All praise is due to Allaah who has seen us this far in the month of Ramadan. We seek His blessings and benediction on the best of His creatures, his household companions and those who follow his footsteps till the Day of judgement [Aamin].
She was an exceptional woman with characteristics that are usually peculiar to men. She is Umm Sulaym [RA]. What are those characteristics that she possessed that makes her different other women?.
Among the female Companions of the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him], there a few with these characteristics. From them is Umm Sulaym! Who is Umm Sulaym? She is ar-Rumaysa or Ghmaytha bint Milhan ibn Khalid. Her mother was Mulayka bint Malik. She married Malik bn an-Nadr and bore him Anas bn Malik. Later, she got married to Abu Talha [RA] and bore him Abdullah and Abu Umayr.
Umm Sulaym as a believer
Umm Sulaym [RA] as has been stated above, first got married to a man called Malik bn an-Nadr [Anas father] but the marriage failed. Why? A Great Resolve! When the prohibition of alcohol was made by Allaah in the Quran, the Muslims abandoned it but some other people did not like its prohibition. One of those who did not like it was Malik bn an Nadr [Umm Sulayms husband]. He therefore, for that singular reason, left Madinah for Sham where he could do what he liked.
Narrated Anas [RA]: Malik an-Nadr said to his wife; Umm Sulaym [RA]: This man [Muhammad [peace and blessings be upon him] is forbidding khamr [alcohol]. So he left Madinah for Sham and he died there [Ahkam Janaiz]. Umm Sulaym [RA] did not follow her husband because she was of a firm belief in what the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] was propagating and was not ready to leave it for anything Nothing But Islam. After Malik bn an-Nadrs death, Abu Talhah [RA] proposed marriage to Umm Sulaym [RA]. Abu Talhah was a rich man with plenty of gold and silver at his disposal. But he lacked one thing: Islam. He was an idol worshipper.
Abu Talhah [RA], because of his wealth was confident Umm Sulaym would readily accept his proposal without any problem .Anas [RA] narrated that Abu Talhah [RA] approached [i.e. proposed to] his [Malik an- Nadr] widow seeking to marry her. She was a little woman with beautiful eyes. She responded, "O Abu Talhah [RA]! someone like you should not be refused. However, you are a disbelieving man, and I am a Muslim woman; thus I may not marry you!" He said, "This is not what had concerned you in your life." She asked, "And what had concerned me?" He replied, "The yellow and the white (i.e., gold and silver)." She said, "I do not want any yellow or white. All I want from you is Islam. If you embrace Islam then that would be my mahr (bride price), and I would ask you for nothing else." He asked, "Who would help me with that?" She replied, "Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) will help you with that."
Abu Talhah went to Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) while he was sitting among his Companions. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saw him, he said, "Here comes Abu Talhah to you, with the sign of Islaam between his eyes." He told Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) about what Umm Sulaym said, and he married them for that specified mahr.
Thabit (RA) said, "We never heard of any greater mahr than the one she requested, which is Islam!" [Nasai] In another narration, in the process of trying to convince Abu Talhah to become a Muslim, Umm Sulaym said as narrated by Anas [RA]; Abu Talhah! Do you not know that your god which you worship is only a tree which grows from the earth which was carved by an Abyssinian of a certain tribe? He said that he did. She said, Are you not ashamed to prostrate yourself to a piece of wood which grows from the earth which was carved by an Abyssinian of a certain tribe? If you testify that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, I will marry you without desiring any other dower from you. He said to her, Let me think.
So he went away and thought and then came back and said, I testify that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. [Tabaqat Ibn Saad] Always with the Propflet [peace and blessings be upon] Umm Sulaym [RA] loved the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] and will always along with her husband, wanted to be wherever the Prophet was. Anas bn Malik [RA] said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) visited Umm Sulaym and prayed a voluntary prayer in her house. He said, Umm Sulaym, when you pray, say Subhanallah, ten times, Alhamdulillah, ten times, Allaahu Akbar ten times and then ask whatever you wish from Allaah. He will say to you Yes, Yes, Yes. (Tabaqat Ibn Saad)
One day Abu Talhah invited the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] for a meal after noticing that the Prophet was hungry. They had a little food in their house though. The Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] arrived Abu Talhahs house with some of his Companions. The food [loaves of bread] obviously would never be able to go round them. The Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] told Umm Sulaym to bring the food and he invoked blessings on the food. Eventually, the food that could barely satisfy a few people was taken by seventy or eighty people who all ate to their satisfaction! [Muslim] In another narration Umm Sulaym said: Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) visited her house and (took rest) and she spread a piece of cloth for him and he had a siesta on it.
And he sweated profusely and she collected his sweat and put it in a perfume and in bottles. He said: Umm Sulaym, what is this? She said: It is your sweat, which I put in my perfume. Allaahs Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sweated in cold weather when revelation descended upon him [Muslim] On the battlefields. As has been stated earlier ,Umm Sulaym was a woman of great rage and bravery. She took her 10 or the Prophet [peace and bless s be upon him] even to the battlefields. Umara ibn Ghaziya said, Umm Sulaym was present with the Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings be upon him] while she was pregnant with Abdullah, and she had a dagger which she strapped to her waist [Tabaqat Ibn Saad]
Anas [RA] narrated: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was preparing for a trip when Umm Sulaym [RA] was in advanced pregnancy and was feeling some pain of labour. Abu Talhah [RA] found himself restrained by that, and he said, "0 my Lord! You know that I like to go with Your Messenger when he goes, and return with him when He returns, but I have been restrained as You see. Umm Sulaym told him, "0 Abu Talhah! I do not feel the pain anymore, so let us go." Thus they went on that trip with Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).
