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The Best of Women (Hadith No. 1542)

Bismillah.

Hadith No. 1541 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.

Volume 3, Book 27, Number 18:

Narrated Hisham Ibn ‘Urwa from his father who said:

While I was a youngster, I asked ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) the wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). “What about the meaning of the Statement of Allah;

“Verily! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al Marwa, are among the symbols of Allah. So, it is not harmful if those who perform Hajj or ‘Umra of the House (Ka’ba at Mecca) to perform the going (Tawaf) between them? (2.158) I understand (from that) that there is no harm if somebody does not perform the Tawaf between them.” ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) replied, “No, for if it were as you are saying, then the recitation would have been like this: ‘It is not harmful not to perform Tawaf between them.’ This verse was revealed in connection with the Ansar who used to assume the Ihram for the idol Manat which was put beside a place called Qudaid and those people thought it not right to perform the Tawaf of As-Safa and Al-Marwa. When Islam came, they asked Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) about that, and Allah revealed:–

“Verily! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwa Are among the symbols of Allah. So, it is not harmful of those who perform Hajj or ‘Umra of the House (Ka’ba at Mecca) to perform the going (Tawaf) between them.” (2.158) Sufyan and Abu Muawiya added from Hisham (from ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)): “The Hajj or ‘Umra of the person who does not perform the going (Tawaf) between As-Safa and Al-Marwa is incomplete in Allah’s sight.

Today’s Hadith:

Volume 3, Book 27, Number 19:

Narrated Isma’il:

Abdullah bin Abu Aufa (radiallaahu `anhu) said: “Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) performed ‘Umra and we too performed ‘Umra along with him. When he entered Mecca he performed the Tawaf (of Ka’ba) and we too performed it along with him, and then he came to the As-Safa and Al-Marwa (i.e. performed the Sai) and we also came to them along with him. We were shielding him from the people of Mecca lest they may hit him with an arrow.” A friend of his asked him (i.e. ‘Abdullah bin Aufa (radiallaahu `anhu)), “Did the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) enter the Ka’ba (during that ‘Umra)?” He replied in the negative. Then he said, “What did he (the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) say about Khadija (radiallaahu `anhaa)?” He (Abdullah bin Aufa (radiallaahu `anhu)) said, “(He said) ‘Give Khadija (radiallaahu `anhaa) the good tidings that she will have a palace made of Qasab in Paradise and there will be neither noise nor any trouble in it.”

I’ll discuss only the last part of the Hadith, about Khadija (radiallaahu `anhaa). I don’t know about you, but her mention always brings a smile on my face. What a lady! I wonder sometimes how can someone love another so selflessly..? How can someone devote their life, time, energies, wealth, everything to someone else and their mission? I know he was a Prophet and it was different with him. But what about before his prophet-hood? Khadija (radiallaahu `anhaa) didn’t know he was going to be a Prophet later, and that’s certainly not why she married him. She had married him for his noble character and honesty. And she had devoted everything to him after marriage. Not once do we get to know that she showed her superiority over him due to her wealth.

It’s not like life was smooth for them. They suffered. She suffered.. because of him (apparently). A typical wife would fire taunts at the husband for the rest of her life if she had to go through any difficulty because of him. But Khadija (radiallaahu `anhaa) was not a typical wife at all! She was given glad tidings of a palace in Jannah for a reason, where there will be no noise or trouble. She was chosen to be among the best women of Jannah for a reason.

We all want to have the same destination, but we don’t want to undertake the journey. How can this work?

There has been a post on the unconditional love of Khadija (radiallaahu `anhaa) before as well. Make sure to check it out!

Hadith No. 3 – Sahih al-Bukhari

Salam,

Bismillah.

A big smile came on my face when I realized that we’re doing this Hadith today. I love it! =)

Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3:

Narrated ‘Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers):

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food, like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.”

The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) Then Allah’s Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” She covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.

Khadija replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, who, during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah’s Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Apostle asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while.

Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Ansari while talking about the period of pause in revelation reporting the speech of the Prophet “While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hira’ sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I got afraid of him and came back home and said, ‘Wrap me (in blankets).’ And then Allah revealed the following Holy Verses (of Quran):

‘O you (i.e. Muhammad!) wrapped up in garments!’ Arise and warn (the people against Allah’s Punishment),… up to ‘and desert the idols.’ (74.1-5) After this the revelation started coming strongly, frequently and regularly.”

There are a lot of aspects of this Hadith. I’ll only talk about one: Khadija (RA).

The woman whom our Prophet (SAW) married, the woman for whom Jibreel (AS) brought Allah’s Salam, the same one who got the ‘good news’ in her lifetime: that palaces made of jewels and pearls wait for her in Paradise.

Ever think why? Why SO much reward? What did she achieve in her life that no other woman could? Again, I’ll just talk about one of the aspects: Unconditional Love.

Looking at the relationship between Prophet (SAW) and Khadija (RA), we can learn a lot about this kind of love. Let’s take the incident mentioned in this Hadith..

