Home > Da'wah, Inspirational Stories, Manhaj (Methodology), Manners of a Muslim, Marriage, Matters related to women, Sayings of the Salaf, Tawheed > The Order Umm Saalim gave to her son to say La Ilaha Illa Allah

The Order Umm Saalim gave to her son to say La Ilaha Illa Allah


We find in the books of the Sunnah, prophetic history, biographies and later history, examples of when the Muslim women undertook the enjoining of good and the forbidding evil on individuals from the public, relatives and friends, in areas relating to belief, the regulations of the religion, manners, etiquette, explanation of the Quran, morals, etc. By the will of Allah, I present below some of these instances:


When Umm Salim al Ansariyyah accepted Islam, her husband Malik Ibn Nadr was displeased, and made clear his displeasure. But she paid no attention to his impression, and instead began to invite her son to pronounce the shahadataan. (Declarations of Faith).

Imam Ibn related from Ishaq Ibn ‘Abdullah, who related from his grandmother Umm salim that when she believed in the messenger of Allah may peace be upon him, she said ‘And so Abu Anas arrived-he had been absent and said, “ Have you become a heretic?”

She replied, ‘I have not; instead I believe in him.’ She said, ‘And so I started to invite Anas, pointing towards him; say “La illaha illa Allah.” Say “I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

Ishaq Ibn Abdullah said ‘so he (Anas) did.’

He said, ‘so his father said her, “Do not corrupt my son.”

And so she replied, ‘Indeed, I am not corrupting him.’[1]


Umm salim did not stop after accepting Islam and inviting her son to make the declaration of faith, despite the opposition of her husband Malik ibn Nadr, and instead she presented Islam to him as well.

Al-Hafiz Ibn Abdul-Barr said regarding her, ‘she used to be under the care of Malik ibn Nadr in the period of ignorance, and gave birth to his son Anas ibn Malik. When Islam came, she accepted it along with the rest of her tribe, and presented Islam to her husband, and so he became angry with her and departed to Sham (Syria) and died there.’[2]


A time passed after the death of Malik ibn Nadr, the husband of Umm Salim and then Abu Talha came to propose to her. So she ordered him to accept Islam and forsake polytheism. She made clear its repulsiveness and ignominy, and also made clear her position; that she would marry him if he accepted Islam.

Imam Ibn Sa’d related from Anas that he said, ‘Abu Talha came to propose to Umm Salim and so she said, “It is not acceptable that I marry a polytheist. Do you not know, Abu Talha that the idols you worship are carved by the servant of the family of so and so, the carpenters? And that if you set fire to them they would burn?”’

Anas said, ‘so he left her, his hear affected.

He said, ‘And whenever he came to her, she said the same thing.[3]

And in another narration, ‘O Abu Talha! Do you not know that your idols which you worship are but trees growing from the earth, and are carved out by the slave of Banu so-and –so?

He said, ‘Indeed.

She said, ‘Are you not ashamed to bow down before a piece of a tree grown from the earth and carved by the slave of Banu so-and-so?

She said to her, ‘Leave me until I can see.’

She said, ‘And so he went, and then returned and said, “I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”[4]

In a narration from Nasai, she said, ‘BY Allah, a person such as you is not turned down, but you are a disbelieving man and I am a believing woman, and it is not permissible for me to marry you. So If you were to accept Islam, that would be my dowry and I would not ask for any thing else.’

Thabit[5] said, ‘I never heard of any other woman whose dowry was more noble than Umm Salim: Islam, and thus the marriage was consummated and she bore children for him.’[6]

In what has been mentioned about Umm Salim there many lessons including:

1. That she took strength in her religion, Islam. This is clear in her first statement to her husband, ‘I have not become a heretic, and instead I believe in him.’ And also in her statement to Abu Talha, ‘but you are a disbelieving man, and I am a believing woman, and it is not permissible for me to marry you.’

2. The fact that she continued to invite her son to pronounce the declaration of faith despite the opposition of her husband. In this there is a warning to those women who neglect to teach their children the Quran, and the Sunnah and give their children pure Islamic upbringing, by saying that their husbands do not want them to.

3. Her hastening to present Islam to her husband despite his lack of pleasure at her acceptance of Islam. This is how someone who wishes to be steadfast on the truth should be, and wishes to continue to do good and leave evil-they should go to the one who is not doing good, and the one doing evil and order them to do good and leave evil. If they do that, then it is hoped that they will receive the help of Allah, His victory, success and reward. If not, then it is feared that they will go astray, and be deviated.

4. The fact that she made clear the belief of unity with believers and separation from disbelievers, in that she made it clear that there could be no relationship between a Muslim individual and a polytheist whatever their position or status.

5. Her concern about the acceptance of Islam of Abu Talha and the value she gave to it, as she made clear her readiness to fore go her dowry if he accepted Islam, May Allah be pleased with her.

Source: The Responsibility of Muslim women to Order Good & Forbid Evil. In the light of the Quran & Sunnah, & histories of pious women.

Edited by Dr. V. Abdur-Raheem

Shaikh Fadl Elahi

[1] At –Tabaqat al-Kubra 8/425, and see also siyar A’lam an- Nubala’ 2/305.

[2] Al-Istiab fi ma’rifat al-Ashab 4/1940. See also Tazhib at Tazhib, where al-Hafiz ibn Hajar mentioned this story taken from al-Hafiz ibn abd al-Barr (12/471).

[3] At- Tabaqat al-Kubra 8/427.

[4] Previous source 8/427.

[5] The student of Anas.

[6] Sunan an-Nasai (the printed version with the Sharh and Hasiyat as-sindi), the Book of Marriage, marriage for Islam, No. 5504/2, 3/313. Shaykh al-Albani authenticated it. See sahih sunan an Nasai 2/703.

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