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Lady Maimunah – A Woman of High Morals

Maimunah bint Al-Harith became one of the wives of Prophet Muhammad seven years after Muslims’ emigration.

She had already been divorced once, after which she re-married and was later widowed.

Many women would have given up on love by then, but Maimunah’s story was slightly different.

When she became Prophet Muhammad’s wife, she was a vibrant and intelligent woman in her mid-20s.

It was through Maimunah that plenty of Islamic teachings were relayed to Muslims.

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Besides being known for her total submission to Allah and her steadfast support for her husband, Maimunah is another Mother of the Believers who narrated many Hadiths. Many of these narrations have to do with the nature of the relationship between her and her husband.

When Prophet Muhammad initiated the marriage proposal to Maimunah, it was a huge family affair. The Prophet spoke to her brother-in-law and her sister Umm Al-Fadl. The proposal was received with much joy and trust in Allah, and Maimunah accepted it willingly.

There is a verse from the Quran that says:

{O Prophet, We have made lawful for you… any believing woman who has offered herself to the Prophet and whom the Prophet wishes to wed- this is only for you [Prophet] and not the rest of the believers.} (33:50)

Many believe that this verse best suits Maimunah as her soul was firmly dedicated to her new husband.

According to Martin Lings, it was Umm Al-Fadl and her husband Abbas who approached the Prophet to marry Maimunah. Umm Al-Fadl believed such a union would bring great benefit to the Muslim community, which was being built slowly on sturdy grounds. Prophet Muhammad accepted her suggestion and continued to pursue a marriage proposal with Maimunah herself, whom he already knew personally (281).

Prophet Muhammad was already very closely acquainted with Maimunah and Umm Al-Fadl’s family, as they too were amongst the first Muslims during the initial revelation in Makkah. In fact, it was even narrated that Prophet Muhammad described Maimunah and her sisters as “the believing sisters”, which was an amazing recognition for the entire family.

Her Marriage to the Prophet

Indeed, Umm Al-Fadl had been right in initiating the relationship. Prophet Muhammad, through his marriage with Maimunah, was led to opportunities to spread the teachings of Islam to the tribe of Banu Hilal, and consequentially, another important Muslim community began to grow and integrate with the first one.

Upon joining the Prophet’s household, Maimunah became instrumental in strictly endorsing the Prophet’s orders, by decree of Allah. Her passion towards her husband and her love for Islam were an emotional ride, but were always based on reason and logic.

Maimunah Amongst the Women

Aishah’s recognition of Maimunah did not end there. Aishah always praised Maimunah’s morals and dedication to Allah’s directions.

Of course, the Mothers of the Believers were the women that no other could contend with, as they were all recognized as virtuous and strong Muslims who were hand-picked by Allah to teach and nurture the nascent Muslim community that was still learning about the faith.

There were several occasions on which Maimunah stepped up as the Prophet’s consultant, advisor, and aid. She walked the talk of the Quran by virtue of Prophet Muhammad, rushed to his aid when he needed her, and maintained her love for Islam above all.

She provided all the ingredients of a thriving marriage. Through her sayings, she spoke of intimacy between husband and wife. All this indicates that Maimunah was picked as a wife for anything more than her zeal in nurturing a strong marriage. And it was only through her piety and submission to God that she achieved that.

Maimunah Amongst the Muslims

Her complete submission to Allah and Prophet Muhammad encouraged her to denounce worldly pleasures. Maimunah was known to the Muslims as a woman of charity. She freed slaves and cared for the poor. And it was through her actions that other Muslims followed suit.

Yet her participation in Muslim society was even more apparent during war. During the battles that took place in the Prophet’s life time, it was Maimuna who mobilized the first female group who would accompany the men at war and provide medical aid and emotional support for the wounded.

Maimunah was actively involved in traveling with the Muslim army when they needed the help the most. With her husband leading the battles, she mostly felt that it was his right to have her by his side.

In many ways she served Islam throughout her entire life, relaying important aspects of Muslim life. She took care of her kin and encouraged good relations amongst all Muslims. Moreover, she was leading by example and translating emotions into sense and logic. She did so in hopes that her and her husband’s behavior would be adopted by the Muslim followers.

But over and above her zeal for charity and serving the Muslim community, Maimunah was still romantic at heart. Her passion and emotional attachment to Prophet Muhammad lived on within her.

Works Cited

Al-Nisaburi, Al-Hakim Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abd Allah. Al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain. Ed. Mostafa Abdul-Qadir Ata. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah, 1990.

Ibn Kathir, Abu Al-Fida Ismail ibn Umar. Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah. 5th Ed. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah, 1989.

Lings, Martin. Muhammad: His Life Based On the Earliest Sources. Islamic Texts Society, 1983.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive)