Lessons of Calmness from Khawlah bint Thalabah (ra)

calmseaKhawlah Bint Thalabah (ra) is one of the companions about whom verses were revealed.

Khawlah (ra) and her husband had reached old age. If maturity and wisdom are the gifts of age and experiences, irritability and illnesses are the bane. With age, Aws Ibn As-Samit (ra) had become short-tempered and he would utter words without meaning them.

One day, he told his wife that she was to him like his mother’s back. Zihar, back in the days, meant divorce. Her husband’s words grieved Khawlah (ra). She had been married to him for years, and had birthed many children. She felt it was unfair to divorce a woman when she was of age and unattractive.  Without responding to the husband’s unjust statement, Khawlah (ra) took the matter to someone she thought could help her. The Prophet (sa) listened to her complaint and instructed her to fear Allah (swt) and consult her husband. Khawlah (ra) refused to leave until Allah (swt) responded to her plea. Just then, Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) (as) descended and brought revelation:

“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her (Khawlah Bint Tha’labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Samit), and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer. Those among you who make their wives unlawful (Az-Zihar) to them by saying to them ‘You are like my mother’s back.’ They cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie. And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

And those who make unlawful to them (their wives) (by Az-Zihar) and wish to free themselves from what they uttered, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave before they touch each other. That is an admonition to you (so that you may not return to such an ill thing). And Allah is All-Aware of what you do. And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And for him who is unable to do so, he should feed sixty of Miskin (poor). That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allah and His Messenger.

These are the limits set by Allah. And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.” (Al-Mujadilah 58:1-4)

Lessons: We see that when Khawlah (ra) is hurt by her husband’s words, she neither argues with him nor shares the private family matters with anyone. Rather, she took her case to the one who could guide her and provide a solution. What happens when we face a conflict? Are we able to tame our temper, or do we come back with an intense response? Are we able to keep our domestic disputes to ourselves, or do we share them with anyone and everyone that we come across? Children, domestic help, parents, neighbours, friends and colleagues, almost everyone knows that the couple had a fight.

This ‘certainty’ is what is missing from our supplications. We make Dua but with an inattentive heart. We are sure that our Dua will not be answered; we give up and turn to people

What do we look for when we share our matters with others? Is it to get it off our chests, gain sympathy or to resolve the issue?

Invocation with conviction

Look at the words that Allah (swt) used in the revelation. He said, Certainly, Allah has heard the speech. This ‘certainty’ is what is missing from our supplications. We make Dua but with an inattentive heart. We are sure that our Dua will not be answered; we give up and turn to people. Or sometimes, we turn to people first, and make Allah (swt) our last resort.

At another place in the Quran, Allah (swt) says, “I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor).” (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

Yaqeen (conviction) is the key ingredient for our supplications to be answered. When you make Dua be present in the moment. Fill your Duas with emotions without going overboard. You don’t have to scream because Allah (swt) is the nearest to us. He hears even a whisper or the thought that we hold in our hearts. Do not be hasty with your Duas, for He responds in His timing and in His Own way. His wisdom is incomprehensible, but there is goodness in it; a lesson that we must learn.

Inspect with respect

There was no shouting, no wailing and no usage of bad words. It was because she did not intent to get the matter off her chest, rather she sought solution.

Aisha (ra) narrates that she was sitting in the same room as the complainant, yet some words escaped her ears. From the Seerah, we know the Prophet (sa) did not live in a spacious house. His house was only a room added to the Prophet’s Mosque. Can you imagine how calmly Khawlah (ra) presented her case? There was no shouting, no wailing and no usage of bad words. It was because she did not intent to get the matter off her chest, rather she sought solution. She came to the Prophet (sa) only to find out what the couple was to do in such a situation, and how they could make amends.

