Series: Female Models of Luminance #11

An-Nidā Publications

Pieces from the Lives of the Wives of the Sage of the Ummah: Shaykh Dr. Ayman Aẓ-Ẓawāhirī

Shaykh married to three Mujāhidāt Women. The first of them is our mother, the shahidah – as we consider her- Ummu Muhammad – may Allah accept her ; the second of them is our mother, the virtuous Ummu Khalid- may Allah protect her ; and the third one of them is our righteous mother, Ummu Tasnīm- may Allah preserve her;

Ummu Muhammad the Egyptian:
She is the patient mujahid mother of ours, the righteous , pious, ascetic and faithful shahidah(matyr)- we consider her as such-Azza Bint Anwar As-Sadiq bn Razq bn Nuwayr, Umm Muhammad.

Her father was the Ustādh Anwar As-sādiq Nuwayr- rahimahullāh- the  Amīd (head) of the family of Nuwayr among the members of Saft turab at the Province of Al-Gharbiyyah, he was a renowned lawyer and head of the committee ta’mir As-Sahari”

Her mother was the Sayyida, the righteous, learned and patient mother Nabīlah bnt Muhammad bn Jalal- may Allah preserve her. She was the former director of Wizāratu Ash-Shu’ari Al-Ijtima’iyyah. Her maternal grandfather was the Sharīf Muhammad Bn Jalāl- rahimahullah- while her maternal grandmother was the Sharīfah Rifā’a bint Rafi’ Al-Ṭahāwī rahimahullah- whose lineage ends at Al-Husayn bn Aliyy bn Abī Tālib- radiyallahu anhum.

She was born –rahimahallāh- at the serene community of Ad-Daqiyy where she grew in one of its villas in a life of luxury. Thereafter, she moved together with her family to a new home built by the family of Dr. Ayman Az-Zawahirī- hafidhahullāh.

She graduated from the college of education (kulliyyatu Al-Adab) Philosophy section at the University of Cairo in 1977.

She grew up- rahimahallāh- in a very Islamic way, being very chaste, safeguarding and observing her Hijab strictly. She combined that with overwhelming Ādāb (manners) and great bashfulness. Her mother As-Sayyidatu Nabīla- Hafidhahallāh- said about her:

“My daughter was a very composed, conservative and gentle lady and she had been very religious for some years even before her marriage to Ayman Aẓ-Ẓawahirī. And precisely she was in her second year at the university when she took to the Hijab and thereafter, the Niqāb. And we used to ask her to suffice with the hijāb but she would refuse vehemently. She was very religious and would spend the lot of her time in Salāt and recitation of the Qur’ān. I used to wake up at dawn and find her glued to the Sajjāda (Prayer Mat) while the Mus’ḥaf was in her hands. She used to go to sleep from tiredness and exhaustion while she is on Salāt. Nobody ever went close to her unless that he will love her.”

A lot of men advanced to seek her hands in marriage from renowned families, all of them from aristocratic backgrounds, high luxury and elevated social status. But almost all of them made as a condition that she removes her Niqāb and suffice with the hijāb but she refused with all composure to remove the Niqāb until Shaykh Ayman –hafidhahullāh – approached her through some relative while he was also searching for a highly religious bride who observes the Niqāb. And within a very short while, both were in concert especially since both families were neighbors and friends. The marriage was conducted soonest in a very humble inn at Qahira. It was an Islamic gathering and there was no single snapshot of a picture in accordance to the wishes of the couples.

Not long after the marriage of Ummu Muhammad to Shaykh Ayman was the case of the assassination of Sadat and Shaykh was arrested. While he spent a period in the prison, she used to live with her mother and that was when she gave birth to her eldest daughter Fātimah – hafidhahallāh – and she was patient and hoping from Allah until he was released from prison.

A little while after his release, he made Hijrah to Biladu Al-Haramayn where she was pregnant and had her second daughter Umaymah – hafidhahallah – then she travelled with him to Pakistan.

