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 Safiyyah bint Huyayee

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PostSubject: Safiyyah bint Huyayee   Safiyyah bint Huyayee EmptyThu Jul 14, 2011 11:16 am

As Salamu Alaikum

Safiyyah bint Huyayee radiyallah anha

Safiyyah bint Huyayee was the favourite daughter of Huyayee bin Akhtab the chieftain of the tribe of Banu Nadheer. Her mother was Barah bint Shamwal who was the sister of Rafa'ah in Shamwal. She was married to Salam bin Mashkam first, but they separated soon on grounds of incompatibility. Her second husband was Kananah bin Rabi' bin Haqeeq who was killed in the Battle of Khaibar, she was taken as a prisoner of war. One of the Companion, Dahyah Kalbi radiyallahu anhu asked the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa for a slave girl, and he gave him the freedom to choose for himself. He chose Safiyyah. The others suggested that since she was the chieftain's daughter he should keep her for himself and give some other slave to Dahyah Kalbi radiyallah anha . The Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa did as they suggested; then he decided to free her and married her.

There is another tradition too. Wahshi bin Harb radiyallahu anhu narrates how the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa asked for their opinion about Safiyyah. They told him that she would be more suitable for him and better than any of the others. So he freed her and took her hand in marriage.

Seerat Ibn Hisham, Dalai1 An-Nabuwwah by Baihaqi and Dalail An¬Nabuwwah by Asbahani - all recorded what Safiyyah radiyallah anha had to say about her life before her marriage to the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa Her father and her paternal uncle, Abu Yasir, loved her deeply and they used to live in Al-Madinah. When the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) migrated and carne there he first stayed in the valley of Banu ‘Amr bin 'Auf, both her father and her uncle went to see him. On their return both looked tired, fed up and disappointed.

They did not pay any attention to her, which was very unusual for her. She became anxious over what could possibly have happened. Her uncle asked her father if this was the same man. He swore by God that it was certainly the same man. Her uncle wanted to confirm again if it really was the same man, and if he had recognized him. Again her father replied in the affirmative. Then her uncle asked him for his sincere opinion about the stranger. Her father answered that he would always treat this man as a foe. Safiyyah heard this cryptic conversation filled with malice and vindictiveness and was shocked.

Time passed and the Treaty of Hudaibiah was signed. When the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa returned after that the Quraish prevented them from entering Makkah. The news spread like wildfire through the whole of the Arabian Peninsula that the Muslims had bowed down and accepted an unfair treaty. People thought they had weakened, were desperate and fast losing hope. When the Jews in Khaibar heard this news, they thought this was the appropriate moment to strike and started preparing to attack Al-Madinah. They invited all the Jews in the surrounding areas to join forces with them. When the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa heard about the warlike preparations of the Jews of Khaibar, he took with him the very same fourteen hundred people who had set out with him to perform 'Umrah but had not been allowed within the precincts of Makkah after the treaty of Hudaibiah. Women also were part of this group of pilgrims. He had returned from Hudaibiah in the month of Dhul-Hajj, and left for Khaibar with his army in the early days of the month of Muharram. When he first sighted Khaibar he ordered his army from to stop right there, and lifted his hands in supplication to Allah Jallajalaluhu Whenever he travelled, it was his usual practice to recite this prayer whenever his eyes first fell on a city.

'0 Allah, Lord of the seven heavens and all that they envelop, Lord of the seven earths and all that they carry, Lord of the devils and all whom they misguide, Lord of the winds and all whom they whisk away. I ask You for the goodness of this village, the goodness of its inhabitants and for all the goodness found within it and I take refuge with You from the evil of this village, the evil of its inhabitants and from all the evil found within it.'

It was nightfall when they reached Khaibar. He camped with his forces on the plains just on the outskirts of the city. This again was a typical strategy of his; whenever he led his men to engage in battle, he planned to reach there by nightfall. But he was so principled that he would never attack the enemy at night in order to take them unawares.

The Muslim army was encamped just outside Khaibar, but the people of the city were quite unaware of this. When they woke up in the morning and started going about their usual chores, they were shocked to see a whole army encamped on their doorstep, as it were!

