Maymoonah, Mother of the Faithful

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Her name was Barrah, so the Messenger of Allah (SAW) changed it to Maymoonah.


Maymoonah (RA) was not the only lady who accepted Islam and whose name was Barrah and the Messenger of Allah (SAW) changed her name. There are many other women whom the Prophet (PBUH) gave other names. An example is Zaynab bint Jahsh, another mother of the faithful. Her name was also Barrah, so the Messenger of Allah (SAW) changed it to Zaynab.


The Prophet (PBUH) did not change the name of these women simply because of their being married to him. Rather, he did so in accordance with the principle of choosing good names that agree with Islamic teaching and Muslim faith.


Dear reader, you might be wondering that the purpose of changing the name of Abu Bakr from 'Abdul Ka'bah to 'Abdullah was clear as opposed to the purpose of changing the name ‘Barrah,’ which is derived from birr that means righteousness.


No problem.


You have predecessors in this among the Companions, may Allah be pleased with all of them. The answer the Messenger of Allah gave in response to this question was most eloquent as it was good-mannered. He said, "Is she praising herself?" For, how can one praise oneself while it is only Allah Who can tell the righteous from the sinful and the pious from the corrupt and immoral?


The Messenger of Allah (SAW) instructed us to be good mannered in our dealing with Allah. He taught us to say. After praising someone because of their action or quality, "That is what we know about him – La nuzakkee ‘alallahi ahadan.”


Pardon, if we've roamed away a little bit!


Let us go back to Maymoonah, the mother of the faithful.


The Messenger of Allah (SAW) died less than three years after marrying her, so her narrations from him are few and limited.


Maymoonah was extremely pious, righteous and gentle. Enough for us in this regard was A’isha’s description of her. She said about Maymoonah, "She was among the most pious of us and the kindest to the kith and kin.”

After the death of the Prophet (PBUH) she lived her life calmly and peacefully, preoccupying herself with acts of worship and performing Hajj every year.


A noteworthy example of the purity of her mind and her strong affinity to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) is that, in her final Hajj. Which she performed in the year 51 A.H, she became very ill on her way back to Madeenah from Makkah. She died in a place called ‘Sarif ‘ that is some miles from Makkah. It was this same place in which a round-shaped structure was erected for the Messenger of Allah (SAW) where he consummated marriage with her, after he had performed

'Umrah al-Qada.’ Abdullah ibn 'Abbas, the great Companion and who was a son of her sister, Umm al-Fadl prepared for burial.


Yes, she died in the very place where her wedding and its consummation with the Messenger of Allah (SAW) took place!! Maybe it is coincidence? But it is a noteworthy indication from which lessons can be learnt.

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