Her real name was, according to some authorities, Rumaylah, and according to others, Sahlah and Maleekah. She was also called Umm Sulaym, which was her kunyah. She was the daughter of Milhaan ibn Haraam, a prominent member of Banu an-Najjaar who were closely associated with the Prophet’s house and family.
Umm Sulaym’s first husband was Malik ibn an-Nadhr. She bore him Anas, the famous companion of the Prophet She embraced Islam at an early period, while her husband remained a disbeliever. After his death, she received a marriage proposal from Abu Talhah, but she refused because he was an idolater. However, when he embraced Islam, she readily consented to marry him. She regarded his acceptance of Islam as her only dowry (mah).
Talhah ibn Ubaidillah embraced Islam at about the same time as Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq. He went with Abu Bakr to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) who laid Islam before him and recited some verses of the Quran. Talhah embraced Islam instantly. In fact, he was one of the ten companions who were given the good news of Paradise by the Prophet and the first eight people to embrace Islam.
Talhah’s family was shocked at the news that their son had embraced Islam. His mother suffered the most. Talhah was a man of noble character. He had qualities of leadership. His mother wanted him to become a leader of his community. She thought all her hopes were shattered, because of Talhah’s acceptance of Islam. She, however, was determined to turn him away from Islam.
Bilal ibn Rabaah was an Ethiopian slave. He belonged to some people of the tribe of Banu Jumah. He was known for his hard work and loyalty to his master Umayyah ibn Khalaf, a leader of his tribe. He was one of the very early converts toIslam. He was tortured mercilessly by his master until Abu Bakr bought him and freed him.
When Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) began preaching Islam, Bilal was so deeply moved by the wonderful character of the Prophet (pbuh) and the remarkable teachings of Islam he was calling to that he decided to embrace this new religion. In fact, he was the first slave to become Muslim in the history of Islam.
He was Abu Ubaidah Amir ibn Abdullah al-Jarraah. He embraced Islam at an early period of the Islam ic mission. He was popularly known as Abu Ubaidah. He was a tall and thin man with a wonderful face. He was very sensitive, modest and full of life and vigour. He was not boastful but was fiercely courageous. He was bright and sharp like the blade of a sword.
He embraced Islam after Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, Abu Bakr himself brought Abu Ubaidah to the told of Islam. In fact, he was among the first followers of the Prophet (pbuh) beside his own household.
He was Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah al-Ghifaaree. He was one of the early converts to Islam. He was probably the fifth Muslim from among the freeborn men.
During his early life, he achieved fame as a daring raider. The Ghifaar tribe to which he belonged lived in the Waddan Valley. The Makkan caravans, laden with their many goods and riches, had to pass through this valley, and Abu Dharr used to lead the youths of his tribe in raids on the trade caravans. The tribe members lived by what these caravans gave in return for protection. If they refused to pay the price, Abu Dharr with his company of youths would attack them and cause great damage to the trading caravan.
Allah answered Nuh’s supplication. He willed that the fate of the arrogant disbelievers would be drowning in a great flood.
Allah wanted to save Nuh and the believers, and so He commanded him to build a huge ship with no precedence, the ark. Nuh immediately began building the ark. Every time the leaders of his people passed by him, they ridiculed him. They said, “You are making a boat in the desert. How would it float?” Nuh would say, “You will learn soon!” they would mockingly say, “Nuh, you have become a carpenter after being a prophet! Where is this ship going to sail? The sea is a long way from here. Who is going to pull the ship?”
When the Quraysh found out that the Prophet (pbuh) had departed, leaving only Ali in his bed, covered with his mantle, they became very angry. They offered a reward of a hundred she camels to whomever brought the Prophet (pbuh) back dead or alive.
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
The Israa’ and the Mi’raaj (The Night Journey and the Ascension)
It is in this period that the Prophet’s night journey (Israa’) from Al-Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah to Al-Masjid al-Aqsaa in Jerusalem, and his ascension (Mi’raaj) from there through the heavens took place. He was accompanied in this journey by Angel Jibreel, and was taken on a wonderful animal called al-Buraag, which was bigger than a donkey and smaller than a mule, and whose stride reached as far as his eye could see.
Prophet Muhammad’s memoirs pertaining to the period of shepherding are interesting as well as instructive. One such episode has been narrated by the Prophet (pbuh) himself in these words: “I had no inherent at traction for all those pleasant pastimes that the Makkan pagans indulged in so fondly. On two occasions even when I had intended to enjoy those recreations God intervened in between me and my desires. Once I and another shepherd from the Quraish were tending our cattle over the hills of Makkah. I told my colleague that I was going to the city for the night in quest for some rest and recreation I requested him to take care of my goats as well. When the other shepherd consented I set out for the city. As I neared the very first house sweet melodies of flute and tambourine struck my ears. I was told that the inmates were busy celebrating a wedding function. I too went in and sat among them. I had hardly started enjoying the music when God suddenly shut my ears. Sound slumbers of sweet sleep overwhelmed me so completely that only the rays of the following morning’s sun could wake me up. I remained utterly unaware of the proceedings of that merry marriage party. Then I hastened to return to my companion in the hilly pasture and reported him the entire episode.”
On the untimely demise of young Muhammad’s mother the honour of looking after him fell rather exclusively to the lot of his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib. He undertook that responsibility with great affection and dedication. Unfortunately, however poor Muhammad (pbuh) had not yet recovered from the trauma of his loving mother’s death when his noble grandfather also breathed his least. The young boy was hardly eight then. His infancy was punctuated by a rapid succession of tearful tragedies. When he joined his grandfather’s funeral procession torrential tears trickled down his innocent cheeks. The lovely little boy presented a pathetic picture of grief and depression.