Umm Kulthum bint Ali

Umm Kulthum bint Ali "the Elder" (Arabic: أم كلثوم بنت علي) (630 - before 680) was a companion and granddaughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the daughter of Caliph Ali.


She was born in Medina on 8 July 630 (Gregorian) (Wednesday 18 Rabi'ul-Awwal 9 AH), the fourth child of Ali and of Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah. Her siblings were Hasan, Husayn and Zaynab.[1]:18


Ali wanted his daughters to marry his brother Ja'far's sons, but some believe that Umm Kulthum's hand in marriage was requested by the Caliph Umar, who promised, "No man on the face of the earth will treat her better than I will." However, some are of the view this marriage with Umar did not happen at all and is a fabrication.[2] Her brother Hasan remarked that he had never seen such passionate love as Umm Kulthum's for Awn. However, Awn died after only a short time.[3] After Awn's death, Ali married Umm Kulthum to his brother Muhammad,[1]:299[4] again for 4,000 dirhams. But Muhammad also died.[3] After the deaths of her husband Muhammad and her sister Zaynab, Umm Kulthum became one of the wives of Awn and Muhammad's eldest brother Abdullah.[1]:299[4][5][6] She remarked: "I was not shy with [my mother-in-law] Asma bint Umays. Two of her sons died while married to me, but I did not fear this for the third."[1]:299

There is story of Ali protested that she had not yet reached puberty, but Umar commanded that she be presented to him. Ali gave his daughter a striped garment and instructed her: "Take this to the Commander of the Faithful and tell him: 'My father says, "If you like this garment, keep it; if you don't like it, return it."'" When Umm Kulthum brought this message to Umar, she reported, "He did not undo the garment nor look at anything except at me." He told her that he was pleased, and so Ali consented to the marriage.[1]:299-300 Umar gave his bride a dower of 40,000 dirhams,[7] and the marriage was consummated in November or December 638 (Dhu'l-Qaada 17 AH).[8] They had two children, Zayd and Ruqayya.[9][1]:299

One story from their married life tells how Umm Kulthum sent a gift of perfume to the Empress of Byzantium. The Empress sent back a "superb" necklace for Umm Kulthum. Umar believed that his wife should not have conducted a private correspondence at the expense of the state postal service, so he reimbursed her for the cost of the perfume and placed the Empress’s necklace in the state treasury.[10] Nevertheless, it was said that Umar treated Umm Kulthum "with extreme honour and respect" because she was Muhammad's granddaughter.[11]

Some believe that after Umar's death in 644, Umm Kulthum married her young cousin, Ja'far's son Awn[1]:299[4][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] for a dower of 4,000 dirhams. Umm Kulthum had no children by her later marriages.[1]:299


Umm Kulthum and her son Zayd died at the same time, in Abdullah's lifetime. Eighty people attended their funeral,[1]:299 where Sa'id ibn al-'As conducted the prayers, and the congregation included Abdullah ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah.[23]

Umm Kulthum is buried in Baab Sagheer cemetery in Damascus, Syria. The Mausoleum of Umm-Kulthum is located in Arrawiya village in Damascus.

Fatimid believes that she is also known as younger Zainab and buried at Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque, Damascus whereas senior Zainab bint Ali had lived the end of her life in Cairo[24] and, buried at Zaynab Mosque, Cairo.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  2. Umar’s Marriage to Umm Kulthum in Shiite Narrations. (n.d) Retrieved from
  3. 1 2 Guillaume, A. (1960). New Light on the Life of Muhammad, p. 51. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  4. 1 2 3 Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Kathir. Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya. Translated by Le Gassick, T. (2000). The Life of the Prophet Muhammad Volume 4, pp. 418, 438. Reading, U.K.: Garnet Publishing.
  5. Al-Tusi, Nasir Al-Din. Al-Mabsoot. pp. Volume 4, pg 272.
  6. Baqir, Muhammad. Mir'at ul-Uqool. pp. Volume 21, pg 199.
  7. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Smith, G. R. (1994). Volume 14: The Conquest of Iran, p. 101. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  8. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Juynboll, G. H. A. (1989). Volume 13: The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt, pp. 109-110. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  9. Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr, p. 204. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  10. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Humphreys, R. S. (1990). Volume 15: The Crisis of the Early Caliphate, p. 28. Albany: State University of New York Press
  11. Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Kathir. Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya. Translated by Le Gassick, T. (2000). The Life of the Prophet Muhammad Volume 4, p. 438. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing.
  12. Shustari, Qazi Nurullah. Majalis ul-Mo’mineen. pp. 85–89.
  13. al-Murtaza, Sharif. Al-Shaafi. p. 116.
  14. Al-Hadid, Hibatullah. Sharh Nahj ul-Balagha. 3. p. 124.
  15. Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir. Bihar al-Anwar. p. 621.
  16. Ardabili, Muqaddas. Hadiqat al-Shi’a. p. 277.
  17. Shustari, Qazi Nurullah. Masa'ib un-Nawasib. p. 170.
  18. Al-Amili, Zayn al-Din al-Juna'i. "Lawahiq-al-'Aqd". Masalik al-Ifham fi Sharh Shara-il-Islam. 1.
  19. Qumi, Abbas. Muntahi al-Aamal. 1. p. 186.
  20. Shahidi, Sayyed Ja'far. Life of Fatemeh Zahra(SA). pp. 263–265.
  21. Baqir, Muhammad. Mir'at ul-Uqool. 21. p. 199.
  22. Al-Tusi, Nasir Al-Din. Al-Mabsoot. 4. p. 272.
  23. Nasa'i 3:21:1980.
  24. "Balaghatun Nisa", by Abul Fazl Ahmad bin Abi Tahir

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/1/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.