Success is something everyone strives for in this world, but what we sometimes forget to recognize is that the true meaning of success can only be defined by the Creator. Allah sent our Prophet (S) as an example of an ideal character that his ummah (community) should follow in order to achieve everlasting success. And specifically for women, our Prophet (S) mentions the four best women to ever live, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatima bint Muhammad, Asiya bint Muzahim, and Maryam bint Imran.
“She believed in me when all others disbelieved.” - Prophet Muhammad (S) referring to his beloved, Khadijah (AS).
Our Mother, Khadijah (AS), was a very successful businesswoman amongst the Quraysh, being characterized as resolute and noble, commanding respect within her tribe. She was associated with many honorable names such as “Ameerat-Quraysh” (The Princess of the Quraysh), and “Khadijah al-Kubra” (Khadijah the Great); she was given these names because she constantly embodied the honor of these names throughout everything she did. Whether it was assisting her relatives when they were in need, feeding and clothing the poor, never believing nor worshipping idols, or using her wealth to fund the beginning of the Islamic movement, she always proved to be an asset and provided instrumental support in the Prophet (S)’s early prophethood.
“Indeed Fatima is but a part of me, I am harmed by what harms her.” - our Prophet Muhammad (S) referring to his daughter, Fatima (AS).
Our Mother, Fatima (AS), was the youngest daughter of the Prophet (S), and his favorite. Hence, she received the noble name of az-Zahra (The Splendid One). She was raised on the great love from her father and the rich compassion from her mother, which is one of the biggest reasons why Fatima (AS) was the one who perfected her faith. When her mother passed away, she doubled in her efforts, bore difficult events with patience, and endured the pain beside her father in hopes of seeking reward from Allah (SWT). A true role model for women’s rights and respect, Fatima (AS) cared for her father when his community ignored him and portrayed excellence in all aspects of her life.
“Many men reached perfection but none among the women reached perfection except Maryam, the daughter of Imran; and Asiya, the Pharaoh's wife.” - our Prophet Muhammad (S) referring to the believing queen, Asiya (AS).
Our Mother, Asiya (AS), displayed the true strength of a believing woman by raising our Prophet Musa (AS) in the home of her husband, the most oppressive leader of all time, and by standing up and revealing her true belief in the message of Islam. As described by our Prophet (S), Asiya (AS)’s faith was impeccable, so any effort the Pharaoh made to humiliate her was lost in the depth of her imaan. She endured the emotional pain to strive for Allah (SWT) and His pleasure alone, and with that kind of character, no amount of humiliation can shake. Asiya (AS)’s supplication to her Lord during this time was beautifully worded and should be recited often. She poured her heart to Allah with these words, “My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise, save me from the Pharaoh and his deeds, and save me from the wrongdoing people” (Q. 66:11), and with that, Allah (SWT) opened the skies and allowed her to see where her humble abode would be, in which she was filled with joy.
“The best of the women of her time was Maryam, daughter of Imran.” - our Prophet Muhammad (S) referring to one the greatest woman in Islam, Maryam (AS).
Our Mother, Maryam (AS), is a unique and special woman to look towards as a source of aspiration in regards to our character and faith. Aside from being the mother of our Prophet Isa (AS), her status in Islam is due to her unwavering faith in Allah and exemplary character. She is so great in the eyes of Allah that her name is repeated more times in the Quran than the name of Isa (AS). She acts as an example for all believing women and emphasizes the importance of having Tawakkul (faith) in the most difficult of times. She is an incredible role model of hayaa (modesty) for men and women, being amongst the Qaanitah (The Devote Women).
Let us not forget the incredible women before us who embody what it means to be a person of faith, good character, and strength. May we aspire to be as resourceful and successful as Khadijah (AS), kind and compassionate as Fatima (AS), strong and resilient as Asiya (AS), and attain an unwavering foundation of faith as Maryam (AS). Ameen.