Her real name was Hind bint Abu Umayyah, who became famous by the name Umm Salamah. She was noble by birth, intelligent, cultured, wise and talented. Her mother was Atiqah bint Amir. Her father, Abu Umayyah bin ‘Abdullah, was the leader of his tribe and was a horseman of great repute. He was also a very wealthy man, famous throughout the Arab world for his public service and charity. Umm Salamah inherited this trait from her father. She was always amiable and kind to her neighbours.
Umm Salamah (R.A) was extremely beautiful, with very thick hair. A’isha (R.A) said, “When the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) married Umm Salamah, I felt very unhappy when he mentioned her beauty to us. I waited until I saw her and she was even more beautiful than her description.”
Umm Salamah was also one of the early Muslims. She and her husband, Abu Salamah (R.A), were amongst the first group that migrated to Abyssinia. Umm Salamah (R.A) has written about this memorable first migration of the Muslims, and narrated that life was very peaceful in Abyssinia, free of all religious persecution. She was also the first Muslim woman to migrate to Madinah Munawwarah.
Umm Salamah (R.A) was pregnant when widowed after her husband received fatal injuries in the Battle of Uhud. She accordingly had 2 sons [Salalmah (R.A) and Umar (R.A)] and 2 daughters [Durrah (R.A) and Zaynab (R.A)] from Abu Salamah (R.A).
After he passed away, Umm Salamah asked Nabi (S.A.W) what she should ask Allah for herself. He (S.A.W) taught her to pray for forgiveness, both for herself and for Abu Salamah, and to ask Allah for a better future.
Umm Salamah says that she made Dua thus and Allah granted her prayer. When she completed her iddat, Abu Bakr (R.A) sent a proposal of marriage to her, but she refused. Then Umar (R.A) proposed and she refused him as well. Thereafter Nabi (S.A.W) proposed. On this, Umm Salamah (R.A) said that she had 3 reservations.
(1) She was highly sensitive and got jealous easily; she felt she might be rude to Nabi (S.A.W), and thus lose the reward for all her good deeds. (2) She was an elderly lady and (3) She had a family with 4 children.
Nabi (S.A.W) answered that he would make Dua to Allah for her habit of jealousy to subside. As far as age was concerned, he was also an elderly man. Thirdly, he wished to be the guardian of her children and share the responsibility.
Umm Salamah (R.A) writes that this answer gave her great happiness, leading to her attaining the honour of becoming part of Nabi (S.A.W)’s household. She married Nabi (S.A.W) in the month of Shawwal, 4th year after Hijrah. Umm Salamah (R.A) was tremendously shy in the beginning of her marriage to Nabi (S.A.W) due to the level of her modesty.
Umm Salamah was very learned in religious matters. She has as many as 378 Ahadith narrated by her, and was second only to A’isha (R.A) in scholarship. Like A’isha (R.A) and Hafsa (R.A), Umm Salamah (R.A) learnt the whole of the Quraan by heart.
She passed away at the age of 84. Zaynab bint Khuzayma was the first among the Mothers of the Believers to pass away and Umm Salamah was the last. She, like the other wives of Nabi (S.A.W), is buried in Jannatul Baqi. Her Janazah Salaah was performed by Abu Hurairah (R.A).
Don’t forget to recite as much Durood as you can!
Love and Duas,