The Best of the Arabian Women

The Best of the Arabian Women


Hadīth

(This write-up is prepared by the Hadith Cell of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi)

روي أنه قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: خير نساء ركبن الإبل صالح نساء قريش أحناه على ولد في صغره وأرعاه على زوج في ذات يده.

It is narrated that the Prophet (sws) said: The best among women to have ridden a camel[1]are the pious women of Quraysh.[2]They are the most caring for a child in his early years and they are the most guarding of a spouse, with regard to his wealth.[3]

Notes on the Text of the Narrative

This narrative, with some variations, has been reported in Bukhārī Nos. 3251, 4794 and 5050, Muslim Nos. 2527a, b, c, d, e and f, Ahmad ibn Hanbal Nos. 2926, 7637, 7695, 8227, 9102, 9796, 10061, 10532 and 16971, Ibn Hibbān Nos. 6267 and 6268, Nasāi's Sunan al-KubrāNo. 9134, Bayhaqī No. 14493, Abū Ya'lā Nos. 2686 and 6673, Humaydi's No. 1047, 'Abd al-Razzāq's Nos. 20603 and 20604 and Ibn Abī Shaybah's Nos. 32401, 32402 and 32403.

In some narratives, as for instance in Muslim's No. 2527d, it is reported that the Prophet said these words when he proposed to Umm Hānī and she excused herself on the grounds that she had to look after the infants from her previous husband.

In some narratives, as for instance in Bukhārī No. 3251, the sentence خير نساء ركبن الإبل صالح نساء قريش (the best among women to have ridden a camel are the pious women of Quraysh) has been reported as نساء قريش خير نساء ركبن الإبل (the women of Quraysh are the best of all women to have ridden a camel); in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's No. 2926 this sentence has been reported as خير نساء ركبن أعجاز الإبل صالح نساء قريش (the best among women to have ridden the back of a camel are the pious women of Quraysh); in Ahmadibn Hanbal's No. 7637 this sentence has been reported as خير نساء ركبن نساء قريش (the best among women to have ridden [a camel] are the women of Quraysh); in Ahmadibn Hanbal's No. 16971, this sentence has been reported as خير نسوة ركبن الإبل صالح نساء قريش (the best of the womankind to have ridden a camel are the pious women of Quraysh); while in Ibn Abī Shaybah's No. 32403, this sentence has been reported as خير نساء ركبن الإبل صالحة نساء قريش (the best among women to have ridden a camel are the pious women of Quraysh).

In some narratives, as for instance in BukhārīNo. 3251, the phrase أحناه على ولد في صغره (they are the most caring for a child in his early years) have been reported as أحناه على طفل (they are the most caring for an infant); in Muslim's No. 2527a, this phrase has been reported as أحناه على يتيم في صغره (they are the most caring for an orphan in his early years'); while in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's No. 9102, the phrase has been reported as أحناه على ولد (they are the most caring for a child).

In some narratives, as for instance in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's No. 8695, the phrase أرعاه على زوج (they are the most guarding of a spouse) has been reported as أرعاه لزوج (they are the most guarding towards a spouse) and in Abu Ya'lā's No. 2686, this phrase has been reported as أرعاه على بعل (they are most guarding for a husband).

In Ibn Hibbān's No. 6268, there is an addition of the words

ولم تركب مريم بنت عمران بعيرا قط (and Maryam bint 'Imrān never rode a camel). However, it is clear from many other narratives, including Bukhārī No. 3251, that this sentence is not a part of the saying of the Prophet (sws), but was actually a clarification given by Abū Hurayrah (rta).

In Ahmad ibn Hanbal's No. 10061, this narrative has been reported as:

روي أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: خير نساء ركين الإبل أحناه على ولده وأرعاه على زوج في ذات يده يعني نساء قريش.

It is narrated that the Prophet (sws) said: The best among women to have ridden a camel are those who are the most caring for their child and the most guarding of a spouse, with regard to his wealth, he meant the women of Quraysh.

