The Supportive Spouse​

Sayyidah Zainab Thaqafiyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), also known by the name ‘Raitah’, was the respected wife of the renowned Sahaabi, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had dedicated his time to remaining in the blessed company of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to serve him and acquire the knowledge of Deen from him. Through this effort, Allah Ta‘ala blessed him to become one of the leading Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) in the field of the knowledge of Deen.

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) did not possess abundant wealth, and he had sacrificed earning a living to acquire the knowledge of Deen from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). As for his wife, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), she not only accepted his decision happily, but even tried her best to assist him in his noble endeavour! She would thus see to the needs of the household – which included the orphaned children of her brother and sister – by making things and selling them (from home) in order to earn an income.

One day, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) address the women saying, “Give charity, even if it be through selling your jewellery!” When she heard this, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) mentioned to Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), “By spending on the household, I am unable to give money in charity!” Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) answered, “If spending on your household is not rewarding for you, I would not be happy for you to spend on us.”

Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) thus went to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and addressed her concern to him saying, “I am a woman who makes things and sells (from home). Neither my husband, nor my children nor I possess wealth. Due to spending on my family, I am unable to give money in charity. Will I receive reward of charity for spending on them?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “So long as you spend on them, you will receive the reward of charity, so continue spending on them.” In another narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said that she would receive a double reward; one reward for maintaining family ties (through spending on family) and a separate reward for charity.

(Saheeh Bukhaari #1466, Fat-hul Baari vol. 3, pg. 419 and Usdul Ghaabah vol. 5, pgs. 291 & 302 ( Uswatulmuslima)