In the early days of Islam, amongst the fortunate people who had the distinction of embracing Islam and entering the Sabiqun Awwalun, 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
 The earliest and foremost companions of Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.