Brief Biographies and Status of the Ummahat al Mu’minin (Mothers of the Believers)

Introduction

 

All praise belongs to Allah, the Almighty. Peace and Salutations be upon the Seal of the Prophets, upon his progeny, Companions, and those who follow his path until the Day of Reckoning.

The Ahlul Bayt (Family of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) have been granted a lofty rank and elevated status in the eyes of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah in accordance with what Allah has decreed of loving them and honouring them. This is in keeping with the bequest of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, when he said, “I remind you (to be kind) to the members of my family.” In light of this, we dissociate ourselves from those who exaggerate with regards to only specific members of the Ahlul Bayt (ignoring the rest) and also from the Nawasib, who cause harm to them and harbour malice for the pure members of the Ahlul Bayt.

The Muslims in general, and in specific the Ahlus Sunnah, love the pure members of the Ahlul Bayt and consider it strictly forbidden to disparage, belittle, or harm them in any way, whether this be directed to the progeny of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or his blessed wives.

We (Mabarrat al Al wa l Ashab) is pleased to present to you this discourse, from amongst its foremost publications, which will enrich the literary works already prepared on the legacy of the Pure Ahlul Bayt and noble Companions, instil love for them in the hearts of the Believers, and clarify a few of the misconceptions which may be lurking in the minds of some Muslims.

In as much as these pages highlight the distinguished status and virtue of the blessed wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being the Ummahat al Mu’minin (Mothers of the Believers) as mentioned in the Noble Qur’an and Blessed Sunnah, it also makes mention of those verses and ahadith commending them and honouring them as part of the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; thus awarding them a unique virtue.

 

The status of the Ummahat al Mu’minin

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلٰى بِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَ اَزْوَاجُهُ اُمَّهَاتُهُمْ

The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are [in the position of] their mothers.[1]

 

In essence the mothers of a believer are the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is his father[2]. The Muhajirin and the Ansar are his brothers and those implied in the Qur’anic supplication:

 

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.[3]

 

This is the Household of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Anyone who disparages even one of the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will be said to be void of iman because if he were a believer in the true sense of the word then he would never have disparaged the Mothers of the Believers; a son does not speak ill of his mother.

This motherhood is the same as biological motherhood as far as the rights of respect and honour are concerned, and also as a means of being proud of one’s ancestry. Can anyone boast of having a nobler mother than those whom the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam chose to be his spouses? In fact, they were selected by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala Himself, as Allah says:

 

لَّا يَحِلُّ لَكَ النِّسَاءُ مِن بَعْدُ وَلَا أَنْ تَبَدَّلَ بِهِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ حُسْنُهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِيْنُكَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ رَّقِيْبًا

Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except what your right hand possesses. And ever is Allah , over all things, an Observer.[4]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala stated regarding Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

فَلَمَّا قَضٰى زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجْنَاكَهَا لِكَيْ لَا يَكُوْنَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ حَرَجٌ فِيْ أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَائِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا مِنْهُنَّ وَطَرًا وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُوْلًا

So when Zaid had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished.[5]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala said regarding there superiority over the women of the world:

 

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ

O wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, you are not like anyone among women, if you fear Allah.[6]

 

Such is their distinctiveness that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has forbade any of the believers from ever marrying them just as it is prohibited for a son to marry his biological mother. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوْا رَسُوْلَ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَن تَنكِحُوْا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا إِنَّ ذٰلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمًا

And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.[7]

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is harmed by any word or action that would hurt his wives, to such an extent that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala even instructed the believers to only address them from behind a veil. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُوْهُنَّ مَتَاعًا فَاسْأَلُوْهُنَّ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ ذٰلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوْبِكُمْ وَقُلُوْبِهِنَّ وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَنْ تُؤْذُوْا رَسُوْلَ اللَّهِ

And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah.[8]

 

When this is the level of honour that has been accorded to the Ummahat al Mu’minin, what can be said about those who disparage them, curse them, and attribute to them that which does not befit their noble status? Shortly after the above mentioned verses, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ يُدْنِيْنَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيْبِهِنَّ ذٰلِكَ أَدْنٰى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوْرًا رَّحِيْمًا

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.[9]

 

Then Allah issues a stern warning:

 

لَّئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ الْمُنَافِقُوْنَ وَالَّذِيْنَ فِيْ قُلُوْبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْمُرْجِفُوْنَ فِيْ الْمَدِيْنَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَا يُجَاوِرُوْنَكَ فِيْهَا إِلَّا قَلِيْلًا

If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease and those who spread rumours in al Madinah do not cease, We will surely incite you against them; then they will not remain your neighbours therein except for a little.[10]

 

Referring to the rumours these hypocrites were spreading concerning the marriage of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to Sayyidah Zainab radiya Llahu ‘anha. She was previously the wife of his adopted son, Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whose mention was made in the verses cited previously. This verse indicates that criticism of the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is amongst the traits of the hypocrites, and the Believers have been sternly warned from imitating them.

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has clarified in this surah that He will not accept any justification for slandering the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The one who does so abandons the Qur’an and Sunnah and instead follows the path of the whimsical and foolish, who they take as their masters and dignitaries. If he does not repent and dies in this condition:

 

يَوْمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوْهُهُمْ فِي النَّارِ يَقُوْلُوْنَ يَا لَيْتَنَا أَطَعْنَا اللَّهَ وَأَطَعْنَا الرَّسُوْلَا وَقَالُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّا أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَاءَنَا فَأَضَلُّوْنَا السَّبِيْلَا

The Day their faces will be turned about in the Fire, they will say, “How we wish we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger.” And they will say, “Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way.”[11]

 

Is attributing to them that which does not befit their noble status a meritorious deed? Or is it one of the most heinous crimes? Just imagine for moment—while you curse Aisha and Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma—that you are standing in front of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he is looking at you and listening to your words… how does it feel now? Imagine what the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would be thinking of you?

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ

O wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, you are not like anyone among women, if you fear Allah.[12]

 

In other words there are undeniably no women in this world superior to the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is not something unfathomable when one considers that they are after all the wives of that Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who is the most superior of all the Prophets and Messengers—in fact the best of all creation—and they were preferred by Allah and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam over all other women in this world.

