Ummul Mumineen Safiyyah bint Huyai

Her Descent

She is Safiyah bint Huyai bin Akhtab. Her decent goes back to prophet Harun (Aaron), peace be upon him.

Lady Safiyah  May Allah be pleased with her  said: “I was the sweetheart of my father and uncle, Abu Yaser. Whenever they are with their children and see me, they take me and leave them. When the Prophet  peace be upon him  came to Medina, my father and uncle went to him from the morning and did not come back until the sunset time. They were very tired and walking slowly. Seeing that, I met them courteously as I usually do, but no one cared about me due to their dejection. I heard my uncle, Abu Yasser, saying to my father: Is it he? My father said: yes he is (the Prophet). My uncle said: do you know him surely? My father said: yes. My uncle said: then what will you do? My father said: He will be my enemy forever “.


Her Birth & Upbringing Place

The exact date of birth of Lady Safiyah  May Allah be pleased with her  is not known, but she was brought up in Al-Khazraj, and was of great dignity before Islam. She was Judaist by religion and lived in Medina. Her mother’s name was Burra bint Samwal.


Her Attributes

Lady Safiyah  May Allah be pleased with her  was known of her virtuous character, beauty, forbearing and sublime honor.


Her Life Before Islam

She was of a high dignity for her family. It is mentioned that she has got married twice before Islam; the first husband was called Salam ibn Mushkim; the knight and poet of his people. Then, she separated from him and married Kinanah bin Al-Rabi bin Ubai Al-Haqiq Al-Nasri, the owner of the Qomos Fortification; the most important fortification for the Jews. He was killed in the battle of Khaibar.


Knowing the Prophet  Peace be upon him

In the month of Moharram, the 7th year after Hijra, the Prophet  peace be upon him  got ready to fight the Jews in Khaibar. When the Prophet  peace be upon him  approached Khaibar he said: “Allah Akbar (Allah is The Greatest), Khaibar will be vanished because if we (the Muslims) fight any people  after being duly warned and notified and after their incompliance  we will surely prevail”.

The fight flared up between the Muslims and the Jews and the result was the triumph of the Muslims. The men of Khaibar were killed and their women were taken as captives including Lady Safiyah  May Allah be pleased with her  and the fortifications of Khaibar were opened, including the fortification of Ibn Abi Al Haqiq. When the companion Bilal  May Allah be pleased with him  came back with the captives, he passed them by some of their killed people. Seeing that, the cousin of Safiyah cried and poured dust on her face. The Prophet  peace be upon him  was disturbed of that and ordered to take her away from him. The Prophet  peace be upon him  told Safiyah to stand behind him and covered her with his cloth in order not to see the killed; therefore, it is said that the Prophet  peace be upon him  has selected her for himself.

It is mentioned also that the Prophet  peace be upon him  has invaded Khaibar and prayed Al-Fajr prayer (dawn) there with his companions. The Prophet  peace be upon him  and Abu Talha rode, and I rode behind Abu Talha and walked around the lane of Khaibar. My knee was so close to the thigh of the Prophet  peace be upon him  then the cover shrank and I saw the white thigh of the Prophet  peace be upon him  and when we entered the village, the Prophet  peace be upon him  said: ” Allah Akbar (Allah is The Greatest), Khaibar will be vanished because if we (the Muslims) fight any people  after being duly warned and notified and after their incompliance  we will surely prevail” three times. Then, the people went to their duties and the army invaded the village and collected the captives. Then Dohia came and said: O Prophet of Allah, give me one of the captive women, the Prophet  peace be upon him said: go and take one. Then Dohia has taken Safiyah bint Huyai, but a man came to the Prophet  peace be upon him and said: O Prophet of Allah, you have given Safiyah bint Huyai to Dohia, she is the lady of Quraidha and Al Nadhir people, she is suiting you only. The Prophet  peace be upon him  said: call him to bring her. When he looked at her, the Prophet  peace be upon him  told Dohia: take another one of the captives. The Prophet  peace be upon him  has set her free and married her. In the way, Um Sulaim has prepared the bride for marriage and took her to the Prophet at night and he married her. In the morning, the Prophet  peace be upon him  stretched out his gown and asked for some food. Some men brought dates, some brought butter and some brought flour. Then, they made a banquet for the Prophet  peace be upon him.


Narrated by Anas Bin Malek  the tradition is (True the narrator isAlBukhari  the SourceAlJame‘ Al Sahih  page or No.: 371.


