Aminah bint Mihsan: An Early Immigrant
Aminah bint Mihsan and her brother, Ukkashah, were among the early immigrants who left Makkah for Madinah when persecution of the Muslims in Makkah reached its peak. They left Makkah together with a large group of their own people, including whole families, abandoning their homes and property.
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) started advocating his message in Makkah, only people with vision and clear minds gave him a positive response. This is the case with all new ideas that seek to initiate a fundamental change in human life.
When the advocated change touches on the core of people’s way of life, as is the case with all religions and with Islam in particular, the new believers are bound to suffer persecution by those who want to maintain the status quo. This is what happened to the early Muslims in Makkah.
They suffered much persecution. Even those among them who belonged to noble families were put under much pressure, mental and often physical, by their own families. Some families felt it to be their duty to punish their own sons and daughters who became Muslims.
Despite all types of pressure, the message of Islam continued to gain ground, and there were many families in Makkah whose all members became Muslim.
When the situation in Makkah became intolerable for Muslims while Islam was able to make significant gains in Madinah, the Prophet advised his companions in Makkah to immigrate to Madinah. Aminah bint Mihsan and her brother, Ukkashah, were among the early immigrants. They left Makkah together with a large group of their own people, including whole families, abandoning their homes and property.
Aminah was keen to have an insight into Islam, and she used to learn directly from the Prophet. Therefore, scholars of Hadith have related 24 hadiths which she reported directly from the Prophet. This is evidence of her achievement, as there are many of the Prophet’s companions, men and women, who did not report a single hadith.
The Prophet’s companions sought his guidance on all matters. He did not lose a moment in delivering his message and establishing it as a way of life; yet he had time to attend to people’s personal concerns. He was like a loving father to all people. He addressed their personal concerns and blessed their children.
One day Aminah brought her baby to the Prophet so that he would bless the child. The baby was still being breast-fed. The Prophet took the boy and began to bless him and talk to him, when the boy wet himself and the Prophet’s clothes were wet, he smiled, called for some water, and sprinkled some water over his clothes.
Aminah also reports another occasion when she took her son to the Prophet, as he was suffering from a throat infection that gave him tonsillitis. She apparently had tried to push the boy’s tonsils back physically, as people used to do at the time. The Prophet told her that that was useless and would give the child more pain. He told her what to do with the child.
Her brother, Ukkashah ibn Mihsan, was a dedicated servant of Islam. One day, the Prophet mentioned to his companions that seventy thousand of his followers will be admitted to heaven without having to face any reckoning of their deeds.
Ukkashah spontaneously said: “Messenger of God, pray to God to make me one of them.” The Prophet said: “You are one of them.” Another man made the same request, but the Prophet said: “Ukkashah has beaten you to it.”
Perhaps, we should add here that, in Arabic, the numbers seventy and their multiples do not signify actual numbers, but indicate plenty. So the number seventy thousand in the hadith could be taken to mean a huge crowd that may be much more than seventy thousand.
Ukkashah reported something to the Prophet about his sister, who had lost her son. She said to the man who was preparing the child’s body for burial: “Do not wash my son with cold water; you will kill him if you do.”
The Prophet smiled and said: “What is the matter with her? May God give her a long life.” This was a prayer by the Prophet. Like all his prayers, it was answered in the best form. She lived to very old age.
Al-Nasa’i, who reported this hadith adds: “We do not know of any woman who lived as long as she did.”
(Courtesy: Arab News)