Role of Muslim women in the development of the Islamic sciences

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”

An African proverb says, “Educate a boy and we educate one person. Educate a girl and we educate a family, a whole nation.”

Islam stresses education more than any other religion and considers it an essential right of every human without discriminating on the basis of gender. Women’s education is as important as men’s for the sustainability and progress of a society. The world is surprised to find that there are many Muslim women scholars who played an active role in the intellectual and social development of Muslim communities. Although the role of women scholars in Hadith Sciences is highlighted, studies show that women also contributed significantly to fields like theology, jurisprudence, literature, technology, calligraphy, medicine and many crafts that we recognize and admire as Islamic. Below is an overview of the contributions made by female Muslim scholars over the Islamic period.

Early Islamic Era: From the earliest days of Islam, women played a vital role in preservation and cultivation of Hadith. They attended prayers and sermons in Prophet’s ﷺ mosque and learnt from him in public gatherings. After his death, Sahabah used to approach Ummhat-ul-Momineen who never felt shy to guide them with their knowledge. In this regard, names of A’ishah , Hafsah, Umm Habibah, Maymunah, Umm Salamah, and Safiyah bint Huyay are renowned (May Allah be pleased with all of them, Ameen). A’ishah R.A has an eminent place in the Islamic history as a major narrator of ahadith. She praised Ansari women for being open to asking issues related to women that keep benefiting the Ummah. Other female companions of Prophet ﷺ also left their mark in history. Among the successors, women remained dynamic contributors to the Muslim civilization. Umm-ud-Darda Sughrah (Death: 81/700 CE) was a taba’iyyah (who was Muslim follower and contemporary of sahaba and born after Prophet’s ﷺ death) and a prominent jurist from Damascus of the 7th century who is considered to be superior to prominent hadith scholars like Ibn Sireen and Hasan al-Basari. She was fiqh teacher of caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Hafsah bint-Sireen [1] learned many ahadith from sahabi Anas ibn Maalik and was very proficient in Tafseer and Quran recitation. A’bida Al-Madaniyah (8th-century scholar) was a freed slave and wife of the Spanish hadith scholar Habib Duhan. She had a prominent place by memorizing traditions from great hadith scholars of Madina and related more than 10,000 ahadith on the authority of her teachers [2]. Fatima Al-Batayahiyyah [3] was a well-known scholar of the 8th century and taught Sahih Bukhari in Damascus. Leading male scholars of the time came from afar to attend her lectures. A’ishah bint Sa’d bin Abi Waqas, daughter of the famous Sahabi, was so learned that Imam Malik, Hakim ibn Utaybah, and Ayyub as Sakhtiyani were among her students.Read More »


The Lost Female Scholars of Islam

At the time Eileen Collins became the first woman to command the space shuttle, some Muslims were debating the right of women to drive a car on the road. This disparity in the level of public discourse on the rights of women and role of women confront Muslim societies. New findings by a scholar at Oxford on the historical role of women may help Muslims forge a new perspective but still remain true to the Prophetic traditions. Mehrunisha Suleman and Afaaf Rajbee report.

If you call a man a thief long enough, he will start to think he really is a thief. Likewise, if you call a child stupid all the time, she will grow up thinking s/he really is stupid. This swindle of self-perception describes the deep seated anxiety surrounding women in Islam. The sustained media and academic portrayal of Islam has been that of a sexist, patriarchal religion that subjugates women through implicit assumptions of their inferiority. The corrective efforts to this perceived sexism have been shaped by conservatism and radicalism alike. Muslim feminists throw women forward as the bastion of a new, gender-less Islam, free from the shackles of male scholarship and propelling them forth to become imams and state leaders. At the same time, one can find countless imams from the Asian subcontinent who will readily declare women’s rights as a pernicious Western import, against which the best defence is to keep them inside the home and away from places of work and education. In this way, there may be little that separates misogynistic mullahs from progressive feminists: both are reactions to a crisis of confidence in their own faith. The social and political upheavals of the past c e n t u r y h a v e shaken the ummah to the very core – to the point that commentators cannot seem to defend the most basic social relationship between men and women. Amidst these celebrations and condemnations of Islam’s supposed misogynism, Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi’s study of Al Muhaddithat: the women scholars of hadith is a timely reminder that the gender issue need not be a problem in Islam. The portrayal in the media of Islam as the cause of the subordination of women was a key inspiration for the Shaykh to embark on his decade long study. Currently a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, he found himself confronted with disagreements amongst Muslims about their own history. There was a gaping need to seek out the real historical record on women’s place in the Islamic tradition.

There are widely cited arguments that the male gender bias in Islamic scholarship has affected the interpretations of the Qur’an and hadith. But the historical records show examples of fatwas issued by male jurists that were materially adverse to men and in favour of women. Furthermore, many of the testaments of excellent female scholarships have been recounted by their male students. Imam Dhahabi noted that amongst female narrators of hadith, there were none found to be fabricators. Women’s scholarly integrity and independence were unimpeachable. Naturally, any sexist male would have a problem admitting to these facts. Since women today participate so little in the teaching of Hadith and the issuing of fatwas, there is a wide misconception that historically they have never played this role. As Shaykh Akram describes, “when I started, I thought there may be thirty to forty women,” but as the study progressed, the accounts of female scholars kept growing and growing, until eventually there were no less than 8,000 biographical accounts to be found. Such vast numbers truly testify to the huge role that women have played in the preservation and development of Islamic learning since the time of the blessed Prophet Muhammad. The women encountered by Shaykh Akram were far from mediocre when compared to men, indeed, some excelled far beyond their male contemporaries. There were exceptional women who not only actively participated in society but also actively reformed it. Most striking was the high calibre of their intellectual achievements and the respect that they received for this.

Apart from well-known figures, including Ayesha Siddiqa, the daughter of Abu Bakr, the grandeur of forgotten scholars is rekindled in the work. Fatima Al Batayahiyyah, an 8th century scholar taught the celebrated work of Sahih al Bukhari in Damascus. She was known as one of the greatest scholars of that period, demonstrated especially during the Hajj when leading male scholars of the day flocked from afar to hear her speak in person. A beautiful picture is painted of her in an Islam that has been long forgotten – a distinguished, elderly woman teaching her students for days on end in the Prophet’s mosque itself. Whenever she tired, she would rest her head on the Prophet’s grave and continue to teach her students as the hours wore on. A n y w o m a n visiting the Prophet’s mosque now will know the frustration of not even being able to see the blessed Prophet’s grave, let alone rest their head on its side wall.

Another, Zainab bint Kamal, taught more than 400 books of Hadith in the 12th century. Her “camel loads” of texts attracted camel loads of students. She was a natural teacher, exhibiting exceptional patience which won the hearts of those she taught. With such a towering intellectual reputation, her gender was no obstacle to her teaching in some of the most prestigious academic institutes in Damascus.

