The Charitable Ones
In today’s class we will read about the Sahaabiyaat who were had special mentions for being Charitable.
ZAYNAB – the Mother of the Believers
Allah Gave Her in Marriage From Above His Throne
She was the Mother of the Believers, Zaynab bint Jahsh bin Rayab. She is a cousin to Allah’s Messenger. She was among those who made the first hijrah. Her mother was Aminah bint ‘Abdul-Muttalib bin Hashim. She was one of the most noble women in religion, piety and her benevolence was well-known.
Her Marriage to Zayd bin Harithah
When Islam came, part of its goal was the eradication of differences between men. No one has precedence above another except in righteousness. The Prophet wanted to implement that in practical terms and that was with the marriage of Zaynab bint Jahsh, his own relative to his freed slave, Zayd bin AI-Harithah so that class differences could be obliterated.
Allah’s Messenger presented this proposal to Zaynab and sought her hand for Zayd. However, Zaynab turned over this disturbing idea and this irreconcilable question in her mind: “How could she accept this incompatible marriage from a former slave while she was a noble and high-born lady?”
So she said to the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not approve of him for myself (as husband) while I am a widow of the Quraish.” The Prophet ﷺ said: “As for me, I have approved of him for you.” Then the words of Allah was revealed: “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” (AlAhzab:36)
Therefore, no room was left for Zaynab to contradict the command of Allah and His Messenger. She submitted and Zayd bin Harithah married her.
Very serious differences began to crop up between the two spouses. Life became extremely difficult and living together very stressful. Zayd would come to the Prophet complaining about Zaynab and the Prophet ﷺ would tell him: “Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.”
Similarly, for Zaynab too, life did not bring her matrimonial happiness and harmony. So verses of the Qur’an came down cancelling the established practice. Jibril had informed Allah’s Messenger that Zaynab will become his wife but the Prophet found it objectionable in his heart that he should tell Zayd to divorce her and then for him to many her thereafter. Word would spread amongst the people that Muhammad married the wife of his son. That was the intensity of the fear of people which made him conceal what Allah had informed him i.e. marrying her. This is what Allah faulted him for in the statement of the Most High: “But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allah has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., Muhammad ﷺ married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him.” (AI-Ahzab:37)
Allah is very clear about the reason for this marriage. He says: “So that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And Allah’s Command must be fulfilled.” (Al Ahzab:37)
When Zayd came once again complaining about Zaynab, the Prophet permitted him to divorce her.
The Prophet’s Marriage to Zaynab
After Zayd had divorced Zaynab R.A., the Prophet married her by the command of Allah. Allah says:
“So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage.” (Al-Ahzab: 37)
So Allah married her to His Prophet by the text of His Book without a wali or witness. Zaynab used to boast with that over the rest of the Mothers of the Believers. She would say: “Your people gave you out in marriage but I was given out in marriage by Allah from above His Throne.”
Anas bin Malik R.A. said: “Zayd bin Harithah came to complain and the Prophet kept saying: ‘Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.”‘
Anas said: “If the Messenger of Allah were to conceal anything, he would have concealed this. Zaynab used to boast over the rest of the wives of the Prophet.
With that blessed marriage, Zaynab was added to the list of the Mothers of the Believers. Perhaps this is from the blessing of her obedience to the command of Allah when she married Zayd.
From the blessing of Zaynab R.A, is that the verse of hijab came down at her instance. Anas R.A., said: “Allah’s Messenger consummated his marriage with Zaynab upon bread and meat and he sent me to invite people (to a meal). A group of people would come, eat and they would leave. Another set of people would come, eat and leave. I kept inviting the people until I did not find any more people to invite. So I said: 0 Prophet of Allah, I do not find anyone to invite again and he said: ‘Then take your own food.’
“A batch of three people remained in the house chatting so the Prophet went out to the dwelling place of ‘A’ishah and said: ‘Peace and Allah’s Mercy be upon you, 0 the people of the house!’ She responded, ‘Peace and the mercy of Allah be on you too. How did you find your wife? May Allah bless you.’ Then he went to the dwelling places of all his other wives and said to them the same as he said to ‘A’ishah and they said to him something similar to what’ A’ishah had said to him.
“Then the Prophet returned and found the group of three persons still in the house chatting. The Prophet was an extremely shy person, so he went out (for the second time) and went toward the dwelling place of A’ ishah. I do not remember whether I informed him that the people have gone away. So he returned and while his legs were still bestriding the doorway, he drew the curtain between me and him, and then the verse of Al-Hijab was revealed:
‘0 you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, except when leave is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go), but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a curtain, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah’s Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily! With Allah that shall be an enormity.”‘ (Al Ahzab: 53)
The verse contains manners that were hitherto unknown during the jahiliyyah period regarding entering houses. The people used to enter other people’s houses without the permission of the owners (of the house). Some of them would enter when they saw that food was being prepared and they would sit waiting for the food to be done so that they may partake in it even without prior invitation to the meal. Some of them would also sit after the meal regardless of whether they were previously invited or they barged in upon them without invitation. They would break into conversation and chat for a long time without any realization of what inconvenience that would cause.
Then this verse came teaching people to avoid entering into other people’s houses without permission. If they were invited to a meal, they should enter. However, if they were not invited, they should not enter and sit for the food to be done. Even after they had partaken in the meal, they should leave and not remain after the meal to chat and to engage in conversation.
The Muslims are in no need of any manners as much as they are in need of this which incidentally many are deprived of. Many guests at meals remain after the meal. In fact they would remain at the dining table chatting for long hours. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the house which keep to the command of Allah regarding veiling are inconvenienced and impeded while the guests persist in their discussion and chatting unaware. In this Islamic manner, there is sufficiency for all situations if we but hold on to this divine upright manner.
