The Prophet Marries Zaynab bint Jahsh - I

The Prophet Marries Zaynab bint Jahsh - I
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The poets among the Companions played a vital role in Jihaad by composing magnificent poems in which they recorded the situations and incidents facing the Muslims in the Battle of the Trench. These had a massive psychological and social impact, and bring to light the great benefits of such action. The incidents mentioned in this article and subsequent ones will bring, if Allah wills, this vital role into context.

As the military excursions continued and the domain of the Muslim state grew throughout the Arabian Peninsula, the legislative and social construction of the Muslim Ummah (nation) was being completed. Child adoption ceased, Hijab was ordained, and etiquettes of eating and feasting were established. The obligatory obedience to Allah The Almighty and His Messenger confirmed the obligation of all these ordinances and combated any traditions that opposed the Sharee‘ah of Allah The Almighty. The marriage of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), to Zaynab bint Jahsh contained wisdom and teaches us lessons that will last forever.
The story of this marriage is as follows:
 
First: Her name and family background
She was the sister of ‘Abdullaah bin Jahsh and Hamnah bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with them both.
Her mother was Umaymah bint ‘Abd Al-Muttalib bin Haashim bin ‘Abd Manaaf bin Qusayy, the paternal aunt of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), and sister of Hamzah bin ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, may Allah be pleased with him.
It is said that Zaynab was called Barrah and nicknamed Umm Al-Hakam, but the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), later gave her the name Zaynab. She, may Allah be pleased with her, was among the first women who migrated to Madeenah. She was pious and would observe much fasting and night prayer, and would give a lot in charity. It was narrated on the authority of ‘Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said to his wives: “The fastest of you to follow me [after death] will be the one who has the longer arms.” ‘Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, added that the wives of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), checked which one of them had the longest arm, and it was Zaynab because she would work with her hands and give a lot in charity. 
‘Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, praised her a great deal; she said, “I have never seen a woman who is more religious, pious, conscious of Allah, truthful, cherishing of the ties of kinship, self-sacrificing in practical life, and having more charitable disposition than Zaynab. Yes, she would lose her temper, but would soon be calm again.” [Muslim]
 
Second: Her marriage to Zayd bin Haarithah, may Allah be pleased with him.
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), wanted to abolish the social class discrimination that the Muslim Ummah (nation) had inherited from the pre-Islamic era. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), wanted the Ummah to apply the Islamic principle that all people were just as equal to each other as the teeth of a comb, so that there would be no superiority except according to the degree of piety. Freed men were considered inferior to the class of masters and Zayd bin Haarithah was a freedman of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), who freed him then adopted him. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), wanted to marry him to the noblest woman of Banu Asad, Zaynab bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with her, the daughter of his paternal aunt, in order to end these social differences in his own family first. Such differences were deeply-rooted and could not be easily removed except by practical action taken by the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). In doing so, the Muslim Ummah would follow his way in this regard.
Perhaps the wisdom behind this marriage, though unclear at the beginning, was to introduce new legislation which was not less significant to keep the balance of the society and to guard the family than the first legislation. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), asked for the hand of Zaynab bint Jahsh in marriage on behalf of Zayd bin Haarithah, but Zaynab refused. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), then ordered her to accept to marry Zayd. She remarked, “O Messenger of Allah, am I to be commanded regarding what is my own affair?” Amidst this discussion, the Quranic verse was revealed (which means): {It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair.} [Quran 33:36] Upon that, Zaynab said, “O Messenger of Allah, do you approve him as a husband for me?” He replied in the affirmative, and she declared, “I would never disobey the Messenger of Allah, and I give myself to Zayd in marriage.”
At that time, Zayd bin Haarithah was still considered the adopted son of Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), and he married Zaynab, giving her a dowry of ten dinars and sixty dirhams, a veil, a comforter, a suit of mail, fifty double handfuls of food and double handfuls of dates.
Third: Zayd's divorce of Zaynab, may Allah be pleased with her
It is the wisdom of Allah The Almighty that Zayd did not have a successful marriage with Zaynab and their life seemed impossible to continue. Zayd decided to divorce Zaynab. He would complain to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), that he could not stay married to Zaynab, whereas the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), would order him to keep her and fear Allah The Almighty regarding her. Later, Allah The Almighty decreed the divorce and their relationship ended when Zayd was no longer in need of her after living with her for about one year.
Ibn Katheer  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Zayd remained with Zaynab for one year or more, then, disputes arose between them. Zayd complained about her to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) who used to advise him, saying: ‘Keep your wife and fear Allah.’
Zayd no longer wanted to keep the husband-wife relationship because he was a noble man who did not want to achieve his happiness and comfort at the expense of the misery and harm of others. Thus, he decided to divorce her and not to sadden her, since she was living in worry and troubles. The marriage of Zayd to Zaynab, may Allah be pleased with them, ended in that manner, without any outside interference, and he divorced her willingly. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), was forbidding him to do so, and he would order him to fear Allah The Almighty and keep her as a wife. After mentioning this, Ibn Katheer, commented, “Ibn Abi Haatim and Ibn Jareer compiled traditions from some of the righteous predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them, but they will not be mentioned because they are not authentic.”
(To be Continued)

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) Marries Zaynab bint Jahsh, May Allah be Pleased with Her - II

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