Whoever asks Allaah sincerely for martyrdom – Story of Umm Waraqah
“Whoever asks Allah sincerely for martyrdom [Allahumma inni as’aluk ash-shahadah], Allah will cause him to reach the status of the martyrs even if he dies in his bed.” [‘Sahih al-Bukhari'; # 1909]’
[Al-`Adawee said it was sound, and that it was reported by by Muslim, page 55 of volume 13; Abu Dãwood, page 179 of volume 2; and Ibn Mãjah, #2797.]
Umm Waraqah bint ‘Abdullaah bin Haarith Ansariah (radiallaahu ‘anhaa)
The Prophet, salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam said:
“ Umm Waraqah! Dwell in your House, Allaah will give you the death of a martyr”
The Ansaar of Al-Madeenah were standing on the outskirts of their city, looking with inpatient 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 salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam who was migrating from his city to theirs at their invitation and at the command of Allaah, subhanna wa ta’alaa. Suddenly someone shouted, “ Here they come!”. And all the young girls and women burst into a song of praise of Allaah subhanna wa ta’alaa and a welcome to His Messenger salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam.
Among the Ansaaree women was Umm Waraaqah bint ‘Abdullaah radiallaahu ‘anha. She was a learned, scholarly, pious and modest lady , who was well known amongst the female companions (May Allaah be pleased with them) as one who spent her nights and days in prayer and meditation. She used to recite the Noble Qu’raan beautifully; it was second nature for her to spend a lot of time meditating on the meaning of its Verses.
The Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam 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 salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam they had a Mu’aadheen to give the call for prayers. ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Khaalad says that he saw the Mu’aadheen, who was a very aged man. Thus Umm Waraqah bint ‘Abdullaah radiallaahu ‘anhaa was appointed by the Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam to be an Imaam and lead the prayers for the women.
Besides her thirst for knowledge of the Qu’raan, Shar’eeah (Islaamic legislation) and Ahaadeeth, Umm Waraqaah radiallaahu ‘anhaa had a burning desire to die as a martyr in the cause of al-Islaam. When it was announced that the army should prepare to leave for the battle of Badr, Umm Waraaqah radiallaahu ‘anhaa went to the Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam and volunteered her services to tend to the wounded in the battlefield. She told him salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam that it was her earnest desire to die in the cause of al-Islaam. The Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam 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 Allaah salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam.
The Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam would sometimes take along some of His Companions and visit the home of Umm Waraaqah radiallaahu ‘anhaa. 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 Allaah, the High, for her well being and return. Allaah subhanna wa ta’alaa revealed to His beloved Messenger salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam that Umm Waraaqaah radiallaahu ‘anhaa 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 definitly happen, as this news had been given by their truthful Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam.
Umm Waraqaah radiallaahu ‘anhaa herself was awaiting every moment to see how this auspicious event, which would be the fulfillment of her greatest dream, would 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? Lossed in these thoughts she passed her nights and her days. The Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam passed. Abu Bakr Siddique radiallaahu ‘anhu succeeded and he also passed; ‘Umaar Farooq radiallaahu ‘anhu became the Khalifa.
Umm Waraqaah radiallaahu ‘anhaa 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. The planned to kill her in her sleep and escape to freedom. They were so tempted by the thought of freedom that they forgot to consider their future as well as their life in the Aakhiraah.
In the dead of night as Umm Waraqah radiallaahu ‘anhaa 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 Qu’raan by Umm Waraqaah radiallaahu ‘anhaa 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 were missing. They realized that they must be criminals. ‘Umaar ibn al-Khattaab radiallaahu ‘anhu ordered that people should be sent out to search for them. Finally, they were found hiding. When they were brought before the Khalifa in court, they admitted their guilt and were put to death.
Thus the Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam was proven right, that Umm Waraqaah radiallaahu ‘anhaa died the death of a martyr in her own home, and attained Jannah.
Verily, the pious will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers. In a seat of truth, near the Omnipotent King (Allaah, the One, the All-Blessed, the Most High, the Owner of Majesty and Honour) – 54:54-55
Pgs. 257-261 : Great Women of Islaam – By: Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfaar
Revised by: Shaykh Safiur-Rahmaan al-Mubaarakpooree (May Allaah have Mercy on him)
Martyrdom without Fighting – Riyadh ul saaliheen