Lessons of Wisdom from Khawlah bint Thalabah (ra)

lotus109mThe Prophet (sa) gave glad tiding to Khawlah (ra), and communicated to her the Words of Allah (swt). As relieved as she was, Khawlah (ra) replied that the ransom could not be paid by her husband. He was too poor to free slaves or feed sixty needy people, and his age did not allow him to fast every day for sixty days.

As they were waiting for a solution, a big basket of dates was presented, Khawlah (ra) said: O Messenger of Allah (sa)! I would like to present this basket of dates on behalf of my husband. The Prophet (sa) appreciated her kindness, and complimented that it would be her favour on Aws (ra).

Lessons: We hear tales of husbands helping their wives, relieving them of their financial burdens, but little is heard of women helping their husbands. Khadijah (ra) was one such woman who helped her husband when he was not financially sound, and she did so beautifully. She made no condescending remarks, and was generous with her money.

We see the same in the story of Khawlah (ra). While no mention is made of how she bought the basket of dates, but assuming she had the financial strength, she did not hesitate to spend money on behalf of her husband. Many a times, women are dependent on their husbands. Our excuse for not giving in the way of Allah (swt) is that – our husbands do not allow, or we do not have enough to give. Yet, when it comes to buying an item of home décor, or when the new lawn season arrives- we successfully extort money from our husbands.

Khawlah (ra) teaches us the etiquette of handling dispute. It is not compulsory that the one who has wronged must be the one who fixes it. The grieved party too can make amends.

Khawlah (ra) teaches us the etiquette of handling dispute. It is not compulsory that the one who has wronged must be the one who fixes it. The grieved party too can make amends.

A Wise Woman

Khawlah (ra) was a wise woman. We learn this not only from how she handled her trial, but also from the advice that she gave Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra).

One day, she met Umar (ra) in a marketplace. He greeted her and asked about her well-being. Khawlah (ra) replied to his greeting, and reminded him that she knew him since he was a young boy who grazed sheep. Allah (swt) favoured him and appointed him as the Leader of the Faithful.

She then advised him: “O Umar! Fear Allah (swt) with regard to people. Remember! He who fears the threat of punishment in the hereafter realises that death is not far away, and the one who fears death is afraid of wasting time in this life. He who is certain about accountability remains fearful of punishment.”

The person standing next to Umar (ra) reminded her that she was speaking to the Leader of the Faithful. Umar (ra) stopped the man and said that he was speaking to the woman whose plea was heard in the heavens above. How could he not hear her while being on earth?

Lessons: One thing that continues to inspire me about the Seerah is the etiquette of the Prophet (sa) and his Companions (ra). They had not been to any elite schools or travelled extensively, yet they were equipped with etiquette. The parents ensured their toddlers attended the study circles so that they could be groomed. One tip for gaining wisdom is to sit with the wise. Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra) and Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra), both young lads at the time of the Prophet (sa), were the wisest men of their time. They were not deprived of the company of the adults because of their age; rather the elders encouraged their participation.

As we are concerned about finding the best schools for our children, and all the best things of this world, let us not forget the Adaab (etiquette).

As we are concerned about finding the best schools for our children, and all the best things of this world, let us not forget the Adaab (etiquette). Education and etiquette go hand in hand.

In her advice to Umar (ra), Khawlah (ra) reminds us to not lose our focus – the success in the hereafter. It is the success in the hereafter that truly determines who is successful. In our roles and responsibilities, we must fear Allah (swt). We should avoid negligence as well as tyranny. The fear of accountability should keep us grounded and in check. The fact that each day we are getting close to our death, should motivate us to not waste our time.

May Allah (swt) reform our matters, and allow us to adopt beautiful etiquette, Ameen.

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

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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)

Jameelah Umm Saad (ra) and her relationship with the Quran

quill-and-scrollWhile 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 Quran. If for some reason they are unable to do it themselves, they are helping and encouraging their daughters to do so.

Hafidha Quran

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.

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.

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 Quran beautifully. Knowing how to recite the Quran, she was not content with mere recitation. She went a step further, and memorised it.

How did Allah (swt) reward her?

He married her to Zayd ibn Thabit (ra). The Companion (ra) assigned with the task to compile the Quran 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 Quran. A service that they will be forever remembered for.

Lessons: We learn how important it is to put our 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 Quran 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.

We also learn how important it is to surround ourselves and our children with the right company; people who inspire us.

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 and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Jameelah Umm Saad and the Rights of Women

women powerNamed Jameelah, Umm Saad was the daughter of Saad ibn Rab’iah (ra). Saad ibn Rabi’ah (ra) is the generous Companion who divided everything that he owned into two for his emigrant brother Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (ra). Saad (ra) was a man of a big heart; such that when he helped someone, the person never witnessed poverty again. He was not content with petty favours. When we help someone do we contemplate self-sufficiency?

