The Prophet gave her
the name, Maymuna, meaning "blessed", and Maymuna lived with the Prophet for just over three years, until his death. She was very good natured and got on well
with everyone, and no quarrel or disagreement with any of the Prophet's other wives has been related about her. A'isha said about her, "Among us, Maymuna had the
most fear of Allah and did the most to maintain ties of kinship." It was in her room that the Prophet first began to feel the effects of what became his final
illness and asked the permission of his wives to stay in A'isha's room while it lasted.
After the Prophet's
death, Maymuna lived in Medina for forty years, dying at the age of eighty, in 51AH. She asked to be buried where she had married the Prophet at Saraf and her
request was carried out. It is related that at the funeral of Maymuna, Ibn Abbas said, "This is the wife of Allah's Messenger so when you lift her bier, do not
shake her or disturb her, but be gentle."
It is also related by
Ibn Abbas that, as a child he once stayed the night as a guest of Maymuna and the Prophet (pbuh). While the Prophet and Maymuna slept on their blanket lengthways,
Ibn Abbas slept at the end by their feet, crossways. After they had all slept for a while, the Prophet rose in the middle of the night to pray the Tahajjud
prayer, and Ibn Abbas joined him.
They both did Wudu,
and prayed eleven Rak'as for Tahajjud and Witr. Then they both went back to sleep again until dawn. Bilal called the Athan, and the Prophet did another two short
Rak’as, before going into the mosque to lead the Fajr Prayer.
Ibn Abbas related
that one of the Du’aas the Prophet said during that night was: "O Allah! let Thy light be in my heart, and this light to be in my tongue, and my
hearing, and my sight; and this light be behind me, in front of me, on my right, on my left, above me and below me. O’ Allah, also let Thy light be in my sinew,
in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; and place it in my soul and make it abundant for me."
It is commonly agreed that it was after
the Prophet had married Maymuna that the following was revealed (Quran 33:52):
After this, the Prophet (pbuh) did not
The Christian ruler
of Egypt, in response to the Prophet's letter inviting him to embrace Islam, sent him two Christian slave girls sisters as a gift, along with a fine robe and some
medicine. The Prophet (pbuh) accepted one of the slave girls, Maria ماريـه
into his household; and he gave her sister Serene to a man whom he wished to honor, namely Hassan ibn Thabit
حـسان بن ثآبتت .This occurred in 7 AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and Maria was twenty years old.
زوجـه الرسـول (ص)
Umm Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufyan, was married to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 1AH, although she did not actually
come to live with him in Medina until 7AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and she was thirty‑five. Umm Habiba was the daughter of Abu Sufyan
أبـوسـفـيان, who for most of his life was one of the
worst enemies of the Prophet, spending much of his effort and great wealth in opposing Islam. Abu Sufyan and his son Mu'awiya
مـعآويـه led the armies of the pagan Quraish against the Muslims in all early
major battles, including the battles of Ohod and al‑Khandaq. Indeed it was not until the conquest of Mecca, when the Prophet generously pardoned him, that Abu
Sufyan embraced Islam.
Umm Habiba and her first husband (who was called Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh, the brother of Zainab bint Jahsh) were among
the first people to embrace Islam in Mecca. They were among the early Muslims who had to immigrate to Abyssinia seeking safety. Once in Abyssinia, however,
Ubaydullah abandoned Islam and became Christian. He tried to make her become Christian, but she stood fast. She could no longer live with him, and once they got
divorced, she could not return to her father ِAbu
Sufyan either, since her father was an infidel pagan, busy trying to destroy Islam and the Muslims. So Umm Habiba remained with her daughter in Abyssinia (living
a very simple life, deprived and in isolation), waiting to see what Allah would decree for her.
