I have been planning for a whole week what my next post would be. Many topics came to mind all to be set aside. Didn’t feel like typing, didn’t feel like thinking (about serious stuff) cuz I have a lot on my plate trying to memorize the Qu’ran. Whoever reads this, please make du’a for me that Allah increase me in my memory and my understanding of his book. Anywayz, that was one of the topics that got away and will have to be revisited some other time. A situation came up here in my family that really made me think about our concepts of marriage and how distorted it has become.
This message is to the brothers: “BE A MAN, AKHI!!
Marry the women, the cute ones and the ugly ones, the fat ones and the skinny ones, with or without children, the rich ones and the poor ones, blind, crippled and crazy! Yes, I said it, tighten your bootstraps and HANDLE IT. You, brother are the vanguard of this ummah. You are the guardians of this religion and there are sisters who need mates, who need protection, who want to complete their religion with companionship and love.
Yet they are being left out there to fend for themselves. They are alone and lonely. Dragging through this hard, cold, cruel world alone. Sisters are struggling and trying to maintain their Islam. A sister said to me “You know, it’s hard, we are told that we should marry, stay away from fornication, no intermingling. But what do I do. I have been trying to get married for 5 years. Nobody is stepping up to the plate and women have needs. Audhu’billah, I know that if I took of my hijab and went out on that, I wouldn’t have a problem finding a man. Not that I would do that. But what is the alternative? I know we should be patient. But it’s hard.”
What is the alternative brothers? Why do the women have to feel like this. Why does she have to resort to this? How about being men and marrying the women that need marrying. Not cuz she’s fine or a sheikha. But because this is what our ummah needs. What an excellent example we have in our sunnah. What an excellent example we have in Julaybib radi Allahu anhu.
The Story of Julaybib
His name was unusual and incomplete. Julaybib (R) means “small grown”. It is the diminutive form of the word “Jalbab”. The name is an indication that Julaybib (R) was small and short. More than that, he is described as being “damam” which means ugly, deformed, or of repulsive appearance.
Even more disturbing, for the society in which he lived, Julaybib’s lineage was not known. There is no record of who his mother and father were, or to what tribe he belonged. This was considered a serious disability in his society. Julaybib (R) could not expect any compassion, protection, or support from a society that placed a great deal of importance on family and tribal connections. In this regard, all that was known of him was that he was an Arab and that, as far as the new community of Islam was concerned, he was one of the Ansar.
He was shunned in his society. As an example, Abu Barzah, of the Aslam tribe, prohibited him from entering his home, and he told his wife:
“Do not let Julaybib (R) enter among you. If he does, I shall certainly do something terrible to him.”
Was there any hope for Julaybib (R) to be treated with respect and consideration? Was there any hope for him to find emotional satisfaction as an individual and as a man? Was there any hope for him to enjoy the relationships which others take for granted? And in the new society emerging under the guidance of the Prophet (S), was he so insignificant as to be overlooked in the preoccupation with the great affairs of state and in the supreme issues of life and survival which constantly engaged the attention of the Prophet (S)?
Just as he was aware of the great issues of life and destiny, the Prophet (S), who is mercy for all humanity, was also aware of the needs and feelings of his most humble companions. With Julaybib (R) in mind, the Prophet (S) went to one of the Ansar and said: I want to have your daughter married. “How wonderful and blessed, O Messenger of Allah, and what a delight to the eye (this would be),” replied the Ansari man with obvious joy and happiness. I do not want her for myself, added the Prophet (S). “Then for whom, O Messenger of Allah?” asked the man, obviously somewhat let down. For Julaybib , said the Prophet (S).
The Ansari must have been too shocked to give his own reaction so he replied: “I will consult with her mother.” And off he went to his wife. “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah (T) bestow peace and blessings upon him, wants to have your daughter married”, he told his wife. She was thrilled. “What a wonderful idea and what a delight to the eye (this would be),” she said. “He does not want to marry her himself, but he wants to marry her to Julaybib (R),” he added. She was flabbergasted!
“To Julaybib? No, never to Julaybib! No, by the Living Allah, we shall not marry (her) to him.” she protested.
As the Ansari was about to return to the Prophet (S) to inform him of what his wife had said, the daughter, who had heard her mother’s protestations, asked: “Who has asked to marry me?”
Her mother told her of the Prophet’s request to marry her to Julaybib (R). When she heard that the request had come from the Prophet (S), and that her mother was absolutely opposed to the idea, she was greatly perturbed and said:
“Do you refuse the request of the Messenger of Allah (T)? Send me to him, for he shall certainly not bring ruin to me.”
This was the reply of a truly great person who had a clear understanding of what was required of her as a Muslim. What greater satisfaction and fulfillment can a Muslim find than in responding willingly to the requests and commands of the Messenger of Allah (T)! Truly, this companion of the Prophet (S), even though we do not know her name, set an example for all of us to obey the Quranic command:
Whenever Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, it is not for a believing man or woman to claim freedom of choice in so far as this matter is concerned. And he who disobeys Allah and His Messenger (S) has, most obviously, gone astray. [Al-Ahzab 33:36]
This was revealed in connection with the marriage of Zaynab bint Jahsh and Zayd bin Harithah, which was arranged by the Prophet (S) to show the egalitarian spirit of Islam. Zaynab, at first, was highly offended at the thought of marrying Zayd, a former slave, and refused to marry him. The Prophet (S) prevailed upon them both and they were married. The marriage however ended in divorce and Zaynab was eventually married to the Prophet (S) himself. It is said that the Ansari girl read the verse to her parents and said:
“I am satisfied, and submit myself to whatever Allah’s Messenger (S) deems good for me.”
The Prophet (S) heard of her reaction and prayed for her: O Lord, bestow good on her in abundance and make not her life one of toil and trouble.
It is said that among the Ansar, there was not a more eligible bride than her. She was married by the Prophet (S) to Julaybib (R), and they lived together until he was killed. (click here to read the full story)
It was for the good of the community. It was a beautiful sacrifice for the sister to make and a means of great reward for her. Marriage is not a fairy story where the woman is a princess waiting on her Knight in shining armor to scoop her up and wisk her away to their beautiful castle on the hill. Marriage is a needed institution, designed to make us stronger as people and as a community. Want for your muslim sister and brother what you want for yourself. Brothers need to tighten the bootstraps and handle it.