Umm Ruman (r.anha)

Umm Ruman was a widow when she married Hz. Abu Bakr. Hz. Aisha and Hz. Abdurahman were born out of this marriage. She became a Muslim during the first years of Islam. She supported Hz. Abu Bakr during the days of trouble and torture. She showed patience in the presence of all of the hardships in the way of Allah. She never complained though she underwent material and spiritual problems.

The Prophet met and talked Hz. Abu Bakr a lot. He consulted him about the spread of Islam. Therefore, he often went to Hz. Abu Bakr's house. Umm Ruman became very pleased since the spread of Islam was talked about in her house. She showed respect to the Prophet and expressed her gladness due to his honoring her house by coming to her house. 

After the death of Hz. Khadijah, it was revealed to the Prophet that he was going to marry Hz. Aisha. Once, when the Messenger of Allah visited this lucky family, he said to Umm Ruman, “I advise you to take care of Aisha and treat her well.” Umm Ruman was a clever person. She guessed that there was definitely some wisdom behind this advice of the Messenger of Allah's. She started to take care of Hz. Aisha more.  Once, the Messenger of Allah saw Hz. Aisha crying. This crying affected the Messenger of Allah. He approached her asked her why she was crying. She said she was crying because of her mother. The Prophet turned to Umm Ruman and said, “Did I not tell you to treat Aisha well?” Umm Ruman felt embarrassed and promised that she would not treat Aisha harshly again.

A little while after this incident, Hz. Hawla, Uthman bin Maz’un’s wife, went to the Messenger of Allah and offered him to marry Aisha. The Prophet accepted her offer and sent her to her house as his deputy.  

Umm Ruman opened the door to Hawla. When she saw Hawla was very happy, she asked the reason for it. Hawla said, "O Umm Ruman! Do you know to what rank did Allah Almighty elevate you in goodness and abundance?" Umm Ruman was curious. She asked in excitement, "What is it?" Hawla said, "The Messenger of Allah sent me here to ask you to marry Aisha off to him." Umm Ruman became happy but she could not say anything. She asked Hawla to wait for Hz. Abu Bakr. After a while, Abu Bakr arrived. Hawla told him the good news. Could there have been anything better than becoming the father-in-law of the Messenger of Allah for Hz. Abu Bakr? He accepted it. Thus, the Prophet was engaged to Hz. Aisha. 

Both Hz. Abu Bakr and Umm Ruman were more careful about Hz. Aisha. They did their best to bring up Hz. Aisha in a way that would be a suitable wife for the Prophet.

After a while, the Prophet migrated with Hz. Abu Bakr. Both of them left their families in Makkah because it would be dangerous to migrate with them. A few days after the Migration, they arranged something to bring their families. The Prophet appointed his adopted son Zayd bin Haritha, and Hz. Abu Bakr appointed his son Ab­dullah for it. They went to Makkah. They took Sawda bint  Zam’a, Hz. Fatima, Umm Ruman and Hz. Aisha; they set off for Madinah.

On the way, the camel that Hz. Aisha was on ran away. Umm Ruman felt very sad. She though what she would say to the Prophet if something bad happened to her. She started to shout, "O my daughter!" The camel calmed down a bit later. This small caravan arrived in Madinah after a tiring journey.

Umm Ruman was the biggest support for Hz. Abu Bakr in Madinah as she was in Makkah. On the other hand, she also taught Hz. Aisha about the responsibilities of a family and how to treat the Messenger of Allah.

Hz. Umm Ruman was known for her keenness on worshipping. She performed prayers a lot. Once, she was performing a prayer but she was shaking a bit. Meanwhile, Hz. Abu Bakr arrived. He waited for her to complete her prayer. Then, he asked her not to shake in prayer and told her about the following hadith of the Prophet:

“When one of you performs a prayer, he should not move any parts of his body. He should not shake like Jews. For, standing upright and not moving to the right and left are the things that complement prayers.”

The Prophet (pbuh) showed great respect to her mother-in-law; she treated her in a way that a person treated his mother. This great woman of Islam died in the 6th year of the migration in Madinah. He took care of the task of burying her and placed her in the grave. Then, he said:

“Anyone who likes looking at houris of Paradise should look at Umm Ruman. O Lord! You know the hardships Umm Ruman suffered in Your way and in Your Messenger's way.”[1]

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[1] Tabaqat, 8: 78, 276; al-Isaba, 4: 451; Mustadrak, 3: 473.

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