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Great Muslims Of All Times

Mothers of Faithful Believers (Ummahaatu'l Mu'minin)

(The Blessed Wives of the Beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him)

1. Sayyidatina Khadija bint Khuwaylid (68 B.H-3 B.H; 556-619 C.E)

2. Sayyidatina 'Aisha Siddiqah bint Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (9 B.H-58 A.H; 613-678 C.E)

3. Sayyidatina Sawda bint Zam'a (passed away 54 A.H/673 C.E)

4. Sayyidatina Hafsa bint 'Umar al-Faruq (passed away 45 A.H/665 C.E)

5. Sayyidatina Umm Salama, Hind bint Abi Umayya al-Makhzumiyya (passed away 62 A.H/681 C.E)

6. Sayyidatina Juwayriya bint al-Harith (passed away 56 A.H/675 C.E)

7. Sayyidatina Zaynab bint Jahsh al-Asadiya (passed away 20 A.H/641 C.E)

8. Sayyidatina Zaynab bint Khuzayma al-Hilaliyya (passed away 4 A.H/625 C.E)
(she was called the "mother of the poor")

9. Sayyidatina Umm Habiba, Ramla bint Abi Sufyan (passed away 44 A.H/664 C.E)

10. Sayyidatina Safiyya bint Huyayy (passed away 50 A.H/670 C.E or 52 A.H/672 C.E)

11. Sayyidatina Maymuna bint al-Harith al-Hilaliyya (passed away 61 A.H/680 C.E),

may Allah be pleased with them all.

Appreciative Explanation

1. The wives of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, are referred to in the Qur'an in verse (33:6) as Ummahaatul Mu'minin, meaning "Mothers of faithful believers".

2. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, married Sayyidatina Khadija, a widow 40 years of age, when he was 25 years of age. They were happily married until she passed away at the age of 65. They set the best example for others to emulate in married life.

3. Polygamy was practiced in Arabia at that time but the beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, remained monogamous all these years and set the best example for those who wish to remain monogamous.

4. Then Allah privileged Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to be polygamous just as he had privileged some other Prophets before him to be polygamous. For example, Nabi Sulayman (Prophet Solomon, peace be upon him) had seven hundred wives, Nabi Dawud (Prophet David, peace be upon him) had many wives, while Nabi Ibrahim (Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him) had three. In contracting his marriages, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was in each instance following the Commands of Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted. Allah limited the number of wives a Muslim could have at any one time to four but He privileged Prophet Muhammad to have more than four wives.

5. The wives of the beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, were either widows, divorcees or captives of war, except for Sayyidatina 'Aisha who was the only virgin he married.

6. Some of the women he married were widows of his sahaba (companions) who had laid down their lives for the sake of Islam.

7. He married into various clans and tribes. This strengthened the commitment of these clans and tribes to the religion of Islam as they were proud that the one whom Allah had chosen to be the Final and the Last Prophet till the end of time had married into them.

8. In marrying captives of war, the noble Prophet, peace be upon him, not only freed them but also all their relatives and members of their clan who then automatically accepted Islam!

9. Although the beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, could have lived like a king, he chose to lead a life of poverty, content with the bare necessities of life. When some of his wives found it difficult to cope with his ascetic life-style, Allah revealed to him to give them the option to choose him and the Hereafter or to choose the comforts of this world. (33:28-29). They naturally chose him and the Hereafter, may Allah be pleased with them all. And as "mothers of faithful believers", their responsibilities were more than those of other women, and they fulfilled these responsibilities with ihsan (excellence). They set the best example for women to emulate.

10. In Islam, limited polygamy (up to four wives) is an institutionalized option. (Qur'an, 4:3). And those Muslims who choose this option have the example of the beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in being faithful, loving and caring husbands, in treating the spouses justly and equitably, devoting equal time to each of them, and providing for their material wants and needs in a just and fair manner without fovouring one over the other.

Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad
Toronto, 1422/2001.

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