The Prophet’s Mother: Aminah

Posted on December 19, 2011

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The womb of Aminah bint Wahb was certainly the noblest and the most honourable of all the wombs. It was in a womb that noble foetus (of Allah’s Messenger) settled.

This seed has been moving from loins of men, generation after generation until Allah in His Divine wisdom decreed that it moved to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘AbdulMutalib, the youthful Qurayshi who excelled his contemporaries in greatness and beauty and in whose eyes the light of Prophethood was shinning. ‘Abdullah, it was, who was ransomed from slaughtering, after his father had vowed to sacrifice him and had sought to fulfil his vow. He was the most precious person the Arabs have ever known. This event took place, so that the Divine choice might be actualized and firmly rooted in the history of mankind, bearing witness to Allah’s absolute Will. There is no change in His Words and there is no preventer for what He has decreed.

Allaah chose Adam, Nooh [Noah], the family of Ibraheem [Abraham] and the family of Imran above the Alameen [mankind And jinn] [of their times]. Offspring, one of the other, and Allah is the All-Hearer, All-Knower) (Qur ‘an 3: 33-34)

‘Abdullah went out with his father ‘Abdul-MunaIib after he had been ransomed with the sacrifice and he had increased in light. 

A woman from Bani Asad ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza then met him beside the Ka ‘bah and told him after she had looked into his face that was illuminating with the light of prophethood, “You will be given the like of the camels that were sacrificed for your ransom if you can cohabit with me now.” But ‘Abdullah replied her that it was better to die than to commit unlawful thing and that a noble man preserves his honour and religion.

‘Abdul-Muttalib fmally chose Aminah bint Wahb of the Zuhr clan as a wife for his son ‘Abdullah. Aminah was then the best Qurayshi woman in lineage and status.

A fortune-teller from TibaIah who was known as Fatimah bint Murr al-Khath’amiyah had also seen ‘Abdullah. This woman was one of the most beautiful and the chastest Arab women. She saw the light of prophethood in the face of ‘Abdullah. She then offered herself in marriage to him. But he rejected the offer.

The news of a Prophet that would come out from the children of lsma’eel, was spreading among the Arabs all over the peninsula. This news was based on what the people of the Scripture narrated and from what is recorded in their Torah implicitly and explicitly, as well as from what the fortune-tellers and astrologers were saying. Circumstances that surrounded ‘Abdullah ibn ‘AbdulMuttalib concerning his early life, youth, his excellent and brilliant upbringing, his chastity, his high moral conduct and the light with which he was known, had made some women and girls wish to find favour with him and eventually be his wife. But as Allah would have it, it was Aminah that became the wife of ‘Abdullah.

Aminah’s womb was sooner to bear the noble foetus of the Prophet. And the womb fulfilled the message that was meant for it…and the destiny remained in the hand of Allah Who dispose ofit as He likes.

A few months after the pregnancy had taken place, ‘Abdullah undertook a journey to Syria. When he was coming back, he fell ill and stayed with his maternal uncles from the tribe of Bani Najjar in Yathrib where they nursed him and took care of him.

He however died in that illness, turning his young wife into a widow.

Aminah was greatly saddened with the death of her beloved husband who stayed with her after their marriage only for few months. She wept bitterly and wailed severely. The separation was painful, arid more painful than this is the movement of the fetus in her womb. It had already become an orphan before it was born and before it could open its eyes.

That was the degree of her psychological pain. But she had a consolation: It was her own self She was strong and persevering. She also found consolation in ‘Abdul-Muttalib who took care of her and showed her compassion. He would not leave her for a second, unless if he had to attend to his private needs.

Her greatest consolation is however her baby. She never felt any hardship or inconvenience, whether physical or psychological. What she felt was rather the opposite of that. She was comfortable and at ease. She felt as if she was a different person because she had no consideration for materialism of the humans. She was just like a spectre that hovers in the air . 

Someone came to her while she was asleep and told her, “You are pregnant with the leader and the Prophet of this Ummah.” He came to her again before she gave birth and told her, “Say after you have delivered him, ‘I seek protection for him with the One (Allah) from the evil of every jealous.’ Then name him ‘Muhammad’. “

Thus did Anunah continue to see dreams. And more than once did the dreams give her glad tidings, strengthen her, encourage her to be patient, console her and elevate her stand and that of the pregnancy she was carrying.

The delivery day was a great day. It was on the twelfth day of Rabee’ul-awwal at dawn.

This very time has its meaning and significance. It has its dimensions in the horizons of time. It was the dawn that removed the darkness from mankind, the accumulated darkness that had made mankind deviated from the straight path and the darkness of humans’ injustice against their fellow humans. Yes! It was in the spring … after the cold, hurricanes, roars and thunders of the winter and after the darkness of its clouds. It was in the spring after the heat and the scorch of the summer and after the dryness and the changes in the nature that come with autumn.

Aminah said, “When I delivered him, a light came out with him that illuminated what is between the East and the West. The light illuminated palaces and markets of Syria until I saw the necks of the camels in Basra. I saw three erected flags: one at the East, one at the West and the third over the Ka’bah.”

‘Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophet’s grandfather came and took the boy Muhammad to the Ka’bah, going round the Ka’bah with him and saying, “Praise be to Allah Who gave me this greatly important boy;
I seek Allah’s protection for him.”

Some of the above was culled from Aminah’s narration to Haleemah, of the clan of Bani Sa’d who was the Prophet’s wet nurse.

We shall discuss her life, inshti’ Allah. It is here that Haleemah bint Abi Dhu’ayb entered the life of
Muhammad (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wassallam) as his second mother. Before we commence our discussion about her life and the role she played we need to make a quick mention of the first milk that entered the Prophet’s noble stomach.

She is Thuwaybah the freed maid of his uncle Abu Lahab (,Abdul-’Uzza ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib) who dearly loved his brother ‘Abdullah. Abu Lahab was gravely saddened by the death of his
brother. And when his freed maid, Thuwaybah came to him and broke the good news of the birth of Muhammad (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wassallam) to him, he was so happy that he set her free. That was the habit of the Arab noble men. It was a source of pride and glory for them. It appeared that Thuwaybah stayed with Aminah for few days after she delivered. She also had just delivered a baby then. Muhammad (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wassallam) sucked at her breast until Haleemah came and took him from her.

The role that Haleemah was to play in the Prophet’s early childhood was fundamental and important. The two periods of his stay with her at the dwellings of Bani Sa’d were full of important events.

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