As for them fearing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and possessing the quality of Taqwa, this too is proven from the Noble Book of Allah. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ إِن كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِيْنَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَأُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيْلًا وَإِنْ كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُوْلَهُ وَالدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْمُحْسِنَاتِ مِنكُنَّ أَجْرًا عَظِيْمًا

O Prophet, say to your wives, “If you should desire the worldly life and its adornment, then come, I will provide for you and give you a gracious release. But if you should desire Allah and His Messenger and the home of the Hereafter—then indeed, Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward.”[13]

 

They chose Allah and his Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and abandoned the life of this world and its adornments. There is no other reason for them choosing Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—which meant patiently enduring the hardship and difficulty which accompanied the office of Nubuwwah—except firmness of faith and their fear of Allah. Since their decision to remain with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was motivated by Taqwa they were honoured by Allah:

 

لَّا يَحِلُّ لَكَ النِّسَاءُ مِنْ بَعْدُ وَلَا أَنْ تَبَدَّلَ بِهِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ حُسْنُهُنَّ

Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you.[14]

 

They were honoured in two ways in this verse:

  1.  The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was prohibited from taking another wife after them.
  2. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was prohibited from divorcing any one of them, in order to marry another.

The reason for this was so that they would be his wives for eternity; not only in this world but in the hereafter as well. This is also the reason why the Believers were prohibited from marrying them after his demise:

 

وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَنْ تُؤْذُوْا رَسُوْلَ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَنْ تَنْكِحُوْا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا ۚ إِنَّ ذٰلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيْمًا

And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.[15]

 

And they were awarded the position of mothers to every believer:

 

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلٰى بِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَ اَزْوَاجُهُ اُمَّهَاتُهُمْ

The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are [in the position of] their mothers.[16]

 

Every person should ponder deeply over these points and recognise the noble status awarded to the Ummahat al Mu’minin.

 

Sayyidah Khadijah bint Khuwaylid

 

Name and lineage

 

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid ibn Asad ibn ‘Abd al ‘Uzza ibn Qusay.

Qusay is the grandfather of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In terms of lineage, she is second from the Ummahat al Mu’minin who has the closest ancestry to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam through his father. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not marry any other from the progeny of Qusay except Sayyidah Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anha.[17]

Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha was highly regarded in society with noble ancestry, amazing qualities, and the richest from all the women of the Quraysh. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her when he was twenty-five years old, after Abu Halah ibn Nabash ibn Zurarah al Tamimi.

Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha believed in the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and assisted him in his mission. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would say that she is the most virtuous of all women of the world.[18] All the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam children were from her except Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whose mother was Sayyidah Mariyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not take any other wife during her lifetime. She passed away three years before hijrah.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. She is amongst the forerunners to embrace Islam and in fact the very first person to bring faith in what Allah revealed. She thus receives the reward for her iman and of all those who embraced Islam through her efforts after her.
  2. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not take any other wife during her lifetime. Thus for twenty-five years she remained the only wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  3. The love which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had for her was a special gift from Allah, which Allah bestowed upon His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thus loving her is a virtue.[19]
  4. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would talk of her often, praise her, enumerate her virtues, and maintain ties with her family members and friends.

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha said:

I never became envious of any of the Prophet’s wives as I was envious of Khadijah; on account of how he would constantly talk about her, and I never saw her.[20]

 
  1. She was the best of all the women from the ummah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al Bukhari has reported with his chain of narration from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

I heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “The best of women was Maryam and the best of women was Khadijah.”[21]

 
  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sent greetings to her and gave her the glad tidings of a Palace in Jannat, where she will hear no noise or experience any fatigue.

Al Bukhari and Muslim both narrate with their respective chains of transmission from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

أتى جبريل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله هذه خديجة قد أتت معها إناء فيه إدام أو طعام أو شراب فإذا هي أتتك فاقرأ عليها السلام من ربها ومني وبشرها بيت في الجنة من قصب لا صخب فيه ولا نصب‏.

Jibril ‘alayh al Salam came to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! This is Khadijah coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Rabb and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a Qasab (gold and silver) palace in Paradise wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue (trouble).”[22]

 
  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala blessed the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with children from her, and he was not granted any children from his other wives.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

Allah granted me children from her and He did not grant me children from others beside her.[23]

 

Sayyidah Saudah bint Zam’ah

 

Name and lineage

 

Saudah bint Zam’ah ibn Qais ibn ‘Abd al Shams ibn ‘Abd Wudd ibn Nadar ibn Malik ibn Hisl bin ‘Amir ibn Lu’ay ibn Ghalib ibn Fahar.

Her mother was Shamua bint Zaid ibn ‘Amr al Ansariyyah.

Before her marriage to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidah Saudah radiya Llahu ‘anha was married to Sakran ibn ‘Amr.

She narrated from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and amongst those who reported from her was Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Yahya ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al Rahman bin Sa’d ibn Zurarah.

She embraced Islam early on and along with her husband migrated to Abyssinia the second time. It was here where her husband passed away.[24] She is the first women to marry the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha, which was before the hijrah while still in Makkah. She passed away during the final years of Sayyidina ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. She desired deeply to remain in the wedlock of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and sacrificed her day with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam out of love for him and to please him, so as to remain as his wife in Jannat.

Ibn Sa’d mentions in his Tabaqat that Sayyidah Saudah radiya Llahu ‘anha said to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I implore you by Allah to keep me in your wedlock. I have grown old and have no desires for men but I long to be resurrected amongst your wives on the Day of Resurrection.” So the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam kept her in his wedlock.[25]

Al Bukhari has reported with his chain of narration from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that Saudah bint Zam’ah gave her day to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and so the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would spend the two days with Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.[26]

 
  1. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha desired to have the same temperament and personality as Sayyidah Saudah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

Muslim has reported with his chain of narration to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that she said, “I have not seen a woman whose temperament I would like to resemble more than Saudah.”[27]

 

Sayyidah Aisha bint Abi Bakr

 

Name and lineage

 

Aisha bint ‘Abdullah (Abu Bakr al Siddiq) ibn ‘Uthman (Abu Quhafah) al Taymi al Qurshi

Sayyidah Aisha’s mother was Umm Ruman bint Uwaymir al Kananiyyah.

Her agnomen is Umm ‘Abdullah. She had asked the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to give her an agnomen as well and he instructed her to take the agnomen of Umm ‘Abdullah, who is ‘Abdullah bin Zubair ibn ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhu her nephew through her sister, Asma’ bint Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

She was born four years after Nubuwwah and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her when she was six years old. She came to live with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when she was nine years old. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not marry any other virgin besides Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Her exoneration from the false accusations against her was announced from the Heavens, and she was the most beloved of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives to him after Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha. She is also renowned for being the most knowledgeable of all the women and many of the senior Sahabah would benefit from her knowledge.