Allah (swt) calls husband and wife, a clothing. Like a piece of clothing, they are to adorn one another and conceal flaws. This is an intimate relationship where the two people living this close are better aware of each other’s shortcomings than anyone else. Allah (swt) instructs them to screen the flaws and reveal the strengths. They are not supposed to divulge their secrets or publicize their disputes, not even to their parents, children and siblings. One’s spouse should not be the topic of discussion in a friends’ gathering.

May Allah (swt) allow us to honour our contracts and be respectful to one another, Ameen.

(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)

Lessons of Generosity from Umm Sulaym Bint Malhan (ra)

waterfallWife of the Generous

When Allah (swt) sees goodness in someone’s heart, He guides them to the truth and opens up pathways of much subsequent goodness. Same happened with Abu Talha (ra) and Umm Sulaym (ra).

Abu Talha (ra) was a rich man who owned many properties of palm-trees. His favourite, however, was a garden known as Bairuha that was near the Prophet’s Mosque. The Prophet (sa) would often visit this garden and drink its fresh and pleasant water.

When the verse, “By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness – here it means Allah’s reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allah’s Cause) of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well,” (Al-Imran 3:92), was revealed, Abu Talha (ra) came to the Prophet (sa) and said: “O Messenger of Allah (swt)! Allah (swt) has revealed, ‘By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend (in Allah’s Cause) of that which you love,’ so I love the garden of Bairuha the most, I want to give it in the way of Allah (swt) as a Sadaqah. And I anticipate its reward with Allah (swt); so spend it, O Messenger of Allah (swt), as Allah (swt) guides you.” The Prophet (sa) advised him to give his best property to his relatives. Abu Talha (ra) agreed and gifted it to his relatives and cousins.

The guest first!

Umm Sulaym (ra) and her husband are also those virtuous companions who served the Prophet’s (sa) guest at night while sacrificing their meal. A hungry man had approached the Prophet (sa) requesting to be fed. The Prophet (sa) asked his wives if they had anything to feed the hungry guest, each replied that they had nothing except water. The Prophet (sa) then asked his companions (ra). Abu Talha (ra) volunteered and took the guest to his home. When he asked his wife if they had anything for the guest, the wife replied that they only had sustenance for the children. Abu Talha (ra) instructed his wife to bring the food, light the lamp and put the children to sleep. When they sat down for dinner, Umm Sulaym (ra) got up and pretending to fix the lamp extinguished it. As the guest ate his meal, the couple pretended that they were eating as well. However, they had not touched the food, it was insufficient.

Abu Talha (ra) learnt a new verse that day, and he immediately acted upon it. How long does it take us to surrender to the many commands of Allah (swt)

When next morning, Abu Talha (ra) visited the Prophet (sa)- he complimented his generosity, and informed him of Allah’s (swt) pleasure. A new verse had been revealed for the Talha family.

Allah (swt) said, “And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes (in Al-Madinah) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their chests for that which they have been given (from the booty of Banu An-Nadir), and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful,” (Al-Hashr 59:9).

Lessons to draw: We must ask Allah (swt) to save us from the covetousness of our souls. Abu Talha (ra) gave generously in the way of Allah (swt) because his wife like Umm Sulaym (ra), was supportive of her husband’s benevolence. She knew the provision that they enjoy is all gifts from Allah (swt) that must be shared with others as an expression of gratitude.

Abu Talha (ra) learnt a new verse that day, and he immediately acted upon it. How long does it take us to surrender to the many commands of Allah (swt) that we read every day in the Quran? What are the commands that we have not submitted too? What is the reason for our delaying?

She raised her children such that they could sleep on empty stomachs with gentle patting. Today, our children demand variety. Separate dishes are cooked satiating the desires of each family member. When the home cooked food does not appeal to us, we order it from the restaurant. We are spoilt and we are spoiling our children.

She raised her children such that they could sleep on empty stomachs with gentle patting.

Let us be inspired by these incidents from our rich past and make our lives simple. Insha’Allah.

