All praise is due and belongs to Allah alone. May His peace and blessings be upon the noble prophet.
Ummu Hani was Fakhitah bint Abi Talib bin Abd al-Muttalib bin Hashim bin Abd Manaf bin Qusayy bin Kilab bin Murra . She was the eldest daughter of Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib. She was the sister of Alli, the daughter of Abu Talib and Fatimah Asad. She was the cousin of the Prophet. (peace be upon him).
Umm Haani' was married by her father to Hubayrah ibn ‘Amr, who was from the Banoo Makhzoom clan and she had from him seven children. Among them was Hani, whom she took her kunya, Ummu Hani.
Ummu Hani embraced Islam on the day of fathi Makkah, believed in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and followed his guidance. Sadly, her husband remained a polytheist and so she stayed with him and children in Makkah and did not migrate (this was before it was revealed that Muslim women are not allowed to be married to non-Muslim men).
On the day of the conquest of Makkah, one of the polytheists escaped to her house, seeking her protection and fearing for his life. ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him), who was her brother, followed this refugee to her home. But Umm Haani’ stood in front of him, preventing him from hurting the man. This caused an argument between Umm Haani’ and her brother ‘Alee and almost resulted in a fight. The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then arrived and when he heard of her protection, he honoured her right of giving protection and said, “We have given protection to those you have given protection to, Umm Haani’.” She then felt relieved by the comforting words of the Noble Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
She narrated many traditions (Ahadith) of the prophet (peace be upon him). Among them is the Hadith concerning the Prophet’s Night Journey (al-Israa’).
There are a number of narrations concerning al-Israa’, transmitted from a number of Companions. Among these Companions are: Anas ibn Maalik, Buraydah ibn al-Khaseeb al-Aslami, Jaabir ibn ‘Abdillah, Hudayfah ibn al-Yamaan, Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, Shaddad ibn Aws, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, Abu Hurairah and 'Aa’ishah, Mother of the Faithful.
However, it is her narration, which comes with numerous chains, each of which only have slight differences in their wording. Also, Muhammad ibn Ishaaq al-Muttalib - the leading scholar of the Seerah of the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) - used the hadeeth narrated by Umm Haani’ in his Seerah and he is an authority in this field. Even other great scholars like Ibn Hishaam and Ibn Katheer chose the hadeeth narrated by her concerning the Night Journey. One of the reasons for this is because none of the contemporaries of Umm Haani’ from among the companions nor their followers disputed her narration.
Aboo Moosa mentioned the narration through al-Kalbi from Aboo Salih the freed slave of Umm Haan’i bint ‘Abdul Muttalib concerning the Prophet’s Israa’ that Umm Haani’ said,
"The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was taken for the night journey while he was sleeping in my house that night. He performed the Ishaa prayer then slept and we slept. When it was just before Fajr prayer, we awoke for Fajr and prayed behind him. He then said, “Umm Haani’! I prayed Ishaa with you, as you have witnessed, I then went to the Bayt al-Maqdis (in Jerusalem) and prayed there. I then returned so as to pray Fajr with you’.” When the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was about to leave her house, Umm Haani’ said, “O Prophet of Allah, do not tell people this, lest they disbelieve you and harm you.” But he said, “By Allah, I will tell them.” Umm Haani’ then told an Abyssinian maidservant, known as Nab’ah to follow him and listen to what he informs the people and how he responds to their queries.
When the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) informed the people regarding his miraculous night journey and ascension, they were surprised and said, “What is the evidence for that, O Muhammad?!” He (the narrator) then mentioned how the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) described Bayt al-Maqdis and how Abu Bakr attested to his description by saying, “You have said the truth.” This is when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon) said to Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), “O Abu Bakr! Allah has named you as-Siddeeq (the truthful).”
Ibn Hajr comments on this by saying: “This is more correct than al-Kalbi’s report. For there in Kalbi’s report (it mentions) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed ‘Ishaa and Fajr with them, while the prayers were only ordained during the ascension to the heaven (in the night of Israa’). Also the report that he slept at Umm Haani’s house is not correct. What is correct is that he slept in the masjid.”
May Allah be pleased with her.