Twice widowed, single parent, businesswoman Khadijah (RAH) becomes Prophet Muhammad's first wife
Khadijah (Raddi Allahu anha, usually abbreviated to RAH, meaning May Allah be pleased with her), daughter of Khuwailid ibn Asad, was the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). She was from the Asad clan of the tribe of Quraysh and considered the best of women in lineage, fortune and wisdom.
How Khadijah became richest lady in Makkah
Khadijah was a wealthy businesswoman in Makkah. She was well known and the richest lady - not richest person - in Makkah. She had been married twice previously. She had a son called 'Hala' from her first marriage. 'Hala' is a girl's name in modern times but it was a common boy's name in those days. Hala eventually accepted Islam and lived a noble life along with the Prophet Muhammad.
Khadijah's second husband was a wealthy merchant but they had no children. In jahiliya (i.e. period of ignorance in Arabia prior to advent of Islam) women did not inherit. Since Khadijah and her husband had no children, and he did not have any siblings, Khadijah inherited a small fortune in this rare instance. Over the course of next few years Khadijah invested that money, for example, purchasing goods at times of Hajj and sending them to Syria, and purchasing goods from Syria and sending them to Yemen, and purchasing goods from Yemen and sending them to Makkah.
But because Khadijah's a woman she couldn't do it by herself in this male-dominated society. She had to employ men to do her business every single time. Those days they didn't pay a wage but a percentage profit (e.g. the male labourer would take 30% and the owner would take 70%, etc). But usually the man Khadijah selected would carry out fraudulent activities behind her back. For example, undercutting her, stealing her goods, lying, not giving full account, etc. So Khadijah never got the type of wealth she deserved and earned. Nevertheless she maintained her dignity and still made money.
Khadijah rejects various marriage proposals from prominent men
Khadijah remained a single parent. It was very rare for somebody to be single in that society. It was normal practice to be married, people avoided living a single life. But Khadijah, perhaps because she had been married twice already, had closed this marriage door and remained single. A number of men tried to marry her because she was of noble lineage, a pure Qurayshi, and wealthy woman. If they married her they would possess the wealth according to jahili law. So a lot of prominent men had asked for her hand in marriage but Khadijah refused their advances and turned them down. She didn't feel that their intention was pure and they would treat her the way she deserved.
Early job as a shepherd for Muhammad (pbuh)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), had no particular job at his early youth, but it was reported that he worked as a shepherd in Makkah for a meagre wage. He'd find people who owned flock, and he'd take care of this flock and get a small wage in return.
Khadijah's older sister had a herd of camels and she hired 23 - 24 year old Muhammad (pbuh) and another young man to take her large flock out and graze them outside of Makkah. After they finished the grazing, they had to go to town to collect their wages. The young man with the Muhammad (pbuh) said let's go and ask Khadijah's sister for our wage. Muhammad (pbuh) told him to go on his behalf as he was too shy to go because she's a woman. So the young man went to Khadijah's sister's house and it so happened Khadijah was in her house at that time. He asked for his wages, Khadijah asked where was Muhammad, so the man told them he was too shy to come and ask. Hearing this, Khadijah's sister heaped praises on Muhammad (pbuh) non-stop.
I have not seen any man who is more shy, more noble, more honourable, more chaste in his interaction...
Khadijah's sister eulogies about Muhammad (pbuh) in front of her
This was the first time Khadijah seen her sister praise any man in this manner. Something entered her heart.
Hired by businesswoman Khadijah (RAH) to be a merchant
Later on the year when Khadijah had to send her own caravan to Syria. In those days the caravans from Makkah made two journeys: one to Yemen and the other to Syria.
When Khadijah heard lavish praises of Muhammad (pbuh) she decided to hire him even though he had no prior business experience and he was young. Usually, people hired merchants who are in the 40s or 50s and had experience of dealing with others, were business savvy, and knew the journey route, for example. But Khadijah overlooked all these as she wanted a honest man.
Khadijah sent a message to Muhammad (pbuh) through one of her servant saying asking him to take care of her caravan. Muhammad (pbuh) went to his uncle Abu Talib for advice. This shows his respectable nature. While other men would jump to the offer, Muhammad (pbuh) still sought permission from his elder even though he didn't need it. Abu Talib advised him to take the opportunity which Allah has blessed him, especially since it was better than his present shepherd job.
So Muhammad (pbuh) took the offer. Khadijah offered him a higher rate than others and agreed to give him half (50%) of the profit as he was a good man. This would be a good incentive for him to do a good job, she thought. This was a very generous offer from Khadijah.
Muhammad (pbuh) went with one of Khadijah's male servant, believed to be 'Maisarah', and went for trade to Busra, Syria, a small town outside of Damascus on the periphery of the Byzantine Empire. The Arabs typically stopped at Busra, they wouldn't go to Damascus. Busra had a huge marketplace known for selling and buying of goods. It was a meeting ground of many cultures. Arabs from north, Egyptian from Africa, Yemenis from the south, would all meet here. It was a town famous for economic transactions. Even today, there are still ruins of marketplace that existed long before the times of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
When they returned to Makkah, Maisarah told Khadijah of the care, concern and honesty that Muhammad (pbuh) had shown and of his exceptional character. Muhammad (pbuh) made multiple profits which Khadijah never witnessed before. This was another example of Allah blessing him.
Khadijah's feelings grew stronger for Muhammad (pbuh). She developed a wish to marry him.
Khadijah (rah) proposes to Muhammad (pbuh)
Muslim scholars differ as to exactly how the marriage proposal was conducted. But they all agree that Khadijah instigated it.
In one version of the story, Khadijah told a close friend (or possibly an elderly female servant) Nafisah, daughter of Muniya, regarding her intentions to marry Muhammad (pbuh). Nafisah told her to leave it with her. She visited Muhammad (pbuh) and posed the question to him. He showed interest but was curious as to why Khadijah wanted to marry him.
Nafisah: "Oh Muhammad, why don't you get married
Muhammad (pbuh): "Who would marry me? Because I am the orphan, poor people of the Quraysh."
Nafisah: "What if Khadijah wanted to marry you
Muhammad (pbuh) after a brief silence: "Why would she want me?"
Nafisah poses marriage question to Muhammad (pbuh)
Nafisah went back to Khadijah and told her what happened. Subsequently they got married.
Once again the details of this vary.
Biographer Ibn Ishaq said the marriage took place in the Islamic month of Safar, three months after he returned from the Busra caravan trip. So for three months they were going back and forth regarding the marriage talk.