She was eighteen years old when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away and she passed away on 17 Ramadan 58 A.H. Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed her Janazah Salah and she was buried in al Baqi’, May Allah be pleased with her.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. She was the most beloved to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam of all his wives after Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

Al Bukhari radiya Llahu ‘anha reports with his chain of narration from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deputed me to lead the army of Dhat al Salasil. I came to him and said, “Who is the most beloved person to you?”

He said, “Aisha.”

I asked, “Among the men?”

He said, “Her father.”[28]

 
  1. Sayyidina Jibril ‘alayh al Salam came to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with her picture on a silken cloth before they were married.

Al Bukhari and Muslim both report with their chains of narration from Sayyidina Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to her:

I saw you in a dream for three nights when an angel brought you to me in a silk cloth and he said, “Here is your wife,” and when I removed (the cloth) from your face, lo, it was yourself, so I said, “If this is from Allah, let Him carry it out.”[29]

 
  1. Sayyidina Jibril ‘alayh al Salam conveyed greetings to her through the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al Bukhari reports from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me one day, “O ‘A’ish, this is Jibril conveying his greetings upon you.” So I replied, “May Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon him as well, (O Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) you see what I do not see.”[30]

 
  1. Wahi (revelation) descended upon the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while he lay beside Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and the same did not occur with the other Ummahat al Mu’minin.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

O Umm Salamah! Do not cause me pain with regard to Aisha for verily I take an oath by Allah revelation did not descend upon me while I lay besides any of you except Aisha.[31]

 
  1. When the verse of Takhyir was revealed, which is:
 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ إِن كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِيْنَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَأُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيْلًا وَإِنْ كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُوْلَهُ وَالدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْمُحْسِنَاتِ مِنكُنَّ أَجْرًا عَظِيْمًا

O Prophet, say to your wives, “If you should desire the worldly life and its adornment, then come, I will provide for you and give you a gracious release. But if you should desire Allah and His Messenger and the home of the Hereafter—then indeed, Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward.”[32]

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam first asked Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and advised her to discuss the matter with her parents first before making her decision but she chose the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without even consulting her parents, which was then followed by the other Ummahat al Mu’minin.

Al Bukhari and Muslim report that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha said when advised to consult with her parents:

“What need is there to consult my parents in this regard? Verily, I seek Allah, His Apostle and the Home of the Hereafter.” Then all the other wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did the same as I did.[33]

 
  1. Verses of the Qur’an were revealed on account of her, either elevating her status or for the benefit of the Ummah at large. A few of these verses are:
  • Allah revealed her innocence when she was falsely accused and slandered.
 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ جَاءُوا بِالْإِفْكِ عُصْبَةٌ مِّنكُمْ ۚ لَا تَحْسَبُوهُ شَرًّا لَّكُم ۖ بَلْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۚ لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُم مَّا اكْتَسَبَ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ ۚ وَالَّذِي تَوَلَّىٰ كِبْرَهُ مِنْهُمْ لَهُ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (11)

Indeed, those who came with falsehood are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather it is good for you. For every person among them is what [punishment] he has earned from the sin, and he who took upon himself the greater portion thereof – for him is a great punishment.

 

لَّوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ ظَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بِأَنفُسِهِمْ خَيْرًا وَقَالُوا هَٰذَا إِفْكٌ مُّبِينٌ (12)

Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”?

 

لَّوْلَا جَاءُوا عَلَيْهِ بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ ۚ فَإِذْ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِالشُّهَدَاءِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْكَاذِبُونَ (13)

Why did they [who slandered] not produce for it four witnesses? And when they do not produce the witnesses, then it is they, in the sight of Allah , who are the liars.

 

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِي مَا أَفَضْتُمْ فِيهِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (14)

And if it had not been for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy in this world and the Hereafter, you would have been touched for that [lie] in which you were involved by a great punishment

 

إِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِأَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَتَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِكُم مَّا لَيْسَ لَكُم بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَهُوَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمٌ (15)

When you received it with your tongues and said with your mouths that of which you had no knowledge and thought it was insignificant while it was, in the sight of Allah , tremendous.

 

وَلَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُم مَّا يَكُونُ لَنَا أَن نَّتَكَلَّمَ بِهَٰذَا سُبْحَانَكَ هَٰذَا بُهْتَانٌ عَظِيمٌ (16)

And why, when you heard it, did you not say, “It is not for us to speak of this. Exalted are You, [O Allah ]; this is a great slander”?

 

يَعِظُكُمُ اللَّهُ أَن تَعُودُوا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ (17)

Allah warns you against returning to the likes of this [conduct], ever, if you should be believers.

 

وَيُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (18)

And Allah makes clear to you the verses, and Allah is Knowing and Wise.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ (19)

Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicized] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know.

 

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ (20)

And if it had not been for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy… and because Allah is Kind and Merciful.

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۚ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَىٰ مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ (21)

O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan – indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. And if not for the favour of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

 

 وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ (22)

And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah , and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

 

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (23)

Indeed, those who [falsely] accuse chaste, unaware and believing women are cursed in this world and the Hereafter; and they will have a great punishment

 

 يَوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (24)

On a Day when their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.

 

يَوْمَئِذٍ يُوَفِّيهِمُ اللَّهُ دِينَهُمُ الْحَقَّ وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ الْمُبِينُ (25)

That Day, Allah will pay them in full their deserved recompense, and they will know that it is Allah who is the perfect in justice.

 

 الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ ۖ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ ۖ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

Evil words are for evil men, and evil men are [subjected] to evil words. And good words are for good men, and good men are [an object] of good words. Those [good people] are declared innocent of what the slanderers say. For them is forgiveness and noble provision.

 
  • As for the verses which benefited the entire Ummah:

The verses of Tayammum.

 

وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا

And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.

 

Al Bukhari and Muslim report from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that she had borrowed from Asma’ (her sister) a necklace and it got lost. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent men to search for it. As it was the time for prayer, they offered prayer without ablution (as water was not available there). When they came to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they made a complaint about it, and the verses pertaining to Tayammum were revealed. Upon this Usayd ibn Hudayr said (to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha), “May Allah grant you a good reward! Never has there been an occasion when you were beset with difficulty and Allah did not make you come out of that and made it an occasion of blessing for the Muslims.”[34]

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam desired to spend the last days during his illness in her house and he passed away in her home, while in her lap, on her day. Allah caused her saliva to be mixed with that of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during his final moment in this world and his first in the Hereafter. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was then buried in her house. Al Bukhari reports from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
 

‘Abd al Rahman ibn Abi Bakr entered upon the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while I was supporting the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on my chest. ‘Abd al Rahman had a fresh miswak then and he was cleaning his teeth with it. Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam looked at it, so I took the miswak, cut it (chewed it with my teeth), shook it and made it soft (with water), and then gave it to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who cleaned his teeth with it…[35]

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave her the glad tidings that she is amongst the People of Jannat.

