Ruqayya, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born after her sister Zaynab. She was a source of happiness for her noble parents.
Soon afterwards, Umm Kalthum was born and both of them grew together as if they were twins. Their closeness to one another greatly increased especially since their elder sister Zaynab had married and moved to her matrimonial home.
They then became even closer and more attached to each other. It is as if both of them had been destined for the same fate from the beginning to the end.
The books of Seerah testified to this unique closeness that was between them; for all historical narrations agreed on the fact that the two noble daughters Ruqayya and Umm Kalthum shared almost everything in common.
Before Islam, both her and her sister Umm Kalthum were married to the sons of Abu Lahab Utaybah and Utbah respectively.
Abu Lahab and his wife, um Jamil, were bitter enemy of Islam. People of Quraysh asked Abu Lahab to send the daughters of the Prophet back home.
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Though the marriage had not yet been consummated, the two young ladies returned to their father’s house with great distress and sorrow. The two young ladies felt a fundamental change in the house; their house was now surrounded with cruelty from all angles.
These two ladies endured the situation with their parents, doing so as an act of worship for Allah. They bore it with perseverance in the cause of Allah, and they were refined by this tribulation.
Allah later replaced both girls with a righteous husband. The Prophet married Ruqayya to Uthman ibn Affan, one of the ten promised of Paradise. Uthman was one of the most gracious Quraysh youth in terms of lineage, prestige, and wealth. When the Quraysh persecution of the Muslims intensified, the Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted his companions to migrate to Abyssinia.
Uthman migrated in the company of his wife Ruqayya. Although the immigrants had peace and security in Abyssinia, they were yearning for their homeland Makkah.
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When they heard that Hamzah and Umar had accepted Islam, some of them hastily returned to Makkah; but they were stunned by the increase of the Quraysh heartless persecution of Muslims.
The saddest of these returnees was Ruqayya because her mother had passed away in her absence. Uthman and Ruqayya did not stay long in Makkah. Two years before migration to Madinah, Ruqayya gave birth to her only child Abdullah.
The boy used to feel the life of his parents with happiness and joy, but the believer is always on trial. One day, while Abdullah was sleeping, a rooster pecked him in the eyes, this led to an infection which claimed his life after few days.
Ruqayya was struck with calamity and soon fell a victim of fever. The struggle between life and death was fierce; eventually, Ruqayya breathed her last.
At the same time that the bereaved Uthman was kissing his wife’s forehead and fingertips and covering her face, the Prophet performed funeral prayers on his daughter and followed her corpse to the Baqi’ until she was buried.
May Allah be pleased with Ruqayya, the Prophet’s daughter, the Lady of two migrations, and the wife of the owner of two lights.
May He reward her for her truth struggle and her perseverance with the best and the fullest reward.