At Striving for Clarity, we love learning from other women as a means of seeking clarity on our own journey. Some of the best lessons are taught to us through the women who lived during the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Let's explore their impact and learn from the lessons each of them gave to us.
Aminah bint Wahb (RA)
“When I delivered him, a light came out with him that illuminated what is between the East and the West. The light illuminated palaces and markets of Syria until I saw the necks of the camels in Basra. I saw three flags erected: One in the East, one in the West and the third over the Ka’bah.
As Mothers hold a high place in Islam, it is fitting to start off with Aminah bint Wahb (RA). She was the women who gave birth to Allah’s messenger (PBUH). When Aminah (RA) was a few months pregnant, her husband Abdullah (RA) (the father of the Prophet (PBUH)) undertook a journey to Syria. Upon return, he fell ill and shortly after, passed way. Aminah (RA), now a widow, grieved deeply. Her son would be born without ever meeting his father. Her greatest consolation was her baby. She would always feel unique tenderness with him, both during her pregnancy and after he was born. She would always hug and embrace her beloved son. Aminah (RA) continued to feel great sorrow from her husband’s death, and when the Prophet (PBUH) was six years old, she fell ill from a fever that was spreading through the town and passed away not long after.
Aminah (RA) was known as a woman who was strong and persevered through the toughest of times. Throughout her hardships, she exhibited patience and strength, and she was chosen as the woman who was the mother of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid (RA)
Khadeejah (RA) was a wealthy woman who had wide commercial holdings. She was widely known for her pure manners, a quality that made her known as “the pure woman.” After her previous marriage ended, she continued to conduct her affairs and shouldered her huge responsibilites on her own. Her qualities, qualifications and beauty caused many men wishing to marry her, but she refused. She remained unmarried until she approached the age of 40 years old. Upon hearing about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), she indirectly expressed interest in marrying him as he was known as trustworthy and was a model of good conduct. Both were delighted at this proposition as they shared the same morals and manners and the same feelings.
When the first verses of the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it caused him much distress and it was Khadeejah (RA) who comforted him. She unhesitatingly believed in him and accepted Islam immediately.
Khadeeja (RA) passed away from illness and it was one of the saddest experiences in the life of Prophet Muhmmad (PBUH). She believed in him when people disbelieved, she supported him with her wealth when people denied him their material aid and blessed him with children. She invested all her wealth in the cause of Allah (SWT). She spent generously and unresevedly, without making any mention of what she had spent. She always showed kindness, especially to the poor.
Fatimah Az-Zahra (RA)
The messenger (PBUH) of Allah said: “Fatimah is a part of me. Whatever hurts her, hurts me.”
Fatimah (RA) was the last surviving child of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was very fond of her as when he would see her, he would see his wife and all his children that had passed away.
She took after her parents in possessing qualities of perfect chastity, dignity, the love of good deeds and excellent conduct. She grew up in difficult circumstances as it was during this time that the Qur’an was revealed to her father (PBUH) and also suffered from the evil plans the disbelievers had against her father (PBUH).
Fatimah (RA) always performed her prayers at their prescribed times, spent great amounts of efforts and wealth in the way of Allah (SWT), she was always truthful in her words and emulated the exemplary qualities of her father (PBUH). She was married to Ali (RA) who Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) loved dearly.
I have never seen anyone who was more like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in speech and gait than Fatimah. I have never seen anyone more virtuous than Fatimah.
- Aishah (RA)
Aisha (RA) also relayed the message of something Fatimah (RA) had told her. Fatima (RA) said that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told her something just before he passed away. When the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was ill, he drew Fatimah (RA) closer and said: “Angel Jibreel used to revise the Qur’an with me once every year, but this year, he reviewed it with me twice. I interpret this to mean that the end of my life in this world is near.” He then told her: “You will be the first of the members of my household to join me, and I am an excellent predecessor for you.”
Although Fatimah (RA) is known as the leader of women in paradise, she went through many hardships on the Dunya. She worked so hard that her hands had blisters. She and Ali (RA) were not wealthy and perservered many trials on the dunya. But they did so with patience and Tawakkul, placing their full trust in Allah (SWT).
Aisha (RA) entered the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) after the passing of Khadeeja (RA). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had never taken another wife during the two decades in which he was married to Khadeeja (RA). It was only after her passing that he married Aisha (RA). She was the daughter of one of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) closest companions, Abu Bakr (RA). Her parents provided her with love, affection and compassion. The marital relationship between Aisha (RA) and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was filled with understanding, knowledge, wisdom and honesty. The legacy of this relationship has contributed towards Islamic studies and the Sunnah.
She narrated many hadiths. It was said that whenever a Hadith was unclear, the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would gain clarity from Aisha (RA). She was known for her cleverness, powers of reasoning and discernment, mental alertness, knowledge and piety. After the passing of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), she became involved in politics, due to her knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah. At a time when it was not expected, or wanted, for women to do work outside of their households, Aisha (RA) delivered public speeches, became directly involved in war and even battles, and helped both men and women to understand the practices of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). She was known for always researching facts and voicing her opinions confidently on various matters.
The women above serve as ideal role models for Muslim women and whom we should strive to emulate. As there are many misconceptions about Muslim women in contemporary society, let’s take the time to reflect on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and learn more about the women during the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from the women mentioned above?
By: Zaghra Savahl
*sources: Women around the Messenger by Muhammad ‘Ali Qutb and Islamic Finder
The "Ideal Muslimah" section of Striving For Clarity provides an array of articles, micro-series and short tidbits geared towards highlighting the important characteristics of a Muslim woman.