Ruqayyah bint Muhammad was born 605 to Muhammad (c570-632) and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (555-619) and died 624 Medina, Saudi Arabia of unspecified causes. She married Utbah ibn Abu Lahab . Muhammad (c570-632).


Offspring of Utbah ibn Abu Lahab and Ruqayyah bint Muhammad¢
Name Birth Death Joined with

Ruqayyah bint Muhammad (Arabic: رقية بنت النبي محمد) was the daughter of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and Khadija. She married Utbah ibn Abu Lahab, but he divorced her after her conversion to Islam, after which she married Uthman ibn Affan. She is described as "ذات الهجرتين" meaning "she who emigrated twice", since she participated in both the Migration to Abyssinia and the Migration to Medina. She died in Medina in 2 AH (624 CE), at the same time as the Battle of Badr.


Offspring of Muhammad (c570-632) and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (555-619)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Zainab bint Muhammad (c600-)
Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad (c601-627)
Ruqayyah bint Muhammad (605-624) 605 624 Medina, Saudi Arabia Utbah ibn Abu Lahab
Uthman ibn Affan
Fatimah bint Muhammad (c610-632) 610 Mecca 632 Medina Ali Ibn Ali Talib (c599-661)
Abdullah ibn Muhammad (-615)
Qasim ibn Muhammad (c603-605)

Offspring of Muhammad (c570-632) and Maria al-Qibtiyya (-637)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ibrahim ibn Muhammad (629-632)

Early life

Ruqayyah was born before the beginning of Islam.[1] Abu Lahab approached Muhammad and asked to wed two of his daughters to his sons: Ruqayyah to Utbah, and Umm Kulthum to Utaybah. Later, after Muhammad had begun to preach Islam openly, Abu Lahab became hostile and actively opposed Islam. After sura Al-Masadd was published, he asked both his sons to divorce Muhammad's daughters, which they did.

After Ruqayyah's divorce, Uthman asked for her hand in marriage. They had a son named Abd-Allah, but he died when he was very young.

Migration to Abyssinia

Due to the Meccan oppression of early Muslim converts, a small group of Muslims (said to be just 11 men and 4 women) chose to migrate to Abyssinia in 613 AD. Amongst this first batch was both Ruqayyah and her husband Uthman. Their stay in Abyssinia did not last long, as they soon heard news that the Meccans had ceased their hostilities to Islam. Ruqayyah and Uthman returned to Mecca, but there they found that the news was false, and that the Meccans had actually intensified their campaign against the Muslims. Ruqayyah and Uthman joined a second migration to Abyssinia in 615 AD, with around one hundred other Muslims.

Migration to Medina

Many Muslims chose to stay in Abyssinia and live there until they received word to emigrate to Medina directly. However, a few Muslims chose to return to Mecca, and Ruqayyah was amongst them. Upon her return, she learned that her mother Khadija had died in her absence. Her stay in Mecca did not last long either, as most Muslims had begun to migrate to the friendly city of Medina, and she migrated there as well. It was in Medina that her son Abd-Allah died.

Her grief over the loss of her mother and son was compounded by an illness (said to be measles) which left her bed-ridden in 624 AD, at the same time as the Battle of Badr was being carried out. Ruqayyah died before the Muslims returned from battle, and was buried in Al-Baqi' cemetery. Uthman stayed by her side during her illness, and did not participate in the battle.

The medieval Shiite cleric Muhammad Baqir Majlisi wrote that she was killed by her husband Uthman.[2][3]

Minority view

The Sunni Muslims believe that all four of Khadija's daughters are from her marriage to Muhammad. The Sunni scholar Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr says:[4]

His children born of Khadīja are four daughters; there is no difference of opinion about that.

While this view is shared by some Shiites,[2] others consider Fatimah as the only biological daughter of Muhammad and they argue their rationale regarding this matter by using some historical traces.[2][5] In the incident of Mubahala in which Muhammad was ordered to invite Christian disputants and accompany his family members for the imprecation, as mentioned by Quran3:61, there was no female accompanied by Muhammad apart from Fatimah.[6]

Shiites believe that Fatimah is the only female who is recognized among the five members of Ahlul Bayt (along with Muhammad, Ali, Hasan, Husain according to the purification verse in Quran33:33).[7] According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the expression Ahlul Bayt can only mean the family of Muhammad and in spite of the claims of many members of the community and Muhammad's relatives for a place in the Ahlul Bayt, and the later efforts to include Muhammad's wives, the number of privileged is limited to those five members.[7]

Marriage dispute

There is dispute about her marriage. Some sources have reported that she was first married to Utbah ibn Abu Lahab. His father, Abu Lahab, forced Utbah to divorce Ruqayyah due to Abu Lahab's opposition to Muhammad and his teachings. Muslim convert Uthman ibn Affan had long admired Ruqayyah and was then able to ask for her hand in marriage.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Ruqayyah bint Muhammad -
  2. ^ a b c Muhammad B. Majlesi, An Account of the Prophet’s Children, Hayat Al-Qulub vol 2, A Detailed Biography of Prophet Muhammad, Published by: Ansariyan Publications Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hayat" defined multiple times with different content
  3. ^ Aḥmad Sayyārī (2009), Revelation and falsification: the Kitāb al-qirāʼāt, page 248
  4. ^ al-Istī`āb fī Ma`rifat al-Aşĥāb (Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr, The Comprehensive Compilation of the Names of the Prophet's Companions) vol.1 pp.50
  5. ^ Yasin T. al-Jibouri (1994), Khadija Daughter of Khuwaylid
  6. ^ Ordoni, Abu Muhammad; Muhammad Kazim Qazwini (1992), Fatima the Gracious, Ansariyan Publications. ISBN B000BWQ7N6
  7. ^ a b Vacca, V. "Fāṭima". In P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.
  8. ^ Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong

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Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
  • Wikipedia (see below)
₪ Wedding
  • Divorced.
¢ Children
  • Died very young.

Robin Patterson

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