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  • Writer's pictureAnees Bhayat

Amongst the Banū Sa‘d

Ibn Hishām, a famous scholar of sīrah, narrates from Ḥalīmah As-Sa‘dīyyah رضي الله عنها that she, together with her husband and baby son – whom she was breast-feeding, left with a few women of the Banū Sa‘d tribe in search of children to be suckled. She says:

“It had been a year of severe drought, leaving us without any food and drink. I left riding my whitish female donkey, also taking along our aged she-camel. By Allāh! That night the camel not give us any milk, nor did we sleep the entire night due to my child’s crying out of hunger; I was unable to produce enough milk to suffice him, and neither did the camel produce enough to nourish him. Despite these conditions, we did not give up hope, and continued in search of relief. We continued on our journey on that donkey of mine, lagging behind the rest of the group, much to their irritation. Finally, we reached Makkah.

“There was not a woman amongst us to whom the Prophet ﷺ was not presented. However, each one refused to take him when told that he was an orphan; because we would hope for a good [financial] return from the father of the child [we were to breast-feed], and we thought, ‘[He is an orphan; what [pay] are the mother and grandfather going to give?!’ So for that reason, none of us wanted to take him.

“At the end, every woman that came with us had taken a child to suckle, except for me. When we decided to return, I said to my husband, “By Allāh! I dislike that I return with my companions without having taken a child. By Allāh! I will definitely go back to that orphan child and take him. He replied, “You can do so; it is hoped that we are blessed through it.” So, I returned and took him merely because I had not found another child to take besides him.

“I took him back to my conveyance, and when I placed him on my lap, my chest was suddenly full of milk, which he drank until he was satiated, and his brother [(Ḥalīmah’s son)] also drank until he too was satiated. They both then fell asleep, considering we hadn’t slept before then [due to the suffering]. My husband went to tend to our camel, and to his amazement its udders were full. He milked it and we drunk until we too were satiated, and had a very pleasant evening.

“In the morning, my husband said to me, ‘O Ḥalīmah! Do you know that - by Allāh - you have taken a blessed child?’ I replied, ‘Indeed I hope I have.’ I then mounted my donkey and carried him with me on it, and - by Allāh! - It travelled at such a pace that the animals of the others could not keep up, so much so that they began saying to me, ‘O Daughter of Abū Dhu’ayb! May Allāh have mercy upon you! Take it easy upon us! Is this not your same donkey that you came upon?’ I would reply, ‘Yes it is indeed the same one.’ They said, ‘By Allāh! It is indeed amazing.’

“We then reached our dwellings in Banū Sa‘d. I did not know a land from the lands of Allāh more barren than it. When we brought the Prophet ﷺ with us, our livestock would return to us in the evenings full of milk, so we would milk them and drink, whereas others in our area would not be able to find a drop of milk in any udder [from their livestock], let alone milk it. The members of our tribe would say to their shepherds, ‘Woe unto you! Graze the livestock near the pastures where the shepherd of the daughter of Abū Dhu’ayb grazes [his herd]’, but even then, their livestock would return hungry, unable to produce a drop of milk, whilst mine would return full of milk.

“We continued experiencing increase and goodness from Allāh until two years passed and I weaned him. He grew and developed at a rate unparalleled by others [his age]. He had not yet reached two years of age but had become a healthy, extremely fit child.

“We then brought him back to his mother, despite being extremely anxious for him to stay with us, due to his blessings we had witnessed. We discussed this with his mother, and we said, ‘You should leave your little child with us until he grows older, for we fear upon him the infections of Makkah.’ We continued to persuade her until she gave in and returned him with us.

“One day, a few months after we had brought him back, he was amongst a few of our animals behind our house, when his brother came running to us, saying, ‘That Qurashī brother of mine; two men clothed in white have taken him, lain him down, split open his chest, and are now putting it back together.’ His father and I rushed out towards him, and we found him standing, pale in the face. We both embraced him, and we asked, ‘O our little son! What happened to you?’ He replied, ‘Two men in white clothes came to me, lay me down, split open my chest and found something, I do not know what it was.’ We brought him back to our house, and his father said to me, ‘O Ḥalīmah! I fear that this child has been afflicted [with something], so reunite him with his family before it becomes evident on him.’

“We took him back to his mother, who said, ‘O wet-nurse! What made you bring him back? You were very enthusiastic about him staying with you [for longer]!’

I replied, ‘Allāh had decreed for my son such[1]; I have fulfilled my responsibility, and I fear he may be a victim of some accident, so I returned him to you as you wish.’

