The Four Daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam

Removing Doubts Regarding Sayyidah Ruqayyah
August 27, 2015
The Biography of Sayyidah Zaynab bint Rasulillah
August 27, 2015

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The Four Daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

الحمد لله رب العالمين و الصلوة و السلام على سيد الاولين والاخرين و خاتم النبيين و على ازواجه المطهرات و بناته الاربعة الطاهرات الطيبات زينب و رقية و ام كلثوم و فاطمة و على اهل بيته و جميع اصحابه و اتباعه باحسان الى يوم الدين


Necessity for Writing this Book

The purpose of writing this book is to bring to the fore the biographies and noble lives of the four daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with the help of Allah. A few prejudiced individuals unjustly consider Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to have only one daughter, namely Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, excluding the other three — Sayyidah Zainab, Sayyidah Ruqayyah and Sayyidah Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha — from the list of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam biological daughters and instead referring to them as his adopted daughters or step-daughters. They do so despite the instruction of Allah Ta’ala:

اُدْعُوْهُمْ لِاٰبَآئِهِمْ هُوَ اَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ ۚ

Call them (your adopted children) by (the names of) their fathers. This is more just in the sight of your Rabb.[1]


The necessity of this divine decree is that children should be ascribed to their biological parents and never to any other. This injunction applies equally to both men and women.

Ascribing the true biological daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to another sheer obstinacy and discarding the teachings of the Qur’an and Islam.

This era is one filled with many trials and tribulations and traversing the path of iman and upholding the teachings of Islam has become extremely difficult. Efforts are underway to distort and alter the clear unanimously accepted teachings of Islam. As for the belief structure of Islam, there is a tireless endeavour to distort this completely.

The daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have been shamelessly made a target of accusation and derision, and the sacred blood of this noble family has been questioned. There honour has been slandered with the most demeaning of statements.

In light of these conditions, it was thought only prudent to discuss the true lineage of all four daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and thereafter present the biography of each of these noble ladies so as to highlight the lofty status of these pure personalities.


Composition of the Book

We have opted to present this information in the following manner. After concluding the preludes and introductory discussions, first the nobility of the first blessed wife of Rasulullah — Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha — will be discussed as well as the previous husbands and children born from those unions.

This will be followed by a discussion on the children she bore for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well as mention of her merits and virtues. The content for these discussion were derived from the books of both factions — Sunni and Shia — especially citing references from fourteen Shia books , considered reliable by them, which clearly mention and prove these pure ladies to be the daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Thereafter a biography of each of the daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will be discussed in sequence, which will also address commonly raised objections and misconceptions against them. When concluding the biography of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha a few additional dissertations were added which seek to clarify the merit of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

The book concludes with a chapter dedicated to the removal of misconceptions which some people have raised in their exertion to prove that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only had one daughter. These misconceptions were replied to and all misgivings laid to rest, and all praise belongs to Allah.

It should be kept in mind that I have attempted in all instances to site references from both Sunni and Shia books so as to ease understanding of the true reality of the four daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and attain conviction thereof.


The True Substantiation

The fundamental proof for this discussion whether Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had four daughters or not is the noble Qur’an. When Allah Ta’ala was issuing the instruction of hijab, Allah addressed his beloved Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the following manner:

یٰٓاَیُّهَا النَّبِیُّ قُلْ لِّاَزْوَاجِكَ وَ بَنٰتِكَ وَ نِسَآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ یُدْنِیْنَ عَلَیْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِیْبِهِنَّ ؕ

O Nabi (salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments.


This verse is explicit in that the order of hijab is for all of the wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, all of his daughters and all of the believing women. This verse informs us that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has more than one wife and similarly more than one daughter, just as there are more than one believing woman.

To discard the clear purport of the verse and render some alternate interpretation or explanation is denial of the text of the Qur’an, which is impermissible for a Muslim.

In this verse, the wives, daughters and believing women are plural, and it is this very plural meaning which is intended here. If any one of them were considered to be singular in meaning (despite being plural), let us say for example the word daughters, and claim that the plural form of the word was used not to indicate multiplicity but nobility then it would be possible to claim the same for all those mentioned in this verse. One may also then go on to claim that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only had one wife and wherever the plural word was used (which denote multiple wives) such as in the verses:

وَاَزْوَاجُهُ اُمَّهَاتُهُمْ

His (Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wives are their (believers’) mothers.

قُلْ لِاَزْوَاجِكَ

Say (O Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to your wives.


As well as many other verses, only one wife is implied and the plural was used to denote nobility. Thus, just as this substantiation is incorrect so too claiming that the word “daughters” is singular in meaning and is only plural to denote nobility will also be one hundred percent incorrect.

In those instances where the plural has denoted a singular meaning, it was on account of clear and ambiguous indications as such. This is sorely lacking in this case and such indications are absent. In fact, in this particular case it is contradicted by authentic ahadith, History, as well the study of genealogy.


One Principle

A principle to remember is:

الاخذ بالنص مقدم على الاخذ بالاستنباط

Deriving laws from the actual text takes precedence over deriving laws from the interpretation of the text.[2]


Accordingly, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam having many daughters and that they were more than one has been proven by the text of the Qur’an, regarding which no alternate interpretation or substantiation is permitted. Whatever proofs will be cited henceforth, whether they are authentic ahadith, biographies, genealogy or history, they all serve to support what is stated clearly in the Qur’an.

We now begin with the book in accordance to the sequence mentioned, first with the biography of Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha then the four daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and finally concluding with a discussion on commonly raised misconceptions and the reply thereto.


NEXT⇒ Umm al-Mu’minin Sayyidah Khadijah

[1]  Surah al Ahzab: 5

[2] Fath al Bari vol. 9 pg. 229