Hazrat Umm-e-Salma

An introduction to Mother of the faithful Hazrat Umm-e-Salma (SA)
"Hind" - the daughter of Abu Ummayah and Atekeh, known as Umm-e-Salama was the wife of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) after Hazrat Khadija (SA), who had distinguished and worthy qualities. Her family had such special greatness and nobility that her father, Abu Ummayah, was called "Zad-ar-Rakeb" which means the "owner of gifts and generosity towards his companions and fellow travelers".Umm-e-Salama was one of the first believers who accepted Islam and migrated to Abyssinia and also to Medina for protecting the divine ideals. The Verse of Purification was revealed to the Prophet (SAW) in her house. She was famous among her relatives and friends for her kindness, affection, and loyalty. The scholars have called her the great, the learned, and the visionary lady who had helped in different situations to solve various problems.
Umm-e-Salama's first husband was her cousin, Abu Salamah ibn Abdul-Asad, who was obliged to migrate to Abyssinia because of the extreme oppression of the polytheists. And it was there that their daughter, Salamah was born and after her, their son, Omar was born. Omar was wise and reflective. Since he was brought up under his mother's supervision, even in his youth he participated in all the battles along with Imam Ali (AS) and before that he had been the Governor of Bahrain.
Abu Salamah participated in the Battle of Ohud and was badly injured and finally passed away. This learned Muslim had clear sighted vision that led to the uprooting of wrong traditions and tribal customs. Once when Umm-e-Salamah wanted she and her husband to make a pact that upon the death of either of them the other would not remarry.
Her husband said never shall we make such a pact. He then stretched his hands towards the heavens and said: "O Allah! Please grant Umm-e-Salama a better husband after my death!"
After Abu Salamah's death, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) went to their house for offering his condolences to her and for soothing her pain and sorrow. He said: "O Allah! Please soothe her grief, compensate her suffering, and grant her a better substitute than her late husband. Umm-e-Salama was so distinguished in qualities of beauty, and the perfection of morals and because of that so many well-known personalities who were socially famous and wealthy asked to marry her. One can refer to Abu Bakr and Omar among them. But she accepted to marry the Prophet (SAW) with a little dowry since she was a person of insight, reflective, and also learned. She was able to find an eminent place in the Prophet's (SAW) heart after Hazrat Khadija (SA).
Umm-e-Salama was a pious and learned woman who possessed eloquence and rhetoric. She owned the elixir of devotion and affection of the Prophet's (SAW) house in a way that she was ready to do anything to make the Prophet's (SAW) heart happy and remove his sorrows and grieves. She always sympathized with her dear husband. Therefore, she accompanied him in the Battle of the Ditch, the Battle of the Conquest of Mecca, the Siege of Taif, the Battle of Hawazen, Saghif and then the Farewell Pilgrimage. She was literate during the 'Age of Ignorance' of Arabia when women were looked down upon.
In the Hudaybiah Truce when the Prophet (SAW) commanded the Muslims to shave their heads, to make sacrifices, and to return from Mecca to Medina according to the settlement, most of them did not obey. When Umm-e-Salama saw the Prophet's (SAW) grief, she offered a wise suggestion and said:
"O Messenger of Allah! It is too hard for them to accept the settlement since they desired victory. You should stand up and go out without uttering a word, then sacrifice and shave your own head, and then they'll obey!"
Afterwards all the Muslims stood up and obeyed the Messenger of Allah's command.
Once she revealed her hidden thoughts to the Prophet (SAW) and said: "O Messenger of Allah! Men struggle and participate in the battles, but women don't, and they cannot be martyred. It is a great blessing that we are losing.
The Prophet (SAW) explained to her the other substitute for women and said: "The woman's struggle is in her relations to her husband."
And afterwards Angel Gabriel sent down the following words of Allah:
"And don't covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn; and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things." (An-Nisa: 32)
And then the follow verse was sent down.
"Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the alms giving men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah - has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward." (Al-Ahzab: 35)
Umm-e-Salama: Her love and eagerness towards the Holy Prophet (SAW)
By accepting Islam, Umm-e-Salama soothed her long thirst by drinking from the pure and rich fountain of leaning. She struggled towards attaining eminent morals with the passing of each day and added to her knowledge and faith in the presence of her husband. She saw emotions, knowledge, and faith as valuable keys for obtaining cognition and wisdom, and because of her experience and clear thought and she was able to obey the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and his heavenly lessons by possessing those qualities.
