Studies Center: Hi all readers! In this article we will discuss humanity and the strategy of safeguarding the honor behind the marriage of the Prophet Muhammad with Shafiyah bint Hayun. Shafiyah is the name of his wife who is this one. But there is an opinion that says, that her real name is Zainab. Her father was Hayyun bin Akhthab bin Sa’iyyah bin ‘Amir bin ‘Ubaid bin Ka’ab bin al-Khazraj ibn Abu Habib ibn Nadir ibn an-Naham bin Yanhum bin Bani Israel. Her mother is Barrah bint Samuel. I did not find historical data that discussed the year and date of her birth.
At first Shafiyah bint Hayun was the wife of Salam bin Masykam. After they were both divorced. After that she became the wife of Kinanah bin Rabi’ bin Abi Haqiq. There was something interesting when they were married at the beginning. It is said, that she dreamed of a moon falling in her room. She then told the dream to her husband. Her husband then said, “There is nothing else about the meaning of this dream unless you want the ruler of the Hijaz, Muhammad.” He then slapped her to make her face green.
There are differences in historical data about the person who slapped Shafiyah bint Hayun who made her face green. Some said that the one who slapped her husband was as I said above, but there were also those who said that the slap was his father, and some even said that the slap was his mother. Regardless of who slaps, what is certain is that the one who slapped her was one person and that incident actually happened.
Shafiyah bint Hayun’s marriage with the Prophet Muhammad stems from a fierce battle that took place between Islamic forces and enemy forces, the Jews. The battle took place in an area called Khaibar. Long story short, the war was won by Islamic forces.
After the war, the Islamic forces gathered the spoils of war and all those who were conquered. Among the people who were conquered was Shafiyah bint Hayun. After that, someone called Dahiyyah came to meet the Prophet Muhammad to ask for slave girls. The Prophet Muhammad then agreed and told him to take it himself. He then took her.
After that there is someone else came to the Prophet Muhammad to tell him that Dahiyyah had taken Shafiyah bint Hayun. He considered that she was only suitable for the Prophet Muhammad because of her nasab and beauty. The Prophet Muhammad then called Dahiyah and told him to take another slave girl. The Prophet Muhammad did that to maintain justice among the Islamic forces. This is because she is the most respected and most beautiful woman in her people.
In short, after that the Prophet Muhammad gave a choice to Shafiyah bint Hayun, between Jews and Islam. If she chooses Jews, then he will release her. But if she chooses Islam, then he will marry her.
Faced with these two choices Shafiyah bint Hayun did not think long. With pleasure she is willing to become a Muslim. In fact, he explicitly said, that she was willing to be a slave rather than having to return to her people.
After the Prophet Muhammad heard the answer of Shafiyah bint Hayun, he immediately released her and married her. Historical data that I found said, that her independence was what became the dowry he gave her.
I did not find historical data that certainly tells the reason why the Prophet Muhammad married Shafiyah bint Hayun. But if I look at historical data and historical studies of their marriage process, I can conclude that he married her because she was willing to convert to Islam and leave her old religion and her people, let alone her includes respected women in her people. Even he himself once said, that he was a descendant of the Prophet and her uncle was also a Prophet. What I mean here is that her ancestor was a Prophet; Harun bin Imran, brother of Moses. That’s her specialty when viewed in terms of lineage.
After becoming the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, Shafiyah bint Hayun was very obedient to the teachings of Islam. She practiced Islam very well. She also took part in defending Uthman bin Affan when he was surrounded by the rebels. She has a very subtle feeling. She cries if she hears the Qur’an read.
But as a human being, Shafiyah bint Hayun finally got her certainty. In 50 hijria she is died.
May Allah’s mercy and forgiveness be poured out on the Mother of the believers, Shafiyah bint Hayun. Amen!
I think that is enough for this article. May be useful! Amen!
See you again in the next article!
We can also find the information above in, Ali Yusuf as-Subki, Zaujaatu an-Nabiy ath-Thaahiraat wa Hikmatu Ta’addudihinna, al-Faith Publishing, Cairo, p. 187-200.