Category: Women in Islam


How a Pearl Develops..

by Muhammad alShareef

When news of the Christian army that had prepared on the horizons to wipe out Islam reached Abu Qudaamah Ash-Shaamee, he moved quickly to the mimbar of the masjid. In a powerful and emotional speech, Abu Qudaamah ignited the desire of the community to defend their land – jihaad for the sake of Allah. As he left the masjid, walking down a dark and secluded alley, a woman stopped him and said, “As salamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaah!” Abu Qudaamah stopped and did not answer. She repeated her salam again, adding “this is not how pious people should act.” She stepped forward from the shadows. “I heard you in the masjid encouraging the believers to go for jihaad and all I have is this…” She handed him two long braids. “It can be used for a horse rein. Perhaps Allah may write me as one of those who went for jihaad.”

The next day as that Muslim village set out to confront the crusader army, a young boy ran through the gathering and stood at the hooves of Abu Qudaamah’s horse. “I ask you by Allah to allow me to join the army.”

Some of the elder fighters laughed at the boy. “The horses will trample you,” they said.

But Abu Qudaamah looked down into his eyes as he asked again, “I ask you by Allah, let me join.”

Abu Qudaamah then said, “On one condition; if you are killed you will take me with you to Jannah amongst those you will be allowed to intercede for.”

That young boy smiled. “It’s a promise.”

When the two armies met and the fighting intensified, the young boy on the back of Abu Qudaamah’s horse asked, “I ask you by Allah to give me 3 arrows.”

“You’ll lose them,” said Abu Qudaamah.

The boy repeated, “I ask you by Allah to give me them.”

Abu Qudaamah gave him the arrows and the boy took aim. “Bismillah!” The arrow flew and killed a Roman. “Bismillah!” The second arrow flew, killing a second Roman. “Bismillah!” The third arrow flew, killing a third Roman. An arrow then struck the boy in the chest, knocking him off the horse. Abu Qudaamah jumped down to his side, reminding the boy in his final breaths, “Don’t forget the promise!”

The boy reached into his pocket, extracted a pouch and said, “Please return this to my mother.”

“Who’s your mother?” asked Abu Qudaamah.

“The women that gave you the braids yesterday.”

Think about this Muslimah. How did she reach this level of taqwa where she would sacrifice her hair and her son? Indeed, she spent her life in the obedience of Allah, and when exam time came, she passed. Not only did she pass herself, but her children shone with that same beauty of eman; children that she herself raised.

Most often the lectures, khutbahs, and talks are all directed to the Muslim men. We forget that from the hady (guidance and way) of RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam was that he would allocate a specific day of the week to teach the women. Women would come up to him in Hajj, in the street, and even in his home to ask him questions about the deen. At the Eid salah, after addressing the men, he would take Bilal and go to the women’s section and address the women. Allah revealed an entire surah by the name of An-Nisaa’ (The Women), another by the name of Maryam (Mary), and yet another by the name of Al-Mujaadalah (The Woman Who Pleads). It is in enlivening this Sunnah that today this speech shall be addressed to the believing women – al-mu’minaat.

Dear sister, dear mother, and dear daughter, everyone is looking for happiness and fun, and I am sure that you are not excluded. Where is that happiness and fun though? And where and when do you want that happiness? Do you want to have ‘fun’ in this life at the expense of the hereafter? Or is it in the hereafter, when you meet Allah, that you want to be happy?

Everywhere you go you shall find a swarm of people, media, and culture swearing to you that happiness is the happiness of the dunya. Is it really happiness though? On the Day of Repayment, Allah shall take the most ‘happiest’ kafir of the dunya and dip him in Jahannam (Hellfire). Then He shall ask him, “Have you ever seen any happiness?” The Kafir will say, “Never!”

Nay, the happiness is only the happiness of the hereafter no matter what happens in this dunya. Allah shall bring on the Day of Repayment the most tested human and dip him in Jannah (Paradise). He shall then ask him, “Have you ever seen sadness?” And that person shall say, “Never!”

And don’t think that this happiness and fun is exclusive to the Hereafter. It is very much tied to this life as well. Listen and understand the words of Allah:

Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he [or she] is a true believer, verily to him We will give a good life [in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision], and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do [i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter] (An-Nahl 16/97).

Dear sister, you have to understand that you or anyone may enter Hellfire. By Allah, we are not better than Fatimah, the daughter of Rasul Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. And he said to her, “O Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, ssk me whatever you wish from my wealth, for I shall avail you nothing to Allah.” Meaning that it doesn’t matter if you’re my daughter; if you don’t work for Jannah, saying to Allah that my father is so and so will not help you in any way.

Islam is filled with many mu’minahs who completed their taqwa of Allah. When the other girls put up posters of kafir singers, athletes and actresses, you should put up posters in your heart of Fatimah and many other mu’minahs.

