Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Muslim Women to Look Up to : Hazrat Umm-e-Habibah

It's important that as Muslimahs we have our own role models to look up to. We don't look to the latest stars, celebrities, models and politicians for our examples. Instead we look to the Muslimahs of yesterday and today. We are beautiful, strong, intelligent women with voices to be heard. Always have been and always will be. We are the mothers, the teachers, the listeners, the supporters and the backbone of our Ummah.

***If you know a Muslimah to look up i.e. your Mother, teacher, sister in your community, friend, etc. Send us an email at so we can feature them. Tell us why they are a Muslimah to look up to in your opinion along with an image.***

Hazrat Umm-e-Habibah (Radi’Allahu Anha)

Her name and lineage

Her first name was Ramlah and her surname was Umm-e-Habibah (Radi’Allahu Anha). She was the daughter of Abu Sufyan and her mother’s name was Safiyya Bint Auld Aas who was a real paternal aunt of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Marriage to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)

Her first marriage was to Obaidallah Bin Jahash, they both accepted Islam together and migrated to Ethiopia. On reaching there, Obaidallah became a Christian and also asked Ramlah to become a Christian. She however, refused to leave Islam. After her Iddat, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) sent Amr Bin Umayya Zamir to the Negus (Ruler of Ethiopia) to arrange the marriage of Ramlah (Radi’Allahu Anha) and the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). In the evening, Negus gathered all the Muslims and read out the formal sermon of marriage. At the time Umm-e-Habibah was 36 or 37 years old.

Features and Character

Umm-e-Habibah (Radi’Allahu Anha) was extraordinarily beautiful. Her father, Abu Sufyan himself said, ‘In my estimate the most handsome of Arab women and the most beautiful amongst them is Umm-e-Habibah (Radi’Allahu Anha)’. In the Traditions book, as many as 65 Ahadith are attributed to her.Before the fall of Makkah, her father Abu Sufyan went to visit Umm-e-Habibah. He wanted to sit down on the bedding of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), but Umm-e-Habibah did not allow her father to sit on this as he was yet an unbeliever. Abu Sufyan was infuriated. She said, ‘You are a polytheist and hence unclean. This is a pure, clean bedding of the Holy Prophet’. Abu Sufyan retorted, ‘You have been spoilt a lot in my absence’.

She was also meticulous in acting upon the Traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). She had heard from the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), that whoever among the believers offered twelve Rak’ats of supererogatory prayers (Nawafil), that person shall have a palace in Paradise. She said, ‘I persisted in offering these twelve Rak’ats daily’.

Her Death

Umm-e-Habibah (Radi’Allahu Anha) died at the age of 73 years in the year 44AH, during the Caliphate of her brother Amir Mo’awiya. She was buried in a house of Hazrat Ali (Radi’Allahu Anhu) in Medina. At the time of her death, she called Aisha (Radi’Allahu Anha) and Umm-e-Salmah (Radi’Allahu Anha) and said, ‘Whatever unpleasantness happens to take place among co-wives, it also took place among us. I request you to forgive me any such unpleasantness’. Aisha (Radi’Allahu Anha) said she forgave her and prayed for her salvation. On this day, she said, ‘You have pleased me (by ready forgiveness). May Allah please you!’

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Asalaamu alaikum

Nadira & Najwa


  1. Umm Habibah was definitely a compelling Islamic character. Unquestionably grasped the Quran and the Sunnah with her back of her teeth. I was shocked when I first read the story of her blasting her father like that. It was actually in the context of the peaceful conquest of Mecca. Very consequential stage in Islamic historyfor Mecca is the capital city of the Islamic world and the only grounds us Muslim consider Holy(Jeruslam is Quasi holy though). In any case, Quraish continued to seek to exploit Muhummad's kindness with particularly with the treay that Muhammad was compelled to agreed that was by its face unfair to the Muslims(matter of fact Umar flipped out on Muhammad for agreeing to the terms of the treaty.) However Allah would reveal that the Muslims were not indeed the losers"Verily, we have given you O Muhammad a manifest Victory."
    The terms of the treay that seemed unfair was that Muslims or and man fleeing from Mecca was to be arrested by Medina enforces (Prophet Muhammad's squad and deliverd back to Mecca). However, after the treaty as the Prophet stood by the treaty and rejected Quraish fleeing Mecca those Quraish established there own little faction out the city and started attacking the polytheist Quraish enemies of Islam lucrativr caravans. This would ultimately be a huge financial liability for Quraish which had nothing to do with the Muslims.Ironically. Quraish begged the Prophet to void the clause that they initially implemented in the contract. After the clause was voided many Quraih started migrating to Medina with the Muslims by their own volition either because they had been Muslims concealing their faith or just went to Medina out of spiritual curiosity. In time the polythiest would violate the unfair treaty they themselves formulated because evidently it was working in containing the Muslims who adamantly and sincerely was upholding the treaty. Prophet Muhammad then offered the polytheist three options though as powerful as the Muslims now were he didnt even have to negotiate but could have invaded with no significant problems. 1) To pay blood money for the victims they killed in endeavoring to weakn the Muslims in their failedscheme 2)to terminate their alliance with a Banu Bakr or 3) nullify the truce with the Muslims(essentially war). The enemies of Islam freaked out as Abdul Malik Mujahid points out in his Biography of the Prophet "The Quraish immediately realized the grave situation and feared the horrible consequences appearing on the horizon. They immediately called for an emergency meeting and decided to delegate their chief Abu Sufyan to Madinah for a renewal of the truce. He directly headed for the house of his daughter Umm Habibah (the prophet's wife). But as he went to sit on the Messenger's bed,she folded up. "My daughter" he said, "I hardly knew if you think the bed is too good for me or that I am too good for the bed." She replied "It is the bed of Allah's Messenger, and you are an unclean polytheist."

  2. I have always been shy about my name "RAMLAH"but now i shall wear my name with pride after this great woman. Alhamdulilah!! :-)


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