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Barakah [Umm Ayman]

Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Umm Ayman is my second mother."

Barakah 'who was a freed slave of his parents' came back to Makkah with Muhammad (peace be upon him) to his grandfather' Abdul-Muttalib. It was there that she showed all the love and affection she had to Muhammad (peace be upon him). And any child in Muhammad's age then, no matter how intelligent and self-dependent he may be, would still need someone to care of him. 'Abdul-Muttalib, as it was known of him that he extremely loved Muhammad was very keen in his care for him, especially
since he had heard many sayings and news and signs from here and there about the importance and greatness of the future of Muhammad's life.

A group of men from Bani Mudlij tribe once told 'Abdul-Muttalib,"Take care of him, for we have not seen a foot that resembles the feet that are at Maqlim (Ibraheem) more than his." 'Abdul-Muttalib looked at his son Abu Yalib and told him, Listen to what these people are saying." It was there and then that 'Abdul-Muttalib entrusted the care of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Abu Talib, after his death. Muhammad was in a pre-adolescent age. He would come to his grandfather, 'Abdul-Munalib in his court at the Ka'bah under whose shade they used to lay a carpet for him. His sons would sit around the carpet until he came out to them. And none of them would sit on this carpet as a sign of respect for him. But Muhammad (peace be upon him) would come and sit on the carpet and his uncles would prevent him from doing so. 'Abdul-Munalib would then tell them, "Leave my son alone. By Allah, he is going to be a greatly important person." He would then make him sit down beside him on the carpet, and he would pat him on the back and would be pleased with whatever he did.

Never did 'Abdul-Munalib eat any food without saying, "Bring my son to me." And he would be brought to him. During the years in which 'Abdul-Munalib took care of this great orphan, he did not leave his domestic affairs or matters of his childhood unattended. He would command his nurse, Barakah to be cautious with and treat Muhammad (peace be upon him) with utmost kindness and gentleness. He told her once, "Barakah, Be mindful of my son, for I had seen him with children near the lotus tree. The people of the Scripture are saying that my son is the Prophet of this generation."

Perhaps Barakah understood what that meant or, to say it in a better way, had witnessed that with her own eyes, heard it with her ears and understood it with her heart. She had a narration regarding this. She said, "Two men from the Jews of Madeenah came to me one day and they told me, 'Bring out for us Ahmad (This is one of the names of the Prophet) so that we can see him.' They then looked at him and scrutinized him. One of them told his companion, 'This is the Prophet of this Ummah and that is the place of his migration (referring to Madeenah). There will be a lot of killings and captive taking there'."

Barakah added, "When Aminah heard of that she was scared and took him away. She later died at Abwa while on her way back to Makkah.


Quoted from "women around the prophet" by Mohammad Ali Qutb

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Haleemah as-Sa'diyah, the prophet's nurse

Haleemah as-Sa'diyahBreast-feeding of babies by women who are not their biological mothers and allowing such babies to grow up in the deserts are some of the signs of nobility and high status among the Arabs of pre-Islamic era. Haleemah came to Makkah, in the company of some women from the clan of Banu Sa'd, hoping to find babies to nurse. Each woman except Haleemah succeeded in getting a nursling. Haleemah said: "There was no woman among us who was not offered the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon), and, as soon as she was told that he was an orphan, she would reject him. We would say, 'What is his mother going to give us?' For, we only expected recompense from the baby's father.

By Allah, each of my colleagues was able to get a nursling except me. But when I did not succeed in getting any for myself, I told my husband, al-Harith ibn 'Abdul-'Uzza, 'By Allah, I would not like to be the only one from among my colleagues who would go back home without a nursling. I am going to take that orphan boy.' My husband said, 'You can go and take him. Perhaps, Allah will bless us through him.' I went and took the boy. By Allah, I only took
him because I could not find any other."

Haleemah continued: "As soon as I took him and brought him to my riding animal, I breast-fed him as much as Allah would permit and he drank until he was satiated. His brother also drank until he was satiated. My husband then went to our old camel and milked her and both of us drank until we were satiated. And we passed a good night. In the morning, my husband told me, "Haleemah, by Allah, I could see that you have accepted a blessed child. Can't you observe the blessings we have been witnessing since we took him, and Allah continued to increase us in blessing?!" We set out on the return journey back to our village. By Allah, my donkey was so fast that none of those of my colleagues could catch up with her. Surprised at this, they said, "Daughter of Abu Dhu' ayb! Was this not your donkey on which you set out with us?!" I said, "Yes, by Allah, she is!" They then said, "By Allah, there is something about her!"

When we arrived at the land of Banu Sa'd and before that, I did not know a land more barren that our land - my sheep would graze and then come home satisfied and full of milk. We would milk as we liked, and none of our neighbors could be able to have even a drop of milk from their own sheep. Their sheep would go out grazing and would come home with empty stomachs. They would then tell their shepherds, "You should consider where the sheep graze." Yet their sheep would come back with empty stomachs while mine would come home satisfied, and we would milk as we liked.

So, Allah continued to show us the blessings that we could clearly perceive. The boy, Muhammad (peace be upon him), then reached age two and he had been growing up in a way different from that of other kids. By Allah, he had hardly reached the age of two that he had already had strong skin. We took him back to his mother, though we were consumed with griefthat we would be losing the blessing he had brought to our household. When his mother saw him, we told her, "Please let our son stay with us for another year. For, we fear for him the epidemic of Makkah."

We continued pleading with her until she released him to us. Two or three months after we brought him back, an incidence occurred. He and his foster brother were in the back-yard with our sheep when his brother hurriedly came to us and said: ''That my Qurayshi brother was visited by two men, clad in white garments. They laid him on his back and opened his belly."

