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Competing in Kindness and Care​

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(Sayyidah Asmaa bintu ‘Umais [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part Three)

On the occasion of the ‘Umratul Qadhaa (the qadhaa ‘Umrah performed by Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam] and the Sahaabah [radhiyallahu ‘anhum] after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, in the next year), the disbelievers allowed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) to remain in Makkah Mukarramah for just three days, after which they had to depart.

As they were departing from Makkah Mukarramah, the orphaned daughter of Sayyiduna Hamzah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), ‘Umaarah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), came behind Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) calling out, “O my uncle! O my uncle!” She had been living in Makkah Mukarramah until this time but now wished to leave Makkah Mukarramah and join the Muslims in Madeenah Munawwarah. Seeing her, Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) made her over to Sayyidah Faatimah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), who was seated in her carriage atop the camel, and said to her, “Here is your cousin, take her!” Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was not happy for her to live among the disbelievers in Makkah Mukarramah.

According to some narrations, it was Sayyiduna Zaid bin Haarithah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) who had encouraged the daughter of Sayyiduna Hamzah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to leave Makkah Mukarramah and join the Muslims.

After arriving in Madeenah Munawwarah, Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Sayyiduna Zaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Sayyiduna Ja’far bin Abi Taalib (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) all began to contest one another over who would have the privilege of taking the daughter of Sayyiduna Hamzah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) into his home so that he may look after her.

Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) explained, “I am the one who took her (when we left Makkah Mukarramah), she is the daughter of my uncle, and I am married to the daughter of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who is most rightful of looking after her.”

Sayyiduna Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then said, “I am the most rightful of looking after her as she is the daughter of my uncle, and also because I am married to her maternal aunt (referring to Sayyidah Asmaa bintu ‘Umais [radhiyallahu ‘anha]).”

Finally, Sayyiduna Zaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said, “I am most rightful of looking after her as she is the daughter of my brother (as Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam] had formed the pact of ‘muaakhaat’ [brotherhood] between Sayyiduna Hamzah [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] and myself).”

After hearing the motivation of all three Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed the decision that the daughter of Sayyiduna Hamzah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would be in the care of Sayyiduna Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), as his wife was the maternal aunt of the orphaned girl. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained saying, “The maternal aunt is like the mother.”

Then, in order to please the heart of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him, “You are from me and I am from you (i.e. we are from the same family, you are married to my daughter and we share a special bond of love).”

Similarly, to please the heart of Sayyiduna Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him, “You resemble me in physical appearance as well as in character.”

Finally, to please the heart of Sayyiduna Zaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him, “You are our brother (in imaan) and our freed slave.”

In this manner, she remained in the care of Sayyidah Asmaa bintu ‘Umais (radhiyallahu ‘anha) and Sayyiduna Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) until he was martyred. Thereafter, it was Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) who took her into his care.

 (Saheeh Bukhaari #4251 and Fat-hul Baari vol. 7, pg. 642-646)

Lessons:

1. Sayyidah Asmaa bintu ‘Umais (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was not only prepared to take her niece into her home, but she and her husband ‘fought’ for the privilege to do so. In fact, from the conduct of all three Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), we can clearly see the value of kindness and sympathy which dominated their blessed hearts. Hence, they did not consider this young girl to be a burden, but rather considered it an honour and privilege to take the orphaned girl into their homes. Without this value, our homes may be huge, but our hearts will be small, due to which we will not even be prepared to keep our own parents in our homes (Allah Ta‘ala forbid!).

2. The concern of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was that this young, Muslim girl should not remain in Makkah Mukarramah in the midst of the disbelievers. Hence, he wished to take her to Madeenah Munawwarah where she would have a Muslim family structure to support her as well as an Islamic environment in which to live. If this was their concern, then imagine how much more concern we should have for our children, especially when sending them to other cities, or even countries, to study, where they will be unsupervised by family, and will be left completely exposed to the influences of the environment for an extended period of time!

3. Such was the blessed character of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that even when he passed the decision in favour of one Sahaabi, he comforted the hearts of all the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) by telling them such things that brought delight to their hearts. In essence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) always tried to bring happiness to the hearts of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and avoided causing pain to anyone.