Soon after Fajr (early dawn) prayers, the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa ordered the Mujahideen to advance and attack. The Jews of Khaibar started scattering towards their homes. When the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa saw them running he called out,

Allah is Great, Khaibar is deserted, Khaibar is broken, Khaibar is destroyed and ruined!'

By the Grace of Allah Almighty the Muslims triumphed and all the forts of Khaibar were taken. The father of Safiyyah, Huyayee bin Akhthab was killed in the battle of Bani Quraidhah. Her husband Kananah bin Rabi'ah bin Haqeeq was captured and killed for the crime of misgovernment. And Safiyyah radiyallah anha was made a prisoner of war.

Dahyah Kalbi radiyallahu anhu was given the option to choose a slave girl for himself, and he chose Safiyyah radiyallah anha . One of the Companion suggested that it would be better if the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa kept Safiyyah radiyallah anha , the daughter of a leader and chieftain, for himself and gave some other slave girl to Dahyah Kalbi radiyallahu anhu So he chose the sister of Safiyyah's husband Kanana bin Rabi'ah. The Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa then freed Safiyyah and married her. Her dowry was her liberty, writes Hafiz Ibn Qayyam.

On the return journey to Al-Madinah, the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa camped with his army twelve miles away from the city. One of the Sahabiyat, Umm Salim Ansariah radiyallah anha , dressed up Safiyyah radiyallah anha in her bridal finery.

In his book, Seerah A'lam Nubala' Imam Thahabi describes the qualities and character of Safiyyah radiyallah anha . He says she was noble both by birth as well as by nature; she was God-fearing, intelligent, beautiful, patient, tolerant and dignified. When the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa saw the mark of an injury just above her eye, he asked her how she got hurt. She answered that she had dreamt that the moon had fallen into her lap. When she told her husband about her dream, he slapped her hard and told her that it meant she was in love with the king of Yathrib. When she married the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa , Safiyyah radiyallah anha was just seventeen years old.

Safiyyah radiyallah anha traveled in the company of the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa from Khaibar to Al-Madinah. She says that she never came across a person who was more refined and well-mannered than him. He was always pleasant and behaved like a perfect gentleman. When the people of Al-¬Madinah heard of his approach, they came out to greet him and his victorious army. The faces of the Muslims were glowing with pleasure, and those of the hypocrites were downcast and gloomy. All the Mothers of the believers were waiting impatiently in their apartments, longing to meet the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa and congratulate him on this great victory. When word came that he married the young and beautiful daughter of the Jewish leader, Aishah radiyallah anha was disturbed by a twinge of feminine jealousy, which was but natural. The Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa also did not consider it proper to take his new bride to any of his wives' houses. He went directly to the house of Harithah bin Nu'man Ansari and stayed there. The ladies of Al-Madinah came there to meet Safiyyah radiyallah anha and all of them were full of praise for her.

After resting for some time the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa went to his daughter Fatimah radiyallah anha and met his beloved grandchildren Hasan and Husain (Radhi Allahu Anhuma). After that he visited each of his wives and inquired about their welfare. He found a certain strangeness and distance in the behavior of 'Aishah radiyallah anha but he thought it better to ignore it for the moment. Aishah radiyallah anha after some time decided to visit the new bride in the house of Harithah bin Nu'man Ansari. The Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa then asked her for her opinion of Safiyyah radiyallah anha 'Aishah radiyallah anha, still vexed by her feminine jealousy replied dryly that she had seen the Jewess. The Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa gently rebuked her, saying that Safiyyah radiyallah anha should no longer be referred to as a Jewess as she had accepted Islam.

Aishah and Hafsah (Radhi Allahu Anhuma) were very close friends and the latter was the only person in whom the former could safely confide. Actually it was the intense love that' Aishah radiyallah anha had for the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa that made her express her emotions in this manner.

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PostSubject: Re: Safiyyah bint Huyayee   Safiyyah bint Huyayee EmptyThu Jul 14, 2011 11:19 am

As Salamu Alaikum

Once Safiyyah radiyallah anha moved into her own place she displayed her noble upbringing by adopting a pleasant and friendly attitude with the other Mothers of the Believers. She brought expensive gold jewellery with her from Khaibar, and she presented this to the other wives. She loved the Prophet's favourite daughter Fatimah radiyallah anha and gave her gold earrings as a gift.

