Umm Sulaym’s Participation in the Battles
The Muslim men and women equally participated in the defence of Islam. While the men fought the enemy with their swords and arrows, the women looked after the wounded. Umm Sulaym (ra) participated in the Battle of Uhud, the Battle of Khyber and the Battle of Hunain under the leadership of the Prophet (sa). While her husband shot the enemy with his bow and archer, Umm Sulaym (ra) attended to the injured and served water to the thirsty soldiers. When the leather flask would get empty she would rush to get it filled.
Umm Sulaym (ra) carried a dagger with her. The Prophet (sa) inquired what she planned to do with it. She replied that she would attack the enemy if he approached her.
Lessons to draw: We see Umm Sulaym (ra) is always prepared to defend Islam. She was aging but she remained active. She did not stay behind in wars. She attended to the tasks that the women performed in the battles. We should never sit back when there is an opportunity to gather khair.
The Woman of Paradise
We know about the ten male companions who were promised Paradise in their lifetime. But not many of us know about the women promised Paradise in their lifetime. To name a few, they were: Prophet’s first wife Khadijah bint Khawalid (ra), Prophet’s beloved daughter Fatima (ra), Aasiya (as) the wife of Pharaoh, Mariam (as), Umm Ruman (ra), the black woman that suffered from epilepsy and so on.
Umm Sulaym (ra) was a truthful woman, steadfast in her religion, recognising the right of her Lord and His creation, obedient to the Prophet (sa), strong against the unbelievers and hypocrites, and an example for the generous.
Anas ibn Malik (ra) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said, “When I entered the Paradise, I heard someone’s footsteps. I asked who it was. The angels replied that it was Ghameesa bint Malhan,” (Muslim). Another narration states that he was informed that it was Bilal (ra).
Umm Sulaym (ra) also has the honour of narrating Prophetic traditions. From her many other companions passed it on to others including Anas ibn Malik (ra), Abdullah ibn Abbas (ra), and Zaid ibn Thabit (ra). Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim also recorded ahadith from her.
Lessons to draw: Islam does not discriminate between men and women. Women have many opportunities to raise their scales in the Books of Allah (swt). Let us balance our worldly life with seeking eternal pleasures of the hereafter, insha’Allah.
(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)