Hafsa bint Umar (r.anha)

Hz. Hafsa is Hz. Umar’s daughter. She was born in Makkah before the Prophet was given the duty of prophethood. First, she married Khunays bin Hudhafa. These two fortunate partners, who were among the first Muslims, were exposed to unbearable tortures of the polytheists. They migrated to Madinah together. Hz. Khunays joined the Battle of Badr. He fought against the polytheists heroically. He was wounded in the battle and died because of that wound when he returned to Madinah. Thus, Hz. Hafsa became a widow at a young age.

Hz. Umar did not want his beloved daughter to live as a widow. He thought about it and decided to marry her off to Hz.Uthman because Hz. Ruqayya, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah had died and Hz. Uthman was a widower.  Hz. Umar went to Hz. Uthman without losing time. Hz. Uthman was sad. Hz. Umar consoled him and said, “O Uthman! If you wish I will marry Hafsa, my daughter off to you.” Hz. Uthman did not answer at once. He asked some time to think. After a few days, he apologized to Hz.Umar and said, “I do not want to marry now.”

When Hz. Uthman gave this answer, Hz. Umar went to Hz. Abu Bakr and offered him the same thing. Hz. Abu Bakr kept silent and did not answer. Hz. Umar became sad because he did not give any answer. For, Hz. Uthman gave an answer at least and apologized. Then, Hz. Umar went to the presence of the Prophet sadly. He said, “O Messenger of Allah! I was surprised by Uthman. I offered him to marry Hafsa but he did not want to marry her.” The Prophet felt sorry when he saw Hz. Umar, who was his assistant and a great Companion, like this. He gave Umar a glad tiding: “O Umar! Shall I find you a better son-in-law than Uthman and find Uthman a better father-in-law than you” Hz. Umar was surprised. Who could be a better son-in-law than Uthman? He said, “Yes. O Messenger of Allah! Please tell me.” The Prophet said,

"Marry your daughter, Hafsa off to me and I will marry my daughter, Umm Kulthum off to Uthman. For, Allah married Uthman off to somebody better than your daughter and your daughter to somebody better than Uthman."

Hz. Umar became very glad when he heard this glad tiding. They completed the preparations at once and the Prophet married Hafsa in the 3rd year of the Migration in the month of Shaban.

Thus, the Messenger of Allah rewarded and honored Hz. Umar by marrying his daughter Hafsa off to him as he rewarded and honored by marrying the daughter of   Hz. Abu Bakr, who was his greatest assistant. The reason why Hz. Abu Bakr kept silent when Hz. Umar offered him to marry his daughter was the fact that he knew the Prophet would marry Hafsa. He did not want to tell him this secret about the Messenger of Allah. As a matter of fact, after they got married, he said to Hz. Umar, “There was no reason why I should not give a positive answer to your offer. However, the Messenger of Allah had told me that he wanted to marry Hafsa; therefore, I did not want to reveal his secret. If the Messenger of Allah had given up marrying Hafsa, I would have definitely married her.” Then, he apologized to Hz. Umar.[1]

Hz. Hafsa lived in poverty like the other wives of the Prophet. She had only one quilt, which she used as a mattress. She lay on it in summer; and she lay on it in winter by covering her body with half of it. Hz. Hafsa did not usually have bread to eat with her meal. However, she did not complain about her situation. She always thanked Allah Almighty.[2]

Once, they gave her a bag of honey as a present. When the Messenger of Allah visited her every morning, she would make sherbet from that honey and give it to the Prophet to drink.[3] Hz. Hafsa worshipped a lot. She performed prayers and fasting a lot.[4] When people gave her something as a present, she would not eat it; she would give it to the Prophet, preferring him to her own self.

Hz. Hafsa served Islam greatly after the death of the Prophet. One of her services was that she was given the duty of preserving the copy of the Quran. She fulfilled that duty fully.

Hz. Hafsa also served Islam by making the words of the Prophet reach us. She narrated 60 hadiths. One of her hadiths, which exists in various hadith books is as follows:

When the Messenger of Allah went to bed, he would put his right hand on his left hand and pray as follows:

“O Lord! Protect me from punishment on the day when you resurrect Your slaves!”

He would repeat it three times.[5]

Hz. Hafsa, who received the honor of being "the mother of the believers", died in the 45th year of the Migration, when Hz. Muawiya was the Caliph, at the age of 60.

May Allah be pleased with her![6]

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[1] Tabaqat, 8: 81-82; Usdu'l-Ghaba, 5: 435; al-Isaba, 4: 273. Istiab, 4: 268-269.
[2] Hayatu’s-Sahaba, 2: 170.
[3] Tabaqat, 8: 85.
[4] Tabaqat, 8: 85.
[5] Musnad, 6: 287.
[6] Tabaqat, 8: 86.

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