She tried her best to win a place in the affections of Aishah and Hafsah :(Radhi Allahu Anhuma) because she realized the Prophet radiyallah anha held them in high esteem and loved them dearly. She narrated that on one occasion she mentioned to him that she heard that Hafsah radiyallah anha taunted her, calling her the daughter of a Jew.

The Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa told her that she should have told Hafsah that she could not be better than her; her husband was Muhammad Sallalahu aleihi wa her father was Haroon aleyhi salam and her uncle was Musa aleyhi salam

On another occasion Aishah radiyallah anha spoke of Safiyyah radiyallah anha in very disparaging terms. Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa told her that if the expressions she had used were thrown into an ocean they could make the whole of it bitter.


An incident about Safiyyah radiyallah anha is mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhari. During the last ten days of Ramadhan when the Prophet Sallalahu aleihi wa was in I’tikaf (secluding himself in the mosque) she went to visit him. Afterwards, when she got up to leave he also rose and accompanied her outside. Two of the Ansar saw him there talking to her, and greeted him.
He asked them to stop and explained to them that the lady was his wife and had come to visit him.

They said in praise of Allah Jallajalaluhu "SubhanAllah, 0 Prophet of Allah!" And they were upset that he should have felt the need to explain his actions.

He answered that Satan could become part of human beings to such an extent that he could course through the body with their blood. He added that he did not want Satan to sow evil suspicions in their hearts.


Safiyyah radiyallah anha gave a lot of time to the reading of the Noble Qur'an, and its effect on her heart was so intense that because of the fear of Allah, tears would course down her cheeks, and she would start sobbing.

In the Qur'an, Allah says that the true believer is he whose heart starts quaking when the Name of Allah is taken before him. And when he listens to the Verses of the Noble Qur'an being read his faith grows. If the Name of Allah Almighty is taken and his heart does not quake with fear. If the Verses of the Noble Qur'an are recited and he does not feel himself in the pleasure of listening to it, then it is high time he should start worrying about the status of his faith and belief in Allah.

Abu Nu'aym Asbahani wrote in his book Hiliyyahul-Awlia' that once some Companions gathered in the apartment of the Mother of the Believers Safiyyah radiyallah anha they mentioned Allah, recited the Noble Qur'an and prayed voluntary prayer. Safiyyah radiyallah anha said to them that their voluntary prayer, recitation and remembrance of Allah were all good, but they should weep too with the fear of Allah.

In fact if the fear of Allah is strongly rooted in one's heart, then involuntarily the tears will start flowing, and the truth is that it is these tears of penitence which clean and purify the heart; and they are invaluable in the eyes of Allah Almighty. The eyes which shed these tears will go to Paradise as they are the proof of the intensity and the fervor of the love for Allah.


Safiyyah radiyallah anha was an extremely tolerant, patient, loving and kind¬hearted woman. Imam Thahabi has narrated an incident from her life in his book, Siyar A'lam Nubala'. He said Safiyyah radiyallah anha had a slave girl, who went and told the Caliph 'Umar Farooq radiyallahu anhu that in spite of the fact that her mistress had converted to Islam, she still observed the Saturday Sabbath of the Jews; and she also kept good terms with the Jews. The Caliph met with Safiyyah radiyallah anha and questioned her regarding these two accusations. She answered that after Allah had told Muslims about the sanctity and blessings of Friday she stopped giving importance to Saturday. As far as her terms with the Jews were concerned, they were her relatives and she was following the dictates of Allah and His Messenger to maintain good relations with kindred. As human beings too they deserved sympathetic and kind treatment from her.

She later discovered that it was her slave girl who had carried these tales to Caliph 'Umar Farooq radiyallahu anhu She asked her why she had done this. The girl very innocently and nervously answered that it was Satan who had incited her.
She immediately set the girl free. As Allah says,

"Who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the good-doers." (3:134)

She was extremely knowledgeable and spent most of her time in reciting the Noble Qur'an, of which she knew by heart many more of the Surahs. After leading a very full life she passed away in the year 50th after Hijrah, during the caliphate of Mu'awiyah radiyallahu anhu and was buried in Jannatul Baqi'. She left a hundred thousand Dirhams that were distributed as per her will.

"0 the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord - well pleased and well pleasing. Enter you then among My (honored) servants, and enter you My Paradise."

Reference: Great Women of Islam (Darussalam) Pages 115-121

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