It all began with one sincere prostration. A prostration that reflected pure submission and turning point of Maria’s life. It was a prostration of resolve, a resolve never to go back to the life of disobedience to Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla. It was the point when she repented back to Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla.
Maria now steps up in hope of excelling in her servitude of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla. She gets involved in her local Muslim community and extends her good acts of worship to the international community as well. Day by day, she becomes busier and more active. Today she is in Boston, tomorrow in Houston and maybe the next week she’s flying to Brighton to deliver a lecture or a workshop on Islam! In the midst of such a busy schedule as a caller to Islam, she realizes her heart has hardened. She realizes she no more feels the deep connection with Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla. Because she forgot something. She forgot her beginning point. She forgot repentance. Is it because she took it a granted once-in-a-lifetime experience?
My dear sister and brother, Rasulullaah ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
”Every son of Adam makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” (At-Tirmidhi).
Repentance is NOT a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is an act that is essential on a daily basis for a Muslimah and Muslim to survive with a sound heart in this world.
Just like Rasulullah ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, we all DO make mistakes no matter what position we hold in this world, but the best are those who do repent. So, if we are forgetting to repent a lot on a daily basis, then indeed we are failing to clear up our mistakes, which no doubt we make every day.
I recall myself to be in the car [most probably] when this thought struck me. I thought to myself, that everyday there are so many mistakes I make on a daily basis. Some knowingly, some unknowingly. The consequences of such mistakes are painful to bear, and they are so painful I really wish I never had to bear them. Suddenly, I remembered this du’a of Sayyidul Istighfaar where RasulullahṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught us: ‘… I take refuge in You from the evil of which I committed.’
Immediately, my heart was at awe when I related this du’a to my thought. What a mercy from the Most Merciful that He taught us a du’a to seek refuge in Him to keep us away from the pain of the mistakes we make and Who taught us to do so by repenting to Him on a daily basis. SubhaanAllaahil ‘Azeem!
Hence, my dear sisters and brothers,
1. We need to repent to Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla everyday, because we make mistakes everyday. If we want to clear up our daily mistakes and not face the consequences in the hereafter, we must then repent daily and frequently.
2. But also, if we want to stay away from the pain of our sins in this dunya itself, we must repent frequently.
My small message to you all is, no matter what big projects you have embarked on, it is never possible to accomplish unless Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla Wills and is Pleased with you. If you have reached where you are today, remember that it all started with the sweet moment of your repentance to Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla and He helping you step up towards excellence. Hence, there is no moving forward in life without turning backward to Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla!
Thus, repent, repent and repent!
One day the Angel Jibril told Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about Hafsah:
“She is an often fasting and worshipping lady and she will be your wife in Paradise too.” [Mustadrak Al-Hakim 4/15]
Hafsah was the daughter of ‘Umar Faruq, and the niece of another famous Sahabi, ‘Uthman bin Maz’un. Her uncle from the paternal side was Zayd bin Khattab. ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar was her brother.
Hafsah was an extremely religious lady who used to spend her time in prayer and fasting. An excellent writer and orator, an ardent follower of Islam.
Hafsah had such noble qualities and such an amiable nature that ‘A’ishah remarked that among wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) only she could compare with her. Her life is exemplary, brought up as she was by a Companion of the calibre of ‘Umar bin Khattab.
Hafsah was born in the family of a great warrior and wrestler, ‘Umar bin Khattab who was well known for his martial skills. In her growing years she was brought up in an Islamic environment, both her parents and her aunts and uncles having already converted to the new religion. When she was old enough, she was married to Khanis bin Huthafah As-Sahmi. He was influenced by the teaching of Abu Bakr Siddiq and had accepted Islam.
Due to worst cruelty and oppression, Khanis had to migrate to Al-Madinah with his wife. He was welcomed by Rafa’h bin ‘Abdul Munthir and stayed in his house as his guest.
Both Khanis and Hafsah loved the new life in Al-Madinah. Hafsah made special arrangements to memorize the Ayat of the Quran as and when they were revealed. Then she would give deep thought and attention to the meaning and interpretation of the Ayat. Her husband meanwhile was enthusiastically preparing himself for Jihad and improving his martial skills. He was constantly alert to the movements of the enemy and was ever ready to meet them head on.
News came that the Quraysh of Makkah, after making elaborate preparations for a war to wipe out the Muslims, were marching towards Al-Madinah under the leadership of Abu Jahl.
The Muslims under the leadership of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), practically unarmed, reached Badr and set up camp taking control of the only source of water. All they had with them was their strong faith in the Allah.
Khanis bin Huthafah, ‘Umar Faruq and the maternal and paternal uncles of Hafsah and her cousin were all part of this courageous band. Her husband was determined to win the battle for Allah and bring to dust the pomp and grandeur of Abu Jahl’s forces. Finally the forces met and Khanis bin Huthafah went tearing through the ranks of the enemy. He was seriously wounded, but most of the leaders of the disbelievers were killed, and Islam triumphed. It is one of the greatest battles fought in history where a handful of unarmed and outnumbered men routed a powerful and well-equipped army.
