Maimunah bint al-Harith was one of the noble wives of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). Before marring the Prophet she was called Barra, but after they got married, he called her Maimunah, which means, “Blessed”. She lived with the Prophet for only three years. She was known for her great generosity and her love and devotion to Allah.
Maimunah’s sister, Umm al-Fadl Lubaba, was the mother of Abdullah ibn Abbas, the son of one of the uncles of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) and the one of the wisest of his companions. Zainab bint Khuzayma, Umm al Muminin, was also her half-sister.Her other sisters included Asma bint Umays, the wife of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib, and Salmah bint Umays, the wife of Hamza, the “Lion of Allah”.
Her full sisters were Lubaba, Asmah and Izza. Maimunah was thus one of the ‘Ahlul- Bayt, (the people of the House), not only by the virtue of being a wife of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), but also because she was related to him.
Zayd bin Arqam related that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:”I implore you by Allah! The People of my House! three times.
Zayd asked who were the People of the House, and Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), said: “The family of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the family of Jafar ibn Abi Talib, the family Aqil ibn Abi Talib, and the family of Al Abbas ibn Abdal Muttalib.
Maimunah wanted to be one of the wives of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), so she went to her sister, Umm al Fadl to talk to her about that and she, in return, spoke to her husband, al-Abbas. Al-Abbas immediately went to the Prophet (PBUH) with Maimunah’s offer to marry him and her proposal was accepted.
When she received this great news she was on a camel. She immediately got off the camel and said: “The camel and what is on it is for the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).”
They got married in the month of Shawwal in 7 AH, when the Prophet was sixty years old and she was thirty-six years old, just after the Muslims of Medina were permitted to visit Mecca under the terms of the treaty of Hudaybiyya to perform umra. Allah Almighty sent the following ayat about this:
“Any believing woman who dedicates herself to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her, that is only for thee and not for the believers”. (Quran 33:50)
She was known for her good nature. She never quarreled or disputed with any of the Prophet’s other wives.
A’isha said about her, “Among us, she had the most fear of Allah and did the most to maintain ties of kinship.”
It was in her room that Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) first began to feel the effects of what became his final illness and asked the permission of his wives to stay in A’isha’s room while it lasted.
She devoted her whole life to the worship of Allah, and whenever she saw anything wrong she used to change it with her own hands.
After Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) died, Maimunah continued to live in Medina for another forty years. She died at the age of eighty, in 51 AH, (may Allah be pleased with her), being the last of the Prophet’s wives to die.
She asked to be buried where she had married the Prophet at Saraf and her request was carried out.
It was related that at the funeral of Maimunah, Ibn Abbas said: “This is the wife of Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH) so when you lift her bier, do not shake her or disturb her, but be gentle.”