Episode 12: Halimah’s Blessing
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 discusses Halimah Sadiya, another lady who breast-fed the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Arabs in Makkah preferred their children to spend their early years being raised in the desert, where it was felt they were safer from diseases and pollution rife in the city, as well as having the opportunity of learning pure, eloquent Arabic. Women from desert tribes would come to Makkah to collect the children, in return for financial incentives.
Halima was married and had three children of her own. She and her family made an arduous journey to Makkah, recounting that it was a year of drought. Her camel was not able to give milk, thus her own milk dried up. Their mule was very slow, thus they fell behind the group. They did not sleep all night due to hunger and the wailing of their hungry child. Eventually reaching Makkah, they found that all the other women in the tribe had already secured babies from good families with good financial incentives. The one chid left was the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Halima was reluctant to take him, worried that he was an orphan, but she also did not want to return empty-handed.
As soon as Halima collected the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), miracles started: her milk flowed abundantly; the mule suddenly became fit and active; the camel produced milk; their land became green and the livestock grazed to their fill, also producing abundant milk.
When a child reaches 2 years, it is usually time to return them home again. Halima did not want to return the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) because of the blessings he brought, as well as the close attachment that had developed.: she convinced his mother to allow him to return with her, thus he stayed a further time of between 6-18months.