Zaid was the son of Harithah bin Shurahbil, a person of the Kalb tribe, and his mother, Suda bint Thalabah, was from the Bani Maan, a branch of the Tay tribe. When Zaid was eight years old, his mother took him along to her parents. There the people of Bani Qain bin Jasr raided their camp, plundered their goods and took some men prisoners including Zaid. Then they sold Zaid at the fair of Ukiiz near Taif. His buyer was Hakim bin Hizam, a nephew of Khadijah.
Hakim brought Zaid (৪০০ রৌপ্যমূদ্রার বিনিময়ে) to Makkah and presented him to Khadijah, his paternal aunt. When the Prophet married Khadijah, he found Zaid in her service and was so impressed by his good manners and conduct that he asked her to give Zaid to him. Thus, this fortunate boy entered the service of the best of men, whom Allah, after a few years, was going to appoint a Prophet. Zaid at that time was 15 years old.
Afterwards, when Harithah, (father of Zaid) and his uncle came to know that their child was at Makkah, they came to the Prophet and requested him to return Zaid in exchange for a payment. The Prophet said, “I shall call the boy and leave it to him whether he would like to go with you or stay with me. If he chose to go, I would take no payment but would let him go with you. However, if he chose to stay back, I am not the one who would send away a person who would like to stay with me.”
They said, “This is perfectly right and just. Please ask the boy.”
The Prophet called Zaid and asked him: “Do you know these two gentlemen?”
He said, “Yes, this is my father and this is my uncle.”
The Prophet then said, “Well, you know them as well as me. You have the choice to go with them, or stay with me if you so desire.”
He said, “I have no wish to leave you and go with anyone else.”
His father and uncle said: “Zaid, will you prefer slavery to freedom, and choose to stay with others in preference to your parents and family?”
He replied, “After what I have seen of this person, I cannot prefer anything else of the world over him.” Hearing this reply, his father and his uncle were reconciled to his remaining with the Prophet.
The Prophet set Zaid free immediately and proclaimed before a gathering of the Quraish in the Kabah, “Bear witness that hence forth Zaid is my son: he will receive inheritance from me and I from him.”
Thereafter, the Prophet began to be called Zaid bin Muhammad by the people. All this happened before the Prophet’s advent as a Prophet. Then, when he was blessed with Prophethood by Allah, there were four persons who accepted his claim to it without a moment’s hesitation as soon as they heard of it from him. They were Khadijah, Zaid, Ali and Abu Bakr. Zaid was 30 years old then, and had already spent 15 years in the Prophet’s service.
In the fourth year after Hijrah, the Prophet married Zaid to his first cousin Zainab,
“আল্লাহ ও তাঁর রসূল কোন কাজের আদেশ করলে কোন ঈমানদার পুরুষ ও ঈমানদার নারীর সে বিষয়ে ভিন্ন ক্ষমতা নেই যে, আল্লাহ ও তাঁর রসূলের আদেশ অমান্য করে-সে প্রকাশ্য পথভ্রষ্টতায় পতিত হয়।”-(৩৩:৩৬)
এদিকে তালাক সংগ্রহের পর জয়নব মুহম্মদকে তাকে বিবাহ করার জন্যে নানা পন্থায় সানুনয় অনুরোধ চালিয়ে যেতে থাকলেন। তখন তাকে বিবাহ করার বাসনা মনে জাগলেও মুহম্মদ দ্বিধা-দ্বন্ধে ছিলেন এই ভেবে- এ বিয়ে বৈধ না অবৈধ হবে। তখন ঐ বিবাহ বৈধ বলে নিম্নোক্ত আয়াতগুলো নাযিল হয়-
"তোমার পালনকর্তার পক্ষ থেকে যা অবতীর্ণ হয়, তুমি তার অনুসরণ কর। নিশ্চয় তোমরা যা কর, আল্লাহ সে বিষয়ে খবর রাখেন।-(৩৩:২) ‘তোমরা যে স্ত্রীদেরকে মায়ের মত বলে বর্জন কর আল্লাহ তাদেরকে সত্যিই তোমাদের মা করেননি, অথবা যাদেরকে তোমরা আপন পুত্র বলে ঘোষণা কর, তাদেরকে তোমাদের প্রকৃত পুত্র করেননি, এ সমস্ত তোমাদের মুখের কথা মাত্র। আল্লাহ ন্যায় কথা বলেন এবং পথ প্রদর্শণ করেন। পালিত পুত্ররা তাদের আপন পিতার নামে পরিচিত হোক এ-ই আল্লাহর কাছে অধিকতর ন্যায়সঙ্গত। যদি তোমরা তাদের পিতৃ পরিচয় না জান তবে তারা তোমাদের ধর্মীয় ভাই ও বন্ধুরূপে গণ্য হবে। এ ব্যাপারে তোমাদের কোন বিচ্যূতি হলে গোনাহ নেই তবে ইচ্ছেকৃত হলে ভিন্ন কথা। আল্লাহ ক্ষমাশীল পরম দয়ালু।"-(৩৩:৪-৫)
"আল্লাহ যাকে অনুগ্রহ করেছেন; তুমিও যাকে অনুগ্রহ করেছ; তাকে যখন তুমি বলেছিলে, ‘তোমার স্ত্রীকে তোমার কাছে থাকতে দাও এবং আল্লাহকে ভয় কর।’ তুমি অন্তরে এমন বিষয় গোপন করছিলে, যা আল্লাহ প্রকাশ করে দেবেন। তুমি লোকনিন্দার ভয় করছিলে, অথচ আল্লাহকে ভয় করা উচিৎ।‘কিন্তু জায়েদ যখন জয়নবের সাথে সম্পর্ক ছিন্ন করল, তখন আমি তাকে তোমার স্ত্রীরূপে দান করলাম, যাতে পালিত পুত্রের স্ত্রীদের বিবাহ করা সম্বন্ধে বিশ্বাসীদের মনে কোনরূপ খটকা না লাগে?’ আল্লাহ নবীর জন্যে যা নির্ধারণ করেন তাতে তার কোন বাঁধা নেই। পূর্ববর্তী নবীদের ক্ষেত্রে এটাই ছিল আল্লাহর চিরাচরিত বিধান। আল্লাহর আদেশ নির্ধারিত, অবধারিত।"-(৩৩:৩৭)
