Fatimah Khanum, The Princess

Seven centuries had passed since afore said Zubaydah canal was created and now it was in its worst with the passage of time despite being looked after by the subsequent rulers. Almost all the wells and springs had gone dried and dead and Zubaydah canal was filled with shifting sand and stones and its concrete wall was broken here and there and water was no more once again. It was the year 965H (1557 A.D) when all those days had returned which had urged Zubaydah to come to the rescue.

Fortunately another Zubaydah had come in to the world in the shape of the Turk princess Fatimah Khanum, daughter of the great ‘Uthman ruler Sultan Salim. When the things came to her knowledge, she under took to solve the problem once for all. She assigned the task to her trusted aide Ibrahim ibn Takrim to restore the canal and extend it to Makkah to bring it in to the easy reach of every Makkan and the pilgrims.

The repair of the canal proved not very difficult and it was done positively with the help of Egyptian, Syrian and the Yemenite engineers and the masons. But ahead, a huge rock whose length was not less than two thousand feet and the width more than fifty had stopped their advance.

Ibrahim, the chief of the project lost his heart, as it looked quite impossible to turn aside or to break through the gigantic rock. Fatimah Kanum was informed of the failure. But the resolute princess stood to her previous order. She reprimanded her assignee and told him in clear words that nothing could hamper the human courage and determination.

The inspiring order of the princess invigorated the entire arena. In those days neither the dynamite was invented yet, nor were the titanic machines of today, which blow out the sky rising mountains. The only method to cut the stone was to heat them up to a very high degree and then cut them with sharp tools.

It took hundreds of workers long ten years to make a break through, after having been burnt millions tons of fuel and spending thousands of arduous days and nights. It came at last that auspicious day when in 979H (1571 A.D) the proud rock was conquered which, years before looked duly insurmountable.

The water began to flow up to Makkah. No one could imagine the delight of the Makkans that day. The event was celebrated fervently with the participation of the government and the masses. All, the bigs and smalls of the project were rewarded beyond their expectations. The Princess came to be called empress Zubaydah Thani (the second).
(Monthly Al-Hasanat, Rampur – India)

Zubaydah, the Empress

Zubaydah Canal

Umm Ja’far, Zubaydah was the darling queen of fifth Abbasid Caliph Harun ar-Rashid (170H, 786 A.D to 193H, 809 A.D). Her name was Amatul Aziz but she came to be known as Zubaydah. Her grandfather Abu Ja’far Mansur who had endearly named her Zubaydah, made very special arrangements for her education. Very competent and highly qualified teachers and scholars were hired. Zubaydah, herself was very intelligent and right-minded. She obtained education with great interest and developed an attachment with the Quran and Hadith, which persisted for the entire of her life. She excelled in Arabic literature as well as other fields of learning. Her erudition could be compared with those of the celebrated scholars of her days.

Zubaydah was a very graceful lady. She was kind hearted, generous and literary minded. Though her living was regal and her magnificence and splendour was unparalleled in the precincts of the royalties. On the one hand thousands of dinars were spent on her single dress, her footwears were studded with diamonds and pearls and her palaces were lighted with candles of amber. Her kitchen expenditures were more than ten thousand dirhams daily. Hundreds of people would live on her kitchen.

On the other hand her life was a decent example of a devout Muslim woman. She had engaged one hundred slave girls who would recite the Holy Quran constantly. Her palaces perpetually echoed with the voices of the recitation. She was very respectful to the literate. Some of them were granted regular stipends. She was very punctual in prayers and the fastings. She went on Hajj a number of times. Once she made the journey to the holy land on foot.

She took great interest in the projects of public welfare and would spend on them generously. She built inns and lodges on the way from Iraq to Makkah and dug the wells for pilgrims and travellers. The road was lost from time to time as the storms and strong winds would often carry along the sand and dust and spread all around, leaving all the area a vast desert and the travellers wandered about, unable to find the road. The queen, Zubaydah cost hundreds of thousands of dinars to erect the stonewall along both sides of the road to block the winds carrying sand. She built a number of grand mosques, as well.

