11 wives of the Prophet: The Sahabiyaat were the women who were the companions of the Prophet of Allah. They were noble, pure, and honored during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah with glad tidings that they will forever live in Paradise.
These women have made a mark in history, they were found on battlefields during Jihad, in the field of education, trade, and interpretation of the laws of Islam, and medicine. No aspect of life has not benefitted from their wisdom. These women are none other than the Ummahat ul Mu’mineen, this term translates into Mother Of Believers and refers to the wives of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Wives Of The Messenger Of Allah
In our last post we talked about the Most Influential Women in Islamic History and today we will be focusing on the wives of the Prophet Muhammad as they all have a special place in every Muslim’s heart.
Since Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wives were a part of his family they were also honored with the title of Ahl al Bayt (Family of the House). Due to their renowned status, they are more accountable for their actions than average Muslim women and will be rewarded more than an average Muslimah. It is mentioned in the Quran:
1 – Hazrat Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid RA
Hazrat Khadijah RA came from a very noble family, she was the daughter of two royal people Khuwaylid and Fatima. She was married to some of the leaders of Quraish but became a widow both times. Hazrat Khadijah’s RA strong character and noble qualities earned her the honor of being greeted by Allah SWT through Jibreel. Some of her remarkable qualities will be highlighted here:
- Hazrat Khadijah RA was one of those few people who led a straight life even at the time of Jahiliya (ignorance), the quality of TAQWA was embedded in her nature. She was for this reason well known as TAHIRAH (one who is pure and untainted)
- She had inherited a lot of wealth from her father and was BRAVE enough to continue trading at that time in a male dominant society.
- Her’s and Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) was a true love story. It takes a lot of effort and sacrifice to keep the spark of love alive in a marriage. Hazrat Khadijah RA was a constant pillar of SUPPORT , when everyone opposed the Messenger of Allah she supported him financially and emotionally.
- Hazrat Khadija RA was a source of COMFORT for the Messenger of Allah. When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the first revelation that left him frightened, Hazrat Khadijah RA comforted him and told him that she believed in what he was saying. She was the FIRST person to enter the fold of Islam.
- Hazrat Khadijah RA was very DEAR to the Prophet of Allah, to the extent he did not take any wife while she was alive.
- The WARM NATURE and KINDNESS Hazrat Khadijah RA displayed at home was exemplary. She was TAHIRAH and He was AL- AMIN. A perfect match was made, and their marriage was praised by all of the people of Makkah.
- Since they came together on the basis of character there has not a single argument has been narrated anywhere. Imagine the level of DEVOTION and LOVE she would have had for the Messenger of Allah that there is no mention of any fight between them anywhere. Read our article on a happy marriage in Islam here.
- Hazrat Khadijah RA was a source of PEACE and TRANQUILITY for the Messenger of Allah which helped him spend long hours in contemplation at the cave of Hira. This would not have been possible without her.
- She not only helped Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) financially but SPENT HER RICHES ON THE POOR as well. She helped orphans and got poor girls married and provided their dowries.
- She had a KEEN SENSE OF CHARACTER which led her to falling in love with Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) personality and offer her hand in marriage which he accepted.
2 – Hazrat Sawdah Bint Zamá RA
Here is another one of the mothers of the believers, the companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who believed in him when no one else did. She brought joy and comfort to the Prophet of Allah, after the grief of losing Khadijah. The second woman to get married to the Messenger of Allah after Hazrat Khadijah RA. She preferred a life of obscurity, she was none other than Hazrat Sawdah Bint Zamá RA.
Her father was Zamah ibn Qais, who belonged to the clan of Aamir bin Ruhaith who first brought idols to Makkah. Hence, she belonged to a mighty clan, it was also the same clan to which Hazrat Khadijah RA belonged, so in a way, she is related to Hazrat Khadijah RA. She was five years older than Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Some of her remarkable qualities have been highlighted here:
- Hazrat Sawdah RA was very BRAVE . She was also one of the people to accept Islam in the beginning even if it meant facing severe torture and death from the people of Quraish. This fear didn’t stop her.
- She was an amazing STORYTELLER, she used to tell mesmerizing tales about her adventures in Abyssinia.
- She had a great SENSE OF HUMOR, she knew how to make people laugh, even if it meant that she be their source of laughter. It was known whenever the Prophet (PBUH) would feel grieved because of the hardships related to the spreading of Islam, it was always Hazrat Sawdah RA who made him smile with a quick-witted joke.
- Hazrat Sawdah RA had a very JOLLY DISPOSITION. The Messenger of Allah’s house rang with laughter whenever she was around.
- She was very TOLERANT towards the other wives of the Prophet (PBUH). As she became of old age, she gave her turn to Aisha, to please the Messenger of Allah.
- Hazrat Sawdah RA had a very NURTURING personality. She was the right choice for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). She immediately took over the care of Umm Kulsoom and Fatima who were very young at that time. Hazrat Aisha RA looked to her as an older sister.
