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IRSYAD AL-HADITH SERIES 470: THE STATUS AND VIRTUES OF THE UMMAHATUL MUKMININ IN ISLAM

 IrsyadHadith 470

 

Question:

Assalamualaikum wrm.wbt.,

Can you explain the virtues and status of the wives of the Prophet PBUH who are called as the Ummahatul Mukminin in Islam? The reason is there are people who degrade and insult some of the wives of the Prophet PBUH especially the Shiites. Thank you.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrm. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Believing in the Prophet PBUH is undeniably the main belief in faith. Not believing in the Prophet PBUH could led us astray from the path of belief. Not only that, it is wajib for us to honor the Prophet PBUH, in accordance with the statement of Allah SWT:

فَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ بِهِۦ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟ ٱلنُّورَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ مَعَهُۥٓ

“So, they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful.”

Surah al-A’raf (157)

Syeikh Mustafa al-Maraghi said the meaning of those who believed in him from above verse are those who believed in their ummiy (illiterate) Messenger when he was sent. They helped him, prevent and defended him from those who try to hurt the Prophet PBUH for inside themselves is the attribute of honouring the Prophet PBUH. This is unlike the people who defended their ruler all the while at the same time hating and disliking their ruler. They helped the Prophet PBUH through various means, whether it is through their speech or writing and they also follow the light of truth which is the Quran which was revealed when the Prophet PBUH was sent. (Refer Tafsir Al-Maraghi, 9/83)

Through this verse, thus, it is haram for anyone to degrade and insult the Prophet PBUH in any way. This is explained by Allah SWT in the Quran. Allah SWT states:

وَمِنْهُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ ٱلنَّبِىَّ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ أُذُنٌ ۚ قُلْ أُذُنُ خَيْرٍ لَّكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِٱللَّـهِ وَيُؤْمِنُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ رَسُولَ ٱللَّـهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“And among them are those who abuse the Prophet and say, "He is an ear." Say, "[It is] an ear of goodness for you that believes in Allah and believes the believers and [is] a mercy to those who believe among you." And those who abuse the Messenger of Allah - for them is a painful punishment.”

Surah al-Taubah (61)

Syeikh Tohir Ibnu ‘Asyur said that this verse is a reminder for those who hurt the Messenger PUH with any means including insulting him. Those who did so will be punished by Allah SWT in this world and the hereafter. (Refer Tahrir Al-Ma’na Al-Sadid Wa Tanwir Al-‘Aqlu Al-Jadid Fi Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Majid, 10/136)

In another verse, Allah SWT states:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ ٱللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ لَعَنَهُمُ ٱللَّـهُ فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا وَٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا

“Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger - Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment.”

Surah al-Ahzab (57)

Thus, any form of insult, whether it is in the form of writing, speech, paintings, drawings and others is considered as dishonouring or degrading the Prophet PBUH as the Messenger of Allah SWT. We have discussed regarding the ruling of insulting the Messenger PBUH in our previous articles. Among them are:

  • Bayan Linnas Series 55: The Prophet PBUH Should Never Be Insulted [1]
  • Bayan Linnas Series 174: The Caricature and the Insult on the Prophet PBUH [2]
  • Irsyad al-Fatwa Series 297: Whoever Insulted the Prophet PBUH Should Be Prosecuted? [3]

And among the ways to honour the Prophet PBUH is by honouring the status of the wives of the prophet PBUH. It is an obligation of every Muslim to always honour the Prophet PBUH in any situation and time. The reason is Allah SWT honour the wives of the prophet PBUH with the title as the mother of the believers (Ummahatul Mukminin). Allah SWT states:

ٱلنَّبِىُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ ۖ وَأَزْوَٰجُهُۥٓ أُمَّهَـٰتُهُمْ

“The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are [in the position of] their mothers.”

Surah al-Ahzab (6)

Syeikh Sya’rawi when commenting on the verse said every wife of the Prophet PBUH is the mother of a believer. Hence, we should not only honour and treat them as the wives of the Prophet PBUH but also as our mother. (Refer Tafsir Al-Sya’rawi, pg. 3464)

Through this verse, the wives of the Prophet PBUH should be honoured as a mother would. She should not be insulted or even cursed as what is done by the Shiites towards Aisayh R.Anha. A rational person would never degrade or insult his own mother. This is explained by al-Baidhawi when he commented on the verse. He said:

“The status of the wives of the Prophet PBUH is the same as a mother is and should be honoured and dignified.” (Refer Anwar Al-Tanzil Wa Asrar Al-Ta’wil, 3/129)

This verse also strengthened the honour of the wives of the Prophet PBUH, where they are prohibited to be married. Imam al-Qurtubi said, it is haram for any man to marry the wives of the Prophet PBUH after the Prophet PBUH’s death. (Refer Al-Jami’ Li Ahkam Al-Quran, 14/123)

Furthermore, Allah SWT did not call the wives of the Prophet PBUH as women but Allah SWT calls them with the best of title. This is an acknowledgement of their status and honour. Allah SWT states:

يَـٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآء إِنِ ٱتَّقَيْتُنَّ

“O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women.”

Surah al-Ahzab (32)

Al-Alusi stated in his commentary that the wives of the Prophet PBUH is absolutely different from other women during their time. They receive two honours, first as the wife of the Prophet PBUH and second as the mother of the believers. (Refer Ruh Al-Ma’ani Fi Tafsir Al-Quran Al-‘Azim Wa Al-Sab’i Al-Mathani, 11/185)

The call يَـٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ which means ‘O wives of the Prophet,’ clearly proves their honour. The reason is just by being related to the Prophet PBUH is a great advantage and honour.

