The Story Of Umm Ayman

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The Story Of Umm Ayman

Post by Noor'e Sahar on Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:10 am

Written by Abdul Wahid Hamid
We do not know precisely how the young Abyssinian girl ended up for sale
in Makkah. We do not know her 'roots', who her mother was, or her
father or her ancestors. There were many like her, boys and girls, Arabs
and non-Arabs, who were captured and brought to the slave market
of the city to be sold.
A terrible fate awaited some who ended up in the hands of cruel masters
or mistresses who exploited their labor to the full and treated them
with the utmost harshness. A few in that inhuman environment were rather
more fortunate. They were taken into the homes of more gentle and
caring people. Barakah, the young Abyssinian girl, was one of the more
fortunate ones. She was saved by the generous and kind Abdullah, the son
of Abd al-Muttalib. She became the only servant in his household and
when he was married, to the lady Aminah, she looked after her affairs as
well.Two weeks after the couple were married, according to Barakah,
Abdullah's father came to their house and instructed his son to go with a
trading caravan that was leaving for Syria. Aminah was deeply
distressed and cried: "How strange! How strange! How can my husband go
on a trading journey to Syria while I am yet a bride and the traces of
henna are still on my hands." Abdullah's departure was heartbreaking. In
her anguish, Aminah fainted. Soon after he left, Barakah said: "When I
saw Aminah unconscious, I shouted in distress and pain: 'O my lady!'
Aminah opened her eyes and looked at me with tears streaming down her
face. Suppressing a groan she said: "Take me to bed, Barakah."
"Aminah stayed bedridden for a long time. She spoke to no one. Neither
did she look at anyone who visited her except Abd al-Muttalib, that
noble and gentle old man. "Two months after the departure of Abdullah,
Aminah called me at dawn one morning and, her face beaming with joy,
she said to me: "O Barakah! I have seen a strange dream." "Something
good, my lady," I said. "I saw lights coming from my abdomen lighting up
the mountains, the hills and the valleys around Makkah." "Do you feel
pregnant, my lady?" "Yes, Barakah," she replied. "But I do not feel any
discomfort as other women feel." "You shall give birth to a blessed
child who will bring goodness," I said. So long as Abdullah was away,
Aminah remained sad and melancholic. Barakah stayed at her side trying
to comfort her and make her cheerful by talking to her and relating
stories. Aminah however became even more distressed when Abd al-Muttalib
came and told her she had to leave her home and go to the mountains as
other Makkans had done because of an impending attack on the city by the
ruler of Yemen, someone called Abrahah. Aminah told him that she was
too grief-striken and weak to leave for the mountains but insisted that
Abrahah could never enter Makkah and destroy the Ka'bah because it was
protected by the Lord. Abd al-Muttalib became very agitated but there
was no sign of fear on Aminah's face. Her confidence that the Ka'bah
would not be harmed was well-founded. Abrahah's army with an elephant in
the vanguard was destroyed before it could enter Makkah.
Day and night, Barakah stayed beside Aminah. She said: "I slept at the
foot of her bed and heard her groans at night as she called for her
absent husband. Her moans would awaken me and I would try to comfort her
and give her courage."
The first part of the caravan from Syria returned and was joyously
welcomed by the trading families of Makkah. Barakah went secretly to the
house of Abd al-Muttalib to find out about Abdullah, but found no news
of him. She went back to Aminah but did not tell her what she had seen
or heard in order not to distress her. The entire caravan eventually
returned but not with Abdullah.
Later, Barakah was at Abd al-Muttalib's house when news came from
Yathrib that Abdullah had died. She said: "I screamed when I heard the
news. I don't know what I did after that except that I ran to Aminah's
house shouting, lamenting for the absent one who would never return,
lamenting for the beloved one for whom we waited so long, lamenting for
the most beautiful youth of Makkah, for Abdullah, the pride of the
Quraysh. When Aminah heard the painful news, she fainted and I stayed by
her bedside while she was in a state between life and death. There was
no one else but me in Aminah's house. I nursed her and looked after her
during the day and through the long nights until she gave birth to her
child, "Muhammad", on a night in which the heavens were resplendent with
the light of God." When Muhammad was born, Barakah was the first to
hold him in her arms. His grandfather came and took him to the Ka'bah
and with all Makkah, celebrated his birth. Barakah stayed with Aminah
