Episode 14: Death of the Prophets Mother
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).
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went back to being in the care of his mother, Amina, in Makkah. Amina decided to make a trip to Yathrib, which later became the blessed city of Medina. Some say his mother wanted him to meet the extended family members; others report it was because she wanted to visit the grave of her husband, Abdullah, who died in Medina. The two were accompanied by Umm Aiman (Barakah), one of the milk mothers of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They spent time in Quba and Yathrib, staying for about one month. They left Yathrib and travelled to a place called Abwa: it is here that Amina passed away due to an unknown illness.
Umm Aiman buried the mother of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and embraced Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), who was 6 years old. Some reports say she returned to Yathrib with the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), where they stayed for a few days until his grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib, came to take him home. Other reports mention Umm Aiman returned to Makkah with Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) alone.
Once, the Sahabah were with the Prophet at a place near Abwa. The Prophet asked them to wait until he came back, requesting that no-one followed him. He returned looking ill and heavy-hearted. He then explained that he went to the grave his mother. Initially, the Prophet had forbidden the visiting of graves, to distance people from idol worship. However, when they had become secure in their faith, he then allowed them to visit graves.
Another narration shows the shear sadness of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from these memories of his mother. Some Sahabah are reported to have accompanied the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to a grave, where he sat down and cried profusely, to the point where he choked up and lost his breath. The Sahabah also started crying. Umar comforted the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and asked why he was crying so much, to which the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied that the grave was that of his beloved mother. This story shows the human, emotional side of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).