(Sisters of Bishr Haafi [rahimahullah] – Part Two)

Mukh-khah (rahimahallah) had achieved such spiritual excellence that she literally served as an example for Bishr (rahimahullah) to follow. Bishr Haafi (rahimahullah) would often acknowledge the exalted rank of his sister by saying, “I learnt asceticism (abstinence from the dunya) from my sister.”

Mukh-khah (rahimahallah) would earn a living while remaining in the confines of her home by spinning cotton into yarn which she would send to the market to be sold. Bishr Haafi (rahimahullah) resided with his sister, Mukh-khah, and probably learnt this craft from her which he also practised in order to earn a living. He thus ensured that he was completely independent and would not have to turn to people for handouts.

(Tareekhu Baghdad vol. 16, pg. 625, Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 10, pg. 471 and Wafayaatul Aa’yaan vol. 1, pg. 277)


1. The role which Allah Ta‘ala has given women in society is different to that of men. Being different in this regard, however, does not to the slightest extent hinder a woman in her effort to reach Allah Ta‘ala. Rather, a woman is still capable of attaining such piety that she will set the standard for her entire family and be an inspiration for a sage of the age.

2. The West attempts to brainwash us into believing that a woman cannot progress and be productive unless she leaves her home. This notion and concept, however, is completely false as the home to the woman is what water is to the fish – it is only in the home that she can truly progress and flourish. If removed from the home, like a fish out of water, the survival of her very imaan is at stake.

We thus see the sister of Bishr Haafi (rahimahullah), from the confines of her home, seeing to her dunya and also making such strides of progress in Deen that not only did she become a legend to the Muslim Ummah, but was also instrumental in the great strides that her brother had made. Hence if there is a genuine need for a woman to earn a livelihood, she should try her utmost to do it from the confines of her home where her honour, chastity and respect will be safeguarded.