Umm Salamah is Hind, the daughter of Zaad ar-Raakib, Hudhayfah ibn al-Mugheera al-MradhiAllahuanhaakhzoomi. She is both from the noble clan of Makhzoom and of the gracious tribe of Quraysh.

Zaad ar-Raakib is a nickname by which her father, Abu Umayyah, Hudhayfah ibn al-Mugheerah was known because of his generosity. He was one of the most famously generous men of the pre-Islamic era who lived in the Arabian Peninsula. Their leader was Haatim at-Ta’ee to whom the Hatimic generosity is attributed and about whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “He loved all noble qualities.”

But why was Hudhayfah, Umm Salamah’s father, called ‘provision of the traveller’? It was said that whenever he travelled, no one who travelled in his company would be allowed to bring their provision with them. He would rather be responsible for that however much their number was and however long the journey would be.

It was therefore in the firm-rooted home where there was gallantry and generosity that Hind was born and raised. She drew from it’s pure spring until she was satiated and she flourished as a blooming and sweet-smelling branch, bearing a delicious fruit. She was clever and wise, beautiful in appearance and conduct.

Both her and her husband, 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul-Asad, are among the earliest Muslim, and performed together the first migration to Abyssinia. She was also said to be the first woman to migrate.

She remained in Abyssinia until the news that Hamzah ibn 'Abdul Mutallib and 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab had embraced Islaam reached them. Some of the emigrants then strongly yearned to return to their homeland and meet the Messenger of Allah, believing that Islaam had being strengthened by the conversion of the two unique men, Hamzah and 'Umar.

Umm Salamah returned to Madeenah along with those who returned; she had already given birth to her first child, Salamah the son of Abu Salamah. But the Qurayshi persecution did not stop nor abated nor was it concealed.

After the conclusion of pledge of 'Aqabah between the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and the Ansar (the Aws and Khazraj tribes) of Madeenah, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave permission to his companions to migrate to Madeenah. That was the beginning of the great transformation in the course of the Prophet’s mission. And ofcourse, Umm Salamah was one of the first emigrants.

Before we start talking about the second stand of Umm Salamah with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his message, we should allow her to tell us the circumstances of the great event and how it happened. She said:

“When Abu Salamah decided to leave Madeenah, he equipped a camel of his and carried me along with my son Salamah. He then led his camel out. When men of Banu al-Mugheera (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 bridal of the camel from him and took me away from him.

When Banu ‘Abdul-Asad (Abu Salamah’s clan) heard of that, they got angry and aimed for Salamah saying,

‘By Allah we are not going to leave our son with her since they have snatched her away from our brother.’

They then took my son Salamah away from me.

The men of Banu Abdul-Asad went away and Banu al-Mugheera held me in their custody. And my husband proceeded in his migration until he reached Madeenah. That was how they separated between me, my husband and my son!”

Dear reader! If it were possible, I would have added more than one exclamation and question mark at the end of the speech of Umm Salamah, without any exaggeration. This is because this great and impressive position is beyond what any knowledge, intellect or imagination can adequately express. It is the most difficult separation in the cause of Allah, with whom no good deed is lost. Allah says: {...Indeed, We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his [righteous] deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost.} (Qur’an 18: 30)

What righteousness is greater than to sacrifice one’s self in the way of Allah, The owner of the Splendid Majesty? Did we – regardless of our different categories, the old and the young, men and women, the callers and the called, the leaders and the led – learn any lesson from Abu Salamah and Umm Salamah? Did we take, as the centre of our Islaam, our message and the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger? Or did we just severe every link that is between us and our history to the extent that whenever we mention our history we just regard it as a mere story? For instance, we celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Badr on 27th of Ramadhan every year as communities, organizations and groups. We play around with the words and memory but sooner than later the matter ends there, as if we are talking of one of the battles of Antara or one of the adventures of Abu Zayd al-Hilali!

Do we really feel the state of ignominy in which we are living today?

Is there still any link between us, as a nation, and Allah, the Exalted?

The answer is: as individuals, yes and as a nation, no! Here lies the problem...!