while Muhammad was sent to the baadiyah (desert) with the lady Halimah
who looked after him in the bracing atmosphere of the open desert. At
the end of five years, he was brought back to Makkah and Aminah received
him with tenderness and love and Barakah welcomed him "with joy,
longing and admiration".
When Muhammad was six years old, his mother decided to visit the grave
of her husband, Abdullah, in Yathrib. Both Barakah and Abd al-Muttalib
tried to dissuade her. Aminah however was determined. So one morning
they set off- Aminah, Muhammad and Barakah huddled together in a small
hawdaj mounted on a large camel, part of a huge caravan that was going
to Syria. In order to shield the tender child from any pain and worry,
Aminah did not tell Muhammad that she was going to visit the grave of
his father. The caravan went at a brisk pace. Barakah tried to console
Aminah for her son's sake and much of the time the boy Muhammad slept
with his arms around Barakah's neck. The caravan took ten days to reach
Yathrib. The boy Muhammad was left with his maternal uncles of the Banu
Najjar while Aminah went to visit the grave of Abdullah. Each day for a
few weeks she stayed at the grave. She was consumed by grief. On the way
back to Makkah, Aminah became seriously ill with fever. Halfway between
Yathrib and Makkah, at a place called al-Abwa, they stopped. Aminah's
health deteriorated rapidly.One pitch dark night, she was running a high
temperature. The fever had got to her head and she called out to
Barakah in a choking voice. Barakah related: "She whispered in my ear:
'O Barakah, I shall depart from this world shortly. I commend my son
Muhammad to your care. He lost his father while he was in my abdomen.
Here he is now, losing his mother under his very eyes. Be a mother to
him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him.' "My heart was shattered and I
began to sob and wail. The child was distressed by my wailing and began
to weep. He threw himself into his mother's arms and held tightly onto
her neck. She gave one last moan and then was forever silent." Barakah
wept. She wept bitterly. With her own hands she dug a grave in the sand
and buried Aminah, moistening the grave with whatever tears were left in
her heart. Barakah returned with the orphan child to Makkah and placed
him in the care of his grandfather. She stayed at his house to look
after him. When Abd al-Muttalib died two years later, she went with the
child to the house of his uncle Abu Talib and continued to look after
his needs until he was grown up and married the lady Khadijah. Barakah
then stayed with Muhammad and Khadijah in a house belonging to Khadijah.
"I never left him and he never left me," she said. One day Muhammad,
may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called out to her and said: "Ya
Ummah!" (He always called her "Mother".) "Now I am a married man, and
you are still unmarried. What do you think if someone should come now
and ask to marry you?" Barakah looked at Muhammad and said: "I shall
never leave you. Does a mother abandon her son?" Muhammad smiled and
kissed her head. He looked at his wife Khadijah and said to her: "This
is Barakah. This is my mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my
family."
Barakah looked at the lady Khadijah who said to her: "Barakah, you have
sacrificed your youth for the sake of Muhammad. Now he wants to pay back
some of his obligations to you. For my sake and his, agree to be
married before old age overtakes you." "Whom shall I marry, my lady?"
asked Barakah. "There is here now Ubayd ibn Zayd from the Khazraj tribe
of Yathrib. He has come to us seeking your hand in marriage. For my
sake, don't refuse." Barakah agreed. She married Ubayd ibn Zayd and went
with him to Yathrib. There she gave birth to a son whom she called
Ayman and from that time onwards people called her "Umm Ayman" the
mother of Ayman. Her marriage however did not last very long. Her
husband died and she returned once more to Makkah to live with her "son"
Muhammad in the house of the lady Khadijah. Living in the same
household at the time were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hind (Khadijah's daughter
by her first husband), and Zayd ibn Harithah.
Zayd was an Arab from the tribe of Kalb who was captured as a boy and
brought to Makkah to be sold in the slave market. He was bought by
Khadijah's nephew and put in her service. In Khadijah's household, Zayd
became attached to Muhammad and devoted himself to his service. Their
relationship was like that of a son to a father. Indeed when Zayd's
father came to Makkah in search of him, Zayd was given the choice by
Muhammad of either going with his father or staying with him. Zayd's
reply to his father was: "I shall never leave this man. He has treated
me nobly, as a father would treat his son. Not a single day have I felt
that I am a slave. He has looked after me well. He is kind and loving
