After writing The Four Traits of a Cherished Muslimah, I started to notice things grouped in fours, everywhere!
It all started with flowers – when my editor Siema (may Allah bless her always) thought it would be a good idea, seeing as I used the metaphor of the Inner Garden in my book, to have a flower to represent each of the four traits.
And so – four flowers were chosen that represented the four traits:
- The lily, representing leadership, fertility, the queen.
- The rose, representing love, of course.
- The iris, representing wisdom, and the rainbow journey of cloudy days and sunbeams
- The gladiolus, representing justice – with the word originating from the word ‘gladius/sword’
In April 2019, I attended a workshop on the Womb Healing, with herbalist Rabiah Mali from The Herbal Blessing Clinic, where I was blown away about how the womb goes through four seasons in each cycle:
- Winter: menstruation, a time to retreat and nourish
- Spring: pre-ovulation, a time to get organised
- Summer: ovulation, a time to manifest
- Autumn: pre-menstruation, a time for feedback
And then a few months later, I connected the dots and saw how the four traits fitted in seamlessly with the four seasons of the year, which also corresponded to the seasons of the womb!
- Spring – a season of leadership, new beginnings and purpose… and getting organised
- Summer – a summer of love, of course! A time to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour
- Autumn – a season of wisdom and intuition, getting feedback from yourself and your relationships
- Winter – a season of justice, filled with protection and retreat
And then, the cherry on the cake (or the crown on the bride!) was the morning I was reflecting on Our Lady Asiya (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the pharoah, who only wanted Allah and asked Allah to build for her a house in paradise, in His presence.
My Lord! Build for me a home with thee in the Garden!
Surah Al-Tahrim (66:11)
As I tried to envisage what my home could possibly look like in Jannah, I was overwhelmed by this great Woman of God, and I began to think about The Four Ladies of Paradise: Our Ladies Asiya, Maryam, Khadija and Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with all)
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) drew four lines and said, ‘Do you know what these are?’
They said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’
He said, ‘The best women of the women of Jannah are Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid,
Fatimah bint Muhammad,
Maryam bint Imraan and Aasiyah bint Muzahim the wife of Pharaoh.’”
And as I thought how amazing these four ladies were, I wondered if any mother had four daughters named after these four queens? Would this mother have started as she meant to go on? How would she have known that she was to have four daughters? Would she perhaps have four daughters and later give them all a new middle name, after these four queens? Well, I couldn’t do that, I thought. I didn’t have four daughters.
But hang on…
I had four traits!
And I realised immediately that they all fit in so well, SubhanAllah!
- Our Lady Asiya – representing leadership – queen, of course
- Our Lady Maryam – representing love – she was always in seclusion with Allah
- Our Lady Khadijah – representing wisdom – she was our beloved Messenger of Allah’s ﷺ cherished, wise wife
- Our Lady Fatimah – representing justice – she stood up for her father, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and herself, too, the epitome of purposeful self-sacrifice and discipline.
How fascinating. I also made other connections, (such as the four elements of air, fire, water and earth and even the four khalifas: our masters Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali and Uthman) yet one cannot delve on every connection, as someone wise once said:
Much more can be said, yet brevity is a sunnah.
Luqman al-Andalusi – The Life and Marriage of Fatimah Al-Zahra
It’s time to connect to our selves, our traits, our wombs… and our queens – may we learn from them, emulate them and be with them in paradise!
Bas. Enough. Too long have I been separated from my beloveds!
يَكْفِي يَانُورَ الْأَهِلَّهْ
إِنَّ هَجْرِي طَالْ