I came across this story a couple times on Sr. Heba AlShareef’s blog – IAmSheba.com and thought there must be something pretty awesome about it for her to mention it so many times. I’ve added some lessons I got from it below (including those I picked up from I Am Sheba) – please add if you have benefited in any way inshaAllah 🙂
Asma bint Abu Bakr is said to have narrated that when Al Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with them) married her, he had no land property, nor a slave, nor anything else, except a camel for ’work’ and a horse.She said: “I would give fodder to his horse, draw the water, patch his water skin, knead the flour. I was not good at baking and preparing bread; but I had some sincere Ansar neighbour ladies who used to help me with the baking. I used to bring, on my head, fruit kernels from the land which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had given to Al Zubayr. That land was at a distance of three farsakhs (about ten miles).One day I was on my way home with a load on my head when I met the Prophet with a number of Ansar. the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked me to ride, behind him on the camel, but I felt shy of joining the company of men.The Prophet (peace be upon him) realised that I was feeling shy and, therefore, continued his journey without me. Later I came to Al Zubayr and told him how I met the Prophet (peace be upon him) with a company of Ansars, and how I declined his offer when he bade the camel to kneel so that I might ride behind him.I told Al Zubayr I felt shy and remembered his jealousy, self-respect and honour. On hearing that account Al Zubayr said, ‘By God your heavy laboring is far more distressing for me than riding the camel with the Prophet’.Later Abu Bakr sent me a servant to save me the trouble of looking after the horse and I felt as if I had been relieved of the bondage of slavery”. (Bukhari)
- I’m assuming this was early on in their marriage from the initial paragraph and you can see how Asma wasn’t expecting a free ride and constant pampering as a new bride – she was putting in effort right away to make sure her husband (and, in turn, her marriage!) would be happy. (Honeymoon’s over folks!) She would walk 10 miles! We complain about walking a few yards or cleaning our bedrooms or picking something off the ground. SubhanAllah.
- She married a man who wasn’t extremely wealthy in the dunya sense – but in the deen, this man was rolling, mashaAllah. Talk about her priorities being set straight. (Zubayr, radhiaAllahu ‘anhu, was equated to being equal to 1000 men on the battlefield, he could fight with 2 of those hard-core swords, he was a Companion, and one of those guaranteed Jannah – uh, I think Asma hit the jackpot right there mashaAllah :))
- She wasn’t good at making bread but she still tried – and she sought advice from those who could help her. It wasn’t ‘Oh, I can’t do this, so I’m not going to try.’ It was ‘Let me see how I can learn how to do this.’ Maybe she ‘failed’ at it a couple times, but afterwards, she knows how to make it for a lifetime inshaAllah!
- The Ansar women are so sweet – may Allah reward them. They saw this newly married girl who needed some tips and help. Instead of acting like snobby aunties or annoying, competing, fellow newlyweds, they helped out their sister in Islam. Ansar rock, mashaAllah.
- She’s not complaining anywhere… her life is hard, no doubt, but ‘With difficulty comes ease’ is probably something she lives by. Besides, how else will we get to Jannah if we don’t do anything that would entitle us to deserve it?
- She cared about her husband and what he liked and disliked. It would’ve been easier to just take the free lift home (with the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, at that) but she knew that he wouldn’t like it. It didn’t matter how tired and exhausted she must have been. She still strove to please her husband.
- Zubayr had gheerah – protective jealousy, but it wasn’t over-powering or destructive. He kept the needs and well-being of his wife in mind with this. His care for her well-being was strong and he arranged for a means to make sure she wouldn’t be labouring so hard. (Hey, doesn’t that sound like the cliche of the big, buff guy swooping in and taking care of the girl’s problems? ;))
- True, Zubayr had gheerah, but he also had common sense. He prioritzed as well – to him, the labouring was worse than his wife riding a camel with the Prophet so he did something about it. Yes, he was a jealous man, but he was not a man who would be irrationally overtaken by his jealously.
- Asma and Zubayr were able to properly communicate their daily dealings and come to a solution – Asma had a servant from her father so she wouldn’t have to labour so hard – making both happy. With hardship comes ease, does it not? A horse to help, a communicative relationship, and happy spouses…
Speaking of gheerah, where are the men of today with gheerah? I remember reading an article saying how some men enjoy seeing their women ‘flirting’ with other men because it makes them appreciate them more or want them more (because now some other guy also wants her) or some bakwaas like that. Um, that’s dumb. ‘Nuff said. If Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala blessed you with a spouse, appreciate them!
Also, I was thinking on a feminist side – of how some women get mad about having to always ‘please’ their husbands, but if you think about it, when the husband (or any person, in any relationship) is pleased, doesn’t that make you a happy person? So, it’s kind of a selfishly-good thing to do :). As well, Asma wasn’t the only one working on the pleasing – Zubayr did too (he looked to see how he could lessen the labour on her) – they had a give and take thing going on. Besides, the reward associated with pleasing your spouse kind of makes those ‘But I don’t want to because…’ factors seem obsolete. As Ali, radhiaAllahu ‘anhu would say, we need to set aside our pride and put down our arrogance.
May Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala be pleased with them.
Do you have any lessons to take?