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Mothers of the Believers (may Allah be pleased with them all) – Part 2

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The Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) daughters are our great legacy in Islam, for they showed patience and endurance regardless of their situations.  Hazrat Fatima (radiallahu anha) was the youngest daughter of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and the most cherished.  She was knowledgeable in almost every form of Fiqh (Jurisprudence).  It is said that her every action is akin to her Father’s (Peace Be Upon Him) and therefore she acquired the reputation of the most knowledgeable and esteemed.  Hazrat Ruqayya (radiallahu anha) was a very patient and enduring woman.  During the time of the battle of Uhud, she became fatally sick.  The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) asked Hazrat Uthman (radiallahu anhu) to tend to her instead of going to battle.  She died the day the battle was won. Hazrat Zainab (radiallahu anha) was the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) oldest daughter.  She was extremely obedient and dutiful.  When she was asked by her father to make the journey to Mecca, the unbelievers showed no leniency in their persecution of her.  When she decided to leave as her father had instructed her to do, they attacked her with a piercing arrow.  The shock of it was so severe  that she passed out.  She was the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) most responsible and trustworthy of daughters.

The women who became the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) associates were many in number and each had a special skill that she conducted with fortitude and valor.  Hazrat Asma (radiallahu anha) used to love the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) so much that she would have sacrificed anything for him. Relationships, old and new were important to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).  The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had a special relationship with all of Hazrat Khadija’s (radiallahu anha) friends.  Hazrat Hala (radiallahu anha) who was Hazrat Khadija’s (radiallahu anha) younger sister would frequent the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) house.  When He (Peace Be Upon Him) would hear her voice, He (Peace Be Upon Him) would rush to open the door being reminded of his wife Hazrat Khadija (radiallahu anha).

Some of the women who became associates of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) were slaves.  Hazrat Labina (radiallahu anha), a slave, was beaten incessantly, and tortured but her tenacity for Islam was more powerful than the villains who persecuted her.  Hazrat Zarya (radiallahu anha) was also a slave.  She was tortured until she became blind, then her persecutors taunted her about her blindness with “now where is your faith and your leader?”  At that point, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) prayed for her and her sight was restored to her, leaving her enemies bewildered.  Hazrat Nadia (radiallahu anha) was also a slave and she too showed unrelenting courage as a Muslim to her violent torturers.  Hazrat Sameeya (radiallahu anha) was forbidden by Abu Jahal to read the kalma.  In her passion and zeal for Islam, she read the kalma out loud and was pierced with an arrow.  The most sorrowful state was that of Hazrat Umm-e-Abeed (radiallahu anha) who was a Muslim slave girl.  She was tortured under conditions unimaginable to man.  She was burned and torn in every part of her body.  Her worst nightmare was when her persecutors would drown her in the ocean and when death became imminent, they would raise her up again only to repeat the process.  This only gave her more tenacity in her faith.

The associates lived their lives according to the Sunnah, i.e., the traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).  They were hard working and their examples should be our most perfect role models.  Hazrat Fatima (radiallahu anha) who was Hazrat Umar’s (radiallahu anhu) sister was the cause of Hazrat Umar (radiallahu anhu) converting to Islam.  It was her valor and love for Islam that changed Hazrat Umar (radiallahu anhu). Hazrat Haleema was the wet-nurse to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).  When He (Peace Be Upon Him) declared Jihad in Taif, out of respect for the mother who nursed him, he laid down his cloak on the bare ground for her to sit.  Hazrat Safia (radiallahu anha) is known for her valor.  She was a dauntless woman who gathered all the women to safety at the battle of Khandaq and watched over them at night.  When the enemy appeared to attack sword in hand, thinking women were defenseless, she hid behind the tent and not only killed the intruder, but de-capitated his head and threw it for the opposing army to see.  They ran for fear of their lives. Hazrat Shifa (radiallahu anha) loved the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) so much that she had a special bed made for him and no one else was allowed to sit on it.  Hazrat Umm-e-Atiya (radiallahu anha) fed and nursed soldiers on the battlefield. Hazrat Umm-e-Darda (radiallahu anha), wife of the famous associate spent most of her time in worship.  She was a very wise woman and the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had taught her methods of spiritual healing.  Hazrat Umm-e-Khalid (radiallahu anha) was born in Africa. As a child, she was given an ornamented shawl by the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) who said “wear it and tear it.”  This was symbolic of a long life.  She had the longest life of all the associates.  The famous incident is that of Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaim (radiallahu anha) whose husband was the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) servant, Hazrat Anees (radiallahu anhu). Her child was sick and when her husband went to work, the child died.  When her husband returned from work, she first gave him dinner and completed all the rituals of an evening as a married couple.  Then she told him about the death of the child. He went to complain to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).  He (Peace Be Upon Him) said of her that it was complete faith that made her put her own feelings aside for the welfare of her husband and Allah, The Most Exalted, will reward her for it.  Even though Hazrat Umm-al-Fazl (radiallahu anha) could not perform migration, but wanted it desperately, she was given the reward of a migration.  Hazrat Umm-e-Roman (radiallahu anha), the wife of Hazrat Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu) is said to have had a lasting influence on the  Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).  He (Peace Be Upon Him) referred to her as the spiritual light.  She was honored in both life and death.  Hazrat Rabiya (radiallahu anha) daughter of Nazar was a devout Muslim and when her son was martyred, she told the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that if her son is in heaven she could endure his death.  Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaith (radiallahu anha) was known to have fed soldiers during war time and fought courageously.  Hazrat Umm-e-Haram’s (radiallahu anha) wish was to die a martyr.  She was trampled upon as the army was heading toward a ship to go to war.  Hazrat Umm-e-Amarah (radiallahu anha) entered every battle field to physically defend the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) from harm.  She would rush toward the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) when he was about to be attacked and stand in between the attacker and the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).  She ended up with 13 wounds, but before she was fatally stabbed in the stomach, she killed two more men who were heading toward the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

