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Hazrat Maria al-Qibtiyya was a Christian slave (not the wife) of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who also gave birth to his son Ibrahim رضي الله عنه.
- Maria al-Qibtiyya is also known as Mary the Copt.
A letter to the Egyptian Ruler
In April 628 AD, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ sent Hattib Bin Abi Beltaa رضي الله عنه to the Egyptian ruler Al-Muqawqis with a letter inviting him to Islam. Muqawqis took the delegation with honor and respect.
Al Muqawqis reply to the letter
Al Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt sent Hattib Bin Abi Beltaa رضي الله عنه back with kind words and gifts. He addressed Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that the greatest Copt understood the message.
He honored Prophet Muhammad ﷺ message and ensured that he knows the last Prophet. He further added that he is sending gifts that are very valuable for a Copt.
A gift to Prophet Muhammad
In May 628 AD, Hattib Bin Abi Beltaa رضي الله عنه came back to Madina along with two Egyptian Coptic Christian concubines named Maria al-Qibtiyya and Sīrīn bint Shamʿūn as a gift from the Egyptian ruler Al-Muqawqis.
They were real sisters. Both of them were so inspired by the piousness of Hattib Bin Abi Beltaa رضي الله عنه that they embraced Islam on their way from Alexandria to Madina.
He also presented the Prophet with a mule to ride upon and 20 dresses.
Who was Maria al-Qibtiyya?
Hazrat Maria al-Qibtiyya رضي الله عنها was born in the village named Sheikh Ebada. The village resides near Millawi center and is only 400 km south of Egypt’s capital, Cairo.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ decided to keep Maria al-Qibtiyya رضي الله عنها with himself as a concubine.
Sīrīn bint Shamʿūn رضي الله عنها was married to Hassan Ibn Thabit رضي الله عنه and she gave birth to one of their sons Abdul Rahman Ibn Hassan رضي الله عنه.
Birth of Ibrahim
In April 630 AD, Hazrat Maria al-Qibtiyya رضي الله عنها was blessed with a son named Ibrahim ibn Muhammad.
Ibrahim died when he was only 2 years old. Some historians have written that he died only 2 days before the death of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He was grieved to know about the death of his son at a very young age.
The sun eclipsed on the day of Ibrahim رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ death. People said that the sun had eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or birth) of someone. When you see the eclipse pray and invoke Allah.” – Sahih al-Bukhari 1043
It is also important to note that all the children of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ were born to Hazrat Khadija R.A. except Ibrahim who was born to Hazrat Maria Qibitia.
Did Prophet Muhammad marry Maria?
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ never married Hazrat Maria al-Qibtiyya رضي الله عنها and she was not his wife. Therefore, she does not enjoy the rank of being the mother of believers.
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their (believers’) mothers (as regards respect and marriage)” – Al-Ahzab 33:6
It is also said that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ transferred some of his property to her name after taking her into his custody.
I don’t know the exact reason but I can guess that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W never married her because at that time it used to be considered absolutely normal to live with a concubine as it is acceptable in Islam to have a physical relationship with a girl who is your slave.
Did Maria embrace Islam?
As we have mentioned earlier that Hazrat Maria al-Qibtiyya was a Christian when she was gifted to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ which raises the question if she ever embraced Islam.
Yes, Hazrat Maria al-Qibtiyya رضي الله عنها accepted Islam and became a practicing and very good Muslim and Sahabi.
House of Hazrat Maria
The interesting fact is that Sheikh Ebada still possesses the remains of Hazrat Maria’s house. A mosque is established which is named after her in her honor.
In the times following the Pharaonic era, the village was called “Hufn’, and in the Islamic era, the followers of the Prophet looked after the village, and Muawiya exempted it from the levies.
Hazrat Maria al-Qibtiyya رضي الله عنها died during the caliphate of Omar bin Khattab رضي الله عنه in 637 AD.
Umar رضي الله عنه gathered the people himself to attend her funeral, and he led the funeral prayer for her. She was buried in Jannat ul Baqi where more than 10,000 other Sahaba are also placed to rest in peace.
Source: Al Arabiya
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