home leaving their son safe and sound after he had become master of himself and after the Prophet (peace be upon him) had set to rest their fears concerning his fate.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) adopted Zaid and from that moment on he was known as Zaid Ibn Muhammad.

Suddenly, on a bright morning whose brightness has never been seen before or since, the revelation descended on Muhammad: "Read! In the name of your Lord who created - created mankind from something which clings; read! And your Lord is the Most Noble; who taught by the pen; taught mankind what he did not know " (96:1-5). Then the revelation continued: "O you encovered--- Arise and warn! And magnify your Lord" (74:1-3). "O Messenger! Proclaim the message which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. Allah will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allah guides not the people who disbelieve" (5 : 61).

As soon as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had shouldered the responsibility of his message, Zaid submitted himself to Islaam. Narrators said that he was the second man and more probably the first man to embrace Al-Islaam.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) loved Zaid so dearly due to his singular loyalty, greatness of spirit, conscientiousness, honesty, and trust worthiness. All this and more, made Zaid Ibn Haarithah or Zaid the Beloved One, as the Companions used to call him, hold a distinguished place in the Prophet's heart (peace be upon him). `Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

"The Prophet (peace be upon him) never sent Zaid on an expedition but as a commander and if his life had not been so short, he would have made him his successor."

Was it possible for anyone to be held in such great esteem by the Prophet? What was Zaid really like?

As we have mentioned, he was that boy who had been kidnapped, sold, and manumitted by the Prophet (peace be upon him). He was this short, swarthy, snub-nosed man. Above all, he had a compassionate heart and a free soul. Therefore, he was raised to the highest position by his Islam and the Prophet's love for him, for neither Islam nor the Prophet (peace be upon him) took notice of descent or prestige. Muslims like Bilaal, Suhaib, Khabbaab, 'Ammaar, Usaamah and Zaid were all alike according to this great religion. Each one of them played an importantand distinctive role in giving impetus to the rapidly spreading religion. These saintly ones and commanders were the sparkling stars of Islaam. Islaam rectified life values when the glorious Qur'aan said: "Surely, the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah are the most pious of you " (49:13). Moreover, it encouraged all promising talents and all pure, trustworthy, and productive potentialities.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) married his cousin Zainab to Zaid. It seems that Zainab (may Allah be pleased with her) accepted that marriage because her shyness prevented her from turning down the Prophet's intercession. Unfortunately, the gap between them widened every day, and finally their marriage collapsed and came to an end. The Prophet (peace be upon him) felt that he was, in a way, responsible for this marriage which ended up in divorce; therefore, he married his cousin Zainab and chose a new wife, Umm Kulthuum Bint 'Uqbah for Zaid. The slanderers and the enemies of the Prophet spread doubt concerning the legality of Muhammad's marriage to his son's ex-wife. The Qur'aan refuted their claims by striking a distinction between sons and adopted sons. It abrogated adoption altogether saying: "Muhammed is not a father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets." (33:90). Hence, Zaid was called after his father's name once again, namely, Zaid Ibn Haarithah.

Now, do you see the Muslim troops that marched towards the Battle of Al-Jumuuh? Their commander was Zaid Ibn Haarithah Do you see those Muslims troops that marched to At-Tarf, Al-'Iis and Hismii and other battles? The commander of all those battles was Zaid Ibn Haarithah. Truly, as 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

"The Prophet never sent Zaid on as expedition but as a commander."

