Umm Ayman (Barakah)
Barakah (Arabic: بركة), daughter of Tha'alaba bin Amr, known as Umme Aymen (Arabic: أم أيمن), was an Abyssinian slave girl of Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib or his wife Aminah. Since Aminah died, Umme Aymen looked after her son, Muhammad, until he had grown up. Later Muhammad freed her, but she fondly served Muhammad and his family for a long time. The Islamic Prophet has introduced her as a heavenly woman. Umme Aymen was present at the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of Khaybar.
Parentage and general description
Barakah, daughter of Tha'alaba bin Amr, known as Umm Ayman, was Abyssinian slave girl of Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib, Muhammad's father, or his wife Aminah. She became Muhammad's slave after the death of Abdullah and Aminah.
Caring of Muhammad in childhood
Since Aminah died in Al-Abwa, Barakah looked after Muhammad until entrance to Makkah. Also she served Muhammad for a long time and took over the caring of him until he grew up. Abdul-Muttalib had said to Barakah that don’t neglect my son, People of the Book think that my son is the prophet of this nation.
Marriage and children
When Muhammad married Khadija, he arranged for Barakah’s freedom and marriage to a Khazrajite named Ubayd ibn Zaid. Barakah bore a son named Ayman so she is known to be Umm Ayman means ‘the mother of Ayman’. shortly thereafter her husband, who was the companion of the Islamic Prophet, was killed in Battle of Khaybar. In addition his son was killed in Battle of Hunayn.
Zayd ibn Harithah married Barakah. It is said that they had a son named Usama who was to be one of the future leaders of Islam. However, this son was born to Zayd between 612 and 615, which would make Umm Ayman impossible as the mother, since she would not be widowed until 628, after which she married Zayd. As Umm Ayman would have been at least eight years older than Muhammad, she would have been at least 50 when Usama was born and at least 66 when she married Zayd.
Participation in battles
In the battle of Uhud, many men ran away toward Medina after rumor of the death of Muhammad. Umm Ayman sprinkled dust on the face of some fugitives, gave them a spindle and told them: "give me your sword and [you] spin spindle." Then she went toward the battlefield along with several women. Subsequently she was injured by an arrow which Hebban bin Araqa, an enemy soldier, shot at her.
Relationship with the Ahl al-Bayt
The Islamic Prophet was very fond of Umm Ayman, and even it is said he sometimes called Umm Ayman as his mother. Some hadiths is quoted about her high dignity for the Islamic Prophet. The Prophet visited Umm Ayman at her house, and Following the Islamic Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar did the same. Hence, in some hadiths sources, there is a chapter about the virtues of Umm Ayman. In Shia’s sources she is mentioned with respect too.
The Islamic Prophet has introduced her as a heavenly woman.
The exact date of Umm Ayman's death is not clear. Some have suggested she died approximately five months after the death of the Islamic Prophet. But according to ibn Sa'd quotes she was alive to the early days of the caliphate of Uthman.
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