Juwayriyya bint al-Harith

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Juwayriyya bint al-Harith (Arabic: جويرية بنت الحارثjuwayriyya bint al-ḥārith, born c. 608) was a wife of Muhammad, and a Mother of the Believers.

She married Muhammad, the Islamic prophet when he was 58 years old and she was 20, thus placing the marriage in 628.

Family background[edit]

She was the daughter of al-Hārith ibn Abi Dirar, the chief of Banu Mustaliq, who was defeated with his tribe in a battle.

Fight between Muslims and Banu Mustaliq[edit]

Her tribe Banu Mustaliq was preparing to go launch an attack on Madinah, but the Muslims caught wind of their plan and quickly raised a defense force of 700 men who marched forward to the strategic point of Al-Marisa'. The Muslim army then sent a message to Banu Mustaliq to accept Islam, and in doing so abandon their hostilities and continue to live in peace and security in their own land. Instead of accepting this offer Banu Mustalaq declared war and shot one of the Muslim soldiers with an arrow, at which point wild fighting broke out.

Juwayriya captured as slave, freed & married[edit]

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.[1]

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."[2]

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 that she was very pious and spent most of her time engrossed in prayer.

Death & burial[edit]

She died at the age of sixty-five in the 50th year after migration and was buried with the other wives of the Prophet in Jannatul Baqi'.[3]

Her qualities[edit]

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.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • When Muhammad's wife 'Aisha first saw her it is said she exclaimed that Juwayriyah was "as beautiful as a fairy".[6]

Legacy[edit]

Juwayriyah bint Al-Harith reported, the Mother of the Believers: 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 مَدَادَ 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, p. 490-493.
  2. ^ Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar, Great Woman of Islam, p.108-109.
  3. ^ Ghadanfar, p.110
  4. ^ Ghadanfar, p. 107.
  5. ^ Ghadanfar, p.108.
  6. ^ Ghadanfar, p. 109.