Amah Bint Khalid: The Last Of The Women
- As The Prophet Prayed She Lived Long
Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals
Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi
To start with, it is strange to have such a name,
Amah, which means ‘slave woman'. Why would anyone call
his daughter that? Yet the Arabs at the time used very
strange names. Perhaps because of this she was better
known by her nickname, ‘Umm Khalid.'
Her father was Khalid ibn Saeed ibn Al-Aas, one of the
very early Muslims. She is reported to have said that
he was the fifth man to embrace Islam. She reports:
"Sometime before the start of Islamic revelations, my
father saw in a dream as if Makkah was engulfed in
total darkness to the extent that one could not see
one's own hand. Then suddenly a light came out of the
well of Zamzam, going up into the sky and enlightening
the Kaaba and the Haram. It spread further and
enlightened the whole city of Makkah before moving
much further away to enlighten Yathrib, i.e. Madinah.
He could see its date trees. He reported his dream to
his brother, Amr, who was a man of wisdom. Amr told
him that such goodness will come out of the clan of
Abd Al-Muttalib (the Prophet's grandfather). He added:
‘Did you not see the light coming out of the well dug
by their grandfather?' Later, when the Prophet (peace
be upon him) received his message, my father mentioned
his dream to him. He said: ‘Yes, Khalid. I am that
light, and I am God's messenger'. He mentioned to him
the main principles of Islam, and my father
immediately accepted Islam."
Her mother, Umaymah bint Khalaf, was also an early
believer. Both her parents were among the Prophet's
companions who immigrated to Abyssinia, when the
Prophet sought to establish a new base for Islam, away
from the tyranny of Quraysh. Indeed, she was born in
Abyssinia. She remained there until that immigration
ended. The total duration of that immigration was 15
years. So, she was not more than 13 when she joined
the Muslims in Madinah. She spoke the Abyssinian
language, as a second mother tongue.
After the conclusion of the peace agreement between
the Muslim state in Madinah and the Quraysh, the
Prophet sent an envoy to Negus, the King of Abyssinia,
to repatriate his companions who were in his country.
Negus arranged their trip in two boats. As he bid them
farewell, Negus asked them to give his greetings to
the Prophet. Umm Khalid reports: "I was among those
who gave Negus' greetings to the Prophet".
The Prophet was delighted when his companions who were
in Abyssinia rejoined him in Madinah. They were on a
mission of spreading Islam among non-Arabs. Therefore,
he looked after them when they returned, and ensured
that they would settle well in their new environment.
Once he received a gift of clothes that included a
small black dress with a yellow or red stripe. He
asked those who were with him: "To whom shall I give
this one." No one answered. Perhaps they had their own
young daughters, but they did not wish to claim it.
Therefore, he said: "Bring me Umm Khalid". She
reports: "I was carried to be brought to him. He
dressed me with his own hand. He said: ‘May you wear
this and others to follow'. He repeated this two or
three times. He looked at the strip and said to me:
‘This is fine, Umm Khalid; this is fine.' She wore
that dress while it fitted her. She then kept it with
her for the rest of her life. Who would not keep a
gift from the Prophet?
Sometime later, she married Al-Zubayr ibn Al-Awwam,
one of the ten of the Prophet's companions who were
given the assured promise of being in heaven. She gave
him two sons: Amr and Khalid.
When the Prophet said a prayer to any of his
companions, that person lived to enjoy the answering
of that prayer in the best possible way. As the
Prophet prayed that Umm Khalid would wear other
clothes after the dress he gave her, she lived long,
perhaps reaching ninety years of age. Indeed, she was
the last of the Prophet's women companions to die. May
God bless her soul