Infertility Of The Mothers Of The Believers

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By Pure Matrimony -

The wives of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) are often understood as examples for Muslim women to follow. When Muslim women are given models of performance they turn to these women to show piety, steadfastness, honesty and obedience. However what appears to be forgotten among many is that most Mothers of the believers would be defined as infertile today. Among these women are two who would be classified as having secondary infertility, both having children prior to their marrying Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam). All others bearing no children at all. Let us take a look at these women.

Sawdaa’: She was married to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) shortly after the death of Khadijah, three years before the hijrah (migration). She was a widow having married once before. There are conflicting reports in reference to her having children. Those that claim she had a child attribute one son to her. She bore no children while married to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam).

‘Aa’ishah: She was married to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) in the same year as Sawdaa’, although her marriage was not consummated until after the migration to Madinah. She was the youngest wife of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) and the only virgin. She bore no children in her marriage.

She was married to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) after becoming a widow at the time of the battle of Badr. She is said to have been around the age of nineteen at the time. She had no children in her first marriage to Khumays b. Hudhafah and she bore no children in her marriage to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam).

Umm Salamah: She married Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) in the year 4 AH. She was previously married to ‘Abdullah ibn Abdul Asad and they had four children together, Zaynab, Salamah, Umar and Durra. She married Muhammad after becoming a widow and was still nursing Zaynab. She bore no children with Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam).

Zaynab bint Jahsh: She was a cousin of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) and previously married to his adopted son Zayd bin Thabit. After Zayd had divorced her in 5AH she was married to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) by the decree of Allah. She bore no children in either marriage.

: She was married to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) after the Battle of the Ditch in 5 A.H. She was captured and then freed by Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam); she then converted to Islaam and married the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah, the Mighty, be upon him). She was previously married before being a Muslim to Musafi’ ibn Safwan. She bore no children in either marriage.

Umm Habibah: She married Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) in the year 7 A.H. She was previously married to ‘Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh who turned apostate after migrating to Abyssinia. She bore one daughter, Habibah after her emigration to Abyssinia. She bore no children in her marriage to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam).

Safiyyah: She was a Jew and captured during the attack on Khaybar in 7 A.H. She was freed and converted to Islaam then married Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam). She was married twice before her conversion she bore no children in any marriage.

Maymoonah: She married Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) in 7AH. She was the last to be married by Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam). She was previously married to Ma’sood ibn ‘Amr ath-Thaqafi and Abu Ruhm ibn ‘Abdul Uzza. She bore no children in any marriage.

We can make the assumption that a fertility problem did not lie in Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam). He had children with his first wife Khadijah, four girls and two boys. And he had one child, Ibraaheem, with Maryam the Copt slave who was given to him as a gift after 7 A.H.

When we take these women as examples such exemplary women it’s strange as to why some people place so much emphasis on a woman’s ability to procreate and actually make her feel as if she has failed if she hasn’t!! Here we have the life of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) who is the best of examples, and yet we have the desire to measure the worth of a Muslim women by her ability to produce children. Yes, these examples of Muslim women did not produce children in their marriage to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam). They (may Allah be pleased with them) can be defined as infertile in light of the common day definition of infertility. Yet, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not divorce them, nor did he demean them for not having children. Their status as Muslim women was in no way defined by their ability or inability to have children. We have no record of this even being an issue among these women, yet we make it an issue between every couple even if we hardly know them.

It is my hope that all of my fellow infertile Muslim sisters find strength in the memory of these women. Even though they bore no children with Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam) he loved and respected them and they are given a status unlike other women in our Ummah (Muslim nation).

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17 Comments to Infertility Of The Mothers Of The Believers

  1. Shukran! I really needed to read this as I was so depressed about this issue currently! This article brought tears of joy from tears of sadness for me! I am so much more happy and grateful because I can feel the pain beginning to leave me. Jazakallah!

    • May Allah bless you with His best of the best children. Dear sister, after reading your comment, just the thought of how much pain you are in brought sadness to my heart. I’m happy that this topic eased your pain a little. I just wanted to say to never give up your hope. Allah is always listening to us and is always with us at all time. All we need to do is to go toward Him and ask Him. If He gives us what we want, it’s His blessing and if He doesn’t give us what we want then that means He has even better plan for us. Once I heard somewhere that Ali R.A. once said, ” when my dua is heard, I get happy, because I wanted that. And when my dua is not heard, then I get even happier, because this is what my God wanted.” May Allah forgive me, if I’m wrong. I don’t have the exact words in english, but this is what I translated from urdu writing. I loved this saying, and it makes me very satisfied. May Allah keeps you happy, satisfied, successful and peaceful always! Here in this world and do the best for you in the Aakhira. Have a strong faith in Allah! I’m sure you do. That’s why your heart melted at this topic. God bless you.

  2. khadeeza yasmin

    The pain I feel when people ask me why I don’t have children, the verbal abuse I get from my husband, and the shame felt from myself within….. Jazakallah for this article. And like the above sister, it brought tears to my eyes and more love for islam and our beloved rasool (saw)

  3. Subhanallah…this article came at the right time as I am also facing the same issue as the ladies here..People keep asking me when will i have children but my reply is always ‘It is in God’s hands and not up to us to decide when’. I am thankful to Allah swt that I have a very understanding husband and family members who give me support for at least I still hv a place where I can lean on and confide..may Allah swt gives us the strength to face the challenges in our lives for Allah swt knows best..

