Children Of Muhammad

The children of Muhammad include the three sons and four daughters of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The common view is that all were born to Muhammad’s first wife Khadija bint Khuwaylid except one son, named Ibrahim, who was born to Maria al-Qibtiyya. However, it has been suggested by Shia scholars that three of Muhammad’s daughters were, in fact, adopted. Muhammad also had an adopted son, Zayd ibn Harithah.

Sunni view

In chronological order, most Sunni sources list Muhammad’s children as

  • Qasim (CE 598 – 601)
  • Zainab (CE 599 – 629)
  • Ruqayyah (CE 601 – 624)
  • Umm Kulthum (CE 603 – 630)
  • Fatimah (CE 605 – 632) (disputed date-of-birth)
  • Abdullah (CE 611 – 615)
  • Ibrahim (CE 630 – 632)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mosque

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mosque

Twelver Shia view

A number of Shia sources argue that three of Muhammad’s daughters were, in fact, adopted by Muhammad. These sources list Zainab, Ruqayyah, and Umm Kulthum as the daughters of Hala, Khadija’s sister, who were adopted by Muhammad after her death. According to Abbas, most Shia Muslims hold that Fatimah was Muhammad’s only biological daughter.


Muhammad’s sons all died in childhood. Their early deaths have been viewed as detrimental to a hereditary-based system of succession to Muhammad. According to Madelung, however, after the past prophets, their descendants became the spiritual and material heirs to them in the Quran, a matter that is settled therein by divine selection and not by the faithful.

Muhammad’s daughters reached adulthood but they all died relatively young. Fatimah married Ali, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum married Uthman one after another, and Zainab married Abu al-As ibn al-Rabi. Umm Kulthum remained childless whereas Ruqayya gave birth to a boy Abd Allah, who died at the age of six. Zaynab gave birth to a son Ali and a daughter Umama, whom Ali married after Fatima’s death. Fatimah gave birth to two boys, Hasan and Husayn, and it through her that Muhammad’s progeny has spread throughout the Muslim world. The descendants of Fatimah are given the honorific titles sayyid (lit. ’lord, sir’) or sharif (lit. ’noble’), and are respected in the Muslim community.

Muhammad’s attitude and treatment towards his children, enshrined in the hadith literature, is viewed by Muslims as an exemplar to be imitated. However, critics have noted favoritism towards his daughter Fatimah in refusing her husband Ali’s pursuit of a second wife, despite the Islamic legality of polygamy. While there is evidence that Fatimah was the favorite daughter, the historicity of the allegation against Ali is disputed.

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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