Umm Salamah

I had just about reached Tan’im (about three miles from Makkah) when I met Uthman ibn Talhah. (He was a keeper of the Ka’bah in pre-Islamic times and was not yet a Muslim.)

“Where are you going, Bint Zad ar-Rakib?” he asked.

“I am going to my husband in Madinah.”

“And there isn’t anyone with you?”

“No, by Allah. Except Allah and my little boy here.”

“By Allah, I shall never abandon you until you reach Madinah,” he vowed.

He then took the reins of my camel and led us on. I have, by Allah, never met an Arab more generous and noble than he. When we reached a resting place, he would make my camel kneel down, wait until I dismounted, lead the camel to a tree and tether it. He would then go to the shade of another tree. When we had rested he would get the camel ready and lead us on.

This he did every day until we reached Madinah. When we got to a village near Quba (about two miles from Madinah) belonging to Banu Amr ibn Awf, he said, “Your husband is in this village. Enter it with the blessings of God. “

He turned back and headed for Makkah.

Their roads finally met after the long separation. Umm Salamah was overjoyed to see her husband and he was delighted to see his wife and son.

Great and momentous events followed one after the other. There was the battle of Badr in which Abu Salamah fought. The Muslims returned victorious and strengthened. Then there was the battle of Uhud in which the Muslims were sorely tested. Abu Salamah came out of this wounded very badly. He appeared at first to respond well to treatment, but his wounds never healed completely and he remained bedridden.

Once while Umm Salamah was nursing him, he said to her:

“I heard the Messenger of God saying. Whenever a calamity afflicts anyone he should say, “Surely from Allah we are and to Him we shall certainly return.” And he would pray, ‘O Lord, give me in return something good from it which only You, Exalted and Mighty, can give.’”

Abu Salamah remained sick in bed for several days. One morning the Prophet came to see him. The visit was longer than usual. While the Prophet was still at his bedside Abu Salamah passed away. With his blessed hands, the Prophet closed the eyes of his dead companion. He then raised these hands to the heavens and prayed:

“O Lord, grant forgiveness to Abu Salamah. Elevate him among those who are near to You. Take charge of his family at all times. Forgive us and him, O Lord of the Worlds. Widen his grave and make it light for him.”

Umm Salamah remembered the prayer her husband had quoted on his deathbed from the Prophet and began repeating it, “O Lord, with you I leave this my plight for consideration . . .” But she could not bring herself to continue . . . “O Lord give me something good from it”, because she kept asking herself, “Who could be better than Abu Salamah?” But it did not take long before she completed the supplication.

The Muslims were greatly saddened by the plight of Umm Salamah. She became known as “Ayyin al-Arab” the one who had lost her husband. She had no one in Madinah of her own except her small children, like a hen without feathers.

Both the Muhajirun and Ansar felt they had a duty to Umm Salamah. When she had completed the Iddah (three months and ten days), Abu Bakr proposed marriage to her but she refused. Then Umar asked to marry her but she also declined the proposal. The Prophet then approached her and she replied:

“O Messenger of Allah, I have three characteristics. I am a woman who is extremely jealous and I am afraid that you will see in me something that will anger you and cause Allah to punish me. I am a woman who is already advanced in age and I am a woman who has a young family.”

The Prophet replied:

“Regarding the jealousy you mentioned, I pray to Allah the Almighty to let it go away from you. Regarding the question of age you have mentioned. I am afflicted with the same problem as you. Regarding the dependent family you have mentioned, your family is my family.”

They were married and so it was that Allah answered the prayer of Umm Salamah and gave her better than Abu Salamah. From that day on Hind al Makhzumiyah was no longer the mother of Salamah alone but became the mother of all believers – Umm al-Mu’mineen.

Scanned from: “Companions of The Prophet”, Vol. 1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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