Lessons on Parenting from Umm Ammarah (ra)

flower-blooming-drawing-picture-VFqaA Strong Mother

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) defence of Islam did not end with the Prophet’s (sa) passing away; when the Fitnah (trial) of apostasy emerged, she pledged her support to Abu Bakr (ra). He acknowledged that she was indeed a strong and daring woman; hence, allowed her to join the Muslim forces fighting the apostate Musalymah Kathab.

The Battle of Yamamah was the toughest battle that the Muslims faced. Musalymah had gathered a large army and was confident that he will wipe off Islam. They plan and Allah (swt) plans too, and Allah (swt) is the Best of the planners.

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son, Habeeb (ra) was captured by Musalymah’s forces. Musalymah asked him if he testified Muhammad (sa) to be the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied in affirmation. Musalymah then asked if he testified that he (Musalymah) was the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied that he could not hear. Again Musalymah asked if he believed Muhammad (sa) was the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) again replied in affirmation. Musalymah then repeated his question about his being a Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied that he could not hear. The show went on for some time and Habeeb (ra) remained firm in his replies.

The Zayd family was not only skilful in the battlefield, but Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son Abdullah (ra), and many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren became the narrators of the Prophetic traditions.

Furious, Musalymah ordered body mutilation. With each limb being cut, Habeeb (ra) was asked the same questions and the heroic boy repeated the same answers until he died.

Musalymah was later assassinated by none other than Habeeb’s (ra) brother Abdullah Ibn Zayd (ra).

The Zayd family was not only skilful in the battlefield, but Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son Abdullah (ra), and many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren became the narrators of the Prophetic traditions. They were equally passionate about acquiring and transferring knowledge, as they were about defending the Prophet (sa) in the field.

Lessons: Abu Bakr (ra) did not oppose Umm Ammarah’s (ra) request to join the army because he had witnessed how skilful she was. When someone does not assign us a role, we blame the person and call him biased. But have we ever assessed our skills? Have we focused on developing ourselves and complaining less about people or our circumstances? A person who is able does not have to beg for attention, his work speaks for him.

Her tranquillity was displayed in her words when the news of Habeeb’s (ra) mutilation reached her, and she said for this day she had raised her sons.

Umm Ammarah (ra) was sixty years old, but not even for a moment did she think of what use she could be. How many times have we limited ourselves or allowed others to restrict our potential? How many excuses do we have for staying behind in the service of Islam? What is our life’s mission?

Umm Ammarah (ra) did not raise her children in comfort and luxuries. She did not reserve the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) for herself alone. Rather, she transferred it to her children. It was this upbringing that made her children fearless. The entire family had one common goal: striving in the cause of Allah (swt), no matter what sacrifice it demanded. This was the family that truly lived by the verse: “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists)” (Al-Anam 6:162)

She did not reserve the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) for herself alone. Rather, she transferred it to her children.

When her son got injured in the field, she attended to his wounds, and told him to get up and fight the enemy. When she was attacked, her sons defended her and dressed her wounds. When the news of her son’s disfigurement reached her, she was calm because she knew Allah (swt) had purchased the lives of the believers in exchange for Paradise. She was not attached to the world. She knew their real home was in the hereafter.

Her tranquillity was displayed in her words when the news of Habeeb’s (ra) mutilation reached her, and she said for this day she had raised her sons. How would have we reacted? How do we react to daily news of violence? How are we raising our children?

Umm Ammarah (ra) loved studying the Quran and Ahadeeth, and taught her children the same. Their love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) was so pure that Allah (swt) chose from them Hadeeth narrators. Do our children know who Allah (swt) is, who the Prophet (sa) was, what his Sunnah is, and how much he cried for us? Is their love for Allah (swt) and His Beloved (sa) apparent in their conduct? Is our Dawah limited to the people ‘outside’ our homes?

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Cherish before you Lose: Health and Free Time

On_TimeHealth is wealth

Today, we would like to talk about something very important- something we take for granted; and this is why RasulAllah (sa) has warned about it as well. Many of us have good health, thank Allah (swt) for it. We should use it to achieve the pleasure of the Almighty.

  • Your eyes, you can see with. There might come a day when you cannot see. Read the proper books; read that which will be beneficial. Look at that which will help you. Don’t look at that which will make you earn the wrath of Almighty.
  • The same applies to your hands- today you can move them, so move them to achieve the pleasure of the Almighty. Tomorrow, you may not have that mobility. Today, Masha’Allah we can walk, we can read Salah; people are crying because they cannot read Salah as they reach to an age when they cannot bend their backs anymore, or they cannot do Rukuh, or they cannot do Sujud.

Why is it that we sometimes become oblivious of the gift of health? Really, the gift of health is a gift that many of us take for granted. Some people cannot eat a lot of the food stuff, so when we can eat, let’s eat in moderation. Thank Allah (swt). Say the prayer before eating and after eating as well. Let’s make sure we eat from that which is permissible and Allah (swt) will not be upset by it.

What is important that we realize that our organs inside operate automatically. They have no batteries; no human being has a remote control in his hand. It’s the control of Allah (swt). The heart pumps in a magical way. More than a hundred thousand heartbeats in no time Subhan’Allah! It is just that control of Allah (swt).

Then, look at the brain. How sophisticated it is. Look at the ears, the mouth, the lips and the tongue and its taste buds. How medicine and science is discovering new things every single day. This is all the gift of Allah (swt). We have it, but still we don’t thank Allah (swt) for it. We don’t use it in the right direction. We, as believers, know that it will come to an end. I might not be able to see with my eyes one certain day as we all have to die. I have to return to Allah (swt), Alhumdulillah. I have to return back to my Creator, Maker. So let’s use his gifts in order to please him not to displease him.

