February 23, 2011

Interview with Umm 'Abdullah, Wife of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen (rahimahullah)

Post excerpted from an interview conducted by Sister Maha bint Husein Ash-Shammari and published in "Al-Mutamayyizah" Magazine; Issue No. 45, Ramadan 1427. Confirmed and presented in English by Dr. Saleh as-Saleh. 

Question 2: What did you see that was amazing in the Shaykh’s (rahimahullah) life? 
His life was an example to follow, especially his patience and motivation to seek the knowledge as well as teach and dissipate it.  Also, his  piety ( rahimahullah ) was something that those who were not close to him may not have known about.

Question 3: How did the Shaykh interact with his children in their private lives?
His dealings with his sons and daughters fell into two stages. First, in their childhood, he ( rahimahullah ) was keen to be close to them, take care of them, raise some of the Islamic principles in them, and follow their educational achievements.

In addition, he made sure to direct, admonish, and incite them. For instance, he would sometimes take the children with him to the  masjid to perform some of the  fard prayers. Also, he would encourage them to fast some of the days of  Ramadan. Furthermore, he would incite them to memorize some of the short surahs of the Qur’aan and reward them on that.

In the stage of youth and maturity, he ( rahimahullah ) was firm concerning their fulfilling of the religious obligations and in discipline in cases of negligence. He would couple that with direction and leniency. At certain times, he was not hesitant to do what was sufficient to change or correct their mistakes. In addition, he ( rahimahullah ) used to put full trust in them to do certain things so they could learn to depend upon themselves; he used to continuously encourage them on righteousness and check on them regarding that.

Question 5: When did the Shaykh's anger intensify, and how did he deal with your anger?
His anger used to intensify if the inviolable matters of Allaah (subhana wa ta ala) were violated. Regarding my anger with the children, he would try to calm me down first and then give the admonition to the one that was mistaken. In general, he ( rahimahullah ) was quiet and did not anger quickly; when he ( rahimahullah ) did, his anger would quickly dissipate, and this is from the favors of Allaah (subhana wa ta ala) upon him, something which I wished for the like of his condition.

Question 7: Would the Shaykh ( rahimahullah ) ever go outside with his family for a picnic?
Yes, the family used to have a weekly picnic on Fridays after salaat aljumu’ah; we would go to an area in the wilderness close by and bring our lunch. He utilized this time to share in some activities with the children, like foot racing and solving puzzles. Also, he would bring a small rifle and compete with his children in aiming and shooting.

Question 9: How did the Shaykh select the names of his children?
He used to choose names like ‘Abdullaah and ‘Abd ar-Rahman; he left the rest for consultation amongst us. We would pick a name and present it to him; he would either agree or ask us to select another.

Question 10: What were some of the things that would please the Shaykh ( rahimahullah )?
There is no doubt that the Shaykh’s ( rahimahullah ) happiness used to increase whenever he saw the strength of Islam and Muslims. Regarding happiness at home, it was manifested in meetings with his family and children.

You would also see the signs of pleasure and happiness on him upon receiving his grandchildren. He used to open his cloak to allow them to enter underneath and then inquire about them a few times before reopening it; he would do this several times. Later, he would take them to his library where he kept a special kind of sweets they used to call “halawat abooye” (my father’s sweets). We were keen to ensure that they would not find it, except with him. In addition, despite his busy schedule, he made sure to visit his grandchildren at their homes or in the hospital if any of them were ill; this would have a great influence on them and their patents.

Question 11: How many children did the Shaykh (rahimahullah ) have?
The Shaykh had five sons and three daughters.

Question 12: Who amongst his children was the closest to his heart?
The Shaykh used to deal justly with his children in all affairs, major and minor. If he found any kind of distinction between them, he would never declare it openly because this is not from justice. If he was keen to be just in matters lighter than this, then what should we expect here?

Question 13: Who amongst his children was most affected by his death?
All of them were, and the reality of the matter is that I used to feel that we were not alone in this as he was a father to Muslims around the world, who all felt a great shock by his death.

