Last Updated on 18th January 2020
Awais Rabbani, Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat
“Maymunahra has left this world … By God, she was the most pious of us all and the most devoted to her relatives.” (Hazrat Aishara)
Name: Maymunah bint al-Haris
Father: Haris ibn Hazn
Mother: Hind bint Auf
Marriage to the Holy Prophetsa: 7 AH
Hazrat Maymunahra hailed from a prestigious and noble family. Her father was Haris ibn Hazn and belonged to the Hilal tribe in Mecca. Her mother, Hind bint Aufra has been termed by a number of historians as “the noblest mother-in-law on earth”. This was due to the fact that she was the mother-in-law of numerous companions of the Holy Prophetsa.
Before Hazrat Maymunahra, her half-sister, Hazrat Zainab bint Khuzaimahra was also married to the Holy Prophetsa. Her maternal sisters also included Asma bint Umays (wife of Hazrat Abu Bakrra) and Salma bint Umays (wife of Hazrat Hamzara).
Her original name was Barrah but the Holy Prophetsa changed it to Maymunah, meaning “the blessed”.
The incident of her marriage is unique in nature. The Holy Prophetsa had seen a dream that he was doing tawaf [circumambulation] around the Holy Ka‘bah. In 628 AD, he set out with hundreds of his companions to perform Umrah. They camped outside Mecca at a place called Hudaibiyyah.
However, the Quraish did not agree to it and instead, signed a peace treaty which had several conditions. This was a pivotal treaty to cease war and maintain peace in the region. One of the conditions of Treaty of Hudaibiya stated that the Holy Prophetsa and his companions had to return to Medina that year and the following year, they would be permitted to enter Mecca and fulfil the rites of Umrah.
During the journey, Hazrat Abbasra approached the Holy Prophetsa and told him that his wife’s sister was a widow, and that, if it pleased him, he could marry her. This was Hazrat Maymunahra. The Holy Prophetsa agreed to the proposal and hence she was married to him at a place called Sarif.
Hazrat Maymunahra belonged to the family of tribe that was hostile towards Muslims. With this wedlock, the Prophetsa of Islam had intended to reduce the tension between them. Regarding her marriage, Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates:
“The Prophetsa married Maymunah … and she appointed Hazrat Abbasra in charge of her marriage, and he married her to the Prophetsa.” (Sunan al-Nasai, Hadith 3273)
She had a keen sense of observation and had a hunger for obtaining knowledge. She is a narrator of numerous ahadith and several of them have been reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
It is reported on her own authority:
“I heard the Prophet of Allah say, ‘A prayer offered in this mosque [Masjid al-Nabawi] is better than a thousand prayers in any other mosque, except Masjid al-Haram.” (Sunan al-Nasai, Hadith 2898)
She was a mentor, teacher and guide for the Ummah. On several occasions she explained to them the intricacies of the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa and imparted her knowledge for the benefit of people. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Bakr al-Hakam bin Faruq that Hazrat Maymunahra is reported to have said:
“There is no deceased person for whom a group of people offers the funeral prayer, but their intercession for him will be accepted.”
The narrator goes on to ask the number of people and he was told that it was 40. (Sunan al-Nasai, Hadith 1993)
Faith in Allah
All mothers of the faithful were staunch believers in the message that the Holy Prophetsa had brought. Hazrat Maymunahra too had firm faith in God and was resolute in her belief that the Almighty would never let her down. It is narrated from Ubaidullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah that Hazrat Maymunahra took a loan and it was said to her:
“O Mother of the Believers, why have you taken a loan when you do not have the means to pay if off?” She replied, “I heard the Prophetsa of Allah say, “Whoever takes a loan intending to pay it back, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will help them.” (Sunan al-Nasai, Hadith 4687)
So resolved was her faith in her Lord. It was owing to this determination and belief that she had the privilege to be part of a vision the Holy Prophetsa once saw.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra narrates an incident in Tafsir-e-Kabir that once, the Holy Prophetsa was asleep at Hazrat Maymunah’sra house. When he woke up to offer Tahajud and perform ablution, she heard him saying “I am ready” thrice, followed by the words “the help will be provided to you” thrice. When the Prophetsa returned, Hazrat Maymunahra asked him if someone was there to meet him. He disclosed to her that I saw a group of people from Khaza‘a tribe shouting and rushing towards me. They said that they had made a pact with the Prophetsa and his forefathers before him and had always abided by it. However, the Quraish had broken the pact and attacked them while a number of them were in the state of prostration and bowing down. They had arrived to ask for help. The Prophetsa added that when he saw their group, he told them that he was ready to help them. He then assured them that help would be provided to them. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 7, pp. 113-114)
Although Hazrat Maymunahra was not directly involved in the vision, she heard him call out the words and in this sense, partook in the aforementioned incident.
When she fell ill before her demise, she realised that her time was fast approaching. Hence, she asked to be taken to the same spot, Sarif, where she had first met the Holy Prophetsa for marriage. This is where she passed away as well. Her funeral was led by her nephew, Hazrat Ibn Abbasra.
Hazrat Aishara spoke very highly of her. She is reported to have said:
“Maymunahra has left this world … By God she was the most pious of us all and the most devoted to her relatives.” (Al-Asaba, Vol. 8 [under Maymunah bint Al-Haris])