Mother of the believers Hafsah bint ‘Umar al-Khattab

(may Allah be pleased with her)

Hafsa’s (may Allah be pleased with her) Family

Father: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him)

Mother: Zainab bin Mazun

Tribe: Quraysh

Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) was born 17 years before the migration and five years before Prophethood.i In the third year of the Hijra, after the battle of Uhud, he married Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) the daughter of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab. Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) before being married to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was the wife of Khanais bin Hudhayfah ibn Qays (may Allah be pleased with him) who was one of the early converts to Islam. He died leaving her for seven months before the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) married her. By marrying Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) he enabled his second companion, ‘Umar bin alKhattab (may Allah be pleased with him) to come to see him in his house at Hafsah’s home. So the marriages to ‘A’isha and Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with them) were marriages to the daughters of his two assistants, the daughters of two companions who persevered with him in preaching (da’wah), ruling and fighting etc. So such marriages were not only for the purpose of marriage. Although ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) was beautiful and the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) found her attractive this was not the case with Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her), which indicates that his marriage to both of them was not for sexual gratification. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) married her in the 3rd year of Migration. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was 55 and Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) was 22 years old.ii In the case of Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her), it was the Messenger of Allah’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) desire to bind in relationship those of his great companions who were his advisers and who were trained for future leadership. He had married Abu Bakr’s (may Allah be pleased with him) daughter, married two of his own daughters to ‘Uthman and one to ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them). ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) could not kept outside of this circle of relationship. By marrying his daughter Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) forged a strong bond of relationship within the Islamic movement, thus strengthening the pillars of the Ummah. Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) was also a recognised jurist and scholar of hadith with a total of 60 traditions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah be pleased with her) from which 5 are in Imam Bukhari’s Sahih collection while the others in several other books of hadith. She passed away in Shaban 45 AH in the year 667 in Madinah, during the rule of Ameer Mu’aawiya (may Allah be pleased with him). The appointed governor of Madinah at that time Marwan bin Hikam, lead her funeral prayer and also carried her funeral for some distance, which was also helped being carried by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him). She was either 60 or 63 at the time of her death.iii

Lessons learnt Besides many lessons learnt by her life was that she was aggressive in nature like her father ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Whosoever has this type of problem can look into the live of Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) to see how she controlled this with the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

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