umm salama

It makes me so furious when people attack Islam for Muhammad’s marriages and polygamy, and only name A'isha and then go on to describe her as a child bride.

Yet they’re all silent when it comes to how A'isha was able to lead battles, shape politics, and influence the development of Islam after the Prophet died.

They’re all silent when it comes to talking about his twenty-five years of monogamous marriage to Khadija bint Khuwaylid, a woman who was fifteen years older than him, his employer, and the one who proposed.

They’re all silent when it comes to Sawda bint Zam'a, who Muhammad married because she was widowed and had suffered too many hardships to remain unmarried.

They’re all silent when it comes to Hafsa bint Umar, the woman who could recite the Qur'an better than most men and whose memory influenced the version of the Qur'an we have today.

They’re all silent when it comes to Zaynab bint Khuzayama, the woman referred to as “the mother of the poor” because of all her charity work.

They’re all silent when it comes to Umm Salama, the woman Muhammad went to for advice during the Treaty of Hudaybiya, the treaty that allowed Muslims to return to Mecca.

They’re all silent when it comes to Rayhana bint Zayd, an upper class Jewish woman who taught Muhammad the traditions of the Torah.

They’re all silent when it comes to Zaynab bint Jahsh, a tempermental and slightly egotistical woman who was constantly praised by Muhammad’s other wives for her charity work and her religious devotion.

They’re all silent when it comes to Juwayriyya bint al-Harith, the woman who married Muhammad to create a political alliance that would allow one hundred enslaved families to be set free.

They’re all silent when it comes to Safiyya bint Huyyay, a Jewish noble woman whose relationship with Muhammad changed the antisemitism attitude among his followers.

They’re all silent when it comes to Umm Habiba, the woman who converted to Islam despite the protest from her polytheist father and who remained Muslim despite her (at the time) husband converting to Christianity, because she believed in Islam and refused to waive that belief.

They’re all silent when it comes to Maryam al-Cibtiya, the mother of Muhammad’s only son, Ibrahim, named after the ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, tying all three monotheistic religions together.

They’re all silent when it comes to Maymuna bint al-Harith, the woman from Mecca who proposed to Muhammad and whose marriage reconnected him to Mecca, the city Muslims face when they pray.

It’s really amazing how people can go on and on about how Islam is so misogynistic because of Muhammad’s polygamy and his marriage to A'isha while simultaneously never bothering to learn who these women even are and what amazing things they did to influence Muhammad’s life and Islam itself.

Narrated ‘Aisha (radhiAllaahu 'anha):

Um Habiba and Um Salama mentioned about a church they had seen in Ethiopia in which there were pictures. They told the Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam) about it, on which he said, “If any religious man dies amongst those people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creature in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.”

—  [Sahih Bukhari Vol. 1, no. 419]

Wives of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW):

  1. Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid
  2. Sawda bint Zam’a
  3. A’isha bint Abu Bakr
  4. Hafsa bint ‘Umar
  5. Zaynab bint Khuzayma
  6. Umm Salama (Hind) bint Abi Umayah
  7. Zaynab bint Jahsh
  8. Juwayriya bint Al-Harith
  9. Umm Habiba Ramla bint Abi Sufyan
  10. Safiyya bint Huyayy
  11. Maymuna bint Al-Harith
  12. Maria Al-Qibtiyya 
Daughters of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW):
  1. Zaynab
  2. Ruqayyah
  3. Umm Kulthoom
  4. Fatimah

May Allah be pleased with them all.

#MuslimLuminaries: Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (d. 110/728-9) 

Ḥasan al-Baṣrī is from the generation of Muslims born after the Prophet (ﷺ) had passed away, therefore he is known as a Tābiʿī. He was born in Medina the son of slave who had been freed by Zayd b. Thābit, one of the scribes of the Prophet (ﷺ), and his mother worked for Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ). He studied under many companions, including the third of the Khulafā’ al-Rāshidūn, ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān.

He was an exceedingly elegant preacher and outspoken critic of the political rulers, a paragon of what it meant to be a pious Muslim. His views were largely shaped by the stark changes in the political landscape that ensued after the assassination of ʿUthmān and subsequent turmoil that followed during ʿAlī’s reign. He witnessed the emergence of the Kharijites, but also the rule of ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Azīz, the 8th Umayyad Caliph who was heralded for his nobility, piety, and scrupulous pursuit of justice. He eventually moved, settled and taught in Baṣra, Iraq. He is an extraordinarily important link between the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the generations that followed. His presence was needed at a deeply turbulent time.

He died in the month of Rajab and his funeral was held in main mosque in Baṣra. The entire city is said to have followed his funeral procession to the graveyard, to the extent that no one was left to call adhān for ʿAṣr.

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Ḥasan warned, “The heart becomes corrupt in six ways:

  1. Committing sins in the hope of repenting,
  2. Seeking knowledge and not applying it,
  3. Practice without ikhlāṣ (sincerity),
  4. Eating the sustenance of Allāh without appreciating Him,
  5. Not being pleased with Allāh’s decree,
  6. Burying the dead without learning from them.”

Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said, “Whoever speaks evil about you behind your back, do not become angry for they are in reality giving you their good deeds on a golden plate.”

Marrying a women previously married

When Umm Salama’s husband passed away, she had many proposals for marriage. The Prophet (SAWA) then asked her to be his wife.

She initially hesitated in her acceptance, stating, “O Messenger of Allah, I have three characteristics. I am a woman who is extremely jealous and I am afraid that you will see in me something that will anger you and cause Allah to punish me. I am a woman who is already advanced in age and I am a woman who has a young family.”[

However, Muhammad appeased each of her concerns, “Regarding the jealousy you mentioned, I pray to Allah the Almighty to let it go away from you. Regarding the question of age you have mentioned, I am afflicted with the same problem as you. Regarding the dependent family you have mentioned, your family is my family.

What a beautiful response. These days, most people cannot even look beyond a small black dot on a woman’s past.

May we all strive to show this level of ahlakl and piety.