So remarkable is this incident that it has always had an inspirational impact on all those that ever came to hear of it. The story is of Umme Sulaym (radhiallahu anha) – the mother of Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) the blessed companion who served the holy Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasalam) for ten years in Madinah Munawwarah.
After the death of her first husband Umme Sulaym (radhiallahu anha)remained a widow for some time to devote herself to the proper upbringing of her son. She then married Abu Talha(radhiallahu anhu) from whom she had a son called Abu Umayr. The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasalam) would often visit their house and play with the child.
One day, Abu Umayr was ill and Hadhrat Abu Talha (radhiallahu anhu)was fasting. While he was out working, the child passed away. Devastated, his mother washed and shrouded his blessed body and laid it on the cot. Imagine my dear sisters, her dear beloved son has just passed away before her very own eyes, yet all alone with total patience she shrouds him with her own hands. She then takes a bath and changes her clothes for her husband. Subhanallah, in such a state she still remains concerned of fulfilling the rights due to her husband, yet today we find ourselves beautifying ourselves for everyone other than our husbands. When it’s time to go out, visit a friend or attend a wedding, we will dress ourselves like never before yet our state in our very own homes is astonishing. With uncombed hair and a messy appearance we come before our husbands before whom we should be making the greatest of efforts. Look at the affection of the sahaba(radhiallahu anhum).Let alone the wife dressing up for her husband the great Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) said: “As my wife adorns herself for me, I adorn myself for her.”
Nevertheless upon Hazrat Abu Talha’s arrival he asks about the child- Umme Sulaym(radhiallahu anha) answered by saying that he is in peace. Hearing this her husband felt content, she then gave him food to break his fast and the couple then shared the bed for the night. Little did he know that his pure child was lying just yards away from him, shrouded in a kafan in his little cot. Now when they arose in the morning Umme Sulaym(radhiallahu anha) said to her husband most wisely, “I have a question to ask.” She said “If somebody gives us an item to keep as trust, what should we do if he wishes to reclaim it.” Abu Talha(radhiallahu anhu) replied, “Why, we should of course return the owners item back to him with happiness.” Umme Sulaym then took the chance and said, “ Well make sabr upon your son’s death and happily make preparation for his burial for (Abu Umayr was loaned to us by Allah and) Allah Taala has taken back his trust”. Abu Talha (radhiallahu anhu)was shocked and filled with grief. “Why did you not tell me last night?” he exclaimed.
She calmly exclaimed that you were hungry after fasting the whole day, you would have spent the whole night in grief. So I told you now instead.
Abu Talha (radhiallahu anhu)felt very hurt and immediately went to the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasalam) to tell him what had happened. The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasalam) expressing his happiness on Umme Sulaym’s deed made dua for the couple and said, “I have great hopes that Allah will bless you with a Mubarak child from your last night’s union with your wife.” Subhanallah such were the effects of the Prophet’s dua that Umme Sulaym did have another son. In fact one of the Sahabah (radhiallahu anhu) mentioned: “I lived to see the effect of Nabi (salallahu alaihi wasalam)s Dua. As a result of his union with his wife on that night, Hadhrat Abu Talhah(radhiallahu anhu) had a son named Abdullah. This Abdullah had nine sons, all of whom were Qurra(expert reciters of the Quran).”
Dear sisters, this story leaves us amazed and astonished. We only need to ask a mother who has lost her child at such a young age, the pain and sorrow she goes through she can never describe. Umme Sulaym(radhiallahu anha) wasn’t an Angel, rather a human just like you and I. She must have been so upset yet alone she sat to shroud her child. Not only that my sisters but she acknowledged her husband needed to eat after a long day of fasting. She not only fed him but went one step further and allowed him to fulfil his desires before she broke the news.
How many of us today can say we have the patience? After a long day of work how many of us are able to provide our spouses with the comfort and rest they require. Many a times we find ourselves only increasing their tension and anxiety by burdening them with our problems, and troubling them with our demands. Remember just one deed of Umme Sulaym’s yet it pleased Allah so much that he blessed her with 9 grandsons. All who whom became Qurra (Experts in the recitation of the Quran)
It’s no wonder the following virtue is recorded in the books of Ahadith with regards to Umme Sulaym:
Anas reported that Nabi (salallahu alaihi wasalam) said: “I entered Paradise and heard the noise of steps. I said: Who is it? They said: She is Ghumaisa, daughter of Milhan, the mother of Anas bin Malik.”
Subhanallah! Surely in this story lies a lesson for all those females who wish to gain the pleasure of Allah and His beloved Nabi (salallahu alaihi wasalam).