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Virtues of the Mothers of the Believers - III

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Zaynab bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with her

The mother of the needy, Zaynab bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with her, was the paternal cousin of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, enjoyed a noble and prestigious lineage. Allah The Almighty made her a wife of His Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, through a Quranic text and with neither a matrimonial guardian nor witnesses. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you.} [Quran 33:37]

Her marriage to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was a blessing for Muslim women until the advent of the Hour. Having married her, the Hijab (Islamic covering) was obligated upon Muslim women in order to maintain their honor, chastity, and purity.

She used to give abundantly to the poor and weak, beneficently performed righteous deeds, and gave charity. Despite her noble position and high rank, she used to work with her hands in tanning skin, and weaving and then she would give in charity from her earnings. ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said about her, "I never saw a woman better in religiousness than Zaynab, nor more pious, truthful in speech, maintaining kinship ties, and greater in giving charity than her."

• The sincere worshipper, Juwayriyyah bint Al-Harith, may Allah be pleased with her was from Banu Al-Mustaliq. Her father was a chief of his people. She was blessed in herself and a source of blessing for her people as well. ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "I never saw a woman greater in blessing for her people than her."
She was in the habit of worshipping her Lord and devoutly obedient to Him. She used to sit in her place of prayer remembering Allah The Almighty until midday. It was narrated that she said, "The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, passed by me in the early morning while I was remembering Allah and then he went out for his needs. Then he returned shortly before midday, and he said: 'Are you still sitting here (remembering Allah)?' I replied, 'Yes.'" [Muslim]

• The notable, Safiyyah bint Huyayy, may Allah be pleased with her, was from the offspring of Harun (Aaron), may Allah exalt his mention. She was noble, wise, prestigious, religious, tolerant, and revered. It was narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to her: "You are a daughter of a prophet (i.e. Harun), your uncle is a prophet (i.e., Musa (Moses)), and your husband is a prophet (i.e., himself)." [At-Tirmithi]

The banquet of her marriage to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, included butter, goat cheese, and dates. Therefore, her marriage was easy and blessed.

• The one who maintained her kinship ties, Maymunah bint Al-Harith Al-Hilaliyyah, may Allah be pleased with her. She was one of the greatest women. Allah The Almighty endowed her with a sound heart and pure self and she was a devoted worshipper of Allah The Almighty. ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "She was the best among us in fearing Allah and maintaining kinship ties."

O Muslims! These are the biographies of immortal women in Islam, the Mothers of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with them. They were endowed with a shining position and combined beauties and virtues. It is their due right that Muslim women consider them a beacon of life, benefit from their lives, and follow their example in religiousness, good morals, consciousness of Allah The Almighty and complete submission to the command of Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Muslim women should emulate their devotion to worship by doing more acts of obedience, speaking the truth, controlling the tongue, giving generously to the poor, relieving the distress of the weak, raising children well, adopting patience in reforming children, fortifying themselves with knowledge and when in doubt, asking those who are firm in knowledge.

Muslim women must also be careful about observing correct Hijab (Islamic covering), guarding their chastity, abiding in their houses, keeping away from suspicious matters and desires, avoiding excessive ambitions in this worldly life, avoiding negligence in this worldly life, and taking care of the apparent side while neglecting the inner side, giving free hand for one's eyes to look at what is prohibited, using soft speech with men and avoiding voices which call to impermissible exposure of women's beauty and intermixing with men. A woman's greatness and glory lies in adhering to her religiousness and abiding by her Hijab. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. } [Quran 33:59]

The wives of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, lived with him in humble houses, in chambers built of mud-bricks and palm reeds, nevertheless, these chambers were full of faith and piety. They were patient with the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and complained from neither poverty nor need. They used to spend one or two months with no fire kindled for cooking in their houses. They experienced days when there was only one date in their house. They used to spend days while they had only water and there was no food at all. They were satisfied with their lives and looked for the promise of Allah The Exalted Who Says (what means): {And the Hereafter is better for you than the first [life].} [Quran 93:4]

Their reward is twice. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And whoever of you devoutly obeys Allah and His Messenger and does righteousness -- We will give her reward twice; and We have prepared for her a noble provision.} [Quran 33:31]

The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, married five of them when they were forty to sixty years old. In doing so, he ensured taking care of widows and sponsoring their orphans. He married Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, when she was forty years old and she previously had three children from another husband, even though it was the first time for him to marry. He married Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, may Allah be pleased with him, a widow who was approaching sixty. He married Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, while she was a widow and had six children. He married Sawdah, may Allah be pleased with her, a widow who was fifty-five years old.

He married from his relatives; the daughters of his paternal uncles and aunts, as well as those who were not his relatives. He was a merciful husband to them, dutiful, generous, kind, cheerful, and gentle with them. A person who seeks happiness has to follow the role model of the best of all humans, the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Muslim women, meanwhile, are required to follow the example of his righteous wives. A woman will not find success unless she follows their example in adhering to the Hijab, righteousness, piety as well as kindness to both her husband and children.

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