Lessons of Gratitude from Umm Ayyub Ansaria (ra)

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Uzma Awan

Uzma Awan is a freelance writer. She writes on sustainability and Qur’an lessons and reflections.

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datetreeHosts of the Beloved (sa)

When the news of the Prophet’s (sa) migration to Madinah reached the city, the entire Madinah came out of their homes to catch one glance of the beloved Messenger (sa). This was a sight never witnessed before. Every heart desired that they host the Messenger (sa) at their house. But Allah (swt) had decided something else.

The Messenger (sa) instructed the crowd to leave the she-camel Qaswa alone, and let her follow the Divine command. The she-camel treaded slowly as if deciding at whose house she should stop. Suddenly, she halted in front of the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (ra). The forerunners were chosen by Allah (swt) to host His beloved (sa). Witnessing this blessed moment, Umm Ayyub’s eyes welled up with tears. She could not believe this beloved being (sa) was to stay at their home. She ran inside to fix the Prophet’s place for resting and to cook a meal for him. This was the greatest honour that anyone could attain.

when a person swings between this and that, there is a possibility that the chance to do a good deed is snatched from him.

Following his wife, Abu Ayyub (ra) rushed forward to grab the Prophet’s luggage and to carry it inside. The Prophet (sa) stood at the entrance thanking the people who had come out to welcome him in this new city.

Lessons to draw: A person should not procrastinate in the matters of goodness or what am I to gain from this. Because, when a person swings between this and that, there is a possibility that the chance to do a good deed is snatched from him. We should be the ones who say: we hear and we obey and not miss the opportunities of goodness that we are offered. May Allah (swt) make us from the Sabiqoon bil Khairat — those who are foremost in doing good deeds. Ameen.

“…and of them are some who are, by Allah’s Leave, foremost in good deeds. That (inheritance of the Quran), that is indeed a great grace.” (Fatir 35:32)

Respect for the Messenger (sa)

Abu Ayyub (ra) lived in a double-storey house. Arrangements for the Prophet (sa) had been made on the upper level. The Prophet (sa), however, chose staying downstairs. He argued that since the people would be coming in to meet him, it would disturb the family if he stayed upstairs. The family could do nothing, but agree with whatever the Prophet (sa) chose. They went upstairs and stayed awake until sunrise. It was unacceptable for them to be at a level higher than the Messenger (sa). The next day, they again requested the Messenger (sa) to go upstairs as they did not want to cause him discomfort by their footsteps or movements above.

The Prophet (sa) stayed with the family till the time the Prophet’s Mosque was built. The family was upset that the Messenger (sa) would be leaving them. Their hearts were put to rest when they were assured of his house being close to theirs.

Gratitude by Limbs

Having the Prophet’s (sa) Mosque next door was considered a blessing by both Umm and Abu Ayyub (ra). Whenever they heard Bilal (ra) gave the call to prayer, the couple expressed their joy, not just by their tongues, but also by their limbs. Umm Ayyub (ra) actively participated with her husband in the worship of Allah (swt). She kept up with the voluntary worship along with the obligatory duties. She slept less at night and worshipped Allah (swt) more. She fasted on days outside Ramadan seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Abu Ayyub (ra) would share with his wife whatever he learnt from the Prophet (sa) from the Quran.

To her, her greatest heir was the Quran. She regularly recited it and also memorised some portion. On some days, she listened to the Quran from her husband too. Abu Ayyub (ra) would share with his wife whatever he learnt from the Prophet (sa) from the Quran. Taking Quran as a beloved companion, Umm Ayyub (ra) would often reflect on its content. This reflection softened her heart and she was motivated to help others. Her purpose in life became looking after the needs of the poor and the needy.

The couple was not only active in their worship, but they were also the narrators of several Prophetic traditions.

Lessons to draw: One must not just talk about the worldly matters, but also share beneficial knowledge with their family. A constant reflection of the Quran reminds us of the reality of this life and our purpose here. It also softens the heart and develops compassion for others.

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

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