His stepfather and I rushed to him. We found him standing while his colour has changed. His father embraced him and said: "My son, what happened to you?" He said, "Two men in white garment came to me.

They laid me down and opened my belly. They removed something out and took it away. They then returned it as it was." We took him back home. His father said: "Haleemah, I fear that my son has been touched by (the Jinn). So, let us take him back to his family before what we fear can appear." Haleemah continued: "So we took him to his mother. When she saw us, she exclaimed, 'What brought you back, foster parents?! You had been taking an excellent care of him! , We said, 'By Allah, nothing has happened. It is only that Allah has helped us pay our debts and we fear that some harm or unforeseen things might happen to him.

That is why we brought him back.' But his mother did not believe us. She insisted that we tell her the truth and when we told her what had happened, she said, 'So you fear that he might be touched by Satan?! No, by Allah! Satan will never be able to find his way to him. By Allah, there is something great about this son of mine. Shall I tell you something about him?' We said, 'Yes.' She said, 'When I was pregnant with him, I never felt carrying anything that was lighter than him. I saw it in my dream that a light came out of me that illuminated the palaces of Syria. And
when I gave birth to him, his delivery was different from that of other babies; he came out, supporting himself with both hands and raising his head up to the heaven. So, leave him alone.'"

Thus did Lady Haleemah part with her great nursling. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) later in his life, talked about this unique childhood in which he extraordinarily understood things, pictures and names while he was at the dwellings of Banu Sa'd. A number of his Companions may Allah be pleased with them - narrated the events of this childhood.
At the end of the Battle of Hunayn, when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) got properties and captives from Hawazin as spoils of war, a delegation from Hawazin, who had already embraced Islam came to him at a place called Ji'ranah. They said: "Messenger of Allah, we are a tribal people who had been touched with an afiliction that is not unknown to you. Please grant us favor, Allah will grant you favor." There was among the captives, his foster sister, Shayma'. So she came, begging him to show compassion. She reminded him of how he bite her on her back (while he was still a nursling at the dwellings of Banu Sa'd). When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard this, he laid down his garment for her and made her sit down beside him.

The spokesman of the delegation, Zuhayr ibn Sard then stood up and said: "Messenger of Allah, your aunts and foster mothers who took care of you are among the captives that are inside the enclosures. If we had nursed Ibn Abi Shammar or Nu'man ibn Mundhir and then what happened to us from your part had happened to us from theirs, we would definitely hope in their reciprocal kindness and sympathy. And you are the best ofthose nursed by any foster mother." He then recited a poetic passage in which he implored the Prophet (peace be upon him) to do favor to his foster people.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then said, "As for that which is for me and the children of' Abdul-Muttalib, it is all for Allah and for you." The Ansar (the Helpers) then said, "Whatever belongs to us is for Allah and His Messenger!" That day was, indeed, a day of reciprocal kindness; and the stand took on that day was a stand that represented greatness and excellent moral quality!!! Muhammad went back to the warmness of his mother's bosom and unto the compassionate care of his grandfather, 'Abdul-Muttalib. He had then become a young boy in whose noble face lights were illuminating, whose appearance brought splendor, whose heart was filled with signs of guidance and transparence and whose tongue was characterized with tenderness and sweetness. For, he was
being nurtured by Allah, the Exalted.

Quoted from "Women around the prophet" for Mohammad Ali Qutb

Asma Bint Abi Baker

She is an excellent example of self-dignity and pride ..She faced two tyrants stubbornly. One of them is Abu Jabl, 'Amr ibn Hisham, the Pharaoh of this Ummah, according to the title the Messenger of Allab peace be upon him gave him. And the second one is Hajjaj ibn Yoosuf ath-Thaqafi.
She was a paternal sister of '.A'ishah and she was some years older than her, for she was born seventeen years before the Prophet peace be upon him was commissioned. Asma' had embraced '.A'ishah since when she was young. She was in fact like a mother to her. So, '.A'ishah grew up loving Asma', respecting her and giving her due preference.

Asma' peace be upon him witnessed the noble Prophetic commissioning in every single aspect. There is no wonder! She was a valuable member of Abu Bakr's household which was - of the all the households of Makkah - the place of refuge and rest for the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him. The Prophet peace be upon him would visit the houses of his earliest Companion occasionally but he would not miss visiting Abu Bakr's house every day. This is according to what '.A'ishah peace be upon him told us.

This was the case until the day of Prophet's migration after thirteen years of calling people to Islam and in which the Muslims met the severest obstinacy and cruelest confrontation from the tyrants of ignorance. All this confrontation increased Asma' in nothing but resilience and strength. The Prophet's movement- in the company of his Companion Abu Bakr to the Cave of Thawr to hide commenced from the house of Abu Bakr. It was from here that roles were apportioned.
'Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr was to go and eavesdrop and get the words and movements of the polytheists. He would then bring the news to the Messenger peace be upon him and his father in the night and then go back to Makkah.

Amir ibn Fuhayrah, the free slave of Abu Bakr and the shepherd of his sheep would herd his flock at the heels of' Abdullah to erase his footprints, so that no one would know his movements. He would then bring the sheep close to the cave, milk them and give the evening milk to the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him and his Companion.

Asma' would prepare food in their house and would then secretly cany it away far from the sight of the unjust people. Anyone who follows the way from Makkah to the Cave of Thawr through the rocky and rugged mountainous paths will realize how astute Asma' was.

