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Amina bint Wahab with the Holy Prophet Muhammad  (peace and blessings be upon him). Artwork by M.Al-Zahra B.Ed

Artist's impression of 
Amina bint Wahab with the Holy Prophet Muhammad  ('s)

Artist's impression of Halima bint Abu Dhu’ayb al Sa'diyyah. By M.al- Zahra

Artist's impression of Halima bint Abu Dhu’ayb al Sa'diyyah

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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Published on 28 Safar 1425/18th April, 2004.

All For the Love of a Prophet

Dedicated to Prophet Muhammad (‘s)

Written and researched By S. Abidin.
Illustrations by S.Abidin & M.Al-Zahra 

And Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qoran:

" Did He not find thee an orphan and protect ( thee)?
Did He not find thee wandering and direct ( thee)?
Did He not find thee destitute and enrich ( thee)?"
93: 6-8

Aminah bint Wahab ibn ‘Abd Manaf ibn Zuhra

X

Aminah bint Wahb was born in Yathreb, later to be known as Madinah, the city of the Prophet ('s). She was from the respected clan of Banu Zuhra in the tribe of Quraysh. Aminah’s father, Wahb ibn ‘Abd Manaf, was the chief of the clan of Zuhra.

‘Abdul Muttalib, the custodian of the Holy Kaba’a in Makkah, grandfather of the Prophet ('s) and chief of Bani Hashim, decided that Aminah bint Wahb would be a suitable marriage partner for his young son, ‘Abdullah, who had reached marriageable age. Along with his son, ‘Abdul Muttalib went to Yathreb to meet with Wahb ibn ‘Abd Manaf and proposed that Abdullah should be married to his daughter, Aminah. The proposal was accepted and only a few days later the marriage was celebrated.

As was the custom in those times, ‘Abdullah lived with Aminah among her relatives for the first three days of the marriage. Afterwards, they moved together to the residence of ‘Abdul Muttalib in Makkah. At this time ‘Abdullah was 17 years old (some say 24 years old) and was shortly called to as-Sham (Syria) on a trading caravan from which he never returned. ‘Abdullah fell ill on route back to Makkah and died from his illness, leaving behind his new wife who, for the love of a Prophet, would endure her pregnancy alone and widowed.

Upon hearing the news of her husband’s death, Aminah became distraught and began to weep continuously. Aminah’s housemaid, Umm Ayman, nursed her through her grief and was perplexed as to what else she could do to help the young widow.

About 2 months after the death of ‘Abdullah, Aminah gave birth to a beautiful baby son who was named Muhammad, later to receive Allah’s revelation for al-Qur’an al Kareem as Allah’s Messenger (‘s). A prophet had been born. Upon his noble birth, Aminah called for her father-in-law, Abdul Muttalib, who joyously took the newborn inside the Holy Kaba’a.

As Aminah was still so grief-stricken from her husband’s death and also as was a tradition of the Makkan nobility, the family searched for a Bedouin Nurse, from the tribe of Banu Sa'ad, who could take care of her baby and suckle him in early childhood.

Halima bint Abu Dhu’ayb was a Bedouin Arab woman who had cared for several Makkan babies in the past. At the time when baby Muhammad (‘s) was born, Halima and her husband, al Harith ibn 'Abd al 'Uzza, had decided that, as they needed greater finance, they would once again nurse a baby. As they travelled from the desert into the great city, they also saw many other Bedouins travelling for the same purpose.

Once Halima and her husband arrived, nearly all the Makkan babies had already been allotted to a Bedouin Nurse and there was but one little baby left. This particular baby boy looked rather sad, which aroused Halima’s compassion, but she knew he had been orphaned and therefore his family would not be able to pay her much. All the other Bedouin women had rejected the orphaned child, but as Halima did not want to return to the desert without a baby to care for, she compassionately accepted baby Muhammad into her care and departed with him.

Halima had expressed, "By God it is oppressive to me to return with my friends without a new infant to nurse. Surely, I should go back to that orphan and accept him." Her husband answered, "There would be no blame if you did. Perhaps God may even bless us for your doing so." And indeed Halima’s reward was great as little did she know that she had the baby Prophet Muhammad (‘s) at her breast.