After her marriage with the Prophet (SAW) which made her superior to the rest of his wives was her continuous attempt to obtain his satisfaction. She would like whatever the Prophet (SAW) liked, and would avoid all the people and the objects, which he hated. Thus, she would always talk about the merits of Hazrat Khadija (SA), would respect Imam Ali (AS), would show special affection towards Hazrat Fatima (SA) and would cook the favorite foods of the Prophet (SAW). And that was the reason that one could feel the Prophet (SAW), had a special place for Umm-e-Salama in his heart.
That great lady was so eager to the Messenger of Allah's (SAW) words that she would leave all of her work and tasks half-done to use opportunities to listen to his great words. That was the kind of cognition and eagerness that put Umm-e-Salama among the reliable and truthful narrators. Some said that she narrated 378 Prophetic traditions and still some others believed that she had narrated 518, and all of them were heard from the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and from the members of the Prophet's House (AS).
Umm-e-Salama's competence - which can serve as an example - made all the five Holy Ones (AS) and the Imams trust in her. Thus, they would deposit their possessions with her and would even tell her their secrets. Once the Holy Prophet (SAW) informed her about events of Karbala and the martyrdom of his own dear grandson, Imam Hussain (AS), in advance. He entrusted some soil of Karbala in a glass to her and said: "Whenever you see that the soil of the glass changes to blood know that my grandson, Hussain (AS), has been martyred."
On the 10th day of Muharram, 61 AD, Umm-e-Salama was sleeping in Medina in the afternoon. In her dreams she saw the Prophet (SAW) while he was filled with sorrow and his clothes were dusty. He said: "I'm coming from Karbala and the burial of the martyrs." Suddenly she woke up and looked at the glass, and she found that the soil had changed to blood. It was then that she knew that Imam Hussain (AS) was martyred. She started to mourn and cry. Others knew not about the event and Umm-e-Salama revealed the event. This event is famous as the "Gharoureh Tradition" in the narrations.
Umm-e-Salama: Love of Imam Ali (AS) and Lady Fatima (SA)
When Fatima bint Asad (mother of Imam Ali [AS]) passed away, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) chose Umm-e-Salama as the guardian of Fatima (SA). Once this modest and concerned lady said: "I found Fatima (SA) pouter than myself". And also she herself said:
"Fatima (SA) is the only person who is most like the Messenger of Allah (SAW)."
When Umm-e Ayman asked for fixing the date of the marriage of Fatima (SA), the Prophet (SAW) asked: "Who is here?"
Umm-e- Salama replied: "I'm here and this one is Zainab and those are such and such."
The Prophet (SAW) said: "Prepare a room for my daughter and my cousin in my own house!"
Umm-e-Salama asked: 'Which room do you command?"
The Prophet (SAW) answered: "In your own chamber." Then he asked his companions to go and get ready. This kind lady says: "I asked Fatima (SA) if she had reserved some perfume for herself." She answered:
"Yes". And she brought a glass and poured some of it in my hands. It smelled very sweet and fragrant. I had never smelled it before. I asked where it had come from. She answered that it was a fragrance from Gabriel's wings.
The night of her nuptial ceremony, the Prophet (SAW) asked for all the bowls and the dishes. He filled all and sent them to his wives houses. Then he asked for another bowl and put some food in it, and then he said: "This food is for Fatima and her husband." When the sun set, he asked Umm-e-Salama to bring Lady Fatima (SA). She said: "I went to Fatima (SA) while her dress was sweeping the ground as she walked and took her hands in mine." Sweat was running down her face because of modesty. When she reached the Prophet (SAW), she slipped because of embarrassment. The Prophet (SAW) said: "May Allah save you from all the mundane and other worldly slips!" When she was in front of the Prophet (SAW), he put aside the veil from Fatima's (SA) face so that Ali (AS) could see his wife's face."
Days and weeks after the marriage, Umm-e-Salama was still like a kind and compassionate mother to Lady Fatima (SA) and it was an honor for her to be at the service of Fatima's (SA) children when Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS) were born. The reliance of the Prophet (SAW), Fatima (SA) and Imam Ali (AS) on Umm-e-Salama which could be easily seen in their words as well as their behavior can also be seen in the morals and words of Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS). This shows the success and prosperity of this great lady who was always trustworthy for all the five Holy Ones.
Once the Prophet (SAW) called Umm-e-Salama and entrusted her with the skin of a sheep on which was written many knowledgeable things. He said:
"Anyone who asks for this after me, he is Imam and the leader after me."
Finally Umm-e-Salama, this distinguished and great lady passed away in Medina in 62 AD during Yazid's regime when she was 84 years old. She was buried in the Baqi' cemetery. She was the last surviving woman among the Prophet's (SAW) wives or the 'Mothers of the Faithful'.

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