His mother was Umm Sulaym bint Milhân and his father was Mâlik ibn al-Nadr. Umm Sulaym was one of the first women to embrace Islam in Madina. She accepted Islam at the hands of Mus’ab ibn Umayr, who had been sent by the Messenger, upon him be peace, to teach the people of Yathrib.
Her husband became angry when he heard that Umm Sulaym had become Muslim and when he overheard her teaching Anas the Shahâdah (Testimony of Faith). It is said that he left her and on leaving the house was attacked and murdered by one of his enemies.
After the death of Mâlik, Abu Talha approached her with a marriage proposal. She refused as he was not yet a Muslim. He thought that she may have had a proposal from someone else and implied that he would offer her a greater dowry than any other potential suitor. She replied by saying that he was a non-Muslim and she was a Muslim, if he were to say the Shahadah and enter into Islam this would be a sufficient. He embraced Islam, married Umm Sulaym and went on to fight in all the battles that the Messenger, upon him be peace, fought. The companions would say that there has never been a dowry more valuable than that of Abu Talha's. Both Umm Sulaym and Abu Talha were present at the oath at al-Aqaba.
Once, Abu Talha was praying in his orchard and he became distracted by a beautiful bird and forgot the number of raka’ât, prayer cycles, that he had prayed. As a result of the incident, he gave the orchard away in charity.
The Messenger used to occasionally visit them and take a daytime sleep in their house. On one occasion, Umm Sulaym collected his sweat into a cup to use as perfume.
Anas had a brother, al-Barâ ibn Mâlik, who was famous for his bravery and military skills.
His aunt was Umm Haram, she fulfilled one of the Messenger’s prophecies, dying on the first naval expedition conducted by the Muslims. She is buried in Cyprus.
When the Messenger, upon him be peace, arrived in Madina, Umm Sulaym presented her son, Anas, to the Messenger and asked if he would accept him as a servant. He was ten years old at that time and served the Messenger, upon him be peace, until the Prophet's death ten years later. Many of the descriptions of the Messenger, upon him be peace, were related by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him). Among them is the hadith describing how he dealt with people, he related that,
‘I served the Prophet, upon him be peace, for ten years and he never said to me, ‘Why did you do that?’ after I had done something or, ‘Why did you not do that?' after I had neglected to do something. He never said a word of contempt to me’.
His mother once asked the Prophet, upon him be peace, to supplicate for Anas. He, upon him be peace, said,
‘O Allah, increase him in wealth and sons, give him long life and forgive him his sins.’
Anas later had 125 offspring!
He was the last companion to die in Basra in the year 93H aged 103 years old. Ibn Sireen led the prayers upon him.
He fought in eight battles with the Messenger, upon him be peace, including the conquest of Makkah.
He related 1286 hadîth.