Before prophet-hood, Muhammad (SAW) began to go to Mount Hira to be alone and worship the One God. Khadija never asked why.. Cherry on top: she’d pack more food for him when he returned.

The first revelation.. Prophet (SAW) was scared to death! He came straight to Khadija, his secret-keeper. NOTE: he could’ve gone to his beloved uncle, Abu Talib.

Prophet (SAW) said: “Zammilooni! Cover me, cover me!” She didn’t panic.

He (SAW) said: “I fear something might happen to me.” She consoled him, counted all his good qualities to relax him: ‘You keep good relations with your kith and kin…” She took him to Waraqa bin Nawfal for more guidance. A wise woman, she handled the situation very well!

Words and lack of experience fail me when I try to describe this relationship. Anyway, in order to act upon this Hadith, I’m going to exercise this ‘unconditional love’. Target: my family. =)

If you have suggestions for me on the course of action, you can definitely share!

Listen to this AWESOME nasheed called Zammilooni. It’s about the beautiful relationship between Prophet (SAW) and Khadija. Enjoy!

Wassalam.

The Greatest Women Who Ever Lived

Sparkling gems in their own times, they continue to glisten beyond their age, making their appeal everlasting...Each one a legend in her own right, they were declared the best of women by the Last Prophet (SAW)…So what were the special characteristics these illustrious women had and how can we follow in their footsteps in our times? Fatima Barakatullah looks for answers and finds inspiration and guidance.

What are the most famous women of today celebrated for? Those held up as role models for the modern woman include actresses, singers, footballers WAGs (wives and girlfriends) and glamour models – all celebrated for their physical appeal. Very rarely will a woman be deemed ‘successful’ for other than what is really just superficial and then, as is often the case, when she ages and her physical features fade, she will fall out of favour with the media and younger women will replace her as the icons of their era.

But Allah shows us in His Book that a woman is so much more than the outer shell that is her body. Our history is replete with examples of great women who were gems of their times and whose sparkling appeal is timeless. Islam defines for us that the truly successful are those of integrity, who fulfil the purpose of their creation and rise to the challenges that are presented to them throughout life with tenacity, thereby gaining the pleasure of their Creator and everlasting victory in the next life.

The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said in an authentic Hadeeth:

“The best women from the people of Jannah are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad, Aasiya bint Muzaahim – the Wife of Pharoah and Mary daughter of Imran, may Allah be pleased with them all.”

In fact Allah specifically mentions two of these great women in the Qur’an, as role models for believing men as well as women. In Surat ut-Tahreem Allah says:

“And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: The wife of Pharaoh, when she said: “My Lord! Build for me a home with you in Paradise, and save me from the Pharaoh and his actions, and save me from the people who are oppressors.

And Maryam, the daughter of Imran who guarded her chastity. And we breathed into the sleeve of her garment through our Ruh, and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and believed in His books and was of those who are obedient to Allah.”

So what were the characteristics that made them worthy of such accolades? What made Allah and His Messenger single out these women above all others? And more importantly, how can we benefit and learn from their example?

They affirmed the Truth immediately

The four greatest women submitted to the Truth and to the commands of Allah immediate, without any hesitation. We see from their stories that Mariam accepted the huge task that Allah had set for her, of going through pregnancy and childbirth by herself, unsupported by a man and then of presenting her child to the people who would inevitably accuse her of being unchaste.

Khadijah accepted Islam immediately and was the first Muslimah. When the Prophet returned from Mount Noor having received the first revelation from Angel Jibreel, it was Khadijah who immediately accepted his message and believed in him even though he himself was shaken by the event.

Lesson I: Today, there is a culture amongst us of ‘Fatwa Shopping’. In other words, when an Islamic ruling makes us feel uncomfortable, instead of saying ‘We hear and we obey’, we just go and ask someone who has another opinion until we find the opinion that is most akin to our own desires. We must become women who, when faced with the truth in any matter, sincerely accept it and submit without hesitation.

They had a strong relationship with Allah

Their knowledge of Allah and His attributes made them close to Him. When the Prophet returned from the Cave of Hira, fearing something bad had happened to him Khadijah knew Allah would never forsake him. She said: “Allah would never humiliate you, for you are good to your relatives, you are true to your word, you help those who are in need, you support the weak, you feed the guest and you answer the call of those who are in distress.” She knew that Allah is Just and does not humiliate the righteous.

Aasiya knew when Pharaoh was torturing her to turn her from her faith, that Allah could hear her cries and her du’a, she asked Allah to build for her, with Him a house in Paradise. During her ordeal, Allah showed her house in Paradise to her, which made her smile, just as she was martyred at the hands of her husband.

Mariam had such a close relationship to her Lord that he would provide her with the fruits of the Summer in the Winter and the fruits of the Winter in Summer. When the Prophet Zakariyyah (AS) saw this he quizzed her about the origin of the food she always had. She said, “This is from Allah. Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whomsoever He wills without limit.”

