Bibi Fizza (ra) the maidservant of Bibi Fatimah (sa) / Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa)
Bibi Fizza (ra) had come from Abyssinia to Arabia as a slave. She was freed by Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and afterwards served Bibi Fatimah (sa) as her maidservant. Bibi Fizza (ra) was only 11 years of age when she came to serve Bibi Fatimah (sa). It is believed that she knew how to make Gold and she also knew Noble Qur'an by heart. Bibi Fatimah (sa) divided her house work equally between herself and Bibi Fizza (ra) and they would take turns to do the chores. She remained faithful to the household of Ahlul Bayt (as) and even accompanied them to Karbala and the prison of Sham. She also had the honour of taking part in the "Three Days Fast". Once, when Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as) fell sick, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) suggested that Imam Ali (as) make a vow (Nazr) to fast for three days when the children recovered. When they were better, Imam Ali (as), Bibi Fatimah (sa), Imam Hassan (as), Imam Hussain (as) and Bibi Fizza (ra) all fasted to fulfill the vow.
However, on each of the three days, when they sat to break their fast, a hungry person called at their door. The first said he was poor, the second said he was an orphan and the third said he was a freed captive. Each time, the big-hearted members of the house, including Bibi Fizza (ra), gave away their food and broke their fast with water. In praise of this selfless action Allah (SWT) revealed the 76th Chapter Ad Dahr (Surah al-Insan) of the Noble Qur'an.
Abdullah Mubarak has related a very interesting dialogue between himself and Bibi Fizza (ra). He states, I saw a woman passing through the desert who had fallen behind the caravan and asked her, "Who are you and where are you from?"
Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [And say, "Salaam" for they shall soon know! Noble Qur'an, 43:89]
I learned that she expected me to greet her and say "Assalaamu Alaykum" first, before any question. I did as she reminded, and then enquired why she was in the desert.
Bibi Fizza (ra) answered: [And whomsoever Allah guides, there can be none to lead astray! Noble Qur'an, 39:37]
On hearing her reply, I asked her, "Are you from mankind or from the Jinn?"
Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship. Noble Qur'an, 7:31]
I understood that she was human and then asked her, "Where are you coming from?"
Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [Those who are called to from a place far off. Noble Qur'an, 41:44]
I asked her, "Where are you intending to go?"
Bibi Fizza (ra) said: [And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the Pilgrimage of the House. Noble Qur'an, 3:97]
I asked her how many days she had been traveling.
Bibi Fizza (ra) told me: [We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days. Noble Qur'an, 50:38]
I asked her, "Do you feel hungry?"
Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [We (Allah) did not make them such bodies that ate no food. Noble Qur'an, 21:8]
I gave her food and asked her to hurry up to catch the caravan but she replied:
[Allah does not task any soul beyond its ability. Noble Qur'an, 2:286]
I suggested that she sit on the camel behind me, but she said:
[Had there been gods therein besides Allah, there would have been disorder in both (the heavens and the earth). Noble Qur'an, 21:22]
I realized that, because we were not husband and wife, it was Haram (forbidden) for both of us to ride the camel. So I got off and mounted her on it. As she sat on the camel, she said:
[Glory to Him Who has subjected these to our (use). Noble Qur'an, 43:13]
When we reached the caravan, I asked her, "Do you know anyone among them?"
Bibi Fizza (ra) called out in reply: [O Dawood, Verily, We have appointed you a vicegerent in the earth. Noble Qur'an, 38:26]
[And Muhammad is not but a Messenger. Noble Qur'an, 3:144]
[O Yahya! Hold the book with firmness! Noble Qur'an, 19:12]
[O Musa! Verily I am Allah, the All-Mighty. Noble Qur'an, 27:9]
I began to call out these four names at which four youths came out of the caravan and ran towards Bibi Fizza (ra). I asked her who they were and she replied:
[Wealth and children are the adornment of the world. Noble Qur'an, 18:46]
I realized that they were her sons. The woman turned to the youth and said:
[O my Father, employ him, verily the best of those who you can employ is the strong man and the trusted one. Noble Qur'an, 28:26]
Bibi Fizza (ra) thus made them understand that I had helped her. Then she told them:
[And verily God increases manifold to whosoever He wills. Noble Qur'an, 2:261]
The sons understood their mother's hint and paid me well. I asked them who this noble lady was, and they replied, "She is our mother, Fizza, the maidservant of Bibi Fatimah (sa). She has conversed in nothing but Noble Qur'an for the last 20 years."
Woodcutter's Wife is the Woman to enter the Paradise first:
Bibi Fatimah (sa) was Prophet Muhammad's (saw) most loving daughter. Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) used to help out Prophet Muhammad (saw) in most of her daily affairs. She had this feeling that she should be the first woman to enter the paradise. However, she had a grain of doubt. Unless Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself assured her, she would not believe it. She was eagerly waiting for an opportunity to know the reality from her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).
One day finally when they were chatting together and both were in high spirits; she could not resist her eagerness anymore and enquired from her father as to who would be the first lady to enter the heavens. Prophet Muhammad (saw) was perplexed and was in two minds whether to disclose the truth. Finally he revealed the fact that one woman; wife of a woodcutter and living close by would be the one to enter the paradise first. Bibi Fatimah (sa) was shocked and was almost in tears. But Prophet Muhammad (saw) consoled and sympathized with her and asked her to visit the woman at the earliest.
