(Faatimah bintu ‘Abdil Malik [rahimahallah] – Part Five)

On one occasion, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) asked his wife, Faatimah (rahimahallah), whether she could give him a dirham (silver coin) so that he could buy grapes. When she replied that she did not possess even a dirham, he next asked her if she had any small change which she could give him. Faatimah (rahimahallah) again replied that she did not have anything to give him.

On realizing that ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) himself did not have any money, she exclaimed, “You are the leader of the Muslims yet you are unable to acquire a dirham?” ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) replied, “Living in poverty is easier than dragging chains in Jahannum (on account of utilizing the people’s wealth, entrusted to the public treasury, for one’s personal luxuries).”

(Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 5, pg. 134)

After performing the ‘Esha Salaah, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) would visit his daughters and spend some time with them. One particular night, however, when ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) went to visit them, he was surprised to find that all his daughters covered their mouths with their hands and avoided him!

‘Umar (rahimahullah) turned to the servant and asked her in concern, “What is the matter with them?” The servant replied, “For supper, they did not have any food besides lentils and onions. They are avoiding you as they fear that you will be inconvenienced if the stench of the onions reaches you through their breath.” When he heard this, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) burst into tears and said to his daughters, “Where is the good in you enjoying the best varieties of foods if it results in your father being dragged to Jahannam? (on account of the food being purchased using the money of the people)” Hearing this, his daughters also began to weep.

(Seerat ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez – Ibnu ‘Abdil Hakam pg. 54)


1. The mindset of Faatimah (rahimahallah) was such that she was happy to comply with the wishes of her husband – especially as his primary wish was for her to enter Jannah safely. On account of this mindset, although she had a right to ask for an allowance, she did not complain of her lack of money to her husband. In fact, due to her contentment, her husband probably did not even realize that she did not have any money and therefore went to her when he wanted to purchase grapes.

2. The mindset, attitude and outlook of a child are generally moulded by the parents. In the case of a girl, it is generally the mindset of her mother that prevails and governs her behaviour. When Faatimah (rahimahallah) had the mindset of contentment and refraining from complaint, her daughters also behaved in this manner. Hence on noticing that all they had to eat was lentils and onions, they did not ‘make a fuss’ and ‘bring the roof down’. Rather, they adopted patience(sabr) and happily ate it without complaining to their father.