There are two popular versions of how the marriage was conducted.
In one version it is narrated that Khadijah's father was alive at the time and he opposed the marriage. He became drunk and convinced that the marriage had already taken place. So when he became sober it was too late to say no. But this story has a very weak chain of narration and is contradicted by number of facts. Firstly, Ibn Hajar (who died c. 852 A.H.) and others point out that Khadijah's father had died before this proposal had happened so she never had a father at the time. This makes sense when you consider that if her father was alive he would've inherited Khadijah's money according to the custom of the time. A woman did not get the money if she had a husband, brother or father.
In another version of the story - which is presented by more books by scholars of repute and considered more authentic account - it is narrated that Khadijah's uncle Amr ibn Asad was the one who performed the nikah (marriage). There was no issue of alcohol, sober, or anything of that nature. Amr was the wali (a person who is responsible for the bride's life before she is married) and Abu Talib came with Muhammad (pbuh) and performed the khutbah (sermon). In it, Abu Talib praised Allah and their lineage as was common practice. He praised Muhammad (pbuh) and expressed the mahr (dowry amount) as 12 waqiya wa nishan (12 nugget of silver and few silver coins), equivalent to few hundred pound in modern day but a modest amount in those days.
Abu Talib: "...My nephew [Muhammad] is the one with no comparison with any other young man in all of Makkah, in his manners, nobility and lineage. And he has proposed to your noble lady Khadijah with a mahr of 12 waqiya wa nishan..."
Amr stood up: "This is a young man who cannot be refused. We accept the proposal."
Both families welcome the marriage
How old was Khadijah at the time of her marriage? 40 or 28?
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah (rah) married around 595 C.E. Almost everyone agrees that Muhammad (pbuh) was around 25 years old (some say 23 or 24). Their marriage lasted 25 years. Khadijah was older than him. But by how many years?
It is commonly believed that Khadijah was 40 years old when she married Muhammad (pbuh), i.e. there was a 15-year age gap between the two. This is the opinion of one of classical scholars of Islam, Imam al-Waqidi (who died 207 A.H.). He said Khadijah was 40 when she married the Prophet and she died aged 65.
However, there are more authentic reports that Khadijah was not 40 at the time of marriage.
Academically speaking, there are two problems with this age (of 40). Firstly, Imam al-Waqidi is not of the calibre of the scholars who mention the revised age. He is lower in the scale of repute.
Scholars like Al Bayhaqi (a hadith expert who died 458 A.H.), Ibn Kathir (the eminent historian from Syria who died 774 A.H) and others reported that Khadijah died when she was in her 50s (thereby making Khadijah in her late 20s at the time of marriage). Another early authority, Hisham ibn al-Kalbi, said that Khadijah married when she was 28 years old, therefore there's a 3-year age gap, not 15, between her and Muhammad (pbuh). Al-Hakim also narrates Ibn Ishaq - the number one authority on seerah - as saying Khadijah was 28 years old.
This age of 28 appears to be more valid and creditable for two reasons. Firstly, the people reporting the age of 28 are more in quantity and calibre. Secondly, Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah had at least 6 children, born between c. 595 - 604 C.E. It is difficult to imagine a woman in her 40s having six children. It is more logical and rational to believe a woman in her 20s to have them. Also, if Khadijah was born around 550 C.E. she would've been 54 years old in 604. She was also married twice before. So academically speaking, it is more sound to believe she was 28 rather than 40 when she got married - but there is no indisputable proof.
First Muslim was a woman
Khadijah (rah) was the first person to declare her faith in Islam and become a Muslim after the Prophet (pbuh) received the revelations. She was the first to bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that her husband was the Messenger of Allah.
Some of the blessing, some of the morals of the story of with Khadijah, first and foremost, it shows the importance of honesty and good etiquette. Good akhlaq (virtue). Honesty is appreciated by everybody in mankind. It brings about blessings.
Because the Prophet was honest as a shepherd, shy as a worker at a very menial job, that shyness an honesty upgraded his position in pay rank. He was honest, trustworthy, humble, modest. He had good qualities. What happened? Automatically opportunities were created that gave him more and more higher positions. And this is the reality of the dunya (world): if you show your character, character counts a lot, much more than experience. Khadijah overlooked that he had zero experience and hired him for him to become one of the highest paid businessman in all of Makkah.
It also shows the intelligence and status of Khadijah because she saw the Prophet (pbuh) as being ideal and perfect husband.
This clearly shows the permissibility of not just natural feeling of desire and attraction, but pursuing that in a permissible manner. It is not haram to be in love, it is halal to be in love. It is what you do with it.
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi
Muhammad (pbuh), a loyal husband to Khadijah
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah (rah) were married for 25 years. Given the number of children they had, they seem to have a happy relationship.
When Muhammad (pbuh) married Khadijah, she was twice widowed, older, and a single parent. This showed that the Prophet (pbuh) was not a lustful man as some modern-day non-Muslim critics have labelled against him. If he wanted he could've married a younger lady, a virgin. But he married someone of nobility and remained faithful to her for duration of their marriage. He only began marrying in his mid-50s, possibly 54. So in the prime of his youth and adult years and his peak sexually active years (i.e. 20s, 30s, and 40s), he remained thoroughly loyal, committed, and devoted to Khadijah and in control of his desires. He was devastated when she passed away. During the same time his loving and supportive uncle Abu Talib had also died - causing him to go through depression at the age of 50.
All wives, except one, were either widowed or divorced
Khadijah was buried at Jannatul Mualla cemetery, also known as Al-Hajun cemetery, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, where her first child with the Propphet, Al-Qasim, is also buried. Following her passing, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had several other marriages until his death, aged 62 - 63. Collectively, his wives are referred to as Umm-al-Momineen, Mother of the Believers.
During the time of the Prophet (pbuh), being single was an alien concept. Having a spouse was the norm so there was no stigma if you were divorced or widowed. Marriage was highly encouraged.
All Prophet's wives - except A'ishah (rah) - were widowed or divorced. They were all from Arabia. Sawdah, A'ishah, Hafsah, and Umm Habibah all belonged to the tribe of Quraysh, while the others came from various other tribes. All the wives, except Khadijah, are buried in Baqi al-Garqad (also known as Jannat-ul Baqi) in Madinah.
