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Umm Ayman (Barakah)

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Umm Ayman (Barakah)

Barakah, daughter of Tha'alaba bin Amr, known as Umm Ayman (Arabic: أم أيمن‎) , was Abyssinian slave girl of Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib or his wife Aminah. Since Aminah died, Umm Ayman looked after her son, Muhammad, until he grown up. Later Muhammad freed her, but she fondly served Muhammad and his family for a long time. The Islamic Prophet has introduced her as a heavenly woman. Umm Ayman was present at the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of Khaybar.

Parentage and general description

Barakah, daughter of Tha'alaba bin Amr, known as Umm Ayman, was Abyssinian[1] slave girl of Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib (the father of Islamic Prophet) or his wife Aminah. She was the servant of Muhammad after the death of Abdullah and then Aminah.[2]

Caring of Muhammad in childhood

Since Aminah died in Al-Abwa, Barakeh looked after Muhammad until entrance to Makkah.[3] Also she served Muhammad for a long time[4] and took over the caring of him until he grew up.[5] Abdul-Muttalib had said to Barakeh that don’t neglect my son, People of the Book think that my son is the prophet of this nation.[6]

Marriage and children

When Muhammad married Khadija, he arranged for Barakeh’s freedom and marriage to a Khazrajite named Ubayd ibn Zaid. Barakah bore a son named Ayman so she is known to be Umm Ayman means the mother of Ayman.[7] shortly thereafter her husband, who was the companion of the Islamic Prophet, was killed in Battle of Khaybar.[8] In addition his son was killed in Battle of Hunayn.[9]

One day The Islamic Prophet said to his companions: “Should one of you wish to marry a woman of Paradise, he should marry Umm Ayman.”[10] Zayd ibn Harithah took up the offer and married Barakah. they had a son named Usama who was to be one of the future leaders of Islam.[11]


When the Muhammad received the Islamic Prophethood, Umm Ayman was among the first Muslims. Later, he migrated to Medina.[12]

It also is said that she have been immigrants to Abyssinia.[13] But since the migration to Abyssinia was five year after Muhammad's first revelation and immigrants directly back to Medina in 7 AH,[14] this report is unacceptable and probably there is a mistake about it.[15]

Participate in battles

Umm Ayman was present at the Battle of Uhud. She watered the fighters and treated injured. He also accompanied the Islamic Prophet in Battle of Khaybar.[16]

In the battle of Uhod, many men ran away toward medina after rumor of the death of Islamic Prophtet. Umm Ayman sprinkled dust on the face of some fugitives, gave them spindle and told: "give me your sword and spin spindle." Then she went toward the battlefield along with several women.[17] Subsequently she was injured by an arrow which Hebban bin Araqa, the enemy’s soldier, had thrown to her.[18]

Relationship with the Ahl al-Bayt

The Islamic Prophet was very fond of Umm Ayman, and even it is said he sometimes called Umm Ayman as his mother.[19] Some hadiths is quoted about her high dignity for the Islamic Prophet.[20] The Prophet visited Umm Ayman at her house, and Following the Islmaic Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar did the same.[21] Hence, in some hadiths sources, there is a chapter about the virtues of Umm Ayman.[22] In Shia’s sources she is mentioned with respect too.[23]

The Islamic Prophet has introduced her as a heavenly woman. After the Prophet's death and confiscation of Fadak by Abu Bakr, Umm Ayman along with Imam Ali were the only ones that testified the Prophet gave Fadak to Fatimah.[24]

A few hadiths is narrated from Umm Ayman.[25] Those such as Anas ibn Malik, Abu Yazid Madani and Hanash bin Abdullah San'any have narrated from her.[26]


The exact date of Umm Ayman's death is not clear. Some have suggested she died approximately five months after the death of the Islamic Prophet.[27] But according to ibn Sa'd quotes[28] she was alive to the early days of the caliphate of Uthman.[29]


  1. ^ Zuhri, p 177; al-Tabarani, vol. 25, p. 86
  2. ^ Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 223; Baladhuri, vol.1, p. 96
  3. ^ Ibn Qutaybah, p. 150
  4. ^ Baladhuri, vol.1, p.472
  5. ^ Ibn Hajar, al-Ithaba, vol.8, p. 380
  6. ^ ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, vol. 2, p. 343
  7. ^ Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 223; Ibn Sa`d, vol. 4, p. 61
  8. ^ sadeqi Ardestani, Ahmad (1998). Zanane daneshmand wa ravi hadith = the learned and narratar women‌. Qom. p. 3. 
  9. ^ mahallati, vol.2, p. 26
  10. ^ Mahallati, vol.2, p. 26
  11. ^ Baladhuri, vol.1, p.96
  12. ^ Baladhuri, vol. 1, p. 269
  13. ^ ibn Abd al-Birr, al-Isti‘ab, vol. 4, p. 1793; Ibn al-Athir, vol. 5, p. 567
  14. ^ The History of Tabari, vol. 2, p. 329
  15. ^ ibn Abd al-Birr, al-Isti‘ab, vol. 4, p. 1794
  16. ^ Al-Waqidi, vol.1, p. 241, 250, vol.2, p. 685; Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 225; Baladhuri, vol. 1, p.
  17. ^ Bahr al-Ulum, MuhammadAli, translate by MuhammadAli Amini,(1979), Woman of early Islam, Hekmat
  18. ^ Ibn Athir, Ali (2009). al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh. vol. 2. Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi. p. 160. 
  19. ^ Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 223
  20. ^ Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 223-226; Al-Dhahabi, vol. 2, p. 224
  21. ^ Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, vol. 2, p. 1907; Ibn Majah, vol. 2, p. 523-524; ibn Abd al-Birr, vol. 4, p. 1794
  22. ^ Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, vol. 2, p. 1907-1908
  23. ^ Al-Kulayni, vol. 2, p. 405; Ibn Babawayh, p. 76
  24. ^ al-Tabarsi, Al-Ihtijaj, vol. 1, p. 121-122
  25. ^ Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 2, p. 421; al-Tabarani, vol. 25, p. 87-91; Ibn Majah, vol. 2, p. 1107
  26. ^ Ibn Hajar, vol. 12, p. 459
  27. ^ al-Tabarani, vol. 25, p. 86; quoted from Zuhri
  28. ^ Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 226
  29. ^ al-Tabarani, vol. 25, p. 86; Al-Dhahabi, vol.2, p. 227


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