Then there was Fatimah bint Muhammad al Samarqandi, a jurist who advised her more famous husband on how to issue his fatwas. And Umm al-Darda, who as a young woman, used to sit with male scholars in the mosque. “I’ve tried to worship Allah in every way,” she wrote, “but I’ve never found a better one than sitting around debating with other scholars.” She became a teacher of hadith and fiqh and lectured in the men’s section. One of her students was the caliph of Damascus. The sheer hard work and dedication to Islam by these women is unfathomable by standards today – but they also had some biological advantages against men. Female muhaddi that were often sought after by students to learn hadith because of their longer lifespan – which shortened the links in the chains of narration. Although Shaykh Akram’s study focuses on the narrators of Hadith, he found that women s c h o l a r s had also contributed significantly in teaching “theology, logic, philosophy, calligraphy and many of the crafts that we recognise and admire as Islamic.”

The presence of female teachers alone does not do justice to the importance of women in Islamic history. The Qur’an, as originally recorded on parchments and animal bones, was entrusted to Hafsah, daughter of Umar. It was with the help of these preserved records that Caliph Uthman disseminated six standardised versions of the Qur’an to the major political and cultural centres in the Islamic realm. He ordered all non-standardised editions to be burned, an act that indicates the immense trust in Hafsah’s competence and character. The validity of women’s teachings was never doubted by the Companions on account of their gender, or by any respected scholar since.

Considering Islam’s teachings on the fundamental equality of men and women, Shaykh Akram’s work should really be no surprise. The Prophet taught that there is no difference in worth between believers on account of their gender. Both have the same rights and duties to learn and teach – from memorising and transmitting the words of the Qur’an and Hadith to the interpretation of these sources and giving counsel to fellow Muslims through fatwas (legal opinions). Women have the same duty as men to encourage the good and restrain the evil. It follows quite logically from this that if they cannot become scholars and be capable of understanding, interpreting and teaching, they cannot fulfil their duty as Muslims. If the subjugation of women is not the result of Islamic teachings, then why are there such gross violations of women’s rights in the Muslim world today? Relegating the Muslim woman only to the role of a mother and housewife is a relatively modern phenomenon (didn’t Ayesha lead an army and didn’t Umm Salama avert a crisis at Hudaybiyyah?). The definitive cause to this complex and multi-faceted problem is heavily debated, but a few contributing factors are worth tracing here. The hegemony of Western civilisation in the modern world brings with it an inevitability that the Muslim world will fall victim to its own weaknesses. Women have always had a problematic position in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the most obvious example being the Biblical account of Adam and Eve’s fall from the Garden. The source of mankind’s original sin is placed squarely on Eve, who represents the weaker sex in the parable (the pains of childbirth have traditionally been regarded as atonement for this original sin in the Christian faith).

Theological precedents aside, the equality of men and women has come late in the day to Western Europe, with the status of women as “human” being debated in the 16th century and equal legal rights to men only being established by the 19th and 20th centuries. Misogynism was internationalised, as Aisha Bewley, writer and translator of the Qur’an describes, by western colonial authorities who excluded women from teaching in mosques and assuming political roles in the Muslim societies they colonised. “The lens through which the West viewed Muslim women was already a distorted one – and o n c e imposed or implanted among the Muslims, this viewpoint gradually became an established norm.” As the technologically and scientifically superior western culture impressed Muslim intellectuals, they grew more open to the values that these cultures brought with them.

Finger-pointing at “the West” is a comfortable answer for everyone, but it is all the more important to realise that the fate of the Muslim woman cannot be divorced from the fate of the Muslim community as a whole. The retraction of women from the public sphere is also the result of fear. “Islam’s current cultural insecurity has been bad for both its scholarship and its women,” says Shaykh Akram. “Our traditions have grown weak, and w h e n people are weak, they grow cautious. When they are cautious, they don’t give their women freedoms.” Man’s desire to protect women has gone into overdrive, to the point that it has actually undermined the quality of Muslim communities. When the few women that do break free begin to propagate extreme brands of feminism, the result is a vicious circle of suspicion, fear and oppression.
The revelation of the 8,000 strong history of Muslim women scholars will prompt a variety of reactions from various parties. Misogynists are likely to deny it and attempt to undermine its authenticity. Feminists will be pleased that someone has done the hard work for them. Yet the best lesson is most likely to be found in the motivation behind its writing. Shaykh Akram seeks to bring people back to traditional Islam with the purpose of demonstrating that Islam is not misogynistic and nor were early male scholars biased against women. Accusations that his study encourages free-mixing and the relaxing of modesty are unfounded. It is clear in the introduction to the 40 volumes that the hijab is also the sunnah of the Prophet and “enables women to be present and visible in the public space in a way that is safe and dignified.” Here Shaykh Akram’s status as a learned alim from a prestigious institution (Nadwat al Ulama in Lucknow, India) who has studied Islam in the traditional way stands him in good stead; scholars including Shaykh Yusuf al Qaradawi have been more than willing to acknowledge his research and findings.

The irony of our forgotten women scholars is that they spent their lives in the pursuit of historical facts, whereas Muslims have long forgotten the fact of their contribution. Historical criticism is a fundamental principle in Islam. The Qur’an requires “O believers! If any iniquitous person comes to you with a slanderous tale, verify it, lest you hurt people unwittingly…” (49:6) Questioning the media frenzy on Islam is not just a good idea, but a religious obligation for Muslims to seek out the truth.

Once we have acknowledged the true historical record, that women are not subjugated by Islam and have played a part since the very beginning, we must also move on. Islam was not revealed as a bundle of doctrines delineating women’s rights, human rights or animal rights. Islam confers all of these rights and duties on us when we sincerely accept Allah’s rights. Faith, and not bare-knuckled rationality, permits us to create a society where everyone can have their rights upheld t h r o u g h submission to His Word and His messengers. Centuries of accusations of misogynism have been internalised and turned into reality, making Muslims themselves believe that Islam is fl awed. In a world where some women are kept locked in their homes while others are vying to become presidents, Shaykh Akram’s research should present us with some confidence in the justice of Islam. Not because it proves that Islam has had many women scholars – but that there were many great scholars that happened to be women.

Originally posted on emel.comMehrunisha Suleman and Afaaf Rajbee report.


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In the Name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, All- Merciful

“We are going for dinner tonight”, my sister announced when she called me other night. “My friends are also going along”, she further informed me.

