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  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan


Understand God’s Creation Plan

TUMADHIR BINT AMR (d. AD 646) is the best-known female poet in Arabic literature. She is usually referred to as al-Khansa. She was born into a noble family. Her father was the chief of the Banu Saleem tribe of Muzar. She had lost her two brothers, Sakhr and Muawiyah, in a war fought prior to the advent of Islam. Their deaths were a great shock to her. Before this tragedy, she would compose just two or three couplets at a time, now, after her bereavement the verses simply flowed from her heart as the tears flowed from her eyes. The elegies she wrote in memory of her brother Sakhr, were particularly heart-rending. She continued to compose and lament until she went blind in both eyes.

After the fall of Makkah in AD 630, she came to the Prophet with her tribe and accepted Islam. It is related that when she read out some of her verses to the Prophet, he was very moved and asked her to continue reading.

In her youth, she had been unable to bear the tragedy of her brother’s deaths, but she derived such strength from Islam in her old age that she sacrificed her own sons in the path of God. She had four sons, all of whom she persuaded to fight in the battle of Qadisiya. They all fought bravely and were finally martyred. When she received the news of the deaths of all of her sons, she neither wrote elegies, nor did she bewail their passing. Instead, she heard the news with great calm and fortitude, and said: ‘Thank God who has awarded me the honour of their martyrdom. I hope God will bring us together in the Hereafter.’ Islam gives a sense of purpose and meaning to life. Islam makes one realize the creation plan of God. Once this grand plan is realized, it becomes easy to bear the hardships with equanimity and to play one’s part in it.

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