Hadhrat Zainab Bint Jahash (Radhiyallahu anha) was one of the Noble Wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). She came into the Nikah of our Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) at the age of 36 years and passed away when she was 53 years. She is famous for her Zuhd (Abstinence from the dunya, poverty and extreme frugality).
The first occasion when Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu), the Khalifah, sent her a large amount for her annual maintenance expenses, she was under the impression that it was for all the wives. When she was apprized that the whole amount was only for herself, she exclaimed: “Subhaanallah! May Allah forgive Umar. Then she cast a shawl over the money (to separate it from her).” She was averse to even looking at the considerable amount of wealth.
She ordered Burzah Bint Raafi (Radhiyallahu anha) to move the wealth to one corner and to keep it covered. Then she instructed her to begin distributing the dirhams (silver coins), fistfuls to certain people. This process continued for a while. When a small amount was left, Burzah said: “May Allah forgive you. After all, I too am entitled to receive some of it.” Hadhrat Zainab (Radhiyallahu anha) said: “Whatever is left is yours.” Fifty dirhams remained, Burzah (Radhiyallahu anha) took it for herself. After the wealth had been distributed, Hadhrat Zainab (Radhiyallahu anha) made the following dua:
“O Allah! Do not permit the stipend of Umar to find me after this year.”
Before the expiry of the year, Hadhrat Zainab (Radhiyallahu anha) passed away.
When Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) was informed that she had distributed the entire amount to the Fuqara and Masaakeen, he commented: “It appears that Allah Ta’ala intends goodness for her.” He immediately sent another thousand dirhams with the message: “You have distributed the 12,000. Now keep this thousand for yourself.”
As soon as she received the thousand dirhams, she distributed it as well, not keeping anything for herself.
Hadhrat Umm-e-Salmah (Radhiyallahu anha), also one of the noble Wives, said about Hadhrat Zainab: “She was a very pious woman, fasting abundantly, performing much Salaat during the night, and giving in Sadqah to the Masaakeen whatever she earned.” After Hadhrat Zainab (Radhiyallahu anha) passed away, Hadhrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) said: “Alas! A woman with sterling moral virtues has departed. She was a support for orphans and widows.”
FROM THE MAJLIS VOL 26 NO 09