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Prophet Muhammad living with the tribe of Bani Said, where he had a wet-nurse

The breastfeeding years among Bani Saad tribe

All the wet-nurses went to Mecca to seek babies to breastfeed. Muhammed ibn Abdullah was allocated to Helima bint Abu Duayb As-Saadiya. Her husband was called Abu Kabshah. Breastfeeding baby Muhammed had beneficial consequences to their lives, and his presence with them was good for them and brought them many blessings.

Helima As-Saadiya related this fact herself to us, saying, “I left with the other women of Bani Saad ibn Bakr looking for babies in Mecca to breastfeed. There was little food that year as there were no crops. My husband was with me and our old camel. By Allah, we could not get one drop of milk from it. We had our young baby boy with us who kept us awake with his crying as I did not have enough milk to satisfy him.

When we reached Mecca, every woman who had been offered to breastfeed Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) refused to take him. They wanted extra benefits from the baby’s father, but Prophet Muhammed was an orphan so they used to say, ‘An orphan! What will his mother do with him?!’ This continued until all the women had taken their babies to breastfeed.

I disliked to return without any baby, especially since all the other women had taken their babies to breastfeed.Therefore, I said to my husband, ‘By Allah, we shall return to that orphan to take him.’ So I took him and returned to our camel. By Allah, as soon as I took him in my lap my breast started to fill with milk so he (peace be upon him) drank until he was full, and his brother (i.e. her son) drank until he was full. My husband then went to our camel at night-time and found its udder full of milk, so he milked it. He drank until he was satisfied, and he gave me milk to drink and I drank until I was satisfied. Consequently, we slept that night with our stomachs full and our two boys also slept. Therefore my husband said to me, ‘By Allah, Oh Helima, you have truly been blessed [with this child].’

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) used to grow in one day what a boy normally grows in one month, and grow in one month what a boy normally grows in one year. Therefore, when he was one year old he was a strong, young boy. At that time, we went to his mother, and I and his father said to her, ‘Let us keep the boy and return with him to the countryside. We fear the pollution of Mecca may harm him. And we do not want to lose the many blessings he brings.’” Helima continued, “We did not leave her until she said, ‘Return with him.’ So we returned with him to our home.

Prophet Muhammed’s father due to breastfeeding, i.e. Helima’s husband, was Al-Harith ibn Abdul-Uza ibn Rafaah ibn Malan ibn Saad ibn Bakr ibn Howazin.

His brother and sisters from breastfeeding were Abdullah ibn Al-Harith, Aneesah bint Al-Harith and Hathaafah bint Al-Harith, who was known as Ash-Shayma. They mentioned that she and his mother through breastfeeding used to look after Prophet Muhammed when he lived with them.