Alhassanain(p) Network for Heritage and Islamic Thought

Who was Umm Kulthum; the wife of Umar?

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Fact 1
* Sunni Historical evidence shows that the marriage of Umm Kulthum and Umar took place in the year 17 Hijri when Umm Kulthum was 5 or 4 years of age.
This would put her date of birth to 12 or 13 Hijri.
Sunni references :
- History of Abul Fida, vol I p 171
- al Farooq by Shibli Numani, vol II p 539

* Historical evidences show that Hazrat Fatima ( May Allah bless her ) passed away 6 month after the demise of his father, and thus her date of death was in the year 11 Hijri, and that Umm Kulthum were born in the year 9 Hijri.
Sunni reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English Version, Tardition 5.546
Shia reference: Anwarul Hussania, v3, p39

Then how is it possible for Umm Kulthum to be born after the death of Hazrat Fatima (as) if the Sunnis claim that she was married to Omar in the year 17 Hijri at an age of 4 or 5 years, that would put the date of birth as 12 or 13 Hijri, which is long after the death of her mother?!

Fact 2
* Sunni historical evidence shows that Umm Kulthum (the wife of Umar) died before 50 Hijri, since Imam Hasan (as), Abdullah ibn Umar and Sa'ad bin Abi Waqs offered the funeral prayers. Also it is worthy to note that Imam Hasan (as) was martyred in the year 50 Hijri.
Sunni references:
- Al Istiab by Ibn Abdul Barr Volume 2 page 795
- Tareekhe Khamees vol II p 318
- History of al-Tabri vol 12 p 15

But then other references show that Hazrat Umm Kulthum ( Blessings on her, the daughter of Imam Ali and Fatima Az Zahra ) were present in Kerballa during the year 61 Hijri. Long after the incident of Kerballa Hazrat Zaineb binte Ali ( blessings on her ) died, then it was that Hazrat Abdullah bin Jafer Tayyar were married to Hazrat Umm Kulthum binte Ali ( blessings on her ).
There is no contradiction to the fact that before Umm Kulthum binte Ali ( blessings on her ), Hazrat Zaineb ( blessings on her ) were married to Abdullah bin Jafer ( blessings on him ). Also it is true that till the year 61 Hijri ( incident of Kerballa ) Hazrat Zaineb were alive, and that Umm Kulthum binte Ali were married after the year 61 Hijri to Hazrat Abdullah
bin Jafer. But where does the contradiction lie ? With respect to the first references, the lady married to Omar by the name Umm Kulthum died in the year before 50 Hijri, as Imam Hasan ( as ) had offered her funeral prayers.
This leaves us to believe that the Umm Kulthum married to Omar were infact some other lady and NOT the daughter of Imam Ali (as).
Sunni references :
- Roza tul Ihbab Volume 3 page 585
- Al Bidayah wa al-Nihayah
- Tareekhe Khamees Volume 3 page 318

Fact 3
* The Sunni scholar Ibn Qutaybah in his book " al Maarif " mentioned that all the daughters of Imam Ali(as) were married to the sons of Aqeel and Abbas with a few exceptions, but he did NOT mention the claim that Umm Kulthum (May Allah bless her) were married to Omar. The exceptions were for Ummul Hasan binte Saeed and Fatima.
Sunni reference: al-Maarif, Ibn Qutaybah, p 80
For those who claim that such marriage happened; kindly answer the following questions
- What was the age for Omar at the time of the marriage ?
- When Omar died what was the age of Umm Kulthum ?
- Could you briefly state the names of the wives of Omar?
- Could you assert to the truthfulness of the character of the person who narrated this story ? ( I am talking about Zubair bin Bakar ) ?
- Do you know how many children were born of Umm Kulthum with the marriage to Omar ?
Who was this Umm Kulthum then ?
It would be appropriate to mention the other wives of Omar at this juncture, not only during his pagan days but also after embracing Islam. His first wife was Zainab sister of Uthman b. Mazun. His second wife was Qariba, daughter of Ibn Umait ul Makzami, and sister of the Holy Prophet's ( saw ) wife Umm Salma ( May Allah be pleased with her ).
She was divorced in 6 A.H after the conclusion of the Truce of Hudaibiya. His third wife was Malaika, daughter of Jarul al Khuzai, who was also called Umm Kulthum, also she did not embrace Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H.
On arrival at Medinah he married Jamila, daughter of Asim b. Thabit who was high placed Ansari and had fought at Badr. Jamila first name was Asia which the Holy Prophet ( saw ) changed to Jamila on her conversion to Islam. Omar divorcd her also for some unknown reason. Omar also had other wives namely, Umm Hakim, daughter of al Harith b.
Hisham al Makhzumi, Fukhia Yamania and Atika, daughter of Zaid b. Amr b. Nafil.
Sunni reference : Al Faruq - Volume II by Shibli Numani English Translation Pages 340 --> 343 Chapter XIX ( His Family )
It is worthy to note that the author, Shibli Numani has easily ignored the daughter of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr. This would explain that truly Umm Kulthum who was married to Omar was not the daughter of Imam Ali, as the correct historical references show, but the daughter of Abu Bakr.
It is also worthy to mention the footnotes that have been included when Shibli Numani claims about the marriage of Umm Kulthum binte Ali ( May Allah be well pleased with her ) in the above chapter. Here I quote it word by word
... There was another Umm Kulthum who had been his wife but Historians make a clear distinction between the two ...
Now as a student of History I would like to pose the following questions:
- Who is this other Umm Kulthum that has been mentioned in the historical references ?
- Is she the same Umm Kulthum that was divorced ( Malaika the third wife ) in 6 A.H ?
- We also know that there were ' two ' Umm Kulthum's as Shibli Numani writes above, correct ?
- Or is she the same Umm Kulthum that is the daughter of Abu Bakr ? If yes then why doesn't the author point out so ? What is the clear distinction then ? Here is the answer by from the historical documents:
After the death of Abu Bakr a daughter was born to him that was named Umm Kulthum. Please refer to the following Sunni references to confirm this
fact.
Sunni references:
- History of al-Tabari Volume 3 page 50, Printed in Egypt
- Tareekhe Kamil Volume 3 page 121, Printed in Egypt
- Tareekhe Khamees Volume 2 page 267, Printed in Egypt
- Al-Isaba, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Volume 3 page 27
Please also do bear in mind that Abu Bakr died in the year 13 A.H as
mentioned in the following Sunni book of reference
- History of the Caliphs by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, page 551
Translated into English by Major H. S. Barrett
This would imply that the original claim made by the first references I gave for the age of Umm Kulthum at the time of marriage of 4 or 5 years would stand correct. Since for Umm Kulthum binte Abu Bakr to be born in 13 A.H and married in 17 A.H would give her an age of 4 years.
Since Aisha was the elder sister of Umm Kulthum binte Abu Bakr, for this reason Omar had sent for Umm Kulthum hand's to Aisha, and Aisha had accepted this. Please refer to the following Sunni references
- Tareekhe Khamees Volume 2 page 267, Printed in Egypt
- Tareekhe Kamil Volume 3 page 21, Printed in Egypt
- Al Istiab by Ibn Abdul Barr Volume 2 page 795
Printed in Hyderabad Deccan
This leaves us no doubt to believe that Umm Kulthum who was the daughter of Abu Bakr was married to Omar and not Umm Kulthum the daugher of Imam Ali
(AS) !!!

[ Apart from what I have disclosed above, there are many more discrepancies for the claim that Umm Kulthum ( May Allah be well pleased with her ) were married to Omar. I have not included them for the sake of brevity.]

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Alhassanain(p) Network for Heritage and Islamic Thought