Fruits for the Week

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After Khadijah’s death, the Prophet (saw) had to continue performing his religious duties, in addition to meeting his daily and physical needs. The Prophet (saw) needed someone who could take care of him and support him in his mission. Given that his daughters were married and had children of their own, this need could only be met through marriage.

Saudah had been married to her cousin, Al-Sakran ibn ‘Amr ibn Abd-Shams. She was from the people of ‘Amer (an Arabian tribe), and from Quraysh as well. She emigrated with her husband to Abyssinia along with those who emigrated the second time to escape from Quraysh and their persecution. Her husband died while in Abyssinia, leaving her without any support. If she returned to her people, who were still disbelievers, they would have tortured or even killed her.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) heard about her situation and appreciated her adherence to her religion; so he sent someone to ask her if she would marry him. Ibn Sa’d tells us the story of their blessed marriage as follows:

After Saudah had spent her waiting period in Makkah, Khawlah the daughter of Hakim and the wife of Uthman ibn Math’oon, came to the Prophet (saw) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I Suppose you feel lonely after the death of the mother of the believers, Khadijah.” The Prophet (saw) then said sadly, “Yes, indeed. Khadijah was my daughters’ mother and a real homemaker.” Khaulah then said, “Do you want me to propose someone to you?” The Prophet (saw) said, “Yes, since you women are good at it.” So Khawlah went to ask Saudah’s permission and Saudah said, “It is all up to the Prophet (saw).” According to Martin Lings, she said, “I am at thy service, O Messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet (saw) then told Saudah to ask one of her male relations to be her guardian. She asked Hatib ibn ‘Amr ibn Abd-Shams to marry her to the Prophet (saw), which he did. They were married in Ramadhan, ten years after Muhammad’s prophethood began.

The Prophet (saw) married Saudah in Makkah and she emigrated to Madinah. She tried to compensate for what Khadijah used to do. She tried by attempting to relieve his pain and helping him to forget what his people had done to him.

The Messenger of Allah’s marriage to Saudah did not take place only because he wanted to fulfill his own needs, but was based on a loftier and more sacred principle; that those who are patient and persevere through hardships deserve to be compensated with kind and caring treatment.

That is why Saudah did not want her husband to leave her and said, “It is not the marital matters that I care much for, but it is that I would like to be Muhammad’s wife on the Day of Resurrection.”

She expressed this sentiment when she offered the Prophet (saw) to give up her turn in spending the nights with him to Aishah and the Prophet accepted; then Allah revealed this verse: “And if a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves, and such settlement is best.” (Qur’an 4: 128)

Saudah adhered to the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and she remained very righteous after his death. In fact, she had gone on hajj with him once, but after he died she never went to hajj again nor did she leave her house, in accordance with the Qur’anic verse that says: “And stay (quietly) in your houses.” (Qur’an 33: 33). She said,” I went on hajj and umrah and now I will stay at home as my Lord says, and I will never go to hajj after the ‘Farewell Pilgrimage’, the last time and the only time the Prophet went to hajj.”

by Abdul Mun’im Al-Hashimi

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