Table of Contents

Section 1: The Narrators and Their Narrations

One of the narrations widely known among Sunni Muslims is the narration to which they have made recourse in order to argue that the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) married out his daughter, Umm Kulthum, to Umar. They have transmitted this narration in their sources and we will cite it from their most famous booksOne of the narrations widely known among Sunni Muslims is the narration to which they have made recourse in order to argue that the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) married out his daughter, Umm Kulthum, to Umar. They have transmitted this narration in their sources and we will cite it from their most famous books

1. Ibn Sa’ad’s Narrations in Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra

As far as we know, the earliest narrator who has passed on this tradition is Muhammad bin Sa‘ad b. Mani‘ Zuhri (d. 230 A.H), the author of Al- Tabaqat Al-Kubra. He has included several narrations in his book on this subject which are as follows.

The first narration

Umm Kulthum was the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib ibn Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusai. Her mother was Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S)1 and Khadijah bint Khuwailid ibn Asad ibn Abdul Uzza ibn Qusai. She was a young girl when Umar married her. The fruit of this marriage was a son called Zaid and a daughter called Ruqayyah. Umm Kulthum remained Umar‘s wife until he was killed.

After Umar, Awn ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib ibn Abdul Muttalib married her (!)2, but Awn too died and thereupon, Awn‘s brother, Muhammad ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib became her husband. He too, passed away.

Then his brother, Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib married Umm Kulthum after the death of her sister, Zainab, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). Umm Kulthum made reference to it saying: “I feel embarrassed towards Asma bint Umais whose two sons died when they were in my company, and I am worried about the third one! Umm Kulthum died in Abdullah ibn Ja‘far‘s house and did not bear a child with anyone of them!”

The second narration

Umar ibn Al-Khattab asked Ali ibn Abi Talib for the hand of Umm Kulthum in marriage. Ali said: “I have kept my daughters for the sons of Ja‘far.”

Umar said: “Marry her to me, O Abul Hasan, for by Allah, there is no man on the face of the earth who seeks to achieve through her good companionship that which I seek to achieve.”

Ali said: “I have done so.”

Then Umar came to the Muhajirun (lit. migrants) between the grave (of Rasul-Allah) and the pulpit. They — Ali, Uthman, Zubayr, Talhah and Abd ar-Rahman — used to sit there, and whenever a matter used to arrive from the frontiers, Umar would come to them there and consult with them. He came to them and said: “Congratulate me.”

They congratulated him, and asked: “With whom are we congratulating you, O Amirul Mu‘meneen?”

He replied: “With the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib.3

Then he told them the story and said that he had heard the Prophet (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.”4

I was a companion of the Prophet and I also loved this relationship to be maintained.

The third narration

Waki‘ ibn Jarrah narrates from Husham ibn Sa‘ad, he from Ataa Khurasani that he said: “Umar paid forty thousand [dirhams] as dowry [marriage gift] to Umm Kulthum!”

The fourth narration

Muhammad ibn Umar Waqidi and others have said, “Umar asked Ali for the hand of his daughter, Umm Kulthum, in marriage. Ali replied that she had not yet attained the age (of puberty).”

Umar replied: “By Allah, this is not true. You do not want her to marry me. If she is underage, send her to me.”

Thus, Ali called Umm Kulthum, they prepared her and made her up. Then he asked for a piece of cloth which he folded and handed over to Umm Kulthum telling her to take the garment to Amirul Mu‘meneen and tell him: “My father has sent me to you instructing me to convey you his greetings and said that if you liked the garment, take it or else, return it!”

When Umm Kulthum went to Umar, the latter said: “May Allah bless you and your father, I like it.”

Umm Kulthum returned to his father and said: “He did not unfold the garment, but just looked at me!”

Then Ali married her to Umar and she bore him a child named Zaid.

The fifth narration

Waki‘i ibn Jarrah narrates from Ismail ibn Abi Khalid, he from Aamir Sha‘bi that both Zaid ibn Umar and Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali, died. Ibn Umar offered funeral prayer consisting of four takbirs (Allahu Akbar). He placed Zaid on the side he had stood and Umm Kulthum in the direction of Qiblah and prayed on both of them.

