Hazrat Fatima Bint Qays(رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

Fatima Bint Qays RA – The Knowledgeable Female Companion.

Fatima bint Qays RA was a Companion of Rasulullah ﷺ from Quraish and was among the early emigrants to Madinah. Fatima bint Qays RA was a jurist and a teacher and has narrated hadith from the Prophet ﷺ. Fatima bint Qays RA is most famous for two hadith, one about the Anti-Christ and another one that created a lot of controversies because it goes against the Quran.


Fatima bint Qays RA first husband was killed in the Battle of Badr. As soon as her waiting period was over, she started going to the mosque whenever she heard the Adhan. Fatima bint Qays RA narrated this story.

“I was in the row of women. When Rasulullah ﷺ  finished his prayer, he sat on the pulpit and he was smiling. Then he said, ‘Let everyone remain in his place’. Then he asked, ‘Do you know why I have gathered you?’ They said, ‘God and his Rasul ﷺ know best.’ Rasulullahﷺ said, ‘By God, I have not gathered you for anything you desire or for anything that you fear. Rather, I have gathered you because Tamim Al-Dari, who was a Christian, came, pledged allegiance and embraced Islam, and told me a story which confirms what I have been telling you about Anti-Christ.’”

Fatima bint Qays RA then narrated the whole story of Tamim and she is well known for this hadith about the Anti-Christ.

Fatima bint Qays RA is also famous for another hadith that caused a lot of controversies. According to the hadith, she says that a divorced woman has no right for accommodation and living expenses from her husband during iddah, the waiting period before the end of which she cannot remarry. She says that when her husband divorced her, he sent his agent with some barley to provide for her expenses. She didn’t like that and went to Rasulullah ﷺ and told him about her situation. Rasulullah ﷺ replied, “Your expenses are not an obligation on him.”

There are so many jurists among the Companions and scholars who have refused this hadith, even though it was technically Sahih. Jurists like Saidina Omar ibn Al-Khattab RA, Abdullah ibn Masud RA, Zaid ibn Thabit RA, Aisyah (RA), and many others believe this hadith goes against the Quran. Even later scholars such as Ibrahim Al Nakha’i, Sufyan Al Thawri, Abu Hanifah and his students, and other scholars in Kufa are siding with the scholarly opinion that it contradicts the Quran.

The verse in the Quran that they are referring to is:

Oh Rasulullah! When you [men] divorce women, divorce them for their iddah, and count their iddah [accurately] and be wary of Allah SWT, your Lord. Do not force them from their homes, nor should they leave [of their own accord], except in the case of blatant indecency (fahishah). And those are the bounds of God; you [the one divorcing his wife] do not know-it may be that God will later bring about some new affair [i.e. some reconciliation or eventual re-marriage]. […] Lodge them [divorced wives] where you dwell, according to your means, and do not be hurtful to them so you constrain them [forcing them to leave]. And if they are pregnant, then spend on them until they deliver their burdens. Then if they breast-fed the children for you, give them their due payment, and consult each the normal way (bil maruf).

Quran –Surat Al Talaq-65. 1,6

The scholars maintain, according to the Quran, that a divorced woman has the right of accommodation and expenses, whether the divorce is final or provisional, and whether she is pregnant or not. Saidina Umar ibn Al Khattab RA said, “We are not to leave the Book of our Lord and Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ for the word of a woman when we do not know for certain whether she preserved the matter fully or not.”


However, despite Umar’s strong objection to the hadith, he did not get in the way of her narrating it or other hadith in her teachings. There was a deep respect for the knowledgeable women of the time and their authority and no one was prevented from transmitting knowledge and understanding of the religion.

Aisyah (RA) also critized Fatima bint Qays RA for narrating this hadith and said that the ruling of Rasulullah ﷺ answer to her was based on some danger to Fatima bint Qays RA for staying at her in-laws house. Other scholars over the years have said that maybe her hadith referred to women divorced finally and not provisionally. Other scholars said that maybe the Quranic verse meant the right of accommodation and Fatima’s hadith meant the women had no right of maintenance. Allahu A’lam (Allah knows best).

Nevertheless, Fatima bint Qays RA was still able to teach and continued to narrate this hadith. Because of the senior rank her knowledge gave her, she was able to override some court decisions. Fatima bint Qays RA was an extremely respected teacher and used to travel as far as Iraq to spread knowledge about Islam.

Early Islam saw the rise of freedom of expression. Among the female companion.

al-Isabah Ibn Hajr – الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة [Companion (RA), Id:11184. – pg:7/651]
رملة بنت الخطات تأتي في فاطمة بنت الخطاب

al-Isabah Ibn Hajr – الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة [Companion (RA), Id:11590. – pg:8/62]
فاطمة بنت الخطاب بن نفيل القرشية العدوية أخت عمر تقدم نسبها في ترجمة أخيها أسلمت قديمامع زوجها سعيد بن زيد بن عمرو بن نفيل وحكى الدارقطني في كتاب الإخوة أن اسمها أميمة قالوولدت لسعد بن زيد ابنه عبد الرحمن وقال أبو عمر خبرها في إسلام عمر خبر عجيب قلت أخرجهمحمد بن عثمان بن أبي شيبة في تاريخه وأبو نعيم في طريقه ومن طريق إسحاق بن عبد الله عنأبان بن صالح عن مجاهد عن بن عباس قال سألت عمر عن إسلامه قال خرجت بعد إسلام حمزةبثلاثة أيام فإذا فلان بن فلان المخزومي فقلت له أرغبت عن دين آبائك إلى دين محمد قال قد فعل ذلكمن هو أعظم عليك حقا مني قال قلت ومن هو قال أختك وختنك قال فانطلقت فوجدت الباب مغلقاوسمعت همهمة قال ففتح لي الباب فدخلت فقلت ما هذا الذي أسمع قالت ما سمعت شيئا فما زالالكلام بيننا حتى أخذت برأسها فقالت قد كان ذلك رغم أنفك قال فاستحييت حين رأيت الدم وقلتأروني الكتاب فذكر القصة بطولها وروى الواقدي عن فاطمة بنت مسلم الأشجعية عن فاطمةالخزاعية عن فاطمة بنت الخطاب أنها سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لا تزال أمتيبخير ما لم يظهر فيهم حب الدنيا في علماء فساق وقراء جهال وجبابرة فإذا ظهرت خشيت أن يعمهمالله بعقاب وسيأتي في الكنى أن الزبير قال إن والدة عبد الرحمن الأكبر بن سعيد بن زيد هي أم جميلبنت الخطاب فكأن اسمها فاطمة ولقبها أميمة وكنيتها أم جميل وقال بن سعد وقد في كتاب النسب أنالتي تزوجها بها سعيد بن زيد بن عمرو بن نفيل رملة وهي أم جميل بنت الخطاب

al-Isabah Ibn Hajr – الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة [Companion (RA), Id:11932. – pg:8/181]

أم جميل بنت الخطاب القرشية العدوية زوج سعد بن زيد أحد الشعرة وهي أم ولده عبد الرحمنالأكبر ذكرها الزبير وقيل هي فاطمة التي تقدمت في حرف الفاء

Thiqat Ibn Hibban – ثقات ابن حبان [Companion (RA), Id:1096. – pg:Vol:3]
فاطمة بنت الخطاب بن نفيل بن عبد العزي أخت عمر بن الخطاب وهي امرأة سعيد بن زيد بن عمروبن نفيل أسلمت قبل عمر تقدم ذكرها

Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d – الطبقات الكبرى ابن سعد [Woman Companion (RA), Id:10082. – pg:Vol:8]
فاطمة بنت الخطاب بن نفيل بن عبد العزى بن رياح بن عبد الله بن قرط بن رزاح بن عدي بن كعبوهي أخت عمر بن الخطاب وأمها حنتمة بنت هاشم بن المغيرة بن عبد الله بن عمر بن مخزومتزوجها سعيد بن زيد بن عمرو بن نفيل وأسلمت هي وزوجها قبل عمر بن الخطاب وقبل دخولرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم دار الأرقم هكذا جاء الحديث فاطمة بنت الخطاب وفي النسب إن التيتزوجها سعيد بن زيد بن عمرو بن نفيل رملة وهي أم جميل بنت الخطاب

Early Islam saw the rise of freedom of expression among the female companion.


