HAZRAT JUWAIRIYAH BINT HARIS (Razi Allah-o- ‘Anha)
Her Name and Family
Her original name was Barra but later on her marriage with the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam), she was given the name of Juwairiyah because her former name was considered inauspicious and improper. She belongs to the house of Mutalaq of the tribe of Khuza’a. Her genealogy is, Juwaiariyah bint Haris bin Abi Zirar bin Habib bin lyaz bin Jazema (Mustalaq) bin Saad bin Umar bin Rabia bin Harisa bin Umar Mazinia. Her father Haris was the head of the family of Banu Mustalaq.
Hazrat Juwairiyah was first married with Musafae bin Safwan. Both her father and husband were enemies of Islam.
The Battle of Muraisa and Her Second Marriage
On the instigation of Quraish or of his own, Haris bin Abi Zirar started making preparations for an attack on Muslims. On learning about this, the Holy Prophet sent one of his companions, Hazrat Bareeda bin Haseeb, to ascertain facts. He confirmed the news. Accordingly the Holy Prophet asked his companions to be ready to meet the attack. Therefore, the Muslims came out of Madina on 2nd Shaban of 5 A.H. and encamped at Muraisa, a place at a distance of 9 marches from Madina. The news of the advance of Muslim forces had already reached Haris. In panic, his men deserted him and he himself took refuge in some unknown place. But the local population of Muraisa took up arms against the Muslims and rained showers of arrows in a sustained manner. The Muslims launched a sudden and furious attack and routed the enemy, who suffered huge casualites – March – April 1990 ties and nearly 600 were taken prisoners by the Muslims. Among the booty there were 2,000 camels and 5,000 goats.
The prisoners of war included Barra, the daughter of Haris, who later on became Hazrat Juwairiyah, the consort of the Holy Prophet . According to the prevailing practice all the prisoners were made slaves and distributed among the victorious Muslim soldiers. Hazrat Juwairiyah fell to the lot of Sabit bin Qais. She was the daughter of the leader of the clan, and therefore, very much felt the discomfiture and disgrace of being made slave of an ordinary Muslim soldier. Therefore, she requested him to release her on payment of ransom. Sabit agreed to this, if she could pay him 9 Auqias of gold. Hazrat Juwairiyah had no ready money with her. She tried to raise this amount through contributions, and approached the Holy Prophet also in this connection. She said to him “0′ Prophet of Allah! I am the daughter of Al Haris bin Zarar, the Lord (chief) of his people. You know that it is by chance that our people have fallen captive and I have fallen to the share of Sabit bin Qais and have requested him to release me considering my status, but he has refused. Please do an act of kindness and save me from humiliation”. The Holy Prophet was moved and asked the captive woman if she would like a thing still better. She asked as to what was that thing. He said that he was ready to pay her ransom and marry her if she liked. She agreed to this proposal. So the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) paid the amount of ransom and married her. But according to another story, which is more probable, after the arrest of his daughter, Haris the father of Hazrat Juwairiyah, approached the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) and asserted that “his daughter could not be made a slave, as she was the daughter of the tribal chief, and that she should be freed”. The Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) said that “Would it not be better to leave the matter on the choice of his daughter”. Haris then went to his daughter and told her that the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) had left the matter to her free will, and hoped that she would not bring disgrace to him. The prisoner replied that she preferred to remain in the services of the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam). Thereafter the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) married her. Ibn-i-S’ad in his ‘Tabaqat’, states that the father of Hazrat Juwairiyah paid her ransom amount, and when she became free, the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) married her. As a result of this marriage all the prisoners of war numbering about 600 were freed by the Muslims as they did not like that any member of the family in which the holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) was married, be made a slave.
Thus Hazrat Juwairiyah is that fortunate lady who not only secured the “most honourable place for herself, but helped to free 600 of her kinsmen. Hazrat Ayeshah says that she did not see a woman more auspicious than Hazrat Juwairiyah, on account of whom hundreds of houses of Banu Mustalaq secured their freedom (Usud-ul-Ghaba).
Hazrat Juwairiyah was a handsome woman with proportionate limbs.
Her Learning and Character
She was a highly self respecting woman and held herself in high esteem. Her frantic efforts to free herself after her capture in war, is an example in this connection. She was very religious minded and spent much of her time in prayers. According to Traditions, the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) almost always found her in prayers. (Isaba).
The author of Usud-ul-Ghaba writes that once when the Holy Prophet (sallal alaho alahie wasallam) came to Hazrat Juwairiyah she was (praying) in the mosque. He returned and came back at about noon, and asked her if she was constantly praying. She replied in affirmative. He then taught her some special prayers, the recitation of which was more rewarding than optional prayers.
Ibn-i-S’ad says that Hazrat Juwairiyah also fasted very often specially on Fridays. She was a woman of great learning and a number of Traditions have been quoted by eminent Traditionists like Ibn-i-Abbas, Jabir, Ibn-i-Umar, Mujahid, Kulsum bin Mustalaq etc., on her authority.
Hazrat Juwairiyah died at the age of 65 years in 56 A.H.During the reign of Amir Muawiya. Marwan bin Hakam, the administrator of Madina led her funeral Prayers, and she was buried in the grave-yard of Jannat-ul-Baqi.