Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

Friday sermon: the Prophet's wife who pushed for women's rights

Worshippers will be told on Friday about Umm Salamah, the Prophet's fourth wife whom he married after she became widowed

On Friday, the sermon will tell worshippers about Umm Salamah, one of the Prophet's wives who became known for her intelligence, piety and push for women's rights in Islam.

Umm Salamah was among the first women to embrace Islam and emirate to Madinah with Prophet Mohammed.

When her husband died, after becoming injured in the battle of Uhud, she was left with three young children to care for.

Prophet Mohammed asked her to marry him but she hesitated, warning him that she was a jealous woman, "advanced in age" and had a young family.

The Prophet dismissed her concerns, telling her "your family is my family". She became his fourth wife, and the third woman he married to take care of after her husband died in war.

Described by the Prophet as "good and righteous", Umm Salamah was a loving wife and mother. She would prioritise her children over herself and spend more on them than she would herself.

Umm Salamah was keen on giving her children a high level of education and her daughter, Zaineb, would go on to become one of the most learned women of her time.

The sermon will tell worshippers that all parents should strive to emulate her positive attributes.

Umm Salamah was also very pious and would recite the Quran often, reflecting on its meanings. One day she approached the Prophet to ask why women were not mentioned in the Quran the way that men were. Her question prompted this revelation and statement from Allah:

"Muslim men and Muslim women, men who are believers and women who are believers, devout men and devout women, truthful men and truthful women, patient men and patient women, humble men and humble women, men who give charity and women who give charity, men who fast and women who fast, men who guard their modesty and women who guard their modesty, and men who remember Allah and women who remember Him: for them, Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward."

Umm Salamah would go on to become a scholar and jurist who dedicated her life to the spread of knowledge. After the Prophet's death, she became a main contributor to the Hadith, a record of Prophet Mohammed's teachings.

Updated: October 17, 2019 09:51 PM

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