All of the wives of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) had been good women, perfectly devoted and resigned to Allah and His Messenger. They had complete faith in the Prophet(pbuh) and in his sayings about Allah and His Attributes and about the reality of the hereafter. They were true believers and they never swerved in their views.
They were devout and prayerful, and earnestly punctual in the observance of religious obligations. If ever they happened to miss any of the duties, they were ready to seek forgiveness of the Lord. They were obedient wives, and they carried out all the instructions that the Prophet (pbuh) gave them. They imitated him in his habits, especially in his generosity. They gave away to the needy all that came to them. They did not hoard coins, gold silver, or even food. They adored Allah. They worshipped Him alone, and meticulously they obeyed all of His Commands in letter and in spirit, considering them as a part of worship. Like the Prophet￼ himself, they fasted not only during Ramadan but also on other days. He had a special preference for fasting in Sha'ban. His wives helped him in his missionary ventures. They always gave him moral support, and never refrained from offering financial aid if and when required.
It was only by Allah revelations that Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was allowed to marry many women: O Prophet (Muhammad) Verily, We made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (money given to wife at time of marriage), and those whom your right hand possesses out of prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; And daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts; And daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makkah) with thee; And any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the prophet if the prophet wishes to wed her â€" this is only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large)â€¦.. Surah 33 Al-Ahzab, Verse 50. Also equally it was by Allah revelation that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not marry more women: It is not lawful for you (O Muhammad, to marry more) women after this, nor exchange them for other wives, even though their beauty is pleasing to you, except those whom your right hand possesses; And Allah is always watching over everything. Surah 33 Al-Ahzab, Verse 52 after this revelation Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) did not marry again.
Each one of the Prophetsâ€TM wives were incredible women therefore we should mention each one them along with the characteristics they are most known for.
1) Khadija (R.A) was a lady of dignity and opulence. Khadija was married twice before and had become a widow on both occasions. She was a wealthy businesswoman. Khadija was 40 when she married Muhammad(pbuh). She was a true believer; she was steadfast and devout. She performed all of the rituals of Islam. She observed the stipulated Salat with Muhammad(pbuh). She fasted as Muhammad(pbuh) did. She gave alms, she gave in the cause of Allah all the wealth she had, she didnâ€TMt even think of keeping some for herself. Khadija in fact sacrificed her ease and comfort for the sake of Allah and his messenger. She was submissive and obedient to her husband; she was a devoted wife. She looked after Muhammad(pbuh), she took care of him, she helped him, she co-operated with him, she made all types of sacrifices for him as she realised he had been blessed with divine achievements. She was able to console and comfort him in his early days of his prophethood. Khadija was the first believer. She was the first to publicly declare, (the shadaha) â€œI bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.â€ She gave Muhammad￼ unremitting encouragement. Besides Maria, Khadija was the only one of Prophet Muhammadâ€TMs(pbuh) wives to have his children. Their first child, a son whom they named Qasim, died when he was only two years old. They had two more sons called Tayyib and Tahir but they too died in their infancy. However Muhammad and Khadija also had four daughters who survived they were named Zaynab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum and Fatima. All of Prophet Muhammadâ€TMs(pbuh) children died in his lifetime except Fatima. Khadija died in December 619 AD, at the age of 65 after a short illness (RA). The Prophet￼ mourned her deeply, they had shared 25 years of marriage together and she had given birth to seven of his children.
2) Saudah (R.A) was married to Muhammad￼ after Khadijaâ€TMs death. Saudah was one of the earliest converts to Islam and had suffered much since she embraced Islam: she and her husband migrated for the sake of Islam. She was left a widow after the death of her husband. Muhammad￼ worried after Khadijaâ€TMs death, as there was no one to look after his children. It was decided that Muhammad￼ needed an affectionate sincere companion who could also look after his children. Saudah was about 50 years old when she married Muhammad￼ in 2 AH (620 AD). Saudah was very obedient and dutiful; in this respect she surpassed all the other wives of the Prophet￼. She was also very generous, like the prophet and more so than any of his wives except Ayesha. Saudah died in 23 AH from old age (RA).