One of these women was Aasiyah, the wife of Fir’own. Her eman in Allah thrived under the shadow of someone who said, “I am your Lord, Most High!” When news reached Fir’own of his wife’s eman, he beat her and commanded his guards to beat her. They took her out in the scalding noon heat, tied her hands and feet, and beat her perpetually. Who did she turn to? She turned to Allah! She prayed, “My Lord, build for me a home with you in Paradise, save me from Fir’own and his deeds, and save me from the transgressive people.”

It was narrated that when she said this, the sky opened for her and she saw her home in Paradise. She smiled. The guards watched astonished – she’s being tortured and she smiles? Frustrated, Fir’own commanded a boulder to be brought and dropped on Aasiyah to crush her to death. But Allah took her soul before the boulder was brought and she became an example for all the believing men and women till the end of time:

And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir’own [Pharaoh] when she said, “My Lord, Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir’own and his deeds, and save me from the transgressive [disbelieving people] (At-Tahreem 66/11).

When we talk about jihaad and shuhadaa’ (martyrs), do you know who the first Muslim in Islam to be killed in the path of Allah was? It was Summayah, the mother of Ammar. When Abu Jahl heard of her, her husband Yaasir, and her son Ammar’s Islam, he whipped them all and beat them, so much so, that RasulAllah would pass by them as they went through this test of their eman and would say to them, “Be patient, O Jannah!”

One day, as Abu Jahl beat Sumayyah, she refused to recant her deen; something that enraged Abu Jahl. He took a spear as she lay on the burning sand looking up to the sky, and he speared through her midsection. She was the first of her family and the entire ummah to meet Allah as a martyr.

Dear sister, our role models come from the Qur’an. You may have heard the story of the boy and the king. When the entire village became Muslim by the death of that young boy, the king ordered that an enormous fire be kindled and all those who would not recant their religion be burned alive. A mu’minah, stood with her baby over the fire. She looked at her baby, and seeking her child’s weakness and innocence, she considered turning her back. The baby said to her, “What are you waiting for mother. Go forward, for you are on the truth!” She nodded. Then, with her baby in hand, she was pushed to her death.

And they ill-treated them for no other reason than that they believed in Allah, exalted in power, worthy of all praise! / Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allah is witness to all things (Al-Buruj 85/8-9).

And dear sister, your role models can also come to you from today. As her son tells us, a senior woman in a Muslim land decided that all the vanity that normally happens in the gatherings of women was not for her. She turned to salah and praying at night, and in her old age, she found herself calling to her son one night from her prayer room. He son says, “I came in and she was in sajdah saying that she was paralyzed!” Her son took her to the doctors and she began a cycle of rehabilitation, but there was little hope. She then commanded her son to take her back home, back to her prayer room, back to that sajdah. As she prayed to Allah in her sajdah, the night came and she again called to her son. “Astawdi’ukallaah alladhee laa yadee’u wa daa’i’uh,” which means, “I leave you in the trust of Allah, and whenever something is left in Allah’s trust it is never lost.” She passed away in her sajdah. Her muscles froze in that position and so they had to wash her body as she was in sajdah. They prayed janazah for her as her body was in sajdah. They carried her to the graveyard as her body was in sajdah. They buried her as she was in sajdah. The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said that we shall all be resurrected on what we died on; she shall be resurrected on the day of Judgment in sajdah to Allah – jalla jalaaluhu wa taqaddasat asmaa’uhu – because that it how she lived and died.

There are many other stories that we know about of powerful believing mothers, wives and sisters, and many that Allah only knows about. Whenever a halaqah is going on, the Muslim women outnumber the men. Go to an Islamic teachers or schools conference, attend a lecture and you shall see the mismatch of sisters to brothers. Sometimes it is sad to see all these brothers lacking the motivation that many muslimahs have. But if there is a beautiful sign in all this, it is that, in sha Allah ta’aala, those sisters are going to raise an army of believing men and women in the coming generation, Allahu Akbar!

When Imam Ahmad was still young, his father died. He would tell his students of the work his mother went through in raising him, and he would pray for her. In the cold Baghdad nights, she would wake long before him to warm the water so that her son Ahmad could make wudu for Fajr. Then she would wrap him in blankets, she herself cloaked in her jilbaab. She would guide him through the dark, cold alleys to reach the main masjid long before Fajr so that her son could get a good seat in class. Her son Ahmad, at that age in grade 2 or 3, would sit all day long studying Qur’an and Sunnah, and she would wait for him to finish so that she could drop him home safely. At the age of 16, she prepared money and food for him and told him, “Travel for your search of knowledge.” He left for Makkah and Madinah and many other places, and met many great scholars. She raised Ahmad to become one of the four greatest imams in Islam.

PART II

Dear sister, after all this, ask a non-Muslim what it is that he wants from you. Does he want you to be liberated? Liberated from what? From Allah and his Messenger? From the Qur’an and the Sunnah? From Jannah? From this deen that Allah chose for you?