Many people are becoming conscious of it. We have the voice, let’s try and recite the Quran. Whilst we can, let us try Insha’Allah, to do the best of things.

Time is precious

Another thing we take for granted is time. We have free time. People use it to watch television and see the soaps. And, you know the soaps wash. What do they wash? Your brain! May be we can spend our time to watch beneficial programs. Or spend time at the Masjid and listen to the Duroos that the Ulema, scholars or Mashaykh give. May be we can spend time and sit in Halaqa. We can spend time rectifying and learn something from the Quran. It might not be directly related to religion. If a person has free time, and he can opt to improve his hand writing and do a course in calligraphy; do something that will benefit you somehow. You can use that talent not just to earn little bit of money, but even by the will of Allah (swt), to build your Akhirah, to build your paradise. May Allah (swt) grant that to us.

It is important for us not to waste our time because as the Prophet (sa) has said, the two gifts that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us, many people take for granted. First one is health and second one is free time.

When there is free time, use it. Do not abuse it. Subhan’Allah! People sometimes say, “Oh I have got some free time, let me go to bed. I can go and sleep.” Are you depressed? If you are may be, you might think sleeping will help you. But it won’t. To be honest with you, we all need sleep. We all need a certain amount of it. Sometimes, we need to correct ourselves. We need to develop a link with our Maker. In order to understand that we have a short space of time, to pack in it as much goodness as we can before time and our health expires.

These two things are definitely going to go because even if I die as a healthy person, I am dead. When I die, what happens? My health is irrelevant, completely irrelevant.

Even time will definitely come to an end.

May the Almighty bless us all, and may He make us use our time whilst we have it in the best possible way. Ameen.

A transcription of a talk by Mufti Ismail Menk by Mariam Saeed.

[Hadeeth Commentary] Prescription of Ihsan (Excellence)

Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Tasneem Vali


On the authority of Abu Yala Shaddad bin Aws (ra), the Messenger of Allah (sa) said:

“Verily Allah (swt) has prescribed Ihsan (proficiency and perfection) in all things. So, if you kill, then kill well; if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” (Muslim)

Ihsan is an Arabic word and is a derivative of Ahsana, which means, ‘doing things better’. The literal meaning of Ihsan is achieving the best. Ihsan is normally translated as excellence but because it has a broader concept, it cannot be translated into English accurately. There is no word in the English language that portrays its meaning fully. Ihsan has four aspects.

As with any Islamic injunction, this Hadeeth contains a principle and provides an example in compliance with that principle. The Prophet (sa) used this method extensively to train Muslims to use logic and apply one principle to other similar situations. Due to our commitments, we understand the example, but fail to implement the principle. Sometimes, we do not give a 100% to the tasks we perform for Allah (swt). Ihsan means that we must not be satisfied unless we do something to the best of our ability. We should be motivated by the sole reason that Allah (swt) has prescribed this for us. The Hadeeth mentioned above can be applied in any situation. It may help reform the society if practiced correctly. Whoever tries to be proficient (practice Ihsan), can do so in two situations:

  • To benefit others.
  • To complete and refine worship.

Ibadah or worship includes the prescribed acts of worship, as well as the routine habits. Everyday actions and mundane chores can become worship if performed with the correct intention. Hence, they must be completed to perfection. A believer must practice Ihsan in everything. The best people are those whose actions and dealings are the best. For example the companions of the Prophet (sa).

“If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves.” (Al-Isra 17:7)

The golden rule of behaviour as told by the Messenger of Allah (sa) is: “Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and enter the garden should die with faith in Allah (swt) and the Last Day. And should treat the people as he wishes to be treated by them.” (Bukhari)

What are some of the things we should aim for perfection in?


The principles of Ihsan should be our lodestone, the test we do to determine the amount of effort we exert to live up according to its suggestions. Our appearance, the way we eat or sleep, the way we conduct our professional lives, our Dawah – Ihsan should be observed in all these actions, which are Ibadah. Some other principles to implement in life are:

  • To respect the scholars and not to compare them with each other;
  • To obey your rulers. Follow the rules that they have set as long as they do not contradict the rules of Allah (swt);
  • To be kind to animals, and not to torture them. Feed them regularly and not to abuse them by overloading them etc.

Even in killing, Muslims must apply Ihsan. Rules of combat/war are:

  • Not to kill old people, children, women, and those who are not fighting.
  • When killing the aggressive enemy/criminal, Ihsan must be applied and observed. They must be killed without torture. We should not cause any harm or suffering to anyone we kill.
  • Captives should be treated with Ihsan as well.
  • Harmful animals such as snakes, scorpions etc. must be killed quickly, no torture is permitted. Animals must be slaughtered with a sharp knife, causing minimum pain. Their necks must be cut with a single, clean stroke and must not be slaughtered in view of other animals.

Thus, if you think logically, using weapons of mass destruction contradicts the concept of Ihsan.

Living in accordance with the concept of Ihsan and applying it to all that you do, entitles you to acquire Allah’s (swt) Mercy and Forgiveness. Insha’Allah you will be amongst the Muhsineen.

Reward for the Muhsineen- in the light of Quran

“Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).” (Al-Baqarah 2:195)

“And verily Allah is with the good doers.” (Al- Ankabut 29:69)

“For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise) and even more (i.e. having the honour of glancing at the Countenance of Allah (swt).” ( Yunus 10:26)

“Is there any reward for good other than good?” (Ar-Rahman 55:60)