It saddened me for a while. Our Youth is wasting much of their time in having dinners, meals at the restaurant, watching movies, enjoying ice-cream, coffee, having surprise parties, going to the mall for shopping frequently. Is it wrong to enjoy some time out from this tough life? This question can jump up in response to above apprehension. We are allowed to enjoy time with friends, but Islam presents an idea of maintaining balance in every matter. Too much waste of time and resources in entertainment can make us less vibrant.

According to the saying of Prophet ﷺ

A servant of Allah will remain standing on the Day of Judgment till he is questioned, about his age and how he spent it, his knowledge and how he utilized it, his wealth and from where he acquired it, in what activities he spend it (wealth), his body and how he used it”.

(At-Tirmidhi, Hadith 407)

Coming back to our Role Model, Hafsa (RZ), she was 20 years old girl at the time of her marriage. Her habits were growing, being married to Prophet Mohammad ﷺ meant, she was in an institution for her training where her moral behaviors and conduct would be polished. Any angular towards less than decent will be brought to brilliance.

Just like other girls, she also wanted more time of her beloved Husband. Prophet ﷺ would visit his each wife every day after Asr keeping a beautiful balance in his life dealing with Public Issues yet giving adequate time to his own family as well. It was noticed by Hafsa RZ and other wives, for few days he ﷺ was spending more time at Zainab bint Jahsh ‘s Apartment , it was the concern for them due to their love towards him. They came up with a special plan so he ﷺ would not spend more time at Zainab bint Jahash’s Apartment. Hafza Rz was also involved in this plan. One day when Rasoolullahﷺ visited Hafsa Rz and Ayesha RZ one of them said, “It seems you have eaten Magafir (a kind of bad smelling resin), for I smell in you the smell of Maghafir,” .

It was also mentioned by other wives, which concerned him ﷺ more. He ﷺ replied,“No, but I was drinking honey in the house of  Zainab (his other wife- the daughter of Jahsh) and I shall never take it again.”  So he ﷺ decided not to drink it again because of bad smell from his breath due to his clean and pure nature.

He ﷺ is a leader of whole Ummah, this decision of not eating honey ever was rebuked by Allah SWT, as in Surah Tahreem it is said,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ ۖ تَبْتَغِي مَرْضَاتَ أَزْوَاجِكَ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

اے پیغمبر جو چیز خدا نے تمہارے لئے جائز کی ہے تم اس سے کنارہ کشی کیوں کرتے ہو؟ (کیا اس سے) اپنی بیویوں کی خوشنودی چاہتے ہو؟ اور خدا بخشنے والا مہربان ہے

(Surah Tahreem 66:1)

It was alarming for all wives, how honest and careful they must be in dealing with the Prophet ﷺ.

During around these days, another incident happened in the life of Hafsa RA, it was a turning point in her life bringing her closer to Allah SWT. The impact was deeper on her as she was going through diverse circumstances and ayaat of Quran were being sent down along with affairs. It was building a very beautiful conscious personality in her. Once Prophet SWT shared a secret with her and emphasized not to mention it to others. Yet having a friendly relationship with Aisha RA who was almost around the age of Hafsa RA, she shared this secret with her. This act of Hafsa RA was notified near Allah SWT, and mentioned in Surah Tahreem.

وَإِذْ أَسَرَّ النَّبِيُّ إِلَىٰ بَعْضِ أَزْوَاجِهِ حَدِيثًا فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَتْ بِهِ وَأَظْهَرَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَرَّفَ بَعْضَهُ وَأَعْرَضَ عَن بَعْضٍ ۖ فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَهَا بِهِ قَالَتْ مَنْ أَنبَأَكَ هَٰذَا ۖ قَالَ نَبَّأَنِيَ الْعَلِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ

And [remember] when the Prophet confided to one of his wives a statement; and when she informed [another] of it and Allah showed it to him, he made known part of it and ignored a part. And when he informed her about it, she said, “Who told you this?” He said, “I was informed by the Knowing, the Acquainted.”

اور (یاد کرو) جب پیغمبر نے اپنی ایک بی بی سے ایک بھید کی بات کہی تو (اس نے دوسری کو بتا دی)۔ جب اس نے اس کو افشاء کیا اور خدا نے اس (حال) سے پیغمبر کو آگاہ کردیا تو پیغمبر نے ان (بی بی کو وہ بات) کچھ تو بتائی اور کچھ نہ بتائی۔ تو جب وہ ان کو جتائی تو پوچھنے لگیں کہ آپ کو کس نے بتایا؟ انہوں نے کہا کہ مجھے اس نے بتایا ہے جو جاننے والا خبردار ہے

(Surah Tahreem 66:3)

This act of disclosing the secret of Prophetﷺ and plotting against him in the matter of Honey by Aysha RA and Hafsa RA was not ignored but was amended through verses of Quran. Allah SWT knew that they did out of their love, but they were mothers of Believers and required to make it clear, how one should be honest in their dealings.

إِن تَتُوبَا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا ۖ وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَوْلَاهُ وَجِبْرِيلُ وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ

If you two [wives] repent to Allah , [it is best], for your hearts have deviated. But if you cooperate against him – then indeed Allah is his protector, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his] assistants.

 اگر تم دونوں خدا کے آگے توبہ کرو (تو بہتر ہے کیونکہ) تمہارے دل کج ہوگئے ہیں۔ اور اگر پیغمبر (کی ایذا) پر باہم اعانت کرو گی تو خدا اور جبریل اور نیک کردار مسلمان ان کے حامی (اور دوستدار) ہیں۔ اور ان کے علاوہ (اور) فرشتے بھی مددگار ہیں

(Surah Tahreem 66:4)

This remarkable incident stands as a lesson for Humanity, how Allah SWT protects his Messengers. A very minute action of beloved wives was taken into consideration near Allah.

This incident presents a lesson for every girl as a wife to have a satisfactory and pure relationship with her husband. If Husband shares any secret to her wife, she should not break her husband’s trust by sharing with her friends or relatives. Another reason for the increase in the divorce rate, which has risen up to 9,000 cases per year in a current decade, is not having a sincere relationship with life partners.

Marriage is the form of bond that Islam motivates to ascertain between spouses. This relationship of a couple is actually the essence of any society. If there is trust, care, and reliance in this correlation, it will transfer in children as well.

Another quality of Hafsa RA was that she had great bonding with other wives of Prophet ﷺ.  In the Beginning, Aisha RA was afraid if Hafsa being of same age group, as hers will take her place in the heart of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ. It was natural jealousy that every woman can feel towards her husband. Umar bin Al-Khattab RA, the father of Hafsa  knew very well about Prophet ﷺ loved Aisha RA more than other wives. He often mentioned this fact to Hafsa RA. Once he said to her, “You are not like Aisha and your father is not like her father.”  Here we see the role of a father who taught his daughter to be realistic and patient.

