Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Safiyyah bint Huyai was a princess, intelligent, gorgeous and elegant.
She came to the Messenger of Allah a Jewish slave.
The Prophet granted her freedom and tendered a marriage proposal to her to which she agreed.
Safiyyah was 17 years old and became a Muslim
At that vibrant age, she, a woman of Jewish lineage, became one of the Mothers of the believers, for Allah had so ordained all the wives of my Prophet.
Safiyyah’s beauty ignited the jealousy of her co-wives. Aishah the Prophet’s favourite wife hurried to take a glance at her.
Overwhelmed by jealousy after observing Safiyyah, Aishah turned back speechless. Safiyyah was undeniably dazzling.
Although Aishah and Safiyyah became allies, co-rivalry did not end there.
Soon, two opposing groups of the wives of the Messenger of Allah quarrelled and each wife boasted of her relevance.
Aishah boasted of being the most loved by the Prophet of Allah.
A member of her competitors Zainab pointed to the fact that her marriage to the Messenger of Allah was conducted by Allah Himself.
Safiyyah wept. Hurt at the gloating, she went to confide in her lover.
On hearing of the incident, my Prophet reassured her she had no reason to weep and provided her with a weapon with which to fire back at her co-wives should they ever repeat such ridicule:
Certainly, you are the daughter of a Prophet, Musa. Your uncle Harun is a Prophet. And you are the wife of a Prophet, Muhammad
Safiyyah smiled, contented.
The Messenger of Allah did not hesitate to verbally defend her from taunts by her co-wives, even his dearest Aishah.
Such was the level of affection, care and protection he had for Safiyyah.
Safiyyah was a divorcee and a widow, yet she was cherished by the Messenger of Allah as his wife.
That is a manifest proof against the insults a previously married woman receives in some contemporary communities.
Safiyyah had equal access to the Messenger of Allah as her co-wives and she freely interacted with him.
Whenever she came to see him while he was in Itikaf *, he would see her off, strolling and discussing with her as she returned home.
Nowadays, the prospect of a woman enjoying an amble with her spouse has almost become extinct, except in cases when a woman will not leave her home without her husband as a bodyguard.
Safiyyah was clear-headed and compassionate to all, including the lowest members of the community.
She displayed equanimity in relations to her slaves.
Year after the passing of her lover, Safiyyah was taken to court by her own slave girl.
Umar the reigning Khaliph invited Safiyyah for discussions as the accusation against her was grave.
The slave girl had alleged Safiyyah, though a Muslim continued to observe Jewish occasion of Sabbath and was too friendly with the Jewish community.
Defending herself, Safiyyah emphasised her love of yaum al-Jumu’ah ~Friday not Saturday and explained that the Jews with whom she shared good contacts were her blood relatives in conformity to the teachings of the Sharee’ah.
Safiyyah was cleared of the charges against her.
When she discovered the source of the case against her, Safiyyah asked her slave girl why she had reported her for no reason. The girl expressed regrets for her actions.
Safiyyah restrained her ire and granted the slave girl freedom.
Safiyyah lived for 40 years after her lover and husband and was buried in the same cemetery as the other wives of the Prophet.
* Itikaf – Solitary time of Worship spent in the Masjid during the last ten days of Ramadhan.