The children of the prophet Muhammad (Sa)

The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, married Khadeejah Bint Khuwaylid, may Allaah be pleased with her, when he was twenty-five years old, fifteen years before prophethood. She was the best of all women in terms of her excellent morals, manners, and appreciation of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam.

She led an elegant and happy life with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and she gave birth to four girls and two boys. The boys were Al-Qaasim and `Abdullaah who – by Allaah’s Will – died young one after the other

As for the girls, they lived in an honorable house and had a happy childhood with a kind father and a noble mother. They all married excellent husbands. Three of them died during the lifetime of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, and the fourth died six months after his death. Three of them had children. They are Zaynab, Ruqayyah, and Faatimah Az-Zahraa’.

Here are some detailed biographies of the daughters of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, starting with the eldest.

1. Zaynab Al-Kubra

She is the eldest daughter of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Before Islam,she married her maternal cousin,

Abu Al-`Aas Ibn Ar-Rabee’. After the prophethood, she, as well as her mother Khadeejah and her three sisters, embraced Islam while her husband remained a disbeliever. She stayed with him in Makkah and did not emigrate with the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, to Al- Madeenah.

Abu Al-`Aas marched with Quraysh when they fought the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, in the Battle of Badr.

He became a prisoner of war and Zaynab sent her necklace to ransom him. This very necklace was the gift of her mother Khadeejah, may Allaah be pleased with her, on the occasion of her wedding.

When the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, saw it, he remembered his wife Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, felt great tenderness and said to his companions:

“If you consider that you should free her prisoner for her and return to her what belongs to her (the necklace), then do it.” (Ahmad)

The companions immediately responded to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and released Abu Al-`Aas. The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, stipulated – in return – that Abu Al-`Aas send Zaynab to Al- Madeenah.

So Zaynab emigrated to Al-Madeenah and lived with her father. In the 6th year A.H., the Muslims captured a Quraysh caravan but Abu Al-`Aas – being one of the men of the caravan – managed to escape. He waited until it was dark and then went to Zaynab’s house and sought her refuge.

She provided him with refuge and she went out to the mosque for the Dawn prayer. While the Muslims were performing the prayer behind the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, Zaynab said in a loud voice: “O people, I have given a promise of protection to Abu Al-`Aas Ibn Ar-Rabee`.”

When the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, finished his the prayer, he directed his face towards his companions, and said:

“By Him in whose Hand my soul is, I have not known about this until I heard what you have just heard. The lowest of Muslims is entitled to give protection and refuge on behalf of them. We provide refuge to the one who you have provided refuge (Zaynab).”

Then the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, went to his daughter and Abu Al-`Aas was there. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to her: “Treat him kindly.”

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also told her that she could not have a husband-wife relation with him because she is a Muslim while he is a polytheist. The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, treated Abu Al-`Aas gently and he took permission from his companions to return to him all that they had taken from his caravan. The Muslims instantly complied and gave him everything back, even the small things like a rope and a buckle. When Abu Al-`Aas returned to Makkah, he gave the people of Quraysh all their belongings, and said to them: “O people of Quraysh! Do I still owe money to any of you?” They said: “No.”

He said: “I testify that none is worthy of worship but Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I swear by Allaah that what prevented me from embracing Islam (before this moment) is that you might think that I have done so in order to keep your money. Once Allaah (enabled me to) return it to you and I am done with this, I hereby embrace Islam.”

Abu Al-`Aas, may Allaah be pleased with him, emigrated to Al-Madeenah and the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, allowed him to have his wife Zaynab back. Zaynab did not live long after her husband embraced Islam. She died in the 8th Hijri year and left a little daughter, Umaamah. The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to play with her with the memory of her late mother in his mind. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to carry her during prayer and when he prostrated, he would put her on the ground until he had finished his prayer and then pick her up again.

2. Ruqayyah – The immigrant

`Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, married her and they both migrated to Abyssinia when the polytheists were severely inflicting torture on the Muslims.

`Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan, and his wife were among the first to migrate in order to save their religion.

In Abyssinia, she gave birth to her son `Abdullaah who filled her life with joy. He also alleviated her suffering which emanated from loneliness and being far away from her family. Later, all the immigrants returned to Makkah including `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, and his wife Ruqayyah. They hoped that the people of Makkah would no longer inflict torture on the Muslims. Yet, they found that things were the same as far as torture and harm inflicted on the Muslims were concerned.

Ruqayyah became more grieved when she came to know that her mother had died. Yet, she found in her father, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, all that could alleviate the pains of the death of her dear mother.

