Umm Salamah: Story of an Immigrant Family

Umm Salamah! What an eventful life she had! Her real name was Hind. She was the daughter of one of the notables in the Makhzum clan nicknamed “Zad Ar-Rakib” (which means the provision for the traveler) because he was well known for his generosity, particularly to travelers.

Persecution Intensified

Umm Salamah’s husband was Abdullah ibn Abdul-Asad and they both were among the first people to accept Islam. Only Abu Bakr and a few others, who could be counted on the fingers of one hand, became Muslims before them.

As soon as the news of their becoming Muslims spread, the Quraysh reacted with frenzied anger. They began hounding and persecuting Umm Salamah and her husband. But the couple did not waver or despair and remained steadfast in their new faith.

Permission to Migrate to Abyssinia

The persecution became more and more intense. Life in Makkah became unbearable for many of the new Muslims. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then gave permission for them to immigrate to Abyssinia. Umm Salamah and her husband were in the forefront of these seekers of refuge in a strange land.

For Umm Salamah, it meant abandoning her home and giving up the traditional ties of lineage and honor for something new, pursuing the pleasure and reward of Allah.

Despite the protection, Umm Salamah and her companions received from the Abyssinian ruler, the desire to return to Makkah, to be near the Prophet and the source of revelation and guidance, persisted.

News eventually reached the emigrants that the number of Muslims in Makkah had increased. Among them were Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib and Umar ibn Al-Khattab. Their faith had greatly strengthened the community, and the Quraysh, they heard, had eased the persecution somewhat. Thus a group of the emigrants, urged on by a deep longing in their hearts, decided to return to Makkah.

Permission to Migrate to Madinah

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The easing of the persecution was brief, as the returnees soon found out. The dramatic increase in the number of Muslims following the acceptance of Islam by Hamzah and Umar had infuriated the Quraysh more than ever. They intensified their persecution and torture to a pitch and intensity not known before. So the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave permission to his Companions to immigrate to Madinah.

Umm Salamah and her husband were among the first to leave. The hijrah of Umm Salamah and her husband, though, was not as easy as they had imagined. In fact, it was a bitter and painful experience and a particularly harrowing one for her.

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