Hazrat Saudah bint Zam‘ah r.a.

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Awais Rabbani, Pakistan

“I have never wished that I was like any other woman except for Hazrat Saudahra. I would like to have her simple and unpretentious ways and I wish I could be like her and that I could have a heart as pure and clean as hers and her simple ways.” (Hazrat Aishara)

Full name: Saudah bint Zam‘ah

Father’s name: Zam‘ah bin Qais

First marriage: Hazrat Sakran bin Amr Al-Qarshirara

Marriage to the Holy Prophetsa: Tenth year of prophethood

Hazrat Saudah bint Zam‘ahra was an early convert to Islam. Her first marriage was to the companion of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Sakran bin Amr. They migrated to Abyssinia to escape the torture and hardships the Quraish had inflicted upon the Muslims.

Hazrat Sakranra passed away on their return from Abyssinia. It is reported that Hazrat Saudahra saw a moon fall on her in one of her dreams. When she disclosed it to her husband, Hazrat Sakran interpreted her dream to mean that after his demise, she would marry the Holy Prophetsa.

Marriage

Hazrat Saudahra holds the distinction of being the first wife of the Holy Prophetsa after the demise of Hazrat Khadijara. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra narrates the incident of her marriage in the following words:

“… [Hazrat] Khaulah bint Hakimra, the wife of Uthman bin Maz‘unra presented herself before the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Messenger of Allah, why do you not marry?” “Whom shall I marry?” responded the Holy Prophetsa. She responded, “If you wish there is an unmarried girl and a widow as well.” The Holy Prophetsa enquired, “Who?” Khaulahra responded, “The unmarried girl is the daughter of your friend Abu Bakr named Aishara, and the widow is Saudah bint Zam‘ahra, who was married to your late servant Sakran bin Amrra.” The Holy Prophetsa responded, “Alright, make a proposal to the both of them.”

After this, Khaulahra approached Hazrat Saudah bint Zam‘ahra and her relatives were also at consent. (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 1, pp. 241-242)

Consequently, the Messenger of Allahsa married Hazrat Saudahra in Shawwal 10 Nabawi.

An obedient wife

Hazrat Saudahra   knew the responsibilities that came with marrying the Messengersa of Islam and immediately resumed her role as the caretaker of his household and children. She was extremely dedicated to his cause and was renowned for her sense of obedience.

Once, upon hearing from the Holy Prophetsa on his pilgrimage to Mecca that this might be the last pilgrimage and obstacles would refrain him from carrying out another pilgrimage in the future, she vowed to never set out for this purpose again.

Relationship with wives of the Holy Prophetsa

Due to her humble nature and spirited disposition, she soon developed a strong bond with the daughters and wives of the Holy Prophetsa. She was very close to Hazrat Aishara, Hazrat Hafsara and Hazrat Safiyara. The Holy Prophetsa cherished her buoyant nature and was often amused by her anecdotes.

Once, Hazrat Saudahra visited the Holy Prophetsa at Hazrat Aisha’sra home. She offered her a sweet dish she had cooked earlier. Despite Hazrat Saudah’sra refusal, Hazrat Aishara insisted and told her that she would smear the dish on her face if she left without tasting it; thus, she followed through with it. When the Holy Prophetsa saw Hazrat Saudahra in her current predicament, he could not hold back his laughter. However, he asked her to do the same to Hazrat Aishara as it would only be fair. Hazrat Saudahra then smeared Aisha’s face with it.

The aforementioned incident reflects the relaxed and entertaining atmosphere in which the family of the Holy Prophetsa thrived.

Observance of prayers

Hazrat Saudahra led a simple and pious life. She was punctual in her prayers, both obligatory and voluntary. Once the Prophetsa woke up to offer Tahajud and she got up to pray behind him. Later, she related to him that she was in ruku for so long that she feared her nose would bleed out from the posture and held onto it. The Holy Prophetsa was surprised and extremely pleased to hear her devotion.

A wish

The wives of the Holy Prophetsa held great respect and love for him. For them, not only was he the Messenger of Allahsa, but they also viewed him as the great exemplar who introduced the rights of women and their status in the society. They loved him dearly and had vowed to serve and perform their household duties. The Holy Prophetsa too revered their gestures of devotion and had divided his time for each one of them.

When Hazrat Saudahra was older, she realised that her old age might hinder her from carrying out her conjugal duties. She knew about the love the Prophetsa had for Hazrat Aishara and gave up her turn in favour of her for the sake of the Prophetsa of Islam. She told him that her only wish was to be resurrected among the wives of the Holy Prophetsa on the Day of Judgement.

Demise

It is widely believed that she died in the 22nd year of the Hijrah towards the end of the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra. She was buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi.

Hazrat Aishara, who was extremely close to her and treasured her companionship, summarised her traits in the following words:

“I have never wished that I was like any other woman except for Hazrat Saudahra. I would like to have her simple and unpretentious ways and I wish I could be like her and that I could have a heart as pure and clean as hers and her simple ways.”

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