Adapted from: Mahjubah, April 1988 pp. 14-15

The women at the advent of Islam, inspired by the school of thought of Islam and the commandment of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) and by the blessings of the everlasting divine teachings, were able to manifest their real personality. The study of the life of one of these pious freedom-loving women was Um-e-Salim, who can serve as a symbol for contemporary women.

Um-e-Salim's name was Sahleh. This pious woman, the daughter of Malhan, had complete faith in Allah. Um-e-Salim was Malek_ibn_Nazr's wife. When she became a Muslim, her husband was away on a trip, and after his return, when came to know about his wife's new religion, he couldn't tolerate it, and ultimately Um-e-Salim told him, "I can continue to live with you provided that you become a Muslim".

Her husband chose not to accept the religion of Islam and he left his wife and went to Syria, where later died.

Um-e-Salim had a child named Ons from Malek. He became a true follower of the Prophet (S.A.W.) when he grew up and served Islam and Muslims, as well as the Prophet of Allah throughout their difficulties and problems. Upon hearing the news of the death of Malek, Um-e-Salim trained and educated Ons. She didn't marry until her son reached adulthood.

One of the brave men of Madinah called Zaid-ibn-Sahl, who was known as Abu Talhe asked for her hand in marriage, but Um-e-Salim refused him, telling, him, "You are a great man, but the hindrance we have is that you are a polytheist. If you become a Muslim and worship the One Allah instead of man-made idols, I would accept your proposal. I wouldn't ask for a dowry; your becoming a Muslim is my dowry.

Abu Talhe liked the logical savings of Um-e-Salim and when he witnessed her Islamic way of thinking he realized the truth of Islam and became a Muslim. They married, and Um-e-Salim was the first woman who married by this way of thinking and with this dowry. This act can be an example for Muslim women They had a happy life together in Madinah. Um-e-Salim played an important part in her husband's spiritual growth. The guardianship of Um-e-Salim on one hand and the talent of Abu Talhe on the other hand changed him into a faithful, believing Muslim. It has been said that he played an important, historical role in the victory of Muslims in various battles, He supported the religion of Allah wholeheartedly. Abu Talhe was such a good marksman that with each arrow, he used to kill an unbeliever. He showed great braveness in the Battle of Uhud as well as in the Battle of Hunayn, where he killed twenty enemy soldiers and collected many weapons as the spoils of war.

After the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.) he continued to support the religion of Islam and the Holy Qur'an during his old age as well, the love of Allah was so deep in his, heart that one day when he recited verse from the Holy Qur'an regarding jihad in the path of Allah, he was greatly influenced and despite his children's opposition he told them:

"Allah has called for both old and young to undergo Jihad for His sake, I am not an exception".
Go forth light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah's way with your property and your persons; this is better for you, if YOU know. (Holy Qur'an 9:41)
As Abu Talhe was travelling to the battle scene, he died

Um-e-Salim reliance on Allah was very great. When she married Abu Tattle, she was blessed with a son whose name was Abu Amru. He used to help his father in his work. One morning they saw that Amru was burning with fever and was seriously ill. Soon after, when his, father had left the home in order to do some work, Amru succumbed to his illness and died. Um-e-Salim was very sad after this event but she tried to control herself and not to oppose what Allah has desired and finally, by relying upon Allah, she passed this divine examination. She quieted her spirit, performed his ablution and buried him. She told the people, "No one should inform Abu Talhe of his son's death. I will talk to him myself".

Within a short period of time Abu Talhe returned home and Um-e-Salim welcomed him with a smiling face. She received him as usual and finally told him the news of the death of their son in a very special manner by first asking him the question:

"If someone gives something as a trust to his neighbor and after sometime comes to take it back, shouldn't he return his trust without delay?" Abu Talhe agreed, and Um-e-Salim then told him:

"Allah has taken back the trust He had given us -- our son." Upon hearing these words, Abu Talhe tried to control his grief and started praying. Later he went to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and told him the story of the death of his son and his wife's behavior in this regard. The Prophet (S.A.W.) congratulated Um-e-Salim for her patience and prayed for them.

Later on, Allah blessed Um-e-Salim and Abu Talhe with a son who was named Abdullah by the Prophet (S.A.W.). Abdullah reached a high level of faith, virtue and piety and as time passed, he became one of the most faithful followers of the Prophet (S.A.W.).

Yes, Um-e-Salim was able to serve Islam and Muslims by following Islamic teachings with her awareness, faith, piety and modesty.