Transcribed by Editorial Staff
As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters!
And welcome to a new episode of “In the Light of the Sahabah” the Companions whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) chose and blessed to have the companionship and to be in the presence of our beloved Nabi (Prophet) (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Every single one of the Companions has a tale to tell and every single one of them has a story that we can extract benefits from (in sha’a Allah-u ta’ala).
In this episode we will go through the beautiful story of Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) whose name was Hind bint Abi Umayyah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha).
The Setting of the Story
Now the story goes right back to the beginning of the Call of the Prophet (‘alaihi as-salatu was-salam) when he first received the revelation from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that there were only a few companions who actually accepted Islam.
From those few individuals was Um Salamah and her husband Abu Salamah and their one son. Now, through the time that they lived in Makkah they went through a very, very difficult time where they were persecuted and they were oppressed just for saying (La Ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah). But (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) blessed them with Iman (faith) and they persevered and struggled and strived with their Islam in Makkah.
The First Hijrah
After a short while, it became very difficult for the Muslims to live in Makkah. Therefore, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted them or some of the Companions to make Hijrah, that they would leave Makkah and that they would go to a land called “Habashah” which is modern-day Abyssinia.
Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their son, they made that great journey (subhana Allah) to leave Makkah, to leave their home and to reside in the new land, Abyssinia, whose leader was known to be just and fair. An-Najashi who, later on, embraced Islam and became a great Muslim (al hamdu lillah).
Back in Makkah
So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah they lived there in Al-Habashah for a while. After a short while they heard that the situation in Makkah had somewhat improved and that the Muslims were then able to practise their Islam more freely. So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their young child, they returned to Makkah, however, only to find that (subhana Allah) the situation was even worse than it was before.
Abu Salamah and Um Salamah were from a very famous family and they were known to be a very strong family. In fact, Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) was known to be a very noble husband. And that they had very, very good etiquettes with one another.
The family of Um Salamah and Abu Salamah are our beautiful example for us as Muslims to look up to that we should try to emulate their example in being strong Muslims and compassionate and loving and merciful to one another.
The Great Hijrah to Medina
So, while in Makkah, they were unable to persist and to practise their Islam freely. So, again the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted the Muslims, on a whole, to make the Great Hijrah from Makkah all the way to al-Madinah. So, the Muslims, one by one, began gathering their belongings, gathering their possessions to leave their home to go and live in a new land.
Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) they had one ride, began filling his ride with their belongings their clothes and possessions. And then, they were going to leave Makkah to go to al-Madinah. Upon leaving, the tribe which Um Salamah belonged to, they saw her leaving. And they stopped them all and said,
“Where are you all going? This woman belongs to our tribe and we will not let her go. She is one of our daughters. You can go with your son but she stays here.”
And they said this forcibly without no choice or discussion in the matter. Then, another tribe which belonged or Abu Salamah belonged to, they said,
“You will not take this young boy. This young boy, Salamah, he belongs to our tribe. Abu Salamah, you’re an old man. You can leave!”
The Family were Split up
Abu Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) had no choice but to leave Makkah and make the Hijrah on his own. And in just a few moments, after the family all being together with all of their possessions, (subhana Allah) they were all split up and they were all in different places.
Um Salamah was kept almost as a prisoner by her tribe, Banu Makhzum. And the child, Salamah, who was kept by the tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and, of course Abu Salamah was alone in Madinah.
Um Salamah (subhana Allah) (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) every day, she used to go to the spot where they were all spit up. And this went on for a very, very long time (subhana Allah) until one of the people who belonged to another sub-tribes of the Makhzumi tribe saw Um Salamah in a very bad way. So, he said to the tribe, this individual,
“Why don’t you just let her go to her husband? You can see that she’s right poorly. She’s very depressed, she’s right down. What do you gain from this? Just let her go!” Until Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts. And eventually, they agreed that Um Salamah could leave Makkah and go to al-Madinah.
