Umm Sulaym bint Milham

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Rumaysa [Ar-Rumaysho'/ Ar-Rumaydho'] bint Milhan, popularly known as Umm Sulaym, was one of the earliest women converts to Islam in Yathrib. Umm Sulaym was first married to Malik ibn an-Nadr and her son by this marriage was Anas ibn Malik, a notable companion of Muhammad.[1]

Following the death of her first husband, Zayd ibn Sahl, known as Abu Talha ibn Thabit, resolved to become engaged to her before anyone else did. He was confident that Umm Sulaym would not pass him over for another. He was quite rich, an accomplished horseman, and a skilful archer and he belonged to the same clan as Umm Sulaym, the Banu Najjar. But she refused. Abu Talha did not take no an answer. He asked her if there was someone more worthy for her than him, and she explained that she was a Muslim and could not marry a polytheist. He accepted Islam and they were married, and she started educating him in Islam. Abu Talhah became a devout Muslim who loved to be in the company of Muhammad and was very charitable. He had a beautiful orchard in Madina, once he was disturbed in his salaah due to it, so he immediately gave it in charity. Other wives may be upset but umm sulaim was more than happy. There was no mahr more valuable than umm sulaim's. Following Abu Talhah's acceptance of Islam, the two married and were considered a model Muslim couple.[by whom?] Abu Talhah died while he was on a naval expedition during the time of the caliph Uthman, and was buried at sea.

Umm Sulaym was noted for her courage and bravery. During the battle of Uhud, she carried a dagger in the folds of her dress, giving water and tending to the wounded and attempting to defend Muhammad when the tide of battle was turning against him.

A narration attributed to Anas ibn Malik reports:

the son of Abu Talha who was born of Umm Sulaim died. She (Umm Sulaim) said to the members of her family: Do not narrate to Abu Talha about his son until I narrate it to him. Abu Talha came (home) ; she presented to him the supper. He took it and drank water. She then embellished herself which she did not do before. He (Abu Talha) had a sexual intercourse with her and when she saw that he was satisfied after sexual intercourse with her, she said: Abu Talha, if some people borrow something from another family and then (the members of the family) ask for its return, would they resist its return? He said: No. She said: I inform you about the death of your son. He was annoyed, and said: You did not inform me until I had a sexual intercourse with you and you later on gave me information about my son. He went to Allah's Messenger and informed him what had happened. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said: May Allah bless both of you in the night spent by you! He (the narrator) said: She became pregnant. Allah's Messenger was in the course of a journey and she was along with him and when Allah's Messenger came back to Medina from the journey he did not enter (his house) (during the night). When the people came near Medina, she felt the pangs of delivery. He (Abu Talha) remained with her and Allah's Messenger proceeded on. Abu Talha said: O Lord, you know that I love to go along with Allah's Messenger when he goes out and enter along with him when he enters and I have been detained as Thou seest. Umm Sulaim said: Abu Talha, I do not feel (so much pain) as I was feeling formerly, so better proceed on. So we proceeded on and she felt the pangs of delivery as they reached (Medina) and a child was born and my mother said to me: Anas, none should suckle him until you go to Allah's Messenger tomorrow morning. And when it was morning I carried him (the child) and went along with him to Allah's Messenger. He said: I saw that he had in his hand the instrument for the cauterisation of the camels. When he saw me. he said: This is, perhaps, what Umm Sulaim has given birth to. I said: Yes. He laid down that instrument on the ground. I brought that child to him and placed it in his lap and Allah's Messenger asked Ajwa dates of Medina to be brought and softened them in his mouth. When these had become palatable he placed them in the mouth of that child. The child began to taste them. Then Allah's Messenger said: See what love the Ansar have for dates. He then wiped his face and named him 'Abdullah.Abdullah became a devout Muslim and had seven sons all were Huffaaz .


Sunnis tend to view this as Sahih and have included it in Sahih Muslim


  1. ^ a b Biography of Rumaysa bint Milhan - Mother of Anas bin Malik at MSA West Compendium of Muslim Texts
  2. ^ Sahih Muslim, 31:6013

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