Saidatuna Halimahtun As -Saadiah RA
Halimah bint Abi Dhuab Abdullah ibn Al-Harith ibn Shaghna ibn Jabir ibn Razam ibn Nasera ibn Fasiya ibn Nasr ibn Sa’ad ibn Bakr ibn Hawazin ibn Mansour ibn Ikramah ibn Khasfah ibn Qays ibn ‘Ilan best known as Saidatuna Halimahtun al -Saadiah (Arabic: حليمة السعدية) was the foster-mother and wet-nurse of Rasulullahﷺ. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA and her husband were from the tribe of Sa’ad b. Bakr, a subdivision of Hawazin (From a big tribe North of Makkah or a major group of tribes from the northern part of Makkah or outskirt towards the north of Makkah).
Saidatuna Halimahtun As -Saadiah RA was amongst the Bedouin women of Banu Sa’ad who lived in the villages located on the outskirts of Makkah. Saidatuna Halimahtun As -Saadiah used to raise children, with her husband, al-Harith RA as a source of income.
Saidatuna Halimahtun As -Saadiah RA states, “I went with the other women of Bani Saad to Makkah in search of children to foster. The Arabian Peninsula was affected by a severe drought that year. I had a child to take care of in this time, but because of poverty, my breast milk was insufficient for him. He would stay awake and cry the entire night because of hunger and we could do nothing but try to comfort him. The camel that we possessed had no milk and the donkey upon which I travelled to Makkah was so weak that it barely managed to keep up with the caravan’s speed. My fellow travellers were bothered by this but, ultimately we reached the city.
It was the custom of Arab nobles to send their children for fosterage into the nearby villages, as this contributed to the development of their child’s growth. Another benefit was that they could learn the pure Arabic spoken by them, since the Arabic of the cities was a combination of both eloquent and non-eloquent dialects.
They would take the children of Makkah to the desert and teach them the classical Arabic culture. Which includes pure cultured Arabic spoken language, the true cultured way of life and in return they would receive remuneration from the family of the child in Makkah.
Aminah bint Wahab the mother of Rasulullah ﷺ was waiting for the arrival of Banu Sa’ad where the women within the tribe of Banu Sa’ad were wet nurses.
When the women heard that Aminah’s child was an orphan, they chose not to take him, as orphan children were not a means of attaining precious gifts and remuneration.”
However no one would take the infant – Muhammad (Rasulullah ﷺ), because Muhammad (Rasulullah ﷺ) was an orphan so they would not receive satisfactory remuneration to take care of the infant Rasulullah ﷺ. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA felt sad that every women her tribe had received a child but not her. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA told her husband al-Harith “By God it is oppressive to me to return to my companions without a new infant to nurse. Surely I shall go back and take the orphan boy and accept him.” Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah RA husband replied “There would be no blame if you did so it maybe that God will bless us for you’re doing so.
The other ladies of the group could get babies of rich families, but Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah opted for this orphan as his ((Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ)) father, Abdullah, had died before his birth. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah companions were apparently happy with their findings but nobody knew that Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah was carrying a baby that was to become arguably the greatest personality in human history. He was gifted with blessings from Almighty Allah. And it occurred instantly. Her breast was filled with milk; her mount got strength and ran ahead of the caravan.
When she arrived home her goats gave much more milk for the family. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah realized it was not just a normal baby, but an angel of blessings.
Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah from Banu Saad tribe, was that fortunate lady who took (Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ)) then just an-eight-day-old, for foster care.
Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA did not receive any children, as it was known that she did not have sufficient milk to feed, yet this proved to be a turn of fate for her. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA) said to her husband, “We should take this orphan child with us; it’s not good to go back empty handed.” Al Harith agreed and thus, Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA took this treasure back with her; a treasure that came to not only brightens the homes of Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA and Aminah Binti Wahab, but every corner of the world. This was a blessing from Allah (S.W.T) to exalt her fate. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA had the honor of being the foster mother of the Best of Creation, Rasulullah ﷺ.
Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah from Banu Saad tribe, was that fortunate lady who took (Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ)) then just an-eight-day-old, for foster care.