The Prophet’s kindness and parental care did away with her sadness and sorrow. Ruqayyah did not stay in Makkah for a long time as she migrated with her husband to Al-Madeenah where she found rest and stability. A short time later, she had a very sad experience which was the death of her six-year-old child `Abdullaah. Her mourning over her son weakened her and she began to suffer from fever. Her husband, `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, stayed and took care of her. At that time, the Muslims were marching to the Battle of Badr. `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan, did not manage to catch up with them and so he did not participate in the battle according to the instructions of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Allaah Willed that, Ruqayyah passed away at the same time that Zayd Ibn Haarithah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reached Al-Madeenah with the glad tidings of the Muslims’ victory in the Battle of Badr. Once Zayd reached Al- Madeenah, he found `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, burying his wife, Ruqayyah.

3. Umm Kulthoom

After the death of Ruqayyah, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, married his daughter Umm Kulthoom to `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him.

This is the reason why `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan was called ‘the holder of the two lights’ because he married two of the Prophet’s daughters. It was a great honor that none of the other companions had.

The marriage took place in Rabee’ Al-Awwal of the third Hijri year. She led a happy life with `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan. She lived until she saw Islam winning new grounds one day after another and she also saw how well her husband served Islam. She remained with `Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan until she died in Sha`baan in 9 A.H. without having any children. She was buried next to her sister Ruqayyah, and the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was seen near her tomb with tearful eyes and a sad heart.

4. Faatimah Az-Zahraa’

She is the youngest daughter of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. She was born in the fifth year before prophethood. She had a happy childhood with a loving parent and caring sisters.111

She witnessed the emergence of Islam in her father’s house, his call for monotheism in Makkah, and his suffering so as to spread the Islamic call. She supported her father and tried to keep any kind of harm away from him.

After her emigration to Al- Madeenah, `Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, – the cousin of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, – married her in the 2nd Hijri year, when she was about eighteen years old. The furniture of her house was very simple as it only consisted of a striped sheet, a leather cushion stuffed with palm fibers, a quern, two cups for drinking, and two pottery bowls. Her husband `Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, was poor and he could not afford to hire a servant to help her.

Faatimah, may Allaah be pleased with her, used to do all the household chores such as grinding grain, carrying water home, and taking care of her house.

The marriage life of Faatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was a serious and harsh one. In the 3rd Hijri year, she gave birth to her first son, Al-Hasan Ibn `Ali. The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was very happy with his birth and he gave out the weight of his hair in silver in charity to the poor.

In Sha`baan of the 4th Hijri year, she gave birth to Al-Husayn. The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was also very happy with his birth and he enveloped both his grandsons with all the love and tenderness that he had in his great heart.

Allaah bestowed His favors on Faatimah as the progeny of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was from the offspring of her sons. Thus, the best family – throughout history – continued through them.

In the 5th Hijri year, Faatimah Az-Zahraa’ gave birth to her first daughter and the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, called her Zaynab which was the very same name of his eldest daughter. Two years later, she gave birth to her second daughter, Umm Kulthoom.

Faatimah resembled her father, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, more than anyone else, as far as the way he walked and his speech are concerned. When she came to visit the Prophet, he would stand up to welcome her, take her by the hand, kiss her, and make her sit where he was sitting. The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, loved her so much that he said:

“Faatimah is a part of me, and whoever makes her angry, makes me angry.” (Al-Bukhaari)

The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, described her as the best of all women. He said:

“Many amongst men attained perfection but amongst women none attained perfection except Maryam the daughter of `Imraan, Aasiyah, the wife of Pharaoh, Khadeejah Bint Khuwaylid and Faatimah Bint Muhammad.” (Al-Bukhaari)

Faatimah lived until the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, died and she herself died six months after his death in Ramdhaan 11 A.H. when she was twenty eight years old. She was buried in Al-Baqee’.

5. Ibraaheem, the Prophet’s Son

He was the last son of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, and his mother was Maariyah Al-Qibtiyyah. Al-Muqawqas, the ruler of Egypt, gave Maariyah as a gift to the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, in the 6th Hijri year, and she embraced Islam and Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her. When Ibraaheem was born, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was very happy.

On the seventh day after Ibraaheem’s birth, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, had the baby’s hair shaved and he gave its weight in silver as charity to the needy.

Ibraaheem did not live long as he died when he was only eighteen months old. He died while the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was holding him and he, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was very sad. He wept over his son and said:

“The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibraaheem! Indeed we are grieved by your departure.” (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim)

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