Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the first wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, had six children. Some Shias dispute whether all of the children were born in her marriage to Muhammad, or if three of the four daughters were actually the daughters of Halah, her sister.
The dispute extends to Zainab, Umm Kulthum and Ruqayyah. Shi'ites believe Fatimah was the only daughter of Khadija whereas Zainab, Ruqayya and Umm Kulthum were the daughters of Khadija's sister, Hala, who had strained relations with her husband and the two girls were brought up by Khadija after the death of Hala. It is notable that before the revelation of the Quran, Muhammad also had an adopted son, that is Zayd ibn Harithah, whose name was changed back from Zayd bin Muhammad to Zayd bin Harithah, after the prohibition of conferring the non-biological father's name to the adopted.
This debate becomes significant and contentious since two of the children, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were consecutively married to Uthman, one after the death of the other, and was thus called Dhul-Nūrayn ("He of the Two Lights").
Sunnis reject the notion of them being born anywhere but in Muhammad's marriage. Sunnis believe that Ruqayyah was born three years after the birth of Zainab, when Muhammad was 33.
Shi'ites believe that Fatimah was Muhammad's only biological daughter. Shia argue it improbable for Khadija to have given birth to so many children at such an advanced age, while having had no children in both her previous marriages. A third version also exists which views the two daughters as being the children of Khadijah's deceased sister, Halah bint Khuwailid.
Shi'ites justify their belief that Fatimah was Muhammad's only biological daughter by referring to the event of Mubahila, (though all three elder daughters had died by that time). Concerning this event, the Quran says: "But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call abnāʾanā (Arabic: أَبْنَاءَنَا, our sons) and abnāʾakum (Arabic: أَبْنَاَكُـم, your sons) and nisāʾanā (Arabic: نِسَاءَنَا, our women) and nisāʾakum (Arabic: نِسَاءَكُم, your women) and anfusanā (Arabic: أَنْفُسَنَا, ourselves) and anfusakum (Arabic: أَنْفُسَكُم, yourselves), then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars."[Quran 3:61 (Translated by Shakir)] According to a hadith in Bihar al-Anwar, no woman other than Fatimah was present at the Mubahilah. For this reason, Shi'ites believe that the phrase "our women" in the Quran refers only to Fatimah.
- Disputed issues in the early Islamic history
- Burial place of Fatimah
- Family tree of Ali
- Family tree of Muhammad
- Al-Tijani in his The Shi'ah are (the real) Ahl al-Sunnah on Al-Islam.org note 274
- Quran 33:04
- anwary-islam.com Archived 2006-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
- The Arabic language has three persons - singular, dual, and plural, with the latter referring to more than two. For further explanation, refer to Arabic grammar.
- Quran 33:59
- @ Al-Islam.ORG
- Mubahala (Imprecation) @ ezsoftech.com
For the Sunni view see:
- Ibn Hisham's Sira, Vol. 1, p. 122
- Tabari's History of Prophets and Kings, Vol. 2, p. 35
- Ibn Kathir's Al-Bidayah Wa An-Nihaya, Vo. 2, p. 359
For Shi'a sources that mention other daughters of Muhammad, see:
- Tusi's Tahthibul Ahkam, Vol. 8, p. 258
- Shaikh Saduq's Khisal, p. 404
- Kulayni's Al-Kafi, Vol. 5, p. 555
- Shaykh Mufid's Al-Muqanna'ah, p. 332
- Himyari's Qurb Al-Isnad, p. 9
- Papyrus scroll of Ibn Lahi'ah, referenced by G. Levi Della Vida-[R.G. Khoury]. ʿUT̲H̲MĀN b.ʿAffān. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 3 April 2007
For views from Western scholarship see:
- G. Levi Della Vida-[R.G. Khoury]. ʿUT̲H̲MĀN b.ʿAffān. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 3 April 2007
- Veccia Vaglieri, L. Fāṭima. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 3 April 2007
- Watt, W. Montgomery. K̲H̲adīd̲j̲a. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 3 April 2007