Like Father, Like Son

Written by Hassan Akbar

In the name of Allah, All praise is for Allah, The Mighty, the Most High, and may His peace and blessings be upon His final Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah and upon his family and companions. To proceed, on the authority of Aisha (Radiyallahu anha) who said,

Allah’s Apostle once entered upon me in a very happy mood, with his features glittering with joy, and said, “O Aisha! Wont you see that Mujazziz* (a Qa’if) looked just now at Zaid ibn Haritha (RU) and Usama Ibn Zaid (RU) and said, “These feet (of Usama and His Father) belong to each other”.

{Hadith# 325,Umdatul-Ahkaam}

Before going into the details of this hadith and the lessons that we can take from it, we must first define two terms, which may be obscure to some.

Qa’if comes from the word Qiyafa,

Qiyafa: Looking for the resemblance in a family; an old art form.

*Mujazziz: The one who looks for resemblance in a family by examining the feet.

The hypocrites and Jews of Madina used to say that Usama was not the son of Zaid Ibn Haritha because Usama did not resemble his father and was of black complexion. This statement bothered the Prophet(s) so one day a Qa’if came and found Zaid Ibn Haritha and his son Usama laying on the floor sleeping and their faces were covered. Seeing only their feet he examined them and then said “These feet belong to each other.” The Prophet(s) was so happy to hear this news, for it proved false the statements of the hypocrites and Jews. We find that they, the troublemakers in Madina tried to attack Usama’s leanage based soley on his apparence, specifically on the color of his skin. Lineage, that to the Arab was and is an issue of honor.

Usama’s mother was Um Ayman and she was Habashi (Ethiopian) a black women. So obviously her child would share her complexion. But though Usama was of black complexion he was still loved and favored by the Messenger of Allah(s), who did not distinguish between the people based on the color of there skin. And the fact that the Prophet(s) loved Usama was well known amongst the people. Usama was called “The beloved, son of the beloved” further more in another narration when the Makzumiyya women was going to be punished for stealing, her people tried to intervene and they sent Usama to intercede on her behalf because they knew that the Prophet(s) loved him.

With the immense love he had for Usama it was of no surprise that the troublemakers would attack those around the Prophet(s). And this rumor was hated by the Prophet(s), not only for the attack on Usama’s linage but also because of the hidden racial message behind their words. Their prejudice against blacks made it easy for this rumor to hold weight in the community. Sadly these claims are still heard today when two people from different ethnic backgrounds decide to marry and start a family. How many children are born not looking like their fathers? How many are born resembling their mothers or other relatives, countless. We should take a few lessons from this hadith:

1. The color of ones skin should not be the bases on which one accuses his spouse of infidelity.

2. We should shut the door on the Jahiliyya (Ignorance) of racism and discrimination against people of color. For we are all related and share a common father, Adam(as).

3. It was the Messenger of Allah(s) who gave Zaid Ibn Haritha(Ru) his wife. He chose a Habashi woman, a believing woman, a black women to be with one of the most beloved people to him.

Let me validate that statement of Zaid(ru) being one of the most dear people to the Prophet.

Zaid Ibn Haritha was the freed servant and adopted son of the Messenger(s).

Not until the verses was revealed,