Honoured by the Quran

Umm Saad (ra) was one of the few honoured women like Mariam (as), Asiya (as), Aisha (ra) and Khawlah (ra) about whom verses were revealed.

Umm Saad’s (ra) father was a soldier who fought for Islam. He was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. Being rich, he left behind much property. As per the custom of the days of ignorance, his property was seized by his brother depriving the women of their share.

Saad (ra) was a man of a big heart; such that when he helped someone, the person never witnessed poverty again.

Umm Saad’s (ra) mother, Khalada (ra) complained to the Prophet (sa) about her brother-in-law. The Prophet (sa) appeased her by saying that Allah (swt) would judge her matter. Comforted by his words, the grieving widow returned home. She knew that Allah (swt) was the Most Fair. He did not commit injustice. In a Hadeeth Qudsi it appears: I have forbidden oppression for Myself and I have forbidden it among you, so do not oppress one another.

Allah (swt) then sent His verdict:

“There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large – a legal share. And when the relatives and the orphans and Al-Masakin (the poor) are present at the time of division, give them out of the property, and speak to them words of kindness and justice. And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So let them fear Allah and speak right words.

Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!

Allah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” (An-Nisa 4: 7-11)

Umm Saad (ra), who was still in her mother’s womb when her father passed away, became the cause of the revelation of the verses of inheritance.

Lessons to draw: Before we listen to the propaganda against Islam, or the women’s rights in Islam- we should know how Allah (swt) has honoured us. Women bring their complaints to the Prophet (sa) and they cause revelation to come. Whenever someone reads these verses, they will be reminded of the women, people’s conduct toward them, and how Allah (swt) answered on behalf of the women.

It all comes down to our reliance on Allah (swt), and what opinion we hold about Him. If we think good about Allah (swt), He will prove us that He is indeed good.

When they are wronged, they take their cases to Allah (swt). They are more inclined toward resolving the matter than plotting revenge.

These women also teach us not to take our battles in our own hands, or to respond to oppression with oppression. When they are wronged, they take their cases to Allah (swt). They are more inclined toward resolving the matter than plotting revenge.

May Allah (swt) reform what is wrong in us, and allow us to have Tawakkal (reliance) on Him, as it befits His Majesty, Ameen.

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

Lessons of Eloquence from Umm Maabad (ra)

flower-wallpaper-1The Description of the Prophet (sa) by an Uneducated, Desert Woman

When Abu Maabad (ra) returned with his flock of sheep, he was startled finding a vessel full of milk. He inquired where it came from, since he had not left any animal behind that gave milk. The wife narrated to him the interesting incident that had happened moments ago. Abu Maabad (ra) asked for the man’s description.

Umm Maabad (ra) replied:

“Radiant colour, glowing countenance, beautifully proportioned.

Neither blemished by a protruding belly nor disfigured by an unusually small head.

Deep black eyes, long eyelashes, coarse voice and a long neck.

The pupils of his eyes are very dark while the area around them is extremely white;

Thick eyebrows that meet each other.

Dark, shiny hair.

 

When he is silent, he is stately and composed,

And when he speaks, his appearance is impressive.

He is the most beautiful and striking man from afar,

And the most pleasant and stunning when near.

 

Sweetness in speech, clear and concise;

Neither too little nor nonsense.

Words flowing forth like a perfect string of pearls.

 

Of moderate height-

Neither too tall that it displeases the eye,

Nor too short that the eye does not behold.

 

A branch between two branches

Radiant and beholding to the eye

(Meaning: A stately man in the company of two other stately men. He is the most prominent among them and the most well-respected.)

 

Companions who surround him,

If he speaks, they listen to him attentively.

If he commands, they hasten to honour it.

Well-served and attended;

Neither harsh nor utters Laghw [futile] speech.

Hearing the description of the Prophet (sa), Abu Maabad (ra) cried out that this was the man the Quraish had been looking for. He exclaimed that if he met the Prophet (sa), he would follow him. The couple then went to Madinah, embraced Islam and pledged their allegiance.

Through this description, we can visualize the Prophet (sa). Let us look at our skills, aim to refine them and use them for serving Allah’s (swt) religion and spreading goodness.

Later, when Umm Maabad (ra) was complimented on her beautiful description of the Prophet, (sa) she replied that it was natural. As a woman, she was a keen observer and sensitive. She scrutinized everything in detail.

Lessons to draw: Umm Maabad (ra) was an uneducated and ordinary, desert woman. At her description, the Companions (ra) commented that despite their being close to the Prophet (sa), they could not describe him with such grace and eloquence.

Tongue is a powerful weapon. It can melt hearts or estrange ties. The tongue that could have been occupied in the remembrance of Allah (swt), and spreading goodness- is often found engaged in character assassination and tale-bearing. We return from gatherings, and get busy in gossips and backbiting. Other people’s lives, their clothing, their children, their career choices, and their relationships, are often the topics of our discussion and scrutiny.

