All praise is due to Allah ﷻ, Lord of the worlds and May His peace and blessings be upon His final prophet and messenger, Muhammad ﷺ.
Once in Madinah during the time of Rasulullah ﷺ, a companion, Aws bin Samit (rd) became displeased with his wife, Khowla bint Tha’labah (rd) and gave her a talaaq-e-zihaar. This was a type of divorce which was issued in the time of ignorance. The husband would say “You are to me like the back of my mother”. These words likened his relationship with his wife to his relationship with his mother and made his wife forbidden to him forever. Even after marrying another man, the wife would not be able to ever remarry her first husband again.
Khowla bint Tha’labah (rd) was an old woman and no longer at an age to remarry. Any person can imagine how distressed she must have felt and as was the habit of the companions, she ran to Rasulullah ﷺ with her problem.
Rasulullah ﷺ was residing at Aishah’s (rd) house at the time. Khowla (rd) came and said; “Oh Rasulullah ﷺ! My husband has given me a talaaq-e-zihaar. What do you command”?
Until this time, Rasulullah ﷺ had not received any revelation related to the matter and so he said; “Oh Khowla! You have become forbidden for him”. This was the ruling according to the customs of the time.
Upon hearing this reply, Khowla (rd) pleaded; “Oh Rasulullah ﷺ! He spent my wealth, exhausted my youth and my womb bore abundantly for him. When I became old and unable to bear children, he pronounced zihaar on me. Where shall I go and how will my children do their living?”
But once again Rasulullah ﷺ replied; “Oh Khowla! You have become forbidden for him.” She pleaded again; “Oh Rasulullah ﷺ! Please review your answer”. But Rasulullah ﷺ realised that Khowla (rd) was not going to listen so he bowed his head and did not reply.
Khowla (rd) saw this and so she said; “Oh Rasulullah ﷺ! I will complain directly to your lord”! She raised her hands to the heavens and she spoke quietly to Allah ﷻ; “Oh Allah! I bring my complaint directly to you. I have small children. I do not have the strength or money to feed them. Nor can I rely on their father as he has also become old. Oh Allah! Send a decision in my favour on your prophet’s tongue”. Suddenly the signs of revelation being revealed were noted on Rasulullah ﷺ and once he was relieved, he smiled; “Oh Khowla! Allah has revealed in regards to you and your husband.
Allah ﷻ revealed;
Indeed Allah has heard the talk of the woman who was debating with you concerning her husband and was complaining to Allah. And Allah was hearing the conversation between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.
(Surah Mujadalah, verse 1)
Subhanallah! The connection that Khowla (rd) had with Allah ﷻ speaks directly to my soul. Just try to imagine yourself in the presence of Rasulullah ﷺ. How fortunate would that person be! No person would even think of asking anyone else for confirmation of what was said. Yet here was Khowla (rd). She was a woman and she was old. But her connection with Allah ﷻ was so strong that when she realised that Rasulullah ﷺ was not going to listen to her, she turned to Allah ﷺ. Not because she did not believe in Rasulullah ﷺ. But because she knew that Allah ﷻ answered the prayer of the person in distress.
In Surah Ghafir, Allah ﷻ says;
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.”
But when will Allah ﷻ respond?
He will “respond” when you believe in Him. When your conviction in Him is so strong that be it in a time of need or not, you know that Allah ﷻ is there for you. When you believe without a doubt, that He is forever present.
Take a look at Khowla (rd). What did she do that made her so special, that Allah ﷻ revealed the Qur’aan to Rasulullah ﷺ in response to her call. The only thing that she did was ask Allah ﷻ to reveal a ruling in her favour with conviction in her heart.
Khowla (rd) spoke to Allah ﷻ. She prolonged her call. She beautified her speech like she was talking to her lover. She did not just simply say “Oh Allah! Give me this!” She knew that Allah ﷻ knew. But she was pleading her case in the court of Allah ﷻ and in response, Allah ﷻ revealed the Qur’aan. How truly amazing is that! Khowla (rd) made one plea to Allah ﷻ. Just one plea!
In a narration, Aishah (rd) says; “Pure is He, whose hearing encompasses all things. I heard what Khowla bint Tha’labah said about her husband while some of it I could not hear despite being so close to her in the same room, but Allah ﷻ heard her all her conversation and said; “Indeed, Allah has heard…”
Subhanallah! Allah ﷻ is All-Hearing, All-seeing. Allah ﷻ truly is the one who hears your plea, who hears your cry for help. He really is the only one who will not break your heart. When you call Him lovingly, when you call to Him in distress, when you talk to Him like there is no one else that you love more than Him, He will answer your call. And if you feel that Allah ﷻ has not answered your call, don’t feel disheartened. Just think that Allah ﷻ wants you to talk to Him for longer. Don’t demand from Allah ﷻ. He is not the one who is in need of us. Talk to Him! Plead with Him. Beg Him. Cry to Allah ﷻ. Plant your seed of hope in your prayers and see the miracles that grow in your life!
The key point to this lesson is we have to build a connection with Allah ﷻ if we want him to respond to our call and there is no better time to do this than in the month of Ramadhaan.
In a hadeeth, Rasulullah ﷺ says;
“When Ramadhaan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”
(al-Bukhaari, 3277; Muslim, 1079)
Here is a golden opportunity. We have to take advantage of it. We have to build a connection with Allah ﷻ today. We cannot wait for tomorrow. Who has been promised the next minute, let alone tomorrow? We cannot wait around for next Ramadhaan. Who knows whether we will even see next Ramadhaan? There is only about a week left of Ramadhaan. How many of us can say that we have truly connected with Allah ﷻ in this month? How many of us can say that without a doubt we will not turn back to our old ways because our connection with Allah ﷻ is stronger than before?
Build a connection with Allah ﷻ before it’s too late. No one needs to know how you’re building your connection. That is between you and Allah ﷻ. All you need to remember is that it does not have to be something great. Start small. Give charity. Recite the Qur’aan more often. Stand up for the night pray. Anything. Just as long as you are doing something.
I know that this is easier said than done. We face obstacles in our path in the form of our own wishes and desires. We all have our ups and downs. But that’s ok. That’s life. We’re bound to have a bumpy ride. But as long as we are trying to connect with Allah ﷻ, we will Insha Allah be getting somewhere.
A wise person once said;
“The path to Allah ﷻ is long. It is not important that you reach the end. What is important is that you are on this path when you die.”
All praise is due to Allah ﷻ at the beginning and at the end.
May you be rewarded for visiting and May we all benefit. Ameen.
Tafseer Ibn Katheer