Juwayriyya bint al-Harith
|Wives of Muhammad|
She was the daughter of al-Hārith ibn Abi Dirar, the chief of Banu Mustaliq, who was defeated with his tribe in a battle.
Conflict between Muslims and Banu Mustaliq
Two months after Muḥammad returned from the Expedition of Dhū Qarad, he began to hear rumours that the Banū al-Muṣṭaliq were preparing to attack him, so he sent a spy, Buraydah ibn Al-Ḥasīb Al-Aslamī, to confirm this. The Banū al-Muṣṭaliq also believed that Muḥammad was preparing to attack them. So they in turn sent a spy reconnoiter to explore the positions of the Muslims, but he was captured and killed by them.
The two armies were stationed at a well called Al-Muraysī', near the sea, a short distance from Mecca. They fought with bows and arrows for an hour, and then the Muslims advanced rapidly, they surrounded the al-Muṣṭaliq and took the entire tribe as prisoners, with their families, herds and flock. The battle ended in full victory for the Muslims. Two hundred families were taken as captives, two hundred camels, five thousand sheep, goats, as well as a huge quantity of household goods which were captured as booty. The household goods were sold in an auction to the highest bidder.
The Mustaliq lost a total of ten men. Only one Muslim was killed by mistake by a Helper. Juwayrīyah bint al-Ḥārith, daughter of the Banū al-Muṣṭaliq chief was one of the captives.
Juwayriya captured as slave, freed & married
After minimal casualties, the Muslim forces were victorious. Among the many captives was Juwayriya, whose husband, Mustafa bin Safwan, had been killed in the battle. She initially fell among Muhammad's companion Thabit b. Qays b. Al-Shammas. Troubled by this, Juwayriya sought a deed of redemption from Muhammad. Muhammad proposed to marry her and, as a result, freed her from the bondage of Thabit b. Qais and consequently ameliorated the condition of her captured tribe.
From Muhammad 'Ali Qutb's book, Women Around the Messenger: "The mother of the faithful 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) speaks about that day: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took the women of Banu al-Mustaliq as captives. He took out the one fifth of them and divided the remaining ones among his Companions giving the cavalry soldier two shares and the infantry soldier a share. Juwayriyah (may Allah be pleased with her) fell into the share of Thabit ibn Qays al-Ansari. She was formerly married to a cousin of hers known as Mani' ibn Safwan ibn Malik ibn Judhaymah, who is also known as Dhu ash- Shafrah. She was bereaved of him. She then agreed with Thabit ibn Qays to buy her freedom with nine Ooqiyah."
'A'ishah describes her as saying, "She was a pleasant woman. No one saw her except he became captivated by her. While the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was when suddenly Juwayriyah (RA) entered asking him concerning her ransom agreement (with Thabit). By Allah, as soon as I saw her, I disliked her entering the place of Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) for I knew that he would see what I saw in her.
She then started addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him), ' O ' Messenger of Allah! I am Juwayriyah bint al-Harith the leader o f his people. You are not oblivious of what had happened to me. So I fell in the share of Thabit ibn Qays and I agreed with him to ransom myself with nine Ooqiyah. So help me to free myself.' The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, 'Do you want what is better than that?' She said, 'What is it?' The Prophet said, 'I will pay on your behalf and then marry you.' She said, 'Yes, O ' Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, 'I have done that.",
She came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) seeking for what was good but she got what was better and greater. There is no doubt that this action of the Prophet ( peace be upon him ) had left its impacts and far-reaching effects on her heart and in the hearts of her family and, by extension, her tribe. ... 'A'ishah said: "Then the news of the marriage came to the people and started saying, 'Will the Prophet's in-laws be held as captives?!!' Then the people freed all the captives that were with them of the tribe of Banu al-Mustaliq, and the number of those freed reached one hundred households because of the Prophet's marriage to Juwayriyah."
'A'ishah added, "I knew of no other woman who brought greater blessing to her people than Juwayriyah. And that was when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was returning from the Battle of Muraysee'." Juwayriyah was, at the beginning of her Islam, the source of good and blessing. And this was her first credit.""
This incident was described in more detail:
"At the first opportunity [after her capture] she went to the Prophet, and pleaded her case with him. She told him that she was the daughter of a chieftain and used to command and because of her unfortunate circumstance she found herself in this helpless position. From a throne made of gold she had fallen into dust. ...How could she possibly live the life as a slave? She pleaded with the Prophet, to take notice of the pitiful and desperate condition in which she found herself.
The Prophet, was moved by her sorrowful plea and asked her if she would like to live as a free woman and be part of his household if he paid her ransom. She had never in her dreams expected this offer. Moved deeply by this unexpected elevation in her status, she exclaimed she would be more than happy to accept."
Some time later her father and all the men of her tribe who had been freed also accepted Islam as their religion.
Consequently she was married to Muhammad, the Islamic prophet when he was 58 years old and she was 20, thus placing the marriage in 628. After her marriage, it is mentioned[by whom?] that she was very pious and spent most of her time engrossed in prayer.
Death & burial
Juwayriya was described as being very beautiful and refined:
- She was brought up in the lap of luxury, and had all the refinements and graces of a princess. Intelligent and wise, she mastered language and literary style. This was an accomplishment much prized by contemporary Arabs.
- All who saw [Juwayriya] were stunned by her exceptional beauty. Brought up as she had been in one of the foremost families of the time, she was not only beautiful but graceful, elegant, and eloquent.
- When Muhammad's wife 'Aisha first saw her it is said she exclaimed that Juwayriyah was "as beautiful as a fairy".
Juwayriyah bint Al-Harith reported: The Prophet came out from my apartment in the morning as I was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. The Prophet said, "Are you still in the same position as I left you. I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet said,
"I recited four words three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since morning, these will be heavier. These are:
سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ عَدَدَ خَلقِهِ وَرِضَا نَفْسِهِ وَزِنَةَ عَرْشِهِ وَ مِدَادَ كَلِمَاتِهِ
Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, `adada khalqihi, wa rida nafsihi, wa zinatah `arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi
Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise, as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the weight of His Throne and equal to the ink that may be used in recording the words (for His Praise)." - Muslim[vague]
- Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, p. 490-493.
- Muhammad 'Ali Qutb, Women Around The Messenger, p. 137-141.
- Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar, Great Woman of Islam, p.108-109.
- Ghadanfar, p.110
- Ghadanfar, p. 107.
- Ghadanfar, p.108.
- Ghadanfar, p. 109.