এ আয়াত নাযিলের পর নবীজী জয়নবকে বিবাহ করেন। এতে কিছু লোক সমালোচনায় লিপ্ত হল। তারা বলল: "The Prophet desired to marry Zainab and wanted that Zaid should divorce her. But when Zaid came to the Prophet and said that he wanted to divorce his wife, the Prophet stopped him from this only half heartedly."
তাদেরকে জবাব দেয় কোরআন এভাবে- Do not yield to the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and disregard the hurt that comes from them, and put your trust in Allah. Allah suffices as the Guardian to entrust one's affairs to.-(33:48)
This Verse was sent down after the Prophet had married Zainab, and the hypocrites, the Jews and the mushriks had started a relentless propaganda campaign against him. While studying these verses one should bear in mind the fact that this divine discourse was not meant for the instruction of the enemies who were engaged in a willful campaign of vilification and slander and falsehood to defame the Prophet intentionally and to satisfy their rancor. But its real object was to protect the Muslims against the influence of their campaign and to safeguard them against doubts and suspicions. Evidently, the word of Allah could not satisfy the unbelievers. It could give peace of mind only to those who knew and believed it to be Allah’s word. There was a danger that those righteous people also might be confused and influenced by the objections that were being raised by their enemies. Therefore, on the one hand, Allah removed all possible doubts from their minds, and on the other, taught the Muslims as well as the Prophet himself how they should conduct themselves under the circumstances
“You were keeping hidden in your heart that which Allah intended to reveal.”
The meaning of this, related with verses 1, 2, 3 and7 of this Surah. In the very days when bitterness was increasing between Zaid and his wife, Allah had hinted to His Prophet that when Zaid had divorced his wife, he would have to marry the divorced lady. But since the Prophet knew what it meant to marry the divorced wife of the adopted son in the contemporary Arab society, and that too at a time when apart from a handful of the Muslims the entire country had become jealous of him, he was hesitant to take any step in that direction.
That is why when Zaid expressed his intention to divorce his wife, the Prophet said to him, “Fear Allah and do not divorce your wife.” What he meant by this was that Zaid should not divorce his wife so that he was saved from facing the trial, otherwise in case the divorce was pronounced he would have to comply with the command, and thus provoke a severe storm of criticism and vilification against himself. But when the Prophet deliberately forbade Zaid to divorce his wife so that he himself might be saved from what he feared would cause him defamation, Allah found this below the high position that He wanted His Prophet to enjoy, whereas Allah intended to effect a great reform through this marriage of the Prophet. The words “And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you should fear Him,” clearly point to the same theme.
The same explanation of this verse has been given by Imam Zain-ul-Aabedin Ali bin Husain He says, Allah had indicated to His Prophet that Zainab would be included among his wives. But when Zaid complained about her to him, the Prophet admonished him to fear Allah and keep his wife. At this Allah said to His Prophet, “I had informed you that I would give Zainab you to in marriage. But when you were forbidding Zaid to divorce his wife, you were hiding that which Allah was going to reveal.” (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir on the authority of Ibn Abi Hatim).
Allama Alusi in his Ruh-al-Maani has also given the same meaning of it. He says, “This is an expression of displeasure on abandoning the better course, which was that the Prophet should have kept quiet, or should have told Zaid to do as he liked. The displeasure amounted to this: “Why did you tell Zaid to keep his wife, whereas I had informed you beforehand that Zainab would be included among your wives?”