It is related that after Halima and her husband returned to the desert with the blessed baby (‘s), their herd became fat and multiplied, and everything around them seemed to prosper with all kinds of blessings. Later when Prophet Muhammad (‘s) was to be married to Lady Khadija (‘a), Halima was summoned by Lady Khadija and presented with a flock of 40 sheep.

Halima cared for baby Muhammad (‘s) until he was the age of 5 years old (some say 2 ½ years). Once the child (‘s) was returned to his Mother, Aminah, she was extremely happy to be reunited with her son and took him to discover his ancestral roots in her home city of Yathreb (Madinah) where she acquainted him with his extended family, her uncles from the Banu al Najjar, and introduced him to the city.

After a one-month stay in Yathreb, Aminah and her son (‘s) prepared to return to Makkah. On the returning journey to Makkah, after only having travelled 23 miles, Aminah fell ill in the village of Abwa’ where she passed away and was buried. After having lost his Mother, the young bereaved child was left only with Umm Ayman, the maid, who returned him to his grandfather ‘Abdul Muttalib in Makkah.

The grave of Aminah bint Wahb in Al-Mualla graveyard in Makkah was destroyed by the Wahaby occupants of Saudi Arabia in the early 1900s. The grave of her husband, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, in Madinah was similarly destroyed (Victory News Magazine, 2003).

Lady Khadija was a beautiful, tall, light skinned woman, considered noble among her people. She was wise in decision-making, enjoyed a great deal of intelligence and sharp discernment. She best owed her brilliant insight of economical principles, especially in the export and import field, on the trade market. Khadija’s financial support had a great role in strengthening Islam during its prime days.

In the spring of 595 AD the Arab merchants were readying their caravans to depart from Makkah to Syria in the summer. All caravans had their agents prepared except Khadija as there was no man she deemed satisfactory enough to act on her behalf. One account relates that upon learning of this, Abu Talib approached Khadija to recommend his nephew, Muhammad (‘s), to act as her agent. Another report relates that Khadija had an insightful dream telling her of the very great qualities of someone who lived in Makkah. She acted on her dream and sent people to look for the person who answered to the description that she gave. That person was Muhammad whom she chose to become her agent.

With Muhammad as her agent, Khadija’s business grew more successful and her huge caravan trains became famous in trading magnificent goods between as-Sham and Makkah. She therewith decided that the recompense she would pay to Muhammad for his services would be doubled.

“Due to Arabia not having any arable land, camel caravans travelled twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter, to trade with Yemen and Syria. Valuable food was bought into Makka via Khadija tul Kubra's (A.S.) very famous and enormous caravan trains. This accorded her wealth and a very high position in the society. 

Each caravan train, or ship of the desert, required a caravan leader. This man's credentials were thoroughly scrutinised, by a panel, before the final selection was made. The caravan leader required specialist knowledge of navigation through the shifting sands of the desert. Naturally there were no sign posts or roads. The caravan leader therefore navigated by the stars as the camel trains were frequently moved at night.

"It is He Who maketh the stars (as beacons) for you,
That ye may guide yourselves with their help, through the dark spaces." 
(6:98)

Nafisa (Nufaysa) bint Munyah was a highborn lady of Makkah and was a close friend of Lady Khadija (‘a). The two ladies had spoken on the issue of marriage on many occasions and it was clear to Nafisa that her friend would only accept a man who would possess ethical and moral principles as Khadija had rejected the lords and princes of Makkah. Nafisa knew of only one man in Makkah who would fit into this noble category.

When Muhammad was returning from the Holy Kaba’a one day, Nafisa stopped him and said:

Nafisa: Oh Muhammad, you are a young man and you are single. Men who are much younger than you are already married; some even have children. Why don’t you marry?

Muhammad: I cannot afford to marry; I am not rich enough to marry.

Nafisa: What would be your response if you could marry a woman of beauty, wealth, status and honour, notwithstanding your present poverty?

Muhammad: Who would be such a woman?