But then, the question is: how could Um Salamah leave her son who was with the other tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and leave her son. Yes, she can go to her husband, but leaving her son was not an option. So, they went to the tribe and spoke to them as well and said,
“Would you not leave this young boy? Let him go with his mother and go on this journey. What do you benefit from keeping him here away from his father and splitting up the family?”
Again (al hamdu lillah), Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts, opened their hearts until they gave permission. So, Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) took her son and whatever belongings they had and they left Makkah.
The Hijrah of Um Salamah and her Son
Just as they left, on the outskirts of Makkah, they bumped into an individual in an area called “At-Tan’im” and his name was ‘Uthman ibn Talhah.
In the eighth year AH, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he embraced Islam. And in fact, it is his tribe who were the custodians of the key to the Kaaba.
‘Uthman ibn Talhah said to Um Salamah and her son,
“Where are you going?”
She replied, “We are making the Hijrah and we are going to live in al-Madinah.”
He replied to her and said, “I will not allow you to travel alone. it is a two-week journey in the hot desert for you to go alone. I will take you and when I will drop you off at al-Madinah, I will return”.
Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha), she said that ‘Uthman ibn Talha, even though he was a non-Muslim at this time was a very noble man.
And (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guided him later to the Deen (religion) of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
The Family Reunited Again
So, upon arrival in al-Madinah, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he left Um Salamah to go and meet with her family (al hamdu lillah). After years being apart, Um Salamah and Abu Salamah and their son were reunited (al hamdu lillah). And through the next couple of years, they had more children (wa lillahi al-hamd).
As we know, during the seerah of the life of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam), there were a number of battles. And Abu Salamah participated in the Battle of Badr, as he did participate in the Battle of or Uhud. However, during the Battle of Uhud, he was injured and (Subhan Allah), he was quite severely injured and was unable to leave the home.
Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) went to visit her own husband and was with him all the time. One of the Companions came to Um Salamah and said,
“Ya (O), Um Salamah, I’m going to teach you a du’a’ (supplication) that you should say.
“Allah-umma ajirni fi musibati wa-khluf li khairan minha”
“O Allah! Give me a reward during this calamity!”
(Subhan Allah), her husband is in a very bad state.
“And grant me something which is better in the future!”
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) decreed that Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) would pass away due to his injuries. The prophet ((salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) came and made a du’a’ for Abu Salamah by saying,
(Allah-umma ighfir li Abi Salamah) “O, Allah! Forgive Abu Salamah!
(Subhan Allah) Um Salamah with four children was all alone in al-Madinah what a sacrifice so she had made! And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was severely testing her.
Um Salam’s Second Marriage
It was the known custom not to leave a woman alone. Therefore, Abu bakr As-siddiq (radiya Allahu ‘anhu), he came and he proposed to Um Salamah, but she refused. And then, ‘Umar (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) proposed and likewise, she said no. Then, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) proposed to Um Salamah.
Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) said,
“O, Messenger of Allah! I have three things that I want to mention to you.
Number one is that I am a very jealous person.
And number two is that I am very old in age.
And number three is that I have many children.”
The Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,
“As for the first one: concerning your jealousy, then I will make du’a’ to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that he removes that. As for your age, then I am older than you. And as for your children, then they are children that belong to Allah and his messenger (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).”
Upon this, they married (wa lillahi al-hamd). And the title that she was given, Um Salamah, she was now called ‘Um Al-Mu’mineen’ (The Mother of The Believers). (Subhan Allah) what a great title that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave to her!
And if we look back, the du’a’ that she made, “O Allah! Grant me a reward during this musibah (calamity) and grant me something which is better than in the future. When she said,
“And who is better than Abu Salamah? How can I possibly remarry somebody who is better than Abu Salamah?”
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) granted that she would have a husband better than Abu Salamah. And that was our dear beloved Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Now, Um Salamah, as we know, she was the last of the wives to pass away. She passed away in the year 61 after Hijrah and has a number of famous advices that were given to the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) throughout his life.
