Her name was Fakhitah, daughter of the Prophet’s uncle, Abu Talib. She was the older sister of the two great men in Islam, Ali and Jaafar, sons of Abu Talib, and she was the eldest daughter of Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib.
Umm Haani' was married by her father to Hubayrah ibn ‘Amr, who was from the Banu Makhzum clan.
She embraced Islaam, believed in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and followed the guidance. Sadly, her husband remained a polytheist and so she stayed with her husband 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’.”
Her Status In Islam
Umm Hani is such an important figure in the history of Islam. It was from her home, under her roof, that one of the most wondrous miracles took place; her home must have been a blessed place. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been visiting at Umm Hani’s home, he prayed the night prayer and slept. That night, in her home, Angel Jibreel came to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and took him on the miraculous journey to Jerusalem and the ascension to the Heavens (Israa and Miraj). By the crack of dawn, he was returned again to her house.
In the morning he told Umm Hani what happened. She believed him but she begged him not to tell the people of Quraish because she feared that they would not believe him, ridicule, and harm him. However as a Prophet, he had the obligation to deliver the message of Allah, to inform the people, and conceal nothing. The people of Makkah did not believe him, and they tried to test the validity of his story. They asked him questions of what the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem looked like, since Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon) had never traveled there before but they had on business. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) described the mosque to them in such intricate detail which matched exactly with what they knew of the Aqsa mosque. They were dumbfounded and although they tried to refute his claim, they did not harm him.
Her last days in Madina
After the conquest of Makkah, Umm Hani’s husband refused to convert to Islam, he fled Makkah, and he left her and their children. Umm Hani, with her sons, migrated to Madinah to live the rest of her life in the capital of the new Islamic state. She raised her children well, single-handedly.
In Madinah, Umm Hani became a staunch supporter for the cause of Islam; she was a source of strength and knowledge. She became a scholar and a transmitter of the sayings and the way of life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). That is why the name Umm Hani will live on forever in the books of Islamic literature.