Below I present a translation of Dr. Hashmi’s summary of the nikah (legal muslim marriage) and lifespan of the wives of our beloved Prophet pbuh. I have added a brief note on my understanding of events in the light of the compassionate nature of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
May Allah Subhnawataala forgive me for any errors I may have made and give me the opportunity to correct them in my lifetime
I present the translation respectfully, to the best of my ability. Much distress has been caused by attributing the male behavior of the past and current jahiliyya to Prophet Muhammad pbuh in his decisions whom and when to marry. May Allah open the eyes of the readers, guide them and instill in all of us the beauty of the etiquette and respect of an individual that is also revered and honored in the words of Allah Himself Subhanawataala.
(Thus all disrespectful comments will end in the garbage where they rightfully belong)
UMMAHAAT E MOMINEEN
(A summary of their nikah, duration of marriage to RasoolAllah pbuh (RA) and their lifespan)
(Translated from Urdu Tafseer of Surah Al Ahzaab by Dr. Farhat Hashmi) All information in italics is from: references from Tabqat of ibn Sa’ad.:
Her title was Tahira. Her father was Khwalid from the clan of Quraish.
She had two previous nikahs prior to marrying Prophet Muhammad pbuh.. She had nikah with RasoolAllah pbuh at the age of 40; RasoolAllah pbuh was 25 years of age.
She died at age 65 in Mecca at which time RasoolAllah pbuh was 50. The year of her death is also called “The year of grief”.
Soauda RA was from the tribe of Lowee of Quraish. Her first nikah was with Sakran bin Amar she had nikah with RasoolAllah pbuh and remained with him for 14 years She died when she was 72 in Medina in 19 hijri.
Ayesha RA daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq RA was from the clan of Banu Tameem of Quraish and was married to RasoolAllah pbuh for 9 years she died at the age of 63 years of age. ( reference from Tabqat of ibn Sa’ad.: she died at 66 years of age in 58 hijri.)
Hafzah RA daughter of Umar Farooq RA was first married to Husain bin Huzafah and immigrated twice, first to Habshah and then Medina, and he was shaheed in a battle in Medina. She was married to RasoolAllah pbuh for 8 years and she died at the age of 60.
Zaynab RA from Banu Khuzayma, she had three previous nikahs married RasoolAllah pbuh in 3 Hijri and died two months later.
Umm e Salaama (Hind) from Banu Makhzoom was from the family of Khalid bin Waleed. She was married to Abu Salama and had children and was married to RasoolAllah pbuh for 7 years and 9 months and died at the age of 84.
Zaynab bint Jahash was first cousin (daughter of RasoolAllah pbuh’s fathers sister i.e. Phophi) married to Zaid bin Harris a freed slave and divorced she married RasoolAllah pbuh at the age 36 and remained with him for 5 years 4 months and died at the age of 52 in Medina in 20 Hijri. (Reference: Surah Al Ahzaab commands the Rasool pbuh to break the traditions of the tribes of accepting adopted sons as blood kin)
Joweiriah RA: First nikah was with Masalah bin Safwaan. At Ghazwah Banu Mustalaq She married RasoolAllah pbuh (5 hijri) and remained with him 5 years 6 months and She died in Medina at approx. 65 or 71.
Umme Habiba RA (Ramla) daughter of Abu Sufyan (who became Muslim in 8 hijri) first nikah was with Ubaidullah bin Jahash) they migrated to Habasha where Ubaidullah became a Christian and she was deeply saddened by that. She married RasoolAllah pbuh at 6 Hijri at the age of 36 and remained with RasoolAllah pbuh for 5-year s and died at age 72 in Medina.
Rayhana, r.a., A Jewish prisoner of war who embraced Islam. The Prophet, pbuh, married her in 6 hijri. She died just before he did in 11 hijri. In this way he ended the tradition of keeping female prisoners without marriage. [Same with Safiya, r.a.]
Saffiya RA daughter of Ibn Akhter the Chief of Banu Nazeer first nikah was with Kinana bin abi Haqeeq who was killed in battle of Khyber. She had nikah with RasoolAllah pbuh at age 17 (7 Hijri) was with him for 4 years and died at the age of 60 in Medina.
Maria Qabtia, r.a. (from Ethiopia) The Prophet, pbuh married her in 7 hijri. She was the mother of his son Ibrahim. She died in 16 hijri. There is some controversy about her marriage but the Caliph Umar, r.a, gave her all the honor as a mother of the believers.
Umm e Maimoona (sister of Zaynab bint Khazima) from the family of Harris bin Huzn. She had two previous nikahs. First nikah was with Hauthab bin Abdul Uzza second nikah was with abdul Raham bin Abdul Uzzaform.
She had her nikah with RasoolAllah pbuh at age 36 and remained with him for to 3.25 years and died at the same spot where she had her nikah. (In ikawan hijri) at age 80. She was the last of his wives to die.
What I learned from this: (and other tafseers)
A. All the spouses of Prophet Muhammad pbuh had been married once if not twice before he married them except Ayesha RA.
B. All his (pbuh) marriages when looked at closely were for the following apparent reasons: (Unapparent reasons are obviously conjecture) Allah knows best. Thus he married with deep compassion for his spouses and:
- For protection of the women whose spouses had died (umm e Salam, Hafzah, Saffiya,) divorced (Zaynab bint Jahash) or left Islam (Umm e Habiba)
- For protection of slaves of war who would be sold again as slaves elsewhere. (Saffiya,Rayhana & Joweiriyah)
- For obedience to Allah to demonstrate that one has no blood relation to the adopted son and thus can marry his divorced wife (this is explained in detail in Surah Ahzaab).
- To demonstrate honor to the women of the Chief of the tribe of Banu Nazeer and mend relations (Saffiya)
- For help in bringing a mother figures in the orphaned life or Fatima (Sauda).
- To comfort the bereaved wife of a fellow Muslim and supporter and support her orphaned children (Umm e Salama).
- To provide honor and protection to Umar RA daughter after she became a widow of an honored shaheed of Badr.
- To obey Allah’s command (inspiration in a dream) to marry his best friends daughter (Ayesha) and leave behind a teacher of his Sunnah who would outlive him for many years.
- He fulfilled the command of the Quran “to marry across tribes” by marrying Maria from Ethiopia and connecting with the tribes of Africa.
- Khadija 15 years his senior, married twice previously, was his first and last love.