She said, ‘This isn’t the reason, tell me the truth!’, and she did not let it past me until I told her. She then asked, ‘So do you fear that he may be affected by Shayṭān?’

I replied in the affirmative.

She said, ‘Never! By Allāh! Shayṭān can never get to him; my son is extraordinary. Shall I not tell you about him?’

I replied, ‘Indeed do [inform me]’.

She said, ‘When I conceived, a nūr (supernatural light) emanated from me that illuminated for me the palaces of Baṣrā in Ash-Shām; then I became pregnant with him and by Allāh! I have not seen any pregnancy which was less of a burden and easier than him; and it so happened that when I gave birth to him, he had his hands on the ground, raising his head towards the heavens. Do not worry about it! Go, and have faith!’”[2]

[1] قد بلغ الله بابني وقضيت الذي علي

[2] قَالَ ابْنُ إسْحَاقَ: وَحَدَّثَنِي جَهْمُ بْنُ أَبِي جَهْمٍ مَوْلَى الْحَارِثِ بْنِ حَاطِبِ الْجُمَحِيُّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ. أَوْ عَمَّنْ حَدَّثَهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: كَانَتْ حَلِيمَةُ بِنْتُ أَبِي ذُؤَيْبٍ السَّعْدِيَّةُ. أُمَّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الَّتِي أَرْضَعَتْهُ، تُحَدِّثُ: أَنَّهَا خَرَجَتْ مِنْ بَلَدِهَا مَعَ زَوْجِهَا، وَابْنٍ لَهَا صَغِيرٍ تُرْضِعُهُ فِي نِسْوَةٍ مِنْ بَنِي سَعْدِ بْنِ بَكْرٍ، تَلْتَمِسُ الرُّضَعَاءَ، قَالَتْ: وَذَلِكَ فِي سَنَةٍ شَهْبَاءَ، لَمْ تُبْقِ لَنَا شَيْئًا. قَالَتْ: فَخَرَجَتْ عَلَى أَتَانٍ لِي قَمْرَاءَ، مَعَنَا شَارِفٌ لَنَا، وَالله مَا نبض بِقَطْرَةٍ، وَمَا نَنَامُ لَيْلَنَا أَجْمَعَ مِنْ صَبِيِّنَا الَّذِي مَعَنَا، مِنْ بُكَائِهِ مِنْ الْجَوْعِ، مَا فِي ثَدْيَيَّ مَا يُغْنِيهِ، وَمَا فِي شَارِفِنَا مَا يُغَدِّيهِ- قَالَ ابْنُ هِشَامٍ: وَيُقَالُ: يُغَذِّيهِ- وَلَكِنَّا كُنَّا نَرْجُو الْغَيْثَ وَالْفَرَجَ فَخَرَجْتُ عَلَى أَتَانِي تِلْكَ فَلَقَدْ أَدَمْتُ بِالرَّكْبِ حَتَّى شَقَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَعْفًا وَعَجَفًا، حَتَّى قَدِمْنَا مَكَّةَ نَلْتَمِسُ الرُّضَعَاءَ، فَمَا مِنَّا امْرَأَةٌ إلَّا وَقَدْ عُرِضَ عَلَيْهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَتَأْبَاهُ، إذَا قِيلَ لَهَا إنَّهُ يَتِيمٌ، وَذَلِكَ أَنَّا إنَّمَا كُنَّا نَرْجُو الْمَعْرُوفَ مِنْ أَبِي الصَّبِيِّ، فَكُنَّا نَقُولُ: يَتِيمٌ! وَمَا عَسَى أَنْ تَصْنَعَ أُمُّهُ وَجَدُّهُ! فَكُنَّا نَكْرَهُهُ لِذَلِكَ، فَمَا بَقِيَتْ امْرَأَةٌ قَدِمَتْ مَعِي إلَّا أَخَذَتْ رَضِيعًا غَيْرِي، فَلَمَّا أَجْمَعْنَا الِانْطِلَاقَ قُلْتُ لِصَاحِبِي: وَاَللَّهِ إنِّي لَأَكْرَهُ أَنْ أَرْجِعَ مِنْ بَيْنِ صَوَاحِبِي