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)