History of Islam – Pre-revelation: Wet nursing of Prophet Muhammad
Salam alaykum everyone. In this video, I will talk about the WET NURSING of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him…
- First of all, I want to mention the Arab custom of wet nursing. Arabs had a custom of sending their newborns to wet nurses who lived in the desert; because, the desert air was cleaner, healthier and less humid than in Mecca. The water in desert was cleaner as well. Also, Meccans believed that their children would grow up strong and brave, while they were in desert…The other reason was that the wet nurse would teach their kids the pure and clear Arabic in the village.
- So, as a tradition, the babies born in Mecca, would be sent to desert to stay there until they were 3 or 4 years old, and sometimes more. As a result, each year the women from villages, would come to Mecca, to look for newborn babies, to nurse for a few years. Here is the story of the wet nursing of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh: A woman named Halima, from the Tribe of Sad, came to Mecca, to look for a baby to nurse for a few years. She narrated her own story, and she said:
“When the women saw Muhammad, they hesitated to take him because he was an orphan, he did not have a father. All of the women wanted to get a baby who had a father, because we were expecting his father to give us allowances..
And she said:
“When we learned that Muhammad did not have a father, we wondered how his mother and grandfather could treat us. So, none of us had taken him to nurse. By the way, I was the only woman left, without finding a baby, in the group.”
At that time, Abdul Muttalib saw Halima, and told her that he had an orphan baby who needed a nurse; but none of the women were willing to take him. Then, he asked Halima if she was willing to take him to nurse..Halima wanted some time to ask it to her husband.
She went to her husband and said that she did not want to return her home without any baby. So, she told him that she was willing to take him!..And her husband responded in a good way: he said“There is nothing wrong with doing this. Maybe Allah grant, blessing and abundance to us because of this baby. So go ahead and take him with you.! So Halima returned back to Abdul Muttalib saying that she accepts it; and they both went to Amina’s house. Amina welcomed Halima, and showed the place, where baby Muhammad was sleeping. Halima described that when she saw the baby for the first time, he was sleeping in his bed peacefully, covered in a white woolen cloth.
She said that she admired the cuteness and beauty of his face. When she put her hands on his chest slowly, he opened his eyes and smiled at her. She kissed his forehead and then she held him.
Amina told her that, the baby was not an ordinary child. She mentioned about her dreams and experiences during her pregnancy; and she warned Halima to be very careful of her baby. When Halima heard the good things about the baby she was relieved, and she became happy to be the nurse of this baby.J
Halima and her husband were actually poor people. When they got the baby they began to realize that everything was becoming abundant for them. For instance, they realized that their camel and sheep were producing much more milk than before. They agreed that God granted abundance even to their animals; and this blessing was owing to that orphan baby…So, two years passed in this manner…within these years, Halima, took Muhammad to Mecca, every six months, for a visit to the mother. At the end of the 2nd year, Muhammad was no longer breast-fed. So it was the time to bring him back to his mother in Mecca..When Halima arrived in Mecca to give the baby back to his mother, she asked Amina to let him stay with her, a little bit more. Also, there was an outbreak of epidemic in Mecca, during those years, and Halima was afraid that the epidemic would affect the child as well..Amina was concerned about the same thing; and also she could not resist Halima’s sincere desire and request J. So Amina, let her boy stay with Halima for some more time; And, Halima brought the child to her village, once again..
When Prophet Muhammad was 4 years old, Halima returned him to his mother in Mecca. His mother and grandfather were very happy when he joined their family once again.
Amina showed her greatest compassion and love to her son, so that he did not feel the absence of his father. (W)…
Amina used to go to Medina with her son every year, to visit her husband’s grave, and pray there, and also to see her relatives in Medina.
- When Prophet Muhammad was 6 years old, Amina took him and his nanny Umm Ayman to Medina. When they arrived there, little Muhammad prayed at his father’s grave. On their return, he said that he wept for his father and asked God to forgive him.
Later on Amina fell ill, in Madina. They stayed there about a month; then they had to set off for Mecca. When they came to the village of Abwa, which is between Medina and Mecca, Amina’s illness got worse. She could not get up and go on her way. So, They had to stop under a tree, and stay there. She understood that she was going to die..
Amina, took her son’s hand into her own hand and she said:
“O my dear son! If what I saw in my sleep is true, you will be the awaited prophet.You will teach people what is allowed and what is prohibited.”
And She said that:
“I die today, but my name will remain forever, for I gave birth to a pure child.”
After saying these words, Amina closed her eyes and gave her last breath, at the age of 30. Then, Umm Ayman and Prophet Muhammad buried her there. And she brought him back to Mecca.(W)
Now Prophet Muhammad was a complete orphan as he lost both parents. However, his real guardian was Allah, who would protect him perfectly, during his lifetime.
- We can say that he was brought up in God’s care, so that he put all his trust in Allah and submitted completely to Him.(W) In our next video, I’ll talk about how PM was taken care of by his grandfather.