Hamnah bint Jahsh: Woman Of Exceptional Devotion - Not Shy To Ask The Prophet What To Do

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

Hamnah belonged to a Makkan family with many members who were among the early companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Her mother was Umaymah bint Abd Al-Muttalib, the Prophet's (peace be upon him) aunt, and her sister Zaynab was his wife whom he married by God's order.

Hamnah was married to Mus'ab ibn Umair, one of the most devoted companions of the Prophet. His mother, Khunas bint Malik, was rich and she gave him a luxurious life. The Prophet commented on this long after prophethood, when he said: "I never saw in Makkah anyone who was better looking, or who had better garments or more refined comforts than Mus'ab ibn Umair." Yet when he embraced Islam, his mother tried hard to persuade him to rescind his faith and go back to old pagan beliefs, but he adamantly refused. She stopped giving him anything, but he did not care for such luxuries. He remained one of the Prophet's most faithful companions. Hamnah gave him a daughter named Zaynab.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions immigrated to Madinah, Hamnah and her husband were among the early immigrants, as were the rest of her Muslim family. They were all devoted servants of Islam. The Quraysh, the people of Makkah, launched several attacks on Madinah to try to subdue the newly established Muslim state. Hamnah was one of the women who went with the Muslim army to nurse the wounded and give water to the thirsty.

In the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims suffered a heavy defeat, with 70 of their people killed. She was with the army, but she was not aware who were killed. She saw the Prophet soon after the battle and he told her to endure her loss with patience. She asked him whom he meant. He said: "Your maternal uncle, Hamzah." She said: "To God we all belong and to Him shall we all return. May God forgive him and bestow mercy on him. He is blessed as a martyr in heaven."

The Prophet again told her to bear her loss with patience. When she asked him whom he meant, he said: "Your brother Abdullah." She repeated what she said about her uncle. Yet the Prophet told her of another loss, and on her enquiry he mentioned her husband, Mus'ab ibn Umair. This time, she screamed, saying: "Woe is me! Oh, for my grief!" The Prophet commented: "A husband has a unique position with his wife no one else can fill."

The Prophet asked her afterwards why she panicked. She said: "Messenger of God I remembered that his children are now orphaned and I panicked." Apparently, they were still young as Mus'ab was probably about 35 when he died. The Prophet prayed for her and them, mentioning in his prayer that God may grace them with His kindness and give them generously.

Hamnah later married Talhah ibn Ubaydillah, one of the ten companions of the Prophet whom he favored with the happy news of admission into heaven. She gave her new husband a son, and she took the baby to the Prophet requesting him to choose a name for him. The Prophet named the baby Muhammad and gave him the nickname Abu Al-Qasim. Talhah treated his stepchildren most kindly.

Hamnah reported a number of Hadiths, one of which gives instructions on what should a woman do with regard to her obligatory prayers if she has continuous bleeding, beyond the normal period. She suffered that condition and was not shy to ask the Prophet what to do. He gave her detailed instructions which apply to anyone suffering that condition. Her son, Imran ibn Talhah, reports some of the Hadiths she narrated.



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