Nafisa: Such a woman is Khadija the daughter of Khuwayled.

Muhammad: Khadija? How is it possible the Khadija would marry me? You know that many rich and powerful princes and chiefs of tribes proposed to her, and she rebuffed them all.

Nafisa: If you are agreeable to marry her, you just say so, and leave the rest to me. I shall arrange everything.

Muhammad wished to inform his uncle and guardian, Abu Talib, about Nafisa’s demarche, and to consult him in the matter before giving her an answer.

Abu Talib knew Khadija as well as he knew his own nephew. He welcomed Nafisa’s suggestion. There was no doubt in his mind that Muhammad and Khadija would make the ideal couple. He, therefore, gave his blessings to the proposal of their marriage. Thereupon, Muhammad told Nafisa that her suggestion was acceptable to him and that she had the authority to negotiate on his behalf, his marriage with Khadija (Razwy, 1990).

Abu Talib sent his sister, Safiya bint Abdul Muttalib, to see Khadija who cordially received her. Khadija told Safiya that she had accepted Safiya’s nephew to be her life partner without any pre-conditions and reservations and expressed her earnest desire to be married to him. Safiya was very happy and upon departing, Khadija gave her an elegant robe as a gift, which she accepted with joy and gratitude.

Safiya returned to the house of Abu Talib and conveyed the joyous news to the family who would then come to be the in-laws of Lady Khadija (‘a). In accordance to traditional formalities of marriage, Abu Talib bought gifts for Khadija and took his brothers, Abbas and Hamza, with him to her house to formally present to her the proposal of the marriage of his nephew with her. Khadija accepted the gifts and accepted the proposal of marriage, after which the two parties fixed a date for the auspicious wedding.

The marriage of Muhammad and Khadija was the first and the last of its kind in the world. It was the only marriage in the whole world which abounded in heavenly blessing as well as material blessings. It was a marriage which was immeasurably and incalculably rich in the blessings of both the heaven and the earth (Razwy, 1990).

For the blessed occasion, Abu Talib bought together the sacred heirlooms of the Bani Hashim including the cloak and staff of ‘Abdul Muttalib, with which the bridegroom was ordained along with the black turban of his clan and a ring of green agate that had once belonged to Hashim bin ‘Abd Manaf bin Qusayy.

The wedding party consisted of the chiefs of Quraysh and the lords of Makkah. The bridegroom, riding high on a prancing horse, was escorted from the house of Abu Talib to the house of Khadija by the young warriors of Bani Hashim. The women of Bani Hashim had gone ahead of the men and were already at the house of the bride.

Khadija’s house was illuminated by myriads of lamps, chandeliers hanging on gold chains from the ceiling, each holding seven lamps. The male domestics of the house were embroidered with scarlet tunics, black sashes around their wastes and turbans decorated with silken tassels of ivory hue. The girls were wearing dresses dripping with gold and spangles, coronets on their heads and ropes of pearls and rivers of crystals intertwined amongst their waste length braded locks. The décor of the chamber of the bride was exquisite and was unsurpassable in taste and skill. The hangings were made from silk and brocade, draped walls and white velvet carpet decorated by goblets ladened with sparkling diamonds, blue sapphires and balas rubies.

Artist's impression of Khadija Tul Kubra A.S. Artwork by M.Al-Zahra B.Ed

Khadija, the bride, sat on a high dais under a beautifully embroidered canopy. Upon her head was a crown of gold and pearls with her crimson and green gown flowing with sparkles of gold, set with pearls and emeralds. The maidens in personal attendance to her were wearing a diadem of gold, an amethyst silken dress and jewel-studded slippers (Razwy, 1990).

As the noble guests arrived in the amber dusk, through the high arched entrance, they relaxed on ornate cushions and decorated rugs. Once all had taken his place, the guardian of the bridegroom, Abu Talib, rose to read the sermon of marriage:

All glory and all praise to Allah, the Creator of Heavens and earth, and all thanks to Him for all His blessings, bounties and mercy. He sent us into this world in the posterity of Ibrahim and Ismael. He put us in charge of the Mosque and made us guardians of His House, The Kaaba, which is a sanctuary for all His creatures.