Then this verse also establishes the use of curtain between the wives of the Prophet and other men: “And when you ask (His wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a curtain.”
And it also establishes that such screening is purer for the heart of everyone: “that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.”
No one should say other than what Allah has said: No one should say that intermingling, removal of veil, freedom of speech, meetings, sittings and mutual participation between the opposite sex is purer for the hearts and more decent for the conscience and more helpful in managing the suppressed natural feelings. Informing the two sexes of the refined manner of comportment…up to the end of what a group of the creatures of Allah who are dim-witted often say.
Her Benevolence and Generosity
‘A’ishah narrated: “The Prophet ﷺ said to his wives: ‘One who has the longest hands amongst you would come after me (i.e. at my death).’ She further said: ‘after his death, we would stretch our hands on the wall to measure their length. We never ceased doing that until Zaynab died and she was a small woman so she could not have been the one with the longest hand. It is at that point we realized that what he meant (by the longest hand) was charity. She used to work with her hand, she used to tan (leather) and pierce leather and she would spend (that income) on charity.”
Zaynab, Allah be pleased with her, understood that what was meant was the longest hand in goodness. She used to work and spend the income in charity. She was the quickest of the wives of the Prophet in meeting him (in death). She used to be known as “the Mother of the Poor.“
To the Companion on High
Barazah bint Rafi’ narrated: “‘Umar bin Al-Khattab sent Zaynab her stipend. So she said: ‘May Allah forgive ‘Umar, someone other than me is more deserving of this stipend.’ The people said to her: ‘All of it is for you.”‘
She said: “Glory be to Allah!” She shielded herself from it with a garment and said: “Pour’ it and cover it with a cloth.” Then she began to distribute it among her relatives and orphans and gave me the remainder. I counted the money and it was eighty-five dirhams. Then she raised her hands toward heaven and prayed: “0 Allah, do not let ‘Umar’s stipend meet me alive after this year.”
From Al-Qasim: Zaynab bint Jahsh said at the point of death: “I have prepared my shruoud, if ‘Umar sends me a shroud, give one out in charity. If you are able to give my waist-wrapper out in charity after you have lowered me (into the grave), then do so.”
In the year 20th (hijrah) she soared to the neighbourhood of her Lord and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab led her funeral prayer.
Before we stop writing about her history, we close with what was said regarding her by ‘A’ishah ~. “I have never seen a woman who was better in her religion, who feared Allah more, who was more truthful in speech, who strengthened the ties of kinship more and was more benevolent in charity than Zaynab. May Allah be pleased with her.”
RUFAYDA AL ASLAMIYYAH
The first Muslim Nurse
There are some people who are not widely popular until we have an extensive and detailed study of their lives. And there are others who are short into fame by a single incidence, a single event or just an aspect of their lives. This event, in spite of its short period, may be more memorable than decades or other different events. Rufaydah Al Ansariyah or al-Aslamiyah falls into the second category.
Rufayda Al-Aslamiyyah is a woman from the tribe of Aslam in Madeenah; it is for this reason that she was called Al-Aslamiyyah. She was a woman from the women of Ansaar, and she had a tent by the Prophet’s mosque (in Madeenah) where she used to treat the sick as reported by Al-Bukhari in “Al-Adab Al-Mufrad”, in a Hadeeth which was classified by Al-Albaani as Saheeh [sound]
When Sa’d Ibn Mu’aath R.A. was injured in the battle of Al-Khandaq (The Trench), the Prophet ﷺ ordered that he be placed and treated in her tent.
There are some who say her tent would be moved around to battle locations. However, we have not come across any evidence that suggests that she used to go out in some battles to treat the injured. However, this matter is confirmed about other female Companions R.A among whom was Umm ‘Atiyyah, Umm Sulaym, Hamnah Bint Jahsh, Layla Al-Ghifaariyyah (the wife of Abu Tharr), Umm Ayman, and Rubayyi’ Bint Mu’awwith, may Allaah be pleased with all of them. Anas Ibn Maalik R.A. said: “The Prophet ﷺ used to go out to the battles taking Umm Sulaym and some other women of the Ansaar with him; when he fights in the battle, they [i.e. the women] would give water to the soldiers and treat the injured.” [Muslim]
Whether on battle fields or in the Masjid, there is no doubt, this job needs medical knowledge and experience; and knowledge of production and application of drugs and treatment of wounds and broken bones. Rufaydah was qualified in all these.
As for expenses, it is said that all that had been from her personal money and effort. She did not take any wage or reward for her works. Rather, she spent generously and hoped to get her reward from Allah alone.
SubhaanAllah, imagine the extent of knowledge, effort and expenses, Without being immodest, I have never, throughout my wide reading, come across an individual who could rival Rufaydah in the histories of nations and peoples, unless we talk of the effort of a group, organisation, government or state.
May Allah be pleased with her
Her name is ‘Atikah bint Khalid al-Khuza’iyah. Umm Ma’bad is her nickname.
Her name is connected to the greatest event in the history of da’wah: the Hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madeenah.
She was a famous, chaste, strong and courageous woman. She had a camp in Qudayd.(Place between Makkah & Madinah) She used to sit down in the courtyard of her camp wrapped in her garment, giving food and drink to the travellers who passed by her. She would do sometimes in exchange for some wages and sometimes she would do so free of charge.
She with her later moved to Madeenah with her husband and embraced Islam.
So we learn from the stories above that women should also come forward to do their part of Charity. May Allah give all women of the Ummah today the capability and Hidayah to do Charity on their own self.