Of her Zuhd is what was narrated to me by one of the Mujāhidīn who was with the Shaykh at Sudan that his own wife ever went to visit Ummu Muhammad one day, so when she returned to her husband she said to him:

“Can you imagine that every time I visit Ummu Muhammad I used to find her preparing beans for her children and the clothes of her children is faded and worn out despite the fact that she – rahimahallāh – had 2 sisters who are swimming in luxury and dwellings worth millions? Except that the she preferred Jihad in the path of Allah and obedience to her husband over the temporal delights of the dunya. So may Ar-Rahman reward her in the best of ways”

She was an excellent wife and an excellent and pious woman. Months would pass over them and nothing will be seen in their house but Jerican of cheese over which time has passed. Eid would pass over them while they beautify the worn clothes of their children. Our mother – rahimahallāh– used to mend the shoes of her only son Muhammad which was rubber – whereas they were children of wealthy people.

She was – rahimahallāh – keen to doing good and to do everything by which she can earn the pleasure of Allah – Sub’hānahu – to the extent that she set up together with her friends a small Aid group, they used to do menial craft jobs and distribute the money gotten among the needy.

One of the Mujāhidīn narrated to me that the family of Ummu Muhammad – rahimahallāh – at Misr (Egypt) sent to her some amount of money – about 10,000 Dollars – but she insisted vehemently that it be shared equally with the families of the Mujāhidīn and that she takes the same share as others despite the stringency of life conditions that she was experiencing with her husband.

She was indeed – rahimahallāh – the like of her husband. Shaykh used to leave the house very early in the morning and return close to the time of Fajr and she would remain at home taking care of the children and nourishing them. She was a Zāhidā and a true ‘Ābida. She never shook one day on the situation of life in which they were, a life which had no rest for Shaykh used to move from place to place due to the Jihād. While he is away from her at times, the clothes of her children would get faded due to the financial situation of the Mujāhidīn generally. Besides that, the journeys of Shaykh was much and his absence from the house was continuous – but she would consider all of that as a part of jihad in the cause of Allah – ‘Azza Wa Jall – which continued right from the time of her marriage to Shaykh to the time that Allah took her soul. She used to be patient and seeking her rewards from Allah, obeying her husband as her Lord had commanded and safeguarding her children, teaching them good and the Jihād – may Allah be merciful to her.

Her husband, Dr. Ayman Aẓ-Ẓawāhirī said about her:

“And in this blessed pure city was the unison of my family after I had departed her for a year and half of it, in 6 month there was completely no news of me reaching her because I was then at prison in Dagestan. And the burden of the affairs of the migrant, fugitives and fleeing family which had lost its head which left it for a year and a half to the unknown –. I say the burden of this family in this dare and severe situation was carried primarily by my wife Ummu Muhammad –rahimahallāh – and she was assisted by my beloved brothers. And Ummu Muhammad –rahimahallāh – was a woman of elevated quality which is rare to find, for she combined in her unique self Taqwa, a reverence of the Ahkām of the Sharī’a, making  da’awa to it, merged with esteem character, high sensibility, elevated sense of honor, tolerable humility, mercy and pity, keenness and sympathy for every one she knew, assisting the oppressed and those who lacked, helping them and defending them, continuous sacrifice and efforts, and sacrifice in the path of Allah with all she possessed, combining all of that with a rich education, knowledge, intellect, manners, culturing, independence of reasoning and self-confidence.

I remembered that when I connected with her – rahimahallāh—after my return to Qandahar, she said to me: “do not leave us again even if you live in a hole, we shall live there with you.” And in this pure and blessed village we lived in a house complex of three rooms, two was for us and one was for guests. It had no running water but a well at its end and no electricity. And I bear Allāh as witness that I have not lived in a house throughout my life better than that house nor in any neighborhood better than that company, it was a village of Muhājirīn and Pious Mujāhidīn. And it was originally dwellings made for an old farming project and used to be occupied thereafter by a detachment of “Hirsu Al-Hudūd” (Border Guard) but was later abandoned and some part of it was occupied by peasants.

