Sayyidatuna Umm-e-Waraqah

In the early days of Islam, amongst the fortunate people who had the distinction of embracing Islam and entering the Sabiqun Awwalun[1], one of the names of such profoundly honoured entities is Sayyidatuna Umm-e-Waraqah Bint ‘Abdullah رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُمَا.

Name and lineage

Her good name is Layla (Atraaf-e-Musnad-ul-Muta’alli, vol. 9, pp. 472), Kuniyah is Umm-e-Waraqah, and the prestigious titles are ‘ شَہیدَہ[martyr]’ and ‘قاریہ [reciter]’. Referring to her ancestor, Naufal, she is also known as Waraqah Bint-e-Naufal. (Al-Isabah, vol. 8, pp. 489) She was the daughter of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Bin Haris Bin ‘Uwaymir رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ and the maternal aunt of Sayyiduna Umar Farooq-e-A’zam رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ. (Hilyat-ul-Awliya, vol. 2, pp. 75) She is well-known by her Kuniyah, Umm-e-Waraqah. (Al-Isti’aab, vol. 4, pp. 1965)

Desire for martyrdom

When the Noble Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was leaving for the Battle of Badr, she said, ‘Grant me permission to go there as well. I will treat the injured and look after the patients. Perhaps Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ will bless me with martyrdom.’ The Greatest Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Stay at your home, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ will bless you with (the death of) martyrdom.’ Since then, she was called as ‘the martyr’. (Abu Dawood, vol. 1, pp. 243, Hadees 591)

Virtues and status

She was one of those female Companions who memorized the Holy Qur’an. She also had the honour of narrating the Ahadees from the Noble Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. (Tabaqat-e-Ibn-e-Sa’d, vol. 8, pp. 335; Taqreeb-ut-Tahzeeb, pp. 1386) She had the highest importance because the Greatest Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would visit her place and call her with the honorific title of ‘ شَہیدہ[the martyr]’. It is mentioned in a Hadees that when the Noble Prophet would intend to visit her, he would say [to the Companions], ‘Let's go to see the Martyr.’ (Sunan-e-Kubra Lil-Bayhaqi, vol. 3, pp. 186, Hadees 5353)

Fervour for Qur’an recitation and martyrdom

She was an excellent reciter of the Holy Qur’an. At night, the voice of her recitation would be heard from her house, and Sayyiduna Umar Farooq–e-A’zam رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ would listen to her recitation of the Holy Qur’an. One night, her voice was not heard unusually, he became restless. ‘Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalani رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْه has stated: In the early morning, Ameer-ul-Mu`mineen Sayyiduna Umar Farooq رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ said, ‘Last night, I did not hear the voice of Qur’an recitation of my aunt Umm-e-Waraqah.’ When he went to her house for investigation, he found out that she had been martyred last night. Thus, Sayyiduna Farooq–e-A’zam رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ said, صَدَقَﷲُ وَرَسُوْلُہٗ i.e., ‘Allah and His Prophet said the truth.’ (That she would attain the status of martyrdom). (Al-Isabah, vol. 8, pp. 489)

Death penalty for assassins

Sayyiduna Umar Farooq رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ immediately issued the orders to arrest the assassins, and then he sentenced them to death. (Sunan-e-Kubra Lil-Bayhaqi, vol. 3, pp. 186, Hadees 5353)

May Allah have mercy upon Umm-e-Waraqahh and forgive us without accountability for her sake!

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم


[1] The earliest and foremost companions of Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.

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Sayyidatuna Umm-e-Waraqah

After the announcement on stage, little Maymunah moved forward holding hands of her dear mother in order to receive award for securing position.

After the end of the ceremony, Umm-e-Maymunah was preparing to go back home, a voice came from behind: ‘Where have you been? You are seldom seen.’ When Umm-e-Maymunah turned to see, she found that Farheen and Raheela were standing and smiling.

‘Oh you!!! Umm-e-Maymunah said happily and the three ladies saying Salaam and shaking hands with each other sat on the nearby chairs. 

‘I do not get free time after fulfilling my family responsibilities. Anyway, the father of Maymunah also wants me to give more and more time to home and children,' Umm-e-Maymunah said while counting her busy routine activities.

Farheen immediately said, ‘Yes! These men want women to remain imprisoned in their homes, whereas they themselves enjoy outside from morning till evening.’

Until that time Raheela brought tea for all from the school canteen.

‘Only women think like this, but reality is contrary to it. Men work all day long full of mental or physical hardships along with bearing anger of the boss not for their own facilitation or comfort, but rather for fulfilling the desires of wife and children and for providing them with better life. These are the joys of their life,’ Umm e Maymunah said while picking up a cup of tea.

‘What types of wishes? Whenever we ask for something, we hear the same thing: ‘Nowadays I am running short of money’ or ‘I need something else.’ ‘Yes! They fulfil the wishes of their mother and sisters immediately,’ Raheela entered the conversation with a bitter tone.

‘Sister Raheela! Do not lose heart; whatever we are destined for, we will definitely get it even if someone creates a hundred obstacles.’ Umm-e-Maymunah stopped to take a sip of tea and then said while continuing her conversation:

‘Don’t mind! I am a woman just like you, therefore I know women’s wants are never satisfied. If there is no place to put clothes in the cupboard, even then they will complain of running short of clothes. If they see someone having better thing than them, they will begin complaining to their husbands. Due to such trivial and serious matters they are ungrateful to their husbands. Regarding this, I read a blessed Hadees yesterday. Let me tell it to you:

The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: ‘In Hell, I have seen women in majority’. ‘Ya Rasoolallah! What is the reason for this?’ Blessed companions رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُم asked.

He صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘They are ungrateful'.

He صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was humbly asked, ‘Are they ungrateful to Allah Almighty?'

He صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied, ‘They are ungrateful to husbands and deny [receiving] their favours. If you do good to any woman throughout your life, even then she will say if she faces a minor issue [wish not fulfilled] from you, ‘I have never seen anything good from you’.

Sincerity and truth have their impact! Having heard the conversation of Umm-e-Maymunah, the embarrassment on the face of Farheen and Raheela showed that they were ashamed of their previous thought.   

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