Amina bt. Wahb

Priority: b, Quality: a
From wikishia
Amina bt. Wahb
Mother of the Prophet (s)
Religious AffiliationTheist
LineageBanu Zuhra, Quraysh
Well-known Relativesthe Prophet (s), Abd Allah b. Abd al-Muttalib
Place of BirthMecca
Death/Martyrdom46 years before Hijra/575-6
Burial Placeal-Abwa'
EraBefore Islam
Known forMother of the Prophet (s)

Āmina bt. Wahb (Arabic: آمنة بنت وَهْب) (d. forty-six years before Hijra/575-6), the Prophet's (s) mother and one of the most respectful ladies of Quraysh. Amina got married to Abd Allah b. Abd al-Muttalib fifty-four or fifty-three years before Hijra (568 to 570). Despite the short period of their marriage, she gave birth to Muhammad (s) fifty-two years before Hijra (570). When Muhammad (s) was four or six, Amina passed away in an area called al-Abwa' while coming back from Medina.

Birth and Lineage

Amina was born in Mecca.[1] Her father, Wahb, was a great member of Banu Zuhra tribe, and her ancestor, Abd Manaf b. Zuhrah was his cousin's peer, Abd Manaf b. Qusayy. They are called "Manafayn" out of respect. The mother of her father, Atika, al-Awqas b. Murra b. Hilal al-Sulamiyya's daughter, one of the three Atikas whom the Prophet (s) was proud of being her offspring and said, "I'm the offspring of Awatik from Banu Sulaym."[2]

Her mother was Barra. Her mother's ancestor was Umm Habib, daughter of Asad b. Abd al-Uzza b. Qusayy and the mother of her was Barra bt. Awf.[3]

The Prophet (s) was proud of his lineage and said, "God moved me from pure waists to pure uteruses and divided into branches which I was put in the best ones of them."

Marriage to Abd Allah

She was the best girl from among the Quraysh in terms of lineage and character when getting married to Abd Allah b. Abd al-Muttalib.[4] Before Abd Allah proposed to Amina, some women such as Nawfal b. Asad's daughter, Fatima bt. Murr, and Layla al-Adawiyya had proposed to him.[5] According to one account, when Amina got married to Abd Allah, many Meccan women were heartbroken.[6] Their ceremony lasted for three days and nights. During this period, Abd Allah was in the bride's house according to the tribe's tradition.[7]

Abd Allah's Early Death

Their married life did not last long. After a few days of living together, Abd Allah set off for a commercial trip, catching an illness in Yathrib and passing away while returning. When the news of his death reached Amina, she uttered some verses to mourn for him:

"The land of Batha drew Banu Hashim's honor to the mouth of death,
away from the uproar, deep inside the tomb.
Death called him to itself and he accepted its invitation,
yet death did not select a person in place of him.
They drew dead him upon their shoulders at night,
and a great number of friends carried him on their shoulders by turn.
Disasters in life draws those the mouth of death,
who have an open-handed nature and a heart filled with graciousness."

According to some historical reports, Abd Allah passed away soon after the Prophet's (s) birth.[8] Some people think Abd Allah's early death after his survival from being sacrificed represents that it was doomed for Abd Allah to marry Amina, therefore the Prophet (s) would be born.[9]

Muhammad's (s) Birth

She gave birth to him on Rabi' I 17, Am al-Fil/ May 9, 570. Sunnis believe it was on Rabi' I 12/ May 4, 570.[10] The news of his birth made Banu Hashim very happy so that Abu Lahab set free his slave Thuwayba al-Aslamiyya who brought his cousin's birth news.[11] Abd al-Muttalib named him Muhammad. When Quraysh asked about his grandson's name, he replied, "I want him to be praised in heaven and earth."[12]


Amina was seeking for a nurse to accept Muhammad (s) after giving birth to him. He was an orphan and was not wealthy. Initially, no one accepted him. At last, Halima al-Sa'diyya, to whom no one had given a baby to milk until the sunset of that day, and had not accepted the nursery of Muhammad (s) earlier that day, finally accepted him.

After two years of milking to Muhammad (s), she brought the baby to Amina, but asked her to let her take Muhammad (s) to the desert and keep him; since he had some blesses for them and protected her from cholera which was spread in Mecca. Amina consented to her request.[13] Finally, Halima al-Sa'diyya brought back Muhammad (s) to his mother in the 6th year of 'Am al-Fil.[14]

Trip to Medina and Death

The grave of Amina in al-Abwa'.

