By Hafsa Ahsan
Did you know that apart from the ten blessed Companions of the Prophet (sa), who were given the glad tidings of Jannah, there are other extraordinary individuals, whom the Prophet (sa) foretold also to be among the dwellers of Jannah? Here is a brief look at some of these individuals.
Haritha Ibn Suraqa (ratm)
Haritha (rta) was very attached to his mother. When he became a young man, she expressed her desire to get him married. But Haritha (rta) pleaded with her to let him participate in the Battle of Badr first. It was only after his repeated insistence that she relented, vowing that she would not rest till he returned.
However, before the battle had begun, Haritha (rta) was killed mistakenly by a fellow Muslim. Upon the return of the victorious Muslim army, Umm Haritha was informed that her son was not considered a martyr, because he was mistakenly killed by another Muslim. A shell-shocked Umm Haritha went to the Prophet (sa) to clarify the matter.
The Prophet (sa) told her: “Woe to you! Have you taken leave of your senses? Is there only one Garden? There are many gardens within the Garden, and your son has obtained the Highest Paradise.” (Bukhari)
Umm Sulaym (rta)
Anas (rta) reported that Allah’s Apostle (sa) said: “I entered Paradise and heard footsteps. I said: ‘Who is it?’ They said: ‘She is Rumaisa, daughter of Milhan, the mother of Anas Ibn Malik.’” (Muslim)
The life of Umm Sulaym (rta) or Rumaisa (rta), mother of Anas Ibn Malik (rta), is filled with inspiring incidents, which bear testimony to the fact that she indeed deserved Jannah. For starters, when Abu Talha (rta) sent her a marriage proposal, she declared that she would only marry him, if he would become a Muslim, and that would be her Mahr (dowry). Abu Talha (rta) accepted Islam and the marriage took place accordingly.
Umm Sulaym (rta) presented Anas Ibn Malik (rta) to the Prophet (sa) as his servant. She also expressed a commendable fortitude after one of her sons expired. She was at the forefront in the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of Hunain – in the latter war, she was pregnant.
Anas (rta) reported that Allah’s Apostle (sa) did not enter the house of any woman, except that of his wives and that of Umm Sulaym (rta). When asked why, he (sa) said: “I feel great compassion for her. Her brother was killed, while he was with me.” (Muslim)
The Lady of Jannah
Ata Ibn Abi Rabah (rta) narrated that Ibn Abbas (rta) said to him: “Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?” I said: “Yes.” He said: “This black lady came to the Prophet (sa) and said: ‘I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please, invoke Allah for me.’ The Prophet (sa) said (to her): ‘If you wish, be patient and you will have Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah (swt) to cure you.’ She said: ‘I will remain patient,’ and added, ‘but I become uncovered, so, please, invoke Allah (swt) for me that I may not become uncovered.’ So he invoked Allah (swt) for her.” (Bukhari)
It is notable that the name of this woman is not mentioned in the pages of history. But what is known is that she became a dweller of Jannah on account of her commendable fortitude in the face of illness.
Sad Ibn Muadh (rta)
Al-Bara reported that a garment of silk was presented to Allah’s Messenger (sa). His companions touched it and admired its softness; thereupon, he (sa) said: “Do you admire the softness of this (cloth)? The handkerchiefs of Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) in Paradise are better than this.” (Muslim)
Who is Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) and why was he worthy of such honour? After Muslims emerged victorious in the Battle of Trench, the Jewish tribe Banu Quraiza declared that they would accept any punishment given by Sad Ibn Muadh (rta). Banu Quraiza had been a constant source of worry for Muslims during that battle. Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) declared that all the men of the treacherous tribe were to be executed, and all the women and children taken captive. And so it was done.
A look at the lives of these individuals, albeit briefly, indicates that each of them had a distinct quality, despite their different natures – their preference for Akhirah was apparent through their actions. The lady of Jannah decided to endure epilepsy attacks in this world – patience in the face of illness. Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) displayed an exemplary sense of justice on his deathbed. Haritha (rta) expressed his profound love for Jihad, even as his mother was talking about his marriage and her future grandchildren. These men and women did not just desire or fantasize about Jannah – they truly strived for it, embracing all the worldly difficulties which such a struggle requires. It is then no wonder that the Prophet (sa) foretold their destination in this world only.