Sawda bint Zam’a Ibn Qays was a noble and venerable lady. One of her special features was her love of charity.
She first married Sakran Ibn Amr, and was among the eight people of Banu ‘Amir who left their homes and their properties and crossed the sea to escape torture and preserve their religion. No sooner was her affliction in Abyssinia over than her husband passed away and she became a widow. At this time, she had 6 sons.
Nabi (S.A.W) sympathized with this faithful widow immigrant. Therefore, as soon as Khawla bin Hakim mentioned her before him, he offered to help and stand by her, especially because she grew old and needed someone to look after her. After Sawda (R.A)’s husband passed away, she lived with her aged father. She was middle-aged, rather plump, with a jolly, kindly disposition, and just the right person to take care of Nabi (S.A.W)’s household and family. So Muhammad (S.A.W) gave permission to Khawla to speak to Sawda (R.A) on the subject. It is narrated that none dared to speak to the Rasool of Allah (S.A.W) about marriage after the death of Khadijah (R.A).
Khawla went straight to Sawda and asked, “Would you like Allah to give you great blessing, Sawda?” Sawda replied, “And what is that, Khawla?” She said, “The Messenger of Allah has sent me to you with a proposal of marriage!” Sawda tried to contain herself in spite of her utter astonishment and then replied in a trembling voice, “I would like that! Go to my father and tell him that.” Khawla went to Zam’a, a gruff old man, and greeted him and then told him, “Muhammad, son of Abdullah, son of Abdul Muttalib, has sent me to ask for Sawda in marriage.” The old man shouted, “A noble match. What does she say?” Khawla replied, “She would like that.” He told her to call her. When she came, he said, “Sawda, this woman claims that Muhammad, son of Abdullah, son of Abdul Muttalib has sent me to ask for you in marriage. It is a noble match. Do you want me to marry you to him?” She accepted, feeling it was a great honour. Sawda (R.A) went to live in Muhammad’s house and immediately took over the care of his daughters and household, while Aisha bint Abu Bakr became betrothed to him and remained in her father’s house playing with her dolls.
Sawdah served the household of Nabi (S.A.W) and his daughters. She pleased His (S.A.W)’s heart and helped him go on calling for Allah. When she was older, Nabi (S.A.W) was worried that Sawda might be upset about having to compete with so many younger wives, and offered to divorce her. Being informed of the Prophet’s intention of divorce, she felt that as if she was living in a nightmare. Therefore, she entreats Nabi (S.A.W) by saying, “O Messenger of Allah, hold me. By Allah, I did not seek to have a husband but I just hope that Allah may resurrect me as your wife on the Day of Judgement.” Thus she (R.A) preferred Nabi (S.A.W)’s desire and granted her night to ‘Aisha to please His (S.A.W)’s heart. Muhammad (S.A.W) responded to her noble feelings.
Allah then revealed: “There is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves, and settlement is best” (An-Nisa’: 1218)
She (R.A) passed away at the late years of Umar (R.A)’s era, in Madinah Munawwarah, during the month of Shawwal.
Don’t forget to recite as much Durood as you can!
Love and Duas,