(Zubaidah – The Wife of Haaroon Rasheed – Part Five)

Zubaidah (rahimahallah), although remembered by most for her generosity and charitable works, possessed another very important quality – that of honouring and showing importance to the salient symbols of Islam. She had a particular love for the Quraan Majeed and the azaan and would honour them both greatly.

She had appointed one hundred female attendants, who had memorized the Quraan Majeed, to recite three juz (paras) of the Quraan Majeed in her palace every day. Due to the number of people reciting, her palace would resonate with the sound of the Quraan Majeed, like a bee hive filled with buzzing bees.

Zubaidah (rahimahallah) passed away in the year 216 A.H. in Baghdad. After her demise, someone saw her in a dream and asked her, “How did Allah Ta‘ala deal with you?” She replied, “Allah Ta‘ala forgave me.” She was asked, “Were you forgiven on account of the wells that you dug, the structures and facilities that you built and the other services that you rendered on the road to Makkah?” When she replied, “No,” she was then asked, “On account of which action were you then forgiven?” She answered, “One day, I was seated and my handmaidens were singing before me when we suddenly heard the voice of the muazzin calling out the azaan. I immediately stopped them from singing and said to them, ‘Reply to the azaan.’ After I passed away, Allah Ta‘ala made me stand before Him and then announced to the angels, ‘O my angels! This is Zubaidah (rahimahallah), the one who remembered Me in the midst of her enjoyment. I make you witness that I have forgiven her.’”

(Wafayaatul Aa’yaan vol. 2, pg. 314 & 317 and Mir-aatuz Zamaan vol. 14, pg. 157)


1. We can never be complacent or confident regarding our outcome in the Hereafter, as we do not know if our actions will gain the acceptance of Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, we should continue to strive, and never consider any good deed to be trivial or insignificant. It could be that an action which we regard to be small is actually very beloved to Allah Ta‘ala and thus becomes the means of our salvation. In the case of Zubaidah (rahimahallah), even though she would have been rewarded greatly for her charitable works, it was the apparently ‘small’ act of her respect for the azaan that was greatly appreciated by Allah Ta‘ala.

2. To show honour, respect and importance to the salient symbols of Islam is, in actual fact, showing honour and respect to Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, we should show the utmost importance to the masaajid, the Ka’bah, the Quraan Majeed, the azaan and anything else which is a symbol of Islam.

3. When hearing the azaan, we should immediately adopt complete honour and respect for it. We should cease all conversation, ensure that our heads are covered and respond to the azaan.

4. Every Muslim must honour and respect the Quraan Majeed. However, honouring the Quraan Majeed does not only entail handling it with respect and care. It also requires that we recite it regularly. Hence, every person should take out time daily to recite a portion of the Quraan Majeed.

5. Many people remember Allah Ta‘ala and turn to Him in times of difficulty. However, the sign of true love and loyalty is that the servant turns to Him and remembers Him in times of enjoyment and happiness as well.