I am to you like Abu Zaar is to Umm Zaar, except I will not divorce you

RoseI love this story: Aisha Ra narrated a story to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about eleven women who were friends. Each of them described her husband. The Prophet (pbuh) listened intently as she spoke. The eleven women agreed that they would be frank and not conceal anything about their husbands.

The first one said: her husband was like a piece of camel meat placed on a top of mountain – there was no means by which one could reach it; and in any case it was not anyone`s to take.

The second one said there was so much to say about here husband that if she started she didn`t know what she would leave out; it was really better not to start.

The third friend said that her husband had such a foul temper that if she spoke against him he would immediately divorce her, and if she didn`t that would be another problem. It was as if she was married, yet not married.

Now it was the turn to the fourth friend. She said: her husband was like the nights of Hijaz, neither to cold nor too warm, he had a very balanced temperament.

The fifth woman said: her husband was like a cheetah in the house and lion outside; if he gave his word he never broke it, and need not even be reminded about it.

The sixth woman said her husband never followed the middle path in anything. When he started eating, he ate up everything that was set before him; the same with any drink that was there. Even when he slept, he would pull the whole sheet to cover himself. He would not even ask how his wife was managing.

The seventh one said her husband was a useless man who had a vile temper. In his rage he could break a person’s head or crush his bones.

The eight woman said her husband was a soft and delicate as a bunny rabbit to the touch, and he smelt like the sweet-smelling jasmine.

The ninth wife was very happy describing her husband; she said that he lived in a huge mansion and was very open-hearted and generous man.

The tenth friend said her husband was better than all those described, he was very wealthy man who owned may camels. He was so hospitable that he entertained frequently, and took pleasure in slaughtering his camels for his guests.

The eleventh woman was very proud of her husband, Abu Zara`s because he was rich and had loaded her with gifts of jewelry. His smiling and pleasant face kept her happy. He first saw her when she was just a shepherds daughter, but he brought her into a home, which was rich in grains, and she had plenty of livestock, camels and horses. There was plenty on all sides, and a pleasant atmosphere; even if she slept late in the morning he would never disturb her. His mother was a very great lady and also very well to do. She had lots of clothes and a large house. His son took up very little space and ate only the best delicacies, which was goat`s meat. His favourite daughter was very well-mannered and obedient to her parents. Abu Zara`a`s maidservant was a loyal woman who did not carry tales about the happenings in the house; she was very faithful and hones and kept the house clean and tidy.

One day it happened that Abu Zaar`s went out at the time when the animals were being milked, and he saw a woman who had two sons like two leopards playing with her breasts. Upon seeing her, he divorced me and married her. Thereafter I married a noble man who used to ride a fast and tireless horse and keep a spear in his hand. He gave me many things.

She then said, While describing her love for her first husband, ” Yet, all those things which my second husband gave me could not fill the smallest utensils of Abu Zaar`s.

This was the end of the long story about the eleven women. The Prophet (pbuh) was listening attentively, while responding and showing interest and enjoyment as Aisha Ra spoke. He did not exhibit signs of boredom, despite being tired and busy.

When Aisha Ra finished her story, in order to show that he had understood the story, and that he was listening to her and not lost in another world as she was relating, he (pbuh) said to her in response (the most beautiful words any wife would like to hear from her beloved husband):

“I am to you like Abu Zaar` is to Umm Zaar, except I will not divorce you”.

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