|Zayd ibn Harithah
زيد بن حارثة
|Known for||Adopted son of Muhammad
Zayd ibn Harithah (Arabic: زيد بن حارثة) or Zayd mawla Muhammad (c. 588-629 CE) was a prominent figure in the early Islamic community and the only one of sahaba whose name appears in the Qur'an (33:37). As he was the adopted son of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, before Islam abolished adoption in exchange of Kafala. He was an early convert to Islam and later, a military leader. He died c. 629 CE at the Battle of Mu'tah.
Early life 
Zayd bin Harith was the son of Harith, of the Makhdhoom tribe that lived to the north of Mecca. During a raid, raiders had captured the boy, Zayd. He was taken as a slave and sold at the great fair of Ukaz. At the festival of Ukaz, Zayd along with a few other slaves were purchased by Hakim bin Hizam and taken back to Mecca. Hakim bin Hizam then offered to Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the wife of Muhammad, to choose any slave for herself. She chose Zayd, who was then taken to her household. On the occasion of her marriage to Muhammad, Muhammad had set free his slave Baraka. Baraka was a slave woman who was owned by the father of Muhammad, Abdullah bin Abdul Muttalib. After the passing away of his father, this slave Baraka, had come into the custody of Muhammad. He had set her free on the occasion of marriage to Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. He often referred to (Baraka) her as his ummi (mother) in later days. Also on the occasion of marriage, Khadijah had given Zayd as a gift to her new husband.
On one occasion, some people of Makhdhoom were passing through Mecca. Zayd, having seen his own people, composed some poetry, which he left with them to take home to his family. Zayd's father and uncle were searching for their son and nephew and when they received the news of him along with this poetry. They immediately set out for Mecca. Upon entering Mecca, they were informed of Muhammad (in whose custody Zayd was), and set out to find Muhammad. Upon meeting Muhammad, Muhammad first asked Zayd to confirm the identity of these men. After Zayd confirmed the identity of his father and uncle, they offered to pay any price Muhammad wished for Zayd. However, Muhammad presented another offer. He offered a choice to Zayd, that if he wished, he could leave with his father and uncle for no fee, but if he chose to remain in Mecca, he would remain in the custody of Muhammad (as a slave) and his father and uncle would return without dispute.
Zayd, a young man of tender age, surprised everyone, by choosing slavery at the hands of Muhammad over freedom and being re-united with his family. This came as a shock to his father and uncle, who had no choice but to accept the decision of this young man.
Muhammad then set out for the Kabah, where he proclaimed his manumitting (freeing) and adoption of Zayd as his own son. This action of Zayd was very heart moving and beloved to Muhammad.
Zayd was the natural son of a man named Harithah and was adopted by Muhammad. Many years later Harithah found Zayd and asked if his son wanted to go home with him. Zayd said no and that he would stay due to the great love that Muhammad had shown him. Little is known of Zayd's natural father. Some sources say that Harithah was descended from the Arab poet Imru' al-Qais. One or more of his ancestors may have been of African descent, as he is said to have had very dark skin.
Zayd is said to have been captured in an inter-tribal war and sold as a slave. He was given as a present to Muhammad's first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. She gave him to Muhammad as a present and he freed him and treated him as a son. He was then known as Zayd ibn Muhammad (Zayd son of Muhammad). He lived with Muhammad and Khadijah in their household in the city of Mecca in the Hejaz region of western Arabia.
Conversion to Islam 
When Muhammad reported that he had received a revelation from the angel Gabriel, his wife Khadijah believed and thus became the first convert to Islam. While the identity of the first male convert is disputed, Zayd is a strong possibility, as are Ali and Abu Bakr. Regardless, Zayd was clearly among the first Muslims. As Muhammad's adopted son he quickly became an important figure in the small community of pre-Hijra Meccan Muslims.
Adoption abolished 
Later on, this form of adoption became forbidden. Quranic revelation  carried the new legislation which is known as Kafala. Afterwards, he retained his name Zayd ibn Harithah but continued to live with Muhammad.
Marriage to Zaynab bint Jahsh 
When Muhammad went to the house of Zaynab bint Jahsh to ask her hand for his adopted son, the family was shocked as they were excepting Muhammad to marry Zaynab bint Jahsh who also was his cousin, however the marriage took place, because Muhammad was systematically expunging the society of slavery and racism. His cousin Zaynab was an aristocrat, while Zayd, his adopted son, was not of high caliber and was at the end of the hierarchy. History notes, that when Muhammad emancipated the slaves, he personally would see to it, that they would get married, have a source of income, and try to bring them into the social fabric. Unfortunately the marriage between Zayd and Zaynab did not last long due to the lack of understanding between the couple and later Zayd divorced her. Allah ordered Muhammad to marry her to reinforce the cancellation of that form of adoption, and to remove the social taboo that the ignorant Arabs of old, had implemented in that one could not marry the wife of their adopted son. Abdullah Ibn Umar said, "We only called him Zaid Ibn Muhammad till the verse "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men' was revealed.""
