Women Companions of the Prophet (PBUH): Umm Salamah
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Publié le 10 juin 2022, par Samir | 9 h 31 min
Temps de lecture : 8 minutes
To understand a person better, you need to know who influences them the most. Taking a closer look at the life of one of the women companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Umm Salamah, we shall revisit the history pages to learn about this great lady. Islamic history will never forget the Prophet’s pious and powerful companion for her bravery, wisdom, and services in the way of Islam.
Let’s explore and learn more about the exemplary life of Lady Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her).
Women Companions of the Prophet: Umm Salamah
Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the noble wife of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Her powerful attributes include her knowledge, timeless wisdom, and excellence in character. Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) was a loyal life partner and an advisor as he used to seek her advice on politics-related matters.
Lady Umm Salamah spent her life observing the Prophet (PBUH) and narrated 378 ahadith, including those on cleanliness.
Umm Salamah’s Birth and Early Life
Her real name, Hind, Umm Salamah, was the daughter of Soheil. He was also known as Abu Umayyah. She took birth in 28 BH and passed away at 84. Some records suggest her death year to be 59 AH, and others claim it was 64 AH. Although the correct date of her death has been in conflict, she was buried in the Baqi cemetery in Medina, where exists many graves of the relatives and companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Name and Descent
Hind’s father, Abu Umayyah, was popular among the Arabs for his generosity and got the title ‘Zaad-e-Rakeb.’ He is remembered as the most generous man during the pre-Islamic time in the Arab world. It was the rule of Haatim Ta’ee by then whose generosity is the most recognized; the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, « He loved all noble qualities. »
From lineage, her full name was Hind, daughter of Abu Umayyah Abi Mughayrah ibn Abdullah ibn Umar ibn Makhzune ibn Qureshi. Her mother was Atika bint Abdul Muttalib. Hind was the mother of four children during her marriage to her first husband. That’s the reason she was called Umm Salamah, mother of Salamah.
Umm Salamah’s Biography
Umm Salamah is one of the most significant and loyal companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) apart from being his life partner. Several narrations prove her significance in the Prophet’s life as the most beloved wife after Lady Khadijah. She married Abu Salamah before marrying the Prophet and took Hijrah to Habash. Almost all the narratives related to the Qureshi messengers to Abyssinia and their conversations have been narrated by Umm Salamah.
Later, she moved back to Mecca with her husband and took Hijrah to Medina as the first Qureshi woman. This migration was done all alone, leaving her children and husband behind, and she lived in Abtah for almost 12 months and cried. In 4 AH, her husband Abu Salamah died as he could not survive due to his injuries in the Battle of Uhud. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed on his death and stated, « When the soul is taken away, the sight follows it. » He further said: Oh Allah, forgive Abu Salamah, raise his degree among those who are rightly guided, and grant him a successor in his descendants. Forgive him and us, Lord of the Universe, and make his grave spacious, and grant him light in it. »
We belong to Allah, and He shall we return.
Umm, Salamah was struck with deep sorrow after her husband’s death. But the words of the Prophet (PBUH) calmed her as she recalled him saying, « If any servant (of Allah) who suffers a calamity says ‘We belong to Allah and Him shall we return; O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it,’ Allah will give him reward for affliction and will give him something better than it in exchange. »
Umm, Salamah was a beautiful and wise woman and a great poet. Hence many prospects approached her for marriage. They also wanted to look after her children and her being a widow. But Umm Salamah turned down all proposals until the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) proposed to her. She responded to the Prophet (PBUH): « Someone like me is not suitable to marry you; I am quite old and cannot bear any more children. I am a jealous woman and have four children. » The Prophet clarified her concerns and said, « As for your age, I am older than you. As for your jealousy, God will remove that. And as for your children, they are the responsibility of God and his Messenger. » Thus she accepted his proposal and became one of the mothers of the faithful.
