Along history in the service of Islam was, for Umm Salamah, crowned by her marriage to the best person in human history, Muhammad, God’s last messenger (peace be upon him). The marriage took place in the month of Shawwal in the fourth year of the Islamic calendar, which meant that she lived with the Prophet for six and a half years. In order to have a feeling of the sort of life the Prophet’s new bride was to expect in her new home, we take her report of what she did after she had moved into the home that belonged to Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, a wife of the Prophet who had died a few months after her marriage.

“I looked around and found an earthenware container with some barley. I also found a hand mill and some fruit of desert trees and a saucepan. I found in it some fat. I used the hand mill to ground the barley, then I mixed it thoroughly with the fruit and cooked it using that fat. This was the food God’s messenger ate with his bride on his wedding night.”

Umm Salamah (radi allahu anha) was the fourth wife in the Prophet’s home, but she was a woman who combined beauty with a sound mind and great wisdom. Therefore, she was keen to establish her presence and make her position clear.

Ayesha (radi allahu anha) reports: “When the Prophet married Umm Salamah (radi allahu anha), I was very sad because people spoke much of her beauty. I moved gently to see her, and I saw that she was far prettier than people’s description…” Umm Salamah (radi allahu anha) did not wish her children to be a burden in her new home.

Even though she had a daughter who was still suckling, she arranged for her to be looked after by a wet nurse. However, those children had the best stepfather they could have. He looked after them and helped them as they grew up. He gave his cousin, Umamah, the daughter of his uncle Hamzah, in marriage to Salamah, his stepson.

In their keenness to ensure that the Prophet had a comfortable life, some of his companions tried to interfere. Umar (radi allahu anhu) was told by his wife that his daughter, Hafsah (radi allahu anha), who was married to the Prophet might disagree with him and might sulk. He spoke to her counseling her against doing so. He also went to Umm Salamah (radi allahu anha), who was a relative of his, with a similar intent.

However, when he opened the subject, she stopped him saying that he was interfering between the Prophet and his wives. This was not something he could do. He realized this and left.

Umm Salamah (radi allahu anha) was always aware of her position, unwilling to give in to any pressure.

 – By Adil Salahi