Perhaps, the remaining part of the story of Umm Salamah’s migration and the surrounding events will give us a definite and a clear-cut answer to our questions and doubts.


Umm Salamah had vowed to dedicate herself to Allah since she embraced Islaam. She faced the most difficult and the most horrible situation, but Allah was with her. He encompasses the disbelievers from behind; He is the best Helper for whoever relies on Him and returns to Him in repentance.

Umm Salamah said:

“I used to go out every morning and sit down at al-Abtah, and I would cry until the evening. I did this for nearly seven days, until a man among my cousins came by and saw that was on my face. He then told Banu al-Mugheera (my clan), won’t you let this poor woman go?! You have separated between her and her husband and son?! They then said,

'Go and join your husband if you like.’

Then the men of Banu ‘Abdul-Asad (my husband’s clan) gave my son back to me.

I then prepared my camel, held my son to my chest and set out to join my husband in Madeenah; and no one was with me and that was the most difficult situation I confronted. When I reached Tan’eem I met Uthman ibn Talhah of Banu ad-Dar clan. He asked me,

‘Where are you going, daughter of Abu Umayyah?’

I said, ‘I want to join my husband in Madeenah!’ He said,

‘Is anybody with you?’

I said, ‘No, By Allah, it is only Allah and my son that are with me.’ And he said,

‘By Allah, you shall not be left alone.’

He then held the bridle of my camel and led me off. By Allah I have never been in a company of an Arab man more gracious than him. If he arrived at a place he would halt for me to rest and he would move to a nearby tree and lie down beneath it. When it was time to move on, he would bring forth the camel and move a bit far from me and say, ‘Mount!’ when I had mounted and settled on the camel he would come, hold its bridle and lead me on until we arrived at the next halting place. He continued in this way until we arrived at Madeenah. When he saw the village of Banu ‘Amar ibn ‘Awf at Quba, he said,

‘Your husband is in this village.’

And truly Abu Salamah was residing there.”

The small family – rather the big family – was then brought back together. It is small in terms of the number of its members and big in terms of its Jihaad and historical movement and its echo throughout all corners of the world.

Umm Salalmah went out of Makkah alone in the company of no one except her child, Salamah, upon her chest. But Allah the exalted protected her in a journey that took days and nights, and in a remote and expansive desert interspersed with mountains, lowlands and sand hills and in which predatory animals and reptiles are waiting for their preys.

She was neither afraid nor worried “...And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out [from every difficulty]. And He will provide him from [sources] he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” (Qur’an 65: 2-3)

Akabahgraphicllah, the All-Powerful, provided for her a way out of her distress. He sent 'Uthmaan ibn Talhah to her to accompany her until she reached her place of security. In spite of his being a disbeliever, Umm Salamah testified to his good conduct, noble-mindedness and excellent companionship. All this was later to serve as a treasure for him on the day of the conquest of Makkah.

The key of the Ka’bah was with him, for he was the clan of the Banu ‘Abd-adDaar who were the keepers of the Ka’bah and who were the holders of its key. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) took the key from them and gave it to the Prophet (peace be upon him) . But the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned the key back to 'Uthman repeating the saying of Allah: “Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due...” (Qur’aan 4: 58)

He then told 'Uthmaan ibn Talhah, “Uthmaan take it. Today is the day of probity and fulfilment. It is only the unjust person that will attempt to take it away from you.” 'Uthmaan later accepted Islaam and he was a good Muslim.

All this was a result of blessing of that great day in which he accompanied Umm Salamah from Makkah to Madeenah. It was definitely planned and decreed by Allah.

I hope that we have really grasped the situation, realized the wisdom and given due estimation to its role in history.

