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Ransom of the Prophet's Son-in-Law

The Messenger of God also freed Abu al-!As ibn al-Rabi'ah, the husband of his (step) daughter Zainab after she had sent ransom for him. The ransom that she sent included a necklace which had been given to her by her mother Khadijah on the night of her wedding. When the Messenger of God saw the necklace he remembered his faithful wife Khadijah and was moved to tears. Then he turned to the Muslims and said: 'If you see fit to let Zainab's husband go free and send back the ransom that she has sent then do so.'

By this he did not impose his opinion upon them despite the Qur'an having said: e The Prophet has more authority over the believers than they do over their own selves. 136 In doing so he expressed the freedom available within Islam and set out its wise policies. The Muslims said: 'Yes O Messenger of God, may we and our wealth be your sacrifice.' So they returned what Zainab had sent and set free Abu al-!As without ransom and the Messenger of God thanked them for this.

The Messenger of God had obliged Abu al-!As and he promised the Prophet to give Zainab freedom of movement; so when Abu al-!As went to Mecca the Messenger of God sent Zaid ibn Harithah and another man of the Ansar and said to them: 'Wait at the bottom of Ya'jaj until Zainab passes by then accompany her here to me.' So they set out towards Mecca and this was one month after the battle of Badr.

When Abu al-!As reached Mecca he ordered her to join her father so she prepared herself and left for Medina. On the way she was attacked by Habbar ibn al-Aswad who attacked her with his spear while she was in the howdah. She was with child and as a result she miscarried [and later died of the injuries she had sustained]. The Messenger of God ordered that he be killed but they were not able to seize him. On the day of the liberation of Mecca, Habbar fled to the hills then returned in disguise. When he stood before the Messenger of God he entered Islam and the Messenger of God accepted his Islam and forgave him.


136. The Holy Qur'an: The Confederates (33): 6.

Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

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