Tayyaba Ahmed, UK
“Surely, men who submit themselves [to God] and women who submit themselves [to Him] […] Allah has prepared for [all of] them forgiveness and a great reward.” (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.36)
I am sure for many sisters and brothers around the world, it has not gone unnoticed that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has recently addressed Lajna Imaillah around the world to follow the examples of our sisters and mothers in Islam – those Sahabiyat (female companions of Prophet Muhammadsa) who not only pledged allegiance to the Prophet of Islamsa, but also adhered to the pledge in every possible manner.
When we listen to these addresses, the amazing sacrifices of our early sisters in Islam strike our hearts, and whereas our heads are always bowed before Allah in humility, our heads are raised with the honours bestowed on the Sahabiyat in comparison with all the women of later time, alhamdolillah.
Addressing Lajna Imaillah UK at our National Ijtema in September – which celebrated the centenary of the establishment of the auxiliary of Lajna Imaillah by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra – Huzooraa said:
“In the blessed era of the Holy Prophetsa, the sacrifices given by Muslim women were also extraordinary and beyond all compare in the history of mankind. During the first few years of Islam, Muslims were relentlessly persecuted and subjected to barbaric cruelties.” (“100 Years of Lajna Ima’illah – Shaping the New Century”, www.reviewofreligions.org)
Huzooraa then described how an enslaved husband and wife were mercilessly persecuted, culminating in their martyrdoms, with the wife, Hazrat Sumaiyara being recorded as the first martyr of Islam.
Huzooraa went on to reiterate:
“These were the outstanding examples of early Muslim women who were ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of their faith, including leaving behind their homelands. Moreover, they never forgot the objective of their migration, which was to attain religious freedom. Thereafter, they devotedly practised their faith and prioritised it above all else.” (Ibid.)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa also explained how fearless other early Muslim ladies were, such as the sister of Hazrat Umarra who had accepted Islam with her husband before Hazrat Umarra and showed no hesitation to boldly declare her belief in the face of her brother’s fury.
In another example, we are told of another lady, high in moral values, who participated in numerous occasions of jihad while also training her children to become deeply faithful servants of Islam. These ladies’ faith was such that as compared to their love for the Holy Prophetsa, they cared less for the lives of their near and dear. It was through their deep unwavering faith in the truth of the Holy Prophetsa that they were able to become the torchbearers of early Islam alongside their male counterparts.
The female companions were shining examples in all areas of belief and faith. In his address to Lajna in Germany, Huzooraa gave detailed standards of worship and sacrifice seen in the early female believers in Islam.
“With regard to obedience to Allah, it is narrated about Hazrat Hafsara that she was someone who would keep many fasts and would offer a lot of prayers at night for Allah’s sake. To attain high levels of worship, she would try her utmost to excel more than the men as well.” (“Hazrat Khalifatul Masih encourages Ahmadi women to embrace legacy of female companions: Jalsa Salana Germany 2023”, www.alhakam.org)
In this same address, Huzooraa mentioned, amongst many examples, the woman of Juhaina, whose mother had intended to perform Hajj but had died before she was able to. When she sought permission from the Holy Prophetsa to perform Hajj on her mother’s behalf, he encouraged her to pay this “debt to Allah”. The plentiful examples set before us fill us with awe and inspire us to work harder and aim to improve, insha-Allah.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa has provided us with so many stellar examples of how the early Muslim ladies were obedient, brave and steadfast, and Allah the Almighty blessed them so much as a result.
“A young female Muslim opposed her mother, who was going against an instruction given by Hazrat Umarra. At the time, Hazrat Umarra was listening to this young girl and got his son, Hazrat Asimra married to her. It is said Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Azizrh was from the children of this Muslim girl.” (Ibid.)
In his address at Jalsa Salana UK to Lajna Imaillah, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa described in several examples the love the female Sahabiyat had for the Holy Prophetsa. He explained that during the Battle of Uhud, when a false rumour was spread that the Holy Prophetsa had been martyred, one lady was told that perhaps her husband, father and other relatives had been lost. She ran to the battlefield, only asking, “What has the Prophetsa done!”. Her greatest worries were not her relatives; her greatest fear was losing the Holy Prophetsa. Once she was told that the Holy Prophetsa, by the Grace of Allah, was alive, she feared no more and all losses faded in comparison. (“Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V urges Ahmadi women to emulate Prophet Muhammad’s female companions – Lajna address at Jalsa UK 2023”, www.alhakam.org)
The family of the Holy Prophetsa were, of course, always at the forefront of sacrifices of every kind and Hazrat Khadija’sra example is one that was also narrated during Huzoor’saa) address to Lajna UK.
“When Hazrat Khadijahra embraced faith, she could not have known the blessings that Allah Almighty had destined for her as a result of that faith. Indeed, she sacrificed all her wealth in the service of Islam and the Messengersa of Allah. She endured poverty and hardship despite being the wealthiest woman in Mecca, dedicating her life to the cause. For three consecutive years, she supported and endured such trials alongside her husband in Shi’b Abi Talib, where they were forced to live in seclusion. However, Allah showered His blessings upon her sacrifices to the extent that even today, she is held in high esteem and respected by the Muslim world.” (Ibid.)
The words of Huzooraa are like precious pearls threaded together, a beautiful adornment, enchantingly drawing us to reflect on our daily words, thoughts and actions.
We have the opportunity to consider how much room for improvement there is, and it is an obligation we must not take lightly. For indeed, it is the 5th Successor to the Promised Messiahas who has relayed the clarion call, one made 14 centuries ago by the Holy Founder of Islam, peace be upon him.
In the writings of the Promised Messiahas, the most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophetsa, we understand that it is by Allah the Almighty’s grace and acceptance that endows a person, male or female, with the faith we require and are praying for.
The Promised Messiahas writes:
“Faith means acceptance at a stage when knowledge is not yet complete, and the struggle with doubts and suspicions is still in progress. He who believes, that is to say, has faith, on the basis of probability and likelihood and despite weakness and the lack of perfect means of certainty, is accounted righteous in the estimation of the Supreme One. Thereafter, perfect understanding is bestowed on him as a bounty, and he is given to drink of the cup of understanding after partaking of faith. When a pious one, on hearing the call of a Messenger, a Prophet or a commissioned one of God, does not just go about criticising but takes that portion which he can recognise and understand on the basis of clear proof the means of acceptance and faith, and considers that which he is unable to understand as metaphorical or allegorical, and thus removing all contradiction out of the way, believes simply and sincerely, then God Almighty, having pity on him and being pleased with his faith, and hearing his supplications, opens the gates of perfect understanding for him and leads him to perfect certainty through visions, revelation and other heavenly signs.” (Essence of Islam, Vol. 3, p. 48)
May Allah the Almighty, out of His sheer mercy, enable us to increase in faith and worship so that we can emulate the examples Huzooraa has put forward for us to follow, insha-Allah.