» His Relations » Umm Sulaim (May Allah be pleased with him)
Umm Sulaim (May Allah be pleased with him)
Umm Sulaim was the mother of Anas. When the Prophet migrated to Madinah, Umm Sulaim one day came to him with her son, Anas, who was only ten years old, and said, "O Allah's Messenger! this is my son Anas. I would very much like him to serve you and be included among your servants and that you will pray for him." The Prophet greatly appreciated her feeling of sincerity and love and then very kindly took her son close to him and prayed for him (Muslim and Bukhari).
She was one of the excellent and devout women Companions of the Prophet and the Prophet often went to her house.
After the hijra, when the Prophet established the relation of brotherhood (mwa'khat) between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, it was at the house of Umm Sulaim where the Prophet gathered together all the muhajirun and the Ansar for this historic purpose (Bukhari).
Umm Sulaim particiapted in many battles with the Prophet and served the fighters in various ways. In the Battle of Uhud, Umm Sulaim, along with 'A'ishah , provided drinking water to the wounded (Muslim). When the Prophet married Zainab in the year 5 A.H., Umm Sulaim made some paste of wheat flour and sent it to the Prophet by her son Anas and asked him to request the Prophet to accept her humble little gift. (Bukhari).
In the year 7 A.H., when the Prophet and some Companions marched to Khaiber, Umm Sulaim, along with some other women Companions, followed them. When the Prophet asked them why they had come, they replied, "O Allah's Messenger, we spin the wool and with this provide assistance in the Way of Allah. We have equipment for the wounded soldiers. We will give arrows to the archers and provide barley drinks to the soldiers." Hearing this, the Prophet allowed them to stay with him in the battlefield.
When the Prophet married Safiyah after the battle of Khaibar, it was Umm Sulaim who prepared her as a bride for the Prophet (Muslim). In the Battle of Hunain, when the Muslim army, in disarray and confusion, began retreating, Umm Sulaim and her husband Abu Talha were standing quite close to the Prophet. Umm Sulaim had a dagger in her hand. When the Prophet asked her, "What will you do with it?" She replied, "If any one comes near, I will pierce this through his belly." Hearing this, the Prophet smiled. (Muslim).
It is narrated that the Prophet always kept Umm Sulaim and some women of the Ansar with him in battles. They provided drinking water to the soldiers and attended to the sick and wounded.
Umm Sulaim loved and respected the Prophet immensely and the Prophet also held her in great esteem. According to some reports, the Prophet visited few women other than Ummahat alMu'minin, but Umm Sulaim was an exception. When people asked about it, the Prophet said, "I feel compassion for her; her brother Haram suffered martyrdom in my company" (Muslim). This bears testimony that the Prophet often went to the house of Umm Sulaim.
Umm Sulaim had so much love and respect for the Prophet that whenever he rested in her house, she kept his perspiration and fallen hair in a bottle as a blessing (Bukhari). Sometimes, when the Prophet offered his prayer in her house, she spread a mat for him. Once the Prophet drank water from her leather water bag. She got up and cut the mouth of the bag and kept it with her because the blessed lips of the Prophet had touched it (Muslim).
According to Ibn Sa'd when the Prophet had his hair cut at Mina after the Pilgrimage, Umm Sulaim asked her husband Abu Talha to get the hair from the barber; he did so, and Umm Sulaim kept it all in a bottle as a blessing. (Tabaqat).
The Prophet had also a great affection for her. When the Prophet was getting ready for the Pilgrimage, he asked Umm Sulaim, "Will you go on the Pilgrimage?" She replied, "O Allah's Messenger! My husband has two mounts, and he, along with his son, have gone to the Pilgrimage on them. I have now no mount." The Prophet made her ride with Ummahat al-Mu'minin and thus took her with him on the Pilgrimage. One day, the Prophet came to the house of Umm Sulaim and found her young son Abu Umair looking very sad. He asked Umm Sulaim, "What is the matter? Today Abu Umair is a bit listless." She replied, "O Allah's Messenger, his sparrow with which he used to play has died today; that is why he is grieved." The Prophet called Abu Umair to him and, putting hand kindly on his head, said smilingly, "O Abu Umair, what has your Naghir (the name of the sparrow) done?" Abu Umair laughed in reply and then he became busy in his play. Since then, this sentence of the Prophet has become proverbial.
Once the Prophet came to visit Umm Sulaim and she offered him some dates and butter. The Prophet said that he was fasting. After some time, the Prophet offered his prayer and prayed for the family of Umm Sulaim. Umm Sulaim said, "O Allah's Messenger! I love my son Anas, who is now serving you immensely. Offer a special prayer for him." The Prophet raised his hands and prayed for Anas in these words: "O Allah! Give him wealth, and a long life." It was as a result of his prayer that Anas became the richest man among the Ansar and had a long life and many children.
Once Abu Talha came home and told Umm Sulaim that the Prophet was hungry and she should send some food to him. She gave a few loaves of bread to her son Anas and asked him to go and feed the Prophet. When Anas reached the Mosque, there was a crowd of people around the Prophet. The Prophet asked Anas, "Has Abu Talha sent you?" He replied that that was so. Then the Prophet asked him, "For food?" and he replied, "Yes."
The Prophet, along with all his Companions, came to Umm Sulaim's house. Abu Talha was afraid that the food would not be sufficient for so many men. He asked Umm Sulaim, "Now what should be done so that all the Companions can be fed?" She replied very patiently, "Allah and His Messenger know best." Then whatever was in the house they put before the Prophet and his Companions. With Allah's Blessing, they all ate with full satisfaction.
Once a man came to the Prophet in a very bad state and asked for food. It so happened that on that day there was nothing in the Prophet's house, so he looked towards his Companions and said, "Is there anyone who can take him as his guest?" Hearing this, Abu Talha stood up and told the Prophet that he would take him as his guest. When he came home with his guest and asked Umm Sulaim about food, she told him that there was only enough food for the children, and nothing else in the house. So they put the children to sleep and placed the food before the guest and Umm Sulaim, pretending to adjust the candle, put it out, and the guest ate the food while Abu Talha and Umm Sulaim sat with him pretending to be eating with him. Thus they and their children remained hungry that night but fed the guest of Allah's Messenger. Next morning, when Abu Talha went to the Prophet, he was reciting this verse:
"But give them preference over themselves even though poverty was their (own) lot."
Then the Prophet, turning to Abu Talha, said, "Your treatment last night of your guest is greatly liked by Allah."
Umm Sulaim possessed great virtues. She had such a strong faith that she embraced Islam in spite of her first husband's opposition, and he became angry and went to Syria. Later on, Abu Talha wanted to marry her, but she refused and told him that she would only marry him if he embraced Islam and that his acceptance of Islam would be her marriage dowry. Abu Talha accepted Islam and married Umm Sulaim (Isabah, Ibn sa'd).