Hazrate Umm Sulaim (R.A)
Hazrate Umm Sulaim (R.A) was first married to Malik ibn an-Nadr, her son by this marriage was the famous Hazrat Anas ibn Malik (R.A), one of the great Companion of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
Hazrate Umm Sulaim's (R.A) decision to accept Islam was made without the knowledge or consent of her husband, Malik ibn an-Nadr. He was absent from Yathrib at the time. He was not pleased to hear this especially when his wife went on to announce her acceptance of Islam in public and instructed her son Hazrat Anas (R.A) in the teachings and practice of the new faith. Hazrate Umm Sulaim's (R.A) husband was furious. He shouted at her and left the house and it is reported that he was killed by an enemy of his.
When it was known that Hazrate Umm Sulaim (R.A) had become a widow, Zayd ibn Sahl, known as Abu Talhah wanted to marry her. Abu Talhah proceeded to Hazrate Umm Sulaim's (R.A) house. On the way he recalled that she had been influenced by the preaching of Hazrat Musab ibn Umayr (R.A) and had become a Muslim.
"So what?" he said to himself. "Was not her husband who died a firm adherent of the old religion and was he not opposed to Muhammad and his mission?" Abu Talhah reached Hazrate Umm Sulaim's (R.A) house. He asked permission to enter. Her son Hazrat Anas (R.A) was present. Abu Talhah explained why he had come and asked for her hand in marriage. "A man like you, Abu Talhah ," she said, "is not (easily) turned away. But I shall never marry you while you are a Kafir (non believer)."
He said to her: "What is it that really prevents you from accepting me, Umm Sulaim? Is it the yellow and the white metals (gold and silver)?" "Gold and silver?" she said, "I swear to you, Abu Talhah, and I swear to Allah and His Messenger that if you accept Islam, I shall be pleased to accept you as a husband, without any gold or silver. I shall consider your acceptance of Islam as my Mahr (Dowry)."
The opportunity was right for Hazrate Umm Sulaim (R.A) to stress the futility of such idol worship and she went on: "Don't you know Abu Talhah, that the god you worship besides Allah grew from the earth?". "That's true," he said. "Don't you feel stupid while worshipping part of a tree while you use the rest of it for fuel to bake bread or warm yourself? (If you should give up these foolish beliefs and practices) and become a Muslim, Abu Talhah, I shall be pleased to accept you as a husband and I would not want from you any sadaqah apart from your acceptance of Islam."
"Who shall instruct me in Islam?" asked Abu Talhah. "I shall," Hazrate Umm Sulaim (R.A) replied. "How?", "Utter the declaration of truth and testify that there is no god but Allah (S.W.T) and that Muhammad (S.A.W) is the Messenger of Allah. Then go to your house, destroy your idol and throw it away."
Abu Talhah accepted Islam and was devoted to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) and took enormous delight in simply looking at Him (S.A.W) and listening to the sweetness of his speech. Hazrat Abu Talhah (R.A) participated in all the major military campaigns.