Our Mother and wife of Prophet Muhammed Safiyya bint Huyay may Allah be pleased with her.

Safiyya bint Huyayy (whose real name was Zaynab) was among the captives when Khaybar was conquered. She was the daughter of Huyay bin Ahtab, the chief of Banu Nadr. She came from the lineage of Hz. Harun (Aaron). She was married to Kinana, son of Rabi bin Huqayq, one of the leaders of Khaybar Jews. Her husband was killed during the Battle of Khaybar.

While the mujahids were returning to Madinah, the Prophet asked Hz. Bilal to bring Safiyya to her. When she arrived, the Prophet told her about Islam and made her the following offer: “If you become a Muslim, I will marry you. If you choose to remain a Jew, I will free you and you can join your tribe.”  

Hz. Safiyya saw in her dream that she would be a wife of the Prophet. She was expecting such a proposal. She made her mind without hesitation and said, 

“O Messenger of Allah! Before you called me to Islam, I wanted to be a Muslim when the army settled and approved your prophethood. I have no relation with Jews now and I do not need them. I have neither my father nor my brother in Khaybar from now on. You ask me to choose between unbelief and Islam. Allah and the Messenger of Allah are much better for me than being freed and going back to my nation.”

The Prophet became very happy when he heard what she said and freed her. Then, he married her.

Hz. Safiyya had a small scar on her face. The Prophet saw it and asked her, “What is this?” Hz. Safiyya answered:

“When I married Kinana, I saw a dream on the first night. In my dream, the moon came from Madinah and fell onto my lap. When I informed Kinana about my dream, he got very angry and said, ‘You want to marry Muhammad, the king of Hejaz.’ Then, he slapped me. This scar is the trace of that blow.”[1]

Hz. Safiyya was a contented woman. When she arrived in Madinah, she gave her jewels to Hz. Fatima and the wives of the Prophet as gifts.” [2]

Hz. Safiyya loved the Prophet very much and did not want to leave him. Once, she went to visit the Prophet when he was in the mosque for i’tikaf. After staying there for an hour, she wanted to return home. The Messenger of Allah stood up to see her off. When they arrived at the door of the mosque in front of the room of Umm Salama, they met two Companions from Ansar.

They greeted the Prophet and tried to leave hurriedly. The Prophet knew that they would not think of bad things about him. However, thinking about the possibility of Satan’s giving them delusions, he shouted to them: “Stop! Do not hurry. The woman with me is Safiyya bint Huyay.”

The Companions said, “Subhanallah, (How dare we think of any evil?)”  They felt offended because the Prophet told them who the woman with him was, thinking that they might think of bad things about him. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah warned them and his ummah as follows: 

“Satan reaches everywhere in the human body as blood reaches in it. I was afraid lest Satan should insert an evil thought in your minds.”[3]

Hz. Safiyya could not stand it when the Prophet became ill and had pains. She wanted to suffer instead of him. When the Prophet became very ill, all of his wives gathered around him. Safiyya stated the following sincerely and in tears:

“O Messenger of Allah! I wish I was suffering instead of you now.” [4]

Hz. Safiyya died in the 52nd year of the Migration when Hz. Muawiya was the caliph.

May Allah be pleased with her!


[1] Tabaqat, 8: 120, 123.
[2] Tabaqat, 8: 127.
[3] Bukhari, Sawm: 81; Abu Dawud, Adab: 88.
[4] Tabaqat, 8: 128.–

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.

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Arrogance is not only a sign of insecurity, but also a sign of immaturity. Mature and fully realised persons can get their points across, even emphatically without demeaning or intimidating others.