Talk:Sawda bint Zamʿa

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Which one is the correct spelling Sawada bint Zama or Swada bint Zama. Some one plz look into the matter. --Bhadani 15:43, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I think "Sawda". Pecher Talk 19:55, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


Sawada bint Zama

Sawda bint Zama was the wife of prophet Muhammad. According to some traditions, she was 50-year old widow living with her father when Muhammad married her. Earlier she had migrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) with her husband, who died there. After the death of Khadija (Muhammad's first wife), Khaulah bint Hakim suggested to him that he needed some affectionate companion who could also look after his children. She proposed Sawda, who was also in need of help.

Tabari reports that Muhammad married Sawda after the death of Khadija and before he married Aisha. When she became very old, she gave her turn (of a visit of the Prophet) to Aisha. Aisha reported that Sawda bint Zama gave up her turn to her, and so the Prophet used to give Aisha both her day and the day of Sawda. (Bukhari and Muslim). She died in the last year of 'Umar's caliphate.

Google cache: [1]

--Striver 19:56, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

title in the article's lead[edit]

the link is *not* in "the bold reiteration of the title in the article's lead" because you split the title in two, which WP:MOS doesn't allow either. Please split neither hairs nor titles. --tickle me 15:49, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Could you show me more exactly were that is stated? Its a lot of text, and most of it is not related to our issue. Thanks. --Striver 16:05, 13 July 2006 (UTC)


At some point, Sawda succeeded in persuading Muhammad not to divorce her. Muhammad favored young Aisha over old Sawda, but the latter stopped him in the street and implored him to take her back. (Puntori 10:57, 23 January 2007 (UTC))

I don't think this is a contradiction. Tabari indicates that Muhammad had given Sawda one talaq, which is effectively an intention to divorce. Sawda then stopped him in the street and implored him to "take her back" or "not to complete the divorce". He never gave Sawda any further talaqs so their marriage stood. (talk) 03:06, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Ill state of article[edit]

This article totally relies upon references from unreliable sources i.e. blogs & qa sites. Either the refrences should be fixed or the info they are refering to should be removed (that will mean that there is no content in the article). I'll be comparing the article history to see if there has been any major revamp. And there is lot of contradictions also one statement syas that she was older than Prophet sawa and another says she was 50 & Prophet sawa was 53 at the time of their marriage (actually that forced me to see for references for both statement and lo! what I found was blogs & qa links in the name of references). Its amees and has to be cleared asap.--Sayed Mohammad Faiz Haidertcs 11:22, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree. I don't have time to write a new article, but if anyone else would like to, here are a list of primary and early sources about Sawda's life.
Alfred Guillaume's reconstruction of Ibn Ishaq, pp. 214, 242, 459, 787.
Ibn Hisham note 918.
Tabari 9:128-129; 39:170-172.
Bukhari 26:740, 741; 47:766; 48:853.
Muslim 7:2958, 2959, 2960; 8:3451, 3452; 26:5395, 5396.
Abu Dawud 2:2130.
Ibn Saad, Tabaqat 8:52,
Qur’an 4:128Grace has Victory (talk) 03:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)


If in 620 she is 50 years old, at shes death in 674 she is 104 years old. Hummm, I don't think that this is correct. Enciclopaedya of Islam give the death date as 674, then she must be younger in 620, perhaps about 30.-- (talk) 12:03, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Sawda's age is not given in any primary source. I agree with you that if she had lived to be 104, this would have been so unusual that people would have commented, so she was almost certainly younger than Muhammad. We can only guess her age from indirect information. (1) Encyclopaedia of Islam is quoting Tabari, who definitely says she died in September/October 674, and adds that some alternative date of which he is aware is wrong. (2) The date when Muhammad began divorcing Sawda was "after he married Umm Salama" (April 626), suggesting it was before he married his next wife. This was Zaynab bint Jahsh, whom he married in March 627. It makes sense that Muhammad would have considered divorcing someone at that point, since Zaynab would be his fifth concurrent wife, and he had always said a Muslim should not have more than four wives. The reason given by Tabari and Abu Dawud, however, is that "Sawda grew old". In context, this probably means that she "reached menopause" - Arabic has two different words for a "woman of childbearing age" and a "post-menopausal woman", and the latter is often translated as "old woman", even though she might be only 45 years old. (3) If Muhammad considered Sawda "old", this presumably means she was significantly older than his next-oldest wife. This was Zaynab bint Jahsh, who was born around 589. All this information together suggests that Sawda was born around 580, but that we can't be dogmatic on this point.Grace has Victory (talk) 03:17, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Unsourced Cut-and-Paste Job[edit]

The article currently contains a great swathe of unsourced material. It seems to be a word-for-word cut-and-paste from Ibn Kathir's Wives of the Prophet.

  1. It should be sourced.
  2. While Ibn Kathir's material is out of copyright, the English translation may not be. Such word-for-word unacknowledged copying is probably illegal.
  3. Much of the material is not about Sawda, but contains descriptions of the Night Journey, the Hijra and other topics that already have their own articles.
  4. Note that Wives of the Prophet was not written as a serious history book. With its speculations about private feelings and motives and its omission of everything that detracts from its hagiographic purpose, it is more like a historical novel. It is fine for basic facts ("Z was the daughter of Y and X. She married W and their children were V and U. Then W died and Z married Muhammad") but it can hardly be described as "encyclopaedic" in tone.Petra MacDonald 08:16, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I have taken an executive decision and cut out several paragraphs about Quraysh persecution, the Night Journey, the Pledge of Aqaba and the Flight to Medina, none of which mentioned Sawda's name once. I have sourced the rest to Ibn Kathir and made some obviously typographical corrections.

However, I have made no attempt to neutralise the unencyclopaedic writing-style. This is because I am not certain that the information would stand up to the scrutiny of real historical sources (including Ibn Kathir's own serious works of history) as appropriate content. There is no point in making cosmetic changes to information that will probably have to be completely rewritten.Petra MacDonald 23:14, 8 March 2014 (UTC)