There were six sisters that the Prophet ﷺ called the ‘believing sisters.’ They were Um Al Fadl, Maymoonah (RA), Asma bint Umays, and Salama bint Umays, Zainab bint Khuzaymah (RA), and Izzah. These are their stories.
Zainab bint Khuzaymah was born thirteen years before Mohammed ﷺ became a prophet. When Mohammed ﷺ announced his prophethood, Zainab was among the first who embraced Islam. She married Abdullah bin Jahsh and they had a very close, loving relationship. She was very humble even though she was married to a great, honorable man who was the Prophet’s ﷺ cousin. Sadly, a few years into their marriage, Abdullah-who was the leader of the first military consignment-was martyred on the Battle of Uhud.
Zainab was extremely pained at the loss of her husband, however she dealt with her pain by increasing her work treating and caring for the injured of the battle. When the Prophet ﷺ saw Zainab’s pain at losing her husband, he sympathized with her as he had lost so many in his lifetime. He made efforts to console her and proposed marriage to her. She accepted it and entered the household of the Prophet ﷺ. She felt her grieve lightened from the closeness of the Prophet ﷺ and the kindness of Aishah (RA) and Hafsa (RA).
Even before Islam, Zainab was known as the ‘Mother of the Poor and Needy’ because she was of the most generous women. This characteristic in her was only increased after she became a Muslim and especially after she became a ‘Mother of the Believers.’
There is not much known about Zainab because eight months after her marriage to the Prophet ﷺ, Zainab (RA) fell ill and passed away at the age of 30. She was the only one of his wives to die during his lifetime besides Khadejah (RA). The Prophet ﷺ was very sad about her death and asked Allah to forgive her.
*Zainab’s reaction to her pain and loss was to give back more, in the same way that Zainab bint Ali dealt with her pain. It seems that this message is being sent to us over and over again. And at this time, when people are losing their loved ones in Syria and Burma and in many other parts, it is a good idea to take example from these women about how to deal with our pain. May Allah ease the pain of all the Muslims around the world.
*Zainab was known as the ‘Mother of the Poor and Needy’. It points the question again, what are people going to remember you by? What type of legacy will you leave?
Read the rest of the stories:
Part 1: Um Al Fadl
Part 2: Maymoonah Bint Al Harith
Part 3: Asma Bint Omays
Quṭb, Muḥammad ʻAlī. Women around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print.
Darussalam. The Honorable Wives of the Prophet, Peace Be upon Him. 1st ed. 2004. Print.
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