The Mother of Her Sons (Part 1)
Throughout Islamic history, only a handful of women have emerged as models of perfect womanhood in all legitimate social and religious domains. In addition to the four leading women of world – Ladies Maryam, Asiya, Khadija, and Fatima Zahra (peace be upon them all) – there are several women without whom the religion of Islam would have greatly stumbled.
Lady Fatima, daughter of Hizam bin Khalid bin Rabi, more commonly referred to as Lady Ummul Baneen (peace be upon her), ranks among the most esteemed and pious of Muslim women to this date and will remain so due to her courage, piety, and steadfastness towards the Prophet and his Household (peace be upon them).
Her life, despite the fact she was a fallible being like the rest of us, presents countless lessons that illustrate the type of character and sincerity we can obtain and reach.
The Model of Motherhood
Abu Nasr Bukhari relates from Mufadhal bin Umar, that Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said: “It related that the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (A.S) inquired from his brother Aqeel, who was a genealogist and knew the Arabian families well, to find a woman from a valorous Arab family, so that he could marry her and she in turn would bear him a valorous son. Aqeel replied, ‘Then marry Fatima Kilabiyah, for there is none among the Arabs who is more valorous than her fathers’, thus he married her.”
It is amazing to consider the fact that despite being the Lion of God and the Victor of Khaybar, Imam Ali (A.S) still insisted on marrying a brave wife in order to raise a courageous son, driving home the point for us that when it comes to proper upbringing of children, both parents play crucial roles in imbuing their children with God-consciousness and other desirable characteristics.
Lady Ummul Baneen’s name was Fatima; however, upon her arrival in Imam Ali’s household, she requested that everyone call her Ummul Baneen so that she would not remind them of the daughter of the Prophet and upset them. Despite being a young bride who undoubtedly had dreams and aspirations of her own, she instead insisted on being a mere servant to the orphans of Lady Fatima Zahra (A.S). In turn, the children treated her with great respect and love, referring to her as their own mother.
Ummul Baneen translates to “Mother of Her Sons”, a fitting title since Lady Ummul Baneen and Imam Ali had four sons: Usman, Jafar, Abdullah, and Abul Fadhl al-Abbas, the Gateway to the Acceptance of Desires and the Moon of Bani Hashim (peace be upon them all).
All four sons of Lady Ummul Baneen stood bravely alongside Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) on the day of Ashura. She instilled in her sons a love and loyalty for the Prophet and his Household that allowed them to stand with firm faith despite knowing that they would be killed by the overwhelming army of falsehood that stood before them. Such men of honor and valor
cannot be trained and brought up to be like so, unless their mother is a woman of faith and courage herself.
– Mulla Bashir Rahim: The History and Philosophy of Aza of Imam Hussein
– Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi: Mafatih al-Jinan (Urdu translation)
– Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi: Nafasul Mahmum