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Committed to the Spouse

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(Sayyidah Zainab [radhiyallahu ‘anha] bintu Rasulillah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam] – Part Two)

Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas bin Rabee’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was among those men in Makkah Mukarramah who were known for their wealth, trustworthiness, and business skills. He was the son of Sayyidah Haalah bintu Khuwailid (radhiyallahu ‘anha), the sister of Sayyidah Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). Sayyidah Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) loved this nephew of hers as her own son. She thus asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) if he would marry their daughter, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), to him. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) agreed and married Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). 

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) became the Nabi, his respected wife and beloved daughters all accepted Islam. The husband of Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, remained on his religion. Being the early years of Islam, it was still permissible for a Muslim woman to be in the marriage of a non-Muslim man.  

One of the methods that the Quraish used to cause harm to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was that they went to his sons-in-law and persuaded them to divorce his respected daughters. They even offered them, in exchange, their pick of any woman of the Quraish. They wanted to cause emotional and mental anguish and distress to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in order to hamper his da’wah and mission.   

Two daughters of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were married to the sons of Abu Lahab; Sayyidah Ruqayyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to ‘Utbah and Sayyidah Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to ‘Utaibah. The Quraish approached them and asked them to divorce the daughters of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The sons of Abu Lahab complied. However, when the Quraish approached Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he blankly refused to divorce Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) and said that he would not choose any other woman of the Quraish in place of Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha). 

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) migrated to Madeenah Munawwarah with his entire family, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was left all alone in Makkah Mukarramah. Hence, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was now not only separated from her entire family, but also living in the thick of her father’s enemies – the disbelievers. 

(Seerah Ibni Hishaam vol. 2, pg. 651)

Lessons:

1. When a wife pleases her husband, serves him well, adorns herself for him and reserves her charm and beauty for him alone, he will appreciate and value her to the point where, if offered any woman in the world in exchange, he will still refuse.

2. The husband and wife are often happy with one another and enjoy a blissful marriage. However, as soon as they pay attention to incorrect outside influences, they find their marriage taking a turn and landing on the rocks. Instead of letting their marriage succumb to any unwarranted pressure, they should stand together and support one another. Marriage is not a landmine that blows up at the slightest touch; it’s an unshakeable boulder that simply gains beauty and character by weathering the storms. Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), despite the social pressure and the ‘carrot dangled’ by the Quraish, did not abandon his wife.

3. It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to be in the marriage of a disbeliever. However, apart from disbelief, if the husband is involved in other vices and bad habits, the wife should not be disheartened. Rather, she should make du‘aa for him and utilise her unique position, as the woman he loves, to help him try and make the change. Insha-Allah he will one day be blessed with guidance, as Sayyiduna ‘Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was blessed with imaan later on.