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Umm Salamah Al-Makhzoomiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her

Tuesday 30/03/2010

She was the Mother of the Believers, Hind bint Abu Umayyah Huthayfah ibn Al-Mugheerah from the Banu Makhzoom branch of the Quraysh tribe. Her nickname was Umm Salamah. Her father was one of the few chiefs of the Quraysh tribe. He was famous for his generosity and openhandedness. He was surnamed ‘Zaad Ar-Raakib’ (the provision of the passenger) as he would supply any person traveling with him with all the necessary provisions. Also, Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, was the paternal cousin of Khaalid ibn Al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with him, and the paternal cousin of Abu Jahl ibn Hishaam.

Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, was one of the first people who embraced Islam in Makkah and encountered for that what the other believers did in terms of harm and torture until Allah The Almighty permitted them to make the first Hijrah (emigration) to Abyssinia. She migrated with her husband, ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abd Al-Asad, from Banu Makhzoom, may Allah be pleased with him, in the cause of Allah The Exalted. They fled from the harm and persecution of the Quraysh seeking the protection of the just king, An-Najaashi.
 
Later, when they wished to migrate from Makkah to Madeenah, they faced many hardships and afflictions. The tribe of Umm Salamah, Banu Al-Mugheerah, heard that she and her husband were preparing to migrate. They said to her husband, “We cannot prevent you from migration, but why should we allow you to take Umm Salamah with you?” They then took the rein of their camel and took Umm Salamah from him. This aroused the fury of Banu ‘Abd Al-Asad, the tribe of Abu Salamah, who said, “By Allah, we shall never leave our son [their child] with her if you take her from our companion [Abu Salamah].” The two parties started tugging the boy between them until they dislocated his arm. Banu ‘Abd Al-Asad then took him and Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, remained with Banu Al-Mugheerah while her husband migrated alone.
 
Thus, the family was split apart and went through a great affliction. The husband migrated to Madeenah, the wife remained with her people in Makkah and the son remained with his father’s family. This had a catastrophic effect on Umm Salamah , may Allah be pleased with her, who would go out to the valleys of Makkah weeping due to what had afflicted her. She remained so for about a year until a man from her tribe passed by her while she was weeping. He pitied her and said to his people, “Why do you not release this weak woman? You have separated her from her husband and her son.” They consented and said to her, “You can join your husband if you wish.”
 
On hearing that, Banu ‘Abd Al-Asad returned Salamah to his mother. She went directly to Madeenah. Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, described her journey saying, 
 
I prepared my camel, put my son in my lap and set forth alone to join my husband in Madeenah. When I reached At-Tan‘eem (a place just outside Makkah) I met ‘Uthmaan ibn Talhah who was at that time a polytheist. He asked me, “Where are you going?” I answered, “To my husband in Madeenah.” He asked, “Is there anyone with you?” I replied, “No, by Allah, none accompanies me except Allah and my son.” 
 
Driven by magnanimity, he said, “By Allah, I will not leave you.” He then held the rein of the camel to lead me the way. By Allah, I never traveled with a man from the Arabs who is nobler than him. When we wanted to take a rest, he would make the camel kneel down and then go to another place to rest under a tree. When we were about to move on again, he would prepare my camel and then go back and say, ‘Mount.’ When I mounted and settled on the camel, he would take its rein and lead the way again. He continued doing this until we arrived at Madeenah.
 
In the Battle of Uhud, her husband was severely injured and died a few months later. This was another trial that afflicted Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, as her husband passed away and left four children: Barrah, Salamah, ‘Umar and Durrah. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was filled with pity for her and, therefore, proposed marriage to her, but she refused and endured hardships with her children. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), thought of this noble, faithful, truthful, dutiful and patient woman, and proposed to her himself and married her to reward her, console her and take care of her children. Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, 
 
I had heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) say: “If any Muslim who suffers a calamity says what Allah has commanded him: ‘Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji‘oon, Allahuma ‘ajurni fi musibati wakhluf li khayran minha. [Indeed we belong to Allah and indeed to Him we shall return. O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better in exchange for it],’ Allah will certainly give him something better in exchange for it.”  When Abu Salamah died I said, “What Muslim could be better than Abu Salamah whose family was the first to emigrate to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )?” I then said these words, and Allah gave me the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, in exchange. She continued, “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent Haatib ibn Abu Balta'ah to propose to me on his behalf. I said to him, ‘I am an old woman, I am of jealous temperament, and I am responsible for children.’ He [the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )] said: ‘I am older than her. As for the jealousy, Allah The Almighty will remove it, and the children would be under the care of Allah The Almighty and His Messenger.’ [Muslim]
 
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), married her in Shawwaal in the year 4 AH. Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, gained great knowledge from the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), to the extent that she became one of the most distinguished people in jurisprudence and knowledge. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, would go to her and ask her about many issues and seek her judgment when they differed. For example, Abu Hurayrah and Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, differed about the ‘Iddah (the waiting period before being allowed to re-marry) of the widow when she delivers her baby. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that she could marry immediately while Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that she had to wait until the farthest of the two periods ─ either the post-partum bleeding period or the ‘Iddah period of four months and ten days - would end. They went to Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, and she decided that the opinion of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, was the sound opinion.
 
Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, was a wise and discerning woman, and this is supported by what happened on the Day of Al-Hudaybiyyah after the treaty was written. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), ordered his Companions to end the state of Ihraam (ritual consecration) and urged them to slaughter a sacrificial animal and then shave their heads. However, this was difficult upon the Companions and they therefore did not do this. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), went to Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, in frustration and told her about the Muslims’ reluctance to obey his order. She knew why they had failed to do so and said to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), “O Messenger of Allah, would you like them to obey your order? Go out and do not speak to anyone of them until you slaughter your camel and call out to your barber to cut your hair.” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did so. When the people saw this, they all did the same, and with so much zeal that they were almost about to hurt each other in the haste of cutting each other's hair. Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said about her, “Her suggestion on the Day of Al-Hudaybiyyah indicated her wisdom and the soundness of her opinion.”
In Thul-Qa‘dah in the year 59 AH, she passed away at the age of 84. When she heard that Al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with him, had been murdered, she grieved over him and fainted, and died shortly afterwards. She was the last to die among the Mothers of the Believers. 
 
 may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her and with all the Mothers of the Believers.

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