Who was the 6th wife of the Prophet Muhammed? The 6th wife of the Prophet was Umm Salamah bint Abu Umayyah, also known as Hind al-Makhzumiyah. She was the daughter of Abu Umayya ibn Al-Mughira and Atikah bint ‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah. At the age of 29, Umm Salamah married Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), after her first husband died from the wounds he received while fighting in the battle of Uhud. She and her first husband were one of the first people to convert to Islam. In this series: The Mother of Believers, we will talk about every wife the Prophet has married and hopefully, we will do them justice. So let’s get to it!
1. Who was Umm Salamah, the 6th wife of the Prophet?
1.1 Umm Salamah’s personality
Umm Salamah is known for her maturity, wisdom, affection, big heart, the sweetness of her smile, her pleasant reception and her pure companionship. She had a natural inclination toward valiance, intelligence, and wisdom, making her a great advisor to the Prophet and a very respected among the Prophet’s other wives. All this wisdom and intelligence made Umm Salama somewhat of a scholar. Many companions would ask for her knowledge. She narrated over 300 hadith and was considered among the companions who had the most qualified judgment on Islamic law. Just like Hafsa, she was able to write and read in an age where this was not considered necessarily normal for women. Umm Salama was a wonderful speaker.
Many people described Umm Salamah as beautiful. Ibn Sa’d reported on the authority of Urwah that he had heard from Aisha that she said:
“I was very sad when Messenger of Allah married Umm Salamah because of the news of her beauty that had reached us. I had taken the matter lightly until I saw her and I saw that she was even more beautiful than I was told… then I realized that I was only feeling jealous.”
Ibn Sa’d said about Umm Salamah
“Umm Salamah was said to possess great beauty, extraordinarily intelligent and correct judgement.”
Not only was Umm Salamah beautiful and intelligent. She was incredibly strong, determined and showed perseverance when she was persecuted for being Muslim and her first husband and her son were taken away.
1.2 Umm Salamah’s Journey to Medinah
Umm Salamah’s first husband was ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul-Asad and they were both among the first persons to accept Islam. She and her first husband migrated twice during the prosecution of Muslims in Mecca: firstly to Abyssinia, but when they heard the treatment of Muslims became better in Mecca, they returned. Soon after, the same extreme prosecution of Muslims began again. Consequently, the Prophet permitted his companions to emigrate to Madinah. This time, she and her husband decided to go and stay. Sadly, the journey to Madinah did not go as planned. The following excerpt is said to be written by Umm Salamah herself and describes her journey to Madinah.
Immigration to Medinah
When my husband decided to leave for Medina, he prepared a camel for me, lifted me up and put my son Salama on my lap. My husband took the lead and went ahead without stopping for anything. Before we were out of Mecca, some men from my tribe stopped us and said to my husband: “You may be free to do what you like with yourself, you have no power over your wife. She is our daughter. Do you expect to take her away from us?’ They grabbed hold of him and snatched me away from him. Some men from my husband’s tribe, saw them taking me and my child and became hot with rage: “No, by Allah!’ They shouted. ‘We shall not abandon the boy. He is our son and we have a rightful claim over him.’ They took him by his arm and pulled him away from me.
Alone without husband and child
Suddenly, in the space of a few minutes, I found myself all alone. My husband headed out towards Medina by himself; his tribe had snatched away my son from me, and my own tribe had overpowered me and forced me to stay with them. From the day that my husband and my son were parted from me, I went out at noon every day and sat at the spot where this tragedy had occurred. I would remember those terrifying moments and weep until nightfall.
“I continued like this for a year or so until one day a man from the Banu Umayya passed by and saw my condition. He went to my tribe and said, ‘Why don’t you free this woman? You have caused both her husband and her son to be taken away from her.’ He went on like this, trying to soften their hearts and appealing to their emotions, until at last, they said to me, ‘Go and join your husband if you wish.’ But how could I join my husband in Medina, and leave my son, part of my own flesh and blood, in Mecca among the Banu Abdul Asad? How could I remain free from anguish, and my eyes free from tears, if I were to reach the place of hijrah not knowing anything of my little son left behind in Mecca?