Al Bukhari reported from Qasim ibn Muhammad:

Once Aisha became sick and Ibn ‘Abbas went to see her and said, “O mother of the believers! You are leaving to meet the truthful forerunners (i.e. Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr).”[36]

 

The glad tidings from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu could only have come from the guarantee of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. As has been reported by al Tirmidhi—which he ruled to be Sahih—from ‘Abdullah ibn Ziyad al Asadi, who said:

I heard ‘Ammar ibn Yasir saying, “She (Aisha) is his wife in this world and the Hereafter.”[37]

 
  1. She is the most knowledgeable of the women of this Ummah. She has narrated a prolific number of ahadith from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exceeding 2000[38] in addition to the fact that many of the senior Companions would refer to her and seek her ruling on matters.
 

Sayyidah Hafsah bint ‘Umar

 

Name and lineage

 

Hafsah bint ‘Umar ibn al Khattab ibn Nufayl ibn ‘Abd al ‘Uzza.

Her mother is Zainab bint Maz’un, the sister of ‘Uthman ibn Maz’un ibn Habib ibn Wahab ibn Hudhafah.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her in the third year after hijrah after her husband Khunays ibn Hudhafah al Badri passed away on account of the wounds he had sustained during the Battle of Uhud.

She fasted often and would perform salah diligently, hence she was known as Sawwamah Qawwamah (One who fasts and performs salah abundantly).

She was born five years before Nubuwwah and passed away in Sha’ban 45 A.H, may Allah be pleased with her.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. She performed hijrah with her husband.

Ibn Sa’d reports from Abu Huwayrith:

Khunays ibn Hudhafah[39] married Hafsah bint ‘Umar. She remained with him and migrated with him to Madinah.[40]

 
  1. She would fast often and performed abundant salah and she will be the wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Jannat.

Al Tabarani reports the narration from Qais ibn Zaid:

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave Hafsah a single divorce… The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then came to her and when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entered, she covered herself. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said to her, “Jibril came to me and said, ‘Take Hafsah back as she fasts often and performs salah abundantly, and she will be your wife in Jannat.”[41]

 
  1. When the Qur’an was compiled during the Caliphate of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu it remained with him until his demise. It then remained with Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu during his Caliphate. After he passed away, it went to Sayyidah Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha. It was then borrowed from her when Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anha re-compiled it during his Caliphate.it was then returned to her and it remained with her until she passed away.[42]
 

Sayyidah Zainab bint Khuzaimah

 

Name and lineage

 

Zainab bint Khuzaimah ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd Manaf ibn Hilal ibn ‘Amir ibn Sa’sa’ah al Hilaliyyah.

She was known as Umm al Masakin (Mother of the destitute) on account of her charity towards them.

Her husband, ‘Abdullah ibn Jahsh, was martyred in the Battle of Uhud and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her thereafter. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her shortly after he married Sayyidah Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha but she only remained in the company of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for two or three months thereafter and passed away in the fourth year after hijrah.

Despite their being no specific narrations regarding her merits, the virtues mentioned for the blessed spouses of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in general apply to her as well. A unique virtue in her favour is the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam performing the funeral prayer upon her after her demise. This is exclusive to her only from all the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam later wives as none of them passed away during his lifetime except Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha and Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anha. The prayers of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is an undeniable mercy upon the believers.

 

Sayyidah Umm Salamah bint Abi Umayyah

 

Name and lineage

 

Umm Salamah Hind bint Abi Umayyah (Hudhayfah) al Makhzumiyyah al Qurshiyyah.

Her father on account of his generosity was nicknamed Zad al Rakib (provision of the rider) as he would take care of those who travelled with him leaving them with no need to carry any provisions.

Her mother is ‘Atikah bint ‘Amir, from the family of Banu Firas of the Kinaniyyah tribe.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her after her husband, Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al Asad—her paternal cousin—passed away. Abu Salamah and Umm Salamah migrated together to Abyssinia and thereafter to Madinah.

It has been said that she was the first woman to enter Madinah in a camel carriage. She was one of the most beautiful women, having the noblest of lineages.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her and supplicated for her. Muslim reports from Sayyidah Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent Hatib ibn Abi Balta’ah to ask for my hand in marriage. I said to him, “I have a daughter and I am very possessive.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “As for her daughter we will ask Allah to make her independent of her mother and for her we will ask Allah to remove her possessiveness.”[43]

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave her the glad tidings that she will be in Jannat. Ahmed reports from Sayyidah Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wrapped ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain in a black shawl. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “O Allah, Take them towards to not towards the Fire. My Ahlul Bayt and I.”

I said, “And me, O Messengers of Allah.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “And you.”[44]

 
  1. Her wisdom and foresight was displayed on the Day of Hudaybiyyah when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed his Companions to slaughter their animals and shave their heads. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam issued this instruction three times but the Companions still clinging on to the hope that they may yet enter Makkah did not carry out this instruction immediately.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned to Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha and said, “O Umm Salamah, What is the matter with the people?”

She replied, “O Messenger of Allah, the conditions you have witnessed have come upon them. Do not speak to any of them but proceed to your animal and sacrifice it, thereafter shave your head. When they see that you have done so , they will follow suit.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then left and without speaking to anyone slaughtered his animal and shaved his head. As soon as the Companions saw this they too slaughtered their animals and shaved their heads.

Surah al Fath was revealed a short while later on the return journey; halfway between Makkah and Madinah.[45]

The advice which she offered to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on this occasion indicates the intelligence and wisdom she was blessed with.

 

Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh

 

Name and lineage

 

Zainab bint Jahsh ibn Rubab ibn Ya’mar al Asadi.

