Al-Rubayyi' bint Al-Nadr: Should I Weep
For My Son? An Oath About God's Future Action
Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals
Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi
Al-Rubayyi' belonged to a family from the Ansar that
had several eminent companions of the Prophet (peace
be upon him). Her brother Anas was well known among
the Ansar, and her nephew, Anas ibn Malik, served the
Prophet throughout his ten years in Madinah. She
herself was among the early believers from the Ansar.
Her son, Harithah, was a well brought up young man. He
also was one of the people of Madinah who joined Islam
early. He sought to learn from the Prophet and
acquired a profound insight into the Islamic faith.
One day he attended the Prophet who asked him: "How
are you this morning?" Harithah said: "I am a true
believer." The Prophet said that such a statement
should be based on solid facts. Harithah said: "I care
little for what this life can offer. Therefore, I stay
up late in worship during the night, and I am thirsty
during the day (i.e. he fasted often). I can almost
see the Throne of my Lord; and see the people of
heaven exchanging visits and the people of hell
hurling blame on one another." The Prophet said:
"Since you have acquired such confirmed knowledge,
stick to it." Harithah requested the Prophet to pray
for him to be a martyr, which he did.
When the Battle of Badr, the first major battle
between the Muslims and the unbelievers, took place,
Harithah was in the Muslim army. He fought hard, but
he was hit by an arrow in his neck and was killed.
Thus, the prayer he requested the Prophet to say for
him was fulfilled and he was one of the 14 martyrs who
fell in that battle.
As the army returned to Madinah, it was received by
its population who congratulated the Prophet on a
splendid victory. News of the battle and how it went
had already been received by them. On learning that
her son has been killed in the battle, Al-Rubayyi' was
eager to meet the Prophet and ask him about her son.
She said to him: "Messenger of God, tell me about
Harithah: If he is in heaven, I will bear my loss with
patience. If it is the other, I will weep without
remission." The Prophet reassured her: "It is heavens
in the plural, and your son is in the highest one."
The Prophet asked for some water. He put his hand in
it, took some water to rinse his mouth and gave the
cup to Al-Rubayyi' and her daughter to drink. He told
them to sprinkle some of it on themselves. They did
and felt much comforted.
Something happened to Al-Rubayyi' that shows that God
cares for people as individuals. Some quarrel took
place between her and a maid that belonged to Al-Ansar.
The quarrel resulted in the maid's front teeth being
broken. Her family complained to the Prophet and
requested equal punishment. Al-Rubayyi's family tried
to persuade the maid's family to forgo that, but they
refused. The matter was put to the Prophet and he
ruled that the principle of Ďan eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth...' applied. Anas ibn Al-Nadr, Al-Rubayyi's
brother, said: "Messenger of God, will Al-Rubayyi's
front teeth be smashed? By Him who sent you with the
message of the truth they shall not be."
This is an oath about God's future action. How can
anyone make such an oath? Shortly afterward, the
maid's people came to the Prophet to tell him that
they had pardoned Al-Rubayyi' and forgone their claim
against her. The Prophet commented: "Some of God's
servants are such that if they would swear about
something to be done by God, God will honor their
oath. One of them is Anas ibn Al-Nadr".
A few months later, the Battle of Uhud took place.
Anas joined the Muslim fighters. Before the fighting
started, he said to a friend: "I can smell heaven
here, next to Mount Uhud." He fought very hard and was
killed. After the battle no one could identify a
martyr with over 80 wounds. Only Al-Rubayyi' could
identify her brother, Anas, recognizing him by his