We hear often speakers in Friday prayer talking about Paradise and all of us find their hearts, minds and thoughts tuned on that "frequency". However, the speakers in their majority talk about Paradise as if it were a house for men only. Reality is not like that. Paradise is for believers men and women. The only price for it is belief in Allah, Love of Allah and His Messenger, and obedience to Allah and His Messenger.
In what follows are the glad tidings given by the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, to three women among his companions.
I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija (although) she died before he married me, for I often heard him mentioning her, and Allah had told him to give her the good tidings that she would have a palace of Qasab (i.e. pipes of precious stones and pearls in Paradise), and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would send her women-friends a good share of it. [al-Bukhari]
I asked 'Abdullah bin Abi Aufa, "Did the Prophet give glad tidings to Khadija?" He said, "Yes, of a palace of Qasab (in Paradise) where there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue."[al-Bukhari]
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Jibreel (Gabriel) came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! This is Khadija coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (i.e. Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a Qasab palace in Paradise wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue (trouble) . " [al-Bukhari]
Narrated 'Ata bin Abi Rabah:
Ibn 'Abbas said to me, "Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?" I said, "Yes." He said, "This black lady came to the Prophet and said, 'I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allah for me.' The Prophet said (to her), 'If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.' She said, 'I will remain patient,' and added, 'but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.' So he invoked Allah for her." [al-Bukhari]
Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:
The Prophet said, "I saw myself (in a dream) entering Paradise, and behold! I saw Ar-Rumaisa', Abu Talha's wife. I heard footsteps. I asked, Who is it? Somebody said, 'It is Bilal ' Then I saw a palace and a lady sitting in its courtyard. I asked, 'For whom is this palace?' Somebody replied, 'It is for 'Umar.' I intended to enter it and see it, but I thought of your ('Umar's) Ghira (and gave up the attempt)." 'Umar said, "Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah's Apostle! How dare I think of my Ghira (self-respect) being offended by you? [al-Bukhari]
After this short trip to the time of prophethood, and to Paradise, let us come back to earth and to our time.
These were women..., and they deserved Paradise..., why? how?
My dear Muslim fellow and especially sisters YOU MUST learn how these women lived, what they did in their lives, how they behaved, how they spoke, how they dressed, how they walked, how they ....
The black woman mentioned in this Hadith is not even known by her name, or who she were, she is rather known by her deeds, her faith, her modesty, her chastity, her care about not being uncovered and for her being an inmate of Paradise. And that is what matters indeed.
There are few points that are worth mentioning in regard of her case :
-She was physically sick, yet she sought cure in the du'a of the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. she knew that the one who cures, ash_Shaafee, is Allah. and Allah would answer the answer of His messenger.
-She prefered being patient and suffering in this world and getting the eternal reward of Paradise. Remember : Iman+Suffering+Patience==> Paradise. She suffered from sickness, in their way to pleasing Allah and obeying Him, other women can suffer from society, from family, or from other sources [as was the case of some Sahabiyyaat]. And no matter who you are, if you are in the path of Allah you will encounter difficulties, because Paradise is rounded by hardships.
If things are easy and just flowing then one must check him/herself. Especially in this American environment, it may be difficult for a young man to wear a beard [and yet it is mandatory], not to talk to women and be away from them [and yet it is mandatory] except if necessary and to ... and not to ... and it may be difficult for a young woman to wear the dress of modesty, the hijab (1) [and yet it is mandatory], not to talk to men and be away from them [and yet it is mandatory] except if necessary and to ...and not to ... All these may be difficult to achieve for some in the beginning, but when one overcomes him/herself for the sake of Allah, then all the other obstacles are nothing.
How to overcome oneself? By knowing Allah by His names and attributes, by loving Allah and His Messenger, by obeying Him and His Messenger ... and then the help of Allah is there since He is the one who is pleased, and let the world fall down and collapse as long as Allah is pleased and let the world fall down and collapse as long as Allah is not displeased.
(1) hijab IS NOT a piece of cloth a woman puts on her head as a head cover or scarf while the rest of the body is covered with tight or shape revealing dress [such as pants] or while mingling with men and talking to them as some ignorants and deviants [the most dangerous ones being the modernists] want muslim women to believe, and they led astray many of them unfortunately. Hijab is much more than that physically, morally and spiritually.
-She prefered being patient, but could not tolerate that her honor, her modesty and her chastity be damaged or even touched, nor that any part of her body be uncovered, though she had no control over it. Indeed She was a real slave and servant of Allah, she was a faithful, she was a believer, she was a muslimah, she was a righteous and pious woman, she was a truthful woman, she was loyal to Allah and His Messenger, she was a smart and wise woman, she was a great woman, she was ... she said :
"but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me [make du'a to Allah for me] that I may not become uncovered."
If words are to be written in Gold, these words should be written in gold ...
If you want Paradise, follow the black woman, may Allah be pleased with her, follow Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, follow Ar-Rumaisa' may Allah be pleased with her.
Ask yourself what made Khadija be greeted by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'aalaa and by Jibreel alaihi as-Salaam. Ask yourself what made Khadija be rewarded a Palace in Jannah as noone can imagine.
Reading the biography of Khadija and ar-Rumaisaa' one would wish to be their servant, to carry their shoes, to wash their clothes, to ...or to serve them in any possible way and get du'a from them.
My dears we just don't know the great ones of this Ummah, would we know them and follow them we would be in the forefront of mankind ...
and as it is said "Iman (faith) is not by hope, it is rather what occurs in the heart and is prooved by the deeds" [maa waqa'a fil qalbi wa saddaqahul-'amal]
I leave you to think about this and pray to Allah to make us all among the dwellers of Paradise and to bestow on us the faith and the patience that lead us to Paradise. And to bless the present Muslim Ummah with many women like the black woman may Allah be pleased with her...
PS: Inshaa'a Allah [if there is a remainder in the life] there is more to come on the issue of the believing women from the pure Islamic view, the only Islamic view, that of Ahlu-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, based on the Qur'an and the AUTHENTIC Sunnah as understood and practiced by the Salaf 'alaihim ar-Ridhwanu war-Rahmah.