حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مَعْمَرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَارِثِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَى بْنُ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ كُنَّا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَقْفَلَهُ مِنْ عُسْفَانَ، وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى رَاحِلَتِهِ، وَقَدْ أَرْدَفَ صَفِيَّةَ بِنْتَ حُيَىٍّ، فَعَثَرَتْ نَاقَتُهُ فَصُرِعَا جَمِيعًا، فَاقْتَحَمَ أَبُو طَلْحَةَ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، جَعَلَنِي اللَّهُ فِدَاءَكَ. قَالَ " عَلَيْكَ الْمَرْأَةَ ". فَقَلَبَ ثَوْبًا عَلَى وَجْهِهِ وَأَتَاهَا، فَأَلْقَاهَا عَلَيْهَا وَأَصْلَحَ لَهُمَا مَرْكَبَهُمَا فَرَكِبَا، وَاكْتَنَفْنَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَلَمَّا أَشْرَفْنَا عَلَى الْمَدِينَةِ قَالَ " آيِبُونَ تَائِبُونَ عَابِدُونَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُونَ ". فَلَمْ يَزَلْ يَقُولُ ذَلِكَ حَتَّى دَخَلَ الْمَدِينَةَ.
We were in the company of the Prophet (ﷺ) while returning from 'Usfan, and Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was riding his she-camel keeping Safiya bint Huyay riding behind him. His she-camel slipped and both of them fell down. Abu Talha jumped from his camel and said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! May Allah sacrifice me for you." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Take care of the lady." So, Abu Talha covered his face with a garment and went to Safiya and covered her with it, and then he set right the condition of their shecamel so that both of them rode, and we were encircling Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) like a cover. When we approached Medina, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, "We are returning with repentance and worshipping and praising our Lord." He kept on saying this till he entered Medina.
Umm ul-Mukminin Safiyyah: The Jewish Wife of Muhammad(P) Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi
There has been some criticism going around as to the nature of marriage of Safiyyah(R), the Jewish wife of Muhammad(P). A rabid missionary hostile to the Prophet Muhammad(P) had in fact the audacity to say that:
Muhammad forced himself on a captured woman on the same day that he killed her father, husband and many of her relatives. He was a rapist.
This statement made by this ignorant missionary is due not only to the gutter environment that he was brought up and subjected to, but also because of his inability to understand the circumstances surrounding this event. Insha'allah, our purpose here is to explain the circumstances and the nature of the marriage of Safiyyah to the Prophet(P).
The Marriage of the Prophet(P) to Safiyyah(R)
Safiyyah was the daughter of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the undisputed leader of the Banu al-Nadir as well as a Jewish rabbi. Hence, she was of noble regal and rabbinical heritage. She became a captive of the Muslims when they seized al-Qamus, the fortress of Khaybar. When a Companion of the Prophet(P) heard of Safiyyah's captivity, he approached the Prophet(P) with a suggestion that since she was a lady of Banu al-Nadir, only the Prophet(P) was fit enough to marry her. The Prophet(P) agreed to this suggestion and hence granted her freedom and married her.
This significant act of marrying Safiyyah(R) was indeed a great honour for her, for this not only preserved her dignity, it also prevented her from becoming a slave. Haykal notes that:
The Prophet granted her freedom and then married her, following the examples of great conquerors who married the daughters and wives of the kings whom they had conquered, partly in order to alleviate their tragedy and partly to preserve their dignity.
The marriage to Safiyyah(R) has a political significance as well, as it helps to reduce hostilities and cement alliances. John L. Esposito notes that
As was customary for Arab chiefs, many were political marriages to cement alliances. Others were marriages to the widows of his companions who had fallen in combat and were in need of protection.
Indeed, when Bilal ibn Rabah(R), a Companion of the Prophet, brought Safiyyah along with another Jewess before him(P) by passing through the Jews that were slain in the battle, Muhammad(P) personally chided Bilal and said "Have you no compassion, Bilal, when you brought two women past their dead husbands?"
As for the accusation that Safiyyah was coerced into marriage or taken advantage of, as alleged by a known Islamophobic, this claim has no basis at all. It is known that Safiyyah(R) remained loyal to the Prophet until he passed away. We have in fact the Prophet(P) making the following offer to her, as recorded by Martin Lings:
He [the Prophet Muhammad - Ed.] then told Safiyyah that he was prepared to set her free, and he offered her the choice between remaining a Jewess and returning to her people or entering Islam and becoming his wife. "I choose God and His Messenger," she said; and they were married at the first halt on the homeward march.
The other wives of the Prophet(P) used to show their jealousy of her by making slights upon her Jewish origin. But the Prophet(P) always defended her. Once Safiyyah was vexed to the extreme by the taunts of all the Arab wives of the Prophet(P). She took the complaint to the Prophet(P), who felt great compassion for her. He consoled and encouraged her. He equipped her with logic by saying: "Safiyyah, take courage and be bold. They are in no way superior to you. Tell them: I am a daughter of the Prophet Harun, a niece of the Prophet Musa, and a wife of the Prophet Muhammad". This is thus an excellent example of the Prophet Muhammad(P) trying to wipe out pre-Islamic anti-Semitism amongst the Arabs.
With the evidences laid bare before us, we do not see the justification of accusing the Prophet(P) of being a "rapist", as those anti-Islamic critics allege. That the Prophet(P) himself married Safiyyah(R) so as to avoid the certainty of her being a slave of the Muslims and helped her to defend herself from the taunts of her co-wives is enough proof that the Prophet(P) was a man of exemplary conduct and remained honourable even to relatives of his most bitter foes.
And only God knows best.
And all that is one of stories rom my Malaysian friend Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi
trying to explain people like me to a question, why Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) needed to marry all those women when he was already over 50.