Hafsa Bint-e-Umar (R.A.)

Hafsa (R.A.) was the daughter of Umar bin Al Khattab (R.A.). She (R.A.) had been married to someone else, but was widowed when she (R.A.) was still very young, only eighteen. Umar (R.A.) asked both Abu Bakr (R.A.) and Usman bin Affan (R.A.), one after another, if they (R.A.) would like to marry her (R.A.), but they both declined because they knew that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had expressed an interest in marrying her (R.A.) but Umar (R.A.) didn’t know about this. When Umar (R.A.) went to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to complain about their (R.A.) behavior, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) smiled, and said, “Hafsa (R.A.) will marry one better than Usman and Usman will marry one better than Hafsa (R.A.).” Umar (R.A.) was startled and then realized that it was the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asking for her (R.A.) hand in marriage. He (R.A.) was overcome with delight. They were married just after the battle of Badr. By this marriage, the Prophet
(Peace be upon him) strengthened the ties between two of his (Peace be upon him) closest Companions (R.A.), the two who would become the first two rightly guided Khalifas (Caliphs) after his (Peace be upon him) death. He (Peace be upon him) was now married to the daughter of Abu Bakr (R.A.), Aisha (R.A.) and to the daughter of Umar (R.A.), Hafsa (R.A.).
Two of the other closest Companions (R.A.) of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who would become the third and fourth rightly guided Khalifas (Caliphs) were also connected to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) through marriage. Usman bin Affan (R.A.) married Ruqayya (R.A.), the daughter of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), in Makkah, and then, after her (R.A.) death in Medina, soon after the battle of Badr, he (R.A.) had married Umm-e-Khulsum (R.A.), also the daughter of the Prophet
(Peace be upon him). Because Usman (R.A.) married two of the daughters of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), he (R.A.) was given the title of Zun Nurayn, which means ‘the possessor of two lights’. And Ali bin Abi Talib (R.A.) married with Fatima (R.A.), the youngest daughter of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), shortly before the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had married Aisha (R.A.).
Hafsa (R.A.), like Aisha (R.A.) with whom she (R.A.) became close friends, was never at a loss for words, and was not afraid to argue with the Prophet
(Peace be upon him) who was content to allow her (R.A.) to say what she (R.A.) thought. Once while speaking to Hafsa’s (R.A.) mother Umar (R.A.) said, “I think I shall so and so.” Whereupon his (R.A.) wife replied, “But it would be better if you (R.A.) did such and such.” “Are you arguing with me, woman?” said Umar (R.A.) who was a fierce man who did not expect his (R.A.) wives to talk back at him (R.A.). “Why not?” she (R.A.) answered. “Your daughter keeps arguing with the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) until she (R.A.) upsets him (Peace be upon him) for the whole day.” Umar (R.A.) immediately put on his (R.A.) cloak and went directly to his (R.A.) daughter’s house. “Is it true that you argue with the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)?” he (R.A.) asked. “Indeed I do.” She (R.A.) replied. Umar (R.A.) was just about to chastise her (R.A.) for what he (R.A.) considered were bad manners, when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came into the room and would not allow him (R.A.) to even touch her (R.A.).
Like Aisha (R.A.), Hafsa (R.A.) memorized the entire Quran by heart. The written copy of the Quran which was recorded by Zayd bin Sabit on Abu Bakr’s (R.A.) instructions and which was then given to Umar (R.A.) for safe keeping was then given by Umar (R.A.) to Hafsa (R.A.) to look after. When Usman (R.A.) eventually became the Khalifa (Caliph), he (R.A.) instructed several written copies of the Quran to be made so that they could be sent to the main centers of the now rapidly expanding Muslim empire, and it was the copy in Hafsa’s (R.A.) keeping that was used, after it had been carefully checked for its accuracy by referring to all the other written records of the Quran and to all the Muslims who knew the Quran by heart.
Hafsa (R.A.) lived with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in Medina for eight years and lived on for another thirty four years after his (Peace be upon him) death, witnessing with joy the victories and expansion of Islam under her father’s (R.A.) guidance, and with sorrow the troubles that beset the Muslim community after the murder of Usman (R.A.). She (R.A.) died in 47 AH at the age of sixty-three. May Allah be pleased with her (R.A.).