| By Tabassum Mosleh |
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
Among the most inspiring female Companions of the Prophet (sa) was Rumaysa, nicknamed Umm Sulaym (ra). When Abu Talhah (ra) told her that he wanted to marry her, she said, “A man like you is not to be rejected, O Abu Talhah, but you are a disbeliever and I am a Muslim, and it is not permissible for me to marry you. If you become Muslim, that will be my dowry, and I will not ask you for anything else.” (Nasai)
So Abu Talhah became Muslim, and later on proved his real acceptance of and dedication to Islam in many ways throughout his life. He was one of the few who remained with the Prophet (sa) shielding him on the battle of Uhud when many other Companions had fled.
Abu Talhah and Umm Sulaym got married. Their marriage was blessed and they had a beautiful son.
It so happened that their son fell very ill, and while Abu Talhah was out, the dear child died. Umm Sulaym, being the mother, must have been very grieved. Her love and concern for her husband made her think of breaking it to him herself in as subtle a manner as possible, so that the shock could be bearable. She forbade everyone in the house from telling Abu Talhah about his son’s death.
She cooked a very nice dinner and adorned herself for her husband. When Abu Talhah came back, he asked her how the boy was. She replied, “Better than before.”
She made her husband nice and comfortable, all the time keeping the sad secret in her heart. Then, later in the night, she told him. She said, “O Abu Talhah! If some people borrow something from another family and then ask for its return, would they refuse to give it back to them?” He said, “No.” She said, “Then hope reward for your son.” (Muslim)
But Abu Talhah got angry. He went to the Prophet (sa) and told him what had happened. He made dua for them, “May Allah bless the night you spent together!”
Umm Sulaym had another son. Anas (ra) was sent with the boy to the Prophet along with some dates. The Prophet chewed a date and rubbed it in the gums of the baby. The Prophet (sa) himself named the boy – Abdullah.
After narrating this story, Bukhari adds: “Ibn ‘Uyainah relates that a man from the Ansar told him that he had seen nine sons of this ‘Abdullah, every one of whom had committed the Noble Qur’an to memory.”
Abu Talhah died at old age, and yet he died on a sea voyage, on the way to a battle.
And what about Umm Sulaym? The Prophet (sa) said, “”I saw myself (in a dream) entering Paradise, and behold! I saw Ar-Rumaisa’, Abu Talha’s wife.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
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Tabassum Mosleh is a freelance writer and a student of al-Salam Institute. She likes animals and natural beauty, reading novels and researching interesting topics. She shares her reflections at the blog sections of Understand Quran Academy, IIPH and Ibana. Contact: [email protected]