Rayhana bint Zayd

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Rayhāna bint Zayd (Arabic: ريحانة بنت زيد‎) was a Jewish woman from the Banu Nadir tribe, who is revered by Muslims as one of the Ummahaatu'l-Mu'mineen, or Mothers of the Faithful - the Wives of Muhammad.

Rayhana was originally a member of the Banu Nadir tribe who married a man from the Banu Qurayza. After the Banu Qurayza were defeated by the armies of Muhammad in the Siege of the Banu Qurayza neighborhood, Rayhana was among those enslaved, while the men were executed.

According to Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad took her as a slave and proposed to her for marriage. She refused telling Muhammad to leave her in his power as it will be easier for both of them. Muhammad then left her and put her aside. She showed repugnance towards Islam and clung to Judaism. However, after some time she decided to convert to Islam. When Muhammad heard the voice of sandals of Tha'laba bin Sa'ya, he prophesied that Tha'laba was coming to inform him of Rayhana's conversion.[1]

Ibn Sa'd writes and quotes Waqidi that she was manumitted but later married by Muhammad.[2] According to Al-Halabi, Muhammad married and appointed dower for her. Ibn Hajar quotes a description of the house that Muhammad gave Rayhana after their marriage from Muhammad Ibn al-Hassam's History of Medina.[3]

In another version, Hafiz Ibn Minda writes that Muhammad set Rayhana free, and she went back to live with her own people. This version is also supported as the most likely by 19th-century Muslim scholar, Shibli Nomani.[4]

However, the most accepted position among the Muslims is that the Prophet manumitted her and married her.[5] She died young, 11 years after Muhammad's hajj and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi cemetery.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guillaume, Alfred. The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, p. 466. Oxford University Press, 1955. ISBN 0-19-636033-1
  2. ^ Ibn Sa'd. Tabaqat. vol VIII, pg. 92–3.
  3. ^ Ibn Hajar. Isabaha. Vol. IV, pg. 309.
  4. ^ Nomani, Shibli (1979). The Life of the Prophet. Vol. II, pg. 125–6
  5. ^ Mothers of the Faithful, by eShaykh
  6. ^ al-Halabi, Nur al-Din. Sirat-i-Halbiyyah. Uttar Pradesh: Idarah Qasmiyyah Deoband. vol 2, part 12, pg. 90. Translated by Muhammad Aslam Qasmi.