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Eminent Female Companions of Prophet Muhammad-Al-Khansaa


Al-Khansa belonged to the tribe of Banoo Sulaym. She was extremely beautiful, well-mannered and very eloquent. She started reciting poems at a young age. Initially, she would not say more than two or three lines of poetry but it was her sorrow over the death of her brother Sakhr that refined and brought out her innate talent to recite long verses of poetry. After his death, she began reciting long, emotional and extremely stylish poems to eulogize Sakhr, as well as her brother Mu‘aawiyah.

The scholars of poetry and language unanimously agree that no other woman other than al-Khansa ever attained the level of poetry al-Khansa’ recited, neither before nor after her.

In her eulogy for her brother, she said (what means):

“O’ my eyes, shed tears generously! Will you not weep for Sakhr, the generous?!

Will you not shed tears for the audacious, tall and handsome young man

who possessed qualities of leadership and who lead his people?!”

Her Islam and efforts in its cause:

Al-Khansa came to Madeenah along with a delegation from Banoo Sulaym. She then embraced Islaam and became a good Muslimah (Muslim Woman). She pledged her allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and remained truthful to it. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard her recite poetry and asked her to recite more, as has been mentioned earlier. He liked her poems and addressed her warmly. This was the first manifestation of her being around the Messenger (peace be upon him).

Al-Khansa was of the noblest plants in terms of origin, growth and fruits. But her nobility in these aspects reached its peak in the Battle of Qaadisiyah. For, it was on the day of this great Islamic conquest that al-Khansa attained prominence for being one of the leading Muslim women of all times.

This prominence revolved around two things:

1) Her admonition to her four Mujaahid sons and

2) The statement she made after their martyrdom.

Role model for Muslim Women:

O mothers of today! O Muslim women! In al-Khansa’ there is am exemplary role-model for all of you. Perhaps, after reading her biography you will realise the reality of your role in this transient life and your weighty responsibility of building the true Muslim family, which in turn will bring about a strong Ummah.

Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr reported in his book al-Istee‘ab:

“Al-Khansa’ bint ‘Amr witnessed the battle of Qaadisiyah with her four sons. She addressed them right at the eve of the battle saying,

‘My sons! You embraced Islaam and migrated willingly. By Allah, besides whom there is no other diety worthy of being worshiped, you are all sons of one man as you are sons of one woman. I have never cheated on your father. Never have I brought disgrace upon your uncle, disparaged your esteem or altered your lineage. You know the great and abundant reward that Allah has set aside for the Muslims who fight against the disbelievers. Know that the everlasting abode is better than this transient one. Allah (ta’aala) says: {O you have believe! Endure and be more patient [than your enemy], and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allah, so that you may be successful.}

When you wake up tomorrow morning, Allah willing sound and healthy, go and fight against your enemy with conviction and seek Allah’s help over His enemies. When you see that the war has become tense, engage yourselves in the fight gallantly and resiliently that you may attain treasures and honour in the Abode of Eternity.’”

After this statement made by al-Khansa’ I have nothing better to say neither can I add anything. This is because her statement is beyond comment as it is comprehensive in the whole sense of the word.

The narrator proceeds:

“Her sons then left having accepted her admonition and were determined to implement her words. When the morning came, they set out early towards the battlefield and they all fought both gallantly and courageously until they were martyred, one after another."

The news of their martyrdom was swiftly approaching al-Khansa’! What was her reaction? What was she going to say?

Here is where the greatness of al-Khansa truly manifested. When she heard of this great news she forgot her poetry, her beauty, her place among her people and all other things. She remembered nothing but Allah’s promise and the transient nature of this world. She (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

“All praise is due to Allah who honoured me with their martyrdom. And I hope that my Lord will make me join them in the Abode of His Mercy!”

It is noteworthy to add that the commander of the faithful, namely ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), used to give al-Khansa’ the entitlement of her four martyred sons annually which was two hundred dirhams until she died.

May Allah have mercy on al-Kahnsa’, the poetess! May Allah be pleased with this believing and patient lady! May Allah raise her ranks, just as she raised such pious, god-fearing and courageous sons. Aameen!

Source: http://idealmuslimah.com with some excerpts)

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