Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sunrise in the beginning | Sunrise in the end


When I read this aphorism by Ibn Ata'illah, I immediately thought of Fatima al-Fihri.

Ibn Ata says:
"A sign of success in the end comes from relating a matter to God in the beginning. If there is no sunrise in the beginning, there is no sunrise in the end."

Fatima al-Fihri, was the first and the only woman ever who founded both a mosque and a university - the University of Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco which came into existence a very long time ago in the 9th century. It's therefore, the world's oldest university. Later in the 14th century, the university housed, what was to be the world's oldest library where one could find Muwatta of Imam Malik on gazzele parchment.  

It's big time sunrise in the end for the efforts Fatima undertook. Why? Because there was glorious sunrise in the beginning when she embarked on her project.

Her father Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Fihri was a wealthy businessman from whom she and her sister Mariam had inherited plenty. Following the death of her husband, brother and father, Fatima, a well educated woman herself, decided to use her inheritance as waqaf, not simply any small waqaf project but an everlasting amal jariah for the sake of her father and her community - a mosque that subsequently evolved into a leading university.

She might not have had the technical know-how, yet she decided to be involved in the construction process. She chose to be a hands-on benefactor. As an educated and pious woman it was clear for her that a mosque should be built on the foundations of taqwa so she took that literally. It was reported that Fatima observed fasting throughout the construction of the mosque which took two years to complete.

Fatima was a woman of great distinction who left a remarkable legacy. The mosque and the University of Qarawiyyin is still running and is alma mater for great scholars such as Muhammad al-Fasi, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn al-Arabi.

Fatima al-Fihri, was without a doubt, a selfless woman with great vision. It was sunrise in the beginning and because of her, millions of people have seen sunny days through the years, and we are talking about 1000 over years.   


"Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away..."

To do Fez via Paris would be awesome, InshaAllah.

1 comment:

  1. Bismillah


    Delightful post..beautiful..mashaAllah thank u sis