History reveals that the world of Islam is rife with women who contributed both socially and spiritually.  We need to only look at the examples left behind for us and will find that our role models have been set aside for us to emulate.  Hazrat Kibsha (rahmatullahi alayha) was a famous saint who was from the Ansar tribe.  She is considered to be our very spiritual mother.  It is said that she loved the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) so much that when He (Peace Be Upon Him) drank from her vessel, she cut out that opening and kept it as a keepsake.  Hazrat Amina Ramila (rahmatullahi alayha) was a saint and a waliya.  She was respected by the most well known saints who anxiously waited for her prayers.  Hazrat Fatima Nisha Poori (rahmatullahi alayha) spent most of her time praying.  Her famous saying is that ignorance leads to sin and impetuousness is the action of a sinner and one who is careful in life is a believer.  Khwaja Baa Yazid Bustami (may Allah have mercy on him) has said about her that “no greater saint lived amongst the women.”  Hazrat Khansa (rahmatullahi alayha) was a saint and a prolific poet.  She is considered to be the greatest poet of Arabia and her work is still extant.  Hazrat Mehmoona Saooda (rahmatullahi alayha) was a deeply spiritual mother who could see beyond the physical eye.  Hazrat Muaza Adwaya (radiallahu anha) was Hazrat Aysha’s (radiallahu anha) teacher and had an awesome fear of Allah, The Most Exalted, that she would not look up at the sky.  She spent all her time in worship.  Hazrat Rabia Basree (rahmatullahi alayha) would cry all night out of fear for Allah The Most Exalted.  Hazrat Saida Aysha (rahmatullahi alayha) was the paternal aunt of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him).  She was spiritually gifted and when there was a drought, she raised her broom to the sky and prayed and rain came down.  Hazrat Umm-e-Saib (rahmatullahi alayha) was blind, but when she was told that her son had died, she cried and begged God to make him alive.  The son was restored to life.  Hazrat Umm-e-Sharyak (rahmatullahi alayha) is known to have the title of The Miracle of Associates.  She was endowed with spiritual light and once when she was fasting, she was imprisoned by a Jew who refused to allow her to open her fast.  She prayed and she found food.  She could blow into a vessel and it would become butter.  Hazrat Umm-e-Warqa (rahmatullahi alayha) desperately wanted to die a martyr and the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) told her to remain in her home.  She was murdered by her two servants.  Hazrat Umar (radiallahu anhu) had them executed, which was the first execution amongst Muslims.  He said “the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) always spoke the truth.”