Sooner after a while, Aisha RA and Hafsa had a very good friendship. It was her inner beauty, how she earned her space in her husband’s household with good characteristics .The positive guidance from her parents cannot be ignored as well.

Umar RA was also aware of his daughter’s tough behavior at times. Once Prophetﷺ divorced Hafsa RA but soon after took her back. Allah SWT sent the angel Jibreel AS ,

” Take Hafsa back as she is keeping fasts and is observing prayers in the last part of night, and she is going to be your wife in Paradise.”

It was an honor for Hafsa RA , as her virtues were acknowledged through an angel from Allah SWT.

Her personality, sincerity, and devotion towards Ibadan and being among those who seek forgiveness in the night when others sleep, rank her on the higher status and set her as a Role Model for the daughters of Ummah.

The instance of divorce and tougness in the attitude does not lower Hafsa’s significance and prestige being a Mother of Believers but instead, it underlines her personality of being naturally firm but flexible when it comes to turning back and repent.

Let’s take a pause here and reflect. A married life is like a journey where on the way one confronts many passages, which can be narrow or broader. The strong and pure relationship with Allah, being pure and honest from inside will help to go through hard passages in life smoothly. Hafsa RA was somewhat demanding and strong by nature it could be an effect of her name or being the daughter of Umar RA, it was possible that she had attributes of her father. Every human is born with some traits by nature. We have to deal with these traits to bring them in the moderate level, which needs extreme effort. She did input her efforts not to let this happen again.

They were humans and were going through same circumstances as others but their ways of dealing these situations were magnificent and fabulous. They were flexible and modest, and reason was their full trust and faith in Allah.

Hafsa RA memorized whole Quran. She was a confident lady when it’s about knowledge. She used to ask questions to quench her thirst for knowledge. Once during a sitting with her, Prophet ﷺ said, “All the people who had given the pledged of allegiance at Hudaybiya under the tree would go to paradise , not to Hell.” 

Hafza RA asked how is this possible and mentioned ayah of Surah Maryam,

وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا ۚ كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ حَتْمًا مَّقْضِيًّا

There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell).”

اور تم میں کوئی (شخص) نہیں مگر اسے اس پر گزرنا ہوگا۔ یہ تمہارے پروردگار پر لازم اور مقرر ہے

(Surah Maryam: 71)

In response to her dialogue, Prophetﷺ removed her confusion and read next ayah from the same surah, that says,

ثُمَّ نُنَجِّي الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّنَذَرُ الظَّالِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيًّا

Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.

پھر ہم پرہیزگاروں کو نجات دیں گے۔ اور ظالموں کو اس میں گھٹنوں کے بل پڑا ہوا چھوڑ دیں گے

(Surah Maryam: 72)

Hafsa RA was a wonderful wife and an obedient daughter. Umar RA would often consult her matters regarding women. Once after the death of Prophet ﷺ, during the time of his Khilafah, he needed to issue a decree about warriors for how long they should be away from their wives. He asked Hafsa RA , for how long a women may remain without her husband. She wisely responded 6 months. Upon this, Umar RA issued a law to his Commanders to relieve soldiers after every 6 month to return home to spend quality time with their households.

She lived around 32 years after Prophet’sﷺ death. She was known for her memorization of and preservation of Quran. She was chosen as a Custodian of an original copy of Quran, that was compiled by Zaid ibn Thabit under the order of the first Caliph Abu Bakr RA. It was her house where revealed verses of Quran written on palm branches, slates and other materials were kept. People would visit her place to see these original copies of Quranic Verses.

When the second compilation of Quran was made during the Caliphate of Uthman, the original copies of verses were used as a primary source. She was an excellent reciter and writer. She was among those rare people in that time who were able to write. She also, narrated around 60 hadith from Prophet ﷺ. She completed her Journey of life at the age when she was about 61 years old. She was in the state of fasting at the time of death. I can feel the warmth of her love, she was my mother, our mother, and the family of our beloved Prophet ﷺ. A family that was purified by Allah himself. The desire to be with this beautiful family is a dream that can come true by following their legacy and having love and respect for them in our hearts.

It’s time to move on to next door to visit our Mother Umm-e-Salama RA. I am sure her door will be wide open for us to learn and benefit ourselves more and more……
Note: For ease of reading, we have not inserted “May Allah be pleased with her (RA)” each time with Hafsa’s RA name or the name of each Companion is mentioned, but please take it that the salutations apply to all of them, may Allah be pleased with them all.

Compiled by Binte Abdul Waheed


  • “Hafsa Bint Umar.” Islam Wiki.
  • “Hafsa Bint Umar | WISE Muslim Women.” by Ambreen.
  • “Hafsah Bint ‘Umar the Prophet’s Wife in Paradise -II.”Islamweb.
  • Qutb, Muhammad ʻAli. Women around the Messenger.
  • “Why Is the Divorce Rate Increasing?” A Wide Angle View of India.
  • “Islams Women – Hafsah Bint ‘Umar.” Islams Women – Hafsah Bint ‘Umar.
  • “The Mothers of the Believers (part 1 of 2): Who Are the Mothers of the Believers?” – New Muslims Elearning Site.
  •  Maghafir (page 1) – – Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم).”


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In the Name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, All- Merciful

Areesh!! don’t speak loud,” I said to my 6-year daughter who was being loud with her 2-year younger brother. While cooking in Kitchen, I was thinking how delicate and sweet these daughters feel to heart.

I was thinking about Aisha RA who got this huge blessing to have the company of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ in very young age. How beautifully heﷺ taught her manners while she was a little girl that later grew up as one of the famous and well-known scholar of Islam. So many lessons especially for parents of young girls. It leaves a deep mark to help their child to enhance their inner personality skills with care, affection, and wisdom.

1d77809c8b11a6b84f4f2c56a52d7ee4 My mind was strolling in Makkah and Madina, in the days when Mother of Believers Hafsa bint Umar; the daughter of 2nd Caliph of Islam Umar ibn-al-Khattab and Zaynab bint Madhun was born. She was born 5 years before Prophethood. The leaders of Quraysh were having conflict over the black stone to fix in its spot after Kaba was rebuilt due to Flood. To solve this Issue, it was decided to allow the Person who will enter first in Kaba would have the honor to carry the stone to its place. The first person that entered in Kaba was Prophet Mohammad ﷺ. He ﷺ presented a unique idea to solve this issue allowing all leaders to carry the corners of the sheet carrying the stone to its place. Then he ﷺ carried and put the stone in its place with his hands. It was a very wise decision, which surprised everyone in Makkah. It was the time when prophethood was blooming and people could feel its fragrance around. These were the days when Hafsa bint Umar was born. Hafsa bint Umar’s birth happened in the times when the birth of a daughter would distress parents. It would consider as a disgrace for Family. As Quran says,

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِالْأُنثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.