And what is he going to give you in return? Happiness? By Allah, he does not own any happiness to give. Is he going to give you love and protection from punishment in the grave and from the gatekeepers of Hellfire and from death? Why is it that they want to liberate young beautiful women? Why don’t they liberate the seniors? Why don’t they liberate the indigenous? Why don’t they liberate the inmates? Why is their target audience a young, skinny and tall woman (their definition of beauty) between the ages of 13 – 28? And why is their first call for you to take off your hijab?

Remember that friend – if you consider him so – carefully, for without any doubt, by Allah, he shall be your bitterest enemy on the Day of Repayment.

Friends on that day will be foes, one to another – except the Righteous (Al-Zukhruf 43/67).

One kafirah summed up exactly what they think of women, “It’s not who you are, it’s what you wear and what you look like!” And listen to Fabian, a French ‘model,’ as she spit on the fashion industry. “Fashion houses made me into a mannequin, a wooden idol. The mission: to manipulate hearts and alter minds. I learned how to be worthless, nothing on the inside, but cold. We lived in a world of filth.”

When the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam stood on the plain of Arafah and gave his farewell speech, he said to the ummah, “Treat the women kindly!” History records that in Europe, in the same year, at the same time that Islam was saying this, the Christian clergy were arguing whether a woman was a human or an animal! Those clergymen are the ancestors of the kuffar that now want to ‘liberate’ you.

There is much more than can be said. I shall conclude with the advice of RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam to every Muslim mother, daughter, and wife:

“If the woman prays her five (salah), fasts her month (of Ramadan), protects herself (from committing zina), and listens to her husband, it will be said to her, that from any door you wish, enter Paradise!”

O ye who believe! Give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which shall give you life; and know that Allah cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall [all] be gathered (Al-Anfal 8/24).

Allah and His Messenger are calling you to life. Dear sister, reply!

Her name is Ummu ‘Immarah Nusaybah bint ka’ab ibn ‘Amr al-Ansaariyyah, who was known as Umm `Immarah. She was married to Zaid ibn `Asem before Islam and has given birth to her sons Habeeb and `Abdullah. Later, she was married to the believing Mujahid Ghuzayyah ibn `Amr who fathered Tamim and Khawlah.

With distinguishable achievements attributed to her name, She is known for participating in significant events surrounding the Muslims at that time, including the battle of Uhud where she used herself as a human shield in protection of the Prophets, peace be upon him, life. Her life boasts, with Allahs grace, of Iman, courage and heroism, making her a fine example and role model for her sisters in Islam to follow for generations to come.

Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy of him, says: She (Umm `Imarah) witnessed the pledge of `Aqabah and she also pledged allegiance. She participated in the battles of Uhud, Hudaybiyah and Khaybar and participated in `Umrah Al-
Qadaa`. She also witnessed the victory of Makkah and participated in the battles of Hunayn and Yamamah.
Known as the second Aqabah pledge, Nusyabh bint Ka’ab, may Allah be pleased with her, was only one of two women, who joined a group of 73 men to travel to Makkah and pledge allegiance to the Prophet, peace be upon him, to believe in Allah alone and not to associate other with Him, they also pledged themselves to jihad in complete obedience to the Prophet in ease, hardship and harsh circumstances.

The following narration gives an insight of the true responsibility of this pledge and how this woman, along with her fellow companions, fulfilled and shouldered the responsibility that this pledge required. The uncle of the Prophet, al-‘Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib was first to speak at the historic meeting which changed the whole course of the struggle between Islam and paganism. He said: “ O you people of the Khazraj […] all of you know the position that Muhammad holds among us. We have protected him from our people as much as we could. He is honoured and
respected among his people. He refuses to join any part except you. So, if you think you can carry out what our promise while inviting him to your town, and if you can defend him against the enemies, then assume the burden that you have taken. But if you are going to surrender him and betray him after having him away with you, you had better leave him now because he is respected and well defended in his own place.”

Ka’ab (the narrator of the hadith) replied “We have heard your words and now, O messenger of Allah, it is for you to speak and take from us any pledge that you want regarding your Lord and yourself.” Imam Ahmad recorded from Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “We said ‘O Messenger of Allah! To what shall we pledge?’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, answered:

1. To listen and obey in all difficulty and ease.
2. To spend in plenty as well as in scarcity
3. To enjoin good and forbid evil
4. In Allah’s service, you will fear the censure of none.
5. To aid me when I come to you, and protect me from anything you protect yourself, your spouses and children from, then paradise is install for you.’”

It was a definite response showing full determination, courage and deep faith to shoulder the great and fearsome responsibility and bear it series consequences. Allah’s messenger, peace be upon him then preached the faith and the pledge was taken.

