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“If Anyone Favours His Wife Over His Mother…!”

Palestinian couple on a beach

At the time of the Prophet (sallellahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), there was a young man named Alqamah. He was very diligent in obeying Allah (SWT) by engaging in prayer and fasting and spending in charity. Then he fell ill and his illness became serious. His wife went to the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and said, ‘My husband, Alqamah, is on his deathbed. I therefore came to tell you, Messenger of Allah, about his condition.’

The Prophet (sallellahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) sent for Ammar, Suhaib and Bilal, and told them to go to him (Alqamah) and have him repeat the Shahadah. They went to him and found him in the agony of death. They asked him to say, ‘La illaha illa Allah,’ but his tongue was unable to pronounce it. At that, they came and told the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) that he was unable to repeat the Shahadah.

The Prophet (sallellahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) asked, ‘Is either of his parents alive?’
He was told, ‘Messenger of Allah, his mother is, but she is very old.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) sent her a message that if it was convenient for her (if she was able to go out), she should come to him; otherwise she should stay in her house and the Prophet would come to her.

The Prophet’s messenger came to her and informed her of the Prophet’s message. She said, ‘May my life be a ransom for him, it is my pleasure to go to him!’

She stood up, leaning on her walking stick, and came to the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and greeted him. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) returned her greeting and said to her, ‘Umm Alqamah, tell me the truth, for otherwise Allah Most High will reveal the truth to me! What is the situation concerning your son, Alqamah?’

She replied, ‘Messenger of Allah, he prays much, fasts a great deal, and spends a great amount in charity.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, ‘And what about yourself?’

She said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I am angry with him.’

He said, ‘Why?’

She replied, ‘Messenger of Allah, he has preferred his wife to me and has disobeyed me.’

Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Umm Alqamah, surely your anger has prevented Alqamah’s tongue from pronouncing the Shahadah.’

He then turned to Bilal and said, ‘Bilal, go out and collect a quantity of firewood.’

She said, ‘Messenger of Allah, what do you plan to do?’ He replied, ‘I will burn him in front of your eyes.’

She said, ‘Messenger of Allah, he is my son! My heart cannot bear your burning him in front of me!’

He said, ‘Umm Alqamah, Allah’s punishment is more severe and more lasting! Therefore, if you want Allah to forgive him, be reconciled to him. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, the prayer, fasting, and spending in charity (which he has done) are of no benefit to Alqamah as long as you are angry with him!’

Thereupon she said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I call upon Allah Most High and His angels and the Muslims who are present to be my witnesses that I am pleased with my son Alqamah.’

Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.) said, ‘Bilal, go to him and see whether he is now able to say, ‘La illaha illa Allah’ or not. It may be that Umm Alqamah is saying something for my sake which is not in her heart.’

Bilal (r.a.) went, and while entering the door he heard Alqamah saying, ‘La illaha illa Allah.’

Bilal (r.a.) remarked, ‘It is surely true that while Alqamah’s mother was angry with him his tongue was tied, and now that she is pleased with him his tongue is freed.’

Alqamah died the same day. The Prophet (sallellahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came to him and gave the order for his washing and shrouding, and then prayed the funeral prayer for him and buried him. He then stood by the side of his grave and said, ‘You company of Muhajireen and Helpers (Ansaar), if anyone favors his wife over his mother, Allah and His angels and all the people curse him! Allah does not accept his spending (in charity) and his uprightness unless he repents toward Allah, the Glorious and Majestic, and reconciles with her and attains her pleasure, because Allah’s pleasure consists in her pleasure and Allah’s anger consists in her anger.’
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Fellow Brothers and Sisters in Faith we must always be respectful and obedient to our parents, they deserve our utmost attention and respect.

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one of both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: `My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Qur’an 17:23-24)

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