• Grave of Maymuna bint al-Harith

    The Grave of Maymuna bint al-Harith J (Arabic: قبر ميمونة بنت الحارث), the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, is located in Sarif, a town 20 kilometres north of Makkah. It is located on the route from Makkah to Madinah, commonly referred to as Tareeq al-Hijrah. She was buried underneath the tree where she got married to the Prophet ﷺ.

    An old picture of the tomb of Syeda Maymuna in Sarif

    Life of Maymuna bint al-Harith

    Family

    Umm al-Mu’minin, Maymuna bint al-Harith J, was one of four sisters whom the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ acknowledged and referred to as “The believing sisters.” Her sisters were Lubabah al-Kubra, Asma, and Izzah. Lubabah (Umm al-Fadl) was renowned as the second woman to accept Islam, after Khadijah J. She was the mother of Abdullah ibn Abbas and counted among the wisest of the Prophet’s Companions M. Lubabah is also remembered for striking Abu Lahab, the Prophet’s uncle and a prominent adversary of Islam.

    Her father’s name was al-Harith ibn Hazn ibn Bujair. Her mother, Hind bint Awf ibn Zubair, was esteemed as “the most noble old lady in the land with regard to her relatives through marriage.” This honour stemmed from her familial ties through marriage, which included the Prophet ﷺ himself, the Prophet’s uncles Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ja’far ibn Abi Talib, al-Abbas, Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib as well as Abu Bakr al-Siddiq M.

    Early Life

    Maymuna was born in Makkah six years before the start of the Prophet’s mission ﷺ. She witnessed the advent of Islam at a very young age.

    Before accepting Islam, Maymuna was married to Mas’ud ibn Amr al-Thaqafi, but they separated shortly after she embraced Islam. Her second husband was Abu Ruhm ibn Abd al-Uzza from the Quraysh. He later passed away leaving her widowed at the age of 26.

    Marriage to the Prophet ﷺ

    Maymuna, or Barrah as she was then known, desired to marry the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. She confided in her sister Lubabah about her wish, who then relayed it to her husband, al-Abbas, who was the Prophet’s uncle ﷺ.

    When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ intended to go to Makkah to perform the compensatory Umrah (Umrat al-Qada – so called because it was to make up for the Umrah he had been prevented from performing in the year of the Treaty of al-Hudaybiya), he sent Aws ibn al-Khawli and Abu Rafi’ to al-Abbas, asking for Maymuna’s hand in marriage M. Without delay, al-Abbas sent a message to the Prophet ﷺ informing him of Maymuna’s desire to marry him.

    Upon receiving the message, the Prophet ﷺ agreed and instructed al-Abbas accordingly. Al-Abbas then conveyed the glad tidings to his wife, Lubabah, although Maymuna was not present at that moment.

    When she received the good news, she was riding a camel. Overwhelmed with joy, she leapt from the camel and declared, “The camel and what is on it are for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.” In response to her dedication, Allah revealed the following verse:

    يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِنَّآ أَحْلَلْنَا لَكَ أَزْوَٰجَكَ ٱلَّـٰتِىٓ ءَاتَيْتَ أُجُورَهُنَّ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُكَ مِمَّآ أَفَآءَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمِّكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمَّـٰتِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَالِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَـٰلَـٰتِكَ ٱلَّـٰتِى هَاجَرْنَ مَعَكَ وَٱمْرَأَةًۭ مُّؤْمِنَةً إِن وَهَبَتْ نَفْسَهَا لِلنَّبِىِّ إِنْ أَرَادَ ٱلنَّبِىُّ أَن يَسْتَنكِحَهَا خَالِصَةًۭ لَّكَ مِن دُونِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۗ قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا فَرَضْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِىٓ أَزْوَٰجِهِمْ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـٰنُهُمْ لِكَيْلَا يَكُونَ عَلَيْكَ حَرَجٌۭ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورًۭا رَّحِيمًا
    Prophet, We have made lawful for you the wives whose bride gift you have paid, and any slaves God has assigned to you through war, and the daughters of your uncles and aunts on your father’s and mother’s sides, who migrated with you. Also any believing woman who has offered herself to the Prophet and whom the Prophet wishes to wed- this is only for you [Prophet] and not the rest of the believers: We know exactly what We have made obligatory for them concerning their wives and slave-girls- so you should not be blamed: God is most forgiving, most merciful.
    [Surat al-Ahzab 33:50]

    When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ reached Makkah, he sent a message to al-Abbas, informing him of his arrival. After the Prophet ﷺ had completed his Umrah rites, he went to al-Abbas, and the marriage contract was completed, with al-Abbas presenting a dowry of 400 dirhams to her on behalf of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.

