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Halima, The Prophet's Nurse


For many centuries it had been customary among the Arabs to give their newborn children to women from the tribes around the city to be wet-nursed. This was done so that their children would grow up in the fresh air and the natural environment of the desert and also learn the eloquent Arabic dialect whose purest form was to be found at that time in the desert. 12

For this reason and since Amina had no milk to feed her child, Abdul Muttalib, his grandfather and guardian, felt it necessary to employ an honorable, trustworthy lady to look after the child of his dear son, Abdullah. After making appropriate inquiries, he selected Halima, who was from the Bani Sa'd tribe (a tribe famous for bravery and eloquence) and who was rated among the most chaste, noble women. Halima took the infant to her own tribe and looked after him as though he were her own child. The Bani Sa'd tribe had long been suffering from famine in the desert. The dry desert and lack of rains had added much to their poverty and misery. But from the very day lie entered Halima's house, good fortune and blessings entered with him. Her life, which had been filled with poverty and destitution, suddenly changed into a happy and prosperous one. The pale faces of Halima and her children became rosy and full of life. Her dry breasts swelled with milk, and the pasture of the sheep and camels of that region turned fresh and green, whereas before he came to their tribe, people lived in poverty and faced many difficulties. He grew up more rapidly than other children, ran more nimbly, and did not stammer like them. Good fortune and auspicious­ness so accompanied him that all the people around him easily realized this fact and admitted it. Halima's husband, Harith, told her, 'Do you know what a blessed baby we have been given?' 13

12. Sirihi Halabiyih, Vol. 1, p.99. 1

13. Bihar ul-Anwar, Vol. 15, pp.331-395; Sirihi ibn Hisham, printed in 1375 A.H.L., Vol. 1. pp.159-60; Halabiyih, printed in 1382 A.H.L., Vol. 1, p.99.

Adapted from: "A Glance at the Life of the Holy Prophet of Islam" by : "Dar Rah Haqq's Board of Writers"

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