Her father was the leader of the Banu ‘Abd al Shams. She was from amongst the first group of Sahabah who migrated. Her mother was Umayah bint ‘Abd al Muttalib ibn Hashim, who was the paternal aunt of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her three or five years after her marriage to Zaid bin Harithah radiya Llahu ‘anhu—the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—the Sahabi who was commonly referred to as Ibn Muhammad (the son of Muhammad). It was concerning Zaid ibn Harithah and Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that the verses permitting marriage to the wives of one’s adopted sons was revealed; as the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had adopted Zaid ibn Harithah radiya Llahu ‘anhu before receiving Nubuwwah and was thus called Zaid ibn Muhammad. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala abrogated this association with His words:

 

اُدْعُوْهُمْ لِآبَائِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ

Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah. [46]

 

Then Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala further clarified and emphasised this by instructing the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to marry Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anha with the following verse:

 

فَلَمَّا قَضٰى زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجْنَاكَهَا لِكَيْ لَا يَكُوْنَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ حَرَجٌ فِيْ أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَائِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا مِنْهُنَّ وَطَرًا

So when Zaid had no longer any need for her, we married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them.[47]

 

Thus Zainab radiya Llahu ‘anha was amongst the leading women of her time with regards to religion, piety, and generosity. She is the first of the Ummhat al Mu’minin (Mother of the Believers) to pass away after the demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. At the time of her death she was twenty years old.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala performed her nikah (marriage ceremony) to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam above the seven heavens:
 

وَإِذْ تَقُوْلُ لِلَّذِيْ أَنْعَمَ اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللّٰهَ وَتُخْفِيْ فِيْ نَفْسِكَ مَا اللّٰهُ مُبْدِيْهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللّٰهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَخْشَاهُ فَلَمَّا قَضٰى زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجْنَاكَهَا لِكَيْ لَا يَكُوْنَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ حَرَجٌ فِيْ أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَائِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا مِنْهُنَّ وَطَرًا وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللّٰهِ مَفْعُوْلًا

And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favour and you bestowed favour, “Keep your wife and fear Allah,” while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So when Zaid had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished.[48]

 

She would boast to her co-wives from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying:

It was your families who performed your marriage to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Allah married me to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam above the seven heavens.[49]

 
  1. It was on account of her that the verses of Hijab (veiling oneself) were revealed.

Al Bukhari reported with his chain of transmission from Sayyidina Anas bin Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

When Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married Zainab bint Jahsh she was with him in the house, he prepared a meal, and invited the people (to partake of the meal). (After finishing their meal) They sat down and engaged in conversation. So the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left and returned several times while they continued with their conversations. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala then revealed the verse, “O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness…” until the verse, ask them from behind a screen.”[50] So a veil was erected and the people stood to leave.[51]

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would frequently praise her from amongst his wives for her generosity and liberal spending in the Path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

Al Muslim reports from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The one who has the longest hands amongst you will be the first to meet me (in Jannat).”

She then said, “The wives of Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to measure their hands to see whose was the longest, and it was the hand of Zainab that was the longest amongst them; as she used to work with her hands and spend (that income) on charity.”[52]

 
  1. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha once said when recounting her virtues:

I have never seen a woman more superior in din, more Allah fearing, more truthful, more conscious of maintaining family relations, more generous, having a greater sense of self-sacrifice in practical life, and a charitable disposition that draws one closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala than Zainab.[53]

 

Sayyidah Juwairiyah bint Harith

 

Name and lineage

 

Juwairiyah bint al Harith ibn Dirar ibn Habib ibn Khuzaimah al Khaza’iyyah al Mustaliqiyyah.

She was a captive in the Battle of Banu Mustaliq, also known as the Battle of al Muraysi’, in the fifth or sixth year after hijrah. She was given to Thabit ibn Qais radiya Llahu ‘anhu as part of his share in the spoils of war. He then made an agreement of Kitabah[54] with her. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam assisted her in fulfilling this agreement and married her thereafter. She was the widow of Musafi’ ibn Safwan, who fought against the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the Battle of Muraysi’ and was killed therein. On account of her marriage to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the Muslims set free a hundred of her family members who had been taken as captives. Thus she was a source of great blessings for her people.

She passed away in the year 50 A.H.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. She would perform abundant ‘ibadah (acts of devotion) and would remember Allah excessively.

Imam Muslim rahimahu Llah reports from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum:

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left the home of Juwairiyah radiya Llahu ‘anha, after having performed the Salat al Fajr. She remained sitting in the place where she had performed salah until the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned to her much later that morning.

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to her, “Have you remained in the same position since I left?”

She replied, “Yes”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “Verily I recited an incantation three times after I left you, if it were to be weighed it would outweigh all that you have read since the morning. (Those words are:)

 

سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ عَدَدَ خَلْقِهِ وَرِضَا نَفْسِهِ وَزِنَةَ عَرْشِهِ وَمِدَادَ كَلِمَاتِهِ ‏

Praise be to Allah and praise is due to Him, according to the number of His creation and according to His pleasure and according to the weight of His Throne, and according to the ink (used in recording) words (for His Praise).[55]

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself gave her the name Juwairiyah, her previous name was Barrah.
 

Sayyidah Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan

 

Name and lineage

 

Umm Habibah Ramlah bint Abi Sufyan Sakhar ibn Harb ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abd Shams al Umawiyyah.

Her mother was Safiyyah bint Abi al ‘As ibn Umayyah.

Sayyidah Umm Habibah radiya Llahu ‘anha was born seventeen years before the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam received Nubuwwah. She then accepted Islam with her husband, ‘Abdullah ibn Jahsh al Asadi. They both migrated to Abyssinia, where she gave birth to a daughter named Habibah. She remained steadfast on her religion, but her husband became Christian while in Abyssinia. In return Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala gave her a much better husband than him, who was none other than the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. From His wives she was the most closely related to Him in lineage, her lineage linked up to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at ‘Abd Manaf.

She passed away in 44 A.H.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. Umm Habibah radiya Llahu ‘anha honoured the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by not allowing her father to sit upon his mat, as he was still an idolater when he came to extend the truce between the Muslims and Quraysh.
  2. She participated in the second migration towards Abyssinia.[56]
 

Sayyidah Safiyyah bint Huyay

 

Name and lineage

 

Safiyyah bint Huyay ibn Akhtab ibn Sa’yah.

Huyay ibn Akhtab was the chief of the Banu al Nadir. Her lineage links up with Lawi, the son of Allah’s Prophet Ya’qub ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim (asm), and then later on again from the Prophet of Allah Harun ‘alayh al Salam.

Prior to embracing Islam, Sayyidah Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha was first married to Salam ibn Mishkam and after him to Kinanah ibn Abi al Haqiq, who was killed in the Battle of Khaybar. Sayyidah Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha was taken as a captive and given to Dihyah al Qalbi radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his share from the spoils of war. He made an agreement of kitabah with her, which was paid by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then freed her and married her, her freedom being her Mahr (dowry).

She passed away in the fifty second year after hijrah.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. She married a Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, she was the daughter of a Prophet, and her paternal uncle was a Prophet.

