11 Lessons from the Mothers of the Believers

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In the pages of history, the Mothers of the Believers, the wives of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), stand as remarkable figures who shaped the early Islamic community through their wisdom, resilience and unwavering devotion. 

In this blog, we delve into 11 profound lessons drawn from the lives of the Mothers of the Believers, uncovering timeless wisdom that continues to inspire and empower Muslims to this day.

1. Loyalty and Companionship Build Foundations for a Strong Marriage 

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (RA)’s unwavering trust, support and companionship throughout the Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) journey built the foundation of their strong relationship and marriage. Her constant presence by his side, before and during his prophethood, exemplifies the ultimate importance of being a source of strength for one’s partner, even during times of hardship. 

Today, Khadijah (RA)’s example teaches us to offer unwavering support and understanding to our partners, fostering a relationship built on trust, mutual respect and companionship that endures through all circumstances. 

2. Find Joy, Even in the Smallest Things

Sawda bint Zam’a (RA) had the beautiful ability to find joy even in times of stress and sadness. She always bought a smile to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)’s and others’ faces by sharing her own amusing experiences, even if it meant being the subject of a joke. 

Today, Sawda (RA)’s example teaches us the importance of finding moments of levity in life, fostering a sense of camaraderie and realising that even in serious matters, a little laughter can go a long way in easing tensions and building bonds of love and understanding.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek and Share Knowledge 

Aisha bint Abi Bakr (RA)’s unwavering pursuit of knowledge and her role in sharing that wisdom embody the importance education has in Islam. Her eagerness to learn and curiosity led her to become a respected scholar, engaging directly with the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and becoming a source of Hadith transmission. 

Today, Aisha’s example continues to encourage us to embrace learning as a lifelong journey. One that not only nurtures personal growth but also empowers our loved ones and fellow community members. 

4. See Through Your Responsibilities With Great Care 

Hafsa bint Umar (RA)’s strong sense of duty and trustworthiness led to her crucial role in preserving the Qur’an.

As a hafiz, she memorised the Qur’an in its entirety and held the honourable duty of safeguarding the parchments on which it was inscribed, as well as the compiled copy later given to her by her father, until her passing. This copy became a foundational source for numerous other copies distributed throughout the Muslim world.

Today, Hafsa (RA)’s example inspires us not only to see our faith as a strength and deepen our connection with it, but also to uphold our responsibilities with great care. 

5. Set an Excellent Example for Others 

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) always spoke of the poor as his next of kin. He said: “O Allah, cause me to live poor and cause me to die poor, and gather me among the poor (on the Day of Resurrection).” (Ibn Majah)

Following in his footsteps, his fifth wife, Zaynab bint Khuzaimah (RA), was also remembered as someone who looked after the poor as one of her own. As a result, she was given the title Mother of the Poor, and it was through her work that other believers also followed suit, strengthing the support the community showed toward the poor and less fortunate.

Today, Zaynab bint Khuzaimah (RA)’s example shows us the profound impact even the simplest acts of kindness can have, inspiring us to make a difference for those in need in our own communities. 

6. The Best Way to Overcome Adversity is Through Perseverance and Faith

Umm Salamah (RA) offers a profound lesson in resilience and faith. As one of the first believers, her unwavering strength during times of adversity demonstrates the power of patience and trust in Allah’s wisdom. Even with the challenges she faced, including the loss of her husband and migration to Medina, Umm Salamah (RA) displayed remarkable perseverance and an unshakable connection with her faith. 

Today, Umm Salamah (RA)’s example encourages us to face life’s trials with patience, to maintain our faith amidst difficulties, and to actively contribute to positive change, even when it requires personal sacrifice.

7. Stand Up for Justice 

Juwayriyah bint al-Harith (RA)’s advocacy for the well-being of the vulnerable shines as an example of compassion and a commitment to social justice can make a positive difference. 

When she married the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), she helped release many captives who were previously taken as prisoners of war. She also used her new position and influence to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society were treated with dignity and fairness. 

Today, Juwayriyah (RA)’s example encourages us to use our voices for good, inspiring us to stand up for the rights and dignity of all, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalised.

8. Search For and Defend the Truth

Zaynab bint Jahsh (RA)’s unwavering truthfulness during a challenging time in Medina teaches us a powerful lesson. Amid baseless rumours about Aisha (RA), Zaynab chose truth over convenience, refusing to engage in spreading falsehoods.

Today, in a world where information – authentic or not – can come from anywhere, Zaynab bint Jahsh (RA)’s example encourages us to not jump to conclusions and courageously advocate for the truth, even when met with adversity. 

9. Make Tawakkul Your Ultimate Source of Strength 

Umm Habibah (RA) exemplifies making Tawakkul (complete trust in Allah (SWT)) the ultimate source of strength in her unshakable faith. 

Even during challenging times, such as when she was separated from her family during the migration to Abyssinia, she remained patient and hopeful, relying on Allah’s plan. Her marriage to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) further reflects her trust in divine wisdom. 

Today, Umm Habibah’s story teaches us to turn to Allah in adversity, fostering resilience and unwavering faith in His guidance.

10. Combat Negativity with Goodness

Safiyya bint Huyayy (RA) exemplified unshakable faith, rising above negativity with grace and dignity.

When confronted with criticism about her Jewish heritage, she displayed exceptional composure and strength. Instead of letting scepticism discourage her, she confidently embraced her lineage, proudly acknowledging her link to Prophet Aaron (AS) and her marriage to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

Today, Safiyya’s (RA) example teaches us a valuable lesson in dealing with criticism, motivating us to embrace our identity and values with goodness, even amidst doubt or judgment.

11. A Strong, Compassionate Community is Built on Selflessness and Active Service 

Maimunah bint Al-Harith (RA) exemplifies community care through her selfless dedication and active service. 

Her commitment to charity, aiding the less fortunate, and supporting others during challenges underscores the pivotal role communities play, particularly in times of crisis. Additionally, her involvement in her husband’s battles and her leadership by personal example highlight the importance of active participation in community affairs.

Today, Maimunah (RA)’s story imparts a vital lesson: community well-being thrives through individual kindness and collective efforts, especially during adversity. 

Overall, in studying the lives of the Mothers of the Believers, we find diverse examples of leadership, scholarship, compassion and faith. These lessons not only bring light to the past and the great contributions Muslim women have made to Islam and society, but also guide us in the present to succeed in various aspects of life, from education and entrepreneurship to family and community engagement. As these stories of these remarkable women empower us, reminding us of the strength and potential each and every one of us has.

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