A Lesson to be Learned
So, whatever matters, my dear brothers and sisters, that we may be afflicted with a trial or calamity, we make this du’a’ to Allah (Subhanhu wa ta’ala).
“That we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.” (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un) (Quran 2:155)
And we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala ) to be rewarded for that test. And that we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He grants us something better in the future.
(wa Allah-u ya’ lam-u wa antum la ta’lamun) that “Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knows and that you do not know.” (Quran 2:216)
I ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He allows us to be steadfast during all tests and that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants us something (which) is better in the future!
Baraka Allah-u fikum (Allah bless you!)
Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!
By Aisha Stacey
Three of the non-Arabs that accepted Islam in the very early days of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, stand out. They were Salman from Persia, Bilal ibn Rabah, whose heritage was Abyssinian, and Shuaib, known as the Roman. These three men were among Prophet Muhammad’s close companions, they readily recognized Islam as the truth, and gave the fledgling religion a foretaste of the worldwide acceptance it would enjoy. Prophet Muhammad is said to have predicted the spread of Islam by describing them as the forerunners of their respective ethnic groups; Suhaib from Romans, Bilal from the Abyssinians, and Salman from the Persians.
In the beginning of Islam, the fledgling Muslims could not worship openly or comfortably. Arqam’s house was selected as a place where they could meet, pray and learn about Islam.
Suhaib’s Early Life
Suhaib was the son of a man who ruled an outlying province of the Persian Empire in the area now known as Iraq. He was, by all accounts, a fun-loving, well educated, and intelligent little boy. One day, when attending a picnic with his mother and other women and children, their party was attacked by Byzantine raiders who captured many slaves. The blonde blue-eyed little boy Suhaib spent his boyhood and youth being traded as a possession. However, his owners all recognized his intelligence and his education continued. He was soon fluent in Greek, the dominant language of the Eastern Roman Empire and had acquired excellent trading skills.
The Pursuit of a Meaningful Life
Although Suhaib adopted the Byzantine customs and lifestyle he never felt completely at ease in the decadent empire and was later heard to remark that, “A society like this (Byzantine Empire) can only be purified with a deluge.” In his young adulthood Suhaib found out of the Byzantine empire and arrived in Mecca as a skilled merchant. The stories of his return to his homeland differ. Some say that he escaped with a significant amount of wealth and started a trading partnership with Abdullah ibn Judan. Others believe that he was eventually sold to Abdullah ibn Judan, who recognized his skills and emancipated him. No matter what manner is correct Suhaib did prosper and become very rich. However, the prevailing idolatry and depravity of Mecca overshadowed his success and brought him no peace of mind. His search for meaning in his life eventually brought him to the House of Arqam.
In the beginning of Islam, the fledgling Muslims could not worship openly or comfortably. Arqam’s house was selected as a place where they could meet, pray and learn about Islam. The house could be entered and exited secretly and it was in a narrow street that could be seen from within.
It is narrated that Ammar said, “I met Suhaib ibn Sinan at the doorstep of Arqam’s house when the Messenger of Allah was there. I said, ‘What do you want?’ He asked me in turn, ‘and what do you want?’ I said I would like to speak with Prophet Mohammad and listen to his message. He said that he would like to do the same. Then we entered together the house and he (the Prophet) introduced us to Islam and we both accepted it. We remained in the house for the rest of the day and left secretly in the darkness of the night.”[i]
Migration to Medina
Thus, Suhaib began his journey of piety. It was not an easy period for him. He was without family or tribal support and his wealth and new status as a free person did not save him from the abuses and persecution suffered by many new Muslims at the hands of the Meccan elite. When Prophet Muhammad began to encourage his followers to migrate to Medina, Suhaib was keen to be among them. Due to his wealth, the Meccan elite tried to prevent him, to the extent that they had guards watching over him and trying to foil any escapes. Eventually he resorted to subterfuge.