Nusaybah bint Ka’ab, may Allah be pleased with her, proved truthful to her pledge on more than one occasion the most outstanding, being the event at Uhud where true heroism shined through, for she shielded the Prophet, peace be upon him, with her own body in a moment of mishap on part of the Muslim army. Nusyabah, may allah be pleased with her, went out carrying water, offering medical aid to the wounded and tendering to their needs. But as the battle raged, and the Muslims, who initially had the upper hand suddenly found themselves in a vulnerable position due to a hasty mistake they made, found themselves suddenly weakened. Chaos thus broke out, leaving the Messenger, peace be upon him, unprotected and his life consequently at stake. In attempt to make the Muslim army regroup and work their way through the hills of Uhud, towards the encompassed army, The Messenger raised his noble voice calling unto his companions “O servants of Allah.” He did that knowing that it would reach the idolaters before his companions, risking his life in this delicate situation. The idolater heard his voice and taking advantage of his vulnerable position; they concentrated their attack on the Prophet and looked forward to killing him with
all their power before any of his companions ran to his aid.

As soon as the companion’s did arrive, they encircled the messenger with their bodies and weapons and were alert enough to prevent the enemies from reaching him, among them, Nusaybah bint Ka’ab. Her heroism on this day a plan example to those, both men and women, who wish to emulate her, for when she saw the Messenger, peace be upon him, in trouble, whose molar teeth was broken and he was injured in the face, she, along with a group of other companions, helped to form a human shield around the Messenger.

Umm `Imarah narrated what happened in Uhud saying, “I went out in the forenoon with a water vessel in my hand. I came to the Messenger of Allah, while he was with his Companions and the Muslims were about to win the war. But
when Muslims were later defeated, I moved to the side of the Messenger of Allah (whose molar teeth was broken and he was injured in the face). I engaged in fighting and started protecting the Messenger of Allah, with the sword while shooting arrows until I was wounded.”

Umm Sa`d bint Sa`d ibnAr-Rabi`who reported this speech said: “And I saw a deep and hollow injury in her shoulder.”
This deep injury was caused by the enemy of Allah, Ibn Qami’ah who tried to kill the Prophet, but Umm`Imarah defended the Prophet and received a heavy strike by sword, then she attacked Ibn Qami’ah by striking him by sword repeatedly. In addition to thirteen other wounds, she suffered this deep wound which she continued to nurse for the rest of her life until she died.

She stood firm defending the Messenger of Allah, and he saw her around him defending him gloriously. She took a shield from an escapee, then some knight from the enemies was moving closer to her and hit her with his sword, but she used the shield cleverly then hit the hock of the horse and the knight fell down. At that time the Prophet called upon her son to help her until they both killed that knight. The compassionate Prophet said, “May Allah bless
this house hold! May Allah be merciful toward you!” He also said, “The stance of Nusaybah bint Ka`ab is better than so-and-so” Umm `Imarah received this call, not only with her ears, but with her entire being and feelings. She also felt it with all her senses and from within her love of faith that flourished in her heart. She then said: “O Messenger of Allah, invoke Allah to make us your companions in Paradise.”That was the goal she was aspiring for in this world and in the Hereafter.

Therein, the Prophet, supplicated for her saying, “O Allah, make them (Umm `Imarah and her family) my companions in Paradise.”Umm `Imarah said: “After this supplication, I do not care about whatever happens.” Commenting on her bravery and sacrifice `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates to us from the Messenger of Allah, his noble saying, “Whenever I turned left or right on the Day of Uhud, I could always see her (Umm `Imarah) fighting in my defense.”

The supplication of the Prophet actualized on the entire household of Umm `Imarah. Her sons `Abdullah and Habeeb were martyred in the way of Allah. She also had an invocation directly from the Messenger of Allah, and from his noble heart, that served as a provision for her in the remaining years of her life and as a light throughout the darkness of nights and days and with which she dispelled the darkness of events, making her a radiating model. Besides the medal that Umm `Imarah carried since the battle of Uhud and the invocation that the Prophet made for her, Such determined also extended to after the death of the prophet, During the time of Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq’s (radiyallahu ‘anhu) Khilaafah Where she went to seek permission to join the expedition of Khaalid bin Walid against Musaylamah al-Kadhdhaab (The Liar), who claimed to be a Prophet in the battle of Yamaamah.

Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘We know your worth in war, so go out in the name of Allaah.’ She was wounded in eleven different places and had her hand cut off. Her son Habeeb was also tortured at the hands of Musaylamah and was martyred at that expedition.

After the battle was over it was Khaalid ibn Waleed who came to treat her hand with hot oil to seal the wound and stop her bleeding. The hot oil was even more painful than having her hand cut off. The scholarly aspect of Umm `Imarah ‘s life also had its place and importance. She was a narrator of Hadith with excellent memory. Some of her narrations contained Islamic jurisprudence. For example, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah reported in their Sunan on the authority of Umm `Imarah that the Messenger of Allah, visited her and she presented some food to him. The Prophet told her, “Eat” She said: “I am fasting.” The Prophet then said: “If food is eaten in the house of a fasting person, the angels will invoke blessing on him.”

