Hadrat Umm al-Mu'mineen Sayyidatuna Maimoona Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anha was the last wife of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam). She was the daughter of Harith bin Huzn and Hind bint Awf. She belonged to the tribe of Banu-Hilala. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) had another wife from the same tribe. The other wife’s name was Sayyidah Zainab Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anha, commonly known as Ummul-Masakeen (Mother of the needy and poor). Maimoona was her second adopted name. Her first name Barra was changed by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) and the new name Maimoona was given. Her father Harith bin Hazam was one of the respected chief of tribe Banu-Hilala and he had sixteen daughters. One of his daughters namely Umm al-Fadhl was the wife of Hadrat Abbas Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, who was the Holy Prophet’s uncle. His another daughter namely Umm-e-Salma was married to Hadrat Hamzah Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, another uncle of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam). Another daughter Lubaba was the mother of Hadrat Khalid bin Walid Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu (A renowned General of Muslims who fought against Iranians and was given the title of ‘Sword of Allah’ by the Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam). Harith’s some other daughters were later married to Hadrat Umar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, the second Caliph and Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, the fourth Caliph. Another daughter Asma was married to Hadrat Jafar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu. Thus most of Hadrat Maimoona’s sisters were married to the pioneering revolutionary leaders of Islam.
The Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) was about sixty years old at the time of his marriage with Hadrat Maimoona. She lived three years’ married life with the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam). Prior to her marriage twice. Her first marriage took place with Masood bin Amr. Masood divorced her and then she was married to Abu Rahim bin Abdul Aza. Abu Rahim died in the seventh year of Hijra. After Abu Rahim’s death the Holy Prophet’s Uncle Hadrat Abbas persuaded the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) to marry Sayyidah Maimoona.
Maymuna or Barra as she was then called, yearned to marry the Prophet. She went to her sister, Umm al-Fadhl to talk to her about that and she, in turn, spoke to her husband, Sayyiduna Abbas Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu. Hadrat Abbas immediately went to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with Maymuna’s offer of marriage to him and her proposal was accepted. When the good news reached her, she was on a camel, and she immediately got off the camel and said,
“The camel and what is on it is for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).”
They were married in the month of Shawwal in 7 AH just after the Muslims of Madinah al-Munawwarah were permitted to visit Makkah Sharif under the terms of the treaty of Hudaybiyya to perform Umrah. Allah Almighty sent the following ayah about this:
وامراة مومنة ان وهبت نفسها للنبي ان اراد النبي ان يستنكحها خالصة لك من دون المومنين
...Any believing woman who dedicates herself to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her, that is only for thee and not for the believers... [Surah al-Ahzab, Verse 50]
The Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) was wearing Ihram (Ihram is the dress for performing Hajj or Umrah comprised of two sheets of cloth, one wrapped around the waist and the other around the shoulder. After putting on Ihram, one can not trim his hair, cut his nails, abuse or have intercourse etc.). In the same condition he sent five hundred Dirhams as Mehr to Hadrat Maimoona and the Nikah ceremony was Performed While on return after Umrah from Makkah Mukarramah to Madina Munawwarah, he stayed at a place called Saraf. This place is ten miles away from Makkah Sharif on way to Madina Munawwarah. At Saraf, the feast of Walima ( The feast, i.e. lunch or dinner offered to friends and guests on the next day of the marriage) was held.
A great event followed the marriage of Hadrat Maimoona’s to the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam). Hadrat Maimoona’s nephew Hadrat Khalid bin Walid embraced Islam. He was a very talented and brave man from the Quraysh tribe. He was also a great warrior and renowned soldier. After her marriage when Hadrat Maimoona went to Madina Munawwarah with the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam), Hadrat Khalid bin Walid addressed his tribe and declared, “I can no longer remain in your fold”. Thus a great force in the shape of Hadrat Khalid came to Islam’s side.
The Prophet gave her the name, Maimoona, meaning “blessed”, and Sayyidah Maimoona lived with the Prophet for just over three years, until his death. She was obviously very good natured and got on well with everyone, and no quarrel or disagreement with any of the Prophet’s other wives has been related about her. Hadrat Sayyidah ‘A’isha said about her,
إنها والله كانت من أتقانا لله وأوصلنا للرحم
“Among us, she had the most fear of Allah and did the most to maintain ties of kinship.” [Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain, Vol. 16, Page 53, Hadith 6869]
It was in her room that the Prophet first began to feel the effects of what became his final illness and asked the permission of his wives to stay in Sayyidah Ayesha’s room while it lasted.
Hadrat Maimoona had a great love for teaching and preaching of Islam. She has narrated forty-six traditions and according to some, seventy-six traditions. People used to come to her for the solution of their various religious problems and she always guided them with intelligent replies to their questions.
She was a kind and very pious lady. During her life, she set many slaves free. Once during the life of the Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam, she set a slave free to enjoy the rights of a free citizen, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) praised her saying,
“Maimoona, Allah will reward you for this act”.
She was also a great scholar of religion. Even her nephew Ibn Abbas who later became a great scholar interpreter and commentator of the Holy Quran, was her pupil.
After the beloved Prophet’s passing away, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Sayyidah Maimoona continued to live in Madina Munawwarah for another forty years, passing away at the age of eighty, in 51 A.H., (may Allah be pleased with her), and according to Ibn Ishaq, She passed away in 63 A.H. being the last of the Prophet’s wives to pass away. She asked to be buried where had married the Prophet at Saraf and her request was carried out.
Hadrat Ibn-e-Abbas Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anha led her funeral prayers. When her coffin was lifted and was carried towards the grave, Hadrat Ibn Abbas Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anha said:
“Don’t shake her bed. Be respectful and carry her with ease. She is the wife of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam)”.