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Maymuna bt. Harith

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Maymuna bt. Harith
Wife of the Prophet (s)
Full Name Barra bt. al-Harith b. Hazan b. Bujayr b. al-Hazm
Epithet Umm al-Mu'minin
Well-known Relatives Zaynab bt. Khuzayma, Asma' bt. 'Umays
Place of Birth Mecca
Places of Residence Mecca, Medina
Death/Martyrdom 51/671
Burial Place Sarf
Era Early Islam
Known for Wife of the Prophet (s)
Activities Supporting Imam Ali (a)
Wives of the Prophet (s)

Name

Khadija

Sawda

Aisha

Hafsa

Zaynab (bt. Khuzayma)

Umm Salama

Zaynab (bt. Jahsh)

Juwayriyya

Umm Habiba

Mariya

Safiyya

Maymuna

Date of Marriage

(27 BH/595)

(before Hijra/before 622)

(1,2, or 4/622, 623, or 625)

(3/624)

(3/624)

(4/625)

(5/626)

(5 or 6/626 or 627)

(6 or 7/627 or 628)

(7/628)

(7/628)

(7/628)

Maymūna bt. Ḥārith (Arabic: ميمونة بنت الحارث) was one of the Prophet Muhammad's (s) wives. She was the last wife he married. She gifted herself to the Prophet (s); and verse 50 of Sura al-Ahzab was revealed about her. After the demise of the Prophet (s), she was among the supporters of Imam Ali (a). She is one of the women who have narrated hadiths from the Prophet (s).

Lineage

Historians mentioned her complete lineage as "Maymuna bt. al-Harith b. Hazan b. Bujayr b. al-Hazm b. Ruwayba b. 'Abd Allah b. Hilal b. 'Amir b. Sa'sa'a." Her mother was Hind bt. 'Awf b. Zuhayr, or Khawla bt. 'Amr b. Ka'b.[1] It is said that her name was "Barra" (بَرَّه) and the Prophet (s) changed it to "Maymuna" after their marriage.[2]

One of her sisters, called Umm al-Fadl, was the wife of al-'Abbas,[3] the holy Prophet's uncle; and her other sister was Khalid b. Walid's mother. From her mother's side, she is also the sister of Umm al-Mu'minin Zaynab bt. Khuzayma;[4] Asma' bt. 'Umays, Ja'far b. Abu Talib's wife; and Salama (or Salma) bt. 'Umays, Hamzat b. 'Abd al-Muttalib's wife.[5] Therefore, she is the aunt of Khalid b. Walid, and Ibn al-'Abbas.

In a narration, Prophet Muhammad (s) calls Maymuna, Umm al-Fadl and Asma' bt. 'Umays as "al-Akhawat al-Muminat" (The Faithful Sisters).[6]

Before Marrying the Prophet (s)

There is disagreements about her husband before the Prophet (s); but the majority of historians believe that she was married to Mas'ud b. 'Amr b. 'Umayr al-Thaqafi, who she divorced and married Abu Ruhm b. 'Abd al-'Uzza until his death.[7]

Marriage to the Prophet (s)

In 7/628 when the Prophet (s) along with other Muslims set out to perform 'Umrat al-Qada in Mecca,[8] Maymuna was amazed by the magnitude of Muslims and liked the Prophet (s).[9] She consulted with her sister, Umm al-Fadl, the wife of al-'Abbas b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, and al-'Abbas took the news to the Prophet (s). The holy Prophet (s) sent Ja'far b. Abu Talib to ask her for marriage.[10] It is reported that when she heard the news, she was riding a camel. Just then, out of sheer joy she screamed, "Let the camel and its rider be for God and His messenger."[11] For that reason, the verse 50 of Sura al-Ahzab was revealed:

"… and the faithful woman who gifted herself to the Prophet (s) …"

The Prophet (s) chose a room for Maymuna's accommodation, and like her other wives, he assigned a specific place to her.

Maymuna handed the decision of marriage to al-'Abbas, the holy Prophet's uncle. So, after that 'Umrat al-Qada was over, he married her to the holy Prophet (s) in a place called "Sarf" ten miles away from Mecca.[12] Her Mahr (dowry) was 400 dirhams[13] or 500 dirhams.[14] It is said that she gifted herself to the Prophet (s) and did not ask any Mahr.[15] The Prophet (s) then decided to hold a feast to invite the relatives of Maymuna. Yet, the Quraysh refused the invitation and reminded the Prophet (s) that his three days of stay in Mecca were over and that he and other Muslims had to leave.[16] He left Mecca, and commanded Abu Rafi', his freed slave, to bring Maymuna.[17] Therefore the wedding ceremony was held in "Sarf," an area on the way between Mecca and Medina;[18] and then she went to Mecca with the Prophet (s).

