Wives and Children of the Prophet ﷺ

The first among the wives of the prophet ﷺ was Khadija bint Khuwaylid (رضي الله عنها). The prophet’s ﷺ marriage with Khadija(رضي الله عنها) took place before the beginning of revelation when he was 25 and she was 27 or 40 (scholars differ on her age). Being deeply devoted to the prophet ﷺ, she supported him during the most difficult period of his life, shared his adversities and troubles with good grace and helped him with her wealth and kind words. She had died three years before the prophet ﷺ migrated to Medina. She had borne the prophet ﷺ all his children except Ibrahim (رضي الله عنه). The prophet ﷺ always held her in high esteem and very often praised her. There was never an occasion that he would kill a shep and cut it into pieces and not send them to Khadija’s friends.

After the death of Khadija (رضي الله عنها), the prophet ﷺ married Sawdah bint Zama’ah (رضي الله عنها). He was then united in wedlock with ‘Aisha , whom he adored and loved dearly. There has been no woman like her in the whole history of Islam who so deeply understood the teachings of Islam and convincingly explained the issues of jurisprudence; even the most eminent and learned companions of the prophet ﷺ consulted her on intricate legal issues. Hafsah (رضي الله عنها), the daughter of Umar (رضي الله عنه), was the next to join the nuptial tie with the holy prophet ﷺ. Thereafter he married Zaynab bint Khuzaymah (رضي الله عنها) who died two months after her marriage to the prophet ﷺ. Umm Salamah (رضي الله عنها) was then wedded by the prophet ﷺ and she was the last of his wives to leave this fleeting world. After her, the prophet ﷺ contracted matrimony with Zaynab bint Jahash (رضي الله عنها), the daughter of his aunt Umaymah (رضي الله عنها). Thereafter, the prophet ﷺ took as wives Juwayriya bint al-Harith (رضي الله عنها), belonging to the tribe of al-Mustaliq and Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan (رضي الله عنها) in succession. His next wife was Safiyyah (رضي الله عتها), the daughter of the chief of Banu Nadir. Her father, Huyayy ibn Akhtab (رضي الله عنه), traced his descent to Harun ibn Imran ﷺ, the brother of prophet Musa ﷺ. The honor of being the last spouse of the prophet ﷺ went to Maymunah bint al-Harith (رضي الله عنها) of the tribe of Hilal.

The prophet ﷺ also had two bondswomen who were alive when he died. One of these was Mariyah the copt, daughter of Sham’un, who had been presented him by Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt. She bore a son, Ibrahim (رضي الله عنه), to the prophet ﷺ. The other was Rayhanah bint Zayd (رضي الله عنها) who belonged to the tribe of an-Nadir (according to some she was from Bani Qurayzah). She was let free on her profession of Islam and thereafter the prophet ﷺ took her in marriage.

All the wives of the prophet ﷺ being Umm al-Mu’minin (mothers of the believers) to the Muslims, they were forbidden to remarry anyone after the death of the prophet ﷺ. This was in keeping with the honor and respect due to the prophet ﷺ as well as the loving regard every Muslim had for the messenger of Allah ﷺ. The writ of Allah for the Muslims was:

وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَن تَنكِحُوا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمًا – 33:53

It is not right for you to annoy God’s Messenger, nor should you marry his wives after him: that would be an enormity in God’s eyes.

Source: Prophet of Mercy by Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi

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