Umm Maabad (ra) asserts that she was able to give such an illustrious description of the Prophet (sa) because being a woman she was more observant than men. She saw the Prophet (sa) only once and observed all his distinguishing features. Why is it that when we meet people our focus is on their flaws and not their excellences?

As mothers, it is important that we keep our tongues in check. Our little apprentices who spend most of their early years with us are observing each and every move of ours, and taking a note of the words that we utter. Our grievances, our tantrums, and our opinions about other people or life in general leave a mark on the children. Their opinions are formed based on what they have heard or seen in their early years. While some children get rid of their early opinions, many do not. Let us not be unaware of our conduct.

She saw the Prophet (sa) only once and observed all his distinguishing features. Why is it that when we meet people our focus is on their flaws and not their excellences?

Umm Maabad (ra) has done us a great favour. We have no way of seeing our beloved (sa) other than waiting for Jannah (May Allah (swt) make us from the people of Paradise, Ameen.) Through this description, we can visualize the Prophet (sa). Let us look at our skills, aim to refine them and use them for serving Allah’s (swt) religion and spreading goodness.

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

Lessons of Hospitality from Umm Maabad (ra)

tent-in-desertHer real name was Atiqah and she was married to a man called Abu Maabad.

Umm Maabad (ra) lived with her husband on the outskirts of Makkah in an inhabited place. Her husband was a shepherd; their livestock was their only source of livelihood. Living in a deserted area, Umm Maabad (ra) and her husband served the many caravans travelling on this route. Little did they know that one day Allah (swt) will reward this unknown couple in a way that many would wish that it was them.

The Prophet (sa) had secretly escaped Makkah with his trustworthy companion Abu Bakr (ra). In order to keep their migration covert, they were to travel a path that was unknown to the Makkans. Leaving the Cave of Thawr, they entered a barren valley. The desert sun was at its peak and the arduous journey had exhausted them. There were no houses or places to rest. Far in the distance, they saw a tent. The Prophet (sa) walked a little further until he reached it.

An elderly but strong woman was sitting outside. The Prophet (sa) asked her if she had any meat or milk that they could buy from her. The woman replied if she had any she would have served them. The Prophet (sa) saw a goat tied next to the tent and inquired about it. The woman replied that the goat was frail. It could not go for grazing, and was therefore, left behind. He asked if it gave any milk. The woman expressed her sadness for the goat’s condition. She said it was too weak to give any milk. The Prophet (sa) asked if he could milk the goat. The woman permitted him to try his luck.

He then caressed the goat, recited Allah’s (swt) Name and touched its udder. A big vessel was brought that instantly got filled with milk. The Prophet (sa), his companions and Umm Maabad (ra) drank the milk to their fill. The Prophet (sa), once again milked the goat, and left the filled vessel with Umm Maabad (ra).

Let us pause here, and talk about the beautiful etiquette of our beloved (sa).

She did not look at what little means she had – the famine, or the goat that gave no milk

First, he sought the woman’s permission to touch her goat. He did not consider it his privilege to go around someone else’s property, and touch their belongings. Many people visit others’ homes, and start touching their belongings without seeking their permission. Second, he was the last one to drink the milk. He said: “The server drinks the last.” He teaches us the etiquette of serving – the one serving eats last. Third, when he was done fulfilling his need, he was courteous enough to think about the family and leave some milk for them. He also teaches us that if we begin any task by reciting the name of Allah (swt), then He will bless it.

May He allow us to remember these etiquette and teachings in our day-to-day matters, Ameen.

Lessons to draw: Why did Allah (swt) honour Umm Maabad (ra) with this rare and one-time opportunity of serving the Prophet (sa)? It was because she and her husband were engaged in serving Allah’s (swt) creation. We read in the Quran that he who wishes to do good, the path to goodness is made easy for him. She did not look at what little means she had – the famine, or the goat that gave no milk. Upon being asked for food, she could have shouted: “Go away! We don’t have anything.” She was rather polite. What is our attitude both in poverty and prosperity?

When you are not in a position to help someone, don’t say: “I can’t do anything,” rather, make an intention to serve. Many people are blessed with wealth and position to help someone- yet, they are unable to serve; the intention is missing. Ask Allah (swt) to allow you to be a source of goodness for others.

Umm Maabad (ra) was poor, lived on a barren desert and her livestock was weak and unproductive. She had all the reasons to nitpick. She could have started the conversation with tales of her sufferings, but she made no mention of it.

She had all the reasons to nitpick. She could have started the conversation with tales of her sufferings, but she made no mention of it.

