UMM AIMAN RA (Barakah – Women of Paradise)

Women of Paradise
No one knows precisely how the young Abyssinian girl ended up for sale in Makkah. We do not know her 'roots', who her mother was, or her father or her ancestors. There were many like her, boys and girls, Arabs and non-Arabs, who were captured and brought to the slave market of the city to be sold. A terrible fate awaited some who ended up in the hands of cruel masters or mistresses who exploited their labor to the full and treated them with the utmost harshness. A few in that inhuman environment were rather more fortunate. These are the rules of the day during the time of Jahiliyyah.  They were taken into the homes of more gentle and caring people. Barakah, the young Abyssinian girl, was one of the more fortunate ones. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was saved by the generous and kind Abdullah, the son of Abd al-Muttalib. ‘Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) became the only servant in his household and when he was married, to the lady Aminah; she looked after her affairs as well.

Umm Aiman RA
A Notable Muslim African Woman
If you're looking for an important Muslim African woman to talk about, look no further than the Seerah of Rasulullah SAW, and the woman he described as his "mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family.".

Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was the name of the woman whom the noble Rasulullah SAW hold esteemed so highly. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was the first person to hold him in her arms when Rasulullah SAW was born and the only person who knew him from that point until his death. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman)  was one of the few Muslims who Rasulullah SAW assured of a place in Paradise.

"Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him," Aminah instructed her about her son as she lay dying.

Rasulullah SAW did not fail in Barakah RA (Umm Aiman)  responsibility.
Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) beginnings were more than humble. In her youth, the Abyssinian girl was put up for sale in Makkah as a slave. In pre-Islamic Arabia, slavery was no shame, and slaves were treated like animals.

But Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was blessed to be treated with kindness.
Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was bought by a noble and gentle man: Abdullah, the son of Abdul Muttalib. The father of Rasulullah SAW.

Two weeks after the couple were married, according to Barakah RA (Umm Aiman), Abdullah's father came to their house and instructed his son to go with a trading caravan that was leaving for Sham (Syria). Aminah was deeply distressed and cried: "How strange! How strange! How can my husband go on a trading journey to Syria while I am yet a bride and the traces of henna are still on my hands?" Abdullah's departure was heartbreaking. In her anguish, Aminah fainted. Soon after he left, Barakah RA (Umm Aiman)  said: "When I saw Aminah unconscious, Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) I shouted in distress and pain: 'O my lady!' Aminah opened her eyes and looked at me with tears streaming down her face. Suppressing a groan she said: "Take me to bed, Barakah." "Aminah stayed bedridden for a long time. She spoke to no one. Neither did she look at anyone who visited her except Abd al-Muttalib, that noble and gentle old man. "Two months after the departure of Abdullah, Aminah called me at dawn one morning and, her face beaming with joy, she said to me: "O Barakah! I have seen a strange dream." "Something good, my lady," I said. "I saw lights coming from my abdomen lighting up the mountains, the hills and the valleys around Makkah." "Do you feel pregnant, my lady?"

"Yes, Barakah," she replied. "But I do not feel any discomfort as other women feel." "You shall give birth to a blessed child who will bring goodness," Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) said. So long as Abdullah was away, Aminah remained sad and melancholic. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) stayed at her side trying to comfort her and make her cheerful by talking to her and relating stories. Aminah however became even more distressed when Abd al-Muttalib came and told her she had to leave her home and go to the mountains as other Makkans had done because of an impending attack on the city by the ruler of Yemen, someone called Abrahah. Aminah told him that she was too grief-stricken and weak to leave for the mountains but insisted that Abrahah could never enter Makkah and destroy the Kabah because it was protected by Allah SWT. Abd al-Muttalib became very agitated but there was no sign of fear on Aminah's face. Her confidence that the Kaabah would not be harmed was well-founded. Abrahah's army with an elephant in the vanguard was destroyed before it could enter Makkah.

Day and night, Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) stayed beside Aminah. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) said: "I slept at the foot of her bed and heard her groans at night as she called for her absent husband. Her moans would awaken me and I would try to comfort her and give her courage." The first part of the caravan from Syria returned and was joyously welcomed by the trading families of Makkah. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) went secretly to the house of Abd al-Muttalib to find out about Abdullah but had no news of him. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) went back to Aminah but did not tell her what she had seen or heard in order not to distress her. The entire caravan eventually returned but not with Abdullah. Later, Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was at Abd al-Muttalib's house when news came from Madinah that Abdullah had died. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) said: "I screamed when I heard the news. I don't know what I did after that except that I ran to Aminah's house shouting, lamenting for the absent one who would never return, lamenting for the beloved one for whom we waited so long, lamenting for the most beautiful youth of Makkah, for Abdullah, the pride of the Quraish.

