A Short Biography of the “Mothers of the Faithful”


The wives of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, hold a special place in Islamic piety.  The Quran calls them “Mothers of the Faithful” (Quran 33:6).  They were his wives in this life and shall be in the life to come.  They were young and old, widows and virgins, poor and wealthy, aristocrats and freed slaves.  Each one played their specific role in forming the history of Islam.

Khadeejah

Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married her when he was twenty-five, while she had reached the age of forty.  She was a widow, twice married.  He was at the peak of his youth.  Impressed by Muhammad’s honesty and moral character, she send a relative to propose marriage.  They were married for twenty five years until her death.  Through every persecution, Khadeejah was his sole companion and helper.  Khadeejah, along with Aisha, played a major contribution in the establishment and spread of the Islamic civilization.  Khadeejah bore four daughters with the Prophet(pbuh): Zainab, Umm Kulthoom, Ruqayya, and Fatima.  All four grew to maturity and accepted Islam.  They all died in the lifetime of their father, except Fatima who died six months after the Prophet(pbuh).  Khadeejah also bore two sons, Qasim and Abdullah, both of whom died at an early age.

Sawdah

Months after the death of Khadeejah, the Prophet(pbuh) had returned from an unsuccessful mission in Taif, helpless and persecuted.  At this time he married Sawdah, another widow, who possessed neither beauty, nor social status, nor wealth.  She had been forced to escape to Abyssinia with her husband from the persecution of pagan Meccans to find some security.  Her husband died in exile, giving his life for the sake of his faith.  He had migrated with his wife from his home for the cause of his religion, and he left her in utter poverty.  Driven by a sense of generosity, the Prophet(pbuh) of Mercy married her, raising her to the spiritual level of “Mother of the Faithful.”  The Prophet(pbuh) did not marry another woman for the first three years of his Marriage to Sawdah.  She died a few years after the death of  Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).

Aishah

Aishah was the daughter of one of the closest companions of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), Abu Bakr.  An old friend of the Prophet(pbuh), Abu Bakr was one of the earliest converts to the faith and was considered to be the most sincere, earnest, and devoted in faith.  Seeing the loss of the Prophet(pbuh), one of the woman companions proposed Abu Bakr’s daughter to him and approached Abu Bakr on behalf of the Prophet(pbuh).  But there were two problems.  One, Aishah was already betrothed to Jubair bin Mut’im, a pagan Meccan.  Jubair, it turned out, had lost interest because of the wide gulf between paganism and Islam.  In addition, Aishah had not yet reached puberty, and this also contributed to Jubair’s disinterest in pursuing the betrothal.  Thus, she was betrothed to the Prophet(pbuh) while still in Mecca, and three years later, when both were in Medina and she had reached puberty, he consummated his marriage.  She was the only virgin he married, though they did not have any children.  Aishah was a leading scholar of Islam and played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Islamic civilization.  She taught for forty years after the death of the Prophet(pbuh) until her death at the age of sixty-seven.

Hafsah

Hafsah was the daughter of Umar, the man closest to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) after Abu Bakr.  She migrated with her husband to Medina, but was left a widow after the Battle of Badr.  With a fiery temper like her father, she had remained without a husband ever since.  Umar first asked Abu Bakr, and then Uthman, to marry her, but each refused in turn, much to his ire.  This shows the unavailability of marriageable males at the time.  At last, Umar approached Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).  The marriage took place in the third year after migration.  The Prophet(pbuh) divorced her once, but was commanded by God to take her back.  She was charged with keeping the official copy of the Quran during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar.  She passed away four years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Zainab

In the same year, the third year after migration, the Prophet(pbuh) married Zainab, made a widow after the Battle of Uhud.  Her kindness to the poor had earned her the nickname of “mother of the destitute.”  She was past the prime of her life and when she was wed by him, and she died a few months after their marriage.  She is the only wife beside Khadeejah who passed away in the Prophet(pbuh)’s lifetime.

Umm Salama

A year later, the Prophet(pbuh) married another widow who had suffered persecution, at one time losing the custody of her children to her pagan in-laws.  After the Battle of Uhud, she was left a widow with four children.  Abu Bakr first proposed to her, but she refused because she did not think anyone could be patient with her children.  Finally, the Prophet(pbuh) proposed, assuring her the children would be taken care of; Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married Umm Salama because of this noble motivation.  The faithful loved their Prophet(pbuh) all the more and honored him as the Prophet(pbuh) of God.  They saw in him a father to the destitute, the deprived, the weak, and the poor as well as to everyone who had lost his father in the cause of God.  Umm Salama was the last wife of the Prophet(pbuh) to die.  She passed away forty nine years after his death at the age of eighty-four.

