"Sawdah (radhia Allahu anha) was the first stepmother for the daughters of RasulAllah, especially for Fatimah (radhiAllahu ‘anha), who was still quite young at the time. She had a nurturing personality, and a sense of humour which endeared her to her husband, her stepchildren, and her co-wives alike. Sawdah was quite older when she married the prophet and wasn’t particularly beautiful, either - she is described as ‘elderly and fat.’
What many don’t realize, however, is that it was her age which RasulAllah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) appreciated - or rather, the qualities associated with it: wisdom, maturity, and understanding.
It was known that when RasulAllah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was feeling sorrowful or grieved due to the hardships related to the Da’wah of Islam, it was always Sawdah who was guaranteed to make him smile with a quick-witted joke, and Sawdah who offered him advice and comfort without requesting anything from him except his company.
Once, when RasulAllah’s face was drawn with weariness, she teased him, “O Messenger of Allah! I prayed behind you yesterday, and you prolonged the prostration for so long that I nearly had a nosebleed!” Her husband, the beloved Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) threw his head back and laughed so hard that his molar teeth were visible. The sorrow in his bearing disappeared, and his smile lit up the heart of Sawdah with joy.
Sawdah’s sense of humour made it easy for the other wives to get swept away in the fun. Hafsah and A’ishah in particular used to enjoy getting up to pranks, and Sawdah was sometimes their target.
The bond between Aisha and Sawdah was so special; such that when Sawdah passed away, A’ishah wept and said: ‘No woman is more beloved to me than Sawdah, whom I would rather be than anyone else.’
Today, when many Muslim men express boredom with their spouses or complain about the waning beauty of their wives, Sawdah’s marriage to Rasulallah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is a reminder that physical beauty is not the only thing that matters.
There are many different types of love, and every woman is to be loved, respected, and valued for who she is - without being compared to others or belittled for what she may lack in comparison to other women. In a marriage, the human heart requires more than just outward beauty; and Sawdah’s warm, loving personality was a perfect example of why RasulAllah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) found such comfort and joy in her.
As the famous hadith states, even a smile is a sadaqah – so for every woman who loves to laugh and make others join in her joy, is a mountain of reward, inshaAllah… just like Sawdah (radhiAllahu ‘anha), the beloved wife of RasulAllah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).”
LOVE this description of Sawdah (r.) And the lessons we can take from her!