Women should take a good lesson from all of our mothers’ examples.  Our mothers lived simple lives, yet each one was knowledgeable in some aspect of Islam.  There was not a single mother whose life was not illustrated with examples of bravery, integrity, and hard work.  When she felt some situation to be unjustified, she immediately reported it to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).  Thus, all the matters were resolved harmoniously.  Today, we find that many Muslim women are confused and scattered in their thoughts.  Frequently, they adopt roles that they think are worth emulating, but they know that those roles are not inherently acceptable to them.  We must all learn form our mothers in Islam.  Even though they lived in a different culture, there is nothing that has changed for women.  They fought hard for what they believed was right and did not divulge or compromise their integrity.  Their lives are symbolic of roles for women of all ages, of all times, and of all cultures.  Our mothers are beside us.  We need to remember their loving roles and their valor and tenacity in life.  Let us look back to them at their guidance, and tenacious principles in life and death, and their fortitude.  Their lives are not so different from ours, for we women will always belong to that same culture: the culture where truth and integrity are the governing roles of individuals and where nothing is impossible as long we follow their path, for that will be the path that our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) chose for all Muslims.

Khalida Kareemi

Ms. Kareemi is a Bay Area resident and she enjoys writing.

Mothers of the Believers (may Allah be pleased with them all) – Part 1

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August 16, 2003 / Jamad-uth-Thani 1424

Volume 1, Issue 2 (Part 2)

At the inception of Islam, our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) developed a community of men and women who became the legacy of our inheritors of Islam.  The religion could not have gained that kind of momentum and fervor without all of the active participants in the community.  However, we should ask ourselves why did Rasul Allah (peace be upon him) develop this community?  Why were men and women equally responsible and active in the glorious religion that became Islam?  The answer is simple.  Men and women were targets of persecution, how could they not respond to a leader who brought a religion of mercy and compassion?  So it would only be natural to include both genders in the promotion of Islam.  This could not be achieved without the active role of women.  In Islam, almost every woman contributed her time and energies.  However, the most important contributions were made by our dearly beloved Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives, daughters, associates, and saints.

Today, women have regressed in their community and civic duties in the Muslim world.  The reason is because many are unaware of the important role a woman makes in the community.  In nascent Islam, it was the women who fought valiantly for their religion because they were zealous about Islam.  However, their fervor was not based on emotions alone but on their intellect and common wisdom.  For example Hazrat Khadija, the first wife of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was not only his closest companion, she was an intelligent and wise woman whose decisions were timely and judicious.  When Islam was revealed to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), she was the first to embrace it.  Furthermore, the domestic life that she provided the Prophet (peace be upon him), was filled with love and devotion.  This allowed him to devote all his energies to his mission: Islam. In a quote from the Hadeeth the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) told Hazrat Aysha (radi allahoo anha) that it was Hazrat Khadija who stood by him in every bleak moment.  He said: “when everyone rejected me, she accepted me. When no one had faith, she embraced Islam and when people turned me into a liar, she proved to the world that I was a man of truth” (Saheeh Bukhari). 

 She is considered to be one of the four women who are gifted by Allah (subhana wa ta’alah) to have a special place in Heaven.  Her place in Islam is further established by the fact that when our Prophet (peace be upon him) would receive divine revelations, the angel Gabriel (salutations upon him) would say to the Prophet “Allah sends his Salam to Hazrat Khadija.”  What other testimony is more relevant than Allah’s (subhana wa ta’alah)?

All of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives had some special quality and strength that gave Islam its powerful and sublime qualities.  It is known that Hazrat Aysha (radi allahoo anha) is well known for her knowledge and wisdom.  In fact, great scholars of Islam would consult her on important issues.  She knew more sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) than anyone else.  In addition, she was a humble and selfless woman.  She fasted continuously and when it was time to open her fast, she would first think of the indigent.  Similarly, Hazrat Sauda (radi allahoo anha) became the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wife soon after she became a widow.  Incidentally, it was a time when the Prophet was mourning for Hazrat Khadija.  When he married Hazrat Sauda (radi allahoo anha) his domestic life was restored. Hazrat Aysha (radi allahoo anha) said of Hazrat Sauda that “her generosity and kind-heartedness made me so much in awe of her that I found myself wanting to be more like her.”  Hazrat Zainab (radi allahoo anha) also became the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) after her husband Abdullah bin Jesh (radi allahoo anhu)became a martyr.  She is well known for her humbleness and kindness.  She died within three months of her marriage to the Prophet (peace be upon him); however, she had a great affect over him.  Hazrat Umme Habiba (radi allahoo anha) married the Prophet (peace be upon him) soon after her husband who had become a victim of alcoholism died.  Her respect for the Prophet (peace be upon him) was symbolic of her actions, for she never allowed anyone to sit on his bed.  Once when her father, who was not a Muslim came to visit her, she did not allow him to sit on the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) bed.  Hazrat Umme Salma (radi allahoo anha) was a learned mother and had knowledge on Hadeeth and Fiqh. It is said that she could remember 78 to 80 different Ahadeeth.  She spent all her time on the scholarship of religion.  Hazrat Safia (radi allahoo anha) was born Jewish, but when she married the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), she embraced Islam.  In fact, her entire tribe was saved from bondage because of her marriage.  Hazrat Maimoona (radi allahoo anha) was married to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) for one year, but she died within that year.  However, during her marriage, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) admired her for her good nature.