The sixth narration

Ubaidullah ibn Musa says, “Israil narrates from Abi Hasin, he from Aamir who said, ‘Ibn Umar offered a funeral prayer on Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali, and her son. He placed Zaid on his side and prayed on those two.’”

Waki‘i has reported a similar account from Zaid ibn Habib, from Sha‘abi and added: “During the (funeral) prayer, Hasan and Husain, the sons of Ali, Muhammad ibn Hanafiyah, Abdullah ibn Abbas and Abdullah ibn Ja‘far stood praying behind ibn Umar.”

The seventh narration

Ubaidullah ibn Musa and Israil have narrated from Jabir, he from Aamir Sha‘bi that he said: During the prayer on the corpse of Zaid ibn Umar ibn Khattab, Abdullah ibn Umar led the prayer while Hasan and Husain prayed behind him. Had he known that it was good to say more takbir‘ (Allahu Akbar), he would have said it.”

The eighth narration

Ubaidullah ibn Musa narrates from Israil, from Suddi, from Abdullah ibn Baha that he said, “I saw Ibn Umar pray on Umm Kulthum and Zaid ibn Umar ibn Khattab and that he placed Zaid on the side where the Imam (the prayer leader) was standing while Hasan and Husain were witnessing the prayer.”

The ninth narration

Waki‘ibn Jarrah, from Hammad ibn Salamah, narrates that Ammar ibn Abi Ammar (Mawla5 of Bani Hashim) said, “I was present on the day on which Saeid ibn Aas, who was then the governor of Medina, prayed on those two with eighty people from the companions of Prophet Muhammad (S) following him in prayer.”

The tenth narration

Ja‘far ibn Awn narrates from ibn Jurayh that Nafi‘ said, “The bodies of Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib and wife of Umar ibn Khattab and her son Zaid were brought in for funeral prayer. On that day Saeid ibn Aas was the prayer leader.”

The eleventh narration

Abdullah ibn Numair narrates from Ismail, he from Ibn Abi Khalid who narrates from Aamir that, ‘Ibn Umar offered prayers on the dead bodies of his brother Zaid and that of Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali. The corpses of those two were in one casket and Zaid‘s body was on the side close to the prayer leader.”6

2. Dulabi’s Narrations in Al-Durriyat Al-Tahira

Another scholar who has reported and recorded narrations in this regard is Abu Bushr Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Dulabi (d. 310 A.H). In his Al- Durriyat Al-Tahira, he has reported several narrations regarding Umm Kulthum bint Fatima, daughter of the Holy Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his descendants.

The first narration

Al-Dulabi says, “I heard Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar saying: I heard Yunus ibn Bukair say that he had heard from Ibn Ishaq that Fatima, the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S), gave birth to three sons named Hasan, Husain and Mohsin. The latter died at a young age. She also gave birth to two daughters named Umm Kulthum and Zainab.”

The second narration

Ibn Ishaq says, “Aasim ibn Umar ibn Qatadah narrated to me as such: Umar asked Ali for the hand of his daughter, Umm Kulthum in marriage and Ali replied that she had not yet attained the age (of maturity).

Umar replied, “By Allah, this is not true…7 You do not want her to marry me. If she is underage, send her to me.”

Thus, Ali gave his daughter Umm Kulthum a dress and asked her to go to Umar and tell him that her father wanted to know what this dress was for. When she came to Umar and gave him the message, he grabbed her hand and forcibly pulled her towards himself. Umm Kulthum asked him to leave her hand, which Umar did and said, “You are a very mannered lady with great morals…8 Go and tell your father that you are very pretty and you are not what he said of you!”

With that Ali married Umm Kulthum to Umar.

The third narration

Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar narrates from Yunus ibn Bukair, from Khalid ibn Saleh, from Waqid ibn Abdullah ibn Umar, from some of his relatives that Umar ibn Khattab Umar ibn Khattab asked Ali for the hand of his daughter, Umm Kalthum bint Fatima (daughter of the Holy Prophet (S)) in marriage.

Ali said to him, “She has other guardians also, wait until I get their permission. Then Ali (a.s.) went to Fatima‘s sons and informed them about Umar‘s proposal whereupon they said, “Marry her to him.”

Ali called Umm Kulthum, who was then a young girl then, and said to her, “Go to the Commander of the Faithful, and tell him: My father sends you his regards and says that he has fulfilled your wish.”

