Maimunah Binti Al-Harith
Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.
Maimunah Binti Al-Harith (Radiallāhu`anha) married the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) in 7th AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and she was thirty six years old. The sister of Maimunah Binti Al-Harith, Umm Al-Fadl Lubaba, was the mother of Abdullah Ibn Abbās, the son of one of the uncles of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) and the one of the wisest of his Companions.
Zainab binti Khuzaimah, Ummul-Mu’minin, was also her half-sister. Her other sisters included Asma binti Umays, the wife of Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib, who later married Abu Bakar As-Siddiq, and Salmah binti Umays, the wife of Hamzah Ibn Abdul Muttalib, the "Lion of Allāh".
Her full sisters were Umm Al-Fadl Lubaba, Asma and Izzah.
Umm Al-Fadl Lubaba was one of the earliest Companions of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam). Once Abu Lahab, the enemy of Allāh and the Messenger of Allāh, entered the house of his brother, Al-Abbās Ibn Abdul Muttalib, and proceeded to attack Al-Abbās helper, Abu Rafi, because he had embraced Islām. Abu Lahab knocked him to the ground and knelt on him, continuing to beat him. Umm Al Fadl Lubaba grabbed a post that was available and cracked it across Abu Lahab's head, saying, "Will you victimize him because his master is absent?" He retreated in shame and died a week later.
Maimunah or Barra as she was then called yearned to marry the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam). She went to her sister, Umm Al Fadl Lubaba to talk to her about that and she, in turn, spoke to her husband, Al-Abbas. Al-Abbas immediately went to the Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) with Maimunah’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 Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam)." They were married in the month of Shawal in 7 AH just after the Muslims of Medinah were permitted to visit Makkah under the terms of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah to perform umrah. Allāh Almighty sent the following ayat about this:
"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."
The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) gave her the name, Maimunah, meaning "blessed", and Maimunah lived with the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) 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 have been related about her. 'Aishah (Radiallāhu`anha) said about her, "Among us, she had the most fear of Allāh and did the most to maintain ties of kinship." It was in her room that the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) first began to feel the effects of what became his final illness and asked the permission of his wives to stay in Aishah's room while it lasted.
It is also related by Ibn Abbās (Radiallāhu`anhu) that he once stayed the night as a guest of Maimunah, who was his aunt, and the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam). They slept on their blanket lengthways and he slept at the end, crossways. After they had all slept for awhile, the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) rose in the middle of the night to perform Solat Tahajjud, and Ibn Abbas joined him.
They both did wudhū', and he prayed eleven raka’at (including Witr) with the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam). Then they both went back to sleep again until dawn. When Bilal Ibn Rabab (Radiallāhu`anhu) called the adzan and the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) did another two short raka’at, before going into the masjid to lead the Dawn Prayer.
Ibn Abbas (Radiallāhu`anhu) said that one of the do‘ā that the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) made during the night was:
"O Allāh, place light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my hearing, light on my sight, light behind me, light in front of me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me; place light in my sinew, in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; place light in my soul and make light abundant for me; make me light and grant me [abundant] light.”
It is commonly agreed that it was after the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) had married Maimunah Binti Al-Harith, giving him now nine wives [‘Aishah, Sawdah, Hafsah, Umm Salamah, Zainab binti Jahsh, Juwairiyyah, Umm Habibah, Saffiyyah and Maimunah], that the following ayat was revealed:
"It is not lawful for you (O Muhammad, to marry more) women after this, nor to exchange them for other wives, even though their beauty is pleasing to you, except those whom your right hand possesses (as maid servants); and Allāh is always watching over everything."
After this, the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) did not marry again. When however, the Christian ruler, or Muqawqis, of Egypt, sent him two Christian slave girls who were sisters as a gift (in response to the Prophet's letter inviting him to embrace Islam), along with a fine robe and some medicine. The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) accepted one of the slave girls, Maria Al-Qibtiyah, into his household; he gave her sister Serene, to a man whom he wished to honor, namely Hassan Ibn Thabit; he accepted the robe; and he returned the medicine with the message, "My Sunnah is my medicine!" This occurred in 7 AH, when the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) was sixty years old and Maria was twenty years old. Maria bore him a son, Ibrahim who died as an infant.
After the Prophet's (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) death, Maimunah continued to live in Medinah for another forty years, dying at the age of eighty, in 51 AH, (Radiallāhu`anha), being the last of the Prophet's wives to die. She asked to be buried at Saraf where she got married to the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) and her request was carried out. It is related that at the funeral of Maimunah, Ibn Abbas said, "This is the wife of Allāh's Messenger (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) so when you lift her bier, do not shake her or disturb her, but be gentle."
Maimunah Binti Al-Harith was thus one of the 'Ahlul-Bait', 'the people of the House', not only by virtue of being a wife of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) but also because she was related to him. Zaid bin Arqam related that the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "I implore you by Allāh! The People of my House!" three times. Zaid was asked who the People of the House were, and he said, "The family of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the family of Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib, the family Aqil Ibn Abi Talib, and the family of Al-Abbas Ibn Abdal Muttalib."
And Allāh Knows Best.