The wives of Prophet Muhammad

1. Khadijah Bint Khuwailid: In Makkah — prior to Hijra — the Prophet’s household comprised him (Peace be upon him) and his wife Khadijah bint Khuwailid. He was twenty-five and she was forty when they got married. She was the first woman he married. She was the only wife he had till she died. He had sons and daughters with her. None of their sons lived long. They all died. Their daughters were Zainab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah.[full_width]

Zainab was married to her maternal cousin Abu Al-‘As bin Al-Rabi‘ and that was before Al-Hijra. Ruqaiya and Umm Kulthum were both married to ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) successively (i.e. he married one after the death of her sister). Fatimah was married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib; and that was in the period between Badr and Uhud battles.

The sons and daughters that Fatimah and ‘Ali had, were Al-Hasan, Al-Husain, Zainab and Umm Kulthum. It is well-known that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was exceptionally authorized to have more than four wives for various reasons. The wives he married were thirteen. Nine of them outlived him. Two died in his lifetime: Khadijah and the Mother of the poor (Umm Al- Masakeen) — Zainab bint Khuzaima, besides two others with whom he did not consummate his marriage.

2. Sawdah bint Zam‘ah: He married her in Shawwal, in the tenth year of Prophethood, a few days after the death of Khadijah. Prior to that, she was married to a paternal cousin of hers called As-Sakran bin ‘Amr.

3. ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr: He married her in the eleventh year of Prophethood, a year after his marriage to Sawdah, and two years and five months before Al-Hijra. She was six years old when he married her. However, he did not consummate the marriage with her till Shawwal seven months after Al-Hijra, and that was in Madinah. She was nine then. She was the only virgin he married, and the most beloved creature to him. As a woman she was the most learnèd woman in jurisprudence.

4. Hafsah bint ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: She was Aiyim (i.e. husbandless). Her ex-husband was Khunais bin Hudhafa As-Sahmi in the period between Badr and Uhud battles. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) married her in the third year of Al-Hijra.

5. Zainab bint Khuzaimah: She was from Bani Hilal bin ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘a. was nicknamed Umm Al-Masakeen, because of her kindness and care towards them. She used to be the wife of ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, who was martyred at Uhud, was married to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the fourth year of Al-Hijra, but she died two or three months after her marriage to the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him).

6. Umm Salamah Hind bint Abi Omaiyah: She used to be the wife of Abu Salamah, who died in Jumada Al-Akhir, in the fourth year of Al-Hijra. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) married her in Shawwal of the same year.

7. Zainab bint Jahsh bin Riyab: She was from Bani Asad bin Khuzaimah and was the Messenger’s paternal cousin. She was married to Zaid bin Haritha — who was then considered son of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) . However, Zaid divorced her. Allâh sent down some Qur’ânic verses with this respect: “So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e., divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage.” [33:37]

About her, Allâh has sent down some verses of Al-Ahzab Chapter that discussed the adoption of children in detail — anyway we will discuss this later. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) married her in Dhul-Qa‘dah, the fifth year of Al-Hijra.

8. Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith: Al-Harith was the head of Bani Al-Mustaliq of Khuza‘ah. Juwairiyah was among the booty that fell to the Muslims from Bani Al-Mustaliq. She was a portion of Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas’ share. He made her a covenant to set her free at a certain time. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) accomplished the covenant and married her in Sha‘ban in the sixth year of Al-Hijra.

9. Umm Habibah (Ramlah, bint Abu Sufyan): She was married to ‘Ubaidullah bin Jahsh. She migrated with him to Abyssinia (Ethiopia). When ‘Ubaidullah apostatized and became a Christian, she stoodfast to her religion and refused to convert. However, ‘Ubaidullah died there in Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) dispatched ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damri with a letter to Negus, the king, asking him for Umm Habibah’s hand — that was in Muharram, in the seventh year of Al-Hijra. Negus agreed and sent her to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the company of Sharhabeel

10. Safiyah bint Huyai bin Akhtab: She was from the children of Israel, and among the booty taken at the battle Khaibar. Allah's messenger (peace be upon him) took her for himself. He set her free and married her after that conquest in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.

11. Maimunah bint Al-Harith: The daughter of Al-Harith, and the sister of Umm Al-Fadl Lubabah bint Al-Harith. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) married her after the Compensatory ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). That was in Dhul-Qa‘dah in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.

Those were the eleven women that the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) had married and consummated marriage with them. He outlived two of them — Khadijah and Zainab, the Umm Al-Masakeen. Whereas the other nine wives outlived him.

The two wives that he did not consummate marriage with were, one from Bani Kilab and the other from Kindah and this was the one called Al-Jauniyah.

Besides these, he had two concubines. The first was Mariyah, the Coptic (an Egyptian Christian), a present gift from Al-Muqauqis, vicegerent of Egypt — she gave birth to his son Ibrâhim, who died in Madinah while still a little child, on the 28th or 29th of Shawwal in the year 10 A.H., i.e. 27th January, 632 A.D. The second one was Raihanah bint Zaid An-Nadriyah or Quraziyah, a captive from Bani Quraiza. Some people say she was one of his wives. However, Ibn Al-Qaiyim gives more weight to the first version. Abu ‘Ubaidah spoke of two more concubines, Jameelah, a captive, and another one, a bondwoman granted to him by Zainab bint Jahsh.

Whosoever meditates on the life of the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), will conceive that his marriage to this great number of women in the late years of his lifetime, after he had almost spent thirty years of his best days of youth sufficing himself to one old wife — Khadijah and later on to Sawdah, was in no way an overwhelming lustful desire to be satisfied through such a number of wives. These marriages were in fact motivated by aims and purposes much more glorious and greater than what normal marriages usually aim at.

Source: The Sealed Nectar (Ar Rahikal Maktum)
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