In the morning of the night of Hijrah, the Quraysh were at a loss because the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him had escaped from his house in between two young men whom the Quraysh had positioned at his door to watch him. He escaped their attention reciting the verse:

And We have covered them up, so that they cannot see.(Qur'an 36: 9)

He escaped safely and unhurt, surrounded with Allah's care through His noble Angels to the house of Abu Bakr and from there to the Cave of Thawr. Abu Jahl, having become frantic and losing his senses when he heard that the Prophet peace be upon him had escaped came to Abu Bakr's house. He knocked the door and Asma' came out to meet him. She asked her of her father's whereabouts and she replied confidently, proudly and courageously, while noticing the sparkles of fire in the eyes of this tyrant, "I don't know." Facing another unbearable disappointment and unable to control himself, Abu Jahl gave her a very hard slap on her face. That slap was so hard that her rings flew off her ears. But she was unconcerned and rather stood there like a fonnidable dam in front of that tyrant until he tuned back and left.

The history will forever remember this event in the life of Asma'. The truthful believers who fight in the cause of Allah will never forget it; neither will the truthful believing women who fight in the cause of Allah, who migrate for the sake of Allah and who worship Allah devotedly forget it. On the day of departure from the cave to Yathrib (which was to be later known as Madeenah), Asrna' prepared the provision for the great journey. But she forgot to include the ribbon for tying the food container and the water skin to the camel. As a clever and smart lady,. she removed her girdle, tore it into two and used one of them to tie the food container and the other to tie the water skin.

The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him smilingly looked at her and said: "Indeed, Allah has given you, in exchange for this girdle, two girdles in Paradise." This saying of the Prophet was the greatest testimony and the most honourable one, for that matter, for this woman. It is a great source of pride for her, though she had the modesty and amicability of the believer.

Asma' later married az-Zubayr ibn al-' Awwam. Az-Zubayr was not wealthy. He had only a horse on which he fought in the way of Allah. So Asma' lived with him in that great discomfort. Her son, 'UlWah narrated from her that she said, "Az-Zubayr married me while he owned nothing but his horse. So I would feed it, take care of it and mark it. I would also grind the kernels and I would carry the kernels from az-Zubayr's finn."Asma' found nothing wrong in serving her husband and her home and taking part in shouldering the responsibilities. Perhaps, she carried the greatest responsibility. All that did not have any impact on her self-dignity. It rather increased her in resilience and strength. She was one of the first and the most brilliant female students who leamed from the Prophet's teachings. Perhaps, her stand against I;Iajjah ibn Yoosuf though she had become old and her age was close to one hundred years, and she
had become frail and lost her sight is the best indication of her perpetually young heart and brilliance of her great faith. Her son, 'Abdullah was defeated in his battle against Hajjaj in Makkah after a historically unparalleled battle and gallantry written down on pages of history with illuminating words.

She said about her situation: "When az-Zubayr married me, he had neither land, nor wealth, nor slave, nor anything else like it, except a camel to get water and his horse. I used to graze his horse, provide fodder for it, look after it and ground dates for his camel. Besides this, I grazed the camel, made arrangements for providing it with water and patching up his leather bucket and kneading the flour. I was not very good at baking the bread, so my female neighbors used to bake bread for me and they were sincere women. And I used to carry on my head, the date-stones from the land of az-Zubayr which the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam had endowed him and it was a distance of two miles from Madeenah. One day, as o was carrying the date-stones upon my head, I happened to meet Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, along with a group of his Companions. He called me and told the camel to sit down so that he could make me ride behind him. I felt shy to go with men and I remembered az-Zubayr and his Gheerah (Gheerah is the sense of pride that a man has which causes him to dislike his wives, daughters or sisters from being seen or heard by strangers. It is this gheerah which makes a man protective about his women) and he was a man having the most gheerah. The Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam understood my shyness and left. I came to az-Zubayr and said: "The Messenger of Allaah met me as I was carrying date-stones upon my head and there was with him a group of his Companions. He told the camel to kneel so that I could mount it but I felt shy from him and I remembered your gheerah." Upon this az-Zubayr said: "By Allaah, the thought of you carrying date-stones upon your head is more severe a burden to me than you riding with him."

I led this life of hardship until Abu Bakr sent me a female servant who took upon herself the responsibility of looking after the horse and I felt as if she had emancipated me." (Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (eng. Trans. Vol.7 p.111 no.151))**

The hero, 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr fell in that battle and Hajaj ordered him crucified. He vowed that he would not bring him down from the cross until his mother interceded on his behalf, thereby wanting to crush her sense of pride and dignity. But she never did!

Ibn as-Sakan reported on the authority of Yahya at-Taymi from his father that he said: "I entered Makkah after Ibn az-Zubayr was killed and I saw him crucified. I saw his mother Asma' who was a tall, blind old woman.

She went to Haijaj and stood before him and said, 'Is it not time for this rider to dismount?' Hajaj responded, 'He is a hypocrite! But his mother retorted, 'No, he was never a hypocrite. He was rather a constant performer of voluntary fasting and prayer.' Haijaj then said, 'Go away, you old and senile woman.' She again retorted, 'I am not senile. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (*) saying that there would come out ofthe tribe of Thaqeef a liar and a ruthless murderer. As for the liar, we have already seen him, as for the ruthless murderer, it is you.'"

The tyrant Hajjaj could not find any way to suppress this believing, truthful and persevering woman. And he had no other choice than to bring the corpse of 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr down from the cross. Asma' only lived for few days after this event and then died.

May Allah be pleased with her and please her!


* She was referring to Musaylamah the Liar; he was also of the Thaqeef tribe.

**Sunnah Online


Quoted from "Women around the prophet" for Mohammad Ali Qutb with some additions

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Umm Sulaym Bint Milham

Talking about Umm Sulaym is multidimensional. Incidences relating to her being around the Prophet (peace be upon him) are many. But all revolved around one thing: her love for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).

