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In the Light of the Companions: The Story of Um Salamah

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters!

And welcome to a new episode of “In the Light of the Sahabah” the Companions whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) chose and blessed to have the companionship and to be in the presence of our beloved Nabi (Prophet) (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Every single one of the Companions has a tale to tell and every single one of them has a story that we can extract benefits from (in sha’a Allah-u ta’ala).

In this episode we will go through the beautiful story of Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) whose name was Hind bint Abi Umayyah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha).

The Setting of the Story

Now the story goes right back to the beginning of the Call of the Prophet (‘alaihi as-salatu was-salam) when he first received the revelation from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that there were only a few companions who actually accepted Islam.

From those few individuals was Um Salamah and her husband Abu Salamah and their one son. Now, through the time that they lived in Makkah they went through a very, very difficult time where they were persecuted and they were oppressed just for saying (La Ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah). But (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) blessed them with Iman (faith) and they persevered and struggled and strived with their Islam in Makkah.

The First Hijrah

After a short while, it became very difficult for the Muslims to live in Makkah. Therefore, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted them or some of the Companions to make Hijrah, that they would leave Makkah and that they would go to a land called “Habashah” which is modern-day Abyssinia.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their son, they made that great journey (subhana Allah) to leave Makkah, to leave their home and to reside in the new land, Abyssinia, whose leader was known to be just and fair.  An-Najashi who, later on, embraced Islam and became a great Muslim (al hamdu lillah).

Back in Makkah

So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah they lived there in Al-Habashah for a while. After a short while they heard that the situation in Makkah had somewhat improved and that the Muslims were then able to practise their Islam more freely. So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their young child, they returned to Makkah, however, only to find that (subhana Allah) the situation was even worse than it was before.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah were from a very famous family and they were known to be a very strong family. In fact, Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) was known to be a very noble husband. And that they had very, very good etiquettes with one another.

The family of Um Salamah and Abu Salamah are our beautiful example for us as Muslims to look up to that we should try to emulate their example in being strong Muslims and compassionate  and loving and merciful to one another.

The Great Hijrah to Medina

So, while in Makkah, they were unable to persist and to practise their Islam freely. So, again the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted the Muslims, on a whole, to make the Great Hijrah from Makkah all the way to al-Madinah.  So, the Muslims, one by one, began gathering their belongings, gathering their possessions to leave their home to go and live in a new land.

Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) they had one ride, began filling his ride with their belongings their clothes and possessions. And then, they were going to leave Makkah to go to al-Madinah. Upon leaving, the tribe which Um Salamah belonged to, they saw her leaving. And they stopped them all and said,

“Where are you all going? This woman belongs to our tribe and we will not let her go. She is one of our daughters. You can go with your son but she stays here.”

And they said this forcibly without no choice or discussion in the matter. Then, another tribe which belonged or Abu Salamah belonged to, they said,

“You will not take this young boy. This young boy, Salamah, he belongs to our tribe. Abu Salamah, you’re an old man. You can leave!”

The Family were Split up

Abu Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) had no choice but to leave Makkah and make the Hijrah on his own. And in just a few moments, after the family all being together with all of their possessions, (subhana Allah) they were all split up and they were all in different places.

Um Salamah was kept almost as a prisoner by her tribe, Banu Makhzum. And the child, Salamah, who was kept by the tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and, of course Abu Salamah was alone in Madinah.

Um Salamah (subhana Allah) (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) every day, she used to go to the spot where they were all spit up. And this went on for a very, very long time (subhana Allah) until one of the people who belonged to another sub-tribes of the Makhzumi tribe saw Um Salamah in a very bad way. So, he said to the tribe, this individual,

“Why don’t you just let her go to her husband? You can see that she’s right poorly. She’s very depressed, she’s right down. What do you gain from this? Just let her go!” Until Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts. And eventually, they agreed that Um Salamah could leave Makkah and go to al-Madinah.

But then, the question is: how could Um Salamah leave her son who was with the other tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and leave her son. Yes, she can go to her husband, but leaving her son was not an option. So, they went to the tribe and spoke to them as well and said,

“Would you not leave this young boy? Let him go with his mother and go on this journey. What do you benefit from keeping him here away from his father and splitting up the family?”