When Hafsah heard of her husband’s heroic deeds she was very happy, and praised his valour in battle; but she also realized that in this condition he would need the best care possible. She immediately recited the Ayah of Surat Al-Anfal which were revealed in connection with the Battle of Badr,
“Allah made it only as glad tidings, as that your hearts be at rest therewith. And there is no victory except from Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Noble Quran 8:10]
These Words of the Allah Almighty promising victory inspired her and she happily turned to the task of nursing her husband back to health. But it was not to be, for he was to be blessed with an exalted position. A few days later he succumbed to his injuries and joined the ranks of those who are blessed with eternal life. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) heard of his passing away he arranged for him to be buried in Jannatul Baqi, next to the uncle of Hafsah; he personally led the funeral prayers. Hafsah was, naturally, grief stricken, but being a true believer she respectfully submitted to the Will of Allah. She turned towards her Maker and courageously gave herself even more to prayer and meditation. She was at this time barely twenty-one years old.
For her father it was very painful to see his daughter in this state. Her silent courage under these circumstances, her patient prayers and her study of the Quran irradiated her countenance with a spiritual beauty and innocence, but there was also a sadness because of the harsh loneliness that had become part of her life. After deep thought ‘Umar Faruq decided to approach ‘Uthman bin Affan, whose wife Ruqayyah the Prophet’s daughter, had passed away. He thought that sharing a common bond would help to alleviate their sorrow in losing worthy spouses. So, having taken this decision he went direct to ‘Uthman. After the formal greeting and expression of condolences on his wife’s death he broached the topic closest to his heart. ‘Uthman lowered his eyes and then after a few moments pause, he said he needed time to think it over.
‘Umar Faruq met him again after a few days and asked him if he had thought over the proposal. ‘Uthman answered that he was not presently planning on marriage. From there he went to Abu Bakr Siddiq and offered him his daughter in marriage. He too lowered his gaze and did not answer him. Imam Bukhari in his book of Hadith, As-Sahih Al-Bukhari, has given a whole chapter to the topic of an honorable man offering his sister or daughter in marriage.
‘Umar Faruq was very upset because both the men he approached had either avoided or refused marriage to his daughter. He was confident of a willing and joyful acceptance but things turned out otherwise. He was very upset and worried at the turn of events; in a sense it was an affront to him and his position as a sincere defender of the faith. People, he thought, would consider it an honor to have an alliance by marriage with him. With this grievance he went to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and explained to him the position he found himself in. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) smilingly answered that he should neither grieve nor worry, and Allah willing he would find a man better than ‘Uthman for Hafsah and ‘Uthman in turn, would find for himself a better woman than Hafsah.
‘Umar Faruq was pleased on hearing this from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself, but also a little perplexed over who such a man could be? A few days later the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) married his daughter, Umm Kulthum to ‘Uthman. ‘Umar Faruq realized that one part of the prediction had come true, but he continued to puzzle over the second half of the statement. Who could possibly be a better man than ‘Uthman? Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) proposed marriage to Hafsah. ‘Umar Faruq could not believe his ears; his daughter would have the honor of joining the select band of women who were known as the Mothers of the believers! ‘A’ishah and Sawdah were already part of the Prophet’s household. It seemed too good to be true. Thus Hafsah was joined in marriage to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the 3rd year after Hijrah, before the Battle of Uhud. She was about twenty-two years old at the time. On seeing off his daughter to her husband’s house, ‘Umar Faruq told her that she should never try to compete with ‘A’ishah, who was the Prophet’s favorite and better than her in many respects. He said she should respect her sincerely and live happily as a member of the first and foremost family.
Sa’id bin Al-Musayyab, a learned scholar, states that the Prophet’s prediction that he was a better husband for Hafsah than ‘Uthman was proved right, as was his statement that Umm Kulthum was a better wife for ‘Uthman than Hafsah. After the marriage Abu Bakr Siddiq met with ‘Umar Faruq and told him the truth, which was that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had mentioned to him that he planned to marry Hafsah. That was the reason he had remained silent, as it would not have been proper to betray his confidence. If matters were different he would have been only too happy to accept her hand in marriage. ‘Umar Faruq expressed his happiness by quoting the following Ayah,
“This is by the Grace of my Lord – to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for himself; and whoever is ungrateful, (it is for the loss of only himself). Certainly my Lord is Rich, Bountiful.” [Noble Quran 27:40]
After attaining the position of the Mother of the Believers, Hafsah became even more absorbed in studying the finer points of religion. She would store in her mind conversations of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) which would lead to a better understanding of Islam. Often she would discuss any points that arose in her mind about the Shari’ah.
Jabir bin ‘Abdullah Ansari narrates an incident which was related to him by Umm Mubasher. She and Hafsah and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were sitting and chatting together. He said that all the people who had given the pledged of allegiance at Hudaybiyah under the tree would go to Paradise, and not to Hell. She asked how that was possible. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) got annoyed, but Hafsah did not give up and quoted an Ayah from Surah Maryam.