"So when Zayd had accomplished what he would of her, We gave her in marriage to you".
That is, Zaid divorced his wife and her waiting period came to an end. The words “So when Zaid had fulfilled his desire of her” by themselves give the meaning that Zaid was left with no desire attached to her. And this state of affairs does not appear on mere pronouncement of the divorce, because even during the waiting period the husband can take his wife back if he has any interest in her; and the husband also has this desire left with the divorced wife that it should become known whether she is pregnant or not. Therefore, the desire of her former husband with the divorced wife comes to an end only on the expiry of the waiting period.
“তখন আমি তাকে তোমার স্ত্রীরূপে দান করলাম। -যাতে পালিত পুত্রের স্ত্রীদের বিবাহ করা সম্বন্ধে বিশ্বাসীদের মনে কোনরূপ খটকা না লাগে?’ আল্লাহ নবীর জন্যে যা নির্ধারণ করেন তাতে তার কোন বাঁধা নেই। পূর্ববর্তী নবীদের ক্ষেত্রে এটাই ছিল আল্লাহর চিরাচরিত বিধান। আল্লাহর আদেশ নির্ধারিত, অবধারিত।” -These words are explicit that the Prophet had married Zainab not because of any personal desire but under the command of Allah. Clearly indicate that Allah accomplished this social reform through the Prophet to effect a great change which could not be enforced by any other means. There was no way to put an end to the wrong customs that had become prevalent in Arabia in respect of the adopted relations but that Allah’s Messenger himself should take initiative to abolish them. Therefore, Allah arranged this marriage not for the sake of adding a wife to the Prophet’s household but for enforcing an important social
There could be no hindrance to the Prophet regarding what Allah ordained for him.74 Such has been Allah's Way (with the Prophets) who went before. Allah's command is a decree firmly determined.- (33:38)
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the Prophets. Allah has full knowledge of everything.-(33:40)- This one sentence was at the root of all those objections which the opponents were raising in connection with this marriage of the Prophet.
Their first objection was that he had married his own daughter-in-law, whereas according to his own law the son’s wife is forbidden for the father. This was answered by saying: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men.” That is, Zaid was not his real son, and so it was not unlawful to marry his divorced wife.
Their second objection was that even if his adopted son was not his real son, it was not necessary that he should have married his divorced wife. This was answered by saying: “But he is the Messenger of Allah.” That is, it was his duty as the Messenger of Allah to put an end to all kinds of prejudices about a lawful thing which custom and tradition had made unlawful without good reason and declare it to be lawful once again.
The point was stressed by saying: “and (he is) the seal of the Prophets.” That is, not to speak of a Messenger, no other Prophet would be raised after him, who could make up for a possible deficiency in the enforcement of a reform in the law and society that might have been left un-enforced in his time. Therefore, it had become all the more necessary that he should himself root out the custom of ignorance.
Again, to further emphasize this point, it was said: “Allah has knowledge of everything.” that is, Allah knows best why it was imperative to get the custom of ignorance rooted out at that juncture through the Prophet Muhammad rather than let it remain as it was. He knows that no other prophet would be coming after him in the future; therefore, if He did not abolish this custom through His last Prophet, no other person after him would be able to abolish it for all the Muslims of the world for ever. Even if the later reformers would abolish it, no action of any one of them will have the permanent and universal authority behind it so that the people of every country and every age might start following it, and none of them would have a personality endowed with that holiness and sanctity that an action’s being merely his way might root out every feeling of aversion and abhorrence from the mind of the people.
আল্লাহ ও তাঁর রসূল কোন কাজের আদেশ করলে কোন ঈমানদার পুরুষ ও ঈমানদার নারীর সে বিষয়ে ভিন্ন ক্ষমতা নেই যে, আল্লাহ ও তাঁর রসূলের আদেশ অমান্য করে-সে প্রকাশ্য পথভ্রষ্টতায় পতিত হয়।-(৩৩:৩৬)- এই আয়াতটি নাযিল হলে, ভয়ে সম্ভ্রান্ত্র পরিবারের জয়নব মুক্তদাস জায়েদকে বিবাহ করতে রাজী হয়ে যান, অথচ ঐ আয়াতটি জানা সত্ত্বেও জায়েদ নবীজীর আদেশ- ‘তোমার স্ত্রীকে তোমার কাছে থাকতে দাও এবং আল্লাহকে ভয় কর।’ -অমান্য করলেন। কেউ কি ব্যাখ্যা করতে পারবেন, নবীজীর একান্ত বাধ্য এবং একজন মুমিন মুসলিম হয়েও জায়েদ কেন তা করলেন? আর করলেও কেন সে পথভ্রষ্ট হয়নি?