    Maymuna married the Prophet ﷺ in 7 AH when the Prophet was 60, and she was 36. They were married just after the Muslims of Madinah were permitted to visit Makkah to perform Umrah under the terms of the Treaty of al-Hudaybiya.

    When the Prophet ﷺ married Maymuna, he had already spent three days in Makkah according to the agreement made at al-Hudaybiya. After these three days, the Quraysh sent a message to remind the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that his allotted time in Makkah had expired, and it was now obligatory for him to depart. Consequently, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ left Makkah without consummating his marriage to Maymuna. However, he left his slave Abu Rafi’ behind with the instruction to accompany her to Sarif.

    Ibn Ishaq narrated:

    The Prophet ﷺ remained in Makkah for three days. On the third day, Huwaytib ibn Abd al-Uzza, appointed by Quraysh to escort the Prophet  out of Makkah, approached him with a group of men. They informed him, ‘Your time here is up, and you must depart.’ The Prophet ﷺ proposed, ‘What if you allow me to marry one of your women, and we host a banquet for you to attend?’ They replied, ‘We have no interest in attending your banquet. Just leave us.’ Thus, the Prophet ﷺ departed from Makkah, entrusting his servant, Abu Rafi’, to look after Maymuna. Abu Rafi’ later brought Maymuna to the Prophet ﷺ in Sarif, where they spent their wedding night. Subsequently, in the month of Dhul Hijjah, the Prophet ﷺ journeyed to Madinah. He bestowed upon her the name Maymuna, meaning ‘the blessed one,’ as their marriage coincided with a blessed occasion – his peaceful entry into Makkah with his companions after seven years since his migration to Madinah.

    With the Prophet in Madinah ﷺ

    After her marriage, she moved to Madinah to be with the Prophet ﷺ who had arranged accommodation for her. She stayed with the Prophet ﷺ for three years, accompanying him at the Farewell Hajj before he passed away three months later. She was well known for being devoted to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, for her wisdom, knowledge and charity.

    Later Life

    There are no reports of Maymuna’s participation in events involving the affairs of Muslims after the Prophet’s death ﷺ. She chose to remain at home and rarely ventured outside except to perform Hajj or Umrah. Instead, she dedicated the remainder of her life to worshipping Allah and distancing herself from worldly pleasures.

    Maymuna witnessed the era of al-Khilafah al-Rashidah (the righteous caliphate period of Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan, and Ali ibn Abu Talib), and she lived until the caliphate of Mu’awiyah M.

    Death and Burial

    According to Imam al-Dhahabi. Maymuna passed away in the year 51 AH.1Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam an-Nubala vol. 2, pp. 239-245. Yazid ibn al-Asamm recounted that when she fell ill, she expressed her desire not to die in Makkah, as the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had informed her that she would not die there. Consequently, she was transported to Sarif, where she spent her wedding night with the Prophet ﷺ. It was there that she passed away.2Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, vol. 6, p. 230.

    After her death, Aisha J said, “By Allah, Maymuna died, and she was the best among us in fearing Allah and maintaining a close and continuous relationship with her relatives.3Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 32.

    How to Visit the Grave

    If you intend to visit the grave of Maymuna bint al-Harith, you can take a taxi from Masjid al-Haram or Masjid Aisha. From Masjid Aisha, it’s approximately 15 kilometres away and takes about 15 minutes to reach by taxi. It is situated by the side of the main road to Madinah. While some taxi drivers may not know the exact location of the grave, others will be familiar with it. You should be able to find a taxi driver who can take you there.

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