“There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell).” [Noble Quran 19:71]
In reply he quoted the very next Ayah, also from Surah Maryam.
“Then We shall save those who use to fear Allah and were dutiful to Him. And We shall leave the wrongdoers therein to there knees (in Hell).” [Noble Quran 19:72]
This news of Hafsah disputing with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) spread in Al-Madinah. On that day the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was very disturbed; and when ‘Umar Faruq heard about it he chided his daughter. She replied that ‘A’ishah too spoke in the same manner to him. Her father again cautioned her not to compete with ‘A’ishah and maintain a certain decorum, or else she would bring trouble on herself.
Among the Mothers of the believers, ‘A’ishah, Umm Habibah, Sawdah and Hafsah all belonged to the tribe of Quraysh. The others came from various other tribes. Everyday after the ‘Asr prayer, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would visit them all for a little while to see if they needed anything; the time of the visits was routine and each would wait eagerly for his arrival. On several occasions, it so happened that he spent more time with Zaynab. This upset ‘A’ishah, and she spoke about it to Hafsah and Sawdah. They got together and found out that a certain relative had sent Zaynab a special kind of honey and she used to offer it to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) everyday. This was his favorite and he used to be delayed in her apartment, enjoying it. ‘A’ishah was so fond of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that she could not bear for him to be late coming to her apartment. Because of her regard for him she could not object directly.
So she consulted Hafsah and Sawdah, and they decided that when he comes to each of us by turn, we would all say that there is a strange smell emanating from his mouth. When he heard the same thing from all three of them, he believed it must be due to the honey he had, and decided to give it up for good. If this had been an incident in the life of an ordinary person it would have been of no consequence. But this was with the last Prophet of Allah and his every word and every action would become the law or Shari’ah for all Muslims for all time to come. Thus it had a special significance.
So Allah rebuked him in Ayah of Surat At-Tahrim.
“O Prophet! Why do you forbid (for yourself) that which Allah has allowed to you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Noble Quran 66:1]
It was around the same time that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) confided a secret matter to Hafsah, and warned her not to speak to anyone about it. But she told ‘A’ishah. Allah then revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) what happened. Allah revealed this in the following Ayah of Surat At-Tahrim,
“And when the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wife, then she told it. And Allah made it known to him; he informed part thereof and left a part. Then when he told her thereof, she said: “Who told you this?” He said: “The All-Knower, the All-Aware has told me.” [Noble Quran 66:3]
The year, when the Peninsula was under the Islamic government, the granaries were full and all the riches were reaching the centre from the different regions of Arabia; many of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who lived lives of luxury, put forward demands for an increase in their household allowances. When ‘Umar Faruq heard of this he was very upset; he told his daughter Hafsah that she should ask her father if she needed anything and not make any demands on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He also advised all the Mothers of the Believers not to make any demands. Umm Salamah did not quite like this and felt that he had the habit of interfering in every matter. She told him frankly that he should refrain from meddling in the affairs of the Prophet’s wives.
It was at this time that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had fallen from his horse and been injured; keeping all these things in view he decided to go into seclusion and moved to an upper room adjacent to the apartment of ‘A’ishah. The whole city was buzzing with the gossip the hypocrites spread saying that he divorced his wives. But actually no such thing happened. All the Companions were disturbed by this situation, but no one had the courage to approach the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and talk to him directly. Finally ‘Umar Faruq known for his forthrightness went to him and asked him if the rumor was true. When he denied it he was delighted. Then he asked if he could announce this good news to the rest of the Muslims. When he received permission, he joyfully informed the community that everything was fine with the Prophet’s household. The whole city was relieved that the Messenger of Allah had not been offended in any way. On the twenty-ninth day he came down into the apartment of ‘A’ishah. She asked him smilingly why he came down before the month was over. He replied that often the lunar month did consist of only twenty-nine days. Hafsah promised her father that she would never ever ask for a raise in her allowance and she stood by her word to the end of her life.
Hafsah died in the year 41st after Hijrah aged fifty-nine. At the time of death she was fasting. The funeral prayers were led by the governor of Al-Madinah, Marwan bin Al-Hakam. Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa’id Khudri, the eminent Companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were among those who carried the shroud to Jannatul Baqi’. Her two brothers, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar and ‘Asim bin ‘Umar placed her gently into her final resting place. Salem bin ‘Abdullah, ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Abdullah and Hamzah bin ‘Abdullah, all the sons of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar also attended the funeral.
And so a righteous and learned writer and reciter of the Noble Quran who devoted herself from her youth to prayer, fasting and meditation passed into history.
These Ayat from Surat Al-Qamar express an apt tribute to this great Mother of the Believers.