More importantly, they are among the ahlul bait of the Prophet PBUH. There are some who deny the Ummahatul Mukminin’s position as ahlul bait of the Prophet PBUH. Allah SWT acknowledges the wives of the Prophet PBUH as ahlul bait without any exceptions. Allah SWT states:

وَقَرْنَ فِى بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ ٱلْجَـٰهِلِيَّةِ ٱلْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتِينَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَأَطِعْنَ ٱللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّـهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ ٱلرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ ٱلْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

“And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.”

Surah al-Ahzab (33)

Ibnu Kathir said the verse especially the ending of the verse is revealed specifically to the wives of the Prophet PBUH. (Refer Tafsir Al-Quran Al-‘Azim, 3/584)

Any attempt to deny the status of Ummahatul Mukminin as ahlul bait is something that clearly contradicts what has been stated by Allah SWT in the Quran.

According to the Quranic evidences stated, thus, insulting, degrading or disparaging any wives of the Prophet PBUH is prohibited through any form. Furthermore, the iman (faith) of those who try to insult the wives of the Prophet PBUH is refutable. Imam al-Tahawi said:

“Whoever say good things about the Companions and the wives honourable Prophet PBUH and his lineage and preventing himself from saying bad things about them, then he has freed himself from hypocrisy.” (Refer Al-Akidah Al-Tohawiyah, pg. 30)

Ibnu al-Qudamah said:

“Among the matters which differentiates ahli sunnah is by including the taradhi phrase (the phrase is either رضي الله عنه or رضي الله عنها ) for all the wives of the Prophet PBUH who are the mother of all believers. They are free and pure from committing anything bad.” (Refer Lum’ah Al-‘Iktikad Al-Hadi Ila Sabil Al-Rasyad, pg. 31)

Not only are they the wives of the Prophet PBUH but they also helped and contributed great ideas for the betterment and maslahah of the Muslim ummah. This can be seen in an incident which took place in the 6th year of Hijrah during the agreement of the Hudaibiyah treaty. When this treaty was signed between the Quraisy musyrik and the Prophet PBUH in Hudaibiyyah, the Porphet PBUH instructed his companions:

قوموا فانحروا ثم حلقوا

“Get up and' slaughter your sacrifices and get your head shaved.”

The Prophet PBUH instructed as such for the Muslim ummah are unable to perform umrah on that year. However, none of them stand and obey the prophet PBUH even when the Prophet PBUH had instructed them trice. Thus, the Prophet PBUH went into his tent and at that time Ummu Salamah R.Anha was there. The Prophet PBUH then told her what had happened. Ummu Salamah with her wisdom said to the Prophet PBUH:

يا نبي الله أتحب ذلك اخرج ثم لا تكلم أحدا منهم كلمة حتى تنحر بدنك وتدعو حالقك فيحلقك

"O the Prophet () of Allah! Do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and don't say a word to anybody till you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head."

So, the Prophet (ﷺ) went out and did not talk to anyone of them till he did that, i.e. slaughtered the sacrifice and called his barber who shaved his head. Seeing that, the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) got up, slaughtered their sacrifices, and started shaving the heads of one another. (Refer Ma’alim Al-Tanzil, pg. 1212)

This incident is narrated by al-Baghawi in his commentary. It shows the wisdom of the wife of the Prophet PBUH, Ummu Salamah in resolving the issue that the prophet PBUH was facing. This is the role of the Ummul mukminin. They did not just sit at home but also accompany and help the Prophet PBUH at the same time contributing great ideas in resolving the issues at hand.

More than that, they are also responsible in spreading and conveying the hadith and knowledge from the Prophet PBUH. Some of them are referred to by the other Companions. Each one of them played a role of teaching knowledge especially the hadiths of the Prophet PBUH. The one who stands out he most is Saidatina Aisyah R.Anha. Urwah bin Zubair said:

ما رأيت أحدا أعلم بفقه ولا بطب ولا بشعر من عائشة

“I did not find anyone more knowledgeable in Fiqh, medicine and Arabic poetry than Aisyah.” (Refer Usdu Al-Ghabah Fi Ma’rifah Al-Sahabah, 1/1384)

She is also among those who memorized the hadiths of the prophet PBUH where she memorized 2210 haidths.

Not only Aisyah, other ummahatul mukminin also played a role in teaching others. The Companions would always refer to them in any religious issues that arises. (Refer Ummahatul Mukminin Fi Madrasah Al-Nabawiyah, pg. 5)

To conclude, ummahatul mukminin has a high status and greatly honoured in islam. Thus, only the ignorant would insult, degrade or dispute against the mother of the believers. It is also the obligation of every believer to learn and know about every wife of the Prophet PBUH. Insulting them is the same as insulting the Prophet PBUH himself.

May Allah SWT assemble us together with our beloved Prophet PBUH in Paradise. Wallahua’lam.

Endnotes:

[1] https://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/bayan-linnas/1776-bayan-linnas-siri-55-rasulullah-saw-jangan-sekali-kali-menghina-baginda

[2] https://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/bayan-linnas/3242-bayan-linnas-siri-ke-174-karikatur-dan-penghinaan-terhadap-rasulullah-saw

[3] https://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/irsyad-fatwa/irsyad-fatwa-umum-cat/3208-irsyad-al-fatawa-series-297-whoever-insulted-the-prophet-pbuh-should-be-prosecuted


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