It is in the context of this great love that it can be easy for us to discuss the personality of Umm Sulaym and cast light on her qualities. While we are presenting her history with - due humility and respect - we beseech Allah to inspire our Muslim women with the pure spirit of Umm Sulaym so that they can arise from the abyss of stagnation and indolence to a high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams. Then the women, who are the half of the society, will no longer remain a captive who indulge in blind imitation and follow desire.

Umm Sulaym was an Ansari woman from Madeenah. She embraced Islam with the earliest Muslims. The historians greatly disagree on her real name. Some said her name is Sahlah, some said it is Rumaylah, some said it is Rumaythah, some said it Maleekah and some said it is Ghumaysah or Rumaysah. Perhaps, this great difference in her name was caused by the popularity of her nickname.

When Umm Sulaym embraced Islam she was married to Malik ibn Naqr who disagreed with her and continued in his polytheism, having blocked his own heart from guidance and his eyes from the light of Islam. This led to their separation.

That was the first stand of Umm Sulaym after she embraced Islam. The love of Allah and His Messenger was more precious than the love for marital and family relations, even if the person concerned was a closest relative and the father of the only son, Anas. Malik did not only divorce his wife, Umm Sulaym. He also left Madeenah. It was unbearable for him to continue living in Madeenah with the Messenger of Allah So he headed for Syria where he died after a short while, as a lonely refugee. He was not only exiled from his homeland, but also from Allah's mercy.

 This stand of Malik reminds me of a saying of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), "Indeed, Madeenah expels (bad) persons as a furnace removes the impurities of iron [Bukhari] The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said the truth.

And Umm Sulaym proceeded in her way to Allah. If every step she took and every progress she made indicated anything, it is no more than her overwhelming love for Allah and her attainment of the highest degree in that. After her divorce from Malik and his departure for exile, Abu-Talhah al-Ansari came to ask for her hand in marriage. He was then still on his polytheism and paganism. What was the response of Umm Sulaym, who preferred the love of Allah and His Messenger above the love of husband and the father of the only child? She said in the peak of conditions of faith and certainty, "Abu-Talhah, didn't you know that your deity that you worship grow from the earth?" He answered in the affirmative. She said, "Are you then not ashamed of worshipping a tree?"

After this severe rebuke and outright disparaging of the wooden deity, without fearing Abu-Ta1hah who was known for his bravery, strength and position among his people, Umm Sulaym then spoke gently and said, "I have embraced Islam and I do not want any sadaq (bridal gift) more than your acceptance of Islam."

Abu Talhah said, "Let me think over it." He came back after a while and said, "I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!"

Umm Sulaym then told her son Anas who had not yet reached puberty, "Anas, give (me) in marriage to Abu Talhah." And the marriage took place. Umm Sulaym was the first Muslim woman to accept a suitor's embrace of Islam as mahr (bridal money). This was a new memorable and commendable trend, and it is one of stances recorded in Umm Sulaym's great and glorious record. It is undoubtedly a manifestation of the great love she had for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).

The spring of pure love continued to gush out copiously, glowingly and cleanly. She brought her son, Anas who was only a ten-year old boy to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and said, "O Allah's Messenger! This is Anas, I brought him to serve you!" The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) excellently received him and accepted him into his household. Anas remained with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) serving him for the ten years the Prophet spent in Madeenah, after he migrated there until he died. Never did he leave his company whether he was at home or on a journey. No wonder that he was able to grasp many hadiths about the Prophet's situations, deeds and sayings. He was in fact, an authority and a treasure of this great knowledge. This also was a manifestation of the great love for Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him) that overwhelmed the life of this eminent woman ever since she accepted Islam until she died.

Milhan's house which was the home of Umm Sulaym and Umm Haram was the only house that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to enter besides the apartments of his wives. That may have a reason. Anas gave this reason when he said, "The Prophet (peace be upon him)  would visit Umm Sulaym who would present him with something she specially made for him." He added, "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)  did not use to enter any house except that of Umm Sulaym and of course, those of his wives. When he was asked of that he said, "Her brother was killed while he was fighting on my side."

Ibn Hajar said in isabah(vol. 4, p. 442.) "And I said, 'The reason for his visiting of Umm Haram and her sister, Umm Sulaym is that the two sisters lived in the same apartment."

Dear reader, this kind of visit that gives members of the household a delight because of the presence of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to take place, of course, in the presence of maharams (mahram is a woman's husband or a male member of her family with whom marriage is permanently forbidden like her father, brother, uncle, etc.) For, it is illogical that the Prophet of mercy, guidance, excellent morals and pure laws could have visited women who were not members of his household in the absence of their maharms. He was always as described by Allah (exalted he):

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad] you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for [the Meeting with] Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much) (Qur'an 33: 21)

From this great love that abounds in Umm Sulaym's school we learn a new lesson - and how many are her lessons! It is a lesson that is full of cognizance and understanding of fundamentals of marital relationship that is built on tranquility, love and affection. Allah (Exalted he) says:

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy .. ) (Qur'an 30: 21)

It is authentically reported that a son of hers born to Abu Talhah died. He had being sick and under a treatment. When Abu Talhah came she requested from members of the household that none of them should inform him of death of his son until she herself had done so. When Abu Talhah came and he asked of the boy, she told him, "He has never been as relaxed and quiet as he is now." So Abu-Talhah stood up and eat his food.

After that, Umm Sulaym adorned her self for her husband and wore perfume. They went to bed and he cohabited with her. When it was in the morning, she told him, "Seek your reward from Allah. Your son is now with Allah!"