 [Surah An-Nahl: 58]

Since Islam has not emerged at that time, Umar Ibn-al-Khattab was restless with the birth of his daughter. Later in future, it proved if daughters are raised with care, provided with the best education and manners, they could make a difference in society.

Looking back in the history, it was Dhul-Hijah, the last month of the 6th year of Prophethood, when her life took a main turn towards its origin. She was a young girl of around 10 years old. These were the days when her father, Umar ibn al-Khattab accepted Islam who was considered as one of the biggest opposition of Islam. Prophet Mohammad (saw) asked Allah SWT to strengthen Islam with either Umar ibn al-Khattab or Abu Jahl bin Hisham. Allah SWT accepted his prophet’s dua and blessed Umar ibn al-Khattab with the light of Iman.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas Rady Allahu Anhu reported the Prophet was saying,

“O Allah, strengthen Islam with Abu Jahl bin Hisham, or with Umar bin al-Khattab”. In the morning, Sayyidina ‘Umar Rady Allahu Anhu went to the Prophet and accepted Islam; then prayed openly in the mosque.

(Ahmad and Tirmidhi)

Hafsa’s aunt Fatima bint al-Khattab and her Husband Sa’id bin Zayd has already accepted Islam. She was growing up in the environment where she could hear the whispers of revelations around her. She had strong, brave, confident personality like her name (Hafs in Arabic means lion) having shades of her Father whose conversion became a super source of new Strength for new Muslims. Till now muslims were hiding their Faith and were not able to worship openly. Now Islam has appeared boldly. Muslims were able to pray openly in Kaaba. Hafsah RA was going through these phases of emerging Islam. The Importance of Faith had begun to develop in her roots.

Is it still possible to develop this Importance of faith in our Generations too? Especially when it’s the time of X-Box, Ps3, iPod and such Androids in which our children have developed their interests. The answer is YES, it is possible if we as parents began to practice Islam and connect them with their main roots introducing them History of Islam. Tell your child the stories of Companions of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ. Use these gadgets, as a tool in knowing of their religion from an early age, will surely develop their strong relationship with Islam. They need motivations these real personalities can easily become their role models.

I can imagine Hafsa RA, a teenager getting married to Khunais (RA) bin Hazafa Sahmi. He was also a brave man who made a difference in the events of Islam. It was the time when Pagans in Makkah were targeting muslims. It pushed many of them to migrate Abyssinia. Hafsa and her husband also migrated where Khunais (RA) could not get along with Abyssinia’s different climate and environment and decided to return Makkah. Since Muslims were still going through extreme opposition in Makkah. Khunais and Hafsa now migrated to Madina where they were welcomed by Rafa’s bin Abdul Munthir and stayed at his place as his guests. Hafsa was going through difficult times as traveling back and forth and facing opposition to save one’s faith was a big task. Hafsa was facing all these tribulations during her Youth.

Allah SWT said the believers upon their arrival at Madina, to be patient, forgiving until He brought His awaited support.

 وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

“ but if you persevere patiently, and have Taqwa, then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs.”

 [Surah Ale-Imran: 186]

Such Quranic Verses were also peaceful for Hafsa RA against such suffering from opposition and migration.

Another amazing perspective of her personality that appears in this age strikes one’s heart. All these issues with life had not kept Hafsa (RA) from Learning. She was a very intelligent girl with an excellent memory. She managed to learn each new verse that was coming down through revelation those days. She was not only memorizing Quran but pondering over it too, which helped to build her character with great attributes.

Sadly, nowadays it has been considered that youth is for fun and enjoyment only. The majority tends to postpone learning knowledge of Deen for future years to come. Here we see Hafsa RA had wisely used peak time of her. Adolescence is the time to explore one’s inner and outer world. A real education of minors must start with “why” questions and then begin to help young people develop their own identity, sense of purpose, and understanding of the world and their place in it.

We can see later, how this hard work and effort of Hafsa RA will be adorned by Allah SWT by blessing her with incomparable Honor of being Mother of Ummah.

The Khunais (RA) fulfilled his duty as a devoted believer during the Battle of Badar and fought against enemies to defend the believers. He could not recover from serious injuries during the war and died few days after Battle of Badar. Hafsa showed extreme care for her husband during his illness and remained calm on his death. Instead of complaining her fate or going in the phase of depression, she held on to the patience and intensified her relationship with the Creator. She began to spend more time in Ibadah. Her devotion to the Ibadah helped to come out of this huge pain.

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.”

(Surah Ar-Ra’ad : 28)

The remembrance of Allah was slowly removing the traces of the distress from her heart. However, for her father, it was very painful to see his young daughter at the age of 19 to be a widow. Her silent courage under these circumstances, her patient prayers and her study of the Quran brightened her countenance with a spiritual beauty and innocence, but there was also sadness because of the harsh loneliness that had become part of her life.

[1] After deep thought ‘Umar RA decided to approach ‘Uthman bin Affan, whose wife Ruqayyah the Prophet’s daughter, had passed away. He thought that sharing a common bond would help to alleviate their sorrow in losing worthy spouses. But he refused that he presently was not planning on marriage. From there he went to Abu Bakr Siddiq and offered him his daughter in marriage. He too lowered his gaze and did not answer him.

In the distress when Umar RA complained about the strange behavior of his beloved friends Abu Bakar and Uthman ibn Affan to Prophet ﷺ. He ﷺ smiled and said,

“Hafsa will marry one better than Uthman and Uthman will marry one better than Hafsa.” [2]

After every night there appears the bright day. This day turned out to be brighter than ever. Allah SWT gifted Hafsa (RA) with the companionship of his beloved Prophet. The marriage was taken place in the 3rd year of migration after the 6 months of Khunais (RA) death. Hafsa RA was 20 years old at the time of her 2nd marriage.

The family of Umar ibn-al-Khattab was honored by having ties with Prophet and Umar Ib-al Khattab could not even imagine that he ﷺ himself will marry his daughter.

[1] After the marriage, Abu Bakr Siddiq RA met with Umar RA and told him the truth, which was that the Prophet ﷺ had mentioned to him that he planned to marry Hafsa RA. That was the reason he had remained silent, as it would not have been proper to betray his confidence. If matters were different he would have been only too happy to accept her hand in marriage. Umar RA open-heartedly accepted his reason.

Allah SWT has promised that He will test each of us, whether we remain grateful or ungrateful, and whoever is grateful truly, his gratitude is for himself; and whoever is ungrateful, it is for the loss of only himself.



Note: For ease of reading, we have not inserted “May Allah be pleased with her (RA)” each time with Hafsa’s RA name or the name of each Companion is mentioned, but please take it that the salutations apply to all of them, may Allah be pleased with them all.