Umm-al-Momineen (Mother of the Believers)
- Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
- Sawdah bint Zam'ah
- A'ishah bint Abu Bakr
- Hafsah bint Umar ibn al-Khattab
- Zaynab bint Khuzayma al-Hilaliyah
- Umm Salamah (Hind) bint Abu Ummayah al-Makhzumiya
- Zaynab bint Jahsh al-Asadiyyah
- Juwayriya bint al-Harith bin Abi Zarar
- Ramlah Ume-Habibah bint Abi Sufyan
- Safiyah bint Huyayy bin Akhtab
- Maymuna bint al-Harith Ameria Hilalia
Breaking custom and taboo
Some of the Prophet's marriages were for legislative reasons and to abolish certain corrupt traditions. Since no other prophets were going to come after him, it was left to him to reform anti-Islamic customs.
Surah 33 Al-Ahzab (The Combined Forces), ayat 38
There is not to be upon the Prophet any discomfort concerning that which Allah has imposed upon him. [This is] the established way of Allah with those [prophets] who have passed on before. And ever is the command of Allah a destiny decreed.
Second wife: Sawdah bint Zam'ah ibn Qays ibn Abdus-Shams (RAH)
Khawlah bint Hakim recommends re-marrying to Muhammad (pbuh)
After Khadijah died, for many months the Prophet was not seen smiling. Such was his sadness. Eventually Khawlah bint Hakim, one of the earliest converts to Islam and the wife of Uthmaan ibn Math'oon, suggested to him to re-marry. She suggested Sawdah "if you wanted an elderly lady", or Aisha "if you want a young lady". So the Prophet (pbuh) married both of them within a month of each other. But he didn't consummate the marriage with Aisha for another 3-and-half years, he just got the nikaah done.
An elderly widow
Sawdah's father is Zam'ah ibn Qays ibn Abdus-Shams the Qurayesh tribe and mother is Ash-Shamoos bint Qays ibn Zayd of Bani Adi ibn An-Najjar from Khazraj tribe. She was married to as-Sakran ibn Amr, the brother of Suhail ibn Amr. Sawdah and as-Sakran were early converts to Islam. They migrated with the second group of emigrants to Abyssinia (which includes modern-day Ethiopia) to escape the persecution of the Quraysh and maintain the faith in Islam. As-Sakran died an early death and passed away either in Abyssinia or soon after their return journey to Makkah. He was one of the few Sahabahs (Companions) who died in the Makkan era.
Since it was the time when Muslims converts were persecuted in Makkah, Sawdah's family had disowned her and she had nobody to look after her. Hearing of her plight, Muhammad (pbuh) had compassion for her and married her. The marriage took place in Makkah, probably, in month of Shawwal in the 10th year of his prophetic mission, six months after Khadijah's passing.
She was the eldest of all the wives of the Prophet (pbuh). There are no dates of her age. She was a large lady who'd walk very slowly.
Voluntarily allocates her portion of time with Prophet to Aishah
In the Madinan era, probably around 6th or 7th A.H., Sawdah began to feel that the Prophet might divorce her. Muhammad (pbuh) had allocated different nights to his wives so each of them were given the same level of attention and love. Sawdah negotiated with the Prophet (pbuh) that he could spend her portion of the night with Aishah instead of her as she wanted to die and be raised as a Prophet's wife. When she voluntarily did this, Allah revealed Surah An-Nisa (The Women) verse 128 which allowed for any spouses to come to a mutual compromise if their relationship is faltering long term.
Surah 4 An-Nisa (The Women), ayat 128
And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them - and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah - then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
Sawdah died relatively early in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab.
Third wife: A'ishah bint Abu Bakr (RAH)
Prophet Muhammad's third wife was A'ishah, the daughter of his closest companion Abu Bakr, who later became the first Caliph of the Muslim community upon the Prophet's death.
Muhammad (pbuh) saw a dream where an Angel came up to him with a covered up lady and said this shall be your wife. He uncovered the veil and it was A'ishah. So he said if this dream was truly from Allah then it'll come to pass (i.e. it'll take place). And it did. The nikaah was done in Makkah but the marriage was consummated (i.e. have sex with her for the first time) in Madinah in the 2nd year after Hijrah.
A'ishah was the Prophet's favourite after Khadijah.
In the 11th year of his Prophethood, Muhammad (pbuh) decided to marry A'ishah (rah), the daughter of his closest companion Abu Bakr (RA), after getting permission from his wife Sawdah.
Traditional Hadith states that A'ishah (rah) was 6 years old when they were officially married in Shawwal, however, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not consummate his marriage with her until 3 years later when 'Aishah (rah) was 9 years old. She is believed to have stayed in her parents' house during these 3 years.
However, many reputable Islamic scholars have suggested other age of A'ishah (rah). Taking all known accounts and records of A'ishah's age at marriage, estimates of her age range from 9 to 19.
Because of this, it is impossible to know with any certainty how old A'ishah (rah) was.
Fourth wife: Hafsah bint Umar ibn al-Khattab
Prophet Muhammad's fourth wife was Hafsah, the daughter of his close companion Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph after the Prophet's death.
First husband killed in Battle of Uhud
Hafsah was probably born few years before the prophethood began. She was married at a very young age, probably 12, to one of the early converts named Khanis bin Hudhafah As-Sahmi. She migrated to Abyssinia with her husband. Khanis fought in both the battles of Badr and Uhud, and was severely injured in the latter battle. He was carried back to Madinah but died a shaheed (martyr). Hafsah was traumatised. Thus, barely 19 - 20 years old, Hafsah became a widow and childless. But rather than grieve, Hafsah dedicated herself even more to prayer and meditation.
Hafsah was an extremely pious lady, known for offering voluntary night salah (prayer) and devoted from an early age to fasting and meditation. Unlike many women and even men of that time, Hafsah could read and write. She was an excellent writer and orator and an ardent follower of Islam.
Calip Uthman (ra) and Abu Bakr (ra) reject Umar's (ra) proposal as Muhammad (pbuh) wanted to marry Hafsah
Concerned by the plight of his daughter, Umar asked Uthman ibn Affan (later the third Caliph what he thought of Hafsa. In those days it was normal custom for the wali (e.g. father or brother) of the bride to go and find a good suitor. Men could also ask for the hand in marriage but generally it was initiated by the female side.
Uthman was the Prophet's son-in-law. His first wife was Ruqaiyah, the daughter of Muhammad (pbuh) who had passed away at Badr. When Umar had offered Hafsah to the grieving Uthman, Uthman asked him to give him time to contemplate it. After few days, he said he wasn't ready to get married now. Umar felt dejected since Uthman was a nobleman, a Qurayshi, wealthy, and single.
