CHILDLESSNESS AMONG THE MOTHERS OF BELIEVERS

When the pshycological trauma of delay or outright inability to give birth to a child burdens one of the most soothing succours is to recall the lives of Prophet Muhammad and his wives. The wives of Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) are the models for Muslim women with regards to piety, steadfastness, honesty and obedience. Incidentally, many of them also bore the pains of childlessness with stoicness.

Among these women are Sawdah, Umm Habibah and Umm Salamah (RA) all of who had children before they married the Rasul (salaIIahu alayhi wa sallam). The Other wives except Khadijah of course bore no children at all. And they had no option of remarrying even after the prophet's death.

Aishah

She was married to  Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in the same year as Sawdah, although her marriage was not consummated until after the migration to Madinah. She was the youngest wife and the only virgin. She bore no children in her marriage.

Hafsah

She was married to Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) after becoming a widow at the time of the Battle of Badr. She was said to have been around the age of nineteen at the time. She had no children in her first marriage to Khumays ibn Hudhayfah and she bore no children in her marriage to Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam).

Zaynab bint Jahsh

She was a cousin of Prophet  Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and previously married to his adopted son Zayd bin Thabit (RA). After Zayd had divorced her in 5AH, she was married to Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) by the decree of Allaah. She bore no children in either marriage.

Juwayriyyah

She was married to Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) after the battle of the ditch in 5AH. She was captured a slave and then freed by the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in which she converted to Islam and married him. She was previously married to Musafi ibn Safwan before being a Muslimah. She bore no children in either marriage.

Maymoonah

She married Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi Wa sallam) in 7AH but she was previously married to Mas'ud ibn Amr ath-Thaqaafii and Abu Ruhm ibn Abdul Uzza. She bore no children in any marriage.

Saffiyyah

She was from the Bani Israa'eel and captured during the attack on Khaybar in 7AH. She was freed, converted to Islam, then married the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). She was married twice before her conversion. She bore no children in any marriage.

Was the Noble Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) the cause of their childlessness? Of course, not! He had children with his first wife Khadijah (RA), four girls and two boys. Also, he had one child, Ibrahim, with Mariya the Coptic slave who was given to him as a right hand possession, after 7AH. One learning point of the lives of these exemplary women is that a woman should not allow herself to be consumed by grief over her inability to procreate. Another point is that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) did not measure their worth by their inability to bear children for him. He did not divorce them, nor did he demean them for their childlessness. We do not even have any record of this being an issue between him and them. May Allaah grant us our hearts desires.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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