To understand the purpose of marriage of Prophet ﷺ, it is must to understand his life events and his biography. This post ll inshAllah enlighten what is criticize most in his ﷺ life. Read open-mindedly!
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)
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.
- “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) – Sunnah.com – Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم).”
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.
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 ﷺ 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 Prophetﷺ 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.
 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.” 
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.
 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.
TO BE CONTINUED ………………
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
- Umar’s conversion to Islam (1995)
- The mothers of the believers (part 1 of 2): Who are the mothers of the believers? – new Muslims eLearning site.
- Biography of Hafsa (RA)
- Hafsah bint ’Umar
- Inc, S. (2016) List of Sahaba R.A – updated.
- Hadith – book of wedlock, marriage (Nikaah) – Sahih al-Bukhari
-  Sahih al-Bukhari 4005
-  Ibn Saad/Bewley vol. 8 pp. 56-58. The story is told in five separate traditions
Prophet’s love for Khadijah R.A was very strong. Her death was not only one of the saddest incidents for the messenger of Allah but it also created a gap in the household and for his daughters. He remained distressed and sorrowful, seeing the daughters would remind him the absence of a mother.
Khawlah bint Hakeem R.A, who was the wife of Uthman ibn Math’oon, both husband, and wife were among those who embraced Islam on the first call and love for Islam was in their blood. When Khawlah R.A saw that condition of Rasool Allah SAW, she didn’t stop herself to take a brave step.
She asked, “Messenger of Allah, I see you distressed after the death of Khadeejah R.A”. The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Yes, she was the mother of the household and the caretaker for the family.”
Here it is notable that how this experienced lady, out of love and compassion, observed the need of the Prophet’s noble household to someone who could fill the gap created by the death of Khadeejah. Khawlah employed her maturity, farsightedness, and deep faith, and suggested messenger of Allah ﷺ two names for another marriage, telling him: “If you like, you can marry a non-virgin and if you like you can marry a virgin, O Messenger of Allah.” So he asked her of the non-virgin and the virgin and she replied that the matron was Sawdah bint Zam’ah and the virgin was Aishah R.A daughter of Abi Bakr, who was the Prophet’s most beloved of all men.
Perhaps, Khawlah R.A suggested Sawdah because she was a middle-aged and experienced woman so that she could take care of the Prophet’s family and cater for his household, and suggested A’ishah who was a virgin and a young woman so his broken heart could be mended and serve as a way of strengthening the relationship between the Prophet and Abu Bakr.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then permitted Khawlah to mention them his proposal. So Khawlah commenced her efforts and the efforts were successful in both proposals.
Before proceeding, let’s look into the life of Sawda bint e zamah.
Life before the marriage with Prophet ﷺ:
Sawdah R.A’s father, Zam’a ibn Qays, was from the Amir ibn Luayy clan of the Quraysh tribe in Mecca. Her mother, Al-Shamus bint Qays, was from the Najjarclan of the Khazraj tribe in Madina. She married As-Sakran ibn Amr. Both of them accepted Islam in the early time of Prophethood. When enemies of Islam made it hard for believers to live peacefully, at the permission of messenger of Allah, a big group of Muslims migrated towards Abyssinia. They both also migrated at that time.
Both husband and wife came back to Makkah after spending several years in Abyssinia. But As-Sakran didn’t live longer after returning back. They had one son, Abdur Rahman ibn Sakran.
Sawda bint Zam’a, may Allah be pleased with her had been the first woman to immigrate to Abyssinia in the way of Allah. After her husband’s death, she was now living with her aged father. She was middle-aged, rather plump, with a jolly, kindly disposition, and just the right person to take care of the Prophet’s household and family. She dreamt in the life of her first husband, that the moon is fell in her lap, she told her husband, and he described that after my death, Prophet ﷺ will marry to you.
When Khawlah asked her about the Prophet’s proposal of marriage, Sawdah R.A tried to contain herself in spite of her utter astonishment and then replied in a trembling voice, “I would like that! Go to my father and tell him that.” Khawla went to Zam’a, greeted him and then said, “Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abdul Muttalib, has sent me to ask for Sawdah in marriage.” The old man shouted, “A noble match”, feeling it was a great honor and accepted the proposal.