Abu Salamah

As Umm Salamah was the daughter of the Prophet’s aunt, Abu Salamah was also the son of Barrah bint Abdul-Mutallib, who was a Prophet’s aunt as well. He had an additional merit: he was a foster brother of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Abu Salamah was among the favourite companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), because of his early acceptance of Islaam, his endurance of immigration and Jihaad in the way of Allah and his firm eemaan, bravery, worship and righteousness. He therefore occupied a place in the eyes of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), who had appointed him a leader of some contingents. He sent him to Banu Asad in the month of Safar, 4 A.H. and be succeeded in his mission and fulfilled the trust.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) attested to his righteousness when he said, “The first person that will be given his record of deeds (on the day of resurrection) is Abu Salamah ibn Abdul-Asad.” Further, he had participated in the battle of Badr and had played a prominent role in it. He then participated in the battle of Uhud and was among those who remained firm. He suffered a serious injury in this from which he healed but not completely. For, after some time, the wound decayed and decayed and deteriorated until it was the cause of his death.

He once came to his wife, Umm Salamah and told her,

“I heard a statement from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that is dearer to me than so and so. I heard him say:

“No one is afflicted by a calamity and then make istirjaa (by saying innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'oon – to Allah we belong and to him we are returning) and after that say,

‘O Allah! It is from you that I seek the reward of this calamity of mine.
O Allah provide a better substitute for me’,

except that Allah will give him that.”

Ziyad ibn Maryam narrated that Umm Salamah told Abu Salamah,

“I heard if the husband of a woman dies and he is one of the inhabitants of paradise and his wife did not remarry after him, Allah will join them together in paradise. The same thing applies to the man.”

Abu Salamah then told his wife,

“I am making a pledge with you that I will not marry after you and you will not marry after me.”

He then asked her,

“Will you obey me?”

Umm Salamah said, “If I did not want to obey you I would not have consulted you.” Abu Salamah changed his mind and said,

“If I do (die) you should remarry.”

He then said,

“O Allah! Provide for Umm Salamah after me a man who is better than me and who will not disgrace her or harm her.”

Umm Salamah said, “When he died I said, ‘Who is that man that will be better than Abu Salamah?’ Then after a while, the Messenger of Allah completely married me.”


Umm Salamah now entered a new role in her life by being the wife of the Noble Messenger and the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). Before I begin discussing her new role as the Prophet's wife, I would like to mention how ‘Aa'ishah described Umm Salamah.

Ibn Sa’d reported on the authority of 'Urwah from 'Aa'ishah that she said:

“I was very sad when Messenger of Allah married Umm Salamah because of the news of her beauty that had reached us. I had taken the matter lightly until I saw her and I saw that she was even more beautiful than I was told... I then realized that I was only feeling jealous.”

Ibn Sa’d said about Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her),

“Umm Salamah was said to possess great beauty, extra ordinary intelligent and correct judgement.”

It must be kept in mind that it wasn't sexual passion or beauty that spurred the Prophet (peace be upon him) to marry Umm Salamah. His very life strongly refutes that. For example, his marriage to Sawdah Bint Zam'ah after the death of Khadeejah is a strong proof of this. Rather, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon) was encouraged to marry Umm Salamah due to two reasons:

One: The Arab custom of supporting the wife of a friend by marrying her after the death of her husband.

Two: The prayer of Abu Salamah that Allah should provide his wife with a husband who would be better than him after his death.

Umm Salamah herself informs us of this:

“When Abu Salamah died, I did not feel comfortable to ask Allah to substitute him for me with someone who is better than him (as a Muslim must say when afflicted with a calamity). And I said, 'Who is better than Abu Salamah? Had he not done this and that? Was he not so and so?’ When I finished the waiting period, the Messenger of Allah sent (someone) to me (to ask for my hand in marriage) and (then) married me.”

An-Nasaa'i narrated this incident in detail:

“When Umm Salamah finished her waiting period after the death of her husband, Abu Bakr proposed marriage to her but she did not accept the proposal. Instead the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent her word, proposing marriage to her. She said to the person sent to her,

‘Tell the Messenger of Allah that I am a jealous woman, I have children and none of my guardians is present.’

He sent back to me, ‘Tell her that: as for your jealousy, I will ask Allah to remove it and as for you having children, I will take care of them and as for the fact that none of your guardians are present, none of them, (whether) present or absent, will oppose your marriage to me.’

She then asked her son ‘Umar,

'Get up and marry (me) to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).’

And he married her to him.”