3) Ayesha was married to the Prophet￼ in the 10th year of his prophethood. Ayesha rended a great service to Islam by spreading its teachings and the practices of the Holy Prophet￼ long after his death. Ayesha was very intelligent, able and alert and gained immense knowledge of various problems from the Prophet￼.
A deep study of this relationship shows that it was basically a spiritual and intellectual relationship. The Prophet￼ found Ayesha at a very high level of spiritual attainment and intellectual understanding of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and the knowledge of Islam. Ayeshaâ€TMs stature and character as a woman was of great integrity and knowledge whose love for Allahâ€TMs religion was beyond doubt or question. Ayesha died at the age of 57 (R.A). Ayesha has remained popularly respected and revered by the Muslim world. She narrated over 2210 hadith of the Prophet￼.
Ayesha could read and write. Ayesha prided herself on being the only virgin that the Prophet￼ ever married and that she had been shown to him by the angel Gabriel. Prophet Muhammad￼ received revelations in Ayeshaâ€TMs presence. Ayeshaâ€TMs love and devotion to Muhammad￼ and his cause made her excel over his other wives in many ways. Ayesha was Muhammadâ€TMs￼ favourite wife. She was a scholar in the Quran, faraid (inheritance), halal and haram (lawful and unlawful things), fiqh (jurisprudence), poetry, medicine, Arabic history and genealogy. She used to give Fatwa (judgement) in her lifetime. Prophet Muhammad￼ died in Ayeshaâ€TMs lap.
4) Hafasah's (R.A) husband died as a martyr at the battle of Badr. Nothing was left by her husband after his death. Hafasahâ€TMs father tried in vain to find a husband for her, finally he went to the Prophet￼ in a rage, and it was then that the Prophet￼ said he would marry Hafasah. They were married in 3 AH (625 AD).
Hafasah was known for her devotion in prayer and fasting. Hafasah was also the rightful custodian of the original copy of the Quran. She passed away in 45 AH (R.A). Sixty Hadith are reported by her.
5) Zainab (daughter of Khuzaimah) (R.A) was very generous and charitable she fed the poor and needy generously. She became widowed after her husband was martyred in the battle of Uhud. She was married to the Prophet￼ the same year but died only a few months after their marriage. She was the only wife after Khadija that died during the Prophetâ€TMs￼ lifetime. She was thirty years old when she died (R.A).
6) Umm Salamah (R.A); her actual name was Hind but she was known as Umm Salamah as she had a son named Salamah from her first marriage. She embraced Islam with her husband and is considered to be one of the earliest Muslims. Umm Salamah was wise and brave. She remained with her husband until the battle of Uhud where he was mortally wounded. She was left with two children Salamah and Zainab. The Prophet￼ proposed to her and they were married in 4 AH. Though all the wives of the Prophet￼ were learned women and possessed great knowledge Ayesha and Umm Salamah had no rivals. Umm Salamah could read the Quran in the style of the Prophet￼. She narrated 378 hadith. She was very simple and lived a very pious life. She was the last of the Prophetâ€TMs wives to die. She died at the age of 84 in 63 AH (R.A).
7) Zainab (daughter of Jahsh) (R.A) â€" her original name was Barra, which the Prophet￼ changed when she embraced Islam. Zainab had previously been married but within a year she had become divorced. When Zainab and the Prophet￼ were married the Prophet￼ gave a grand feast. A goat was slaughtered and about 300 people enjoyed the feast. Zainab was a beautiful woman; she was pious, kept fast, engaged in prayer at night and spent all of her wealth on the poor and needy. She was truthful, generous, charitable and engaged in the pleasure of Allah. In piety and taqwa (fear of Allah) she was at a very high level.