(To be continued  insha Allah …)

Khalida Kareemi

Ms. Kareemi is a Bay Area resident and she enjoys writing.

Written by iecrc

May 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

IECRC Commemorates the Martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Husayn (May Allah be pleased with him)

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Issue 10

February 2006 / Muharram 1427

Wa qul jaa al Haqqu

wa zahaqal baatil

Inna baatila kaana zahooqa

And proclaim,

“The Truth has arrived

and falsehood has vanished; indeed falsehood had to vanish.”

[The Holy Quran 17:81]

The timeless struggle between truth and falsehood, good and evil, is epitomized in no other chronicle of Islamic history than on the banks of the river Euphrates in the plains of Karbala, Iraq. What the soil of Iraq witnessed in 61 Hijra / 680 CE was a testimony and lesson for all time to come that sacrifices are inevitable on the Path of Truth and that those who are closest to their Lord and therefore most committed to the Path are to endure the severest of hardships.

To further this salient message, the Islamic Educational and Cultural Research Center of Northern California observed the momentous day of Ashura at its weekly Dhikr location in Fremont, California on Sunday, February 12, 2006. Derived from the Arabic word for ten, Ashura is commemorated on the 10th day of the Sacred month of Muharram, the first in the Islamic lunar calendar. This historic day carries in it the heartrending reminder of the martyrdom in Karbala of Hazrat Imam Husayn ibn Ali (may  Allah be well pleased with them both), the most beloved grandson of the Beloved of Allah   Almighty, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Countless Peace & Prayers Of Allah Almighty Be Upon Him.)

The Crown of Saints, Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (1077/8-1166 CE, may Allah Almighty be well pleased with him) narrates authentic Prophetic traditions in his magnum opus, “Al-Ghunya li-Taalibi Tareeq al-Haqq “ rendered into English as “Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth”, that Ashura is the day in which Allah Almighty created the heavens and the earth, the Tablet and the Pen; it is also the day in which Hazrat Musa (peace be upon him) and his community were delivered from the unjust reins of the Pharaoh; it is also the day in which this world will come to an end; and above all it is the day that Allah Almighty chose to honor Hazrat Imam Husayn (may Allah be well pleased with him) with his pre-ordained martyrdom to grant him the elevated rank of the martyrdom of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (may Allah be well pleased with them).  It is worth reflecting that despite the fact that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had been made aware of this fatal fate of Hazrat Imam Husayn (may Allah be well pleased with him) by Angel Jibraeel (peace be upon him) as is taught to us through authentic Prophetic narrations; and despite the fact that any supplications by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) to change this fate would have been accepted by Allah Almighty, no such prayer was made. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) chose and agreed to give up the life of His beloved grandson for the sake of His Ummah (community) so that we may learn the essential lessons of sacrifice.  Peace Be Upon Him and His Noble Family! [For the benefit of our readers it must be pointed out here that committing suicide or taking the lives of civilians is completely antithetical to Islamic teachings.]

The great 11th century CE Sufi scholar, Hazrat Abul Hasan Syed Ali bin Uthman Hujweri famous as Hazrat Daata Ganj Baksh (may Allah be well pleased with him) writes in his encyclopedic treatise on Tasawwuf (Sufism), the “Kashf-ul-Mahjoob” rendered into English as “Unveiling the Veiled”:

“[Hazrat Imam Husayn (may Allah be well pleased with him)] is one of the great Awliya Allah devoted exclusively to Allah and famous for renunciation, patience and forbearance in the hours of extreme affliction, such as that experienced in the massacre at Karbala.”

Hazrat Daata Ganj Baksh (may Allah be well pleased with him) further quotes Hazrat Imam Husayn (may Allah be well pleased with him) in the Kashf-ul-Mahjoob:

“We are the people called Ahl-e-bala (sufferers).

We love bala (calamities) and feel pleased with it.

We live for others and not for ourselves.”