  4. Khadeeza and Rashal, May Allah bless you guys with His Rehmat! Ameen! May you both get the most pious and the righteous children, Ameen. I’m feeling so bad just reading your comments, and you guys have to live it. Always keep you faith high in Allah. Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed. Allah does everything for a reason. Whoever bad mouth you guys, they don’t know what they say is being written by their angels and is being reported to Allah and the worst part is that they’re hurting you. May Allah guide us all, Ameen! May Allah opens theirs hearts and make them realize their mistakes and may they feel love for you, instead of hatered. Ameen! I’ll pray for all of you too, Insha’Allah. I hope you guys don’t mind me replying to your comments.

  5. Your sister in Islam

    Alhamdulillah……all Praise for Allah SWT, who has blessed me with loving & supporting husband and family. Its been about 11 years now since i’ve been facing questioning looks from people around, for not having kids………..nevertheless i’m so glad n satisfied that Allah SWT has blessed me with a chance to learn his book and know him better. If i have had kids, i would surely not be where i am today, doing what i am 🙂
    This article has yet again given me strength and motivation to carry on without feeling low, coz indeed Allah SWT knows what’s best for us.
    To all of my sisters here i would like to say…….do not loose hope, be consistent in your duas, ask Allah SWT for the best for yourselves & the best would come along….INSHA ALLAH.
    from this article we know for sure that being childless is not the end of this world, there’s alot to do other than that.
    May Allah SWT bless us all with the righteous child/children if that would benefit our DUNYA & AAKHIRAH…..AAMEEN 🙂

    • Asalaamualaikam sisters i too have been married for nearly 9 years and still not a mother sadly but i enjoy spending time with my nieces gives me a bit of peace in my heart as i really want to be a mother. I would love to adopt but my husband wants to wait till we have our own 🙁 . I just make dua that one day i will be a mother thats all i want even if adopted please make Dua for me i feel so alone sometimes but i know im not Allah kareem is with me. I hope all you feel better soon this article helped me a lot.
      Jazak Allah Kher

  6. Naveen Malik

    Asslam u alaikum wr wb
    May ALLAH Bless you for your beautiful perspective and May He enhance it for you. ameen. Jazakillah khair- even though I have been blessed with 2 children, it is amazing to see what erroneous concepts we have regarding our own worth. Or worth is as the slave of ALLAH no more and no less- if we fail to live upto that part, that is the problem,

  7. Salam, just wanted to raise an error in the article. Mispelling of one of the ummul mu’mineen names- Maariyah Qibtiyyah (Maria the Copt) not Maryam.

  8. As Salam Alai kum,

    I m in 36 years of age.
    I m not even married, looking out for marriage proposals, And being reminded by the chances of Infertily by my Mother, and she would ask me to marry a person who is already married and do hve children.

    Would tat be solution…

    JazakAllah Khairan.

  9. I never knew this , its a new and inspiring addition of knowledge,,,it is happening to me even though I am only married for one year but I always feel guilty for not having a child,even now I can’t stand looking at a child and a mother together,,i feel that I am not worth a wife but now reading this new information I know I am not the only person,,,i pray for Allah every day to give me sabr and expecally my husband who even though he scared of hurting my feeling I still feel ,he is loosing the love he has for me. I pray for Allah also for the other sisters to get children.

  10. Had almost lost hope

    JazakAllahkhair for this wonderful article sister! The number of infertilile cases has increased at an alarming rate thanks to our lifestyle and food habits..As for me,been trying for over 4 years now and been suffering from mental stress and depression..the treatment does have certain effects on the mind and body,after all its hormones..
    .Even before I read this aricle i would console myself thinking of these greatest women in Islam especially Ayesha..maybe my Iman isn’t strong enough,i just keep losing faith again and again..Inspite of being blessed with a loving husband and an understanding family I do end up feeling worthless as a woman in the end..I dont grieve for myself, but for my dear husband because he is so patient..
    i have decided to strive in the name of Allah and now am concentrating on Islamic classes and reading..I do lose track ,but then something or the other happens to help me pick up..
    Insha Allah if it is in my naseeb I pray for a pious and saalih offspring..

  11. Assalaamu’Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Baraktuhu Sister,

    Jazaki’Allaahu’Khayr for this article. These past few months I have been battling with the effects of Leukemia and Lukopenia the chances of becoming pregnant are increasingly lower now. I was married once before and had a son, however, being divorced and remarried to a man that doesn’t have children,I have been praying so much to have a baby.

    Ironically, I am the one being hard on myself about not being able to have children. My husband comes from a huge family and most of siblings who are married have at least three children.

    Masha’Allaah, I am so grateful that my new husband has taken to my son and decided to raise him as his own, however,I do at times feel like a failure because I have not been able to conceive a child with him. He has been so supportive in the fact that I have not been able to, and feels that my son from previous marriage is sufficient for him.

    What is sad is that my friends are having children all the time and I feel so sad that I have not been able to grant my husband this simple joy of life. Now, having read this article I feel so inspired. Allaah does send small and big blessings everyday. I feel the pain of not being able to have a child leave my soul.

    I am sure my husband will feel so relieved because he told me the other day, ‘I hate to see you so sad about this. Having a child or not having a child will never effect the way I feel about our marriage.’ I do feel blessed in someways that I do have a caring husband, alhamdulillaah. Now I feel more blessed that because of this reminder I do not have to feel like a failure for not having a child. Thank you again. May Allaah (swt) reward you for all your good efforts in sharing knowledge feesabilAllaah. Ameen!



  12. Jazakhallahu khaira sister. To all the sisters( i inclusive) asking Allah for children. May Allah grant us righteous children. Ameen.

  13. My husband did hurt me by saying today that I cannot have children because of my black heart. This his not the first time he said stuff like this to me. He asked to marry me after him having another wife and two kids with her.

    • Asalaamualaikam sister sometimes its pressure on your husband too and they say things they dont mean

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