UMM WARAQAH, THE MARTYR

“StradhiAllahuanhaay in your home, Allah will bless you with martyrdom.”

This prophecy of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was to come true in the future, for he was the most truthful of people. In truth, the story of Umm Waraqah, the Martyr, is certainly one of the most evident proofs of the veracity of the Prophet Muhammad’s messengership.

Umm Waraqah was one of the Ansaari female companions. She was of a high, noble and prestigious lineage and was blessed with much wealth. When she came across the truth of Islaam she embraced it and believed in the words of her Lord. She would devote much of her attention to the Noble Qur’aan reading it, memorising it and following its teachings and rules. The Qur’aan became her main concern in all aspects of her private and public life and for her everything resolved around it. She attained a high and commendable status in this respect.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) called upon the Muslims to go out to the Battle of Badr in order to intercept a caravan of the Quraysh which was being led by Abu Sufiyaan and Sakhr ibn Harb. The caravan was on its way back from Syria and was carrying valuable commercial commodities. This was done, hoping that Allah may transfer the caravan to them, especially to the Muhaajireen from whom the Quraysh had seized their houses, properties and wealth. Umm Waraqah wanted to go out with the Prophet (peace be upon him), therefore she went to him and explained her ardent wish and intension.

She came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said,

“O Messenger of Allah, allow me to go out with you so that I may nurse the sick ones from among your Companions and perhaps, Allah will bless me with Martyrdom.”

From that day onward, she was called and referred to with the prestigious title of, ‘the Martyr’.

Umm Waraqah was in fact fascinated by the concept of martyrdom, which is a contract of allegiance between the creator, High and Exalted and His believing servants. Allah says:

{Verily Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for [the price] that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill [others] are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Tawrah [Torah] and the Injeel [Gospel] and the Qur’an. And who is truer to His covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.} (Qur’an 9: 111)

Umm Waraqah, in a worldly sense, attained much success; she had a lot of wealth, fame, noble lineage, high status and all that the seeker of this world would want to have. Yet still, she never strived for the beauty of this world. She realized that one day this world will come to an end and what is with Allah will remain.

She was amazed by the descriptions of Paradise and its bliss, which will never change nor come to an end. She was equally moved when she heard about what Allah Almighty has prepared in Paradise for its dwellers of enjoyment. Such enjoyments that are unseen by the eye, unheard of by the ears, and that which no human heart can ever imagined. But she knew that much of this, in its best sense, was especially prepared for the martyrs.

QuranUmm Waraqah stayed in her home and devoted much of her time to the scripts in which Soorahs of the Qur’aan were written, reciting their verses with humbleness and devotion. In this way, with the passing of each day, she increased in her closeness to Allah and excelled in her piety.

But why was she referred to by the Companions as being ‘the Martyr’, even though she lived on for years after the Battle of Badr? Dear Sisters, let’s turn towards the amazing incident which occurred between her and the Prophet (peace be upon him).

***

One day she came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) seeking permission to have a caller to prayer (muadh-dhin) in her home.  He granted her the request; she then made a section of her home into a praying area, in which she would lead some of the Muslim women of her family, relatives and friends who would especially gather in her home for prayers. She tasted the sweetness of faith, love of Allah and spirituality as she worshipped her Lord amidst a group of believing women. By days the numbers increased, as did their love and devotion. She would fast much and pray often; she only sought her reward from Allah in the abode of the hereafter.

Although Umm Waraqah was not married and neither did she have any children, she was not living alone in her big house. She had a housemaid and a male servant who would serve her. In turn, she treated them as a mother would treat her own children, with love and affection. In her will she clearly stated that if she died her housemaid and servant would be set free. This made them so happy and they began anxiously anticipating for that day to come.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) passed away; the mantle of leadership fell onto the shoulders of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). When Abu Bakr passed away, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was made the Caliph over the Muslims. Throughout this period, Umm Waraqah was still alive, albeit aging as she continued in her acts of worship. She keenly awaited for the time when she would meet Allah as a pure Muslimah. Little was her sleep, and long were her hours of worship within the darkness of the night as she beseeched Allah for his forgiveness and worshiped Him humbly. She would pray and recite the Qur’aan with much attention and consideration.

One day the winds of fate called out to her,

“Come to martyrdom, O Umm Waraqah! The time has come and your appointment with death is here! The earth has become confined for you despite its vastness! What is with Allah is best and lasting! You certainly will have nearness to Allah and a place of good return!”

This is because satan was whispering into the heart of her servant and maid… he was telling them, “It has been too long, what are you then waiting for? Come to freedom! It is only Umm Waraqah’s life that lies between you and her freedom. Come on!”

Thus it was that both of them strangled her to death. They then wrapped her up in a piece of cloth, placed her in one side of the house, and fled.

The commander of the faithful, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) woke up for the Fajr prayer and realized something which made him restless. When he finished performing the prayer he said to the people,

“By Allah! I did not hear the recitation of my aunt Umm Waraqah last night!!”

He then went to her house in the company of some brothers just to see if she was alright. When they entered they found the house empty, and could not see nor sense any movement. It was then that ‘Umar realised that something was not right…Suddenly they found her wrapped up in a piece of cloth and dead. ‘Umar then said,

“Allah and His Messenger said the truth!”

Then those who were with him also exclaimed,

“Allah and His Messenger said the truth!”

And we should also say, even though we came centuries and generations after them,

“Allah and His Messenger have said the truth!”quran-illumunated

Umm Waraqah eventually did gain martyrdom, he ardent wish
and desire!

‘Umar returned to the Masjid, ascended the pulpit and informed the Muslims of what had happened. He then commanded that the two servants who had run away be pursued and justice must be done. Both of them had not as yet left Madeenah; they were captured and dragged to ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Having confessed to their crime, they were crucified. Allah Almighy says:

{The recompense of those who  wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is but that they should be killed or crucified and their hands or feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world and a great torment is theirs in the hereafter.} (Qur’aan, 5:33)

Umm Waraqah began flying within the hearts of green birds, in the paradise she had so long awaited for.

May Allah be pleased with her. Aameen!


Source: The Ideal Muslimah

 

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