This is the foundational spiritual teaching of Hazrat Imam Husayn (may Allah Almighty be well pleased with him) and the essential message of unconditional service to others that the Islamic Educational and Cultural Research Center (IECRC) attempts to convey and promote to the community through its various conferences, events and especially the Urs (memorial) days observed for the Awliya Kiram (Noble Friends of Allah Almighty or Sufi Saints, may Allah have mercy on them all).  This is the message of all the Sufi Saints of the Islamic tradition.  IECRC’s commemoration of the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Husayn (may Allah Almighty be well pleased with him) in February 2006 in Fremont, California was no exception.  Poignant couplets were recited by various community members including young children, reminding the audience of the great sacrifice that this luminary of the Islamic tradition gave in order to uphold the principles of Islam.  He gave his head but did not pledge allegiance to the tyranny of the then ruler of the Muslims.

Seventy thousand angels alighted in the grave of Imam al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah Almighty be pleased with them both) on the day when he was mortally wounded, and they will continue to weep over him until the day of Resurrection.

[Al-Ghunya li-Talibi]

The highlight of IECRC’s commemorative evening was a most informative talk by Hafiz Prof. Dr. Mohammad Abdullah Qadri who delivered his important speech via telephone in which he emphasized the importance of remembering that those who are martyred in the Path of Allah Almighty are not to be considered dead as is taught by the Holy Quran. He also highlighted that Muslims should hold on tightly to the obligatory prayers and principles of Islam for the upholding of which Hazrat Imam Husayn (may Allah Almighty be well pleased with him) gave up his life.

Also quoted at this spiritual gathering were the profound words of Hazrat Allama Iqbal (may Allah have mercy on him), the great 19th century Urdu poet-philosopher of Pakistan:

Qatl-e-Husayn  asal mein
marg-e Yazid hai

Islam zinda hota hai har Karbala ke baad

The slaughter of Husayn  [Truth] is in reality the death of Yazid [Falsehood]

Islam is revived after every Karbala

The above couplet is an intense reminder of the ongoing struggle between good and evil, truth and falsehood that not just played itself out on the plains of Karbala, but is the constant activity of the human soul. Every moment we are faced with an inner battle between the lower (falsehood) and higher (truth) self and whenever the higher self wins it revives a state of peace, a state of Islam.

Written by iecrc

March 21, 2010 at 7:18 am

A Tribute To Hazrat Syeda Fatima Zahra, Blessed Mother of Hazrat Syeda Zaynab (May Allah be pleased with them both)

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Issue # 12

April 22, 2007 / Rabiuth Thani 1428

It is related in the famous book Khasais-e-Kubra of Hazrat Allama Jalaluddin Suyuti (b. 1445 CE, may Allah have mercy on him) that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Countless Prayers and Peace Be Upon Him, His Blessed Family and Noble Companions) said:

“No person is a believer unless they love the People of my Household [Ahle Bayt] for my sake and for the sake of Allah Almighty.”

In another Hadeeth, Hazrat Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said:

“My family among you is like Noah’s ark. He who sails on it will be safe, but he who holds back from it will perish.”

Further, the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said about Hazrat Fatima Zahra (may Allah be pleased with her):

“She is a piece of my body. Whoever hurts her has hurt me.” [Bukhari Shareef]

Today the pen is raised for the mention of that Pure Personality who is known as “Jaane Ahmed (May Allah be pleased with her).” She is that pure personality who received the title of Khatoone Jannat [Lady of Paradise] during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and whom the world knows as Hazrat Syeda Fatima Zahra (May Allah be pleased with her). She had the honor of being the most beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with her).

Syeda Tayyeba Abida Zahida

Yani Khatoone Jannat pe lakhon salam

In the words of Hazrat Maulana Hasan Raza, brother of the great Mujaddid [Renewer of the religion] of this century, Ala Hazrat (may Allah have mercy on them both) said in her greatness:

Jin ke ghar beijazat Jibril aate nahin

Qadar vaale jaante hain qadre Ahle Bayt

Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) was the youngest daughter of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Her mother’s name was Hazrat Khadija Kubra (May Allah be pleased with her). The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) received revelation in the 40th year and in the 41st year Hazrat Fatima’s (May Allah be pleased with her) blessed birth further adorned the Blessed Household.  Hazrat Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her) said that the good news of the arrival of this blessed daughter had been given to her beforehand that the pure personality whom she was going to give birth to is going to be the leader of the women of Paradise.

