Tuesday, December 01, 2015

In the Service of Humanity

(Ummu Kulthoom, the daughter of Faatimah [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Four)
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was once patrolling the outskirts of Madeenah Munawwarah when he spotted a small tent made of hide. As he drew nearer, he heard a woman in pain groaning within the tent and saw a man seated outside. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) greeted the man and asked him who he was, to which the man replied that he was a bedouin from the countryside who had come to benefit from the generosity of Ameerul Mu’mineen. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thereafter asked him why the woman in the tent was in pain. The bedouin answered that she was crying from the pain of labor and had nobody to assist her.
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) immediately turned and hastened home. On reaching home, he addressed his wife, Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha), saying, “Allah Ta‘ala has presented an opportunity for you to earn great reward.” “What is it?” she enquired. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “There is a woman in labor who has nobody to help and assist her.” Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha), without any hesitation or reservation, instantly expressed her readiness to seize the opportunity and help the woman in distress saying, “If it is your wish then I will definitely assist.”
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then instructed her to pack the essentials she would require to deliver the baby. When she had packed what she needed, he asked her to bring him a pot, some fat and some grain.
They then departed for the tent with Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) walking behind while ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) walked in front carrying the pot. On arriving at the tent, Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) entered and began tending to the woman. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), in the meantime, asked the bedouin to light him a fire. When the fire was lit, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) placed the pot on it and began to cook the food he had brought. After some time, a baby boy was born and Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) called out, “O Ameerul Mu’mineen! Give your companion the glad tidings of a son!” When the bedouin heard her address her husband by the title “Ameerul Mu’mineen”, the realization that it was none other than ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) before him suddenly sank in. He was so shaken that he began to move away from ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) out of awe. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, assured the man that there was nothing to worry about and told him to stay where he was. He then carried the pot to the entrance of the tent and instructed Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to feed the woman. When she was done, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) again carried the pot and now placed it in front of the man saying, “Eat! You must have had a long night.” He then asked the man to visit him the following day after which he and Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) returned. When the man arrived the next day, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) gave him many gifts and abundant provisions. (At-Tabsirah libnil Jawzi, vol. 1 pg. 427 & Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, vol. 7 pg. 286)
1. Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) had such an exemplary level of obedience to her husband that if he required some service of her, even if late at night, she would happily respond.
2. She was able to leave her bed to help other people. Unfortunately, we sometimes cannot even wake up and help ourselves at the time of fajr salaah.
3. As wealthy, intelligent, good looking or popular as we may be, we should never consider it below our dignity to assist a person in need.
4. Whatever good we do should be done solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. Once kindness has been shown to a person, needlessly reminding him/her of the favor only diminishes and ultimately destroys the reward

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