Maymoonah bint Al-Haarith Al-Hilaaliyyah, may Allah be pleased with her.
The Mother of Believers, Maymoonah bint Al-Haarith ibn Hazn Al-Hilaaliyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, was the final wife of the Prophet, . Her sister was Lubaabah the elder, who was the wife of Al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, may Allah be pleased with him. Her other sister was Lubaabah the younger, who was married to Al-Waleed ibn Al-Mugheerah. Thus, she was the maternal aunt of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas and Khaalid ibn Al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with them.
Her half sisters from her mother were Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays, the wife of Ja‘far ibn Abu Taalib, Salma bint ‘Umays Al-Khuth‘amiyyah, the wife of Hamzah ibn ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, and Salaamah bint ‘Umays, the wife of ‘Abdullaah ibn K‘ab ibn Munabbih Al-Khaytha‘mi. Thus the Prophet, , would say about them: “The Believing sisters: Maymoonah bint Al-Haarith, Umm Al-Fadhl bint Al-Haarith, Salma the wife of Hamzah, and Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays.” [An-Nasaa’i]
The Prophet, , married Maymoonah, may Allah be pleased with her, after performing the Compensatory ‘Umrah in Thul-Qi‘dah, in the seventh year AH. Ja‘far ibn Abu Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, came to the Prophet, , from Abyssinia, and proposed to her on behalf of the Prophet, , and she agreed. She chose Al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd Al-Muttalib to be her guardian and he concluded the marriage with the Prophet, .
The historians of prophetic biography hold different views regarding whether the Prophet, , married Maymoonah, may Allah be pleased with her, when he was still in the state of Ihraam (ritual consecration) or after he had come out of it. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, , married her while he was still in the state of Ihraam, whereas Maymoonah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that her marriage took place after he came out from that state. This latter opinion was also narrated by Imaam Muslim . Scholars have been more in favor of her opinion for many reasons that cannot be elaborated upon here.
After performing ‘Umrah the Prophet, , wished to make his wedding banquet in Makkaah in order to reconcile with the Quraysh, but they refused. They sent Huwaytib ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Uzza after four days to tell him that his time in Makkah was over and that he had to leave.
Therefore the Prophet, , ordered Abu Raafi‘ to call people and inform them that they were leaving. The Prophet, , then went to Sirf, a place near At-Tan‘eem, about 10 miles from Makkah, and consummated his marriage with her. At that time she was twenty-six years old and the Prophet, , was fifty-nine years old. He slaughtered more than one sheep for their wedding banquet and gave her four hundred dirhams as a dowry, although some scholars said that he in fact gave her five hundred dirhams.
Her name was originally Barrah but the Prophet, , changed it to Maymoonah, just as he did with the Mother of Believers Juwayriyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, whose name also happened to be Barrah.
Maymoonah, may Allah be pleased with her, was a select woman and set a great example of faith, uprightness and steadfastness. The Mother of Believers ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, testified to this saying, “She was the most pious among us and the best of us in maintaining the ties of kinship.” She narrated many Hadeeths on the authority of the Prophet, , like the Hadeeth that describes the way the Prophet, , would perform Ghusl (ritual bathing).
Sometimes Ibn ‘Abbaas would spend the night in the house of the Prophet, , where he would gain the knowledge and acquire the fine manners that he would then teach to other Muslims. He, may Allah be pleased with him, said,“Once I spent the night in the house of my aunt, Maymoonah bint Al-Haarith, may Allah be pleased with her, and the Prophet was there. He got up to pray at night and I joined him and stood on his left side, but he drew me to his right. He would pull my earlobe whenever I snoozed. He prayed eleven Rak‘ahs (units of prayer) and then slept until I heard the sound of his breathing. When the morning prayer was due, he prayed two light Rak‘ahs.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Maymoonah, may Allah be pleased with her, died in the same place where she was married to the Prophet, , in the year fifty-one after Hijrah (emigration) when she was 80-years old. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, prayed over her and lowered her into her grave along with Yazeed ibn Al-Asamm and ‘Abdullaah ibn Shaddaad ibn Al-Haadi, may Allah be pleased with them, as they were her nephews. ‘Ubaydullaah Al-Khawlaani, who was a young orphan whom she used to look after, also helped lower her into her grave.