"When Aminah heard the painful news, she fainted and I stayed by her bedside while she was in a state between life and death. There was no one else but me in Aminah's house. I nursed her and looked after her during the day and through the long nights until she gave birth to her child, "Muhammad", on a night in which the heavens were resplendent with the light of God." When Muhammad was born, Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was the first to hold him in her arms. His grandfather came and took him to the Kaabah and with all Makkah, celebrated his birth. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) stayed with Aminah while Muhammad was sent to the badiyah with the Saidatuna Halimah RA who looked after him in the bracing atmosphere of the open desert. At the end of five years, he was brought back to Makkah and Aminah received him with tenderness and love and Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) welcomed him "with joy, longing and admiration". When Muhammad was six years old, his mother decided to visit the grave of her husband, Abdullah, in Madinah. Both Barakah and Abd al-Muttalib tried to dissuade her. Aminah however was determined. So one morning they set off- Aminah, Muhammad and Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) huddled together in a small hawdaj mounted on a large camel, part of a huge caravan that was going to Syria. In order to shield the tender child from any pain and worry, Aminah did not tell Muhammad that she was going to visit the grave of his father. The caravan went at a brisk pace. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman)  tried to console Aminah for her son's sake and much of the time the boy Muhammad slept with his arms around Barakah's neck.

The caravan took ten days to reach Madinah. The boy Muhammad was left with his maternal uncles of the Banu Najjar while Aminah went to visit the grave of Abdullah. Each day for a few weeks she stayed at the grave. She was consumed by grief. On the way back to Makkah, Aminah became seriously ill with fever. Halfway between Madinah and Makkah, at a place called al-Abwa, they stopped. Aminah's health deteriorated rapidly. One pitch dark night, she was running a high temperature. The fever had got to her head and she called out to Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) in a choking voice. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) related: "She whispered in my ear: 'O Barakah, I shall depart from this world shortly. I commend my son Muhammad to your care. He lost his father while he was in my abdomen. Here he is now, losing his mother under his very eyes. Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him.' "My heart was shattered and I began to sob and wail. The child was distressed by my wailing and began to weep. He threw himself into his mother's arms and held tightly onto her neck. She gave one last moan and then was forever silent." Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) wept. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) wept bitterly. With her own hands she dug a grave in the sand and buried Aminah, moistening the grave with whatever tears were left in her heart. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) returned with the orphan child to Makkah and placed him in the care of his grandfather. She stayed at his house to look after him. When Abd al-Muttalib died two years later, she went with the child to the house of his uncle Abu Talib and continued to look after his needs until he was grown up and married the Saidatuna Khadijah RA.

Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) then stayed with Rasulullah SAW and Khadijah in a house belonging to Saidatuna Khadijah RA. "I never left him and he never left me," she said. One day Rasulullah SAW called out to her and said: "Ya Ummah!" (He always called her "Mother".) "Now I am a married man, and you are still unmarried. What do you think if someone should come now and ask to marry you?" Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) looked at Rasulullah SAW and said: "I shall never leave you. Does a mother abandon her son?" Rasulullah SAW smiled and kissed her head. He looked at his wife Khadijah and said to her: "This is Barakah. This is my mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family." Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) looked at Saidatuna Khadijah RA who said to her: "Barakah, you have sacrificed your youth for the sake of Rasulullah SAW. Now he wants to pay back some of his obligations to you. For my sake and his, agree to be married before old age overtakes you." "Whom shall I marry, my lady?" asked Barakah RA (Umm Aiman). "There is here now Ubayd ibn Zaid from the Khazraj tribe of Madinah. He has come to us seeking your hand in marriage. For my sake, don't refuse." Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) agreed. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) married Ubayd ibn Zaid and went with him to Madinah. There she gave birth to a son whom she called Aiman and from that time onwards people called her "Umm Aiman" the mother of Aiman. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) marriage however did not last very long. Her husband died and she returned once more to Makkah to live with her "son" Rasulullah SAW in the house of Saidatuna Khadijah RA. Living in the same household at the time were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hind (Khadijah's daughter by her first husband), and Zaid ibn Harithah.

