Zainab bint Muhammad

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Zainab bint Muhammad (Arabic: زينب بنت محمد‎) was the eldest daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his first wife Khadijah. Zainab died in 8 A.H.[1]

After Al-Hijra[edit]

When Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina, his daughter Zaynab could not bear to leave her non-Muslim husband Abu al-Aas ibn al-Rabee, and was not required to do so; Muhammad did not divorce them.[2]

One source states:

At one time there were three girls living in the household of Khadija. Their names were Zainab, Ruqayya and Umm Kulthoom. Zainab, the eldest of the three, was married to one Abu-Al'As ibn er-Rabi' of Makkah. This man fought against the Prophet in the battle of Badr, and was captured by the Muslims. To ransom his freedom, his wife sent to the Prophet, a necklace which at one time had belonged to Khadija, and she had given it to her as a present on her marriage. Abul-'As was set free; he returned to Makkah, and sent Zainab to Medina as he had promised to do. Zainab, however, died soon after her arrival in Medina. Later, Abul-'As also went to Medina, accepted Islam, and lived with the Muslims.[3]

Daughters of Muhammad and Khadijah[edit]

The daughters attributed to Muhammad are:

  1. Zainab bint Muhammad married to her maternal cousin Abu al-Aas ibn al-Rabee (before al-Hijra)
  2. Ruqayyah bint Muhammad was first married to Utbah ibn Abu Lahab and then to Uthman ibn Affan
  3. Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad was first married to Utaybah bin Abu Lahab and then to Uthman ibn Affan after the death of her sister Ruqayyah
  4. Fatimah bint Muhammad was married to Ali ibn Abi Talib

According to some Shia Muslim sources, she only had one daughter, Fatimah. The others either belonged to her sister[4] or were orphaned girls raised by her.[5]

The famous Sunni scholar Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr says: "His children born of Khadīja are four daughters; there is no difference of opinion about that".[6]

Marriage rules

Based on certain narrations, also found in Sunnī sources,[7] Muhammad said that daughters of his household could only marry those who were from Banū Hāshim.[7]

But, if it is assumed that Zainab, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were daughters of Muhammed and Khadijah, this argument does not seem to be correct since:

  • Zainab was married to Abu al-Aas ibn al-Rabee, who belonged to Banu Abd-Shams, a clan of the Quraish tribe.
  • Ruqayyah and after her death Umm Kulthum were married to Uthman ibn Affan, who belonged to the Banu Umayya clan of the Quraish tribe.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ibn Kathir. Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya. Garner Publishing Limited. p. 438 Vol. 4. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Marriage to a 'past': Parents should not reject a proporal without a good reasons - and being a revert with a past is not an acceptable one
  3. ^ Restatement of History of Islam (Restatement of History of Islam, by Sayed Ali Asgher Razwy, CE 570 to 661 : Uthman, the Third Khalifa of the Muslims: Uthman's Marriages)
  4. ^ Again, it is also not agreed that these two were the real daughters of Muhammad, because there is one group which denies them to be his real daughters, and regards them as being the daughters of Khadijah's sister Halah, or the daughters of her own previous husband. Thus, Abu'l-Qasim al-Kufi writes: "When the Messenger of Allah married Khadijah, then some time thereafter Halah died leaving two daughters, one named Zaynab and the other named Ruqayyah and both of them were brought up by the Prophet and Khadijah and they maintained them, and it was the custom before Islam that a child was assigned to whoever brought him up." (al-lstighathah, p. 69) Ibn Hisham has written about the issues of Hadrat Khadijah as follows: "Before marriage with Muhammad she was married to Abi Halah ibn Malik. She delivered for him Hind ibn Abi Halah and Zaynab bint Abi Halah. Before marriage with Abi Halah she was married to `Utayyiq ibn `Abid ibn `Abdillah ibn `Amr ibn Makhzum and she delivered for him `Abdullah and a daughter." (as-Sirah an-nabawiyyah, vol. 4, p. 293) This shows that of Hadrat Khadijah had two daughters before being married to Muhammad and according to all appearance they would be called his daughters and those to whom they were married would be called his sons-in-law, but the position of this relationship would be the same as if those girls were his daughters. (Commentary to Nahj al-Balagah [1])
  5. ^ Al-Tijani in his The Shi'ah are (the real) Ahl al-Sunnah on note 274
  6. ^ al-Istī`āb fī Ma`rifat al-Aşĥāb (Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr, The Comprehensive Compilation of the Names of the Prophet's Companions) vol.1 pp.50
  7. ^ a b * al-Haythami, Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ibn Hajar (1965). al-Sawa`iq al-muhriqah. Maktabat al-Qahirah. p. 160. 
    * Ibn Qutayba, Abd Allah ibn Muslim (1960). Kitab al-Ma'arif. s.n. p. 70. 
  8. ^ Al-Mubarakphuri, Safi-ur-Rahman. Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar). Riyadh: Dar-us-Salam Publications, 1996

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