Upon reaching Umar‘s house, Umm Kulthum conveyed him her father‘s message whereupon Umar grabbed her and held her to his bosom (!!) and said, “I sought Umm Kulthum‘s hand in marriage and her father married her to me.”

They said to Umar, “What do you mean? She is a little girl?!”

Umar said, "Do not disparage me [for marrying a young girl], for I heard the Prophet say, upon him be blessings and peace:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

‘Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my means and lineage.’

I desired to place myself in the Prophet's lineage through this marriage.”

The fourth narration

Abdul Rahman ibn Khalid ibn Muni‘ says, “Habib, the writer of Malik ibn Anas‘s book, narrates from Abdul Aziz Darawerdi, from Zaid ibn Aslam, from his father, who was the freed slave of Umar ibn Khattab, saying, ‘Umar asked Ali for Umm Kulthum‘s hand in marriage whereupon Ali discussed the matter with Abbas, Aqil and Hasan. Aqil was annoyed telling Ali, ‘The lapse of days and months will only add to your lack of insight and astuteness in your work. By Allah, if you do this, such and such will happen.’

Ali told Abbas, ‘By Allah, he is not talking wishfully, but the whip of Umar has impelled him to say what you are hearing.’9

Therefore, Hazrat Amir (a.s.) did not declare his acceptance to this marriage to be out of good will.

Of course the surprising part is in the rest of the above narration, where we are seeing that the opinion of Amirul Mu‘uminin Ali (a.s.) changed at once; and that too was not because of the threats from Umar, but because of the urge of Umar to form a relationship with the Messenger of Allah (S) (!!).

Then Ali turned to Aqil and said, “Oh Aqil, I swear by Allah that it is not because of my inclination to you and your opinion, but Umar ibn Khattab informed me that he heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.”

The fifth narration

Abdul Aziz ibn Muni‘ has narrated from Abu Al- Darda‘ Marwazi, from Khalid ibn Khedash; also, Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Sulaiman ibn Bilal ibn Abi Al-Darda‘ Ansari has reported from Abu Jamahir Muhammad ibn Uthman who said, “Abdullah ibn Zaid ibn Aslam, from his father, from his grandfather, narrated that Umar ibn Khattab, married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib, with a dowry of 40,000 dirhams!”

The sixth narration

Abu Osama Abdullah ibn Muhammad, from Hajjaj ibn Abi Muni‘, from his grandfather, from Zuhri who narrates, “Umar ibn Khattab married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali and his wife Fatima and they were blessed with a baby boy named Zaid.”

The seventh narration

Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar, from Yunus ibn Bukair, from Ibn Ishaq who narrated, “Umar ibn Khattab married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali and they were blessed with a baby boy named Zaid and a daughter. Umar died whilst she was alive.”

The eighth narration

Abu Osamah Abdullah ibn Muhammad Halabi, from Hajjaj ibn Abi Muni‘, from his father, from Zuhri who narrates, “After Umar ibn Khattab, Awn ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib married Umm Kulthum (!!) and she did not bear a child from Awn, until the latter died.

The ninth narration

Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar, from Yunus ibn Bukair, from Ishaq, who narrates, “When Umar, the husband of Umm Kulthum bint Ali, died, Awn ibn Ja‘far married Umm Kulthum and he also died in her lifetime without her bearing a child with him.”

The tenth narration

Ibn Ishaq says, “My father Ishaaq ibn Yasaar narrates from Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, who said, ‘When Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib was widowed of Umar, her brothers Hasan and Husain went to her and said, ‘You are known as the first lady of Islam and the daughter of the best lady of the world. We swear by Allah that if you leave your decision to Ali, he will definitely marry you to one of his orphans (!!) and if you wish to get much wealth, you will definitely get it.’

‘I swear by Allah, no sooner they got up than Ali arrived while he was leaning on his walking stick. Praising and thanking Allah, he reminded them of their status and dignity to the Prophet of Allah (S) and said: ‘O the children of Fatima, you are aware of your status and dignity and you know well that I have given you priority over my other children owing to your position and relationship to the Messenger of Allah (S).’

They said, ‘You are right, may Allah bless you and may He reward you on our behalf.’