As they approached al-Madeenah on their way back, she went into full labour and delivered a boy. She told her son, Anas, "0 Anas, take these dates, and do not let the baby eat anything until you give him first to Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in the morning." [Ahkam Janaiz] Seeking For Knowledge Umm Sulaym [RA] was a woman who sought for knowledge and was never shy to ask any question irrespective of its type.
Narrated Anas ibn Malik [RA]; Umm Sulaym who was the grandmother of Ishaq came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) in the presence of Aisha and said to him: Messenger of Allaah, in case a woman sees what a man sees in dream and she experiences in dream what a man experiences (i.e, wet dream)? Upon this Aisha remarked: O Umm Sulaym, you brought humiliation to women; may your right hand be covered with dust. He (the Prophet) said to (Aisha: Let your hand be covered with dust.
And addressing Umm Sulaym) said: Well, O Umm Sulaym, she should take a bath if she sees that (i.e. experiences wet dream). [Muslim] Umm Sulaym as a wife Apart from the fact that Umm Sulaym was a good believer, she was equally alive to her responsibility as a wife. She was an example to be followed by women. Umm Sulaym had a child for Abu Talhah who was ill and she was taking care of him. The child became severely ill, and Abu Talhah was strongly overwhelmed by that. Abu Talhah's habit was to get up for the morning prayer, perform wuduu, go and pray with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), stay with him close to midday, then come home to eat and rest. He would then pray zuhr, prepare himself, and leave again until the night prayer. One evening, Abu Talhah was in the Masjid with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when tire child passed away.
Umm Sulaym said to those with her, "Let no one announce to Abu Talhah the death of his son, until I be the first to announce it to him." She then prepared the body (for burial), put it in a far side of the house, and covered it with a piece of cloth. Abu Talhah came back from the Prophets (peace and blessings be upon him) Masjid with a group of his companions. He asked her, "How is my son doing?" She replied, "O Abu Talhah! Since he fell sick, he was never quieter than he is now, and I hope that he is now resting!" An Interesting Logic! She then brought the dinner and put it in front of them. They ate, and the men departed.Abu Talhah went to bed. Umm Sulaym beautified herself, wore perfume, and followed him to bed. As soon as he smelled the perfume, he did what a man would toward his wife. About the end of the night, she said, "O Abu Talhah! !f someone lends something to another and then requests it back, would he have any right to refuse returning it?" He replied, "No!" She said, "Allaah has then lent you your son for an appointed term, and then took him back. So seek His reward and be patient!" He became angry and said, "You waited until I disgraced myself with what I have done, and then you announced to me my sons death!" He then said the istirja [innalillahi wa inna ilaehi rajiun] and praised Allaah.
In the morning, he performed ghusl, went to Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), prayed with him, and told him what happened. Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "May Allah bless for you what you have done last night." Umm Sulaym became pregnant (from that night), and (when he was informed of it) the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "When she delivers, bring me the baby" Umm Sulaym as a mother: Umm Sulaym [RA]'s life also showed a great demonstration of what an ideal mother should be. She wanted the best for her children and took good care of them. The Boy Servant When Anas [RA] was a young boy, Umm Sulaym took him to the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] so that he could be his servant. She knew that there was no better place that Anas [RA] could have gotten a better training and blessing.
Anas [RA] said: My mother Umm Anas came to Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and she prepared my lower garment out of the half of her headdress and (with the other half) she covered my upper body and said: Allaahs Messenger, here is my son Unays; I have brought him to you so that he might serve you. Invoke blessings of Allaah upon him. Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: O Allaah, make an increase in his wealth, and progeny.
Anas said: By Allaah, my fortune. is huge and my children, and grandchildren "e now more than one hundred. [Bukhari] Also, when she gave birth Abdullah that she had for Abu Talhah, she made sure that the child received the blessing of the Prophet [ peace and blessings be upon him]. This she did Anas [RA] to take him to the Messenger of Allaah. In the morning, he took him to Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). He found him wearing a striped cloak and marking some cattle that he had received. When he saw the baby he asked Anas, "Did Milhans daughter deliver? He replied, "Yes!" He said, "Wait until I finish what I am doing." He then put away what he had in his hand, held the baby, and asked, "Did you bring anything with him?" He replied. "yes, some dates.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) took some dates, chewed on them, mixing them with his saliva, opened the babys mouth, and rubbed the chewed dates inside his mouth. The baby starte hungrily sucking the sweetness of the dates as well as Allaahs Messengers (peace and blessings be upon him) saliva. Thus the first thing to enter the babys stomach was the saliva of Allaahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). He then said: "Watch how the Ansaar love dates!
Anas[RA] then said, "O Allaah's Messenger! Give him a name." And he rubbed his face and named him Abdullaah. Anas [RA] said that no youth among al-Ansar was better than Abdullah. Many men descended from him, and he was martyred in Persia. Indeed, Umm Sulaym was an exceptional woman companion. Taking her as an example as a woman, is a thing that every woman should try to do.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited