Warning - Contents may have images/information that some viewers may find disturbing. Proceed with caution. One of the principles of sharee’ah (law) is that whatever leads to haraam deeds is itself haraam, so everything that leads to the provocation of haraam desires is haraam, because it may lead to a person falling into evil things. If you feel erotic while reading the post, please leave/close the page.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

A Woman of Submission to God - Lady Maimunah - Prophet Muhammad's Wives

Lady Maimunah bint Al-Harith

The Prophet's Wife: A Woman of Submission to God
The Story of Maimunah Bint Al-Harith

For Maimunah, submitting to the will of God 
was always the highest priority.

Maimunah bint Al-Harith became one of the wives of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) seven years after Muslims' emigration from Makkah to Madinah (known to Muslims as the Hijrah).

She had already been divorced once, after which she re-married and was later widowed. Many women would have given up on love by then, but Maimunah's story was slightly different.

When she became Prophet Muhammad's wife, she was a vibrant and intelligent woman in her mid-20s and brought much wisdom to her third marriage.

It was through Maimunah that plenty of Islamic teachings were relayed to Muslims; one of them especially was the blessing of trust and faith in Islam.

Besides being known for her total submission to Allah and her steadfast support for her husband, Maimunah bint Al-Harith is another Mother of the Believers (an honorary title given to all the wives of Prophet Muhammad) who has narrated many Hadiths (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) — 76 to be precise. Many of these narrations have to do with the nature of the relationship between her and her husband so that Muslims can learn and emulate through their own relationships and reap the happiness that is promised between husband and wife.

When Prophet Muhammad initiated the marriage proposal  to Maimunah, it was a  huge  family  affair,  and  Prophet Muhammad spoke to her brother-in-law and  her  sister  Umm  Al-Fadl.  The proposal  was  received  with  much  joy and  trust  in  Allah,  and  Maimunah accepted it willingly.

There is a verse from the Quran that says what means:
{O Prophet, We have made lawful for you… any believing woman who has offered herself to the Prophet and whom the Prophet wishes to wed- this is only for you [Prophet] and not the rest of the believers.} (33:50)

Many believe that this verse best suits Maimunah as her soul was firmly dedicated to her new husband.

According to Martin Lings, a prominent Muslim scholar, it was Umm Al-Fadl and her husband Abbas who approached the Prophet to marry Maimunah and not the other way around. Umm Al-Fadl believed such a union would bring great benefit to the Muslim community, which was being built slowly on sturdy grounds. Prophet Muhammad accepted her suggestion and continued to pursue a marriage proposal with Maimunah herself, whom he already knew personally (281).

Prophet Muhammad was already very closely acquainted with Maimunah and Umm Al-Fadl's family, as they too were amongst the first Muslims during the initial revelation in Makkah. In fact, it was even narrated that Prophet Muhammad described Maimunah and her sisters as "the believing sisters", which was an amazing recognition for the entire family.

Her Marriage to the Prophet

his marriage with Maimunah led to opportunities 
to spread the teachings of Islam to the tribe of Banu Hilal

Indeed, Umm Al-Fadl had been right in initiating the relationship. Prophet Muhammad, through his marriage with Maimunah, was led to opportunities to spread the teachings of Islam to the tribe of Banu Hilal (Maimunah's tribe), and consequentially, another important Muslim community began to grow and integrate with the first one. Upon joining the Prophet's household, Maimunah became instrumental in strictly endorsing the Prophet's orders, by decree of Allah. Her passion towards her husband and her love for Islam were an emotional ride, but were always based on reason and logic.

It is reported that one day she was visited by a relative who seemed somewhat
intoxicated. Upon seeing the condition of this relative, Maimunah became enraged. She warned him, "Purify yourself, or I will never let you come here again." Her relative was quick to obey her, realizing that Maimunah's piety weighed heavier than family relations, especially when her family's behavior contradicted Islamic principles.

Her passion for her family was driven by Islam, and she felt the constant need to protect others from the temptations of this world. Even until her death, she took care of her relatives and protected them. Aishah bint Abi Bakr, a wife of Prophet Muhammad, said: "Maimunah was the best amongst us, as she feared Allah most and maintained a close and continuous relationship with her kin." (Al-Hakim 8:181)

Maimunah Amongst the Women

She provided all the ingredients of a thriving marriage

Aishah's recognition of Maimunah did not end there. Aishah always praised Maimunah's morals and dedication to Allah's directions.

Of course, the Mothers of the Believers were the women that no other could contend with, as they were all recognized as virtuous and strong Muslims who were hand-picked by Allah to teach and nurture the nascent Muslim community that was still learning about the faith.