Imam al Tirmidhi narrates from Sayyidina Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

It reached Safiyyah that Hafsah said about her, “The daughter of a Jew,” so she began to weep.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then entered upon her while she was crying, and asked her, “What makes you cry?”

She said, “Hafsah said to me that I am the daughter of a Jew.”

So the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Certainly you are the daughter of a Prophet, your uncle is a Prophet, and you are married to a Prophet; so what is she boasting to you about?”[57]

Then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Fear Allah, O Hafsah.”[58]

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised her truthfulness when she said to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his final sickness:

Verily by the oath of Allah, O Prophet of Allah, I wish for myself to be in your place and for you to be in mine (i.e. in good health).[59]

 

Sayyidah Maimunah bint Harith

 

Name and lineage

 

Maimunah bint Harith ibn Hazn ibn Bujayr ibn Huzam ibn Ruwaybah al Hilaliyyah.

Her mother’s name was Hind ibn ‘Auf.

Sayyidah Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha was first married to Mas’ud ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Umair al Thaqafi during the days of ignorance, who separated from her. She then married Abu Raham ibn ‘Abd al ‘Uzza but he passed away shortly thereafter. ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu—who was her wakil (guardian)—married her to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her at a place called Sarif which is near Makkah. She was the last woman who the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married. This marriage took place in the year 7 A.H, during the ‘Umrat al Qada’.

 

Virtues and Status

 
  1. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam testified to her iman.

It is reported from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The sisters who are (all) believers are: Maimunah- the wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, her sister Umm al Fadal bint al Harith, her sister Asma bint al Harith– wife of Hamzah, and Asma’ bint ‘Umays; they are all uterine sisters.[60]

 
  1. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself named her.

Al Hakim has reported with his chain of narration from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

Certainly the name of my aunt, Maimunah, was Barrah, and the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam renamed her Maimunah.[61]

 

Preaching in the lives of the Ummahat al Mu’minin

 

Certainly preaching the religion was of great importance to the Ummahat al Mu’minin, there was no hadith that they heard except that they taught it to others in accordance with the Prophetic injunction:

May Allah gladden the one who hears something from us and conveys it as he heard it. Perhaps the one it is conveyed to is more understanding than the one who heard it.[62]

 

The Ummahat al Mu’minin accomplished this through their vast knowledge and excellence in din, so much so that they would teach the jurists of that time the laws beneficial for the people. It has been explained to us in books of history regarding the Ummahat al Mu’minin, that their humbleness in giving advice, in commanding with good and prohibiting from evil was completely balanced. It will not be wrong if we say that they succeeded in their call towards to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the beginning of time through the means of Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha. She was the first to believe in the message of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and to assist him with her wealth and soul. She is the best of the wives who connected with the heart of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When the hardships of revelation would become difficult, the Messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala would say regarding her—in remembrance of her:

Verily she (Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha) believed in me when the people disbelieved, she regarded me as truthful when the people attributed lies to me, and she shared her wealth with me when the people prohibited me from theirs.[63]

 

She stood firmly in establishing the din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala thus Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was pleased with her and in exchange Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala made will ensure she is pleased in the hereafter.

It was Aisha al Siddiqah bint al Siddiq (the truthful daughter of the truthful) who memorised numerous ahadith from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so that she may spread it amongst the people. From that knowledge she would teach the jurists and scholars of Islam. Most of the people would narrate from her and emulate her in practicing the laws of Islam as well as in her character, until it was said:

Verily a quarter of the rulings in the Shari’ah has been narrated from her.

 

The scholars from amongst the Sahabah and Tabi’in praised Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and learnt from her.

Masruq rahimahu Llah has said:

I saw the great scholars from the Sahabah asking Aisha about inheritance and when they would narrate from her they would say, “The truthful daughter of the truthful, beloved of the beloved Allah, the one whose innocence was declared from above the heavens; has narrated to me.” Thus I will not attribute falsehood to her.[64]

 

‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah has said:

Aisha was the most understanding, the most knowledgeable, and the best of people that I have seen.[65]

 

Hisham ibn ‘Urwah has narrated from his father who said:

I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable in fiqh, in medicine, and in poetry than Aisha.[66]

 

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Umair said:

Only the one who regards as her as his mother will grieve for her.[67]

 

She would teach others about Islam. It is stated that Hafsah bint ‘Abd al Rahman ibn Abi Bakr came to her and she only had a thin scarf that was not covering her forehead. On seeing this Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha asked her, “Do you not know what Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala revealed in Surah al Nur?” Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha then got another scarf and gave it her.

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would also preach to the people saying:

O people, fear Allah—your Lord, perfect your wudhu, be steadfast on your salah, purify yourselves by discharging your zakat, and obey your spouses in that which you love or dislike.

 

And she would say:

The deputy of Allah upon a woman is her husband, if her husband is pleased with her than Allah is pleased with her, and if her husband is upset with her than Allah and His angels are upset with her, because her husband carries the burden of that which is discharged upon her.

 

She would also say, from amongst the rights of a husband upon his wife are that she fulfils marital relations, avoids his anger, pursuits his pleasure, increases his earnings (does not waist his wealth), she does not become stubborn at his command, and she protects his honour.

Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anha held the rank of the females scholars, the practicing believer, the warner, and the advisor for every believing male and female due to her practice upon the sunnah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during his life as well as after his passing. She had protected her hearing and her sight from acquiring the anger of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. It is reported that when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked her regarding Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha on the occasion of Ifk[68] she said:

I protect my hearing and my sight, I do not regard her except good.

 

Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha narrated to the Ummah the laws concerning fiqh, for example on the Day of ‘Arafah when the people were in doubt as to whether the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was fasting or not, she had sent milk to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he had stopped at his destination, which he drank from it whilst the people were watching.[69]

She also explained the ghusl (bathing) of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after marital relations. Certainly she was from the warners and advisors of this nation. May Allah be pleased with her as well as the rest of the Ummhat al Mu’minin.

 

A brief overview of the lives of the Ummahat al Mu’minin

  • Every wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away after him, except Sayyidah Khadijah and Sayyidah Zainab bint Khuzaimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, as they both passed away during the blessed life of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  • All of them are buried in Jannat al Baqi(a cemetery in Madinah) except Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha who was buried in al Hajun in Makkah, and Sayyidah Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha who was buried at a place near Banu Tamim. The most preferred opinion amongst the scholars is that she is buried at the place where she married the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  • The lineage of ten of his wives link up to that of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, through their fathers those are:
    1. Umm Habibah radiya Llahu ‘anha
    2. Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha
    3. Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha
    4. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha
    5. Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha
    6. Saudah radiya Llahu ‘anha
    7. Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anha
    8. Juwairiyah radiya Llahu ‘anha
    9. Zainab bint Khuzaimah radiya Llahu ‘anha
    10. Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha

It is narrated that the lineage of Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anha links up to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam both paternally and maternally, as her mother was Umayyah bint ‘Abd al Muttalib, the paternal aunt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and from her father’s side her lineage links up at Khuzaimah ibn Mudrikah ibn Ilyas.

