His name was unusual and incomplete. Julaybib (R) means ‘small grown’. The name is an indication that Julaybib (R) was small and short. More than that, he is described as being 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 (Pbuh), was he so insignificant as to be overlooked in the pre-occupation with the great affairs of the state and in the supreme issues of life and survival which constantly engaged the attention of the Prophet (Pbuh)?
Just as he was aware of the great issues of life and destiny, the Prophet (Pbuh), 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 (Pbuh) went to one of the Ansar and said “I want to have your daughter married”. “How wonderful and blessed, O Messenger of Allah (this would be).” replied the Ansari man with obvious joy and happiness. “I do not want her for myself”, added the Prophet (Pbuh). “Then for whom, O Messenger of Allah?” asked the man, obviously somewhat let down. “For Julaybib”, said the Prophet (Pbuh).
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. “How wonderful and blessed (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 (Pbuh) 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 (Pbuh) request to marry her to Julaybib (R). When she heard that the request had come from the Prophet (Pbuh), 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? 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 fulfilment can a Muslim find than in responding willingly to the requests and commands of the Messenger of Allah? Truly, this companion of the Prophet (Pbuh) set an example for all of us to obey the (Qur’anic command of Al Ahzab 33:36). “Whenever Allah and his Messenger has 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”.
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 (Pbuh) deems good for me.”
The Prophet (Pbuh) 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 (Pbuh) to Julaybib (R), and they lived together until he was killed.
He went on an expedition with the Prophet (Pbuh), and an encounter with some unbelievers ensued. When the battle was over, the Prophet (Pbuh) asked his companions: “Have you lost anyone?” They named their relatives or close friends who were killed. Another group answered that they had lost no close relative whereupon the Prophet (Pbuh) said: “But I have lost Julaybib. Search for him in the battlefield”. They searched and found him beside seven unbelievers whom he had struck before meeting his end. The Prophet (Pbuh) stood up and went to this spot where Julaybib (R), his short and deformed companion, lay. The Prophet (Pbuh) of Allah stood over him and said: “He killed seven and then was killed? This man is of me and I am of him”. He repeated this two or three times. The Prophet (Pbuh) then dug for him a grave, and himself placed him in it.
The little that is known about Julaybib (R) and his wife demonstrates how the meek and the humble were given hope and dignity by the Prophet (Pbuh) where once there was only despair and self-debasement.
The attitude of the Ansari girl, who readily agreed to be the wife of a physically unattractive man, reflected a profound understanding of Islam. It reflected the effacement of personal desires and preferences, even when she could have relied on the support of her parents. It reflected a total disregard for social norms and pressures. It reflected, above all, a ready and unshakeable confidence in the wisdom and authority of the Prophet (Pbuh) in submitting herself to whatever he deemed good. This is indeed the attitude of the true believer.
Many prospective wives seem to have their hopes dashed after they enter into the contract of marriage. Once the honeymoon is over, suddenly things are not so rosy any more, and the reality of married life seems to be a far cry from the Haraam movies which many have been watching or the novels which end up with ‘and they lived happily ever after.’ In a world where it has become fashionable to engage in immoral activities and illicit relationships, it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince people that marriage is an important component of a pure society.
What guidelines does the Shariah give the wife to help cement the relationship between herself and her husband?
The Qur’an in Surah Shuaraa (v74), describes the prayer of the pious in the following manner: Oh our lord! Grant us wives and offspring who will be the joy and comfort of our eyes. The explanation of the above verse is clearly illustrated in the beautiful words of our Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) (as narrated by ibn Abbaas) The best woman (wife) is the one whom, when you look at her she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, when you are not in her presence she safeguards herself and your belongings.
Today, the wife adorns herself for weddings and other social events, beautifying herself to attract the attention of everyone else besides the one who is most important in her life. The husband comes home tired from work, only to find his wife shabbily dressed, too glued to the drama on TV to even reply to the Salaam of her husband. Meal times and other household duties are dictated by the box. The children are sent away to their rooms with the words, ‘Go to your room and read your Qur’an - or finish up your homework.’ These words, mind you, are not uttered because of some great concern for the child’s education; in fact it is only mentioned to get them out of the way.
Remember! Your children may not do what you ask them to do, but they very often do what they see you do. What kind of example are we setting for these impressionable young minds?
Unrealistic demands made by the wife do not help much to strengthen the marital bond. Being dictated by fashion and the way the people next door are living, the wife forces the husband to beg and borrow just to keep up with the neighbours. ‘If your brother’s wife can have it, then why can’t I? Well your sister has it in her house.’
Comparing ourselves with those who have more than us does not help to relieve tension between husband and wife. The words of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) beautifully explain: Look at those who have less than you, do not look at those who have more than you, (if you do so) then you are more likely to appreciate Allah’s favours upon you.
If a man had to choose a wife according to the guidelines given by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), what kind of a person would he look for? The Hadith states: A woman is married for four (things); her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So choose (marry) the religious woman, otherwise you will be a loser.
The most important quality of the wife is consciousness of her Islamic responsibilities. How Deeni conscious are you? How supportive are you of your husband when he is engaged in Deeni activities? Are you preventing him from serving humanity?
The Qur’an in Surah Rum (v21) explains the purpose of marriage as a source of comfort for both partners. No one has married Mr Perfect and no one is perfect! Are you making the environment in the home conducive to living in peace and harmony or does your husband feel that he would rather be at work than at home with you?
What degree of obedience does the Shariah command the wife to have for her husband? A Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) explains, If I had to command anyone to prostrate to somebody, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate before her husband. However, if your husband commands you to do something against the Shariah you do not have to obey him.
If the objectives of both husband and wife are to please Allah, the couple will find more common ground on which to build the relationship. (Khamisa - Jamiat)