In some narratives, as for instance in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's No. 2926, the background of the saying of the Prophet is given in some detail. The complete report is reproduced below:

روي أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم خطب امرأة من قومه يقال لها سودة وكانت مصبية كان لها خمسة صبية أو ستة من بعل لها مات. فقال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ما يمنعك مني؟ قالت والله، يا نبي الله، ما يمنعني منك أن لا تكون أحب البرية الي، ولكني أكرمك أن يضغوا هؤلاء الصبية عند رأسك بكرة وعشية. قال: فهل منعك مني شيء غير ذلك؟ قالت لا، والله. قال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يرحمك الله ان خير نساء ركبن أعجاز الإبل صالح نساء قريش، أحناه علي ولد في صغر وأرعاه على بعل بذات يد.

It is narrated that the Prophet (sws) proposed to a woman of his tribe, whose name was Sawdah and who had five or six young children from a husband, who had died. So the Prophet (sws) asked her: 'What stops you from marrying me?" She replied: "By God, Prophet of God, what stops me from marrying you that you may want to do good to me, but I respect you to allow these children to scream around you night and day." The Prophet (sws) asked her: "Is there anything else that stops you from marrying me?" She replied: "No, by God." The Prophet (sws) said to her: "God have mercy on you. Indeed the best among women to have ridden the back of a camel are the pious women of Quraysh. They are the most caring for a child in his early years and they are the most guarding of a spouse, with regard to his wealth."

In Ahmad ibn Hanbal's No. 7637, the name of the woman to whom the Prophet (sws) proposed was not Sawdah, as has been reported in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's No. 2926, but was actually Umm Hānī. Al-Albanī has commented that this woman was actually Umm Hānī and not Sawdah (Silsilah al-ahādīth al-sahīhah, vol. 6, 63).




Articles by this author


Two Blows Allowed to the Hellfire

The Real Criterion in Prohibition of Drinks

Praying for the Prophet (sws) after Adhan

A Narrative regarding Man’s Potential of Goodness after Accepting Islam

A Narrative about the Prophet’s Directive regarding the Appropriate Clothing for Women

The Prophet’s Warning about Chaotic Times

Qualities of Various Tribes and Nations

The Prophet’s Lack of Authority to Prohibit what God has kept Lawful

The Best of the Arabian Women

A Prediction regarding the Muslim Rules after the Prophet (sws)

Fulfilling the Vow of a Deceased Mother

Punishment for Apostates

The Prophet’s Time for Zuhr Prayers during Summers and Winters

Seasonal Variations in Prayer Timings

Urging People to Attend Congregational Prayers

The Deadline for Fajr and ‘Asr Prayers

A Comprehensive Directive in Islam

When one is Late in Joining the Congregational Prayers…

The Obligatory Religious Practices of Islam

Two Blows Allowed to the Hellfire

Praying for the Prophet (sws) after Adhan

The Prophet (sws) does not have the Authority to Prohibit what God has kept Lawful

Eating Garlic, Onion and Leek in Cooked Form

An Etiquette relating to Visiting the Mosque

True Muslim, Mu’min, Mujahid and Muhajir

The Time for the ‘Āsr Prayer

Urging People to Attend the Congregational Prayers

The Prophet’s Experience of Revelation

What should a Person say when he hears the Adhān?

Delaying Zuhr Prayer in Intense Heat

Ascertaining the Time-Range for each Prayer

True Muslim, Mu’min, Mujāhid & Muhājir

The Obligatory Religious Practices of Islam

The Real Criterion in Prohibition of Drinks

The Significance of Intention Behind Good Deeds

What is the Punishment for Adultery?

Do the Errors in the Bible Disprove the Divinity of the Qur’an?

Can Angels Disobey?

Solomon (sws) Listening to Ants

Could Allah have a Son?

The Position of Jesus (sws) in the Hereafter

Marrying the Wives of Adopted Sons

Who is the Father of Jesus (sws)?

Abrogation and the Unalterable Word of God

Will Christians enter Paradise or go to Hell?

Is the Qur’an Clear or Incomprehensible?

Self Purification and the Forgotten Ideal

Is Islam a Divine Religion?

Wine – Good or Bad?

Did Abraham (sws) Smash the Idols?

The Infinite Loop Problem

Surah Fatihah

Quick or Slow Creation?

Corruption in the Bible: The Muslim Stance

Schools of Religious Education (II)

Schools of Religious Education

Reason and Revelation

Freedom of Will, Determinism & Fatalism