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Overcoming Calamity


(Hafsah bintu Seereen [rahimahallah] – Part Three)

Hafsah bintu Seereen (rahimahallah) had a son named Huzail. He was very obedient to her and would serve her with great care and love. The extent to which he went in ensuring her comfort can be gauged from the fact that he would not bring ordinary firewood to her home. Instead, he would break cane during the summer and leave it to dry until winter. When winter set in, he would burn the dried cane in her home to warm her. The reason for burning dried cane is that it produced very little smoke. Huzail did not want the smoke of the fire to disturb his mother, and so he ‘went the extra mile’ to try and bring his mother comfort.

Additionally, he would not simply milk the camel and give her the milk to drink. Rather, he would leave the milk in the udders of the camel overnight, only milking it the following morning. After milking the camel, he would present the milk to his mother saying, “Drink, O mother of Huzail, as the best milk is that which remains in the udders overnight.”

When Huzail passed away, his demise was not only the loss of a son, but was also the loss of the love and care that he would show her. Allah Ta‘ala blessed Hafsah (rahimahallah) with sabr (patience), and so she had no complaint or objection against the decision of Allah Ta‘ala. Nevertheless, being a mother, there was a continuous pain in her heart.

One night, while Hafsah bintu Seereen (rahimahallah) was reciting the Quraan Majeed, she came to the following verse:

مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ وَمَا عِندَ اللَّـهِ بَاقٍ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

What is with you must vanish, what is with Allah will remain. And We will certainly bestow, on those who patiently persevere, their reward according to the best of their actions. (Surah Nahl v96)

Hafsah (rahimahallah) repeated this verse (pondering over the meaning), and her sorrow and sadness was soothed. (Al-Muntazam vol. 7, pg. 172)

Hafsah bintu Seereen (rahimahallah) passed away in the year 101 A.H. (Tahzeebut Tahzeeb vol. 12, pg. 409)


1. Every child, even if he may today be an adult, or even a grandparent himself, should try to serve his parents and please them to the best of his ability. When doing so, one should go the extra mile, as this will earn extra reward. For example, when making tea for one’s father, instead of giving him a chipped cup with the teabag still inside, and giving him the milk and sugar separately, give him his tea fully prepared and ready to drink, served on an attractive saucer, with all the finishing touches. This extra effort takes just a few moments more yet earns magnificent reward.

2. Everything of this world is temporary and must certainly perish. When losing something that is near, dear and beloved, it is natural and expected for one to feel grief. However, we should never be upset over the decision of Allah Ta‘ala. Pondering over the above verse will assist one to overcome his grief.

3. When the things of this world, with all their glitter and glamour, are short-lived and temporary, then we should invest our time, wealth and energy into that which is eternal – the Hereafter.

4. When the parents are pious, then Allah Ta‘ala often blesses their offspring with piety as well. If we wish to have pious children, the effort for piety will have to begin in our own lives.