Lesson II: If we are to become close to Allah we too must have correct knowledge of Him and His names and attributes and mention Him often through His Dhikr. If we remember Him much in times of ease, only then will we be able to remember Him in times of difficulty.

They had Qunoot

Allah describes the True Believing women as being Qaanitaat and described Maryam in particular as having the characteristic of Qunoot. He says in Surah Aal Imran, Aayah 43:”O Maryam! Submit yourself with obedience (Uqnuti) to your Lord and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with those who bow down.”

Qunoot means to stand for long periods in prayer and this was particularly a characteristic of Maryam and Fatima. Qunoot also means to be devoutly obedient and to submit to Allah.

Lesson III: We must become true worshippers of Allah, not only striving to establish our prayers, but striving to concentrate and to lengthen our prayers, in particular, the Night Prayer (tahajjud). We must have soft hearts that accept Allah’s commands and obey him with devotion.

They supported the Believing men in their lives

Aasiya saved the baby Musa from Pharoah and brought him up & believed in him. Mariam was pivotal to the message of Eesa and she brought him to the people as a sign from Allah. Fatima defended her father when the idolators in Makkah threw the blood and carcass of a dead camel on her father’s back while he prayed. She removed the filth and stood up to the men who had attacked her father, only to be slapped in the face by Abu Jahl.

Khadijah stood by the Prophet (saw) and spent her wealth for the sake of his message. She endured the difficult boycott period when the Muslims and their supporters were forced to dwell in a valley away from the people of Makkah and were refused food or trade. The Muslims used to eat the leaves of the trees due to the extreme state of poverty they were in. Khadijah endured these hardships and stood by the Prophet (saw).

Lesson IV: We must support our men folk and help them to be ‘real men’. We must stand by them in times of difficulty and strengthen them when they feel weak in their Iman. It’s amazing the effect that a woman can have on a man’s self-esteem and confidence. Insha Allah, we will be rewarded for helping our men to be better servants of Allah.

They had Courage

Fatima was often seen in the wars that the Muslims fought, treating the wounded and stood up to Abu Jahl when he attacked the Prophet (saw). Mariam had the courage to bring Eesa to people after her difficult ordeal. She knew they would accuse her of being unchaste, yet she bravely obeyed Allah’s command. Khadijah had the courage to follow and encourage the Prophet (saw) in his mission even though she endured hardship due to it. Aasiyah courageously stood up to Pharoah, the greatest tyrant of that time and refused to become a disbeliever.

Lesson V: We have to be prepared to do difficult things in our lives. We must have the courage to speak out to defend the oppressed and to tell people about our Deen without watering it down and we must be prepared to sacrifice anything for the sake of the Truth.

They had Istiqamah and Sabr

Istiqamah means to stand firm upon the straight path and sabr is patient perseverance. In other words, they tenaciously held on to the truth come what may.

Asiyah stayed firm upon the Deen of Musa throught her torture and martyrdom. Mariam had sabr when facing her peoples’ accusations and stayed firm throughout the tests she faced. Khadijah and Fatima endured the three-year boycott that was imposed on them and went through the persecution of Makkah and kept their Iman.

Lesson VI: We live in a time when we need Istiqamah. We need to stay true to the message of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and not be tempted to water-down our Deen to appease other people. It will mean being patient and displeasing people sometimes, but ultimately we will have pleased Allah and He will give us success.

They had Tawakkul (Reliance Upon Allah)

When she was being persecuted for worshipping Allah, Aasiya’s reliance upon Allah made her stay firm upon Iman and not yield under the intense pressure. Fatima faced poverty and physical hardship after her marriage to Ali to the point that her hands became rough and her face changed colour due to the physically demanding work she was doing. Despite this she was not allowed to receive Zakah and was not granted a servant when she wanted one. Instead the Prophet taught her and Ali to say ‘Subhan Allah’ 33 times and ‘Alhamdulillah’ 33 times and ‘Allahu Akbar’ 34 times. He reminded them that Allah was the One who would make things easier for them so they should put all of their trust in Him. All four of the women persevered in the tests they faced due to their reliance upon Allah and knowledge that He would make their affairs right.

Lesson VII: We must learn to truly have tawakkul in Allah and trust that after we have done our bit, Allah will make everything turn out right as long as we are conscious of Him.

They had Zuhd (were not attached to the life of this world)

The Prophet (saw) once told Fatima to remove the gold bangles she was wearing as he wanted to teach her not to desire this life. She immediately removed the bangles and gave them away in charity. Khadijah spent her wealth in supporting the Da’wah during the Makkan period, she gave up her status as one of the most noble and esteemed women of the Quraysh in order to stand by the Prophet.

Aasiya could have had a life of luxury as she was married to the richest and most powerful man in the world. She gave up the material delights she could have enjoyed if she complied with Pharaoh’s wishes. Yet she chose what was with Allah over this worldly life.

Lesson VIII: We must be willing to give up all we have for the sake of Allah. We must avoid joining in the race to have the best and latest commodities and realise that what is with Allah is so much more.

[Source: Sisters Magazine]

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