Compiled by Binte Abdul Waheed




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In the Name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, All- Merciful

Aisha radiullahu-anha, a respected name of a noble woman who was an intelligent, brave and knowledgeable scholar of Islam. A personality who requires almost no introduction. She is renowned as a “ Mother of Mo’mineen ”, the beloved wife of the last messenger Muhammad ﷺ and the daughter of the first caliph of Islam Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A).

Abu Bakr (R.A) was the first Person in men who accepted Islam and remained side by side to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ during the early times of Tribulations and Hardships; when Islam was going through its Introductory stages in Makkah.

She was Sister of a Courageous Lady of Islam Asma (R.A) who kept the secret of Prophet ﷺ Migration to Madina with Abu Bakr (R.A) and was amongst those who accepted Islam first.

‘Aisha (R.A) was Daughter of Righteous Mother Umm-e-Rumman (R.A) who was praised by Prophet ﷺ. At the time of her Death, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ entered her (R.A) grave and asked Allah (S.W.T) to forgive her by saying,

” O Allah, you know well what Umm-e-Rumman suffered for the sake of you and your Messenger”

Life before marriage:

‘Aisha (R.A) was born in Makkah in around 613 or 614 CE. She had lots of Significant qualities and special Blessings of Allah in regards to the progress of the religion Islam. She was chosen by Allah (S.W.T) as a leader for Muslim ummah to convey correct and authentic Knowledge. Since Islam was a newly grown flower that needed fresh water to keep it blossoming. It was possible due to the sacrifices and efforts of devoted people who would benefit others with their knowledge and wisdom.

‘Aisha was educated in early childhood by her father.  She was raised in a Muslim family being born a Muslim. As the daughter of Abu Bakr (RA), she had the same strength and characteristics of leadership as her father. It was her unique virtue in early times of Makkah when people were accepting Islam. It was rare to have a complete Muslim family during that age of Islam. ‘Aisha (R.A) was among those who acknowledged Islam by birth. She grew up at a time when teachings of Islam were fresh and new which is a major factor of her becoming a great scholar of Islam. ‘Aisha (R.A) Narrates about herself:

‘Aisha (R.A) Narrates about herself:

“I never saw my parents practicing anything other than Islam”

‘Aisha (R.A) as a Wife:

Another blessing of Allah (S.W.T) on her was being the youngest and the only virgin wife of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.The marriage of ‘Aisha to Prophet is nothing less than the best love story ever written. An important thing to clarify here is that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not marry Aisha (R.A) when she was an immature little girl. Her parents offered their daughter in marriage to Prophet, as was customary in their culture at the time. However, the Prophet ﷺ, did not accept this and they waited for a few of years, and then again offered their daughter to him in marriage.

From the hadeeth narrated by Aisha herself, it appears she was at the age of 6 when her mother came to her while she was playing outside. Her mother took her into their home where her father, who was a lifelong best friend of Prophet ﷺ , was sitting with him, and the offer of marriage was being discussed. She then tells us she went back outside. This was at the age of six.

Cleary she was offered to him in marriage, but obviously, it was not accepted until some years later, when she again narrates a similar incident and at that time she was married to the Prophet ﷺ. She tells us they had consummated the marriage when she was old enough and ready (and she tells us she was very pleased about the whole entire thing). It shows that the girl must be old enough to have children and to be able to determine what her will is.

The early years of their marriage began quite innocently. Although ‘Aisha was a young bride, she carried on with the many joys of childhood and fortunate for her, as she had a husband gentle and kind enough to understand this. When she first came to live in the Prophet’s household as a young girl, a strong and lasting friendship grew up between her and Sawdah (R.A), and Sawdah took care of her along with the rest of the household.

Rather than throwing all the responsibilities of a wife on her at once, the Prophet made the marriage and its duties a gradual process for Aisha and ensured that she made a smooth transition into her new life. ‘A’isha was also content to manage his household.

He ﷺ taught her wisdom, manners, etiquette, public dealings, economic and domestic laws and ways of living in very light and natural ways. She also owned the honor of being the most beloved wife after Khadija (R.A). Once he ﷺ was asked by a companion “Who do you love the most in the world?” He responded by saying “ ‘Aisha”. She was regarded as superior over other women after Maryam (A.S), Asia (A.S) and Khadija (R.A). He ﷺ also said on a certain occasion,

“The excellence of ‘Aisha over other women is like the excellence of Tharid (a type of food) over other types of food”. 

This great love was limitless. It transcended material feelings to things that are higher and more sublime: the soul, the heart, and the mind. The emotional example of this love reflects the picture of the distinctness in the Prophetic household and in the heart. It then preserved this uniqueness in order to present it as a lively and wonderful model for us.

Brilliant Student & Great Scholar:

A crucial dimension to their equation was the student-teacher relationship they shared. ‘Aisha’s enthusiastic and inquisitive nature made her one of the foremost students of the Prophet.

She was devoted to learning Islam keenly from its beginnings. Her intelligence and curiosity for knowledge played an important role for her being a great Muslim woman scholar. Her marriage to our Prophet ﷺ led to further moral and intellectual growth, maturity and depth. She received so much Islamic knowledge through the words and actions of the Prophet, that she transmitted faithfully throughout the years of her life to the believers. For instance, once she asked the Prophet ﷺ about neighbor’s rights. She said,

“O Allah’s Apostle! I have two neighbors and would like to know to which of them should I give presents”.

He ﷺ replied,

“ To the one whose door is nearer to yours”.

We can see how much she had the desire to learn. Aisha bint Abu Bakr was the voice of authority for many of the hadith known today and she was responsible for the transmission of thousands of sayings after the Prophet’sﷺ death.  She is known to have narrated 2,210 Hadith. Those are a treasure for the guidance of Muslim Ummah. She served Muslims for 44 years after the Prophet’s ﷺ death. Islamic scholars acknowledge her remarkable efforts for Islam. Imam Zuhri, a leading jurist says:

“ ‘Aisha (R.A) was the most learned person among the people, senior and learned companions used to consult her.”

Her being a major part of some of the milestone events, left a huge impact on her personality by enhancing  wisdom and light of truth in her.

Dear reader, here we can see how much Islam encourages us to seek knowledge and to value education regardless of gender. We should offer girls and women the opportunity to learn the religion as well as what will benefit them among the worldly sciences.

Another point to be noted, that the prominence of ‘Aisha in the most reliable of hadith and her playing a role in the important political developments of her time are clear attestations to the fact that Islam does not seek to lock women behind closed doors. Those who have been confined today, are women who have been imprisoned in the name of religion and confined by the cages of prejudice.