Umm Habeebah

Umm Habeebah was the Muslim daughter of Islam’s archenemy, Abu Sufyan.  Umm Habeebah was one of the early coverts to Islam in Mecca.  She had migrated with her husband to Abyssinia who converted to Christianity over there.  On his death, the Prophet(pbuh) sent a proposal to her while she was still in Abyssinia.  She returned to Medina three years before the death of the Prophet(pbuh).  She passed away thirty four years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Zainab, the Divorced Wife of Zaid

Zainab was the cousin of the Prophet(pbuh), who was married to Zaid, an orphan slave whom the Prophet(pbuh) liberated and then adopted.  The Prophet(pbuh) proposed the marriage of Zainab with Zaid to her brother, but he refused to let his sister, a noble girl of Hashimite and Quraishite ancestry and the first cousin of the Prophet(pbuh), become the wife of a former slave.  Such a union was regarded by the Arabs as a thing of great shame.  For the daughters of the aristocracy to marry their slaves, even freed slaves, was unthinkable.  The Prophet(pbuh) sought to wipe out racial and class distinctions between men.  He was to educate the world that no Arab is superior to any non-Arab unless it be in virtue and piety, as God had said,

“…Indeed, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most god-fearing…” (Quran 49:13)

The Prophet(pbuh) did not choose to force this principle on a woman outside his own tribe.  It was his cousin Zainab who, in complying with the Prophet(pbuh)’s wishes for Zaid, willingly opposed the Arabian custom.  And Zaid, a freed slave, was the person of too low a lineage for marriage into Meccan aristocracy in her family’s eyes.  Thus, the Prophet(pbuh) encouraged Zainab to agree to marry Zaid, and, when Zainab agreed, insisted that her brother accept the adopted orphan as a brother-in-law.

However, after the marriage, Zaid found it hard to live with her.  Zaid consulted the Prophet(pbuh) who advised him not to divorce her.  Never-the less, once all attempts to work out the marriage had failed, divorce was the only alternative left.  After the divorce, she and her relatives insisted that the Prophet(pbuh) marry her.  Feeling bound to meet their wishes after a failed marriage that he had arranged, the Prophet(pbuh) was hesitant.  The pagan custom allowed marrying step-mothers and mothers-in-law, but looked upon the marriage of the divorced wife of an adopted son as unacceptable.  To undo the custom and to set an example, God commanded the hesitant Prophet(pbuh) to marry Zainab.  Their marriage took place in 5 A.H.  She died ten years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Juwairiyah

In the same year, a large number of prisoners fell into the hands of Muslims at the Battle of Bani Mustaliq.  Among them was Juwairiyah, the daughter of an Arab chief, who approached the Prophet(pbuh) with a ransom for herself to which her captor readily agreed.  The Prophet(pbuh) then proposed marrying her, and she, in turn, accepted.  As soon as the Muslims heard the news of the marriage, they released their prisoners from the tribe of Banu Mustaliq. They felt they could not keep a tribe honored by the Prophet(pbuh) in captivity, so some one hundred families from the tribe of Banu Mustaliq were freed as a blessing of her marriage with the Prophet(pbuh).  Juwairiyah was one devoted to worship.  Once, the Prophet(pbuh) passed by her after the dawn prayer and found her busy in worship in her place of prayer.  The Prophet(pbuh) passed by her again during late morning and found her still in her place, whereupon he commented,

“You are still in your state (of worship)?”

She responded, “Yes.”

“Should I not teach you some words greater in reward!  Say, ‘How perfect is God, I praise Him by the number of His creation and His pleasure, and by the weight of His Throne, and the ink of His Words.’” [1]

She died some forty years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Safiyyah

Safiyyah, daughter of a Jewish chief of Banu Nadheer, was taken as a prisoner in the Battle of Khaibar in the year 7 A.H.  The Prophet(pbuh) liberated and then married her.  Upon marriage, the Prophet(pbuh) found marks of abuse on her cheek about which he was curious.

She explained, “I saw a dream in which the full moon rose over Medina and fell in my lap.  I told the dream to my cousin who slapped me and said, ‘You want to marry the king of Medina!’  This mark is from his slap.”

When the Prophet(pbuh) was on his deathbed, she wept and said, ‘I wish I could be in your place, O Messenger of God,’ to which he replied, “By God, she is telling the truth.

