Queen Zubaidah was famous for the construction of the canal known as Nahr-e-Zubaidah. She was the wife of the Abbaasi Khalifah Haroon Rashid. At her own cost she had constructed a canal for water to flow through to Makkah. Over the centuries millions of people benefited from the water of this canal.
After her demise, she appeared in someone’s dream and said that she was ushered into the Divine Presence and her Book of Deeds was scrutinized, page by page. As the Angel was turning the pages, he was commenting on her various deeds. Zubaidah had great hopes on the reward she would be receiving for having constructed the famous canal. However, to her consternation, when the Angel reached the page on which was recorded the feat of the canal, he simply flipped it over and did not even mention it, indicating thereby its insignificance.
Queeen Zubaidah’s hopes in salvation receded and she was overcome with fear. If even such a great deed of virtue was passed over as insignificant, then she had no other deeds to offer for her salvation. Whilst she waited in trepidation and fear for the verdict, the Angel suddenly became attentive and carefully read one of her deeds.
The deed was enacted on a very hot day when Zubaidah was strolling with a maid in the palace gardens. She felt extremely thirsty and instructed the maid to bring water. As Zubaidah put the glass of cold water to her lips, she heard the Zuhr Athaan being proclaimed. Without taking even a sip, she removed the glass from her lips, listened attentively and quietly responded to the Muath-thin’s Call. After the completion of the Athaan and recitation of the Masnoon Dua, she drank the water.
This act of respect for the Athaan – for Allah’s Name – was so weighty and so valued by Allah Ta’ala, that she was forgiven on its basis and Jannat was assured for her