Genealogy of Khadijah's daughters

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Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the first wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, had six children. Some Shia dispute whether all of the children were born in her marriage to Muhammad, or if three of the four daughters were born to a previous marriage.


The dispute extends to Zainab, Umm Kulthum and Ruqayyah. Shias believe Fatima was the only daughter of Khadija whereas Zainab, Ruqayya and Umm Kulthum were the daughters of Khadija's sister, Hala, who had strained relations with her husband and the two girls were brought up by Khadija after the death of Hala. It is notable that before the revelation of the Quran, Muhammad also had an adopted son, Zayd ibn Harithah, and Zayd's name was changed back from Zayd bin Muhammad to Zayd bin Harithah after the prohibition of conferring the non-biological father's name to the adopted.

This debate becomes significant and contentious[citation needed] since two of the children, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were consecutively married to Uthman, one after the death of the other. Due to marrying two of the prophet's daughters, Uthman was called 'Dhul Nurayn' (Arabic: ذو النورين، He of the Two Lights).


The Quran refers to Muhammad's daughters as "banatika" ([Quran 33:59]), the plural[1] for "daughters".

There is another argument regarding the explanation of word "Banatika" that it does not refer to the immediate daughters but the daughters till the day of judgement. Means the Daughters of Daughter of Fatima.[citation needed]

This is the argument against the that the sisters of Fatimah were not the biological daughters of the prophet Muhammad as according to the universally accepted Islamic creed that the Qur'an will remain unaltered till it is lifted totally. Shia discard this logic based on a similar contradiction found in context of event of Mubahila for which Quranic verse 3:61 ([Quran 3:61]) was revealed, though the verse calls for (in 'Arabic) at least 3 "sons", at least 3 "women", and at 3 least "selves" from each side in the Mubahila, only Imam Hasan ibn 'Ali and Imam Husain ibn 'Ali represented the "sons" of the Prophet, only Fatima al-Zahra represented the "women", and only Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib represented as the "self" or "soul" of the Prophet.[2][3]

Sunni view[edit]

Sunnis outright reject any notion of them being born anywhere but in Muhammad's marriage. Sunni believe that Ruqayyah was born three years after the birth of Zainab, when Muhammad was 33.[4] Sunnis believe that the only reason Shia reject that Muhammad and Khadija had four daughters are due to the fact that two of their daughters married Uthman ibn Affan, whom the Shia dislike., a Shia website, agrees with the Sunni opinion that Khadijah did indeed have four daughters:

Shi'a view[edit]

All historian unanimously agree that prophet Muhammad married first time around age of 25 years with Khudija bint Khuwailad. Prophet Muhammad declared himself prophet by age 40. For the first 5 years after marriage they did not have any child.After declaring himself prophet by age of 40 he prohibited any one to marry non Muslim and he will never allow his own children to marry any non Muslim.Moreover,there is no evidence that Muhammad declaring himself prophet arranged marriage of his daughters with any non muslim. So if above is true it is not possible that between age 30 to 40 years (10 years) prophet Muhammad and Khudija bint Khuwalad has given births to 4 daughters(zainab Ruqayya Ummekalsoom and Fatima) and 2 sons(Qasim and Abdullah) and than these daughters grew older enough to marry first to non muslims and than two of them remarry to Usman bin affan. so this proves prophet Muhammad having 4 daughters is a fabricated story. Prophet Muhammad and Khudija bint Khuwailad had only one daughter(Fatima) and 2 sons(Qasim and Abdullah both died in infancy).Prophet Muhammad had one more son (Ibrahim-died in infancy) from another lady in Madina. Final conclusion prophet Muhammad had only one real daughter (Fatima) who survived to adult age to marry with Ali ibn abi Talib.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Arabic language has three persons - singular, dual, and plural, with the latter referring to more than two. For further explanation, refer to Arabic grammar.
  2. ^ [1] @ Al-Islam.ORG
  3. ^ Mubahala (Imprecation) @
  4. ^
  5. ^

Further reading[edit]

For Sunni view see:

For Shi'a sources that mention other daughters of Muhammad, see:

For views from Western scholarship see:

  • G. Levi Della Vida-[R.G. Khoury]. ʿUT̲H̲MĀN b.ʿAffān. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 3 April 2007
  • Veccia Vaglieri, L. Fāṭima. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 3 April 2007
  • Watt, W. Montgomery. K̲H̲adīd̲j̲a. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 3 April 2007