وَلَمْ آخُذْ رَضِيعًا، وَاَللَّهِ لَأَذْهَبَنَّ إلَى ذَلِكَ الْيَتِيمِ فَلَآخُذَنَّهُ، قَالَ: لَا عَلَيْكِ أَنْ تَفْعَلِي، عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَجْعَلَ لَنَا فِيهِ بَرَكَةً. قَالَتْ: فَذَهَبْتُ إلَيْهِ فَأَخَذْتُهُ، وَمَا حَمَلَنِي عَلَى أَخْذِهِ إلَّا أَنِّي لَمْ أَجِدْ غَيْرَهُ. قَالَتْ: فَلَمَّا أَخَذْتُهُ، رَجَعْتُ بِهِ إلَى رَحْلِي، فَلَمَّا وَضَعْتُهُ فِي حِجْرِي أَقَبْلَ عَلَيْهِ ثَدْيَايَ بِمَا شَاءَ مِنْ لَبَنٍ، فَشَرِبَ حَتَّى رَوِيَ، وَشَرِبَ مَعَهُ أَخُوهُ حَتَّى رَوِيَ، ثُمَّ نَامَا، وَمَا كُنَّا نَنَامُ مَعَهُ قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ، وَقَامَ زَوْجِي إلَى شَارِفِنَا تِلْكَ، فَإِذَا إنَّهَا لَحَافِلٌ، فَحَلَبَ مِنْهَا مَا شَرِبَ، وَشَرِبْتُ مَعَهُ حَتَّى انْتَهَيْنَا رِيًّا وَشِبَعًا، فَبِتْنَا بِخَيْرِ لَيْلَةٍ. قَالَتْ: يَقُولُ صَاحِبِي حِينَ أَصْبَحْنَا: تَعَلَّمِي وَاَللَّهِ يَا حَلِيمَةُ، لَقَدْ أَخَذْتُ نَسَمَةً مُبَارَكَةً، قَالَتْ: فَقُلْتُ: وَاَللَّهِ إنِّي لَأَرْجُو ذَلِكَ. قَالَتْ: ثُمَّ خَرَجْنَا وَرَكِبْتُ (أَنَا) أَتَانِي، وَحَمَلْتُهُ عَلَيْهَا معى، فو الله لَقَطَعَتْ بِالرَّكْبِ مَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَيْهَا شَيْءٌ مِنْ حُمُرِهِمْ، حَتَّى إنَّ صَوَاحِبِي لِيَقُلْنَ لي: يَا بنة أَبِي ذُؤَيْبٍ، وَيْحَكَ! ارْبَعِي عَلَيْنَا، أَلَيْسَتْ هَذِهِ أَتَانَكَ الَّتِي كُنْتُ خَرَجْتُ عَلَيْهَا؟ فَأَقُولُ لَهُنَّ: بَلَى وَاَللَّهِ، إنَّهَا لَهِيَ هِيَ، فَيَقُلْنَ: وَاَللَّهِ إنَّ لَهَا لَشَأْنًا. قَالَتْ: ثُمَّ قَدِمْنَا مَنَازِلَنَا مِنْ بِلَادِ بَنِي سَعْدٍ وَمَا أَعْلَمُ أَرْضًا مِنْ أَرْضِ اللَّهِ أَجْدَبَ مِنْهَا، فَكَانَتْ غَنَمِي تَرُوحُ عَلَيَّ حِينَ قَدِمْنَا بِهِ مَعَنَا شِبَاعًا لُبَّنًا، فَنَحْلُبُ وَنَشْرَبُ، وَمَا يَحْلُبُ إنْسَانٌ قَطْرَةَ لَبَنٍ، وَلَا يَجِدُهَا فِي ضَرْعٍ، حَتَّى كَانَ الْحَاضِرُونَ مِنْ قَوْمِنَا يَقُولُونَ لِرُعْيَانِهِمْ: وَيْلَكُمْ اسْرَحُوا حَيْثُ يَسْرَحُ رَاعِي بِنْتِ أَبِي ذُؤَيْبٍ، فَتَرُوحُ أَغْنَامُهُمْ جِيَاعًا مَا تَبِضُّ بِقَطْرَةِ لَبَنٍ، وَتَرُوحُ غَنَمِي شِبَاعًا لُبَّنًا. فَلَمْ نَزَلْ نَتَعَرَّفُ مِنْ اللَّهِ الزِّيَادَةَ وَالْخَيْرَ حَتَّى مَضَتْ سَنَتَاهُ وَفَصَلْتُهُ، وَكَانَ يَشِبُّ شَبَابًا لَا يَشِبُّهُ الْغِلْمَانُ، فَلَمْ يَبْلُغْ سَنَتَيْهِ حَتَّى كَانَ غُلَامًا جَفْرًا. قَالَتْ: فَقَدِمْنَا بِهِ عَلَى أُمِّهِ وَنَحْنُ أَحْرَصُ شَيْءٍ عَلَى مُكْثِهِ فِينَا، لِمَا كُنَّا نَرَى مِنْ بَرَكَتِهِ. فَكَلَّمْنَا أُمَّهُ وَقُلْتُ لَهَا: لَوْ تَرَكْتُ بُنَيَّ عِنْدِي حَتَّى يَغْلُظَ، فَإِنِّي أَخْشَى عَلَيْهِ وَبَأَ مَكَّةَ، قَالَتْ: فَلَمْ نَزَلْ بِهَا حَتَّى رَدَّتْهُ مَعَنَا.

