Umm Waraqah bint 'Abdullah bin Harith Ansariah
The Ansar of Al-Madinah were standing on the outskirts of their city, looking with impatient eyes towards the road approaching from Makkah. Men, women, girls and boys, the young and the old were waiting for the arrival of their beloved Prophet
who was migrating from his city to theirs at their invitation and at the command of Allah
Suddenly someone shouted, "Here they come!" And all the young girls and women burst into a song of praise of Allah and a welcome to His Messenger.
Among these Ansari women was Umm Waraqah bint 'Abdullah
She was a learned, scholarly, pious and modest lady, who was well
known among the women Companions as one who spent her nights and days in prayer and meditation. She used to recite the Noble Qur'an beautifully; it was second nature for her to spend a lot of time meditating on the meaning of its Verses.
valued her highly and he told her to lead the family in congregational prayers. The courtyard of the house was converted
into a Masjid; with the permission of the Prophet
they had a Mu'ththin to give the call to prayers. 'Abdur-Rahman bin Khallad says that he saw the Mu'ththin, who was a very aged man. Thus Umm Waraqah bint 'Abdullah
was appointed by the Prophet
to be an
Imam and lead the prayer for ladies.
Besides her thirst for knowledge of the Qur'an, Shari'ah (Islamic legeslation) and Ahadith, Umm Waraqah
had a burning desire to die
a martyr in the cause of Islam. When it was announced that the army should prepare to leave for the battle of Badr, Umm Waraqah
went to the Prophet
and volunteered her services to tend to the wounded in the battlefield. She told him that it was her earnest desire to die in the cause of Islam. The Prophet
could see her enthusiasm and ardour, but he told her to stay at home and she would attain
martyrdom there. She went back happily because it was her duty to yield to the command of the Messenger of Allah
would sometimes take along some of his Companions and visit the house of Umm Waraqah
. He would tell them to accompany him to the house of the lady who was a living martyr. He would ask about her welfare, rest for awhile and then offer supplications to Allah
for her well being and return. Allah revealed to his beloved Messenger that Umm Waraqah
would die the death of a martyr in her own home. Nobody could understand how this would take place with her sitting in her house, but they were sure it would definitely happen, as this news had been given to them by their Truthful Prophet
herself was waiting every moment to see how this auspicious event, which would be the fulfillment of her greatest
dream, take place. She waited patiently, for it would give her eternal life and a place in Paradise. When would it take place? How exactly
would it take place? What shape would it take? How would it be possible to become a martyr sitting in the house? Lost in these thoughts she passed her nights and days.
passed away. Abu Bakr Siddique
succeeded and he also passed away; 'Umar Farooq
became the Caliph.
had two slaves working for her, a girl and a man. She told them that after her death they would be free. One day they got together and decided that they were tired of waiting for this old lady to die. They planned that they would kill her while she lay asleep and
escape to freedom. They were so tempted by the thought of freedom that they forgot to consider their future as well as life in the Hereafter.
In the dead of night as Umm Waraqah
, lay in a deep sleep, they killed her, covered her body with a sheet and crept away from the
house silently. As day broke and the sun came up, the neighbours missed the sound of the beautiful recitation of the Noble Qur'an by Umm Waraqah
which used to fill the air early in the dawn. When they entered the house they were shocked to see her lying in the sleep
of death. Then they saw that both the slaves- man and the girl- were missing. They realised that they must be the criminals.
'Umar bin Khattiib
ordered that people should be sent out to search for them. Finally when they were found hiding. When they were brought before the Caliph in the court, they admitted their guilt and were put to death.
Thus the Prophet
was proved right, that Umm Waraqah
would die a martyr's death in her own home, and attain Paradise."Verily, the pious will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers. In a seat of truth, near the Omnipotent King (Allah, the One, the All-Blessed, the Most High, the Owner of Majesty and Honour)." (54:54-55)
Source: Great Women of Islam