- She is very well known for her GENEROSITY. Hazrat Aisha RA mentioned Hazrat Sawda RA as the most generous of people. She gave away everything she had, anytime she received gifts, she didn’t even look at them but would immediately give them away. When she became a widow Umar Bin Al Khattab sent her a bag of dirhams, upon learning what it was she distributed it among the poor and needy.
- She made GREAT SACRIFICES to preserve her deen. She migrated to Abyssinia with her first husband. Leaving her house and property, crossing the desert and the sea to an unknown land for the sake of Allah SWT.
Hazrat Aisha RA reported:
3 – Hazrat Aisha Bint Abu Bakr RA
None other than the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr RA, who was the nearest and dearest to the Messenger of Allah. She was married, but since she was very young and couldn’t consummate the marriage, she was bought later to the Prophet’s (PBUH) house when she was older. Here are some of her remarkable personality traits:
- Hazrat Aisha RA was very INTELLIGENT, she wasn’t hesitant on demonstrating her budding knowledge in front of anyone. The Messenger of Allah was often heard laughing in surprise at her quick wit.
- She had an AMAZING MEMORY, never forgot anything once she heard it. At the time of her death, she was an expert in the interpretation of the Quran, commentary of the Quran, hadith, and jurisprudence.
- Hazrat Aisha RA was a HAFIDHA (memoriser of the Quran) and A MUHADDITHA (hadith narrator), she is said to have narrated 2210 ahadith in her lifetime. Abu Musa al-Ashari once said:
- She was a very PASSIONATE person, her emotions ran hot and cold. She loved her husband so much, that she did not like when he spoke highly of other women.
- She was VERY GENEROUS, she became very angry when her nephew mentioned she should suppress her generosity. She said who on earth can stop her from spending in the way of Allah SWT.
- Hazrat Aisha RA was known for her HONESTY as well. She was nicknamed As-Siddiqa (The Truthful Woman).
- She was FUN-LOVING, in the early days of her marriage she would have her friends over to play and sing.
- She was a very DISTINGUISHED personality. The knowledge of Fiqh, Quran, poetry, medicine, and law she had, had no parallel. She debated law and played a role as a consultant in political matters during the Caliphate of Umar bin Al Khattab. During a time in Islam when women were not expected or wanted, to contribute outside the household, she was a role model and broke stereotypes.
4 – Hazrat Hafsah bint Umar ibn Al-Khattab RA
Daughter of another of the Messenger of Allah’s closest confidantes, Hazrat Umar Bin Al Khattab RA. She was twenty when she joined the rank of the wives of the Prophet of Allah. This union was an astute political alliance. Some of the remarkable qualities of Hazrat Hafsah RA are:
- She had a THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE, at a time when most people were illiterate she could read and write. She committed herself to learn the literary arts which were not at all necessary and very rare indeed. Her devotion to knowledge was above and beyond what was required of her.
- She was a HAFIDHA (one who memorizes the Quran) like Hazrat Aisha RA.
- She was very CURIOUS, and never shied away from asking questions. It was never out of defiance she just needed to satisfy her inquisitive nature.
- She was TRUSTWORTHY as well as literate, she was entrusted with the palm branches, slates, and other materials upon which the revealed Quran had been written. And protected it until the time came for Hazrat Uthman Bin Affan RA to compile it in the form of a book. Had she been not so trustworthy she would have never been given the Quran for safekeeping.
- Hazrat Hafsa RA was TOUGH and probably inherited that trait from her father. She didn’t back down when it came to her right to discuss issues with her husband and even argue with him or face her father’s anger.
- She was extremely PIOUS and spent her days fasting and nights in prayer.
5 – Hazrat Zaynab bint Khuzaymah RA
Hazrat Zaynab bint Khuzaymah RA passed away 8 months after marriage to the Messenger of Allah, so not much is known about her. She and Khadijah were the only wives of the Messenger of Allah that died while he was still alive, the rest lived on after he passed away. Only two remarkable qualities have been highlighted:
- Even before the acceptance of Islam, Hazrat Zaynab RA had a very giving nature, it was not because she wanted to be viewed as a good person but she could not bear to see a fellow human in need. She was very GENEROUS, her compassion for the poor was so great that some famous poets labeled her as the ‘Mother of the Poor’. After accepting Islam, when she got to know about the laws of Islam about helping the needy, Hazrat Zaynab’s RA generosity only intensified.
- Like Hazrat Sawdah RA, Hazrat Zaynab RA also accepted Islam when it posed a danger to their lives. She was BRAVE enough to do so even with seeing people around her being tortured and murdered.
6 – Hazrat Umm Salamah bint Abu Umayyah RA
Continuing on the journey to finding out more about the Ummah tul Momineen. The 6th wife of the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Umm Salamah bint Abu Umayyah RA. Her real name was Hind bint Abi Umayya. She accepted Islam in the early days and had to migrate twice once to Abyssinia and then to Madinah for the sake of practicing her religion freely. Allah SWT blessed her with long life and she outlived all the wives of the Prophet (PBUH)
- Hazrat Umm Salamah RA was extremely BEAUTIFUL .
