Inspiring Muslim Women: Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad (RA)

Carrying on with our ongoing series about the lives of the daughters of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), today, we will be talking about the life of Hz Kulthum bint Muhammad (RA).

Hz Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad (RA) was the third daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Hz Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (RA). She was born in the year 603 CE, and was a year younger than Hz Ruqayyah (RA).

Hz Umm Kulthum (RA) was initially married to Utaybah, one of the sons of Abu Lahab. Due to his enmity towards Islam, Abu Lahab forced Utaybah to leave Hz Umm Kulthum (RA). 

After her divorce, Hz Umm Kulthum (RA) went back to live with her father, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For many years, she stayed home, shouldering the burdens of life with her mother, Hz Khadijah (RA).

Meanwhile, the people of Quraysh decided to boycott Muslims on both the economic and social frontier. Muslims suffered a lot of afflictions, and owing to socio-economic boycott, some were even forced to consume leaves of trees.

Hz Khadijah (RA) passed away shortly after the end of the boycott. Her mother’s death filled her heart with sorrow and grief, but Hz Umm Kulthum (RA) conducted herself in a mature manner, because in the absence of her mother, she had to take care of the entire household as well as her younger sister, Hz Fatima (RA).

In the year 622 CE, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) left Mecca and migrated to Medina, and thereafter, he sent Hz Zayd ibn Harith (RA) to bring his daughters Hz Umm Kulthum (RA) and Hz Fatima (RA) to Medina.

Life was comparatively better for Muslims in Medina. It was in Medina that Hz Umm Kulthum (RA) witnessed the Muslims’ victory in the Battle of Badr. Unfortunately, it was during the battle itself that she got the sad news about the demise of her elder sister, Hz Ruqayyah (RA).

After the death of Hz Ruqayyah (RA), Hz Umm Kulthum (RA) was married to Hz Uthman ibn Affan in the year 03 AH (624 CE). As a result, Hz Uthman (RA) earned the title of Dhu al-Nurayn (“The Possessor of Two Lights”), because he married two daughters of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Hz Umm Kulthum (RA) lived with her husband Hz Uthman (RA) for six years, but the marriage remained childless. She witnessed several stages during the rise of Islam – the socio-economic boycott and the hardships faced in Mecca, the migration to Medina, as well as the glorious conquest of Mecca in the year 08 AH (629 CE).

She passed away in the year 09 AH in the month of Sha’ban (November/December 630 CE), at the age of 29 years. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) tearfully conducted her funeral prayers, and she was laid to rest next to the grave of her sister, Hz Ruqayyah bint Muhammad (RA).

Wish to read more? Why not check out the other parts of this series? 

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Anjum Ara

Anjum Ara is the co-founder and contributing editor of Muslim Memo. An optometrist by profession, Anjum prefers to spend her time reading and following the Hadith and Sunnah.

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