بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين
Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ stayed in the care of his loving mother and was the joy of her heart. Whenever she رضی الله عنها felt the absence of her beloved husband or any type of sorrow, it vanished as soon as she gazed upon his beautiful smile, or became captivated by the lustre of his eyes. In addition to Sayyidah Aaminah رضی الله عنها, Allah سبحانه و تعالی ennobled women such as Thuwaybah bint Tha’alabah رضی الله عنها to nurse and feed the Prophet ﷺ as a baby.
During this time, the reign of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) had not only contaminated the spiritual awe of Makkah, but also tainted its physical reality. Both the climate and environment of Makkah was being negatively impacted at the hands of various townsmen that had tainted its pure lifestyle, and contaminated its air. Moral standards were being diminished by the day, and the shadows of built-up streets disconnected its inhabitants from the nature of earthen life. The purity and eloquence of the Arabic language which found its roots in these lands and was the hallmark of its nobles was becoming unrefined with vulgarity and slang. In addition to this, the hustle-bustle of cities and trade centres was becoming distractive and overwhelming.
Due to this it became a practice of the noble families of Makkah to send their infants out to the rural villages to grow up healthy in the uncontaminated air of the countryside. The purpose was also to expose the child to the eloquence and purity of the Arabic language and to pick up an authentic sense of nature and puritan lifestyles.
In lieu of this, wet-nurses from various pasturelands would travel to Makkah on assigned days in open-day style assembly where parents would bring their children to meet with potential families. Here they would entrust their child’s upbringing and nurturing to the wet-nurse of their choice. Thus, Sayyidah Aaminah رضی الله عنها – being from the noblest of families and bearing the noblest of all children in creation – was faced with the same task. Undoubtedly this was an extremely difficult task for any mother to sperate from her baby in this manner, let alone the mother of the most beautiful baby of all. But just as we research and prepare for the best nurseries, schools and upbringings for our children, likewise this was a sacrifice and separation she would bear out of the sheer love and care she had for her beloved son’s future and protection.
Sayyidah Haleemah Saa’diyyah رضی الله عنها
Women from all over Arabia had already departed and started entering into Makkah on this particular day, each seeking the maximum advantage of receiving a child whom would result in a healthy reward and contribution for them from its parents. Whilst everyone raced ahead, there lagged behind a struggling grey mule that carried an impoverished family suffering from the drought and famine that affected their pastures.
Sayyidah Halimah bint Abi Dhuaib رضی الله عنها from the Banu Saa’d lands accompanied by her husband – Al-Harith bin Abdul Uzza – and her infant son made their way to Makkah in search of a child to suckle. Their conveyance was an extremely thin donkey and a camel that wouldn’t produce even a drop of milk. They were constantly praying for rain and immediate relief as they could not sleep during the night due to her child crying on the account of severe hunger.
During this time, the women that had already reached Makkah had begun scoping the various options available on a first-come, first serve basis, resulting in all the children from wealthy families swiftly being assigned nurses in a short period of time. All of these women were offered to take Rasoolullah ﷺ with them, but none of them accepted due to the fact that he ﷺ was an “orphan”. Yet there eyes could not see that he ﷺ was not a “Yateem” (Alone, without a father) but rather he ﷺ was “Durr Yateem” (A unique, rare pearl). Their eyes and hearts could not perceive the awe that surrounded this pearl ﷺ, and thus they chose to refuse, as they had fixed their eyes on the worldly gains. But little did they know that in reality, they were the ones being refused for this exalted treasure, for Allah سبحانه و تعالی had destined only one blessed woman for His Habeeb Al-Mustafa ﷺ.
