The Prophet’s Wives Umm Salama

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April 29, 2013 by theislampost

She was Hind bint Umayyah Ibn Al-Mugheerah al-Makhzumiyyah who was from Quraish. His father was a prominent master in Quraish. He was called Zad ar-Rakib (a provision for the passenger). This was because, when travelling he used to suffice whomever accompany him. As for her mother, she was ‘Atikah bint ‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah al-Kananiyyah who was from Banu Firas.

Besides her honorable and well-established lineage, she was a beautiful and an intuitive woman. She first got married to Abu Salama, ‘Abudullah Ibn ‘Abdel-Asad al Makhzumi who emigrated twice: to Abyssinia and Madina.

She was a good, loyal and obedient wife who stood by her husband and suffered many kinds of torture with him in the cause of Allah. Then, she immigrated with him to Abyssinia to escape torture and to preserve the belief. They left all what they had af property, kin and land. There, she gave birth to Salama.

After the chart of boycott had been nullified, and after Hamza and ‘Umar had embraced Islam, they returned to Makka with the other people. After the Prophet (pbuh) had given permission to Muslim to emigrate, Abu Salama decided to leave with his family. It was a tragedy, so let us lend our ears to Umm Salama to narrate the details of this story.

Umm Salama said, “When Abu Salama decided to set out for Madina, he prepared his camel to carry me and his son on it. Then, he led the camel towards. Madina. Being seen by men of Banu al- Mugheerah, they obstructed us. They said, “We could not control you, Abu Salama? What about your wife? Why did we let you wandering with her in the land? Then, they pulled the camel’s rein from his hand and took me back. Accordingly, enraged with anger, Banu ‘Abdel Asad took my son and said to my husband’s family, “By Allah we would not leave our san in her custody after you had taken him from our kin.”

Then, each group took one of the boy’ s arms and started to pull until they took off his arm. Afterwards, my husband’s family took the boy and my family detained me.

Abu Salama went to Madina alone to preserve himself and his belief. Meanwhile I felt alienated, as I could not see my husband or my son. Every day I used to go out and sit in the same place where I lost my husband and son. There I sat to remember them and wept for a year. Eventually, once, a cousin of mine passed by me and found me in such a state. He sympathized with me. Then he went a head to my family and said, “O kinsmen would you release this poor woman. You kept her away from her husband and her son.”

He kept on stimulating their sentiments until they released me. Thereupon, Banu ‘Abdel Asad gave me my son back. I got my camel ready and then I set out alone for Madina where my husband lived.

When I arrived at Tan’eem (a place in Makka) I met ‘Uthman Ibn Talha (who was at that time an atheist) but he embraced Islam during the truce of Hudaibiyah). He said, “where were you going, daughter of the provision of passengers?” I replied, to my husband in Madina. He asked, “Did you have any one accompanying you?” I said, “I have none but Allah and then my son. He, therefore, said, “By Allah I would not leave you alone.”

He held the camel’s rein and went forward to Madina. By Allah, I have never seen any generous or honorable Arab like him. When we had to rest, he tied my camel and then took himself away and sat down under a tree. When we were about to go on walking, he prepared my camel and then kept himself aside and then said, “Now you on ride”.

Af ter I rode the camel, he then came to lead it. He kept on doing that until we reach Madina. When he saw the village of ‘Umar ibn ‘Auf in Qiba’ where Abu Salama lived, he said, “That was your husband’s village, you could go to him by Allah’s blessing.” Then, he went back to Makka.

Thus, Umm Salama was the first emigrant woman to, Madina as was she to Abyssinia.

In Madinah she devoted her life to rearing her children. This is the most important role of women i.e., to look after her children and to comfort her husband in order to let him fight in the cause of Allah and raise higher the banner of Islam. Thereby, Abu Salama tought in the battle of Badr and Uhud very well until he received an arrow in his forelimb. He treated his wound until he thought that it became better.

Two months later after Uhad, the Prophet (pbuh) was informed that Banu Asad were gathering to attack him in Madina. He, therfore, called Abu Salama and appointed him as the leader of a squad of about 150 men including Abu Ubaidah and Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas to attack them in Qutn (amount).

Following the Prophet’s instructions Abu Salama attacked the enemy suddenly in the morning, before they were prepared and they were victorious. In addition to the spoils of war, which they had gained, they also restored the Muslims position, which had been affected in Uhud.

