The term Ummahat-ul-Momineen, meaning ‘The mothers of the Believers’, refers to the pious and noble women who were married to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. He married a total of 11 wives, two of whom died while he was alive, and the remaining remained alive after his death. This blog will look at these noble women and their challenges before their marriage to the Prophet PBUH.
Prophet Muhammad Wives
Hazrat Khadija RA, daughter of Khuwaylid Ibn Asad, was the first wife of the Prophet PBUH and the first person who believed in the Prophethood of Muhammad PBUH. According to sources, she was a strong and sharp businesswoman, and her marriage to the Prophet PBUH lasted for 25 years before she died at the age of 65.
In his marriage to Bibi Khadija, the Prophet PBUH didn’t take a wife. He loved, cherished, and remembered her throughout his life.
She was the second wife of Prophet Muhammad and the first woman to migrate to Abyssinia with her husband. After she became a widow, the Prophet PBUH married her. She was the first woman to be married to Muhammad PBUH after Bibi Khadija.
She was full of faith and loved charity.
Ayesha RA, the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique RA, is one of the closest companions of the Prophet PBUH. She was betrothed to the Prophet at a young age and was his beloved wife. Traditions say that the Prophet Muhammad PBUH used to call her humairah because of her rosy cheeks. She remained married to the Prophet PBUH for 14 years before he died.
Hafsa RA was the fourth wife of the Prophet PBUH and was the daughter of the second khalifa of Islam, Hazrat Umar RA. She and Ayesha RA were the youngest wives of the Prophet PBUH. She had a strong personality and was extremely intelligent. She also memorized the Quran and married the Prophet for eight years.
She was the fifth wife and the first one who didn’t come from the tribe of Quraish, earning the title of ‘The Mother of the Poor’ due to her charitable nature. Zaynab RA died less than a year after her marriage to the Prophet PBUH.
She married the Prophet PBUH at the age of 29 after her husband died due to the wounds he received in the battle of Uhud. Salamah RA was a strong and patient woman during the death of her husband and the abduction of her son. She narrated more than 300 ahadith and remained married to the Prophet PBUH for seven years, even outliving all the other Ummahat ul Momineen.
Juwayrriah RA was born into a noble tribe and was the daughter of Chief Banu al-Mustaliq. There was a war between her tribe and the Muslims in which she was captured and enslaved. But she didn’t fall prey to her circumstances; instead, she negotiated a deal for her freedom, which led to her conversion to Islam and her marriage to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. She was a fierce and loyal woman who symbolized strength for women in the face of adversity.
Zaynab bint Jahsh RA came from a noble line of Quraish. Her marriage is different and astonishing from all the other marriages of the Prophet PBUH because it was directly contracted in the Quran.
In the tafsir of Surah Al-Ahzab, Allah says We have given Zaynab to you so that no doubt remains that Muslims cannot marry the divorced wives of their adopted sons. [Surah Al-Ahzab]
This event is important because Hazrat Zaynab RA was the divorcee of the Prophet PBUH’s adopted son, Hazrat Zaid RA. However, their marriage was short-lived due to complications.
She died at the age of fifty and was known for her generosity.
Habibah RA was the daughter of Abu Sufyan, a leader of Quraish and, at the time, a leader of the people against Islam. But that didn’t stop Hazrat Habibah RA from declaring that she believed in Islam without worrying about the consequences. Even though she was severely tested, she remained steadfast.
She migrated to Abyssinia with her husband and later turned to Christianity because of the persistent suffering at the hands of their enemies. He died due to alcohol, leaving her with a young daughter and no support. When the Prophet PBUH heard this, he offered to help her, which led to her marriage with Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
Her marriage to the Prophet PBUH lasted four years before he died.
Saffiyah RA was born to a chief of the Jewish tribe, Banu Nadir. She was taken captive during the Battle of Khaybar. When the Prophet PBUH suggested that she turn to Islam, she agreed and married the Prophet PBUH.
She was seventeen when she married the Prophet PBUH and twenty-one when he died.
The last wife of the Prophet PBUH offered herself to marry him. She was a kind-natured woman, deeply devoted to the worship of Allah SWT and the care of people around her.
Her marriage to the Prophet PBUH lasted for over three years. Before her death, she asked to be buried in the same place where she married the Prophet PBUH.
In summary, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH had eleven wives. These women, irrespective of their heritage, remained steadfast in Islam, helped and supported the Prophet PBUH during his mission, and encouraged him during hard times.