Her real name was Hind; while her title was Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها . She came from the family of Makhzoom, which belongs to the Quraysh tribe. Her father’s name was Abu Mugheerah Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umar Ibn Makhzoom and her mother was ‘Aatikah Bint ‘Aamir who belonged to the family of Faraas.
Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها first married to her cousin Abu Salamah Ibn ‘Abdul-Asad. He was a young man with exceptionally good nature and unblemished conduct. It was improbable for this young man of exceptionally lofty morals to remain unmoved by the noble and life-giving message of the Noble Prophet, Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam.
Defying his tribesmen, Abu Salamah رضي الله عنها embraced the new faith and entered the fold of Islam. Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها followed suit.
Thus, the couple joined the rank of those noble souls, who had won the unique distinction of embracing the new faith in its early phase.
These noble souls suffered all kinds of hardships and harassment in the cause of Islam, but they did not budge even an inch from the right path. As the number of the people who had embraced the new life-giving faith increased, the persecution and torture meted out to them also increased in intensity.
When this persecution reached intolerable levels, the Noble Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam gave permission to his followers to migrate to Abyssinia, which was ruled at that time by a kind-hearted king, in order to protect their lives and preserve their religion. According to an authentic narration, Abu Salamah رضي الله عنها and Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها who has already entered the fold of Islam, also migrated to Abyssinia. They came back to Makkah after spending some time in exile. From Makkah, they left for Madeenah on their second migration. Those days, Abu Salamah had only one camel with him. He they seated Umm Salamah and his young son, Salamah, at the saddle. Holding the reins of his camel, he started his long journey on foot.
When her family came to know about the couple’s planned destination, they intercepted the camel and told Abu Salamah that he could proceed, but they would not allow their daughter (Umm Salamah ). They took away the reins of the camel from Abu Salamah and forced Umm Salamah to dismount. In the meantime, Banu ‘Abdul-Asad, the members of Abu Salamah’s clan, appeared on the scene and snatched Umm Salamah’s child from his mother and threatened Banu Mugheerah that if they did not allow their daughter to accompany her husband, they would also not allow the child to accompany his mother. As for Abu Salamah they said that he was free to go anywhere liked.
By this time, the Noble Prophet, sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam, had given permission to his Companions to migrate to Madeenah, where they could live in peace and safety from the torture of Quraysh. Abu Salamah left for Madeenah, leaving his wife and child behind. Umm Salamah was staying with Banu Mugheerah while her child was in the custody of Banu ‘Abdul-Asad. Thus, the three of them – the father, the mother and the child – were undergoing the pain of living separately.
Umm Salamah was grief-stricken due the separation from her child and husband. Everyday she would go and sit forlorn on a hillock, crying and longing to join her husband and son. A whole one year passed like this.
One day, a kind-hearted and influential man from the clan of Banu Mugheerah saw her pathetic condition and was moved by her agony. He called out the people of his tribe and said: “This woman is our own flesh and blood, how long will we keep her away from her husband and child? By Allaah! Our tribe is very brave and honorable; we can’t tolerate persecution of innocent people.”
Hearing this, her tribesmen gave permission to Umm Salamah they to join her husband in Madeenah. When Banu ‘Abdul-Asad heard of this, they also took pity and sent her child, Salamah, to her. She took the child and a camel to ride alone to Madeenah. At At-Tan’eem (in the outskirts of Makkah), she met ‘Uthmaan Ibn Talhah Ibn Abu Talhah a chivalrous and decent man of Makkah. When he saw Umm Salamah traveling alone with a small baby, he thought: “How unbecoming of me, if I did not escort this lonely woman traveler of Quraysh to Madeenah!”
He took the reins of Umm Salamah’s camel and started for Madeenah. Whenever they stopped on the way, ‘Uthmaan would withdraw to rest under the shade of a tree. When they reached Qubaa’, where Abu Salamah was staying, ‘Uthmaan returned to Makkah and Umm Salamah rejoined her husband, who thanked Allaah for once again reuniting his family.
Umm Salmah always remained grateful to ‘Uthmaan for his thoughtful and kind gesture. She used to say: “I have never seen a more gallant and compassionate man than ‘Uthmaan Ibn Talhah.”
According to one narration, when the Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam paid a condolence visit to Umm Salamah after the death of her husband, he sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam asked her to pray Allaah to grant Abu Salamah the lofty rank of the righteous and grant her a better husband than him.
At this, Umm Salamah wondered who could be a better husband for her than Abu Salamah . Seeing the forlorn state of Umm Salamah after shewas widowed, Abu Bakr sent her a proposal for marriage, which Umm Salamah declined.
The Prophet, sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam, was greatly impressed with the courage, which Umm Salamah displayed in facing the misfortunes and adversities of life. He sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam was also highly moved for her tragic situation and sent the proposal for marriage to her through ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab . Umm Salamah consented, and in Shawwal, the 4th year of Hijrah, her marriage to the Noble Prophet, sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam, took place.
Umm Salamah who was with the Prophet on this journey, heard this and suggested to the Prophet to offer the sacrifice, shave his head and take off the Ihraam. The Prophet did so acting on her advice. When the companions saw that the Prophet’s command was irrevocable, they at once sacrificed their animals and shaved their heads.
Umm Salamah was very generous. She implored others also to give away in the cause of Allaah. Whatever she had, she would readily give away to a beggar or a needy person.
Once, a few destitute people came to her begging for charity importunately. Umm Salamah ordered her maid not to send them back empty-handed, and if there was nothing in the houses, she should give them just a few dates.
Umm Salamah has narrated 378 Hadeeths of the Prophet . In moral excellence and nobility of conduct, she ranks, among the Prophet’s wives, next only to ‘Aa’ishah . She was an excellent reciter of the Quran, and her style was much similar to the Prophet’s. She was endowed with exceptionally beautiful countenance, deep knowledge, intelligence and sound judgment.