In other narrations, her husband asked her about his son when he came back. She told him that their son is in a better situation. Then she asked her husband: "O Abu-Talha, if someone borrow something from another, and the latter asked the first to give him that thing back, can the borrower refuse?" Abu Talhah answered: "No! the borrower don't have the right to refuse, he should return this thing to its owner" Then she answered wisely: "We had brrowed our sons from Allah, and now he took him, so be patient" His husband answered: "Inna lilah wa inna Ilayhi raji'on (we are belong to Allah and to him we will return)". This is how clever and wise she was in delivering such a big sad news to his husband.

Abu Talhah went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) while sorrow was visible on him. He informed him of what had happened. Upon that, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "May Allah bless your night for you both!" Umm Sulaym then became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy named Abdullah ibn Abu Talhah. Abdullah was blessed with many children, ten of whom memorized the Qur'an completely. The Islamic home in its social and family context is the foundation stone for building the Ummah and its strong and solid structure. So, do not ask me of the reason for the Muslims' weakness, degeneration and retrogression that portend unhappy ending. Let us proceed to other events of Umm Sulaym's life.

The historians and writers of Seerah and biographies are unanimous that Umm Sulaym used to go out with the Messenger of Allah (peace ) in his battles, fighting in the way of Allah within the limits her feminity and capability would permit her. She was been encouraged with all this by the great love she had for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). This reflected in a number of battles but it manifested more in the Battle of Hunayn. The Battle of Hunayn chronologically took place after the Conquest of Makkah and before the Battle of Ta'if. Umm Sulaym was amongst the Muslim army throughout the battle and hard journey.

Ibn Sa'd narrated with a saheeh chain of transmission that Umm Sulaym took a dagger on the day of the Battle of Hunayn. When Abu Talhah saw her he went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and told him, "Allah's Messenger, here is Umm Sulaym holding a dagger!" But she retorted, "I take it so that I can rip the belly of one of the polytheists with it!"

The stances of Umm Sulaym conclude with her narration of the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). A number of the Prophet's Companions related these hadiths from her. Among these Companions are: her son Anas, Ibn 'Abbas, Zayd ibn Thabit, Abu Salamah ibn 'Abdur-Ral,unan and others. May Allah be pleased with Umm Sulaym and please her! She was, in fact, a school in herself.

Quoted with slight modifications from "Women Around the messenger" by Mohammad Ali Qutb

Umm Haram Bint Milhan

There is always a connection between the story of Umm Haram and Umm Sulaym!

They are sisters brought together by Islam and Eeman, and by their love for Allah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him) and their selfless sacrifice in the way of that love. They were among the most prominent women of Madeenah in terms of virtue and piety. Their house, Milhan's house, was one of the dearest houses to the Prophet (Peace be upon him). We have already said something about that. Though Umm Sulaym was able to attain a high status in the estimation of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and to make her son, Anas serve him; and she was able to excel through her participation in Jihad, her sister Umm Haram was not less important in the Prophet's estimation.

Umm Haram (may Allah be pleased with her) married 'Ubadah ibn As-Samit (may Allah be pleased with him). Do you know who 'Ubadah is?

He was one of the fIrst Ansari men who took part in the Pledge of'Aqabah. He was one of the chiefs of his clan. He was one of those who took part in the Battle of Badr. And he had never failed to attend any battle or campaign with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

He was one of the heroes of the War of Apostasy and a martyr of the Battle of Yarmook.

'Ubadah was the first teacher and judge in Palestine; a position 'Umar ibn al-KhaWib (may Allah be pleased with him) appointed him to. He witnessed the Conquest of Egypt and he was the leader of one quarter of the contingent.

He fought his first marine war to conquer Cyprus in the company of his wife Umm-Haram. That is another story. What we are about to discuss now is the personality of Umm-Haram, her being a Muslimah and the events relating to her being around the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

The family house of Milhan was in Quba'. They lived among palm dates and plantations. They lived an honorable life amid springs of palatable water and pleasant breezes.

Quba' was the first place the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) halted at when he was coming to Madeenah as an emigrant. He was always compassionate with and thankful to this place. While he lived in Madeenah, he would visit it every now and then.

Stories of the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) tell us that people, in pursuance of blessing and honor, were competing with one another to host the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) on the day of his arrival, and throughout his way from Quba' to Madeenah. We are also informed of his stay at Quba' for some days and nights in the dwellings of Banu 'Amr ibn 'Awf while his mosque, the first mosque in Islam and the mosque of piety, was being built.

Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Quba', he would visit houses of his Companions and would have siesta there. He would chat with them and teach them. All of them would rush to serve him and present to him kinds of food and sweet that he liked. Mi1han's house, which was the house of Umm Sulaym and Umm Haram was a familiar house to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

We have already mentioned that whenever he was asked about his frequent visit to that house he would respond that he went there to console its inhabitants, and he would add, "Their brother was killed while fighting on my side." It is therefore, a token of sense of obligation on the part of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that the visits were made.

Here, it is necessary to mention the story of the martyrdom of their brother, Haram ibn Mi1han (may Allah be pleased with him). For, this event indicates the great extent to which Eeman had reached in the hearts of each member of his noble household. Haram set out with the delegates of recitrs who were treacherously killed by 'Amir ibn at-Tufayl on the day of Bi'r Ma' oonah. These reciters were numbered seventy, and they were all surrounded and killed. They were among the greatest Companions of the Prophet in terms of knowledge and piety. Their martyrdom had caused the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) great sorrow.

Haram's martyrdom on that day is the highest example for the earlier and later generations! When he was struck by swords and spears, he screamed as loud as he could, "I won, by the Lord of the Ka'bah!" It is as he was undergoing a very difficult test, or he was in a market in which he was selling and purchasing. Then he saw himself as making profits. When some of the polytheists asked one another as regards what Haram meant with his proclamation, 'I won', while he was dying someone answered, "He meant Paradise." This is a magnificent extent to which the Eeman of the household of Mi1han had reached!