Recall the story of Prophet Ibrahim (as) when he travelled to Makkah many years later, and met Ismail’s (as) wife for the first time. When asked how she had been doing, the woman unloaded her bag of complaints. That was her first meeting with the stranger, and she began the conversation with complaints. After that (unpleasant) meeting, what advice did Ibrahim (as) give to his son? He instructed Ismail (as) to divorce her.

Let us reflect on our conversations. What impressions do we leave in our first meetings? When someone asks us how we have been doing, do we bombard them with tales of our sorrows or do we respond gracefully?

Umm Maabad (ra) had little, yet she was content. Be patient with your trials. Things never remain the same. While at one point, the goat did not give any milk; later, the same goat continued to give milk for as long as it was with the family. While once, nobody knew who Umm Maabad (ra) was or in what circumstances she lived; later, the Companions (ra) continued to deliver her fixed ration- even after the Prophet (sa) passed away. Don’t look at your deprivations, rather ask Allah (swt) for gratitude and contentment.

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

Inspiration from the Life of Umm Sulaym (rta)

flowerblueSaheeh Muslim recorded that the Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “I entered Paradise and heard footsteps. So I said, ‘Who is this?’ and they told me, ‘It is al-Ghumaysa’ (rta), the daughter of Milhan, the mother of Anas ibn Malik, (rta) (Umm Sulaym (rta)).”Umm Sulaym bint Milhan (rtf) is known by several names: Sahlah, Rumaylah, Rumaythah, Maleekah, Ghumaysa and Rumaysah. But her most popular name is Umm Sulaym. She was the maternal aunt of the Prophet (sa), either through ties of Rada’ah (breastfeeding) or through ties of blood. Umm Sulaym (rta) was amongst those who pronounced the Shahadah in the early days of Islam. She was an Ansari woman married to Malik ibn Nadr. They had a blessed son by the name of Anas bin Malik (rta). When he was just ten years old, Umm Sulaym took him to the Prophet (sa) so that he could be with him and serve him.

Marital life

At the time Umm Sulaym (rta) came into the folds of Islam, her husband was still a disbeliever. Umm Sulaym (rta) separated from her husband when Malik refused to accept Islam despite constant invitations to the truth. Later, Malik left Madinah and settled in Syria, where he breathed his last. After the demise of her husband, Umm Sulaym (rta) was proposed to by Abu Talha Al Ansari (rta). This was at the time when Abu Talha (rta) was still practising polytheism. Umm Sulaym (rta) invited Abu Talha (rtam) to monotheism. She said to him: “I have embraced Islam, and I do not want any bridal gift (Mahr) other than your acceptance of Islam.” Abu Talha (rta) contemplated for some time and finally returned, only to declare his Shahadah. Thus, Umm Sulaym (rta) became the first Muslim woman whose Mahr was not in the form any worldly object; rather, her Mahr was the acceptance of Islam by the one who had proposed to her. Not only did she find a noble companion, but also succeeded in guiding a person into the folds of Islam.

Woman with an exemplary patience and wisdom

Umm Sulaym (rta) and Abu Talha (rta) were blessed with a son. It so happened that the child fell ill and one day, by the will of Allah (swt), the child departed from this world. Abu Talha was away from home at the time. Umm Sulaym (rta) gave her son his final Ghusl and covered him up. When Abu Talha (rta) returned home, he inquired about their son’s condition. Umm Sulaym (rta) replied: “O Abu Talhah, from the time he fell sick, he has never been as calm as he is now, and I hope that he is resting.” She did not wish to upset her husband so soon after arriving home. When she said that he was calm, she meant the calmness that one attains after being relieved from the pains of sickness. Upon hearing these words, Abu Talha (rta) assumed that his son was on the road to recovery. Consequently, he peacefully had a meal with his wife and took a nap. It was after Abu Talha (rta) had rested, that Umm Sulaym (rtaf) said to him, “O Abu Talhah, do you think that if some people lent something to some others, then they asked for it back, do they have the right not to give it back?” He said, “No.” She said, “Allah (swt), may He be glorified, lent your son to you, and now He has taken him back, so seek reward with Him and have patience.”

The first time I heard this story and these words, I just could not accept it to be true. I thought no mother could ever exhibit such patience at the time of her child’s death. I was wrong. I was wrong because I did not realise what faith actually means – faith in the promises of Allah (swt) for those who bear trials of this life with patience; faith in Allah (swt) that whatever He ordains, there is definitely some good in it for us; faith that this life is transitory – good or bad everything shall pass eventually; therefore, it is the Hereafter that we need to focus upon.

Muhammad Ahmed, my son, moved on to the next world at the age of two-and-a-half months after spending three days in an intensive care unit. Sharing the news of his death with his older siblings was challenging. Challenging in the sense that the manner in which they were to be informed about the departure of a loved one from this world would determine their outlook about life and its trials, as well as, determine their relationship with their Rabb. Alhumdulillah, this beautiful example of Umm Sulaym (rta) gave me the strength that I never knew I possessed. Wa ma Yaufeeqi illa billah.