The recent Deoband fatwas on working women provoked a healthy debate, in which comments made by young Muslim men and women were particularly enlightening. Since these fatwas are mostly based on juristic principles evolved more than hundred years after the demised of Rasulullah , it is important to take a look at some cases reported in early Muslim society to ascertain how women fared during the Rasulullah’s time.


A prophetic narration reported by Imam Malik and Muslim says, “Fatima bint Qays, an emigrant woman in Madinah received three marriage proposals after she became a widow. Since one proposal was from Usamah bin Zayd RA, a freed slave of Rasulullah  , she decided to entrust her affair to Rasulullah and asked him to make a choice on her behalf. Moreover she had left the house of her deceased husband so they discussed the question where she should spend her waiting period (Iddah). Rasulullah  first advised her to move to the house of Umm Sharik, a rich lady of Madinah known for her generosity and hospitality. On second thought, he told her, ‘Don’t do that because Umm Sharik is frequently visited by people and I do not want you to come before the strangers with your head uncovered’.” The other version says, “This is a woman whom many of my companions visit” (Muwatta 29.67 and Muslim 1373). So the Hadith books tell us that Madinah had women who received and entertained visitors not related to them and that these women were held in high social esteem.


Another interesting anecdote shows how fiercely women guarded their independence and free-thinking. A slave woman called Barira negotiated her freedom and the money was paid by a wife of Rasulullah . After her freedom, Barira exercised her legal right to annul her marriage with Mughith, the man she had married when she was a slave. Mughith was deeply in love with Barira and could not bear to be separated from her. He would cry inconsolably and roam the streets of Madinah chanting her name. Rasulullah  saw him one day and moved by his condition asked Barira, “Why don’t you return to him?” Barira asked, “Do you order me to do so?” Rasulullah  replied, “No. I only intercede for him.” Barira turned down the advice by saying, “I am not in need of him” (Bukhari 7.206).

Islam had not only imparted a sense of equality and dignity to women but had vehemently denounced female infanticide.

The assertion of freedom of choice on the part of women is powerfully portrayed in another episode involving the wife of Thabit bin Qays, a companion of Rasulullah . The lady was unhappy with her marriage and approached Rasulullah  seeking legal separation from her husband. On being asked she admitted that Thabit was a man of good character and fulfilled all his duties as a husband. “But physically he is very unattractive and I feel revulsion when he comes near me. I fear that it may lead to some transgression on my part,” she said. Rasulullah asked her, “Will you return the garden that he has given you as dower?” She replied in the affirmative. Rasulullah  summoned her husband and ordered him to take back his garden and divorce her.

The following testimony by Caliph Saidina Umar Ibn Al-Khattab RA may sound shocking to the champions of Islamic law today, but it shows how strongly women asserted their rights. He says, “Once I shouted at my wife and to my horror she paid me back in the same coin. Further she said: why are you so upset, the wives of Rasulullah 
 reply back to him and some of them do not speak to him whole day long. What she said appalled me… Then I dressed up and went to Hafsah (Rasulullah’s wife) and asked her: Does any of you keep Allah’s Apostle angry all the day and she replied in the affirmative” (Bukhari 3.648).

Islam had not only imparted a sense of equality and dignity to women but had vehemently denounced female infanticide saying, “When the female, buried alive, is questioned, for what crime was she killed?” (81.8-9). Fatwa makers may also be questioned for what crime they wish to confine women within the four walls of their homes.

Selected Hadiths Narrated and Attributed by/to Fatima Bint Qays RA.