Is it not then appropriate that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) should be the first person to visit this household, acknowledge its right, appreciate its virtue and console its inhabitants?

During one of his visits, Umm Haram cheerfully received the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). She then served him with his favorite food. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then had his siesta in a section of the house. And after a short nap he woke up smiling. Umm Haram asked him as

to why he was smiling, and he said, "Some people among my followers were shown to me riding over the Green Sea like kings over their thrones." Umm Haram then said, "O' Messenger of Allah, invoke Allah that he makes me one of them."

He then had another nap, and woke up again smiling. Umm Haram thought that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had seen something new and amusing that was different from what he

previously saw. So she asked him as to why he was smiling. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), "Some people among my followers were shown to me riding over the Green Sea like kings over their thrones." Umm Haram then repeated her request, "O' Messenger of Allah,

invoke Allah that He makes me one of them." The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "You are among the first."


Then many days and years passed. Umm Haram accompanied her husband, the great Companion

and the knowledgeable mujahid, 'Ubadah ibn As-Samit to everywhere he went, especially after he had joined the Syrian army under the command of Abu 'Ubaydah, 'Amir ibn 'Abdullah ibn al- Jarrah.'Ubadah took part prominently in all battles until the Muslims conquered the entire Syrian territories. Then a request came to 'Umar ibn al-Khatab (may Allah be pleased with him) from the people of Palestine.

They needed a scholar who could teach them matters of their religion and a judge who could arbitrate among them and settle disputes. In order to demonstrate his confidence in

'Ubfuiah, to show his recognition for his virtue, knowledge, status among the Companions and to underline his stand in the Prophet's estimation; 'Umar appointed him as the teacher and the judge for the Palestinians.

'Ubadah and his wife, Umm Haram lived in Palestine. He discharged his duties in the best manner. This made him become popular and well-known and people respected his views and appropriateness of his decisions.

Throughout this period, Umm Haram was a righteous wife to a righteous husband. She was never intoxicated by the position of her husband neither was she deluded by this world and its beauties.

Rather, she remained as she was when she came out of her humble house in Quba'. Of ten times, she would remember the dream that the Prophet had while he passed siesta in her house and his supplication for her to be one of the first ones to ride over the Green Sea fighting in the way of Allah and spreading the banner of Islam. She would reflect and go far with her imaginations, and she would cast her vision unto the horizons. Then she would come back to reality waiting for Allah's decree and actualization of the truthful Messenger's prophecy.

'Amr ibn al-'As left Palestine to conquer Egypt, for the Romans' presence there was a threat to the Muslims in Syria. He consulted the leader of the faithful, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and the

latter gave his consent. 'Arm went deep into the land of Egypt and fought the Roman army in a number of wars and defeated them. When he came to the Babylon fortress in old Egypt, he laid siege on it and the siege last for a long time.

'Amr sent to the leader of the faithful, 'Umar requesting reinforcement. A reinforcement army was sent, a fourth of which was commanded by 'Ubadah. Umm Haram accompanied her husband in this new war of his. The chivalrous 'Ubadah was put to a meritorious test in the land of Egypt, moving here and there fighting in the way of Allah until the Romans were defeated and driven out.

'Ubadah thereafter went back to Damascus in Syria and lived there. Mu' awiyah ibn Abi- Sufiyan was then its governor. And he had been worried by its bays that were being attacked intermittently by the Roman army. Mu'awiyah knew that the Cyprus Island was the marine station for Roman ships that attacked Syrian harbors. So he sent to 'Umar explaining the situations to him and asking permission to invade Cyprus and conquer it. 'Umar refused the request, for he was greatly opposed to gambling with the lives of the Muslims and averse to traveling in the sea and its horror, however enticing the prospects might look.

When 'Uthman became the caliph, Mu'awiyah repeatedly make the same request. And he is encouraged by his blood relationship with him, for both of them are Umayyads.

Finally, 'Uthman gave in to Mu'awiyah's persistent request and permitted him to lunch the offensive. But he warned him that he should not force any Muslims under his control to participate in the war. He should rather make the participation optional. With the help of experts, Mu'awiyah launched into the getting the necessary ships ready for the war until he had a huge naval fleet. He then called out unto the people and made an announcement - as

a way of encouraging the people - that he and his wife were going to lead the marine campaign to Cyprus.

In those days, Damascus, the headquarters of the Syrian governorate was full of different civilizations and cultures. It was hugely populated by people - especially the Prophet's Companions. These Companions were never looking for luxury or enjoyment but only knowledge and guidance, and they were only interested in spreading teachings of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him). Some of these eminent Companions were Abu Dharr, 'Ubadah ibn As-Samirt and others.

Hardly had the announcer of the governor announced, Hayya ala a/-Jihad (come unto Jihad!) that the Muslims started thronging into the ships, glorifying Allah and proclaiming His Oneness, hoping for His reward and not fearing anything. The peerless Companions of the Messenger of Allah left their places in the mosque, bade farewell to their homes and joined the flag of conquest. Throughout this period, Umm Haram was full of energy, ambition and youthfulness. She was overwhelmed and energized by the events. And she was busy getting the necessary things ready, sleeping and keeping awake on sweet dreams.

She remembered the face of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) smiling, gladdening her and supplicating that she be one of the first to mount the Green Sea fighting in the cause of Allah. On the appointed day, she saw people thronging like sea waves and gathering at the seaport biding farewell to the mujiihideen and waving to them, and invoking Allah to make them victorious and to return them home safe and sound. Umm Haram was there, standing on the edge of the ship with

her eyes full of tears that then rolled down her cheeks. She was whispering to herself, "You said the truth, O Messenger of Allah!"

Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufiyan then commanded to the army to sail on. The ships were detached from the anchors and sailed through the waves in the Name of Allah. They were like kings over their thrones! That was how the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) described those who would board the ships and with whom the ships would storm the waves while they would be aboard like kings over their thrones! Umm Haram had this beautiful feeling. While aboard the ship, she would sometimes see herself as if she was in a high place looking down at the bottom of a mountain, and sometimes she would see the waves rising high above her, all that within moments and in succession. She kept saying to herself, "You said the truth, O Messenger of Allah!" O the Messenger! May peace and blessings of Allah be upon you! You did not see what you prophesied with your eyes, neither did

you study that in a book and you did not receive the knowledge of that from a scholar or a teacher! Glorified be He Who taught you the knowledge of the earlier and later generations! Glory be to the One Who made you said the truth and the clear word!

The ships arrived at the Cyprus coasts. The soldiers surged out, unloaded their luggage and got ready for the war after they had defeated a Roman guarding boat that accosted them on their way.

Then they started planning how to creep into the heart of the island. Dear reader, this is where the story ends with Umm Haram! From Madeenah to different parts of Hijaz, to Syria, Palestine,

Egypt and then back to Syria; and from there to Cyprus. It was a life full of thrilling events - an extensive life full of long journeys. It started with a testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and the Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and ends with martyrdom in the way of Allah! It was life that started with Shahadah and ended with Shahadah (martyrdom). What a beautiful life and what an excellent death!! While she was in Cyprus, Umm Haram was put an animal to ride. The horse shied and was extremely frightened. It then jumped violently. Umm Haram fell off it and died shortly thereafter while wearing a smile. She was buried where she fell. May Allah be pleased with her and please her!

Today, centuries after this memorable event, the grave of Umm-Haram, the righteous and martyred Muslim woman, still stands in the land of Cyprus for all to see. There is a mosque nearby testifying that Umm-Haram was really one of the first. And the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him said the truth!

Quoted from "Women Around the messenger" by Mohammad Ali Qutb

Um Immarah Nusaybah, the Brave Worrier

Her name is Ummu ‘Immarah Nusaybah bint ka’ab ibn ‘Amr al-Ansaariyyah, who was known as Umm `Immarah. She was married to Zaid ibn `Asem before Islam and has given birth to her sons Habeeb and `Abdullah. Later, she was married to the believing Mujahid Ghuzayyah ibn `Amr who fathered Tamim and Khawlah.

With distinguishable achievements attributed to her name, She is known for participating in significant events surrounding the Muslims at that time, including the battle of Uhud where she used herself as a human shield in protection of the Prophets, peace be upon him, life. Her life boasts, with Allahs grace, of Iman, courage and heroism, making her a fine example and role model for her sisters in Islam to follow for generations to come.

Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on him, says: She (Umm `Imarah) witnessed the pledge of `Aqabah and she also pledged allegiance. She participated in the battles of Uhud, Hudaybiyah and Khaybar and participated in `Umrah Al-
Qadaa`. She also witnessed the victory of Makkah and participated in the battles of Hunayn and Yamamah.
Known as the second Aqabah pledge, Nusyabh bint Ka’ab, may Allah be pleased with her, was only one of two women, who joined a group of 73 men to travel to Makkah and pledge allegiance to the Prophet, peace be upon him, to believe in Allah alone and not to associate other with Him, they also pledged themselves to jihad in complete obedience to the Prophet in ease, hardship and harsh circumstances.

The following narration gives an insight of the true responsibility of this pledge and how this woman, along with her fellow companions, fulfilled and shouldered the responsibility that this pledge required. The uncle of the Prophet, al-‘Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib was first to speak at the historic meeting which changed the whole course of the struggle between Islam and paganism. He said: “ O you people of the Khazraj [...] all of you know the position that Muhammad holds among us. We have protected him from our people as much as we could. He is honoured and
respected among his people. He refuses to join any part except you. So, if you think you can carry out what our promise while inviting him to your town, and if you can defend him against the enemies, then assume the burden that you have taken. But if you are going to surrender him and betray him after having him away with you, you had better leave him now because he is respected and well defended in his own place.”

Ka’ab (the narrator of the hadith) replied “We have heard your words and now, O messenger of Allah, it is for you to speak and take from us any pledge that you want regarding your Lord and yourself.” Imam Ahmad recorded from Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “We said ‘O Messenger of Allah! To what shall we pledge?’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, answered:

1. To listen and obey in all difficulty and ease.
2. To spend in plenty as well as in scarcity
3. To enjoin good and forbid evil
4. In Allah’s service, you will fear the censure of none.
5. To aid me when I come to you, and protect me from anything you protect yourself, your spouses and children from, then paradise is install for you.’”

It was a definite response showing full determination, courage and deep faith to shoulder the great and fearsome responsibility and bear it series consequences. Allah’s messenger, peace be upon him then preached the faith and the pledge was taken.

Nusaybah bint Ka’ab, may Allah be pleased with her, proved truthful to her pledge on more than one occasion the most outstanding, being the event at Uhud where true heroism shined through, for she shielded the Prophet, peace be upon him, with her own body in a moment of mishap on part of the Muslim army. Nusyabah, may allah be pleased with her, went out carrying water, offering medical aid to the wounded and tendering to their needs. But as the battle raged, and the Muslims, who initially had the upper hand suddenly found themselves in a vulnerable position due to a hasty mistake they made, found themselves suddenly weakened. Chaos thus broke out, leaving the Messenger, peace be upon him, unprotected and his life consequently at stake. In attempt to make the Muslim army regroup and work their way through the hills of Uhud, towards the encompassed army, The Messenger raised his noble voice calling unto his companions “O servants of Allah.” He did that knowing that it would reach the idolaters before his companions, risking his life in this delicate situation. The idolater heard his voice and taking advantage of his vulnerable position; they concentrated their attack on the Prophet and looked forward to killing him with
all their power before any of his companions ran to his aid.

