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irsyad al hadith 486


Assalamualaikum ustaz. May ustaz always in good health and is protected from the contagious disease that is currently happening. I have a question related to the sirah of our beloved Prophet PBUH. After he received the revelation in the Hira’ Cave, he quickly returned to his home. And the Prophet PBUH said to Sayyidatina Khadijah زمّلوني. I am not that clever, but as far as I know, the word he said is the plural form. My question is if the Prophet PBUH said to Sayyidatina Khadijah using the form زملوني and not زمليني which is the singular female form, was there anyone else other than her with him?



Waalaikumussalam wrt. 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.

Firstly, congratulations for your concern towards the Arabic language that you are able to differentiate between plural and singular forms.

Before we answer the question presented, we would like to cite the hadith which narrates how the Prophet PBUH get the first revelation in Hira’ Cave, then he quickly returned home to tell what happened to Khadijah. It is a mutawatir and irrefutable narration. This is mentioned by ‘Aisha R.Anha. She said:

أَوَّلُ مَا بُدِئَ بِهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنَ الْوَحْىِ الرُّؤْيَا الصَّادِقَةُ فِي النَّوْمِ، فَكَانَ لاَ يَرَى رُؤْيَا إِلاَّ جَاءَتْ مِثْلَ فَلَقِ الصُّبْحِ، فَكَانَ يَأْتِي حِرَاءً فَيَتَحَنَّثُ فِيهِ ـ وَهْوَ التَّعَبُّدُ ـ اللَّيَالِيَ ذَوَاتِ الْعَدَدِ، وَيَتَزَوَّدُ لِذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَرْجِعُ إِلَى خَدِيجَةَ فَتُزَوِّدُهُ لِمِثْلِهَا، حَتَّى فَجِئَهُ الْحَقُّ وَهْوَ فِي غَارِ حِرَاءٍ فَجَاءَهُ الْمَلَكُ فِيهِ فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ فَقُلْتُ مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ فَأَخَذَنِي فَغَطَّنِي حَتَّى بَلَغَ مِنِّي الْجَهْدَ ثُمَّ أَرْسَلَنِي‏.‏ فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ‏.‏ فَأَخَذَنِي فَغَطَّنِي الثَّانِيَةَ حَتَّى بَلَغَ مِنِّي الْجَهْدَ، ثُمَّ أَرْسَلَنِي فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ‏.‏ فَغَطَّنِي الثَّالِثَةَ حَتَّى بَلَغَ مِنِّي الْجَهْدُ، ثُمَّ أَرْسَلَنِي فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ ‏"‏‏.‏ حَتَّى بَلَغَ ‏{‏مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ‏}‏ فَرَجَعَ بِهَا تَرْجُفُ بَوَادِرُهُ حَتَّى دَخَلَ عَلَى خَدِيجَةَ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ زَمِّلُونِي زَمِّلُونِي ‏"‏‏.‏ فَزَمَّلُوهُ حَتَّى ذَهَبَ عَنْهُ الرَّوْعُ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ يَا خَدِيجَةُ مَا لِي ‏"‏‏.‏ وَأَخْبَرَهَا الْخَبَرَ وَقَالَ ‏"‏ قَدْ خَشِيتُ عَلَى نَفْسِي ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ لَهُ كَلاَّ أَبْشِرْ، فَوَاللَّهِ لاَ يُخْزِيكَ اللَّهُ أَبَدًا، إِنَّكَ لَتَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ، وَتَصْدُقُ الْحَدِيثَ، وَتَحْمِلُ الْكَلَّ، وَتَقْرِي الضَّيْفَ، وَتُعِينُ عَلَى نَوَائِبِ الْحَقِّ‏.‏ ثُمَّ انْطَلَقَتْ بِهِ خَدِيجَةُ حَتَّى أَتَتْ بِهِ وَرَقَةَ بْنَ نَوْفَلِ بْنِ أَسَدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الْعُزَّى بْنِ قُصَىٍّ ـ وَهْوَ ابْنُ عَمِّ خَدِيجَةَ أَخُو أَبِيهَا، وَكَانَ امْرَأً تَنَصَّرَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ، وَكَانَ يَكْتُبُ الْكِتَابَ الْعَرَبِيَّ فَيَكْتُبُ بِالْعَرَبِيَّةِ مِنَ الإِنْجِيلِ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَكْتُبَ، وَكَانَ شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا قَدْ عَمِيَ ـ فَقَالَتْ لَهُ خَدِيجَةُ أَىِ ابْنَ عَمِّ اسْمَعْ مِنِ ابْنِ أَخِيكَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ وَرَقَةُ ابْنَ أَخِي مَاذَا تَرَى فَأَخْبَرَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا رَأَى فَقَالَ وَرَقَةُ هَذَا النَّامُوسُ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ عَلَى مُوسَى، يَا لَيْتَنِي فِيهَا جَذَعًا أَكُونُ حَيًّا، حِينَ يُخْرِجُكَ قَوْمُكَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ أَوَمُخْرِجِيَّ هُمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقَالَ وَرَقَةُ نَعَمْ، لَمْ يَأْتِ رَجُلٌ قَطُّ بِمَا جِئْتَ بِهِ إِلاَّ عُودِيَ، وَإِنْ يُدْرِكْنِي يَوْمُكَ أَنْصُرْكَ نَصْرًا مُؤَزَّرًا‏.‏ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَنْشَبْ وَرَقَةُ أَنْ تُوُفِّيَ

