Umm Maabad: Hostess Of The Prophet - An Intelligent Woman Realized The Prophet Was A Man Of The Truth

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

It was the first encounter with the Prophet (peace be upon him) that made Umm Maabad realize that he was unlike all men. She was a Bedouin woman living well into the desert at a considerable distance from Makkah.

When the Prophet immigrated to Madinah, the people of Makkah were keen to kill him. They put into action their plot to assassinate him but he managed to migrate. He headed to Madinah, taking a very unfamiliar desert route. With him were Abu Bakr, his closest companion, Amir ibn Fuhairah, Abu Bakr's servant, and a guide who was an expert in desert routes. The journey would take them more than two weeks, and they obviously needed to rest and get food on the way. Hence they stopped at Umm Maabad's place who provided generous hospitality to travelers.

That was a year of scarcity, with little rain, which adversely affected people and cattle. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions sat in her tent, they asked her whether she could sell them any food, but she had none. She told them that they would have been her honored guests, but she had nothing. Looking around, the Prophet saw a sheep at one corner of the tent. He asked her whether she would permit him to milk the sheep. She said: "This sheep is too weak to join our other sheep which my husband has driven to graze. If you can find a drop of milk in her, milk her by all means."

The Prophet rubbed the udder of the sheep, glorified God and prayed to Him. He then added a special prayer: "My Lord, bless her sheep for this woman." The sheep's udder was soon full of milk. The Prophet asked Umm Maabad for a large pan and he milked the sheep. The pan was full of milk. He gave first to Umm Maabad and she drank as much as she could. Then he gave it to his three companions, one after the other. He was the last to drink. He said: "The server drinks last." Everyone had their fill. The Prophet then milked the sheep again and filled the pan to the brim.

When they had rested for a while, the Prophet and his three companions resumed their travel. When Umm Maabad told her husband that evening of her remarkable guest, he suggested that he was most probably Quraysh's wanted man. Therefore, the following day, when his chasers arrived at her tent and asked whether she saw him, she pretended not to understand their inquiry, giving them the impression that no one passed that way for days.

Umm Maabad was an intelligent woman. When she heard the Prophet and saw him, she realized that he was a man of the truth. Some reports suggest that she adopted Islam on that day, before he left her. Other reports suggest that she traveled to Madinah later with her husband where both became Muslims. We have her description of the Prophet, which is more detailed and comprehensive than any his companions gave.

Some 20 years later, the Prophet's wives went for pilgrimage, they passed by her tents. They were accompanied by Uthman ibn Affan, toward the end of Umar's reign. When she saw them, she wept and told them of the Prophet's visit. They recognized her action, and they also wept. Each one of them gave her a gift. They also told her to visit them when the Caliph distributed the state's income. She did, and each one of them gave her 50 dinars, (the gold currency used then). They were seven at the time.



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