Question 16: How did he reconcile between the dawah, which took most of his time, and his familial and social responsibilities? 
He used to organize his time and gave this great attention. For instance, he would dedicate time for teaching, fatawa,  dawah, worship, the family, the children, social responsibilities, and upholding the ties of kinship. If he, at certain times, was unable to directly share in some of these responsibilities, he was still keen to share
even by phone.

Question 17: What was his policy regarding educating and directing his children?
His policy was education; however, he did not force his children to seek a specialty but instead used to consult with them regarding this decision. The obvious proof is that his children graduated from different types of colleges, some  sharee’, others military, and also educational.

Question 18: Taking into consideration the Shaykh’s work and commitments, this inevitably led to him being away from home and the family. What  was your role regarding this matter, and how did you cover for his absence (rahimahullah )?
Even if he was away from home whether for teaching and propagating inside Unayzah or while traveling, he used to follow up with his children through phone calls and by checking on their affairs upon his return. My role is not even worth mentioning because we always felt his presence with us. In general, I used to make the children feel their father’s responsibilities were great and his works many. As such, I would incite them to be patient on that, and he ( rahimahullah ) used to compensate them on his return.

Question 25: How did the Shaykh’s ( rahimahullah ) family deal with his asceticism and piety?
We used to see him (rahimahullah ) as an example in all things, and we used to revere his asceticism and piety, which would comfort us since he ( rahimahullah ) did not like any unnatural mannerisms nor did he want that around him. He was a simple person who liked ease in all of his matters.

Question 31: We would like an admonition from you to the wives of the callers and students of knowledge.
They should preserve their husbands, openly and secretly. In addition, they should prepare for them the best situations and conditions to continue providing their duties of dawah and knowledge. Also, I incite them that they should not be bothered by the busy schedule of their husbands and their time spent traveling, seeking knowledge, reading, and doing dawah. By Allaah’s (subhana wa ta ala) Will, they are sharing in the reward.

Question 33: What about a rare and pleasing encounter he had with his children or neighbours?
The Shaykh ( rahimahullah ) acted with simplicity towards his children and neighbors and all those surrounding him. And one of those rare and nice occasions is that the Shaykh ( rahimahullah ) used to record some short recitations and  nasheed for his children and sometimes in the presence of one of the neighbors' kids. He then would re-play the cassette to them during some meeting with them at older ages. We even still keep some of these recording to this date

Question 36: What kinds of gifts would the Shaykh (rahimahullah ) give you, his children, and people in general?
During his lifetime, he ( rahimahullah ) would not withhold anything from those that were close and those that were distant, to the best of his ability. The greatest gift he used to give us was his dawah and du’aa; I ask Allaah (subhana wa ta ala) to accept his du’aa, hold them for him in his good record, and bestow upon us the ability to be righteous to him after his death.

Question 45: Was the Shaykh (rahimahullah ) married to anyone else other than you, and how many wives did he have?
No, the Shaykh ( rahimahullah ) was not married to other than me. He married two wives before me; his first wife died, and Allaah (subhana wa ta ala) did not intend for the second marriage to continue.

Question 46: We need from you an admonition to men who have more than one wife.
Justice. Justice. Justice

Question 47: If one would ask the father (i.e. the Shaykh) to admonish me as a girl, what would you expect him? 
He would admonish you as he would admonish one of his daughters and all of the daughters of the Muslims to fear Allaah (subhana wa ta ala ) openly and secretly, to be righteous to the parents, uphold the ties of kinship, preserve the  husband, and fear Allaah (subhana wa ta ala) regarding raising the children Islamically based on leniency and kindness.
All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the  salaah and  salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, the noble companions, and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

If you would like to read the full interview, it is available online in PDF format at the following link: http://abdurrahman.org/knowledge/InterviewwithShUthaimeen-swife.pdf

1 comment:

  1. masha'Allah, very interesting and very useful this information.
    Jazaka ALlahu khair to posted.