Maimoonah

Maimoomah, another widow, requested marriage to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, in Mecca in 7 A.H.  She was from his tribe and was already over fifty.  Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married her in order to support her, a poor relative of his.  Her nephew, Ibn Abbas, who later became the greatest scholar of the Quran, learned much from her knowledge.


[1] Musnad, Abu Daud

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Peace Within


Peace Within

Alia Ahmed 

Peace in heart makes life beautiful.

There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried their luck. The king looked at all the representations, but there were only two that fascinated him. Ultimately, he had to choose between them.

The first depiction was of a calm and quiet lake. The lake was a perfect mirror of placid, pacific mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. It seemed a perfect picture of peace.

The other image had mountains too, but these were rugged and bare. Above was an enraged sky, from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a furious, foaming waterfall. Apparently, this was not at all, the required piece of art. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush, growing in a crack in the rock. In that bush a mother bird had built her peewee nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace!

Any idea, which one turned out to be the award-winning illustration? The king chose the second one. Why? “Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be cool, calm and collected in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”

The narration above, compels one to ponder and cogitate. We may state that man’s basal needs can be totted up as the need for preservation, the need for knowledge and the need for peace and harmony. Since the basic unit of humanity
is an individual human, it is evident that in order to achieve peace in the outer world it must first be attained within the hearts of all the individuals.
Consequently outer peace, or world peace as you may put it, is a by-product of personal tranquility and mental satisfaction of individuals that inhabit it.

Thomas Kempis had said, First keep the peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others. Some people have a view that peace will come to them when they control every single element in their lives. Maybe they are just oblivion to the fact that this is not within our reach. We cannot control everything in our lives. One must understand the difference between things that are within our control and things that are beyond that.

The concept of Predestination (‘Qadr’) is central to this understanding. On the other hand, religious scholars and intellectuals are of the view that the tribulation and distress in today’s world may have a perspicuous cause – we have lost the path that lead to salvation by missing out on God’s cardinal instructions.

Inner peace is a feeling of calmness and satisfaction within ones heart. But the delicate question is, how can that be attained? ?Imaan? ? the true faith in Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala and the collective term for all those beliefs on which the Islamic faith is based – is the sole positive and real ground for a person’s inner calmness and rapture.

This Arabic word is derived from the root word a-m-n, pointing towards peace and tranquility that a believer enjoys in his heart as a result of practicing and bolstering these beliefs. There must be a total submission to God‘s commands; no
half-hearted consents. Real happiness and peace can be found by submitting to the commands of the Sustainer of this world and by remaining content and satisfied with His Decree.

It is said in the Quran,

Truly in remembering God do
hearts find rest. (13:28).

Dhikr‘ or ‘the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala’ leads to God consciousness, which persuasively brings forth total submission to His commands. Thereupon, it is imperative that in order to bring tranquility into our lives we must live according to His Commandments.

Another significant factor that massively contributes towards acquiring a complacent soul is ‘Shukr‘ or ‘thankfulness’  to God.

‘Shukr’ is derived from the root word, sh-k-r, and its literal meaning is when a cow feeds on less fodder but gives more milk.

Conspicuously, it indicates how a believer should be. He should be grateful to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala under all  circumstances. To attain inner peace we must look for abundance in our lives while minimizing the negatives.

We must learn to develop a sense of gratitude within ourselves for all that we have been so lucky to be blessed with. Come to think of it, most of us have a great deal in our lives to make us blissfully content but unfortunately we
lack the ability to acknowledge and appreciate it.

A lot is taken for granted and many blithe, simple moments in daily life are disregarded and forgotten. Ungratefulness takes away tranquility from within our hearts. As Melody Beattie had so rightly said, Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace
for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. So true!

The station of gratitude (shukr) is considered the best and the highest of all the stations of faith (imaan). Gratitude also includes in itself the virtue of Patience (sabr). When we look at the life of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wassalum) we find that there is nothing greater then his patience and gratitude.

He was ‘Saboor’ (patient) and ‘Shakoor’ (thankful). The reality is that a servant of Allah subhanahu wa ta?ala can be in one of the two states during his life time. Either he is enjoying a bounty for which he should be thankful for, or he may be suffering a calamity that he should meet with patience and forbearance.

Muslim states the Hadith:

“Amazing is the believer,
for whatever Allah decrees for him! If he is tested with a bounty, he is grateful for it and this is better for him; and if he is afflicted with a hardship, he is patient with it and this is better for him.”

Patience mainly has three forms:
(a) Patience for avoiding the prohibitions and sins,
(b) Patience for acts of worship and obedience,
(c) Patience required in the face of afflictions and hardships.

The Quraan explicitly mentions the finest tools that may be applied to help ease the effects of sufferings and hardships and those are Patience (Sabr) andPrayer (Dhikr).

It is stated in Surah-e-Bakarah, verse 152-153:

“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying (dhikr)). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for my countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me. O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salah (the prayer). Truly, Allah is with the As-Sabireen (the patient).

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has pointed-out the virtues of Dhikr, Shukr and Sabr in this surah and their stately significance in our lives. One may conclude that ‘Sakina’ (peace and tranquility) within the heart is a gift from Allah subhanahu
wa ta’ala, and the most essential ingredients that contribute toward a serene and placid heart are Remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta?ala, Gratitude and Patience. Consequently, a heart that remains thankful and patient, while in constant remembrance of its Creator, can never lose peace within.

The incredible wisdom of Luqman


The story of Luqman is mentioned in Sura Luqman (31:12-19). More about Luqman is stated in Ibn Kathir’s book, “Stories of the Prophet”. A summary of that story is stated below.

Luqman Ibn ‘Anqa’ Ibn Sadun or, as stated by As-Suhaili from Ibn Jarir and Al-Qutaibi, Luqman Ibn Tharan, was from among the people of Aylah (Jerusalem). He was a pious man who exerted himself in worship and who was blessed with wisdom.

Luqman was gifted with wisdom

Sufyan Ath- Thawri narrated from Al-Ash’ath after ‘Ikrimah on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) that he was an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter. Qatadah narrated from Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair that Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah when asked about Luqman, said: “He was short with a flat nose. He was from Nubia.”

Luqman was a carpenter

Yahia Ibn Sa’ id Al-Ansari said after Sa’ id Ibn Al-Musayib that Luqman belonged to the black men of Egypt. He had thick lips and Allah the Almighty granted him wisdom but not prophethood. ‘Umar Ibn Qais and Al-A’mash narrated after Mujahid:

Luqman was a huge black slave, thicklipped. While he was preaching a man who used to know him saw him and said: “Aren’t you the slave of so and so who used to look after my sheep not so long in the past?”

Luqman said: “Yes!” The man said: “What raised you to this high state I see?” Luqman said: “The Divine Decree, repaying the trust, telling the truth and discarding and keeping silent regarding what does not concern me.” (This Hadith was narrated by Ibn Jarir after lbn Hamid after Al-Hakam.)

"The Divine Decree, repaying the trust, telling the truth and discarding and keeping silent regarding what does not concern me" (The reason for the elevation of status of Luqman)

Ibn Wahb narrates that Luqman’s answer to the question about what had raised his status that people came to him for advice was: “Lowering my gaze, watching my tongue, eating what is lawful, keeping my chastity, undertaking my promises, fulfilling my commitments, being hospitable to guests, respecting my neighbors, and discarding what does not concern me. All these made me the one you are looking at.”

Path of Goodness - Lowering gaze, watching tongue, eating what is lawful, keeping chastity, undertaking promises, fulfilling commitments, being hospitable to guests, respecting neighbors, and discarding the unconcerned

Abu Ad-Darda’ added that Luqman the wise was granted wisdom because he was self-restrained, taciturn, deep-thinking, and he never slept during the day. No one had ever seen him observing trivialities, or foolishly laughing. He was very eloquent and well-versed. He did not weep or cry when all his children died.

Luqman even used to frequent the princes and men of authority to mediate.

He even used to frequent the princes and men of authority to mediate. The majority of scholars are of the view that he was a wise man and not a prophet. Moreover, he was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an and was highly praised by Allah the Almighty Who narrates his advice to his own son in which the first act that he forbids is Shirk (joining others with Allah.)

Polytheism is forbidden

The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.S) also referred to Luqman’s saying this to his son,

“O my son! Join not others in worship with Allah, verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed“ (Luqman, 31:13).

The next advice that Luqman gives to his son and to mankind is taking care of parents. He states their rights over the children and tells the children to be kind to their parents even if they were polytheists. However, it is clarified that they should not be obeyed if they are inviting to polytheism.

Man should be kind to his parents

This is followed by: “O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place),” i.e., he forbids wrong to the people even in the slightest way, for Allah will bring it forth and bring him to account on the Day of Resurrection.

Abu Sa’id Al- Khudri reported Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S) as saying: “If any of you performs deeds in a solid rock that has no door or hole, his deeds, whatever they are, will come out (to the public).”

Luqman’s further advice to his son is: “O my son! Aqim-As- Salah (perform As-Salah), enjoin (on people) Al-Ma’ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists of all kinds and all that is evil and bad),”, i.e., with your hand, with your tongue and if you could not, let it be with your heart (i.e. reject and resent it).

Then, he advised him to observe patience, saying: “and bear with patience whatever befalls you,” for the enjoining of what is good and forbidding the evil, will probably earn enmity from those who resent being corrected (but, the final reward form Allah would surely be his). “Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allah with no exemption).”

Bear with patience whatever befalls you, for the enjoining of what is good and forbidding the evil, will probably earn enmity from those who resent being corrected

Luqman warns his son against the sin of pride: “And turn not your face away from men with pride,” cautioning against being showy or arrogant. Further, the advice regarding one’s bearing is: “nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.”

Luqman then advises his son to be moderate in his walking: “And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice,” i.e., if you talk, do not raise your voice very loudly because the braying of the ass is the harshest of all voices.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Prophet (S.A.W.S) said: “When you hear the crowing of cocks, ask for Allah’s Blessings for (their crowing indicates that) they have seen an angel. And when you hear the braying of donkeys, seek refuge with Allah from Satan for (their braying indicates) that they have seen a Satan” (transmitted by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Sahih).

Other advice given by Luqman has been mentioned in a book titled Hikmat Luqman (Luqman’s Wisdom). From this valuable book, we get the following:

“On my son! Verily, wisdom has brought the indigent to the courts of kings” (narrated by Damurah after As-Sariy Ibn Yahia).

Wisdom has brought the indigent to the courts of kings

“O my son! If you come to a people’s setting, start them with salutation (saying As-Salamu ‘Alaikum (Peace be with you)), then, take a side and do not utter a word till they speak. If you find them observing the Remembrance of Allah, join them. But, if they observe anything else, turn away from them and seek others (who remember Allah Almighty)” (narrated by ‘Abdah lbn Sulaiman after Ibn Al-Mubarak after ‘Abdur Rahman Al-Mas’ udi after ‘Aun Ibn ‘Abdullah).

“O my son! Take Allah’s Obedience as your trade, and you will gain profits without having any merchandises” (narrated by Saiyar after Ja’far after Malik Ibn Dinar).

Take Allah’s Obedience as your trade, and you will gain profits without having any merchandises

“O my son! Fear Allah and do not let the people notice that you fear Him to gain honor (from them) while your heart is sinful” (narrated by Abul Ashhab after Muhammad Ibn Wasi’).

“O my son! I have never regretted keeping silent. If words are silver, silence is golden” (told by Hasan after Al-Junaid after Sufyan).

If words are silver, silence is golden

“O my son! Stay away from evil and it will stay away from you, for evil begets nothing but evil” (told by ‘Abdul Samad and Waki’ after Abul Ashhab after Qatadah).

“O my son! Choose between gatherings (of people) precisely! If you find a gathering in which Allah is mentioned, sit yourself with them. Thus, if you are knowledgeable, your knowledge will benefit you; but, if you are ignorant, they will teach you; and if Allah wishes to do them good, you will be benefited therewith.

If you sit with people who remember Allah, your knowledge will benefit you else they will teach you if you do not know.

O my son! Do not sit in a gathering in which Allah is not mentioned because if you are knowledgeable, your knowledge will not benefit you; and if you are ignorant, they will add to your ignorance; and if Allah wishes to afflict them with harm, you will be afflicted with them. O my son! Do not rejoice at seeing a strong man who sheds the blood of the faithful, for Allah appoints for him a killer that does not ever die” (narrated by Imam Ahmed after ‘Abdur Rahman Ibn Mahdi after Nafi’ Ibn ‘Umar after Ibn Abu Malikah after ‘Ubaid Ibn ‘Umair).

“O my son: Let your speech be good and your face be smiling; you will be more loved by the people than those who give them provisions.” And, he said: “It is stated in the wisdom of the Torah: “Kindness is the head of wisdom.”

Let your speech be good and your face be smiling; you will be more loved by the people than those who give them provisions.

And, he said: “It is stated in the Torah: “As you show mercy (to others), mercy will be shown to you.” And, he said: “It is stated in the wisdom: “You will gain what you give (or, harvest what you grow).” And, he said: “It is stated in the wisdom: “Love your friend and the friend of your father” (narrated by Abu Mu’awiyah after Hisham Ibn ‘Urwah).

Luqman advised his son not to befriend a fool for it might give him the impression that his foolishness is being approved of; and not to anger a wise man for he might distance himself (narrated by Dawud Ibn Rashid after Ibn Al-Mubarak after Mu’amir after Abu ‘Uthman).

Do not befriend a fool nor anger a wise man.

Luqman was once asked: “Who is the best one in terms of patience?” He said: “It is the one who practices no harm after observing patience.” Then he was asked: “Who is the best one in terms of knowledge?” He said: “It is he who adds to his own knowledge through the knowledge of others.”

Best one in terms of knowledge is the one who practices no harm after observing patience and the best one in terms of knowledge is the who adds to his own knowledge through the knowledge of others.

When asked: “Who is the best from among the whole people?” he said: “It is the wealthy.” They said: “Is it the one who has properties and riches?” He said: “No! But, it is the one who is generous in doing good when others seek it from him, and, it is the one who does not need anything from others”(narrated by Abdur Razzaq after Mu’amir after Ayyub after Abu Qulabah).

Yazid Ibn Hamn and Waki’ told us after Abul AShhab about Khalid Ar-Rab’i as saying: “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter.

One day, his master ordered him to slaughter a goat and bring him the most pleasant and delicious two parts from it. Luqman brought him the tongue and heart. The master asked: “Didn’t you find anything more pleasant than these?” Luqman said: “No!”

After a while, the master ordered him to slaughter a goat and to throw away two of the most malignant parts. Luqman slaughtered the goat and threw away the tongue and heart.

The master exclaimed and said: “I ordered you to bring me the most delicious parts and you brought me the tongue and heart, and I ordered you to throw away the most malignant parts and you threw away the tongue and heart, how can this be?” Luqman said: “Nothing can be more pleasing than these if they are good and nothing can be more malicious than these if they are malignant.”

Nothing can be more pleasing than Heart and tongue if they are good and nothing can be more malicious than these if they are malignant.

Dawud Ibn Usaid told us after Isma’il Ibn ‘Ayyash after Damdam Ibn Zar’ah after Shuraih Ibn ‘Ubaid Al-Hadrami after ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid: Luqman said: “Verily, Allah’s Hand is on the mouths of wise men; none of them speaks but with what Allah assigned for him.”

Verily, Allah’s Hand is on the mouths of wise men; none of them speaks but with what Allah assigned for him.

Abdur Razzaq told us after Mu’amir after Ayyub after Abu Qulabah that according to Sufyan Ibn ‘Uyaynah, Luqman was asked: ‘Who is the worst of all people?” He replied: “It is the one who does not feel shame if found committing a sinful deed.”

Abu As-Samad reported to us that Malik Ibn Dinar said: I found some pieces of-wisdom as follows: “Allah Almighty scatters and wastes the bones of those who give religious opinions that go with the people’s lusts and desires.” And, “There is no good for you that you learn something new while you do not practice what you have learned previously. This is like a man who gathered a pile of dry wood, then tried to carry it but couldn’t. Thereupon, he collected a second one.”

There is no good for you that you learn something new while you do not practice what you have learned previously.

Ibn Abu Hatim said: I was told by my father after Al-’Abbas Ibn Al-Walid after Zaid Ibn Yahya Ibn ‘Ubaid Al-Khuza’i after Sa’id Ibn Bashir that Qatadah said: Allah Almighty enabled Luqman to choose between Prophethood and wisdom and he (Luqman) preferred wisdom to Prophethood. Then, Gabriel came while he was asleep and poured the wisdom over him. And, he began to pronounce it the next morning.

Many from among our earlier scholars, foremost among whom were Mujahid, Sa’id Ibn Al-Musayyb and Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), were of the viewpoint that Allah’s Statement that reads: “And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al- Hikmah (wisdom),” means: discretion and religious understanding. He was not a Prophet and nothing had been revealed to him Al- Wahi (Divine Inspiration).

Quranic Verses related to the story of LUQMAN [Quran: Surah Luqman (31:12-19)]

The Holy Quran

And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding) saying: “Give thanks to Allah.” And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise.

And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.

But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.

O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).

O my son! Aqim-As-Salat (perform As-Salat), enjoin (on people) Al-Ma’ruf – (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allah with no exemption).

And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.

And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses.”

The Story of Prophet Job (Ayoub) (peace be upon him)


Ibn Ishaaq stated that he was a man of Rum. His name was Job (pbuh) Ibn Mose Ibn Razeh Ibn Esau Ibn Isaac Ibn Abraham. Someone else said he was Job (pbuh) Ibn Moses, Ibn Rimil Ibn Esau Ibn Isaac Ibn Jacob. There have also been other statements in his lineage. Ibn Asaker narrated that his mother was a daughter of Prophet Lot (pbuh) .It was said, also, that his father was one who believed in Abraham(pbuh)  when he was cast into the fire.

 

The first opinion is the most plausible as he was a descendant of Abraham(pbuh) ‘s offspring as Allah Almighty declared:

“And that was Our [conclusive] argument which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise by degrees whom We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing. And We gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – all [of them] We guided. And Noah, We guided before; and among his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the doers of good.” Quran 6:83-84

 

Allah the Almighty praised His worshipper Job (pbuh) in His Glorious Quran:

“Truly! We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance to Us” Quran 38:44

Job (pbuh) was repentant, remembering Allah with thankfulness, patience and steadfastness. This was the cause of his rescue and the secret of Allah’s praising him.

 

A group of angels were discussing Allah’s other human creatures, how those who were humble earned Allah’s pleasure, while those who were arrogant incurred His displeasure. One of the angels remarked:

“The best creature on earth today is Job (pbuh), a man of noble character who displays excellent patience and always remembers his Generous Lord. He is an excellent model for the worshippers of Allah. In return, his Lord has blessed him with a long life and plenty of riches, yet he is never haughty or selfish. His family, his servants, as well as the needy and the poor share in his good fortune; he feeds and clothes the poor and buys slaves to set them free. He makes those who receive his charity feel as if they are favoring him, so kind and gentle is he.”

 

Iblis, overhearing all this, became annoyed. He planned to tempt Job (pbuh) to corruption and disbelief, so he hastened to him. He tried to distract Job (pbuh) from his prayers by whispering to him about the good things in life, but Job (pbuh) was a true believer and would not let evil thoughts tempt him. This disturbed Iblis more; thus he began to hate Job (pbuh) even more.

 

Iblis complained to Allah about Job (pbuh). He said that although he was continuously glorifying Allah, he was not doing so out of his sincerity but to satisfy Allah so that his wealth should not be taken away. It was all a show, all out of greed. “If You remove his wealth then You will find that his tongue will no longer mention Your name and his praying will stop.”

 

Allah told Iblis that Job (pbuh) was one of His most sincere devotees. He did not worship Him because of the favors; his worship stemmed from his heart and had nothing to do with material things. But to prove Iblis the depth of Job (pbuh)’s sincerity and patience, Allah allowed him to do whatever he and his helpers wished with Job (pbuh)’s wealth.

 

Iblis was very happy. He gathered his helpers and set about destroying Job (pbuh)’s cattle, servants, and farms until he was left with no possessions. Rubbing his hands in glee, Iblis appeared before Job (pbuh) in the guise of a wise old man and said to him:

“All your wealth is lost. Some people say that it is because you gave too much charity and that you are wasting your time with your continuous prayers to Allah. Others say that Allah has bought this upon you in order to please your enemies.

 

If Allah had the capacity to prevent harm, then He would have protected your wealth”

True to his belief, Job (pbuh) replied:

“What Allah has taken away from me belongs to Him. I was only its trustee for a while. He gives to whom He wills and withholds from whom He wills”

With these words, Job (pbuh) again prostrated to his Lord.

 

When Iblis saw this, he felt frustrated, so he again addressed Allah:

“I have stripped Job (pbuh) of all his possessions, but he still remains grateful to You. However, he is only hiding his disappointment, for he places great store by his many children. The real test of a parent is through him children. You will then see how Job (pbuh) will reject You”

 

Allah granted Iblis authority, but warned him that it would not reduce Job (pbuh)’s faith in his Lord nor his patience.

Iblis again gathered his helpers and set about his evil deeds. He shook the foundation of the house in which Job (pbuh)’s children were living and sent the building crashing, killing all of them. Then he went to Job (pbuh) disguised as a man who had come to sympathize with him.

 

In a comforting tone he said to Job (pbuh):

“The circumstances under which your children died were sad. Surely, your Lord is not rewarding you properly for all your prayers?”

Having said this Iblis waited anxiously, hoping Job (pbuh) was now ready to reject Allah. But again Job (pbuh) disapointed him by replying:

“Allah sometimes gives and sometimes takes. He is sometimes pleased and sometimes displeased with our deeds. Whether a thing is beneficial or harmful to me, I will remain firm in my belief and remain thankful to my Creator”

Then Job (pbuh) prostrated to his Lord. At this Iblis was extremely vexed. Iblis again called on Allah:

“O my Lord, Job (pbuh)’s wealth is gone, his children are dead, but he is still healthy in body, and as long as he enjoys good health he will continue to worship You in the hope of regaining his wealth and producing more  children. Grant me authority over his body so that I may weaken it. He will surely neglect worshipping You and with thus becomes disobedient”

 

Allah wanted to teach Iblis a lesson that Job (pbuh) was a devoted servant of his Lord, so He granted Iblis his third request but placed a condition:

“I give you authority over his body but not over his soul, intellect, or heart, for in these places reside the knowledge of Me and My religion”.

Armed with this new authority, Iblis began to take revenge on Job (pbuh)’s body and filled it with disease until it was reduced to mere skin and bone and he suffered severe pain. But through all the suffering Job (pbuh) remained strong in his faith, patiently bearing all the hardships without complaining.

 

Allah’s righteous servant did not despair or turn to others for help but remained hopeful of Allah’s Mercy. Even close relatives and friends deserted him. Only his kind loving wife stayed with him. In his hour of need, she showered her kindness on him and cared for him. She remained his sole companion and comforter through many years of his suffering.

 

Ibn Asaker narrated:

“Job (pbuh) was a man having much wealth of all kinds: beasts, slaves, sheep, vast lands of Haran and many children. All those favors were taken from him and he was physically afflicted as well. Never a single organ was sound except his heart and tongue, with both of which he glorified Allah, the Almighty all the time day and night. His disease lasted for a long time until his visitors felt disgusted with him. His friend kept away from him, and people abstained from visiting him.

 

No one felt sympathy for him except his wife. She took good care of him, knowing his former charity and pity for her”

Therefore, Iblis became desperate. He consulted his helpers but they could not advise him. They asked:

“How is it that your cleverness cannot work against Job (pbuh), yet you succeeded in misleading Adam, the father of man, out of paradise?”

 

Iblis went to Job (pbuh)’s wife in the form of a man. “Where is your husband?” he asked her.

She pointed to an almost lifeless form crumpled on the bed and said: “There he is, suspended between life and death.”

Iblis reminded her of the days when Job (pbuh) had good health, wealth and children. Suddenly, the painful memory of years of hardship overcame her, and she burst into tears. She said to Job (pbuh):

“How long are you going to bear this torture from our Lord? Are we to remain without wealth, children or friends forever? Why don’t you call upon Allah to remove this suffering?”

Job (pbuh) sighed, and in a soft voice replied:

“Iblis must have whispered to you and made you dissatisfied. Tell me, how long did I enjoy good health and riches?”

She replied, “For eighty years”

Then Job (pbuh) asked, “How long am I suffering like this?”

She said, “for seven years”

 

Then Job (pbuh) told her:

“In that case I am ashamed to call on my Lord to remove the hardship, for I have not suffered longer than the years of good health and plenty. It seems your faith has weakened and you are dissatisfied with the fate of Allah. If I ever regain health, I swear I will punish you with a hundred strokes! From this day onward, I forbid myself to eat or drink anything from your hand. Leave me alone and let my Lord do with me as He pleases.”

 

Crying bitterly and with a heavy heart, she had no choice but to leave him and seek shelter elsewhere. In his helpless state, Job (pbuh) turned to Allah, not to complain but to seek His mercy:

“And [mention] Job, when he called to his Lord, “Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful. So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him [back] his family and the like thereof with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers [of Allah ].” 
Quran 21:83-84

 

Almighty Allah also instructed:

“Commemorate Our servant Job (pbuh) behold he cried to his Lord: “The Evil One has afflicted me with distress and suffering”! (The command was given:) “Strike with thy foot: here is (water) wherein to wash cool and refreshing and (water) to drink.” And We gave him (back) his people and doubled their number as a Grace from Ourselves and a thing for commemoration for all who have Understanding.” Quran 38:41-43

 

Job (pbuh) obeyed, and almost immediately his good health was restored. Meanwhile, his faithful wife could no longer bear to be parted from her husband and returned to beg his forgiveness, desiring to serve him. On entering he house, she was amazed at the sudden change: Job (pbuh) was again healthy! She embraced him and thanked Allah for His mercy.

 

Job (pbuh) was now worried, for he had taken an oath to punish her with a hundred strokes if he regained health, but he had no desire to hurt her. He knew if he did not fulfill the oath, he would be guilty of breaking a promise to Allah. Therefore, in His wisdom and mercy, Allah came to the assistance of His faithful servant, and advised him:

 

“And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath. Truly we found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance to Us” Quran 38:44

 

Abu Huraira (ra) narrated that the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said: “While Job (pbuh) was naked, taking a bath, a swarm of locusts fell on him, and he started collecting them in his garment. His Lord called him: ‘O Job (pbuh)! Have I not made you too rich to need what you see?’ He said: ‘Yes, O Lord! But I cannot shun Your Blessings” (Bukhari).