Proposal of Marriage
One day, as Umm Habiba sat in her solitary room, —a stranger in a strange land far from her home— a maidservant
knocked on her door and said that she had been sent by the king of Abyssinia Negus who had a message for her. The message was that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had
asked for her hand in marriage. And that if she accepts this proposal she was to name one of the Muslims in Abyssinia as her Wakeel (representative), so that the
marriage ceremony could take place in Abyssinia (even though she was not in the same place as the Prophet). Naturally Umm Habiba was overtaken with joy,
overwhelmed by the proposal. She accepted immediately. “Allah has given me good news! Allah has given me good news!” she cried, pulling off what little jewelry
she had and gifted it to the smiling maidservant who brought the news to her. Actually, she asked the girl to repeat the message three times before she could
even believe it herself!!
Soon after this, the Muslims who had sought refuge in Abyssinia were summoned to the palace of Negus the king to
witness the simple marriage ceremony in which the king on the Prophet's behalf and her Wakeel, Khalid ibn al‑Aas, acting on her behalf. When the marriage ceremony
was finalized, Negus addressed the gathering with these words:
“I praise God, the Holy”
“The Messenger of Allah requested me to conclude the marriage contract between him and Umm Habiba, the daughter of Abu
Sufyan. I agreed to do what he requested, and on his behalf I give her a dowry of four hundred gold Dinars.” The Negus handed over the amount to Khalid ibn Aas
who stood up and said:
“All praise is due to Allah. I praise Him and I seek His help and forgiveness and I turn to Him in repentance. I
bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger whom He has sent with the deen (religion) of guidance and truth so it may prevail over all other
religions, no matter how much the disbelievers dislike this. "I agreed to do what the Prophet (pbuh) requested and acted as the Wakeel on behalf of Umm Habiba,
the daughter of Abu Sufyan. May Allah bless Allah's Messenger and his wife! Congratulations to Umm Habiba for the goodness which Allah has decreed for her.”
Khalid took the dowry and handed it over to Umm Habiba. Thus although she could not travel to Arabia straight away,
she was supported financially by the Prophet (pbuh) from the moment they were married. The Muslims who had witnessed the marriage contract were just about to
leave, when the Negus said to them, “Sit down, for it is the practice of the Prophets to serve food at marriages.” Joyfully everyone sat again to eat and
celebrate the happy occasion. Umm Habiba could hardly believe her good fortune, and she later described how eager she was to share her happiness, saying: “When I
received the money as my dowry, I sent fifty mithqals of gold to the maidservant who had first brought me the good news, and I said to her, “I gave you what I did
when you gave me the good news because at that time I did not have any money at all.” Shortly afterwards, the maidservant came to me and returned the gold. She
also returned a case which contained the necklace I had given her, saying, “The Negus has instructed me not to take anything from you, and he has commanded the
women in his household to present you with gifts of perfume.”
On the following day, the maidservant brought me ambergris, saffron and aloes wood oil and said, “I have a favor to
ask of you.”
“What is it?” I asked curiously.
“I have accepted Islam,” she replied, “and now I follow the deen of Muhammad (pbuh). Please convey my greetings of
peace to the Prophet (pbuh) and let him know that I believe in Allah and His Prophet. Please do not forget.”
Six years later, in 7AH, when the emigrant Muslims in Abyssinia were finally able to return to Arabia, Umm Habiba
arrived in Medina and there, the Prophet (pbuh) (who had just returned victorious from Khaybar) warmly welcomed her. Umm Habiba relates: “When I met the Prophet
(pbuh) I told him all about the arrangements that had been made for the marriage and about my relationship with the girl. I told him that she had embraced Islam
and conveyed her greetings of peace to him. He was filled with joy at the news and said, “Wa alayha al salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuh”: meaning ‑And on her
be the peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessing.