“Verily, the pious will be in the midst of Graders and Rivers (Paradise). In a seat of truth, near the Omnipotent King.” [Noble Quran 54:54-55]
Source: “Great Women of Islam” – by Dar-us-Salam Publications
Narrated Abu Hurairah: Jibril (Gabriel) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! This is Khadijah, coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a palace made of Qasab in Paradise, wherein there will be neither any noise nor any toil, (fatigue, trouble, etc.).” [Al-Bukhari, Vol 5, Book 58, Number 168]
‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas narrated that one day the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) drew four lines on the earth and asked his Companions if they understood what these lines stood for. They respectfully replied that he knew better. He then told them that these lines stood for the four foremost ladies of the universe. They were Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Maryam bint Imran, the mother of the Prophet Issa and ‘Asia bint Muzahim (the wife of the Pharaoh).
She was the first person to have an abiding faith in the utterances of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and to accept Islam as her religion and her way of life. She was blessed with the distinction of having been greeted with Salam (greetings) by Allah and the Angel Jibril.
Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was born in Makkah in the year 556 CE. Her mother’s name was Fatimah bint Zayd, and her father’s name was Khuwaylid bin Asad. He was a very popular leader among the tribe of Quraysh, and a very prosperous businessman who died while fighting in the famous battle of Fujjar. Khadijah thus grew up in the lap of luxury. She married Abu Halah Malak bin Nabash bin Zarrarah bin At-Tamimi and bore him two children, Halah and Hind. She wanted to see her husband prosper and financed him in setting up a big business. But unfortunately he passed away. Some time later the young widow married ‘Atique bin ‘Aith bin ‘Abdullah Al-Makhzumi, and she had a daughter by him as well named Hindah, but the marriage soon broke up on grounds of incompatibility. After this all her attention was devoted to the upbringing of her children, and building up the business she inherited from her father. Her astuteness and business ability made her business one of the most widespread businesses among the Quraysh.
Her policy was to employ hard working, honest and distinguished managers to deal on her behalf as a lot depended on the integrity of the employees who traveled far and wide on her behalf. She exported her goods to far away markets like Syria, and her managers bought goods from those markets to be sold at home.
Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) had heard of the integrity, honesty and principled behavior of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and sent a job offer to him to head her trading caravans. He gladly accepted the offer and started working for her. Khadijah sent him on a business trip; her old and trusted slave Maysarah being delegated to accompany and serve him.
Maysarah was impressed by the Prophet’s integrity, strength of character, adherence to principles, his amicable dealings and his business abilities. On the way back from Syria, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lay down under a tree to rest for a while. Nestora, a Jewish monk, noted for his knowledge of religion and for his insight saw him and asked Maysarah who he was. Maysarah told him all about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his reputation for honesty and intelligence. Nestora then told him that this man would be elevated to Prophet hood in the future, as no man had ever rested under that particular tree but Prophets.
Tradition has it that Maysarah also saw two angels bearing a cloud over Prophet’s head to protect him from the glare and heat of the sun.
When he returned home Maysarah reported to Khadijah all that had taken place on the trip to Syria. She was deeply moved and impressed, and started thinking of proposing marriage to Muhammad. But how could she express her thoughts to him? She already rejected several proposals of marriage from men belonging to some of the noblest families of the Quraysh. How would her tribe react? What would her family say? And what was more, would her proposal be acceptable to this young, yet unmarried man of the tribe of Quraysh?
As she pondered over these questions and debated within herself, one night she dreamt that the shining sun had descended from the heavens into her courtyard, radiating her home. When she woke up she went for the interpretation of this wonderful dream to her cousin, Waraqah bin Nawfal, a blind man noted for his skill in interpreting dreams, and for his depth of knowledge, particularly of the Torah and the Injil. When he heard her dream, he gave a serene smile, and told her not to worry, as this was a very promising dream. The glorious sun she saw descending into her courtyard indicated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) whose advent had been predicted in the Torah and the Injil was to grace her home and she would gain from his presence in her life.
After this meeting with Waraqah she became stronger in her desire to marry Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). One of her very close friends, Nafisah bint Manbah knew of her inclination and she went to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and requested his permission to ask him a very personal question. When he said he had no objection, she asked why he had not yet got married. He said he did not have the financial resources. Then she asked him if he would be willing to marry a beautiful lady from a noble and wealthy family, who was inclined towards marriage with him. He asked whom she was referring to; when he learnt her identity he said that he was willing, provided she was willing to marry him. Khadijah’ was overjoyed.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was then twenty-five years of age and Khadijah was forty years old. (According to one tradition, she was twenty-eight). The two uncles of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Hamzah and Abu Talib approached her uncle, ‘Umar bin Asad, with the formal proposal. It was accepted and the two families began preparing for the wedding. Halimah As-Sa’diyyah who nursed the Prophet in his infancy was specially invited for the wedding and traveled to Makkah from her village. When she left after the festivities, Khadijah presented her with household goods, a camel and forty goats as an expression of gratitude to the lady who had taken such good care of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in his infancy.
Khadijah was very blessed in the marriage, and had six children. First two sons, Qasim and ‘Abdullah; then followed the daughters, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah. It was a very happy, peaceful and content household, but Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) felt something was missing, and he was extremely restless. He would retire for a month once a year to the cave of Hira to dedicate himself entirely to prayer and meditation. One day he felt the presence of another being who held him in his arms in a tight embrace. Then he loosened his hold and asked him to read; Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) answered that he was illiterate. But the person repeated the same act and the phrase again and again. Then finally he read these Ayat which are the first revelation of the Quran. They are from Surah Iqra or Al-‘Alaq.
