Life Lessons from Asma Bint Abu Bakr (ra) – 1

beach-and-yellow-flower-wallpaper1Asma bint Abu Bakr (ra) – the daughter of the Prophet’s (sa) closest companion Abu Bakr Siddique (ra), the sister of the Prophet’s beloved wife Aishah (ra), the wife of another companion of Rasulullah (sa) Zubair ibn Al-Awwam (ra), and the mother of another eminent companion Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair – has a lot to her credit.

When Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) accepted Islam, he rushed to spread the message in his family. While his wife Qutaylah bint Abdul Uzza refused, his two children including Asma (ra) readily embraced it. She is a woman known for her piety, farsightedness, courage, and generosity. Let’s look at her characteristics individually.

Problem Solving

When the Prophet (sa) and Abu Bakr (ra) were seeking refuge in the cave of Thawr, Asma (ra) came to deliver them food and water. But, she did not have a piece of rope or string to tie the food with. Acting on instinct, she tore her girdle (or waist-wrapper) into two and tied the items to the camels. This act got her the title of Dhat Al-Nitaqayn (she of the two girdles).

She grew up seeing her father looking for solutions and helping others, rather than creating hurdles or panicking. 

She was the daughter of the man, who rushed to serve Allah (swt) and the Prophet of Allah (sa). She grew up seeing her father looking for solutions and helping others, rather than creating hurdles or panicking. When she was in a tough situation herself, she did not refrain from looking for solutions.

Lessons to draw

Become a problem solver. Look for opportunities. If Allah (swt) has put you in this, He will definitely bring you out. Have you considered all the options?

Courage

When the Prophet (sa) and Abu Bakr (ra) left for Madinah, their greatest enemy Abu Jahl began searching for them frantically. Not finding them anywhere, he came to Abu Bakr’s house enraged and asked for him. Asma (ra) replied that she did not know where her father was. Abu Jahl, drowned in insolence, slapped Asma (ra) hard. But this courageous woman did not falter or betray her father’s secret.

Lessons to draw

Be strong. Life will throw you challenges that you need to stand up to. Fear none because our belief is:

“Nothing shall ever happen to us, except what Allah has ordained for us.” (At-Taubah 9:51)

Intelligence and Wisdom

Each time the Prophet (sa) called out to people to spend in the way of Allah (swt), we read that Abu Bakr (ra) was the foremost and the most generous. Upon seeing all that he brought, he would be asked, if he left anything for his dependents. He would reply that he left Allah (swt) and His Prophet (sa) for them. When the command to migrate came, Abu Bakr (ra) gathered all his wealth and financed the journey.

Complain less and become a source of comfort, instead. Cover up for others and Allah (swt) will cover up for you, Insha’Allah.

His father, Abu Quhafa, was not unaware of his son’s benevolence. When he learnt of his son’s migration to Madinah, he said to his granddaughter that her father had put them in adversity and deprived them of himself and property. Asma (ra), the courageous daughter of a brave man, did not allow her grandfather’s comments to weaken her resilience. Instead of complaining of her father’s attitude, she replied: “No, he left so much to us.” She covered some stones and brought them to her grandfather and said: “This is what he left.” Being blind, Abu Quhafa could not see what he was touching, so he said: “There is no blame, if he left that.” Asma (ra) not only covered up for her father, but she desired to comfort her grandfather as well.

Lessons to draw

Keep your private matters private. Complain less and become a source of comfort, instead. Cover up for others and Allah (swt) will cover up for you, Insha’Allah.

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

Unwavering Faith – An Empowering Asset!

arrow-target1As I reel back into time, I perceive I was not a very easy child. My mother brought me up and made me what I am today, with a mountain of patience and forbearance. I was a disgruntled girl, who would just need a small mishap to get piqued. I hated when things did not go my way. A tad bit of hiccup in my routine, arrival of unexpected guests, unsatisfactory grades at school or an unwanted meal could rotten my mood and spoil not only my day but also the day of those close to me. But my mother’s warm embrace and ceaseless prayers nurtured me. I learnt many lessons. Lessons that are eye openers and undoubtedly responsible for keeping me afloat.

I grew up watching my sweet mother. Her attitude towards troubles, her problem solving and her trust in the greatest treasure and faith in Allah (swt). All this taught me lessons and changed my perspective about life. When did it happen? I cannot specifically point it out, but the magic did happen.

Her solution for all calamities would always be to kneel before Allah (swt), offer Salat–ul-Hajat and leave everything in His hands.

I can very vividly recollect how my mother’s poise at times of distress stung me and made me erratic. But her voice – the echo of which I can still hear, as I write this out – slowly killed all doubt, all dissension and all anger that I had towards my fate and life. Her solution for all calamities would always be to kneel before Allah (swt), offer Salat–ul-Hajat and leave everything in His hands. After getting up from her prayer mat, she would set aside a sum of money as Sadaqah, as much as her purse allowed, and then seemed as calm as the early morning sky. All she would then say would be, “Allah (swt) is Great; He never leaves His servants in distress.”

Every time she performed this act, Allah (swt) proved her right, and this consolidated her faith and my family’s, too. Our ship never sank. Her faith in Allah (swt) and her tears on the prayer mat brought my family out of our worst times. There were times when we were so cramped emotionally and financially that I had to muster all my strength to keep myself from despising every happy being on the planet. However as I watched my mother confront challenges after challenges with nothing but the sword of unwavering faith in her hand, my faith in this panacea “Faith in Allah (swt)” grew stronger and stronger and all the resentment and discontentment that was in me transformed into Sabr (patience). Although there still is a lot that I need to learn but my mother’s resilience and strength has acquainted me with the path leading towards eternal peace and success.
My mother often quoted the verse of the Holy Quran wherein there is consolation for every perturbed soul. It says, “ Allah (swt) burdens not a person beyond his scope.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

If we truly believe that this life that we are living is only an exam before the permanent after life then nothing in the world would upset us or deaden our spirit to fight back and hope for a better tomorrow.
Today, as I look back, I cannot help marvelling at how my mother changed me by presenting herself as an example. At times, her calmness irritated my sulking nerves. But when I found myself helpless in the face of hardships, I was forced to submit and wait. And this helped the power of endurance to grow.

Surrender – we all have to either happily or grudgingly! However, doing so wilfully has its own sweetness

As I saw my mother’s faith in Allah (swt) winning every time, I realized that we all have to, one day or the other, submit to Allah’s (swt) will. As He alone is the Master and He alone has the power over the past, the present and the future. Surrender – we all have to either happily or grudgingly! However, doing so wilfully has its own sweetness and can be implemented and cherished by only those, who seek Allah’s (swt) love and closeness over all other benefits.

Life may teach us many lessons, but some lessons make us who we are. Today, I may be away from my mother, but whenever I am beset by a problem, I am reminded of my mother’s sword. And honestly, this is “The Weapon” that never misses its aim.