Humble to the Last

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(Sayyidah ‘Aaishah [radhiyallahu ‘anha] – Part Seven)

When Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was lying on her deathbed, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) requested permission to enter to which Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) said, “I fear that he will praise me.” Hearing this, her nephew, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdir Rahmaan (rahimahullah) felt that she did not wish to grant Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) permission to enter, and thus he interceded saying, “He is the cousin of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and from the seniors of the Muslims!” Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) said, “Allow him to enter.”

On entering, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) enquired as to how she was feeling, to which she replied, “I am well, provided I have taqwa.” To this, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) responded, “In that case, you are well insha-Allah. The only thing that remains between you and meeting Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and those whom you love (that have passed away) is for your soul to leave your body.”   

He then began to mention some of the virtues of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saying, “You were the most beloved to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) from all his wives, and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) only loved that which was pure. He did not marry any virgin besides you. (When you were falsely accused of fornication,) your exoneration was revealed from the sky, through the medium of Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) and will be recited in every masjid on earth. When your necklace fell on the night of Abwaa, (and Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam] halted the army to retrieve your necklace,) then the following morning, when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the army of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) had no water, Allah Ta‘ala revealed the verse of tayammum. Thus, the concession of tayammum that Allah Ta‘ala granted to this Ummah was on account of you. Therefore, by Allah, you are indeed blessed!”

When Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) heard Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) praising her in this manner, she said, “Please cease this, O Ibnu ‘Abbaas! By the Being Who controls my life, I wish that I was something totally forgotten!”

(Saheeh Bukhaari #4753, Musnad Ahmad #2496 and Fat-hul Baari)

Lessons:

1. Despite Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) being blessed with all these outstanding virtues, she still thought nothing of herself. Such was her level of humility that she did not wish to be praised, and even exclaimed, “I wish that I was something totally forgotten!” In total contrast to this, we post every small detail of our lives on social media, merely to obtain the ‘likes’ and praises of others. 

2. Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) did not feel that she was deserving of Jannah due to her unique position. On the contrary, when Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was asked as to how she was, she replied that she was well – provided that she possessed taqwa. In other words, more than the family that one comes from, or who a person marries, it is the quality of taqwa that will pave the path to success.