The intensity of Umm Habiba's character can be measured by what happened shortly before the conquest of Mecca, when
her father, Abu Sufyan the enemy of Islam, came to Medina after the mighty Quraish had broken the treaty of Hudaibiya. He came in hopes of re‑negotiating a fresh
agreement with Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims. He went to Umm Habiba's room and was about to sit on the bed of the Prophet (pbuh). Umm Habiba had not seen or
communicated with her infidel father for more than 10 years. It was a tense moment when they met, and when Abu Sufyan tried to sit on the bed of the Prophet
(pbuh), Umm Habiba cried out indignantly in a fit of anger. She strongly ordered her father never ever to sit on Allah's Messenger's bed for it is the bed of
purity. Quickly she folded the bed up and put it away. Taken aback but keeping his furor inside Abu Sufyan said, “Am I too good for the bed, or is the bed too
good for me?” Umm Habiba shot back with a piercing answer, “How can the enemy of Islam sit on the very bed of the Holy Prophet?”
It was only after Abu Sufyan had embraced Islam, (after the conquest of Mecca) and had become Muslim rather than the
enemy of Islam, that Umm Habiba accepted him again as her father. When Umm Habiba received the news that her father and brother Mu'awiya, had become Muslims
after the conquest, she fell down in prostration to Allah out of thankfulness. Umm Habiba spent four years of her life with the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and lived
for another thirty‑three years after he had died, dying at the age of seventy‑two in 44AH, may Allah be pleased with her. Like all the wives of the Prophet
(pbuh) Umm Habiba spent much of her time remembering Allah and worshipping Him. Umm Habiba narrated 65 Hadiths.
Zainab Bint Jahsh
زينـب بنت جحـش
زوجه الرـسول (ص)
Zainab bint Jahsh married Prophet Muhammad in 5 AH. She was thirty-five years old and the
Prophet was fifty-eight, when her pervious marriage, (which had been arranged by the Prophet himself) had ended in divorce. As with all the marriages of the
Prophet Muhammad, there was much for all the Muslims to learn from it. Zainab bint Jahsh was the Prophet’s cousin. Thus Zainab bint Jahsh came from a noble family
of Quraish, and everyone expected her to eventually marry a man with the same high social status.
The Prophet (pbuh) was well aware that it is a person's standing in the eyes of Allah that
is important, rather than his or her status in the eyes of the people. To apply that, the Prophet wanted her to marry Zaid ibn Harith, whose background was very
different to that of Zainab. Zaid was taken as a prisoner while still a child during one of the inter-tribal wars before the advent of Islam. Zaid was sold as a
slave to a nephew of Khadija; who then gave Zaid to Khadija as a gift. In turn, Khadija gave Zaid to Muhammad; all of this was in the days of Jahiliya and before
the revelation of the Quran had begun. The Prophet (pbuh) gave Zaid his freedom and adopted him as his own son, when Zaid was about eight years old. Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) watched both Zaid and Zainab grow up, and thought they would make a good couple. He thought their marriage would demonstrate that it was not the
status of the ancestors but rather their standing in the sight of Allah that mattered. When the Prophet (pbuh) asked for her hand on behalf of Zaid, her family
was shocked, for the man was no more than a freed slave. Moreover, Zainab had wanted to marry the Prophet (pbuh) himself and in fact he had already been asked by
her family whether or not he would like to marry her. At first both she and her brother refused, but then the following Ayah was revealed:
“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any say in their decision; and whoever
disobeys Allah and His Messenger has most clearly gone astray.” (Quran 33:36)
When Zaid, who had also had misgivings about the proposed match, and Zainab realized that
there was no difference between what the Prophet wanted and what Allah wanted, they both agreed to the marriage. Although both Zainab and Zaid were the best of
people, who loved Allah and His Messenger, they were very different and in the end they could not overcome their incompatibility. Zaid asked the Prophet's
permission to divorce Zainab more than once, and although the Prophet advised him to hold onto his wife and to fear Allah, in the end the divorce took place.