Suhaib pretended to have a stomachache and went in and out of his house as if needing to repeatedly answer the call of nature. The guards joked about his condition, got bored and fell asleep. Suhaib took the opportunity to arm himself with a sword and a bow and galloped away from Mecca on his horse. The guards arose from their stupor and gave chase, trapping Suhaib on a hill. He stood there threatening to kill them all, but quickly changed tactics and decided to offer them money to allow him to escape. The guards took up that offer and he continued on to Medina.
When Suhaib reached Quba, just outside Medina, Prophet Muhammad saw him approaching and said, “Your transaction has been fruitful, O Abu Yahya. Your transaction has been fruitful.” He repeated it three times. Suhaib was overjoyed and said, “By God, no one has come before me to you, Messenger of God, only the angel Gabriel could have informed you about this.”[ii]
Suhaib was able to recoup the wealth he gave away to the guards and continued to be generous with his wealth, giving it away at every opportunity, even feeding the needy, the orphans or the captives. Umar ibn al-Khattab once remarked, “Why are you nicknamed as Abu Yahya (father of John) when you don’t have a child? You say that you are an Arab when you are known as the Roman, and you feed people too much, I have seen you giving out so much food that you appear to be too extravagant.” Suhaib replied that he once heard Prophet Muhammad say “The best of you is the one who gives out food.”[iii]
Suhaib leads the Muslims in Prayer after Umar’s Death
Years later after Prophet Muhammad’s death, when Umar was the leader of the Muslim nation, Suhaib learned that he (Umar) had been stabbed. He was unable to control his anger and grief and ran to Umar’s side weeping. “Alas! my brother, Alas! my friend!” Even as he was dying Umar said, “O Suhaib! Are you weeping for me when the Prophet said, “The dead person is tormented by some of the weeping of his relatives?”[iv]
Umar called six of his companions to decide among themselves who should succeed him.[v] He then assigned Suhaib to lead the Muslims in prayers and undertake the interim leadership of the Islamic nation. Suhaib is known to have narrated more than thirty hadith and three of them can be found in Saheeh Muslim.
Suhaib ibn Sinan ar-Rumi died in Medina thirty-eight years after the migration, in 658 CE at approximately seventy years of age. Sa’d ibn Abu Waqas led his funeral prayer, and he is buried in Jannat al-Baqi, the first Islamic cemetery established in Medina.
[i] Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr, p. 189. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
[ii] Iman Ahmad
[iii] Imam Ahmad, Sahih Al-Bukhari
[iv] The Niche of Lamps (Miskat al-Masabih) 1-4 Vol 2.
[v] The six men were Ali ibn Abu Talib, Uthman ibn Affan, Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas, Zubair ibn Awwam and Talhah ibn Ubaydullah
Source: islamreligion.com with some modifications
By Editorial Staff
As well as being a very famous Companion of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), Ka’b ibn Malik was one of his poets.
Allah accepted the repentance of Ka’b ibn Malik because he was truthful and repented sincerely.
This story of Ka’b which is found in Al-Bukhari and Muslim is so amazing and touching, which the following video is going to cover. Ka’b (Allah be pleased with him) himself relates this beautiful story. Moreover, the Quran speaks about this story, what gives it more importance. Allah says,
and so too upon the three (believers) who were left behind, (who are herewith granted repentance). When, behold, the earth, for all its breadth, (seemed to) close in about them, and (the very reaches of) their souls closed in about them, as well, and they realized that there is no refuge from God except in Him- then He relented toward them, so that they may repent. Indeed, it is God who is the All-Relenting, the Mercy-Giving. (Quran 9:118)
In fact there are many lessons to be learned from this story. Here are a few examples:
1. Allah may provide you with wealth to test you.
2. Be truthful no matter what.
3. Never procrastinate!
4. Repent to Allah sincerely!
5. Be keen on joining the company of righteous people
Watch this video and tell us what else you have learned!