Ali turned to his daughter and said, ‘My daughter, Allah has granted you the authority to handle your matter yourself, but I wish you leave that to me.’

Umm Kulthum said, ‘Dear father, I swear by Allah that I am also a woman, and I too have the aspirations and desires of all other women. I would love to enjoy the world as much as any other women do; I wish to decide for myself what I should do in this regard.’

Ali said, ‘My daughter, I swear by Allah that it is not your view but rather that of these two!’

Then he stood up and said, ‘You will either do this or you will never talk to any of these two!’

Hasan and Husain grabbed their father‘s dress and said, ‘Dear father, sit down. By Allah, we cannot afford to miss you. Then they told Umm Kulthum, ‘Leave the decision of your marriage to him.’

Umm Kulthum said, ‘I have done so.’

Ali said, ‘I will marry you to Awn ibn Ja‘far, who is an adolescent.’

Thereupon, Ali returned to Umm Kulthum taking her four thousand dirham. Then he informed his nephew and sent her to him.

Hasan ibn Hasan says: ‘By Allah, ever since the beginning of creation as of now, I know of no love to be like her love of Awn.’”0

The eleventh narration

Abu Ishaq, Ibrahim ibn Ya‘qub ibn Ishaq Jouzjani narrates from Yazid ibn Haroon, from Hammad ibn Salamah, from Ammar ibn Abi Ammar that he said, “Both Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali, and Zaid, the son of Umar died. We shrouded those two and Saeid ibn Aas offered funeral prayer on them with Hasan, Husain and Abu Hurairah praying behind him.”

The twelfth narration

Ibrahim ibn Ya‘qub narrates from Yazid ibn Haroon, he from Ismail ibn Abi Khalid that he said, “Aamir was asked as to how the prayer on the corpses of men and women were offered to which he replied, ‘When I arrived, I saw Abdullah ibn Umar offering funeral prayer on his brother and his mother Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib.’”10

3. Hakim Nishaburi’s Narration in Al-Mustadrak

Hakim, Abu Abdullah Nishaburi (d. 405 A.H.), has narrated only one tradition in this regard as follows:

Hassan ibn Ya‘qub and Ibrahim ibn Ismat, both fair and just, from Sarri ibn Khuzaymah, from Mu‘alla ibn Asad,11 from Wuhaib ibn Khalid, from Ja‘far ibn Muhammad [i.e. Imam Sadiq (a.s.)], from his father, from Ali ibn Hussain, who said, ‘Umar asked Ali for the hand of Umm Kulthum in marriage and said, ‘Marry her to me.’

Ali said, ‘I have kept my daughters for Jafar‘s son.’

Umar said, ‘Marry her to me, for by Allah, there is no man on earth who seeks to achieve through her good companionship that which I seek to achieve!’

Then Umar came to the Muhajirun and said, ‘Don‘t you congratulate me?’

They asked, ‘With whom are we congratulating you, O Commander of the Faithful?’

He replied, ‘With the daughter of Ali and Fatima, daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S). I head the Messenger of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.”

I desired to include myself in the Prophet's lineage through this marriage.’

After reporting this narration, Hakim then says, ‘This tradition is authentic in terms of the chain of transmission, but Bukhari and Muslim have not narrated it.’12

4. Bayhaqi’s Narrations in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra

Abu Bakr Bayhaqi (d. 457 A.H.) has reported some narrations in this regard which are as follows.

The first narration

Abu Abdullah, Hafidh (i.e. Hakim, the author of Al-Mustadrak) from Hassan ibn Ya‘qub and Ibrahim ibn Ismat, reports that Sarri ibn Khuzaymah reported from Mu‘alla ibn Asad, he from Wuhaib ibn Khalid who narrated, “Ja‘far ibn Muhammad (i.e.Imam Sadiq (a.s.)) reported from his father, he from Ali ibn Hussain; Likewise from Abul Abbas, Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub, from Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar, from Yunus ibn Bukair, from ibn Ishaq, from Abu Ja‘far (i.e. Imam Baqir (a.s.)), from his father, from Ali ibn Hussain that:

When Umar married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib, he came to the Muhajirun between the grave (of the Messenger of Allah) and the pulpit where the people in attendance congratulated him and wished him well.