Umm Salamah’s Life
Umm Salamah’s life is an excellent example for Muslims to learn how to be devoted servants of Allah no matter how many obstacles come in the way. She encountered certain events in her life where she could fall into despair or strengthen her faith. But she always preferred her deep beliefs over hopelessness. Some prominent events that teach us the power of conviction and faith from her life include the migration to Medina, her husband’s demise, and the time when Muslims were restricted from performing Umrah after Hudaybiyah.
Umm Salamah made the first hijrah to Ethiopia with her husband, where the ruler allowed Muslims to take asylum. Although Muslims faced no hurdles while staying in Ethiopia, they still wanted to return home. After experiencing constant persecution and Allah’s will, the Muslims left Mecca in a majority to migrate to Medina. Like other families, Umm Salamah also faced barriers while migrating with her husband and son. She stated:
« When Abū Salamah decided to leave [for] Madīnah, he equipped a camel and carried me along with my son Salamah. He then led his camel out. When men of Banū Al Mughīrah (Umm Salamah’s clan) saw him, then went to him and told him, ‘There is nothing we can do to prevent you from going wherever you want; but as for this sister of ours, we cannot leave you roaming about in the land with her.’ They then seized the bridle of the camel from him and took me away from him.
When Banu ‘Abdul-Asad (Abu Salamah’s tribe) heard of that, they got angry and aimed at Salamah [her son], saying, ‘By Allah! We will not leave our son with her since they have snatched her away from our brother.’
Then they took my son Salamah away from me. »
Umm Salamah’s Unique Attributes
Umm Salamah’s incredible life is a source of inspiration for all Muslims; we have compiled some of her attributes mainly related to her being the devoted wife of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which are as follows:
Umm Salamah – as Abyssinia migrant
On the directions of the Prophet, she migrated to Abyssinia twice and to Medina once. Umm Salamah was also one of the participants in several battles, namely, Mesri, Battle of Khyber (Hudaybiyah), Battle of Khandaq, and Hunain. She was the one who used to pay massive regard to the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud.
Umm Salamah – as the narrator of the Prophet’s Hadith
She narrated several Ahadith from the Messenger of Allah, which have been stated in many Hadith books. Masnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal has 378 narrations by Umm Salamah from the Prophet (PBUH).
When the verse « Surely We have given to you a clear victory » was revealed to the Prophet, he was sure of the victory over the Quraish and the return of Kaaba to the Muslims. But this transition was not so smooth. After Hudaybiyah, many Muslims were not allowed to visit the Kaaba and had to return. Regardless, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered them to perform the haircut ritual, but they disagreed.
Umm, Salamah was accompanying the Prophet on that journey, and after seeing him disturbed, she inquired about the whole incident. Upon knowing Umm, Salamah advised him to make a haircut. This appeared to be appreciable advice, and gradually, the Prophet’s companions acted upon his order after cutting his hair.
Lesson from Umm Salamah’s life
Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) was an incredible wife of the Prophet after Hazrat Khadijah in her beliefs, attributes, and morals. She performed all her duties as a dutiful wife and devoted Muslim before and after marrying the Messenger of Allah. Before becoming the Prophet’s wife, she took part in all prominent Islamic events including battles and two major migrations; Medina and Abyssinia.
During his companionship with the Prophet, Umm Salamah ensured to keep him satisfied and always respected him. After his demise, she supported his family with her actions and words; safeguarded their prestige, and depicted their wisdom. The Prophet’s family also paid huge regard to her for her selflessness and faithfulness.
Umm Salamah experienced challenges and learned to find a solution to tough situations. She remained hopeful and kept her hopes high if one situation failed. Her strong beliefs led her to the more successful pathways. When she was stopped from migrating to Medina, she waited for a better time and as an opportunity arrived she left for Medina despite hurdles.
When her first husband passed away, she mourned his death but also shifted her grief into religious attachment. As she encountered challenging times during Prophet’s life, she did not lose faith but found alternative solutions to achieve the same objective.
In today’s age, the life of Umm Salamah offers us food for thought to practice patience, and steadfastness and remain firm while walking on the path of Allah (SWT). Her life teaches Muslims to persevere and remain dedicated to the path of Allah despite hardships, sorrow, and pain.
As the Qur’an states, “…So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, so that they may be guided.”
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