“People realized what I was going through and their hearts went out to me. They approached my husband’s tribe and persuaded them to return my son. I had no desire to remain in Mecca until I could find someone to travel with me, for I was afraid that something might happen that would delay me or stop me from reaching my husband. So I immediately prepared my camel, placed my son on my lap, and set out in the direction of Medina. I just had just reached Tan’im (3 miles from Mecca) when I met Uthman ibn Talha “‘Where are you going, Bint Zad ar Rakib?’ he asked. ‘I am going to my husband in Medina.’ ‘And isn’t there anyone going with you?’ ‘No, by Allah, except Allah and my little boy here.’ ‘By Allah,’ he vowed, ‘I will not leave you until you reach Medina.’
He then took the reins of my camel and led us on our way. By Allah, I have never met an Arab more generous and noble than he. Whenever we reached a resting-place, he would make my camel kneel down, wait until I had dismounted and then lead the camel to a tree and tether it. Then he would go and rest in the shade of a different tree to me. When we had rested, he would get the camel ready again and then lead us on our way. This he did every day until we reached Medina. When we reached a village near Quba (about two miles from Medina), belonging to the Banu Amr ibn Awf, he said, ‘Your husband is in this village. Enter it with the blessings of Allah.’ Then he turned around and headed back to Mecca.”
I found this wonderful excerpt on this website.
2. Umm Salamah’s first husband & his death
Umm Salamah and her son reunited with her husband and we’re very happy to be together once again. Before they were separated Hind and her husband Abdullah had one son: Salamah. The name Umm Salamah means “Mother of Salamah” her husband was often called Abu Salamah, which means “Father of Salamah”. Umm Salamah and Abu Salamah had three more children after Salamah, resulting in four children: Salama, Umar, Zaynab, and Durra
Abdullah, however, was expected to fight (he was a warrior) and fought bravely at the battle of Badr. Although the Muslims returned with victorious, soon after the battle of Uhud took place. This battle left the Muslims were tested and sore. Abdullah was wounded very badly. Even though he was greatly taken care of, his wounds never healed completely.
2.1 Abu Salamah wished for Umm Salamah to marry
Ziyad ibn Maryam narrated that Umm Salamah told Abdullah:
“I heard if the husband of a woman dies and he is one of the inhabitants of paradise and his wife did not remarry after him, Allah will join them together in paradise. The same thing applies to the man.”
Abu Salamah answered his wife:
“I am making a pledge with you that I will not marry after you and you will not marry after me.” He then asked her, “Will you obey me?”
Umm Salamah answered:
“If I did not want to obey you I would not have consulted you.”
Abu Salamah, knowing that the life of a widow is a difficult one, changed his mind and said:
“If I do (die) you should remarry. Oh, Allah! Provide for Umm Salamah after me a man who is better than me and who will not disgrace her or harm her.”
Umm Salamah said:
“When he died I said, ‘Who is that man that will be better than Abu Salamah?’ Then after a while, the Messenger of Allah completely married me.”
3. Becoming the 6th wife of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)
When Umm Salamah had completed the Iddah (the grieving period of three months and ten days), Abu Bakr proposed marriage to her but she refused. Then ‘Umar asked to marry her but she also declined the proposal. The Prophet then approached her and she replied:
“O Messenger of Allah, I have three characteristics. I am a woman who is extremely jealous and I am afraid that you will see in me something that will anger you and cause Allah to punish me. I am a woman who is already advanced in age and I am a woman who has a young family.”
The Prophet replied:
“Regarding the jealousy you mentioned, I pray to Allah the Almighty to let it go away from you. The question of age you have mentioned, I am afflicted with the same problem as you. Regarding the dependent family you have mentioned, your family is my family.”
The 6th wife of the Prophet used to accompany him on many of his expeditions: Hudaybiyya, Khaybar, the Conquest of Mecca, the siege of Ta’if, the expedition against Hawazin and Thaqif, and the Farewell Hajj. Because of her eloquent manner, her wisdom and her kind heart, she was a great advisor to him. She was married to the Prophet for seven years until his death. She continued to live for a long time, outliving all the other wives of the Prophet.
