A Critical Assessment of Umm Kulthum’s Marriage to Umar



The purpose of writing this book is to conduct a research into the narrations or reports regarding ʿUmar’s marriage to Umm Kulthūm, the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, peace be upon him. This event has always been used by a group of people to deny the bitter incidents and adverse events that took place during the early period of Islam in regards to Ali b. Abī Ṭālib and Fāṭima Zahrā, peace be upon them. Thus, they argue as such:

If what is known as ʿUmar’s assault on Ali’s house were correct and his attack led to the martyrdom of Fāṭima, the daughter of Holy Prophet (s), such a marriage or matrimony would not have taken place but it took place and we conclude, therefore, that the alleged events are not true and that Ali (a) and ʿUmar were in quite good terms with each other.

This study delves into the narrations regarding ʿUmar’s marriage to Umm Kulthūm in a bid to clarify whether the foregoing argument is complete and reasonable or invalid and fruitless.

Obviously, such an argument can be complete and acceptable only when:

  1. The subject around which we discuss should have existed. That is to say, it must be proved, in the first place, that the Commander of Faithful, Ali (a) had a daughter by the name Umm Kulthūm. Therefore, if a daughter by this name never existed, or Fāṭima Zahrā (a) did not have such a daughter – as stated by some scholars, the above argument would be incomplete and out of place.
  2. It could be termed as marriage between ʿUmar and Umm Kulthūm by simply pronouncing the formula of marriage contract. If conclusion of marriage contract between those two depends on conjugal relations, this argument will again be incomplete and you will see that there is no concrete evidence to show that the two sides had conjugal relations.
  3.  Assuming that such a marriage took place, the argument would be justified only when the marriage should have taken place with complete consent and approbation. In case, the marriage, as stated by the narrations of the Two Sects, has taken place under coercion, intimidation and pressure, making recourse to such an argument would then be counterproductive and it will be counted as another injustice done to the Prophet’s progeny (a).


Al-Sayyid ʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī al-Mīlānī

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