Umm Kulthum was the daughter of Uqba bin Abi Muqayt, who was a ferocious enemy of the Prophet. She was Hz. Uthman’s sister. She became a Muslim in Makkah and paid allegiance to the Prophet.
She was forced to exit Islam. However, she did not heed their oppression. She did not give up her belief. Her days passed with pains and agonies. Years passed like that.
The real pains and agonies started after that for her because the Prophet, her only source of consolation, was no longer in Makkah. Umm Kulthum lived in her hometown as if she was in foreign land. She prayed to Allah Almighty to end her trouble and looked for an opportunity to migrate. However, she could not find the opportunity she wanted.
Finally, Allah Almighty gave her the opportunity. She left Makkah as if she was going out as she did every day. Her real intention was to migrate to Madinah. She was ready to suffer on the way.
She did not feel sorry because of this since she regarded rejoining the Messenger of Allah as great happiness. After a long and tiring journey, Madinah appeared. Umm Kulthum’s heart started to pound due to excitement. She felt ebullient. For a moment, she thought about the troubled days in Makkah. However, she felt happy, not sad, for those days. For, those troubled days were left behind and were replaced by good days. She felt happy and thanked Allah Almighty for it. Entering Madinah with these thoughts, Umm Kulthum became a guest in Umm Salama’s house. Umm Salama, one of the wives of the Prophet, gave her some food and drinks.
The Prophet was not at home. Umm Kulthum was waiting worriedly because one of the terms of the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, which the Prophet signed with the polytheists, necessitated returning the Makkans who became Muslims and who escaped to Madinah to the polytheists. Due to this term of the treaty, the Prophet had returned Abu Jandal and Abu Basir, who became Muslims and who took refuge in the Prophet (pbuh), to the polytheists. Umm Kulthum was not sure whether she would be returned or not. She mentioned her worry to Umm Salama:
“I fear that the Messenger of Allah will return me like Abu Jandal and Abu Basir. O Umm Salama! Women are not like men. I left Makkah eight days ago. They will start to look for me.”
While Umm Kulthum was waiting in excitement, the Prophet (pbuh) arrived. Umm Salama told him about the situation. The Messenger of Allah said welcome to this self-sacrificing Companion. Meanwhile, Umm Kulthum’s excitement increased. Her heart started to pound. She told the Messenger of Allah about her situation:
“O Messenger of Allah! I migrated and came to you for the sake of my religion. If you return me to them, they will torture me and try to force me to exit my religion. I am a woman. I cannot put up with torture. You know that women are like weak people.”
After listening to her, the Prophet relieved her by saying,
“Allah will definitely break and annul the agreement related to women.”
As a matter of fact, verse 10 of the chapter of al Mumtahina, which means the woman that is tested, was sent down. Allah Almighty stated the following in the verse:
“O ye who believe! when there come to you believing women refugees, examine (and test) them: Allah knows best as to their Faith: if ye ascertain that they are Believers, then send them not back to the Unbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the Unbelievers, nor are the (Unbelievers) lawful (husbands) for them…”
When the revelation was completed, the Prophet gave the good news to Umm Kulthum. There could not have been better news than this one for Hz. Umm Kulthum. She wept for joy.
Meanwhile, her father found out that she was in Madinah. He sent his sons Walid and Umara to the Prophet at once. They came to Madinah and found the Messenger of Allah. They said,
“According to the treaty between us, you are supposed to return the Muslims who escaped to you to us. Return our sister to us.”
The Prophet said,
“Allah Almighty annulled the decree of that term for women.”
He did not return Umm Kulthum to them. Walid and Umara did not insist any longer and returned to Makkah. They told the polytheists about the situation. The polytheists did not do anything about it.
When it became certain that she would live in Madinah, three Companions wanted to marry her: Zubayr bin Awwam, Zayd bin Haritha and Abdurahman bin Awf. Umm Kulthum consulted her brother Uthman. Uthman advised her to ask the Messenger of Allah about it. The Prophet found it appropriate for her to marry Zayd bin Haritha. Then, he married them. Hz. Zayd and Umm Kulthum led a happy life together.
Umm Kulthum was a person who showed consent to qadar. She agreed to everything that came from Allah Almighty. She showed patience and steadfastness at the martyrdom of her husband.
This rejoiced the Prophet, Uthman and Umm Kulthum. It was a family reunion though it was partial. Arwa died during the caliphate of Hz. Uthman. Her janazah prayer was led by Hz. Uthman. He prayed for her as follows:
“O Allah! Forgive my mother! O Allah! Forgive my mother!”
Umm Kulthum, who learned a lot from the talks of the Messenger of Allah, narrated a few hadiths. One of them is as follows:
“A person who tells good things, utters nice words and spreads words between people though they are not true in order to reconcile people is not regarded to have told lies.”
*Special thanks to basicsofislam for giving me permission to post some of their posts!*