- She was SMART, known as the scholar among the scholars, who had the most competent judgment on Islamic law. One of the earliest scholars of the Quran, Hazrat Abdullah Bin Abbas RA would seek advice from Hazrat Umm Salamah RA on Islamic law. She narrated over 300 ahadith most of them concerning women.
- She was BRAVE and a WARRIOR, fought many battles, like the Bani Mustalaq, Ta’if, Khaybar, Hunayn, and the conquest of Makkah, alongside the Messenger of Allah. And she was present at the signing of the treaty of Hudaybiyah.
- She was WISE, her wisdom proved very fruitful to the Messenger of Allah and his companions on many occasions. At Hudaibiyyah when the Prophet of Allah instructed his companions to slaughter animals, they were so shocked by the treaty that they didn’t move.
7 – Hazrat Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith RA
Now we take a look at the qualities of the 7th wife of the Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith RA whose life changed drastically she went from being a war captive to the wife of the Messenger of Allah.
- Hazrat Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith RA was OUTSPOKEN, when she was captured she demanded to meet the Messenger of Allah knowing well he would listen. This lead to her converting to Islam and then marriage to the Prophet of Allah.
- She was DEVOTED to Allah SWT. She spent most of her time in worship and remembarance of Allah SWT. It is narrated:
- She was a FAST LEARNER. She would listen to the Messenger of Allah and learn the teachings of Islam and acted accordingly.
- She was SMART and would not allow anyone to treat her unjustly. She knew her rights.
8 – Hazrat Zaynab bint Jahsh RA
Continuing our journey to find out more about the mothers of the believers, we reach Harzta Zaynab bint Jahsh RA. Her life stands as an example to us.
- She was TRUTHFUL. One of the most well-known anecdotes was when she stood by Hazrat Aisha RA at her darkest hour, when her character was assassinated, Hazrat Zaynab RA was one of the few people who spoke the truth about her.
- She THOUGHT OVER things before making any decision, she did not make decisions in haste. When the proposal of the Messenger of Allah reached her she said that she couldn’t answer immediately and would seek Allah’s guidance.
- Even though Hazrat Zaynab RA came from a life of luxury she was very GENEROUS and had a soft corner for those who had less than her.
9 – Hazrat Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan RA
It is no secret that Hazrat Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan RA was the daughter of Abu Sufyan one of the people who strongly opposed Islam and led enemies of Islam to war against the Muslims.
- She was BRAVE enough to declare her acceptance of Islam, even though she knew full well what could happen at the hands of her father.
- She stood STEADFAST on her faith. The roots of her faith were embedded too strong in her heart. Abu Sufyan tried his best to bring her back to the religion of their forefathers but in vain.
- Hazrat Umm Habibah RA was DIPLOMATIC, she witnessed different crisis but took no part in them, not even by voicing her opinion. She wanted to meet Allah SWT with no malice in her heart regarding any Muslim.
10 – Hazrat Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab RA
Safiyyah came from a family that was one of the biggest Jewish tribes living in Madinah. Her father and uncle knew that Muhammad (PBUH) was the Messenger of Allah but refused to follow him, it was due to their sense of superiority because of lineage that they refused to accept an Arab Prophet.
- She was very COMPASSIONATE, she put the needs of others before hers.
- She was TRUTHFUL, when the time of the Prophet’s (PBUH) demise came close and he was in his final illness.
11 – Hazrat Maymunah bint al-Haarith RA
Last of the wives of the Messenger of Allah, like Hazrat Khadijah RA she also sent her proposal to the Prophet of Allah who accepted.
- Hazrat Maymunah RA was DETERMINED, she knew what she wanted and went after it. When she had been divorced and widowed, she knew she needed a companion, and who better than the Messenger of Allah and sent her intentions through Umm Fadal, who then mentioned it to Hazrat Abbas RA who approached Muhammad (PBUH), who accepted her hand in marriage.
- She was LOYAL not only to her people but also to Allah SWT, it is narrated by Hazrat Aisha RA that:
- She was FRIENDLY, she was greeted with love and kindness when she married the Prophet (PBUH) and Maymunah returned the love. She never had any disputes with the other wives.
May Allah Be Pleased With Them All.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why did the Messenger of Allah marry Hazrat Aisha RA?
Ans. The marriage of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Hazrat Aisha RA was based on a divine command.
Q. Who was the second wife of the Messenger of Allah?
Ans. There are certain disagreements when it comes to this, but Hazrat Sawdah RA is regarded as the second wife because she was living with him before Hazrat Aisha RA joined them.
Q. Who was the favourite wife of the Messenger of Allah?
Ans. The Prophet of Allah greatly favored Hazrat Khadijah bint Khuwaylid RA.