Maymunah Bint Al-Harith
eBook: The Wives of the Prophet
source: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd.
Maymunah bint al-Harith, (may Allah be pleased with her), married the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 7 AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and she was thirty six years old. Maymunah's sister, Umm al-Fadl Lubaba, was the mother of Abdullah ibn Abbas, the son of one of the uncles of the Prophet and the one of the wisest of his Companions.
Umm al-Fadl was one of the earliest Companions of the Prophet. Once Abu Lahab, the enemy of Allah and the Messenger of Allah, entered the house of his brother, al-Abbas, and proceeded to attack Abbas client, Abu Rafi, because he had embraced Islam. Abu Lahab knocked him to the ground and knelt on him, continuing to beat him. Umm al Fadl grabbed a post that was there and cracked it across Abu Lahab's head, saying, "Will you victimize him because his master is absent?" He treated in shame and died a week later.
Zainab bint Khuzayma, Umm al Muminin, was also her half-sister. Her other sisters included Asma bint Umays, the wife of Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, who later married Abu Bakr, and Salmah bint Umays, the wife of Hamza, the "Lion of Allah". Her full sisters were Lubaba, Asmah and Izza. Maymunah was thus one of the 'Ahlul- Bayt' , 'the people of the House', not only by virtue of being a wife of the Prophet, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) but also because she was related to him. Zayd bin Arqam related that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "I implore you by Allah! The People of my House!" three times. Zayd was asked who were the People of the House, and he said, "The family of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the family of Jafar ibn Abi Talib, the family Aqil ibn Abi Talib, and the family of Al Abbas ibn Abdal Muttalib."
Maymunah or Barra as she was then called, yearned to marry the Prophet. She went to her sister, Umm al Fadl to talk to her about that and she, in turn, spoke to her husband, al-Abbas. Al-Abbas immediately went to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with Maymunah's offer of marriage to him and her proposal was accepted. When the good news reached her, she was on a camel, and she immediately got off the camel and said, "The camel and what is on it is for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)." They were married in the month of Shawwal in 7 AH just after the Muslims of Medina were permitted to visit Mecca under the terms of the treaty of Hudaybiyya to perform umra. Allah Almighty sent the following ayat about this:
"Any believing woman who dedicates herself to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her, that is only for thee and not for the believers." [Quran 33:50]
The Prophet gave her the name, Maymunah, meaning "blessed", and Maymunah lived with the Prophet for just over three years, until his death. She was obviously very good natured and got on well with everyone, and no quarrel or disagreement with any of the Prophet's other wives has been related about her. 'A'isha said about her, "Among us, she had the most fear of Allah and did the most to maintain ties of kinship." It was in her room that the Prophet first began to feel the effects of what became his final illness and asked the permission of his wives to stay in A'isha's room while it lasted.
After the Prophet's death, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Maymunah continued to live in Medina for another forty years, dying at the age of eighty, in 51 AH, (may Allah be pleased with her), being the last of the Prophet's wives to die. She asked to be buried where had married the Prophet at Saraf and her request was carried out. It is related that at the funeral of Maymunah, Ibn Abbas said, "This is the wife of Allah's Messenger, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so when you lift her bier, do not shake her or disturb her, but be gentle." It is also related by Ibn Abbas that he once stayed the night as a guest of Maymunah, who was his aunt, and the Prophet, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) They slept on their blanket lengthways and he slept at the end, crossways. After they had all slept for awhile, the Prophet rose in the middle of the night to pray the tahajjud prayer, and Ibn Abbas joined him.
They both did wudu, and he prayed eleven rakats with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Then they both went back to sleep again until dawn. Bilal called the adhan, and the Prophet did another two short rakats, before going into the mosque to lead the Dawn Prayer.
Ibn Abbas said that one of the dua'ahs that the Prophet made during this night was : "O Allah, place light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my hearing, light on my sight, light behind me, light in front of me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me; place light in my sinew, in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; place light in my soul and make light abundant for me; make me light and grant me light."
It is commonly agreed that it was after the Prophet had married Maymunah, giving him now nine wives (A'isha, Sawdah, Hafsah, Umm Salamah, Zainab bint Jahsh, Juwayriyyah, Umm Habibah, Safiyyah and Maymunah), that the following ayat was revealed:
It is not lawful for you (O Muhammad, to marry more) women after this, nor to exchange them for other wives, even though their beauty is pleasing to you, except those whom your right hand possesses (as maid servants); and Allah is always watching over everything. (Quran 33:52)
After this, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not marry again. When however, the Christian ruler, or Muqawqis, of Egypt, sent him two Christian slave girls 0 who were sisters as a gift (in response to the Prophet's letter inviting him to embrace Islam), along with a fine robe and some medicine the Prophet, accepted one of the slave girls, Maria, into his household; he gave her sister Serene, to a man whom he wished to honor, namely Hassan ibn Thabit; he accepted the robe; and he returned the medicine with the message, "My Sunna is my medicine!" This occurred in 7 AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and Maria was twenty years old.