Umar then turned to Abu Bakr who was already married. Umar desperately wanted a noble husband for his daughter. But Abu Bakr too asked for few days to contemplate the proposal. But unlike Uthman, he didn't respond. This hurt Umar even more than Uthman's rejection.
Finally a proposal came from the Prophet that he wanted to marry Hafsah. Abu Bakr came and explained to Umar that the Prophet had mentioned about marrying Hafsah to him and Uthman hence the reason why they both backed out. Else he would've happily accepted it.
This shows that the Prophet (pbuh) was seeking the advice of others before contemplating a marriage. And by marrying Hafsah he was giving equal honours to both of his friends, having already married Abu Bakr's daughter A'ishah. The Prophet's marriage to Hafsah further strengthened his political alliance with Umar. Meanwhile, the Prophet (pbuh) gave another of his daughter, Umm Kulthoom, to Uthman (ra).
Saved from divorce by Angel Jibrail
Aishah considered Hafsa her main competition since they were similar age and just as bold, witty and strong characters, much like their respective fathers.
However, after one bad incident, the Prophet (pbuh) was contemplating divorcing Hafsa – in some report he had even given her 1 talaq (first of three warning of divorce). Naturally, this saddened Umar. But Angel Jibrail came and told him not to divorce Hafsah as she was a very pious woman who "fasts all the time and prays all the time and she shall be your wife in Jannah (Paradise)". So the Prophet (pbuh) took her back.
Allah intervened in their relationship and it was her piety that saved her.
Preserved the mus'haf (written Qur'an) following her father's death
The original grand mus'haf - the collection of papers containing the chapters of Qur'an - that was written at the time of Abu Bakr was passed on to Umar following Abu Bakr's death. But when Umar passed away, there was a period when the Muslim ummah had not yet selected a caliph. During this period Hafsah kept hold of the mus'haf. She kept it with her until she passed away.
When Uthman wanted to copy the mus'haf, he had to get the original from Hafsah. After copying and assembling into one volume, it was sent to the rest of the Islamic world. This formed the basis of all written copies of the Qur'an to the present day.
Hafsah died around 41 or 45 A.H. If she died in 45 A.H. (circa 665 C.E.) it was said that Marwan ibn Hakam, the governor at that time, prayed over her.
Fifth wife: Zaynab bint Khuzayma al-Hilaliyah
There's very little information on Zaynab bint Khuzayma. She died during the Prophet's time in Madinah. After Khadijah, Zaynab became the only other wife to pass away in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Sometime people confuse her with Prophet's other wife Zaynab bint Jahsh al-Asadiyyah, who was also the Prophet's cousin.
Zaynab bint Khuzayma was born into a noble family from the Banu Hilal tribe in Najd. Even before she became a Muslim she was known for her charity and love of the poor and orphans. She could not bear to see a person hungry or in dire need. These virtues earned her the title "Umm al-Masakin" ('Mother of the Destitute' or 'Mother of the Poor') - this too at a time of Jahiliya (Age of Ignorance).
Zaynab was among the early converts to Islam. Her generous quality became more pronounced after she converted to Islam, which has always strongly advocated giving in charity.
Zaynab's marriage to the Prophet (pbuh) lasted less than a year, some say 3, 5, or 8 months. So there's very little information on her, especially since she's not from Quraysh or have ancestors in Makkah.
There's conflicting report on her.
One report say Zaynab was married to Thufail ibn al-Harith ibn Abdul Muttalib, the Prophet's cousin. Thufail divorced her when they migrated to Madinah. Thufail's brother Ubaidah then married Zaynab out of respect. Sadly, Ubaidah was killed during the historic Battle of Badr and Zaynab became one of the numerous war widow. Zaynab had no family in Makkah or Madinah. She entrusted her plight entirely to Allah and devoted herself to prayer and meditation. So when she received a proposal from the Prophet (pbuh) she was overjoyed. They got married, possibly around 3 A.H., but the marriage only last few months before Zaynab passed away in Rabi' ul-Awwal 4 A.H.
Zaynab was the first of the wives to be buried at Baqi al-Garqad, Madinah and the only one to receive a funeral prayer led by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Visitors to the graveyard will find all nine graves of the Prophet's wives and Zaynab is the first.
Mother considered the most noble mother-in-law in history
It is said in some books of history that Zaynab's mother is the most noble mother-in-law in the history of mankind. She had 5 daughters, all of whom married people of importance. Two of them become Umm al-Momineen (Mother of the Believers) - Zaynab had a younger half-sister Maymuna bint al-Harith who married the Prophet (pbuh) later on. Maymuna and Zaynab had different fathers but same mother.
The third daughter was Umm al-Fadl bint al-Harith, Abbas's wife. Abbas was the Prophet's paternal uncle. Umm al-Fadl gave birth to Al-Fadl ibn Abbas and Abdullah ibn Abbas, two prominent Sahabis and cousins of the Prophet (pbuh). She had a younger sister called Lubabah as-Sughra who married Al Walid ibn al-Mughirah, the chieftain of Banu Makhzum of the Quraysh tribe, and his son is Khalid ibn al-Walid. Lubabah (bint al-Harith) was also a nickname of Umm al-Fadl so sometime people confuse the two sisters.
Her other daughter was Asma bin Umays who was married to Jafar ibn Abu Talib, the Prophet's cousin. She became a widow at the death of Jafar. The Prophet (pbuh) would visit her, console her, take care of her and look after Jafar's orphaned children. During the Khilafah of Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr married her few months before he passed away. Asma became pregnant when Abu Bakr died. She gave birth to his son Muhammad bin Abu Bakr.
After Abu Bakr's death, Asma married Ali ibn Abu Talib, Jafar's younger brother. She had sons with Ali also. Asma had a sister called Salma bin Umays who married to Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib. They had a daughter called Umara who was looked after by Jafar.
Sixth wife: Umm Salamah (Hind) bint Abu Ummayah al-Makhzumiya
Umm Salamah's real name was Hind bint Abu Umayyah al-Makhzumiya. She was noble by birth, intelligent, learned, wise and skillful. She was the daughter of one of the notables in the Makhzum clan of Quraysh nicknamed "Zad ar-Rakib" because he was well known for his generosity particularly to travellers. Umm Salamah inherited her father's trait as she was always amiable and kind to her neighbours.
She was amongst the first handful of converts to Islam, along with her husband Abdullah ibn Abd-al-Asad Makhzumi. Abdullah, also known as Abu Salamah, was a maternal cousin of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Umm Salamah and her husband undertook both emigrations of Muslims. After some time, they returned to Makkah, but after realising that the situation had not improved as they hoped, they again decided to emigrate to Madinah. Umm Salamah was the very first lady to migrate to Madinah.