  • The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam changed the names of two of his wives: both from Barrah to Maimunah and Juwairiyah.
  • Zainab bint Khuzaimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha and Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha were all previously married twice before marring the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and from all of his wives Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was the only virgin that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
 

The Ummahat al Mu’minin in accordance to the ahadith they narrated[70]

 

1. Sayyidah Aisha bint Abi Bakr

She narrated a total of 2210 ahadith.

174 are agreed upon by al Bukhari and Muslim.

54 hadith are recorded solely by al Bukhari.

9 hadith are recorded solely by Muslim.

Imam Ahmed narrates in his Musnad more than 1000 ahadith.

 

2. Sayyidah Umm Salamah bint Abi Umayyah

Imam al Dhahabi narrates 378 ahadith from her in his Musnad.

13of the hadith which she narrated are agreed upon by al Bukhari and Muslim.

3 are recorded solely by al Bukhari.

13 are recorded solely by Muslim.

 

3. Sayyidah Maimunah bint Harith

Imam Dhahabi said:

Seven hadith have been narrated from her in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

 

1 is reported solely by al Bukhari.

5 are recorded solely by Muslim.

In total she narrated 13 Hadith.

 

According to Sheikh al Muhaqqiq ‘Irfan al ‘Isha:

She narrated more than that because Imam Ahmed has narrated ahadith from her in his Musnad, beginning on page 10, hadith: 26858 and ends at page 10, hadith: 26961.

 

In Asma’ al Sahabah al Ruwah 76 ahadith are reported to be narrated from her. Imam al Muhaqqiq has written in the footnotes of his book mentioned above the same as is recorded in Alam al Nisa’:

In Matali al Anwar it is recorded that she narrated 77 narrations.

In al Kamal fi Marifat al Rijal 46 narrations are mentioned.

In the compilation of letters of Dar al Kutub al Zahiriyyah (letter: 32) it is mentioned that she narrated 79 ahadith.[71]

 

4. Sayyidah Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan

In Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat it is mentioned that she narrated 65 ahadith. Ibn al Jawzi has mentioned the same regarding her in Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar.[72]

This is also similar to what Imam al Dhahabi said, namely that 65 ahadith have been narrated from her.[73] Al Bukhari and Muslim agreed upon 2 ahadith and Muslim has solely narrated another 2.

 

5. Sayyidah Hafsah bint ‘Umar

Ibn Hazm has mentioned in Asma’ al Sahabah al Ruwat that she has narrated a total of 60 ahadith and the same was stated by Ibn al Jawzi in Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar.[74] Al Dhahabi has said that her narrations in Musnad of Baqi ibn Mukhallad amount to 60.[75]

Al Bukhari and Muslim have agreed upon 4 of her narrations

Al Muslim has 7 solely to the exclusion of al Bukhari.

 

Sheikh ‘Irfan has said:

Imam Ahmed has reported 44 ahadith narrated by her in his Musnad, from hadith 26 485 until hadith 26 529.[76]

 

6. Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh

Ibn Hazm[77] and Ibn al Jawzi[78] have said that she has narrated total of eleven ahadith. Sheikh ‘Irfan al  states:

Her narrations in Musnad Ahmed are from hadith: 26 813 until hadith: 26 816 and hadith: 27 483 until hadith: 27 486. In al Tirmidhi hadith: 2187, in Ibn Abi Shaybah hadith: 19 061, in Ibn Hibban hadith: 867, al Bayhaqi has reported it in al Sunan al Kubra (10/93), and al Baghawi in Sharh al Sunan hadith: 4201, and in others as well.[79]

 

Just as Imam Malik has reported in his Muwatta’ (1268) and al Nasa’i (3500).[80]

 

7. Sayyidah Safiyyah bint Huyay

Ibn Hazm[81] and Ibn al Jawzi[82] have said that she has narrated total of ten Hadith. Al Dhahabi has said that she has narrated ten ahadith, of which one is agreed upon by al Bukhari and Muslim.[83]

Her hadith can be found in Sahih al Bukhari, hadith: 2035, in Sahih Muslim, hadith: 2 175, and in Musnad Ahmed, hadith: 26 927, 26 920.[84]

 

8. Sayyidah Juwairiyah bint Harith

Ibn Hazm[85] and Ibn al Jawzi[86] have said that she has narrated a total of seven ahadith. Al Dhahabi has also stated the same and elaborated further:

7 ahadith have been narrated by her; one of which has been reported by al Bukhari and two by Muslim.[87]

 

‘Irfan al ‘Asha has added:

The ahadith narrated by her by Ahmed in his Musnad appear from hadith: 26 817 until hadith: 26 820. Among them are those that have not been mentioned.[88]

 

9. Sayyidah Saudah bint Zam’ah

Ibn Hazam[89] and Ibn al Jawzi[90] have said that she has narrated a total of five Hadith. Her narrations are mentioned in: Sahih al Bukhari, hadith: 6686, 6749; in Sahih Muslim, hadith: 1 457, in Musnad Ahmed, hadith: 27 488, 27 487, 27 489, and 6 127; and in Sunan al Nasa’i, hadith: 3 485.

 

10. As for Sayyidah Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Sayyidah Zainab bint Khuzaimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma no narrations have been reported from them.

 

This is what could be gathered regarding the narrations of the Ummhat al Mu’minin, to highlight their efforts in propagating the words of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Conclusion

 

We have presented a small sketch of the noble traits of the Ummahat al Mu’minin, which we will hold onto as a generous provision to keep us afloat amidst the tides of derision raised against them.

It is incumbent upon our daughters and wives to learn them, propagate it, adorn themselves with those same virtues, and follow in their footsteps. This will make them of those who have the best of character and exemplary strength. In so doing we will uphold the right of the Ummahat al Mu’minin with regards to their reverence, honour, dignity, and greatness. And to honour the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam means honouring his wives as well.

 
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[1] Surah al Ahzab: 6

[2] This parentage is allegorical on account of the hadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I am to you (the believers) like a father.” Reported by Abu Dawood, Kitab al Taharah, Bab Karahiyat Istiqbal al Qiblah ‘inda Qada’ al Hajah, Hadith: 8.

