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'Zainab bint Muhammad (Arabic: ‎'زينب بنت محمد‎‎) was the eldest daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his first wife Khadijah. She was born in the fifth year of his marriage to Khadijah, when he was thirty. She died in 8 AH.

Marriage & children

Zainab was married to her maternal cousin Abu al-Aas ibn al-Rabiah. She became the mother of two children: Ali and Umamah. Ali died during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad. This same Ali was reported to have been the person who sat with Muhammad on the camel's back at the time of his triumphant entry into Mecca. Umamah, who as a little girl rode on her grandfather Muhammad's back as he prostrated in salat, lived long after his death. Ali 'ibn Abi Talib married Umamah on the death of Fatimah, his first wife.

After Al-Hijra

When Muhammad abandoned Mecca for Medina, his daughter Zaynab could not bear to leave her non-Muslim husband Abu al-'Aas, and was not required to do so until years later under other circumstances. Muhammad did not automatically divorce them.[1]
One source states:
At one time there were three girls living in the household of Khadija. Their names were Zainab, Ruqayya and Umm Kulthoom. Zainab, the eldest of the three, was married to one Abul-'As ibn er-Rabi' of Makkah. This man fought against the Prophet in the battle of Badr, and was captured by the Muslims. To ransom his freedom, his wife sent to the Prophet, a necklace which at one time had belonged to Khadija, and she had given it to her as a present on her marriage. Abul-'As was set free; he returned to Makkah, and sent Zainab to Medina as he had promised to do. Zainab, however, died soon after her arrival in Medina. Later, Abul-'As also went to Medina, accepted Islam, and lived with the Muslims. [2]

Daughters of Muhammad and Khadijah

Main article: Genealogy of Khadijah's daughters

The daughters attributed to Muhammad are;
  1. Zainab bint Muhammad, married to her maternal cousin Abu al-Aas ibn al-Rabee before al-Hijra
  2. Ruqayyah bint Muhammad, was first married to Utbah ibn Abu Lahab & then to Uthman ibn Affan
  3. Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad, was first married to Utaybah bin Abu Lahab & then to Uthman ibn Affan after the death of her sister Ruqayyah
  4. Fatimah, was married to Ali ibn Abi Talib
The famous Sunni scholar Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr says: "His children born of Khadīja are four daughters; there is no difference of opinion about that".[3]
Sunnis do not contest the parentage of Khadijah's daughters and believe that all four were borne to Muhammad. They affirm what the Qur'an states, "O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers..."[4].
According to some Shia sources, she only had one daughter, Fatimah. The others were said to have belonged to her sister Halah or were her daughters from a previous marriage. Thus, the Shia scholar Abu'l-Qasim al-Kufi writes:
"When the Messenger of Allah married Khadijah, then some time thereafter Halah died leaving two daughters, one named Zaynab and the other named Ruqayyah and both of them were brought up by the Prophet and Khadijah and they maintained them, and it was the custom before Islam that a child was assigned to whoever brought him up." (al-lstighathah, p. 69)

SOURCE : WikiPedia