Prevent Watch

Separating children from parents: A sordid modern practice

Separating families is the most terrifying form of state oppression to maintain dominance over populations

The story of hijrah – the migration of the first Muslim community – is known well throughout the Islamic world. The Muslim calendar even begins from this date. What may be less well-known is that some of the people who tried to make this momentous journey were forcibly separated from their children.

One notable story is that of Umm Salamah – a woman who would later become a wife of the Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him).

Like most of the the nascent Muslim community facing persecution in Makkah and hopes of a new beginning in Madinah, Umm Salamah and her husband made preparations and set off for the migration. However, they were stopped in their tracks and forced to separate. After tribal intervention, Umm Salamah’s husband left with their only child. She was forced to stay behind.

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