14 Nov Umm Sulaym (r.anha). Part3
- Umm Sulaym was poor; she did not have many worldly possessions but she was abstinent and generous.
When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came to her house, she did her best to give him something. She sometimes stored some oil and food for days and then sent them to the Prophet. She preferred the Messenger of Allah to her own soul.
- She had a sheep. She collected some butter from the sheep’s milk in a little bag.
When the bag was full, she sent it to the Messenger of Allah with Rubayba, her maid. Rubayba said,
“O Messenger of Allah! Umm Sulaym sent you this butter. Will you empty the bag so that I will take it back?”
The people in the house of the Messenger of Allah emptied the bag and gave it to Rubayba. When Rubayba returned home, Umm Sulaym was not there. She hung the bag onto a nail. When Umm Sulaym came home, she saw that the bag was full of butter. She was surprised and got angry. She knew that the Messenger of Allah needed butter. She called Rubayba and said, “Did I not tell you to take this to the Messenger of Allah? Rubayba did not make a mistake. She said confidently,
“I did. If you do not believe me, you may go and ask the Messenger of Allah.”
Umm Sulaym believed in Rubayba but she wanted to find out what happened. She went to the Messenger of Allah with Rubayba. Umm Sulaym asked,
“O Messenger of Allah! I had sent a bag full of butter to you with Rubayba. Did you receive it?”
The Prophet answered:
“Yes, she brought it.”
In excitement, Umm Sulaym said,
“I swear by Allah who sent you as the true Prophet that the bag is full of butter and it is dripping now.”
Thereupon, the Prophet gave her the following glad tiding:
“O Umm Sulaym! Are you surprised that Allah could feed you as He fed His Messenger? Eat and thank Allah.”
Thus, Umm Sulaym received the reward of her sincere intention in this world, too. Allah Almighty gave her more than the butter she sent to the Messenger of Allah.
- All of the family of Umm Sulaym, her brothers, husband, son, believed in Islam and did not hesitate to make self-sacrifices.
Therefore, they had a special place in the eye of the Prophet. However, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) loved her foster aunt Umm Sulaym more than the others. Therefore, he visited her from time to time and asked about her health. The Messenger of Allah’s taking care of Umm Sulaym and his frequent visits to Umm Sulaym drew the attention of the Companions. Once, they asked him about it. He said,
“I feel pity for Umm Sulaym. Her brother, Haram bin Milhan, was martyred while protecting me.”
When the Prophet visited Umm Sulaym, she did her best to receive the prayer of the Prophet and to make him pleased. Due to her love and respect to the Prophet, she would not allow anybody to sit on the thing that the Prophet sat and to perform prayers on the rug that the Prophet performed prayers. She kept them as mementos. Once, the Prophet came to Umm Sulaym’s house. After talking to her a bit, he drank water from the leather bag hanging on the wall. Umm Sulaym stood up and cut the piece that the mouth of the Messenger of Allah touched from the leather bag and kept it as a memento. Besides, when the Prophet had a haircut, she kept her hair and beard as a memento.
Once, the Prophet went to visit Umm Sulaym; after sitting there for a while, he slept a bit. Meanwhile, beads of perspiration stood out on his forehead. Umm Sulaym started collecting the beads of perspiration trying not to awaken him. However, the Prophet woke up and asked,
“O Umm Sulaym! What are you doing?”
She said, “O Messenger of Allah! I am collecting the drops of perspiration on your forehead for abundance.”
The Prophet smiled. After the death of the Prophet, Umm Sulaym used the beads of perspiration to produce perfume.
The mementos of the Messenger of Allah were a great source of consolation for Umm Sulaym. Once, she said to her son, Anas,
“I cannot cut all of your forelock because the Messenger of Allah caressed it with his blessed hand.”
Thus, she expressed her respect to the mementos of the Messenger of Allah.
* * *
Hz. Umm Sulaym could not bear it when she was away from the Messenger of Allah. Her best days were when she was near the Messenger of Allah even though they were troubled and dangerous days. Once, the Prophet was going to Makkah for hajj. All of the preparations were made. They were ready to set off. Umm Sulaym wished to go with him but it was financially impossible. Therefore, she was very sad. She was about to cry. The Prophet said,
“O Umm Sulaym! Would you like to go to hajj with us?”
Umm Sulaym said,
“O Messenger of Allah! My husband has two camels. He will ride one and his son will ride the other.”
The Prophet did not want this devoted woman to feel sad. He took her to hajj with his wives. Umm Sulaym became very happy.( ibid, 8: 430. )
Umm Sulaym did not tell anyone the secret of the Messenger of Allah; she also told her son Anas not to tell anyone the secret of the Messenger of Allah. Hz. Anas narrates an incident about it as follows:
“Once, I was playing with some children. The Messenger of Allah approached us and greeted us. Then, he sent me somewhere to do something. Therefore, I went home late. When I arrived home, my mother asked, ‘Why are you late?’ I said, ‘The Messenger of Allah sent me somewhere to do something.’ She asked, ‘What was it?’ I said, ‘It is a secret; I cannot tell it to anybody.’ Thereupon, my mother said, ‘Then, do not tell anyone about the secret of the Messenger of Allah.’” ( Muslim, Fadailu’s-Sahaba: 145. )
* * *
Umm Sulaym was a very chaste and modest woman but she did not hesitate to ask the Messenger of Allah about private issues. She knew that modesty and chastity should not prevent learning something. Thus, many family issues became clear thanks to the questions she asked the Messenger of Allah. Once, she went into the presence of the Messenger of Allah to ask about an issue that occupied her mind. She asked,
- “O Messenger of Allah! Is it necessary for a woman to make ghusl if she sees the liquid that man has in her dream (if she has a wet dream)?
The Prophet said,
“Yes. If a woman has a wet dream, she needs to make ghusl.”
Umm Salama, one of the wives of the Prophet, was there. She asked,
“O Messenger of Allah! Does a woman have liquid like men?”
The Prophet said,
“Yes, she does. The liquid of a man is thick and white. The liquid of a woman is thin and white. The child resembles the one whose liquid comes first.” ( Ibn Majah, Taharah: 107; Musnad, 6: 376. )
Umm Sulaym had an exceptional place in knowledge since she was with the Messenger of Allah all the time and since she asked the Messenger of Allah about many issues. The Companions asked her about some family issues that they could not settle. Once, Zayd bin Thabit and Abdullah ibn Abbas, two scholars among the Companions, had a disagreement about an issue related to hajj. Hz. Zayd said a woman who started to menstruate after performing tawaf az-ziyarah should perform tawaf al-wada too. Ibn Abbas said such a woman could leave the Kaaba. They could not settle the issue. They decided to ask Umm Sulaym about it. Umm Sulaym said Hz. Safiyya started to menstruate after performing tawaf az-ziyarah and the Prophet told her to set off for Madinah without performing tawaf al-wada. Thus, she settled the issue.( Musnad, 6: 431. )
This great woman narrated a few hadiths. One of them is as follows:
“The Messenger of Allah said, ‘If three children of a woman die before reaching the age of puberty, Allah Almighty will put that woman into Paradise with His grace.’ He was asked, ‘Is it valid for two children, too?’ He said, “Yes, it is.’”( Musnad, 6: 431. )
Yes, Umm Sulaym, who loved the Messenger of Allah a lot and who served Islam with her property and soul, was bound to receive her reward. In one of his hadiths, the Prophet indicated her rank in the hereafter as follows:
“I entered Paradise. I heard a rustling. I looked around and saw Milhan’s daughter Ghumaysa (Umm Sulaym)” ( Tabaqat, 8: 434. )
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