Aisha (R.A) and Prophet ﷺ – A Romantic Couple:

It is important to keep the romance alive once the relationship is officialized through nikah/marriage, because without this effort, the marriage will go stale. There will be no emotional fulfillment in your life after marriage without romance. And before nikah, romance will lead to haram only. It is more of your responsibility and your spouse’s right, that s/he enjoy romantic gestures from your end. To elaborate it, we can see how romantic this couple was!

Messenger of Allah like to eat and drink from his wife – Aisha’s  (R.A) used plate and cup without feeling uncomfortable. He also had eaten meat that was bitten by ‘Aisha. (Sahih Muslim, 300)

From ‘Aisha RA, she said,

“I used to drink from the same glass even when on menstruation, and the Prophet pbuh take the glass and put his mouth in same spot where I put my mouth, and then he drank.”

(Sahih Muslim 300)

Prophet ﷺ once raced her and she won. This was an example of the fact that it is okay and in fact your responsibility and right to have fun with your spouse and arouse romance. On some later day, the Holy Couple happened to again cross that path and they raced again and this time, the Prophet ﷺ won, and he cheekily said to his wife “Tit for Tat.

She used to hide behind Prophet’s back to protect herself from her father Abu Bakr (R.A), if he got angry on her some innocent mistake due to her being very young.  She was obedient towards her Husband and was understanding to please him. It was the blessing of this beautiful relationship where love for each other was abundant. ‘Aisha (R.A) was an example of a pious wife. She was very cautious about having anyone to enter her house in the absence of Prophet ﷺ. It was her simplicity and comfortable presence that keep him relaxed in her company.

Photogenic Memory:

‘Aisha’s early life in Madinah also had its more serious and anxious times. Once her father and two companions who were  staying with him fell ill with a dangerous fever which was common in Madinah at certain seasons. One morning ‘Aisha went to visit him and was dismayed to find the three men lying completely weak and exhausted. She asked her father how he was  and he answered her in verse but she did not understand what he was saying. The two others also answered her with lines  of poetry which seemed to her to be nothing but unintelligible babbling. She was deeply troubled and went home to the  Prophet saying:

” They are raving, out of their minds, through the heat of the fever.”

The Prophet asked what they had said and was somewhat reassured when she repeated almost word for word the lines they had uttered and which made sense although she did not fully understand them then. This was a demonstration of the great retentive power of her memory which as the years went by were to preserve so many of the priceless sayings of the Prophet.

Surviving Hardships:

There was something quite distinct about ‘Aisha (R.A) which drew the Prophet ﷺ so close to her. Her quality of being content regardless of circumstances helped her overcome many challenges she faced as the Prophet’s wife.

There was a time in the Prophet’s home when they had no fire or food for cooking and they simply lived off of dates and water. Yet ‘Aisha went through this hardship and showed the mark of a true companion — one who can offer unrelenting support even under the most trying circumstances. ‘Aisha endured poverty and hunger with the Prophetﷺ.

Once the Prophetﷺ stayed away from his wives for a month because they had distressed him by asking him that which he did not have. This was after the Khaybar expedition when an increase of riches whetted the appetite for presents. Returning from his self-imposed retreat, he went first to Aisha’s apartment. She was delighted to see him but he said he had received revelation which required him to put two options before her.”Do not make a hasty decision,” he said, “and consult your parents first.” He then recited the ayahs of Surah Al-Ahzab:

O Prophet, say to your wives: ‘If you desire the life of this world and its adornments, then come, and I will make you content, and I will release you with a fair release. But if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the next world, then truly Allah has prepared an immense reward for those of you who do good.’ (Qur’an  33:28-29)

Her reply was:

“Is there any need to consult my parents?” . “Indeed I desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the next world.”“Indeed I desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter,”

And her response was followed by all the other wives. It was during the course of their marriage that, amongst others, the battles of Badr, and Uhud, and Al-Khandaq (the Ditch) were fought. These were the three major battles against the Quraish, that shifted the balance of power out of the hands of the disbelievers and into the hands of the Muslims. Although she was still very young, Aisha participated in them all, bringing water for the Muslims warriors, and helping to look after the wounded. She witnessed life, and she witnessed death – both in the way of Allah and in the way of the disbelievers – and she understood both. Indeed one of the meanings of her name, Aisha, is

It was during the course of their marriage that, amongst others, the battles of Badr, and Uhud, and Al-Khandaq (the Ditch) were fought. These were the three major battles against the Quraish, that shifted the balance of power out of the hands of the disbelievers and into the hands of the Muslims. Although she was still very young, Aisha participated in them all, bringing water for the Muslims warriors, and helping to look after the wounded. She witnessed life, and she witnessed death – both in the way of Allah and in the way of the disbelievers – and she understood both. Indeed one of the meanings of her name, Aisha, is ‘life’.

Her Generosity and Simple Lifestyle:


Once, when the Muslims were favored with great wealth, she has given a gift of one hundred thousand Dirhams. She was fasting when she received the money, and distributed it to the poor and needy, even though she had no provisions in her house. Shortly after that, her maidservant said to her, “Couldn’t you have brought a dirham’s worth of meat with which to break your fast?” “If I had thought of it,” she replied, “I would have done so!”

She developed the nickname the Mother of Fragrance, for every time a beggar knocked on her door, she would touch the money with perfume before giving it to him. When asked why, she explained that the charity would reach Allah before it reached the beggar’s hands, and she wanted the charity to be given to Allah in a fragrant condition.

In another report, a needy person knocked on the door. She only had one grape, and gave it to him. When asked what the value of a single grape was as a charity, she quoted the following ayahs of Surah Az-Zalzalah from the Qur’an:

So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.”(Qur’an 99:7 – 99:8)

She rationalised – how many atoms are there in a grape?

How many of us are of such a status, where our vigilance, thinking and even the smallest action is completely for the pleasing of Allah, and reflected by the Qur’an and teaching of the Prophet ﷺ.

True Example of Companionship:

Now we call attention to something very interesting about the subject of a friendly relationship between husband and wife. Once a group of Jews entered upon Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and they said,

“ As-Saum Alaik (death be upon you) ” Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “ Wa Alaik (and upon you)” So ‘Aisha (R.A) said,Rather (upon you be death and curse)” So the Prophet said, ‘Aisha! Indeed Allah (S.W.T) loves gentleness in every matter”. ‘Aisha (R.A) said, Did you not hear what they said? ” In response, he said to her,And I replied! Upon you”.

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2701)

This incident shows‘Aisha was a truly dynamic woman, complete with the qualities of virtue, intelligence and even possessiveness over her husband . She noticed, how Jews said against him, so instantly defended him out of her love. This hadith does depict that a person should be humble to correct one’s faults yet having the confidence to inquire about any doubts regarding matters to remove any confusion.