The very next day Bibi Fatimah (sa) visited her, not only to chat with her but also to assess her and to find out as to in what ways she (woodcutter's wife) was superior to herself. She knocked on the door. Hearing a female voice, the woodcutter's wife, without opening the door, enquired as to who she was? Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied that she was so and so and the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Immediately the woodcutter's wife replied, I am sorry I cannot admit you since I have not taken permission from my husband. I would suggest you to come tomorrow, by that time I would take permission from my husband.
The next day almost the same time, Bibi Fatimah (sa) intentionally carried her kid Imam Hassan (as) with her and knocked at the door. When asked as to who she was, Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied that she was so and so and she was accompanied with her kid Imam Hassan (as). Promptly came the reply that I am sorry my husband had permitted to let in only yourself and how can I admit two of you, so it is better you come tomorrow.
The next day Bibi Fatimah (sa) accompanied by two of her kids Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as), visited the woodcutter's wife and knocked at the door and requested the women to open the door and that she is accompanied by two of her kids. The woodcutter's wife was jubilant and opened the door instantly saying that her husband has permitted her to open the door to anyone and any member from Prophet's family and it is a great honour for her. They sat together and chatted for sometime and during that process Bibi Fatimah (sa) was able to glean the various humane and Islamic qualities in the woman. Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) was very much satisfied with all that she noticed and returned home to report the matter to her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said to Bibi Fatimah (sa) that when you enter the heavens through the main gate riding on a horse, you will find that woodcutter's wife is holding the reins of the horse in front of you. That means the woodcutter's wife will be the first woman to enter the heaven.
A Kindness a day: Follower of Bibi Fatimah (sa) / Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) example
It was a normal week day and her husband was at work. After finishing her duties at home, Umm Salamah was busy as usual helping her neighbors, today washing their clothes. Her friends were surprised at her selfless kindness but she always told her friends: "A kindness a day keeps the devil away. I try to do one act of kindness everyday in hopes that it will eradicate a sin I may have unconsciously committed in the Book of Life."
One Sunday Umm Salamah's husband said, "May I ride with you today when you go to do the grocery shopping?"
Umm Salamah was obviously surprised, but she didn't question his request and said, "Sure why not, then we can spend some time together as you are always busy."
So Umm Salamah and her husband left and spent the whole day together. When they got home and put away the groceries, Umm Salamah thanked her husband for being so kind as to come with her.
He answered, "Umm Salamah, the real reason that I went with you is because you always tell people to do just one act of kindness, like eating an Apple a day, keeps the Doctor away, so I asked to ride with you to see just how kindly you act with people every day."
Umm Salamah asked with astonishment: "Why?" He replied, "Because I wanted to see how do you practice kindness, and I wanted to see if you practiced what you preach. And trust me; I will never doubt anything you say again."
He continued and said to his wife, Umm Salamah:
(1) "When we got in the Van, you let the car across from us go first while watching that no car was coming from behind and you signaled him to go.
(2) "When we reached the stop, you signaled for people to cross the street saying that this way you protect them at least when you are at the stop sign because most drivers don't care about people, they just want to be on their way.
(3) "On the freeway you signaled the trailer trucks when you were letting them take the lane and slowed down to give them space to change lanes, saying that they had a delivery to make on time and that you had all the time in the world.
(4) "When we arrived in the store parking lot as you went to take a spot, someone else just swiped in front of you and we had to go all the way to the back. You never got angry. You said, "Well, maybe he has sore legs and needs to be closer," and you laughed.
(5) "As we arrived at the entrance door, you opened the door and let an elderly couple in saying, "Beauty before age."
"Well when I counted up 25 acts of kindness I stopped counting because your one act of kindness just rolls into many more. I couldn't believe it; you are so kind that I am sure that in the Book of Life it will outweigh whatever you do wrong. From now on I will also do one act of kindness a day, and I will never doubt anything you say you do ever again."
Umm Salamah laughed and said, "Kindness is like a box of chocolates, when I open the box, I can never eat just one. I finish the box! And this is true, that is why I don't buy a whole box; it doesn't last the day. But I am so used to being kind that I don't even notice I am doing it. I just loves my fellow human beings. It is just following Bibi Fatimah (sa) who said: "(Help) the neighbor first, before your own self."
Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah), Umm Salamah was indeed a true follower of Bibi Fatimah (sa) who was so kind that:
(1) Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) gave her new marriage dress to a poor person and wore her old dress instead, in the wedding. The next day when Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw) asked why she was wearing an old dress, she replied that she gave the new dress to a poor person. Can we get such example of kindness anywhere?
Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw) asked: "Why didn't you give your old dress instead?"
Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied: Because the Noble Qur'an says: "You will not achieve piety until you give out what you love the most." (Noble Qur'an, 3:92)
(2) Bibi Fatimah (sa) and her whole family remained hungry for three days but offered the evening meals after three long days' fasting to the beggar, the orphan and the prisoner.
Noble Qur'an, praising this kind act, says: "And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive." (Noble Qur'an, 76:8)
(3) Bibi Fatimah (sa) was so kind to her servant Bibi Fizza (ra), that Bibi Fizza (ra) worked one day and the other day Bibi Fatimah (sa) would work so that Bibi Fizza (ra) could rest. Such example of kindness can only be found in the family of Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw), Ahlul Bayt of Naboowah.
Alas, such a kind and benevolent lady was so much terrorized after the death of her father, Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw), that she had to say addressing her father, standing before his grave: "Oh! Father dear! After you, fell on me such miseries that had they fallen on bright days, the bright days would have turned into darkest nights."
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