The Four Blessed Daughters

The Messenger of Allah had four daughters with his wife Khadija bint Khuwaylid.

  1. Zaynab
  2. Ruqayyah
  3. Umm Kulthum
  4. Fatima


Zainab bint Muhammad was the eldest daughter. She married her maternal cousin, Abu al-As ibn al-Rabi’. They had two children, Ali, who died in childhood, and daughter Umama 1. Zainab became a Muslim soon after her father first declared his prophethood.

The Quraysh pressured Abu al-As to divorce Zainab, saying they would give him any woman he liked in exchange, but Abu al-As said that he did not want any other woman, a stance for which the Prophet ﷺ commended him. But Abu al-As did not convert. Zaynab remained with him after the Hijrat. 2

In 624, Abu al-As fought in the Battle of Badr on the side of the Quraysh and was captured by Abdullah ibn Jubayr al-Ansari. Zaynab sent a ransom for him via his brother Amr, including an onyx necklace that had been a wedding present from Khadija. At the sight of the necklace, Muhammad remembered Khadija and was moved. He sent Abu al-As back to Mecca without taking any of the ransom, on condition that Zaynab be sent to Medina.

Zainab accepted this instruction. About a month after the battle, Zainab’s adopted brother, Zayd, arrived in Mecca to escort her to Medina. She entered a hawdaj and her brother-in-law, Kinana, led the camel to Zayd in broad daylight. The Quraysh perceived this as an unnecessary flaunting of Muhammad’s triumph at Badr. A group of them pursued Zainab and overtook her at Dhu Tuwa. A man named Habbar ibn Al-Aswad threatened her with his lance and pushed her. She fell out of the hawdaj onto a rock. Kinana showed his arrows in his quiver and threatened to kill anyone who came any closer. Then Abu Sufyan arrived, telling Kinana to put away his bow so that they could discuss it rationally. He said that they had no intention of keeping a woman from her father in revenge for Badr, but that it was wrong of Kinana to humiliate the Quraysh further by parading her removal in public; he must do it quietly, when the “chatter” had died down. Kinana took Zainab home again. There she suffered a miscarriage, losing a great deal of blood, which she attributed to having been assaulted by Habbar.

A few nights later, Kinana took her quietly to meet Zayd, and he escorted her to Medina. She lived in Madina without her husband for four years. In her absence, he wrote poetry for her:

I remember Zaynab when she leaned on the waymark.
I said to a person who lived in the Haram, “Water!
For the daughter of the Trustworthy.” May Allah reward her!
Virtuous she is, and every husband praises what he knows.

Later when he became Muslim, they reunited. She died 6 months later.

May Allah grant her Jannatul Firdaus and allow us to benefit from her legacy.


Ruqayyah bint Muhammad was the second eldest daughter. She was married to her paternal cousin, Utbah ibn Abu Lahab, but the marriage was never consummated. 3 When the Prophet ﷺ began to preach openly in 613, the Quraysh reminded him they had “relieved him of his care for his daughters” and decided to return them so that he would have to support them at his own expense. They told Utbah that they would give him “the daughter of Aban ibn Sa’id ibn Al-As or the daughter of Sa’id ibn Al-As” if he divorced Ruqayyah. He was pushed to divorce her after his father vowed to never speak to him unless he did so. He had a deep hatred for the Prophet ﷺ.

The Prophet ﷺ gave her hand in marriage to Uthman ibn Affan. Both of them accompanied each other on the first migration to Abyssinia. There she fell pregnant but suffered a miscarriage and later bore another child called Abdullah. Abdullah died when he was six. Both then emigrated to Medina to join all the Muslims.

It is noted that Ruqayyah was extremely beautiful. When Usama ibn Zayd was sent on an errand to their house, he found himself staring at her and at Uthman in turns.4 the Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked Usama, “Have you ever seen a more handsome couple than those two?” and he agreed that he had not.