At last, the Battle of Mu'tah took place. It seems that the Romans and their senescent empire were filled with apprehensions and forebodings about the rapid spread of Islam. They saw it as a genuine and fatal threat to their very existence, especially in Syria, which bordered the center of the new, sweeping religion. Therefore, they used Syria as a springboard to the Arab Peninsula and the Muslim nation.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) realized that the aim of the Roman skirmishes was to test the Muslim combat readiness. Therefore, he decided to take the initiative and exhibit in action Islam's determination to resist and to gain ultimate victory. On 8 A.H., the Muslim army marched towards Al-Balqaa' in Syria until they reached its borders where Heraclius's armies of the Romans and Arabicized tribes residing at the borders were. The Roman army pitched camp at a place called Mashaarif, whereas the Muslim army pitched camp near a town called Mu'tah. Hence, the battle was named Mu'tah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) knew how important and crucial this battle was; therefore he chose for its command three of those who were worshippers by night and fighters by day. Those three fighters sold their lives and property to Allah and renounced their needs and desires for the sake of great martyrdom which would pave their way to win Allah's pleasure and to see Allah, the Generous. These three commanders were in succession: Zaid Ibn Haarithah, Ja'far Ibn Abi Taalib and Abd Allah Ibn Rawaahah (may Allah be pleased with them and they with Him, and may Allah be pleased with all the Companions). Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stood to bid farewell to his army and gave them his order saying, "Zaid Ibn Haarithah is your first commander, but in case he is wounded, Ja'far lbn Abi Taalib will take over the command, and if he is also wounded, 'Abd Allah Ibn Rawaahah will take it over."

Although Ja'far lbn Abi Taalib was one of the Prophet's closest friends who had valor, fearlessness, and good lineage, yet the Prophet chose him asthe second commander after Zaid. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stressed the fact that the new religion of Islam came to abolish corrupt human relationships based on false and superficial discrimination. It established new, rational human relationships instead.

It was as if the Prophet foresaw the proceedings of the imminent battle, for he assigned the command of the army to Zaid, Ja'far, and then 'Abd Allah and strangely enough, all of them were raised to Allah in the same order set by him. When the Muslims saw the vanguard of the Roman army, which they had estimated at 200,000 warriors, they were stunned by its enormity that surpassed all expectation. But since when did the battles of faith depend on number? At that moment, the Muslims flung themselves into the battlefield regardless of the consequences or jeopardy. Their commander, Zaid, carried the Prophet's standard and fought his way through the enemy's spears, arrows, and swords. He was not so much searching for victory as for concluding his deal with Allah, Who has purchased the lives and properties of Muslims in exchange for Paradise.

Zaid saw neither the sand of Al-Balqaa' nor the Roman forces. The only things that he saw were the hills of Paradise and its green cushions; these images flickered through his mind. When he thrust and struck, he not only smote at the necks of his enemies, but also flung the doors open that stood in his way to the vast door through which he would reach the home of peace, the eternal Paradise and Allah's company. Zaid clung to his destiny. His spirit, on its way up to heaven, was overjoyed as it took its last glance towards the body it once resided in, which wasn't covered with soft silk but rather with pure blood shed in the way of Allah.

His serene smile widened when he saw the second commander, Ja'far, dart towards the standard and hold it high before it touched the ground.

Source: Men around the Messenger


radhiAllahanhuWhen the Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessing be upon him, met secretly with Al-Madinah's delegation in the outskirts of Makkah, away from the disbelievers of the Quraysh, twelve representatives of the Ansaar took an oath of allegiance in the first Pledge of 'Aqabah.

'Abdullah ibn Rawahah was one of those representatives who ushered Islaam to Al-Madinah and who paved the way for the Hijrah, which was considered an excellent springboard for Allah's religion, Islaam.

'Abdullah was also one of the great 73 of the Ansaar who gave the Prophet the Second Pledge of 'Aqabah in the following year.

After the Prophet and his Companions emigrated and settled in Al-Madinah, 'Abdullah ibn Rawahah was the most active Muslim of the Ansaar who strived to support the thriving religion.

He was also the most alert Muslim to the plots of 'Abdullah ibn Ubay whom the people of Al-Madinah were about to crown king before the Muslims arrived.

He never got over the bitterness he felt for losing the chance of his lifetime to become a king. Therefore, he used his craftiness to weave deceitful plots against Islaam, while 'Abdullah ibn Rawahah kept on tracing and detecting this craftiness with remarkable insight that frustrated most of Ibn Ubay's manoeuvres and plots.

Ibn Rawahah (may Allah be pleased with him) was a scribe at a time in which writing was not prevalent. He was a poet; his poetry flowed with admirable fluency and strength. Ever since his Islam he devoted his poetic genius to its service.

