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Zaynab bint Khuzayma

Wive of muhammad
The basics
AKA Zàynab bint Khuzayma
Date of birth
Date of death 626 Medina, Al Madinah Region, Saudi Arabia
Mother: Hind bint Awf
Spouse: Muhammad Ubaydah ibn al-Harith
Sister(s): Lubaba bint al-Harith Asma bint Umays Maymuna bint al-Harith Salma bint Umays
The details

Zaynab bint Khuzayma (Arabic: زينب بنت خزيمة‎, also known as Umm al-Masakin, "Mother of the Poor", born 595) was the fifth wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. As a result of her early death, less is known about her than any of his other wives. Her children were Muawiya, Awn, Munqidh, Ibrahim, Harith, Rabta, Khadija, Sukhayla, , Amina, Safiya. All of these children were fathered with her previous husband, Ubayda ibn al-Harith.


Typically described as being in her late 20s, although occasionally said to be 48, she was described as "beautiful". She was known for her "compassion and pity" for the poor.

Zaynab was first married to Tufail bin Harith, who either divorced her or died shortly afterward. Zaynab then married her first husband's brother, Ubaydah ibn al-Harith. In 624, her husband died of wounds received in the Battle of Badr, and she began to live in poverty. Ibn Kathir, in his 14th century Sira, referred to Zaynab's first husband as being Husayn bin al-Harith, and her second marriage to Jahsh ibn Riyab, who was killed at the Battle of Uhud.

There are conflicting reports as to whether she was shunned and sought marriage, or whether she turned down many offers of marriage. Some even suggest she had a third husband, who also died.

Marriage to Muhammad

The following year shortly after his marriage to Hafsa bint Umar, Muhammad approached her with a mahar of either 400 dirhams or 12 ounces of gold, and offered to marry her. There has been debate about how the marriage was proposed, in Ibn Kalbi's al-Isaba, he claimed that Muhammad proposed to her directly - while Ibn Hisham wrote that her uncle, Quobaisa bin Arm al-Hilali had arranged the marriage proposal.

It was said the marriage, which took place during the month of Ramadan, was meant to assure his followers that their deaths in battle would not mean their families would starve and be neglected. She was the first of his wives to come from outside the Quraysh tribe. At one point, a poor man came to her house to beg for some flour, and she gave him the last of her own, and went without food that night. Muhammad was moved by her compassion, and told his other wives about it and preached that "if you have faith in Allah...he would provide for your sustenance, even as he doeth for the birds, who leave their nest hungry in the morning, but return full at night".


Jannat al-Baqi cemetery, where Zaynab is buried.

She died less than two years later, the only one of Muhammad's wives to die before him, other than his first wife Khadijah. It has been suggested she died during the month of Rabi' al-thani, four years after the Hijra.

She was buried in Jannat al-Baqi, carried into her grave by Muhammad.

After her death, her household in Muhammad's circle remained empty for a notable period of time, before his sixth wife, Umm Salama was moved in, and noted "He married me and moved me to the chamber of Zaynab bint Khuzayma, the Mother of the Poor".

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