Zaid was an Arab from the tribe of Kalb who was captured as a boy and brought to Makkah to be sold in the slave market. He was bought by Khadijah's nephew and put in her service. In Khadijah's household, Zaid became attached to Rasulullah SAW and devoted himself to his service. Their relationship was like that of a son to a father. Indeed when Zaid's father came to Makkah in search of him, Zaid was given the choice by Rasulullah SAW of either going with his father or staying with him. Zaid’s reply to his father was: "I shall never leave this man. Rasulullah SAW has treated me nobly, as a father would treat his son. Not a single day has I felt that I am a slave. Rasulullah SAW has looked after me well. He is kind and loving towards me and strives for my enjoyment and happiness. He is the most noble of men and the greatest person in creation. How can I leave him and go with you? I shall never leave him." Later, in public Rasulullah SAW proclaimed the freedom of Zaid. However, Zaid continued to live with him as part of his household and devoted himself to his service. When Rasulullah SAW was blessed with Prophethood, Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) and Zaid were among the first to believe in the message he proclaimed. They bore with the early Muslims the persecution which the Quraish meted out to them.

Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) and Zaid performed invaluable services to the mission of Rasulullah SAW. They acted as part of an intelligence service exposing themselves to the persecution and punishment of the Quraish and risking their lives to gain information on the plans and conspiracies of the mushrikun. One night the mushrikun blocked off the roads leading to the House of al-Arqam where Rasulullah SAW gathered his companions regularly to instruct them in the teachings of Islam. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) had some urgent information from Saidatuna Khadijah RA which had to be conveyed to Rasulullah SAW. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) risked her life trying to reach the House of al-Arqam. When she arrived and conveyed the message to Rasulullah SAW, he smiled and said to her: "You are blessed, Umm Aiman. Surely you have a place in Paradise." When Umm Aiman left, Rasulullah SAW looked at his companions and asked: "Should one of you desire to marry a woman from the people of Paradise, let him marry Umm Aiman." Ali the companions remained silent and did not utter a word. Umm Aiman was neither beautiful nor attractive. She was by now about fifty years old and looked rather frail. Zaid ibn al-Harithah however came forward and said: "O Rasulullah!, I shall marry Umm Aiman. By Allah, she is better than women who have grace and beauty."

Zaid and Umm Aiman were married and were blessed with a son whom they named Usamah. Rasulullah SAW loved Usamah as his own son. Often he played with him, kissed him and fed him with his own hands. The Muslims would say: "He is the beloved son of the beloved." From an early age Usamah distinguished himself in the service of lslam, and was later given weighty responsibilities by Rasulullah SAW. When Rasulullah SAW migrated to Madinah, henceforth to be known as al-Madinah, he left Umm Aiman behind in Makkah to look after certain special affairs in his household. Eventually she migrated to Madinah on her own. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) made the long and difficult journey through the desert and mountainous terrain on foot. The heat was killing and sandstorms obscured the way but Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) persisted, borne along by her deep love and attachment for Rasulullah SAW. When she reached Madinah, her feet were sore and swollen and her face was covered with sand and dust. "Ya Umm Aiman! Ya Ummi! (O Umm Aiman! O my mother!) Indeed for you is a place in Paradise!" exclaimed Rasulullah SAW when he saw her. Rasulullah SAW wiped her face and eyes, massaged her feet and rubbed her shoulders with his kind and gentle hands. At Madinah, Umm Aiman played her full part in the affairs of the Muslims. 

At Uhud, she distributed water to the thirsty and tended the wounded. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) accompanied Rasulullah SAW on some expeditions, to Khaybar and Hunayn for example. Her son Aiman, a devoted companion of Rasulullah SAW was martyred at Hunayn in the eighth year after the Hijrah. Barakah's husband, Zaid, was killed at the Battle of Mutah in Syria after a lifetime of distinguished service to Rasulullah SAW and Islam. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) at this time was about seventy years old and spent much of her time at home. Rasulullah SAW, accompanied by Abu Bakr and Umar often visited her and asked: "Ya Ummi! Are you well?" and she would reply: "I am well, O Messenger of Allah so long as Islam is."

After Rasulullah SAW demised, Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) would often be found with tears in her eyes. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was once asked, "Why are you crying?" and she replied: "By Allah, I knew that Rasulullah SAW would die but I cry now because the revelation from on high has come to an end for us." Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) was unique in that she was the only one who was so close to Rasulullah SAW throughout his life from birth till death. Her life was one of selfless service in Rasulullah’s household. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) remained deeply devoted to the person of the noble, gentle and caring Rasulullah. Above all, her devotion to the religion of Islam was strong and unshakable. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) died during the caliphate of Saidina Uthman Ibn Affan RA. Barakah RA (Umm Aiman)  roots were unknown but her place in Paradise was assured.