The Messenger of Allah always admired his poetry, asking him to recite more of it. One day, as he was sitting among his Companions, 'Abdullah ibn Rawahah joined them, so the Prophet asked him, "How do you compose a poem?"

'Abdullah answered, "First I think about its subject matter, then I recite."

He immediately recited,

O the good descendants of Al-Hasyim

Allah raised you to a high station

Of which you are worthy above all mankind.

My intuition made me realise at once

Your excelling nature,

Contrary to the disbelievers belief in you.

If you asked some of them for support and help,

They would turn you down.

May Allah establish the good that descends

On you firmly

And bestow victory upon you as He did to Musa.

The Prophet was elated and said, "I hope that Allah will make your feet firm, too."

When the Prophet was circumambulating the Ka'bah in the compensatory Umrah (minor pilgrimage), lbn Rawahah recited to him,

Were it not for Allah, we would not have been Guided to the Right path nor charitable

Nor able to perform our prayers.

So descend, peace of mind and reassurance,

On us and establish our feet firmly

When we meet our enemy

In combat. If our oppressors tried to spread

Affliction and trial, unrest, among us

We will not give them way.

Muslims reiterated his graceful lines.

The active poet was saddened when the glorious verse descended saying: "And for the poets, only the erring people follow them." (translation of the Quran: Surah Ash-Shu'ara: 224). But soon he was contented to hear another verse saying, "Except those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and remember Allah frequently, and defend themselves after being oppressed." (Ash-Shu'ara: 227)

When Islam rose up in arms in self-defence, Ibn Rawahah provided his service in all the battles: Badr, Uhud, Al-Khandaq, Al Hudaibiyyah, and Khaibar.

His perpetual slogan was these lines of poetry,

"O my soul, death is inevitable,

so it is better for you to be martyred."

He shouted at the disbelievers in every battle,

"O disbelievers, get out of my way.

My Prophet has all the excellent qualities".

The Battle of Mu’tah started, and, as we have mentioned, he was the third of the Commanders after Zaid and Ja’far. Ibn Rawaahah (May Allah be pleased with him) stood there as the army was about to leave Al- Madiinah and recited:

I truly ask the Most Beneficient’s forgiveness

and a mortal stroke of a sword

that will strike me down

foaming or a mortal stab

with a spear by a stubborn disbeliever

that will make my liver and intestine

show out of my body. So that

when people pass by my grave,

they will say: By Allah, you are

the most righteous warrior.

Indeed, a stroke or a stab that would convey him into the world of rewarded martyrs was his utmost wish. The army marched towards Mu’tah. When the Muslims saw their enemies, they estimated them at 200,000, for they saw endless waves of warriors. The Muslims glanced back at their small group and were stunned. Some of them suggested, “Let us send a message to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell him of the enormity of the enemy that surpassed all our expectations so he will either order us to wait for reinforcements or to pierce through the enemy lines.”

However, Ibn Rawaahah stood amidst the lines of the army and said,

“O my people, by Allah, we do not fight our enemies with numbers, strength or equipment, but rather with this religion which Allah has honored us with. So go right ahead: it is either one of two equally good options, victory or martyrdom.”

The Muslims, who were lesser in number and greater in faith, cried out, “By Allah, you spoke the truth.” The smaller army broke through the mighty host of 200,000 warriors in terrible and cruel fighting.

As we have mentioned, both armies met in fierce combat. The first commander, Zaid Ibn Haarithah, was struck down, he winning glorious martyrdom. The second in command was Ja’far Ibn Abi Taalib, who was overjoyed to be martyred. 'Abd Allah took over the command and grabbed the standard from Ja’far’s failing upper arms. The fight reached the peak of ferocity. The smaller army was indistinct amidst the waves of the mighty hosts of Heraclius. When Ibn Rawaahah was a soldier, he attacked heedlessly and confidently. But now the command placed great responsibilities for the army’s safety on his shoulders. It seemed that for a moment he was overtaken by hesitation and dread, yet he instantly shook off those apprehensions, summoned his innate fearlessness and cried out,

“O my soul, you look as if you were afraid to cross the way that leads to Paradise. O my soul, I took an oath to fight. O my soul, death is inevitable, so you had better be martyred. Now I will experience the inevitability of death. What you have cared for so long is finally yours. So go ahead, for if you follow these two heroes, you will be guided to the way of Paradise.”

