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Safiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the aunt of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and salutations be upon him ) and a real sister of Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with him).

It was said that she was the Prophet’s only paternal aunt who actually embraced Islam and migrated.

She had a strong personality and was therefore inclined towards sternness and harshness.

Her marriage and children:

Her first marriage was to Al-Harith ibn Umayyah, who was Abu Sufyaan’s brother. He then died before they had had any children together. She was then married to Al-'Awwam ibn Khuwaylid, who was our Mother Khadeejah’s (may Allah be pleased with her) brother. She gave birth to two of his children: As-Sa’ib and Az-Zubayr. When he passed away, Safiyah devoted all her attention to her two orphaned sons, especially the younger one. Whenever he came home complaining of being bullied by children of his age, she would sternly rebuke him, tie him and beat him up so as to make him strong and firm.

When one of the members of her husband’s family once passed by her while she was treating her son in this way, he requested her to be kind to the poor orphan. She replied that she wants to make a man out of her son; a man that would be undefeatable and insuppressible, a man that would never surrender to any of Allah’s creatures.

It was reported that Az-Zubayr engaged in a duel with someone who slandered him and Az-Zubayr was so strong, that he broke the hand of the slanderer and severely beat him up. This man, with his pains was brought to Safiyah and she asked him what had happened to him, to which was told,

“He fought with Az-Zubayr and he [Az-Zubayr] did to him that which you can see.”

When she heard this, she proudly recited the following poetical verses :

How did you find Zubayr?

Did you find him a cottage cheese or a date fruit?

Or did you find him a raving falcon?

He is not as simple to overcome or an easy food that be eaten effortlessly!

Safiyah achieved what she wanted; Az-Zubayr grew strong in body and soul, with no lassitude or sluggishness.

Her bravery achievements in Islam:

On the day of Uhud, she had more than one remarkable input. When people felt defeated she moved forward, and when people retreated she advanced!

In the war of the 'Khandaq' (Trench), the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) had collected all the Muslim women in a fortress and had deputed Hassaan-bin-Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) to look after them. The Jews, who were always on the look-out for such opportunities, for doing mischief, surrounded the place and sent one of them to find out if there were any men with the ladies. Safiyyah (Radhiallaho anha) happened to see the Jew approaching the fort. She said to Hassaan (may Allah be pleased with them both) "There is a Jew coming to spy on us. You go out and kill him."
Hassaan (may Allah be pleased with him) was a weak person. He did not make bold to do the job. Safiyyah (Radhiallaho anha-Allah be pleased with her) got hold of a tent peg and went outside the fortress and gave a blow on the head of the Jew that killed him on the spot. She came back and said to Hassaan:

"The man is dead. I have not removed the clothes and arms from his body for reasons of modesty. Now you go and remove everything from his body. Also bring his head after severing it from the body."

Hassaan (Radhiallaho anho) was too weak-hearted to do that even. She herself went again and brought his head, and threw it over the wall amidst the Jews. When they saw this, they said:

"We were wondering how Muhammad could keep the womenfolk alone in this fort. Surely, there are men inside to guard the ladies."

Safiyyah died in 20 A.H. at the age of seventy three. The war of the Trench was fought in 5 A.H. She was, therefore, 58 then. These days, a lady of that age is hardly able to do her domestic work. But look how Safiyyah (Radhiallaho anha) goes and kills a Jew all alone.

Her death:

Safiyah lived till the time of the caliphate of 'Umar. It was in the caliphate of 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that she passed away. May Allah be pleased with her, radhi Allaahu ‘anha.


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