She was the wife of Abu Bakr Siddique and the mother of ‘Ayesha. Thus she was the Prophet’s [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] mother-in-law. Her son, ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr Siddique, was an excellent horseman, and master strategist in war. It was she who taught him the meaning of valor and courage. Her real name was Zainab, but she came to be known by her family name. She was a patient and tolerant lady who did not jump to hasty conclusions, but gave matters deep thought. This was evident in the way she handled the incident when people of loose tongues and small minds accused ‘Ayeshah of adultery. When her husband explained to her the teachings of Islam she did not linger with doubts about giving up the religion of her forefathers. She immediately saw the greatness of Islam and accepted it.
She was brought up in an area of the Arabia known as Sarat. When she grew up she married a young man from her tribe named ‘Abdullah bin Harith bin Sakhbarah Azdi. She had a son by him, who was named Tufail bin ‘Abdullah. They then moved to Makkah, where he became the partner and companion of Abu Bakr Siddique. However, soon after this ‘Abdullah bin Harith passed away, and his widow and son were left with no support. Seeing her precarious condition Abu Bakr Siddique married her. Umm Rooman was very happy in her marriage and soon, a son, ‘AbdurRahman and a daughter, ‘Ayeshah were born. Before he came into the fold of Islam, Abu Bakr Siddique was married to Qateelah bint Abdul-‘Uzza by whom he already had a daughter Asma’ and a son, ‘Abdullah.
Umm Rooman had accepted Islam in its earliest days. It is written in Tabaqat Ibn Sad that Umm Rooman accepted Islam in the very early days in Makkah. She swore allegiance at the hand of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] himself and then migrated with the blessed group of immigrants.
When she to witness the terrible atrocities committed by the Quraish against the Muslims she would suffer and weep for the innocent victims; but she gained courage when she saw the moral strength and exemplary sacrifice of her husband for the cause of Islam. She drew inspiration from him and found peace in his presence.
The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] also used to exhort his faithful followers not to waver, but to be patient and hold steadfast to their faith, for they would surely in the Hereafter be rewarded with Paradise.
During this long period Umm Rooman, remained an image of patience, forbearance, courage and bravery. Most of her time was spent in earnest supplications and prayers to Allah. When she saw her husband’s devoted efforts for the propagation of Islam she expressed her admiration and gave him moral support. She devoted her time to the nurturing of her children in the traditions of Islam. The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] often used to visit the house of his illustrious follower, Abu Bakr Siddique. He would advise Umm Rooman to keep encouraging and instilling the love of goodness in ‘Ayeshah. Khadijah passed away three years before the migration of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] to Madinah. The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] spent a year as an unmarried person He then married Ayesha at the command of Allah as delivered by the Angel Jibril, that on three consecutive nights he saw her in his dreams. The Angel jibril brought a picture of hers wrapped in a silken cloth, and told him that this was an image of his bride. When he removed the cover he saw that it was her image. ‘Ayeshah was elated to hear that she was chosen to be the Prophet’s [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] wife by Allah himself . Khawlah bint Hakim told him there were two proposals for him, that of ‘Ayeshah bint Abu Bakr Siddique and Saudah bint Zam’ah. He accepted both, and thus Umm Rooman’ had the honour of becoming his mother-in-law.
When the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] was ordered by Allah to migrate to Madinah he went to the house of his closest friend and Companion, Abu Bakr Siddique. Without any questions or hesitation he prepared to accompany the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] . He packed a few things and took all the cash there was in the house. He left his father, wife and children in the trust and care of Allah and set off for an unknown and unseen destination.
It was a very tough time for Umm Rooman she was separated from her husband; and there was a lack of money for household expenses, since he had taken all the available cash with him. But what predominated all other thoughts in her mind were supplications to Allah and for the safe arrival of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] and her husband in Madinah. On reaching their destination safely, she and her family were told to follow to Madinah.
When they reached Al-Madinah they stayed at the house of Abu Bakr Siddique arranged for his family. And it was from this house that ‘Ayeshah left as a bride to the Prophet’s [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] house. Thus this house became the focal point for the revelations of Allah. Umm Rooman expressed great happiness at the thought that her daughter would be one of those who joined the ranks of the blessed Mothers of the Believers.
When the hypocrites, wrongfully accused ‘Ayeshah, Madinah seemed to have been gripped by confusion. How could they reconcile themselves to their Prophet’s [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] wife having committed a cardinal sin?
The whole of Madinah was flooded by this slanderous gossip that ‘Ayeshah was a woman of loose character. When she came to know of it from the mouth of Umm Mastah herself that her son was the originator of this scandal, she was heartbroken and appalled at the sheer spite of the man. She took the permission of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] and went to her parents. They also corroborated the story she had heard and she could not stop the flood of tears. Her sympathetic and loving mother was also an image of grief. Then the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] , who was himself very upset, came to see her. When he saw her weeping he told her that if she sinned she should ask Allah for His forgiveness, because he is Merciful; if she had not sinned she should not grieve, for Allah would surely absolve her and forgive her. ‘Ayeshah asked her mother to respond to him, but her mother remained quiet. She then appealed to her father, Abu Bakr Siddique, to give a convincing reply to the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] but he too remained silent. Finally she said that if she denied that she was guilty – and Allah knew she was innocent – Muhammad would not believe her; if she admitted the guilt, may be he would be satisfied, but then her admission of guilt would be contrary to facts. The best answer would be the answer of the father of Yusuf , when he was helpless before his sons: ‘So patience is most fitting. And it is Allah Whose help can be sought against that (lie) which you describe.” (12:18)
Even as this conversation was being carried on the Ayat of clarification were revealed to the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] . When the revelation was over he was covered in beads of perspiration; he then turned to ‘Ayeshah with a happy smile and recited the Ayat.