Hadiths Attributed To Umm Aiman RA

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 49, Gifts, The superiority of giving and extortion of
Hadith no: 811 
Narrated: Ibn Shihab Az-Zuhri
Anas bin Malik RA said, "When the emigrants came to Madinah, they had nothing whereas the Ansar had land and property. The Ansar gave them their land on condition that the emigrants would give them half the yearly yield and work on the land and provide the necessaries for cultivation." His (i.e. Anas's mother who was also the mother of 'bdullah bin Abu Talha, gave some date-palms to Allah' Apostle (SAW) who gave them to his freed slave-girl (Um Aiman) who was also the mother of Usamah bin Zaid RA. When Rasulullah SAW finished from the fighting against the people of Khaibar and returned to Madinah, the emigrants returned to the Ansar the fruit gifts which the Ansar had given them. Rasulullah SAW also returned to Anas's mother the date-palms. Rasulullah SAW  gave Um Aiman other trees from his garden in lieu of the old gift.
Relevance: 16.1287

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 8, Chapters Regarding Funerals
Hadith no: 1635 
Narrated: Anas RA:
"After Rasulullah SAW demised, Saidina Abu Bakr RA said to Saidina Umar RA: ‘Let us go and visit Umm Aiman as Rasulullah SAW used to visit her.’ He said: ‘When we reached her she wept.’ They said: ‘Why are you weeping? What is with Allah is better for Rasul.’ She said: ‘I know that what is with Allah is better for His Rasul, but I am weeping because the Revelation from heaven has ceased.’ Barakah RA (Umm Aiman) moved them to tears and they started to weep with her." Daif
Relevance: 10.8997

Hadith with weak linkage to Umm Aiman (Umm Baraqah)
Did the Prophet commend people drinking his urine?
نشرت بواسطة: Waqar Akbar Cheema  12:31 PM  في Cure , prophet , Umama , Umm Aiman , Urine , Wrong Notions  5 تعليقات