Embracing Islam

The Prophet  peace be upon him  was not obliging any person to embrace Islam by force until such person became fully convinced with the revelations of Allah and the Sunna (way) of the Prophet, peace be upon him. The Prophet  peace be upon him  asked her about that and gave her the free choice between remaining a Judaist or embracing Islam. If she choose Judaism, the Prophet  peace be upon him  will release her and if she embrace Islam, the Prophet will marry her. She chose Islam by her own will faithfully and sincerely out of her wish to repent and out of her love to the guidance of the Prophet peace be upon him.

Having came from Khaibar, she lived in the house of Haritha bin An No’man, and the women there came to see her after hearing something about her beauty, including Lady Aisha  may Allah be pleased with her  and it is mentioned that she were wearing a veil. After she went out, the Prophet asked Aisha about Safyiah, she replied: I saw a Judaist woman. The Prophet  peace be upon him  said: “She embraced Islam and became a good Muslim”.


The Day of Wedding

The Prophet  peace be upon him  has taken her to a house in Khaibar in order to marry her but she refused and the Prophet was disturbed for this. Then, they continued their way toward Al-Sahbaa’. There, Um Sulaim bint Malhan combed the hair of Safiyah, dressed and perfumed her and this made Safiyah look very beautiful & attracting. She was very happy to the degree that she forgot the misfortune of her family. Then the banquet was made, and her dowry was a servant called Razina. When the Prophet entered, Safiyah told him that at the night of her wedding with Kinana (her previous husband), she saw in her dream a moon falling on her lap. She told her husband who became very angry and said: Do you wish to marry Muhammad, the King of Hijaz? And slapped her.

The Prophet  peace be upon him  asked her about the reason of her refusal to the wedding while they were in Khaibar, she replied that she feared something happened to the Prophet by the Jews.

Umayah bint Qais said: “I heard that Safiyah was less than seventeen years old when she married the Prophet  peace be upon him.


Her Stances with the Wives of the Prophet  Peace be upon him

Safiyah  may Allah be pleased with her  heard that Hafsa (one of the Prophet’s wives)  May Allah be pleased with her  said about her “the daughter of a Jew”, so she cried and the Prophet  peace be upon him  entered while she was crying and asked her: Why are you crying? She replied: Hafsa said that I am the daughter of a Jew. The Prophet  peace be upon him  said: Your decent goes back to a father prophet (Moses) and uncle prophet (Aaron) and your husband is a Prophet  peace be upon them all then why is she taking pride? The Prophet  peace be upon him  then told Hafsa: Fear Allah”.


Narrated byAnas bin Malek  a true tradition  the relatorAlAlbani  The SourceMishkat AlMasabih  Page or number6143.

The Prophet  peace be upon him  went to pilgrimage (Hajj) with his wives. In the way, a man got down and drove the caravan quickly. The Prophet said: are you driving the caravan of women like this (quickly). On the way, the camel of Safiyah, which was the best of the camels, knelt down; and she started crying. The Prophet peace be upon him  came when he was advised and began wiping her tears with his hand but she was even crying more and the Prophet was telling her to stop. However, when she continued crying – and though camping in this place was not the Prophet’s wish- he told his people to camp. That day was the share of Safiyah to be with the Prophet peace be upon him. The Prophet made a tent for him and entered it. Although that day was her share with him, Safiyah  May Allah be pleased with her  was hesitant to enter to the Prophet fearing that he is angry, therefore she went to Lady Aisha  May Allah be pleased with her  and told her: You know that it is impossible for me to waive my day with the Prophet but for the purpose of making him forgive me, I will give my day to you. Aisha agreed and took her veil, after putting some saffron and spraying water on it in order to have a good smell, and worn her clothes and went to the Prophet . Reaching there, the Prophet told her: It is not your turn today. Aisha replied: “That is the grace of Allah which he bestows on whom he pleases“. When the caravan resumed its way, Aisha  May Allah be pleased with her  told Zainab bint Jahsh, who was having camels more than them: Give a camel to your sister Safiyah, but Zainab replied: I will not give a camel to a Jew. Hearing that, the Prophet became angry, deserted Zainab and did not speak with her until they arrived Makka, and during the days of Mina (pilgrimage days) until they reached Medina, and continued like this in the months of Moharram and Safar. During such days, the Prophet  peace be upon him  did not sleep with her until she became hopeless. In the month of Rabi’ Al-Awal, the Prophet entered to her room. Seeing the shadow, she said: this is a shadow of a man and I am sure it is not the Prophet because he does not enter my room. Seeing him, she said: O Prophet of Allah, I do not know what to do. Zainab had a slave girl and was hiding her in order that the Prophet will not see her, but at that moment she said: this slave girl is my gift to you. The Prophet walked toward the bed of Zainab which was folded  since the Prophet peace be upon him did not enter her room for a long time  then he unfolded it, slept with his wife and forgave her.


