Infertility Among the Mothers of the Believers

The wives of Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) are often understood as examples for
Muslim women to follow. When Muslim women are given models of performance they turn to
these women to show piety, steadfastness, honesty and obedience. However what appears to
be forgotten amongst many is that most Mothers of the believers would be defined as infertile today.
Among these women are two who would be classified as having secondary infertility, both having
 children prior to their marrying Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam). All others bearing no
children at all. Let us take a look at these women.

Sawda: She was married to Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) shortly after the death of Khadijah,
three years before the hijrah. She was a widow having married once before. There are conflicting reports in
 reference to her having children. Those that claim she had a child attribute one son to her. She bore no
children while married to Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam).

Aisha: She was married to Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) in the same year as Sawda, although her
marriage was not consumated until after the migration to Madinah. She was the youngest wife of
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) and the only virgin. She bore no children in her marriage.

Hafsa: She was married to Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) after becoming a widow at the
 time of the battle of Badr. She is said to have been around the age of nineteen at the time. She had
no children in her first marriage to khumays b. Hudhafah and she bore no children in her marriage to
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam).

Umm Salamah: She married Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) in the year 4 a.h. She was previously
 married to Abdullah ibn Abdu'l Asad and they had four children together, Zaynab, Salamah, Umar and Durra.
She married Muhammad after becoming a widow and was still nursing Zaynab. She bore no children with
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam).

Zaynab bint Jahsh: She was a cousin of Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) and previously married
 to his adopted son Zayd bin Thabit. After Zayd had divorced her in 5 a.h she was married to Muhammad
(salalahu walayhe wasalam) by the decree of Allah. She bore no children in either marriage.

Juwayriyya: She was married to Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) after the battle of the ditch in
5a.h. She was captured and than freed by Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) in which she
converted to Islam and married him. She was previously married before being a muslim to Musafi' ibn

Safwan. She bore no children in either marriage.

Rayhana: She was also of the captive women. She was freed, converted and than married
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) in 6 a.h. She was married once before and had no
children from any of the marriages. She died before Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam).

Umm Habiba: She married Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) in the year 7 a.h. She was
previously married to Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh who turned apostate after migrating to Abyssinia. She bore
one daughter, Habiba after her emigration to Abyssinia. She bore no children in her marriage to
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam).

Safiyya: She was from the Banu Israel and capture during the attack on Khaybar in 7 a.h.
She was freed and converted to Islam than married Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam).
She was married twice before her conversion she bore no children in any marriage.

Maymuna: She married Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) in 7 a.h., she was the last to be
married by Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam). She was previously married to Ma'sud ibn 'Amr ath
Thaqafir and Abu Ruhm ibn Abdu'l Uzza. She bore no children in any marriage.

We can make the assumption that a fertility problem did not lie with Muhammad (salalahu walayhe
 wasalam). He had children with his first wife Khadijah, four girls and two boys. And he had one child,
Ibrahim, with Maryam the copt slave who was given to him as a gift after 7 a.h. She had relations with
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) based on her being a right hand possession.

When we take these women as examples such exemplary women it becomes curious why our ummah
has decided to place so much emphasis on a woman's ability to procreate. Here we have the life of
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) who is the best of examples, and yet we have the desire to
 measure the worth of a Muslim women by her ability to produce children. We fail to also keep in mind
that these examples for Muslim women did not produce children in their marriage to
Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam). That they can be defined as infertile in light of the common day
definition and Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) did not divorce them, nor did he demean them for
 not having children. Their status as Muslim women were in no way defined in their ability or inability to
have children. We have no record of this even being an issue among these women, yet we make it an
issue between every couple even if we hardly know them.

It is my hope that all of my fellow infertile Muslim sisters find strength in the memory of these women.
Even though they bore no children with Muhammad (salalahu walayhe wasalam) he loved and respected
them and they are given a status unlike other women in our ummah

http://www.angelfire.com/sys/popup_source.shtml