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet (ﷺ) added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?)." Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous...up to..... ..that which he knew not." (96.15) Then Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, 'I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija said, 'Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamityafflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin `Abdul `Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, "O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew." Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" The Prophet (ﷺ) described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) asked, "Will they turn me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: "Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly."…

 Sahih al-Bukhari (6982)

In another narration narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah, he said that he heard the Prophet PBUH said:

ثُمَّ فَتَرَ عَنِّي الْوَحْىُ فَتْرَةً، فَبَيْنَا أَنَا أَمْشِي سَمِعْتُ صَوْتًا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ، فَرَفَعْتُ بَصَرِي قِبَلَ السَّمَاءِ فَإِذَا الْمَلَكُ الَّذِي جَاءَنِي بِحِرَاءٍ قَاعِدٌ عَلَى كُرْسِيٍّ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ، فَجُئِثْتُ مِنْهُ حَتَّى هَوَيْتُ إِلَى الأَرْضِ، فَجِئْتُ أَهْلِي فَقُلْتُ زَمِّلُونِي زَمِّلُونِي‏.‏ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى ‏{‏يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ‏}‏ إِلَى ‏{‏فَاهْجُرْ‏}‏

The Divine Inspiration was delayed for a short period but suddenly, as I was walking. I heard a voice in the sky, and when I looked up towards the sky, to my surprise, I saw the angel who had come to me in the Hira Cave, and he was sitting on a chair in between the sky and the earth. I was so frightened by him that I fell on the ground and came to my family and said (to them), 'Cover me! (with a blanket), cover me!' Then Allah sent the Revelation: "O, You wrapped up (In a blanket)! (Arise and warn! And your Lord magnify And keep pure your garments, And desert the idols." (74.1-5)

Sahih al-Bukhari (3238)

Imam Muslim also narrated this hadith with different wording in hadith number 422 and 425. With the same sanad from Urwah bin Zubair from ‘Aisha and from Salamah bin Abdurrahman from Jabir bin Abdullah (Refer Sahih Muslim , 4/97-98). It is also narrated in some accredited books of hadith. Among them are Al-Nasaie in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra (11631), Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (14483) (15035)(25865), Musnad Al-Tayalisi (1570), Al-Baihaqi in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra (7/51).

Coming back to the question presented, the phrase زملوني which means ‘cover me! (with blanket)’ is meant specifically for Sayyidatina Khadijah. This is because, in many narrations, there was only Sayyidatina Khadijah together with the Prophet PBUH at that time. There is no other person than her. This is according to the literal meaning of the narration.

Sheikh Sofa’ al-Dhawi al-‘Adawi mentioned that the person asked by the Prophet PBUH to cover him is Sayyidatina Khadijah. This shows the status and special standing of Sayyidatina Khadijah. (Refer Ithaf Al-Qari Bi Ikhtisar Fath Al-Bari, 2/24)

Al-Qadhi Iyadh mentioned that ‘cover me’ is meant for Khadijah. (Refer Kamal Al-Mu’lim Syarh Sohih Muslim, 1/317).

However, one question arises, as of why it is mentioned in the plural form and not singular? If it was meant for Sayyidatina Khadijah, then it should be stated in a singular female form which is زمّليني. It was mentioned in the plural form as an honor towards her. It is the norm in the language. Sheikh Zakariya al-Ansari stated that the plural form in the phrase زمّلوني is a form of honor towards Khadijah. (Refer Minhah Al-Bari Bi Syarh Sohih Al-Bukhari, 1/14).

It does not mean that there were people other than Sayyidatina Khadijah during that time, but it is a form of honor and grace of Sayyidatina Khadijah R.Anha.

Sheikh Muhammad Amin al-Hariri al-Shafi’e said:

“Plural pronouns in the phrase زملوني is a form of honoring Khadijah. This is because it is a norm of the Arabs during that time when speaking to their wives to use plural form”. (Refer Al-Kaukab Al-Wahhaj Wa Raudh Al-Bahhaj Fi Syarh Sohih Muslim Bin Hajjaj, 2/137).


In conclusion, the phrase زمّلوني mentioned by the Prophet PBUH was meant for Sayyidatina Khadijah. This is based on the literal meaning in the narrations which state the story on that particular time in which during that time, it was only her with the Prophet PBUH. There was no one else. Besides, it was mentioned in plural form as an honor and grace towards Sayyidatina Khadijah R.anha.

May Allah give us all understanding in religion. Wallahua’lam.