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(Sayyidah Safiyyah [radhiyallahu ‘anha] - Part Three)

On one occasion, during the rule of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), a slave girl belonging to Sayyidah Safiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) came to him and complained that Sayyidah Safiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) loved the day of Saturday (the day of the Jews) and that she had ties with the Jews.

On receiving this information, which was serious, as a Muslim should honour the day of Friday and not have close ties with the disbelievers, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) called for Sayyidah Safiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) in order to investigate the information.

Sayyidah Safiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) explained that the accusation of her loving the day of Saturday was false, as since the day Allah Ta‘ala had blessed her with the Day of Jumu‘ah in place of Saturday (i.e. since she accepted Islam), she had no love for Saturday. As for her ties with the Jews, then they were her family, and she maintained these family ties (as maintaining ties is a basic teaching of Islam).

Sayyidah Safiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) then asked her slave girl what had caused her to carry these false allegations to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). The slave girl replied, “Shaitaan.” Thereafter, Sayyidah Safiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) freed her.

(Al-Istee‘aab vol. 4, pg. 427)

Lessons:

1. As Muslims, Islam is our complete way of life. Everything that we do, even relating to mundane actions such as eating, drinking, etc. is carried out in the light of the teachings of Islam. When a Muslim has his own Deen and ways, then he should not follow or have a liking for the ways and customs of the disbelievers. Thus, when the greatest day of the week for a Muslim is the Day of Jumu‘ah, a Muslim should love and honour this day more than any other day. Similarly, being Muslims, we should not show any love or honour to the sacred days, occasions and customs of the disbelievers such as Christmas, New Years, Easter, Diwali, etc.

2. It is vital to verify information before acting on it or transmitting it to others. The hadeeth warns us that spreading information without first verifying it is sufficient to cause one to fall into the sin of lying and spreading false information. Failing to verify information leads to many misunderstandings and problems.

3. Maintaining family ties is so important that even if one’s relatives are disbelievers, he should maintain ties with them by showing them kindness and good character. However, when doing so, one must ensure that he does not compromise in his Deen or allow his Deen to be affected.

4. A Muslim will show kindness and good character to disbelievers, but will not become their friend and have love for them. When being friends and having love for the Jews and other disbelievers was such a serious matter for the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), that Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) felt the need to investigate the matter, then would they have ever allowed us to emulate these disbelievers and mimic their every action, fashion and way?

5. The highest level of good character is where a person is even prepared to show good character to those who wrong and harm him. Sayyidah Safiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) displayed this high level of character by freeing the slave girl who had spread false rumours regarding her.