Marriage before Ihram

There is disagreement about the time of the Prophet (s)'s marriage with Maymuna. Some believe that it happened at the time where he was in Ihram for 'Umrat al-Qada. Some historians such as Ibn Sa'd in Tabaqat al-kubra narrates through numerous narrations that before leaving Medina, Prophet Muhammad (s) sent Abu Rafi' and a man from Ansar, to marry him to Maymuna. According to one report, Prophet Muhammad (s) married Maymuna in Shawwal of the same year as 'Umrat al-Qada, and before his Ihram; then they held the wedding ceremony in "Sarf".[19] So, the marriage and even the wedding was out of Ihram. When Safiyya bt. Shayba was asked whether the Prophet (s) married Maymuna while he was in Ihram, she replied, "No. I swear to God that he married her while none of them were in Ihram."[20] This matter was so controversial that 'Umar b. 'Abd al-Aziz writes a letter to a companion of the Prophet (s) and asks him the question. He replies, "The Prophet (s) asked her for marriage while he was out of Ihram and married her while he was out of Ihram."[21]

Support for Imam Ali (a)

The reports of Maymuna's life after the Prophet (s) are scarce, but the few narrations demonstrate her special support for Imam Ali (a). It is reported from Yazid b. Asam that "Shuqayr (Safir) b. Shajarat al-'Amiri came from Kufa to Medina, and went to my aunt, Maymuna. When he entered, she asked her for the reason of his travel. He replied that, "Since there is an argument among people, I moved to avoid fitnah (sedition). That's why I departed Kufa." Maymuna asked, "Did you pay allegiance to Ali?" The man said, "Yes." She said, "Then go and do not leave his side. I swear to God that he neither goes nor leads astray." The man asked "Oh mother, would you say a narration of the holy Prophet about Ali?" She said: "The messenger of God said, "Ali is the sign of the truth, and the flag of guidance. Ali is the sword of God unsheathed against the infidels and the hypocrites. Whoever likes him, likes him out of my love; and whoever dislikes him dislikes him out of my hatred. And whoever dislikes will have no arguments when he meets God.""[22]

Narration

Maymuna narrated some hadiths from Prophet Muhammad (s). Most of her narrations are reported by his nephew, Yazid b. Asamm.[23] Ibn al-'Abbas[24] and others have reported some of her narrations as well. Her narrations are found in books such as Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

Demise

There is disagreement about the year of her demise. 'Allama 'Askari writes that she passed away on her way back from Hajj in 51/671 in Sarf.[25] Ibn al-'Abbas said her Funeral Prayer;[26] and per her will, she was buried in the same place, where she and the holy Prophet (s) were married.[27] According to a report she was the last of Prophet Muhammad's wives to pass away.

Notes

  1. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 1, p. 444.
  2. Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Al-Iṣāba, vol. 8, p. 48.
  3. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, vol. 11, p. 623.
  4. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 1, p. 444; Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 4, p. 1908.
  5. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 300.
  6. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 4, p. 1909.
  7. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 8, p. 104.
  8. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, vol. 3, p. 25.
  9. ʿĀyisha bt. al-Shāṭiʾ, Nisāʾ al-Nabīyy, p. 231-232.
  10. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 1, p. 446.
  11. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 646.
  12. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 8, p. 104.
  13. Ṣāliḥī al-Dimashqī, Subul al-hudā wa l-rashād, vol. 2, p. 646.
  14. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, vol. 11, p. 611.
  15. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 646; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, vol. 11, p. 611.
  16. Bayhaqī, Dalāʾil al-nabuwwa, vol. 4, p. 330.
  17. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 2, p. 93.
  18. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 646; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, vol. 11, p. 611.
  19. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 8, p. 136.
  20. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 8, p. 137.
  21. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 8, p. 137.
  22. Ṭūsī, Amālī, p. 505-506.
  23. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 323.
  24. Nisāʾī, Sunan al-Nisāʾī, vol. 1, p. 204.
  25. ʿAllāma ʿAskarī, Naqsh-i ʿĀʾisha dar aḥadīth-i Islām, vol. 1, p. 62.
  26. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 4, p. 1918.
  27. Ibn Ḥabīb, al-Muḥabbar, p. 92.

Refernces

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