By Mohamedarif Suleman (Nairobi, Kenya)
Jowaibir left the house murmuring, “By God, whatever the Qur’an teaches and whatever is the purpose of the Prophet Hood of Muhammad is totally against what Ziad says.”
Those nearby heard the murmurings of Jowaibir. Zalfa, the lovely daughter if Ziad, and the beauty queen of Medina, heard those words of Jowaibir. She came to her father and asked, “Father, what was that man who just went out saying? And what did he mean?” “He had come to ask for your hand in marriage and was claiming that the Prophet had sent him for this purpose.” “Isn’t it possible that he had really sent him, and thus your rejection may amount to the disobedience of the Prophet’s order?” “What do you feel about it?” “I feel you should bring him back before he reaches to the Prophet, and then go yourself to find out the truth.”
He brought Jowaibir back to his house with due respect, and then himself hurried up to the Prophet. When he saw him, he said, “O Messenger of God, Jowaibir came to my house and brought such a message from you. I would like to inform you that our custom is to give our daughters to persons of equal status and belonging to our tribe, who are all your helpers and companions.” “O Ziad, Jowaibir is a faithful man. That dignity and honour which you are talking about has now been abrogated. Every believer man is equal (for marriage purpose) to every believer women.”
Ziad turned to his house and explained the situation to his daughter. She said, “Please do not reject the proposal put by the Prophet. This matter concerns me. I accept Jowaibir whatever his condition may be. If the Prophet is pleased with it, I am also pleased.”
The wedding was duly solemnized. Ziad paid ‘Mahr’ from his own wealth and offered good articles to the couple. They asked the bridegroom, “Have you got a house where to take the bride?” He said, “No, I had never thought that I would get a wife and settle in domestic life. It was the Prophet who came suddenly and had a talk with me and sent me to Ziad’s house.” Ziad arranged for him a house equipped with complete necessities, and transferred the bride superbly adorned with ornaments and perfumes. Night came. Jowaibir did not know where was the house meant for him. He was guided to the house and led to the bridal chamber. When he saw the house and its equipment and looked at the dazzling bride, his past came to his mind and he said to himself, “How poor was I when I entered this city. I had nothing, neither lineage nor family, now God made these affluences available to me through Islam. Indeed it is Islam that has brought such changes in the social outlook of the people beyond any imagination. How grateful I am to God for bestowing upon me all the blessings.” In spiritual ecstasy, he went to a corner of the room; spent the night in recitation of the Qur’an and prayer. It was dawn when he came to himself and decided to fast in gratitude to God. When women came to see Zalfa in the morning, they found her untouched. They kept the matter secret from Ziad. Two nights and days passed in the same manner. He was fasting during days and praying in the nights. The women of the family of the bride were worried. They thought perhaps Jowaibir was impotent and had no need for a women. At last, they put the matter before Ziad. He informed the Prophet, who then called Jowaibir. “Don’t you have any desire for women?” “Incidentally, I have a very intense desire of that kind.” “Then why didn’t you go near your bride?” “O Prophet of God, when I entered the house, I found myself amidst that affluence. A state of gratitude and devotion took me over. I thought it is necessary to offer thanks and prayers to Allah before anything. Tonight, I shall go near my wife.”
Jowaibir and Zalfa lived a very happy life.