Concept of grief in Islam

Islam is a Deen upon Fitrah (nature). It does not expect a person to do things beyond their ability. Patience in the face of calamity does not mean that you bottle up your feelings and live your life deprived of emotions. If that was the case, then our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa) would not have cried at the time of his son Ibrahim’s death. It is recorded in the Saheehain that at that difficult time, when Prophet (sa) was asked about his tears, he had replied: “The eyes tear, the heart is in pain. But (with my tongue) I will only say that which is pleasing to Allah (swt). And we are indeed sad at your departure, O Ibraheem.”  If crying was prohibited, then Yaqoob (as) would not have cried at the separation of his son Yusuf (as) to the extent that he lost his eye-sight. It is normal and acceptable to feel grief and pain in one’s heart over the loss of a blessing. What is not acceptable is our failure to recognise that it was an Amanah which had to return to its Owner.

It is recorded in Tirmidhi that Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: When a man’s child dies, Allah (swt) asks His angels: “Have you taken the life of the child of my slave?” And they say: “Yes”. Allah (swt) then asks: “Have you taken the fruit of his heart?” And they say: “Yes.” Allah (swt) then asks: “What did my slave say?” The angels say: “He praised you and said ‘Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon’.” (We are all Allah’s (swt) property, and we will all surely return to Him.) And then Allah (swt) says, “Build a house for my slave in Jannah and name it Bait Al Hamd (The House of Praise).”

Umm Sulaym (rta) earned Jannah for herself in return for her total submission to Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) be pleased with her, and may He guide us through her example. Ameen.

Lessons of Patience from Hind bint Amr (ra)

flowerwiltBurial of Loved Ones

When the light of Islam enters the heart, even an unbeliever becomes convinced to fight in the way of Allah (swt). Amr ibn Jamuh (ra) who took his time to embrace Islam was then determined to fight in the way of Allah (swt). The Battle of Badr was all set to take place. Amr (ra) was also preparing to participate in the fight against the unbelievers. His family, however, feared for his safety. He had a fault in one of his legs, and could not walk properly. They pleaded before him to not participate in the battle. And,, when he did not listen to the family, the family took the case to the Prophet (sa). The Prophet (sa) looking at his condition advised Amr (ra) to stay behind. And so, the determined warrior surrendered before his leader (sa).

When the news of victory at Badr reached Madinah, Amr (ra) was both thrilled and saddened. He had missed his chance to participate in the first battle of Islam.

At one time where the family was concerned about Amr’s faith, Amr (ra) preceded the family in entering Jannah.

As determined as he was, he did not let go of his desire of martyrdom. The Battle of Uhud was around the corner. He again started preparing for it. His family again pleaded before him and recited the verse that excuses the weak from participating in a battle. Then Amr (ra) went to the Prophet (sa) to complain about his family. He shared that he wanted to see himself walking crippled in Paradise. When RasulAllah (sa) noticed his sincere desire, he stopped the family from preventing him from participating in the battle. He said that it might be that Allah (swt) willed martyrdom for him.

Amr (ra) was granted the permission. He entered the battlefield with his sons as a lion surrounded by his cubs. Since his intention was sincere, he was granted martyrdom along with Hind’s brother Abu Jabir ibn Abdullah (ra).

Aisha (ra) narrates that on the day of Uhud, she saw a woman leading two camels that were carrying some load. Aisha (ra) asked her what the news was. The woman replied that everything was alright. Allah (swt) had granted victory to His Messenger (sa) and the believers, and some people of the faith were granted martyrdom. Saying this, the woman started weeping. It was Hind (ra) carrying the bodies of her husband Amr (ra) and brother Abu Jabir (ra).

Hind (ra) did not immediately say that she was carrying the bodies of her loved ones, rather she said that Allah (swt) had granted victory to the believers and martyrdom to some.

Hind (ra) spent the rest of the days of her life in fasting and worship, until eventually she met her Lord (swt).

Lessons to draw: We learn that we should never underestimate the power of one’s goodness. At one time where the family was concerned about Amr’s faith, Amr (ra) preceded the family in entering Jannah. Moreover, we are again reminded of watching our tongues when we lose someone or something. Hind (ra) did not immediately say that she was carrying the bodies of her loved ones, rather she said that Allah (swt) had granted victory to the believers and martyrdom to some. Here was a woman clear in her mind about the reality of this life. She knew eventually all of us will leave this Earth. She continued performing her duties as life for her did not end.