Again (al hamdu lillah), Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts, opened their hearts until they gave permission. So, Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) took her son and whatever belongings they had and they left Makkah.

The Hijrah of Um Salamah and her Son

Just as they left, on the outskirts of Makkah, they bumped into an individual in an area called “At-Tan’im” and his name was ‘Uthman ibn Talhah.

In the eighth year AH, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he embraced Islam. And in fact, it is his tribe who were the custodians of the key to the Kaaba.

‘Uthman ibn Talhah said to Um Salamah and her son,

“Where are you going?”

She replied, “We are making the Hijrah and we are going to live in al-Madinah.”

He replied to her and said, “I will not allow you to travel alone. it is a two-week journey in the hot desert for you to go alone. I will take you and when I will drop you off at al-Madinah, I will return”.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha), she said that ‘Uthman ibn Talha, even though he was a non-Muslim at this time was a very noble man.  

And (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guided him later to the Deen (religion) of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

The Family Reunited Again

So, upon arrival in al-Madinah, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he left Um Salamah to go and meet with her family (al hamdu lillah). After years being apart, Um Salamah and Abu Salamah and their son were reunited (al hamdu lillah). And through the next couple of years, they had more children (wa lillahi al-hamd).

As we know, during the seerah of the life of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam), there were a number of battles. And Abu Salamah participated in the Battle of Badr, as he did participate in the Battle of or Uhud. However, during the Battle of Uhud, he was injured and (Subhan Allah), he was quite severely injured and was unable to leave the home.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) went to visit her own husband and was with him all the time. One of the Companions came to Um Salamah and said,

“Ya (O), Um Salamah, I’m going to teach you a du’a’ (supplication) that you should say.

“Allah-umma ajirni fi musibati wa-khluf li khairan minha”

“O Allah! Give me a reward during this calamity!”

(Subhan Allah), her husband is in a very bad state.

“And grant me something which is better in the future!”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) decreed that Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) would pass away due to his injuries. The prophet ((salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) came and made a du’a’ for Abu Salamah by saying,

(Allah-umma ighfir li Abi Salamah) “O, Allah! Forgive Abu Salamah!

(Subhan Allah) Um Salamah with four children was all alone in al-Madinah what a sacrifice so she had made! And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was severely testing her.

Um Salam’s Second Marriage

It was the known custom not to leave a woman alone. Therefore, Abu bakr As-siddiq (radiya Allahu ‘anhu), he came and he proposed to Um Salamah, but she refused. And then, ‘Umar (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) proposed and likewise, she said no. Then, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) proposed to Um Salamah.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) said,

“O, Messenger of Allah! I have three things that I want to mention to you.  

Number one is that I am a very jealous person.

And number two is that I am very old in age.

And number three is that I have many children.”

The Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“As for the first one: concerning your jealousy, then I will make du’a’ to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that he removes that. As for your age, then I am older than you. And as for your children, then they are children that belong to Allah and his messenger (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).”

Upon this, they married (wa lillahi al-hamd). And the title that she was given, Um Salamah, she was now called ‘Um Al-Mu’mineen’ (The Mother of The Believers). (Subhan Allah) what a great title that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave to her!

And if we look back, the du’a’ that she made, “O Allah! Grant me a reward during this musibah (calamity) and grant me something which is better than in the future. When she said,

“And who is better than Abu Salamah? How can I possibly remarry somebody who is better than Abu Salamah?”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) granted that she would have a husband better than Abu Salamah. And that was our dear beloved Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Now, Um Salamah, as we know, she was the last of the wives to pass away. She passed away in the year 61 after Hijrah and has a number of famous advices that were given to the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) throughout his life.

A Lesson to be Learned

So, whatever matters, my dear brothers and sisters, that we may be afflicted with a trial or calamity, we make this du’a’ to Allah (Subhanhu wa ta’ala).

“That we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.” (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un) (Quran 2:155)

And we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala ) to be rewarded for that test. And that we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He grants us something better in the future.

(wa Allah-u ya’ lam-u wa antum la ta’lamun) that “Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knows and that you do not know.” (Quran 2:216)

I ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He allows us to be steadfast during all tests and that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants us something (which) is better in the future!

Allah-umma Ameen!

Baraka Allah-u fikum (Allah bless you!)

Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

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