Then when Amīru Al-Mu’minīn  Al-Mulla Muhammad Umar hosted and welcomed Shaykh Usāmah and his Ansar  from Jalalabad, he hosted them in that village. It consisted of about 100 houses, 20 of them was eastward and about 80 houses to the west. Shaykh Usāmah and some of the brothers occupied the 80 houses to the west and made it for the families, but the rest of the 20 houses, he left them for the offices and guests”

Fursānu Tahta Rāyati An-Nabiyy


 The Children of Ummu Muhammad: She gave birth to six children for shaykh.

The eldest of them was FātimahHafidhahallāh. She married to the Mujāhid Shahīd Shaykh Abu Turāb Al-Urdunī (the Jordanian) Faysal.

Dr. Ayman Aẓ-Ẓawāhirī said about him:

“Abu Turāb Al-Urdunī – may Allah accept him – was a faithful and retired military officer, you will see him looking insignificant – May Allah accept him- due to the lightness of his body and his slenderness thus he reminds you of the statement of the poet:

You see the slender man and disregard him therby while in his cloth , he is a fierce lion

He was a Seeker of Shahādah and never ceased, there were several scares in his body and his legs were broken twice. He lost one of his eyes and was wounded in the other, but he continued to seek Shahādah until he earned it together with his companion on the path and his commander, Abu Hafs, the commander – may Allah accept him- he was a person of honor and respect. I was honored to be an in-law of him. I married to him the eldest of my daughters. She gave birth from him, Abdullah and Maryam, and he left behind him a Wasiyyah seeking from his brothers to be concerned over the tarbiyyah of his son in a Jihādī way that they don’t raise him up upon luxury and enjoyment, but that they made him used to a life of seriousness and strength until he becomes a strong and serious Mujāhid. May Allah be merciful to him in abundance.”

Fursānu Tahta Rāyati An-Nabiyy

Umaymah hafidhahallāh – she married to the Mujāhid brother Abū Dujānah Al-Misrī Ash-Sharqāwī

Nabīlah hafidhahallāh – she married to the Mujāhid brother Abū Abdirrahmān Al-Maghribī


The delight of his eyes: Muhammad bn Ayman Aẓ-Ẓawāhirī.

He was killed during the crusader raid in the company of his Mother and his sister, ‘Ā’isha, who was by then only two years and a half, while he was only sixteen years – may Allah accept them into the Illiyyīn.

Her martyrdom and her children – may Allah be merciful to them:

In 2001 during the barbaric crusader aggression on Afghanistan, some of the Mujāhidīn – may Allah accept them – had been tasked with the security of the families of the Mujāhidīn due to the continuous and ceaseless bombings. So they stayed for a while in the home of Mawlānah Jalāluddīn Haqqāni – May Allah prolong His life in his obedience – in the province of Gardīz at Khost. Ummu Muhammad- rahimahallāh – was a part of those families along with her children- may Allah accept them.

Many of these families were martyred. Among them were Ummu Muhammad and her Mujāhid son, the Shahīd, Muhammad- rahimahullāh – and her smallest daughter, ‘Ā’isha.

Of her wara’a (scrupulousness) – rahimahallāh– is what one of the Mujāhidīn mentioned. He said:

“When the place where the wife of Shaykh Ayman and his children were bombed, I, together with forty brothers of Al- Qasīm from Bilādu Al-Haramayn (The land of the Two Holy Cities) were the first to reach the place of the bombings. The rubbles filled everywhere and it was all leveled but the pure hand of Ummu Muhammad – may Allah accept her- was apparent but her body was below the rubbles. So I stretched my hands towards her hand and I said: “Give me your hands Oh my mother”. I intend to bring her out because she was still alive but when she realized that I was a man she withdrew her hands into the rubbles. She didn’t want her hands to be touched by a stranger man (who is not mahram).”

The brother said: “Immediately, My tears flowed and I said: “Lā ilāha illallāh” then I immediately called upon a group of the Afghānis myself and my Al-Qasim brothers and we helped one another to raise off the rubbles…”

“Allah had willed that our mother be martyred alongside her children. Subhānallah Wa Lā ilāha illāllāh! How pure you are O our mother and how pure you are until she was filling the last breathe in herself, she refused to take to Rukhsa (Alleviation). May Allah honour her for her truthfulness, may Allah honour her of her chastity. By Allah I do not have what I will say but to say that I remembered the character of the Sahābiyyāt – Ridwānullahi Alayhin. I ask Allah to join you with your husband, our father and Shaykh Ayman Aẓ-Ẓawāhirī, for you are an excellent wife and you were an assisting wife O my mother.”

