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The Mothers of the Believers

The wives of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) are called the Mothers of the Believers, may Allaah be pleased with them, as a way of honouring them and giving them a noble position. Allaah granted them the honour of being the Mothers of the Believers, as He Says (what means)

{The Prophet is closer to the believers than their ownselves, and his wives are their (believers') mothers (as regards respect and marriage)}. [Quran 6:66]

Allaah honoured the Mothers of the Believers, may Allaah be pleased with them, and preserved His Prophet's (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) honour when He commanded

the believers to address them from behind a screen and observe politeness

when they entered the house of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. Allaah Says (what means):

{And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.} [Quran 53:53]

As the wives of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, were the Mothers of the Believers, may Allaah be pleased with them, Allaah prohibited them to marry anyone after the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).

The Mothers of the Believers, may Allaah be pleased with them, were the best Muslim women in piety and righteousness.

 They supported the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, during his lifetime and they shouldered the responsibility of calling people to Islam and spreading the message, and teaching the Muslim women the rulings of Islam.

There were eleven Mothers of the Believers. Two of them died during the lifetime of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam): Khadeejah and Zainab Bint Khuzaymah, may Allaah be pleased with them. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) died, he left nine wives.

All of them were buried in Al-Baqee' in Madeenah except Khadeejah, may Allaah be pleased with her, who was buried in Al-Hujoon in Makkah and Maymoonah Bint Al-Haarith, may Allaah be pleased with her, who was buried in Saraf near Makkah.

According to the chronological order of their marriage to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), the Mothers of the Believers were:

She was the first woman whom the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, married. Hence she was the first Mother of the Believers. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, married her before Prophethood when he was twenty five years old while she was forty. She lived with the Prophet for twenty-five years. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, did not marry a second wife during her life time.

All the offspring of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) were from Khadeejah, except Ibraheem. Their sons and daughters were Al-Qasim, `Abdullaah, Zaynab, Ruqyyah, Um Kulthoom and Faathimah, may Allaah be pleased with them.

When he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was sent as a Prophet, Khadeejah was the first person ever to believe in the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). She supported the Prophet against the attitude of his people who harmed and belied him and were very obstinate to his call.

She continued to support her husband, [the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)] until she died three years before the migration aged sixty five years old. With her death, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) lost his best supporter and he was extremely sad as he lost in that same year, his uncle Abu Talib. So that year was called the Year of Grief.

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to remember her much and always talk about her to the extent that 'Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: "I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, as much as I did of Khadeejah because Allaah's Messenger used to mention her very often. He would slaughter a sheep, cut the meat into pieces and send some to Khadeejah's friends."

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her in Makkah before migration after the death of his wife Khadeejah. Sawdah was fifty five years old and was a widow. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her in order to relieve her sorrows and to honor her. She migrated to Madeenah and stayed there with the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) until he died. She lived until the reign of the caliphate of 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him.

She was born four or five years after the Prophethood and she, along with her sister Asmaa', embraced Islam when they were young. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her in Makkah before the migration but did not consummate the marriage until he was in Madeenah when she was nine years old. She was the only virgin wife whom the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married.

'Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, was the most beloved wife to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as her father Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, may Allaah be pleased with him, was the most beloved man to him.

 When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was ill, he took the permission of his other wives to receive medical treatment in the house of `Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, where he eventually died.

After the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), `Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, was the first jurist in Islam. The senior companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, used to ask her about difficult juristic cases. In addition to her deep knowledge of Islamic Jurisprudence and Prophetic narration, she was one of the most knowledgeable people in medicine and poetry. She, may Allaah be pleased with her, died in Ramadhaan 58 A.H., June 677 A.C. when she was sixty six years old.

She was born five years before the mission of the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, in a noble family. Her father is Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him; and her mother is Zaynab Bint Mathoon ibn Habeeb, may Allaah be pleased with her. Hafsah embraced Islam very early with her husband, Khunays ibn Huthaafah As-Sahmi Al-Qurashi, may Allaah be pleased with him, and they both emigrated to Abyssinia, fleeing their homeland for the sake of their religion. After that, they went to Madeenah after Islam had begun to spread. Her husband participated in the Battle of Badr, and died in the Battle of Uhud, leaving behind him Hafsah, may Allaah be pleased with her, who was no older than twenty-one years. After she fulfilled the term of her Iddah (waiting period), Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, offered her in marriage to Uthmaan Ibn Affaan, and then to Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with them, and neither of them responded to the offer. Then, Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, went to the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and complained to him about how both Uthmaan and Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with them, had turned down his offer of marrying his daughter Hafsah, may Allaah be pleased with her, to one of them. On that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said to him: "Someone who is better than Uthmaan, will marry Hafsah and Uthmaan will marry someone who is better than Hafsah." Then, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, proposed to Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, to marry her and he married her to him. Later on, Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, met Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, and said to him, "Do not be angry with me, for [when you offered her to me] the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, had mentioned Hafsah, and I was not to disclose the secret of the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam; had he left her, I would have married her." [Ibn Sad] The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, married Hafsah, may Allaah be pleased with her, to honor her and her father, and out of love for them. She was a submissive worshipper, in the habit of observing night prayers and fasting. For this reason, Allaah The Almighty honored her from His bounty, and made her one of the wives of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, in Paradise. Hafsah, may Allaah be pleased with her, lived to witness the conquests and expansion of Islam. She narrated sixty of the Hadeeths of the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. She died in Jumaada Al-Oola, in 41 AH. or in 45 AH., according to another opinion.