“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” [Noble Quran 96:1-5]
Then the being disappeared. This was such an awesome experience that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) returned home sweating and shaking. He called out to Khadijah asking her to cover him with a sheet or a blanket. When he had calmed down to some extent, he told his wife that he feared for his life, and narrated the whole incident to her. Khadijah, a picture of loyalty and serenity consoled him saying that Allah would surely protect him from any danger, and would never allow anyone to revile him as he was a of man of peace and reconciliation and always extended the hand of friendship to all. He never lied, always hospitable, carried the burdens of others and helped those who were in trouble. These soothing and encouraging words of sympathy and understanding from Khadijah gave him immeasurable strength and confidence. She then took him to meet her cousin, Waraqah bin Nawfal, who immediately guessed the identity of the being in the Cave of Hira as the Angel Jibril the Messenger of Allah who had visited Moses as well. Waraqah who was very old wished that he could live to see the time when the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) would be forced into exile by his people. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was very surprised and asked if his people would really do this to him. Waraqah assured him that it was typical of human beings that they would never appreciate or follow a Prophet who rose among them. Waraqah added that he wished he were alive at that time and be able to help him. He added that if what he had been told were true then surely it meant that her husband was the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) whose advent had been mentioned in the scriptures.
The four daughters grew up to be faithful and courageous daughters of Islam. They all migrated to Al-Madinah, with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Zaynab was married to Abu ‘Aas bin Rabi’ah, Ruqayyah was married to ‘Uthman. When she passed away he married her sister Umm Kulthum; Fatimah was married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. The first three daughters died during the lifetime of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his beloved daughter Fatimah lived just six months after he passed away.
When the disbelievers saw that Islam was attracting more and more followers in spite of all their tactics, they decided to declare an open and total political and economic boycott of the tribe of Banu Hashim. This took place in the seventh year after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared himself the Messenger of Allah. This is also known in Islamic history as the Shi’ab Abi Talib.
It was so severe that innocent children faced starvation and hunger, and adults survived eating the leaves of trees. Yet the firm followers of Muhammad did not turn away from their true religion and they came out of the ordeal stronger and purer than before.
Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) who had been brought up in luxury in her wealthy father’s home now faced the economic hardships with patience and courage, which are a necessary part of any siege. Khadijah’s nobility of character and conduct pleased Allah, so much that He sent special greetings for her.
Khadijah (radiyAllaahu ‘anha) was the ideal wife and mother. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lived in her house which became a blessed place due to his presence and the fact that Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him) came often to visit him there with Quranic revelations. It became the centre of Islam, where all the Companions male and female visited often to partake of the hospitality of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his wife.
After the Hijrah (migration) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to Al-Madinah, the house was occupied by the brother of ‘Ali. Later Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan who transcribed some of the Divine Revelations purchased this house and built a mosque. Thus the site of the house of Khadijah became a place of prayer and worship for all time. She had been used to praying two Rak’as of Salat (prayer), mornings and evenings with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), even before prayers were made compulsory by Allah. After accepting Islam she became more contemplative and inclined towards worship; she found a blessed feeling of peace in prayer.
Afif Kindi relates that ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib was a great friend of his and he used to visit him often in Yemen in connection with his business in perfumes. On one occasion when they were standing and chatting in Mina, they saw a handsome young man approach. He carefully washed his hands and feet and then stood respectfully with his arms crossed on his breast. Soon a dignified lady of noble bearing and a young handsome young lad joined him. ‘Afif asked ‘Abbas what they were doing and whether this was a new form of exercise. ‘Abbas replied that the youth was his brother ‘Abdullah’s son, and the lady was his wife. She was a woman of great wealth and virtue, and an ideal wife and mother. The lad was his brother Abu Talib’s son. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had announced that he was a Messenger of Allah and had started preaching a new religion called Islam. In due course ‘Afif accepted Islam, but he always regretted the fact that he had not joined the Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions in their prayers and supplication on that memorable day in Mina, when he had first heard of Islam.
Khadijah passed away just three years before the Hijrah, or the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) migration to Al-Madinah. She died at the age of sixty-five, having given almost twenty-five years to Muhammad and the cause of Islam. When Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) saw her in the throes of death he consoled her saying Allah had so ordained it, and that the thing she was dreading, would prove favorable for her. Her eyes lit up and as she gazed at her beloved husband, her soul left its earthly body.
Her grave was prepared at a place called Hujjun, near Makkah. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stepped into it to see that everything was as it should be, and with his own hands lowered her gently into it. Thus passed away the ‘Mother’ of all Muslims, the one who had sacrificed her all for Islam, the lady who was the greatest supporter of Islam in its earliest days. She who was the mother of Fatimah, the First Lady of Paradise, the grandmother of the beloved grandchildren of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Hasan and Hussein who are to be the foremost of the youths in Paradise.