In another narration by An-Nasaa'i (rahimahullah) it says:

“When I gave birth to Zaynab, the Messenger of Allah came and proposed marriage to me. I said,

‘I am not fit for marriage (i.e. i am old), I am (a) jealous (person by nature) and have children.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, ‘I am older than you; as for your jealousy, Allah will remove it and as for the children, Allah and His Messenger will take care of them.’

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then married her, and he would come to her and ask, “Where is the Zaynab?”

By entering the household and family of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as one of the Mothers of the Faithful, she started another phase and role that had its own significance and impact, especially since she was highly intelligent and had a good sense of judgement.

She had made her apartment a comfortable place which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) frequented and took as a place for rest. Perhaps she reminded him – with her maturity, wisdom, affection, big heart, the sweetness of her smile, her pleasant reception and her pure companionship of Khadeejah. It is true that 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the dearest wife of Prophet (peace be upon him) , but Umm Salamah’s status as one of the Mothers of the Faithful had made for her a new place and grounded status in the heart of the Prophet (peace be upon him). She was the mediator among the Prophet’s wives; all of them honoured her and respected her status.

An Unforgettable and Memorable Stance

pinkwithskyHistory has recorded her for an unforgettable stance she took. This stance has been unanimously praised in all narrations which mention this incident.

After the truce of Hudaybiyah, many Companions of Prophet (peace be upon him) felt frustrated and disappointed. 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab was the most upset and did not agree with the truce. Abu Bakr admonished 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) to abide by the Prophet’s decision, but 'Umar strongly disagreed and turned away from the advise of Abu Bakr.

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to them after the truce he told 'Umar, “I am indeed the Messenger of Allah and He will not neglect me.”

The truce of Hudaybiyyah apparently implied the superiority of Quraysh as it gave them many concessions. Though implicitly it was full of wisdom and far-sightedness. Subsequent events revealed this fact.

It was enough of a glad tiding that Allah referred to the truce ‘a clear victory’ in His book when He said: {Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad) a manifest victory.} (Qur’aan 48: 1) The Surah in which this verse can be found has also been named ‘Surah of victory’, although sadly many people aren't aware of this.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had brought the sacrificial animals with him. But since the Quraysh had prevented him from completing his rites, he decided to terminate his ihraam and commanded the people to do the same due to the truce concluded between them . However, the Companions failed to comply; this was a dangerous phenomenon!

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) visited Umm Salamah for it was her turn to go with him on that day. She saw that he was distressed and sad. She gently asked him for the reason behind his sadness; he narrated what had happened. While speaking to the Prophet (peace be upon him) gently and pleasantly in a manner full of love and care, in a prudent, wise and mature manner she advised him to go out, call his barber and have his head shaven publicly.

He did so and suddenly people started shaving and cutting their hair. They were shoving and pushing each other so much so that they nearly killed each other. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was so happy and smiled so much so that his molar teeth were visible. The problem was hence solved and satan, who wanted to cause dissension between the Muslims was defeated. All this is due to Allah’s mercy and grace, in that He gave Umm Salamah the sensibility in providing the correct advice to His Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) at the correct time. In this is a lesson for our Muslim Sisters: sometimes the correct advice, given at the right time, may endear you to your husband even more and raise you in his eyes and respect.

After the Prophet's Demise

After the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Umm Salamah lived for many years, so much so that she was the last of the Prophet’s wives to die. Umm Salamah hence later witnessed some of the sad and heart-breaking events the Muslims experienced. There is no doubt that the crises that emanated from the martyrdom of 'Uthman ibn 'Affaan was a great trial and tribulation for the Muslims. Umm Salamah remained neutral throughout this crisis and did not partake in the bloodshed. Infact, she, according to many reports, called out for harmony and mutual love among the Muslims.

One of the most prominent deeds attributed to her during these crises was that she did not criticise 'Aa'ishah after the Battle of the Camel. The love for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and the love of the Prophet’s household had occupied the loving heart of Umm Salamah.

May Allah be pleased with her!

May He honour her abode!

May our Sisters, Mothers and Daughters follow her worthy example.

Indeed, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Responding.


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