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her in Ramadhaan on the third Hijri year after his marriage to Hafsah Bint `Umar Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with her. She was known as "the mother of the needy" because she used to feed them and be generous to them. She did not live for long with the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as she died several months after her marriage at an age of thirty years according to the preponderant opinion. She died on Rabee' Al-Awwal 4 A.H., 625 A.C.

Her name was Hind Bint Umayyah Al-Makhzoomyyah. She embraced Islam early along with her husband, Abu Salamah and migrated to Ethiopia and later to Madeenah. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her after the death of her husband, Abu Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with her, in the fourth Hijri year.

Um Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with her, was a religious and wise woman. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to consult her and adopt her opinion in different occasions. He also used to take her with him in many battles such as on the Day of Hudaybyyah, the Battle of Khaybar, the Conquest of Makkah, the battle of Hawaazin and Thaqeef, the siege of Taa'if, and the Farewell Hajj on the tenth Hijri year.

Umm Salamah lived long as she died in 61 A.H. after she heard about the death of Al-Husayn, may Allaah be pleased with him, in Karbalaa'.

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was commanded by Allaah to marry her in the fifth Hijri year. Previously, she had been married to the revered companion Zayd Ibn Haarithah, may Allaah be pleased with him, but he divorced her because of their unstable marital life.

When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her, she was thirty five years old. On her wedding day, Allaah imposed Hijab (veil) on the wives of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as well as all the Muslim women. Zaynab was known to be generous as she used to make foodstuffs and give them in charity to the needy.

She died during the caliphate of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, who performed the funeral prayer for her. She was buried in Al-Baqee, and was the first of the Prophet's wives to die after his death.

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her in Sh`abaan in the sixth Hijri year after the Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq. She was taken captive in this battle and the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) freed and married her.

 Once it was known that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her, all the companions freed the captives of her people as a way of honouring her after her marriage to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).

She died at 56 A.H., 675 A.C. during the reign of Mu'aawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyaan when she was seventy years old.

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her after the Battle of Khaybar on the seventh Hijri year. In this battle, the Muslims were victorious and they conquered the castles of Khaybar, and Safiyyah was one of the prisoners of war.

She was about seventeen years old and the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) freed her and married her. She embraced Islam and became a pious Muslim.

When she complained that both `Aa'ishah and Hafsah boasted to her that they were Arab women from the Quraysh tribe while she was of a Jewish origin, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said to her: "You should have said to them: How could you be better than me while my husband is Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, my father is Haroon, may Allaah exalt his mention, and my uncle is Moosaa, may Allaah exalt his mention. At this reply, she was calm and pleased."

When caliph `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, was besieged, she put path between her house and that of `Uthmaan, in order to carry food and water to him after the besiegers prevented any food to reach him. 

Safiyyah, may Allaah be pleased with her, died in 50 A.H. during the reign of Mu'aawiyyah Ibn Abu Sufyaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, and she was buried at Al-Baqee' along with the other Mothers of the Believers.

Her name is Ramlah Bint Abu Sufyaan Ibn Harb (may Allaah be pleased with her). The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married her after her husband `Ubaydullaah Ibn Jahsh apostated when they were in Ethiopia. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, sent a message to Negus authorizing him to marry her to him (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and the marriage contract was made while she was in that country.

Umm Habeebah, may Allaah be pleased with her, returned to Madeenah in the seventh Hijri year to live in the house of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) along with the other Mothers of the Believers. The people of Madeenah celebrated the occasion and her maternal uncle, `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, made a generous banquet in which he slaughtered many animals and fed the people. Umm Habeebah, may Allaah be please with her, lived long after the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and died when she was over seventy years old in 44 A.H., 664 A.C.

She was the last wife the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) married. He married her when he was making up for the previous year's `Umrah on the seventh Hijri year and he consummated the marriage after he left Makkah in Thul Q'idah, 7 A.H. in a place near Makkah called Saraf.

Maymoonah, may Allaah be pleased with her, lived long after the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and she asked to be buried in Saraf where the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) met her and consummated his marriage with her.

When she died in 51 A.H., her nephew, `Abdullaah Ibn `Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, performed the funeral prayer on her and advised those who carried her procession to be gentle with it until they buried her where she had wished to be buried.

 
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