Sunday, July 5, 2009

Muslim Women to Look Up to: Hazrat Safiyaah

Insha' Allah this will be a recurring feature. It's important that as Muslimahs we have our own role models to look up to. We don't look to the latest stars, celebrities, models and politicians for our examples. Instead we look to the Muslimahs of yesterday and today. We are beautiful, strong, intelligent women with voices to be heard. Always have been and always will be. We are the mothers, the teachers, the listeners, the supporters and the backbone of our Ummah.

Our first Muslim Woman to Look Up To is Hazrat Safiyaah

Hazrat Safiyaah (Radi’Allahu Anha)

Her name and lineage
Her real name was Zainab (Radi’Allahu Anha). Any booty obtained after a battle was known as Safiyyah in Arabia, and as she fell captive to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), in the Battle of Khyber, she was thus named Safiyyah.

Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha)’s father was Hayye Bin Akhtab, the chief of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nazeer. He was considered to be a descendant of Prophet Aaron (as). Her mother Zarrah was the daughter of Samwal, the chief of the Jewish tribe Quraizah. Both were distinguished tribes of Banu Israel and had resided in the north of Arabia for a long time.

Marriage to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)
She first married a man called Islam, son of Mashkam Al-Qarzi who divorced her. She was then married to Kinanah Bin Abi-Haqiq, who was killed in the Battle of Khyber. Her father and brother were also killed in the battle. She was arrested alongside all the other war prisoners. As she was the daughter of the Chief of Khyber, she was thought fit only for the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) was set at liberty and the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) took her into wed-lock.

Features and Character
She was short of stature, but beautiful. Like the other wives of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), she was looked upon as a center of light and learning. A few Traditions were narrated by her on the authority of Hazrat Zain-ul-Abideen, Ishaq Bin Abdullah Bin Haris, Muslim Bin Safwan, Kinanah and Yazid Bin Mu’tab.

When Hazrat Sohairah Bint Teyfer returned to Medina after performing Hajj, she found Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) surrounded by women from Kufa to ask questions on religious matters.

Her character was very high and she contained many virtues. Imam Zarqani described her as intelligent, forbearing and scholarly. Patience and forbearance were her permanent features. At Khyber, when she and her sister were coming along with the captives, her sister cried and shrieked at seeing the dead bodies, but Hazrat Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) walked past the dead body of her husband and displayed exemplary patience and forbearance.

Safiyya (Radi’Allahu Anha) loved the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) very dearly. When he (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) fell ill, Safiyya (Radi’Allahu Anha) said, ‘I pray that your affliction had befallen me’. The other wives started looking at her, but the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘She is only saying the truth’. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also loved her very much. Once, on the eve of a journey, the camel of Hazrat Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) fell ill. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked Zainab (Radi’Allahu Anha) who had many camels to lend one to Hazrat Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha). Hazrat Zainab (Radi’Allahu Anha) declined and called Hazrat Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) a Jewess. This offended the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and he did not visit Zainab (Radi’Allahu Anha) for two months.
On another occasion, Aisha (Radi’Allahu Anha) made remarks about the short stature of Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) and the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) disliked this, saying, ‘You have said something which, if sunk in the sea-water, would make it muddy’.

Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) was also an expert cook and used to send dishes to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in the apartments of the other wives.

Her Death
Safiyyah (Radi’Allahu Anha) was 60 years old when she passed away in Ramadhan, 50AH. She was buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi.

*** Article from***

Asalaamu alaikum
Nadira & Najwa


  1. Jazak Allahu khair for this post! Insha'Allah you will make this a series.

  2. Salaam,
    I just came across this and have to say that the stories of the marriage with Hazrat Safiyyah are some of my favorite Ahadith. Such as the one when she was crying because others were teasing her because she was of Jewish ancestry. And as she cried, the Holy Rasul (peace be upon him) would just wipe away her tears. One by one.
    Thank you for reminding me of the nobility in kindness that was our beloved Messenger, peace be upon him.
    wa salaam

  3. Thanks for the very informativepiece, its funny, I read several works on the mothers of faith but they didnt give this much deep substance on strong this wife of the prophet was. I was specifically familiar with the story that Noora mention. Here is some extracted from "The Heirs of Muhammad":

    Later He[the Prophet,peace be upon him] would causally intercept her on the way home and call out, 'Aishah, how did thou find her' to which she dismimissively replied, 'I saw in her a Jewess like any other Jewess.' Muhammad corrected her, for Safiyah had professed herself a Muslim. Still it was clearly a weak point and her co-wives would taunt Saifyah by addressing her as 'Daughter of Huyay'-for her dead father was an old adversary of the Muslims. The Prophet taught her an effective riposte: "Tell them,'he advised, 'that my father is Aaron and my uncle is Moses-two of the great Jewish prophets that are honoured by all Muslims. This anti-Jewish spat proved to be but a passing quiet storm, for AIsha soon found that Safiyah's youth and high spirits matched her own. She never found loyalty to her own people conflicted with her own belief as a Muslim. In later life she kept Friday as holy as any believer but she also put aside the Sabbath as the day when she would recieve her Jewish friends and distribute charity to her improvished kin.

    Provided by the kid;Kareem Moqada

  4. Small mistake, Khareem Moqada, I spell it with an H. Getting used to my new Muslim name. Of cousre you really needed to know that (LOL).

  5. @ Khareem Moqada

    There is difference between kaf (k) and Kh (kha) in arabic and Kareem is a "muslim" name but Khareem isn't.

    Kareem comes the verb Karaamah: to be noble and have generosity and Khareem comes from Kharama. Which means to pierce or to poke holes into something.

  6. According to the dictionary kareem has three variant forms; can spell it three different ways, Karim, Kharim, karam. The dictionary specifically specifies that all forms mean generosity, one of the 99 names of Allah I dont like the "I" but I like the "H". SO I constructed Khareem. But I'll take your word for it if your fluent in Arabic but I hope your wrong. Well actually it would correspond with my last name, Naarullahil Moqada, meaning fire of Allah kindled. From my persona logical construction, it means someone very fiercely determined to propagate Islam by any means necessary. Poking or piercing to me would symbolize determination. In the future I plan to do this by writing. So either a generous fire, or a piercing fire. I like them both. I sound like a lawyer in training huh(LOL). Well it makes sense to me. Plus Allah is not to particular with names anyway. Not even his own name, just as long its not negative according to the Quran "Say: Call on Allah or call on the Beneficient. By whatever name you call him, He has the Best Names(20:8)leave those alone who violate the sanctity of His names(7:180). Thanks for the heads up Dy.

    Khareem Moqada

  7. I enjoy your blog, keep up the good work, I have tagged you!

  8. Does anybody know the year the Holy Prophet(SAW) and Hazrat Saffiyah got married???


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