Immediately after accepting him (Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ)) blessing, came to her and family. Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah RA husband’s flock during a time of great famine was healthy and producing milk while the rest of the people’s flocks were dying.
|Illustration Only: All livestock in healthy state.|
After entering her tent to feed (Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ)), Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah was amazed to find milk in abundance, (Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ)) and his foster brother drank to their content and slept. Through the blessings of the (Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ)) the camel of Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah now also had an excess of milk which was more than enough for everyone; the donkey gained health and blessings continued to wrap the household in abundance. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah was daughter of Abdullah bin Harith and wife of Harith Abu Zowaib. When Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah brought the blessed child home, she had a daughter named Shaima and her sucking son, Abdullah. Shaima was about five years old and she used to help her mother take care of Mohammed (Young Rasulullah ﷺ). Shaima would bath Muhammad and take him for walks and always embraced him with love. Shaima witnessed a change that happened in her family from poverty to comfort because of the blessing of this child. Shaima used to sing songs about him and say: “Our Lord! Keep Muhammad (Young Rasulullah ﷺ) alive for us so that I can see him become an adolescent, then a leader. Suppress his enemies and those who are envious of him, and give him everlasting glory!”
The time of 24 months passed swiftly and the occasion came when young Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ) was to depart from Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah. Shaima was also shocked and very sad to see him go. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah brought the child back to Makkah but she wept while separating him from her breast. Mother Aminah was moved by her love and gave the child back to Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah to be raised in Banu Saad region near Ta’if.
Then a strange and mysterious event happened when he was 5 years old. Muhammad’s (young Rasulullah ﷺ ) foster brother was playing with him then suddenly Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA and husband saw their son (Muhammad’s foster brother) came running back and shouted “two men dressed in white grabbed my brother and cut his chest.” So then Halimah and Al-Harith ran to Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ) found him pale faced. When they asked him what happened, he said “Two men came and opened my chest and took a portion of it “After this happened, Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah took Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ) back to Makkah and told his mother of what happened. Then she knew that him (Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ)) was special and would grow up to be someone great and special.
It is said that Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ) returned to Makkah when he was about five years of age. Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ) lived in the loving arms of his real mother Aminah only for one more year. She took her to Madinah to show Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ) his parental relations with Bani Najjar and died on her return journey at a place called Abwa.
Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA later accepted Islam after the Battle of Hunain.
|Grave of Saidatuna Halimahtun As Saadiah RA|
Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah RA died in 8 A.H. and her grave lies in Jannatul Baqi, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. The remains of the place she used to live in and where Muhammad (young Rasulullahﷺ) grew up still stand today.
ISLAM IN PERSPECTIVE
Halimahtun As Saadiyyah: The foster mother of Rasulullah ﷺ.
Islam develops cohesion in society for the general benefit of the mankind. It promotes strong bonds between parents and the children. It expands relationship to even the wet nurses, serving the infants. If a child is reared and suckled by a woman other than the real mother, she is accorded the status of an additional mother called Umm Ridah (foster mother, or milk mother); her husband is treated as the father of the child, and her children real brothers and sisters prohibiting marriages with them. Thus a woman who nurses a child (more than five times before the age of two years), becomes mother by milk-relation with special rights under Islamic law. The suckled child is considered as a full sibling to the foster-mother’s other children, and as mahram to the woman. No other religion accords such a status to the suckling mothers.
|Remnant of the House of Halimahtun As Saadiah RA|
Muhammad (young Rasulullah ﷺ) later on grew under the care of his grandfather, and then his uncle, Abu Talib. Rasulullahﷺ became a man of dignity, and was called Amin by everyone. At 25, Rasulullahﷺ married the noble lady Saidatuna Khadijah binti Kuwalid RA and then the honor of Prophethood was conferred on him. After 13 years of preaching, he migrated to Madinah. Almighty Allah gave him power, and he eventually conquered Makkah in 8AH. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah once returned to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) at Makkah and Khadija gave her 40 sheep as gift. It is said that Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah once again came to the holy city of Madinah in her last days. Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah died there and was buried in Jannatul Baqi. A grave in her name is marked in the blessed cemetery.
