Last Updated on 9th September 2021
Awais Rabbani, Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat
“We did not see any woman greater than Juwairiyah, who brought blessings to her people.” (Hazrat Aishara)
Birth Name: Barrah
Born: c. 608
Father’s name: Haris bin Abi Darrar
Tribe: Banu Mustaliq
Year of Expiration: 670
Hazrat Juwairiyahra was the daughter of the famous chieftain of Banu Mustaliq, Haris bin Abi Darrar. She was first married within her tribe to Musafi bin Safwan. Hazrat Aishara described her as someone who possessed charm and beauty and she fascinated everyone who saw her. (Sunan Abi Daud, Hadith 3931)
Haris harboured animosity against Muslims and began colluding with other tribes to wage war against Medina. When the Holy Prophetsa received intelligence of his preparations, he set out with the army to confront Banu Mustaliq and reached Muraisi, a place close to the dwellings of his adversaries. The enemies had planned a surprised attack on Medina; with the unexpected arrival of the Muslim army, the tribes allied to Banu Mustaliq panicked and fled. However, the seditious designs of Quraish had intoxicated Banu Mustaliq so deeply that they refused to lay down arms and prepared to fight the Muslim army alone. The battle ended with the defeat of Banu Mustaliq.
Among the prisoners of war was Hazrat Juwairiyahra, who was handed to Hazrat Sabitra bin Qais.
Account of her marriage
Hazrat Juwairiyahra entered into mukatabat with Hazrat Sabitra bin Qais, a practice in Islam which allowed the freedom of the prisoner by paying a ransom to the caretaker. Since she did not have in her possession the money to pay him and had heard of the generous and kind disposition of the Holy Prophetsa, so she approached him for his assistance. This whole account is narrated by Hazrat Aishara in the following hadith:
[Hazrat Juwairiyahra] said:
“O Messenger of Allah, I am the daughter of the chief Haris bin Abi Darrar. You are well aware of the misfortune that has befallen me. I have settled into an agreement with my master. My request is that you please help me with the payment of this amount.”
The Holy Prophetsa was moved by her plea and realised that marriage to her would mean the elimination of hostility that her tribe harboured against Muslims. So he replied, “Are you inclined to that which is better?”
She asked, “What is that, Messenger of Allah?”
He replied, “I shall pay the price of your freedom on your behalf and I shall marry you.”
She responded, “I shall do this.”
The marriage took place in the year 627. Upon hearing that Hazrat Juwairiyahra had come into the matrimonial bond with the Prophetsa of Allah, Muslims released all their prisoners. It was owed to the fact that Banu Mustaliq had now become the relatives of their Prophetsa and the companions thought it unwise to keep the kin of their spiritual mother prisoners.
Hazrat Aishara narrated that we did not see any woman greater than Juwairiyahra who brought blessings to her people. One hundred families of Banu Mustaliq were set free on account of her. (Sunan Abi Daud, Hadith 3931)
In another narration, Haris (her father) approached the Prophetsa and asked him to return her on account of being the daughter of a chieftain. The Holy Prophetsa replied that she was free to go, however if she wished to remain, then she was most welcome to stay. She was so influenced by the pure disposition of the Holy Prophetsa that she chose to stay. She was then freed and married to the Prophetsa of Islam. (Al-Isabah fi Tamizis-Sahabah, By Ahmad bin Ali bin Hajar Al-Asqalani, Vol. 8, p. 74)
Later, Hazrat Juwairiyahra recalled that before the war, she saw a dream that a moon travelling from Medina had fallen into her lap. She relates:
“I did not wish to tell anyone about this dream. When I was captured, I hoped for the fulfilment of this dream. Then, the Holy Prophetsa granted me freedom and married me. I was 20 years old at that time.” (Azwaj-e-Mutahharat wa Sahabiyat Encyclopedia, pp. 206-207)
Prior to Islam, her name was Barrah. “Barrah” means piety and the Holy Prophetsa did not like that if someone was to enquire if Barrah was at home and he would have to answer that Barrah was not home. Hence, he changed her name to Juwairiyah. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2140)
She would often fast and was a staunch believer in the tenets of Islam. She would spend most of her time offering prayers. It is related on the authority of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbasra:
“The Messengersa of Allah went out from Hazrat Juwairiyahra, while she was in the state of offering prayers. Her former name was Barrah but he had renamed her [to Juwairiyah]. When he returned, she was in the same place, worshipping. He asked, ‘Have you been continuously offering?’ She replied in affirmative. He then said, ‘Since leaving you, I have said four phrases three times, which, if weighed against all that you have said (during this period), would prove to be heavier: [The words are] “Glory be to Allah”, and I begin with praise of Him to the number of His creatures, in accordance with His good pleasure, to the weight of His throne and to the ink (extent) of His words.’” (Sunan Abi Daud, Hadith 1503)
Her obedience was exemplary. It is reported that once, on Friday, the Prophetsa visited her and she was fasting. He asked her, “Did you fast yesterday?” She replied, “No.” He said, “Do you intend to fast tomorrow?” She replied, “No.” He said, “Then break your fast.” She immediately complied and broke her fast. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 1986)
She passed away at the age of 65 and was buried in Janatul Baqi alongside the rest of the wives. The governor of the city, Hazrat Marwanra led her funeral prayer.