Addressing the people, Umar said, ‘Behold! I swear by Allah that what impelled me to marry her, was a tradition that I had heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) who said:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.”

Having quoted this narration, Bayhaqi says, “This is the text of Ibn Ishaq‘s narration, but it is, in terms of the chain of transmission, considered to be ‘mursal’13 and ‘hasan’ (good). That is because it has also been narrated with a broken chain of transmission.

The second narration

Abu Husain ibn Bishran reported from Da‘laj ibn Ahmad, from Musa ibn Haroon, from Sufyan, from Waki‘ ibn Jarrah, from Rooh ibn Ubadah, from Ibn Jurayj, from Ibn Abi Malikah, from Hasan ibn Hasan and he from his father that he said:

Umar asked Imam Ali for the hand of Bibi Umm Kulthum in marriage. Ali said, ‘She is too young to be married.’

Umar said, ‘I heard the Prophet of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.”

I desired to place myself in the Prophet's lineage through this marriage.

Ali turned to Hasan and Husain and said, ‘Marry Umm Kulthum to your uncle!’

They said, ‘Umm Kulthum, like all other women, is free to choose whomever as husband.’

Ali stood up angrily (!) but Hasan pulled his lap and said, ‘We cannot afford to miss you.’

Ali said, ‘Then marry her to Umar.’14

Bayhaqi has included this narration again under “The Narrations about Fathers Marrying out Their Virgin Daughters.”15

Turkmani, the author of the book of Al-Jouhar Al-Naqi, says, “Bayhaqi, in this section of his book, has narrated the marriage of the Prophet and a six-year-old Aisha, the marriage of Umar and Ali‘s daughter at a young age, and some of the Prophet‘s companions who married out their young daughters…. As for Aisha and Ali‘s daughter, they were young (and had not yet reached the age of puberty).”

5. Khatib Baghdadi’s Narrations in Tarikh Baghdad

Khatib Baghdadi (d. 463 A.H.) explaining the biography of Ibrahim ibn Mahran Marwazi in his Tarikh Baghdad, narrates a tradition with his chain of transmission. The narration reads: Laith ibn Sa‘ad Qaysi, a servant of Bani Rafa‘ah in the year 171 AH in Egypt, reports from Musa ibn Ali ibn Rabah Lakhmi, from his father, from Uqba ibn Aamir Juhani, who narrated:

Umar ibn Al-Khattab asked Ali ibn Abi Talib for the hand of Umm Kulthum (daughter of Fatima) in marriage, and frequently visiting Ali‘s house on this matter. He told Ali, ‘O Abul Hassan, what has made me to come to you time and again is a saying which I heard from the Prophet of Allah (S) that:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.”

I wish to place myself in the Prophet's lineage through this marriage.’

Ali stood up and called for his daughter, made her up (!) and then sent her to Amirul Mu‘meneen, Umar. Seeing Umm Kulthum, Umar stood up and grabbed her ankle and said, 'Tell your father that I am willing, I am willing, I am willing.’

When the girl returned to his father, Ali said, ‘What did Amirul Mu‘meneen say?’

Umm Kulthum said, ‘When Umar saw me, he got up, took me in his lap, kissed me (!), and when I got up to leave, he grabbed my ankle and said, 'Tell your father that I am willing.’

Then Ali married her to Umar. She gave birth to Zaid ibn Umar ibn Khattab who lived until he grew old and died.16

6. Ibn Abd Al-Barr’s Narrations in Al-Isti’ab

Ibn Abd Al-Barr Qurtubi (d. 643 A.H.) has also reported some narrations in this regard which are as follows:

The first narration

Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib, was born before the demise of the Prophet of Allah (S). Her mother was Fatima Zahra, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S). Umar ibn Khattab asked Ali ibn Abi Talib for her hand in marriage.

Ali said, “She is young.’

Umar said, “Marry her to me! I shall observe her dignity more than anyone else.”

Ali said, “I will send her to you, if you like her, I shall marry her to you.”

Ali then sent the girl with a piece of cloth and told her to say [to Umar] 'This is the scarf that I was talking about'. She conveyed these words to Umar, who said, “Tell your father that I have accepted.” Umar then touched the girl's calf pulling aside the garment.17

She exclaimed, 'You have done this to me? If it hadn't been for the fact that you are the Commander of the Faithful, I would have broken your nose'. The girl went home and repeated the episode to her father, stating 'You sent me to a foul man.'