She also dug a big canal from the mount of Lebanon to Beirut to provide water for the people of the area. But her monumental work which would become a legend in the days to come was the construction of the Zubaydah Canal a landmark in the history of hydro engineering. It is stated that years before the Caliphate of Harun ar-Rashid was established, there was acute shortage of water in Makkah. Local inhabitants and the pilgrims were equally in great distress. Sometimes a small waterskin would cost up to ten dirhams and big one for a gold coin. A time came when the scarcity of water endangered the lives of people and the livestock and it was taken very seriously, if the proper arrangements were not made, hundreds of thousands lives would be lost.

The officials reported the gravity of the situation to the empress. She resolved to solve the problem by ensuring persistent supply of water to Makkans and the pilgrims. She summoned the hydro engineers and the master architects and ordered them to find out some springs in the mountainous suburbs of Makkah.

After months of maneuvering and surveying they succeeded, at last, to find two springs, one on the way to Taif at the distance of 25 kilometers from Makkah and the other in the hills of Kara in the valley of Noman. But to bring water to Makkah was an uphill task. Ranges of mountains were a real hurdle. But the ambitious empress ordered the project to be implemented and assured the men that she was ready to pay a gold coin for every stroke of the pick.

The work started and with tireless efforts of three years, thousands of workers and warders made possible, which once seemed impossible. They maneuvered the canal through the hilly valleys by cutting open the hearts of the imposing mountains. The bill of the gigantic project rose to seventy Lacs gold dinars. When the documents of accounts were produced to the empress, she was seated in her palace, at the bank of the river Tigris. She did not even cast an eye at the documents and directed the papers to be thrown in to the Tigris and said, “I have left these accounts to be settled on the Accountability Day, as, all I have done, is to seek favours from Allah. If any amount is owing on my account, I am ready to pay and if anyone else owes to me, I write it off.”

In addition to all emoluments and dues, empress Zubaydah gave away prizes and bestowals generously to all the people of the project and ordered the event to be celebrated.

As for the Zubaydah Canal, actually two separate canals were dug from both the fountains, which were merged somewhere in the hills into a single Canal, which runs up to Arafat and Mina. Along the banks of the canal, tanks were made at proper places to store the water of rains, whichever to supplement the canal water. The base of the canal was concreted to prevent the sepage of water. A considerable part of the canal was covered to keep the water unpolluted from the sand-storms which was a frequented event of the area.

Zubaydah Canal

In the beginning the canal came to be named ‘Aynal Mashash but later it was attributed to Zubaydah. The 33 kilometers long canal flowing by the Mount of Arafat, made its tail end at Chah Znbaydah. a site, at few kilometers from Makkah. The empress intended to extend it to Makkah, but some unconquerable hurdles blocked the way. But still the water came in to the reach of the Makkans.
(Mashahir Niswan).

rayhanah majnoonah

A soofi by the name of Abu ar-Rabi’ says:
“Muhammad bin al-Munkadir, Thabit Banani, and I were guests at the house of Rayhanah. Before the expiry of half the night she woke up and said:
‘The lover goes to his beloved, and the heart is filled with such joy that it seems that it would burst any moment.’

When half the night passed, she said:
“One should not attach one’s heart to such things which if you set your eyes on them, you perceive a difference (i.e. a decrease) in your remembrance of Allah. At night, one should strive very hard in ‘ibadah, only then can one become His friend.”

When the entire night passed, she screamed and said:
‘Oh! It has been destroyed!’ I asked her: ‘What happened?’ She replied: ‘The night is gone in which one can concentrate fully in Allah.’

Rayhanah Majnoonah

Lesson: Look at how she valued the night. The person who experiences the sweetness of ibadah, will value the night greatly. O women! You should also set aside a certain portion of the night for your ibadah. Look at how well she explained the harm of directing your attention towards anything that distracts you from the remembrance of Allah.

from Bahesti Zewar

Fatimah bint Abdul Malik

Fatimah bint Abdul Malik was a highly placed woman of first century Hijrah. She was wife of the great Banu Umayyad Caliph Umar ibn Abdul Aziz and daughter of Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. She was raised in palatial atmosphere like princesses and she was familiar with the royal culture.

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, himself a man of great beauty was regarded one of the few who greatly were mindful of their get-up. His diet and dress were equally worthy of royalty. But after he had to take over the charge of the Caliphate, he gave up all princely practices. He turned his mouth away from the superb and delicious cuisine. The pulses were started to be cooked daily and all the people of his household were sick with the pulses.