(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 in Faith from Hawa Bint Yazid (ra)

originalShe was the daughter of Yazid ibn Sakan and Aqrab bint Muath. Saad ibn Muath (ra), a close companion of the Prophet (sa) was her maternal uncle. Her husband was Qais ibn Khateem.

Concern for Husband’s Activities

Hawa bint Yazid (ra) is among those forerunners who embraced Islam in its early days. While the Prophet (sa) was still in Makkah, she embraced Islam in Madinah. Her husband’s poetry worried Hawa (ra). Each time that she read: “As for the poets, the erring ones follow them. See you not that they speak about every subject (praising people – right or wrong) in their poetry.” (Ash-Shuara 26: 224-225), she asked Allah (swt) for his guidance. She wanted to share her spiritual feelings and thoughts with her spouse. She prayed that Allah (swt) might guide him just as He had guided her.

She admired the companions of the Prophet (sa), and wondered why her husband could not be like them. There were Hasaan ibn Thabith (ra) and Abdullah ibn Rawahah (ra) who were near to the Prophet (sa) because of their praiseworthy poetry. They promoted Islam with their compositions. Her husband’s vulgar poetry would upset her; he had no share in the defence and promotion of Islam. He spent his life in play and amusement. He preferred misguidance over guidance.

Her husband’s vulgar poetry would upset her; he had no share in the defence and promotion of Islam. He spent his life in play and amusement

Lessons to draw: There are some poets like Allama Muhammad Iqbal who used their power of pen for noble cause. This poet of the East was blessed by Allah (swt) with immense wisdom and reverence for his Creator. He acknowledged the true reality of this life and our insignificant position before Allah (swt). He knew we were not created purposelessly. We have a highly important role to play. He raised voice for the weak and oppressed. His poetry awakened the dead souls. Then there are those kinds of poets who do not give much thought to what they are composing. They only want poetry to be pleasing to the ears. In doing so, they might even commit Shirk (association of partners with Allah (swt) and invite people to do Haram (impermissible acts)). A writer or a poet must be really careful about where he is putting his energy, and what his pen is promoting. May we be a source of goodness for ourselves, our families and others, and neither choose Haram for ourselves nor call others to it, Ameen.

Love for the chosen religion

Like other early Muslims, Hawa (ra) concealed her conversion. She feared unkind treatment from her husband. Her story is similar to that of Aasiya (as), the wife of Pharaoh. Hawa (ra) gave precedence to her faith over everything else. She became fearless. She desired dying upon the true religion than dying upon idolatry.

While she tried her best to conceal her faith from her husband, she could not do so for long. One cannot hide his acts of worship from the people that they live with. They can drop in at the time for prayer and see the Muslim member praying a prayer different from theirs. The family may be seated for meal and the Muslim member does not eat anything because he is fasting. Same happened with Hawa (ra). One day her husband saw her praying. Then he saw her reading something on a leather and date skin. She was reciting words that he had never heard before. He found it strange.

Her story is similar to that of Aasiya (as), the wife of Pharaoh. Hawa (ra) gave precedence to her faith over everything else. She became fearless.

When Qais understood what Hawa (ra) was reciting was the Quran, his ego was invoked that his woman embraced Islam without his permission! Recall what Pharaoh said to the magicians when they said, “So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: We believe in the Lord of Harun (Aaron) and Musa (Moses).”

“[Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said: “Believe you in him [Musa (Moses)] before I give you permission?” (Ta-Ha 20: 70-71). A person who has tasted faith does not wait for someone’s permission. They follow their heart and submit before Allah (swt).

Qais did not wait for his wife to complete her prayer. While she was prostrating, he raised her up and threw her on the floor. He then laughed callously, feeling no remorse. The same act was repeated the next day too. Hawa (ra) remained patient. She could do nothing in her defence than weep and ask Allah (swt) for help. She prayed for her freedom and delightful moments. She prayed for strength to overpower her heartless husband.

When she was tested, she placed her complaint before her Lord, not the people. She only relied on Him.