[3] Surah al Hashr: 10

[4] Surah al Ahzab: 52

[5] Surah al Ahzab: 37

[6] Surah al Ahzab: 32

[7] Surah al Ahzab: 53

[8] Surah al Ahzab: 53

[9] Surah al Ahzab: 59

[10] Surah al Ahzab: 60

[11] Surah al Ahzab: 66, 67

[12] Surah al Ahzab: 32

[13] Surah al Ahzab: 28, 29

[14] Surah al Ahzab: 52

[15] Surah al Ahzab: 53

[16] Surah al Ahzab: 6

[17] The ancestry of Sayyidah Umm Habibah radiya Llahu ‘anha meets with that of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusay, while the ancestry of Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha meets with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at Qusay. As for the other Ummahat al Mu’minin their ancestry meets with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after Qusay: Murah, Ka’b, Lu’ay, Khuzaimah, Ilyas, and Mudar.

[18] In other words the most virtuous of all women in her time. She is amongst four women who the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned to be the most superior of all women of their time. They are: Asiyyah bint Muzahim—the wife of Firoun, Maryam bint Imran, Khadijah, and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhunna.

[19] Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Bab Min Fada’il Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Hadith: 5342, in the hadith the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says, “Verily I have been bestowed with love for her.” Thus having love for Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha is a gift from Allah.

[20] Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Bab Min Fada’il Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Hadith: 5342.

[21] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al Ansar, Bab Tazwij al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith: 3815.

[22] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al Ansar, Bab Tazwij al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith: 3820.

[23] Tabarani: Mujam al Kabir, no.22, Bab Dhikr Azwaj Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wa minhun Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, vol. 23 p.13.

[24] Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 12 p. 455.

[25] Tabaqat ibn Sad, vol. 8 p. 45, with slight variation.

[26] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 5212.

[27] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1463.

[28] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4358.

[29] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2438.

[30] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 3768

[31] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 3775

[32] Surah al Ahzab: 28, 29

[33] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 4786

[34] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3773.

[35] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4438.

[36] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3771.

[37] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3772; Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3889, and al Tirmidhi said, “This hadith is Hassan Sahih.”

[38] Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha has narrated 2210 ahadith and is the fourth most prolific narrator of hadith; after Abu Hurairah, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, and Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Refer to Ibn Hazm: Asma’ al Sahabah al Ruwat p. 39, Ibn al Jawzi: Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar p. 363.

[39] Khunays ibn Hudhafah is amongst the early Muhajirin and participated in the Battle of Badr after returning from Abyssinia. He then participated in the Battle of Uhud where he was sustained a fatal injury and passed away shortly thereafter in Madinah. Al Istiab vol. 1 p. 134, al Isabah vol. 2 p. 345.

[40] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 p. 81.

[41] Al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 18 p. 365, Hadith: 934; Mustadrak al Hakim, vol. 4 p. 16, Hadith: 6753.

[42] Sahih ibn Hibban, Hadith: 4506.

[43] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 918.

[44] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 p. 296, vol. 6 p. 304, Hadith: 26582, categorised as weak by Sheikh Shu’ayb Arna’ut. In another narration reported by ‘Umar ibn Abi Salamah, the step-son of the Prophet salla Llahu ”alayhi wa sallam, it is narrated, “Umm Salamah said, ‘Am I with them, O Messenger of Allah?’ The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “You are upon your station, you are upon goodness.” This narration is Sahih as reported by al Tirmidhi (Hadith: 3812) and contains a clear virtue for Sayyidah Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

[45] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 4 p. 323.

[46] Surah al Ahzab: 5

[47] Surah al Ahzab: 37

[48] Surah al Ahzab: 33-37

[49] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith 7420.

[50] Surah al Ahzab: 53

[51] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith 4792.

[52] Sahih al Muslim, Hadith 2452.

[53] Sahih al Muslim, Hadith 2422.

[54] An agreement of Kitabah is one where a master makes a deal with his/her slave to pay a certain amount in exchange for his/her freedom.

[55] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2726.

[56] The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised those who migrated to Abyssinia and then later to Madinah as well, saying that for them is the reward of two emigrations. Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2502.

[57] Al Tirmidhi has reported that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to her, “Certainly your father is Harun, your uncle is Musa, and I am your Husband.” Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith” 3892.

[58] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3892

[59] Musannaf Abd al Razzaq, vol. 11 pg. 431, Hadith: 20922; Tabaqat Ibn Sad, vol. 8 pg. 128.

[60] Mustadrak al Hakim, vol. 4 pg. 32-33; Jami’ al Saghir, Hadith 2763; Silsilah al Ahadith al Sahihah, Hadith: 1764.

[61] Sahih al Muslim, Hadith: 2141, Mustadrak al Hakim, vol. 4 pg. 30.

[62] Sahih Jami al Saghir, Hadith 2724.

[63] Al Istiab 1/ 589.

[64] Siyar A‘lam al Nubala’ 2/181.

[65] Nisa’ Hawl al Rasul pg. 66.

[66] Siyar A‘lam al Nubala’ 2/185.

[67] Ibid

[68] The occasion of Ifk is when Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was falsely accused by the hypocrites of committing zina.

[69] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1989.

[70] The narrations of the Ummahat al Mu’minin mentioned hereunder has been derived from the following sources:

  1. Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat by Ibn Hazm,
  2. Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar by Ibn Jawzi,
  3. Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ by al Dhahabi,
  4. A transcript by Baqi ibn Mukhallad which contains a section enumerating the narrations of all the Sahabah,
  5. Nisa’ fi Zil Rasul Allah by Sheikh ‘Irfan al ‘Isha Husunah al Dimishqiyyah.

[71] Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat pg. 68.

[72] Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat, pg. 72; Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar, pg. 365.

[73] Nisa’ fi Zil Rasul Allah, pg. 208.

[74] Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat, pg. 75; Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar, pg. 365.

[75] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 2/228.

[76] Nisa’ fi Zil Rasul Allah, pg. 124.

[77] Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat, pg. 153.

[78] Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar, pg. 369.

[79] Nisa’ fi Zil Rasul Allah, pg. 182.

[80] Nisa’ fi Zil Rasul Allah, pg. 182.

[81] Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat, pg. 155.

[82] Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar, pg. 369.

[83] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 2/238.

[84] Nisa’ fi Zil Rasul Allah, pg. 239.

[85] Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat, pg. 371.

[86] Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar, pg. 371.

[87] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 2/263.

[88] Nisa’ fi Zil Rasul Allah, pg. 200.

[89] Asma’ al Sahabah wa al Ruwat, pg. 222.

[90] Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar, pg. 372.