[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
In the pagan Makkah, daughters were buried alive but Zaid used to keep daughters alive. The term used for burying daughter by her own father is Mow’uda. It was a very sinful ritual among the pagan Arabs. There were two reasons for such killings and it runs in the some parts of the world even today, albeit with different name.
The origin of Mow’uda
It happened that a prominent Arab had a daughter and when she grew up, she was abducted by his enemies after a bitter fight. The father was worried and wanted to set his daughter free. He came to know that the enemy was asking a huge sum to set his daughter free. He collected the money with much difficulty and when he reached there he came to know that his daughter had been raped. She refused to return with her father. He was ashamed to discover the fact and was angry thinking that his daughter was corrupted. He took it as an injury to his honour. The poor girl was not willing to go back because she was ashamed of facing her people with this black dot on her character. But her father misunderstood and out of pride he declared that henceforth, he would not let any of his daughters to live. That was the beginning of the killing of daughters in pagan Arabia. He started killing every daughter that was born to him. This became a trend in pagan Arabia. This was ‘an honour killing’ of those days.
Some people killed their daughters out of fear of poverty. Iblis injected fear in their minds, which started an endless chain of abortions. Thus, sins are beautified by Iblis before human. There are millions of abortion in the world these days. Islam has encouraged to have more children that is why the hadith says, “ Marry women who are affectionate and fertile so I will be proud of the number of my ummah as compared to the other prophets”.
It was Islamic Monotheism, the fitratul deen in Zaid ibn Amr which made him generous towards daughters in a society where daughters were killed. Zaib ibn Amr used to rush to every family where a daughter was born. He used to request them to give their daughters to him and used to bring them up. At times he even paid for getting the guardianship rights of the daughters. Then, when they grew up he used to offer their fathers to take them back and get them settled, otherwise he used to get them married and settle them. Allah loved his generosity and kind nature so He guided him to Touhid even when there was no prophet around him to teach him. Zaid was a man of Jannah.
Zaib ibn Amr’s Monotheism and his preaching
Asma bint Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with her), says: “Once I went to Kabah and saw an old man, Zaid ibn Amr sitting in the shade of Kabah while people were doing tawaf. He was saying, O My people, By the one who holds my soul, there is no one in the world who has the Religion of Ibrahim, so listen to me and accept it, abstain from your forefathers’ rituals. O Allah, if I knew someone great, with a better religion than the religion of Ibrahim, I would have worshipped him but I know there is none who deserves to be worshipped (except You),” saying this he used to go to prostration”. At times he used to go to the Kaba and say, I am here O Allah, worshipping, while fearing you, I am seeking refuge in one whom Ibrahim also sought refuge”.
Zaid was a paternal cousin of Umar bin al Khattab, who boycotted him and asked the youth of Makkah to drag him out of the city. Zaid, then used to stay in the mountains of Makkah, and came down at night, only to take his meal and then returned to the mountains. Umar, had built a team of young men assigning them to keep a watch on the movement of Zaid and stop him from entering into Makkah. The people of Makkah used to call the truthful religion of Ibrahim as one that causes dissension and division among the united Makkans. The same allegations are hurled even today at the people who try to correct fellow Muslims from Shirk and Biddah.
Once when the Prophet ﷺ met him, before the prophethood, he asked him the reason of him being harassed. He told him that he was insisting to return to the religion of Ibrahim and that was the reason of him being harrased.
Zaid ibn Amr was a man insistent on Touhid and strove against shirk and social evils which led him to be honoured as a man of Jannah. “I have been shown Zaid, dressed up in the clothes of Paradise, roaming in Jannah,” said the Prophet ﷺ. No matter how much rampant is shirk, yet there would always be a few people who would stand up for Touhid. As the hadith says, “By Allah, the hour of Qiyamah will not come till the world has even one person who says, La ilaha illaAllah”. Zaib bin Amir was in a micro-minority and his efforts and advice went in vain, but the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would be in large numbers. It would be a force that would declare the truth and would struggle against falsehood with all its might.
Today, we can receive the right guidance while sitting at home in comfort. We have the ease to pray anywhere we wish, even when we are out in the markets. Authentic information about our religion is at our finger tips, with various gadgets and devices. Take a moment to consider the efforts of those people who wandered across the world in pursuit of true religion and returned to Makkah to meet harsh resistance. Such was the struggle of the early Monotheists. Some authentic scholars believe that amongst all those who were in search of the truth, the religion of monotheism, Zaid ibn Amr holds the highest position. That is why some have even considered him as a companion of the Prophet ﷺ.