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A Unique Nikaah

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(Sayyidah Ummu Habeebah [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part One)

Which of the blessed wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was closest to him, yet also the furthest from him, at the time of their marriage?

Which of the blessed wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was given the most mahr (dowry), yet Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not give her anything as dowry?

The answer to both of the above questions is: Sayyidah Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha)

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) married her while she was in Abyssinia, having migrated there to escape the persecution of the Quraish. She was thus the wife of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who was the furthest from him at the time of their marriage. However, from all the respected wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), she is the most closely related to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in lineage.

She was given the most mahr of all the noble wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), as her mahr was four hundred dinaars (gold coins). However, Najaashi (rahimahullah), the king of Abyssinia, had given her this amount from his own wealth, on behalf of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not personally give her the mahr.

Sayyidah Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) is the daughter of Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), sister of Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and first cousin of ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). She was seventeen years old when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was blessed with nubuwwah (prophethood) by Allah Ta‘ala, and she accepted Islam during its initial period in Makkah Mukarramah.

There is a difference of opinion regarding the name of Sayyidah Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). While some ‘Ulama have mentioned her name to be Hind, the preferred view is that her name was ‘Ramlah’. She was given the kunyah (filial title) ‘Ummu Habeebah’ after the birth of her daughter, Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha).

Insha-Allah, over the next few weeks, we will discuss a few lesson-filled incidents from the life of our beloved mother, Sayyidah Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha).

(Reference: Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 2, pg. 219, Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 8, pg. 96, Al-Isaabah vol. 8, pg. 140, Usdul Ghaabah vol. 5, pg. 287 and Al-Istee‘aab vol. 4, pg. 401)

(to be continued insha-Allah)