Bani-Umayya is the cursed tree that is to abide in Hellfire, as mentioned by the Qur’an. However, why did the Messenger (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) marry a woman from their clan? Can you clarify this issue for us, Sheikh?
Sayed Ahmad al-Yasiri
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
The wisdom and the purpose behind the marriages conducted by the Prophets are various and plenty. A prophet’s marriage to a certain woman is not evident to her righteousness or the righteousness of her people, because both the wife of Lot as well as the wife of Noh were from evil, wicked, and disbelieving people. We do not know the intention of the ‘Sunnis’ when they ask for the reason behind the marriage between the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) and the daughter of Abi-Sufyan (may Allah curse them both). Do they intend to say that this proves how her father and the rest of Bani-Umayya were righteous people? If this is so, then it means that the people of Safiya, daughter of Hayy – the Jews from the tribe of Bani-Quraydha – were believers as well! It even means that Qateela, daughter of Qais, who married the Messenger of Allah and later on apostatized and married Ikrima, son of Abi-Jahl, was a woman whom the Messenger of Allah married due to her belief and righteousness!? This is non-sense.
As for the circumstances that made the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) marry the daughter of Abi-Sufyan (may Allah curse them both), it has been mentioned in the book Al-Majmou’, by Al-Nawawi:
Abu-Dawud reported from the narration of Al-Zuhri, attributing it directly to the Prophet, that Al-Najashi married Umm Habeeba, the daughter of Abi-Sufyan, to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him) on the dowry of four thousand Dirhams, and the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him) signed under that, while the Umm Habeeba was in the land of the Habashites with her husband Abdullah, son of Jahsh, who died in that land.
Al-Majmou’, by Al-Nawawi, volume 14, page 97
Al-Bakri said in his book, I’anat-ul-Talibeen, that her husband became Christian and she remained a Muslim, after which the Prophet sent Amru, son of Umayya al-Dhamri, to Al-Najashi that he may marry her to the Prophet and that he gave her a dowry of four hundred Dinars and sent her away on the seventh year.
So, her marriage to the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) was for a humanitarian purpose only, because she remained without a husband.
Know that Umm Habeeba herself is condemned in the narrations of Ahlul-Bayt (may peace be upon them). One of the reasons we believe she was condemned is that she had an inclination of sympathy with Uthman, son of Affan, and that she went out riding a white mole in defence of Uthman and came in contact with foreign men similar to her equal, Aisha (may Allah curse them both). By this, the daughter of Abi-Sufyan broke Allah’s commandment ordering the Prophet’s wives to remain in their homes, because to leave her home for a reason such as this is a violation of Allah’s command.
It might be that the ‘Sunnis’ say – as usual – that she went out to set things right, similar to their claim that Aisha al-Humaira went out to set things right! We say: One who leaves his home to set things right has to be neutral, and not associated with one specific side of the conflict! It comes clear through the following narrations that she was in league with Uthman, which means that she stirred-up the situation and enraged the Muslims even more, and she made them increase in anger and hatred towards that tyrant by expressing her sympathy with him! On this basis, we may say that Na’thal – Uthman – the dog of Umayya (may Allah curse him) was killed by a verdict issued by Aisha and an interfering inclination from the mole of Umm Habeeba!
The following has been mentioned in ‘Sunni’ sources:
The siege of him (may Allah be pleased with him) continued till they prevented him from water. The news then reached the Mothers of the Believers. Umm Habeeba (may Allah be pleased with her) began to take action – and she was one of Uthman’s relatives – so she took the water and hid it under her clothes, and she rode the mole and moved in the direction of Uthman’s house. Thereupon, there was an argument between her and the people of the disorder. Al-Ashtar said: ‘You are lying! You are bringing water with you!’ Then he lifted her clothes and saw the water, so he became angry and tore apart the water sack. Kinana, the servant of Safiya, said: ‘I used to lead Safiya so that she may reply on behalf of Uthman. Al-Ashtar confronted her and hit the face of her mole till it leaned, and she said: Take me back, and let not this dog expose me!’
Al-Tareekh al-Kabeer, by Al-Bukhari volume 7, page 237,
Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, by Ibn Saad, volume 8, page 128,
Tareekh al-Tabari, volume 4, page 385-386
A narration of Ahmad, son of Hanbal, in Fadha’il al-Sahaba, on behalf of Hassan al-Basri, says:
When the matter on the day of the house (the day when Uthman’s house was besieged) became more intense, he (Hassan) said: ‘They said: Then who?! Then who?!’ He said: ‘Then they sent someone to Umm Habeeba, and they brought her on a white mole with a bed-cover she had concealed. When she approached the door, they said: What is this? They replied: Umm Habeeba. They said: By Allah, she will not enter, so take her back.
Fadha’il al-Sahaba, volume 1, page 492
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