Abu Salamah was known for his gentleness, and akhlaq (virtue), and the pair had a strong relationship. They had 4 children together, reported to be two boys and two girls.
Sadly, Abu Salamah was severely injured in the Battle of Uhud. He recovered a little but passed away few months later. On his death Umm Salamah came to him and said:
I have heard that if a man of Jannah dies, and his wife never re-marries that she will automatically go to him. And that if a woman of Jannah dies, and her husband never re-marries they will be reunited in Jannah. So lets make a promise to each other that we're not going to marry if one of us dies.
Umm Salamah makes pact with dying husband about not re-marrying
They both knew perfectly well that it'd be Umm Salamah who would have to fulfil this promise. But that was her way of consoling her husband and letting him know that she wasn't going to get married after he passes away. Abu Salamah asked her if she would you obey me. She replied "Yes, of course". He said, "then after I die, marry someone". Then Abu Salamah made a dua on his deathbed:
O Allah, bless her with a husband better than me who will take care of her and never harm or irritate her.
Abu Salamah prays that Allah give his wife a noble husband after he dies
Abu Salamah did not want his wife to be alone at her old age, and wants a good guardian for their children.
After the period of waiting was over, the first one to propose to Umm Salamah was Abu Bakr (ra). But she rejected him. After a while the Prophet (pbuh) came to her house and proposed directly to her.
Umm Salamah was known for her wisdom. She was one of the wisest of the Prophet's wives. She was also known for her high lineage, being a daughter of one of the elders of Quraysh. Even when the Prophet proposed she did not accept it automatically. She thanked him for his interest in her, but told him that there are 3 things he should know about her:
- I am a woman that has jealousy and you're a man that already has wives. I am worried that jealousy will act up and displease you, which in turn with displease Allah.
- I am a woman that is coming on on age and I'm not young any more.
- I am a woman that has family, I have children.
The Prophet (pbuh) responded by saying that he'll pray to Allah to remove her jealousy. As for the age barrier, he joked "I am afflicted with the same calamity as you". And regarding the family, he said "as for your family, they are my family".
Satisfied with his answers, Umm Salamah accepted the proposal. The pair got married, probably in 4 A.H. in Shawwal or Ramadhan. The marriage took place few months after the Prophet (pbuh) married Zaynab bint Khuzayma al-Hilaliyah. Muhammad (pbuh) was around 56 years old while Umm Salamah may have been in her late 30s or 40s.
Advises the Prophet (pbuh) to go ahead with shaving hair after Treaty of Hudaibiyah
Umm Salamah had a lot of great contribution. But the most important story involving her was during the Treaty of Hudaibiyah.
The Treaty of Hudaibiyah was a 10-year peace treaty that was signed by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Makkans in 6 A.H. (circa 628 CE). The treaty allowed Muslims to preach peacefully, and the safe movement of people. But the Muslims had to return back to Madinah without doing umrah (minor pilgrimage) this year but were free to perform it from next year onward.
After concluding the treaty, the holy Prophet told the followers to slaughter sacrificial animals at the same place and get their head shaved to come out of ihram (clothes worn during pilgrimage). But the people were so dejected that they delayed the compliance. Muhammad (pbuh) was in a dilemma. He entered the tent and told his accompanying wife, Umm Salamah, about people's reluctance.
She politely suggested not negotiating with them and just stand up and shave his hair off. Let the followers see and they will copy you. Umm Salamah concluded that this was no time for negotiation. The Muslims are irritated. But if the Prophet (pbuh) shaved his head they will follow him. Be a leader and show in your action and the rest will follow. So the Prophet (pbuh) took her advice and without saying anything, called the barber and shaved his hair. When the Companions say this, they rushed to copy him. Thus the wisdom of Umm Salamah solved a internal, potentially explosive, problem.
Died at old age
Umm Salamah lived a long life. She was one of the last of Prophet's wives to die. She died in 59 A.H., i.e. outliving her husband Muhammad (pbuh) by nearly five decades. She was in her late 80s by this time. Abu Huraira led her janaza (funeral prayer).
Seventh wife: Zaynab bint Jahsh Al Asadiyyah
Zaynab bint Jahsh Al Asadiyyah was the seventh wife of the Prophet but the fifth one that was alive. By now Khadijah and Zaynab bint Khuzayma were dead.
Zaynab (also spelt Zainab) - her real name was Barra at birth - was the daughter of Jahsh ibn Ri'ab ibn Ya'mur al-Asadiyyah and Umaimah bint Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim. Umaimah was a sister of Prophet Muhammad's father Abdullah, hence Zaynab and her siblings were the first cousin of the Prophet. Zaynab was over a decade, possibly 20 years, younger than the Prophet (pbuh) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio. She was from the highest branch of the clan of Banu al-Asad. She was known for her generosity and sympathy for the needy, abstinence and devotion in prayer. Zaynab was beautiful, intelligent, wise and of noble birth - which made her highly sought after.
Unhappy marriage to Zayd bin Harith (ra), following the Prophet's persuasion
Zaynab was previously married in Makkah and got divorced https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio. She migrated with her brother to Madinah where Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent her a marriage proposal on behalf of Zayd bin Harith (ra), a former slave of Khadijah whom he had freed. Zayd (also spelt Zaid) was adopted as son by the Prophet (pbuh) when he was 8 years old hence he was also known as Zayd ibn Muhammad (Zayd son of Muhammad).
Zaynab and her brother had reservation and felt Zayd was not her calibre, especially since she was from a high lineage. She was neither keen nor willing to marry a freed slave. Nevertheless the Prophet persisted and convinced Zaynab to marry Zaid. One of his possible reason was perhaps to destroy racial discrimination and racial segregation which was fully ingrained within the Arab culture at the time.
Zaynab had her doubt but still married Zayd. She realised that there was no difference between what the Prophet wanted and what Allah wanted. Muhammad (pbuh) provided the dowry on Zayd's dowry. Ultimately, Zaynab and Zaid's differences proved too big and it was a strainful relationship.
Muhammad's alleged encounter with Zaynab
According to a debatable hadith in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, when the Prophet once went to visit Zayd's house and he saw Zaynab, 'something came to his heart'.
It is narrated that Muhammad (pbuh) went to Zayd's house but did not find him. Zaynab meet him, but since she was dressed only in a shift, the Messenger turned away from her. Zaynab told him Zayd wasn't in and invited him to come in the house. But Muhammad (pbuh) refused, and took his leave. While doing this, he murmured to himself "Glory be to Allah the Almighty! Glory be to Allah, who causes the hearts to turn!".