With that Ali said, “My daughter, he is your husband.”

Thereupon, Umar went over to the Muhajirun near the pulpit of the Prophet (S), where the early Muhajirun used to gather. Addressing them, he said, “Congratulate me.”

They said, “What for, O Amirul Mu‘umeneen?”

He said, “I have married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib. I heard the Prophet of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

‘Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.’

I was related to the Prophet (S) but I wish to place myself in the Prophet's lineage through this marriage.”

The Muhajirun congratulated him.

The second narration

Abdul Warith reports from Qasim, from Khushani, from Ibn Abi Umar, from Sufyan, from Amr ibn Dinar, from Muhammad (Ibn Hanafiyah) the son of Ali, who narrates, “Umar ibn Khattab asked Ali for her daughter‘s hand (Umm Kulthum) in marriage. Ali replied that she was too young.

They told Umar, ‘Ali has rejected you.’

Umar returned to Ali to ask again for his daughter‘s hand in marriage.

Ali said, ‘I will send her to you, if you like her, she will be your wife.’

Then Ali sent her daughter to Umar, and Umar pulled away the cloth from her calf (!). Umm Kulthum said, ‘Take off your hands! Were it not for the fact that you are the Commander of the Faithful, I would have blinded you.’

The third narration

Ibn Wahab reports from Abdul Rahman ibn Zaid ibn Aslam, from his father, from his grandfather who narrates that: Umar ibn Khattab married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib with a dowry of four thousand dirham!

The fourth narration

Abu Umar says: Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib, gave birth to two children named Zaid and Ruqayyah from Umar ibn Khattab. She and her son Zaid died on the same day.

Zaid was injured in a battle which took place overnight among Bani Adi clan. He had gone to settle the dispute between the warring parties when someone hit him in the dark. He got fatally injured and collapsed. A while later he died, his death coinciding with the death of his mother.

Ibn Umar prayed on both of them as suggested by Hasan ibn Ali.

As they say, two traditions were performed about these two people:

None of them inherited from the other, since it was not clear who passed away first.

Zaid‘s corpse was placed in front of his mother‘s corpse on the side where the prayer leader stood.1

7. Ibn Athir’s Narrations in Usd Al-Ghabah

Ibn Athir Jazari (d. 630 A.H.) has also related some narrations in this regard in his book titled Usd Al-Ghabah. His narrations are as follows:

The first narration

Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S) was born before the demise of the Holy Prophet (S).

Umar ibn Khattab asked Ali ibn Abi Talib for his daughter‘s hand in marriage. Ali replied that she was too young.

Umar said. ‘There is no man who seeks to achieve through her good companionship that which I seek to achieve.’

Ali said, ‘I will send her to you and if you are pleased, I shall marry her to you.’

Then Ali sent Umm Kulthum to Umar with a piece of cloth and instructed her to tell Umar that it was the cloth he was talking about.

Umm Kulthum conveyed Umar her father‘s message. Umar told her, ‘I am pleased, may Allah be pleased with you.’ He then touched her!

‘Why are you doing this?’ Umm Kulthum objected. ‘Had it not been for the fact that you are Commander of the Faithful, I would have broken your nose.’

Then she went home and repeated the episode to her father, stating 'You sent me to a foul old man.'

With that Ali said, 'My daughter, he is your husband'.

Thereupon, Umar went to the place of the Muhajirun near the pulpit of the Prophet (S), where the early Muhajirun used to gather. He sat beside them and said, ‘Congratulate me.’

They said, ‘What for, O Amirul Mu‘umeneen?’

He said, ‘I have married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib. I heard the Prophet of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

‘Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.’

I was related to the Prophet (S) but I wish to place myself in the Prophet's lineage through this marriage.

Then the Muhajirun congratulated him.

Umar married Umm Kulthum with a dowry of forty thousand dirhams! The fruit of this marriage was two children named Zaid son of the Greater Umar and Ruqayyah. Umm Kulthum and her son, Zaid, died on the same day.