He meant the two heroes who had preceded him in martyrdom, Zaid and Ja’far. He darted into the Roman armies, fiercely and ruthlessly. Were it not for a previous ordainment from Allah that he was to be martyred on that day, he would have annihilated the fighting hosts. But destiny called and he was martyred. His body was struck down, yet his pure, valiant spirit was raised to the heavens. His most precious wish finally came true, so that

“When people pass by my grave, they will say:

By Allah you are the most righteous warrior!’

The fierce attack in Al-Balqaa’ in Syria went on. Back in Al Madiinah the Prophet (peace be upon him) was talking peacefully and contentedly with his Companions when he suddenly stopped talking. He closed his eyes a little, then opened them. A gleam flashed from them, yet it was tinged with sadness and compassion. He looked around sadly and said, “Zaid took the standard and fought until he was martyred.” He was silent for a while, then continued “Ja’far grasped it and fought until he was marytred. Then `Abd Allah lbn Rawaahah grasped it and fought until he was martyred.” He was silent for a while, then his eyes sparkled with elation, tranquility, longing, and joy as he said, “They were all raised to Paradise.”

What a glorious journey it must have been! What a happy succession! They all marched to conquer, they all were raised up to Paradise. The best salute to immortalize their memory rests in the Prophet’s words,

“They were raised up to await me in Paradise.”

What a glorious journey it must have been! What a happy succession!

Source: Men around the Messenger


radhiAllahanhuAli was the son of Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle. His mother was Fatimah bint ‘Asad, the first Hashimite woman born to a Hashimite man.

‘Ali is one of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of Paradise, the first young boy to accept Islam and one of the six members of the Shooraa (advisory) Council.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said regarding him, “He who I regard a friend is also a friend of ‘Ali. O Allah! Treat as a friend whoever regards ‘Ali a friend and treat as enemy whoever regards him an enemy.”

He also told him, “None loves you but a believer and none hates you but a hypocrite.”

Abu Nu’aym (the biographist) introduced him as follows,

“He is the leader of the people, ardent follower of the Prophet and the Creator’s beloved. He is the door of knowledge and sciences, the standard of the rightly-guided, light of the obedient, friend of the righteous and the leader of the just rulers. He was among the earliest ones to respond to the call of Islam, the strongest of them in justice and certainty, the greatest of them in intelligence and the fullest of them in knowledge. He is the adornment of the knowledgeable and the model of the pious.

He taught the realities of Tawheed. He had an intelligent mind, the inquisitive tongue, a comprehending ear and fulfilled the covenant. He repelled the perfidious, subdued the unjust and defeated the apostate.”

‘Ali was born ten years before the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was commissioned a Prophet. He grew up in his house, so his mental faculties responded to the reality of Prophethood and its greatness, and he learnt from the Prophet (peace be upon him) truthfulness in words, strong heart and eloquence. He took after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in his lofty and sublime qualities.

When the noble Prophet (peace be upon him) was commissioned, ‘Ali was among the first persons to benefit from this divine light. He was very happy with this gracious call, and he was the first Muslim to pray with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

Since the beginning of Prophetic mission, signs of wisdom started to manifest in the personality of ‘Ali. He played a heroic role on the day of the Prophet’s migration to Madeenah. He was also among the frontline fighters in the way of Allah, holding the standard in every battle.

On the day of the Battle of Badr, he also played an extremely laudable role. He did the same during the Battle of Uhud. In the Battle of Khandaq (the Trench), he killed the hero of the polytheists, ‘Umar ibn Wudd al-‘Amiri. ‘Ali was the hero of the war in the Battle of Khaybar.