Some of the famous laurels awarded to Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) are Batool, Zahra, Tayyeba, Tahira, and Zakiya. She is called Batool because throughout her lifetime she did not love this world and adopted independence from it. The titles Zahra, Tayyeba, and Tahira reveal her purity. Such purity has not and will not be received by any woman in the world! Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) was kept pure by Allah Almighty from menstrual blood and lochia all her life. The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said:

“My daughter Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) is a human hoori whom  Allah has kept free from menses and lochia.”

Hazrat Syeda Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) received the blessed name “Fatima” because the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said that Allah has kept her away from hell. The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) further said:

“Those who love her, Allah will keep them away from the hellfire.”

As long as she lived with her respected Father (Peace Be Upon Him), she helped Him (Peace Be Upon Him). She helped Him (Peace Be Upon Him) in many of the battles and tended to His (Peace Be Upon Him) wounds with her blessed hands. Whenever the disbelievers placed obstacles and caused her Father (Peace Be Upon Him) pain, she helped Him (Peace Be Upon Him) despite her young age. In many instances she would cry witnessing the pain of her Blessed Father (Peace Be Upon Him).

She was married after the Battle of Badr in the holy month of Ramadan to Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him). According to narrations, she was 15 years old and Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) was 21 or 22 years old. Khatoone Jannat’s status can be known by the fact that her message of marriage was sent by Allah Almighty through Hazrat Jibreel (peace be upon him). Hazrat Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) says that he was in the Company of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and Hazrat Jibreel (peace be upon him) arrived with Allah Almighty’s Message. The Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) turned to Hazrat Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) and said “Marry Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) to Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him).” All the other Companions were also present. Kitabun Nikah of Ibn Majah relates that all the preparations for the marriage of Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) were done by Hazrat Aysha (May Allah be pleased with her). Hazrat Aysha (May Allah be pleased with her) said that, “I have not seen a wedding better than the wedding of Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her).” Hazrat Fatima’s (May Allah be pleased with her) marriage was the only marriage in which the most number of angels attended. It is related in the famous book Shahnamae Islam that her dowry from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was one small bed, two wheat grinding mills, two earthen jars, one leather cushion filled with date-palm leaves, and one small water carrier.

Mila tha faqr-o-faqa ka asli jahez unko

Ke bakshi thi Khuda ne ek jabeene sajda rez unko

Chaleen theen Aap ke ghar se Nabi y ki laadli beti

Haya ki chadar sabr ke gehne

Ridae sabr bhi haasil thi Sayyida Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) ko

Ke hona tha unhein Sartaje Khatoone Jannat bhi

There is a very heart-moving narration regarding the Mehr (gift given to the bride by the groom at the time of marriage) of Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) that was revealed at the time of her passing away. Being the great personality that she was, she had been given the knowledge of her leaving this worldly abode. She called her respected husband Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) and expressed her desire for this very special piece of paper to be placed with her when she was laid to rest. When Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) enquired about the history of this paper she went on to say that when she was being married to Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him), her blessed Father, the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) asked her if Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) was acceptable to her. She said that her husband to-be was acceptable but the Mehr was not. At this instance Hazrat Jibreel (peace be upon him) came and said that Allah Almighty is offering the entire Paradise as her Mehr. She respectfully said that even this is not sufficient. Hazrat Jibreel (peace be upon him) went back to Allah Almighty and returned with the Message that the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) may ask His Beloved daughter and  she would be granted whatever she wishes for her Mehr. When the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) asked her what she wanted for her Mehr, she replied, “All my life I have seen You (Peace Be Upon Him) crying for your people [Ummat]. I would like my Mehr to be the forgiveness [bakhshish] of your Ummat.” At this juncture Hazrat Jibreel (peace be upon him) came with this piece of paper which said, “O Muhammad y! I have made Fatima’s (May Allah be pleased with her) Mehr the forgiveness of the Ummat-e-Muhammadiya.Subhan Allah! What a great reflection of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)!

All her life Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) lived with patience and gratitude. Once Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) brought home some spoils of a battle and Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) made two silver bracelets and a curtain for their home. When the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) saw this, He (Peace Be Upon Him) returned from their home without saying anything. Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) immediately understood what had displeased her Blessed Father (Peace Be Upon Him). She immediately gave away these items in charity. Subhan Allah what simplicity in the home of the Leader of the women of Paradise!

