Hazrat Haleema Sadia
Blessed foster-mother of the Holy Prophet (
It was the general custom of the Arabs that their children were sent to be raised by Bedouins in the desert. The tough desert atmosphere gave the child a good start in life, and the language of the Bedouins was a much purer form of Arabic. For a few years, they would grww up in this harsh but healthy environment before returning to their parents.
The time had eventually come from Hazrat Aminah to send her child, Rasulallah (
), to stay with the Bedouins. At that time, Bedouin nurses had arrived in Makkah. They visited each household to find a child to take care of, and would be paid in return for the childcare they would provide.
Many Bedouin wet nurses visited the house of Hazrat Aminah, but were reluctant to take her blessed child into their care. This was because he was an orphan child, with no father. In Arab custom, when a child was returned to his or her home after spending years in the desert environment, the family would reward the wet nurse generously. As Rasulallah (
) was an orphan child, they couldn’t expect to gain many riches from taking care of him.
Towards the end, every Bedouin lady had a child to bring up except Hazrat Haleema, who had arrived last and did not find a child to foster. She was ready to return home empty-handed, when she decided to turn back and collect Hazrat Aminah's child, even though he was an orphan.
Thus, Rasulallah (
) was entrusted to Hazrat Haleema. She was a poor lady, and she and her husband, Harith, had only a donkey and an old she-camel. She did not have enough milk to feed the other child in her care, who became Rasulallah (
)'s foster brother. At this time, it was also the year of famine and drought so they would constantly pray for rain.
However, as soon as she lifted the blessed child, Rasulallah (
), her luck improved greatly and her life was filled with immense good fortune. Both Rasulallah (
) and the other foster child were fully fed, even though the previous night there was not enough milk for both children. The old she-camel, which had not given any milk for sometime, was soon producing milk in abundance. This was indeed a great blessing for this poor Bedouin family. Hazrat Haleema’s herd of goats started to return home full of milk, while the rest of the Bedouins' goats used to return to them empty. They would complain to the shepherd and plead him to take the sheep and goats to the same place that Hazrat Halima took her flock. Such were the blessings for this kind-hearted Bedouin family!
Many miracles occurred on a daily basis, and the household which had once been poor & misfortunate was blessed with great fortune. Before long, Hazrat Haleema knew that she had a blessed child in her care, having witnessed all the miracles & blessings which had occurred in his presence.
After two years, Rasulallah (
) was returned to his mother Hazrat Aminah, but Hazrat Haleema persuaded Hazrat Aminah to return the blessed baby to them for another two years. At that time, Hazrat Haleema told Hazrat Aminah about the great blessings that she had received when Rasulallah (
) was in her care. She also mentioned that if she could take the child back with her, he would be protected from an illness which had been circulating in Makkah. Hazrat Aminah agreed and Rasulallah (
) spent another two years in the household of Hazrat Haleema Sadia.
A miraculous incident took place in Rasulallah (
)’s childhood. Rasulallah (
), his foster brother and some other children were playing in the yard with the goats, when the angel, Hazrat Jibrail, appeared in front them. He then split open Rasulallah (
)’s chest, took out his blessed heart, removed a blood clot and washed the heart in Zamzam. The angel then returned the heart to Rasulallah (
)'s body and then left.
His foster brother ran to Hazrat Haleema in shock, and said that Rasulallah (
) had been murdered. She rushed out and found Rasulallah (
) unharmed, but he was standing with a pale white face. She checked over his body and found that he was fine, and there was a small mark on his chest from the incident.
A Hadith Sharif from Sahih Muslim (Book 001, Number 0311) explains this incident further:
"Hazrat Anas bin Malik reported that, Hazrat Jibrail came to the Messenger of Allah (
) while he was playing with his playmates. He took hold of him and lay him prostrate on the ground and tore open his breast and took out the heart from it and then extracted a blood-clot out of it and said: 'That was the part of Satan in thee.' And then he washed it with the water of Zamzam in a golden basin and then it was joined together and restored to its place. The boys came running to his mother, i.e. his nurse, and said: Verily Muhammad has been murdered. They all rushed towards him (and found him all right). His color was changed. Anas said, 'I myself saw the marks of needle on his breast.'"
Very shortly she returned him to his mother, Hazrat Aminah. Hazrat Aminah found out from Hazrat Haleema about the events that had taken place. Then, Hazrat Aminah assured her that her child was not under the influence of any jinn or evil, but that even when she was expecting him she had seen & experienced great miracles. Rasulallah (
) was then returned to the care of his mother Hazrat Aminah and continued to live with her.