Aminah bint Wahb
Born Medina, Hejaz, Arabia (now Saudi Arabia)
Died 577 CE / –46 BH
Resting place Al-Abwa, Saudi Arabia
Abdullah ibn Abd al Muttalib
(m. 0569; d. 0570)
Children Muhammad (son)
Parent(s) Wahb ibn Abd Manaf (father)
Barrah bint Abdul Uzza (mother)
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Aminah bint Wahb /ˈæmɪnə/ (Arabic: آمنة بنت وهب [ˈaːmina] ʼĀminah bint Wahb; died 577 AD) was the mother of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[1]

Early life and marriage

Aminah was born to Wahb ibn Abd Manaf and Barrah bint ‘Abd al ‘Uzzā ibn ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Abd al-Dār in Mecca.[2] She was a member of the Banu Zuhrah clan in the tribe of Quraysh who claimed descent from Ibrahim (Abraham) through his son Ismail (Ishmael). Her ancestor Zuhrah was the elder brother of Qusayy ibn Kilab, who was also an ancestor of 'Abd Allah ibn Abd al Muttalib. Qusayy ibn Kilab became the first Quraysh custodian of the Ka'aba. Abdul Mutallib, father of 'Abd Allah, fixed the marriage of his youngest son 'Abd Allah with Aminah. She was eventually married to 'Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Muttalib.[3] It was said that a light shone out of his forehead and that this light was the promise of a Prophet as offspring. Countless woman of Arabia approached 'Abd Allah, who, according to several traditions, was a handsome man, so that they might gain the honour of producing the offspring. The light was believed to be transferred to Aminah through 'Abd Allah.[4]

'Abd Allah's father was the custodian of the Ka'aba in Mecca. Soon after their marriage 'Abd Allah was called to al-Sham (present day Syria) on a trading caravan trip, leaving a pregnant Aminah behind. However, 'Abd Allah fell sick and died before he could return to Mecca. Aminah fell into depression, from which she never recovered.[5]

Birth of Muhammad

Two months after Abdullah's death, in 570 AD, Muhammad was born. As was tradition among all the great families at the time, Aminah sent Muhammad into the desert as a baby. The belief was that in the desert, one would learn self-discipline, nobility, and freedom. During this time, Muhammad was nursed by Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, a poor Bedouin woman from the tribe of Banu Sa'ad, a branch of the Hawāzin, who would be with him during his time in the desert.[6]

When Muhammad was two years old he was reunited with Aminah. After 3 years, when Muhammad was 5 years old, Aminah took him to Yathrib (Madinah) to meet his extended family and introduce him to the city. They ended up spending one month in Yathrib. However, after having traveled only 23 miles from Yathrib towards Mecca accompanied by her slave Umm Ayman, Aminah fell ill and eventually died 577 AD[7] and was buried in the village of Abwa'.

Inconsistencies in Aminah bint Wahb's biography

There are a few inconsistencies that appear in the biography of Aminah bint Wahb. In most biographies Aminah lived with her father, however, others say she lived under the guardianship of her uncle Wahib ibn Abd Manaf.[8] Abdul mutalib asked her hand for his son Abd'Allah.The age of 'Abd Allah is also contested. In most versions of Aminah's biography he is said to be 17 years old when the couple marries. Other versions claim he was 24 when they were married.[8] The third inconsistency surrounds the time of Abdallah's death. In most cases it is simply said that he died on the return trip from Syria to Mecca.[9]

Fate in the afterlife

A hadith in which Muhammad states that his father was in hell has become a source of disagreement about the status of Muhammad's parents. Over the centuries, Sunni scholars have dismissed this hadith despite its appearance in the authoritative Sahih Muslim collection. It passed through a single chain of transmission for three generations, so that its authenticity was not considered certain enough to supersede a theological consensus which stated that people who died before a prophetic message reached them—as both Muhammad's mother and father had done—could not be held accountable for not embracing it.[10] Shia Muslims scholars likewise consider Muhammad's parents to be in Paradise.[11][12] In contrast, the Salafi website argues that Islamic tradition teaches that Muhammad's parents were kuffār (disbelievers) who are in Hell.[13]

See also


  1. Muhammad Mustafa Al-A'zami (2003), The History of The Qur'anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments, p.22, 24. UK Islamic Academy. ISBN 978-1872531656.
  2. The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) by Ibn Hisham: Volume 1, Page 181
  3. Cook, Michael. Muhammad. Oxford University Press: New York, 1983. ISBN 0-19-287605-8.
  4. Kathir, Ibn. The Life of the Prophet Muhammad : Volume 1. Trans. Prof. Trevor Le Gassick. Garnet Publishing: London, 1998. ISBN 1-85964-142-3.
  5. Armstrong, Karen. Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet. HarperSanFrancisco: San Francisco, 1993. ISBN 0-06-250886-5
  6. "Muhammad: Prophet of Islam", Encyclopædia Britannica, 28 September 2009. Retrieved on 28 September 2009.
  7. Peters, F.E. Muhammad and the Origins of Islam. State University of New York Press: Albany, 1994. ISBN 0-7914-1876-6.
  8. 1 2 Khan, Muhammad Zafrulla. "Muhammad: Seal of the Prophets- Early Years", Al Islam, 27 September 2009. Retrieved on 27 September 2009.
  9. Shame of the House of Saud: Shadows over Mecca, The Independent, 18 April 2006. Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
  10. Brown, Jonathan A.C. (2015). Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy. Oneworld Publications (Kindle edition). pp. Loc. 4042.
  11. alhassanain. The Nasibis Kufr Fatwa - that the Prophet (s)'sparents were Kaafir (God forbid)
  12. Shia Pen. Chapter Four – The pure monotheistic lineage of Prophets and Imams (as)
  13. 47170: Are the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Paradise or in Hell?
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