Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra

inside of Blue Mosque by Atilla1000 (come back soon!).

The following is an inspiring and rare account of the birth of Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra (May Allah be pleased with her). I'm not sure of it's authenticity, but still, from it there are a couple of wisdoms which can be distilled. You can read the entire account here.

When the time of the delivery of Sayyidah Khadijah (Radhi Allahu Ta’ala ‘Anha) was near at hand, she sent for several of her relatives to aid her on that occasion; but as she incurred their displeasure by marrying the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), they would not comply with her request, so that she was much distressed. Nevertheless, four women, resembling those of the tribe of Bani Hashim, suddenly made their appearance, and Khadijah was afraid of them. One of them, however said: "Fear not, for Allah the Most High has sent us to you. We are your visitors. I am Sarah; this is Maryam, the daughter of Imran; the third is Kalthum, the sister of Musa; and the fourth is Asiyah, the wife of Pharaoh. They will be your companions in Paradise" Then one of these women sat down on the right and another on the left of Sayyidah Khadijah (Radhi Allahu Ta’ala ‘Anha), the third in her front, and the fourth in her rear until Sayyidatina Fatimah (Radhi Allahu Ta’ala ‘Anha) was born. When this took place a light shone from that infant of laudable end, which encircled the houses of Makkah from the east and west, so that there was no spot in any house which was not illuminated by that light.

It's striking how Khadija (May Allah be content with her), in this story, had the desire to have companions during her birth. A natural, human instinct, and perhaps one we have lost. In parts of the Muslim world, birth is still a female, communal event. Women come together to read sacred poetry and Qur'an for the laboring mother and her child. They support her with their hearts and their physical presence. I wonder what kind of community we would have here in the West, if we were to draw near to one another and our Creator in that spirit? Women here largely birth alone, with just their husbands, and often with strangers. It would be nice to see Muslims bring back humanity to the birthing process.

Similar to how we might imagine that the contraction is a wave we are riding, or a mountain climbed, I think that the image in this story, of being surrounded by righteous women can also be a powerful visualization for labor. Imagine their purity, righteousness and faith surrounding you as you labor, not leaving your side until the baby is born. When the contractions begins to crest, imagine yourself surrounded by the strength of Sarah, Maryam, Kulthum, and Assiya (May Allah's mercy be upon them all). What serenity there is in that image. May it bring you serenity!

No comments:

Post a Comment