When Zayd came home, Zaynab told him what happened and what the Prophet (pbuh) murmured. Apparently, Zayd interpreted this as the Prophet developing feelings of admiration for Zaynab.
Zayd divorces Zaynab, even though Muhammad (pbuh) told him not to
Zayd's relationship with Zaynab deteriorated even further and became unbearable. As a former slave he was held in low esteem in the eyes of Zaynab. They proved to be incompatible for each other. He decided to divorce her.
It's mentioned in Sahih Bukhari and Sunan at-Trimidhi, that Zayd came to the Prophet complaining about Zaynab. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told Zayd to keep his wife and not divorce her. Apparently this occured on more than one occasion. And each time the Prophet (pbuh) repeatedly advised him to keep his wife. But eventually Zayd could not maintain his marriage any longer. He went through with the divorce through his own choice. Their marriage lasted for at least 3 years https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio.
Muhammad (pbuh) 'conceals something' in his heart which Allah will 'disclose'
Once, when the Prophet (pbuh) was with Aishah, a fainting overcame him and Surah 33 Al-Ahzab (The Combined Forces) verse 37 was revealed. Here Allah tells Muhammad (pbuh) not to be be scared of people but Allah alone and that which he has 'concealed within yourself' Allah will 'disclose':
Surah 33 Al-Ahzab (The Combined Forces), ayat 37
And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, "Keep your wife and fear Allah," while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished
Zayd became the only sahabi to be ever mentioned by name in the Qur'an. No other sahabi has that honour. It was his biggest compliment.
The next page and a half of Surah Al-Ahzab is dedicated to praising Muhammad (pbuh), even mentioning his name. It was only one of the four times his name Muhammad was mentioned in the Qur'an.
Prophet sends Zayd with his own marriage proposal to Zaynab
During those days it was Arab custom to give the same status to adopted children as to their own flesh and blood. Adopted sons were treated as real sons, with all rights of inheritance etc. However, after her divorce to Zayd, the Prophet was commanded by Allah to marry Zaynab in order to destroy this custom and remove the taboo of adopted son.
Once the period of waiting was over, Muhammad (pbuh) sent Zayd to go to Zaynab and mention his name and see if she's interested in marrying him. Biographer Ibn Sa'd narrates that the Prophet told Zayd he didn't trust anyone more than him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio.
Since the Prophet had mentioned Zaynab's name, Zayd felt embarrassed to look at her so out of humility he turned his back and gave the Prophet's proposal. Zaynab responded by saying she won't response until she sought Allah's assistance first. So Zaynab prayed istikarah (voluntary prayer when seeking help).
Muhammad (pbuh) marries Zaynab (pbuh), much to Aisha's envy
Most Islamic history books say she was around 35 years old when she married the Prophet. Many report suggest that they married in Dhu al Qa'dah 5 A.H. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio
The verses of Hijab were revealed on the night of the Prophet and Zaynab's marriage. Before their marriage, there were no verses relating to hijab so women didn't wear any. Zaynab's walima was the most luxurious walima out of all the wives of the Prophet. Prophet provided meat and bread until the guests could eat no more (rice only became a stable diet later when the Muslims conquered Persian and Roman lands). He invited everyone to the ceremony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio.
Surah Al-Ahzab, ayat 33
And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification
Zaynab would boast to Prophet's other wives that she was the only one Allah had married off while they themselves were married by their wali (guardian). Zaynab was known for her beauty and piety. She was viewed as the only competition to Aisha in terms of the love that the Prophet had. The wives of the Prophet were divided into these two camps.
Despite the jealousy Aisha and Zaynab both had mutual respect for each other and got on very well.
Controversy of the Qur'anic verse, which Muhammad (pbuh) would hid if he was given a choice
According to the books of hadith, if Prophet Muhammad had to hide one ayat (verse) of the Noble Qur'an it would've been the Surah Al-Ahzab verse 37 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio. That's because it's painful and caused him a lot of distress. But since he's honest and noble, he revealed the verse.
Some scholars have interpretated the verse as indicating that the Prophet (pbuh) was in love with Zaynab, or that he wished Zayd would divorce her, or that he intended to marry Zaynab if Zayd divorced her.
Others have interpretated it as a promise from Allah Almighty that Muhammad (pbuh) will eventually marry Zaynab.
For the first 3 - 4 centuries of Islam, only the first version was the predominant view though the second version was still found. In 4th - 5th centuries both versions are mentioned, with some suggesting the second version was more appropriate. In 6th - 8th centuries the first version (i.e. that of inclination/love) is not mentioned at all as they argued that the second version (i.e. Allah's promise) is better interpretation of the verse and it was this version that the critical researchers approved https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio. They didn't even consider the first version even worthy of a mention as it wasn't authentic.
Later, some modern day scholars claimed the whole story of the first version is a fabrication by Orientalists. But the sheer quantity of early historian narrating the story suggest the first version is authentic. The fabrication theory has been dismissed by reputable scholars as a conspiracy and without merit. After all, those crying fabrication cannot just choose to remove this story and would have to abandon most of the narration of early historians.
Love interpreted as lust by critics
The predominant opinion among early historians was that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was inclined to Zaynab. It is not unnatural for a man to fall in love. The fact that he is a prophet does not rob him of his natural human emotions. In fact it is true that he loved his wives. They argued that the second interpretation (i.e. Allah's promise) suggests that Muhammad (pbuh) was delaying and fighting what Allah has decreed for him. So they preferred the first interpretation.
However, in this version the problem area is the stigma of the Prophet and his inclination.
Many non-Muslims critics of Islam have used this interpretation to question moral integrity of Muhammad (pbuh). They accuse him of being a lustful man who wanted to marry his own daughter-in-law. He was struck by her beauty and waited for Zayd to divorce her so he could marry her. And by overturning the traditional Arab custom of treating adopted sons as real sons, Muhammad (pbuh), they argue, protected himself from any Muslim criticism. The critics gleefully reproduce this story and pass it on as fact, failing to mention the other interpretation of the verse, the social context, the weak (or non-existent) chain of narration, and the positive impact of the Prophet's action.
Embarrassment, rather than sin
For this reason, some Muslim scholars have said this interpretation was not befitting of a prophet and found these stories to be problematic. They argue, the Prophet (pbuh) was criticised for concealing the fact that eventually that Zaynab would become his wife. That what he actually felt was concern for her well being, and that if Zayd did divorce her he'd marry her to fulfil the ties of kinship since she was his cousin.