My nephew, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib, is the best individual in all mankind in his intelligence, in wisdom, in purity of lineage, in purity of his personal life and in distinction of family. He has all the markings of a man destined to be great. He is marrying Khadija the daughter of Khuwayled against a meher of four hundred pieces of gold. I declare Muhammad and Khadija husband and wife. May Allah bless them both, and may He be their Protector.

Waraqa bin Naufal rose to read the marriage sermon on behalf of the bride:

All praise and glory to Allah. We testify and we affirm that the Bani Hashim are just as you have claimed. No one can deny their excellence. Because of their excellence, we cherish the marriage of Khadija and Muhammad. Their marriage unites our two houses, and their union is a source of great happiness to us. O Lords of Quraysh, I want you to be witnesses that I give Khadija in marriage to Muhammad ibn Abdullah against a meher of four hundred pieces of gold. May Allah make their marriage a happy one (Razwy, 1990).

Once the bride was ready to depart, a richly caparisoned she-camel, carrying a white pavilion in her back, was waiting at the gate of the house. A team of Nubian slaves carrying flambeaus, marched in front and on the right and the left sides of the she-camel. The bridegroom and the young men of Bani Hashim mounted their horses. When this torch-lit procession arrived at the house of Abu Talib, his wife and sisters assisted the bride in dismounting from the she-camel. A chamberlain held a parasol of white silk over her head, and conducted her into the inner apartments of the house.

The Prophet (‘s) stated that: “Indeed Allah did not grant me better than her (Khadija); she accepted me when people rejected me, she believed in me when people doubted me, she shared her wealth with me when people deprived me, and Allah granted me children only through her.”

Janat ul Mualla near Makka wherein lies Lady Khadija ('a)It is narrated that Khadija was given glad tidings through the Prophet (‘s) of a palace of jewels in Paradise for her away from the Flame of fire wherein there is no noise and no toil.

So why do we all revere the personages of Aminah bint Wahb, Halima bint Abu Dhu’ayb, Nafisa bint Munyah, Safiya bint ‘Abdul Muttalib and Khadija bint Khuwayled? In the acts of all of these beautiful women in Islamic history, we see that what they did was all for the love of a prophet. And may Allah shower His blessings and peace upon them all and upon the noble personage of Prophet Muhammad and the children of Prophet Muhammad.

And Allah swt says in the Holy Qoran:

"Their reward is with their Lord:
Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow,
Wherein they dwell forever.
Allah hath pleasure in them and they have pleasure in Him.
This is (in store) for him who feareth his Lord"
98:8

Illustrations by M.Al-Zahra & S.Abidin

Imam Abi al-Fidaa Isma’il Kathir (1999).  Qisaasul Anbiyaa. Delhi, India: Adam Publishers and Distibutors.

ISNA Canada (2004). Prophet Muhammad. [Online]. Retrieved on 17th April 2004.
http://www.isnacanada.com/prophets/mhhch03.htm

Odeh A. Muhawesh (1990). Fatima the Gracious. Qum, Iran: Ansarian Publications.

Syed A.A.Razwy (1990). Khadija tul Kubra. NY, U.S.A.: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an.

Syed Muhammad Hussain Shamsi (1994). The Prophets of Islam. NJ, U.S.A.: AlHuda Foundation.

Victory News Magazine(2003). History of Al-Baqi in Madinatul Munawwarah. [Online]. Retrieved on 16th April 2004. http://www.victorynewsmagazine.com/HistoryAlBaqi
MadinatulMunawwarah.htm

END

Author: Hj S. Abidin
Photographer/Illustrator: Hj S.Abidin and Hj M.Al-Zahra
Chief Editor: Hj Nurzaynab El-Fatah
Production: Hj S. Abidin
Published Date:
28 Safar 1425/18th April, 2004.
Modification Date: 29 Zhul Qadr, 1429/27th November, 2008
Publication ID: 04theProphet. All For the Love of a Prophet
Copyright: © Victory News Magazine, 2010

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