The following are a few examples of purity from the lives of the pious:
– The Sahaba R.A. were the most God-fearing and high-ranking assembly, yet it is said to them in the Holy Qur’an:
When out of necessity you approach the house of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and you are in a situation where you have to converse with his صلى الله عليه و سلم wives, do not enter their homes and do not lift your gaze, but, converse and ask for your requirements from behind a veil.
– Hadhrat Salim R.A. was a high ranking Sahabi and a household servant, Hadhrat Aisha R.A. did not observe Purdah in his presence because she knew it was not necessary for her to so in the presence of a servant. Hadhrat Salim R.A. stated:
I frequently visited Hadhrat Aisha R.A. to seek knowledge on Islam, being her servant, it was not necessary for her observe Purdah from me. One day I came into her presence and said:
‘O’ Mother of the Believers, please make supplication for me, that Allah (S) grant me barakah (blessings)’. Hadhrat Aisha R.A. asked, ‘what has happened, that you ask for me to supplicate for you?’ He replied, ‘today Allah سبحانه و تعالى has freed me, I am no longer a servant, I ask for you to supplicate for my new life’. Hadhrat Aisha R.A. replied, ‘May Allah سبحانه و تعالى grant you great barakah’, then she immediately pulled a curtain and went behind it to conceal herself, since that day Hadhrat Salim R.A. states I have never seen Hadhrat Aisha R.A.
– Hadhrat Aisha R.A. was so steadfast and meticulous in observing the Purdah and abiding by the Shariah that as soon as Hadhrat Salim R.A. was freed and it became necessary for her to observe Purdah from him she immediately implemented the commandment of Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
– Hadhrat Umme Salama narrates: Once Hadhrat Maimoona and I were sitting in the blessed company of Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم, when we saw that Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Maktoom R.A. was approaching, he was a high ranking and blind Sahabi, so great in rank that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has revealed Ayah’s on him upon Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم. On seeing him approach, Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم stated to them:
Observe Purdah and conceal yourselves, Hadhrat Maimoona R.A. asked, O’ Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم is Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Maktoom R.A. not blind? He does not have the ability to see us. Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم replied, are you both also blind, do you also not have the ability to see him.
– Hadhrat Sauda R.A. the wife of Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم, had a step-brother from the same father, hence, it was not necessary for her to observe Purdah from him. However, a question arose when a man claimed to be his real father, stating he had fathered him prior to her mother marrying Hadhrat Sauda R.A.’s father, however, Hadhrat Sauda R.A.’s father claimed to be the real father. If the other man were the father then it would be necessary for Hadhrat Sauda to observe Purdah from him, as he would no longer be her stepbrother. This matter was brought forward to Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم whom listened to both sides of the claims, and through the guidance of Shariah, Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم verified that Hadhrat Sauda’s father was speaking the truth and he had rightful claim of fatherhood over Hadhrat Sauda’s stepbrother. However, Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم gave the following advice to both Hadhrat Sauda R.A. and her stepbrother:
‘An indifference and doubt has arisen in your relationship of you being stepbrother and sister, it is better that you both safeguard yourselves by observing the laws of Purdah with each other’.
Hadhrat Muhaditheen R.A. have stated that Hadhrat Sauda R.A. is the Mother of Believers; she is the pure and virtuous wife of Rasullullah صلى الله عليه و سلم her rank and status is already in place. Her brother was such a Sahabi R.A., that from that moment on, until he passed away he observed Purdah from Hadhrat Sauda R.A. to such an extent that he never looked at her again.
Muslims are commanded to emulate the way of our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and the mother of Believers (his صلى الله عليه و سلم wives. To observe purdah is a beautiful and modest commandment, because by keeping the gaze lowered safeguards both a man and a woman from committing sins, drawing them closer to their Creator.
We claim that it is enough that our hearts are clean, were the hearts of the mother of Believers not clean and pure? they had the purest and cleanest hearts yet even they implemented the command of Purdah.