After marriage with Prophet ﷺ:
The Messenger of Allah married Sawdah in 10th Hijri  by paying dower of 400 dirhams but A’ishah was engaged to him because she was then too young for the consummation of marriage. Thus did Sawdah enter the household of the Prophet as one of the mothers of the faithful. She immediately took over the care of his daughters; Umm Kulthoom and Fatimah were very young at that time. She started managing the affairs of the Prophet’s household as well. She pleased the Prophet’s heart and helped him go on calling for Allah.
If we look around us, we don’t find many examples of this love and sacrifice now. Why? Because our role models are changed, our priorities are more materialistic, we believe in possession, in keeping everything tight to our self, while the sharing is an act of true kindness. Sawdah R.A shared her love and care with family of Prophet ﷺ in true manner. She knew her honor, she neither act like a cruel stepmother nor tried to take place of Khadijah R.A instead she filled the vacuum that was created after her death. Many think she was only sought after for marriage to the Prophet ﷺ so that she could take care of his children and household. While she was indeed a warm and nurturing caregiver to his family, she was also so much more than that to him and our ummah.
She was bulky, tall and dark in complexion. But her actions were heavy. She had a clean heart and was one of the truthful believers.
You would be surprised that what would be wisdom behind marrying a woman who was neither young nor beautiful? There was a great surprise in Mecca too that the Prophet ﷺ chose to marry a widow who was not attractive in this perspective. The Prophet ﷺ, however, remembered the trials she had undergone when she had immigrated to Abyssinia, leaving her house and property, and crossed the desert and then the sea for an unknown land out of the desire to preserve her deen.  Allah SWT knows best what His devotee deserves.
Love and Humor:
In spite of her being slow and plump, she was good-natured and witty, dispelling the Prophet’s worries with her senses of humor, just like an essential and effective timely remedy.
It was reported that one day she saw on the face of the Prophet ﷺ paleness and distress and she told him jokingly, “0 Messenger of Allah! I prayed behind you yesterday and you prolonged the prostration so long that I felt like having nose-bleeding.” The Prophet ﷺ laughed that his molars were visible and his gloomy look disappeared. [A]
Sawdah never took herself too seriously. On one occasion, Aisha and Hafsa (may Allah be pleased with them), knowing of Sawdah’s great fear of the Dajjal (also know to Christians as the Antichrist), began to talk about him in front of her.
She was so scared that she immediately ran into a dark room full of cobwebs to hide from the monster. When Prophet ﷺ walked in, he found the two enjoying the joke. He asked them what was so amusing. On being told what had happened he called out Sawdah to come out, as there was no monster around. She came out sheepishly laughing at herself. [B]
She was also very tolerant and loving towards the co-wives. Abu Ya‘la narrated that ‘A’ishah said: I came to the Prophet ﷺ with some khazeerah (a dish made with meat and flour) that I had cooked for him, and I said to Sawdah, when the Prophet ﷺ was sitting between her and me: Eat, but she refused. I said to her: Either you eat or I shall surely throw some in your face. But she refused, so I put my hand in the khazeerah and smeared her face with it. The Prophet ﷺ smiled and gave her some with his hand, and said to her: “Smear her face.” And the Prophet ﷺ smiled at her. ‘Umar passed by and said: O slave of Allah, O slave of Allah, and he thought that he was going to come in, so he said: “Get up and wash your faces.” 
This is how Sawdah spent her days and years, recognizing the limits of her status in this great household and striving to be a mother of the faithful. This is the greatest position that she sought in her worldly life.
Sawdah R.A voluntarily gave up the day and night which the Prophet apportioned her to A’ishah R.A to please him. 
Therefore, she requested the prophet, by saying, O Messenger of Allah, hold me. By Allah, I did not seek to have a husband but I just hope that Allah may resurrect me as your wife on the Day of Judgment.”  The Prophet ﷺ responded to her noble feelings. Then Allah revealed,
“There is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves, and settlement is best”
There are reasons for choosing A’ishah. She was her mate from the beginning and she was the most beloved of the Prophet’s wives.
Undoubtedly the bond that governed the relationships between the wives of the Prophet ﷺ was the bond of spiritual sisterhood and love for the sake of Allah. This is the basic principle that should unite all the believers in general.
Sawdah R.A was a pious lady; she was very particular about her prayers and would spend a lot of time in prayers. She was also very obedient. On the eve of the last pilgrimage of Haj, the Prophet ﷺ told his wives to remain in retirement after his death. She religiously followed this and never went out of her house, even for the Hajj and Umrah.