Al-Waqidi reported that Umm `Imarah said: “Men were shaking the hands of the Messenger of Allah, in the night of (the pledge of) `Aqabah while Al-`Abbas (his uncle) was holding the Prophet’s hand. When it was only me and Umm Manee`, my husband, Ghuzayyah ibn `Amr, said: “O Messenger of Allah, these are two women who came with us to pledge their allegiance to you.” The Prophet said: “I have accepted their pledge to what I accepted your
pledge to, for I do not shake women’s hands. ’”

At-Tirmidhi narrated that she came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and said: “I see that everything is directed to men, and that women are not mentioned at all” so, the verse (For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women…) (Al-Ahzab 33:35) was revealed.

As aforementioned, Umm ‘Immarah also witnessed and participated in Hudaybiyah and Khaybar and participated in `Umrah Al-Qadaa`. She also witnessed the victory of Makkah and participated in the battle of Hunayn. As mentioned previously, she was also tested through her son Habeeb who was tortured at the hands by Muslaymaan the Liar, after
defyingly refusing to accept his claim of Prophethood. As a result Habeeb had his limbs cut piece by piece while he was tied up. He uttered nothing but a testimony to the Oneness of Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. He remained in that state until he breathed his last.

Taken from:

“The Sealed Nectar,” by Saifur-Ruhmaan al-Mubarakpuri

“Umm `Imarah: A Great Model,” By Dr. Bassam Muhammad Hamami.

“Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa,” Imam adh-Dhahabi

Source

Great Women

Great Women

By: Shaykh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-Qaasim

Source: Khutbah; 26, Rabee’uth-Thaanee 1426 (3, June 2005)

Transcription: Islaamic Propagation & Education Committee Al-Madeenah Al-Munawwarah (Sermons of the two Holy Mosques)

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam), his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared. Fear of Allaah is a reminder for His devoted servants and it is safety from His punishment.

Dear brethren! Muslim woman attains prosperity by following the path of the best women who lived in the best generation and got nurtured in the house of Prophethood. They are women of high status and outstanding estimation. Allaah praises them in the Qur’aan where He says,

“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allaah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:32)

They are blessed and great women. Foremost among them is that intelligent and wise woman, Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, the religious and noble woman. She grew up upon virtuous characters and manners. She was chaste and gracious. She was known among Makkah women as ‘the pure woman’. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) married her and she became an excellent wife for him. She supported him with her life, wealth and wisdom. During his sorrowful days, he would seek shelter with her and confide in her.

When the first revelation came to him he went to his wife shaking, and he said, “O Khadeejah, I fear for myself.” But Khadeejah responded to his fear with a firm heart. And she told him, “By Allaah, Allaah will not disgrace you.”

Islaam started in her house and she was the first person to embrace it. Ibn al-Atheer said, “Khadeejah was the first person to embrace Islaam, according to the consensus of the Muslims. No man or woman ever embraced Islaam before her.”

At the beginning of the Prophet’s mission, he was faced with many tribulations. But she stood by him compassionately and supported him with her outstanding intelligence. Whenever he heard any undesirable words from the people and came to her, she would strengthen and console him. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said about her, “She believed in me when the people denied me, she trusted me when people belied me; she supported me with her wealth when people refused to support me and I was blessed with children by her when I was denied children by other women.” (Ahmad)

Khadeejah was a great and dutiful wife to her husband and an affectionate mother to her children. She gave birth to all the Prophet’s children except Ibraaheem. She was extremely good-mannered. She never argued with her husband and she never bothered him. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “Angel Jibreel came to me and said: ‘Give Khadeejah the good tidings that she will have a palace made of hollowed pearls in Paradise and there will be neither noise nor any trouble in it.'” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

As-Suhaylee said, “She was given the glad tiding of a house in Paradise because she never raised her voice over that of the Prophet and she never bothered him.” She was pleased with her Lord and Allaah is pleased with her.

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “Paradise and there will be neither noise nor any trouble in it.'” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Khadeejah was the only woman known to have this honour.”

Allaah loved Khadeejah, so did His angels. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) also loved her so much. He said, “I am blessed with her love.” (Muslim)

Whenever the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) remembered her, he would mention her in glowing attributes and would show gratitude for her companionship. ‘Aaishah said, “Whenever the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) remembered Khadeejah, he would never tired of praising her and invoking Allaah’s forgiveness for her. He appreciated her love and sincerity and he would honour her friends after her death.”

‘Aaishah said, “He would often slaughter a goat, cut it into parts and distribute it to Khadeejah’s friends. And whenever I asked him, ‘Are there no other women in the world except Khadeejah?’ He would say, ‘She was this and that and she bore me children.'” (Al-Bukhaaree)

After her death, Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) heard her sister’s voice. He them became sad and said, “She reminded me of Khadeejah.”

