When Abu Salamah (may Allah be pleased with him) died in the third year of Hijrah as a result of a wound he received at Uhud, which he suffered from for a long time and eventually died from [see: The Lions of the Forest], Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) became very upset over her loss.
She had heard a hadith from Abu Salamah after he had visited the Messenger (peace be upon him) one day which relieved her sadness to some extent. In this hadith which Abu Salamah heard from the Messenger, the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, [related by Ahmed]. Therefore, when Abu Salamah died, she said, “Truly, to Allah we belong and to Him we will return. Oh Allah, give me a reward for my calamity and grant me better than it.”
Um Salamah said, “Then I thought about the matter and asked myself, “Where will I find one who is better than Abu Salamah?!” [related by Ahmed]. Um Salamah did not know what Allah had predestined for her. She did not know the reward she would receive for her patience, her expecting good from Allah, and her compliance with Allah’s orders and the orders of the Messenger (peace be upon him). When she had finished her waiting period, Abu Bakr proposed to her, but she refused his proposal. Then Omar proposed to her, but she refused his proposal as well. Eventually, the day of happiness and the reward for her patience and waiting for good from Allah arrived. The Messenger (peace be upon him) wanted to honour her by supporting her and her children after the death of her husband Abu Salamah, a fighter in Allah’s cause. Therefore, the Messenger (peace be upon him) became engaged to her.
Um Salamah said, <‘Oh Messenger, I would not wish anything but for you to want to marry me, but I am a woman who is very jealous and I am afraid you will see in me something that will anger you and cause Allah to punish me. Moreover, I am a woman who is advanced in age, and I also have a young family.’ The Messenger (peace be upon him) replied, ‘Regarding the jealousy you mentioned, I will pray to Allah to make it leave you. As for the question of age which you mentioned, I have the same problem as you. And regarding the young family you mentioned, your children are my children.’ She said, ‘I accepted what the Messenger (peace be upon him) said .’ Consequently, the Messenger married her. Um Salamah then said, ‘Truly, Allah replaced Abu Salamah for me with one who is better than him, the Messenger of Allah’> [related by Ahmed].
The Messenger (peace be upon him) married Um Salamah in the month of Shawwal, after her waiting period had finished. Omar ibn Abu Salamah said, “My mother waited until four months and ten days had passed after the death of my father, and then the Messenger married her and she went to live with him two nights before the end of Shawwal. My mother used to say, ‘What problem is there with marrying and consummating the marriage in the month of Shawwal?! The Messenger married me in Shawwal, and I was presented to [live with] him in Shawwal’” [Al-Mughazi by Al-Waqidy].