her name & title:
she is zainab daughter of khozaima alharith son of abdullah son of abdu manaf son of hilal son of amer son of sa'sa' al-hilalia. historians agreed on her ancestry to her father as declared by son of abd al-bar in her biography, which is agreed upon by all our sources. as regards her ancestry to her mother, it was dropped by our sources. in the pre-islamic era she used to be called the mother of the needy. all sources agreed on describing her as kind and generous to the poor and needy in the pre-islamic era and during islam, her name is hardly written in any book without mentioning her title as the mother of the needy.
her marriage to allah's messenger (pbuh):
zainab daughter of khozaima was one of the prophet's (pbuh) wives who entered the house of the prophet shortly after he got married to hafsa, as she was a widow of an early immigrant who got martyred hence she became the fourth mother of believers. it seems that due to her short stay in the house of allah's messenger (pbuh) the writers of the biography of allah's messenger (pbuh) were turned away from her. as a result her news were mentioned few times and were marked with contradiction and discrepancy. she was the widow of an early immigrant called obaida son of al-harith son of abd-almutalib, who was martyred in badr, so allah's messenger (pbuh) married her in the 3rd year of hijra. it is said that the marriage was only nominal as allah's messenger (pbuh) married her out of pity. it differed who handled her marriage to allah's messenger (pbuh). in the book called "al-isaba" (the score), son of kalbi said that allah's messenger (pbuh) engaged and then married her. son of hisham said that her uncle, quobaisa son of amr al-hilali, handled her marriage to allah's messenger (pbuh) and that her dower was 400 dirham.
also the period of her stay in the house of allah's messenger (pbuh) was debatable. in "al-isaba" there is a version stating that allah's messenger (pbuh) married her shortly after he married hafsa daughter of omar (may allah be pleased with them) and that she died two or three months later. another version from the same book states that "allah's messenger (pbuh) married her in the month of ramadan in the 3rd year of hijra and that she lived with him for eight months and died in rabie alakher of the 4th year of hijra. in a book named "shatharat al-dahab" (particles of gold) there is a version stating that "allah's messenger (pbuh) married zainab daughter of khozaima al-ameria, mother of the needy, in the 3rd year of hijra and that she died after three months". zainab daughter of khozaima was the most generous among the wives of allah's messenger (pbuh) to the orphans and needy hence she was called the mother of the needy.
it is preponderant that she died when she was thirty years old as stated by al-wakedi and also by ibn hajar in 'al-isaba". she rested in peace just like she lived in peace. allah's messenger (pbuh) performed her funeral prayer and buried her in al-baqie' in the month of rabie alakher in the forth year of hijra. she was the first mother of believers (may allah be pleased with them all), to be buried in al-baqie', dying after eight months of her marriage. none of the mothers of believers died during the life of allah's messenger (pbuh) except for khadija, the first mother of the believers, who is buried in al-hojoun and zainab daughter of khozaima al-hilalia, mother of the believers and mother of the needy.