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Worried for the Welfare of Others

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(Ummul Baneen [rahimahallah] – Part Four)

‘Abdullah bin Qais was a renowned poet who had joined Mus‘ab bin Zubair (rahimahullah) in fighting against ‘Abdul Malik bin Marwaan. When Mus‘ab bin Zubair (rahimahullah) was defeated, ‘Abdullah bin Qais was forced to flee for his life, as the soldiers and police of ‘Abdul Malik were relentlessly searching for him and were seeking to execute him. Eventually, ‘Abdullah bin Qais fled from Kufah to Madeenah Munawwarah.

On his arrival in Madeenah Munawwarah, he went to the home of the Sahaabi, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), in the evening, covering his face so that no one would recognize him. When he entered the home, he found Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) seated, about to partake of supper, and thus joined him with the other guests who were present. After the other guests had departed, ‘Abdullah bin Qais exposed his face, allowing Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) to know that it was him.

Seeing him, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) exclaimed, “Is that you, Ibnu Qais?” When he replied in the affirmative, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) remarked, “How persistent and thorough they are in searching for you!” ‘Abdullah bin Qais responded, “I have come to you seeking the protection of Allah Ta‘ala and to ask you to help me and try to protect me.” Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) replied, “They are desperate to apprehend you! I will try to protect you, and I will write, on your behalf, to Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah), the daughter of ‘Abdul ‘Azeez, to intercede for you, as she is close to her uncle, ‘Abdul Malik, who holds her in high regard.”

Accordingly, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) sent a letter to Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah), asking her to intercede to her uncle, ‘Abdul Malik, on behalf of ‘Abdullah bin Qais. On receiving the letter, she went to ‘Abdul Malik who asked her if she needed anything. She replied, “Yes, I have one need.” ‘Abdul Malik was extremely intuitive and thus answered, “I have fulfilled every one of your needs, besides your request relating to ‘Abdullah bin Qais.” Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) submitted, “Please, do not make this need an exception by not fulfilling it!”

At that moment, ‘Abdul Malik raised his hand (perhaps in irritation), accidentally striking her on the cheek! She immediately clasped her cheek and remained silent, recovering from the blow. Seeing what had happened, ‘Abdul Malik felt remorseful and relented saying, “I have accepted your request and he will now enjoy safety.”

In this manner, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) managed to secure safety for ‘Abdullah bin Qais, thus saving his life.

(Mir-aatuz Zamaan vol. 9, pg. 385 and Al-Faraj Ba’dash Shiddah vol. 2, pg. 350)

Lessons:

1. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) and Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) were both worried for the safety and welfare of others. Hence, they tried their best to help the next person. In the case of Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah), interceding for ‘Abdullah bin Qais could have caused her to lose her position and standing with her uncle as she knew that he hated ‘Abdullah and wanted him killed. However, she took the risk and used her unique position and influence with ‘Abdul Malik to try and help him. This is the spirit of Islam – that every Muslim should try his level best to help those in need in whatever way he can.

2. Sometimes, a person may be in a unique position which gives them influence over certain people, such as the position of Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah). Instead of using the position to endlessly benefit ourselves, we should try to use our position and influence to help people and promote works of righteousness and piety. If we do so, and are instrumental in promoting Islam and Islamic values, our position and influence will be a blessing from Allah Ta‘ala through which we will earn great reward.