Stories Of The Righteous
Ummul-Momineen Umm Salamah (R.A)
WHO WAS SHE
Umm Salamah's real name was Hind. She was the daughter of Abu Umayyah, a much envied leader of the Quraish, a man well-known for his immense generosity. Her husband was from among the first ten people to come to Islam. His name was Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Asad, ((R.A)
THE FIRST MIGRATION
Umm Salamah had accepted Islam at a young age, and along with her husband, was from among the early converts to Islam. Like many other Companions they initially suffered much torture at the hands of the pagan Quraish. But their firmness upon the religion of Allah (S.W.T.) did not waver, nor did their resolve weaken. Allah (S.W.T.), however, ordered the Messenger (S.A.W.), to allow his Companions, to migrate to Abyssinia. Umm Salamah and her husband, were among these early emigrants.
A LONGING FOR HOME
Although they received complete protection in the land of the Negus, and were free to practise their religion there, the emigrants longed to return to the city of Divine Revelation and to see the source of guidance. The Prophet (S.A.W.) once again.
News soon began to reach them that conditions for the muslim back in Mecca had improved, especially since Hamzah ibn Abdull Muttalib and Umar ibn Al-Khatab (may Allah be pleased with them )had accepted Islam.
Hearing all this good news the Muslim in Abyssinia including Umm Salamah and her husband decided to return home. Arriving in Mecca, however, they realized their decision hab been a hasty one. The conversion of Hamzah and Umar had angered the Quraish even more, so their persecution of the Muslims had intensified.
THE SECOND MIGRATION
It was at this stage that the Prophet (S.A.W.) was permitted by Allah (S.W.T.) to let his Companions migrate yet again. This time, though, it was to be the City of Medinah
Once again again Umm Salamah and her husband, (may Allah be pleased with them) were in the first of the caravans to depart from Mecca, but this time their migration was more difficult than the first. From here we will let Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) continue the narrative, since who better to relate her own story?
A FAMILY TORN APART
"I and my son were mounted on the camel ready to depart for Medinah with my husband. He had taken hold of the camel's reins and was leading it out of Mecca when a few men from my tribe of Banu Makhzoon saw us and stopped us in our tracks. They turned to my husband and demanded an explanation as to why he was taking me.
They took the reins from him and began to lead the camel away. When the tribe of my husband, Banu Asad, saw this they became angry. They refused to let my son, saying they had more rights to him since he was the son of one of their men. With this they snatched Salamah from me. I found this state of affairs difficult to cope with. My husband had left for Medinah, my son was not with me and I had been taken against my will by my own people.
To cope with my hurt and loneliness, I would return each morning to the place where I had been torn from family, sit there and weep, only to return home in the evening."
HEARTS ARE SOFTENED
This continued for almost a year when one day while I was sitting crying, a cousin of mine saw me. He must have felt compassion for me, because he immediately returned to the elders of the tribe and asked them why they were putting a helpless woman through so much heartache? Could they not see how distraught I was by the separation from my husband and son? What were they to gain by harashing me in such a way?
Upon hearing his words the hearts of the elders softened, and they gave me permission to join my husband. My son was also eventually returned to me and I was finally reunited with my husband in Medinah.
It was in the destiny of Umm Salamh, however, to face yet another hardship regarding her family. Her husband, having already fought in the Battle of Badr, returned severely wounded from the Battle of Uhud. He remained afflicted with illness for quite sometime before Allah (S.W.T.) took his life. The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) entered upon Abu Salamah while his his were open in death. He, (S.A.W.) closed them and said: "Verily when the soul is seized, the sight follows." [Sahih Muslim]
The Prophet (S.A.W.) then supplicated for Abu Salamah and his family.
At the death of her husband Umm Salamah remember a Du'aa she had heard from the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) : NO slave is afflicted with an affliction and says: We belong to Allah (S.W.T.) and unto Him is our return. O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give something better than it in exchange for it, except that Allah (S.W.T.) reward him for his affliction and give him something better than it afterwards."
She said to herself: "What Muslim is better than Abu Salamah, whose family was the first to emigrate to the Messenger of Allah.? Even though she could not imagine at that time anyone better than Abu Salamah to replace him as a husband, she continued to heed the Prophets advice and repeated the Du'aa she had learnt from him. [Sahih Muslim]
THE DU'AA ANSWERED
The Muslims felt responsible for Umm Salamah who was now a widow with children. The first Muslim who attempted to take up this responsibility was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, (may Allah be pleased with him). But his proposal was turned down, as was the proposal of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). It was then that the Prophet (S.A.W.) himself decided to propose to Umm Salamah.
She, although greatly pleased, replied by saying: "I have a daughter as my dependant and I am of jealous nature. When the Messenger of Allah (S.W.T.), heard of this he replied : "As far as her daughter is concerned, we will supplicate Allah (S.A.W.) to free her of her responsibility and I will also pray to Allah to remove her jealousy."[Sahih Muslim]
Umm Salamah agreed to the marriage and hence became one of the Ummul Mu'mineen, Mother of the Believers.It was thus that Allah (S.W.T.) answered her supplication, giving her His Prophet in marriage, something better in exchange than He had taken from her.
Umm Salamah (R.A.) died in the year 59 AH at the age of 84 and was buried in Al-Baqee (a grave in Medinah). [The story of Umm Salamah can be found in the following books: Siyarr Alaamin-Nuballa of Ath-Thahabee (2/201), Al-Isaabah of ibn Hajr (242-245) Al-Bidaayah wan-Nibaayah of Ibn Katheer (8/215-216) and others.]