Khalah Siddiqah’s Story

As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
My dearest sisters,

Often, we become affected positively by a person who did some little or great thing. I want to tell you about Siddiqah Sharafuddeen and how she affected me. (The term “khalah” means maternal aunt in Arabic.)

Khalah Siddiqah, which was the name I knew her by, was an old woman with a very sweet and kind face. When I close my eyes I can still see her in a pale blue “thobe dress” and long white veil that came to a point in the back. I met her in Jeddah while I was studying Qur’an. While I was in the hospital giving birth to Mohammed 19 years ago, Kahlah Siddiqah opened the first Qur’an school for women in Jeddah.

She had a long line of firsts and I’m sure I don’t even know them all. She comes from an old family in Jeddah, in fact the Naseef house is famous and preserved in its originality. The Naseef family is of mixed background, I think Iraqi and Pakistani or Syrian. At any rate, the entire family is dedicated to education on all levels and for all ages. Khalah Siddiqah and her family started the first school for girls in the Kingdom just a mere 35 years before I first came to Saudi Arabia. [It is almost 62years ago at this posting]. At that time, if a family wanted their daughters to be educated, they either had private tutors or they sent them out of the country to study.

Naseefiyyah School is still functioning today. Khala Siddiqah is the mother of Dr. Abdullah Naseef (who was the head of the King Abdul-Aziz University when we came here and then he was appointed the head of Rabita Al Islaami). She is also the mother of Dr. Fatimah Naseef (who was the Dean of the same university women’s campus and professor of Islamic History. They are both well known and also dedicated to education.

My first and only personal encounter with Khalah Siddiqah was at the Qur’an center she had established in Jeddah 19 years ago (from the time of first writing this story – 1998). Someone pointed her out to me as being the owner of the center. She used to go around to the various classes, stop in, observe without pretentiouness (as some owners can do), and move on without saying anything. This center was completing a juz every 2 months for all levels. So at the end of the 2 months we were all to be tested, and not by our teachers, but in the big office up front with either Khalah Siddiqah or her assistant listening to us. Our class stood in line waiting for our turns to enter the office and recite. I was very nervous and as I was waiting in the doorway with only one person in front of me I silently prayed that I would not get the “owner” of the school, but her assistant with whom I had talked on several previous occasions. My prayer was answered and the girl ahead of me was called into the room and Khalah Siddiqah beckoned to her to come sit with her. I went over to the assistant’s desk and sat, but not without first looking over to see how the girl in front of me was making out. I had never spoken to Khalah Siddiqah so I didn’t know her. I saw her motion to the girl to sit on the low Arab cushions with such a sweet gesture and I heard her say, “Don’t worry, everything will be alright.” She had a very kind look that shone through her eyes. I thought, “O, God, I made the wrong choice”.

However, the assistant was very nice and I managed to recite the surahs given to me and to give the meanings of the words asked. I’ll never forget the look on Khalah Siddiqah’s face. You rarely see that much kindness and love for people shinning out of a person’s face. She was lit with Qur’an.

After that first juz, we moved to Makkah and about two years later I heard that Khalah Siddiqah went to Hajj with some of her family and friends. The day after returning from Hajj, they had some guests in their home and after leading the sisters in Salatul Dhur, she excused herself for a nap and asked that they wake her for Salatul Asr. When Asr came they went to awake her and found that she had died. May Allah have mercy on her and accept all her good deeds and place her high in Jannah.

As I said, I don’t know all of her achievements, but I do know that she is responsible for many women being educated in general and learning Qur’an in particular. The Qur’an center is still going on. Can you imagine all the sadaqah jaariyah she is receiving!

As an afternote, I attended a lecture series-end party at Fatimah Naseef’s house about 5 years ago[make that 12]. I went with some other university students, a former teacher of ours from the language institute and my daughter, Falaqi. First we went to AlBayan school which was started by 2 sisters from the Al-Amoudi family and then we went to the haflah (party).

As my eyes searched the room to catch sight of Fatima Naseef, I was able to recognize her by her eyes and face which exhibited that same kindness and light — the dedication to women and their educational well-being that shone in her mother’s face; she had successfully passed the torch.

My favorite dua book is called “The Muslim’s Supplication Throughout the Day and Night”. It was collected and arranged by Siddiqah Sharafudden. May Allah reward her for this work.

