niqabquran88A Devoted Worshipper:

Today, when few indeed are those who devoutly and wholeheartedly worship Allah, Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) stands out like a shining star to be followed in her worship of Allah. Mahdi ibn Maymoon said:

“Hafsah bint Seereen stayed thirty years without leaving her prayer place, unless for sleep or to answer the call of nature.” (Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’)

Hishaam said that:

“Hafsah used to enter her Masjid, then pray in it Adh-Dhuhr, Al-‘Asr, Al-Maghrib, Al-‘Ishaa’ and As-Subh (i.e. Fajr). Then she would stay in it (the Masjid) until the day rose. She would then bow (perform rukoo’), then leave (the Masjid). At that time she would make wudhoo’ and sleep until the Prayer (Salah) became due. She would then (once again) return to her Masjid and do the same continuously.” (Sifah As-Safwah, Dhikr Al Mustafiyaat min A’abidaat al Basrah)

Her heart was soft, and her eyes flowed tears of hope and fear of her Lord. Hishaam ibnu Hassaan mentions that Hafsah (rahimahallah) purchased a jaariyah (maid, slave-girl). She was asked, “How do you find your master (i.e. Hafsah)?” She said,

“She is a righteous woman, except that she has (i.e. must have) committed a huge sin because she cries all night and prays.” (Sifah As-Safwah, Dhikr Al Mustafiyaat min A’abidaat al Basrah, Vol 2, Page 709)

She was preparing to meet her Lord so much so that she had prepared her own shroud! Hishaam narrated from Hafsah that, “She had a shroud (kafn) prepared, so when she performed Hajj and wore the Ihraam, she wore it. And she would, when it was the last ten (nights) of Ramadhaan, stand some of the night while wearing it.”

A Saai’mah (One who regularly Fasts)

Anyone who reads the following mentioned rewards for fasting with contemplation and the desire to gain Allah’s happiness and reward will find that their heart will ignite a desire to fast long days in the path of Allah. Allah (a'zza wa jall) says, {For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, … for men and women who fast (and restrain themselves)… for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward}. [Noble Quran 33:35]

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: ‘With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake.’ There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it, and joy when he meets his Lord, and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk." [Muslim]

Indeed fasting is a protection from the hellfire. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Allah says, "Fasting is a shield with which one may protect oneself from the Fire."' [Sahih al-Jami, 4/114] He (peace be upon him) also said: "Every servant of Allah who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah, Allah would remove, because of this day, his face farther from the Fire (of Hell) to the extent of seventy years' distance." [Muslim]

Fasting will also intercede for the believer. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "The fast and the Quran are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: 'O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.' The Quran will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.' And their intercession will be accepted." [Ahmad]

In fact, there is a special reward in paradise for those who fast!Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "In Paradise there is a gate which is called Rayyan through which only the observers of fast would enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: "Where are the observers of fast that they should be admitted into it?" And when the last of them would enter, it would be closed and no one would enter it." [Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also emphasized the importance that fasting has on entering Paradise. Abu Umamah reported: "I came to the Messenger of Allah and said: 'Order me to do a deed that will allow me to enter Paradise.' He said: 'Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.' Then I came to him again and he said: 'Stick to fasting."' [Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, and al-Hakim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "In Paradise there are dwellings whose inside can be seen from the outside, and the outside can be seen from the inside. Allah has prepared them for those who feed the hungry, and speak softly and gently, fast continuously and pray at night whilst the people are asleep." [Sahih al-Jami']

Dear Sisters! Do you have a wish that you wish would be fulfilled? Then rejoice! The Du’aa (Supplication) of the fasting person is not rejected. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "There are three prayers that are not rejected: the prayer of a father for his child, the prayer of the fasting person and the prayer of the traveller." [Muslim and Bukhari]

Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, was a Saa’imah – a woman who regularly fasted. Abdul Kareem ibnu Mu’aawiyah said: “It was mentioned to me regarding Hafsah that she would read half of the Qur’aan every night and would fast during the day and would break her fast (i.e. wouldn’t fast) the two E’ids and the days of Tashreeq (the three days next after the day of sacrifice, i.e. following the 10th of Dhul Hijjah).” (Sifah As-Safwah, Dhikr Al Mustafiyaat min A’abidaat al Basrah, Vol 2, Page 709)

Let’s try and follow her example, for maybe, just maybe, this may be one of our keys to the Paradise of Delight.

A Great Test for a Great Mother

Having read much about this great and exemplary role model, Hafsah bint Seereen, you must have a sort of angelic impression of her. Without a doubt, she was an incredible woman but she was a human. Therefore tests came her way as they come our way, she suffered as we suffer in this world, she experienced some pain as we experience pain – although our way of dealing with problems may vary incredibly to hers.

Hishaam ibnu Hassaan said: ‘Hudhayl, the son of Hafsah, used to gather firewood during the summer, then he would peel it and take the stalks and split them. She (Hafsah) said:

“I used to find chilliness (kuntu ajidu qirrah) (i.e. used to feel cold), so when winter came he (Hudhayl) would come with a stove and would then place it behind me while I was on my prayer-mat (musallaa). He would then sit and ignite the fuel by using that peeled firewood. Its (the fire’s) smoke would not harm and it would keep me warm. We would remain like that for as long as Allah willed…

And when I would intend to turn towards him, and say: ‘O my son! Return to your family’, I would remember what he intended, so I would leave him.

When he died, Allah granted (yarzuq) him patience as much as He (Allah) wanted to provide (this is because before his death he was suffering from a virus). But I would find within myself an agony (gussah could also mean ‘that which causes choking, a lump in the throat, mortal distress’) that would not go away.

Then that night while I was reciting Surah an-Nahl and I came to this verse:

{And purchase not a small gain at the cost of Allâh's Covenant. Verily! What is with Allâh is better for you if you did but know. Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allâh (of good deeds) will remain. And those who are patient, We will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do}. [An-Nahl [16]: 95-96]

Then I repeated it and then Allah took away what I was feeling.” (Sifah As-Safwah, Dhikr Al Mustafiyaat min A’abidaat al Basrah, Vol 2, Pages 708-710)

Miracles (Karaamaat)

Hishaam said:

“Hafsah bint Seereen would light her lamp a part of the night then she would stand on her prayer mat (musallaa). Oftentimes the light would extinguish, but her house would be lit for her until the morning.” (Sifah As-Safwah, Dhikr Al Mustafiyaat min A’abidaat al Basrah, Vol 2, Pages 708-710)

Hishaam said: Umm Sulaym, the daughter of Seereen, narrated to me:

“Many a time there was a light for Hafsah bint Seereen in her house.” (Sifah As-Safwah, Dhikr Al Mustafiyaat min A’abidaat al Basrah, Vol 2, Pages 708-710)

A Blessed Funeral

She died in 101AH and a group of the leading Successors (Taabi’oon) attended her funeral prayer in Basrah, Iraaq. Leading them was Al-Hasan Al Basri and her brother Muhammad ibnu Seereen. (Tahdheeb At-Tahdheeb (10/12) and (6/536), Al Ma’rifah wat-Taareekh (1/58))

She died at the age of 90 years old. (Sifah As-Safwah, Dhikr Al Mustafiyaat min A’abidaat al Basrah)

May Allah (the Mighty, the Glorious) grant us the Tawfeeq to follow in her footsteps and may Allah (the Glorious, the Mighty) forgive our sins and elevate our ranks. Aameen.

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