By: Ahmed Eljada

Inside Cover
Copy Rights
Khadijah: The First Muslim Woman
Az-Zahra' FatimahBint Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Zaynab the Elder, Daughter of the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him)
Satiyah bint 'Abdul Muttalib
A'ishah bint As-Siddiq
Hafsah bint Al-Faruq
Umm Salamah bint Zad Ar-Rakb
Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan
( Zaynab bint Jahsh: The Qur'anic Woman
Asma': The Lady of the Two Girdles
Sumayah: The First Martyr
Nasibah bint Ka'b (Umm 'Imarah)

Islambasics Library: Noble Women Around The Messenger

Hafsah bint Al-Faruq

The heavens bear witness to the constant praying and fasting of Hafsah.


Her husband, Khunays bin Hudhayfah As-Sahmi, died when she was only eighteen, which upset her father, 'Umar bin Al-khattab.


He wanted her to lead a secure life with a good husband, so he thought of 'Uthman bin `Affan as the best choice because he was one of the prominent figures in the Quraysh. and their men were known for their good nature and high moral values. `Uthman was a close friend of `Umar. and his wife Ruqayah-the Prophet's daughter had died. Having thought over the matter. `Umar decided to approach 'Uthman about it. He went to him and asked, "Would you like to take Hafsah for your wife?"


'Uthman paused to think and answered, "Give me time, 'Umar, to think it over."


'Umar left quite sure of his friend's desire to be related to him due to his closeness to the Prophet. Buta few days later, 'Uthman apologized to 'Umar for his lack of interest in the marriage. 'Urnar, offended by 'Uthman's refusal, decided to make this offer to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, but again he got no reply.


'Umar was trying to select a pious husband for his daughter and was shocked by his friends' refusal, so he hurried to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to complain about it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) answered`Umar in a way that relaxed him. He (peace be upon him)

said smiling. "Someone better than 'Uthman will marry Hafsah, and someone better than Hafsah will marry 'Uthman."


'Umar rejoiced at the news of his daughter's marriage to the Prophet and her subsequent title "Mother of the Faithful? When he carried the news to his family, the whole house was overwhelmed with happiness.


Although 'Umar was a chieftain of the tribe before and after Islam. He was not embarrassed to search for a husband for his widowed daughter. He was not shy to ask whoever was suitable to marry her.


ls there any father nowadays who prefers to follow `Umar`s example? Of course not. Fathers find it awkward to find good husbands for their daughters. But they don`t consider it awkward to allow them outdoors uncovered. Such an attitude from parents has resulted in the increasing number of unmarried women.


Dear parents. Follow the example of 'Umar, because he typifies the Islamic way of choosing husbands. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in this respect, "lf one whose religious state and manners you approve of comes to ask your daughter for marriage, accept him."


lf we fail to do so, the society will be full of unmarried women.


Hafsah joined the household of the Prophet (peace be upon him). She was the third after `A'ishah and Sawdah. and after her other wives came to the house. The natural jealousy that is felt by co-wives was also felt by the Prophet's wives. 'A'ishah and Hafsah used to be on opposing sides. The Prophet's reaction towards this was always marked with patience and forgiveness. But when any of them transgressed the limits, he was firm in handling such behavior.


Once Hafsah disclosed one of Prophet's (peace be upon him) secrets. He was firm enough to divorce her. `Umar was deeply hurt, as he was very proud of thiskinship with the Prophet. He blamed himself saying, "Allah will not look at `Umar and his daughter anymore." But this tragic situation did not last long, as Allah commanded His Messenger to take her back when Gabriel

descended to him with the message, "Take Hafsah back because she is a woman who constantly fasts and prays all night. She will be your wife in Paradise."


The joy of both Hafsah and her father was tremendous. ln general. we should not cast any blame on the wives of the best of the sons of Adam for competing to win his heart. especially that this human nature in them never conflicted with their piety and steadfastness in the teachings of Allah and his Messenger.


The house of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a house of prophethood and knowledge. All his wives were keen to learn Qur'an from him, and they all narrated hadiths from him with full understanding. They inquired, discussed, and sometimes tried to correct him and have their own opinions concerning the meaning of the Qur'an. But the Prophet (peace be upon him) was very open- minded in directing and instructing them, because his own household was to be an example to all other households.


It was narrated that while the Prophet (peace be upon him) was with Hafsah, he mentioned that his Companions who had taken the pledge of allegiance under the tree at the Treaty of Hudaybiyah were given the good tidings of salvation from Hellfire. He said, "The people of

the tree who took the pledge under it will not enter Hellfire if Allah wills." Thereupon, Hafsah remembered a verse from the Qur'an which she understood to be contradictory to what the Prophet had said. She could have kept silent, but she corrected- him by saying, "No, Messenger of Allah."


The Prophet (peace be upon him) frowned at her, but she insisted to go on reciting from the Qur'an:


(Not one of you but- will pass over it: this is, with thy Lord, a decree which must he accomplished.)

(Matyam, 71)-


But he (peace be upon him) corrected her by completing the rest of the sentence contained in the next verse:


(But we shall save those who guarded against evil, and We shall leave the wrong doers-therein,

(Humbled) to their knees}

(Maryam, 72)


This argument was a lesson to a student who had thought herself in the right but had discovered a new interpretation. She was humble enough to admit her mistake afterwards. The same verse was interpreted. by Ibn`Abbas when he said, "The one who passes by the water spring does not necessarily drink from it. All creatures will pass by Hell. The saved pass by it because Allah wants them to see what they have been saved from, but the evil people will fall in it on their knees."


Hafsah lived through the great moments of revelation and the triumph of Islam over the banners of unbelief. She also lived through the sad moment of the Prophet's death. Abu Bakr succeeded the Prophet (peace be upon him) and took the responsibility of caring for and

honoring the Mothers of the Faithful.


Soon after his appointment, the wars of apostasy started, and many Muslims were killed. This inspired Abu Bakr to compile the Qur'an into one book. He collected it from the fragmented papers and pieces of leather, and after finishing the task, he searched for a secure place and a

trustworthy person for its safekeeping.


Hafsah was that person. Keeping the book of guidance for all humanity in her house was not only Hafsah's honor but also the honor of all Muslim women from the time of the Prophet until the Day of Judgment. She kept that valuable trust for ten years. lt was then that the third caliph, 'Uthman bin Affan, took it back to copy and distribute it to the different cities. Most of Hafsah's time was spent in praying and fasting till she passed away and was reunited with her loving husband in the world of eternity.


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