Umm Sulaim bint Milhan Al-Ansariyyah - Part 2
Umm Sulaim saw that the bowl was still hanging and it was full - in fact it was overflowing and dripping. She asked her daughter why she did not carry out her instructions. The little girl said that she had taken the' ghee to the Prophet's house as instructed and brought back the empty bowl and hung it. Umm Sulaim was amazed by this mystery.
She went to the Prophet's house and told him about this strange incident. He said the little girl brought the gift which he accepted and left with an empty bowl.
Umm Sulaim swore by Allah Who sent him as a Messenger of the one True Religion that the bowl was full and dripping even then. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then told her that she should not be amazed; she had sent a gift for Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), so He in turn had sent a gift for her. She should eat it and feed others also with it. Umm Sulaim says she emptied this bowl of ghee into a larger vessel. It lasted them for two months and others also ate from it.
Anas narrates that one day Abu Talhah came home and told Umm Sulaim that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sounded very weak, possibly he was hungry. If there was some food in the house they could have the honour of having him over for a meal. She answered that she had some bread wrapped up in cloth. Abu Talhah went to the mosque and invited the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to join him.
He accepted and invited the people sitting there to join him at the house of Abu Talhah. All of them rose to go with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). When Abu Talhah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw this he became nervous, because he did not have enough food for so many people. When he went home he expressed this fear to his wife Umm Sulaim She smiled and told him not to worry; they would just put out all the food they had in the house. And this was what she did. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came in and made a supplication to Allah for plenitude. Then he asked Abu Talhah to call in ten people from outside. So ten people came in to a satisfying meal. After they finished he asked Abu Talhah, to call in ten more. And so it went on till about seventy or eighty had taken their fill of the delicious food. And there was food still left over!
When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) got married to Zaynab bint Jahash, Umm Sulaim made a special dish of dates and ghee and sent it to him as a gift. And after the battle of Khaybar when he married Safiyyah it was Umm Sulaim who dressed her up as a bride. She also played a very active role in the battlefields of Islam. Anas says that in the Battle of Uhud his mother and 'A'ishah used to fill leather bottles with water and give it to the thirsty wounded soldiers. Umm Sulaim was pregnant at the time but that did not deter her in any way. She took an active part in the Battle of Hunayn as well. She carried a spear and when Abu Talhah saw this he told the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about it. He asked her why she was carrying a spear. She answered that if any enemy soldier came before her she would slit his belly. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) smiled at her spirit.
Anas reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to visit them often. When someone asked him for the reason, he said he felt pity for her ever since he saw her brother, Haram bin Milhan killed before his eyes. His last words have become immortal in Islamic history. He said,
"I swear by the Sustainer of the Ka'bah I have become successful."
His brother Sulaim bin Milhan also was martyred in the same battle.
In Sahih Muslim, the Book of Fada'il talks about the beads of perspiration of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). One afternoon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went to visit Umm Sulaim; she was out and he dropped off to sleep white waiting for her. When she came home she found him sleeping and in the heat his perspiration was dripping on a small piece of leather. She was very happy to see him in her house and started collecting the beads of perspiration in a small bottle to preserve them. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) woke up to find her doing this. He asked her what she was doing. She replied she was collecting the drops of his perspiration to put them into some perfume. If the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) passed on a road or street he left a trail of perfume in the atmosphere and people would sense that he had passed that way. When Anas realized he was dying he made a will that some of these drops should be added to the water with which his body would be bathed.
Anas mentioned that one day when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), visited their house he took a drink of water from a leather bowl kept in the courtyard. His mother cut out the section that his lips had touched and preserved it as well.
On another occasion when he visited them Umm Sulaim offered him dates and ghee. He said she should put them away as he was fasting that day. He stood in a corner of the room to pray, then he spent a long time making supplications to Allah to bless the members of the family both in this world and the next. Umm Sulaim then requested him to pray for her son. He prayed so long for his welfare both here and in the Hereafter that Anas felt he must have asked Allah for the best possible good for him in both this world and the next.
"Allah will be pleased with them and they with Him." [Noble Quran 98:8]
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