When she passed away, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was heartbroken at the loss of a dedicated companion who stood by him during the most difficult period of his life.
One of the ladies of the Quraysh, Khawlah bint Hakim, visited the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to console him, and saw his state of depression and grief and remarked on it. He replied it was only natural that he should be touched by her absence, as she had been a loving mother to his now neglected children; she had been a loyal and sympathetic wife who shared his secrets. It was only human and natural that he should feel her loss as she was there for him during his most difficult times. Whenever he was abused by the disbelievers she had provided moral support and unflagging faith.
A Companion of the Prophet narrates that whenever any gift was brought to him he would immediately send it to some lady who had been a friend of Khadijah. Ayshah, a favorite wife of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says that whenever a goat was slaughtered the Prophet it would send some meat to Khadijah’s friends; when she remarked about this on one occasion he told her, ‘I have great regard for her friends, as she has a special place in my heart.’ Ayshah said she never experienced such a feeling of natural feminine jealousy for any other wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as she did for Khadijah. She also narrates that whenever Muhammad spoke of her he would talk at great length and praise her qualities, and pray for her forgiveness.
Ayshah narrates that whenever the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) talked about Khadijah, it was in terms of the highest praise. One day her innate feminine envy overtook her sense of decorum and she spoke in disparaging terms of her, wondering why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) missed her when he was blessed with a better, younger wife by Allah. This displeased him, but forbearing as he was, he just sighed and answered,
“I have not yet found a better wife than her. She had faith in me when everyone, even members of my own family and tribe did not believe me, and accepted that I was truly a Prophet and a Messenger of Allah. She converted to Islam, spent all her wealth and worldly goods to help me spread this faith, and this too at a time when the entire world seemed to have turned against me and persecuted me. And it is through her that Allah blessed me with children.”
As Allah says in Surah Al-Fajr in the Noble Quran that it will be said to the pious believers:
“O the one in complete rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord — well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing (unto Him)! Enter you then among My (honored) servants, and enter you My Paradise.” [Noble Quran 89:27-30]
Source: “Great Women of Islam” – by Dar-us-Salam Publications
How many times in our lives have we heard this phrase? How many times have our parents, teachers, elders stated this same thing over and over again? This quote by Sir Francis Bacon emphasizes that when you have knowledge, you have authority. It alludes to the fact that there is something about acquiring knowledge that gives you a controlling influence. But more importantly, this is a non-Muslim phrase which has only been around since 1597.
The teachings of religion of Islam came to us well over 1400 years ago. From the beginning of revelation, there was an emphasis on seeking and acquiring knowledge. I remind you that the first words of revelation were “Read!”
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created.” [Qur’an, 96:1]
The intention of this article is not so much to remind you the importance of seeking knowledge. It is assumed that we know as Muslims that we have been commanded to seek knowledge.
The quest for knowledge is a compulsion on every Muslim. [Hadith Hassan]
Note: The knowledge referred to above is knowledge in deen because that is the only knowledge that is wajib (compulsory).
The main goal of this article is to motivate you to continue to seek Islamic knowledge, and to encourage you to take joy and pride in doing this act of worship, because we can understand from various Qur’anic statements and ahadith (statements of the Prophet ﷺ) that there are definite returns for these efforts in the form of rewards and blessings from Allah.
Raised Status and Rank
“Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees.” [Qur’an, 58:11]
Let us take a hypothetical scenario where you work for a reputable company. One day your boss entices you with a promotion upon completion of a certain project under your lead. I guarantee you would put your heart and soul into getting that promotion. Well, Allah wants to give you a promotion, not just in this dunya but in Jannah (Paradise)! Scholars agree that the term “high ranks” in this statement refers to bounties in this world and the Hereafter. Just because the promises of Jannah are intangible at the moment should not allow us to ignore such a huge blessing of seeking knowledge. We have to believe in the ayat (verses, signs) of our Lord.
Superiority over all beings
“And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, ‘Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.’ They said, ‘Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.’ He said, ‘O Adam, inform them of their names.’ And when he had informed them of their names, He said, ‘Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.’ And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam’; so they prostrated…” [Qur’an, 2:31-34].
When Allah taught Adam (`alayhi assalam – peace be upon him) the names of all things, He asked the angels and Iblis (who had reached the level of angels) to prostrate to Adam (as). I remind you that angels are pure creations of Allah. They are made of light, are in complete obedience to Him and are doing tasbih (glorifying Allah) at all times. Such a pure creation of Allah was commanded to show respect to our ancestor Adam (as), who was made of clay and was prone to sinning. This prostration was performed as a form of respect and took place based on one and only one factor: knowledge.
In one of Michelle Obama’s speeches at an all-girls’ high school, she told the students that she was where she was only because of education. Even in this dunya, the way to gain superiority over other human beings is through knowledge – you get a better income, you enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle, you have a higher reputation in the society. But to be higher in front of Allah you have to be knowledgeable in your deen, and this is how you will truly become superior to all other creations of Allah.
