Mufti Muhammad Shafee’ Uthmaani (rahimahullah) was a world renowned ‘Aalim and Mufti who passed away in the year 1396 A.H. (1976). Allah Ta‘ala had blessed him with nine children, among whom two sons (viz. Mufti Muhammad Rafee’ and Mufti Muhammad Taqi [hafizahumallah]) are leading ‘Ulama of the world today. His eldest daughter’s name was Na‘eemah, and she was fondly known as Aapa Jaan in the family.
Aapa Jaan was married to Hakeem Sayyid Shareef Husain, and passed away when she was only thirty-four years of age. Despite the financial constraints and difficulties that she underwent after marriage, it is difficult to find an example of her in regards to the self-respect and honour with which she lived her life.
Once she requested her respected father, Mufti Muhammad Shafee’ (rahimahullah), “Please make du‘aa that Allah Ta‘ala blesses me with the opportunity to go for hajj”. In reply to this, her father asked, “Do you (really) desire to go for hajj?” When she replied in the affirmative, he responded: “No, you do not have the desire”. Astonished by these words, she said, “I am speaking the truth. I have great desire to go for hajj”. At this her respected father asked her, “Have you saved any money for this?” When she replied in the negative, he remarked: “This means that your desire is mere lip service. If you had real desire, you would have saved something for it.”
Hearing this, Aapa Jaan presented the excuse, “I can (only) save if some money is leftover (after our expenses).” Mufti Muhammad Shafee’ (rahimahullah) asked her, “Can’t you save even one aana (one-sixteenth of a rupee, approximately a few cents) for this?” She replied, “I can save this amount, but how can hajj be performed with this?” Her respected father mentioned, “When a slave takes the step to carry out a good deed according to his capability, then firstly Allah Ta‘ala helps him, and (then) even if he is unable to carry out this good deed, he will definitely receive the reward for it insha-Allah. However, nothing can happen by merely wishing without taking any (practical) steps.”
This incident happened and was forgotten. After quite some time, when she passed away in 1956 and her heirs looked at her belongings, a small cloth bag was found with the words “Money for Hajj” labelled on it. When it was opened, approximately sixty-five rupees were found inside. As soon as Mufti Muhammad Shafee’ (rahimahullah) saw it, his eyes welled up with tears and he narrated the story to those present. Later, he used this money to arrange for her Hajj-e-Badal (i.e. hajj made on behalf of a deceased).
Thereafter, on some other occasion, when Mufti Muhammad Shafee’ (rahimahullah) was in the plain of ‘Arafah during hajj, he dozed off for a few moments and saw Aapa Jaan in a dream climbing Jabalur Rahmah (the mountain in ‘Arafah). In this manner Allah Ta‘ala had fulfilled the hajj of this bondswoman of His.
(Yaade pg. 169 – Al-Balaagh, Rabee‘ul Awwal 1439 A.H. pg. 25)
1. When a woman gets married and moves over to her husband’s home, it may happen that her husband is not so well-off financially. In such a situation, she should maintain his and her respect to the best of her ability and not beg favours from others.
2. In the current climate, where hajj has become so difficult to fulfil because of the regulations as well as the high prices, one should not lose hope, but should rather have the real desire to fulfil this important obligation and great pillar of Islam, by following the required procedures, collecting whatever amount of money one can manage, and making sincere and regular du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala. If one does not get a chance to perform hajj during his lifetime, one will definitely be rewarded for the effort that one had undertaken and insha-Allah he will be counted among those who had performed their hajj.