During the battle of Badr, Ruqayyah fell ill and Uthman stayed with her. She died one month later.

May Allah grant her Jannatul Firdaus and allow us to benefit from her legacy.

Umm Kulthum

Umm Kulthum was the third eldest daughter. She was legally married to Utayba ibn Abi Lahab, but the marriage was never consummated. She was still living with her parents when the Prophet ﷺ declared himself a prophet ﷺ, and like the fate of her sister, Abu Lahab pressured his son to divorce her in which he did do so promptly.

After the hijra, instruction were sent to bring Umm Kulthum and Fatima to Madina. Just as they were going to set off, Huwayrith ibn Nuqaydh goaded the animal so that it threw them to the ground. When Ruqqayah died, it left Uthman as a widower so the Prophet ﷺ married him off to his daughter Umm Kulthum. 5

One narration mentions soon after the Battle of Uhud, Umm Kulthum answered the door to a man who said he owed money to Uthman. Umm Kulthum sent for her husband and learned that the visitor was a cousin of Uthman from the enemy army who was seeking protection. Uthman was displeased with him but he sought advice from the Prophet ﷺ. While he was out, some Muslims entered the house and asked Umm Kulthum where the fugitive was. She pointed to his hiding-place behind a water-skin, and they pulled him out. They brought him before the Prophet ﷺ just as Uthman was pleading for the safe-conduct (he as his cousin after all). the Prophet ﷺ granted Uthman the right of protection for three days, so Uthman quickly gave his cousin a camel to assist his escape. But after three days, the Muslims overtook him on the road and killed him anyway.

Umm Kulthum and Uthman did not have any children. When she died the Prophet ﷺ buried her and said “If I had ten daughters, I would marry them all to Uthman.”

May Allah grant her Jannatul Firdaus and allow us to benefit from her legacy.


Fatimah bint Muhammad was the youngest daughter of the Prophet ﷺ. She is also the most well-known daughter. She is the wife of Ali and the mother of Hasan and Hussayn. She is the only daughter who bore sons from whom the lineage continues.

Fatimah was known as Fatima tuh Zahra, the Shining one and as “al-Batūl” (the chaste and pure one) as she spent much of her time in prayer, reciting the Qur’an and in other acts of worship. One of her nicknames was Ummu Abeeha (Her Father’s Mother), due to the fact that she was always in his company and ready to defend him, just like a mother would do for her child. She was a devout and special daughter of the Prophet ﷺ. She defended him when Abu Jahl poured placenta liquid on the Prophet ﷺ whilst he was in prayer.

Aisha said, “I have not seen anyone who resembled the Holy Prophet ﷺ more in manners, habits, character and in the method of sitting and standing than Fatimah.”


The Prophet ﷺ had so much love for her that if he would be seated and Fatima would enter he would get up and kiss her between her eyes, all the time. The Prophet ﷺ noted there are four Muslim women who stand out from all time, they were Maryam, Assia, Khadija and Fatima. The Prophet ﷺ had so much love for her that if he would be seated and Fatima would enter he would get up and kiss her between her eyes, all the time.

Many Sahabi asked for Fatimah’s hand in marriage, including Abu Bakr and Umar. the Prophet ﷺ turned them all down, saying that he was awaiting a sign of her destiny. Ali had a desire to marry Fatimah. When he went to see the Prophet ﷺ, he could not vocalise his intention but remained silent. The Prophet ﷺ understood the reason for his being there and prompted Ali to confirm that he had come to seek Fatimah in marriage. He suggested that Ali had a shield, which if sold, would provide sufficient money to pay the mahr. The Prophet ﷺ had them married. Uthman had bought the shiled adn he gave it back as a wedding gift. It is noted the wedding feast included dates, figs and sheep meat.

After her marriage to Ali, the couple led a humble life in contrast to her sisters who were all married to wealthy individuals. Ali had built a house not too far from the Prophet’s ﷺ residence where he lived with Fatimah. However, due to Fatimah’s desire to be closer to her father, a Medinan (Haritha bin al-Numan) donated his own house to them.

