Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb

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Halima Sadia (Arabic: حليمة السعدية‎) was an Arabic Beduin woman. She was a foster mother and took care of the prophet Muhammad for the first six years of his life. Halimah and her husband were from the tribe of Sa'd b. Bakr (a large North Arabian tribe).[1]

Relationship with Muhammad[change | change source]

Foster mothers came to Mecca to feed children. It was the custom at that time in Makkah that families send their children to live for a while with a nurse who lived in the desert. This was healthier for their bodies to be around a natural environment instead of living in the city. They preferred that the fathers of the children they took care of were still alive. Although Muhammad's father was dead, Halimah took him just eight days after he was born. He grew up in Hudaybiyah, then in Medina before he was returned to his mother, Aminah bint Wahb.

Years after Muhammad's mother died and he became married to Khadijah, Halimah came to him complaining of her poverty. He asked Khadijah to give her 40 sheep. After Muhammad got his first revelation, Halimah and her husband came to Muhammad and embraced Islam. When she came to Muhammad on the day of Hunayn, he took off his robe and put it on the ground for her to sit.

So when the group of foster mothers arrived at the Makkah city and they picked up most of the children, the last nurse arrived with her husband (Al-Harith) riding a donkey and old camel. She found only one orphan boy who had no father to pay her. She was ready to go back but she did not want to return without a baby. She decided to go back and pick up the orphan.

As soon as she lifted that boy, her life changed and became filled with immense good fortune and blessings. The old camel, which had not given a drop of milk, was soon over flowing with milk. Although she was the last women leaving makkah on her donkey, she passed her friends. This was indeed a great blessing for her and for this poor Bedouin family.

After two years, Muhammad was returned to his mother Amina. She told Amina about the great blessings that she had received when Muhammad was in her care, but soon, Amina was persuaded by Halima and her husband (Al-Harith) to return the child back with them for another two years to protect him from a spreading disease in Makkah.

References[change | change source]

  1. William Montgomery Watt, Ḥalīma Bint Abī Ḏh̲u;ayb, Encyclopedia of Islam