The Loyalty of Love


(Sayyidah Ummu Habeebah [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part Three)

In the 6th year A.H. the treaty of Hudaibiyah was formed between the Muslims and the disbelievers of Makkah Mukarramah. When the treaty was formed, other tribes were also allowed to enter the treaty by becoming allies of either the Muslims or the disbelievers. Hence, the Banu Bakr tribe aligned themselves with the Quraish, while the Banu Khuzaa‘ah became the allies of the Muslims.

These two tribes had a long history of mutual bloodshed and fighting which finally seemed to cease with the inception of the treaty. Hence, the Banu Khuzaa‘ah were under the impression that they were now safe and at peace. However, the Banu Bakr and Quraish used this impression to their advantage, seeking to eradicate the Banu Khuzaa‘ah once and for all. They thus attacked the Banu Khuzaa‘ah at the dead of night and massacred a large number of their people. As the Banu Khuzaa‘ah were the allies of the Muslims, they wasted not a moment in sending a delegation to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in Madeenah Munawwarah, requesting his assistance.

In the meantime, the Quraish regretted their folly and realized that by attacking the Banu Khuzaa‘ah, they had broken the treaty. Hoping to renew the treaty, they sent Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who had not yet accepted Islam, to Madeenah Munawwarah.

When Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) entered Madeenah Munawwarah, he came to the home of his daughter, Sayyidah Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). Seeing her father, she immediately took the bedding of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and folded it, not allowing her father to sit on it. Noticing this, Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked her, “O my daughter! Did you fold the bedding because it is not good enough for me, or because I am not good enough to sit on the bedding?” Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) replied, “It is the bedding of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and you are an impure disbeliever. Therefore, I do not want you to sit on the bedding of the Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”

Hearing this response from his daughter, Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) exclaimed, “By Allah! O my daughter, evil has afflicted you after me (i.e. after you left me and accepted Islam)!” Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) answered, “No! Rather, Allah Ta‘ala guided me to Islam. O my father, you are the leader and senior of the Quraish. (Hence, when you are a person of such intelligence,) then how is it that it has not yet occurred to you to accept Islam, and you are still worshipping stones that can neither hear nor see?” When Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) said this, Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) stood and left.

(References: Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 8, pg. 99, Sharhuz Zarqaani ‘alal Mawaahib vol. 3, pg. 385 and Seeratul Mustafaa (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) vol. 3, pg. 1-6)


This incident sufficiently highlights the love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and loyalty to him, which did not merely burn but rather consumed the heart of Ummu Habeebah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). It was on account of this same love that she could not tolerate her own father, Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), sitting on the blessed bedding of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while he was in the state of disbelief and spiritual impurity.

Today, the Ummah does not lack information regarding the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). What we lack, however, is that love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) which will compel a person to uphold the sunnah and lead his life in a manner that will please Allah Ta‘ala and His Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) at all times.

Once this extent of love – which is an integral part of one’s imaan – is acquired, it will be inconceivable for one to abandon any sunnah. For such a person, the words “It’s sunnah” will translate to “I need to do it” rather than “That means I can leave it out”. Furthermore, this love will not allow one to remain idle while the sunnah of the Beloved (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is being trampled underfoot. Instead, one will do his utmost to revive every sunnah in his own life and the lives of Muslims.