Allah Almighty bestowed Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) with uncountable miracles. Her entire life was a miracle. One famous miracle was related to her Blessed Chador (shawl). It is related that once Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) came home and found that there was no food and his blessed wife and children were starving. Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) said, “I am the daughter of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Take my Chador and pawn it with this Jew.” Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) did so and brought home some wheat for Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) to grind and feed the family. That night the wife of the Jew, who had thought that this was an ordinary shawl, saw bright light coming from it and from their entire home. They immediately realized that this was no ordinary shawl and neither was its owner. They went to the home of the Beloved Daughter of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and apologized for their mistake and both the Jew and his wife accepted Islam!

As mentioned earlier Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) had already been given the knowledge of her leaving this ephemeral world. When she learnt of this, she did all of her household chores, gave showers to her children, cooked for her husband, and then informed him that it is time for their separation. When Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) asked her how she knew, she said that she had a dream in which the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was beckoning her saying that Heaven is eager to meet her. Subhan Allah! She said, “O Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) these are my last moments.” She kissed her children, took them to the Roza Mubarak of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). She performed the major ablution [ghusl], wore clean clothes, faced the Holy Kaba and placed her right hand under her cheeks. Hazrat Asma bint Umayr (May Allah be pleased with her) was her handmaid whom she gave special instructions. Hazrat Asma (May Allah be pleased with her)said that Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) requested to be by herself to say some special words to her Lord. Hazrat Asma (May Allah be pleased with her) then heard Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) crying, “Oh my Lord! Have mercy on the sinning members of the  Ummat of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and forgive them.” This was her last prayer. Subhan Allah! How fortunate we are to have a mother like her! She also instructed that no one except her husband should perform her ghusl and that during her burial full respect must be observed of modesty [purdah]. She (May Allah be pleased with her) said that modesty on the face of women is sweeter than honey. It is written in the Khasaise Kubra that the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “First I will come out of my resting place on the Day of Judgment and then my daughter.” In another Hadeeth He (Peace Be Upon Him) said, ”My daughter Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) will cover the Pul Sirat wearing a green chador. The people in the Mehshar will be commanded to lower their gaze that the leader of the women of Paradise Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) is passing through.

Allah Almighty blessed her with Hazrat Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn, Hazrat Muhassan, Hazrat Bibi Umme Kulthum and Hazrat Bibi Zaynab (may Allah Almighty be well pleased with them all.) Each of them are shining stars as in the eloquent words of Ala Hazrat (May Allah be pleased with him):

Teri Nasle pak mein hain bachcha bachcha Noor ka

Tu hai ayne Noor Tera sab gharana Noor ka

May Allah Almighty grant us a portion of the Purity & Pleasure of Allah that was bestowed to Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her). May Allah grant us a portion of the tears that she shed in the grief of the Hereafter. May Allah grant us the guidance [taufeeq] to recite the Holy Quran like she did. Peace be upon the Pure and Pious Personality of Hazrat Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) and upon the Beloved of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (May Allah be pleased with him).

Wa salaamun ‘alal Mursaleen.

Wal hamdulil Lahir Rabbil ‘Aalameen.

Syeda Zille Humma Qadri

Responding to Tribulations in Our Times

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Issue # 12
April 22, 2007 / Rabiuth Thani 1428

Immensely Blessed is He in Whose control is the entire Kingdom, and He has authority over everything. He, Who has created death and life that He might test you, as to whose work, is excellent among you. And He is the Esteemed One the Forgiving. [The Holy Quran 67:1-2]

It is clear from the aforementioned blessed verse of the Holy Quran that trials and hardships that face the human condition in the form of tests from Allah Almighty are a part and a parcel of His Divine Plan on this earth. Who has not experienced some type of hardship in life, be it in the form of loss of a loved one, loss of one’s health, or wealth. The question then arises: what is the purpose of the test? Is it ultimate harm or ultimate good? The answer lies in the same verse above. It is to see how one responds to the test. Whether the ultimate result of the test is harm or good depends on one’s own response to it. Does one exhibit patience (sabr) recognizing that the test is from the Almighty, Loving Creator and therefore can only carry goodness in it despite the apparent signs of harm? Does one express gratitude (shukr) to Allah Almighty appreciating the fact that one was considered worthy of such a weighty examination? Does one appreciate the fact that this opportunity for reflection (tafakkur), purification (tazkiya), repentance (tauba) and seeking forgiveness (istaghfar) will make a better, stronger person out of us? Or does one simply complain about the outward temporary losses not being able to see Allah Almighty’s Wisdom?

