Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Great Women of Islam
Fatima Daughter of Muhammad
Nabî Sallallâhu 'alayhi wasallam would often say: "Fatima is of my flesh, he who angers her, angers me" (Bukhari & Muslim)
Fatimah Radhi-Allâhu 'anhu was the youngest child of Nabî Sallallâhu 'alayhi wasallam and the only child who survived him. Hers was a life of extreme poverty and struggle. She constantly saw her father being mistreated, insulted and humiliated by the disbelievers. One day, when she was barely ten years old, she accompanied her father to the Masjid al-Haram.
He stood in the place known as al-Hijr facing the Kabah and began to pray. Fatimah stood at his side. A group of Quraysh gathered around him. They included Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, the Prophet's uncle, Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, and Shaybah and Utbah.
Abu Jahl, the ringleader, asked: "Which of you can bring the entrails of a slaughtered animal and throw it on Muhammad?" Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, one of the vilest of the lot, volunteered and hurried off.
He returned with the obnoxious filth and threw it on the shoulders of the Prophet while he was still prostrating. Imagine the feelings of Fatimah as she saw her father being humiliated in this manner. She went up to her father and removed the filth and then stood firmly and angrily before the group of Quraish thugs and lashed out against them. Such scenes of vicious opposition and harassment against her father and the early Muslims were witnessed by the young Fatimah almost everyday.
She did not meekly stand aside but joined in the struggle in defence of her father and his noble mission.
Asiyah wife of Fir'aun "And for those who have faith Allâh has set forth a parable in the (story) of Fir'aun's wife when she prayed:
O my sustainer! Build for me a mansion in paradise by You and save me from Fir'aun and his doings and save me from all evil doing people."
When the magicians fell into sajdah and declared their faith in Allâh and accepted Mûsa Alayhis-Salâm as the Nabî of Allâh - the wife of Fir'aun also declared her faith. Fir'aun began punishing her by pegging her to the ground and exposing her to the midday sun.
Whenever he turned away from her the angels would give her shade with their wings. He then gave her a choice: 'Either retract from your belief or be prepared to be crushed by a huge boulder.' She chose to be crushed.
As she was placed onto the ground she raised her sight towards the sky -she saw her place in Jannah and prayed: "O my sustainer! Build for me a mansion in paradise by You and save me from Fir'aun and his doings and save me from all evil doing people. As she said this, her rûh left her body and the boulder then crushed her lifeless body.
These four women changed the course of human history, through their perseverance, faith and courage.
Miryam Alayhas-Salâm life was characterized by piety, chastity and faith,
Khadija Radhi-Allâhu 'anha neither succumbed to the trappings of wealth, nor to power and fame,
Fatima Radhi-Allâhu 'anha made sabr in the face of unending hardships and was crowned the 'leader of all women in Jannah',
whilst the wife of Fir'aun chose faith over royalty.
These were women distinguished by sabr who found the true friendship of Allâh through their unfailing steadfastness in the face of grinding sacrifices. May Allâh grant us the taufîq to emulate the beautiful conduct of these icons of virtue, humility and courage.