Khadeejah was perfect in her religion, wisdom and conduct. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “Many men attained perfection, but only three women attained it: Maryam, daughter of ‘Imraan [Jesus’ mother], Aasiyah, Pharaoh’s wife and Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid.” (Ibn Mardooyah)

She preceded the women of this Ummah in righteousness, nobility and splendour. Allaah’s Messenger said, “Maryam [Mary, Jesus’ mother] was the best woman of her time, and the best woman of this Ummah is Khadeejah.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

Khadeejah was righteous and made her home righteous. She reaped the fruit of her labour and she and her daughter became the best of the women of the worlds in Paradise. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “The best from the women of Paradise are: Khadeejah, Faatimah, Maryam [Mary] and ‘Aasiyah.” (Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee)

She occupied a great place in the Prophet’s heart. He did not marry any woman before her neither did he marry any woman or have any concubine while she was still with him until she died. He was extremely distressed with her death. Adh-Dhahabee said, “Khadeejah was intelligent, gracious, religious, chaste and noble. She is one of the dwellers of Paradise.”

Dear brethren! Another great woman of the house of Prophethood is ‘Aaishah, daughter of Aboo Bakr. She was born in the house of truthfulness and piety and she was nurtured in the house of eemaan. Her mother was a companion and her sister, Asmaa, Lady of the Two Girdles and her brother were also companions. Her father is the truthful man of this Ummah. She grew up in the house of knowledge, for her father was the erudite scholar of Quraysh and the highest authority in genealogy. Allaah endowed her with outstanding intelligence and a sharp memory. Ibn Katheer said, “No nation has produced a woman as sharp, knowledgeable, fluent and intelligent as ‘Aaishah.” She excelled the women of her race in knowledge and wisdom. She was blessed with understanding of Islaamic jurisprudence and memorisation of poetry. She was in fact, a treasure of Islaamic sciences. Adh-Dhahabee said, “The most knowledgeable woman of this Ummah is ‘Aaishah. I do not know any woman from the Ummah of Muhammad or from any other nation more knowledgeable than her.”

She excelled all women with her virtues and beautiful companionship. Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “The superiority of ‘Aaishah over other women is like the superiority of thareed over other kinds of food.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) loved her; and he did not love anything but that which is pleasant.

‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas once asked Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam), “Who is most beloved to you of all people?” The Prophet answered, “‘Aaishah.” And he said, “And among men?” And he answered, “Her father.” (Al-Bukhaaree)

She was the only virgin the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) married, and the revelation did not come to him in other woman’s blanket but hers. She was chaste and devoted to her Lord. She did not go out of her house except in the night so that men could not see her. She said of herself, “We did not use to go out but only in the night”. This is in line with Allaah’s instruction,

“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:33)

Al-Qurtubee said, “There are resplendent evidences in Islaam that require women to stay at home and not to go out except when necessary. And when it becomes necessary for them to go out they should do so with complete covering of themselves and their adornments.”

Allaah puts whomever He wills to test, and the test is in accordance with one’s eemaan. ‘Aaishah was slandered while she was only twelve. She said, narrating her ordeal in this incidence, “I wept and I could not sleep and I just kept weeping until my parents thought that my liver would burst from weeping.” She said that the trial was so severe that she would weep but could not find any more tears to shed.

Ibn Katheer said, “So Allaah decided to defend her honour, and He revealed ten verses to absolve her. This elevated her status and these verses were recited and they shall continue to be recited till the Day of Resurrection. Allaah testified that she was one of the purest women and promised her forgiveness and a generous provision.

She spent nights caring for the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) in his illness until he died in her apartment, on her day and in her bosom.

Sawdah bint Zam’ah is another of the Prophet’s noble wives. She was pure-hearted and the first woman he married after the death of Khadeejah. She was his only wife for about three years. She was gracious and noble, and the purity of her heart manifested when she gave her days with the Prophet to ‘Aaishah out of consideration for her husband’s feelings and in order to earn reward of her Lord.

Another great woman in the Prophet’s household is Hafsah, daughter of ‘Umar. She was given to observing prayers in the night and performing supererogatory fasting. She grew up in a house in which the cause of Islaam was supported and truth was given prominence. Seven members of her family participated in the battle of Badr. ‘Aaishah said of her, “She was my only competitor among the Prophet’s wives.”

There is also Zaynab bint Khuzaymah al-Hilaaliyyah who was very generous and hastened to perform righteous deeds. She lived with Allaah’s Messenger for only two months and then died.

Another distinguished woman in the house of Prophethood is Umm Habeebah daughter of Aboo Sufyaan, the emigrant and the one who was given to performing meritorious deeds. She was the closest to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) of his wives in terms of blood relation. There was no one among his wives who was more generous than her as far as charity giving is concerned. She migrated to Abyssinia, escaping with her religion. The king of Abyssinia paid her bridal gift on the Prophet’s behalf and got her ready for him.

