Juwairiyah (R.A)’s original name was Barra. Due to it being inauspicious, her named was changed during her marriage to Nabi (S.A.W). She was a charming and sweet lady, extremely beautiful. Anyone who saw her could not help being captivated by her pleasant demeanor. She was a highly self-respecting woman and held herself in high esteem. Juwairiyah (R.A) spent much of her time in Salaah, and fasted often; especially on Fridays.
Her father was Harith ibn Abi Ziraar, chief of the Banu Mustaliq. She was married to Musafae bin Safwan, who was killed in the Battle of Banu Mustaliq. Both her father and her first husband were enemies of Islam.
In Sha’baan 5 AH, Juwairiyah (R.A)’s tribe set out to attack the Muslims. Believed to be a surprise, many of the Banu Mustaliq fled when they became aware of the fact that the Muslims were prepared for them. Thus, the enemies suffered huge casualties with more than 600 taken as prisoners. Among them, was Juwairiyah (R.A).
It is written that after this battle, the prisoners were distributed among the soldiers, and Juwairiyah (R.A) fell to the lot of Thaabit bin Qais. Being the daughter of the leader of a clan, Juwairiyah (R.A) felt much discomfiture and disgrace of remaining as a slave of an ordinary Muslim soldier. This led her to make an agreement with Thaabit to release her on ransom. As Juwairiyah (R.A) had no ready money on her, she would be obliged to work for money. This is the famous Mukaatabat Contract in Islam in terms of which slaves could work and buy their freedom for a fixed sum of money. However, Juwairyah had no intention of working for her freedom. She therefore strove to raise the specified amount through contributions.
She asked to approach Nabi (S.A.W) in this connection. In fact, she demanded to see Nabi (S.A.W), with the intention of asking him to help her with the ransom money. At that time, Nabi (S.A.W) was in the house of A’isha (R.A).
She was permitted to see Nabi (S.A.W) and was taken to him while he was with A’isha (R.A). After she had finished speaking, Nabi (S.A.W) thought for a moment, and then said, “Shall I tell you what would be better than this?” She said, “And what is that, Oh Muhammad?” He (S.A.W) replied: “I pay your freedom money, and you marry me.”
She immediately accepted. Although Juwairiyah was young and beautiful and of noble lineage, Nabi (S.A.W) was thinking of how to save her and all her tribe from an ignoble fate. By marrying Juwairiyah, the Banu Mustaliq would be able to enter Islam with honour, and with the humiliation of their recent defeat removed, so that it would no longer be felt necessary by them to embark on a war of vengeance that would have continued until one of the two parties had been annihilated. As soon as the marriage was announced, all the booty that had been taken from the Banu Mustaliq was returned, and all the captives were set free, for they were now the in-laws of Muhammad (S.A.W).
A’isha (R.A) once said of Juwairiyah, “I know of no woman who was more of a blessing to her people than Juwairiyah bint Harith.”
Juwairiyah (R.A) married Nabi (S.A.W) not long after his marriage to Zainab bint Jahsh while He (S.A.W) was 58 and she, 20.
Juwairiyah (R.A) was married to Nabi (S.A.W) for six years, and lived for another thirty-nine years after His (S.A.W)’s death, passing away at the age of 65.
Don’t forget to recite as much Durood as you can!
Love and Duas,