It was common characteristic of the wives of Prophet that’s what they learnt from him. Sawdah was also a generous giver of charity, as A’ishah R.A has described her. Once Umar R.A had sent a purse full of dirhams, she immediately distributed all to the poor. It was narrated from Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the wives of the Prophet gathered around him and said:
“Which of us will be the first to following you (in death)?” He said: “The one of you who has the longest arms.” They took a stick and started to measure their arms. But Sawdah was the first one to follow him. She was the one who had the longest arms, because she used to give in charity a great deal. 
Sawdah left a clean mark within the period in which she lived in the household of the Prophet that spanned thirteen years. She concluded that with the remaining years of her life in piety and worship.
Sisterhood btw Sawdah R.A and other co-wives:
A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Never did I find any woman more loving to me than Sawda bint Zam’a. I wished I could be exactly like her who was passionate. As she became old, she had made over her day (which she had to spend) with Allah’s Messenger ﷺ to ‘A’isha. She said: I have made over my day with you to ‘A’isha. So Allah’s Messenger ﷺ allotted two days to ‘A’ishah, her own day (when it was her turn) and that of Sawdah. 
Piety and fear of Allah formed the solid foundation that overcame the natural inclinations and jealousy of women and their competition for one husband.
It is a common issue that when many women after marriage find themselves unattractive for husbands due to physical changes in their body. They put all their efforts to become irresistible by fixing their physique, and sometimes men demands women to maintain their figure, regardless of her inner character and beauty. Also, it is seen that people do not like to marry a widow, or who is less appealing. What an amazing example we have, Sawdah R.A was widow and Prophet SAW married her without giving too much attention to her complexion and apparent beauty. He chose best person for his daughters who could be their mother. Her big heart accepted Prophet’s house with strong faith and love. They set an example that Marriage is a personal, physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual bond between one man and one woman. Deen and character should be focal point of one’s search for spouse. All other qualities if possessed are icing on the cake.
Sawdah R.A died at the age of 72 years during the last days of the Caliph Umer Farooq’s (RA) period. She was buried in “Jannatul Baqi”(Graveyard)
MAY ALLAH (S.W.T) BE PLEASED WITH HER.
Sources and References:
 Ibn Kathir: Wives of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
[A] “Great Women of Islam” by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar
[B] “Women Around the Messenger” by Muhammad Qutb
 Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3 book 47, Number 766
 Musnad (4476), Al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (3/160): Its isnaad is jayyid. It was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah (3131).
 Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’d, narrating from al-Waaqidi, 8/52-53; Ibn Katheer in al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah, 3/149
 Jamai Tirhmidhi, Grade: Sahih, Book 47, Hadith 3314
 Sunan an-Nasa’i 2541, Book 23, Hadith 0
 Sahih Muslim 8:3451
In the Name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, All- Merciful
Khadija bint Khuwalid(RA) is the name of Noble Lady who is famous for intelligence, wealth, humbleness, and for her love and devotion to her Husband Prophet Mohammadﷺ She stands on the highest place when it comes to the Foundation of Islam. Khadija Bint Khuwalid was the greatest Support, being a First Person and First women to accept Islam. She was also the First wife of Prophet Mohammadﷺ who gained an honorable Title of Umm-Al-Momineen (The Mother of Believers). She stands as a Role Model for Women in this age and Time due to her well-organized, educated, and simple personality, elegance, confidence were her trademarks. She was strong enough to support her family economically, emotionally and being a housewife, she took good care of her Husband and Children.
Khadija bint Khuwalid was also famous as Ammerat-Quraysh (the Princess of Quraysh) and Khadija Al-Kubra (Khadija “The Great) due to her prodigious success in business and generous attitude towards needy and poor in Makkah. She was also renowned as Al-Tahira (the Pure One) due to her Noble and Modest Personality.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ entitled Khadija bint Khuwalid R.A by saying
“Maryam the Daughter of Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadija is the best among the women of (this nation).”
(Sahih Bukhari, Book 58 Hadith 164)
Khadija Bint Khuwalid RA was born in Makkah. Her Mother name was Fatima Bint Zayd and her Father was Khuwalid bin Asad. He was a famous leader among the tribes of Quraysh and a successful Businessman.