Saidatuna Halimahtun As Saadiah embraced Islam. ( more authentic versions)
During the Battle of Hunain, 6000 war captives were released merely on account of the Prophet being in milk-relation with many of his captives.
It so happened that when the tribe of Hawazin planned an attack on Makkah, it was swiftly defeated with great losses at the Battle of Hunain. There were 6,000 captives, both male and female, with 24,000 camels and 40,000 goats at Jairanah, in Muslim hands.
It was on this occasion when an old lady, in her 60’s, appeared from among the captives and claimed that she was the sister of Rasulullah ﷺ. She was taken to Rasulullah ﷺ with high esteem. She told him, “O, messenger of Allah, I am Shaima, your foster sister, daughter of Abu Kabsha and Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah.” Rasulullah ﷺ welcomed her and spread his shawl and asked her to sit near him. She told that when you were young you had a bite on my shoulder, which is still a scar on my body. Rasulullah ﷺ recognized that and the tears rolled down upon his cheeks remembering those olden days. Shaima embraced Islam and consented to go back to her tribe. Rasulullah ﷺ gave a maid, a few camels and goats as gift and she returned to her tribe happily.
After waiting for few days, Rasulullah ﷺ distributed the booty lavishly among both the Muslim and non-Muslim leaders of Makkah.
Later a delegation of 14 Muslims from Banu Saad and Hawazin came to Rasulullah ﷺ under Zuhair ibn Surad and Abu Barqan (foster uncle of Rasulullah ﷺ). They pleaded for the release of their captives, in heart touching appeal. They said: “There in those huts among the prisoners are your foster mothers and sisters (referring to Saidatuna Halimahtun As –Saadiah and Shaima); they that have nursed thee and fondled thee in their bosoms. We have known thee a suckling, a weaning child, youth generous and noble. And now thou hast risen to this dignity, be gracious unto us, even as the Lord hath been gracious unto thee.”
Rasulullah ﷺ was so moved with these words that Rasulullah ﷺ arranged for the release of all the 6,000 prisoners, and every one of them was given a shawl as a gift which was unprecedented in the history of tribal wars. This gesture won the hearts of the people and they embraced Islam in thousands. Thus was the benevolence of Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah RA and her daughter Shaima bint Harith RA for their native tribe.
The place of Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah’s house is still located in the valley of Bani Saad near Ta’if. The name of Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah and Shaima are very popular among Muslim ladies. Many institutions named Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah including Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah College Rabat (Morocco) Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah Orphanage & Relief Organization Leicester, UK and Saidatuna Halimahtun al –Saadiah Grand Mosque Attok Pakistan, stands around the world.
Halimahtun al –Saadiah RA First Sight of the (Infant Rasulullah ﷺ)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), I Love You: First Sight of Rasulullah ﷺ
First Sight of Rasulullah ﷺ
Saidatuna Halima Saadia RA (Who got the honour to keep Rasulullah ﷺ in her lap more than all others Describe:
“When I entered in the birth place of Rasulullah ﷺ . I saw, “His color was whiter than milk, He was covered by the clothes of cotton and a green shawl was under Him and he was sleeping. A sweet fragrance of His virtuous body was spreading.”
“When the cloth from His face removed, I drowned in His beauty so much that I became unable to awake Him.”
(Insan-ul-Uyyun, Vol. 1, Page. 147)
“When I gathered my senses, I placed my hand on His chest. He smiled and opened His eyes, so I saw rays of light coming out of His eyes and spreading all over the sky.
I could not control myself and I kissed between His eyes and took Him in my lap”.
(Aasar-ul-Muhammadiah li-Ahmad Zaini Dahlan, Vol. 1, Page. 47)
It is stated about Halima that in those days, her one breast was not providing milk. In this regard; Imam Hamdani writes in “Sabeyyaat” with the reference of Halima;
“My one breast was not providing milk but when I presented it before Him, it started to give milk with His blessings”
(Insaan-ul-Uyyun, Vol. 1, Page. 147)