Nursing by Halimatul Saa’diah – symbol of Allah’s nurture

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Halimatul Saa’diah is one of the dwellers of Jannatul Baqi. This is the cemetary where notable Muslim personages are buried including all the wives of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and salutations of praises on Him), Ibrahim (born of his wife Maria); Roqayyah (adopted daughter with wife Khadijah); aunts including Fatimah Asad, Safiya and Aatika; uncle ‘Abbas Muttalib; the two Fatima, wives of Imam Ali; grandchild Hasan; Ali or known as Zainul Abidin, son of Imam Husayn, son of Ali Ibn Abi Talib who is himself buried in the Great Mosque of Kufa in Iraq; Imam Baqir Ibn Ali Ibn Husayn; Imam Ja’far Sadiq Ibn Baqir, teacher of Our Sunni madhabs predecessors; Caliph Uthman; the jurist Malik and others.

The elevated status of Halimah, the wet nurse of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) resides not in the lineage of being in the tribe of Sa’d bin Bakr, a tribe of the Hawazin. Nor is she despised due to the poverty she and husband, Al-Harith, had to face. Her strength is being the chosen one to overcome the Arabian cultural preference against nursing a baby without a father as was our orphan status of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Although she had three children of her own – Abdullah, Anissa, Hothafa – she shared her love with the most blessed of mankind, without even knowing this privilege!

This does not at all reduce the bonding between the Praised Messenger and his biological mother, Aminah (may Allah be pleased with her). In fact this highlights the very human nature of our Messenger who is born of a woman yet has been chosen for the task of Prophethood.

The significance of nursing can be related to the narration in Sahih Muslim as narrated by Anas bin Malik that before the Ascension to the Heavens or Isra’ Miraj, at Baitul Maqdis or the third holiest mosque of Al-Aqsa , Angel Gabriel (pleasure of Allah upon him) presented milk and wine to the Messenger after conclusion of his superobligatory prayer. Upon which was affirmed the choice of natural milk as faith symbol (fitrah).

As with the act of nurturing, similarly faith requires just that. Bonding is a way of life as well as a universal order. Surely the love that Halimatul had for the infant she nursed is no more less than Aminah who delivered the baby in pangs of pain.

It suffices to draw the conclusion with regards to Allah who created Adam and Adam who is created of Allah. From a mere drop and Kun faya kun, he became.

How amazing that His Compassion and Mercy will overcome his Wrath such that the Blessings we receive are so bounteous..

To Him belongs the 99 beautiful names and there is no imperfection in this world except when viewed by our imperfect vision.

“No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision.” (Al-An’am:103)

Ya Latif. Ya Khabir.

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