Hazrat Al-Khansaa r.a

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Al-Khansa came to Madeenah along with a delegation from Banoo Sulaym. She then embraced Islaam and became a good Muslimah. 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 poemsand addressed her warmly. This was the first manifestation of her being around the Messenger (peace be upon him).

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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.

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, 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!

 

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According to the connoisseurs of Arabic poetry, there has never been a woman whose poetry was as replete with knowledge, or who was more knowledgeable  than Al-Khansaa’, may Allah be pleased with her. The Prophet,sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam, used to ask her to recite her poetry, which he admired, in front of him.  She composed a great deal of poetry, and the most eloquent of her poetry were odes in lamentation of her two brothers, Sakhr and Mu‘aawiyah, who were killed during the pre-Islamic era.

She spent the greatest part of her lifetime during the pre-Islamic days, and when Islam appeared, she embraced it and went to the Messenger of Allah,sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam, as a member of the delegate of her tribe, Banu Sulaym.
She was recognized for her deep faith in Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam, and her zeal for Jihaad (struggle) in the cause of supporting the truth. She attended the Battle of Qaadisiyyah in 16 AH, in the company of her four sons. During the first part of the night, she said to them,
“O my sons! You have embraced Islam willingly and emigrated freely. By Allah, other than Whom there is none worthy of worship, you are the sons of one man and one woman. I have never betrayed your father nor have I disgraced your maternal uncle, nor have I dishonored your noble lineage, nor have I tampered with your parentage. You indeed know the abundant reward prepared by Allah The Almighty for the Muslims. It should be known to you that the everlasting abode is better than the perishable abode. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.} [Quran 3:200]
Should tomorrow morning come upon you while you are safe, Allah willing, go early to fight your enemy with courage, and seek the support of Allah The Almighty against His enemies. When the battle becomes fierce, betake yourselves amidst it and be eager to fight bravely when the army is engaged in combat, perchance you receive gain and honor in the abode of eternity.”
Her sons set out in response to her advice, and continued fighting while reciting poetry in Rajaz (a meter employed in Arabic poetry), and did their best in combat until they were all martyred. When the news of their martyrdom reached her, she said, “Praise be to Allah The Almighty who honored me with their being killed in His cause, and I hope that He will join me with them in the resting place of His mercy.” ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, continued to give her the stipend of her four sons, two hundred dirhams each, until he died.
Al-Khansaa’ was a strong, believing woman, whose life was changed by Islam  and who was turned by faith into an exemplary role model for Muslim women.  When  her brother, Sakhr, was killed in the pre-Islamic period, she composed many poems lamenting him. Yet, after she embraced Islam, she sacrificed her sons, the dearest of people to her, in the cause of Allah The Almighty. This is not strange. This is what Islam does to those who embrace and love it. It turns their lives into avenues for doing good deeds, plants in them patience and faith, and helps them to transcend afflictions and trials.
One day, Al-Khansaa’, may Allah be pleased with her, visited ‘Aa’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, and she was wearing a vest that was  made of hair. ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said to her, “O Khansaa’! The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) says that it is forbidden to wear such clothes.” She said,
“I did not know, but there is a story behind it. My father gave me in marriage to a spendthrift man, who wasted his wealth. I went to [my brother] Sakhr who divided his wealth into two halves, and gave me the better part. When my husband did the same once again and I went to Sakhr, my brother, who divided his wealth into two halves and once again gave me the better part. His wife said to him, “Are you not pleased to give her a half, why must you give her the better portion?” He said, “By Allah, I shall never give her the worse, because I have never been put to shame because of her; and should I die, she would cut off her outer garment (in grief for me), and wear a vest of hair instead.”
Her real name was Tumaadhir bint ‘Amr ibn Ash-Shareed ibn Al-Haarith As-Sulamiyyah. She was nicknamed Al-Khansaa’ because of her bent nose bone and narrow nostrils. Al-Khansaa’, may Allah be pleased with her, was a model of eloquence, and faithful patience in aspiring for the reward of Allah The Almighty, and was a virtuous woman who continues to inspire generations.