ولو كن النساء كمن فقدنا

لفضلت النساء على الرجال

فما التأنيث لاسم الشمس عيب

ولا التذكير فخر للهلال

“And had all women been the like of whom we lost

Then women would have been preferred over men

For feminity as a name does not hurt the sun

Nor is masculinity any pride for the crescent”

Poem by Abū At-Tayyib Al-Mutanabbī, He said it to eulogize Ummu Sayfi Ad-Dawla

What did Hakīmu Al-Ummah say after he heard the news of the martyrdom of his family?

The Amīr Abū Basīr Al-Wuhayshī said in an interview of his with the journalist AbdulIlah Sha’iyy:

“And Among those who lived with is Dr Ayman  Az-Zawāhirī and the Mujāhid Shaykh Usāma bn Lādin, and our seeing them would remind us of the Salafu As-Ṣālih. We witnessed in them a life moving Islam, and this is Islam, it comes to live with living models. When a Muslim sees before him his model live, it moves him to work. I saw a situation from Dr Ayman—Hafidhahullāh—when his wife and children were killed in Khost during the crusader onslaught. The news was delivered to him by one of the brothers, then Dr Ayman—Hafidhahullāh—said:

“Those whom when calamity befalls them say; Innā Lillāhi Wa Innā Ilaihi Rāji’ūn ‘those are the ones upon who are the blessings (Salawāt) and mercies from their lord, and those are the ones who are guided.”

Then he said very good statement to us. He said: “Yes, this is a holy war and we entered this way by choice and my children has no immunity from death, for my children are martyred like the children of the Palestinians and the children of Afghānis and the children Irāqis. They have no immunity from death.”

These are the pure model and selected few with whom one is supposed to be and Allah- Sub’hānahu Wa ta’āla- said:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وكونوا مع الصادقين

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and be with the Sādiqīn (the truthful ones)”

From his interview in 2009

His second Wife, Ummu Khālid Al-Misriyya

She is the patient Mujāhidāh, Umaymah bnt Hasan bn Ahmad bn Muhammad bn Hasan, Ummu Khālid Al-Misriyyah.

She was the widow of the Shahīd as we consider him Tāriq Anwar- rahimahullāh – who was martyred during the American crusader campaign against Afghanistan in 2001.

Her brother is the Shahīd- as we consider him- Sharīf Hassan – rahimahullāh– who was sentenced to death during the court case “Returnees from Afghanistan” in 1994 (in Egypt) and the judgment was executed on him after that. May Allah place him in His Jannāt, Āmīn. Her brother Usāmah Hasan was also sentenced during the court case “Returnees from Albania”. Her father Hasan Ahmad was also accused during the court case “returnees from Albania”

Ummu Khālid- hafidhahallāh– was a Muhājirā and a Mujāhidāh who made Hijrah with her husband, the Shahid Tāriq Anwar in 1988 to Afghanistan after which they moved from one land to another, from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Syria to Yemen and then back to Afghanistan.

She is an epitome of greatness, she used to assist her husband and assist her Muslim sisters and an example of a believing Muslim woman who was a Caller to Islam by her character and her deeds before her speeches. Her positions are clearly known to all of the Muhājirīn and the Mujāhidīn. She is described with loftiness, humanity, excellent character and noble attributes. Every one that knew her among the Muslim sisters loved her.

She was patient over the death of her husband Tāriq whom Allah had chosen with Shahādah and refused to return to misr (Egypt) and return home and chose to remain in Afghanistan, the land of honor and defiance. Thereafter she got married to our Shaykh, Shaykh Ayman Aẓ-Ẓawāhirī- hafidhahullāh– and who so ever reads her letter to the Muslim sisters knows they are the statement of a Mujāhidah who recorded her stance by her great deeds before her statement.

As-Sahab released a Risālah of hers with the title “Letter to the Muslim Sisters”, dated early Muharram 1430H which is equivalent to 17th December 2009.


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