For several years after her marriage, she did all of the work by herself. The shoulder on which she carried pitchers of water from the well was swollen and the hand with which she worked the handmill to grind corn were often covered with blisters. Fatimah vouched to take care of the household work, make dough, bake bread, and clean the house; in return, Ali vouched to take care of the outside work such as gathering firewood and bringing food. Ali worked to irrigate other people’s lands by drawing water from the wells. Their circumstances were akin to many of the Muslims at the time and only improved following the Battle of Khaybar when the produce of Khaybar was distributed among the poor. When the economic situations of the Muslims become better, Fatimah gained some maids but treated them like her family and performed the house duties with them.

Another reference to their simple life comes from the Tasbih of Fatimah, a divine formula that was first given to Fatimah when she asked her father for a kaneez (slave girl) in order to help her with household chores. Her father asked her if she would like a gift instead that was better than a servant and worth more than everything in the world. Upon her ready agreement, he told her to recite at the end of every prayer the Great Exaltation, Allahu Akbar 33 times, the Statement of Absolute Gratitude, Alhamdulillah 33 times and the Invocation of Divine Glory, Subhan’Allah 33 times, and lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh once, totalling 100. This collective prayer is called the Tasbih of Fatima.

Following the Battle of Uhud, Fatimah tended to the wounds of her father and husband and regularly visited the graves of all those who died in the battle and pray for them. Fatimah, along with her husband, was also called upon by Abu Sufyan to intercede on his behalf with the Prophet ﷺ while attempting to make amends following the violation of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. Abu Sufyan also asked for Fatimah’s protection when she went to Mecca while it was under occupation which she refused under instruction from her father.

Fatima was only 28 years old when her father died. She went through a very hard time. She entered upon the Prophet ﷺ when he fell ill, but he was unable to get up to kiss her, as he usually does. So she sat to the right of the Prophet ﷺ while she was crying. The Prophet ﷺ said “bring your ear closer to me O Fatima”, so he whispered something in her ear, she cried. The Prophet ﷺ again said “bring your ear closer to me O Fatima” and he whispered something else in her ear, and so she laughed. Aisha later asked her after the death of the Prophet ﷺ, please tell me what he whispered to you, she said, “firstly he said “O Fatima I am going to die tonight,” and so I cried, and when he saw me crying he said, “will you not be satisfied that you will be the first from amongst my family to follow me and that you will be the leader of the women of Paradise”, and so I laughed”.

Fatima died 6 months after the death of the Prophet ﷺ. She loved her father a lot and lived a sorrowful 6 months. Fatimah was survived by two sons, Hasan and Husayn, and two daughters, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum.

May Allah grant her Jannatul Firdaus and allow us to benefit from her legacy.


  1. When Umamah was a small child, The Prophet ﷺ used to carry her on his shoulder while he prayed. He used to put her down to prostrate and then pick her up again as he rose. The Prophet ﷺ once promised to give an onyx necklace to “her whom I love best.” His wives expected him to give it to Aisha, but he presented it to Umamah. On a different occasion, he gave her a gold ring that had arrived from the Emperor of Abysinnia. Her aunt Fatimah requested her husband Ali on her deathbed to marry her niece Umamah because Umamah had an intense attachment and love for Fatimah’s children Hasan, Umm Kulthum, Zaynab and especially Husayn. After Fatimah died in 632, Umamah married Ali. They had two sons, Hilal, also known as “Muhammad the Middle” and ‘Awn, both of whom died in Iran, with the latter having been killed in a battle against Qays ibn Murrah (the governor of Khorasan), and the former dying naturally.
  2. Although Muslims could not marry non-muslims, those who were already married could continue to live together.
  3. she was very young when the marriage took place and was not ready for consummating.
  4. This was not a lustful gaze but a gaze of admiration for his aunty.
  5. hence he was called the possesor of two lights.

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