A woman known for her intellect, strength and character before her conversion of Islam in Yathrib; the present-day Madinah. She was the mother of one of the prominent companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Anas ibn Malik (May Allah have mercy upon him). Her name was Rumaysa Bint Milhan (May Allah have mercy upon her) otherwise known as Umm Sulaym.
Her husband, Malik ibn an-Nadr disapproved of her new faith especially teaching it to their son Anas. Malik was killed by a setup plan by one of his enemies. Rumaysa raised Anas on her own. A man called Zaid ibn Sahl (May Allah have mercy upon him) was interested in marrying Umm Sulaym and approached her house in presence of her son; Anas (may Allah have mercy upon him). Despite his character, skills, wealth and other materialistic aspects of what he could offer, she refused because he was not Muslim and would only accept once he converts and that would be her dowry of marriage.
Upon hearing this news, some were shocked whereas others admired this. Following their marriage, they lived a happy life, dedicating their lives to Islam and others. He was one of the people who undertook the oath of loyalty to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) at Aqabah. Abu Talhah (May Allah have mercy upon him) loved our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and whenever he visited their house, they would welcome our Beloved Prophet with dates. Umm Sulaym would even collect the sweat from his forehead. When questioned by our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for this act, she said
‘I am taking these as a barakah (blessing) from you’.
Even Anas ibn Malik (May Allah have mercy upon him) used to go to the house of our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to give dates especially in special occasions. For instance, when his baby brother Abdullah was born, Anas brought a bag of dates with the baby to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
The exemplary love Umm Sulaym and her family had for the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) is amazing! With her unlimited courage, she took care of the injured and defended the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) at the Battle of Ohoud and Khandaq. Her sister Umm Haram died during a naval expedition in Cyprus, her brother died besides the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), her husband Abu Talhah also died during a naval expedition when Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah have mercy upon him) was caliph.
Rumaysah bint Milhan (may Allah have mercy upon him) was a patient person and this can be reflected when her husband was away and her son Umayr was unwell and passed away. Despite her sadness, she strengthened herself to bath her child and wrap him and tried to tell her husband herself.
The uncompromising faith of Umm Sulaym (may Allah have mercy upon her) has rooted her as a good model, mother and wife. She and her family devoted their lives in a modest manner to educate, learn and build a society upon love, mercy, faith and Islam. Their way of life even influenced the next generation where her grandsons learnt the Book of Allah, The Glorious Quran, by heart.
A man who was trusted by our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and was humble and modest by nature. He was called the ‘Ameenul Ummah’ meaning the custodian of the Ummah. The Sahabah that will be discussed in this month is Ameer ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Al Jarrah otherwise known as Abu Ubaydah ibn Jarrah (may Allah have mercy upon him).
"There are three people in the Quraish tribe that have best character and are modest. If they spoke to you, they would not deceive and if you spoke to them, they would not accuse you: Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Uthman ibn Affan and Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah."
He was gentle amongst those he loved but was hard as steel when it came to war and difficult scenarios that were formed by Quraish. He patiently dealt with it with courage where he even had to kill his father at the Battle of Badr due to his belief.
This reminded me of the story of our beloved Prophet Ibrahim (may Allah have mercy upon him) when he had to sacrifice his son, but it was merely to suggest that no attachment will be more stronger than the relationship between our Almighty Allah (The Most High) and his servant and to equip us the storms of life as they bring us closer to Allah (The Most High) – the Ultimate test of Faith.
"You will not find a people believing in God and the Last Day making friends with those who oppose God and His messenger even if these were their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their clan. God has placed faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Him. He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which streams flow that they may dwell therein. God is well pleased with them and they well pleased with Him. They are the party of God. Is not the party of God the successful ones?"
This emphasises the devotion of Abu Ubaydah (may Allah have mercy upon him) to Islam where he became a Muslim after Abu Bakr (may Allah have mercy upon them).
Another event that displayed his strength was when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) appointed him the leader of the group and gave him a bag of dates whereby each man was given a date on a daily basis. At the Battle of Uhud, one of the polytheists demanded to handover Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Abu Ubaydah wanted to protect him and at the end of the battle, one of the molar teeth of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was broken, two discs from his shield injured his face. Abu Ubaydah courageously extracted them from the cheeks of Prophet (peace be upon him) and during the process he lost two of his incisor teeths.
Moreover, after the death of our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), many companions including Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah have mercy upon him) wanted Abu Ubaydah (may Allah have mercy upon him) to be the Caliph as he was the custodian of the Ummah at the Day of Saqifah. However, he humbly refused and said:
‘I would not put myself before a man whom Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him to lead in prayer up until his death.
Thus, the oath of allegiance was given to Abu Bakr ibn Siddiq (may Allah have mercy upon him). He advised, supported the Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab (may Allah have mercy upon them).
One day, there was a plague in Syria in which Abu Ubaydah was taking care of everyone there. The Caliph Umar ibn Khattab (may Allah have mercy upon him) heard of it and asked him to come to Madinah via letter. However, Abu Ubaydah responded, how could I do leave the people here, I need to be there for them?
When Umar ibn Khattab received his response, his eyes were filled with tears, the companions asked him if Abu Ubaydah passed away, he replied ‘ No, but he is close to them’.
A few days have passed and Abu Ubaydah was struck with the plague. He advised the muslims to do the following:
‘Pray Salah, be charitable, fast during the month of Ramadan, perform Hajj and Umrah, encourage and perform good actions, be loyal to your rulers, do not be lost in this duniya (world) as if a man lives for a thousand years, they will not escape death’
He then asked one of the companions Muazz ibn Jabah (may Allah have mercy upon him) to lead the prayer and said the kalimah ‘La ilaha ila Allah, Muhammad Rasool Allah’.
What a character! His devotion to Islam and concern to our Ummah is inspiring!
Amongst the lessons, we can learn is that trials and tribulations present our faith and trust in Allah (The Most High) and the strength of our character.
He was a good-hearted person and always wished people good.
He was selfless and knew the dangers of the plague, but did not escape nor wanted to leave people under his supervision and commandment in this state of despair because it was his ‘amanah’ to ensure that they were taken care of.
He protected our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
He was always willing to help and advise.
May Allah grant him Jannah for indeed he was amongst the eminent companions of the Prophet blessings be upon him.
This is where I will post my articles. I will do an article each month in sha Allah