Her parents were proud and relieved; and they asked their daughter to thank her husband, but ‘Ayeshah replied that she was grateful to Allah for He exonerated her. This relief, with the specially revealed Ayat of Allah, increased her worth in the heart of her husband.
Umm Rooman was a lady who spent her nights and days in prayer, meditation and supplications to Allah. Her earnest desire was to win the goodwill of Allah and His Messenger. She was a dutiful wife who stood by her husband at all times. She noted what her husband had to say about prayers. Once when he entered house he found her praying and told her that the body should–express an attitude of tranquility. A calm and still posture helped to perfect concentration in prayer, he said.
‘Ali bin Bulban Muqaddasi in his book Tohfah As-Siddique fi Fadha’il Abi Bakr Siddique and Imam Thahbi in his book Siyar Al-A’lam AnNubla’ says that one day both Abu Bakr Siddique and his wife, Umm Rooman, went to visit the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] . He asked them the purpose of the visit. They both simultaneously requested him to offer supplications to Allah for ‘Aishah.
Then he prayed to Allah to forgive ‘Ayeshah bint Abu Bakr both inside and outside such a forgiveness that would leave no sin. Both her parents looked very happy with this perfect supplication.
Then he told them that this was his prayer for all those who accepted Islam after his being named Messenger of Allah, and remained steadfast in their belief.
The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] respected Umm Rooman very much, and she in turn gave first priority to doing things that pleased him. So life was very pleasant, and everyone was happy fulfilling their obligations to man and his Creator.
One day the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] praised Khadijah great length extoling her many virtues. ‘Aishah felt jealous; involuntarily she said that he was talking of Khadijah, as if there was no other woman on earth but she. The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] did not like it at all, and his face reddened with a terrible anger. When Umm Roomdn heard of this she went to the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] and tried to apologize for ‘Aishah telling him that she was still very young that he should not take her seriously. Very curtly, addressing ‘Aishah, he asked her if she had not said that there was no other woman on the face of the earth besides Khadijah ? He swore by Allah that this great lady had believed him when the tribe of ‘Aishah had denied that he was the Messenger and Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] of Allah. She gave him the great gift of children, which was not the case with ‘Aishah.
Umm Rooman listened in complete silence because she knew that all that he spoke was by the command and revelation of Allah. He did not speak of his own accord, his words were always based on revelations of Allah.
Umm Rooman passed away in the year 6th after Hijrah. During her burial, the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] asked Allah to forgive her. Doubtless this was a great honour for her. It was on this occasion that he said that if any person wanted to see a beautiful celestial virgin of Paradise, he could see Umm Rooman. Thus these words are an indication that she will, Allah willing, be in Paradise in the Hereafter.
May Allah fill her grave with radiance. Another tradition regarding the death of Umm Rooman is however more reliable. It says that she died after the passing away of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] .
Verily the words of Allah are true,
“Verily, those who believe and do righteous deeds, and humble themselves before their Lord, they will be dwellers of Paradise to dwell therein forever.” (11:23)
Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A)
Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) was born in a region called as-Sara, in the Arab peninsula. She got married to Al-Harith ibn Sakhira by whom she (R.A) gave birth to at-Tufail.
She (R.A) migrated with her husband to Makkah Shareef. There, they allied with Abdullah ibn Abu Quhafa (Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A)), one of the eminent figures in Quraish. This occurred before the advent of Islam.
Shortly, Al-Harith died. Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) married Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) to protect her and to commemorate the memory of his friend. Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) accepted Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) as a husband by whom she gave birth to Hazrat Abdur Rahman (R.A) and Hazrate Aisha (R.A) (the mother of the believers).
No sooner was Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) sent as a Messenger, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) accepted Islam. He was the first man to enter Islam. He went forward to his wife Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) and called her to embrace Islam. Therefore she entered Islam too. He (R.A) asked her not to declare her faith until Allah (S.W.T)decreed that. In this manner, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) could stay peacefully in Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (R.A) home. He can visit him anytime and anywhere without any restriction or cautiousness. Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) stood by her husband in the time of adversity when all Muslim suffered torture and persecution.
When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) married Hazrate Aisha (R.A), Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) got pleased with such an honourable lineage. As years passed, Hazrate Aisha (R.A) was accused falsely with adultery. Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) did not tell her daughter what the people circulated about her. She only asked Allah (S.W.T) in humility to disclose the innocence of her (R.A) daughter.
However, when Hazrate Aisha (R.A) found out about the rumour she went home blaming her mother for not telling Her. All what Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) said, “O daughter do not care about that. By Allah (S.W.T), the more beloved and beautiful a wife to her husband the more rumours the people circulate.”
Eventually, Allah (S.W.T) revealed the innocence of Hazrate Aisha (R.A) in the Holy Quran to be recited up to the Last Day.
In this period, Hazrate Umm Ruman (R.A) got ill and Hazrate Aisha (R.A) looked after her until she died (may Allah (S.W.T) have mercy on her). The Holy Prophet (S.A.W)entered her (R.A) grave and asked Allah (S.W.T) to forgive her by saying, “O Allah, You know well what Umm Ruman suffered for the sake of you and your Messenger.”