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

Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl, Lubaabah bintul Haarith (radhiyallahu ‘anha), was the respected wife of Sayyiduna ‘Abbaas bin ‘Abdil Muttalib (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the paternal uncle of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

She accepted Islam in the very early days and was the first woman to enter the fold of Islam after Sayyidah Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). Thus, she has the honour and accolade of being the second Muslimah! 

Although Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was among the forerunners in accepting Islam, her husband, Sayyiduna ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), did not enter into the fold of Islam at that time. Rather, he accepted Islam many years later.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) spoke highly of her and her three sisters, viz. Sayyidah Maimoonah, Sayyidah Salma and Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anhunna), by referring to them as “the four believing sisters”.[1] (Al-Isaabah vol. 8, pg. 450)

When the Muslims migrated to Madeenah Munawwarah, Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) had to remain behind in Makkah Mukarramah among the disbelievers, since her husband, Sayyiduna ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), was most probably not yet a Muslim. In fact, they only migrated to Madeenah Munawwarah in the 8th year after hijrah, before the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah. Therefore, her son, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) said that he and his mother were among “the oppressed” who are mentioned in the verse of the Quraan Majeed: “And what is (the matter) with you that you do not fight in the path of Allah and (for) the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, ‘Our Rabb, take us out of this town (i.e. Makkah Mukarramah) whose people are oppressive, and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper’?” (Surah Nisaa v75) He explained that he was from the children mentioned in this verse, and his mother was from the women. (Saheeh Bukhaari #1357 and Fat-hul Baari)


1. The strength and firmness of the imaan of Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) can be gauged from the fact that she had accepted Islam at the very beginning, and so many years before her husband. One can well imagine how challenging it must have been for her to be a Muslimah for such a long period of time whereas her husband remained on disbelief. This should serve as an inspiration for those who wish to practice and follow Deen, whereas their close ones are uncooperative, or even becoming obstacles in their path.

2. Spending an additional seven years in the hostile environment of Makkah Mukarramah, after the Muslims had moved over to Madeenah Munawwarah, and remaining firm on her Deen in the midst of the disbelievers, was indeed a very great feat and achievement of Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha). We also need to ensure that we remain firm on our Deen, no matter how evil and unconducive the environment around us may be.

[1] Allah Ta‘ala had also blessed these four sisters with illustrious husbands. As mentioned, Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was married to Sayyiduna ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Her sister from the same mother and father, Sayyidah Maimoonah bintul Haarith (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was the respected wife of none other than Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The other two sisters were Sayyidah Salma bintu ‘Umais and Sayyidah Asmaa bintu ‘Umais (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma). They shared the same mother with Sayyidah Ummul Fadhl and Sayyidah Maimoonah (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), but their father was different. Sayyidah Salma (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was married to the other paternal uncle of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Sayyiduna Hamzah bin ‘Abdil Muttalib (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). As for Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha), she was initially the wife of the paternal cousin of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Sayyiduna Ja’far bin Abi Taalib (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). When he was martyred, she married Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and after his demise, she married Sayyiduna ‘Ali bin Abi Taalib (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

It is for this reason that their mother, Hind bintu ‘Auf Kinaaniyyah, was known to be the person who had the most noble sons-in-law. (Al-Istee‘aab vol. 4, pg. 462)