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Wives of the Prophet: Who Are They?

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Publication : 18-07-2004

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Question

Can you please tell me, how many wives our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had, with their names and reference from the Sunnah?

Summary of answer

The wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) are: 1. Khadijah bint Khuwaylid 2. Sawdah bint Zam’ah ibn Qays 3. ‘Aishah bint Abi Bakr al-Siddiq 4. Hafsah bint ‘Umar 5. Zaynab bint Khuzaymah 6. Umm Salamah bint Abi Umayyah 7. Juwayriyah bint al-Harith 8. Zaynab bint Jahsh 9. Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan 10. Maymunah bint al-Harith 11. Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab May Allah be pleased with them all.

Praise be to Allah.

Wives of the Prophet

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married the following women

1- Khadijah bint Khuwaylid

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (may Allah be pleased with her) was the first of the Prophet’s wives. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married her when he was twenty-five years old, and he did not take another wife until after she died. All his children were born to her, except Ibrahim. 

Al-Bukhari entitled a chapter in his Sahih: “The marriage of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), and her virtues,” in which he narrated a hadith from ‘Aishah who said: “I never felt jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as I did of Khadijah, although she died before he married me, because of what I heard him say about her.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3815. 

2- Sawdah bint Zam’ah ibn Qays

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married Sawdah bint Zam’ah ibn Qays (may Allah be pleased with her) in the tenth year of his Prophethood. Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, narrating from al-Waqidi, 8/52-53; Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah, 3/149 

3– ‘Aishah bint Abi Bakr al-Siddiq

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married ‘Aishah bint Abi Bakr al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with her) in Shawwal of the tenth year of the Prophethood. Ibn Sa’d, 8/58-59. She herself said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and consummated the marriage with me when I was nine.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3894; Muslim, 1422. Al-Bukhari (5077) also narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not marry any virgin apart from her. 

4– Hafsah bint ‘Umar

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that Hafsah’s husband Khunays ibn Hudhafah, who was one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and had been present at Badr, died in Madinah. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said: I met ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and offered Hafsah to him in marriage. I said: If you wish, I will marry Hafsah bint ‘Umar to you. He said: I will think about it. Several nights passed, then he said: I think that I do not want to get married at this time. ‘Umar said: Then I met Abu Bakr and I said: If you wish, I will marry Hafsah bint ‘Umar to you. Abu Bakr kept quiet and did not give me any response. I was more upset about him than about ‘Uthman. Several nights passed, then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) proposed to her and I married her to him. Then Abu Bakr met me and said: Perhaps you felt upset when you offered Hafsah in marriage to me and I did not reply? I said: Yes. He said: Nothing prevented me from responding to your offer but the fact that I knew that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had mentioned her, and I did not want to disclose the secret of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). If he had decided not to marry her, I would have accepted your offer. Narrated by al-Bukhari, 4005. 

5– Zaynab bint Khuzaymah

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married Zaynab bint Khuzaymah (may Allah be pleased with her) in Ramadan, thirty-one months after the Hijrah. Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, 8/115 

6– Umm Salamah bint Abi Umayyah

Muslim (918) narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:  I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “There is no person who is faced with a calamity and says Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon, Allahumma ujurni fi musibati w'ukhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it) but Allah will reward him in his calamity and will compensate him with something better than that.” She said: When Abu Salamah died, I said what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had commanded me, and Allah compensated me with someone better than him: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

According to another report: when Abu Salamah died, I said: Who is better than Abu Salamah, the Companion of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? But Allah decreed that I should say it. Then I got married to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

7– Juwayriyah bint al-Harith

Juwayriyah bint al-Harith (may Allah be pleased with her) fell prisoner to the Muslims during the battle of Banu’l-Mustalaq, and she came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to ask him to help her to manumit herself and buy her freedom. He offered to buy her freedom and marry her, and she accepted. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married her and made her manumission her dowry. When the people came to know of that, they set free their own prisoners, so as to honour the in-laws of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). No woman brought a greater blessing to her people than she did. Narrated by Ibn Ishaq with a hasan isnad. Sirat Ibn Hisham, 3/408-409. 

8- Zaynab bint Jahsh

Concerning Zaynab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) Allah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them)” [al-Ahzab 33:37]

She used to boast about this to the other wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), saying: “Your families arranged your marriages but Allah arranged my marriage from above the seven heavens.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 7420. 

9– Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan

Abu Dawud (2107) narrated from ‘Urwah from Umm Habibah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she was married to ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh, who died in Abyssinia. Then the Negus married her to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and gave her a mahr of four thousand on his behalf, and sent her to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with Shurahbil ibn Hasanah. Classed as sahih by al-Albani.

10- Maymunah bint al-Harith 

It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married Maymunah when he was in ihram. Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1832; Muslim, 1410. 

The words “when he was in ihram” are a mistake. In fact the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married her after he exited ihram following ‘Umrat al-Qada’. (See Zad al-Ma'ad, 1/113; Fath al-Bari, hadith no. 5114) 

11– Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) set Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab (may Allah be pleased with her) free and married her after the battle of Khaybar. Narrated by al-Bukhari, 371. 

These are the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with whom he consummated marriage. Two of them died during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), namely Khadijah and Zaynab bint Khuzaymah (may Allah be pleased with them both). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) left behind nine wives when he died; there is no difference of scholarly opinion on this matter. (See Zad al-Ma'ad, 1/105-114)

It was said that Rayhanah bint ‘Amr al-Nadariyyah (or al-Quraziyyah) was also one of his wives. She was taken prisoner during the battle of Bani Qurayzah, and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) chose her for himself and married her, then he divorced her then took her back. (Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d , narrating from al-Waqidi, 8/130) 

And it was said that she was a concubine. This was regarded as more likely by Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Ma'ad.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A