The original is written in Arabic and now it has been translated into English with footnotes indicating the authenticity of the traditions; there is no transliteration. To quote from her introduction, Khalah Siddiqah says:

“I have collected what I was able of the Prophet’s supplications
in this book and entitled it “Du’aa ul-Muslim fil-Yaum
wal-Laylah”, hoping that Allah will benefit all who read it,
that He will make our work solely for Him and that He will
make it a provision of us on the Day of Return. With the help
of Allah comes appropriate speech and integrity of conduct.
In closing, I ask Allah to grant benefit through this book and
to return the Muslims to their religion – the source of their
honor and high rank in this world and the next.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Siddiqah Sharafuddeen, Jeddah.
Ramadhan 1, 1398 / August 3, 1978.”

That was three years before she died, may Allah shower her with His Mercy. Please make dua for her.

I would love to tell you about the women at the haflah [see Deen Clips 3], but that’s another story . . .

Exceprt from her book:
The Greatest Names of Allah

Anas reported: “I was sitting with the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the mosque whil a man was pryaing, and he (the man) said, ‘O Allah, I ask You because all praise belongs to You; there is no god but You, Most Generous [al-Mannan], Originator of the Heaven and earth. O Possessor of Majesty and Honor, O Ever-Living, O Self-Sustaining, I appeal to You’ [then he made his request]. The Prophet said, ‘He has supplicated Allah by His greatest name, which if He is called by it, He responds, and if
He is petitioned by it, HE GIVES. [At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah — saheeh]

DEEN CLIPS 2A – One of my favorite duas

From the dua book collected and arranged by Siddiqah Sharafuddeen
entitled “The Muslim’s Supplication throughout the Day and Night”,
comes the following dua which is one of my favorites. It is called “Dua’l Khair:

“Allahumma inni ‘as’aluka khairal mas’ala,
wa khairud dua, wa khairan najah,
wa khair an ‘aml, wa khairath thawwab,
wa khairal hayyat, wa kharal mamaat,
wa tabitni, wa thaql mawaazini,
wa haqqaq imaani, w’arfa’ darajaati,
wa taqabal salaati, waghfir khatii’ati,
wa’asaluka ad darajaat al’oula minal janna, aameen.

Allahumma inni ‘as’aluka fawaajihal khair,
wa khwaatimahu, wa jawaam’ahu,
wa awalahu, wa aakhirahu,
wa thaahirahu, wa baatinahu,
ad darajaat al’oula minal janna, aameen.

Allahumma inni ‘as’aluka kaira ma aati,
wa khaira ma ‘af’al, wa khaira ma ‘am’al,
wa khaira ma ‘ubtin, wa khaira ‘uth-har,
ad darajaat al ‘oula minal janna, aameen.

Allahumma inni ‘as’aluka an tarf’a thikri
wa tad’a wizri, wa tusliha ‘amri,
wa tutahhira qalbi, wa tuhssina farji,
wa tunauwira qalbi, wa taghfira li thanbi,
wa’asaluka ad darajaat al’oula minal janna, aameen.

Allahumma inni ‘as’luka an tufaarik li fi sam’ie,
wa fi basari, wa fi ruhi,
wa fi khalqi, wa fi khuluqi,
wa fi ahli, wa fi mahyaa ie,
wa fi mamati, wa fi ‘amali,
wa taqabbal hasanaati,
wa’asaluka ad darajaat al’oula minal janna, aameen.

O Allah I ask of You the best request,
the best supplication, the best success,
the best work, the best reward,
the best life, and the best death.
And make me firm, let my balance (of good) be heavy,
fulfill my belief, elevate my position,
accept my prayer, and forgive my sin.
And I ask of You the highest degrees in Paradise. Ameen.

O Allah I ask of You the beginnings of good,
and the endings of good, all its aspects,
its first, and its last,
its apparent (side) and its unapparent (side),
and the highest degrees in Paradise. Ameen.

O Allah I ask of You the good that comes to me,
and the good of what I do, and the good of my work
and the good of what I conceal, and the good of what I reveal
and the highest degrees in Paradise. Ameen.

O Allah I ask You to raise high my reputation,
relieve me of my burden, set right my affairs,
purify my heart, guard my chastity,
illuminate my heart, and forgive my sin.
And I ask of You the highest degrees in Paradise. Ameen.

O Allah I ask You to bless me in my hearing,
in my sight, in my soul,
in my body, in my manners,
in my family, in my life,
in my death, and in my work
and to accept my good deeds.
And I ask of You the highest degrees in Paradise. Ameen.

[Al-Hakim and at-Tabarani. Al-Haythami said that the narrators are


Omm Rafiq
Originally written: July 15 & 16, 1998

Rabbana, grant us the good of this life, the good of the next life
and protect us from the Fire.

Allahumma,I seek refuge in You from knowledge that does not benefit,
from a heart that is not subdued, from a supplication that is not
answered, and from a soul that is not satisfied.

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