She was the daughter of Harith bin Hazan and Hind bint Awf. She belonged to the tribe of Banu Hilala. Zynab bint Khuzaymah (R.A) was of the same tribe. Harith was a respected chief of the Banu Hilala tribe and had sixteen daughters; most married to illustrious leaders of Islam. One of Maymunah (R.A)’s sister, Umm Fadhal, was the wife of Abbas (R.A), the uncle of our Rasool (S.A.W). Another sister, Umm Salma, was married to Hamzah (R.A), also an uncle of Nabi (S.A.W). Most importantly, Maymunah (R.A)’s sister Lubana was the mother of Khalid bin Walid (R.A). Her other sisters were later married to, amongst others, Umar (R.A), Ali (R.A) and Ja’far (R.A).
Her original name was Barra. However, Nabi (S.A.W) changed it to Maymunah, meaning ‘Blessed’. She was a kind and very pious lady. Her piety and humility was proverbial. Rasoolullah (S.A.W) called her a symbol of Goodness. During her life, she set many slaves free.
Maymunah (R.A) used to borrow money occasionally. Once, she took a big amount as a loan. When asked as to how this huge amount would be repaid, she said that when a person “had intention to repay, Allah Himself arranges the repayment of his loan.” (Tabaqat)
Prior to her marriage to Nabi (S.A.W), Maymunah (R.A) was married twice. Her first marriage took place with Masood bin Amr. Masood divorced her and then she was married to Abu Rahim bin Abdul Aza, who passed away in the 7th year of Hijra.
Maymunah (R.A) yearned to marry Nabi (S.A.W). She went to her sister, Umm Fadhal, to talk to her about that and she, in turn, spoke to her husband, Abbas (R.A). Abbas (R.A) immediately went to the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) with Maymunah (R.A)’s offer of marriage to him and her proposal was accepted.
At the time of their marriage, Nabi (S.A.W) was 60 years old. They were married in the month of Shawwal in 7 AH just after the Muslims of Madinah Munawwarah were permitted to visit Makkah Mukarramah under the terms of the treaty of Hudaybiyya to perform Umrah. This was the last marriage of Nabi (S.A.W).
Khalid bin Walid (R.A) was present at the Sarif, where his aunt’s Nikaah was held. After Nabi (S.A.W) and Maymunah (R.A) left for Madinah Munawwarah, Khalid (R.A) addressed his tribe and declared that he accepted Islam. Thus a great force in the shape of Khalid bin Walid (R.A) came to Islam’s side.
She (R.A) lived with Nabi (S.A.W) for just over three years, before he passed away. She was very good natured and got on well with everyone, never quarrelling or disagreeing with any of the other Umm Mu’mineen. ‘Aisha (R.A) said about her, “Among us, she had the most fear of Allah and did the most to maintain ties of kinship.” [Mustadrak ‘Alaa Al-Sahihain]
Maymunah (R.A) had a great love for the teaching and preaching of Islam. She has narrated more than forty-six traditions. People used to come to her for the solution of their various religious problems and she always guided them with intelligent replies to their questions. Her nephew, Ibn Abbas (R.A), who later became a great scholar interpreter and commentator of the Holy Quran, was her student.
After Nabi (S.A.W) passed away, Maymunah (R.A) continued to live in Madinah Munawwarah for another forty years, passing away at the age of eighty, in 51 AH. She passed away at Sarif, the same place where her Nikaah was made to Nabi (S.A.W).
Don’t forget to recite as much Durood as you can!
Love and Duas,