Zaid was injured in the battle which took place overnight among Bani Adi clan. He had gone to solve the dispute between the two warring sides when someone hit him in the dark. He got fatally injured and collapsed. Zaid was alive for a while but then he breathed his last on the same day as his mother.

Ibn Umar prayed on both of them as proposed by Hasan ibn Ali. When Umar was killed, Awn ibn Ja‘far married Umm Kulthum!

The second narration

Abdul Wahab ibn Ali ibn Ali Amin reports from Abu Fadhl Muhammad ibn Nasir, from Khatib Abu Tahir Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Saqar, from Abul Barakat Ahmad ibn Abdul Wahid ibn Fadhl ibn Nadhif ibn Abdullah Farra who narrates that he told Ahmad:

“Has Abu Muhammad Hassan ibn Rashiq narrated to you?”

He said, “Yes, Abu Bushr Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hammad Dulabi reported from Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar, from Yunus ibn Bukair, from Ibn Ishaq, from Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib who said:

‘When Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was widowed of Umar, her brothers Hasan and Husain went to her saying:

‘You are known as the chief of Muslim women and the daughter of the best lady. We swear by Allah that if you leave your decision to Ali, he will definitely marry you to one of his orphans (!) and if you wish to get substantial wealth (!!), you will definitely get it.’

I swear by Allah, no sooner did they stand up than Ali arrived while he was leaning on his walking stick. Praising and thanking Allah, he reminded them of their status and dignity to the Prophet of Allah (S) and said: O the children of Fatima, you are aware of your status and dignity and you know well that I have given you priority over my other children owing to your position and relationship to the Messenger of Allah (S).

They said: ‘You are right, may Allah bless you and may He reward you on our behalf.’

Ali turned to his daughter and said: My daughter, Allah has granted you the authority to handle your matter yourself, but I wish you to leave that to me.

Umm Kulthum said: Dear father, I swear by Allah that I am also a woman, and I too have the aspirations of other women (!!), I would love to enjoy the world as much as any other women; I wish to decide for myself what I should do regarding this matter.

Ali said: My daughter, I swear by Allah that it is not your view but it is that of these two!

Then he stood up and said: You will either do this or you will never talk to any of these two!

Hasan and Husain grabbed their father‘s lap and said: Dear father, sit down. By Allah, we cannot afford to miss you. Turning to Umm Kulthum, they said: Leave your matter to him.

‘I have done so,’ Umm Kulthum answered.

Ali said: I will marry you to Awn ibn Ja‘far, who is an adolescent. Thereupon, Ali returned to Umm Kulthum giving her four thousand dirham and sending her to Awn.

This narration has also been reported by Abu Umar.

8. Ibn Hajar’s Narrations in Al-Isabah

Ibn Hajar Asqalani, who died in the year 852 A.H., has also reported some narrations in this regard which are as under:

The first narration

Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib was a descendant of Hashim, her mother was Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S). She was born during the lifetime of the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him and his descendants.

Abu Umar says, ‘She was born before the demise of the Holy Prophet (S).’

Ibn Abi Umar Maqdisi says: ‘Sufyan reported from Umar, from Muhammad ibn Ali [Imam Baqir (a.s.)] that he said: Umar ibn Khattab asked Ali for her daughter‘s hand (Umm Kulthum) in marriage. Ali replied that she was too young.

They told Umar, ‘Ali has rejected you.’

Umar returned to Ali to ask again for his daughter‘s hand in marriage.

Ali said: I will send her to you, if you like her, she will be your wife.

Then Ali sent her daughter to Umar who pulled away the cloth from her calf! Umm Kulthum said: Take off your hands! Were it not for the fact that you are the Commander of the Faithful, I would have blinded you.

The second narration

Ibn Wahab reports from Abdul Rahman Ibn Zaid Ibn Aslam, from his father, from his grandfather who narrates that Umar married Umm Kulthum with a dowry of forty thousand dirham!

The third narration

Zubair says: Umm Kulthum bore two children from Umar by the names of Zaid and Ruqayyah. Umm Kulthum passed away on the same day as her son.

Zaid was injured during the battle that took place amongst Bani Adi, where he had gone to settle the dispute between the warring parties when someone hit him in the dark. He got fatally injured and collapsed. His mother was also sick, and they both died on the same day.

