"And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers."
(Al-Quran 51:55)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Prayer of Umm Salamah (ra)

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Once while Umm Salamah was nursing her sick husband, Abu Salamah (ra), he said to her: "I heard the Prophet (saw) saying. Whenever a calamity afflicts anyone he should say, "Surely from Allah we are and to Him we shall certainly return." And he would pray, 'O Lord, give me in return something good from it which only You Exalted and Mighty, can give."

Abu Salamah (ra) remained sick in bed for several days. One morning the Prophet (saw) came to see him. The visit was longer than usual. While the Prophet (saw) was still at his bedside Abu Salamah (ra) passed away. With his blessed hands, the Prophet (saw) closed the eyes of his dead companion. He then raised his hands to the heavens and prayed:
"O Lord, grant forgiveness to Abu Salamah (ra). Elevate him among those who are near to You. Take charge of his family at all times. Forgive us and him, O Lord of the Worlds. Widen his grave and make it light for him."

Umm Salamah (ra) remembered the prayer her husband had quoted on his deathbed from the Prophet (saw) and began repeating it, "O Lord, with you I leave this my plight for consideration . . ." But she could not bring herself to continue . . . "O Lord give me something good from it", because she kept asking herself, "Who could be better than Abu Salamah (ra)?"

The Muslims were greatly saddened by the plight of Umm Salamah (ra). Both the Muhajirun and Ansar felt they had a duty to Umm Salamah (ra). When she had completed the Iddah (four months and ten days), Abu Bakr (ra) proposed marriage to her but she refused. Then Umar (ra) asked to marry her but she also declined the proposal.

The Prophet (saw) then approached her to ask for marriage, and she replied:
"O Messenger of Allah (saw), I have three characteristics. I am a woman who is extremely jealous and I am afraid that you will see in me something that will anger you and cause Allah to punish me. I am a woman who is already advanced in age and I am a woman who has a young family."

The Prophet (saw) replied: "Regarding the jealousy you mentioned, I pray to Allah the Almighty to let it go away from you. Regarding the question of age you have mentioned. I am afflicted with the same problem as you. Regarding the dependent family you have mentioned, your family is my family."

They were married and so it was that Allah answered the prayer of Umm Salamah (ra) and gave her better than Abu Salamah (ra). From that day became the mother of all believers, Umm al-Mumineen. This was the title given to the blessed wives of the Prophet (saw).

The dua`a’ (supplication) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had taught to the ummah (Muslim community) for times of difficulty: 

“If a servant of Allah is afflicted with a misfortune and says: ‘Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un, Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wa akhlif li khairan minha‘ (Verily we belong to Allah and truly to Him shall we return. O Allah! Protect me in this calamity that has befallen me and replace it with something better), Allah will accept his prayer, grant him reward for his affliction, and replace it with something better.

May Allah give us the ability to recite this prayer in times of difficulty - Ameen.


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