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

Lessons of Faith from Umm Sulaym Bint Malhan (ra)

blueflowersMother’s Sacrifice for Her Orphan Son

Umm Sulaym (ra) grieved for her unbelieving husband, for they had spent many years together under the same roof despite their differences. She turned her attention to little Anas (ra) and said, “I will re-marry when my son Anas allows.” She nourished him with the Quranic verses and the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa) until Anas (ra) grew up into a trustworthy young man.

Blessed with intellect and wisdom, it struck Umm Sulaym (ra) to request the Prophet (sa) to accept Anas (ra) in his service. The mother desired the best for her son. What could be better than learning directly from the Prophet (sa) while also serving him? The Prophet (sa) accepted this young man who grew up with the Quran and Sunnah.

Lessons to Draw: When being tested, people leave whatever good they are doing and devote their time to mourning over their loss and in depression. Umm Sulaym (ra) teaches us to rise up in the face of calamity. She focused her attention on the other blessings of Allah (swt) that she enjoyed – her son. She had him to be thankful for, look after and nurture.

What is our attitude in affliction? What has Allah (swt) given us that we are ignoring?

While at one point Umm Sulaym (ra) says she would not re-marry (that is separate herself from her son) until her son permitted; she later gave her beloved boy to the Prophet (sa). She knew she could give him love, but she could not raise or educate him better than the best of mankind. She picked the best teacher for her son and endured the temporary separation for his betterment. We must pay attention to our children’s education. If they are not being homeschooled, what kind of school have we chosen for them? Who are their teachers? Do they instil the love of Allah (swt) in their little hearts along with education? What kind of education are they being delivered?

While at one point Umm Sulaym (ra) says she would not re-marry (that is separate herself from her son) until her son permitted; she later gave her beloved boy to the Prophet (sa)

The Best Dowry of All

One of the richest men from the Ansar (the helpers of Madinah) had heard of Umm Sulaym’s admirable virtues. Her integrity and her courage, appealed him. When he learnt that she was a widow, he decided to marry her. Being affluent, he had no qualms about the dowry. He had decided he would present her with as much gold and silver as she desired. He was confident that his proposal would certainly be accepted. Umm Sulaym (ra), however, surprised him.

When this man approached her, the woman of Taqwa said, “A man like you cannot be refused, the problem is that you are an idol worshipper. It does not befit me to marry a polytheist.” The man requested her to re-consider and offered to present her with as many jewels as she desired. Umm Sulaym (ra) replied, “My dowry is Islam. Accept Islam. I will marry you. Upon your becoming a Muslim, I will not demand any other dowry.”

We must pay attention to our children’s education. If they are not being homeschooled, what kind of school have we chosen for them? Who are their teachers?

She then talked about his idols. The gods that he worshipped were crafted by people with their own hands. When they required firewood, they would throw their idols into fire and cook meal. The man agreed that it was indeed true. Umm Sulaym (ra) continued and asked him if he did not feel embarrass to prostrate to a wooden piece that grew from the Earth. A wooden piece that could not help its own self, could not solve his problems either.

The man held his head low and did not utter another word. Umm Sulaym (ra) again presented her proposal to him that if he agrees to embrace Islam, she will accept his marriage proposal. The man asked for some time to think and then accepted Islam. Anas (ra) was called and instructed to arrange the Nikah of his mother with Abu Talha Ansari (ra).

Abu Talha (ra) then approached the Prophet (sa) and inquired about the unique dowry that he had been demanded. The Prophet (sa) accepted ‘Islam’ as Umm Sulaym’s dowry and conducted their Nikah.

Lessons to draw: Allah (swt) replaced an unbelieving, unkind husband with him who was much better in many ways. One person abandoned her, Allah (swt) sent another to take care of her. We keep complaining to people that they are not giving us our right or not helping us, but we don’t ask Ar-Razzaq – He, who provides all kinds of provisions. Umm Sulaym (ra) did not remain undeterred because of a grudge. Her sacrifice was for her religion. She loved Allah (swt) more. He who loves or hates someone or something for the sake of Allah (swt), his sacrifices are never ignored by Him. The only condition is the standard of our Iman (faith). How sincere are we?

Have Tawakkal on Allah (swt) if future appears bleak today, it would not remain so forever. Allah (swt) will bring relief to us when He thinks it is right for us with what He chooses for us.

Umm Sulaym (ra) proved that to her faith mattered. Through her Dawah abilities, she convinced the man to come to the truth ‘before marriage’, not later.

We also see that Umm Sulaym (ra) gives no attention to the financial standing of Abu Talha (ra). She rejects him on the basis of his faith. Many a times, we put the faith behind thinking we can work on it later and go ahead with the marriage. When later arrives, girls have either fallen to a lower level of faith or marital conflicts have emerged. Umm Sulaym (ra) proved that to her faith mattered. Through her Dawah abilities, she convinced the man to come to the truth ‘before marriage’, not later.