By Dr. CRAIG CONSIDINE
“You shall not kill yourselves, for God is truly merciful” (َQuran 4:29).
What does it mean to be Muslim?
It is a striking question, especially when a Catholic – such as myself – considers it after years of research on Muslim-Christian relations. One matter which has struck me in my experiences with Muslims is the sanctity of life that so many of them hold dear in their hearts and minds.
Yet, many people are not able to view the Islamic tradition so favorably. In a country like the United States, the level of anti-Muslim sentiment has hit record highs.
Some U.S. citizens views acts like suicide bombings, carried out by Muslims worldwide, as true reflections of Qur’anic teachings and the life of Prophet Muhammad.
Are these beliefs correct? Where exactly did Muhammad stand on issues such as suicide and the preservation of human life? And what does Islamic scripture say about these matters?
Any discussion on the alleged permissibility of suicide bombings in the Islamic tradition must begin with the following verse of the Qur’an:
“You shall not kill yourselves, for God is truly merciful” (َQuran 4:29).
Another verse clearly states that killing – whether it is one’s self or another human being – is forbidden:
“… if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind” (Quran 5:32).
The Qur’an again makes it clear that there are rules to human conflict which must be followed:
“And fight in the way of God against those who fight you. But do not transgress the limits. God does not love transgressors” (Quran 2:190).
While we could explore more verses of the Qur’an which condemn suicide or killing in all forms, perhaps we are better served by looking at how Muhammad respected, preserved and cherished life over death.
During the pre-Islamic period of Muhammad’s life, violence and retaliation were commonplace on the peninsula of modern-day Arabia. Warfare between extended family networks in cities like Mecca caused great harm to many groups.
Muhammad struggled to end these kinds of divisions and tribal mentalities. He united the rivaling Arab tribes and brought together Jews, Christians and Muslims in several contracts including the Constitution of Medina and the Covenants with Christians. Above all else, Muhammad had focused on the divinity of all living things as the fundamental building block of his nation.
Prophet Muhammad laid out a set of points which are known today as “Muhammad’s Commands in Wars.” The list embodies the emphasis that he placed on the sanctity of life.
O people! I charge you with 10 rules; learn them well… for your guidance in the battlefield! Do not commit treachery, or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.
Muhammad’s rules of war, as activist and human rights advocate Qasim Rashid notes, “permit defensive fighting against active combatants while forbidding harm to anyone or anything else – human, animal, property.” We can also assume that the Prophet would command his people that harming one’s self is strictly forbidden.
Perhaps my favorite story on the respect that Muhammad had for human life is noted in a hadith.
Muhammad and his companions were watching a funeral procession go down a street in Medina. In respect of the dead body, the Prophet stood up as the procession crossed in front of him. As he rose to his feet, a companion turned to Prophet Muhammad and commented: “This is a funeral of a Jew. He is not a Muslim.” Disappointed by those words, Muhammad responded back with a question: “Is he not a human soul?”
The message of this story is clear: Muhammad had a deep appreciation for life irrespective of race or creed, and he also hoped that human beings would not respond to injustice by doing further harm to themselves or others.
Prophet Muhammad’s life and legacy bring us to a natural concluding point – jihad, or the spiritual struggle against one’s self. My own lectures at Rice University in Houston, Texas, focus on jihad as a peaceful and humanitarian concept, and not a term which stands for suicide bombings or “holy war,” a frequent mistranslation which appears in the media. Considering the Qur’anic passages condemning suicide, and the Prophet’s own teachings on the sanctity of human life, it is reckless to place an act like suicide bombing within the realm of jihad. The greater jihad is to bring peace and justice without having to harm anyone.
About the author:
Dr. Craig Considine is a scholar, professor, global speaker, and media contributor based at the Department of Sociology at Rice University. He is the author of The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View (Blue Dome Press, 2020), and Islam in America: Exploring the Issues (ABC-CLIO 2019), among others.