Her husband continued his torture and mistreatment. He was distant from the Creator. His heart was void of any fear or moral values.  But what happens when one truly relies upon his Creator’s bounty and grace? He paves the way for them. Qais’s torture towards his wife became the talk of the town. Every house and tongue was talking about his cruel behaviour. Escaping the bounds of Madinah, the news soon reached Makkah – to the Prophet (sa).

Lessons to draw: Often when we begin practicing Islam, we label everyone else misguided. We call them to Islam in a condescending way. The young girl who does not wear Hijab is told she is from the people of hellfire. Hawa (ra) was married to a tyrant. While she desired his guidance, she was not even once disrespectful to him. When she was tested, she placed her complaint before her Lord, not the people. She only relied on Him. And He made the way for her.  Many times when we are tested, we only cry, but do not invoke Allah (swt) for help and ease. We should take our complaints to the most Powerful.

(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 Ayyub Ansaria (ra)- 1

Courtesy: onislam.net

Courtesy: onislam.net

She was the daughter of Qais ibn Saad, and the wife of Abu Ayyub Ansari (ra). Both the husband and the wife are among those blessed people about whom Allah (swt) said,

“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” (At-Taubah 9:100)

Conversion to Islam

Umm Ayyub (ra) woke up one morning and saw her husband all dressed to set out on a journey. When she asked him where he was going, he replied that he was off to Makkah to witness the Prophet who had brought a new religion to the people.

Umm Ayyub (ra) said farewell to her husband, and secretly desired in her heart that this Prophet would bring peace between the tribes of Aws and Khazraj. She prayed that he turns out to be an ambassador of goodness and a source of reformation. And that he could pull out the seed of hatred and enmity from the hearts of the two tribes, and put an end to the treachery of the Madinian Jews. She also prayed for her husband’s well-being and that he returns safely.

The long separation from her husband made her anxious. She worried about him and waited impatiently for his arrival. After several days, she heard a knock on her door. She knew it was her husband because she identified his knock. She was delighted to see Abu Ayyub (ra), but also wanted him to rest before she could shower him with her questions and anxiety. Abu Ayyub (ra), on the other hand, desired narrating to his wife all the events of his journey. He did not find it appropriate to hold the news about the beloved Prophet (sa) from her.

When the people in a house or an organisation are respectful to each other, and desire one another’s well-being- Allah (swt) blesses such a house or organisation.

He informed her how the Prophet (sa) captivated their hearts by his mannerism and speech. He explained to them the Shari commandments of Allah (swt), and gained their confidence through his way of talking. Witnessing all this, they could not help but accept him as the Messenger of Allah (swt), and embraced Islam.

Abu Ayyub (ra) had not completed narrating his experience that Umm Ayyub (ra) instantly recited the Shahadah. She had lived many moments of joy and happiness with Abu Ayyub (ra). She valued his opinion and trusted his intellect. She knew the path that her husband had chosen was the best.

Lessons to draw: We see a loving relationship between the husband and wife. Both of them wished well for the other spouse. When the people in a house or an organisation are respectful to each other, and desire one another’s well-being- Allah (swt) blesses such a house or organisation. On the other hand, when people are busy maligning one another or in a cut throat competition against each other, Allah (swt) withdraws His mercy from them.  We see that when Abu Ayyub (ra) leaves for Makkah, Umm Ayyub (ra) does not try to stop him, cry or think bad. Rather, she bids him farewell and makes a supplication for her husband’s success and the well-being of her people. She does not act selfishly. She did not think only about herself or her loneliness, but for the community at large. Usually at home, families are fighting among one another- either over the relatives or financial matters. If everyone looks at the situation positively, our home environments can improve considerably, Insha’Allah.

Another important point to improve our lives is to reflect on what we have and not what we lack. For example, it might be that a child is raised in a toxic environment. Her parents are always fighting and are neglectful of their duties towards their children. Allah (swt) rewards this girl with a caring husband. Similarly, it could be that a husband is harsh and non-cooperative, but the children are extremely peaceful and supportive. In comparing our lives with other people, their parents or their husbands, we forget what Allah (swt) has blessed us with. May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to do Shukr- Ameen.