One day a servant complained his matron that he was fed up with the pulses. She silenced him to tell that his master, the Commander of the Faithful, too ate the same and they themselves, as well.

Once the Caliph praised the taste of Lebanon-honey before her. She sent word to ruler of Lebanon, Ibn Ma’di Karb. He immediately sent the honey. When it was served before the Caliph, he questioned his wife if she had ordered for that. She answered in affirmative and the Caliph sold out the honey and deposited the price in Baytal Mal (state exchequer).

Once a woman came from Iraq to get approved the allowance for her orphan daughters. She saw the first lady baking bread herself and sat near her. She was looking at the house and then said regretfully that she had come to find some favours from that house but it, itself is in the worst. The Caliph’s wife said, “your homes are cared for, at the cost of ours.”  Then she inquired about her problems and put her case before the Caliph who approved the allowance forthwith.

When ‘Umar ibn Abdul Aziz fell ill with mortal disease, his brother in law Muslima ibn Abdul Malik came to inquire about his health. He saw the Commander of the Faithful wearing a worn Kameez (long shirt). He took aside his sister and asked her to change the Kameez of the Commander of the Faithful. She told her astonished brother that the ruler of the greatest empire of the time had only that shirt.

Fatimah was a woman who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and was bred with royal manners. But she withdrew from that sort of life to the will and wish of her husband and lived her life poorly. She lived long after her husband but she persisted to live simply. The noted Turk writer Dhehni Afindi writes, “Fatimah bint Abdul Malik ibn Marwan was known Dhatid Khimar (the woman of shawl).

She was a lady of great piety and reverence. Her tomb is in Busra (Syria) where her devotees pay visits frequently.
(Serah ‘Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, Taha’in Tarikh Islam).

Maid of Pharaoh’s Daughter

It is mentioned in the book Raudatus Safa that Pharaoh’s daughter had a maid who was under her command and who used to comb her hair, etc.  She had believed in Musa alayhis salam. However, she did not expose her iman out of fear for Pharaoh.

Once while she was combing Pharaoh’s daughter’s hair, the comb fell from her hand. When she bent down to pick it up, she recited Bismillah. The daughter asked her: “What was it you recited just now?  Whose name is that?”  She replied: “it is the name of the one who created your father and also gave him a kingdom.”  She became astonished and remarked: “Is there anyone greater than my father!”  Saying this she ran out to her father, and related the entire incident him.

Pharaoh became extremely angry, called for the maid, and threatened her.
However she unhesitatingly said: “Do whatever you wish, I will not leave my iman.”

Nails were fastened to her hands and feet and thereafter hot ash and embers were placed on her. When this had no effect on her, a child who was in her lap was taken and thrown into the fire.  While the child was in the fire, it said: “Mother! Be patient and don’t ever leave your iman.”

She remained steadfast on her iman until she was also thrown into that fire.

Source: Bahesti Zewar

Bi Safiyyah – Mother of Maulana Ilyas Dehlvi

Bi Saffiyah was an excellent reciter and memoriser of the Holy Qur’an. She had memorised the Holy Book during her son Yahya’s suckling and she had a command on memory that few could stand to contest. She had the habit of going through the Qur’an Al-Majid once daily during the month of Ramadan and thus would complete 30 repititions of the Noble Book. It was also her practice to perform the household duties and the recitation simultaneously. Her daily practice other than Ramadan was that she would recite:

  • Durood shareef 5000 times
  • Ism Dhat (One of Allahs names chosen on the virtue of its meaning) 5000 times
  • بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم (in the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful) 900 times
  • يا مغنى (O Enricher, Provider to His slaves) 1100 tiimes
  • استغفار (I beg Thine pardon, Mighty Lord) 500 times
  • حسبى الله ونعم الوكيل (Allah sufficeth me! Most excellent is He in whom we trust) 500 times
  • سبحان الله (Glory be to Allah) 200 times
  • الحمد للله (Praise be to Allah) 200 times
  • لااله الا الله (There is no God but Allah) 200 times
  • الله اكبر (Allah is the Greatest) 200 times
  • افوض امر الى الله (I confide my cause unto Allah) 100 times
  • حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل (Allah is sufficient for us, Most excellent is He in whom we trust) 100 times
  • رب انى مغلوب فانتصر (My Lord, I am vanquished, so give me help) 100 times
  • رب انى مسنى الضر وانت ارحم الراحمين (My Lord, Lo adversity afficeth me, and thou are Most Merciful of all who show mercy) 100 times
  • لااله الا انت سبحنك انى كنت من الظلمين (There is no God save Thee, Be Thou Glorified! Lo! I have been a wrong doer) 100 times

and, moreover she would recite some part of the Holy Qur’an.
Source: Leading Ladies, who made a difference in the lives of others

