Seerah: EP11 – The Women Who Cared for the Prophet

Jan 31, 2012 | Abdul Nasir Jangda, Podcast, Seerah


Episode 11: The Women Who Cared for the Prophet

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

This episode discuses the infancy of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was nursed by his own mother, Amina, as well as some other women. When a child is nursed by a women other than the mother, it establishes a relationship such that it is forbidden to marry that  person i.e. she becomes a milk-mother; he also cannot marry her daughters. The lives of two milk-mothers are explored:

a) Barakah (Umm Ayman)

Barakah was originally from from East Africa and a slave. First owned by Abdul Muttalib, she was given to Abdullah, and thus ended up in the home of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): he inherited her from his mother, and when he married Khadijah, he freed her, but she remained close to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Barakah accepted Islam and performed Hijrah. She accompanied the Muslims in some of the battles. Ayman, her son, was born from a previous marriage and was a believer. Her husband also accepted Islam, and was martyred in a battle. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) proposed that whoever would like to marry a women from the people of paradise, that man should marry Umm Ayman. Zaid ibn Haritha, the adopted son of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), chose to marry her. They had a son together called Usama ibn Zaid. Barakah died 20 days after the death of Umar Al-Khattab.

b) Thuwaybah

Thuwaybah was a slave-girl owned by Abu Lahab. When the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was born, she came running to Abu Lahab to inform him of the  good news. Abu Lahab was so overjoyed that he freed her on the spot. It is mentioned that Abbas the uncle of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), saw Abu Lahab in a dream and asked him what happened after death. Abu Lahab said he had been punished non-stop, but every Monday, he was given a break because when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was born he freed Thuwaybah. Thuwaybah also nursed the Prophet’s uncle, Hamza, and Abu Salamah. She accepted Islam, and died in 7AH.