Khawlah Bint Hakeem: Caring For the Prophet's Comfort - Reported 15 Hadiths In Some of The Most Authentic Anthologies

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

Her husband, Uthman ibn Mazoon, was a man of fine principles. Sometime in pre-Islamic days he decided not to drink any intoxicant. He said: "I will not drink something that has a negative effect on my mental judgment." When the Prophet (peace be upon him) began to preach God's message, he was one of the very early people to declare themselves Muslims. Khawlah did not hesitate to follow him and accept the new faith. Thus, she was among the early Muslims.

Like all those who embraced Islam early, Khawlah appreciated the difference Islam brought into her life. After the darkness of worshipping idols and statues, she now believed in God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all between. Her faith transformed her life and she was keen to stay very close to the Prophet. She used to often visit his wife, Khadijah, when the Muslims were still in Makkah. When Khadijah died in year 10 at the start of the Islamic message, Khawlah was the first to realize that some steps must be quickly taken to try to fill the gap left by Khadijah's departure. She realized how sad the Prophet was for the loss of his wife who supported him and ensured his comfort throughout 25 years of marriage. Khawlah came to the Prophet and suggested that he should marry again.

What is interesting in this is that she also had in mind whom to suggest that the Prophet could marry. When he asked her to name someone, she asked whether he preferred a mature woman or a virgin. Asked to name both, she said: "The virgin is Ayesha, the daughter of your closest companion, and the mature is Sawdah who is a good believer." The Prophet told her to go and propose to both on his behalf.

She went to both and told them that God is giving them a great honor. Both agreed and the Prophet married Sawdah when he was still in Makkah, but married Ayesha three years later, after he had settled in Madinah.

After the immigration to Madinah, Khawlah continued to be a frequent visitor to the Prophet's home. His wives always welcomed her and were very friendly with her. Once, they noticed that she looked very plain, caring little how she dressed or appeared. They asked her the reason for her plain appearance when her husband was rich. She said: "He is in his own world: Fasting every day and standing up in voluntary worship every night." They put her case to the Prophet, and he made sure of seeing her husband. He said to him: "Uthman, am I not the one you should follow?" Uthman wondered what the Prophet was alluding to, and when the Prophet mentioned his night worship and fasting, Uthman confirmed that he did. The Prophet said: "Do not do so. Your eyes have a claim on you; your body has a claim on you; your family has a claim on you. You may worship a little and go to sleep; and you may fast some days, but not every day." Uthman acted on the Prophet's advice and Khawlah's next visit to the Prophet's wife showed her well dressed, almost like a bride.

Uthman ibn Mazoon was the first Muslim from Makkah to die in Madinah. Khawlah composed a poem highlighting his virtues. Her poetry is of a high standard.

Many reports mention that she was the woman referred to in the following verse of the Qur'an stating which women the Prophet and Muslims may marry. It mentions certain relatives and adds the special case of "any believing woman who offers herself freely to the Prophet and whom the Prophet might be willing to wed: (this latter) applies to you alone and not to other believers." This is a statement by God that Khawlah was a believer. There can be no doubt as to that. The verse gives the Prophet a special privilege of marrying any woman who offers herself to him. Khawlah did that, but the Prophet never accepted such an offer from any woman. When some did so, he ensured that they were suitably married, but he did not take them for himself.

Khawlah reported 15 Hadiths she heard from the Prophet and these are included in some of the most authentic anthologies.



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