Found In: Imam Malik’s Muwatta Chapter No: 29, Divorce

Hadith no: 63 


Yahya related to me from Malik that Yahya ibn Said heard al-Qasim ibn Muhammad and Sulaiman ibn Yasar both mention that Yahya ibn Said ibn al-As divorced the daughter of Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Hakam irrevocably, so Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Hakam took her away Aisyah Umm al-Muminin sent to Marwan ibn al-Hakam who was the Amir of al-Madina at that time. She said, “Fear Allah and make him return the woman to her house.” Marwan said in what Sulayman related, ”Abd ar-Rahman has the upper hand over me.” Marwan said in what al-Qasim related, “Hasn’t the affair ofFatima bint Qays reached you?” Aisyah said, “You are forced to mention the story of Fatima” Marwan said, “If you know that evil, whatever evil there was between those two is enough for you.” (See hadith 67.)

Relevance: 18.0334

Found In: Imam Malik’s Muwatta Chapter No: 29, Divorce

Hadith no: 67 


Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Yazid, the mawla of al-Aswad ibn Sufyan from Abu Salamah ibn Abd ar-Rahman ibn Awf fromFatima bint Qays that Abu Amr ibn Hafs divorced her absolutely while he was away in Syria. His agent sent her some barley and she was displeased with it, saying, “By Allah, I don’t expect anything from you.” She went to Rasulullah SAW, and mentioned it to him. He said, “You have no maintenance.” He then ordered her to spend her iddah in the house of Umm Sharik. Then he said, “This is a woman whom my companions visit. Spend the iddah in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum. He is a blind man and you can undress at his home. When you are free to remarry, tell me.” She continued, “When I was free to remarry, I mentioned to him that Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and Abu Jahm ibn Hisham had asked for me in marriage. Rasulullah SAW said, ‘As for Abu Jahm, he never puts down his stick from his shoulder (i.e. he is always travelling), and as for Muawiyah he is a poor man with no property. Marry Usamah ibn Zayd.’ I objected to him and he said, ‘Marry Usamah ibn Zayd,’ so I married him, and Allah put good in it and I was content with him.”

Relevance: 12.0956

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 12, the Chapters on Divorce

Hadith no: 2033 

Narrated: Aisyah

Fatimah bint Qays said: ‘O Rasulullah (saw), I am afraid that someone may enter upon me by force.’ So he told her to move.”

Relevance: 6.7393

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 12, The Chapters on Divorce

Hadith no: 2024 

Narrated: Amir Shabi

“I said to Fatimah bint Qays: ‘Tell me about your divorce.’ She said: ‘My husband divorced me three times when he was leaving for Yemen, and Rasulullah (saw) allowed that.”‘

Relevance: 6.6031

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 12, The Chapters on Divorce

Hadith no: 2035 

Narrated: Abu Bakr bin Abu Jahm bin Sukhair Al-Adawi

“I heard Fatimah bint Qays say that her husband divorced her three times, and Rasulullah (saw) did not say that she was entitled to accommodation and maintenance.”

Relevance: 6.537

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 12, The Chapters on Divorce

Hadith no: 2036

Narrated: Shabi

Fatimah bint Qays said: “My husband divorced me at the time of Rasulullah (saw) three times. Rasulullah (saw) said: ‘You have no right to accommodation or to maintenance.'”

Relevance: 5.9239

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 12, The Chapters on Divorce

Hadith no: 2032 

Narrated: Hisham bin Urwah

that his father said: “I entered upon Marwan and said to him: ‘A women from your family has been divorced. I passed by her and she was moving. She said: ‘Fatimah bint Qays told us to do that, and she told us that Rasulullah (saw) told her to move.’ Marwan said: ‘She told them to do that.”‘ Urwah said: “l said: ‘By Allah, Aisyah did not like that, and said: ‘Fatimah was living in a deserted house and it was feared for her (safety and wellbeing), so Rasulullah (saw) granted a concession to her.'”

Relevance: 4.948