They remove the love factor completely and suggest he wanted to marry her because he wanted to take care of his cousin.
So in terms of Qur'anic text, what the Prophet was concealing was not a sin but something embarrassing (i.e. a natural human emotion). The context of the verse also suggest this. Allah did not tell him to seek refuge, nor did He rebuke him. Even if the love version is correct, it doesn't mean any sin was committed. A man is not accountable of his emotion as long as he doesn't act upon them. There's no sin in it at all. Allah does not ask him to repent nor say that he was done a mistake.
Prophet is still a normal man with normal male inclination. But he could control them. That's part of his perfection. It's problematic to turn him into a semi-mystical, divine figure with superhuman powers which people could not connect to.
For Zayd it was perfect opportunity to leave an unhappy marriage. Zaynab had a sharp tongue, she was harsh to him and looked down upon him. There was no love in that marriage from day one. So for Zayd it was a burden off his shoulder. Without Prophet's consent he divorced her.
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi
These scholars point out it's not like Muhammad (pbuh) hasn't seen Zaynab before. She's his cousin. He had known her since childhood. He seen her before and knows what she looks like so the question of 'instant' love or being suddenly struck by her beauty - and that too after she was already married to his beloved adopted son - is not plausible. His instant proposal to wife Juwayriya is a better example of him acting immediately when required.
It was Muhammad (pbuh) himself who arranged Zaynab to marry Zaid and gave the proposal originally on Zayd's behalf. If he was interested or lustful he would've encouraged her to marry none but him and proposed for himself from day one. This would've made everyone's life easier as he was more noble than her so they would've avoided all the drama and heartache of Zaynab marrying a freed slave. If he had ulterior motives, he could have gone about the matter in a much more subtle way and gotten what he wanted. But Muhammad (pbuh) instigated the talks and persuaded Zaynab to marry Zayd. Why would he do that if he was 'in love' with her?
Zayd and Zaynab's marriage proved to be an unhappy one. Muhammad (pbuh) only considered marrying her after Allah had revealed He intended to marry her to the Prophet. Zayd also went to his ex-wife Zaynab with Muhammad's marriage proposal later on. So the adopted son and/or ex-daughter-in-law issue is not a problem. And since the Prophet (pbuh) eventually married Zaynab, it was the marriage that Allah 'disclosed' (which the Qur'an refers to) not his inclination. So this version has more weight, though Allah knows best which version is correct.
Intended to raise status of freed slave and remove taboo of adopted children
Coming from one of the noblest families of Quraysh, Zaynab was expected to marry a man with the same high social status. But the Prophet (pbuh) knew that piety and not social status was the primary consideration in marriage. He had watched both Zayd and Zaynab grow up, and thought they would make a good couple and that their marriage would demonstrate that it was not who their ancestors were, but rather their religiousness that mattered. So the primary motive was to raise the status of slaves in Arabian society where slavery was rampant. One of the measures to remove this was to marry a slave to a noble family. And this change had to begin at his own home.
The custom among the pagan Arabs was that an adopted son was like a person's biological son. He carried his adopted father's name and inherited from him. Islam overturned that custom as a way of safeguarding lineage. A man may adopt a child and take care of him, but that child cannot assume the lineage of his adopted father. He must retain his own family name.
Surah 33 Al-Ahzab (The Combined Forces), ayats 4 - 5
Allah has not made for a man two hearts in his interior. And He has not made your wives whom you declare unlawful your mothers. And he has not made your adopted sons your [true] sons. That is [merely] your saying by your mouths, but Allah says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way.
Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah . But if you do not know their fathers - then they are [still] your brothers in religion and those entrusted to you. And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
By marrying Zaynab, Muhammad (pbuh) became the first man to express the disapproval in a practical way. The Prophet (pbuh) demonstrated in the clearest possible way that in Islam an adopted son is not the same as a natural son and that the guardian of an adopted son is permitted to marry a woman who was once married to that adopted son. Since it was he himself who encouraged Zaynab to participate in this, the only way to rectify this situation and console her would be for him to marry her.
Had the Prophet (pbuh) only verbally told the Muslims to do something, it may not have had the same effect (as the shaving of hair for umrah and hajj episode proved). Sometime cultural practices and taboos are very strong. For example, even today it's difficult for many Muslims to marry each other from different ethnic background. Therefor, by acting on the the command, he was solidifying it.
Muhammad's marriage to Zaynab served two legislative purposes: the lawful marriage of divorcees and the real status of adopted children.
This marriage [of Prophet Muhammad to Zaynab] served more than one purpose. First, the prophet was responsible for arranging Zainab's marriage to Zaid. In a sense, then, he was also indirectly responsible for the unhappiness she felt in her marriage. Her marriage to the prophet now provided her the honour she felt she deserved, and exonerated the prophet.
Second, Zaid had been adopted as the prophet's son. Eventually, however, the Qur'an prohibited the practice of changing the parental identity of adopted persons. Zaid, then, was to no longer be called "son of Muhammad" but rather "a close friend." The prophet's marriage to the divorced wife of Zaid was a practical demonstration that the adopted relationship was not equal to a real blood-relationship. A man cannot marry the divorced wife of his real son but he can marry the divorced wife of his adopted son.
The abolishment of the age-old practice was a positive improvement for the adopted persons. People outside of Islam still continue this practice for their own benefit. They adopt children and rob them of their real identify, making them believe they are real children of the household in which they grow up. When such children realize the truth they suffer much disappointment and grief. The adoptive process continues for the selfish gain of the adoptive parents.
But is it not true that children sometimes need adoptive parents? Yes. But they also need to preserve their real identify. This is what Islam ensures. It is the responsibility of the entire community to help children in need. They should be taken in and nurtured but not confused with one's own children.
The prophet's marriage to Zainab was a bold measure to forever engrave in the minds of his followers that as much as people would resist change, some changes are worth the effort. Adoptive children should no longer be robbed of their real identities.
Sheikh Shabir Ally
Mother of the poor and needy
Zaynab continued to live a life of piety and taqwa (God fearing). She continued to look after orphans.
[1.08 giving money to poor],
Zaynab passed away in 20 A.H. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio, ten years after the Prophet (pbuh). Umar ibn al-Khattab performed the janaza (funeral prayer) and all the major shahabas participated in it.
