Umm Haram bint Milhan (ra) was the sister of Umm Sulaym (ra), and was married to one of the Prophet’s 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 Madina) were chosen as the representatives of Islam, and what their responsibilities were.
When the Prophet (sa) migrated to Madina, 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 Hadith 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).
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 Messenger of Allah (sa).
Disagreements between the Muslims emerged soon after the Prophet’s 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 conduct in alignment to the Prophet’s teaching. They did not find anything displeasing in him. Therefore, they pledged their allegiance to him and supported him against those revolted.
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: 8).
(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)