, the first wife of the , had six children. Some Shia whether all of the children were born in her marriage to Muhammad, or if three of the four daughters were born to a previous marriage.
The dispute extends to , , and Fatima bint Muhammad. For ease of identification, all four daughters share the same patronym, "Bint Muhammad." This is accepted even by those who view them as children from a previous marriage and view that Muhammad adopted them, as this predates usage of . It is notable that Muhammad also had an adopted son, .
This debate becomes significant and contentious since two of the children, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were consecutively married to , one after the death of the other. Due to marrying two of the Prophet's daughter, Uthman was called 'Dhul Nureyni' (or Keeper/Owner of Two Lights. Uthman became the third and first Caliph.
The refers to Muhammad's daughters as "banatika" (), the plural for "daughters" and may also imply his granddaughters.
Regardless of which marriage they where born in, both Shi'a and Sunni view all the children with the high respect.
Sunni outright reject any notion of them being born anywhere but in Muhammad's marriage. Sunni honour Uthman as "possessor of the two lights", in reference to him being married to two of Muhammad's biological children. Sunni believe that Ruqayyah was born three years after the birth of Zainab, when Muhammad was 33 . Many Sunnis hold that the claim that Fatima is the only biological daughter is pushed by the Shia in order to strengthen the legitimacy of the Shia Imams. If there were other biological sisters who had children, then they would have as much a right to claim the caliphate then Fatima's descendants.
Shia scholars view them as born in previous marriages, and that this fact is obscured in order to give greater merit to the first Banu Umayyad Caliph. Those Shi'as view is that was Muhammad's only biological daughter and the only one who married a Caliph, i.e., . They argue it improbable for Khadija to have given birth to so many children at such an advanced age, while at the same time having abstained from having children in both her previous marriages. A third version also exists which views the two daughters as being the children of Khadijah's deceased sister .
One source states:
Shi'a argue that there is a lack of narrations from Muhammad regarding his other daughters, and they use it to argue that if they held the same position in Muhammads eye, this would not be the case:
Some individuals have said that Khadija had no previous husbands,
For Sunni view see:
- 's , Vol. 1, p. 122
- 's History of Prophets and Kings, Vol. 2, p. 35
- 's Al-Bidayah Wa An-Nihaya, Vo. 2, p. 359
For Shi'a sources that mention other daughters of Muhammad, see:
- 's Tahthibul Ahkam, Vol. 8, p. 258
- 's Khisal, p. 404
- 's ', Vol. 5, p. 555
- 's Al-Muqanna'ah, p. 332
- Himyari's Qurb Al-Isnad, p. 9
- Papyrus scroll of Ibn Lahi'ah, referenced by G. Levi Della Vida-[R.G. Khoury]. ʿUT̲H̲MĀN b.ʿAffān. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 03 April 2007
For views from Western scholarship see:
- G. Levi Della Vida-[R.G. Khoury]. ʿUT̲H̲MĀN b.ʿAffān. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 03 April 2007
- Veccia Vaglieri, L. Fāṭima. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 03 April 2007
- Watt, W. Montgomery. K̲H̲adīd̲j̲a. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 03 April 2007