How do you explain to your six-year old daughter why she was born blind? What do you say to console your autistic ten year old when she complains no one wants to be her friend? How do you comfort your 14-year-old son when he knows the reason he can’t read beyond the first grade level is that he has moderate retardation?
The story of the woman promised paradise might help explain to your beloved son or daughter the answer to questions such as these. This beautiful hadith in narrated by Ata bin Abi Rabah. It was told to him by Ibn Abass:
Perhaps Ata and Ibn Abass were enjoying a breeze blowing in off the Arabian Desert as the two sat cross-legged under the shade of a fan shaped palm leaf. Or maybe they were sitting inside Ibn Abass’ home, perched just off the dusty road where Ibn Abass taught regular classes to those who wished to learn more about Islam. Wherever they were that particular day, Ibn Abass unfolded the story of the woman promised paradise onto the ears of Ata bin Abi Rabah.
“Do you want me to show you a woman from the people of paradise?” Ibn Abass asked Ata.
“Yes,” replied Ata.
Ibn Abas began his story. “Once there was a lady who came to the Prophet (SAW). She said, ‘I get epileptic seizures and my body becomes uncovered. Please pray to Allah to help me.’ The Prophet (SAW) said to her, ‘If you remain patient you will have Paradise; but if you want, I will ask Allah to cure you.’ The woman replied, ‘I will remain patient.’ Then she said, ‘But I become uncovered, so please ask Allah to help me so I won’t become uncovered.’ So the Prophet (SAW) asked Allah to help her.”
This wonderful story is full of wisdom and encouragement for Muslims suffering through the trials of this world. Here is a woman living with a disability that causes her unfathomable embarrassment and enormous distress. A handicap that causes kids to point and stare and makes adults react with contempt or pity.
This woman finally has an opportunity to be relieved of her misery, but then she’s told to pause a moment. She can choose to either be relieved of her suffering in this world or be patient and win Allah’s eternal happiness in the hereafter. She chooses the everlasting bliss of paradise.
Even after she has opted to sacrifice her relief in this world, this righteous woman remains committed to pleasing Allah. She is now concerned about her body becoming uncovered during her fits. This is a woman who knows what her purpose is in life—to worship Allah, Glory be to Him the Most High. Allah says in Quran 51:56– “I have only created Jinns and men that they may serve Me.”
The story of this extraordinary woman is an example of courage and perseverance we can present to our children when they become disheartened and distressed with their plight in life.
Grandma Jedah is the author of Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child–And Keep Your Peace of Mind While at It. Order her e-Book or subscribe to her free newsletter at: Grandma Jeddah or visit her blog at Grandma Jeddah