Normally, I restricted myself to deal with issues basically raised by the non-Muslims, namely Christians, Ahmadis, and Atheists etc. but now I feel I need to answer contentions of some lunatic Muslims too. This is important because their stupidities are exploited by islamophobes to attack Islam. Insha’Allah I will ensure not to fall in the trap and start taking pain to brush off authentic things if some short of brains is not able to comprehend and draws a “bad picture” of Islam because of it.
Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him, commend people drinking his urine?
This is actually a response to the article found HERE
Article One:
This is actually the “Hadith Two” in the link
Tabarani said: Hussain bin Is’haq al-Tustari informed us, who was informed by Uthman bin Abi Shaybah, who was informed by Shababah bin Sawwar, who was informed by Abu Malik al-Nakha’i who narrated from Aswad bin Qays, who narrated from Nubayh al-Anazi, who narrated from Umm Aiman, who said: ‘‘One night the Prophet got up and went to a side to urinate in the bowl. During the night, I rose and was thirsty so I drank whatever was in it and I did not even realize what it was. In the morning, He said, ‘Oh Umm Aiman! Throw away whatever is in the bowl’. I replied, ‘I drank what was in the bowl’. He thereafter smiled as such that His teeth appeared and said, ‘Beware! You will never have stomach pain’’.
(Tabarani Kabir 20740, Mustadrak al-Hakim 6912, Dalail al-Nubuwwah li-Isfahani 355-Shiite)
As the author of the article himself accepts that it is weak because of the narrator Abu Malik al-Nakha’i. As he quoted Hafiz Haithami declared that he is weak. Furthermore Imam Nasai, said he is “Matrook” i.e. rejected, someone whose narrations can never be accepted. (Al-Du’afa wal-Matrookin No. 383)
And as Hafiz Ibn Hajar says Nasai declares a person “Matrook” only when all scholars agree on rejecting his narrations.
And al-Daraqutni never explicitly authenticated the narrator or narration. All he did was to refrain from commenting. This cannot stand the fact that the narrator is declared ‘rejected’ by al-Nasai. And many others graded him as unreliable like al-Haitmi, Abu Hatim, Ibn ‘Adi, Yahya bin Ma ’in, Ibn Hibban etc. So with all this criticism Daraqutni’s silence means nothing and whoever accepted the narration because of this was mistaken.
What did Hakim and Dhabi comment on this?
Even Imam Hakim who is too lax did not authenticate this narration and Dhabi did not comment either. Hakim’s silence shows he did not consider the narration authentic else he would have commented because he is known to have made mistakes and consider weaker narrations as authentic. And Dhabi’s silence is simply because his comments were basically to correct Hakim’s mistake and when Hakim did not comment in the first place, he had no reason to comment either.
Note, author of the article says that “Hadith One” is narrated by Hakim while not “Hadith One” but “Hadith Two” is narrated by Hakim.
Hakim narrates the other narration which simply says that bowl was there and not a word about someone drinking it or Prophet, may Allah bless him, commenting on it. However, it has a unknown narrator discussed under the heading “Report Two”
Next the author argues that it has more than one chain. Let’s see the reality of other chain.
Ibn Kathir narrates the Hadith of Umm Aiman in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya with the following channel of transmission. Hafiz Abu Ya’la said, Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr al-Muqaddami informed me, who was informed by Ibn Qutaybah, who narrates from Hussain bin Harb, who narrates from Ya’la bin Ata, who narrates from Waleed bin Abd al-Rahman who narrates from Umm Aiman who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah May Allah send peace and blessings upon Him had a clay bowl in which he used to urinate and in the morning He used to say, ‘Oh Umm Aiman! Throw away what is in the bowl’. One night I woke up and was very thirsty so I drank whatever was in the bowl. The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Oh Umm Aiman! Throw away what is in the bowl’. She replied, ‘Oh messenger of Allah! I got up and was thirsty so I drank what was in it’ to which He replied, ‘you will never have stomach pain anymore’’.
This is found in Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya 5/347. The is found in Tarikh Damishq (4/303) but there in chain instead of “Hussain bin Harb” we have “Hussain bin Hurayth.” This disparity shows there is something fishy.
Moreover, Hafiz Ibn Hajar writes about the narrator “Hussain bin Hurayth” that he is from the Tenth Category i.e. from the 4th generation of Muslims; A generation after “Taba Tabi’in” the Succeeding Successors (see al-Taqrib No. 1319)
While the narrator from whom he quotes i.e. Ya’la bin ‘Ata is from the Fourth Category i.e. 2nd generation of Muslims; people referred to as “Tabi’in” (see al-Taqrib 2/341)
Note that the generation thing is not biological; it’s with respect to having met people of the earlier generations. So simply the fact that they are not from consecutive generation is enough to prove that chain is disconnected and thus it cannot help the weak narration through Abu Malik al-Nakha’i.
In the end conclusion is that the report is not valid.
Report Two:
The other two narrations, “Hadith One” and “Hadith Three” are actually same and the slight change of the narrators makes no difference and both are narrated by Umama through her daughter Hukayma and none narrates from Hukayma except Ibn Jurayj.
1. The fact that it comes from one narrate each in three steps shows the strangeness of the report.
2. Hafiz Ibn Hajar says that Hukayma is unknown cf. al-Taqrib 2/636. And most certainly narration from such a narrator is not valid. So what we see is that all the reports are dubious.
Author of the article says, that Abu Dawud and Nasai narrate from her. So what? Abu Dawud and Nasai do not have all authentic narrations. In fact even in Abu Dawud and Nasal’s collections the same report in a shorter form is reported from and nothing else. In Abu Dawud and Nasai the narration is there without any reference to Prophet, may Allah bless him, asking about the bowl or someone drinking from it. And even that is graded as weak by scholars. Shaykh Shu’aib Arnaut graded the narration as weak. (See Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 24)
To the Missionaries who use this narration:
To the Missionary haters of Islam, I will simply say that if you think the above dubious narrations prove to be big notions about Islam and you feel that Muslims should have sleepless nights for such issues then Christians must also pull up socks and explain as to why their sources say that birth of a daughter is a loss (cf. Ecclesiasticus) and as to why Jesus, may Allah bless him, God-Forbid kissed Mary Magdalene (cf. Gospel of Philips) and the things of the kind? If you cry that that these are from Apocrypha then why forget we Muslims have a robust and empirical science using which we show certain narrations from our sources are dubious. Surely this is more worthy to be considered then vague distinction between the Apocrypha and the canon in the Christian tradition.
Indeed, Allah knows the best! (WallahuA’lam)