BISMILLAHIR RAHMANIR RAHEEM
When a girl is little, she dreams of being a princess, when she grows up, she wants to be treated like a princess. Even the disneyfication of princesshood, where the only aim seems to be to hook a man, still present the royal ladies as women of virtue and grace.
The real princesses of times by-gone were trained in the art of inner and outer calm and smiling dignity, which they would paint on their circumstances, even if things got rough.
We often dream of being “treated like a princess” but possess very few royal qualities. Below, the story of a lady who was genuinely royal in her bearing and character and this character goes hand in hand with the sunnah,like a leave and rose,is chronicled.
Somewhere along the line, in this modern day and age, we too can reclaim our princesshood, as bestowed on us by the noble sunnah of Nabi SAW. It is hoped that the following anecdotes can inspire us to shed the template that the west has handed to us, for being women.
Over time, where women were once genuinely sweet yet strong, we have become aggressive, demanding and decidedly unladylike except now and then. Yet we don’t achieve our goals or we do but with people in fear of us.
It will also make us think about what kind of legacy and memories will we leave behind for those that we love and are in touch with. And whether we want to change it.
What is interesting about this story is that people of the older generation are not ones to ‘talk about emotions’ or to reveal their affection for their spouses, especially in the Indo-Pak region. Women are referred to in veiled terms and it is considered abnormal to show emotion even on the death of one’s wife.
Shaykh Qari Ahmed Siddeeq Bandhwi AR, was the principal of a Darul Uloom at a time when there was scant deen there, that he built in very difficult circumstances. It thrives now,alhamdulilah. It is called Madressa Jamia Arabia.
But to bring it to a state where it became successful, it took many years and difficulties. What made it easier for Qari Siddeeq, was his life partner, Umme Habeeb AR.
In his own words, this is how he describes her;
“My wife was from a rich family. My father in law held a very high position. They lived like the royalty. There was no hope of my marrying her as I was from a very poor family. She had been proposed to a colonel but her future was written elsewhere by Allah Ta’aala. Allah Taa’ala desired that she marry here.”
“She spent her life with me in poverty. However, she was very tolerant and made lots of sabr.
She would sew clothes and sell them to cover the home expenses. She was not extravagant in her food.
At times she would eat chutni and roti, at times dry bread and sometimes she would also cook some gravy.
When there were guests, she would prepare a potato curry for them as it was difficult to obtain anything else to cook.”
Further diving into the memories of his precious wife, he wistfully recalls that she would wake him up for tahajjud and was more punctual with her ma’mulaat (daily extra ibadat) than him. She would never miss her Ishraaq, Chaast,Awwaabeen salaahs.
After maghrib, she would remain engrossed in nawaafil (optional salaah) for a long time.
After Fajr, it was her habit to make tilawat (recite) the beautiful Qur’an. She would only leave the musalla after reading Ishraaq.
He mentions that she would always have a tasbeeh at hand,so she could keep track of zikr. When she was not entertaining guests, she would absorb her tongue and heart in the remembrance of Allah.
The staff under Qari Siddeeq’s employ, if they made a mistake or needed something from him and if they felt difficult to approach him, they would send their concerns to her (behind the veil) and she would intercede on their behalf or gently persuade her husband to forgive their mistakes.
She was extremely kind and tolerant of peoples ignorance and harshness, not in the manner of a doormat but as a person who takes the better route by being well mannered.
We often Have to have our say and entangle ourselves in unnecessary issues.
She lived in an area where the villagers were not very educated or enlightened. Thus some women from the village would speak to her harshly but she never retaliated nor did she ever have a fight with anyone.
A student writes; Once I ,myself witnessed a woman screaming at her in a very abusive manner. She said nothing in reply but listened quietly…the next day that same woman fell ill and Umm Habeeb went to her house to visit and attend to her.
SubhanAllah, so much to imbibe and learn from this lady. Unknown to the world yet of such greatness.
InshaAllah, we will cover more on her life and her interactions with her daughter in laws in later years as well as the dream of her husband about her.
Are we performing the faraaidh? If yes, what extra ibadat are we doing to get closer to Allah Ta’aala? And to create a magnificent Jannah? InshaAllah, from this day on, may we start increasing our zikr,tilawat and nafl salaah.We often leave out the sunnah salaahs but Nabi SAW clung to them. May Allah Taala grant us the ability to make amal on the above, myself first. A few words come to mind when thinking of Umm Habeeb AR…. Simplicity…Sukoon(tranquil)…Satisfied…Silence (at the right times)
All the markings of a princess.
Do we know which sunnah salaah is equivalent to Tahajjud?
To be continued…
Feedback always appreciated.