Sorrow for her Statement​

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(Ummul Baneen [rahimahallah] – Part Five)

On one occasion, a woman named ‘Azzah came to visit Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah). When ‘Azzah entered, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) asked her “Kuthayyir recites the following poetry regarding you. What debt is he referring to in this poetry?”

قضى كل ذي دين علمت غريمه     وعزة ممطول معنى غريمها

Every debtor whom I know has fulfilled his debt to his creditor.

However, ‘Azzah is procrastinating and distressing her creditor.

Initially, ‘Azzah felt ashamed to discuss the matter and disclose what Kuthayyir was referring to, but when Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) persisted, she said, “I had promised Kuthayyir that I would give him a kiss. However, (when I thereafter realized that it was a sin, I regretted making the promise and) I avoided fulfilling it.”

When Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) heard this, she remarked, “Fulfill the promise! I will bear the sin of your action.”

After making this remark, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) realized that what she had said was absolutely impermissible. She thus sincerely repented to Allah Ta‘ala and even freed forty slaves to compensate for this sin. Furthermore, she was so sincere in her remorse that whenever she would remember this incident thereafter, she would begin to weep and lament saying, “If only I had been dumb and did not utter that statement!”

(Sifatus Safwah vol. 2, pg. 431)

Lessons:

1. If any person decides to commit a sin, but he thereafter has ‘second thoughts’ and feels reluctant to go through with his intention, he should realize that the reluctance within him was inspired by Allah Ta‘ala Who is helping him to resist the temptation. If he then plucks up the courage and resists committing the sin, Allah Ta‘ala will reward him by recording a good deed for him. (Saheeh Bukhaari #6491) However, if one does not value this feeling of reluctance by desisting from sins, a time may come when such inspiration will no more come to him due to his indifference. Thereafter, he will very easily plunge headlong into sin without thinking twice.

2. In order to avoid falling into sins through our tongues, we must train ourselves to think before we speak. Before uttering anything, first think over whether the statement is sinful or not, and also ponder over the implications and repercussions of the statement. Finally, think over whether it is even necessary to utter the statement. If there is no need to say it and there is no benefit in saying it, why do so? Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) expressed the same remorse, of not pondering before speaking, when she lamented saying, “If only I had been dumb!”

3. The sign of true repentance is that a person is overcome by remorse. If one makes taubah without remorse, his taubah will not be true taubah and he will not find any improvement or change in his life. The level of remorse that Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) had can perhaps be gauged by the fact that she did not suffice on merely reciting “Astaghfirullah” a few times, but also freed forty slaves as compensation. Hence, she was prepared to do whatever it took to make amends.

4. Sin and the displeasure of Allah Ta‘ala are extremely serious issues. We should never take them lightly and make remarks such as, “Never mind, I’ll bear the sin!” In doing so, we are implying that we are not afraid of Allah Ta‘ala’s punishment and it does not worry us. Making light of a sin is far more serious than the sin itself.