It is worthwhile to quote here what Ibn Sa`d and al-Tabari said concerning this story:
Muhammad Ibn Yahya Ibn Hayyan narrated, "The Messenger of God came to Zaid Ibn Haritha's house seeking him. Perhaps the Messenger of God missed him at that time, that is why he said, 'Where is Zaid?' He went to his house seeking him and, when he did not find him, Zainab Bint Jahsh stood up to [meet] him in a house-dress, but the Messenger of God turned away from her. She said, 'He is not here, Messenger of God, so please come in; my father and mother are your ransom.' The Messenger of God refused to come in. Zainab had hurried to dress herself when she heard that the Messenger of God was at her door, so she leapt in a hurry, and the Messenger of God liked her when she did that. The heart of the Prophet was filled with admiration for her He went away muttering something that was hardly understandable but for this sentence: 'Praise be to God who disposes the hearts.' When Zaid came back home, she told him that the Messenger of God came. Zaid asked, 'You asked him to come in, didn't you?' She replied, 'I bade him to, but he refused.' He said, 'Have you heard [him say] anything?' She answered, 'When he had turned away, I heard him say something that I could hardly understand. I heard him say, "Praise be to God who disposes the hearts." ' Zaid went out to the Messenger of God and said, 'O Messenger of God, I learned that you came to my house. Did you come in? O Messenger of God, my father and mother are your ransom. Perhaps you liked Zainab. I can leave her.' The Messenger of God said, 'Hold on to your wife.' Zaid said, 'O Messenger of God, I will leave her.' The Messenger of God said, 'Keep your wife.' So when Zaid left her, she finished her legal period after she had isolated herself from Zaid. While the Messenger of God was sitting and talking with `A´isha, he was taken in a trance, and when it lifted, he smiled and said, 'Who will go to Zainab to tell her that God wedded her to me from heaven?' The Messenger of God recited; 'Thus you told someone whom God had favoured and whom you yourself have favoured: "Hold on to your wife." ' `A´isha said, 'I heard much about her beauty and, moreover, about how God wedded her from heaven, and I said, "For sure she will boast over this with us." ' Salama, the slave of the Messenger of God, hurried to tell her about that. She gave her some silver jewellery that she was wearing."
So, this charge that the dissimulators, among others, leveled against Muhammad necessitated the revelation of more Qur'anic verses:
(Sura al-Ahzab Q.33: 40): "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but [he is] God's Messenger and the Seal of the Prophets. God is Aware of everything!"
(Sura al-Ahzab Q.33: 37): "We married her off to you so that there would be no objection for believers in respect to their adopted sons' wives once they have accomplished their purpose with them. God's command must be done!"
In the verse (33:37) there is stated a particular purpose for this revelation and action of Muhammad. It is not for himself, but it is for the future of the Muslim community. It is so that in future there may not be a problem if anybody (father-in-law) wants to marry the divorced wife of an adopted son. “We permitted you to marry her so that it may hence be legitimate and morally blameless for a believer to marry the wife of his adopted son.”
The Hijra 
Military expeditions led by Zayd ibn Harithah during the time of Muhammad 
During the time of Muhammad Zai'd ibn Haritha led in several military expeditions ordered by Muhammad, the first was the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha in al-Jumum, which took place in September, 627AD, 6AH of the Islamic calendar.
Zayd took part in an expedition in 629 CE. A Muslim force of 3,000 men set out to raid the Byzantine city of Bosra. They were intercepted at a place called Muta'h. The Battle of Mu'tah was a rare reverse for the Muslims. Zayd was martyred as he held the standard, as were two other leaders, Ja`far ibn Abī Tālib and `Abd Allah ibn Rawahah. He was the first Muslim to be martyred on foreign soil.
Zayd was the father of Usama bin Zayd bin Harithah.
English:And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, "Keep your wife and fear Allah ," while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished.
(Quran: 33:37 )
See also 
Further reading 
- Watt, Montgomery, Muhammad at Mecca, Oxford University Press, 1953
- Watt, Montgomery, Muhammad at Medina, Oxford University Press, 1956
- Lings, Martin. The life of Muhammad from the earliest sources.
- Islam against racism
- Hawarey, Dr. Mosab (2010). The Journey of Prophecy; Days of Peace and War (Arabic). Islamic Book Trust.Note: Book contains a list of battles of Muhammad in Arabic, English translation available here
- Watt, W. Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford University Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0195773071. "One was a little-known expedition about September 627" (free online)
- Abū Khalīl, Shawqī (2003). Atlas of the Quran. Dar-us-Salam. p. 242. ISBN 978-9960897547.
Lings, M. The life of Muhammad, from the earliest sources.