The Nursing Mujahida – Rufaida Ansaria (ra)

whiteflowersAt a time, when Muslim girls have confusions about career choices, Rufaida Ansaria’s story can be an inspiration. She is the first Muslim nurse, who practiced nursing long before Florence Nightingale stepped up.

The Nursing Mujahida

After giving her pledge to the Prophet (sa), Rufaida (ra) chose a noble profession for herself. She dedicated her life to attending to the wounded soldiers and looking after their needs.

This was a period of numerous battles. Every year Muslims were being called for war. Rufaida (ra) felt the need of a nurse to look after the wounded soldiers. She set up her tent right next to the Prophet’s Mosque and equipped it with all the medical equipments and medicines of that time. And this was with the permission of the Prophet (sa).

Lessons to draw: We learn the lesson of not following the crowd or trends. One must analyse their own skills and gauge how they can positively contribute to the society. Many girls choose medicine, but do not practice it. Women do need female doctors at hospitals. Therefore, they should be encouraged to practice medicine even after marriage.

We learn the lesson of not following the crowd or trends. One must analyse their own skills and gauge how they can positively contribute to the society.

Some choose chartered accountancy or business studies, and then the corporate job, late sittings and frequent flying conflicts with their marital life. One should carefully evaluate her situation, interests and resources, and then pick a path. Our goal shouldn’t only be to earn money, but how we can contribute in the well-being of the society.

To pick this career, Rufaida (ra) must have obtained some kind of medical training. She was really confident and skilled in her work. We see in her story that there is no mention of a supervisor. She worked independently. Whenever one chooses a path they must strengthen their skills with all the necessary training required and then perform their task at the level of excellence. We should be confident in what we are doing and also ask Allah (swt) to make us strong, Insha’Allah.

Rufaida (ra) and the Battle of Trench

When the Muslim soldiers left for the Battle of Trench, Rufaida (ra) also went with them. She erected her tent near the soldier camps so that she could attend to the injured on the spot. Being honest to her profession, Rufaida (ra) desired only two things. She wanted to lessen the pain of the wounded and to help them recover quickly. She wanted to see them back on their feet, laughing and smiling, going on with their work.

In the Battle of Trendh, Saad ibn Muath (ra) got wounded by an enemy’s arrow. His nerve had been cut. The Prophet (sa) instructed that his nursing tent be placed in the Prophet’s Mosque so that he himself could attend to his needs. The Prophet (sa) would visit Saad (ra) twice a day. Each time he asked Saad (ra) how he was doing, Saad (ra) replied that all praise belongs to Allah (swt) and he was feeling alright.

Being honest to her profession, Rufaida (ra) desired only two things. She wanted to lessen the pain of the wounded and to help them recover quickly

Frequents visits of the Prophet (sa) to the camp cheered Rufaida (ra). She felt she was especially favoured by Allah (swt) to meet the Messenger of Allah (sa) twice in a day.

Lessons to draw: We see honesty to one’s profession. For what else is the purpose of doctors and nurses than to treat their patients and provide them relief? Whatever path that we choose in life, we shouldn’t solely look at it as a money-minting source. We should be sincere to our profession and to those that we are dealing with.

We also learn patience in pain. Considering the medical advancement of that age, one can imagine the pain that Saad ibn Muath (ra) must have been feeling. Yet each time that the Prophet (sa) asked him how he was doing, he replied with Alhumdulillah. He did not utter a word of complain.

We also learn that in situations of emergencies and in the absence of a male practitioner, a female doctor is allowed to attend to the male patients. Imam an-Nawawi explains: A woman may not touch the body of the person except at the place of necessity (i.e. the place of injury).

May Allah (swt) guide us all to the right path, and help us identify our special skills and how we can put them in good use for the larger benefit of the society, Ameen.

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