He was rightly titled, ‘Judge of the Ummah’ and the ‘Hero of Islam’.


radhiAllahanhuHis mother was Umm Sulaym bint Milhân and his father was Mâlik ibn al-Nadr. Umm Sulaym was one of the first women to embrace Islam in Madina. She accepted Islam at the hands of Mus’ab ibn Umayr, who had been sent by the Messenger, upon him be peace, to teach the people of Yathrib.

Her husband became angry when he heard that Umm Sulaym had become Muslim and when he overheard her teaching Anas the Shahâdah (Testimony of Faith). It is said that he left her and on leaving the house was attacked and murdered by one of his enemies.

After the death of Mâlik, Abu Talha approached her with a marriage proposal. She refused as he was not yet a Muslim. He thought that she may have had a proposal from someone else and implied that he would offer her a greater dowry than any other potential suitor. She replied by saying that he was a non-Muslim and she was a Muslim, if he were to say the Shahadah and enter into Islam this would be a sufficient. He embraced Islam, married Umm Sulaym and went on to fight in all the battles that the Messenger, upon him be peace, fought. The companions would say that there has never been a dowry more valuable than that of Abu Talha's. Both Umm Sulaym and Abu Talha were present at the oath at al-Aqaba.

Once, Abu Talha was praying in his orchard and he became distracted by a beautiful bird and forgot the number of raka’ât, prayer cycles, that he had prayed. As a result of the incident, he gave the orchard away in charity.

The Messenger used to occasionally visit them and take a daytime sleep in their house. On one occasion, Umm Sulaym collected his sweat into a cup to use as perfume.

Anas had a brother, al-Barâ ibn Mâlik, who was famous for his bravery and military skills.

His aunt was Umm Haram, she fulfilled one of the Messenger’s prophecies, dying on the first naval expedition conducted by the Muslims. She is buried in Cyprus.

When the Messenger, upon him be peace, arrived in Madina, Umm Sulaym presented her son, Anas, to the Messenger and asked if he would accept him as a servant. He was ten years old at that time and served the Messenger, upon him be peace, until the Prophet's death ten years later. Many of the descriptions of the Messenger, upon him be peace, were related by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him). Among them is the hadith describing how he dealt with people, he related that,

‘I served the Prophet, upon him be peace, for ten years and he never said to me, ‘Why did you do that?’ after I had done something or, ‘Why did  you not do that?' after I had neglected to do something. He never said a word of contempt to me’.

His mother once asked the Prophet, upon him be peace, to supplicate for Anas. He, upon him be peace, said,

‘O Allah, increase him in wealth and sons, give him long life and forgive him his sins.’

Anas later had 125 offspring!

He was the last companion to die in Basra in the year 93H aged 103 years old. Ibn Sireen led the prayers upon him.

He fought in eight battles with the Messenger, upon him be peace, including the conquest of Makkah.

He related 1286 hadîth.

radhiAllahanhuZubair (may Allah be pleased with him) was the son of Al-'Awwaam and the father of 'Abdullah ibn Zubair. Zubair is one of the most respectable and famous personalities of Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself had decorated him with the title of "Hawaari ar-Rasool" or the Disciple of the Messenger of Allah. He was one of those ten companions of the Prophet about whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) had prophecised of their entry into Paradise. His eminence may be judged by the fact that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) would honorably address him with titles such as,

"One of the pillars of the Faith."

Zubair had more than one relationship with the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) as follows:

1. He was the son of Safiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her), the daughter of 'Abdul Muttalib and the aunt of the Prophet. Thus he was the cousin of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

2. Khadijatul Kubra (may Allah be pleased with him), the mother of the believers, was the aunt of Zubair, and according to this the Prophet was his uncle.

3. Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) and the elder sister of 'Aa'isha Siddiqah (may Allah be pleased with them), was married to Zubair and thus he was a brother-in-law of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

4. Qusai, the son of Kalab, was the common ancestor of both the Prophet and Zubair, and in this way Zubair had also ancestral relation with the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

His father, Al 'Awwaam, died when Zubair was still a child, so he came under the guardianship of his uncle Naufil the son of Khowailid. His mother Safiyyah, a bold and courageous lady as she was, wanted to bring up her child Zubair also as a bold and courageous man. So she would compel him to work hard and become sturdy and stout. For this reason she would often beat the young boy mercilessly. One day seeing the boy being beaten mercilessly by Safiyah, Naufil became restless. He complained to the nobles of Bani Hashim, the tribe to which Safiyah belonged, against her being so unkind to the boy. When Safiyah heard about it, she declared,

It is mistaken to state that I beat Zubair with enmity, I beat him in such a way only to make him wise.