There were several occasions on which Maimunah stepped up as the Prophet's consultant, advisor, and aid to help dispel ambiguity in rulings and to allow Muslims to witness first-hand how Islam should be practiced. She walked the talk of the Quran by virtue of Prophet Muhammad, rushed to his aid when he needed her, and maintained her love for Islam above all.

She provided all the ingredients of a thriving marriage. Through her sayings, she spoke of intimacy between husband and wife, like washing up from the same container of water and keeping a close watch on the emotions of one's spouse. All this indicates that Maimunah was picked as a wife for anything more than her zeal in nurturing a strong marriage, and it was only through her piety and submission to God that she achieved that.

It so happened that the night before Prophet Muhammad's departure from the world, he spent his day at Maimunah's home, as per his routine schedule. Maimunah, who was deeply dedicated and sensitive towards her husband's needs, sensed that he was at unease. He began asking her to suggest whose house he should spend his next night, as this was his tradition in parting from each wife's home.

Maimunah knew that it was not Aishah's turn yet, but as she saw her husband falling ill and weak, she knew best that he would want to spend the night with his most beloved wife. She asked him to leave her for Aishah's house, before rounding up the other wives, as if she felt it was time for him to leave the world.

Maimunah Amongst the Muslims

Maimunah was known to the Muslims as a woman of charity

Her complete submission to Allah and Prophet Muhammad encouraged her to denounce worldly pleasures and to worship and love for the sake of Islam only. Maimunah was known to the Muslims as a woman of charity. She freed slaves and cared for the poor. And it was through her actions that other Muslims followed suit.

Yet her participation in Muslim society was even more apparent during war. During the battles that took place in the Prophet's life time, it was Maimunah who mobilized the first female group who would accompany the men at war and provide medical aid and emotional support for the wounded.

For a woman who was later known to rarely leave her house after her husband's passing, Maimunah was actively involved in travelling with the Muslim army when they needed the help the most. With her husband leading the battles, she mostly felt that it was his right to have her by his side.

In many ways she served Islam throughout her entire life, relaying important aspects of Muslim life so that the torch of Islam would never die down. She took care of her kin and encouraged good relations amongst all Muslims. Moreover, she was always in the middle of action, leading by example and translating emotions into sense and logic, in hopes that her and her husband's behavior would be understood and adopted by the Muslim followers.

But over and above her zeal for charity and serving the Muslim community, Maimunah was still a romantic at heart. Her passion and emotional attachment to Prophet Muhammad, whom she outlived, lived on within her.

In the year 51 AH (after Hijrah), Maimunah fell ill in Makkah. Upon so, she said, "Get me out of Makkah. I will not die in Makkah," (Ibn Kathir 4:261).

She then asked to be transported to Sarf — the town in which she had spent her wedding night with her beloved husband, Prophet Muhammad — where she eventually passed away.

Did the Prophet Marry Maymunah During Ihram?

Islam pays due care to marriage and its rulings. Therefore, Muslims are ordained to follow these rulings in all matters of marriage.

Responding to your question, Dr.`Abdul Fattah Edris, Professor of Usul Al-Fiqh, Al-Azhar University, stated,

It is known that a Muslim in the state of ihram (special clothing of Hajj) cannot get married, engage, or marry a woman to another man. This is due to the hadith narrated by `Uthman ibn `Affan in which he says, “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, “A Muhrim (the person wearing the clothing of Hajj) must neither get married, nor marry a woman to another man, nor should he engage (make the proposal of marriage.)” (Muslim)

As for your question, it is true that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) married Maymunah during the journey of Hajj, but this took place on his way back from Hajj, not on his way to Hajj.

Regarding the hadith narrated by Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), he may have been confused, as he was still young. He may have thought that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) married Maymunah while being in the state of ihram, but that was only an introduction to the marriage, while the actual marriage only took place on the way back from Hajj, after taking off the clothing of ihram.

Another point is: how could the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbid his followers from doing something and do it himself? This could not happen as he is the role model of the Ummah.

In addition, there are may hadiths narrated by many companions such as Ibn
`Umar, Yazid Ibn Al-Asamm, and Abu-Rafi` that contradict Ibn `Abbas's narration. Commenting on that hadith,  Ibn Numayr said that, “I told Az-Zuhry (a prominent scholar of hadith) about it and he said, “Yazid Ibn Al-Asam told me that he (the Prophet) married her while he was halal (not muhrim)” (Muslim).

In one of these hadiths, Abu-Rafi` said, “He married her while he was halal (not muhrim), and I was the messenger between them” (At-Tabarani)

Given the above, it is clear that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) married Maymunah on the way back from Hajj while he was not muhrim; after taking off the clothing of ihram.

