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

Maslamah bin ‘Abdil Malik, the brother of Faatimah bintu ‘Abdil Malik (rahimahallah), once came to visit ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) when he was ill. On entering, he noticed that the clothes of Ameerul Mu-mineen, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah), were dirty! He immediately turned to his sister, Faatimah (rahimahallah), and commanded her to wash his clothes. Faatimah (rahimahallah) replied with absolute humility, “We will do it insha-Allah.”

When Maslamah returned, however, he found that the clothes of ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) were still dirty. He turned to Faatimah (rahimahallah) and exclaimed, “Did I not tell you to wash the clothes of Ameerul Mu-mineen?” Only now did Faatimah (rahimahallah) explain, “By Allah! He only has these clothes!”

(Al-Kaamil vol. 3, pg. 269)


1. Some people wallow in self-pity. They look for the slightest excuse to give a speech on all the difficulties they suffer and on how much patience they have to exercise. Through complaining, however, they deprive themselves of the great rewards of sabr (patience).

2. Faatimah (rahimahallah) was not willing to reveal the circumstances of constraint under which they lived – not even to her own brother. Only when he pursued the issue did she reveal the reality of the matter to him. This was not only a sign of her sabr but also a sign of her independence and self-respect. On the contrary, a sign of greed is where a person complains of his hardship to all and sundry while harboring the hope in his heart that they will feel sympathy and ‘help him out’.

3. When her brother, Maslamah, instructed her to wash her husband’s clothes, she did not become upset and give any of the following retorts, “Who are you to tell me? Since when do you rule my life? My husband’s clothes are none of your business!” Rather, she expressed her humility and submitted saying, “We will do so insha-Allah”. This single aspect of her behaviour speaks volumes in explaining her inner condition to us. She was indeed blessed with humility and did not respond with pride and arrogance.