towards me and strives for my enjoyment and happiness. He is the most
noble of men and the greatest person in creation. How can I leave him
and go with you?...I shall never leave him." Later, in public Muhammad
proclaimed the freedom of Zayd. However, Zayd continued to live with him
as part of his household and devoted himself to his service. When
Muhammad was blessed with prophethood, Barakah and Zayd were among the
first to believe in the message he proclaimed. They bore with the early
Muslims the persecution which the Quraysh meted out to them. Barakah and
Zayd performed invaluable services to the mission of the Prophet. They
acted as part of an intelligence service exposing themselves to the
persecution and punishment of the Quraysh and risking their lives to
gain information on the plans and conspiracies of the mushrikeen
(polytheists).
One night the mushrikoon blocked off the roads leading to the House of
al-Arqam where the Prophet gathered his companions regularly to instruct
them in the teachings of Islam. Barakah had some urgent information
from Khadijah which had to be conveyed to the Prophet. She
risked her life trying to reach the House of al-Arqam. When she arrived
and conveyed the message to the Prophet, he smiled and said to her:
"You are blessed, Umm Ayman. Surely you have a place in Paradise." When
Umm Ayman left,the Prophet looked at his companions and asked:
"Should one of you desire to marry a woman from the people of Paradise,
let him marry Umm Ayman." Ali the companions remained silent and did not
utter a word. Umm Ayman was neither beautiful nor attractive. She was
by now about fifty years old and looked rather frail. Zayd ibn
al-Harithah however came forward and said:
"Messenger of Allah, I shall marry Umm Ayman. By Allah, she is better than women who have grace and beauty."
Zayd and Umm Ayman were married and were blessed with a son whom they
named Usamah. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,
loved Usamah as his own son. Often he played with him, kissed him and
fed him with his own hands. The Muslims would say: "He is
the beloved son of the beloved." From an early age Usamah distinguished
himself in the service of lslam, and was later given weighty
responsibilities by the Prophet. When the Prophet migrated to Yathrib,
henceforth to be known as al-Madinah, he left Umm Ayman behind in Makkah
to look after certain special affairs in his household. Eventually she
migrated to Madinah on her own. She made the long and difficult journey
through the desert and mountainous terrain on foot. The heat was killing
and sandstorms obscured the way but she persisted, borne along by her
deep love and attachment for Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him
peace. When she reached Madinah, her feet were sore and swollen and her
face was covered with sand and dust.
"Ya Umm Ayman! Ya Ummi! (O Umm Ayman! O my mother!) Indeed for you is a
place in Paradise!" exclaimed the Prophet when he saw her. He wiped her
face and eyes, massaged her feet and rubbed her shoulders with his kind
and gentle hands. At Madinah, Umm Ayman played her full part in the
affairs of the Muslims. At Uhud she distributed water to the thirsty and
tended the wounded. She accompanied the Prophet on some expeditions, to
Khaybar and Hunayn for example. Her son Ayman, a devoted companion of
the Prophet was martyred at Hunayn in the eighth year after the Hijrah.
Barakah's husband, Zayd, was killed at the Battle of Mutah in Syria
after a lifetime of distinguished service to the Prophet and Islam.
Barakah at this time was about seventy years old and spent much of her
time at home. The Prophet, accompanied by Abu Bakr and Umar often
visited her and asked: "Ya Ummi! Are you well?" and she would reply: "I
am well, O Messenger of Allah so long as Islam is."
After the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had died,
Barakah would often be found with tears in her eyes. She was once asked,
"Why are you crying?" and she replied: "By Allah, I knew that the
Messenger of Allah would die but I cry now because the revelation from
on high has come to an end for us." Barakah was unique in that she was
the only one who was so close to the Prophet throughout his life from
birth till death. Her life was one of selfless service in the Prophet's
household. She remained deeply devoted to the person of the noble,
gentle and caring Prophet. Above all, her devotion to the religion of
Islam was strong and unshakable. She died during the caliphate of
Uthman. Her roots were unknown but her place in Paradise is assured.

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Re: The Story Of Umm Ayman

Post by Masooma on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:36 am

ALLAH pAK hUM sab ko Emaan ki roshni se malo maal karein Ameen

JAZAKALLAH kHaiR !!!
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