3.1 Not only the 6th wife of the Prophet but also his advisor
The peace treaty with the Quraish
The Muslims wished to perform Umrah, during a time where the Quraish were still hostile. They were however ready to make a peace treaty. Although the Quran stated that this was a victory for the Muslims, many Muslims were disappointed. They were not allowed to perform Umrah, but there would be peace for 10 years. The Muslims still felt that the conditions were unfair. They hesitated to follow the Prophet’s instruction to slaughter their sacrificial animals and to cut their hair as if they had performed the Umrah.
Umm Salamah as the Prophet’s advisor
The Muslims now had peace, which cost them a short pilgrimage. It was a good deal, but the Muslim’s remained disappointed. The Prophet was saddened that his followers hesitated to sacrifice their animals and cut their hair. She offered her advice:
“You want them to follow your instructions? Why do you not go out yourself and do not talk to anyone until you have slaughtered your animal, and then call someone to cut your hair?”
The Prophet followed Umm Salamah’s advice, and the Muslims followed his example by slaughtering their sacrificial animals and having their hair cut as she expected. Her wisdom often helped the Prophet.
4. What can we learn from the Umm Salamah
4.1 Be a kind Muslim and a good wife
We can learn many things from Umm Salamah, but something I admire was her perseverance and femininity. She was not afraid to be vulnerable and cry. When her husband was torn from her and when he died, she cried as any woman would. She was truly a kind person, very loving and wise. She mostly was a good wife, to her first husband and to the Prophet. When her first husband died, she couldn’t believe that he asked Allah to grant her someone better than him! She didn’t think there was anyone like him.
Which brings me to what we can learn from her. Yes, she had a loving marriage and yes, she was ‘older’ with multiple children. She also described herself as a jealous person. But she was also a great Muslim, a beautiful woman who was wise and kind and intelligent. When she spoke, she spoke eloquently, like a truly feminine woman. She couldn’t believe that she could get anyone better than her first husband, but then she became the 6th wife of the Prophet!
4.2 Don’t think you need to settle
Which brings me to what we can learn from her. Yes, she had a loving marriage and yes, she was ‘older’ with multiple children. She also described herself as a jealous person. But she was also a great Muslim, a beautiful woman who was wise and kind and intelligent. When she spoke, she spoke eloquently, like a truly feminine woman. She couldn’t believe that the could get anyone better than her first husband, but then the Prophet knocked on her door!
Sisters, we often settle and think we can’t get any better. The Quran calls us sisters ‘muhsana’ meaning a fortress against Satan. Because a good woman helps keep her husband on the right, Islamic path in life. We are the key to unlocking Jannah for our future husbands. But still, we settle… We settle for Low-value Muslim brothers who don’t have their finances in order. We settle for brothers who we know are not up to our deen standards. Because we think nothing better will come along… We are, as the Prophet stated, the most precious thing in the world! We need to believe that whatever happens, Allah has a plan for us and we deserve someone who is up to our standards!
Umm Salamah’s case is a bit different since she loved her husband very much and he was a great Muslim. She did not settle when she married him, but she did not believe that she could get anyone better. Sisters, we need to believe that ‘better’ is a possibility for us. Stop overthinking and start investing in finding your own value so you can start believing that!
5. Who were the Prophet’s other wives?
The Prophet married 11 wives in total (although, there are some discussions on the exact number).
- Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
- Sawdah bint Zam’a
- Aisha bint Abu Bakr
- Hafsah bint Umar ibn Al-Khattab
- Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
- Umm Salamah bint Abu Umayyah
- Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith
- Zaynab bint Jahsh
- Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan
- Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab
- Maymunah bint al-Haarith
I talk about the other women in the category “Mother of Believers“. If you want to know more, please have a look! Do you want to help the other Muslim sisters in your life acquire more knowledge on this topic? Share my blog with them and follow me on Social Media!
Your Classy Muslim Sister