Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) once handed perfume, drinking utensils and small vanity cases to a messenger, without the knowledge of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and asked him to deliver it to the Queen of Rome. On receiving the gifts, the Queen gathered the women of her court and announced, “These gifts are from the Queen of the Arabs who is the daughter of their Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” She then replied to the gesture by sending gifts of her own – among which was a stunning necklace – to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
When the messenger arrived in the presence of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) bearing the gifts sent by the Roman Queen, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to know of what had transpired and thus immediately called up a council meeting announcing, “Verily there will be no good in any of my matters if they are decided without consultation (mashurah). Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) sent gifts to the Roman Queen due to which the Roman Queen, in return, sent her gifts. Advise me as to what should be done.” When they heard the situation, they all expressed the opinion that the gifts sent by the Roman Queen rightfully belonged to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, was not satisfied. He objected and said, “What about the messenger she used? He is employed and paid by the Muslims (it was not correct for her to use the messenger for her personal errand).” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) therefore had all the gifts deposited into the public treasury and only gave Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) the amount of wealth that she had given the Roman Queen. (Tareekh Tabari vol. 5, pg. 259)
1. Being the queen did not mean that she lived a life of luxury and opulence. Rather, the privilege of being the wife of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came along with the divorce of luxuries and accepting to lead a life of austerity and abstinence.
2. When the husband corrects his wife, she should accept the rectification and comply instead of complaining and becoming upset. She should understand that he wants her to improve only because he wants the best for her.
(to be continued insha-Allah)