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Safiyya bt. Huyayy

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For other people named as Safiyya, see Safiyya (disambiguation).
Safiyya bt. Huyayy
Wife of the Prophet (s)
Full Name Safiyya bt. Huyayy b. Akhtab
Epithet Umm al-Mu'minin
Well-known Relatives Banu Nadir
Place of Birth Medina
Place of Residence Medina
Death/Martyrdom 50/670
Burial Place Baqi' cemetery, Medina
Era Early Islam
Known for Wife of the Prophet (s)
Activities Defending Uthman before his demise
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)

Ṣafīyya bt. Ḥuyayy b. Akhṭab b. Saʿya b. Thaʿlaba b. ʿUbayd (Arabic: صفیّة بنت حیيّ بن أخطب بن ثعلبة بن عبید) (d. 50/670) was the only non-Arab wife of the Prophet (s). Before Islam, Safiyya married twice; she was captured as prisoner by Muslims in the Battle of Khaybar after her husband was killed, and then the Prophet (s) married her.

According to historical accounts, she was a very admirable and virtuous woman, and she was offended by some of the other wives of the Prophet (s).

She helped the third caliph, 'Uthman, when he was beset by protestors.

And she was the last wife of the Prophet (s) who died in Medina and was buried in al-Baqi'.

Safiyya has narrated some hadiths from the Prophet (s), and Ali' b. al-Husayn al-Sajjad (a) has narrated hadiths from her.

Parentage

She was from the Jewish kinsman of Banu Nadir whose genealogy traces back to Lawi b. Ya'qub and Nadir b. Naham b. Yanhum from the progeny of Harun b. 'Imran (a) (Aaron), the brother of the prophet Moses (a).

When she was a child, she was closely taken care by her father and her uncle Abu Yasir b. Akhtab who were heads of the Banu Nadir Jews and were noblemen of Medina. When the Prophet (s) immigrated to Medina, her father and uncle turned into enemies of the Prophet (s).

Her mother, Barra, was the daughter of Samu'il and the sister of Rifa'a b. Samu'il who was a Banu Qurayza Jew.

Before Islam

Safiyya was born in Medina. She first got married with Sallam b. Mishkam al-Qurayzi, but they soon separated, and then she married Kinana b. al-Rabi' b. Abi l-Huqayq.

Captivation

After the Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty in 7/628, the Prophet (s) went to a battle with the Jews of Khaybar. The land was conquered by Muslims. Kinana b. al-Rabi', Safiyya's husband, was killed in this battle. And Muslims won a lot of booties. In conquering the Qumus Fort, one of the seven forts of Khaybar in which Abu l-Huqayq's children resided, some women, including Safiyya, were captivated.

Marriage with the Prophet (s)

The Prophet (s) called Safiyya to Islam, and she converted to Islam. He then emancipated her and then married her.

Safiyya was 17 years old when she married the Prophet (s). The marriage occurred on their way from Khaybar to Medina. The Prophet (s) settled Safiyya in the house of Haritha b. Nu'man. Women from Ansar, as well as Aisha, went there to visit and welcome Safiyya.

Historiographers have taken Safiyya bt. Akhtab to be the only non-Arab wife of the Prophet (s).

According to some historical sources, when Safiyya was captivated, the Prophet (s) saw some bruise in her face and asked her: "What is this?", Safiyya answered: "O' the Prophet! I saw in my dream that a moon is coming from the sky of Yathrib to my lap. I told this to my husband, Kinana, and he told me: it seems that you like to marry a king from Yathrib! And then he stroke me hard in the face".

Characteristics

Safiyya is mentioned as a beautiful, virtuous, wise, and patient woman.

It is reported that at the time of her departure from Khaybar, when the Prophet (s)'s camel was brought for Safiyya to ride, the Prophet (s) put his foot on the stirrup so that Safiyya could put her foot on it and ride on the camel, but as a matter of politeness, Safiyya put her knee on the Prophet (s)'s thigh and rode on the camel.

When the Prophet (s) was dying, Safiyya told him: "O' the Prophet! I swear to God that I had better be sick instead of you so that you recover".

Offense by Other Wives of the Prophet (s)

There are accounts of offenses to Safiyya by other wives of the Prophet (s). For example, it is reported that one day Safiyya was crying. The Prophet (s) asked her about the reason, and she said: "Two of your wives offended me with their talks; they say we are superior to Safiyya because we are the Prophet (s)'s cousins and his wives". The Prophet (s) replied: "Why did you not tell them that your father is Aaron, your uncle is Moses and your husband is Muhammad?"

After the Prophet (s)'s Demise

After the Prophet (s)'s demise, 'Umar b. al-Khattab considered a 6,000 dirham annual salary for Safiyya.

In 35/655 when the house of 'Uthman, the third caliph, was beset by protestors, Safiyya opened a path from her house to 'Uthman's house in order to supply him with food and water.

Death

According to most accounts, she died in 50/670 in Medina, but according to some other accounts, she died in 36/656 or 52/672. Sa'id b. al-'As performed prayer on her corpse, and she was buried in al-Baqi' cemetery. She is said to have been the last of the Prophet (s)'s wives who died.

Hadiths

In the hadith collections, there are ten hadiths that Safiyya has narrated from the Prophet (s). The following are some of the people who narrated hadiths from her:

  • Imam al-Sajjad (a)
  • Her servant Kinana
  • Her servant Yazid b. Mu'tab
  • Ishaq b. 'Abd Allah b. al-Harith.

See Also

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References