14 Nov Umm Sulaym (r.anha). Part1
- The real name of Umm Sulaym was “Ghumaysa”. She was from Madinah.
She was from Banu Najjar. She was the foster aunt of the Prophet. She was the sister of Haram bin Milhan, and Umm Haram, who was martyred during the conquest of Cyprus. She was married to Malik bin Nadr. Anas bin Malik, who was a great Companion, was born out of this marriage.
- Umm Sulaym became a Muslim when Islam started to spread in Madinah.
Her heart was filled with tranquility. However, her husband Malik did not become a Muslim. He did not know that Umm Sulaym had become a Muslim.
Hz. Umm Sulaym knew that her husband would not accept Islam and that he would intervene her. However, she was ready to face all kinds of reactions and trouble in the way of Islam.
- Her only aim was to bring up Anas, her son, who was a child then, as a Muslim.
She often taught him to utter kalima ash-shahada. Once, while she was teaching him kalima ash-shahada, Malik came home. He got very angry. He asked,
“Did you change your religion, too?”
Umm Sulaym (r.anha) was calm. She answered,
“No. I only believed that Muhammad is a prophet.”
Malik did not accept this answer. He could not understand how his wife, whom he knew as a quiet and calm woman, dared such a thing. He got very angry and warned her:
“Do not try to distort my son’s ethics and faith!”
In fact, Umm Sulaym was trying to save her son from burning in Hell forever. Was it of any use to reject the truths? How long more would the ignorance of worshipping idols made of stone and wood as gods continue? Umm Sulaym answered her husband softly:
“I am not distorting his faith; on the contrary, I am trying to correct it.”
However, Malik was in complete ignorance. He got furious and left the house. It was an irony of the fate that he was killed by one of his enemies who followed him. Thus, Hz. Anas was left fatherless at a very young age.
Although it looked like something terrible, it was actually mercy for them because Malik was an enemy of Islam. He was going to prevent his wife and son from practicing Islam. Allah Almighty did not want Hz. Anas, who would serve Islam greatly in the future, to be brought up by a polytheistic father. Umm Sulaym believed that there was something good in everything that Allah Almighty created. She showed patience by surrendering to qadar.
Umm Sulaym did not want to bring up her only son under the pressure of a stepfather. She decided not to get married again until Anas grew up accepting to face all kinds of difficulties. He promised herself:
“I will not get married unless my son Anas allows me.”
- Umm Sulaym was poor. She led a hard life after that. However, her trust in Allah Almighty was endless. She believed that her Lord would definitely create ease after hardship, and she showed patience.
If she wanted, she would lead a comfortable life because there were several rich people who wanted to marry her. If she accepted their offer, she would not have any financial difficulties. However, she waited for Anas to grow up; she faced all kinds of difficulties willingly for the sake of her son.
One of those whose proposal Umm Sulaym rejected was Abu Talha. Once, he went to Umm Sulaym and said,
“Anas grew up. He started to talk in assemblies.”
He wanted to remind Umm Sulaym about her promise when her husband died. Umm Sulaym got what he meant.
In fact, Abu Talha was not someone to be rejected. He was rich; in addition, he was a person who was loved by his tribe. However, he was a polytheist. He had not become a believer yet. Was it possible for Umm Sulaym to marry a person who worshipped an idol that he made with his own hands?
Hz. Umm Sulaym was a clever person.
When she saw that Abu Talha insisted on marrying her, she hoped something. She thought of making this marriage a means of reviving a person whose heart was dead and taking him to brightness from darkness. He said to Abu Talha,
“In fact, someone like you is not rejected. Will you become a Muslim if I marry you or will you live by hiding your polytheism? For, I am a Muslim and I believe in Allah and His Messenger.”
Islam was widespread in Madinah; therefore, Abu Talha was offered to become a Muslim a few times. In fact, he also understood that it was nonsensensical to worship idols, which were too weak to favor and harm people; his heart began to awaken. He confessed that he sometimes thought about those issues. Umm Sulaym took courage from his words and uttered the following statement, which could not be rejected by a person who thought:
“How do you find it appropriate to worship a stone that cannot favor and harm you? A piece of wood carved by a carpenter can neither favor nor harm you.”
- Umm Sulaym spoke sincerely and concisely.
Each word of hers made an impression on his heart and erased the wrong beliefs. He could not find any words to answer her. He had to leave that place. Umm Sulaym knew the difficulty of making a person accept the truths of belief. However, she believed that she could overcome this difficulty thanks to her perseverance and efforts and by being steadfast in the way that she knew to be right.
Abu Talha went to her again a few days later. He said he would give her as much money as she wanted. However, Umm Sulaym did not want to marry a polytheist no matter how rich he was. She was determined not to accept his proposal unless he became a Muslim. She wanted to make use of all of the opportunities; she waived her natural rights. She even waived mahr, the money that Allah Almighty made legitimate for a woman to receive from the man she would marry. She had only one aim: to save the faith of Abu Talha. She said to Abu Talha that she would accept his Islam as mahr and would not ask for mahr. She addressed him as follows:
“O Abu Talha! I want you to become a Muslim; I do not want any money from you. Do you not know that what you worship as god will burn if you throw it into fire? Do you not feel ashamed of bowing down before such a thing? If you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, I will accept it as mahr; I will not ask anything else for mahr.”
Those words were enough to eliminate the last remnants of the wrong beliefs in Abu Talha’s heart. Signs of belief began to appear on his face. He thought it would not be appropriate to insist on unbelief any more. He said to Umm Sulaym,
“I will accept your offer. I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
Thus, Umm Sulaym received the reward of her patience. Allah Almighty gave her the reward of her sincere intention like that. There was no reason to reject Abu Talha any longer. She accepted his proposal and married him. Thus, she saved a person from unbelief and established her new house. Abu Talha, who became a Muslim thanks to Umm Sulaym, became one of the great Companions. He used his body as a shield for the Prophet in several battles. He did not hesitate to spend his wealth for Allah and His Messenger. He received several compliments from the Messenger of Allah for it.
Umm Sulaym was very pleased that she saved the eternal life of Hz. Abu Talha. On the other hand, Abu Talha was happy, too. He accepted, which filled his heart with light, and married Umm Sulaym, who was a mujahid of Islam. They had a happy life together.