Narrated bySafiyah bint Huyai  the validity of the traditionthe series of narrators containedShumiya or Sumiya (the one who narrated from Safiyah), if they were the same personthen thetradition is true  the RelatorAlAlbani– the SourceAlSilsila AlSahiha  Page or number7/621.


The Death of the Prophet  Peace be upon him

Zaid bin Aslam said: The wives of the Prophet  peace be upon him  assembled together during the illness of his death. Then Safiyah bint Huyai  May Allah be pleased with her  said: O Prophet of Allah, I swear by Allah that I wish to bear your illness and relive you if I can. Hearing that, the wives of the Prophet  peace be upon him  winked at that i.e. looking at each other as if they are not believing her. Then the Prophet  peace be upon him  said: Rinse out your mouths. They said: For what? He said: of your winking at her, I swear by Allah that she is truthful.


Narrated byZaid bin Aslam  the validity of the traditiongood  the RelatorIbn Hijr AlAskalani –the SourceAlIsabah  Page or number7/347.

After the death of the Prophet  peace be upon him  she lost the protection and security and people continued mocking her origin.


Other Stances

The Prophet  peace be upon him  was making Itikaf (i.e. seclude himself in the mosque for the worship of Allah). Safiyah  May Allah be pleased with her  said: I went at night to visit the Prophet and speak with him, after that, I went to my home  in the house of Osama bin Zaid  and the Prophet  peace be upon him  accompanied me. In the way, we passed by two men from Al-Ansar (i.e. the people of Medina) who walked quickly when they saw us. The Prophet  peace be upon him  told them: wait, she is Safiyah bint Huyai (i.e. Don’t think I’m walking at night with a strange woman, I am walking with my wife), the two men replied: O Prophet of Allah, you are the prophet of Allah, how can we doubt you!! The Prophet  peace be upon him  said: The devil is all the time accompanying the man, just like his blood, and all the time whispering evil to him; therefore, I feared that the devil whispered any evil thoughts to you.


Narrated bySafiyah the validity of the traditiontrue  the RelatorAlAlbani– the SourceSahih AbiDawood  Page or number4994.

At the reign of Omar Bin the Khattab  May Allah be pleased with him  the slave girl of Safiyah told him that Safiyah  May likes Saturdays and do visit the Jews. By asking her about that she replied: “As for Saturdays, I do not like them anymore because Allah The Almighty has blessed me with Fridays instead, and as for visiting the Jews, I am just visiting my family”. Thereafter, she asked her slave girl about the reason of doing so, the slave girl replied: it is the devil who whispered this to me; therefore, Safiyah  May Allah be pleased with her  has set her free.

Narrating the Traditions (Hadith) of the Prophet  Peace be upon him

She has ten narrations of traditions in the books of the Prophet’s traditions. One of them was narrated by Muslim & Al Bukhari. The persons who reported her narrations are: her nephew Kinana, Yazid bin Moteb, Zain Al-Abdin bin Ali bin Al Hussein, Ishaq bin Abdullah bin Al-Hareth and Muslim bin Safwan.


Her Death:

She died in Medina, at the reign of Mo’awiah, May Allah be pleased with him  in the 50th year after Hijrah, and was buried beside the other Mothers of Believers (the wives of the Prophet peace be upon him) may Allah be pleased with them all.


Conclusion

The most attractive thing of what I have read about Safiyah bint Huyai  May Allah be pleased with her is her attitude when Omar bin Al-Khattab  May Allah be pleased with him  asked her about Saturdays and visiting the Jews. In spite of embracing Islam, she did not forget her family, and this is one of the important things emphasized in Islam.

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About MuQeet

This is MuQeet. Author. Educator. Soft Skill Trainer. Freelancer. Editor. YasSarNalQuR'aN is my primary blog. There are two other amazing blogs: www.Muqith.wordpress.com and www.IslamCalling.wordpress.com Subscribe if you wish to stay connected, InshaaAllah. Thank you.
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