After the demise of Hazrat Khadijah , the Holy Prophet Muhammad was much worried and grief stricken. He had to look after his child and attend to the household chores, adding considerably to the agony of the death of his loving wife. This also caused hindrance in his Prophetic mission. Seeing him worried and distressed, Hazrat Khawlah bint Hakeem , wife of Hazrat Uthman bin Maz’oon , suggested to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) that he badly needed a companion to help him in running his house and looking after his children, and proposed the name of Hazrat Sawdah who was an elderly widow.
Hazrat Sawdah and her late husband Hazrat Sakran, were early converts to Islam, and also had the honour of having migrated to Abyssinia. Therefore, they were very much close and dear to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam). On return from Abyssinia, Hazrat Sakran (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) passed away. Hazrat Sawdah (Radhiyallahu-Anha) was now left a forlorn widow with a baby.
On receipt of the suggestion, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) considered it carefully. The mission of Prophethood now demanded much time, but due to him being preoccupied in household affairs, he could not devote enough time to his heavenly mission. He therefore accepted the proposal also taking into consideration that an early convert to Islam may be helped and honoured, and approved Hazrat Khawlah (Radhiyallahu-Anha) to negotiate for his marriage with Hazrat Sawdah (Radhiyallahu-Anha).
Proposal to Hazrat Sawdah
Khawlah (Radhiyallahu-Anha ) went straight to Hazrat Zum’aa bin Qais , the father of Hazrat Sawdah (Radhiyallahu-Anhuma), and after exchanging compliments conveyed the message of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam). Hazrat Zum’aa (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) was much pleased and remarked that: “Hazrat Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) comes from a very respectable family and is a perfect gentleman and that any father would feel proud of marrying his daughter to him.” He further suggested to Hazrat Khawlah that Hazrat Sawdah should also be consulted in this connection. Hazrat Khawlah then went to Hazrat Sawdah and conveyed the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) and added that Hazrat Sawdah had already obtained the approval of her father for the marriage. Hazrat Sawdah [Radhiyallahu-Anha ] expressed her consent and happiness in the marriage. The marriage was settled and Hazrat Sawdah was married with Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam ). The Nikah Khutbah (sermon) was read by Hazrat Sawdah’s (Radhiyallahu-Anha) father himself. Hazrat Sawdah was 55 at the time of this marriage.
By this marriage the house of the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) was once more aglow with warmth and happiness. Hazrat Fatimah and Hazrat Umme Kulsoom (Radhiyallahu-Anhuma ) were the two orphaned daughters of Prophet[s.a.w.] Hazrat Sawdah (Radhiyallahu-Anha) used to love these two daughters very affectionately, so much so that nobody could even doubt that she was not their real mother. Hazrat Sawdah (Radhiyallahu-Anha) had no children from the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam ) However, from her first husband (Hazrat Sakran ) she had a son named Hazrat Abdur-Rahmaan (Radhiyallahu-Anhu). He fell a martyr fighting in the battle of Jalula.
Narrations of Hazrat Sawdah
Five traditions are said to have been narrated by Hazrat Sawdah (Radhiyallahu-Anha). Out of these one finds place in Bukhari Hazrat Sawdah (Radhiyallahu-Anha) was generous, hospitable, kind and affectionate. Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) once sent her a purse full of Dirhams, she at once distributed those coins. She was distinguished in self-sacrifice. She was ready to forego her rights and privileges for the sake of others. She was also jovial by nature. Hazrat Sawdah used to please the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) and her friends through healthy jokes and jest.