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Ransoming Her Husband from Her Father

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(Sayyidah Zainab [radhiyallahu ‘anha] bintu Rasulillah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam] – Part Three)

In the Battle of Badr, the husband of Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who had not yet accepted Islam, was among the disbelievers and was also taken prisoner. In order to ransom her husband, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) sent some money and a necklace that her mother, Sayyidah Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), had given her on the occasion of her marriage.

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saw the necklace, he remembered his beloved wife, Sayyidah Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), and felt extreme sympathy for the plight of his daughter, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), as she was living alone far away from her family in the midst of the disbelievers. He thus asked the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) if they would be willing to release Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) as well as return the ransom to Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha). They immediately agreed and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) released him with the promise that on reaching Makkah Mukarramah, he would send Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to Madeenah Munawwarah. (Seerah Ibni Hishaam vol. 2, pg. 652, Sunan Abi Dawood #2692 and Bazlul Majhood)

When Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) arrived back in Makkah Mukarramah, then despite the close relationship that he enjoyed with Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), he fulfilled his promise to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and told her to migrate to her father.

This honesty of Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and his fulfilling his promise, won him great respect in the eyes of his father-in-law, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) spoke highly of Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and said the following regarding him, “He was truthful in what he told me and fulfilled the promise he made to me.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #3729) Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would also say, “We have not faulted Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) as a son-in-law.” (Al-Isaabah vol. 7, pg. 209) 

While Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was preparing to migrate, Sayyidah Hind bintu ‘Utbah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), the wife of Sayyiduna Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), both of whom were not yet Muslims, approached her and asked her if she was travelling to join her father in Madeenah Munawwarah. Fearing that Hind (radhiyallahu ‘anha) would divulge this information to the Quraish, who would then prevent her from migrating, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) replied in the negative. Sayyidah Hind (radhiyallahu ‘anha) replied to her, “O my cousin! Do not behave like this (with me). If you need some items to keep you comfortable during your journey or money to help you reach your father, then do not hesitate from (asking) me, for I have whatever you need. Women do not have the issues that men have.” (Seerah Ibni Hishaam vol. 2, pg. 654)

Lessons:

1. Despite living among the disbelievers, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) remained firm on her Deen, retained her Muslim identity and did not allow the society or even her disbelieving husband to influence her negatively. Commitment to Deen in difficult circumstances is appreciated even more by Allah Ta‘ala and greatly rewarded.       

2. When faced with the situation of her husband being captured by the army of her respected father, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) did not cry for sympathy and plead to her father to release him without any ransom, nor did she abandon her husband during his time of need and throw the blame on him for fighting against her father. Rather she did whatever was within her means to assist him and even parted with the necklace that her late mother had given her on the occasion of her marriage, despite the sentimental value it must have held in her eyes.

3. When a man or woman treat their in-laws in a good manner, and conduct themselves correctly with them, they will earn the respect of their in-laws, as Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had done.

4. Sayyidah Hind (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was that woman whose father, brother and uncle were killed in Badr at the hands of Sayyidah Zainab’s (radhiyallahu ‘anha) father’s army a short while before, yet she was insisting on assisting her. This is basic humanity and among the values that all humans should have. Thus, despite not being a Muslimah, she still maintained a clean heart for Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha). Islam has enhanced these values to a much greater level, due to which a Muslim should have an even cleaner heart at all times.   

5. Sayyidah Hind (radhiyallahu ‘anha) also explained the important lesson that if men have some worldly problem among themselves, the women should not make it their problem. They should rather maintain good relations with the other women and should not sever ties due to the men’s issues. When women get involved, they may spur their husbands on and make things even worse.