Commitment is the ability to do and maintain an action or relationship with an individual.
The factors that influence commitment are the following:
The contents inserted into our hearts and mind influences the ability to commit to a task or bond. The brain and heart are vital assets that allow us to think, move, reflect and improve.
Are you committed because you have to do it? A need and duty.
Are you committed because you want to do it? Care and passion.
How committed are we to preparing for our meeting with Allah (The Most High)?
How committed are we to helping others that begin with our family because everything starts from home?
Please meet one of our eminent role models Umm Waraqah (may Allah have mercy upon her) who was committed to both learning and serving.
Please find her name in Arabic calligraphy style of Al-Battar
Let us begin with how she met the Prophet (peace be upon him) and was inspired by him.
Umm Waraqah (may Allah have mercy upon her) was amongst the Ansar of Al Madina who were anxiously waiting for the arrival of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), his family and companions in Madinah. They were travelling from Makkah as a command from Allah (The Most High).
Suddenly someone noticed that they were approaching. Umm Waraqah (may Allah have mercy upon her) began to chant the following nasheed with the other women and girls of the Ansar.
Tala al Badru 'Alayna
Min Thaniyati-al Wada'
Wajaba Shukru 'Alayna
Ma da'a lillahi da'
(O the white moon rose over us
From the valley of Wada'
And we owe it to show gratefulness
Where the call is to Allah.)
Ayyuha-al Mab'uthu feena
Ji'ta bi-al amru muta'
Ji'ta sharafta-al Madeenah
Marhaban ya khayra da'
(Oh you, who were raised among us
Coming with a word to be obeyed
You have brought to this city nobleness
Welcome best caller to God's way.)
Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah).
How was Umm Waraqah (may Allah have mercy upon her) committed?
Umm Waraqah was modest and was committed to her role toward our beautiful religion Islam, her family and her community.
Commitment to prayer voluntarily and involuntarily.
Umm was committed to spending the nights and days in prayer and dua.
How often do we perform voluntary prayers and make dua for gratitude and thanks?
Do we make dua only when we need something?
How beautiful is it just to speak with Allah (The Most High) to understand you, know what you are about to say and yet listen?
Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a lot of respect for her and even encouraged her to lead congregational prayers for women.
She converted her house to a place of prayer.
Abdurahman bin Khallad (may Allah have mercy upon him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a Muazzin (a man who called the prayer) who was aged. The Prophet then asked Umm Waraqah (may Allah have mercy upon her) and encouraged her to lead the prayer for women.
This suggests how commitment and level of encouragement work hand in hand. It also emphasises the respect women had and their leadership role.
Commitment to reading the Qur'an and understanding it.
Umm Waraqa (may Allah have mercy upon her) was committed to reciting the Quran and had a beautiful voice whom the community would often hear as they walked past her home.
The Qur'an was so important to her that she embarked on the journey to learn and memorise the Qur'an and successfully achieved her mission and vision.
To understand the words of Allah (The Most High), she focused on the exegesis (Tafsir) and; this is crucial because it builds a connection in a square format between you, Allah, your purpose and your goals. A way of life. To promote good and forbid evil. To understand our purpose in life and recall the Parables of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the trials and lessons faced when giving the message of Islam and the wisdom of Allah (The Most High).
Commitment to learning.
Umm Waraqa had a thirst for knowledge. She was committed to learning the Shariah (Islamic legislation), hadith (sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him) and fiqh (jurisprudence).
She loved seeking knowledge and after gaining thorough knowledge, she taught it to others.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a lot of respect for her and her zeal. He often would visit her with his companions and made dua for her health.
This suggests women had the skill and ability to learn and how it is important to protect the religion from any form of modifications, impurities and innovations caused by the cultural practice.
Commitment to the sick and injured.
Umm Waraqah was courageous and served on the battlefield providing food, water, medical aid and nursing the wounded, among the battles, are in the Battle of Badr.
Commitment towards her goal.
She aspired to be a martyr and revealed this to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who observed how committed she was and had a lot of enthusiasm. He informed Umm Waraqah (may Allah have mercy upon her) that she will die as a martyr at home.
Allah revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) the following verse:
"Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and rivers. In a seat of honour near a Sovereign, Perfect in Ability."
[Surah Al Qamar The Moon (54: 54-55)]
What are the types of a martyr?
Jabir ibn `Utayk (may Allah have mercy upon him) reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“There are seven kinds of martyrs besides those killed in wars, defending the cause of Allah:
[Ahmad, Abu-Dawud and Nasaï]
Umm Waraqah (may Allah have mercy upon him) was so excited that she will obtain a place in Paradise.
What other rewards and blessings of a martyr?
Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’di Karb (may Allah have mercy upon him) reported that the Prophet (peace and be upon him) said:
“The martyr (shaheed) has seven blessings from Allaah: he is forgiven from the moment his blood is first to shed; he will be shown his place in Paradise; he will be spared the trial of the grave and he will be secure on the Day of the Greatest Terror (the Day of Judgement); there will be placed on his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it; he will be married to seventy-two of al-hoor al-‘iyn, and he will be permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.”
[According to another report, the martyr has six blessings from Allah. Other reports suggest nine, or ten blessings. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is a Hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by Ibn Maajah in al-Sunan, Ahmad, ‘Abd al-Razzaq in al-Musannaf, by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, and Sa’eed ibn Mansoor in al-Sunan].
After when Prophet (peace be upon him) passed away. His best friend Abu Bakr (may Allah have mercy upon him) was made Caliph to lead the Ummah. After he passed away, Umar Ibn Khattab (may Allah have mercy upon him) was made Caliph and something happened to Umm Waraqa during his reign.
One day, she was so excited that she told two of her servants whom she trusted and treated them well and revealed to them that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said she will die as a martyr and when she dies as a martyr both of the servants will be free.
However, the Shaytan whispered into their ears and they planned to murder this amazing companion. They committed the crime and ran away.
How much of a fool and cruel were they?
They ran away from people and were unaware that the All-seeing and knowing saw it all. Justice will pervail.
However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke the truth when she died as a martyr at home.
In the morning, no one heard the beautiful voice of Umm Waraqah reciting the Qur'an. They knocked on her door to see whether she was okay and found she was murdered and covered with a sheet of cloth. Umar (may Allah have mercy upon him) was adamant to find the brutal murderers. Everyone was looking for them and when they were found, they admitted their crime and were put to death.
This teaches that when you want to achieve and complete something, do not announce or share it until it is done for not everyone who knows you or is close to you wishes you well.
It also teaches that if you want to achieve something, pray to Allah for it and if it is good for you, He will grant it for you and; if it is bad for you he will direct you to something better.
Allah (The Most High) says in the Quran:
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
[Surah Ai-Baqarah (The Cow) , 2:216]
These are amongst the lessons we can learn from the Parables of this Eminent companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) - Umm Waraqah (may Allah mercy upon her).
Her obedience, respect and truthfulness and devotion to seeking knowledge and love for the Qur'an led her to a lofty place in Jannah Alhamdulilah.
May Allah allow us to continue to be in the company of those who do good and have knowledge so we can learn from them and teach goodness to others inshaAllah.
Ghandafar, M.A (n.d) 'The Great Women of Islam who were given the good news of Paradise" Darassalam publishers
Islam Q and A "The six blessings of the martyrs - Islam Question & Answer." Available [online] https://islamqa.info/en/answers/8511/the-six-blessings-of-the-martyrs?msclkid=ad6bbf65d12811ec8a56614e2705e0b6