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The Prophet's Wives Series

She Sought the Prophet’s Hand in Marriage – Maymunah bint Al-Harith

Part Eleven

We often are introduced to the people around the Prophet (PBUH) through his life and perspective.

While there is good reason for this, it can also be of great benefit to learn about the companions of the Messenger as individuals. They were the people who Allah (SWT) calls in the Quran, “[…] the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind”. (Quran 3:110)

It can be especially important to look to the lives of the honorable and honored wives of the Prophet (PBUH) to understand that they too were human beings who lived, ate, laughed, and struggled to please Allah (SWT). After the Prophet, can there be a better example for us than the Mothers of the Believers who were all promised paradise?

Continuing in our journey to find out if our mothers were funny, sensitive, outgoing, introspective, self-doubting, or fearless, we take a look at Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wife, Maymunah bint Al-Harith (May Allah be please with her-RA).

Among the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wives, Maymunah bint Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with her) was determined, faithful, and amiable.

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Maymunah was determined

Maymunah (RA) knew what she wanted and went after it. After she had been divorced and then widowed, she knew she needed companionship. And there was no man better than the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). So, she sought his hand in marriage.

Maymunah (RA) went to Umm al Fadl (RA) to talk to her about her desire to marry the Messenger (PBUH), knowing that this would put things into motion. And it did just that. Umm al Fadl then spoke to Abbas (RA) about Maymunah’s aspirations.

Then, Abbas immediately approached the Messenger (PBUH) with Maymunah’s (RA) offer of marriage and her proposal was accepted. Maymunah did not wait around for someone to approach her with the intentions of marriage. She took it upon herself to seek the best of men, the one she truly wanted to be closest to.

In a similar fashion, Maymunah (RA) would take loans. Once she borrowed a very large amount of money and someone asked her, “’How will you pay it back?”’, She said that the Prophet (pbuh) had said, ‘If one has the intention to pay it back, Allah (S.T.) himself pays off the debt.’” [i]

This anecdote possibly describes the source of Maymunah’s (RA) determination. She knew she wanted good in this life and the next and she trusted in Allah (SWT) to provide for her. So, she went after what she thought was best for her in the dunya and akhira (this life and the hearafte).

Maymunah was loyal

Aisha (RA) said about her, “Among us, she had the most fear of Allah and did the most to maintain ties of kinship.” [ii]

Aisha (RA) also narrated that “Maimunah (RA) was the most virtuous and God-fearing and most considerate in treating her relatives well. She used to pray in the Mosque of the Prophet as she had heard that ‘the prayer offered in that Mosque is thousand time better than other Mosque except the Holy “Haram” in Mecca where it is equivalent to 1,00,000 prayers.” i

Aisha (RA) twice narrated that her cowife, Maymunah (RA), was extremely keen to keep up with her family. As a member of the tribe of Quraysh having moved to Medina, she continued to pay close attention to her family even those ties in Mecca.

Not only was she loyal to her people, whether they were Muslim or not, whether they lived near her or not, she was also loyal to the laws of Allah (SWT): {[…] and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) […]} (Quran 4:1)

Maymunah was amiable

After her marriage to the Prophet (PBUH), Maymunah (RA) was given a home adjacent to the Prophet’s Masjid in Medinah. All the mothers of the believers welcomed her and were very kind toward Maymunah.

But this love and kindness was also extended by her to others. It is narrated by many sources that Maymunah (RA) never had any disputes with her cowives.

Not much is narrated about Maymunah (RA). Perhaps this is because the Prophet (PBUH) died three years after they were married. She was practically still a newlywed when she was widowed for the second time.

She lived to see her 80s, but little is narrated about her outside of her marriage to the Prophet (PBUH). But what we do know about her through her life as a companion and a wife of the Messenger tells us that she was a stellar example of loyalty, affability, and resolve.




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About Theresa Corbin
Theresa Corbin is the author of The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book and co-author of The New Muslim’s Field Guide. Corbin is a French-creole American and Muslimah who converted in 2001. She holds a BA in English Lit and is a writer, editor, and graphic artist who focuses on themes of conversion to Islam, Islamophobia, women's issues, and bridging gaps between peoples of different faiths and cultures. She is a regular contributor for and Al Jumuah magazine. Her work has also been featured on CNN and Washington Post, among other publications. Visit her blog, islamwich, where she discusses the intersection of culture and religion.