قَالَتْ: فرجعنا بِهِ، فو الله إنَّهُ بَعْدَ مَقْدِمِنَا (بِهِ) بِأَشْهُرِ مَعَ أَخِيهِ لَفِي بَهْمٍ لَنَا خَلْفَ بُيُوتِنَا، إذْ أَتَانَا أَخُوهُ يَشْتَدُّ، فَقَالَ لِي وَلِأَبِيهِ: ذَاكَ أَخِي الْقُرَشِيُّ قَدْ أَخَذَهُ رَجُلَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا ثِيَابٌ بِيضٌ، فَأَضْجَعَاهُ، فَشَقَّا بَطْنَهُ، فَهُمَا يَسُوطَانِهِ. قَالَتْ: فَخَرَجْتُ أَنَا وَأَبوهُ نَحوه، فَوَجَدنَا قَائِمًا مُنْتَقَعَا وَجْهُهُ. قَالَتْ: فَالْتَزَمْتُهُ وَالْتَزَمَهُ أَبُوهُ، فَقُلْنَا لَهُ: مَالك يَا بُنَيَّ، قَالَ: جَاءَنِي رَجُلَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا ثِيَابٌ بِيضٌ، فَأَضْجَعَانِي وَشَقَّا بَطْنِي، فَالْتَمِسَا (فِيهِ) شَيْئًا لَا أَدْرِي مَا هُوَ. قَالَتْ: فَرَجَعْنَا (بِهِ) إلَى خِبَائِنَا.

قَالَتْ: وَقَالَ لِي أَبُوهُ يَا حَلِيمَةُ، لَقَدْ خَشِيتُ أَنْ يَكُونَ هَذَا الْغُلَامُ قَدْ أُصِيبَ فَأَلْحِقِيهِ بِأَهْلِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَظْهَرَ ذَلِكَ بِهِ، قَالَتْ: فَاحْتَمَلْنَاهُ، فَقَدِمْنَا بِهِ على أمّه، فَقَالَت: مَا أَقْدَمَكَ بِهِ يَا ظِئْرُ وَقَدْ كُنْتِ حَرِيصَةً عَلَيْهِ، وَعَلَى مُكْثِهِ عِنْدَكَ؟ قَالَتْ: فَقُلْتُ: قَدْ بَلَغَ اللَّهُ بِابْنِي وَقَضَيْتُ الَّذِي عَلَيَّ، وَتَخَوَّفْتُ الْأَحْدَاثَ، عَلَيْهِ، فَأَدَّيْتُهُ إلَيْكَ كَمَا تُحِبِّينَ، قَالَتْ: مَا هَذَا شَأْنُكَ، فَاصْدُقِينِي خَبَرَكَ.

قَالَتْ: فَلَمْ تَدَعْنِي حَتَّى أَخْبَرْتُهَا. قَالَتْ: أَفَتَخَوَّفَتْ عَلَيْهِ الشَّيْطَانَ؟ قَالَتْ: قُلْتُ نَعَمْ، قَالَتْ: كَلَّا، وَاَللَّهِ مَا لِلشَّيْطَانِ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ، وَإِنَّ لِبُنَيَّ لَشَأْنًا، أَفَلَا أُخْبِرُكِ خَبَرَهُ، قَالَتْ: (قُلْتُ) بَلَى، قَالَتْ: رَأَيْتُ حِينَ حَمَلْتُ بِهِ، أَنَّهُ خَرَجَ مِنِّي نُورٌ أَضَاءَ لِي قُصُورَ بُصْرَى مِنْ أَرْضِ الشَّامِ، ثُمَّ حملت بِهِ، فو الله مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْ حَمْلٍ قَطُّ كَانَ أَخَفَّ (عَلَيَّ) وَلَا أَيْسَرَ مِنْهُ، وَوَقَعَ حِينَ وَلَدْتُهُ وَإِنَّهُ لَوَاضِعٌ يَدَيْهِ بِالْأَرْضِ، رَافِعٌ رَأَسَهُ إلَى السَّمَاءِ، دَعِيهِ عَنْكَ وَانْطَلِقِي رَاشِدَةً.

#seerah #banusad #halimah #haleemah #suckling #breastfeeding #prophet #childhoodoftheprophet

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