Was Mariya al-Qibtiya the Prophet's Wife?

Question and answer details
As-salamu Alaikum, I have read many articles on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the number of his wives differs. The number eleven (11) doesn't include Mariya al-Qibtiya, known as Mary the Copt. I would like to know more about this. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you, Wa-Salam.
Salem Al-Hasi

As-salaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

The books of sirah (the biography of the Prophet Muhammad) differ on the number of his wives (may Allah bless all of them). The main reason behind the differences in the number of his wives is - in most of the cases - due to the reliance on weak non-authentic hadiths.

However, the vast majority of Muslim scholars agreed that the wives of the prophet (peace be upon him) were:

1. Khadijah
2. `A’isha bint Abu Bakr
3. Sawda bint Zum`ah
4. Hafsa bint `Umar
5. Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
6. Um-Habibah bint Abu Sufyan
7. Um-Salamah
8. Zaynab bint Jahsh
9. Juwariyah bint al-Harith
10. Safiyah bint Hayi ibn Akhtab
11. Maymunah al-Hilaliyah
12. Mariya al-Qibtiya (Who was from Egypt.)

(May Allah be pleased with all of them). These are the names upon whom the scholars agreed.

Some books list Mariya as a "right hand possession", yet the opinion I more lean toward is that she was one of the prophet’s wives. Mariya was honored and respected by the prophet (peace be upon him), as well as his family and companions.

She also gave birth to the Prophet’s son Ibrahim. As any of the Prophet’s wives, she is known as Um al-Mo’meneen (Mother of the believers). She spent three years of her life with the Prophet, until his death, and died five years later in 16 AH.

After her death, `Umar ibn al-Khattab – the second caliph -led her funeral prayer and she was buried in al-Baqi, like many other companions and the rest of the wives of the Prophet. Because she was the Prophet’s wife and the mother of his son Ibrahim, Caliph Mu`awiyah ibn abi-Sufyan exempted her hometown in Egypt from taxation, as a sign of honor.

And Allah knows best…

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Useful Links:

Details About the Prophet's Wives

Prophet Muhammad's Wives - Who Are They?

Why Did the Prophet Have So Many Wives?

The Beautiful Wives of the Prophet