لما ولد- صلى الله عليه وسلم-، قيل: من يكفل هذه الدرة اليتيمة، التى لا يوجد لمثلها قيمة؟ قالت الطيور: نحن نكفله ونغنم خدمته العظيمة، قالت الوحوش: نحن أولى بذلك ننال شرفه وتعظيمه، فنادى لسان القدرة: أن يا جميع المخلوقات: إن الله تعالى قد كتب فى سابق حكمته القديمة أن نبيه الكريم يكون رضيعا لحليمة الحليمة
“When he ﷺ was born, it was said: “Who will look after this Durrah Al-Yateem?, for the likes of which there is no sufficient repayment? The birds called out: “We will take care of him ﷺ and attain his exalted servitude!”, the creatures of land called out: “We are the most rightful for that, we will attain his honor and his greatness!”, and then all of creation was called out to and it was announced: “Indeed Allah تعالی has already written in his pre-eternal wisdom, that His Noble Prophet ﷺ would be suckled by the forbearing Haleemah!” (Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyyah)
By the time Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها had arrived, all the women obtained at least one infant to return home with, but Halimah رضي الله عنها was left empty handed. But as the hour of departure drew closer, she suddenly had a passionate urge to go and pick up the orphan boy that had not yet been assigned a nurse. She stood up saying to her husband:
وَاَللهِ إنّي لَأَكْرَهُ أَنْ أَرْجِعَ مِنْ بَيْنِ صَوَاحِبِي وَلَمْ آخُذْ رَضِيعًا، وَاَللهِ لَأَذْهَبَنّ إلَى ذَلِكَ الْيَتِيمِ فَلَآخُذَنّهُ قَالَ لَا عَلَيْك أَنْ تَفْعَلِي، عَسَى اللهُ أَنْ يَجْعَلَ لَنَا فِيهِ بَرَكَةً
“By Allah! Indeed, I dislike that I return amongst all my co-nurses whilst I don’t have a child to nurse, By Allah! I will go to this orphan and I will by all odds take him with me. I perceive Allah will bestow blessings upon us due to him” (Ibn Hisham)
Allah سبحانه و تعالی inspired the heart of the one He chose for His Habeeb ﷺ and she was blessed with this Sa’aadah (Felicity). Sayyidah Halimah Saa’diyah رضي الله عنها held high hopes with Allah سبحانه و تعالی and distinctly put her trust solely in Him سبحانه و تعالی who opened the doors of Barakah for her through the Prophet ﷺ. The other women held their hopes on creation whilst she رضي الله عنها held her hopes on Allah سبحانه و تعالی alone.
أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي
“I will deal with my servant in the manner he expects me to deal with him.”
وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱلْحَىِّ ٱلَّذِى لَا يَمُوتُ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِهِۦ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِهِۦ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِۦ خَبِيرًا
“And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt [Allah] with His praise”
(Surah Furqan 40:58)
As soon as the blessed touch of the Prophet ﷺ embraced the heart of Sayyidah Haleemah Saa’diyah رضی الله عنها, her entire world started to flourish. They had barely departed Makkah when she started perceiving the blessings that Allah سبحانه و تعالی bestowed upon them. The udders of her camel that could not produce a drop of milk began flowing with Barakah. The sluggish and struggling conveyance that brought them to Makkah was now riding ahead in speed as she passed by the same women who had witnessed her state on her journey towards Makkah.
Seeing these beautiful blessings her husband exclaimed:
وَاَللهِ يَا حَلِيمَةُ، لَقَدْ أَخَذْت نَسَمَةً مُبَارَكَةً
“By Allah! You have taken an exceptionally blessed child!” (Ibn Hisham)
In the Care of Haleemah رضی الله عنها
During his stay with Sayyidah Haleemah Saa’diyah رضی الله عنها, Our Prophet ﷺ was welcomed into a beautiful, loving home where he was cherished and nurtured. He lived with his foster siblings Abdullah, Aneesah, Hudhafah and Shayma, who dearly loved the one they called “Our Quraishi Brother”. The Prophet ﷺ grew a special bond with Shayma رضی الله عنها, who held the motherly position of an elder sister for him and dearly cared and protected him ﷺ.
Here he ﷺ grew up in the beautiful lush pastures of Banu Saa’d, witnessing the marvels of Allah’s creation, the vastness of nature, the grazing animals and more. He was nurtured by the pure lifestyle and eloquent tongue of its people.
Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه once said to Rasoolullah ﷺ that he ﷺ is a man of eloquence and purity in language, to which Our Prophet ﷺ said:
وما يمنعني، وأنا من قريش، وأرضعت في بني سعد
“I am after all firstly from the Quraysh tribe. Moreover, I was suckled amongst the Banu Saa’d tribe”. (Ibn Hisham)
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ transforms Banu Saa’d
Due to the exalted presence of Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ, not only did the situation of Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها change, but the Barakah of his presence radiated throughout the lands of Banu Saa’d. The drought and famine affected grazing land of Sayyidah Haleemah’s رضی الله عنها home had started blossoming with beautiful, lush greenery. Her animals became healthy and produced milk with bounty. This increased to such an extent that other families of Banu Saa’d started bringing their animals to graze near her house. Such was the beauty and radiance brought about simply by the presence of Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ, just as we see how the earth became beautiful and green in the Rab’i (Spring) of his birth, as the people of Quraish narrated themselves:
وكانت قريش فى جدب شديد، وضيق عظيم، فاخضرت الأرض وحملت الأشجار، وأتاهم الرفد من كل جانب، فسميت تلك السنة التى حمل فيها برسول الله- صلى الله عليه وسلم- سنة الفتح والابتهاج
“Quraish was suffering from a severe drought and great distress, but through this blessed event the earth turned green and the trees bore fruit, and blessing came to them from every direction. Because of these blessed signs, the year when Muhammad ﷺ was conceived was called the Year of Triumph and Joy” (Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyyah)
Sayyidah Haleemah RA recalls many of the beautiful memories of her time with the Prophet ﷺ in her care, and the blessings they received by his presence. From amongst them she says:
لما دخلت به صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى منزلي لم يبق منزل من منازل بني سعد إلا شممنا منه ريح المسك، وألقيت محبته صلى الله عليه وسلم: أي واعتقاد بركته في قلوب الناس، حتى إنّ أحدهم كان إذا نزل به أذى في جسده أخذ كفه صلى الله عليه وسلم فيضعها على موضع الأذى فيبرأ بإذن الله تعالى سريعا
“When I entered my home with him ﷺ, there remained not a home from the homes of Banu Saa’d, except they were embellished with the fragrance of musk emanating from him ﷺ, and hearts became filled with love and reverence for him ﷺ, such that whenever anyone was injured in any way, they would take his palm and place it upon the area of their wound and it would heal swiftly by the permission of Allah سبحانه و تعالی” (Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyyah)
Once Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها was out working, and upon her return she did not find the Prophet ﷺ in the house during the extreme afternoon heat. Due to her intense love and care for the Prophet ﷺ she went out in search for him and her heart could not bear such an intense heat to cause him ﷺ any difficulty. When she found his sister Shayma رضی الله عنها playing with him outside, she rushed and admonished her, questioning why she brought him ﷺ out in such heat, to which she replied:
يا أمه ما وجد أخى حرّا، رأيت غمامة تظل عليه، إذا وقف وقفت وإذا سار سارت
“O Mother!, I have not found my brother affected by heat, I saw a cloud shading him. Whenever he stops, it too becomes stationary, and whenever he walks, it too moves (following him).” (Abu Nu’aym, Ibn Asakir)
This was a glimpse into some of the beautiful memoirs from his ﷺ arrival into the care of Sayyidah Haleemah RA. As the months passed, he ﷺ grew and developed, winning the hearts of all as he learned to walk in the perfect manner, speak with utmost purity and eloquence, play with the most adorable innocence and smile in the most soul-inspiring way.
But alas these beautiful months passed all too soon. Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ was now two years old, and more beloved than ever to everyone around him, those who could not imagine there lives without him ﷺ. However, the time had come for the initial period of weaning to conclude and for the Prophet ﷺ to return to his beautiful mother who yearned for his imminent arrival. Yet Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها did not have the strength to bear the separation from him ﷺ at any cost. How will she رضی الله عنها return him ﷺ home? How will she رضی الله عنها live without him ﷺ?
To find out what happens next… join us tomorrow for our next article in the blessed Seerah: “The Splitting of the Chest”