While Allah (swt) honoured women, we seem to bring our ladies down by limiting their choices. While Allah (swt) instructs equal treatment, we differentiate between our sons and daughters. One such example is: aspiring for our sons to be scholars of Islam and memorisers of the Book of Allah (swt), but we do not choose the same for our daughters. They are to walk the same, regular, boring path that many women have followed for years.
Today, as many means of acquiring knowledge open up, it is delightful to see women setting up their bars high. Disregarding their age and time constraints, women are taking the initiative to learn the Book of Allah (swt). Taking a step further, some have even dared to undertake the intimidating journey of memorising the Qur’an. If for some reason they are unable to do it themselves, they are helping and encouraging their daughters to do so.
As per the custom of Arabia, the good friends and close relatives took care of their beloved’s family if he died. Umm Saad (ra), the child that never got to see her father was not abandoned. The daughter of the benevolent servant of Allah (swt) was looked after by another generous man – none other than Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (ra).
Many parents fear what will become of their children if they die. Stories of the Companions (ra) and the righteous, tell us that if you are a God-fearing person, Allah (swt) will not forsake your children. Entrust your children and your matters to Him while living a life of obedience and servitude.
Growing up under the care of Abu Bakr (ra), Umm Saad (ra) developed love for the Words of Allah (swt). If the Christians would cry hearing the recitation of Abu Bakr (ra), one can only imagine how heart-touching his recitation must be.
It is said that Jameelah, Umm Saad (ra), recited the Qur’an beautifully. Knowing how to recite the Qur’an, she was not content with mere recitation. She went a step further, and memorised it.
And do you know how Allah (swt) rewarded her?
He married her to Zayd ibn Thabit (ra), the Companion (ra) assigned the task to compile the Qur’an into a Mus-haf [written book]. Zayd (ra) started memorising the Qur’an when he was a young boy in Madinah who had not even met the Prophet (sa). When the Prophet (sa) arrived in Madinah, Zayd (ra) was introduced to him in these words, “O Prophet of Allah (sa)! This child of ours knows by heart seventeen chapters of the Book, and recites them as accurately as they were revealed to you. Besides, he is well-versed in the matters of reading and writing. He wishes to be close to you. Listen to him, if you will.”
The Prophet (sa) listened to the boy’s recitation and found him to be clear and accurate. Witnessing his linguistic talent, the Prophet (sa) instructed young Zayd (ra) to learn Hebrew, thus facilitating the communication with the Jews. Thereon, Zayd (ra) became the official interpreter for the Prophet (sa).
Later, the couple together helped one another and the Companions (ra) in compiling and proofreading the Qur’an. A service that they will be forever remembered for.
Lessons: We learn how important it is to trust in Allah (swt), conform to the teachings and hand over our matters to Him. Apprehensions do not provide solutions, but cause fatigue.
We also learn how important it is to surround ourselves and our children with the right company; people who inspire us. Growing up with the love of the Qur’an and Allah (swt), one’s faith strengthens and he gets a direction in a life. Not only that, but Allah (swt) becomes the Protector and Supporter of such a person. A widow, as Khalada (ra), worrying about her orphaned daughter’s marriage gets one of the best men in town as her son-in-law.
In the case of Zayd (ra), we see what wonders little encouragement from the adults can do. The elders acknowledged that Zayd (ra) was talented. He was their pride. They were, however, not complacent with his current achievements, they aspired him to go higher and higher. His special skills were not used in chasing the worldly charms only, but for the service of religion as well.
How do we limit our children? Do we acknowledge their special gifts? Do we help them in finding the right direction or do we choose the same, usual path for them? Do we encourage our daughters? Do we encourage them to read, write and teach? Are they confident in their love for Islam and Allah (swt)?
May Allah (swt) allow us to look at our skills, enable us to refine them and use them in His Cause. May He also put blessing in our time and enable us to not waste it, ameen.
(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)