(Ummul Baneen [rahimahallah] – Part Two)
Hailing from the ruling family and being married to the ruler of the time, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) had no shortage of wealth at her disposal. Despite this, her passion was to spend wealth in the path of Allah Ta‘ala and not on herself. Hence, she was renowned for her charity and her spirit in assisting people in need.
In this regard, it seems as though Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) followed in her father’s footsteps and perhaps acquired this quality from him. The following statement of her father, ‘Abdul ‘Azeez bin Marwaan, highlights his spirit for charity. He says: “How surprising it is that a person has imaan, and is convinced that Allah Ta‘ala provides for him and will replace that which he spends in His path, yet he still holds back his wealth from spending and thus deprives himself of abundant rewards!”
As for Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah), her own statement speaks volumes about the spirit of charity that burnt in her heart. She mentioned: “Every person has a passion in life, and my passion is to spend on people. By Allah! To maintain ties and relationships and to show compassion and sympathy to people is more beloved to me than delicious food at the time of hunger, and a cool drink at the time of thirst.”
Some examples of her spending in the path of Allah Ta‘ala are:
– She would free one slave every week.
– She would donate one horse every week to be used in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. (Some narrations mention that she would free a slave and donate a horse every day, not every week!).
– When she invited her friends to spend time with her, before they would leave, she would gift them exquisite garments to wear. She would also give them gold coins and say, “The clothing is for you to keep, and the gold coins are for you to distribute amongst the poor among you.”
Similarly, she condemned miserliness saying, “How despicable is miserliness! If miserliness was a path, I would not tread it, and even if it was the finest clothing, I would not wear it.” She also mentioned, “The height of miserliness is where a person is too miserly to even purchase Jannah for himself.”
(Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah vol. 9, pg. 207, Sifatus Safwah vol. 2, pg. 430 and Al-Mahaasin wal Masaawi vol. 1, pg. 144)
1. One of the greatest challenges we face is that of protecting our hearts against the love of wealth. When our hearts remain protected, we will spend the wealth in the correct avenues and thus become closer to Allah Ta‘ala. However, if our hearts become saturated with the love of wealth, then this very same wealth will propel us towards sin through spending it in impermissible avenues and using it to show off, etc.
2. It is an undeniable reality that children are a reflection of their parents, not only in their features but also in their habits. When children grow up in a home where the parents are always giving sadaqah, engaged in the recitation of the Quraan Majeed, performing salaah, etc., then these same qualities rub off onto them. Hence, we need to be practical examples for our children.
3. Spending in the path of Allah Ta‘ala is an action that earns one ongoing rewards. A person does not have to be a millionaire but can spend and contribute according to his own means – even if it is little. Allah Ta‘ala looks at the heart with which the contribution is given. Hence, when there is an opportunity to spend in His path, we should hasten to spend whatever we can manage.