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

Lessons of Reliance from Hawa bint Yazid (ra)

stream-rocks-longshawInna Ma’al Usre Yusra

As per the custom of that time, the Mushrikeen visited the Kabah for Hajj. On one such instance, Qais too joined the delegation. The Prophet (sa), despite being in the minority, would promote his religion to the strangers. He would make efforts, and take out time to meet the people who had come to Makkah for Hajj.

He met Qais and presented Islam to him. Qais attentively listened to the Prophet (sa), and acknowledged that what he was being presented was a glorious religion. He asked for time to contemplate conversion. The Prophet (sa) desired that the husband of a devoted religious woman embraced Islam as well, therefore, he prolonged his dialogue with Qais. Qais, however, kept asking for more time to consider. The Prophet (sa), then asked Qais about his unkind treatment towards his wife. He instructed him to fear Allah (swt), and to promise him that he will never say anything to his distressed wife. Qais promised that he would do as the Prophet (sa) instructed and would never again be cruel to his wife.

Do not delay the opportunity to do good. You might miss the chance.

When Qais returned to Madinah, he informed Hawa (ra) about his meeting with the Messenger of Allah (sa), and his promise to him. He assured her that from then onwards he would never torment her. Hawa (ra) was relieved to hear that.

Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).” (Ash-Shath 94:6)

Hawa (ra) could then freely practice her religion. She openly declared her faith because she had no one to be fearful about. After a little time had passed, the Prophet (sa), being a true leader and well-wisher, asked about Hawa (ra) and her husband’s treatment. He was informed that she lived in peace.

People teased Qais about his wife’s conversion. He informed them of his promise to the Prophet (sa) and his will to honour it.

Qais had honoured his promise to the Prophet (sa). However, he kept waiting for the right time to embrace Islam, and missed his chance. Qais was killed as an idolater. He saved Hawa’s life in this world and the hereafter, but could not save his own hereafter.

Hawa (ra) attended his gatherings, learnt the religion and taught it to her son Thabith ibn Qais. She strove hard in religion and attained the status of being a Hadeeth Narrator.

Lessons to draw: Do not delay the opportunity to do good. You might miss the chance. Because Hawa (ra) only depended upon Allah (swt), He helped her in a miraculous way. With every difficulty there is ease, strengthen your faith in Allah (swt).

Life as a Widow

When the Prophet (sa) migrated to Madinah, Hawa (ra) attended his gatherings, learnt the religion and taught it to her son Thabith ibn Qais. She strove hard in religion and attained the status of being a Hadeeth Narrator. This is how Allah (swt) honours those who are willing to remain steadfast in their trials, and give precedence to religion over anything in the world.

May Allah (swt) also make us of those He honours. Ameen.

Lessons to draw: When you have taken the step to draw closer to Allah (swt), He will test you. He will put you through trials to separate the wheat from the chaff. How truly dedicated and honest are you in your service and commitment to Islam? Be brave. Don’t let Shaytan weaken your resolution.

(Click here to read ‘Lessons in Faith from Hawa bint Yazid (ra)’)

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

Legendary Muslimah Success Secrets (Unveiled) – Umm Fadl (ra)

flowerinsnowThe daughter of Harith ibn Hazan and Hind bint Awf, Umm Fadl was the wife of the Prophet’s (sa) uncle Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (ra). Her sisters Maimoona, Salma and Asma bint Umays (ra) were all married in the Prophet’s (sa) family as well.

Today, when raising one or two children has become troublesome for some women, Umm Fadl birthed seven. Her motherhood skills can be best assessed by looking at her children. Her son Abdullah ibn Abbas (ra) is one of the greatest scholars of Islam, an authentic Hadeeth narrator, and also the Quran translator. Her son Ubaidullah was a jurist. She is also the foster mother of the Prophet’s grandson Hasan (ra).

Her real name was Lubaba bint Harith, but the birth of her first son Fadl gave her the title of Umm Fadl. She is also the narrator of approximately thirty Ahadeeth.

She did not wait for others to tell her what she must do. She did not worry about what people are going to say.

The Lady of Goodness

Umm Fadl (ra) was the leader of the women of her tribe. She enjoyed great status and honour. When she heard the message of Islam, she readily accepted it. By this virtue, she became the second woman after Khadijah (ra), who embraced Islam. This shows the goodness of her character. She did not wait for others to tell her what she must do. She did not worry about what people are going to say. She followed her heart and accepted the path that Allah (swt) called her towards.

Lessons to draw:

The forerunners are distinctively mentioned in the Quran. They are those who rush to do the good deeds. They are few in number and appear strange to others. But, they do not worry about the people. They are only concerned with pleasing Allah (swt). We too should let go of our procrastination and laziness and hasten towards the path of goodness.