In this battle Abu Salama’s wound, which he had received in Uhud was stirred again. Accordingly he remained in his bed to be treated Meanwhile, he said to his wife, “Umm Salama, I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) as saying,

“When a Muslim meets a catastrophe and says “To Allah we shall return” and then says, “O Allah! May You reward me for my catastrophe and replace it with something better” , he will get what he asks.”

One day the Prophet (pbuh) went to visit him. No sooner was the Prophet about to leave than Abu Salama died. Thereby, the Prophet (pbuh) closed his eyes with his honorable hands. Then he looked skyward and said,

“O Allah! May you forgive Abu Salama, raise his rank among the closest people, succeed him in his family and forgive us and him, O the Lord of Worlds.”

Umm Salama received this catastrophe with a faithful heart and a patient soul. She surrendered to Allah’s destiny and remembered what Abu Salama narrated on the authority of the Prophet (pbuh). Then she said, “O Allah reward me for my catastrophe… She was reluctant to complete the du ‘a:

“and replace it with something better.”

She wondered, who could be like Abu Salama!? But finally she completed the du’a as a worship to Allah.

After her waiting period (out of mourning for her deceased husband) had ended, many great companions proposed marriage to her. It was the Muslims customs when one of the them died, they looked after the deceased’s wife by marrying her. But Umm Salama rejected them all.

The Prophet (pbuh) thought of this hononrable, true faithful and patient woman. He thought that it is better not to leave her alone without a husband.

One day as she was tanning a hide of an animal, the Prophet (pbuh) asked for her permission to enter. She permitted him and offered him a pillow on which he sat down. He, then, proposed marriage to her. Umm Salama was amazed and did not believe what she heard. She soon remembered the hadith related by Abu Salama:

”and replace my catastrophe with something better.”

She realized that this surely the best replacement. But because she was true and faithful, she did not hesitate to disclose her defects before the Prophet (pbuh). She said, welcome O Messenger of Allah. How could not I like you!? but I am very jealous and I fear I might do something that leads me to incur Allah’s torture. I am also an old woman and have children. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, I am older than you and there is no blame if a man marries a woman who is older than him. As for your statement; “I have children,” Allah and his Messenger will suffice them.

Then, as for your saying, “I am very jealous”, I will invoke Allah to make you forget such a habit. Then, Umm Salama surrendered to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, Allah substitutes Abu Salama for whom is better than him: the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). She, then, became a Mother of the Faithful. She lived in the Prophet’s home putting before her eyes such new honourable position.

She was a rational and wise woman. In the day of Hudaibiyah, the Prophet (pbuh) commanded his companions to slaughter their animals after he concluded the truce with Quraish. However the companions did not respond. They thought that such truce was a kind of oppression to Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) repeated his command three times without any response. Accordingly, he went home angry and mentioned what had happened to Umm Salama. Therefore, she (may Allah be pleased with her) said, O Messenger of Allah if you would like the Muslims do what you want, you would better go out and do not speak with any one until you slaughter your camel and have your hair cut. Then, the Prophet (pbuh) approved her opinion and did what she said. As soon as the people saw the Prophet doing that, they started to slaughter their animals and cut the hair of one another to such an extent that they were about to kill one another.

After the Prophet’s death, Umm Salama kept . watching the procession of events and declaring her opinions to guide the people and keep them away of corruption and oppression particularly the rulers.

Eventually, she died in the month of Zul-qi’dah, 59 AH She was eighty-four by then. Actually, she set a good example to Muslim women.

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References

  • AI-Qur’an AI-Karim
  • Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani. Fath al-Bari bi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Matba’at al-Bab al-Halabi, Egypt,1959.
  • Ali A. Yusuf. The Holy Qur’an. Trans. Hafner Publishing CO., New York, 1946.
  • ‘Ilwan Abdullah Nasih. Polygamy in Islam and the Rationale of the Prophet’s Marriage to More than One Wife, Matba’at Dar al-salam, Cairo
  • Al-Siba’ I Mustafa. The Woman Between th Muslim Man made laws, Maktab al-Islam
  • Bint ash-Shati’, ‘Aisha. The Prophet’s Wives.
  • Al-Istanbulli M. Mahdi and Mustafa Shilbi, Women Around the Messenger. Dar Ibn Kathir, Bairut.
  • Al-Qaradawi Yusuf. Believing Women, Dar. Wahba. Cairo.
  • Sherif Abde-Azeem. Women in Islam versus Women in the Jaudeo-Christian Tradition, El- Falah,Cairo.
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