As soon as the companion’s did arrive, they encircled the messenger with their bodies and weapons and were alert enough to prevent the enemies from reaching him, among them, Nusaybah bint Ka’ab. Her heroism on this day a plan example to those, both men and women, who wish to emulate her, for when she saw the Messenger, peace be upon him, in trouble, whose molar teeth was broken and he was injured in the face, she, along with a group of other companions, helped to form a human shield around the Messenger.

Umm `Imarah narrated what happened in Uhud saying, "I went out in the forenoon with a water vessel in my hand. I came to the Messenger of Allah, while he was with his Companions and the Muslims were about to win the war. But
when Muslims were later defeated, I moved to the side of the Messenger of Allah (whose molar teeth was broken and he was injured in the face). I engaged in fighting and started protecting the Messenger of Allah, with the sword while shooting arrows until I was wounded."

Umm Sa`d bint Sa`d ibnAr-Rabi`who reported this speech said: "And I saw a deep and hollow injury in her shoulder."
This deep injury was caused by the enemy of Allah, Ibn Qami'ah who tried to kill the Prophet, but Umm`Imarah defended the Prophet and received a heavy strike by sword, then she attacked Ibn Qami'ah by striking him by sword repeatedly. In addition to thirteen other wounds, she suffered this deep wound which she continued to nurse for the rest of her life until she died.

She stood firm defending the Messenger of Allah, and he saw her around him defending him gloriously. She took a shield from an escapee, then some knight from the enemies was moving closer to her and hit her with his sword, but she used the shield cleverly then hit the hock of the horse and the knight fell down. At that time the Prophet called upon her son to help her until they both killed that knight. The compassionate Prophet said, "May Allah bless
this house hold! May Allah be merciful toward you!" He also said, "The stance of Nusaybah bint Ka`ab is better than so-and-so" Umm `Imarah received this call, not only with her ears, but with her entire being and feelings. She also felt it with all her senses and from within her love of faith that flourished in her heart. She then said: "O Messenger of Allah, invoke Allah to make us your companions in Paradise."That was the goal she was aspiring for in this world and in the Hereafter.

Therein, the Prophet, supplicated for her saying, "O Allah, make them (Umm `Imarah and her family) my companions in Paradise."Umm `Imarah said: "After this supplication, I do not care about whatever happens." Commenting on her bravery and sacrifice `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates to us from the Messenger of Allah, his noble saying, "Whenever I turned left or right on the Day of Uhud, I could always see her (Umm `Imarah) fighting in my defense."

The supplication of the Prophet actualized on the entire household of Umm `Imarah. Her sons `Abdullah and Habeeb were martyred in the way of Allah. She also had an invocation directly from the Messenger of Allah, and from his noble heart, that served as a provision for her in the remaining years of her life and as a light throughout the darkness of nights and days and with which she dispelled the darkness of events, making her a radiating model. Besides the medal that Umm `Imarah carried since the battle of Uhud and the invocation that the Prophet made for her, Such determined also extended to after the death of the prophet, During the time of Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq’s (radiyallahu 'anhu) Khilaafah Where she went to seek permission to join the expedition of Khaalid bin Walid against Musaylamah al-Kadhdhaab (The Liar), who claimed to be a Prophet in the battle of Yamaamah.

Abu Bakr (radiyallahu 'anhu) said, ‘We know your worth in war, so go out in the name of Allaah.’ She was wounded in eleven different places and had her hand cut off. Her son Habeeb was also tortured at the hands of Musaylamah and was martyred at that expedition.

After the battle was over it was Khaalid ibn Waleed who came to treat her hand with hot oil to seal the wound and stop her bleeding. The hot oil was even more painful than having her hand cut off. The scholarly aspect of Umm `Imarah 's life also had its place and importance. She was a narrator of Hadith with excellent memory. Some of her narrations contained Islamic jurisprudence. For example, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah reported in their Sunan on the authority of Umm `Imarah that the Messenger of Allah, visited her and she presented some food to him. The Prophet told her, "Eat" She said: "I am fasting." The Prophet then said: "If food is eaten in the house of a fasting person, the angels will invoke blessing on him."

Al-Waqidi reported that Umm `Imarah said: "Men were shaking the hands of the Messenger of Allah, in the night of (the pledge of) `Aqabah while Al-`Abbas (his uncle) was holding the Prophet's hand. When it was only me and Umm Manee`, my husband, Ghuzayyah ibn `Amr, said: “O Messenger of Allah, these are two women who came with us to pledge their allegiance to you.” The Prophet said: “I have accepted their pledge to what I accepted your
pledge to, for I do not shake women's hands. ’”

At-Tirmidhi narrated that she came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and said: "I see that everything is directed to men, and that women are not mentioned at all" so, the verse (For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women…) (Al-Ahzab 33:35) was revealed.

As aforementioned, Umm ‘Immarah also witnessed and participated in Hudaybiyah and Khaybar and participated in `Umrah Al-Qadaa`. She also witnessed the victory of Makkah and participated in the battle of Hunayn. As mentioned previously, she was also tested through her son Habeeb who was tortured at the hands by Muslaymaan the Liar, after
defyingly refusing to accept his claim of Prophethood. As a result Habeeb had his limbs cut piece by piece while he was tied up. He uttered nothing but a testimony to the Oneness of Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger. He remained in that state until he breathed his last.


“The Sealed Nectar,” by Saifur-Ruhmaan al-Mubarakpuri
“Umm `Imarah: A Great Model,” By Dr. Bassam Muhammad Hamami.

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