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Um Haram bint Milhan was an Ansari woman (from Madinah) and she was the sister of Um Sulaym, the mother of Anas ibn Malik. She was of the Ansar who embraced Islam before Hijra. Um Haram was first married to Amr ibn Qias bin Zaid with whom she had a son named Qais. Here husband and her son took part in the battle of Uhud and the battle of Badr and were both martyred. She later married Ubadah ibn AsSamit who was the chief of his clan and known for his bravery and military skill. He was one of the first Ansari men to participate in the Pledge of Aqaba. Ubadah also participated in the Battle of Badr and every battle and campaign with the Prophet ﷺ  before and after Hijra. He was a great husband and father and cared for Um Haram’s sons from her first marriage in the same way he cared for his own children.

Um Haram and Ubadah lived on a large, beautiful date palm plantation in the city of Quba, which was right outside of Madinah. This was the city that the Prophet ﷺ  stopped by on his hijra (migration) to Madinah for the first time. It became special to him and he would often visit it often. When he did so, one of the houses that he always stopped by and often napped in was Um Haram’s. The first time he went was to console Um Haram and Um Sulaym on the loss of their brothers, who died for the cause of Islam. Then he started to make a point to visit them more often and Um Malhan used to serve the Prophet ﷺ  his favorite foods and he would take naps in a special area they had made just for him. The Ansar (people of Madinah) are known for their hospitality, generosity and sacrifice. There is even a verse in the Quran that talks about this:

{And those who, before them (emigrants), had homes (in Madinah) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given, and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be successful} (Quran 59:9)

Anas ibn Malik relates that one time the Prophet ﷺ  came to visit him and his mother and aunt were there as well. The Prophet ﷺ  told them to rise so that he could lead them in a special prayer. After the prayer, he made duaa (supplication) that Allah would bless this family in both this world and the hereafter.

One day, the Prophet ﷺ  was taking a nap in Um Haram’s home and she saw him wake up smiling. Um Haram asked him what was making him smile and he replied, “Some people among my followers were shown to me, sailing over the green sea like kings over their thrones.” Um Haram then pleaded to the Prophet ﷺ , “O Messenger of Allah, invoke Allah that He makes me one of them.” The Prophet ﷺ  then went back to sleep and woke up again smiling. Um Haram thought he saw something new so she asked him again why he was smiling. He replied, “Some people among my followers were shown to me, sailing over the green sea like kings over their thrones.” Um Haram then repeated her plea, “O Messenger of Allah, invoke Allah that He makes me one of them.” “You are among the first,” he said to her.

Many years later, after the passing of the Prophet ﷺ , Um Haram accompanied her husband through his travels. Ubadah joined the Syrian army, which was led by Amir ibn Abdullah ibn Al Jarrah. He participated in all the battles until Syria had been conquered. Then a request was made to Umar ibn Al Khattab, who was the Calipha at the time, that a scholar was needed in Palestine to teach them the religion and be a judge among them and Ubadah was appointed by Umar for the job. He became the first teacher and judge in Palestine and settled there with Um Haram. Because of his high position, he became extremely popular. However, being the wife of such a prominent man did not get to Um Haram’s head and she remained as humble was she was living in her home in Quba. She would often dream of and remember what the Prophet ﷺ  had said to her about his dream.

A few years later, Ubadah was sent out to lead an army to assist Amr Ibn Al As in Egypt. Um Haram accompanied him to Egypt and afterwards they settled back in Syria, whose governor at that time was Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan. One of the biggest issues that Muawiyah was dealing with was that Syria’s coastline was constantly being attacked by Romans who were using Cyprus as their launch point. He wrote to Umar ibn Al Khattab to allow him to lead an army to Cyprus but Umar refused the request because he did not want to gamble with Muslims’ lives with all the dangers of traveling and fighting at sea. When Uthman bin Affan became the Calipha, Muawiyah made the same request and was able to convince Uthman to agree. However, Uthman told Muawiyah that he was not to force any Muslim to fight- they must volunteer on their own.

So Muawiyah sent out an announcement and many Muslims chose to fight against the Romans. He started building and preparing a fleet of ships. Meanwhile, Um Haram began to get very excited. She felt this might be what was in the Prophet’s ﷺ  dream and started preparing for her journey with the army. On the day that the ships were to depart, she was truly one of the first on them. With tears in her eyes, she watched as the boats sailed through the waves like kings on their thrones she repeated over and over again, “You spoke the truth, O Messenger of Allah ﷺ .”

After defeating a Roman coast guard that attacked them as they neared the island, the Muslim ships landed on the coast of Cyprus and started preparing for their invasion.  As they were preparing, Um Haram was given a horse for her to ride on during battle. Somehow the horse got frightened and jumped violently and Um Haram was thrown off. She eventually died from the injuries of that accident. It is said that she died smiling. She was buried where she fell off the coast of Cyprus and today her grave is still there for all to see. There is also a masjid that was built near her grave.

Um Haram lived a life full of journeys and adventures and traveling. She witnessed and participated in some of the greatest moments of Islamic history. May Allah be pleased with her and please her.

……………………………..

*I really liked Um Haram’s story. I feel her life was so exciting and well, kind of cool. She witnessed the Prophet ﷺ  migrating to Madinah and hosted him at her house several times. She was in every way a Companion and held a high status among the people. She got to travel with her husband to all these countries and participate in the battles with the Muslims. She got to live in Palestine as a dignified woman and got to live out a prophecy the Prophet ﷺ  made about her and the Muslims. All in all, her story would make an awesome movie. We seriously have the best women in all of history.

What did you think of Um Haram’s story?

 

 

Qub, Muammad ʻAlī. Women around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print.

Ghadanfar, Mahmood Ahmad., Jamila Muhammad. Qawi, Sheikh Safiur-Rahman. Al-Mubarakpuri, Muhammad Ayub. Sapra, and Muhammad Farooq. Great Women of Islam: Who Were given the Good News of Paradise. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2001. Print.



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Comments

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