One simply has to turn the pages of history and observe the lives of the greatest people who have walked this earth – the Prophets (peace be upon them all), and the Saints (Awliya – may Allah Almighty be pleased with them and have mercy on them all) to see that when Allah Almighty wishes to grant His knowledge (marifat) & closeness (qurbat) to His servants, He Almighty sends hardships. One must remember, however, that the Prophets and Saints are Allah Almighty’s chosen people and their role on this earth is that of guiding the common folk. Therefore, the hardships they face are instructional for others and for the purpose of increasing them in infinite spiritual ranks with their Creator. The Crown of the Saints, Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (b. 1077 CE, may Allah be pleased with him) says in his famous Sirr-ul-Asraar, “Allah created the spirit (rooh) in the finest formation in the realm of Divinity. Then He wished to reduce it to the lowest of the low, for the purpose of increasing intimacy and nearness.”

The pious Hazrat Syeda Zaynab (May Allah be pleased with her), the beloved grand-daughter of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) experienced so many hardships in her life that she earned the title of Ummul Masaib, the “Mother of Hardships.” When she was six years old, her beloved Grandfather – our Beloved Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), who had honored her with the name Zaynab and placed His Blessed Saliva in her mouth, passed onto the Realm of Divine Beatitude. Six months later, her blessed mother Hazrat Syeda Fatima Zahra (May Allah be pleased with her) too joined her Blessed Father (Peace Be Upon Him). Upon reaching early adulthood, she witnessed the martyrdom of her beloved & respected father, Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him). Ten years later she witnessed the martyrdom of her dear brother Hazrat Imam Hasan (May Allah be pleased with him). And on the battlefield of Karbala, she lost her dear brother Hazrat Imam Husayn (May Allah be pleased with him) and nearly the rest of her entire family. However, in the face of such immense hardships she always stood tall for the Truth against the wrong-doers. Her words of fortitude, courage, and resilience reverberate the passageways of history providing inspiration to both women & men today.

There is a famous narration regarding the great 8th century CE Saint Hazrat Rabia Basri (May Allah be pleased with him) regarding the response to hardships. A Saint was asked about how one should respond to hardships and he said, ” with patience (sabr)”. Another Saint was asked the same question and he replied,  “with gratitude (shukr)”. When Hazrat Rabia (May Allah be pleased with him) was asked the very same question, she said that one should be so engrossed in love (ishq) for Allah Almighty and His Messenger (Peace Be upon Him) that one cannot even see the hardship!

It is clear from the writings and sayings of all the great scholars and saints that the foremost response to hardships in life is patience. Indeed Allah Almighty Himself commands us in the Holy Quran to seek help from prayer and patience. [Al-Quran, 2:45] As Hazrat Syeda Zaynab’s (May Allah be pleased with her) blessed father, the Gate of Knowledge (Babul-‘Ilm), from whom she directly learnt, Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) writes in his famous Nahjatul Balagha that the relationship of patience (sabr) to faith (iman) is like that of the head to the body. He (May Allah be pleased with him) further says as is reported in the famous Kashful Mahjoob of the 11th century CE scholar and Saint, Hazrat Daata Ganj Baksh (May Allah be pleased with him) that, “I have recognized my Lord (marifat) in the breaking of plans.”

Allah Almighty also states in the Holy Quran that He appreciates gratitude [Al-Quran, 4:147] The scholars have said that one must say “Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kulli haal,” i.e. all praises are to Allah Almighty in every condition. When one adopts such a response to one’s hardships then the angels pray for one’s forgiveness and deliverance. Whether Allah Almighty has given us an apparent blessing or an apparent hardship, in every situation one must say “Alhamdulillah.” It is also very important to remember that what may seem as an apparent blessing may also indeed be a test. As Hazrat Daata Ganj Baksh (May Allah be pleased with him) warns us in his Kashful Mahjoob that, “a blessing is truly a blessing when it guides you towards Allah Almighty. If it veils you from the Giver, then it is a hardship (bala).” In the eloquent words of the great 12th century CE Persian poet, Shaykh Saadi (May Allah be pleased with him)  (translated):

Aysh vo kya jo halaakat ka sabab ban jaae

Jis ka anjaam ho raahat vo museebat achchi

May Allah Almighty give us the guidance (taufeeq) to follow in the footsteps of our pious predecessors and may He Almighty grant us a portion of their patience in our hardships and may He grant us that spiritual station (maqam) that we are so engrossed in His and His Beloved’s (Peace Be Upon Him) love that the hardships become invisible to us. Ameen.

Syeda Shagufta Ahmad Qadri