Zainab was very contented and generous by temperament. She made her living by her own hand and spent it all in the way of Allah. She died in the year 20 AH (R.A). Zainab was excellent at handwork, curing and tanning of skins and cobbling. All the things that she made at home were sold and the money given to the poor and needy. She was unique in the fact that her marriage was conducted by the command of Allah.
8) Juwairiyah (R.A) ; Her tribe fought against Prophet Muhammad￼ and his troops. Juwairiyah along with others from her tribe was held captive. The captives were distributed and Juwairiyah gave a deed for her freedom. She was a most beautiful young lady. She captivated every man that saw her. Juwairiyah went the Prophet￼ to seek help in this matter to which the Prophet￼ Replied, â€œI shall discharge you your debt and marry youâ€. Juwairiyah accepted this proposal. She was a very devoted worshipper and rememberer of Allah. She was a devoted Muslim. Six traditions of the Prophet￼ are narrated by her. She died in the year 50 AH when she was 65 years old (R.A). She used to fast 3 days a month.
9) Umm Habibah Ramla (R.A) was married to the Prophet￼ in the year 6 AH (628 AD). Previously Umm Habibah had been married; her husband had become Muslim and then after some time converted to Christianity. Umm Habibah was a good Muslim so she left her husband. She was a lady of dignity and lived alone until she received the proposal of Prophet Muhammad￼, she was immensely pleased to marry the Prophet￼. She was one of the earliest converts to Islam and was a very good and sincere believer. She was very virtuous, of the highest character, charitable and of great courage. About 65 hadith were narrated by her. She died sometime between 40 and 44 AH (R.A).
10) Safiyah (R.A) belonged to a Jewish tribe. Safiyah and her first husband divorced. She married again but her husband was killed when Muslims fought against her colony. The Prophet￼ married Safiyah. He gave her the choice of joining her people who were captives when they were set free or accepting Islam and marring him. She was intelligent and gentle and said, â€œI had hoped for Islamâ€¦. Allah and his messenger are dearer to me than my own freedom and my joining with my own peopleâ€. Safiyah was young and extremely beautiful. She greatly respected Muhammad￼ as Allahâ€TMs messenger. She spared no pain to look after him, care for him and provide every comfort that she could think of. Safiyah had many good qualities; she was intelligent, learned and gentle. Gentleness and patience were her dominant qualities. She died sometime between 50 and 52 AH at the age of 60 (R.A).
11) Maimunah (R.A) original name, which was Barra, had been divorced. Her second husband died and she became a widow. She then married the Prophet￼. Maimunah was the most virtuous and Allah fearing of all of Prophet Muhammadâ€TMs￼ wives and was the most considerate in treating her relatives well. She died in 51 AH (R.A).
12) Maryam Qibtiyah (R.A) also known as Maria al-Qibtiyah. Maryam and her sister were sent to Prophet Muhammad￼ as gifts. They had been raised in Egypt as Copts, before they reached Madina both girls accepted Islam. Maryam is said to have married Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). Maryamâ€TMs sister was married to Hasan b. Salat.
Maryam was not allotted an ordinary hut where the other wives lived, but a garden house was built for Maryam in upper Madina. Maryam bore a son who was named Ibrahim. Maryam was the only wife beside Khadija to have the Prophetâ€TMs(pbuh) child. Maryam was loved and liked by all the wives as she had brought joy into the Prophetâ€TMs￼ life. The Prophet(pbuh) spent much time with them in their garden home playing with his son. Unfortunately when Ibrahim was only 18 months old, Ibrahim became seriously ill and died.
Maryam spent three years with the Prophet￼, until his death, and died five years later in 16 AH. During the last five years of her life she remained a recluse and almost never went out except to visit the grave of the prophet or her sonâ€TMs grave.
￼ =(SAWS)Sallahahu Alaihe Wa Sallam - means may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.
R.A =Radhiallahu Anha - means may Allah be pleased with her.
There is much more we could say about these amazing women and learn from them... but just for ease I have summarized the main points... Insha Allah this will inspire you to read more about The Wives of Prophet Muhammad."