Amina took her offspring to visit Abd Allah's uncles to Medina in the seventh year of the Elephant. Uncles of Muhammad's (s) father were from Banu Najjar. She got sick when returning from Medina and passed away in al-Abwa'. 'Umm Ayman brought Muhammad (s) back to Mecca and five days later they arrived at Mecca.[15]


Sunnis believe that the ancestors of the Prophet (s) were polytheists. About Amina, there are two hadiths in Sunni sources:

Al-Suyuti writes, "The Prophet (s) decided to do umra while coming back from the Battle of Tabuk. Therefore, he set off for Mecca. When he arrived in his mother's grave, he asked God for the permission to pray for her forgiveness, but his request was rejected and this verse was sent to him, "Abraham's (a) pleading forgiveness for his father was only to fulfill a promise he had made him. So when it became manifest to him that he was an enemy of God, he repudiated him. Indeed Abraham (a) was most plaintive and forbearing."[16]

Also, it is narrated from Ibn Mas'ud that once the Prophet (s) visited Muslim's tombs and we followed him. He sat before a tomb and shed tears there and prayed. We cried along with him and prayed with his supplication. He asked the reason for our cry. We replied that we are inspired by your cry. He said, "This tomb belongs to my mother Amina. God let me visit it, yet I'm not allowed to pray for her forgiveness, and this verse was sent to me, "It is not for the Prophet (s) and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire."[17] This is the reason for my cry.

In Shi'a view, these hadiths are not authentic because Imami Shi'a unanimously believes in the faith of Abu Talib, Amina bt. Wahb, Abd Allah b. Abd al-Muttalib and the entire Prophet's ancestors to Adam (a).[18] This was pointed out in hadiths:

"Jabra'il (Gabriel) came to the Prophet (s) and said, "Muhammad! Your God sends his regards to you and states that I've made hellfire forbidden for the loins from which you come, the uterus which was pregnant of you, and the one who brought you up. That loins belong to Abd Allah b. Abd al-Muttalib, that uterus is Amina bt. Wahb's, and the one who brought the Prophet up, was Abu Talib-according to Ibn Faddal's hadith- and Fatima bt. Asad.", Imam al-Sadiq (a) stated.[19]

In addition to this, Shi'a has raised some problems to the mentioned hadiths. For instance, al-Allama al-Amini says, "Didn't the Prophet (s) know he and his followers could not pray for idolaters' forgiveness and mediate for them, even after sending many verses on the day of Tabuk (which was in his last years of life)? So, how did he ask for permission to pray for his mother's forgiveness and mediate for her? Did he think his mother is not counted as human? Has this hadith been made to contaminate the Prophet's (s) reputation or view his mother as an idolater?[20] He continues, "Some have interpreted requesting for forgiveness as praying for the corpse.[21] In this case, it would be in harmony with the mentioned hadiths.[22]


  1. ʿĀyisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Āmina mādar-i Payāmbar, p. 74.
  2. ʿĀyisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Āmina mādar-i Payāmbar, p. 74.
  3. ʿĀyisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Āmina mādar-i Payāmbar, p. 81.
  4. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 1, p. 156.
  5. See: Ibn al-Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol. 2, p. 8.
  6. ʿĀyisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Āmina mādar-i Payāmbar, p. 103.
  7. Nuwayrī, Nihāyat al-arab, vol. 16, p. 57.
  8. Āyatī, Tārīkh-i Payāmbar-i Islām, p. 41.
  9. ʿĀyisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Āmina mādar-i Payāmbar, p. 128.
  10. Āyatī, Tārīkh-i Payāmbar-i Islām, p. 43.
  11. ʿĀyisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Āmina mādar-i Payāmbar, p. 150.
  12. ʿĀyisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Āmina mādar-i Payāmbar, p. 153.
  13. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 1, p. 162-164.
  14. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 1, p. 29.
  15. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 1, p. 30.
  16. Qur'an 9:114
  17. Qur'an 9:113
  18. Āyatī, Tārīkh-i Payāmbar-i Islām, p. 41.
  19. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 446.
  20. Amīnī, al-Ghadīr, vol. 8, p. 18.
  21. Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ l-bayān, vol. 11, p. 33.
  22. Amīnī, al-Ghadīr, vol. 8, p. 19-20.


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