The fourth narration

In his Al-Durriyat Al-Tahirah Abu Bushr Dulabi narrates on the authority of Ibn Ishaq:

Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Ali says: When Umar, the husband of Umm Kulthum died and she was widowed of him, her brothers Hasan and Husain went to her and said to her: If you yourself make your decision and want to get substantial wealth, you shall definitely get it.‖ Then Ali entered the house, thanked and praised Allah and said: My daughter, Allah has granted you the authority to handle your matter yourself, but I wish you leave the matter to me.

Umm Kulthum said: Dear father, I swear by Allah that I am also a woman, and I too have the aspirations and desires of all other women and I would love to enjoy the world as much as any other women do.

Ali said: My daughter, I swear by Allah that it is not your view but rather that of these two!

Then he stood up and said: You either do this or I will never talk to any of these two!

They surrounded Umm Kulthum and wanted her to accept the proposal.

She accepted and got married to Awn ibn Ja‘far.

The fifth narration

Dar Qutni has referred to Umm Kulthum in in Al- Ikhwah and has said:

When Awn died, his brother Muhammad married Umm Kulthum! After a while, Awn too died whereupon his brother Abdullah married her (!) and Umm Kulthum died in Abdullah's house.

Ibn Sa‘ad has also reported a narration similar to the above saying at the end: Umm Kulthum used to refer to the incident saying: I feel embarrassed towards Asma bint Umais whose two sons died when they were in my company, and I am worried about the third one.

Umm Kulthum died in Abdullah ibn Ja‘far‘s house and did not bear a child with anyone of them.

The sixth narration

Ibn Sa‘ad reports from Anas Ibn Ayadh, from Ja‘far ibn Muhammad, from his father who said:

Umar ibn Khattab asked Ali for his daughter‘s hand in marriage. Ali said: ―I have kept my daughters for the sons of Ja‘far.

Umar said: Marry her to me, for by Allah, there is no man on earth who seeks to achieve through her good companionship that which I seek to achieve.

Ali said: I have accepted.

Umar went to the place of the Muhajirun and told them: Congratulate me.

They congratulated him, and asked: Whom have you married? He replied: ―I have married the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Indeed, the Prophet of Allah (S) said:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means will be cut off and every lineage severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage.’

I had given the Prophet a daughter, but I also loved to (marry a daughter from his family).18

  • 1. In spite of the fact that in Sunni sources the greeting‘ (salawat) after the Holy Prophet‘s name is written incompletely, we, as the Prophet (S) himself recommended, have written it completely.
  • 2. We have used signs of exclamation (!!) in our translation of some of the weird, unthinkable and objectionable passages cited from their sources.
  • 3. Ibn Sa'ad, Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra vol.8 p.338 (ed. Dar Al-Kotob Al-'Ilmiyyah, Beirut 1990)
  • 4. Some translators have translated this tradition as such: “On the Judgment Day every means will be cut off and every lineage severed except my lineage.”
  • 5. A freed slave is known as ‘Mawla’
  • 6. Al-Tabaqatu Al-Kubra,8/338 – 340.
  • 7. In the printed copy of the book, it has been written in this part of the books as such: There is a word here which is not readable! But the original sentence is this: “No, I swear by Allah! That is not true.”
  • 8. In the printed copy of the book, it has been written as such: There is a word here which is not readable! But in the tradition of Muhibuddin Al-Tabari, there is not any word.
  • 9. From the collection of traditions and the above statement, it is concluded that Hazrat Ali (a.s.) was against this marriage and because of the threats from Umar, Aqil wanted this marriage to take place and his anger too, was because of this.
  • 10. Al-Durriyat Al-Tahirah, 157 – 165.
  • 11. In the text of Al-Mustadrak , it has been recorded as ―Mu‘alla ibn Rashid‖ which is wrong.
  • 12. Al-Mustadrak, 3/153, Ma‟rifat Al-Sahabah (Manaqib Amirul Mu‟uminin Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him), No. 4684).
  • 13. Hurried or a tradition in which the chain of narrators is omitted
  • 14. Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, 7/101 and 102 numbers 13393 and 13394.
  • 15. Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, 7/185 number 13660.
  • 16. Tarikh Baghdad, 6/180.
  • 17. Al-Isti‟ab, 4/509 & 510.
  • 18. Al-Isabah, 8/464 and 465.