This may be understood well by the incident narrated by Haafidh ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him), a famous historian. He writes:

Once, Zubair while in his boyhood, was confronted in a brawl against a full grown up man and had to fight, he struck the full grown up man in such a manner that the man lost one of his hands. But when people complained against Zubair to Safiyyah, she did not mind, She rather asked with great fondness, how they found Zubair in the fighting,

"Did he prove himself to be brave or a coward?"

It was this sort of training from his mother that Zubair (may Allah be pleased with him) became one of the great brave men of his age. He was always ready to face any danger and to endure any pain and trouble. During the early days of Islam, one day a rumor was spread in Mecca that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been made captive by the idolaters of Quraish, someone even lied that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was martyred. Zubair, who had come home to rest for a while, also heard this rumor. Although then he was only a boy of sixteen years, hearing the rumor upset him so much that he at once rushed out of his house with a naked sword in hand. He, however, thought it necessary to ascertain the rumors, thus he went straight to the house of the Prophet, with a red face and a unsheathed sword in his hand.

Seeing him in such a state the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked, "What is the matter with you brother? Why there is a naked sword in your hand today?"

Zubair replied,

"O Messenger of Allah, thanks to Allah that you are quite safe and secure. May my parents be sacrificed for you! I heard the rumor that the idolaters had made you captive or even martyred you."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said (with a smile on his face), "So, this is the matter which made you so restless. Well, suppose if the rumors would have been true then what would you have done?"

The young boy cried out:

"O Messenger of Allah, by Allah! I  alone would have declared war against the whole of Mecca. I would have preferred to die then to live after you were murdered."

Hearing this statement of the boy Zubair (may Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet smiled again and pointing towards the sword of Zubair declared,

"This is the first sword raised for the cause of Allah and His Prophet."

Zubair belonged to the family that was blessed with the light of Islam at its advent. His aunt Khadijah (may Allah  be pleased with her) was the first lady of Islam, his mother Safiyah also accepted Islam in its early days. So it was quite natural for Zubair that he too became an early and true follower of Islam between the age of twelve and sixteen years, and this is why he attained a prominent position among the earliest companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

As we have seen above, Zubair's uncle Naufil was very kind and affectionate to him, but this was only till the time when Zubair wasn't in the fold of Islam. As soon as Zubair accepted the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) his uncle Naufil became his worst enemy. Now, that very Naufil who would become restless when seeing Zubair being beaten by his mother, now started to treat him worse than an enemy. The historians say, the enmity and hostility of Naufil against Zubair knew no bounds. He, usually would wrap him up into a mattress and lit fire around him. In this condition when he was engulfed by smoke, his cruel uncle would ask, "Are you ready to come back to your ancestral religion or not?" To which he would firmly reply,

"No, never! It is now impossible for me to give up the religion of Allah. I must die as a Muslim and not as an infidel."

When the cruelty of his uncle exceeded all limits, Zubair (may Allah be pleased with him) left Mecca for Habasha (modern-day Ethiopia) with the permission of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He did not stay there for long; after some time he came back to Mecca and started business.

The Hijra (migration) of the Prophet from Mecca to Medina occurred during the days Zubair was in Syria for business. While coming back to Mecca from Syria, he met the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) while they were on their way from Mecca to Medina. After sometime, he too came over to Madina with Safiyah and his wife Asma.

In Medina the Prophet (peace be upon him) had established "Muakhah" or the relationship of Islamic Brotherhood, between the Muhajirs (migrants) of Mecca and Ansar (residers) of Medina. According to this relationship

He was among those companions of the Prophet who took part in the First Pledge of 'Aqaba, due to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) migrated to Medina.

May Allah be pleased with him. Aameen