Khadija Bint Khuwalid married Abu Hala Malak and had two Sons Halah and Hind. After her first Husband died, She married Atique bin Aith and had a daughter Hindah. Her second Husband also died shortly after. She then started focusing towards raising her children and nourishing her business in Makkah which embarked on the highest scale due to her hard work , intelligence and wisdom blessed from Allah SWT.
Khadija Bint Khuwalid as a successful Business Woman:
She was a role model for women in the Desert of Arabia where there was no educational institute for business and accounting to perform well in the Field of Merchandise.
In Arabia, women had no social status and were treated as a minority and slaves. At a time when people buried their infant daughters, her parents gave her confidence to build her character and encouraged her skills so that she inherited her Father’s Business. Eventually, managed it to grow and attained prominence in Makkah using some wise techniques of business.
This wise lady employed trade agents to travel with her caravans and trade on her behalf. These agents received commissions as per their sales upon their return from trips.
It is said that when Banu Quraysh’s trade caravans gathered to embark on their lengthy journey either to Syria during the Summer or Yamen in the winter, Khadija’s Caravan equaled the Caravans of all Quraish put together.
Her wise and pure-mannered personality attracted Noble rich of society to propose her for marriage. But it seemed that her previous marriage experiences made her refuse to agree to any of the proposals. Her pre-occupation with her business and other obligations might also have been another reason for her refusal of these proposals. She remained unmarried until she got older and approached the age of forty.
The popularity of the name of the Trustworthy (Mohammad) ﷺ who was a model of good conduct reached her. Khadija Bint Khuwalid had keen observational skills in choosing wise and intelligent employee for her business. She decided to hire Prophet Mohammad ﷺ as a trade agent for her next Business trip to Syria.
What she heard from her servant, Maysarah regarding Mohammad’s excellent manners in buying and selling and how he made big profits, created in her a great interest in him. This led her to send someone to him to indirectly express her interest in marrying him.
Marriage with Prophet ﷺ :
The marriage took place between her and Muhammad ﷺ and both were delighted because of the same conducts they shared and their hearts also shared the same feeling. Their marriage is enough to break stereotypes about Islam, it might intrigue you to know that she was 40 years old when she married Prophet ﷺ who was just 25.
If we look with Khadijah’s (may Allah be pleased with her) perspective, it is clear that she preferred uprightness and noble integrity to the wealth. It enlightens Khadija’s insight that Allah SWT had blessed her for all affairs.
As A Wife:
“Your wives are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them.”
In Arab culture, taking multiple wives was a common practice, yet Khadija and Mohammad’s ﷺ marriage was monogamous until her death 25 years later. Mohammad’s prophethood began during his marriage to Khadija, when he received the first of Allah’s revelations through the Angel Gabriel that left him frightened, strained and feeling alone when no one believed in him. Khadija comforted her husband and encouraged him during the most difficult days of his life. Her kind words acted like a soothing rain on Prophet’s ﷺ heart which made him relaxed and calm. She said ,
“Never! By God, God will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your relatives, help the poor, serve your guests generously, and assist those hit with calamities.”
She was an intelligent lady. She recognized her Husband was not an ordinary man, he possesses some special characteristics. Since he does not harm others and instead keeps a soft heart for Humanity. Allah will suffice him. She had an unforgettable place in Prophet’s life even after her death. She had very soft and loving heart for her Husband.
Aisha (RA) reported that once she hurt Prophet’s feelings on this issue but He ﷺ replied:
” Allah (SWT) has blessed me with her (Khadijah (RA)) love”.
As A Mother:
Khadijah RA bore him 6 children. She had two sons Al-Qasim and Abdullah. Both died in infant age. Later they were blessed with four Daughters successively Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umme Kulthoom and Fatima (may Allah SWT Pleased with them all). In everyday life, parents commonly put their efforts to raise children to attain worldly rewards.Khadija Bint Khuwalid raised her daughters in such manners as they ranked among the best women. In an hadith , Prophet Mohammad mentioned the rank of Fatima (RA) among ladies with the highest status than others dues to their piety and modesty.These are historical words about Khadija Bint Khuwalid and her daughter Fatima (RA), Prophet Mohammad ﷺ once said,
“The best women of Paradise are Khadija bint Khuwalid, Fatima bint Mohammad, Aasiya bint Mazzahim (the wife of Pharoah), and Maryam bint Imran.”