Another outstanding wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) was Umm Salamah, the patient and noble woman. Her name is Hind bint Abee Umayyah, one of the earliest emigrants. When she wanted to migrate to al-Madeenah with her husband Aboo Salamah, her clan separated between her and her husband and son. She said, “Every morning I would go to Abtah [a valley in Makkah] and I would keep weeping until evening. I did so for a whole year or close to a year. They later pitied me and gave my son back to me.”

Her sure faith in Allaah was firm-rooted. When her first husband died, she said the invocation that Allaah’s Messenger taught her, so Allaah gave her a better husband in the person of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam). Umm Salamah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “If any Muslim who suffers some calamity says what Allaah has commanded him,” We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return; O Allaah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it,” Allah will give him something better than it in exchange.” When Abu Salamah died she said: ‘Which Muslim is better than Abu Salamah whose family was the first to emigrate to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam)?’ I then said those words, and Allaah gave me the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) in exchange.” (Muslim)

Make this supplication your treasure during afflictions, Allaah will provide you with what is better.

Dear brethren! There is a woman among the Prophet’s wives known as Mother of the Poor. She is Zaynab bint Jahsh whose mother is the Prophet’s aunt. She enjoyed nobility of birth and character. She was described by Aboo Nu’aym as, ‘devoted and contented woman’. Allaah married her to His Prophet through an explicit verse from His Book,

“So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:37)

Her marriage to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) is a blessing to the Muslim women till the day of Resurrection, for it was after her marriage that Allaah ordained hijaab for the women so that it could serve as a symbol of protection for their honour, chastity and purity.

Zaynab was extremely generous to the poor and the weak. She was highly charitable. In spite of her nobility and high status, she used to work with her hands, tanning and making beads. And she would spend the proceeds for the poor. ‘Aaishah said, “I have not seen a woman better in her adherence to religion, more pious, kinder to the kith and kin and more generous in giving charity than Zaynab.”

Juwayriyyah bint al-Haarith from the tribe of Banoo al-Mustaliq is another of the Prophet’s distinguished wives. Her father was the influential chief of his tribe. She was in herself blessed as she was blessed to her tribe. ‘Aaishah said, “I have not seen a woman who is greater in blessing to her people more than her.” She was given to performing much acts of worship for her Lord. She sincerely and devotedly worshiped her Lord. She would sit down in her prayer place remembering her Lord after Fajr until mid-noon. She said, “The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam)  came to me one morning while I was glorifying Allaah. He then went out for some of his needs. When he came back just before mid-noon he said, ‘Are you still there remembering Allaah?’ And I said, ‘Yes.'” (Muslim)

Another honourable wife of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) is the beautiful Safiyyah bint Huyayy, a descendant of Prophet Haaroon [Aaron]. She was a noble and intelligent woman. She was highly-placed, religious, deliberate and peace-loving. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) told her, “Indeed, you are a daughter of a Prophet [meaning Aaron], your uncle is a Prophet [meaning Moses]; and you are also married to a Prophet.” (At-Tirmidhee)

The feast of her marriage to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) comprised only of butter, cottage cheese and dates. But the marriage was blessed.

Maymoonah bint al-Haarith al-Hilaaliyyah, the woman who was given to being kind to the kith and kin is another eminent wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam). She was one the greatest women. Allaah endowed her with pure heart and performance of much acts of worship. ‘Aaishah said about her, “She was one of the most pious and most generous to the kith and kin among us.”

Fellow Muslims! That is the history of the outstanding women of Islaam, mothers of the faithful. Their virtues are glowing. They had combination of beauties and virtues. It is therefore, incumbent upon Muslim women to make them their models in matters of their religion, their submission to Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam), their conduct, their consciousness of Allaah, their performance of acts of worship, their truthfulness in words and their spending for the poor. They need to emulate them in their alleviation of other people’s sufferings; and in their efforts to make their children righteous, correct them with patience and in seeking fortification through knowledge and learning from erudite scholars.

They need to emulate them in keeping themselves properly covered, maintaining their chastity, staying at their homes and keeping away from doubtful and lustful things. They should emulate them by avoiding pinning their hopes on this world, heedlessness and forgetfulness or being carried away by outward beauties while the inward is corrupt.

The Muslim women should avoid looking at forbidden things and engaging in amorous conversations with alien men. They should beware of those who are calling to the removal of hijaab and mixing with men.

