Zaynab bint Maz'un

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Zaynab bint Maz'un
زينب بنت مظعون
Diedbefore c. 641
Other namesbint Maz'un
Known for
ParentMaz'un (father)
RelativesUthman ibn Maz'un (brother)

Zaynab bint Maẓʿūn (Arabic: زينب بنت مظعون) was the first wife of Umar.


She was the daughter of Maz'un ibn Habib of the Jumah clan of the Quraysh in Mecca;[1]: 204  hence she was a sister of Uthman ibn Maz'un.[1]: 307 

She was dark-skinned, a trait that she passed on to her son Abd Allah.[1]: 252 

She married Umar before 605[2]: 56  and bore him three children: Hafsa, Abd Allah and Abd al-Rahman. Later Umar added two more wives to his household: Umm Kulthum bint Jarwal, who bore him two sons,[1]: 203–204  and Qurayba bint Abi Umayya, a cousin from the powerful Makhzum clan, who was childless.[3]: 510  Umar said that Quraysh men at that time "had the upper hand over their wives," and "did not pay attention to women".[4]

Zaynab's attitude to Islam is unknown and the date of her eventual conversion is not recorded. Her brother Uthman was one of the earliest converts;[1]: 308 [3]: 116  and two other brothers, Abd Allah and Qudamah, were also converted "before Allah's Messenger entered the house of al-Arqam."[1]: 313  Meanwhile, her husband Umar was hostile to Islam and he actively persecuted Muslim slaves.[3]: 144, 154–155  Umar became a Muslim in 616,[1]: 205–207 [3]: 155–159  but Umm Kulthum and Qurayba remained polytheists.[3]: 510 

Umar emigrated to Medina in 622. The list of family members who accompanied him does not include any women.[3]: 218  One tradition asserts that Zaynab had died by then; however, her son Abd Allah said that he had emigrated to Medina with both his parents.[5]

Zaynab's daughter Hafsa married Muhammad in 625.[2]: 58 

Umar noted that the women of Medina "had the upper hand over their men," and that the women of Mecca who emigrated to Medina started imitating their behaviour.[6] An altercation occurred when Umar had to make a decision, and his wife advised him. Umar shouted at her to mind her own business. The wife answered back, and he expressed displeasure. The wife responded: "How strange you are! You don't want to be argued with, whereas your daughter Hafsa argues with Allah's Messenger so much that he remains angry for a full day".[4][6] However, the wife is not directly identified as Zaynab.

In 628 Umar divorced Umm Kulthum and Qurayba because of a new instruction from Muhammad that a Muslim could not remain married to a polytheist.[3]: 510 [7] He did not divorce Zaynab, so, if she was still alive, she must have become a Muslim. However, Zaynab probably died before 641, as four other women are listed as Umar's wives by that date.[1]: 204 [2]: 186–187 [8][9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  2. ^ a b c Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ a b Bukhari 6:60:435.
  5. ^ Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. Al-Isaba fi tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol. 7 #11250.
  6. ^ a b Bukhari 7:62:119.
  7. ^ Bukhari 3:50:891.
  8. ^ Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Juynboll, G. H. A. (1989). Volume 13: The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt, pp. 109-110. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  9. ^ Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 5. Translated by Bewley, A. (2000). The Men of Madina Volume II, p. 1. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.