Allah knows best.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

A Loyal Wife by All Means - Umm Habibah - Prophet Muhammad's Wives

Lady Umm Habibah

A Loyal Wife by All Means
(The Story of Umm Habibah)

Umm Habibah was faced by many tests in life, 
but her firm belief always helped her out.

Umm Habibah was married to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the proxy of the Emperor of Abyssinia. She was the daughter of the chief of Makkah.

Her name was Ramlah bint Abi Sufyan. She was born 25 years before the Hijrah. Being the daughter of a prominent merchant and leader of her people, Umm Habibah enjoyed a very easy and comfortable life.

She — herself one of the few literate Arabs at the time — was married to a wealthy Makkan who was versed in the knowledge of major religions of his time.

Despite the fierce resistance the Makkan polytheists showed to Islam and the fact that her own parents were among the arch enemies of Islam, Umm Habibah was one of the early converts to Islam.

Out of fear for his followers, Prophet Muhammad advised them to immigrate to Abyssinia on the Western Arabian side of the Red Sea that separated the Peninsula from Africa.

Umm Habibah was one of the emigrants along with her husband, Ubaidullah ibn Jahsh. To her misfortune, the husband, for some reason or another, apostatized and took to drinking.

Thus, Umm Habibah had to suffer not only separation from her home and family at Makkah, but she also suffered alienation from a beloved husband.

Yet, as a courageous Muslim, she bore all these difficulties with patience and perseverance, finding solace in the freedom she enjoyed along with the other emigrants in Abyssinia under the protection of Emperor Negus who was an open-minded Christian.

Parenthetically, we may add that according to Muslim historians, the Emperor of Abyssinia (known today as Ethiopia) did convert at a later date to Islam in secrecy, out of admiration for Islam and its teachings, which explains why Prophet Muhammad asked the companions to pray for him upon his death.

During the year of truce between the Muslims and the Makkan polytheists, Prophet Muhammad, sent messages to the heads of the big powers of the time, Khosrau of Persia, the Byzantine emperor and the ruler of Abyssinia.

Prophet Muhammad realized the agony 
she was going through in that far and strange land

Along with the missive calling Negus to Islam, the Prophet asked him to act proxy for him in the marriage to Umm Habibah. For Prophet Muhammad realized the agony she was going through in that far and strange land.

The best consolation he could offer her was honoring her by marriage to him. Politically this was also a tactful act, because through marriage to Umm Habibah, the Prophet would be an in-law to Abu Sufyan, the leading antagonist of Islam, which would help in softening his hostile attitude. Thus, Umm Habibah was honored not only by being asked in marriage to the Prophet of Islam, but she was also honored by having the Emperor of Abyssinia himself proxy suitor.

Upon hearing of the proposal, Umm Habibah appointed a Companion to represent her and act as guardian. The emperor celebrated the occasion on behalf of the Prophet by giving a feast to the Muslim emigrants who attended the wedding. It was sometime later that Umm Habibah managed to go to Madinah to her husband along with the other Muslim emigrants led by a cousin of the Prophet, Jafar ibn Abi Talib.

A Test of Faith

... since she was the wife of Prophet Muhammad. 
He hoped she would intercede for him

At the house of the Prophet, Umm Habibah faced another important test of her faith, when she came face to face with her father Abu Sufyan who was (as mentioned earlier) the leader of the enemies of Islam.

For, when some allies of Quraish broke the terms of the peace truce with Prophet Muhammad, with the implicit approval of the people of Quraish, Abu Sufyan hurried to Madinah to cover up for the treacherous act.

The first person that came to his mind was certainly his daughter Umm Habibah, since she was the wife of Prophet Muhammad. He hoped she would intercede for him with her husband.

Upon entering his daughter's room Abu Sufyan wanted to sit on the Prophet's mattress. Umm Habibah quickly folded the mattress. He was surprised and asked:

"Are you trying to keep me away from the mattress or keep the mattress away from me?"

Umm Habibah answered: "It is the mattress of the Messenger of God. You are a disbeliever and unclean. I did not want you to sit on the Messenger of God's mattress,"

He said: "By God, something has gone wrong with you."

She answered:
"On the contrary, God has guided me to Islam. Father, you are the master and leader of Quraish. How can you sit on it as you have not joined Islam and are still worshipping useless stones?"

The mission proved a failure for Abu Sufyan. But for Umm Habibah, she passed another difficult test. She had to choose between loyalty to her faith and love for her father whom she had not seen for many long years. She chose to take sides with her faith.

Thus, when Umm Habibah died, 44 years after the Hijrah, her memory keeps living in the minds and hearts of millions of Muslims.