(Sahih by Al-Tirmidhi, 3878)
Best Supporter in the time of trial:
During harsh times, Khadijah remained a loyal and patient companion and wife, often giving Mohammad ﷺ wise and compassionate counsel, which reinforced him emotionally. Her support would constantly strengthen him in his mission to spread the Message.
For three years the small Muslim community lived in exile, cut off from their kith and kin and enduring a life of hardship and deprivation. However, although they suffered from hunger and thirst, and from exposure to the elements, this was a time in which the hearts of the first Muslims were both purified and also filled with the light of knowledge and wisdom. The Muslims knew that they were following the truth, and so nothing else mattered. Sadly, these long and difficult months left Khadijah physically weakened.
Finally, the boycott was lifted and the Muslims were allowed to re-enter the city; but the three years of hardship had taken their toll on her health. She spent her last days in the loving care of her husband and daughters. Here was one of the wealthiest women in the Arabian Peninsula, who had spent all she had of her material wealth in the path of Allah that she did not even have a piece of bread in her house when she died.
In some narrations, it was said that in the final moments of her life, angel Jibreel AS descended, giving her (through the Messenger ﷺ) greetings from Allah Himself, with the glad tidings of her palace in Jannah.
Why was she so exalted and elevated in the eyes of Allah SWT?
Let us pause and take a look at our lives today. The husband and wife keep careful count of their spending, and very few women would willingly give up their wealth in supporting their husbands’ noble causes. How many women would be willing to sacrifice personal luxuries for a higher cause?
Khadijah went further than sacrificing her material comforts; she gave all that she had in the path of Allah. Instead of complaining about the hardship of her situation, she supported her husband. She did not demand gifts, vacations, or even attention; for she knew that she had a higher cause than to indulge in the mere trivialities of the world. She put the needs of her husband above her personal needs for the sake of Allah, and as a result, the Prophet’s ﷺ love and admiration for her overshadowed those that he bore for the wives that he married after her death. He loved no one more than Khadija during his lifetime. A true friend is one who stands with one in the times of turmoil and afflictions. Khadija RA was there with him in these times with full eagerness and love. Theirs was a true love story.
On one occasion Aisha (RA) asked him ﷺ if she had been the only woman worthy of his love and the Prophet ﷺ replied:
“She believed in me when no body else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me and she helped and comforted me when there was none to lend me a helping hand”.
We wish for the glory of having her as our companion in Jannah, but how many of us have the sincerity to emulate her exemplary behavior and sacrifice even a fraction of what she did for Islam, financially, physically and emotionally?
Khadija RA continues to inspire people to this day who admire her for taking great care of the Prophet of Islam and for showing the world, through her behavior, what a pious, modest and courageous woman can accomplish. The example she left for mankind remains timeless.
May Allah SWT shower His blessings on her and grant us courage and Faith to follow her footsteps. Ameen
Compiled by Bint e Abdul Waheed
- Qutb, Muhammad ‘Ali., and Abdul-Rafi Imam Adewale. “Women around the Messenger” Nisa’ Hawla Al-Rasul. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2008.
- Hotd2admin. “Khadijah (RA).” Hadith of the Day.
- “Khadija Umm Ul Muminin: Strength, Character, Intellect: Defining Strong Women.” M4L. N.p., 26 Dec. 2012.
- “Islams Women – Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid.” Islams Women – Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid.
- “Khadija Bint Khuwaylid.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation.
- “The Wives of the Prophet (peace and Blessings of Allaah Be upon Him), the Mothers of the Believers (may Allaah Be Pleased with Them) – Islamqa.info.” The Wives of the Prophet (peace and Blessings of Allaah Be upon Him), the Mothers of the Believers (may Allaah Be Pleased with Them)
Khadija – Sunnah.com – Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).” – Khadija+ (page 1) – Sunnah.com – Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)
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:
- Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid
- Sawdah bint Zam’ah ibn Qays
- ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr al-Siddeeq
- Hafsah bint ‘Umar (Part 1– Part 2)
- Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
- Umm Salamah bint Abi Umayyah
- Juwayriyah bint al-Harith
- Zaynab bint Jahsh
- Umm Habeebah bint Abi Sufyaan
- Maymoonah bint al-Harith
- Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab