Pious women of Islam
Sayyidatuna Nafeesah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْھَا
Maulana Bilal Sa’eed ‘Attari Madani
Sayyidah Nafeesah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا is a radiant scion of the Ahl-e-Bayt, the great granddaughter of Imam Hasan Mujtaba رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, and the daughter of Hasan Anwar Bin Zayd, the grandson of Imam Hasan رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ. Born in Makkah-tul-Mukarramah in 145 AH, she رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا was nurtured in the bastion of righteousness that is the Prophetic Household and later emerged as a seasoned scholar of Islam, an authority in Hadith, and a prominent saint, acclaimed for her asceticism and commitment to worship.
Sayyiduna Ishaq Bin Ja’far Sadiq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُما married her and they had a daughter named Umm-e-Kulsoom and a son called Qasim. (Noor-ul-Absaar, p. 207) Later in life, they decided to leave Madinah and settle in Egypt, (Siyar A’lam-un-Nubala, vol. 8, p. 427).
Worship and piety
Sayyidah Nafeesah’s رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا days were spent fasting and her nights were filled with worship. Despite living far away from Makkah, she completed thirty Hajj pilgrimages. Her unwavering dedication to Allah Almighty was recognised by those around her, as noted by her niece:
I served my aunt, Sayyidah Nafeesah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا, for 40 years. In all these years, I did not see her sleep at night. Once, I asked her, ‘Why do you not rest?’ to which she answered, ‘How can I rest when there are difficult milestones in front of me which can only reached by successful people.’ When asked about her aunt’s eating habits, she replied, ‘She would only eat one morsel in 3 days,’ (Noor-ul-Absaar, p. 207, summarised).
On 1st Rajab, she رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا fell ill and remained unwell till Ramadan when her illness intensified. Despite her condition, she observed the fasts of Ramadan and when advised to break her fast, her reply was, ‘For thirty years I have been praying that when I die, I want to be fasting; now that my wish is about to be fulfilled, how can I break my fast?’ Although unwell, she occupied herself with reciting the Quran throughout her illness until her passing away, (Tanveer-ul-Azhaar, pp. 89-90 summarised), in the blessed month of Ramadan, 208 AH. Her shrine is a locus of divine secrets where supplications are answered, (Siyar A’lam-un-Nubala, vol. 8, p. 427), and continues to attract millions of people from across the globe.
Sayyidah Nafeesah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا was an epitome of sainthood whose miracles were many, witnessed by multitudes, and carefully documented by the Ulama. What follows are a few examples:
1. Her niece relates that there was a bucket in the prayer area of Sayyidah Nafeesah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا. Whenever she would desire something, it would appear in the bucket. I witnessed such wonders around her that are beyond comprehension. I do not know from where those things would appear so once I expressed my amazement in front of her to which she said, ‘Dear Zaynab, whoever has trust in Allah Almighty, the world becomes obedient to them,’ (Noor-ul-Absaar, p. 207, summarised).
2. Those who have particular needs or desires should take a vow that if the need is fulfilled, they will give charity on behalf of Sayyidah Nafeesah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا and convey the rewards to her. Every need, no matter how difficult, will be fulfilled اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه; this is tried and tested, (Al-Tabqat-ul-Kubra li Imam Al-Sha’rani, vol. 2, p. 102, summarised).
May Allah Almighty have mercy on her and forgive us without accountability for her sake. May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ enable us to walk in her footsteps. اٰمِیْن