During the last days, it was noticed that Prophet’s ﷺ desire was to stay with ‘Aisha (R.A). All wives agreed for him to stay with ‘Aisha (R.A). Heﷺ chewed a Siwak that was softened by ‘Aisha’s saliva before leaving this world. In his last moments of life, his head was on ‘Aisha (R.A) lap. She remained with Prophetﷺ for nine years until his death. At the time of the Holy Prophet’s death, she was only eighteen years old.

You could really say about their story – “..and they all lived happily ever after – in Paradise.”
This represents the very best of marriages between a man and a woman in human history.

In the current era, the concept of having relationships with opposite sex is common before marriage and such relationships are defined as love or romance. ‘Aisha (R.A) gave a beautiful account of marriage to the Prophet ﷺ. She mentioned the detailed descriptions of events and happenings before and during their marriage.

And very important – she demonstrated here continued commitment to the memory of her husband ﷺ , and her firm belief about being reunited with him in the Paradise.

These glimpses of this blessed couple’s life leave a beautiful impression of Islam presenting a very charming and serene family life. Islam encourages a strong relationship between spouses where both partners understand each other’s need and desires.

We need to ponder over the lives of our role models to improve our living standards.

‘Aisha (R.A) as a Mother of Momineen

Allah (S.W.T) honored her to be beneficial for Muslim ummah in many ways. The ummah was benefited through her by having relief of Tayammum. Once, she lost her necklace during a Journey when the whole crew had to wait till they would find her necklace at a place where water was unavailable to perform ablution. Allah (S.W.T) revealed divine ayahs in Surah Al-Maida of Tayammum on this incident, while after this necklace was found underneath a Camel. Usaid bin Hudair said

“O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours.”

‘Aisha (R.A) stands superior to other women in regards to her special honor of having ayahs about her in the Quran.

‘Aisha (R.A) was vindicated by Allah (S.W.T) against a slander that was spread by the hypocrites during a campaign when she accompanied the Prophet ﷺ in a caravan. Her Piety was expressed in Quran giving a strong message for Muslim ummah to defend their brotherhood keeping strong ties and trust on each other. This bears testament to Aisha’s (R.A) trust in Allah as well as her humility. In fact, twenty verses of Surah An-Nur in the Quran  were revealed about this incident is indicative of its importance and is also a reminder to us of the high status of ‘Aisha (R.A).

This great lady, the mother of Muslims fulfilled her responsibility  and conveyed a big portion of knowledge throughout her Life. ‘Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) died in Madina at her home on 17 Ramadan, 58 AH at the age of 64.  She was buried in Jannat-al-Baqi. Muslim Ummah will continue to quench the thirst of knowledge from the knowledge conveyed by her following the recommendation of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saying:

“Learn a portion of your religion from this Humayra (red colored lady).”

Look at the ultimate wisdom of Allah. Abu Bakr sacrificed his entire life in the path of Allah, and Allah granted him a beautiful gift which was to let his daughter be the most beloved wife of Rasulullah SAW after Khadija, and decorate his daughter Aisha with the charm, intelligence, and integrity.

She carried the in-depth legacy and knowledge of Rasulullah’s ﷺ memory. One cannot open Islamic books about the Qur’an, the biography of Muhammad ﷺ or jurisprudence, without finding Aisha’s name referenced in there. What a great honor for such a woman.

‘Aisha, Umm-Al-Mu’minin, even though she never had a single child, yet she is the Mother of Believers.

May Almighty Allah make the women of today act upon the life of  ‘Aisha (RadhiyallahuAnha) Ameen.

Note: For ease of reading, we have not inserted “May Allah be pleased with her (R.A)” each time Aisha’s R.A name or the name of each Companion is mentioned, but please take it that the salutations apply to all of them, may Allah be pleased with them all.

Compiled by Bint Abdul Waheed



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In the Name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, All- Merciful

All Praises be to Allah. We testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah alone. He has no partner. His is the dominion and the praise. It is He who gives life and death and He has power over all things. Exalted and far is He above what they ascribe to Him.

We equally testify that our leader and model, Muhammad ﷺ, is Allah’s Servant and Messenger. Peace and blessings be upon him, his family, the Companions and their successors and all those who rightly follow them till the Day of Judgment.

Muslim women always played a vital role in serving Allah SWT and their community. We have many examples and here insha’Allah we will discuss wives of Prophet SAW, mothers of believers. Each of these women played their role in the best possible way that has helped Islam to strengthen its roots. They are outstanding models for humanity; both for male and female.

One of the setbacks of our modern age is that we have neglected the role of women in society and turned her into “piece of decoration” or objectified her. We need to reawaken Ummah again with the astonishing character of women companions of Islam. The Qur’an and Prophet ﷺ made revolutionary changes in the status of women and his wives were in many ways exemplars of these changes. All of Prophet’s wives distinguished themselves in many areas like charity, kindness, and knowledge. They were held to a higher standard and were informed that both their rewards and punishments were greater than of other women in the society. The Qur’an honors them as the “Mothers of the Believers”. Their marriages to the Prophet ﷺ were voluntary and they could initiate and ask for the divorce if they so desired.

As the Prophet’s dealings with his wives were based on love, affection, respect, and dignity, others in the society were expected to follow his exemplary behavior. Men and women were declared equal in the eyes of Allah.

The Prophet ﷺ did not marry any virgin other than A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), and that all his other wives had been previously married, this will refute the notion spread by many hostile sources, that the basic motive behind the Prophet’s marriages was physical desire and enjoyment of women, because if that was his intention he would have chosen only those who were virgins and beautiful etc.

Such slanders against the Prophet of Mercy ﷺ by kaafirs and others of their ilk are indicative of their inability to find fault with the law and religion that he brought from Allah, so they try to find ways to criticize Islam with regard to issues that are not related to sharee’ah.

We will InshAllah study their lives, as they are true and righteous role models for us. The messenger of Allah married the following women, May Allah be pleased with them:

  1. Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid
  2. Sawdah bint Zam’ah ibn Qays
  3. ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr al-Siddeeq
  4. Hafsah bint ‘Umar (Part 1Part 2)
  5. Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
  6. Umm Salamah bint Abi Umayyah
  7. Juwayriyah bint al-Harith
  8. Zaynab bint Jahsh
  9. Umm Habeebah bint Abi Sufyaan
  10. Maymoonah bint al-Harith
  11. Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

One day the winds of fate called out to her,

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Allah and His Messenger said the truth!”

Then those who were with him also exclaimed,

“Allah and His Messenger said the truth!”

And we should also say, even though we came centuries and generations after them,

“Allah and His Messenger have said the truth!”quran-illumunated

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

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

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

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

May Allah be pleased with her. Aameen!

Source: The Ideal Muslimah