Umm Haram Bint Milhan (ra) – A Forerunner

First flowers of SpringGlad tiding for the Forerunners

When Allah (swt) commands us to hasten towards all that is good (Al-Baqarah 2:148), it is so that we don’t miss out on the rewards that the forerunners receive.

In a Hadeeth, narrated by Anas Ibn Malik (ra), it appears that one day the Prophet (sa) entered the house of Umm Haram (ra). She provided him with food and started grooming his head. The Prophet (sa) fell asleep and when he woke up he was smiling. Umm Haram asked what made him smile. He replied, “Some people of my Ummah were shown to me (in my dream) fighting for the sake of Allah (swt), sailing in the middle of the seas like kings on their thrones.” Umm Haram (ra), not allowing herself to miss the chance, immediately requested the Prophet (sa) to pray to Allah (swt) to make her one of them. The Prophet (sa) prayed to Allah (swt), and then again went back to sleep. When he woke up, he was again smiling. Umm Haram (ra) again asked, what made him smile. He said, “Some people of my Ummah were shown to me (in my dream) fighting for the sake of Allah (swt).” He said the same as he had said before. Umm Haram (ra) again requested him to pray to Allah (swt) to make her one of them. He replied, “You will be among the first one.”

She had intended to participate in Jihad and when the time came she went with the army. She did not procrastinate or change her mind.

The dream of the Prophet (sa) came true. During the Caliphate of Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufyan, Umm Haram (ra) travelled with the Muslim army by way of the sea. When their ship reached Cyprus, Umm Haram (ra) got off the ship and was getting on her riding animal that she fell down and died of a serious neck injury. She was buried where she died. The people of Cyprus refer to her grave as ‘the grave of the goodly woman.’

Lessons to draw: Umm Haram (ra) desired martyrdom and she was so sincere in her intention that Allah (swt) granted her what she wished for. She had intended to participate in Jihad and when the time came she went with the army. She did not procrastinate or change her mind. She was true to her intention.

“Verily, Allah, With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).” (Luqman 31:34)

A life that began with Shahadah (testimony of faith) ended upon faith. What about our lives? How will our end be?

A life that began with Shahadah (testimony of faith) ended upon faith. What about our lives? How will our end be? Do we make half-hearted intentions or are we really committed to what we seek?

Umm Haram (ra), even after passing away, is a continuous caller to Islam. Whoever passes by her grave asks about her. He is then informed that she was one of the female companions of Prophet Muhammad (sa). What does our being remind people? Does it connect them to Allah (swt)?

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Lessons of righteousness from Umm Haram Bint Milhan

spring-flowersUmm Haram Bint Milhan (ra) was the sister of Umm Sulaym (ra), and was married to one of the Prophet’s (sa) close companions Ubadah Ibn Saamit (ra). Both the husband and wife were one of the early embracers of Islam.

Like her sister, Umm Haram (ra) dearly loved Allah (swt). She would fast regularly, recite the Quran, and worship and remember Allah (swt) abundantly. This family was really blessed by the mercy of Allah (swt).

Enthusiasm to seek knowledge

When Ubadah Ibn Saamit (ra) returned from the Pledge of Aqabah, Umm Haram (ra) inquired about his meeting with the Prophet (sa) and enthusiastically listened to the details. She wanted to know which of the Ansar (helpers of Madinah) were chosen as the representatives of Islam, and what their responsibilities were.

When the Prophet (sa) migrated to Madinah, Ubadah Ibn Saamit (ra) actively participated in all the battles. He would be in the front, fighting the enemy and defending the Prophet (sa) against their attacks. When the Prophet (sa) would not be participating in a battle then Ubadah Ibn Saamit (ra) would attend his gatherings to learn religion. He would then share the knowledge with his wife Umm Haram (ra).

The couple knew that seeking knowledge is mandatory for both Muslim men and women. Umm Haram (ra), therefore, looked forward to learning about the religion. They were so committed to the Book of Allah (swt), and the teachings of the Prophet (sa) that both Ubadah (ra) and Umm Haram (ra) attained the honour of being Hadeeth narrators. Umm Haram (ra) is the narrator of five Prophetic Traditions which were later narrated by her husband, her nephew Anas (ra), and Ata Ibn Yasaar (ra).

They were so committed to the Book of Allah (swt), and the teachings of the Prophet (sa) that both Ubadah (ra) and Umm Haram (ra) attained the honour of being Hadeeth narrators

Lessons to draw: We see that this family stepped forward in all the good deeds: they were among the early embracers of Islam, they defended the Prophet (sa), they attended religious gatherings, and transferred knowledge to others. They did not wait for others to take the lead, but rather rushed to get their name written in all kinds of good deeds. It teaches us to hasten towards good deeds. And not always wait for us to take the first step.

Standing up for the righteous

When the Prophet (sa) returned to Allah (swt), Ubadah Ibn Saamit (ra) and his wife Umm Haram (ra) grieved his loss. They could no longer meet him. They missed the days that they had spent under his leadership and care. They missed their regular gatherings of knowledge with the Prophet (sa).

Disagreements between the Muslims emerged soon after the Prophet’s (sa) death. When Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) was chosen as the new leader for the Muslims, many tribes protested his appointment. Umm Haram (ra) and her husband found Abu Bakr’s (ra) conduct in alignment to the Prophet’s (sa) teaching. They did not find anything displeasing in him. Therefore, they pledged their allegiance to him and supported him against those who revolted.

Do we stand with the truth or do we blindly support injustice because of our personal relationship with the unjust?

Lessons to draw: Standing up with the truth requires strength and courage. How strong are we? Do we stand with the truth or do we blindly support injustice because of our personal relationship with the unjust?

In the Quran, Allah (swt) says, “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice.” (Al-Maidah 5:8).

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by Mehmood Ahmad Ghazanfar and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)