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 The Prophet s Children

There is a difference of opinion regarding the children of the Prophet. It is unanimously agreed that he had six children: two sons, Al-Qasim and Ibrahim, and four daughters, Zainab, Ruqiah, UmmKalthum and Fatimah. But according to some reports, he had two other sons, Tahir and Tayyab, and according to another report, he had a son named Abdullah, who died in infancy, and his surnames were Tahir and Tayyab. There is no dispute about the girls but there is a great difference of opinion about the number of boys.

Khadijah, his first wife, bore all his children, except Ibrahim, who was born to Maria Qibtia, a slave-girl he received as a gift from the King of Egypt. All the male children died in their childhood. The Prophet`s two sons born to Khadijah, Qasim and Abdullah died during their childhood years in Makkah. His four daughters from Khadijah - Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Khulthum and Fatima - survived their mother. They were deeply loved by the Prophet. The Prophet who took a keen interest in their Islamic education assured their pious upbringing as devout Muslims.

However, all reports agree that Qasim was from Khadijah and Ibrahim from Maria Qibtia.


Ibrahim: Ibrahim was the youngest child of the Prophet. He was born in Medinah in the 8th year of the Hijrah to Maria Qibtia. When the Prophet was given the good news of the birth of his son by Abu Rafi, he gave him one slave. The child was given to foster-parents who lived in the neighborhood of Medinah. The Prophet often visited their house to see his son. who died in their house. There are different opinions regarding his age: some say he was 15 months old when he died; some ay 2`h months and others say one year ten months. According to A`isha, Ibrahim lived for 17 or 18 months. He was buried in Jannat al-Baqi.2


Al-Qasim was the eldest son of the Prophet and was born about eleven years before his prophethood. It was from him that the Prophet got the name Abu. Qasim. According to Ibn Sa`d he lived to the age of two. Ibn Faris says that he reached the age when a child can distinguish things. However. he died before his father`s prophet-hood.

According to reports, he was the first child of the Prophet and also the first to die. The Prophet loved him very much and liked to be called Abu Qasim. His companions therefore called him by that name.


The reports are unanimous that Zainab was his eldest daughter and was born after Qasim about ten years before his prophet-hood, when the Prophet was thirty years old. As was Khadijah`s wish, the Prophet married Zainab to her first cousin, Abul Aas, an honest and truthful Makkan trader. Despite pressure from Makkah`s anti-Islamic pagan rulers, he refused to divorce Zainab..

Zainab came to Medinah and left her husband in disbelief at Makkah. He was again made a prisoner-of-war a couple of times but Zainab gave him protection. After some years, he folded up his business in Makkah, embraced Islam and lived with Zainab in Madina. In the Battle of Badr, her husband Abul As was made a prisoner-of-war. She sent some money for his release which contained a necklace which had been a gift of Khadijah. When Abul As was released, the Prophet got a promise from him that he would send Zainab back to Medinah, which he did. But when she was on her way to Medinah Habar ibn Aswad threw her down from the camel with his spear. She was pregnant and as a result of this