Strength, Courage and Physical Energy

Conversion to Islam brought along many hardships upon her and her family. They belonged to the weakest and the most helpless segment of their society. Gifted by Allah (swt) in valour and physical energy, Umm Fadl used these characteristics for the service of Islam and the defence of the Prophet (sa). She would stand up against Abu Lahb and his wife Umm Jameel, the ferocious enemies of the Prophet (sa).

We can begin by helping out our domestic helps and giving them a direction in life.

Her servant Abu Rafeh narrates an incident after the conquest of Badr. He was sitting in his den making bowls, when Abu Lahb came strolling. Someone shouted, “Abu Sufyan,” and Abu Lahb signalled him to come and share the news of Badr. Abu Sufyan began by telling, how the Muslims overcame them. He shared how horsemen dressed in white would not let anything stand in their way. Hearing this, Abu Rafeh jumped and screamed in joy, “By Allah! They were angels.” Abu Lahb slapped him violently. He got on top of him and started beating. Abu Rafeh, a feeble man, could not fight back. Umm Fadl, who was also sitting in the den, got up and hit Abu Lahb on the head. She said, “Did you consider him weak? Did you attack him because his owner is not here?” Badly bruised and humiliated, Abu Lahb left for home.

Lessons to draw:

We learn that women should reflect on what skills and traits Allah (swt) has blessed them with, and how best they can use them for the sake of Allah (swt). We also learn one must stand up and defend the weak and the oppressed. We can begin by helping out our domestic helps and giving them a direction in life, Insha‘Allah.

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

Life Lessons from Asma Bint Abu Bakr (ra) – 2

cherryclossomWe continue with some more characteristics of Asma bint Abu Bakr (ra).

Steadfastness in Religion

When Asma (ra) migrated to Madinah, her mother Qutalyah bint Abdul Uzza came for a visit bringing along some gifts. Her mother being an idolatress, Asma (ra) did not admit her into the house or accept her gifts, until she asked the Prophet (sa) about relations with the idolaters. The Prophet (sa) told her to welcome her mother and accept her gifts.

It was her Taqwa that made her rank Allah (swt) and His commandments above everything else. If she was unclear about a certain matter, she did not proceed on her own, until she received clarification regarding it. “And whosoever honours the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart.” (Al-Hajj 22:32)

Lessons to draw: Seek knowledge of the religion and protect yourself and your families from committing that, which might be displeasing to Allah (swt). Be conscious of your earning, your food, your clothing, and the kind of people you keep company with. Put Allah (swt) before everything else.

Perseverance and Generosity

Life for Asma (ra) wasn’t easy. Her husband Zubair (ra) had neither money nor property. Asma (ra) would do house chores as well as look after her husband’s mare. Tending to the mare was the most difficult of all jobs. When she complained to her father, he advised her to be patient.

It was her Taqwa that made her rank Allah (swt) and His commandments above everything else.

When Allah (swt) improved their financial condition, instead of increasing her living status, Asma (ra) increased her charity. She was a woman not blinded by the attractions of this world. She was focused on the hereafter and that which pleased Allah (swt). Advising her children of benevolence, she said: “Spend, give Sadaqah and charity and do not wait for abundance.”

Lessons to draw: Many women complain of not having enough to give. There are many simple ways of contributing in the way of Allah (swt), and it does not always involve money. One can contribute in the way of Allah (swt) by giving their time, talent, special skills or even provision. Prepare an extra meal one day and feed an orphan child. Volunteer to teach Quran, a Dua or even academic studies to one of your domestic help’s children.

Haya and Modesty

One day, Asma (ra) was walking home with a load of dates on her head. Upon seeing her, the Prophet (sa) signalled his camel to sit down, so that Asma (ra) could climb. But Asma (ra) refused and continued to walk. There were other men with Prophet (sa), and Asma (ra) did not find it appropriate to be the only woman in a group of men.

Once, her son Al-Mundhir sent her an elegant dress from Iraq, but Asma (ra) refused to take it. Her son, knowing his mother, contested that it was not of a transparent material. Asma (ra) replied that it was not, but it was of tight-fitting and revealed the contours of the body.

Lessons to draw: We might spend a fortune on looking elegant and distinguished, but does our clothing cover all the parameters of Haya? Let us dress up to please Allah (swt).

When Allah (swt) improved their financial condition, instead of increasing her living status, Asma (ra) increased her charity.

Motherhood

Asma (ra) instilled in her children religious values and instructed them about always standing up for the truth. She transferred her love for charity in them and raised them upon best characteristics. After her husband divorced her, Asma (ra) started living with her son Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair (ra). Raised by his mother, Abdullah (ra) grew up to be prudent, intellectual and a master archer.

Lessons to draw: Connect your children to Allah (swt), because when the hearts are empty, they would take in anything that Shaytan leads them to. Teach the Seerah of the Prophet (sa) and his Duas. Tell them about Shirk, and teach not to depend on anyone or fear anyone besides Allah (swt).

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