Zayd died 12 years earlier in 8 A.H. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaorsGGFio
When Zaynab completed her period of waiting, the Prophet (pbuh) sent her a proposal through Zaid. Zaynab did not make a decision. Instead she began praying for Allah's guidance. Eventually the Prophet (pbuh) received a Revelation which allowed him to marry her.
No other companion of the Prophet (pbuh) is mentioned by his name in the Qu'ran - in spite of many rules being revealed due to them - except Zayd alone. Prophet Muhammad's marriage to Zaynab would act as a perfect example of destroying the pagan superstition and taboo about adopted sons as Allah willed. Thus Zaynab became the only one of Prophet's wives whose wali (guardian) was Allah (Subhanawatallah).
Zaynab was an innately good woman who used to devote a great deal of her time to prayer and fasting. She even made a little mosque in a corner of her house and used to spend a lot of time there in prayer and meditation.
Eighth wife: Juwayriya bint al-Harith bin Abi Zarar
Nineth wife: Ramlah Ume-Habibah bint Abi Sufyan
Tenth wife: Safiyah bint Huyayy bin Akhtab
Safiyah bint Huyayy (rah) was a Jew prior to their marriage to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He invited her to Islam and took her as wife after she embraced Islam and became Muslim.
Eleventh wife: Maymuna bint al-Harith Ameria Hilalia
Two Surriyyahs of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had two Surriyyahs - a favoured female slave taken mainly for copulation (and she may or may not be emancipated). They were Maria al-Qibtiyya and Rayhanah bint Amr. Maria, a Christian, was sent as a gift from Al-Muqawqis, the ruler of Alexandria and Egypt. Rayhanah on the other hand was chosen by the Prophet himself from Banu Quraidah. Narrators differ in saying that whether he married her or he emancipated her and she returned back to her people.
Sons & daughters
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had 7 children: 3 sons and 4 daughters. With the exception of son Ibrahim, Khadijah (RAH) bore him all his children. He had no children with any of his other wives.
Prophet Muhammad's children with first wife Khadijah (RAH)
- Abdullah (also, possibly, nicknamed as At-Tahir and At-Taiyyib)
His first child is Al-Qasim, who was born at the age of jahiliya prior to his prophethood. It was said that Al-Qasim reached the age where he could at least ride the camel and then he passed away. So he was possibly 6 - 8 years old. That's all we know of him. No story has been preserved about him.
Afterward, Prophet had 4 daughters: Zainab, Ruqaiyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah. Then he had another son, and final child, with Khadijah: Abdullah. He was born after the prophethood. Some people say he also had At-Tahir and At-Taiyyib, so they add two more to make it 8 children. However, the strongest position is that Abdullah had two nicknames 'At-Tahir' and 'At-Taiyyib', both of which mean 'the pure one'. So it is likely that Prophet only had 6 children with Khadijah.
Son named Ibrahim bin Muhammad with his maidservant Maria al-Qibtiyya
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had son named Ibrahim with his maidservant Maria al-Qibtiyya. Muhammad (pbuh) had Ibrahim when he was around 59 - 60 years old. Ibrahim only lived a year-and-a-half or 18 months. Allah knew that the Prophet (pbuh) would not live long so he took Ibrahim's life also. The Prophet was greatly saddened by this and crying.
Had Ibrahim lived he would have been a prophet. But there is going to be no prophet after me. So Allah had to seal the prophecy.
Muhammad on his son Ibrahim's passing
It's not possible for the son of Muhammad (pbuh) not to be a prophet. Hence the reason why only the daughters survived. But the Muslim community elevated the daughter's children to such levels and formed multiple groups - the Shia branch is the perfect example of this. If such communal division were created so quickly due to the female lineage of the Prophet (pbuh), just imagine what would've happened if Muhammad (pbuh) left behind a male progeny. So Muslims view the death of Muhammad's sons as, to some extent, a mercy of Allah on the ummah (community).
All children, except Fatimah, die during his lifetime
Abdullah died in infancy as a Muslim. When he passed away, Abu Jahl - Prophet's worst enemy - ran through Makkah with excitement and joy that the Prophet's progeny or lineage has been cut-off. For the Arabs of that time, it was all about male children. They didn't care about daughters. So Allah revealed Surah Al-Kawthar (The Abundance) to provide Muhammad (pbuh) with support and assurance during this sad phase:
Surah 108 Al-Kawthar (The Abundance)
Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al-Kawthar.
So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].
Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.
All the four daughters grew to be adults, witnessed Islam, embraced it, and emigrated to Madinah. But sadly the three eldest (i.e. Zainab, Ruqaiyah, and Umm Kulthum) died during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). So the Prophet (pbuh) had the heartbreaking task of burying his own daughters in addition to his sons. Fatimah too died few months after the Prophet passed away.
But, even though Allah tested him, He didn't test Muhammad (pbuh) beyond his capacity. Allah blessed him with both sons and daughters and gave him taste of fatherhood and silenced those who mocked him. If he didn't have any children, his hater's could've invented a lot of nasty lies about him.
The Prophet (pbuh), as if he's facing the most traumatic problems after problems. Because the most traumatic thing to happen to a child is to lose a parent. And the most traumatic thing to happen to a parent is to lose a child. There is no musiba [affliction] on earth that is more painful than these two.
...Our Prophet (pbuh) is multiple time orphaned: father, mother, grandad, uncle. One after the other. And he's multiple time losing his children.
...It is as if Allah is giving him the most difficult tragedies imaginable. And in this there's great wisdom. It is as if Allah is telling him that your purpose in life is to be afflicted, that this life is nothing but suffering. That even the greatest human being is not going to live a comfortable life in this world. In fact, because he is the greatest, he'll suffer like no one else is suffering because it is through these trials so many things happen. First and foremost, one's relationship with Allah is established.
Also, living through these trials true servitude is reached. That you understand who you are and who is Allah. Living through these trials and afflictions you'll need patience. So he is inflicted with greatest calamities to bring about this patience. By these hardship your own heart becomes soft.
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) - a feminist
Muhammad did his own household chores and helped with housework, such as preparing food, sewing clothes and repairing shoes. He is also said to have had accustomed his wives to dialogue; he listened to their advice, and the wives debated and even argued with him.
Of all the women in all the worlds, these are enough for you (meaning that they were the best of women): Maryam, the daughter of Imran, (and the mother of Jesus, peace be upon them); and Khadijah, the daughter of Khuwaylid (the first wife of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them); Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad (and of Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with them); and Asiyya, the wife of Pharaoh (who rescued Moses from the river Nile when he was a baby and brought him up as her son, peace be on them).