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Loving the Beloveds of the Beloved

Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Khattaab (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once mentioned to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “Definitely you are more beloved to me than even my own self.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #6632) Just as Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had this intense love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the Ahlul Bayt (family members) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were also extremely dear to him. Below are two examples of this:

Once, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) proposed for the daughter of Sayyiduna ‘Ali and Sayyidah Faatimah (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), Sayyidah Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha). On receiving the proposal, Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) initially declined to accept, explaining that he had reserved his daughters for the marriage of the sons of his brother, Sayyiduna Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) pleaded with him saying, “Marry her to me! By the oath of Allah, there is no person on the surface of the earth who will appreciate her nobility as I will.” Hearing this, Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) agreed and married her to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thereafter went to (a group of) the Muhaajireen (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and exclaimed in joy, “Congratulate me!” They congratulated him and enquired as to who he had married. “The daughter of ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu),” he replied. He then explained, “Verily Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Every lineage and form of relation, besides my lineage and relation, will be severed on the day of Qiyaamah.’ I had married my daughter to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and so I also wished to do this (i.e. take one of his family in my marriage).” (Al-Isaabah vol. 8, pg. 465)

Sayyiduna Husain (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) mentions that Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once addressed him saying, “O my beloved son! It would be nice if you visited us.” (Due to the request,) one day, I went to visit him, but found him alone with Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and (his son,) Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was waiting at the door. Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) then left and I thus left with him. When he later met me, he asked me, “I haven’t seen you (i.e. you haven’t visited)?” I replied, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! I did come to visit but you were engaged and secluded with Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and (your son) Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was waiting at the door. Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) then returned and hence, I also returned with him.” Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) exclaimed, ““You have a greater right to enter than Ibnu ‘Umar (my own son). Whatever (Deen and knowledge that) you perceive in us is (firstly) on account of the favour of Allah Ta‘ala and (secondly) on account of you people (i.e. your grandfather, Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam]).” (Taareekhu Baghdaad vol. 1, pg. 471 and Al-Isaabah vol. 2, pg. 69)

Lessons:

1. The term Ahlul Bayt refers to the entire Banu Haashim and all the honourable and respected wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Loving the Ahlul Bayt is a Deeni obligation and an integral part of Islam. Hence, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) had deep love for the Ahlul Bayt and enjoyed an excellent relationship with them.

2. A negative impression is often painted regarding the relationship between Sayyiduna ‘Umar and Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) in an attempt to show that they were enemies who hated one another. The logical answer is that if Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) regarded Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to be his arch enemy, would he have ever given his young daughter to him in marriage?

3. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) teaches us that although Allah Ta‘ala is the One Who bestows, the means must also be appreciated and respected. This applies to both physical and spiritual. We therefore need to respect our biological parents due to them being the means of our physical existence, as well as our spiritual parents – the ‘Ulama and other Deeni elders, as they are the means of our spiritual existence. Although Sayyiduna Husain (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was not even born when Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) accepted Islam, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) expressed gratitude to him saying, “I am indebted to you because of what your grandfather (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had done for me.”

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