Umaimah bint Khalaf: Twice Immigrant -
Umaimah And Her Husband, It All Started With A Dream
Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals
Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi
When Islam started most people took a hostile attitude
to it, because they realized that it involved a total
change of their way of life. People normally dislike
radical changes of what they are used to and what they
are familiar with. Yet people accept a total change if
they are convinced that it will give them something
better. The early Muslims felt that they were taking a
highly unfamiliar road, but they realized that it led
them to real happiness. Some of them had a special
introduction to Islam. Among these were Umaimah and
her husband Khalid ibn Saeed ibn Al-Aas.
It all started with a dream. Khalid dreamt that he was
standing close to a huge fire, while his father was
trying to push him into it. Suddenly, the Prophet
(peace be upon him) came over, held Khalid's robe and
pulled him away from the fire. When Khalid woke up,
the dream was still vivid before him. He thought it
was a very significant dream. Therefore, he went to
the best known interpreter of dreams in Makkah who was
none other than Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr said to him: "It is
certainly a significant dream which augurs well for
you. Muhammad is God's messenger calling on people to
believe in God's oneness to save themselves from the
fire of hell. Go to him and follow him to save
yourself. Your father will suffer it unless he
believes. Khalid went to the Prophet, listened to his
explanation of Islam and declared himself a Muslim.
When he went back home, he told his wife and she
accepted Islam without hesitation.
Once the couple were known to have accepted Islam,
hardship started to be inflicted on them. Khalid's
father rebuked him, punished him physically and
ordered all his children to boycott Khalid. The father
did not stop at that. He deprived him and his wife of
food. Khalid stood firm and said to his father: "If
you withhold my food, God will certainly give me
enough to live on."
Umaimah showed firm support of her husband during this
difficult period. She was certain that it was all for
a good cause and that their hardship will not last. In
the fifth year of the start of the Islamic message,
the Prophet recommended his followers to immigrate to
Abyssinia. Umaimah and her husband were among the
first to go. A total of 101 of the Prophet's
companions immigrated to Abyssinia. They returned in
several batches, at different times, but most of them
returned after the Prophet's immigration to Madinah.
However, the Prophet gave instructions that a group of
them must remain in Abyssinia. They had a mission to
fulfill, which was to advocate Islam among the
Abyssinian population. Umaimah and her husband were
among those who stayed. They only returned when the
Prophet sent a message to Negus, the ruler of
Abyssinia to send them back. Negus equipped two ships
to take them together with a number of Abyssinian
Muslims. When they arrived in Madinah, they discovered
that the Prophet had gone with an army to Khaibar.
They joined him there, arriving after the Battle of
Khaibar was over. The Prophet considered that they
were on a mission of jihad in Abyssinia and he gave
them a full share of the booty.
Umaimah and her husband were part of the Muslim
community in Madinah until Abu Bakr became the ruler
of the Muslim state, after the Prophet had passed
away. Later, when Abu Bakr sent four divisions to
fight the Byzantines in Syria, Khalid ibn Saeed wanted
to join the army. Abu Bakr asked him: ‘Under which
commander do you like to be?' He said: ‘Amr is my
cousin and I would like to be under him for that, but
Shurahbeel ibn Hasanah is better on account of faith.'
So he joined Shurhabeel's division. Khalid was a
martyr in the Battle of Marj Al-Safar in Syria. After
the battle, the soldier who killed him inquired about
him. He said: "When I hit him, I saw a light going out
of him and rising to heaven." He asked questions about
Islam and soon became a Muslim.
Umaimah was so pleased when she heard this. She
realized that Khalid was a martyr, and she continued
to lead an exemplary Islamic life.