Muslim woman’s greatness and glory lie in her religion and her hijaab. Allaah says,

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Israa 33:59)

Dear Muslims! The Prophet’s wives lived with him humbly in apartments built of brick and palm leaves, but full of eemaan and piety. They showed patience with the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) over poverty and hunger. Sometimes, a month or two would pass with no cooking fire kindled in their homes. They would spend days with nothing to eat but only dates and water. Sometimes they would make do with water only. Yet they lived in contentedness and patience upon Allaah’s promise that,

“The Hereafter is better for you than the present (life of this world).” (Ad-Duhaa 93:4)

And His promise,

“And whosoever of you is obedient to Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) and does righteous good deeds, We shall give her, her reward twice over, and We have prepared for her a noble provision.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:31)

Brethren in Islaam! The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) married five of his wives with their ages ranging between forty and sixty. By that he was able to lay an example in taking care of the widow and their orphaned children. He married Khadeejah while she was forty years old, with three children from the previous marriage, while he was unmarried before. He married Zaynab bint Khuzaymah who was an almost sixty-year-old widow. He married Umm Salamah who was a widow with six children. He married Sawdah who was a fifty-five years old widow. He married some relatives from among his cousins. And he married some women who were not his relatives. He was a compassionate, dutiful and honourable husband to them all. He lived with them in the most beautiful way. He was always cheerful and kind to them.

Therefore, let those who want to prosper emulate the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam), who is the best of all creatures. Let the Muslim women follow the path of the righteous wives of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam). For, there is no success for any woman except by following the path of these pious ladies in their righteousness and God-consciousness and in their dutifulness to their husband and children.

Ibn Kathir commented on the verse: {“And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir’awn, when she said: “My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir’awn and his work, and save me from the wrong-doers.””} [at-Tahrim; 11]:

Qatadah said: “Fir’awn was the most tyrannical and disbelieving person on Earth, and by Allah, his disbelief did not affect his wife when she decided to obey her Lord.”

Abu ‘Uthman an-Nahdi reported that Sulayman said: “Fir’awn’s wife was tortured in the heat of the Sun. When her torturers would take a break and walk away, the Angels would shade her with their wings, and she would see her home in Paradise.”

al-Qasim bin Abi Bazzah said:
“Fir’awn’s wife asked who won, and it was said to her: “Musa and Harun won.” So, she would say: “I believe in the Lord of Musa and Harun.” Fir’awn said to those around him: “Look for the largest rock you can find. If she sticks to what she said, throw it on her. If she retracts what she said, she will remain my wife.” When they came to her, she looked towards the sky and saw her home in Paradise. So, she stuck to what she said and her soul was taken, and the rock was thrown on her lifeless body after her soul had been taken.” The scholars say regarding her statement: “My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise” that she chose her neighbor (Allah) before mentioning where she wanted to live (a home in Paradise).

Abu al-’Aliyah said:
“Fir’awn’s wife believed because of the wife of Fir’awn’s treasurer. What happened was that this woman was sitting and combing the hair of Fir’awn’s daughter one day, and the comb fell from her hand. So, she said: “May whoever disbelieves in Allah be destroyed!” Fir’awn’s daughter said to her: “You have a lord besides my father?” She replied: “The Lord of me, your father, and everything is Allah.” So, Fir’awn’s daughter hit her and went to tell her father.

Fir’awn sent to her, saying: “You worship a lord besides me?” She said: “Yes. The Lord of you, I, and everything is Allah, and I worship Him.” So, Fir’awn tortured her by putting her on a stake and stretching out her arms and legs and setting loose snakes on her body. One day, when she was in such a state, he came to her and said: “Will you give up?” She replied: “The Lord of you, I, and everything is Allah.” He said to her: “I will kill your son if you do not do not go back from what you said.” She said: “Do whatever you want,” and he killed her son, and she could hear his soul calm her down by saying to her: “Be happy, my mother! You have such and such reward with Allah!”

She remained patient until Fir’awn came to her another day, and she said the same to him as she had before. So, he killed another of her sons, and she could hear his soul calming her down as well. Fir’awn’s wife heard all of this, and this caused her to become a believer. Allah took away the soul of the wife of Fir’awn’s treasurer, and Fir’awn’s wife suddenly realized the reward, status, and honor that this woman had in Paradise.

So, she increased in her faith and certainty until Allah caused Fir’awn to discover her faith, and he said to his followers: “What do you know about Asyah bint Muzahim?” They replied by praising her, and he said to them: “She worships someone besides me!” They said: “Kill her,” and he placed her on a device that stretched her arms and legs away from her body. So, Asyah called upon her Lord, saying: “My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise!” Fir’awn happened to walk by when she said this, and she smiled because she saw her home in Paradise, and Fir’awn said to those watching: “Aren’t you amazed by her insanity? She smiles while we are torturing her?!”

So, Allah took her soul away to Paradise, and may Allah be Pleased with her…”

[‘Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim’; 4/504-505]

Regarding the story of the woman who was combing the hair of Fir’awn’s daugher, there is a supporting narration in the ‘Musnad’ (1/309 and 4/295) that was declared authentic by Ahmad Shakir from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “ًWhen it was the night of my Isra‘, I sensed a beautiful, sweet scent. So, I said: “Jibril, what is this beautiful scent?” He replied: “This is the scent of the woman who combed the hair of Fir’awn’s daughter, and her children.” I said: “And what is her story?”” And he then related a story similar to what was mentioned by Ibn Kathir, with the difference of a few details.

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