Subhanallah such an amazing example of a Pious Woman from Modern history, not only did she engage in Dhikr of Allah, but she would also fulfill her household chores and reared her children with an islamic upbringing. May Allah give us the ability to tread in the footsteps of our pious predecessors, generate the love of Allah in our hearts, obtain nearness to our Lord and live our lives in accoradance to the Shariah. Ameen

Hazrat Maryam

Hazrat Maryam`s (Alayhas-Salam) respectable parents are Hazrat Emraan and Hazrat Hannah. In her old age, Hazrat Hannah (Alayhas-Salam) was expecting a child.  With the birth of a son in mind, she made an oath to Allah that the child to be born would be freed from all worldly affairs and specially dedicated to Allah’s service. Almighty Allah blessed her with a daughter, who was to be the mother of Hazrat Isa (Peace Be Upon Him), Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam), the chosen one among the women.

The Holy Quraan says:
Behold! When the wife of Imraan said: “O my Lord! I do dedicate unto Thee what is in my womb for Thy service. So accept this of me; for thou Hearest and Knowest all things.” When she delivered, she said: “O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!” (Surah Ale-Emraan:35-36)

Hazrat Maryam’s (Alayhas-Salam) Childhood

Thus Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam) was born. She could not be devoted to temple service as her mother had intended, due to being a female. This was under the Mosaic Law at the time. However, as the new born was marked out for a special destiny to be the mother of the miracle-child Hazrat Isa Peace Be Upon Him, she was accepted for the service of Almighty Allah.

Hazrat Maryam’s (Alayhas-Salam) Miracle

Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam) grew up under Allah’s special protection. Her sustenance came from Allah, and her upbringing was indeed a pure one.

The Holy Quraan, most beautifully testifies this childhood miracle of Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam):
Right graciously did her Lord accept her, He made her grow in purity and beauty, to the care of Zakariyya (Alayhis-Salaam) was she assigned, every time he (Zakariyya) entered (her) chamber to see her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: “O Maryam! Whence (comes) this to you?” She said: “From Allah. For Allah provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.” (Surah Ale-Emraan:37)

Hazrat Zakariyya Peace Be Upon Him looked after Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam) whilst she was in the service of Allah.

Birth of Hazrat Isa Peace Be Upon Him

So Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam) grew up in a very pious religious environment, always remaining busy in the worship of her Creator Almighty Allah. Then followed the miraculous birth of Hazrat Isa Peace Be Upon Him.

Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam), the mother of Hazrat Isa Peace Be Upon Him was unique, in that she gave birth to a son by a special miracle, without the intervention of the customary physical means. This of course does not mean that she was more than human, any more than her son was more than inhuman. She had as much need to pray to Almighty Allah as anyone else.
May Almighty Allah give us all the true and proper understanding of Hazrat Maryam (Alayhas-Salam).

Source: Inter-Islam

Daughter of Namrud

Namrud was the oppressive king who threw Ibrahim (A.S.) into the fire. His daughter, Ru‘dah, was watching the scene from above. She noticed that the fire was having no effect on Ibrahim (A.S.). She shouted and asked him the reason for this.
Ibrahim (A.S.) replied: “Allah has saved me from this calamity through the blessing of iman.”
She replied: “If you permit me, I will also come into the fire.”
He replied: “Recite Lâ ilâha illallâhu Ibrahim khalîlullâh (translation: There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Ibrahim is the close friend of Allah).

She recited this kalimah and immediately dived into the fire. The fire had no effect on her as well. She then came out of the fire and went and rebuked and censured her father. He subjected her to great difficulties but she remained steadfast on her iman.

Lesson: Glory be to Allah! How courageous she was that she did not abandon her iman even when in difficulty! O women! You should also be strong-willed at the time of difficulties and do not act contrary to the Deen even if it equals a hair’s breadth.

Source: Bahesti Zewar