Scholars truly understand the Qur’an
“And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.” [Qur’an, 29:43]
Scholars agree that this ayah is actually referring to all people of knowledge (and not just the scholars). People of knowledge who read, learn, and understand the Qur’an are the ones who truly comprehend the parables it contains. The parables mentioned in the Qur’an are important in telling us which actions are harmful to our akhira (Hereafter) and hence should be avoided. They also guide us in which actions are more rewarding than others, so that we can strive to do them.
Sign of Allah’s love for a person
“Whosoever Allah wishes good for, He gives him understanding (fiqh) of the Religion.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
As children we are always looking for signs of love from our parents. If a parent buys gifts for their child, the child is assured that their parents love them. Love and compassion from parents makes a child feel happy and special. Allah tells us through the Prophet ﷺ that if He loves us, He gives us understanding of the religion of Islam. The difference is that the love of Allah is far greater than anybody else’s love. Acquiring the love of Allah is the ultimate goal of this life.
However, this love does not come without striving, trying hard and putting in a lot of effort. You have to earn the love of Allah by striving to gain Islamic knowledge – even if there are not many resources around you, even if the knowledge seems hard to retain, even if there are many distractions around you.
Statement of Imam Shafi’i
“After the obligatory deeds, nothing is more beloved to Allah than studying knowledge.”
While this statement holds the obvious meaning of how much Allah loves for a person to seek Islamic knowledge, it also a much deeper implication. The process starts off by gaining knowledge that is absolutely essential for a Muslim to perform their obligatory deeds. Once a person gets accustomed to performing obligatory deeds and does not find them burdensome, then because of the impact of knowledge, they will automatically do acts that are more than obligatory.
Let us take an example of a sister who finds is hard to pray two sunnah rakat (units of prayer) at the time of fajr. She skips the sunnah rakat, prays the obligatory units quickly, and jumps back into bed. She takes a class where she learns of the great blessings of praying the sunnah units of fajr prayer. After gaining knowledge, she makes it a point not to miss her sunnah units of prayer.
Hadith of Abu Darda
“If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man.
The superiority of the learned man over the worshipper is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes a big fortune.” [Abu Dawud]
This hadith outlines multiple blessings of seeking knowledge, but we will concentrate on two main benefits. The two main benefits of treading on the path of knowledge are the protection of angels and the du’a of Allah’s creatures. Angels provide protection in two ways: they lower their wings for a student of knowledge (i.e. they allow the student of knowledge to walk over their wings, much like a red carpet), and out of respect for the student of knowledge, they stop flying until the student has passed them. Allahu Akbar! Despite the purity of the angels, knowledge allows us to gain a higher rank than them in the eyes of Allah!
The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth make du’a for the student of knowledge. This includes the du’a of the angels and all other creatures on this earth, such as ants and all the fish in the sea. This is a great honor for children of Adam (as)! Striving for knowledge is one of the best deeds we can do to attain mercy of Allah.
Statement of Ibn Hazm (may Allah be pleased with him)
“If the learned ponders how the hours he spent learning saved him from the humiliation of being dominated by the ignorant and from the distress of having no access to the facts, and how those hours provided him with the joy of discovering that which is hidden from others, he would excel in praising Allah, the exalted, full of majesty, and would be more pleased with the knowledge he has and would deepen his desire to increase his knowledge.”
This is a beautiful statement by Ibn Hazm (ra). The direct implications of his statement are obvious. Possession of knowledge will save us from the humiliation of being dominated by the commands of ignorant people. Moreover, possession of knowledge will save us from the distress of having no access to reliable and authentic information. Furthermore, possession of knowledge will give us the joy of knowing that which others do not know. Correct knowledge allows us to worship our Lord in a better manner, a manner which pleases Him. Once we have the knowledge, we will become even more pleased with its advantages and benefits in our lives. This would deepen our desire to gain more knowledge. It is a sweet yet vicious cycle, which takes initial effort and indulgence, but once we taste the sweetness of knowledge, we become addicted!
Are you satisfied?
“Two persons are never satisfied, one who is seeking knowledge, and the other who is seeking the world.”
(Note: there is a disagreement about the above statement. Some say this is a hadith, and some say it is a statement of Ali (ra). Either way, we concern ourselves with the beneficial message of this statement.)
We have a choice in this world. We can either get addicted to this dunya, which we will leave after 60-80 years of life along with everything in it, or we can get addicted to seeking knowledge, which will reap heavy rewards on the Day of Judgement. The path of this dunya leads us away from Allah, and the path of knowledge leads us towards Allah. Likewise, the path of this dunya destroys our Hereafter, and the path of knowledge secures our Hereafter. The choice is entirely ours.
When should you be jealous of others ?
“No one should be jealous of anything except two people – a man whom Allah has blessed with knowledge and he teaches it; and a man who has money and he spends it in the sake of Allah.” (Bukhari)
This hadith alludes to the etiquettes of seeking knowledge. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is saying we should not get envious of others for anything other than two things, one of them being knowledge. Observing other people who have knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah should make us feel envious; the idea is to use this feeling as a motivation to gain knowledge. This hadith does not imply that we question Allah’s decree as to why He made the other person knowledgeable and why we were not given similar knowledge. Instead, we should ask Allah to make us learned in our deen.