Following the divorce, the Prophet (pbuh) was commanded by Allah to marry Zainab bint Jahsh; he was 53 years old, and she was 35. That took place in the 5th
Hijrah year. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) received the command to marry Zainab while he was with A'isha. After he had received the revelation, he smiled and
said, "Who will go and give Zainab the good news?" and he recited the Ayah he just received. When Zainab heard the news, she stopped what she was doing and prayed
to thank Allah. Afterwards, she was fond of pointing out that her marriage had been arranged by Allah in heaven. It was at this point that the Prophet changed her
name from Barra to Zainab.
Zainab’s wedding feast was also the occasion for another Ayah of Quran to be sent down. The Prophet (pbuh) sacrificed a sheep and then commanded his servant,
Anas, to invite the people to partake of it. After they had eaten, two men remained there after the meal chatting. The Messenger of Allah went out and said
goodnight to his other wives and then came back and the two men were still there chatting. It was very hard on the Prophet who did not like to criticize people
directly, and so he waited patiently until they left. Then Allah sent down the following Ayah which is known as "The Ayah of Hijab":
“O you who believe! Do not
go into the Prophet's rooms except after being given permission to come and eat, not waiting for the food to be prepared, However, when you are called, then go in
and when you have eaten, then disperse, and do not remain wanting to chat together. If you do that, it causes injury to the Prophet though he is too reticent to
tell you. But Allah is not reticent with the truth. When you ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a screen. That is purer for your hearts and their
hearts. It is not for you to cause injury to the Messenger of Allah nor ever to marry his wives after him. To do that would be something dreadful in the sight of
Allah. Whether you make something known or conceal it, Allah has knowledge of all things. There is no blame on them regarding their fathers or their sons or their
brothers or their brother’s sons or their sister’s sons or their women or those whose their right hands own. Have fear of Allah. Allah is witness over everything.
Allah and His angels pray blessings of the Prophet. O you who believe! Pray blessings on him and ask for peace for him”. (Quran 33:53-56)
Zainab was a woman
who was constantly immersed in the worship of Allah. It is related by Anas ibn Malik that once the Prophet (pbuh) entered the mosque and found a rope hanging down
between two of the pillars, and so he said, "What is this?" He was told, "It is for Zainab. She prays, and when she loses concentration or feels tired, she holds
onto it." At this time the Prophet said, "Untie it. Pray as long as you feel fresh, but when you lose concentration or become tired, you should stop."
Zainab bint Jahsh was
with the Prophet (pbuh) for six years, and lived for another nine years after his death, dying at the age of fifty, in 20 AH, and thus fulfilling the Prophet's
indication that she would be the first of his wives to die after him. Zainab bint Jahsh was very generous to the poor, and indeed the Prophet said, when speaking
of her to his other wives, "She is the most generous among you."
It was related by
A'isha that the Prophet (pbuh) once said to his wives, "The one who has the longest hands among you will meet me again the soonest." A'isha added, "….. because
Zainab used to work by hand and give away (what she earned) in charity." A'isha also said "I have never seen a woman so pure as Zainab, so God-fearing, so
truthful, so attentive to family ties, so generous, so self-sacrificing in everyday life, so charitable, and thus so close to Allah, the Exalted."
Several years after
the Prophet (pbuh) had died, when Omar was the Khalifa, great wealth came to the Muslims as a result of their victories in fighting the Persians. The immense
treasures of Chosroes, the Persian Emperor, fell into their hands, and when Omar sent Zainab a pile of gold as her share of the treasure, she called her
maidservant and told her to take a handful of it to so-and-so, naming one of the poor people of Medina. One after another, she named all the poor people whom she
knew, until they had all received a share of the treasure. Then she told her maidservant to see what was left. All that remained of the large pile of gold was
eighty Dinars, and this she accepted as her share, thanking Allah for it; but, because she believed so much money was a temptation, she asked Allah that she would
never witness such a large distribution of wealth again.
By the time
a year had passed, when Omar again came to distribute money amongst those wives of the Prophet who were still alive, her prayer had been granted for she had
already passed away, and may Allah be pleased with her. Zainab bint Jahsh narrated 11 Hadiths.