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)

Lessons of Courage from Umm Ummarah (ra)

rockshoreWe are told the women’s participation in the battles was limited to nursing the wounded and bringing water to the soldiers. Here is a woman who participated in the Battles of Uhud, Khyber, Hunayn, Yamamah and others. She entered the battlefield with no other intention than defending the Prophet (sa).

About her the Prophet (sa) said: “From where can anyone get courage like you, O Umm Ammarah?”

The Battle of Uhud

Umm Ammarah (ra) had entered the Battle of Uhud with her water-skin, undertaking the official duty of serving water to the soldiers. When she saw chaos and Muslims leaving the battlefield, she dropped the water-skin and picked up a sword and shield. She surrounded the Prophet (sa) with her husband and sons ensuring no harm reached him. Had the enemy soldiers not been on horsebacks, Umm Ammarah (ra) would have slain all of them. Their might, however, did not daunt her a bit. When an enemy came closer, she attacked the horse and made the rider fall. She then killed him.

Fighting along with their parents, Abdullah Ibn Zayd (ra) got injured. Umm Ammarah (ra) attended to the wounds of her son without panicking at all. The Prophet (sa) complimented: “From where can anyone get courage like you, O Umm Ammarah?”

The Prophet (sa) complimented: “From where can anyone get courage like you, O Umm Ammarah?”

Umm Ammarah (ra) smiled and turned her attention to the man who had attacked her son. Like a lioness, she assaulted the man and killed him. The Prophet (sa) commented that she was fortunate to have seen her enemy’s downfall right before her eyes. Seizing the moment, she requested him to supplicate for her family. The Prophet (sa) invoked Allah (swt) to make the Zayd (ra) family his companions in the hereafter.

Only a day had passed since the Battle of Uhud and the Prophet (sa) instructed the army to march toward Hamra Al-Asad. Umm Ammarah (ra) readied herself for the fight, but the wounds that she had suffered were deep. She had received thirteen wounds, one of which took a year to heal.

Lessons: The Sahabiyat (ra) inspire us to be courageous. We might not be required to participate in the battlefield, but we are tested every day by life’s challenges and global affairs. What is our reaction? Are we as composed in the midst of a trial as Umm Ammarah (ra) was in the battlefield?

The entire family’s encircling the Prophet (sa) at the same time did not happen by chance. This was the talk that they regularly held at their home. They knew that no matter what happens they had to defend the Prophet (sa), for they had given him their pledge of allegiance.

We are his nation. By being Muslims, we have pledged we will love the Prophet (sa) more than we love our parents. Do our lives reflect our promise? Are we as committed to his Sunnah as we should be? His Sunnah was not limited to a particular dress code. It was his character that touched the hearts.  It was his principles that made him the most dignified. What does our character say about us? What are our principles?

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) story teaches women to learn self-defence skills. This is more important today than it has been ever before. Are we trained to defend ourselves? Or are we the people who get scared of lizards and cockroaches, and feel it is the man’s job to protect us?

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) story teaches women to learn self-defence skills. This is more important today than it has been ever before. Are we trained to defend ourselves?

Umm Ammarah (ra) entered the arena to serve water; but as soon as she recognised that the Muslim army needed more soldiers, she left her water-skin and picked up her sword.

Here is a woman who was present in her mind. Swords were being waged to her left and right, but when the Prophet (sa) complimented her valour, she did not let the moment go by and requested him to supplicate for her family. How attentive are we to our situations?

When we are at work, we are thinking about family problems. When we are at home, we are thinking about office work. Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, said: “Wherever you are, be there!” He says, “We are so involved in yesterday and tomorrow that we never even notice that today is slipping by.” By not being ‘present’ we make wrong decisions. Let us free our minds from the sorrows of yesterday, and apprehensions of tomorrow. Let us live in our today, and make the right choices right now.

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