“My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” [Qur’an, 20:114]
I hope this article has served as a motivation to continue seeking knowledge because of the numerous benefits and blessings associated with it. Seeking knowledge will help us appreciate our deen, better our connection with Allah, and allow us to find solutions to our problems from the Quran and sunnah to simplify our lives.
The second of the five matters is, “your health, before you fall sick.”
The fact that one lives a normal life and is not afflicted with diseases and plagues, represents a person’s health. Take advantage of this before diseases and plagues come because we, as human beings, will fall sick. Everyone falls sick. If we did not fall sick, we would be divine. There will come a time when we will fall sick. Some of these times the sicknesses will be severe. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reminding us that we do not know when that time may come. Therefore, take advantage of health before that time comes. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are two blessings in which many people are deluded: health and free time.” [Bukhari: Book 8 Vol 76 Hadith 421]
Once a person came to Yunus Bin Ubayy, one of the scholars of the Salaf, and he complained of extreme poverty as he had not been blessed with much. Yunus Bin Ubayy asked him, “Would you be willing to give away your sight for a certain amount of money?”
The man said, “No, of course not.” Then he asked him, “Would you be willing to give your hands away?” He said, “No, of course not.” He asked, “Your feet?” He said, “Of course not.”
When he finished he said “I see that you have hundreds of thousands of millions of blessings, yet you are complaining of poverty?”
We have our full faculties, we can see and hear. Look at someone who Allah has tested with blindness. It is a very severe test, and that is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said in an authentic Hadith: “There are two things if Allah takes them away from a person and he is patient, he is guaranteed Jannah. These two things are the two eyes.”
In other words, if a person is blind, and we seek Allah’s refuge from the physical and the spiritual blindness in this world and in the hereafter, then Allah is testing him. And if he is patient, then Allah will reward him with Jannah.
How about one who has been blessed not just with eyesight, but with hearing, health, arms, limbs, energy, vitality, enthusiasm, and many other things? Should he not appreciate the blessings from Allah?
Let’s realize how sweet health is. It can be used for the worship of Allah. When we have been blessed with these bodies, why not use them in worship?
The least we can do is the obligatory deeds such as five times prayer, fasting in Ramadan, paying Zakah, and going for the Haj. All of these require that we use our physical bodies. That is the least we can do, the bare minimum.
It is narrated by Mujahid (radiyAllaahu ‘anhu) that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiyAllaahu ‘anhu) said, “Allah’s Apostle (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) took hold of my shoulder and said, ‘Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler.”
The sub-narrator added: Ibn ‘Umar used to say, “If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death.” [Bukhari: Book 8 Vol 76 Hadith 425]
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade gatherings in the road. They said, “Messenger of Allah, it is hard for us to sit in our houses.” He said,►”If you must sit there, then fulfil the rights of the gathering.” ►”Guiding anyone who asks for directions, returning the greeting, lowering the eye, commanding the correct & forbidding the bad.” [Bukhari; Adab Al-Mufrad, 544 #1149]
✦REVIVE A SUNNAH ⇨ Pray for your suffering brothers & sisters, Ask Allaah to protect them and save them, and to help them against their enemy by Praying (Du’aa) QUNOOT in Obligatory Prayers at the time of calamity✦
It is proven that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alyhi wasallam) said Qunoot at the time of calamity on a number of occasions:
1. ►It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (radi Allahu ‘anhu) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllahu ‘alyhi wasallam) prayed Qunoot for a month in Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha’ and Fajr prayer, when he said: Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah in the last rak’ah, praying against some tribes of Banu Sulaym, and against Ri’l, Dhakwaan and ‘Usayyah, and those who were behind him said Ameen. [Narrated by Abu Dawood (1443). Ibn al-Qayyim said: A saheeh hadeeth. Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/280; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood]
2. ►Some of the Arab tribes betrayed 70 of the companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) and killed them. Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: News of that reached the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him), and he prayed Qunoot for a month, praying during Fajr prayer against some of the tribes of the Arabs, against Ri’l, Dhakwaan, ‘Usayyah and Bani Lahyaan. [Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3064)]
3. ►It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Qunoot was offered in Maghrib and Fajr prayer. [Narrated by al-Bukhaari (798)]
Firstly: it is prescribed to pray Qunoot at times of calamity. Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Qunoot is Sunnah at the time of calamity. This view is that of the fuqaha’ among the muhadditheen. And it is narrated from the Rightly Guided Caliphs. End quote.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (23/108)
Secondly: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said Qunoot at times of calamity in all of the five daily prayers, and he said Qunoot in Fajr and Maghrib prayer, and especially in Fajr. Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Most of his Qunoot — referring to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) — was in Fajr. End quote.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (22/269).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The practice of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) was to say Qunoot especially at times of calamity, and not to do so at other times. He did not limit it only to Fajr, rather most of his Qunoot was in Fajr because it is prescribed to make that prayer lengthy. End quote. -Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/273)