(Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part Two)

As mentioned previously, when the Muslims migrated to Madeenah Munawwarah, Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl, Lubaabah bintul Haarith (radhiyallahu ‘anha), had to remain behind in Makkah Mukarramah.

Shortly after the migration, the Battle of Badr had taken place, in which Allah Ta‘ala had granted a great victory to the Muslims over the disbelievers. After the news of this defeat reached Makkah Mukarramah, Abu Lahab, who had not participated in the battle, came to the Haram whilst dragging his feet. He proceeded and sat on the edge of the well of Zamzam with his back facing Sayyiduna Abu Raafi’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the slave of Sayyiduna ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who had accepted Islam secretly. Sayyiduna Abu Raafi’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was busy carving arrows (which was his occupation), whilst Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was also sitting close by.

At that very time, Abu Sufyaan bin Haarith (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) just arrived from the battle. He was a nephew of Abu Lahab and not yet a Muslim. Abu Lahab called him to find out the exact details of what had transpired on the battlefield. Hence, he took a seat whilst others were standing around him (in order to hear what had transpired). Abu Lahab then requested him to relate the happenings of the battle.

He began relating the incident saying, “By Allah, it was only a matter of us encountering the people (i.e. the Muslims), that (it was as though) we had gifted our shoulders to them. They were leading us however they wished and capturing us however they wished. By Allah! Despite that, I do not blame the people (i.e. our army), (because) we encountered white men riding upon black-and-white horses between the sky and earth. By Allah, they would not let anything remain, nor could anything stand in front of them.”

When Sayyiduna Abu Raafi’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) heard this, he exclaimed, “By Allah! Those were angels!” Abu Lahab (was enraged by this statement and thus) raised his hand and struck the face of Sayyiduna Abu Raafi’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) very severely. Sayyiduna Abu Raafi’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) confronted him but Abu Lahab picked him up and dropped him on the ground. He then knelt on him and began beating him. Being a weak person, Sayyiduna Abu Raafi’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) could not do anything to defend himself.

Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha), who was seated nearby, got up, took a pole and struck Abu Lahab so severely that his head was seriously injured. She then exclaimed, “You regarded him to be weak (and took advantage over him) because his master (i.e. Sayyiduna ‘Abbaas [radhiyallahu ‘anhu]) is not around!” With much disgrace, Abu Lahab turned around and walked away. Seven days later he was afflicted with severe boils that had led to his death in a painful, miserable and disgraced manner. (Seerah Ibni Hishaam vol. 2, pg. 646)

Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) enjoyed a close relationship with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and thus he would visit her often, and even take siesta at her house. (Al-Istee‘aab vol. 4, pg. 461)

On one occasion, Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saw in a dream that one of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) limbs was in her home. She became perplexed and worried, and hence went to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and related the dream to him. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “You have seen (a) good (dream). Faatimah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) will give birth to a boy and you will look after and breastfeed him.” Thereafter, Sayyidah Faatimah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) gave birth to either Sayyiduna Hasan or to Sayyiduna Husain (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) and the child was given to Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to look after and breastfeed. (Musnad Ahmad #26875, Sunan Ibni Maajah #3923 and Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 8, pg. 279)

The wisdom which Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) possessed can be gauged from an incident which took place during the final hajj of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were in doubt whether Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was fasting on the day of ‘Arafah. Some argued that he was fasting whilst others felt that he was not fasting. Hence, in order to remove the confusion, Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) sent a bowl of milk to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and he drank from it. Thus, the people realized that he was not fasting and the confusion was removed. (Saheeh Bukhaari #1988) 

Allah Ta‘ala had blessed Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) with six illustrious sons[1]; all of whom had the privilege of being Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). Most notable among them was the greatest mufassir and one of the most knowledgeable individuals of this Ummah, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma). The fervour of spreading Deen in her children was such that they had travelled to different places and continents of the world and are thus buried very far apart from each other despite being born in one home. (Al-Istee‘aab vol. 1, pg. 273)

Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) passed away during the khilaafah of Sayyiduna ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), before the demise of her husband, Sayyiduna ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). (Al-Isaabah vol. 8, pg. 449)


1. Despite being surrounded by the disbelievers, Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) did whatever was within her capacity to assist a fellow Muslim who was being oppressed and required assistance. She thus struck Abu Lahab and injured him severely, although he was her brother-in-law and a prominent person of Makkah Mukarramah. This courage was as a result of the strength of her imaan.

2. When a mother possesses great and noble qualities and further tries to pass on the same to her children, by bringing them up in the correct manner, they will most likely follow suit and also be blessed with these qualities. Hence, Allah Ta‘ala granted Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) such illustrious and pious sons. Furthermore, as a result of the great sacrifice that Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) had underwent in preserving her imaan and Deen herself, Allah Ta‘ala accepted her children for the sake of Deen as well, and they were thus prepared to go far and wide to spread the message of Islam.

[1] Their names were; Fadhl, ‘Abdullah, ‘Ubaidullah, Qutham, Ma’bad and ‘Abdur Rahmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhum).